Angolan Opposition Unites to Monitor Poll

Angolan opposition parties have announced a united front to monitor the August General Election.

“The opposition parties are working out ideas and in a few days we will sit down to shape the strategies for the common front,” said Mr Lindo Bernardo Tito, of the broad convergence for the salvation of Angola (CASA-CE).

CASA-CE emerged third in the last General Election in 2012.

Several civil society groups have also expressed their wish to work with the united opposition to ensure a credible poll.

An advantage

Human rights activist and university lecturer, Mr Domingos da Cruz, said they would on Friday unveil an online application to help people report any electoral irregularities.

“The fact that people will record all they observe in the electoral process in a safe way and send it anonymously, is an advantage,” Mr da Cruz added.

The Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) deputy Secretary-General, Mr Rafael Massanga Savimbi, said his party would no longer do a lone monitoring as happened in the last two elections.

Party is ready

“Everybody heard our President (Isaias) Samakuva saying our party is ready not only to monitor, but also to win the elections,” VOA Radio quoted Mr Savimbi saying.

The August poll will be the third since the end of the Angolan civil war in 2002.

MPLA won elections in 1992, 2008 and 2012 with a parliamentary majority.

The embassies

The ruling party in 2012 secured 74 per cent of the vote against Unita’s 18 per cent.

There were no international observers for the elections.

None of the embassies represented in Luanda secured accreditation to monitor the elections.



Tony Elumelu to give 1,000 young Africans $5,000 each — to start businesses

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), one of Africa’s largest business incubators, is now accepting applications from African entrepreneurs with business ideas that can transform the continent.

The application portal is open and accepting submissions until midnight WAT on March 1, 2017.

Successful applicants will join the third cycle of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, TEF’s 10-year, $100-million commitment to train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs in every African country.

Since inception in 2015, the programme has assisted nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs and created hundreds of jobs across the continent.

The programme is said to provide critical tools for entrepreneurial success, including:

• Training: 12 weeks of intensive training on setting up and managing businesses
• Mentoring: A mentor will guide successful applicants in creating a robust business plan
• Seed Capital: $5,000 in non-returnable seed capital and access to a $5,000 convertible loan

According to Tony Elumelu, TEF Founder, the programme is a deliberate effort to institutionalise luck and provide the essentials for business growth to Africa’s next generation of business leaders.

“It is a demonstration of my faith in this generation’s ability to transform the African narrative, from the single story of disease and poverty, to one of enterprise and opportunity,” he said.

“Spread the word; we need Africa’s best and brightest entrepreneurs. Their ideas will transform Africa.”

One thousand entrepreneurs will be selected based on the viability of their idea, and other factors, such as: market opportunity, financial understanding, scaleability, and leadership and entrepreneurial skills demonstrated in the application.

To be eligible, business must be based in Africa, must be for profit, must be 0-3 years’ old, and applicants must be at least 18 and a legal resident or citizen of an African country.

“We encourage women, French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers and business ideas from every region across Africa, to apply,” Parminder Vir, CEO of the foundation, said.

“Our 2,000 alumni are already growing their businesses and improving lives. If you have a transformational business or an idea, we have an opportunity for you.”

Cologne police detain 100s of ‘African’ men over New Year.

Police in Cologne say they’ve detained hundreds of men “seemingly of African descent” as part of operations to prevent a repeat of the attacks seen in the German city a year ago.


Cologne police say the men were detained at two main train stations so that officers could question them and check their identities.


Authorities fielded over 1,500 officers across Cologne for New Year’s celebrations in response to criticism that they failed to stop hundreds of robberies and sexual assaults — blamed largely on men of North African origin — last year.


Some revelers this year complained on Twitter that police appeared to be detaining people based on their appearance alone.


By early Sunday police had received reports of two women being sexually assaulted in Cologne. One man was arrested

Poverty Contributes to Ill Health – Lagos NMA Chair

The Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association has said that there was the need to address the issue of poverty to reduce the burden of ill health in the country.

The association said that poverty contributed to ill health which in turn aggravated and extended the poverty, thereby having adverse effects on the country’s health indices.

Dr Olubunmi Omojowolo, the Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the NMA, made the assertion at a news conference to mark the 2016 Annual Physicians Week at the state NMA Secretariat, Lagos.

The theme for this year’s programme is: “Healthcare in a Frail Economy: Challenges and Way Forward.”

Omojowolo said: “This topic is very important, given the present economic downturn being experienced by our dear nation.

“The World Bank recognises the relationship between economic development and health.

“It also recognises that the poor health indices in most developing countries are as a result of entrapment in a vicious circle of unrelieved poverty.

“As we all know, the health of a nation is her wealth.

“Therefore, for our economy to recover and become more vibrant, we need to pay more attention to the health of the population and of course the health sector.”

On the goals and challenges of effective healthcare delivery, Omojowolo said: “The goals of effective healthcare delivery are to prevent human diseases, injury and disability.

“As well as protect people from environmental health hazards.

“Effective healthcare delivery should also be able to promote behaviours that lead to good physical and mental health, educate the public about health and assure the availability of high-quality health services.

“Unfortunately, achieving such lofty objectives has been extremely difficult in Nigeria as a result of a lot of challenges facing our health sector.”

According to Omojowolo, some of the challenges include poor facilities, dwindling human resource capacity, intra-professional rivalry, inequalities in healthcare access and cultural barriers.

Omojowolo said: “In a dwindling economy like ours, these challenges are bound to become more compounded and as such, a major concern due to pre-existing poor social and health indices in Nigeria.”

He said that to improve on the poor health indices, healthcare policies must be inclusive of all socio-economic strata.

He said: “There must be universal basic healthcare coverage and provision of health insurance to Nigerians, especially rural community dwellers.

“We must pay close attention to individuals with disabilities by having a comprehensive reform, while mental health issue must be on the front burner of our priorities.”

Omojowolo urged the Federal Government to increase the country’s health budget to approach the 15 per cent as recommended by the World health Organisation.

He also said that the issue of inter-and intra- professional rivalry and incessant industrial action in the health sector should be addressed and resolved in a holistic manner.

On the leadership crisis within the Lagos NMA, he said it was under control.

He said: “Justice Candide-Johnson granted an order restraining any other person or group other than the Omojowolo-led executives of Lagos NMA from parading themselves as officers of the association.

“This is in an originating summons with Suit No. ID/1322GCMW/2016, at the Lagos High court on September 29.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino Wants 48-Team World Cup Tournament

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has proposed expanding the World Cup finals to a 48-team tournament – a larger number than his election promise.

The Italian suggested 16 of those teams would be eliminated after one knockout match – before the group stages.

The rest of the tournament would be the same as it is now, with 32 teams competing in group stages followed by knockout rounds.

One of his election promises was to expand the finals to 40 teams.

Infantino said a decision would be taken by the governing body’s council in January.

“These are ideas to find the best solution, we will debate them this month and we will decide everything by 2017,” said the 46-year-old.

“They are ideas which we put forward to see which one is the best.”

Infantino took charge of football’s world governing body in February after the disgraced Sepp Blatter resigned.

Under his proposal, a preliminary knockout round in the host country would involve 32 teams with the winners reaching the groups, while a further 16 seeded teams would get a bye to that stage.

“It means we continue with a normal World Cup for 32 teams, but 48 teams go to the party,” he added.

“Fifa’s idea is to develop football in the whole world, and the World Cup is the biggest event there is. It’s more than a competition, it’s a social event.”

We’ll Continue to Touch Lives – Rotary Club

The ninth President of Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate, Tarun Sanghvi, and the first President of Rotary Club of Lagos Island, Vinod Garg, had their offices formalised at an induction y in Lagos.

In his valedictory speech, the immediate Past President, Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate, Pradeep Pahalwani, underscored the importance of doing good and touching the lives of the less- privileged as the best thing one could do to others.

In his acceptance speech, Sanghvi declared blood donation as the signature project for his club for this service year.

“We have assured the Lagos State Transfusion Services that we would help them to collect 20 percent of blood they would need, which is approximately 100 pints of blood this year.

“We have other projects, which include vocational trainings and donation of artificial limbs. We also hope to provide computers and laptops to school libraries. We would also organise health check and will distribute about free 2000 eyeglasses to the needy.

“Our eye hospital is 15 percent completed. It is built in partnership with the Lagos State government that gave us the land along Murtala Muhammed Airport Road,” he said.

Sanghvi said his message to people “is to do good and put smiles on the faces of less privileged.”

Garg, in his own acceptance speech, said that in addition to helping the mother club, Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate, the club would also embark on blood donation, an exercise the club hopes to carry beyond Lagos State.

“We would also distribute reading glasses and carry out some other projects.

“We hope to assist any club that would like to emulate us with the new technology of blood sugar bloodless test,” he said.

Garg said his message to Nigerians was for them to be givers to help the less privileged, while assuring that his club would reach out the less privileged in Lagos and beyond.

The District Governor, Rotary International, District 9110, comprising Lagos and Ogun states, Patrick Ikheloa said he was impressed by the performance of the two clubs, adding that the new club was doing very well and growing quite fast within a period of three months.

He commended the Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate, which according to him, has undergone so many projects, especially in assisting the less privileged, carrying out eye surgery for the poor.

President Buhari Signs Paris Agreement; says Nigeria Will Reverse Effects of Climate Change

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change has demonstrated Nigeria’s commitment to a global effort to reverse the effects of the negative trend.

The President said this while addressing the opening of the meeting on Taking Climate Action for Sustainable Development in New York, co-hosted by Nigeria and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as one of the Side Events of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71). President Buhari, had shortly before this event, signed the Paris Agreement, where he committed Nigeria to reducing “Green House Gas Emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent” in line with Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions.” Describing the signing as historic, he had also expressed confidence that with support from development partners, Nigeria will meet the above targets. The President also promised to ensure the ratification of the Paris Agreement before the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016. He stressed that it was to demonstrate his personal dedication to the process of implementing the Agreement that he was hosting the side event on Taking Climate Action Towards Sustainable Development. President Buhari, who said he was privileged to have been part of the Paris Agreement, expressed appreciation to what he called “the genuine efforts by President Francois Hollande of France in drawing global attention to reviving the Lake Chad Basin,” and for galvanizing the political will that led to the global consensus in reaching the Paris Agreement.

The Nigerian President said his country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is articulated through its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) “that strive to build a climate resilient society across the diverse terrain of Nigeria. We have instituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change to govern implementation of my country’s NDCs, thereby ensuring a strong cross-sectoral approach, coherence and synergy for Climate Action.” President Buhari, while admitting that implementing the Roadmap will not be easy in the face of dwindling national revenues, however, indicated that both internal and external resources would be mobilized to meet Nigeria’s targets, adding that the 2017 Budget will reflect Nigeria’s efforts to accord priority to realizing its NDCs. “In addition, we are set to launch our first ever Green Bonds in the first quarter of 2017 to fund a pipeline of projects all targeted at reducing emissions towards a greener economy,” he said. While urging global support to transit to a low-carbon climate resilient economy, the President specifically reminded industrialized nations “to play their role and deliver on their commitments on access to climate finance and technology transfer and help with capacity-building,” adding that, “Expectations are high for their leaders to deliver US$100 billion per year by 2020 in support of developing countries to take climate action, thus keeping the promise to billions of people.” President Buhari, who thanked the Presidents of Chad, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger for attending the event, also called on the international community to “give special recognition to the plight of Lake Chad and support our effort to resuscitate the livelihoods of over 5 million people in the region. This will reinforce our efforts to reintegrate the thousands of Boko Haram victims and returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).” The President noted that the Niger Delta region is a unique biodiversity rich in coastal environment that is highly prone to adverse environmental changes occasioned by climate change, such as sea level rise, coastal erosion, exacerbated by poverty and many decades of oil pollution leading to loss of livelihoods and ecosystems. He added however, that “through an integrated approach, implementation of the NDCs, and our efforts to clean up Ogoniland, we will improve livelihoods, protect the environment and take climate action, and ensure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

FEMI ADESINA Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity)

Despite My Influence, I Need 38 Visas to Move Around Africa – Billionaire Businessman, Dangote

Billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote has revealed that despite the size of his company and his investments on the continent, he needs 38 visas to travel across Africa.
Aliko Dangote
Speaking in an exclusive interview with CNBC Africa, billionaire businessman and Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, advised African leaders to give incentives to investors and make intra-Africa travel easy.
The Nigerian billionaire who owns the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities, revealed that despite the size of his group and his investments on the continent, he still needs 38 visas to travel across Africa.
Alhaji Dangote who is worth $12.5 billion and is the richest man in Africa, according to Forbes, said adequate steps must be taken to address the issue in order for the continent to have a blossoming economy.
“Our leaders must give incentives. For example, little things like visa issuance. You go to a country that is looking for investment, that particular country will give you a run around just to get a visa.
“You have to know somebody who is big in that country to call somebody. They are giving you visas as if it is a favour.
“Somebody like me, despite the size of our group, I need 38 visas to move around Africa. Yes, I’ve heard that they are going to do the (African) passport, but you can see that there is still a little bit of resistance from other African leaders.
“Even countries like Rwanda and co, that say no visas for Africans, they are still having problems getting visas into other African countries, despite saying no need for visas for Africans coming in. They say, just come, we would give you on arrival,” he said.
He said intra-Africa trade is still very much on the downside, stating that Nigeria imports flour from Europe, whereas, the flour was exported to Europe from Kenya and Ethiopia.

Ondo APC Headquarters Splashed With charms, Deji of Akure Fumes

The entrance of  the All Progressives Congress (APC) party secretariat in Akure, Ondo State was laced with assorted charms as stakeholders of the party were said to be in loggerheads. The diabolic items were discovered on Sunday night and hasn’t been removed as of the time of filing this report,  blocking people – who believed they will be harmed by the charms – from accessing the secretariate.

Meanwhile, the Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, Odundun II, has released a statement on the development, calling it a sacrilege.

His words:

“The palace condemns the attitude of some miscreants who went and sealed the entrance of the party secretariat with the traditional palm fronds which is the traditional means of sealing off premises in Akureland.
“We want to state that carrying out traditional sealing-off of premises remains the prerogative of the Palace.

“The Deji of Akure remains non-partisan and a father to all political aspirants and never authorized such.

“Oba Ogunlade frowns at this attitude and wishes to inform the general public that such act did not emanate from the palace.

“We call on the APC party executives to unravel the circumstances behind this abominable act. We equally call on security agencies to investigate and bring to book those behind the sacrilegious act so as to serve as deterrent to would-be persons.”

Folorunsho Alakija Covers The August Edition Of Forbes Africa Magazine

Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, executive vice chair of Famfa Oil one of the largest deep water oil discoveries in Nigeria with a joint partnership with international giants Chevron and Petrobras covers the August 2016 edition of Forbes Africa.

With an estimated net worth of $1.73 billion, Alakija’s rise to becoming the second richest woman of African decent behind Isabel dos Santos and the fourth richest person in Nigeria has come at an extraordinary fight against the Federal Government of Nigeria.

In her exclusive interview with Forbes Africa correspondent, Peace Hyde, Alakija tells her amazing
journey from a company secretary to building one of the most renowned fashion houses in Nigeria culminating in the experience that led her to ultimately take on the Nigerian government in an 11 year battle and win.

“There were a lot of sleepless nights and battles. Suddenly we became the plague, friends stopped picking up our calls and people were asking why we could not be content with 10 percent”, says Alakija in the exclusive interview.

Watch the exciting behind the scenes below with TY Bello below…

Militants Threaten To Declare Niger Delta Republic Today, Military On High Alert

Ijaw Militant group, the Adaka Boro Avengers (ABA), have threatened to declare the independent Republic of Niger Delta today August 1st. The group in a statement released last week, said after holding consultation with other militant groups in the region, they have concluded arrangements to declare the Niger Delta region as an independent republic from today August 1.

The group in the statement signed by its spokesperson, Edmos Ayayeibo, ordered people from other regions who are residing in Niger Delta to vacate their homes before today

“If they refuse to heed to our warning, we will use so many as example in the Niger Delta region on the due date.”

Reacting to the threat, the Nigerian military through the Joint Task Force Commander in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, dismissed the threat of the group, saying the military would not fail to fulfill their responsibility to protect lives, property and the territorial integrity of the country. He asked the people of the region to go about their normal duties.

“This is to reassure the good people of the Niger Delta that Operation Delta Safe is firmly on the ground to protect them” he said.

South Africa’s Petrol Price To Drop By 7.4% In August

The retail price of petrol in South Africa will decrease by 7.4 per cent from August 3, the energy department said on Friday.

The department also said that the price of wholesale diesel will go down by 6.3 per cent.

The department said the price of petrol will fall by 99 cents to 12.35 rand per litre in the commercial hub of Gauteng province.

It said that diesel will also go down by 74 cents to 10.97 rand per litre.

Hollywood Star Launches Scholarship for Terrorized Nigerian Girls

Oprah Winfrey is also the scholarship’s major seed funder, which Oyelowo hopes is a step towards combatting cultural and gender inequality.

David Oyelowo (Selma, Queen of Katwe) is paving a way for three Nigerian girls to continue their education with the announcement of a scholarship in his name starting this year. The David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship stems from the actor’s close partnership with the GEANCO Foundation, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization committed to transforming health and education in Africa

The three scholarships will cover full tuition for one year (including room and board and summer tutoring) for three females who have been exposed to terrorism and gender inequality to attend Nigeria’s Anglican Girls Grammar School beginning in September. It’s the same school Oprah Winfrey generously donated $100,000 to in Oyelowo’s honor in 2015 through GEANCO to provide the school with educational supplies, a brand-new computer lab and a water filtration system, among other additional support.

“The new scholarship will directly impact young girls lives who have been devastatingly impacted by acts of terror and gender inequality, and so hopefully it’s a place to put that frustration instead of just becoming more and more numb to the terrible things we’re seeing in the world at the moment,” Oyelowo told The Hollywood Reporter.

Winfrey is the scholarship’s major seed funder. Oyelowo and his wife, Jessica, have personally donated to the scholarship along with Participant Media, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, Janus Funds and several other donors.

For GEANCO co-founder and chief operating officer Afam Onyema, the scholarship is just the beginning of providing support to women who have been rescued from being kidnapped and terrorized by the acts of Boko Haram as well as those marginalized throughout Nigeria. The organization, which Onyema founded with his father in 2005, also has received support from Forest Whitaker, Kimora Lee Simmons and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who supports a separate school in Nigeria with the organization.

“We’ve done medical work for over a decade,” said Onyema. “Medical missions, knee replacements, anemia screenings, donations to hospitals — but we just had the sense that as these precious girls were being brutalized, kidnapped and terrorized that we need to do something. It’s such a complex, dangerous problem.”

Oyelowo expressed that being of Nigerian descent, along with raising a 4-year-old daughter of his own (as well as three sons), has shaped his perspective in wanting to help provide opportunities for her and all girls. His daughter also inspired him to join Lupita Nyongo in Queen of Katwe, a film which spotlights the game of chess and boasts a significant message for young women.

Said the actor: “Queen of Katwe, I did that as a love letter to my daughter, because in that I play a coach to an 11-year-old girl who sells corn on the streets of Kampala [Uganda] who would never otherwise go on to be a chess champion if she didn’t have mentoring and if she didn’t have someone somewhere who believed in her and took the time to mentor her towards her dream. That’s such a beautiful true story to me. We all need those.”

Oyelowo and Onyema’s launch of the scholarship goes far beyond simply adding Oyelowo’s star-powered name to the donation, but is a step towards fulfilling big dreams, including world-class medical facilities, more scholarships and one day the end of cultural and gender equality in Nigeria. Oyelowo says it starts with staying focused — words of wisdom he learned from his mentor and friend Winfrey, who he says helped him to realize his potential in being part of director Ava Duvernay’s Oscar-nominated Selma.

Selma simply would not have happened if, when we had done The Butler together, she [Winfrey] didn’t pull me aside and just spoke to me in very generous terms about what she felt I had by way of a gift and how she wanted to help me realize its full potential,” said Oyelowo. “I called her up to be a producer on Selma — she immediately said yes, and that’s partly how that film got made.”

“Advocacy is such a powerful thing,” he added. “I’ve been a beneficiary of it. In that story, Queen of Katwe, you see it demonstrated beautifully and that’s what I try to do with my daughter and my sons in encouraging them to be their best selves every day, and that is exactly why this scholarship is something so dear to my heart and why we’re doing that as well.”

Source: THR

AFRIMA Mourns Papa Wemba

The International Committee of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in partnership with the African Union Commission, AU, mourns the death of Papa Wemba, real name Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba.

The iconic musician from the Democratic Republic of Congo died in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, during the FEMUA urban music festival on Sunday April 24, 2016. He was 66.

Papa Wemba was considered an African icon and world music star after fusing his Central African musical heritage with Western pop, rock and rap. He pioneered a blend of African, Cuban and Western sounds, which became one of Africa’s most popular music styles. This earned him the nickname “King of Rhumba Rock”. Besides his musical influence, Wemba popularised Sapeur fashion, an eccentric look with three-piece suits, shiny black leather shoes and flashy accessories.

Chairperson  African Union Commission  Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Chairperson, African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

President and Executive Producer  AFRIMA  Mr Mike Dada.

President and Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr Mike Dada

Reacting to the death of Papa Wemba, President and Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr Mike Dada said: “At AFRIMA, we feel a sense of humongous loss since the announcement of the death of Papa Wemba. This is the time we at AFRIMA and Africa at large need him the most. He was one of the African music legends that had shown interest in attending AFRIMA 3.0 in November this year. He was a voice of Africa, an icon of African music and epitome of Africanness. His pride and commitment to African music and sense of dressing were part of the narratives of African culture. These are the African narratives we shared and are propagating across the world.”

Libya Coast Guard Foil Attempt To Traffic 127 Illegal African Migrants To Europe

The General Staff Coast Guard, in cooperation with Zuwara Security Chamber on Tuesday, March 15, foiled an attempt to sail an inflatable boat filled with 127 illegal African immigrants of different nationalities from the Libyan coast, Sabratha beach, to Europe. The Coast Guard staff acting on intelligence coming from the operations apparatus of the Coast Guard and the ports security department in Zuwara, managed to intercept the boat at 10 miles to the northeast of Zuwara city.

The immigrants and the boat were taken to the port where they given medical check up by the
Libyan Red Crescent, Zuwara branch. They were later sent to the Passports Investigation Center.

50 Cent Admits That He Lied About Owning A Home In Africa

Remember when 50 Cent boasted that he was almost done with building a home in Africa (he never said where in Africa) and said he was going to have the craziest house warming party ever? Well, he has admitted that he lied.

According to TMZ, 50 Cent filed legal documents in his bankruptcy case stating that he neither owns
nor ever owned any real estate property in Africa. He’s trying to prove to the courts that his lavish lifestyle is fake.

Nigeria’s Uche Pedro, Publisher Of Bella Naija Win’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 2016

Nigerian blogger Uche Pedro, Publisher of Bella Naija wins the 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards (KCAs) on Saturday, 12 March at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Prior to the creating of her website BellaNaija, Uche worked for Shell Canada, Cadbury Middle East & Africa Unit in the UK, and Cadbury in Nigeria. Uche is a Fellow of TEDAfrica and a Nigeria Leadership Initiative associate.

In July 2006, she founded BellaNaija and served as the managing director and Founding Editor before she went on to establish Bainstone Limited in 2009.


Nickolodeon awards


Best Blogger – Africa

Uche Pedro (Bella Naija – Nigeria)


See the complete winners list below…


Favourite TV Show
The Thundermans

Favourite Family TV Show
The Muppets

Favourite Male TV Star – Kids’ Show
Ross Lynch – Austin Moon, Austin & Ally

Favourite Male TV Star – Family Show
Jim Parsons – Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

Favourite Female TV Star – Kids’ Show
Zendaya – K.C. Cooper, K.C. Undercover

Favourite Female TV Star – Family Show
Sofia Vergara – Gloria Delgado–Pritchett, Modern Family

Favourite Talent Competition Show
The Voice

Favourite Cooking Show
Cake Boss

Favourite Cartoon
SpongeBob SquarePants
Actors Benjamin Flores Jr., Cree Cicchino, Kel Mitchell, Madisyn Shipman and Thomas Kuc speak onstage during Nickelodeon’s 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards


Favourite Movie
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Favourite Movie Actor
Will Ferrell – Brad Whitaker, Daddy’s Home

Favourite Movie Actress
Jennifer Lawrence – Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2

Favourite Animated Movie
Hotel Transylvania 2

Favourite Voice From an Animated Movie
Amy Poehler – Joy, Inside Out


Favourite Music Group
Fifth Harmony

Favourite Male Singer
Justin Bieber

Favourite Female Singer
Ariana Grande

Favourite Song Of The Year
Hello – Adele

Favourite New Artist
Shawn Mendes

Favourite Collaboration
See You Again – Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth


Favourite Book
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

Favourite Video Game
Just Dance 2016


3 Die In Lassa Fever Fresh Outbreak, 10 Others In A Single Family Infected

Three persons have died from a fresh outbreak of Lassa Fever, while 10 members of a family are currently infected with the virus in Bauchi State.

The Executive Chairman Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Ibrahim Gamawa, who said this yesterday in Bauchi, added that the 10 new cases were recorded in a single family at Jaye village in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state.

He said the outbreak started after a 78-year-old man died of the disease without seeking professional medical treatment.

Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel: Begging And Beggars: At A Time Like This!

In any social order, the veracity of pluralism holds in diverse calling. Pluralism is a school of thought that clenches the universal belief of things existing in pair. In the world of algebra, Boolean is akin to pluralism. In any society therefore, this two of a kind trend exist, segregating the rich from the poor, beggars from lenders, villains from heroes, losers from winners etc. such is life in a pluralistic society.

Poverty is the bane of many African countries, including Nigeria. A report presented by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) at the AU summit in Egypt, 2008 has said that poverty fuels separatism wave in Africa. In retrospect, the report informed the need for African policy makers to prioritise anti-poverty initiatives.
According to Professor Yemi Osinbajo, 65 per cent (approximated value) of Nigerians still live below the poverty line despite governments’ intervention programmes to improve the welfare of its citizens. Today, the percentage has increased if only we would be honest with ourselves. Nigerian workers are no longer paid their monthly entitlements and other benefits as and when due in many states of the federal republic of Nigeria. Economic realities have pushed many Nigerians who were once above the poverty line, below it.

In many Nigerian states, the situations of workers are just too pathetic to behold. On top of this, many state governors have become wicked to the plights of these workers who continue to work tirelessly in spite of red bank accounts and empty money bag. Arguably, effectiveness of employees in the public service is now next to zero. Yesterday lenders have become beggars today and yesterday beggars now beg the more either wittingly or unwittingly.

In Nigeria today, the gap between beggars and lenders, the rich and the poor is just too wide. Closing this huge gap should be the headache of any responsive government. In a nation of beggars and lenders, you are either a beggar or a lender. A Lender is the privileged few who has never stolen public funds to enrich themselves but still financially capable at times like this.
It is worthy to note that those people who have enriched themselves with our money are beggars. They may be temporarily rich today but tomorrow time lag for them or their generation in indignity of pain, poverty and sicknesses. The law of karma must surely hold. For the sake of readers who are ardent positivists and optimists, I need to further explain the term begging and beggars.
Begging is an objective subject matter. In an unequivocal term, begging is the process of pleading with someone for help or favour. Begging is not exclusively limited to those who beseech on the street corner, highways and market places from passers-by. Begging is not limited to the physically-challenged-turned-beggar or less-privileged-turned-beggar. In fact, begging is a common ritual among Christians (devoted or not) and Moslems. Christians and Moslems are ‘beggars’. We all ‘beg’ God for one help or the other through supplications, petitions and worship. On that front, there is nothing wrong with begging.
A while ago, the Lagos State Government (LASG) sent packing beggars from streets, major roads and highways in Lagos just because begging has become an eyesore in a place like Lagos. I ask myself after the whole show. What are the plans of LASG for those beggars dislodged from their ancestral homes?
In Nigeria today, many public servants (Health workers, teachers, academics etc.) have become diurnal beggars. Even, in the private sector, beggars are there in leaps and in bounds. In the civil service today, there is little or no longer room for management fraud and its attendant forms of stealing. The salaries are no longer forth-coming like it used to, workers are being retrenched on daily basis due to economic realities and unforeseen contingencies keeps getting out of bed. The only sacred option is to beg instead of stealing from the common patrimony.
Though, many public servants are in this predicament of ‘begging stylishly’ because of poor saving culture, misplaced priorities and poor planning. Of course, beggars are slaves to their lenders.

More, many Nigerians have become temporary or permanent slave due to government’s inadequacies and economic realities. The 2016 national budget padding is a reflection of how desperate some beggars could be. Per Diem, many have resorted to the business of begging just to eke out a paltry living. On the other hand, it is a blessing in disguise because it has taught the “begging” public and private workers not to use the whole of the ten fingers to eat anymore. Notwithstanding, Government at all levels should take workers’ welfare more seriously. After all, it is one benchmark of measuring good governance.

Spiritual leaders should begin to manifest the light in a very dark world. At a time of universal deceit, they should be agents that proclaim only the truth. At a time when Armageddon cites everywhere, they should do the work of God without any form of deceit. Spiritual leaders have holistic assignments to perform at times like this.

Most unfortunately, some of our so called ‘religious leaders’ are now real time beggars. In the name of religion, many atrocities have been committed by ‘servants of God’. Many religious rituals have been commercialized by our so called Pastors, Prophets, Evangelists, Imams and Alfas. One of the best ways of gaining access into a man is through his belly. Because of the belly, lies have been told against God, the Holy Spirit has been grieved severally. Because of the belly, the spirit of hunger is now the driving force, no longer the Holy Spirit. At times like this, these are the fruits.
In the annals of Nigeria history, there was a time when higher education certificates such as B.Sc., M.Sc., HND or even NCE were regarded as “meal-ticket”. Then, holders of such valued certificates were believed to have passed the poverty line. In our day, the reality of time immemorial is no longer plausible. Many graduates with such valued credentials in sundry profession have become first class beggars.

In a survey recently conducted by the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), it has discovered that the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria is not due to paucity of Jobs as popularly thought but that: a lot of our graduates are just not employable. This critical unearthing which holds a little truth, boils down to the poor quality of Public education in Nigeria. Our educational system is also begging.

Alas, graduates don’t want to beg. It is overt, many of them hate to beg but who will save them from situations that act against their popular wish? The 2014 immigration Job screening turned National scam is a proof of their tenacity to cross the threshold of poverty as specified by the United Nations. Again, when will they become responsible citizens?

The people should be the concern of any humane government. The government should always ask themselves some basic questions in the course of governing the governed.  How many people are eating from the National cake? Are youth empowerment programmes sufficiently transparent enough, accountable to a fault and reaching the right beneficiaries? What are the yardsticks used by government at all levels to share the dividends of democracy if any?
A report in 2014, as carried out by the Nigeria Security and Reconciliation Programme, NSRP has reported that 79 per cent of Nigerian youths feel that only those close to politicians benefit mostly from seldom youth employment and empowerment interventions. The government of the day needs to prove this otherwise with more proactive measures.

Many factors have enlarged the number of beggars in the country. There is time for everything. This is time to get more serious with the herculean task of governance, not the time to pass the buck when the ticking clock does not trudge. This is the time to pay more attention to; worker’s welfare, continued increase in unemployment, high rate of poverty on mother land, the fight against corruption and everything that speaks badly of us as a nation-state. This Buhari led presidency surely has a lot to do in a country of fewer lenders and plenty beggars. May God help him.
Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel, a graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, writes from Ondo

Mail:   phone No: +2347061926514

Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent nor its associates

Kenny Damola: A Desperate Memo To Nigeria’s Minister Of Science And Technology

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, I find it very pertinent at this point in time to send this memo to you sir. I have been itching to bring to your notice a number of issues as the minister of science and technology, chief among which is the neglect of the highly innovative young Nigerians who have been making laudable inventions.

I have never been in doubt of your ability to bring Change to the ministry of science and technology. Not long after your swearing-in ceremony, you vowed to Nigerians that you will indeed “be the best minister Nigeria ever had.” Many Nigerians are eagerly looking forward to seeing that happen.

Sir, it’s important to re-echo the role of science and technology; it’s the lifeline of any nation that desire to grow. Few weeks ago, I watched with awe the documentary of how one 30-storey building was completed within a record 360 hours—an astonishing 15 days—in China.

Nigeria is endowed with great inventors

Sometime in 2014, I interviewed Oyeyiola Segun, a final year student in the Department of Electrical Electronics, Obafemi Awolowo University, who built a solar-powered car. I was very amazed at his brilliance. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get any form of support from the government, despite all his efforts. The last time I heard from him—a few months ago—nothing has changed.

I was held spellbound as I watched a number of “made in Nigeria” mini airplanes, which were built by Aghogho Ajiyen, a young Nigerian who resides in Edo State, take off and fly several metres in the air. Channels Tv Eyewitness Crew had visited the inventor of these camera-fitted airplanes, which were made from locally sourced materials. Isn’t that amazing?

Sir, I’m pleased to inform you that two young Nigerians, 13-year-old Anesi and 15-year-old Osine Ikhianosime recently developed an Android-based web browser known as “Crocodile Browser Lite”. Not only that, I also read the story of one 27-year-old Hillary Promise who invented a remote controlled ship, aeroplane as well as bio-fuel.

And only recently, a young junior secondary school student, Chinecherem, from Anambra State, single-handedly constructed a very beautiful mini-duplex house for himself. It’s a long list and these are only a few of the numerous innovative young people that Nigeria is blessed with. There are still many more whose potentials, when unleashed, can make Africa’s largest economy the true Giant of Africa.

The world is moving fast; we should take a step

The World Economic Forum was held in Davos, Switzerland, between January 20-23 and the fourth industrial revolution was the subject of discussion. The use of Artificial Intelligence, evolving robotics, and emergence of self-driving cars was widely debated. The United States, China and other developed nations are already taking the lead. Sadly, we are still very far behind. Nevertheless, we have to start somewhere. And a good place to start is grooming and investing in the budding talents that are scattered across the country so as to turn our dream of becoming a technology giant into reality.

Mr Minister, I believe the ministry of science and technology should have a think tank mostly comprised of young and energetic Nigerians who are tech-savvy. This will enable you have access to first-rate ideas that can help revolutionize the sector. Also, I think there is the need to engage the tens of millions of Nigerian youths who are active users of both social and digital media. Prove to them that there is still hope despite the age-long neglect of this indispensable driver of change—science and technology.

In my opinion, I think your ministry needs to organise, as a matter of urgency, an effective exhibition during which the finest inventions in the country are showcased. Working closely with the media, I believe this will show the world that our country boasts some of the greatest inventors. Once the best of the best are selected in a most transparent way, they will have to be supported and established to do more, thereby solving many of our local problems.

These inventions can be improved upon through further trainings and partnerships with several international organisations. I believe this will go a long way, at least, in laying the foundation for the future you desire, the one every patriotic Nigerian desires.

Science and technology, once developed, can help transform many sectors—from education, health to agriculture, and trade and investment. In fact, it will help tremendously in fighting terrorism, corruption, oil bunkering and all forms of crime when given attention. That’s not to talk of the jobs it would create for the teeming unemployed and resourceful youths.

Sir, you can’t afford to let the many enthusiastic Nigerians down. We have your copious promises at our fingertips; it’s time for action.



Paul Akingbola: The Monumental Predicament Of Africa? The Land Of Green

“If I could, I would. But why…” This was the intrapersonal conflict I departed Europe with, last winter. With its astonishing natural greens, Africa is considered the continent with the best soil on earth. While I grew up hearing this from my teachers throughout elementary school, I had expectations and still do anticipate fragrant fruits from ‘Mama’ Africa. I remember my grandmother affirming over and over again, the sweetness of her childhood despite its being characterized by polygamy. She would paint mental pictures of how she grew up hearing from her father, the mythical stories of African legends and the numerous supernatural beings and creatures. Recounting the numerous conquests of her grandfather, she shared with the several battles her late father, Abidogun had won and the ways with which he and his warriors were rewarded each time they triumphantly returned to the kingdom after war. I could evidently see in her eyes, the trueness of every story she told.

When asked to talk about nature one evening, my Granny? Iya Oloola (as fondly called) radiated a beautiful smile hummed by her (left cheek) dimple and began by acknowledging the existence of Oló-dú-ma-ré (meaning in Yoruba: owner of the universe, supreme god whose worth is invaluable). She explained the mystery behind the stars (how each one represents one man and why a minute of silence should be observed each time one fell from the sky), the magical powers of the illuminating moon and the static sun… Describing the distinctiveness of God’s love for mankind, Iya Oloola revealed how much her husband loved and sacrificed his life for her. “Love can cure any disease”, she concluded.

Many Africans were brought up by lenient parents, some by disciplinarians and many others by loving ones. I had an equal share of the leniency, discipline and love from my folks. Perhaps being served a big wrap of pounded-yam, a bowl of vegetable soup and a fat piece of meat having been whipped with hand-ground red pepper chafed all over the body just for lying to an Aunty would paint a better picture. This tutelage left me with no other choice than to live by my Grandma’s philosophy of trueness to oneself and above all, to God even before mankind? So I made more friends and less trouble even as I grew older with my father’s mantra-like statement: “Omoluabi se koko!” (~ is crucial!) in mind. The Omoluabi is a Yoruba philosophical and cultural concept to describe a person of good character. The concept signifies courage, hard work, humility and respect. An Omoluabi is a person of honour who believes in hard work, respects the rights of others, and gives to the community in deeds and in action. It’s stunning how embedded in every African culture, the philosophy is. This was more than enough to keep us all on track. Is it not enough to keep the greens in our land perpetually green; our resources managed to make the continent better?

It is not far from being the maxim truth that the predicament of the land of green, Africa, is monumental. Is it only about the dwindling status of our economies? How about the epic unjust nature of our systems and the inexplicable absence of peace in some, and perhaps the negative peace reigning or enthroned in many other parts of the continent? While we are all too often hasty to place top on the priority list, corruption as the cause of this menace, pondering over the source of this dreaded scourge took me on a mental journey. I remember how our Monarchs lived luxuriously at the detriment of their people in the pre-colonial era? The westerners even called us barbarians just because several innocent souls were buried with our passing-away kings. I’m not saying this was barbaric. But, was it not? We are however, happy to see the significant reduction in the number of such occurrences in the last decades. At least they were in search of only one person to be buried with the immediate past Ooni of Ife on his demise the other day. But things were better back then, you’d say. Since I can’t disapprove, please allow me to disagree. Meanwhile, I am tempted to agree with the belief that culture loss is the brain behind the plague that has bewildered the African continent, possibly because wider majority share this feeling.

Stepping one’s feet into Europe for the first time is a to-be-celebrated feat for my people. My first time was amazing too, dominated by a long pondering silence filled with admiration. I just couldn’t have enough of the coolness of the weather, the serene view and the elegant nature of country’s layout. Germany’s beautiful; far incomparable to my home even from the airport. I wondered why we are still underdeveloped, yet glad to be categorized as “developing”. Privileged to walk into a bank in Berlin, I stood near a queue (distracted by an interesting broadcast message) with my heart glued to the phone. I saw an aged woman walk in and right behind me, she stood. After a little while I noticed two other people joined her and there the three of them were, innocently standing right behind me until a security man came closer to hint them that I wasn’t on the row; showing them the right place to stand. This event wasn’t a mere coincidence to me. So I shared it with a colleague who retorted: “Ode l’Oyinbo!”; (meaning, white men are fools). Then did I understand how pitiable queuing to use the ATM was like back home? disorderliness of the highest order.

Aside the enchanting beautiful night lights in the ancient city of Leipzig, I paid keen attention to details all through that period. I observed that for seven straight days, I didn’t hear the car horn more than twice despite a few traffic congestions. I saw how road users patiently waited for pedestrian to cross at interjections. I admired the boys and girls happily disposing the wraps from their candy towards trashcans in public places. I heard the young men say “excuse me” on several occasions. I heard ladies say thank you for things they paid for at malls and grocery stores. I heard mothers say thank you to their children for assisting in the offload of what the family would eat or use. I even heard a father say “sorry” to his son on the telephone for not making it home for dinner. I wished I could swap Africa for Europe.

I have traveled across Africa. The level of impatience among my people is alarming. Everyone is more or less intolerant and seemingly bereaved of love. Did civilization bring all of these too? You’d say we are busy and hardworking people but the creators of this jobs and civilization are still very patient, tolerant and loving. I see an adaptation error here. Waiting on the queue for the larger majority is like being hospitalized. Hustle and bustle triggers excessive horning even on (free) highways and within cities thereby claiming lives. Freedom to life encourages disposing a wraps of consumed or used commodities on the streets which has blocked drainages… Freedom of expression motivates saying anything without recourse to the likely physical or mental damage it could incite. Saying “excuse me” implies having a low self-esteem. (Excessive) use of “thank you” means not knowing one’s rights or responsibilities. Saying sorry presents one as not grown enough to know what one as unable to differentiate between right and wrong. I’m not sure stealing is still a problem here. Bribery is a norm? I doubt if the lives of others still matter. The land of green has therefore been turned into a fallowed soil for cultivation of the evil called corruption alongside its accomplices.

Is the problem is civilization? No, but our “mentality” is. It is obvious civilization has come to stay. As a peace scholar, I know how ‘peace in’ affects ‘peace out’. This applies to change too. Pathetic how an unchanged person dreams of changing something! I can’t count how many times well-wishers encouraged me to abscond each time I traveled abroad. They were doing me some good? Would those celebrated nations have been so if its people fled? If I could, I would. But why should I? No place like home; my mantra.

If just like me, you are tired of this remediable predicament, then it’s time to do something; make a decision to stop wishing but start doing. This is my perceived major difference between change-agents and change-makers. There’s therefore, now a chance to fight for change first at the intrapersonal level (in your mind). If every other means failed us, African youths, I am certain the bottom-up approach can get us out of this fix, for we are the future of this land. The statement “Rome was not built in a day” has only motivated complacency over time, causing us to reap sordid boons from the drenched land of green. But we can change this! And it begins with you and me, all of us.

A dying clergy man once said to his son: “when I was a child, I wanted to change the world. As grew, I wanted to change my country. As I grew older, I desired changing my little town and later, my home. But here I am today, lying helplessly on this sick bed wishing I had changed myself first. Perhaps this would have been the beginning of the change I dreamed all my life.” It’s good to say, better to act, how about both?

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Olawale Rotimi: Identity Crisis Among Africans

In this jet age, it is difficult to tell who an African is, the standards that define an African are uneasy to define, as foreign cultures, languages, and philosophies have strongly influenced us to the extent that majority of Africans have abandoned African cultures and languages to imbibe foreign cultures and languages. Therefore, welcome to Africa; a continent where Africans travel to Europe and America to study African culture and languages; Welcome to Africa, a continent with vast agro-ecology and resources, yet her people takes pride in importing foreign food items; Welcome to Africa, a continent where her people abandon their beautiful and unique attires, tag them as archaic to purchase non-African attires; Welcome to Africa, where our mother tongues are forbidden in schools and official gatherings, while foreign languages are the best to understand and speak. Welcome to Africa, a continent where the culture is regarded as barbaric and neglected by her own people and foreign cultures are elevated; Oh welcome to Africa, a continent where children are raised with foreign languages as evidence of civilization. This may be strange, but this is the African experience.

I have travelled to a few African countries, there’s a collective ignorance that I see in majority of us which makes us underestimate our identities, and take pride in foreign identities. The disconnect between Africans and their cultures have been traced to a few things which include: colonialism, western education, and influence of foreign media content.  Some are of the view that the colonial masters robbed us of our culture by introducing their own cultural values; their philosophies were used to suppress our cultural standards. Further to this, some are of the view that the introduction of western education consisting of western oriented curriculum, our culture, languages and belief systems gave way, as teachings relegated the efficacy of the African culture to Africans. In this age, others believe western media stripped us of our culture. Anyone of these might have influenced the identity crisis faced by Africans today, but we must carefully understand that, our cultural values, belief system and language cannot be restored by blaming a particular race or group of people; after all, none of these foreign cultures were forced on Africans.

The worse irony! Africans abandon free access to their cultures and travel to Europe and America to study African culture with bogus fees. Interestingly, some of these courses in African culture are taught by white people who came to Africa to learn the same culture Africans leave their own soil to study overseas. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in its forecast had warned that if nothing is done, half of 6000 plus languages spoken today will disappear by the end of this century. With the on-going challenge confronting African languages, the continent may have larger share in this forecast. Today, majority of African schools do not offer African languages as a subject. Since foreign languages are the official languages in Africa, our daily communications largely depend on them. More and more, our mother tongues become less relevant. However, UNESCO stated that well-planned and implemented language policies can bolster the on-going efforts of speaker communities to maintain or revitalize their mother tongues and pass them to younger generations. Thus, beyond blames, conscious efforts must be made by Africans to revive their languages and culture.

The diversity and value of African identities should serve as strength in a globalised world.  Also, promotion of African contents in our media is very important in reinventing our cultural values. Being African is more than where you were born or grew up; it’s a state of understanding our cultural values, living them and speaking the languages. If Africans do not reinvent their cultures, we will continue to travel overseas and pay high fees in foreign schools to learn our cultures and languages, we will continue to read our history written by foreigners. We must liberate ourselves mentally and celebrate our identities instead of celebrating foreign identities, foreign way of speaking, dressing, eating e.t.c. no culture is superior to the other.

Olawale Rotimi

BA, MA Ilorin, DELF Paris

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

92-Year-Old Zimbabwean President, Mugabe Refuses To Relinquish Power, Says Until He Dies

he 92-year-old Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, on Thursday in Harare maintained that even though is party would choose a successor, he planned to contest the next election in 2018.
Mugabe, who would be 94 by 2018, insisted that he would still seek his last five-year term under a new constitution that would see him through to 99 years old.

The 92-year-old Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, on Thursday in Harare maintained that even though is party would choose a successor, he planned to contest the next election in 2018.

He said with reference to the UN Chief, Ban Ki-moon statement calling on African leaders not to
cling to power, Mugabe responded that he would continue “until God says ‘come’’.

Mugabe, who turned 92 on Sunday, said he had no intention of stepping down in spite being Africa’s oldest leader and the only president Zimbabwe has known since independence in 1980.

He said as the president he still remained in charge of day-to-day running of his government.
Grace, his wife, a powerful figure in ZANU-PF in her own right, told party supporters that he was the only one who could keep Zimbabwe “intact and peaceful”.

She added that she would push him in a wheelbarrow to work if he was unable to walk.
Eldred Masunungure, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, noted that from analysing the political situation, his political speeches, his political actions, it is increasingly becoming clear that he is gunning to be there for as long as he lives.

He said in spite his old age, Mugabe remained the glue holding together his fractious ZANU-PF, which dominates the political scene.
Masunungure said the president enjoyed support from the military, an institution that has been a major pillar of his long rule.
Meanwhile, many Zimbabweans followed his health with keen interest, especially after assertions by Wikileaks that he might have prostate cancer, which he denied.

They said with Mugabe having ruled for 36 years, some people fear the government could be paralysed and the country riven by instability, should he die without resolving the succession issue.

Zimbabweans recalled that in 2015 he read out the wrong speech in parliament, which the opposition seized upon to question whether he was still of sound mind, though the president’s spokesman blamed his aides.
They noted that his life presidency aspirations could frustrate the feuding big-hitters of his ruling ZANU-PF party, who have been trying for years to position themselves for a post-Mugabe political era.

Critics blame Mugabe for many of the problems facing the country.
They said his policies, including the seizures and redistribution of white-owned commercial farms, drove one of Africa’s most promising economies into nearly a decade of deep recession until 2008 that cut its output almost in half.

Source: Vanguard

See The Amazing Transformation Of The Abandoned “Witchcraft” Baby

Some weeks back the internet was buzzing  about a Danish national in Akwa Ibom state who had taken it upon herself to rescue children accused of witchcraft and abandoned by their families. To refresh your memories.

Story has it that Hope, the boy being fed water in the picture by the Danish woman, an humanitarian aid-worker named Miss Anja Ringgren, was left for dead on the streets by his family, who accused him of witchcraft.

Hope survivied on the streets for eight months, feeding on scraps thrown at him by passers by.

Fortunately, on January 31, Hope was rescued by Loven, who discovered him naked, emaciated, and wandering the streets with his body riddled with worms.

Miss Anja, who has a Nigerian partner with whom she has a son, took Hope to the hospital where he was given a thorough bath. Thereafter Hope was treated of the worms and given blood transfusion to replenish his obviously depleted red blood cells.

Already, Miss Anja who runs a children orphanage, has received donations to the tune of $1 million from donors from around the world after asking the community for fund to settle Hope’s medical bills.

She’s hoping to build a hospital for neglected children like Hope and giving them best of treatment.

See more photos after the cut of the amazing transformation of baby Hope since his timely rescue by a kind hearted human being,.


Baby Hope now, barely a month later

Kanu Nwankwo, Pele, Ronaldo Da Lima Named As World Football Legends

Kanu Nwankwo is officially a football legend. The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) have named Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu in the list of top 48 legends of football worldwide. The body released the first phase of the list which also includes Brazilian greats Pele and Ronaldo da Lima.
Other notable Africans who made the list are former World player of the year George Oppong Weah, Roger Milla, Rabah Medjer, Muhammed Aboutrika, Mohmud El-Khatub and former Bafana Bafana
captain Lucas Radebe.

Oliseh Flees Nigeria, Accuses Staff Of Witchcraft

As the zero hour approaches for the must win double header AFCON qualifier against the Pharaohs of Egypt on March 23, Sports Vanguard can reveal the real reasons why coach Sunday Oliseh may continue to tinker the Eagles from his base in Belgium.

After contracting a virus in one of his official assignments, camp sources informed that the former Juventus player has alleged occultic manipulations by his enemies on his life and has vowed to flee far from the country to where they could not fly to attack him.


“He is always scared in camp and suspicious of even members of his back room staff”, a close source to the team informed.

The source said that the outspoken coach allegedly confronted his staff and warned them that there were many witches and wizards who were trying to undermine the success of the Eagles.

“He warned those fond of putting their hands in their pockets before shaking him to desist or keep their handshakes as he feared they touch objects concealed in their pockets before offering to shake him”, the source said. Also, the coach alleged that many of the people surrounding him do not believe in the success of the team as he claimed that they don’t rejoice when the Eagles score goals.

Beyond the trivial accusations of witches and wizards, Sports Vanguard also gathered that the coach had written to the federation to pay his outstanding N10 million accommodation fee as agreed in his contract(N5 million for 2015 and another N5 million for 2016) if they want him to reside in Nigeria as he said he would not stay in the hotels when the Super Eagles are not in camp.

Source –

Donors Pledge $250m To Fight Boko Haram

Donors at the African Union summit pledged on Monday $250m for the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, AU Peace and Security Council chief Smail Chergui said.

Boko Haram, facing the heat of a military onslaught in Nigeria, has in the past year stepped up cross-border attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon, while continuing shooting and suicide assaults on markets, mosques and other mostly civilian targets within Nigeria itself.

Despite offensives by the regional force with troops from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, the Islamist jihadists maintain strongholds in areas that are difficult to access.

On Saturday night, the terrorist group attacked Dalori, a village four kilometres outside Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, allegedly killing 86 people including children.

But Chergui praised the success of the force at the close of an AU summit on Sunday, saying territory had been wrested back.

“Great results have been achieved and we must consolidate these gains,” he said.

Chergui said $110m came from Nigeria, with the European Union offering €50m, as well as donations from Britain and Switzerland.

Chad’s President Idriss Deby, the African Union chairman, said it was crucial the money pledged was actually paid to show “our firm commitment in the fight against terrorism.”

Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said gains had been made but much more needed to be done.

“Boko Haram is no longer able to operate freely as in the past or control territories as they did,” he said.

“We are making tremendous progress in this battle, but we still need to remain vigilant, we need to share information and cooperate.”

Dasukigate: Ali Baba Says Locking ‘Corrupt’ Govt Officials For Over 48 Hours Is Justified

Veteran comedian Ali Baba has fired back at those criticizing the government for holding past government officials allegedly involved in Dasukigate for over 48 hours. He wrote:

: “All of you that are shouting “The constitution says You can not hold someone longer than 48 hours”,
what part of that same constitution said you can steal our national wealth, share it amongst party cronies and let our soldiers die in unserviceable aircrafts, send our brave soldiers to fight against sophisticated weapons, while the people you are quoting rule of law for were busy, buying private jets, living like lords, buying properties overseas and using the money meant to protect the country to prosecute an election. And to think that the mass sharing was from monies recovered from past looting!! So if they let everyone go, would that money had come back in the first place for you to share? Sometimes, one wonders whether some of us think things through before saying them.”

On another post,he wrote

 “Until something affects us directly in Nigeria, people think and believe it has nothing to do with them. Hashtag “e no consign me”. Think about it, now that these monies that were STOLEN BY SOME PDP bigwigs were not directly (and I mean that as, you do not have access to it, and can’t draw on it) it looks like it does not concern us

Okay, let me flip the script, if the money were your deposits and life savings in a bank, and the MD and his friends shared it. And Buhari is trying to get them to return all of it, which of the excuses that have been put up for why some of them got a slice of the loot, will make you say, “you can’t hold anyone for more than 48 hours” “It’s an affront on democracy” “Buhari is a dictator”. By now all the known houses of the directors of the bank will be up in flames. All their billboards will be history.

 No staff will want to be caught going to work in the bank’s official cars. By now the queue in front of the bank and the crowd at entrance of the court where the bank officials are being tried will be beyond control. Ordinary estate association, when money is budgeted for fixing security issues of the estate, fumigation and general cleaning of the common areas, woe betide the financial secretary, if after 2 months, nothing was done. And in that time, robberies took place, rats had unprotected sex, epidemic, overgrown bushes in the common area…

And in the next meeting you hear, “Chairman asked me to give Mr LABINJO 3m, Ms Sade had cash issues we gave her 2m, we dashed Mr & Mrs Osagie 1m for their wedding. Oh, my son needed a car, so We agreed to give him 4m, and it even a Tokunbo car o…” The committee will be impeached that day! But hey what is 2.5b dollars? Please let them go. Is that why we voted you in? Who is not corrupt? We are in a democracy ooo! Nonsense! What were we in when they shared money meant for waging war? And the soldiers were not being paid. So the soldiers bore it till they couldn’t any longer, so they protested. You sentenced them to life for mutiny. While PDP was sharing their monies and living large, they were dying to protect us. Come to think of it, what happened to the guy that chopped Pension Funds? HABA!”

Kofoworola Ayodeji: Lessons from Nigeria’s First Coup

Fifty years ago, on January 15, 1966, things fell apart in Nigeria. The five-year old nation embarked on a journey of no return— Nigeria’s first military coup took place.

Nigeria gained independence from colonial rule in 1960, became a republic in 1963, and was dubbed “a superpower in the making”. But 55 years on, Nigeria is yet to become a superpower. Why? The events of Jan 15, 1966 could suggest some answers.

Greed, tribal sentiments and fight for supremacy among the political class of the first republic gave birth to a series of events that culminated in the violence which erupted after the controversial 1965 federal elections. Dissatisfied with the turn of events, five young Army Majors led by Kaduna Nzeogwu decided to seize power and bring sanity to Nigeria.

Majors Nzeogwu, Ifeajuna, Anuforo, Okafor, and Ademoyega therefore plotted the country’s first military coup. According to them: “Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places, that seek bribes and demand 10%; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs…

Many notable pre- and post-independence politicians—Ahmadu Bello (Premier of Northern region), Tafawa Balewa (Nigeria’s prime minister), Ladoke Akintola (Premier of Western Region), Festus Okotie-Eboh (federal minister of finance)—lost their lives in the coup. And that started many ugly incidents whose effects still haunt Nigeria till date.

Unfortunately, Nzeogwu’s coup was hijacked and the 42-year old General Agunyi Ironsi took over as the military Head of State. That led to a bloody counter-coup on July 29 of the same year, just a little over six months after the first and Agunyi Ironsi was then murdered in cold blood. At that point, tribal sentiments had taken the centre stage. Ironsi was killed by some northern officers because they perceived the Nzeogwu coup as an “Igbo coup”, one that was meant to ensure the dominance of the Igbo tribe.

The 31-year old Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon took over as the new head of military government amidst serious tribal tension. Not long after, the civil war broke out and over a million innocent Biafrans lost their lives, mostly children. After a failed secession bid by the Easterners, this 30-month long “no victor, no vanquished” war ended. Since then, Nigeria and Nigerians have not been the same—it’s been from one crisis to another.

But, have we learnt from past mistakes?

The main reason for which the first coup was staged— Corruption — is still the greatest problem facing the country today, fifty years after. In fact, it has become pervasive and a way of life. In 1966, corrupt politicians were accused of taking 10% bribes. In 2016, they are not only accused of taking bribes but also squandering the funds that were meant to equip the military. What offence could be more disheartening!

Knowledge of the fact that it was the events of 1966 coups that distorted Nigeria’s history should make every Nigerian more passionate and determined to ensure that the wrongs of the past are corrected, so history doesn’t repeat itself. This would mean a more active participation of Nigerians in the process of governance, increased tolerance for each other, and concerted efforts to fight corruption and other social vices.

If we do not want our children’s children to lament the damages done by corruption, tribalism, religious intolerance, terrorism in about fifty years to come, then we have to fight them now. For instance, every Nigerian should see corruption as evil and therefore treat it as such. With this, no citizen will drum support for “elder statesmen” who are caught in the act of looting our commonwealth.

Nigerians should stop having soft spot for their “kinsmen” who are engaged in nefarious and unpatriotic acts.  Nigeria is bigger than any tribe, religion or political party. As a society, we must learn to condemn what is wrong and commend what is right collectively.

We will keep talking about the numerous problems created by Nzeogwu’s coup without appreciable triumph over them, even in years to come, if we do not learn from our past so as to shape the future. Rome was not built in a day, they say. So also Nigeria cannot be built in a day, but we must begin somewhere at least. And a good place to start is by being a more responsible citizens and holding the government accountable, no matter what. God bless the Armed Forces.  God bless Nigeria!

Kofoworola Ayodeji is a Nigerian writer and transformational speaker who is passionately involved in nation-building.


Joseph Edgar: It’s A Class War, Stupid!!!

Nigerians, just like when Bill Clinton told the Americans during one of his election campaigns that it was the economy, I am also now telling Nigerians that it is a class war period.

Our sufferings and frustrations are not because we belong to any section of the country or because we are Igbos as the hapless Nnamdi Kanu and his ilk would have us believe it is simply because we remain the grass under the feet of a collection of elephants in a continous struggle for power both political and economic.

Our low level of education and enlightenment continue to put us in positions of servitude to be used and misused by the elites whose membership cut across ethnic lines and are kept together by their collective greed.The Marxists pushed this position in the 70s and we refused to see it. I have been mulling these thoughts and have decided to expand on it as I now have incontrovertible evidence that our oppressors do not take their decisions based on the integrity or otherwise of the people they claim to represent but are driven by the urge for the primitive and continuos accumulation of power and wealth.

My people, I watched this documentary on Nigeria and it was very clear that the civil war, several coups and economic bastardization that we have faced since we gained independence have been direct consequences of this struggle. Let me illustrate, I have always wondered why Fela the Late genius hated with a passion the Military especially Obasanjo and Yar’dua. The link is very clear, his mother was part of the independence push in the 50s. She attended most of the talks both in UK and in Nigeria. She fought gallantly and even dethroned a sitting Oba in the wake of her powerful incursions into politics. But immediately we gained independence she went into obscurity, cheated out of the fruits of her struggle culminating in her final humiliation by the OBJ junta. This was Felas grouse, how can his mother be so treated by these ‘vagabonds’ after all she had done for this country.

So what did he do, he fell back on the masses, taking advantage of their illiteracy and a need for release as a result of their massive poverty and suffering to rail against another section of the elitist club with which he was a major member by reason of his bourgeois birth. He wore the pants, smoked the weed all in his bid to show that he belonged to the masses. He succeeded to an extent but in death, his people came for him and took him away from the masses. They rewarded his family with political appointments, immortalization of his family name and all sort. Even today the Lagos state Government has given up although on lease as I hear a major part of our national historical monument – the Lagos Prison for his family to manage and maintain through his eldest daughter who is in a relationship with a talented Architect.

MKO Abiola

People, please open your eyes to the games of our masters. Another illustration is that of MKO Abiola, the purported winner of the June 12 Elections. He always regaled us with stories of his poverty, his poor upbringing and all. He did all these to curry the support of the masses in his fight against his colleagues as he struggled for power. He was not poor even in his youth, he was educated by Felas father in a school meant for elites and their children. Obasanjo attended the same school, (hope you are seeing the link) sent abroad to study and came back to join the Lagos University Teaching hospital from where he moved to some multi national and still as a very young man bought his first company. As a bonafide member of the elitist club, his colleagues in the military gave him all sorts of contracts making him one of the richest Nigerians of all time. During this time, he made very shallow contributions to the welfare of the masses. Making gratitious donations which were in no way compared to the massive wealth he had amassed through his prostituting with the military membership of the elitist club. All these was to hoodwink us and make us believe that he was a trusted ally.

But all his charade was blown open when he was bluntly told by his colleagues that the Presidency was not ‘for sale’. However in his stubbornness he continued, relying on the bridge he had built between himself and the people to deliver the Presidency. This failed him for he underestimated the power of his cabal of wolves, his ambitions were frustrated by the military junta and he jumped to the masses for help like they always do, but we had been thoroughly weakened by his activities and that of his cohorts in the elitist movement and he invariably lost his life.

The linkages are very strong. The same people and their children have been ruling us both politically and economically. They only jump at ethnic and tribal colorations when they loose out in their intra class struggle. Falling back on the poor people to fight for them, claiming to have been cheated because they belong to a certain tribe but conveniently forgetting to state clearly that they were just poor strategist in a club the majority of us will never belong.

Odumegwu Ojukwu
Let’s look at Ojukwu the leader of the Biafran Secessionist movement. His father was at the time the richest Nigerian. Ojukwu lived a life of privilege and attended the best schools. His education gave him a little advantage over the other members who were firmly divided into three class subdivisions within the elitist movement- the political, economic and military. Ojukwu played in all the spheres and did not understand why he should be subjugated to Gowon who played in only one space and was not as educated. The progrom in the North and the continued massacre of the igbos gave him the firm vehicle and platform to carry out what to me and some scholars was a purely egoistic Crusade which led to the killing of over 2m Nigerians. After the war, what did we hear, ‘no victor no vanquished’, Ojukwu had run away with his famous Mercedes Benz to live a life of luxury in exile. This kind of camaraderie was a slap on the face of all those who had lost their lives, suffered untold suffering and saw their destinies thwarted but what would you expect after a fight between ‘two brothers’?

The competition between the elites led to massive recruitments on all sides. The North carried out their Northernization policy, using the famed Barewa College as a bastion for recruitment into the civil service and the military school in Zaria for recruitment into the military. The west embarked on theirs too sending their scions out to the UK on scholarships mostly to study Law. That is why you hear of people like Fani Kayode being a third generation Cambridge educated lawyer. The Easterners also had theirs with what was then called the Argonauts, this was the Azikiwe led young Igbo Turks who were mostly educated and trained in the U.S steeped in the radicalism of the civil rights movements. Today you will see their children and descendants still holding forte.

People like Bola Tinubu, El Rufai, Buba Marwa, Dasuki, Femi Otedola, Aliko Dangote, Keem Bello Osagie, Udo Udoma are all direct descendants and beneficiaries of the bastion of elitist control.

How do these elitists perpetuate themselves in power? Its Simple. Education and in some cases marriage. They have identified very early the importance of education hence the continuos push for their children and chosen ones to get the very best in education and tutelage. They go to the very best schools in the world and get the kind of exposure that common people’s children will never get. In the olden days it was through scholarships opened to party members children and wards, today its making sure recruitment into choice jobs was strictly based on the level and quality of education preferably overseas degrees. Tell me how will a Shomolu man’s son no matter how brilliant compete?

They have also perfected the art of intra class marriage. They marry themselves ensuring continuity and spreading of bloodlines although firmly within the elitist circle. Any attempt to marry out of this class is rebuffed and frustrated until the usurper packs his bags and runs away.

Clear illustration, look at the Management of Forte Oil and the pedigree of its Chairman you will see what we are saying. From the Group Managing Director to the Chief Financial Officer are children with strong pedigree that can be traced back two generations. They also parade very strong educational qualifications and tremendous exposure. So how will someone who went to Makoko Comprehensive and graduated from our ASUU strike bedeviled institutions compete favorably with these people. So you see, it’s a class war my people.

Femi Otedola

Otedola himself comes from a strong pedigree that could be traced to the Awoist free education and scholarship platforms of the old western region. His father being one of the wealthiest people in the land emerged as the first ‘sleeping’ Governor of Lagos State and eventually today Femi is one of the wealthiest black men in the world. He is also perpetuating the elitist lineage by sending his own kids to the very best schools in the world, recruiting only the very best that his money can afford from a very shallow pool of labour and effectively limiting the rest of us no matter where we come from Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo or Ibibio to the servitude that remains our fate.

Now that it’s rosy, we are not hearing that he is enjoying all of these because he is a Yoruba man o. By the time, he experiences a small hiccup, maybe a little intra class struggle he would fall back on his people and scream for war that these Hausa people want to take his firm because he is Yoruba.

This is where Nnamdi Kanu is getting it all wrong. The igbos are not suffering because they are Igbos, they are suffering because of their position in the societal hierarchy which decides who stays where no matter where you come from. Why do you think the South Eastern Governors will never support his position? it’s because it may cause an imbalance of power and a restriction to resources. The Igbo elites will always look at Nnamdi Kanu as an orphan and treat him as such.

People, we are all suffering. Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbira, Ijaw. A poor man is a poor man. The same sickness in Onitsha is the same sickness in Kano. Have you seen the poverty in the North? Have you been to Makoko in Lagos? Have you been to the slums of Aba? We are fighting like fools because we do not know who the enemy is.

Biafra will not put food on the tables of the poor disenfranchised Igbo man, Biafra will not give him infrastructure, send his children to school or even give him a voice. The issue can never be Biafra, the issue is elitist suppression and full control of the levers of the economy emasculating the masses throughout Nigeria.

If you doubt me, let us allow Biafra go and you will immediately see the permutation replay itself with the rebirth of these same elitist people creating a new hierarchy and entrenching the same issues that led to the creation of Biafra. Another Ilustration, IBBs rash of new states did not solve the issues but indeed created a new set of minorities still suffering from lack. I was a minority in the old Cross River State and still remain. Minority in the new Akwa Ibom State with my grandfathers house still not joined to the National grid. So what are we talking about.

The solution is education. We must break the walls of illiteracy by liberalizing education. Let’s enlighten everybody so that we all can at least see issues in its true form instead of its present coloration along ethnic and tribal lines.

It is a class war and the sooner we realize this the closer we will get to the Uhuru.

Donald Trump’s Name Taken Down From Dubai Luxury Golf Course Development

Following the Republican presidential candidate’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States, his name has been taken down from a billboard advertising a golf course and luxury-housing development on the outskirts of Dubai. (the signboard before and after the removal) Developer Damac Properties Dubai Co, which is building two Trump-branded golf courses along with 104 mansions, said on Tuesday December 8, it would not comment on the “personal or political agenda” of the leading Republican candidate.

But by Friday morning, December 11, images of the US business mogul and his daughter, Ivanka, had disappeared from outside the Akoya real estate development. Damac began selling Trump-branded mansions with a starting price of 6.5 million dirhams (S$2.5 million) in March, the company said at the time.

At a press conference in Dubai last year, Trump said the golf course and housing project would be completed in 2017 and that he would be responsible for managing the development for the next 25 years.

Afrinolly Launches Africa’s Solution To Film Piracy

Afrinolly Limited developers of Afrinolly; winner of the Google Android Developers Challenge 2011 and the most downloaded Entertainment app, designed and developed in Africa launched the Afrinolly MarketPlace; a first of its kind pay per view, secured mobile platform for the distribution of Nollywood/African movies, Short films, Series and more to GSM users in Nigeria and the rest of the world.



Afrinolly MarketPlace is the latest in a series of iteration undergone by the Afrinolly App – a solution that has brought us the best of African entertainment. Today, the app has evolved into a marketplace; a revolutionary platform connecting fans with the films they want plus the convenience to access and enjoy a library of some Africa’s finest contents.


The US$5billion Nigerian film industry has been plagued with the issue of piracy and access for a very long time. Producers have become weary but consumers across Africa and beyond simply want to watch stories they can relate with. Through the Afrinolly MarketPlace, producers/creators in Africa will, for the first time, be able to offer their content via mobile phones and get paid for it without fear of piracy. Welcome to Afrinolly 4.0; welcome to the future of African entertainment.


Afrinolly’s Core Offering


“This is an exciting moment for Nollywood and the African film industry as we launch the Afrinolly MarketPlace; an African solution to the challenge of piracy. A challenge largely ignored by established video streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Videos, YouTube Red and others. At Afrinolly, we believe African producers should be able to earn more from their contents and African entertainment enthusiasts should have access to these contents without the risk of piracy.” said Chike Maduegbuna, CEO of Afrinolly Limited.


Users can stream contents both via our Afrinolly’s mobile site at and via the app as efforts have been made to keep video viewing experience consistent regardless of device or platform used. Content protection and convenient payment system are two key elements of the Afrinolly MarketPlace unique mobile distribution platform.


“We implemented multi-platform DRM technology and video optimization solutions using industry standards so contents are protected on the Afrinolly platform and we introduced carrier billing (Recharge Pay) so users can pay for contents using airtime via their mobile network.” said Tope Omotunde, CTO of Afrinolly Limited.


For N100, users in Nigeria will be able to watch a movie while a short film is N50. GSM subscribers on MTN Nigeria network can pay for content via their airtime, while Airtel network subscribers will also be able to pay conveniently with their airtime in a few weeks. Users in other parts of the world would pay 99¢ for a movie via in app payment systems.


“Afrinolly is powered by our Dynamic Transcoding Technology, which helps in identifying data speed of our users so as to be able to deliver smooth video viewing experience regardless of network or device type. Our App is backed by our Intelligent Prediction Technology that recognizes a user’s video content preference based on their region, past contents watched, search they have conducted and device used.” Tope Omotunde says.


To enjoy Nollywood/Africa’s finest films visit or download the Afrinolly app for Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone from your app

British Govt. Offers To Help Buhari Develop Niger Delta Region

The British Government, weekend expressed readiness to collaborate with the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s to urgently fast tract the development of the Niger Delta Region.

British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Paul Arkwright gave the assurance when he visited the minister of Niger Delta Affairs Pastor Usani Usani in Abuja,

Arkwright said his government is more than ready to join hands with the Federal Government and other development partners with a view to placing the region on the global map of massive development.

The High Commissioner, who is barely two months in the country disclosed further that he was at the ministry to enquire about key priority in the region, adding, his country was gratified with recent successful and credible elections as well as the smooth transition of power in Nigeria.

The British Government he said on that note decided to partner with it in every possible areas of collaboration to actualise peace and development, particularly in the oil rich region of Nigeria.

The Ambassador who described Niger Delta Region as a critical Part of Nigeria , said, it is poised to achieving new targets set to boost uncommon opportunities that will close existing development gaps in the oil rich region.

Responding, the Minister , Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani expressed satisfaction with the offer and commended the British government for what he termed as massive support in the democratic process of Nigeria and in the fight against insurgency .

He pleaded with the British not to withdraw it support to the nation especially in the area of boosting Nigeria’s politics, product and industry as well as its assistance as it pertains to regulatory institutions.

He also stressed the need for government of British to help secure the nation’s badly polluted environment by aiding to upgrade the existing environmental standard and procedure that is already in

Usani told the high Commissioner that while Nigeria is working tirelessly to diversify from Oil to Agriculture, it would be highly appreciated if the tender professional support in this regard as well as help in convincing the World Bank to key into the vision.

Buhari, Dangote, Adesina Make Africa’s 100 Most Influential Africans

President Muhammadu Buhari, business mogul, Aliko Dangote, blogger Linda Ikeji and 17 other Nigerians have been named amongst the 100 most influential Africans of 2015.

The list complied by New African Magazine was dominated by Nigeria and South Africa, with 20 and 16 personalities respectively.

Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon also feature strongly with eight, six and six entries each respectively. Of the top 100 personalities, 65 are men and 32 are women, with the other three being groups of people. South Africa’s students, for example, were recognised this year for their role in South Africa’s #FeesMustFall and #Rhodesmustfall campaigns.

The list presents the continent’s definitive power list and profiles the continent’s top game changers in eight different fields: 22 from politics ; four from public office; 21 from arts and culture; 21 from business; 11 from civil society; nine from technology; seven from media, and five from sports.

Credit: Leadership

“I Don’t Plan To Succeed My Husband As President” – Robert Mugabe’s Wife

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s wife Thursday denied harbouring ambitions to succeed her husband, pledging instead to support the 91-year-old’s next presidential bid.

“I am standing here as the wife of the president as well as the person you chose to lead the women’s league. It ends there,” she told ruling party supporters at a rally in the capital.

“I do not need any other position.”

Grace Mugabe, 50, said her focus is on leading the ZANU-PF women’s wing and that she would support Mugabe when he seeks re-election, even if he is wheelchair-bound by then.

Pin Grace Mugabe Wife Of Zimbabwean

“Some have laughed at me saying Mugabe’s wife must be mad. I said we will put Mr Mugabe in a wheelchair and go for elections,” she told a crowd of about 5,000 supporters.

Zimbabwe’s next presidential election will be held in 2018.

Mugabe is Africa’s oldest leader, and has been in power since independence in 1980.

Speculation is rife over his health with doubts as to whether he would be fit enough to campaign for re-election.

Grace has become increasingly powerful since her elevation last year to lead the ZANU-PF women’s wing.

Late last year she led a campaign to expel former vice-president Joice Mujuru who had been seen as Mugabe’s heir.

Many saw her as aiming to succeed Mugabe when she went on a series of rallies, and in one of her speeches said she had the right like any Zimbabwean to contest for any political position.

She bemoaned factionalism within ZANU-PF, saying it threatened to tear the party apart.

“Stop factionalism because factionalism is dividing the party.”

“You can only silence me by shooting me and killing me, you are not going to silence me. I am not going to be gagged, I am not going to be intimidated,” she said.

ZANU-PF has been riven by factionalism over Mugabe’s succession for years, with the veteran ruler avoiding naming a successor.

Actor Taye Diggs Says He Takes Offence When People Refer To His Son As Black

The 44 year old actor who has a 6 year old son Walker Nathaniel Diggs, with former wife, actress and singer Idina Mendez (of Frozen) wrote a piece about race where he said he finds it offensive when people refer to his son as “black.”. What he wrote below…

“The first book I wrote, Chocolate Me, was based on my experiences growing up a little chocolate boy in a predominantly white neighborhood, and how I would get made fun of, and how through my mother and father and my own recognition, I was able to develop the power of self love,”

“My new book [Mixed Me] is kind of along similar lines for my son, even though in this day and age he’s going to have less of an issue being mixed than I did. It’s a book of self love and self appreciation and knowing that you are special regardless of what people will say about you because people will always say stuff,”

Diggs then turned his focus to President Obama, whom is often described as the first black U.S. president when in fact he’s biracial. Diggs hopes that soon society will begin to identify Obama more often as mixed.

“As African Americans we were so quick to say ‘okay he’s black he’s black,’ and then there were the white people who were afraid to say he was biracial because who knows. . . It would be great if it didn’t matter and that people could call him mixed. We’re still choosing to make that decision, and that’s when I think you get into some dangerous waters.”

Bemdoo Hulugh: Biafra, The Rest Of Us And A Nation Without Aspirations

More than 40 years ago, the Igbos returned in droves to their ancestral home, the southeast that other Nigerians were killing them but this time around it is the Igbos that are attacking other Nigerians in what they assume to be the Biafra territory because they want to secede and also to threaten the government to release a fraudster they refer to as their leader. The radio Biafra guy who was recently arrested in Nigeria is the major inspiration behind the latest agitation for Biafra republic.

I first listened to radio biafra when I boarded a car from Enugu to Aba. It was a small car, I was in the front sit beside the driver with four other passengers behind. The car was quiet till the driver tuned to radio biafra and I noticed how everybody in the car became lively. I was confused at first as the only non Igbo guy in this small car but I quickly got up to speed and wanted to hear what this much talked about radio biafra has to say. The pirate radio station was dishing one lie after another to the amusement of the passengers. One of the passengers had the courage to tell the driver to tune to some thing else that the guy is deceiving them(Igbos) but the driver replied that “are you not a biafran?” and the other passengers descended on the chap verbally. One passenger said why he loves the radio biafra guy is that he exposes the secrets of northerners a lot and so many other rubbish. It was strange that they saw nothing wrong in his call for genocide.

Another instance I saw that the message of the radio biafra guy is getting to many igbos is one evening I sat in Enugu around Maryland at a roadside garden to drink out the evening. As I was chilling with my bottle of beer, there were some young men behind me discussing politics. This guy that was on top of his voice lecturing his friends was telling them how Buhari has betrayed Ameachi and sent him to Australia as an Ambassador because the northerners are not comfortable with someone(Ameachi) who betrayed his own people( south south). He also said Buhari is the major sponsor of boko haram but he is now finding it difficult to control them as he has finally become president. The guy was so sure and he urged his friends to start listening to radio biafra if they want to know all these things. Here too there was just one person among the eight of them at that table who objected to all the guy was saying but nobody was really interested in listening to what he wanted to say.

I have heard well educated people who I assume are suppose to be well informed support this biafra nonsense. They make it look like the problem of the Igbos is other Nigerians. They make it look like if they secede all their problems will be solved. They must think again. Because when Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, it was Orji Uzor Kalu who led the Igbo delegates that voted against Alex Ekwueme. Was Kalu a Hausa man? No! Between 1999 and 2007, the Igbos produced more than four senate presidents. Was it the fault of other Nigerians that they could not influence development projects to the southeast? No! Is it the fault of other Nigerians that their governors who are their kinsmen loot all the money allocated to the southeastern states by the federal government? No! Is it the fault of other Nigerians that Igbo representatives go to Abuja and represent only their personal interest? No!No!!No!!! Ignorance is obviously a disease that only knowledge can heal.

Some again say if we don’t discuss and address the biafra civil war, the ghost of biafra will never be buried. Yes, I agree we need to talk about biafra and address issues that may have been over looked but do the Igbos feel they are the only ethnic group in Nigeria that have issues that need to be addressed?

My own people, the Tiv people in north-central Nigeria for long have been a target of ethnic cleansing in Nassarawa and Taraba state by people who believe all Tiv people must come from Benue. In 2001, in the heat of the Tiv and Jukum crises the military came in and took side. They went on a killing spree in a particular axis of Tiv land in what was regarded by the media as the “zaki biam massacre”.

Recently, many parts of Tiv land came under severe attacks from herdsmen that these communities no longer have schools or hospitals again, everything has been burnt down to ashes. There is this touching story I was told about this woman who was discovered hiding in the kitchen with her son after the herdsmen attacked their village. These men butchered her son before her very eyes and forced her to eat his flesh. She was eating, crying and vomiting but they continued to force her and after that they raped the hell out of her. When I visited the IDP camps, I saw hunger, sickness, pregnant women, injured people, dead people covered with cardboard papers and malnourished toddlers who were coughing in the palm of my hands like they will die the next second. I also heard so many horrible stories I will not quickly forget. This didn’t happen in 1967, it happened last year.

The Igbos may know only their story because they are Igbos and I too can say a little about my own ethnic group. But what about the people of south south, the people in the northeast, the people in plateau state, the people in southern Kaduna, the people in the Nassarawa north and south senatorial zones and the people of Agatu among others. Don’t  they have issues that need to be addressed? Should they all threaten to secede? I am not convinced we are better of separated.

The Igbo question is also the Nigerian question. The problem of the Igbos is not other Nigerians but their elites and the problem of Nigeria is not the Igbos or any other ethnic group but the same elites. In their bargain for political power which is the only thing that matter to them, they set one ethnic group against the other. For more than 50 years we have been and are still running an unjust system that is only concerned about bargaining power for the elites, that neglects the masses to whatever fate awaits them. From our founding till this day we have put a wicked system in place that is concerned about sharing the national wealth only among the elites and sentencing the masses to abject poverty. The cry about marginalisation by various ethnic groups can be linked to this evil system. All the social unrest and ethnic or religious tension are fallout of long term injustice. We must first of all address this injustice before anything else. We will one day need to sit to agree on the kind of nation we want to be and redress some wrongs that happened in the past but before that we need a sincere and honest leadership we can trust to speak on our behalf and honour whatever is agreed upon.

A nation is not just a geographic demarcation but also an idea. The problem of Nigeria and to an extend Africa is that we lack men with big dreams. Men that can paint a picture in their mind of the future they want and work day and night to make it a reality. It is said that a poor man is not a man without food but a man with no dreams. We remain poor amidst plenty because we have no aspirations. Till we jettison narrow ethnic agenda and have single dreams and aspirations as a nation that we can fulfill our manifest destiny. What is wrong in building a more just society that anybody no matter his/her ethnic group or where he chooses to live can have a decent shot at life? Is it too much for us to aspire to build an almost perfect society that will be the pride of the black race, that nobody is left behind, that will prove to the world Africa is not all about mediocre, war and diseases. If we can imbibe this in the Nigerian spirit, it will be evident in the way we construct our roads, hospitals, schools and all other aspects of our society and a great nation will emerge. May God give us the courage and wisdom to build this nation.

Bemdoo Hulugh is an active citizen and he writes from Makurdi

You can also interact with him on twitter @bumy04

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Biafra: No Successful Dialogue With Kanu In Detention – MASSOB

A FACTION of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, said Wednesday that the much- publicized meeting scheduled to take place in Owerri, Imo State, could not hold because of the continued detention of the director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.

Director of information of the faction, Comrade Uchenna Madu, in a statement yesterday said in addition, the continued protests by pro- Biafra groups in some cities in the South East and South –South did not create a conducive atmosphere for such a meeting to take place.

Madu’s statement read: “We support the meeting of the South East governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo, with pro-Biafra groups to douse the tension, but we believe that such a meeting cannot take place while Nnamdi Kanu is still in detention.

“The continued detention of Kanu, non compliance with Biafra demands will continue to haunt, frustrate and diminish Nigeria’s image before the international community.”

He said that for such a meeting to succeed. all the groups championing for the actualization of Republic of Biafra should be invited to participate.

SS 2 Student Stabs Senior To Death For Punishing Him

Academic activities in Gaskiya College in the Ijora area of Lagos State were paralysed on Wednesday after a pupil in Senior Secondary School 2, Saka Ahmed, aka Ejo (snake), allegedly stabbed his senior, Saheed Jimoh, to death.

PUNCH Metro gathered that 19-year-old Jimoh, who was a school prefect, had punished Ejo on Tuesday for an offence which had yet to be ascertained. They were said to have fought each other outside the school premises after the closing time.

It was gathered that Jimoh was about entering the school when Ejo, who was said to have been
lurking around a food canteen near the school, ambushed him and stabbed him with a knife in the

He reportedly fled the scene, leaving Jimoh for dead in a pool of blood. It was said that he gave up
the ghost shortly after he arrived at a private hospital where he was rushed to.

The incident was reported at the Amukoko Police Division.

The deceased’s uncle, Mr. Shakiru Oluayo, who lives on Adejiyan Street, Amukoko area, said Jimoh was brought to Lagos in 2005 by his mother to continue his studies.

Oluayo said his nephew had initially decided not to go to school on the fateful day but rescinded his decision because he did not want to miss classes. The uncle added that Jimoh’s mother had yet to be informed of the incident.

He said:

“Saheed (Jimoh) was a school prefect. I do not know what happened between him and the boy (Ejo) that made Saheed to punish him. He was supposed to be in SS3 like Saheed but he had to repeat a class.

I learnt that as my nephew was coming to school that morning, the boy was waiting for him at a food canteen near the school gate. He attacked him all of a sudden and stabbed him in the chest.

For the past 10 years he had been living with me, he was easy-going and decent and all our neighbours can attest to that. In fact, he did not want to go to school on that fateful day but he later said he would go so as not to miss a practical class he was to have because he was a science student.”

An eyewitness, Kayode Aderibigbe, told PUNCH that it was too late for Jimoh to run to safety by the time he knew the assailant came after him. He said:

 “He (Ejo) had been waiting for Jimoh. He brought out a knife from his bag. Saheed ran when he saw him with the knife but Ejo chased him and stabbed him. I followed the pupils who rushed him to the hospital but he was confirmed dead on arrival. The police can trace Ejo.”

The school security guard, who declined to give his name, turned downrequest to speak with the principal when Punch visited the school. He said:

 “You cannot see the principal now. Come tomorrow (today). The principal and teachers have been to the hospital where the pupil was taken to. Besides, the incident did not happen inside the school.”

Some parents who also learnt of the incident besieged the school but were not allowed to enter.

A mechanic in the area, who identified himself only as Joshua, said he saw Jimoh and Ejo fighting on Tuesday.

“I was there when they were fighting yesterday (on Tuesday) after they closed from school but I did not really know what led to it. In my observation, Jimoh subdued him during the fight. I guess he (Ejo) later went to attack him with a weapon since he could not win in a fair fight,” he said.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Joe Offor, confirmed the attack. He said a manhunt had been launched for the suspect. He said:

“According to the information we have, the pupil was stabbed by the school gate with a knife by a fellow student of the same school, who is at large.
“The victim was confirmed dead at the hospital. Investigation is ongoing.”

And this is how this Ejo guy singlehandedly changed his life for the worst just because he couldn’t control his rage. May the poor victim’s soul rest in perfect peace.

Three New Cases Of Ebola Recorded In Guinea

According to a senior health official in Guinea who spoke yesterday Wednesday, October 28, three more people have been infected with the Ebola virus. According to Fode Tass Sylla, spokesman for the national centre for the fight against Ebola, the three were infected in Forecariah in western Guinea from the family of a woman who died of Ebola and whose body was handled without appropriate protection.
 “In all, nine sick people are being treated at our centres throughout the country and most are connected to the dead woman,” he told Reuters, adding that authorities had known of the three fresh cases since Saturday.

Engr Rotimi Fabiyi: ‘Why Professor Wole Soyinka Has Issues With Olusegun Obasanjo’

 On a certain day in August 2015, the internationally respected Nobel Literature Prize winner Professor Wole Soyinka told the world that he has commenced the writing of a book that will be titled Republic Of Liars and that will be based on some of the numerous lies of Nigeria’s ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (who is presently a doctorate degree student of National Open University of Nigeria) had earlier written in his 2014 autobiographical book titled My Watch that Professor Soyinka is not as intellectual excellent as he has make himself believe because he actually is an expert in only 2 directions which are that he is a wine connoisseur and a guinea fowl hunter.

   Expectedly, Wole Soyinka was angry at this Obasanjo’s trivialising description of him but instead of engaging in verbal quarrel with Obasanjo, he has elected to reply Obasanjo in writing and specifically in book form. Professor Soyinka’s forthcoming book will not be the first book to counter the content of a book written by Chief Obasanjo. A certain Nigerian brigadier general named Godwin Alabi–Isama used 163 pages out of his 621-paged book titled The Tragedy Of Victory. On-The-Spot Account Of The Nigeria- Biafra War In The Atlantic Theatre to debunk and disprove much of what Obasanjo wrote in his own first published book titled My Command while a certain politician named Ebenezer Babatope (who was the director of organisation of Obafemi Awolowo’s now defunct political party Unity Party of Nigeria) wrote a whole book titled Not His Will. The Awolowo – Obasanjo Wager to counter (a) most of what Obasanjo wrote against the illustrious Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his book titled Not My Will and (b) most of what Obasanjo said against the selfsame Awolowo in an interview with The Guardian Nigerian newspaper.

   Before Professor Soyinka releases to the general public this his forthcoming book titled Republic Of Liars, myself Rotimi Fabiyi have elected to tell the world few of Obasanjo’s many untruths, falsities, fibs and lies. It is important to note that the lies of Obasanjo as listed and explained in this article are not arranged based on their importance, nor were they listed chronologically

(1) Obasanjo Claims He Never Had 3rd Term Ambition. This is a wicked lie. In her autobiography titled No Higher Honour, former United States Secretary Of State Ms Condoleezza Rice stated that she was physically present when then-Nigerian President Obasanjo told then US Prsesident George H.W Bush Jnr. at the White House that he (Obasanjo) wanted to go for 3rd term. Bush told him not to do such but he went on to do it and ridiculed himself by failing woefully with his 3rd Term Agenda

(2)Obasanjo Claims In His book Titled My Watch That He Never Knew That Umar Yaradua Had A Terminal Sickness. This is another lie. He has been close to Yaradua family since the 1970s when Shehu Yaradua (Umar Yaradua’s elder brother) was his deputy head of state when he (Obasanjo) was Nigerian military head of state so he clearly must have known about Yaradua’s ailment but lied as usual

(3)Obasanjo Claims He Built FESTAC Town, Lagos State, Nigeria. Another lie.  Festac town was fully paid for by General Yakubu Gowon before he was deposed as Nigerian ruler, Obasanjo only commissioned the building upon completion. Gowon copied this method of fully paying for a project from Chief Obafemi Awolowo (who was Gowon’s finance  minister for 5 years) because Awolowo used the same method to pay for Nigeria’s 1st skyscraper Cocoa House a decade earlier

(4)Obasanjo Claims He Built National Theatre. Another lie. Gowon made a full payment for National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos State, Nigeria (it was Awolowo that told Gowon to design National Theatre in the shape of a military cap called peak cap). Obasanjo simply commissioned it on completion and till today claims the glory (see the book The Nigerian Year Book 1975 by James Ojiako (ed.) for evidence that Gowon started and nearly completed the construction of National Theatre)

(5)Obasanjo Claims He Stopped The 1967 Agbekoya Riots In Western State, Nigeria. This is a strange lie. The price of cocoa was rapidly declining in 1967 and the cocoa farmers in Yorubaland (then known as Western State) were infuriated that the Federal Government of Nigeria apparently didn’t give a damn (obviously because all the attention of the Federal Government was on winning the then ongoing Biafra War). The cocoa farmers eventually decided to stage a protest and march to the State Government House at Ibadan. Even before they reached their destination, they had started destroying everything they met on the way and even overpowered the guards at Agodi Prisons and freed all the inmates. When the head of the Nigerian Army Garrison stationed at Ibadan Olusegun Obasanjo was contacted by the governor Robert Adeyinka Adebayo to help disperse the rioting farmers, he simply gave the excuse that he had no equipment for such a task. It was a civilian Mr. C.S Akande that summoned courage and blew up the bridge between the state government house and the rioting farmers’ route (with dynamites used to break rocks) and saved the day so Obasanjo should stop lying (see the books Onward Soldier Marches On: A Biography Of Major General Adeyinka Adebayo and The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama for more details)

(6)He Claims He Knows Nothing About The Burning Down Of Fela’s House In 1978 .Another Lie. In February 1978, musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s house was besieged by hundreds of soldiers of the Nigerian Army obviously because of Fela’s endless criticism of Obasanjo’s military junta. Fela and other residents and visitors to his multi-storey house on that day were not only beaten to pulp, his mother Mrs. Ransome-Kuti (who was the 1st Nigerian woman to drive a car and also the 1st Nigerian woman to form a political party) was thrown from the 4th floor by the soldiers (she died of multiple fractures few weeks later) and the whole 4-storey building with Fela’s clothes, 500 pairs of shoes, money, musical instruments, master tapes, motor cars, etc were burnt to ashes (see the book A Nation In Custody by Naiwu Osahon for more details). How can such a dastardly act by hundreds of soldiers happen in daylight in Lagos right under the nose of then Lagos-residing General Obasanjo and yet he claims ignorance of it?

(7)He Sees Himself As A Paradigm Of Accountability. This is a lie. During Obasanjo’s military rule from 1976 to 1979, Buhari was the petroleum minister but at a stage he was required to go oversees for a 1-year military course so head of state General Obasanjo took over the petroleum portfolio. Throughout the 12 months that Obasanjo took charge of Nigeria’s oil, the 1-year oil money (about 2.8 billion naira which was equivalent to 4 billion US dollars because Nigerian currency was at that time stronger that U.S currency i e US $1=54kobo) Nigeria made could not be found till today. This was why Awolowo told Nigerian in 1979 that he will probe Obasanjo if he (Awolowo) wins 1979 Presidential Elections and that was why Obasanjo made sure Awolowo lost that election. Part of that money allegedly strayed to Idi Amin’s Uganda on its way to Swiss banks and the whole episode was analysed in books like A Nation In Custody by Naiwu Osahon, Watch The Watcher. A Book Of Remembrance Of Obasanjo Years by Yinka Odumakin, Beckoned To Serve by Shehu Shagari, Nigeria. 20 Years Of Independence by Financial Times Of London, Out Of Nigeria by J.K Brandler and also in individual books by British author Jeffry Archer and Nigerian author Oba Otudeko

(8)Obasanjo Usually States That He Created A Level Playing Ground During 1979 Elections. This is a vicious lie. Just before the 1979 Presidential Elections, Obasano was asked by a journalist who he thought would win. His reply that “…the best candidate [obviously Awolowo] may not win the election …” made many confirm even before the election that Obasanjo did not want Awolowo as president (see page ix of the book Watch The Watcher. A Book Of Remembrance Of Obasanjo Years by Yinka Odumakin)

(9)Obasanjo Claims 1979 Presidential Elections Was Free And Fair. Another big lie. FEDECO (which was an equivalent of today’s INEC) was then led by an Obasanjo stooge named Chief Michael Ani. In that election, the myth of “indivisible north” was shattered because 3 candidates from 3 parties came out for president from the north (i e NPN’s Shehu Shagari, GNPP’s Ibrahim Waziri, and PRP’s Aminu Kano). With the votes in the north divided into 3, Awolowo’s party UPN made giant strides and clearly won the election but when FEDECO saw that Awolowo’s vote was at 4.92 million while Shagari’s vote was at 5.7 million, FEDECO simply stopped counting the ballot and declared Shagari winner because the states remaining to be counted (Kano, Borno, Bauchi, Gongola, etc) will never vote Shagari. Apart from Yorubaland, Awolowo’s party UPN won several senatorial and representative seats in states like Gongola, Bendel, Cross River, Kaduna, Kano and Kwara which means Awolowo’s party was truly national (see the books Nigeria Returns To Civil Rule by Okion Ojigbo,, The 1979 Elections by Lai Joseph, Nigeria: Shadow Of A Great Nation by Lai Joseph, 13 Years Of Military Rule. 1966 –1979 by James Ojiako, and  Just Before Dawn by Kole Omotosho for more details)

(10)Obasanjo Claims He Never Knew President Shehu Shagari Would Be Ousted By Coup. Another big lie. Ibrahim Babangida would later state in an interview that when he and his coupist clique told Obasanjo of their plan to depose Shehu Shagari by a coup, “… he [Obasanjo] said he was not stopping us from going ahead with the plot …” (see page 14 of the book Soldiers Of Fortune by British-Nigerian author Max Siollun for more details)

(11)Obasanjo Claims He Encouraged MKO Abiola In His June 12, 1993 Presidential Bid. This is a discouraging lie. Multibillionaire MKO Abiola and former Nigerian Army General Olusegun Obasanjo were truly secondary school mates at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria and they were both respectively the editors and deputy-editors of the selfsame school’s magazine but Obasanjo was not too enthusiastic about Abiola’s emergence as Nigerian president as shown not only in his actions at that time but also by his statements. Not only did Obasanjo avoid been seen with Abiola during the latter’s massive presidential campaign in 1993, it was also recorded on page 569 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama that “… during Chief [MKO] Abiola’s June 12 issue in Nigeria, General Obasanjo then said that Chief Abiola was not the messiah that [Nigerians)]were looking for…” Unsurprisingly, Abiola’s clear presidential mandate was cancelled few days later by General Ibrahim Babangida, proving that Obasanjo worked against MKO Abiola’s presidential ambition but lies to the contrary

(12)Some Think Obasanjo Formed People’s Democratic Party. Another thoughtless lie. General Sanni Abacha died on 8th June, 1998 and was immediately replaced by General Abdulsalam Abubakar whose first acts in office included the release of Obasanjo, Bola Ige and 7 others from prison on 15th June, 1998. Even though Obasanjo told journalists on that same day that “… I am willing to serve …”,  he did not immediately join (much less form) any political movement of the time. As for Bola Ige, he immediately started the formation of a political party tentatively known as G-34 and by 15th July, 1998 when he officially announced the formation of the G-34 party, he named the leaders of the party as himself Bola Ige, Alex Ekwueme (an eastern Nigerian) and Solomon Lar (a northern Nigerian) to give it a national outlook. On 25th August, 1998, the same Bola Ige & Co led G-34 announced its final official name as People’s Democratic Party but few days later, Bola Ige, Chukwuemeka Ezeife and several others willingly (and angrily) left PDP to form another party called All Progressive Party, APP because they were infuriated by the large numbers of anti-progressives (including many conservatives like Ibrahim Babangida and his military boys who worked against democracy by cancelling June 12 Elections years earlier) rushing to register with PDP. APP was officially registered on 31st August, 1998 but on 2nd September, 1998, almost half of the members of the newly formed APP left the party as a protest against the acceptance of “Abacha Politicians” (i e those Nigerian politicians that openly supported the Gestapo regime of General Sanni Abacha) like Lamidi Adedibu into the party. This break-away group (led by Bola Ige) immediately formed Alliance for Democracy and it was on 16th September, 1998 that PDP announced that Obasanjo had registered with the party which means that Obasanjo joined PDP 21 days after the party was officially registered (for more details, see the article “Let’s Rewind: The Story Of Our New Democracy. The First Obasanjo Years” by Yemi Ogunjobi , Historical Flashback Nigerian newspaper, June 3 – June 30, 2015, pages 22-25) so he and his cronies should stop acting as if he (Obasanjo) formed and owns PDP

(13)Obasanjo Claims He Never Promised In 1999 To Spend Only 4 Years As Nigerian President. A strange lie. Obasanjo’s open promise in 1999 that he does not need to be Nigerian president for more than one term of 4 years was what made Babangida publicly and boldly state just before the 1999 Elections that he also was ready for politics but he only wanted to wait for his boss (Obasanjo) to go for it first, so Obasanjo should stop lying to the contrary

(14)Obasanjo Claims He Respects Nigerian Constitution. This is a lie. When Lagos State Government created additional local governments during the governorship of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, then president Obasanjo insisted that Governor Tinubu should immediately scrap the new local governments even though Section 8, Subsections 3(a), 3(b), 3(c) and 3(d) of the 1999 Constitution Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria clearly state that any of the 36 states in Nigeria has the right to create new local governments. When Tinubu refused to rescind the local governments (because their creation was legally backed by Nigerian Constitution), Obasanjo went further in his rascality to illegally seize the budgetary allocation of Lagos State in an effort to financially destabilize the governorship of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu but Tinubu proved himself to be a superior administrator by making Lagos State survive and even excel financially without federal allocation

(15)Obasanjo Claims He Has The Right To Remove A State Governor During State Of Emergency. This is a brazen lie. Section 305, Subsections 1 to 6 of the Nigerian Constitution has clearly explained the procedure for declaration of state of emergency but there is no provision whatsoever therein that states that the president of the Federal Government of Nigeria has the right to remove a governor in whose state a state of emergency is declared. Section 188, Subsections 1 to 11 provide for the removal of a governor or deputy governor from office but no provision therein states that a state governor can be removed from office by the president or because a state of emergency is declared in his state

(16)Some Persons Believe That If Obasanjo Had Supported Jonathan In 2015 Presidential Election, Jonathan Would Have Won. This is another lie. If Obasanjo had stood with Jonathan throughout the 2015 elections, he would have been disgraced with Jonathan by Nigerian voters.  Obasanjo does not command votes as some of his toadies would want Nigerians to believe-his daughter was thoroughly defeated by Tinubu’s ACN candidate when she contested to be a senator in Ogun State in 2011, his stooge General Olurin (rtd) was completely defeated by a Tinubu’s ACN candidate in the 2011 Ogun State Governorship Elections (Olurin openly congratulated Amosun when the latter defeated him so it was not Jonathan that was the first PDP candidate that failed in elections and yet congratulated his successful opponent as some liars want us to believe), his candidate Debo Dosumu was defeated by Tinubu’s ACN candidate in 2011 Lagos State Governorship elections (Mr  Dosumu promptly congratulated Fashola that defeated him when he learnt  of the latter’s election success), all the PDP governors he imposed on Southwest Nigeria did not last very long, and he himself lost elections in his state and even in his local government in 1999 Presidential Elections

(17) After Tearing His PDP Membership Card, Obasanjo Joined APC . Another lie. After instructing the chairman of PDP in his ward to tear his PDP membership card on 16th February, 2015, Obasanjo did not join APC as some people have made themselves believe

(18)Obasanjo Claims That He Never Liked Tinubu Because Tinubu Is Too Corrupt. This is a pernicious lie. As far back as November 2000, Obasanjo tried to cajole Tinubu to leave his then political party Alliance for Democracy, AD and join the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. This was because of the serious cleavage that developed in the AD on 1st November, 2000 when the party strangely held 2 different conventions and 2 different party chairmen strangely emerged (viz  Alhaji Ahmed Abdulkadri and Alhaji Yusuf Mamman). As INEC announced that it recognized Ahmed Abdulkadri (instead of Yusuf Mamman as widely and normally expected), everybody knew AD was set to ruin itself with an intra-party power tussle so Obasanjo reportedly sent delegates to Tinubu to encourage him to decamp to PDP but Tinubu refused and instead formed his own party Action Congress, AC  sometime later. In other words, Obasanjo proved himself to be a liar by saying he never liked Tinubu because he once tried to woo Tinubu to PDP

(19)Obasanjo Claims He Had No Hand In Bukola Saraki’s Crooked Emergence As Senate President. Another lie. Few days after the political coup that crookedly made Saraki a senate president , he (Saraki) visited Obasanjo at his Hilltop Mansion located in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria in the company of die-hard “Obasanjo Boys” like Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Ahmed Sanni Yerima, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator Tayo Alasoadura and Senator Andy Uba (the very set of persons that made Saraki crookedly become senate president) and held a closed door meeting with him (Obasanjo) for about 2 hours. That meeting clearly showed that Obasanjo was actually the brain behind Saraki’s crooked emergence as senate president even though he wants us to believe otherwise (see page 4 of Saturday Tribune Nigerian newspaper, 20 June, 2015 for more details)

(20)He Portrays Himself As A Nationalist .  Another barefaced lie. Obasanjo likes to state that his supports of Shehu Shagari in 1979 Presidential Elections, Umar Yaradua in 2007 Presidential Elections and Jonathan in 2011 Presidential Elections show that he is a nationalist, not a tribalist but a close look at his political shenanigans shows that he only supports candidates loyal to him. Remember that he himself connoted in one of his pronouncements before 1979 Presidential Elections that Awolowo was the best candidate but made sure Shagari “won” obviously because of Awolowo’s promise that he will probe him (Obasanjo) when elected

(21)When Ooni Of Ife Okunade Sijuwade Died In 2015, Obasanjo Spoke Of Him As If They Have Always Been Good Friends. This is another lie. Multibillionaire businessman Prince Okunade Sijuwade (who was an employee of Chief Obafemi Awolowo from 1951 to 1953) was coronated as the king of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria in December 1980 by Oyo State Governor Bola Ige (who was an Awolowo political protégé and who became governor on the platform of Awolowo’s political party Unity Party Of Nigeria, UPN). Before, during and after the coronation, Obasanjo was one of the few persons that ceaselessly excoriated the emergence of multibillionaire Prince Sijuwade as the king of Ife, denouncing the whole episode as an Awolowo-orchestrated affair in which he (Awolowo) imposed his boy Bola Ige (who was elected and sworn-in in 1979) as Oyo State Governor and imposed another of his boy (Prince Sijuwade, who was the employer of a certain Gabriel Igbinedion that later became a multibillionaire) as the Ooni of Ife even though Bola Ige became a governor after contesting against and defeating several political opponents in the governorship election held on 28th July, 1979 while multibillionaire Prince Sijuwade became a king after all the kingmakers in Ile-Ife unanimously decided to pick him as the king. With Obasanjo’s excoriation of King Sijuwade on record, he (Obasanjo) simply confirmed himself as a liar by suggesting that they were close friends

(22)Obasanjo Usually States That, As A Pastor, He Always Has A Clear Mind With Every Human Being. This is a patent lie. If he truly has a clear mind with every human being, he wouldn’t have ridiculed Awolowo (he once described Awolowo as “… a failed politician whose many election losses have made him lost touch with reality…” in an interview with The Guardian Nigerian newspaper), sabotaged Abiola (by openly stating that Abiola was not the messiah Nigeria was looking for), victimized Tinubu (by illegally and unconstitutionally seizing the financial allocation of Lagos State during the governorship of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu), trivialised Soyinka (by calling him an empty-headed fellow that knows nothing except how to hunt guinea fowl and how to identify a wine by its taste), etc

(23)He Usually Implies That He Never Had A Questionable Source Of Fund While In The Nigerian Army. This is clearly a lie. In 1963, a certain Nigerian Army officer named Alani Akinrinade took his military friend Godwin Alabi-Isama to visit another military friend named Olusegun Obasanjo. Alabi-Isama was surprised to see that Obasanjo (then a mere 2nd lieutenant) was living in his own house not in a small village where land will be very cheap but in a big cosmopolitan city like Ibadan where land was sure to be expensive so he (Alabi-Isama) promptly asked his friend Akirinade “… how could a 2nd lieutenant … build a house in Ibadan for himself …?” (see page 401 of the Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama). If ownership of a house by a 2nd lieutenant of the Nigerian Army in a big city as at 1963 is not a questionable affair (on page 444 of the same book, Alabi-Isama wrote that “[when I was a 2nd lieutenant], … the [Nigerian] Army did not approve of my marriage on the presumption that I …. would not be able to maintain a wife on the salary of a second lietenant…”), Alabi-Isama clearly would not have expressed the type of surprise he spontaneously expressed

(24)Obasanjo Farms Is His Brainchild .  Another lie.  According to the book Bitter-Sweet.My Life With Obasanjo by Oluremi Obasanjo (who Olusegun Obasanjo married on 22nd June, 1963 at Camberwell Green Registry, South East London, United Kingdom when she was just 21 years old and he was 26 years old), the idea to start a poultry farm business was that of Oluremi Obasanjo (not of her husband Olusegun Obasanjo) when she started a poultry farm in Ogun State with her own money but (to her greatest mistake) on her husband’s piece of land. By the time she started making huge sums of money (particularly from egg sales) from the poultry farm, Obasanjo arranged for her to be arrested (while transporting a truckload of eggs and fowls to Lagos State for sale) and accused of stealing eggs and fowls. She was detained at Lafenwa Police Station, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria for several days and when she regained her freedom, she wisely left the poultry farm for her strange and estranged husband and the farm later metamorphosed into Obasanjo Farms, Nigeria

(25)Obasanjo Gives The Impression That He Is A Prude Or Even A Celibate. This is a clear lie. According to his wife Oluremi Obasanjo (who has HND in Institutional Management) in her book Bitter-Sweet.My Life With Obasanjo, “… [Olusegun Obasanjo’s] womanising knows no bounds …” and she also wrote that he has “…  monumental moral indiscipline …” due to his multiple sexual relationships with many women of different extraction (women older than him, wives of other army officers, etc) though she was honest enough to explain in her own words that whenever it became necessary, she wasted no opportunity to slap, beat, kick and even bite other Obasanjo women (all of whom she named and described in details in the book) so Olusegun Obasanjo should stop behaving like a prude or even a celibate because the details emanating from his wife confirm the exact opposite

(26)He Gives The Impression That He Quelled The 1976 Dimka Coup . Another blatant lie. In a military setting, the proper thing is for the second-in-command to immediately take charge when the commander is suddenly incapacitated by wound or death but when General Murtala Muhammed (then Nigerian head of state) was shot dead by Lieutenant Colonel Bukar Sukar Dimka on Friday, 13th February, 1976 as part of a coup d’etat, his (Murtala’s) second-in-command Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo simply disappeared and left the command structure leaderless but not rudderless because Colonel Ibrahim Babangida volunteered to reconnaissance the military strength of Dimka while Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma arranged the strike force (from Bonny Camp, Lagos State, Nigeria) that effectively neutralized the Dimka Coup (based on Babangida’s eventual intelligence report). It was about 5pm (several hours after the coup had been smashed by his subordinates) that Obasanjo surfaced after spending hours hiding without his military uniform (to avoid being detected) in the sprawling mansion of Lagos multimillionaire businessman Chief S.B Bakare which means he was not in any way involved in quelling the coup but actually ran away during the coup (see the books The Tragedy Of Victory  by Godwin Alabi-Isama, Not My Will by Olusegun Obasanjo, Just Before Dawn by Kole Omotosho, and Oil, Politics And Violence. Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966 – 1976) by Max Siollun for more details

(27)Obasanjo Usually Implies That All Northern Nigerian Army Officers Supported Him When Murtala Died In 1976. This is a big lie. According to page 437 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi-Isama, Colonel Ibrahim Babangida and Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma initially wanted to form a new government when Murtala was killed during Dimka Coup because they were the 2 persons directly responsible for smashing that coup on 13th February, 1976 mainly because Murtala’s second-in-command (Obasanjo) that supposed to immediately rally soldiers to counter-attack the coupists himself ran away but Brigadier Alabi-Isama and Brigadier Alani Akinrinade insisted that “… the next senior officer must be the next head of state, and that was Obasanjo…[but Danjuma and Babangida immediately asked if it made sense for]… the senior officer who ran away during a coup against the government in which he was number two [to]come back to lead those who put the coup down …” Danjuma and Babangida later accepted Obasanjo’s emergence as head-of-state but it is on record that they initially refused to support (with tangible reason) the emergence

(28)Obasanjo Gives The Impression That He Willingly Chose To Go To War Front In 1969. Another lie. When the Nigerian Supreme Military Council headed by General Gowon decided to replace then Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Adekunle with Lieutenant Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo as the commander of the 3rd Marine Commandos of the Nigerian Army during Nigerian Civil War, Gowon told Major Alani Akinrinade and Major Godwin Alabi-Isama to go and inform Obasanjo (who until then was not directly involved with the ongoing war) of the new post and also to inform him of the Commandos’ efforts till that time and what was expected of him when he becomes the commander of the 3rd Marine Commandos. After Akinrinade and Alabi-Isama spent four and a half hours to brief him, “… Obasanjo … [surprisingly] told us that he was an engineer, and that he was not going to war front! …” which made Alabi–Isama “ …[grew] so annoyed that I went on pouring venom on this officer [Obasanjo], asking [him]what engineering university he did attend anyway…[and]reminded him also that engineers like Bayo Onadeko, Oladejobi and Duke who were university graduates [were] at the war front …” It was only when General Gown announced on the news media Obasanjo’s new post that he choicelessly went to war  front though in the company of the then Nigerian Army chaplain Colonel Father Pedro Martins, an act which turned him into a laughing stock because he clearly had the puerile belief that he was brought to the war front to die (see pages 40 5–409 of The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama for more detailed information about this episode)

(29)Obasanjo Always Portrays Himself As An Epitome Of A Good Soldier. This is an epitome of a bad lie. Obasanjo officially took over command of the 3rd Marine Commandos on Friday, 16th May, 1969 and, within a week, he ordered that Nigerian soldiers should attack a Biafran town named Ohoba (despite the fact that his subordinates Alani Akinrinde and Godwin Alabi–Isama told him how disastrous such a venture would be). Within an hour of battle, 1000 Nigerian soldiers were dead (see pages 659–660 of The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama) and Obasanjo himself wrote that “… [when we attacked Ohoba] causalities (sic) were high, some one thousand and four hundred killed, wounded and missing at the end of the operation …” (see page 97 of My Command by Olusegun Obasanjo). Only a novice commander would lose 1400 soldiers in a single battle and only a novice soldier will become a novice commander so Obasanjo should stop seeing himself as an epitome of a good soldier

(30)He Openly States That He Devised The Plan That Ended The Nigerian Civil War. This is a planless lie. In his book titled My Command, Obasanjo told the world that Nigerian Civil War ended by his actualization of his self –devised war plan named Operation Tail Wind but he curiously forgot to include detailed maps and sketches that any original military commander will surely include in a military book like My Command. A deeper research however shows that his bogus Operation Tail Wind was a carbon copy of his subordinate Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier  General) Alabi–Isama’s Operation Pincer 2 war plan as minutely detailed in Alabi–Isama’s book The Tragedy Of Victory (which contains about 500 maps and pictures). In other words, Nigerian Civil War was won by Nigeria with Alabi–Isama’s Operation Pincer 2, not by any plagiarism called Operation Tail Wind by Obasanjo

(31)Obasanjo Is Fond Of Referring To Himself As An Engineer. This is an engineered lie. Because he was an army sapper (a sapper is a soldier whose job is to build or repair roads, bridges, etc), Obasanjo is fond of calling himself an engineer but for a Nigerian to be qualified to call himself an engineer, he has to be registered with the Council For The Regulation Of Engineering In Nigerian, COREN after passing a series of examinations set by the Council. Obasanjo till today is not registered with COREN and an eyewitness to one of his projects as an army sapper wrote that “ … even in army engineering, when Colonel Obasanjo [who was the head of Nigerian Army Engineering] tried to build Ojuelagba Bridge …  in Lagos [State] after the [Nigerian Civil] War, the bridge collapsed in … front of all invited guests on the day of opening. Why did the bridge collapsed? …” (see page 614 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi –Isama. See also the book A Nation In Custody by Naiwu Osahon for more details)

(32)Obasanjo Usually Gives The Impression That He Detests and Despises The Coup Plotters Of January 1966. This is a detestable lie. In his book titled My Command, Obasanjo angrily (and rightly) wrote damnable things about the perpetrators of the 15th January, 1966 coup (in which Nigerian politicians like Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello and his pregnant wife named Zarumi, Festus Okotie – Eboh, and Ladoke Akintola and Nigerian senior military officers like Abogo Largema, Zakariya Maimalari, Yakubu Pam, Mohammed Kur, Samuel Ademulegun and his pregnant wife named Latifat, Ralph Shodeinde,  etc were brutally but needlessly shot dead) and in the biography he (Obasanjo) wrote about one of the culprits named Nzeogwu and titled Nzeogwu, Obasanjo rightly called the coup plotters “ … reactionaries … ” but according to Adewale Ademoyega (who was part of the perpetrators of the bloody coup and who remained impenitent for the needless multiple murders till he died in 2007), “ … for… two days, I stayed very warmly with  … Nzeogwu [who led the coup] … , Anuforo [who was also part of the coup plotters, and] …  Obasanjo … [who] had just arrived back in Nigeria [2 days after the coup from] … a military course in India. [Obasanjo] was full of praise and admiration for Nzeogwu and for all the officer and men [that staged the bloody coup]…, he believed that is a high level achievement in spite of our subsequent failure to take over the government of the Federation. Obasanjo regretted that he was not around to have taken part in the [coup]…, gave us his unqualified support and hoped that things might yet turn in our favour … ” (see pages 136 and 137 of the book Why We Struck. The Story Of The First Nigerian Coup by Adewale Ademoyega). In other words, Obasanjo actually gave retroactive moral support for the unnecessary (and unnecessarily bloody) coup of 15th January, 1966 but wants Nigerians and the world to believe otherwise

(33)He Presents Himself As A Warrior That Led His Soldiers By Example. This is a good example of a lie. Throughout the 6 short months he spent at the war front during the Nigerian Civil War, Obasanjo was never present with his soldiers on the battle field (compared with his immediate predecessor Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle who always led his soldiers on the battle field) but always several hundreds of kilometers away mostly at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. See several evidences to back this fact in the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama and also in the book Not My Will by Olusegun Obasanjo in which he himself indirectly declared himself a coward when he wrote of how he ran away (instead of immediately organising in a counter-attack strike force) in 1976 when Australia-trained Dimka shot Muritala dead (see the book Oil, Politics And Violence. Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966–1976) by Max Siollun for additional information about the coup)

(34)Obasanjo Usually Talks Of How He Easily Forgives People That Offend Him. This is an offensive lie. When  a certain Brigadier–General Godwin Alabi–Isama tendered his willful resignation letter to the Nigerian Army in May 1977, General Obasanjo-led Federal Government of Nigeria kept mute but when the Federal Republic Of Nigeria Official Gazette was published in December 1977, the selfsame Alabi-Isama (who called Obasanjo a fake engineer to his face 8 years earlier because Obasanjo was trying to dodge going to war front) was not listed as resigned from Nigerian Army but as “… dismissed from Nigerian Army …” and therefore deprived of pension and gratuity (see pages 445,455 and 462 of the book The Tragedy Of Victory by Godwin Alabi–Isama). So much for Obasanjo’s ease of  “forgiving” people

(35)Obasanjo Speaks Of Meritocracy As If He Became Nigerian Ruler Through Merit.  Another meritorious lie. From the 1967 Agbekoya Riots, Nigerian Civil War, 1976 Dimka Coup to 1977 FESTAC, 1999 Presidential Election, etc, Obasanjo has always surfaced towards the end of an event and simply take the glory. This is why an online news media Sahara Reporters published an article which declared Obasanjo as “ … the luckiest Nigerian ever … ” In other words, Obasanjo achieved all he achieved not because of merit  but  simply because of luck

(36)Obasanjo Parades Himself As Being Humble And Knowledgeable. Another humble lie. In his book titled Not His Will. The Awolowo–Obasanjo Wager, Ebenezer Babatope described Obasanjo as “ … suffering from a complex problem which makes him think only him can solve Nigeria’s problems … ” while in his book titled Beckoned To Serve, Shehu Shagari wrote that “… [Obasanjo falsely] sees himself as a super administrator, super diplomat and a military genius …”  So much for Obasanjo’s alleged humility and knowledgeability

(37)Obasanjo Portrays Himself As A Quintessence Of A Good Family Man. Another quintessential lie. In the book titled Bitter-Sweet. My Life With Obasanjo by Oluremi Obasanjo, she wrote of how she once sold some of her gold jewelries to pay the school fees of 2 of her children attending Corona Schools, Victoria Island, Lagos State, Nigeria because their father Olusegun Obasanjo bluntly refused to pay and on page 81 of the same book, she explained that when Enitan (their 6th child) fell ill and was hospitalised, “ … it was [former Inspector General Of Nigerian Police Force] M.D Yusuf who paid the hospital bill … ” Obasanjo’s daughter Iyabo Obasanjo–Bello would also write in The Vanguard Nigerian newspaper of 18 December, 2013 that “ … of course [my father] is the great pretender, making people believe [he] has a good family life and a good relationship with [his] children but once in a while [his] pretence gets cracked …”

(38)Obasanjo Speaks Of Himself As Being A Fearless Old Soldier. This is a fearless lie. When then-Nigerian ruler General Sanni Abacha sentenced Obasanjo to death for his alleged role in a planned (but not yet executed) coup, Obasanjo openly burst into tears in front of the press both national and international. No fearless soldier will weep openly  because of being sentenced to death (Iraqi General Saddam Hussein, Nazi German Reich Marshall Herman Goering, etc were sentenced to death in front of world press but they did not weep like Obasanjo but rather accepted their fate like any original fearless soldier does). Obasanjo’s profuse tears plausibly touched a soft spot in the usually-ruthless Abacha because few days later, Abacha commuted Obasanjo’s death sentence to life imprisonment. So much for a crying ex–general

(39)Obasanjo Once Accused Tinubu Of Nepotism. Another lie. Tinubu has never been a nepotist because after he spent 8 years as a governor (which he contested with several candidates of other political parties), his wife Oluremi Tinubu became a senator only after contesting against and defeating candidates of other political parties and his daughter Folashade Tinubu–Ojo (who studied marketing in a respectable international university) emerged as the Iyaloja (market leader) of Nigeria only after delegates from each state in Nigeria voted her in but as for Obasanjo, his daughter Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello became a Commissioner Of Health in OgunState, Nigeria without contesting for the post while his son Gbenga Obasanjo was appointed presidential special adviser by Olusegun Obasanjo himself during his (Obasanjo’s) 8-year presidential tenure. In other words Obasanjo is the real nepotist, not Tinubu, so he (Obasanjo) should stop calling others nepotist

(40)Obasanjo Usually States That He Willingly Handed Over Charles Taylor To International Criminal Court. This is another lie. Despite all the war crimes of Charles Taylor in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and even Senegal (watch the U.S movies titled Lord Of War and Blood Diamonds for more details on Charles Taylor’s direct and indirect contributions to mass killing), Obasanjo initially resolved to protect Charles Taylor from prosecution (which has always been a common behaviour among African leaders even when there is overwhelming evidence of foul play by the person being defended. See page 187 of the book Survey Of Nigerian Affairs, 1975 by Oyeleye Oyediran (ed.) to see how Nigeria’s external affairs minister Colonel Joseph Garba passionately defended the human flesh-eating mass murderer Idi Amin of Uganda when U.S Secretary of State Dr Henry Kissinger verbally attacked Idi amin at the 30th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1975) which was why he gave him (Charles Taylor) political assylum in Nigeria and pampered him like a king. It was until U.S President George H.W Bush, Jnr humiliated Obasanjo by refusing to see him (when he went on a state visit to USA) unless he handed over Charles Taylor to the International Criminal Court that Obasanjo reluctantly handed over Charles Taylor to ICC (google the article “Charles Taylor. A Man Betrayed” on the internet to see more details)

(41)Obasanjo Stated In His Book My Watch That Yorubas Never Had A Single Leader i e No Asiwaju. This is a blatant lie. 2 weeks after being released from Calabar Prison (and at the exact prison cell the record-breaking multi-talented Herbert Macaulay was once locked up) by General Yakubu Gowon in 1966, the enormously popular Chief Obafemi Awolowo was unanimously elected as the Asiwaju (the overall leader) of Yorubaland during a meeting convened on 12 August , 1966 by the military administrator of Western Nigeria General Adeyinka Adebayo and having in attendance all the traditional rulers in Yorubaland and all the politicians(both Awolowo supporters and opponents like Dauda  Adegbenro, Lateef Jakande, Dr Koye Majekodunmi, Chief T.O.S Benson, Chief Adisa Akinloye , Dr Tunji Otegbeye, etc ) in Yorubaland (for more details , see the books(a) Onward Soldier Marches On : A Biography Of Major General Adeyinka Adebayo (b)Adventures In Power Book One : My March Through Prison by Obafemi Awolowo, and (c) the article titled “Obasanjo Is Distorting History” by  Olusegun  Osoba , Saturday  Tribune Nigerian  newspaper, 15 August , 2015 , page 20) . In other words, Obasanjo ‘s claim in his book My Watch that Yorubas have  never had a single leader (i e  Obafemi Awolowo and Bola Tinubu respectively have never been or is an Asiwaju )  is blatantly false and simply confirmed him a liar

(42)Obasanjo Usually Tells The World That He Supports Gender Equality. This is a quality lie. In the book Bitter-Sweet.My Life With Obasanjo, Olusegun  Obasanjo’s wife Oluremi Obasanjo wrote  in details how he (Obasanjo) slapped her , kicked her, assaulted her endlessly, tortured her psychologically, drove her out of her matrimonial home , once got her arrested and detained, and even once threatened to kill her younger brother , all because of her complaints about  Obasanjo’s ceaseless extramarital sexual adventures.  Obasanjo’s daughter Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello would also write in The Vanguard Nigerian newspaper of 18 December , 2013  that “… getting back to my mother, I still remember … [my father Olusegun Obasanjo] beating her up continually  when we were kids . What kids can forget that kind of violence against their mother? [My father’s] maltreatment of women is legendary. Many of [my father’s] women have come out to denounce [him] in public but since [his] madness is also part of the madness of the [Nigerian] society, it is the women that are usually ignored and mistreated …’’ So much for Obasanjo’s support of gender equality

(43)He Portrays Himself As A Truth Teller. Another lie. During his 70th birthday in March 2007, Obasanjo stated on a national television that he has 6 children but 7 years later in his 2014 book titled My Watch, he wrote that he has 21 children. So much for Obasanjo’s penchant to tell the truth

(44)The Title Of His Book This Animal Called Man Was Self-Given. Another very big lie. Due to the repeated maltreatment and humiliation she suffered from her husband Olusegun Obasanjo , Mrs Oluremi Obasanjo was the person that first used to refer to her husband  Olusegun Obasanjo as “the animal called man” both in his presence and in his absence (she probably adapted this phrase from the title of the popular 1972 U.S cowboy movie titled An Animal Called Man ). Years later, Obasanjo would later light-heartedly adapt the derogatory phrase for the title of his book This Animal Called Man even though the book had nothing to do with the story of his family’s internal troubles

(45)He Gives The Impression That He Was A No-Nonsense Soldier. Another nonsensical lie. Obasanjo was truly part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Congo during the bloody Congo Crises of the early 1960s but on a certain day during his tour of the duty in Congo, a group of militiamen captured him, locked him in the boot of a car and drove the car around town till the evening before they later decided to release him from the car boot. Obasanjo himself wrote (in the book titled Nzeogwu and authored by himself Olusegun Obasanjo) that his captors were heavily drunk and that he had in his belt a fully-loaded army pistol yet he strangely made no attempt whatsoever to escape from his captors for a whole day until released (fast-drawing his gun and shooting some bullets up would have scared the heavily drunk militiamen away). So much for Obasanjo’s no-nonsensical soldiering

(46)Obasanjo Gives The Impression That As A Soldier, He Stayed Away From Politics. Another lie. Many of the statements General Obasanjo  made before the 1979 Nigerian Presidential Elections clearly showed that he was openly in support of National Party of Nigeria’s Shehu Shagari ( who eventually “won” ) and therefore was a political soldier and his insistence when he  became the commander of Nigeria’s 3rd  Marine  Commandos in 1969 during Nigeria Civil War  that combat soldiers should be paid their full salaries at the war front (as opposed to standard military practise since  soldiers at the war front have nothing to buy on the battle field and plenty money in their pockets will only divert their attention from winning the war to safeguard the contents of their pockets, which might in turn make them orchestrate self–inflicted injuries on themselves to be able to be discharged from the war front to spend their money) showed that he was very political even as a soldier because it earned him cheap popularity among the rank and file soldiers but deep scorn among the officers (both commissioned and non-commissioned) because it contributed to the protraction of the civil war

(47)Obasanjo Claims He Has No Grudge Against Awolowo.  Another grudging  lie. Just before the 1979 Presidential Elections, Obasanjo said that “ …every Nigerian has the right  to vote for the candidate he or she chooses , including the candidate that promises free education and free wives … ” This clearly was a mockery of Awolowo whose party Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN manifesto  promised free education , free health care , etc if voted in. If Obasanjo had no grudges against Awolowo, he wouldn’t have mocked him in such a puerile manner

(48)Obasanjo Presents Himself As Being Free Of Financial Corruption. This is a corrupt lie. In his autobiography book titled My Watch, Obasanjo described Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (who is the Asiwaju of Yorubaland and the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom) as being “… corrupt to the marrow…” even though he gave no factual evidence of the so-called “corruption to the marrow” but Obasanjo himself is yet to explain to Nigerians how he garnered 8.5billion naira to build himself the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (which made the Bruno Kreisky Prize-winning human rights activist lawyer Gani Fawehinmi sue him to court) so Nigerians should ask themselves who is really the corrupt-to-the-marrow personality

(49)Obasanjo Believes He Is Internationally-Respected.  This is a lie. International film company Sony Pictures released a highly commercially–successful movie titled District 9 in 2009 which featured an unkempt South Africa-based paraplegic villain named Obesandjo (which was pronounced exactly as Obasanjo) who was a superstitious Nigerian illegal arms dealer, who ate human flesh for ritual purposes, who was a pimp that had several prostitutes under his control and who was the leader of a heavily-armed criminal gang. Even though the Nigerian ministry of information (then having Dora Akunyili as its minister) banned the film in Nigeria because of the way it indirectly ridiculed Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo, the movie still enjoyed huge commercial success worldwide. Due to this fact, it could be firmly established that Obasanjo has been accorded international disrespect in addition to the few international respect he has been accorded

   The thousands of words above (that explained the 49 points above) are enough for any person that is initially not sure to now clearly understand why Wole Soyinka is quarrelling with Olusegun Obasanjo. This is article, as thoroughly fact-checked against several sources of information as it is, should not be seen to mean that Obasanjo is the only Nigerian that lies even when confronted with facts (Nigerian ex-president Jonathan stated on a national television that he will not re-contest his presidential seat but few years later, he denied ever saying such even when confronted with video recordings of his initial promise), nor should it be construed to mean that Obasanjo had never spoken a word of truth (his description of Nigerian ex-president Jonathan as “ … [a very dangerous] moving train who was providentially stopped [by the 2015 Nigerian Presidential Election] from bringing down Nigeria … ” was exact and correct as stated in the article “Jonathan’s Train Would Have Crushed Me” by Olusegun Obasanjo, Saturday Tribune Nigerian newspaper, 25 April, 2015, page 5) but the present article is based on Obasanjo’s numerous lies (other researchers are encouraged to write about his truths, or the truths or lies of any Nigerian or non-Nigerian they have facts on), two of which are the reasons why Wole Soyinka is quarrelling with him (Obasanjo). Nothing needs to be further said about why Soyinka is quarrelling with Obasanjo

                                                                Engr Rotimi Fabiyi (MNIM,MNSChE, MNSE, COREN Reg),

                                                                P.O Box 1709, Ikorodu Town, Lagos State Nigeria

                                                                +2348184741410, +2348129698326



                                                                whatsapp@08184741410, 08129698326

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Olalekan Waheed: The Sacrifice Of Patriotism; Why Should I Respect The Nigerian Flag?

It has been long I sang the Nigerian national anthem. I remember joining in its singing long after leaving secondary school few years ago during my National Youth Service. Often I find myself on the warpath with school teachers and my students who will not “salute the flag” and “stand still” when the National Anthem is sung or the National Pledge is being recited during the morning assemblies. To me this was part of my contribution to citizenship, nation building and patriotism.

Some of my fellow teachers (the “permanent” teachers in the school where I was posted) only “stand still” on hearing the Anthem when they know I am around, at least to avoid the “corper’s wrath”. At other times they resort to their usual shabby ways in the contempt with which they treat the nation’s-perhaps most important- symbol. One of the teachers wondered what my nation has ever done for me to deserve a “return of favour”. My traditional reply has been John F. Kennedy’s admonition at his inauguration as US President in 1960, “… ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country.” This reply didn’t make any sense to many of them, I know, but they were under some sorts of “obligations” to agree with the “know-it-all Corper”.  Why are they struggling to understand my simple message of responsibility?

We were all taught that patriotism as a virtue back then in elementary school, but the reality when we left those small classroom are soon to stare us in the face. It soon became a situation of fighting those you do not hate and guarding those you don’t love just because duty, not love, made you fight!

I recall hearing the name, Mr. Taiwo Akinwunmi, as being the young man who designed the Nigerian national flag as a student back then in London since my primary school days. I was surprised to know that, long after my Social studies teachers told me of this man’s exploits, he for many years lived in near-poverty   and neglect, our politicians attend all official functions, the Federal Executive Council, the National Assembly and the likes all transact government businesses in the name of this flag, whose designer lived in a mess. Yet this man was left in his house in Ibadan, not until I watched him on Frank Edoho’s popular television show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire!

I even wondered if any of these so-called politicians has even demonstrated any patriotic act save for monumental corruption, impunity and national embarrassment they have caused us as a nation, yet, there was no compensation for Mr. Akinwunmi who is normally supposed to be a source of inspiration to the young ones and also serving as one of the nation’s pride. But who will tell them?

I am aware President Goodluck Jonathan tried to come to Pa Akinwunmi’s aid in the dying moments of his administration as a face-saving acts, not necessarily an act of love. But better late, they say, than being the late!

I equally read the story of Mr.Joseph Igbinovia Alufa, the man who carved the Queen Idia mask (The Olokun) used for the 2nd edition of Festival of Black Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977 hosted in Lagos, Nigeria. He had to carve it to save the nation from a major international embarrassment when the original mask stolen as one of the works of art stolen by the British during the Punitive Expedition to Benin Kingdom in 1897 would not be released by the British museum even on a “rental fee” of £2 million just for the use of the festival. I am aware the Mr Alufa had to wait for over 31 years for his agreed fee for his work including his 19 years in court to press for his money. All this was as at 2008, I am not aware if the man has been paid now. This is sometimes the sacrifice for patriotism!

At this point, I will like to bring in Chief Charles Okereke. As far as I know him, he is an embodiment of what you can call patriotism and nationalism in an age where it is very tempting to make enough excuse for tribalism. He believes so much in the workability of the Nigerian Project. Despite all he went through as a postgraduate (on Imo State Government scholarship which was cornered and pocketed by the Nigerian diplomatic mission) in the United States, he did his best to get a job, with the help of his school, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA in the University’s Physical Plant Department, when his financial challenges took a heating turn and was about to drop out of school. He successfully earned his Master of Science (MS) in agriculture with flying colours.

All these notwithstanding, he decided to come back home in 1982 to serve his fatherland under the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) Scheme. After his Service, he was disengaged from his employment bond in the Imo state Government and left to wonder the streets of Owerri, Aba, and Umuahia in search of greener pastures for about ten months. He will later get a job in the private sector to last only for a few months before the notorious Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) began to take its toll on the private sector. He was able to save some money to at least take him back to the US to continue his life.

In all these, his love for his country was unwearied, while it was easy for other to simply chicken out and lose faith in Nigeria. He believes in his dreams and his capacity to make despite the formidable odds.

Still in all these, in obeying Kennedy’s admonitions to only ask what one can do for his country and not otherwise, he decided to fly the flag of the country again at the African Union (AU) Symbols Competition-Anthem Category in 2003. His composition, God Bless Africa, today the Union’s unofficial anthem won the competition but was cheated out to the third place. Chief Okereke, in dismay wondered if there could be a third position in a competition where the first position was not announced, and the second position was given to one of the “panel of judges” for the competition, and he was given the “third” position!

Sensing the injustice meted out on him, Chief Okereke turned to his country for help to at least save the country’s honour on the African continent. Despite President Olusegun Obasanjo being the AU Chairman at the time, nothing was done on the matter. Seeing it as a daylight robbery, Chief Okereke again in 2007, wrote another petition to the President of Ghana, John A. Kuffor, then AU Chairman. Again, the matter will not even be investigated because he “knows nobody”. He wrote another petition to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of Nigeria in 2008, nut remains largely unattended to.

The matter could have been reduced to a tribal or ethnic issue, “If Chief Okereke had been from so-and-so region, bla bla bla, his case would have been given the right attention”. Being an Igbo man, and a proud member of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, he sought the help of the group on his matter.

In 2011, the Ohaneze nominee, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim became the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). This time one would have thought things will be easier for Chief Okereke as regards his several petitions. This time the Ohaneze Ndigbo wrote an official petition, dated 24th April, 2012 with reference number, OHNZ/FGN/2012/03/01, on behalf of Chief Okereke concerning the injustice meted out on him at the said AU Competition.

One would have thought it Chief Okereke’s offence was because he is Igbo and therefore no one was there to “represent him”. Let us say for the sake of arguments, that others before President Jonathan did not protect Ndigbo interests and hence “punishing them for their sins”, but can we say that a Jonathan government, which the Igbos loudly call their own will not even attend to a petition filed by the group (Ohaneze) representing them? Is Anyim, an Igbo man, as the SGF also punishing Igbos? Why didn’t the Government, through Ayim, just have at least investigated the matter brought to it by the group or was he not nominated by the Ohaneze?

When I wrote under the title, Igbos and the Buhari’s Government, some of my Igbo friends nearly asked for my head.  How dare I write about a subject I knew nothing about? Buhari “hates” Igbos just because he has not appointed anyone to “represent Igbos”? At least, all these I heard!

These were some of the questions they asked me but I told one of them who cared to listen that the fact that Pius Anyim was SGF, did that make much impact on the lives of Igbos in terms of access to Government facilities than before? Was Chief Okereke’s situation better with important Igbo people “in juicy positions” under President Jonathan?

On Chief Okereke’s petition which still lie unattended to at the SGF’s office. I am using this opportunity to call on the newly-appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir David Lawal and President Muhammadu Buhari to look into this enterprising Nigerian’s case and the merit of it with the view to getting to the root of this matter. The Nation’s honour was toyed with, politicised, ethicized, degraded, and neglected all with reckless abandon by those who themselves whose sense of honour is rather suspect. Chief Okereke typifies what it takes to sacrifice for patriotism!


Olalekan Waheed ADIGUN, a political analyst and author of the article, Igbos and the Buhari’s Government, writes from Lagos.

+2348136502040, +2347081901080


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Freeman Osonuga Gets Closer To Being The 1st Black African In Space

We are this close to making history people!!! Please read Freeman’s statement below and support his bid by clicking on this link: star

Quick historical fact: No Nigerian has ever been to space, no Black African even. That could change next year. My name is Freeman Osonuga, I am an African, I am a Nigerian, I am a humanitarian. I was recently selected as one of 30 people to participate in the Rising Star Programme, a collaboration between Kruger Cowne, One Young World and Spaceship Earth Grants which will send one person to space in 2016.

 I am happy to inform you that I have been shortlisted as one of 3 finalists. More than just being the journey of a lifetime, this spaceflight will help bring commercial space travel closer to being a reality. It is quite important.
For the next stage of the competition, I will travel to Bangkok, Thailand with the two other finalists to address 1,300 delegates and a panel of renowned judges at a special session of the 2015 One Young World Summit which will hold from November 18-21 next month. This session will be live-streamed to a global audience. I am a little nervous I must confess, but I’m quite confident that I’ll make Africa, Nigeria and you proud.
To show your support and help make history, please tweet #SendFreemanToSpace whenever you can. It’ll also be great if you can get your friends to do the same. Also here’s what you can do right now to help- click the following link and share my finalist profile via the social media platforms provided below my video. 
I look forward to sharing more good news with you soon.
Thank you for your time. 
– Freeman Osonuga
For enquiries please contact 07035010768 or 08160549635

Kingsley Ohajunwa: The EU Migrant Crisis; A Lesson For Africa

The mere fact that a good number of things in life come in two forms is a special reason to appreciate the beauty of life itself. This does not happen for objects alone, it happens for events, philosophies, ideas and human actions. So for every North, there is a South; for every up, there is a down; there lies a West somewhere; for a good action, we can also examine the bad part and ultimately for every action there is a consequence; for every cause, there is an effect. As ordinary as this may seem or perhaps as humorously ironic as this may seem it goes a long way towards helping us understand how double-faced life and events which take place in it can be. There will always be two sides to a coin!

In 1945 when the United Nations (UN) was established it was done with the primary aim of preventing a re-occurrence of events which happened between 1914-1918 which was the First World War and those which happened between 1939-1945 which was the Second World War. These two wars claimed the lives of several millions and as with most other human actions still have their effects which can still be traced till date. While death is the immediate consequence of war, distant effects include increase in the number of orphans and refugees; wanton spread of hunger due to damaged farmlands and means of commercial food production; sickness and outbreak of diseases; aggressive and hostile behavior of the refugees towards other people. These consequences will continually be the result of wars which of course are fallouts from political, economic, social and religious relationships that exist among countries. All of these in turn create more responsibility for the UN to handle. While we understand that relationships, whether between individuals, institutions or countries can go sour at any point, efforts must be made to ensure they don’t culminate into war and its resultant effects.

Of course all continents in the world have their challenges with some being ecological and social while others may be economic, it is worrisome when by what appears to be deliberate actions humans create issues for themselves; this brings us to the migrant crisis currently rocking Europe. Over the last decade there have been veracious attacks of some regions by others, there have also been internal scuffles which have left many dead, there have been extreme show of belligerence which have not only left people dead, but have left several others injured, homeless and ultimately displaced. It may be unnecessary examining the root causes of these shows of human violence. What is necessary however is whether they are justifiable or not and then the effects of the actions. But then can we also agree that there is little or no justifiable reason to engage in violence especially when the outcome can easily be envisaged. In other words before the action is carried out we already have a clear image of what the effect(s) will be. Since an action has a foreseeable outcome of disaster, then why can’t efforts be channeled towards avoiding such? But because this is not a moral piece the author shall not like to thread the moral path.

Our focus is the effect; this aspect of our discourse has seen to the homelessness of several thousands who have now resorted to seeking refuge in some European countries. In what appears to be a compulsion of some sort the European Union (EU) must now seek ways to manage these scores of displaced individuals. Indeed there is a problem! Lately we have seen aggression shown by these displaced migrants towards security agents who have barricaded the Serbia-Hungary border which has in turn turned out violent and attracted international attention. In addition to this certain European nations against their prior policies on cutting down on the number of illegal immigrants are now having to accommodate a certain part of these refugees. Furthermore it is financially and economically demanding as funds will have been made available for their welfare while the various accommodating economies will now be stretched to align with the immediate negative changes. The social effect of this can be in perceived hostility, deprivation and maybe being ostracized by citizens of the host countries.

Considering the fact that it is perceived that Europe has a better crisis-management mechanism which enables it recover and stabilize better but yet face such level of consternation and ultimately bewilderment in the face of such issues, how then will Africa fair when faced with such? Let’s also not forget that Africa has been termed and portrays itself to be a developing continent. It is therefore time Africa looked inwards to address some of its burning issues such as terrorism, wanton spread of hunger and poverty, unemployment, bad governance and corruption. While it may be argued that things will not or ever get to the point where military violence, airstrikes and war will cause serious issues of individuals having to flee their home countries, the above-mentioned vices can in some manner result to this as well. It will be wise in understanding that at this point Africa’s interest should be channeled at developing itself from within. To a lot of political and social commentators the EU Migrant crisis would have hitherto been a phenomenon that could never have gotten to the level it is, at least considering the seemingly robust nature of diplomatic relations among countries, the efforts of regional organizations and the vibrant modus-operandi of international organizations. In spite of all these we see a Europe which is battling to heal a self-inflicted injury on its foot. Africa surely has a lot to learn from this!

Africa has had its share of wars and internal scuffles; its resolve to move forward in spite of this and ensure they never happen again is what makes all the difference. Already the continent is faced with developmental challenges which should over the decades have been solved; however it’s still battling with them. This on its own is enough task for the continent. Let’s not forget that the value of every immigrant is calculated based on the marketable skills, knowledge or resources they bring into a country. This in its own regard worsens the country’s Gross National Income (GNI) and of course reduces its Per Capita Income Index. It therefore stands in contrast to the concept of economic growth. Of what use will refugees be to any country and its economy? Why then should Africa by its actions or inactions thrive to promote events that only increase the number of displaced persons? The EU situation is only a verisimilitude example of explaining how related and closely-knitted together countries can be especially when it comes to desperate measures of survival; if this be the case why can’t such closeness by used for the advancement of developmental programmes which better promote healthy human co-existence within the continent. This piece does not by any means promote unhealthy and selfish development agenda of countries at the detriment of others, it basically calls for logic, fairness and deep considerations to be applied when issues of regional and international diplomacy calls.

Kingsley Ohajunwa is a Nigerian writer. He can be reached via email on

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Do You Use Linkedin Social Network? They May Be Owing You $1,500

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner admitted in May that the social networking site was guilty of “sending too much email” to some users. “That needs to be corrected and improved, and it will be,” he told Buzzfeed.
But it seems those improvements may have come a little too late for the company.
On Friday, LinkedIn announced that it will be paying some of its members up to $1,500 each after settling a $13 million class-action lawsuit for sending out too many emails related to one of the website’s services.
The company made the announcement in an email.
As NBC Chicago reports, the lawsuit was aimed at LinkedIn’s “Add Connections” service that lets
users import contacts from their email accounts and send invitations to connect on the site.
The suit claims, however, that LinkedIn repeatedly “spammed” those contacts with unwanted emails .
The way the “Add Connections” service works is that an email invitation is sent out by LinkedIn to the contact. But if the person does not respond to the invitation within a certain amount of time, LinkedIn follows up by sending them two more reminder emails.
According to the lawsuit, LinkedIn members did not consent to the additional emails when they chose to use the feature.
LinkedIn said in an email to users Friday that anyone who used the service between Sept. 17, 2011, and Oct. 31, 2014, is eligible to file a claim. The filing deadline is Dec. 14.
The amount that each user will receive will depend on how many people come forward, but LinkedIn said each person could earn up to $1,500. (This amount will likely be much less, however.)

(Click here to file a claim. A Claim ID was sent by LinkedIn to users in the email.)

According to KTLA-TV, the suit was filed against LinkedIn in 2013.
The company did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, but said in a statement that it “decided to resolve this case so that we can put our focus where it matters most: finding additional ways to improve our members’ experiences.”
LinkedIn says it has revised its disclosures to clarify that two reminder emails will be sent as part of its “Add Connections” feature. The company says it will, by year’s end, also offer an option to users to cancel a connection invitation, thereby halting any additional reminder emails from being sent out.

Source: HuffPost

Ghana Suspends 7 High Court Judges Over Alleged Corruption

Ghana’s government has suspended seven out of 12 high court judges in the wake of allegations of bribery stemming from a documentary made by an investigative journalist.

The decision is part of a response to a three-hour film first screened in the capital last month that has caused an uproar in the West African country because it showed judges accepting bribe money through intermediaries.

Ghana’s judiciary is revered for its efficacy and impartiality and is viewed as a bulwark of a society that prides itself on its reputation as one of Africa’s most stable and peaceful democracies.

But the documentary put Chief Justice Georgina Wood and other judicial leaders under pressure to show a forceful public response.

“Their suspension follows the establishment of a prima facie case of stated misbehaviour against them by the Hon. Lady Chief Justice (Wood),” said a statement from the Judicial Service announcing a decision by Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.

Obiageli Ezekwesili: The Role Of The Church In Nation Building

I am delighted at the privilege of being asked by the leadership of FOURSQUARE Church to deliver this Diamond Lecture in celebration of sixtieth year of the Church in Nigeria. Let me specially thank Reverend Felix Meduoye,  The General Overseer of FOURSQUARE for the honour he bestows on me whenever he asks me to speak to his congregation of fellow believers in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Please accept my congratulations for the Diamond celebration which is happening under your inspiring and visionary leadership. I wish to also thank a dear brother, Femi Adesina who pressed on until my very swampy schedule opened up to enable me fulfil the promise I made several months ago when I could not be with you at a similar event in Lagos. Speaker of our House of Representatives-  Honourable Yakubu Dogara, delighted to have you chair this event. Other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for being here today to listen to this lecture.
The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, commonly referred to as the Foursquare Church, is a Pentecostal denomination founded in 1923 by one of the historically outstanding female preachers — Aimee Semple McPherson in Los Angeles, United States of America. She it was who described the basis for the naming of the Church from the revelation of Prophet Ezekiel as recorded in the Bible depicting the four faces of God that he ( the prophet) had seen. Pastor Aimee McPherson elaborated this even further stating that the four faces “were like the four phases of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the face of the man, she saw Jesus our Saviour. In the face of the lion, she saw Jesus the mighty Baptiser with the Holy Spirit and fire. In the face of the ox, she saw Jesus the Great Burden-Bearer, who took our infirmities and carried our sicknesses. In the face of the eagle, she saw Jesus the Coming King, who will return in power and victory for the church. It was a perfect, complete Gospel. It was a Gospel that faces squarely in every direction; it was the “Foursquare Gospel.”
The church propounds that its call is to preach Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as The Savior, The Baptizer, The Healer and The Coming King. In so doing, it seeks to glorify God, advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus as it undertakes His Great Commission of preaching the gospel and making disciples of all nations. Over the ninety two years of existence, the Four Square has experienced successions which have helped with its growth into a world wide church. Today, the Foursquare Church has more than 1,700 U.S. churches and more than 66,000 churches globally and meeting places in 140 countries and territories.
Nigeria is one of those several countries in which FourSquare has flourished since the Reverend and Mrs. Harold Curtis first brought the message of Four Square to our country in 1955 to three founding members Reverend James Boyejo, Rev. Samuel Olusegun Odunaike and Rev. Friday Chinyere Osuwa. The year of the inauguration of the first FourSquare Church is remarkable seeing that it was just five years before Nigeria gained her independence. The Nigerian branch of the Church has since spread in prolific growth not just across the entire country but also across the continent of Africa. The FourSquare Church is according to data considered one of the largest Pentecostal churches in Nigeria.
The Bible documents  the spoken words of God to His people, written to shape the sacred beliefs of those who were first called Christians because their observers declared that “they had been with Christ” as they scrutinised their conducts in the city of Antioch.  So, it is natural for most people to assume that Church when defined as “organised gathering of people as a group and under some clear leadership” is a phenomenon only of the New Testament. The reality however, is that the Church evolved from the Old Testament into the New Testament in the form we know it today. It can be said that Church started in the Garden of Eden where God used to come down to fellowship with the first man that He had created- Adam; but that ‘gathering’ was interrupted by sin. The fall of Adam and Eve, aborted the awesome plan of God for humanity as expressed in Genesis. God subsequently made several other provisions, ranging from Noah to Abraham, to Joseph, to Moses, to Joshua, to Deborah, to Eli, to Samuel, to Elijah, Elisha and several other priests and prophets that were to “gather” God’s people regularly in harmonious fellowship with Him.
The New Testament church as recorded in Acts2 started at the Pentecost in the Upper Room led by the twelve Apostles of Christ and the many other believers in His teachings who gathered in fellowship after His death and resurrection. This piece of scripture  aptly captures this classic definition of the Church in its characteristic attributes.  Acts 2:42-47 records:
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
The definition of Church as an “assembled group of people who met regularly under an organised leadership” places the emphasis on the human beings and why they gather much more than the building in which they do so. It is perhaps for this reason that Apostle Paul counsels the Hebrews to “not forsake the assembly of the brethren” making it all about relationship rather than a visit to a location. It is the people in fellowship with God and among themselves  more than where they gather that makes a gathering  of faithful followers of Christ, a Church of the modern ages.  The Early Church of the Acts of Apostles  still remains the model by which any gathering of people as Church is measured in terms of their relationship with God and with fellow believers and non-believers.
When we read and observe the journey of the children of Israel as the ” The Old Testament Church” making their  way to the the Promise Land, we are awed at the similarity their gathering has with the New Testament church. Reviewing both the old and New testaments of the Bible to understand the concept of Church better, one cannot but remember the roles of certain prophets of God as they led the children of God to the land of promise. The priests and the prophets who ministered in the temple were no different from our Pastors in churches today with a congregation of human beings that are no different from the flawed men and women of that era; who were merely beneficiaries of God’s  grace.
In effect, church may have evolved from Old Testament tents of meeting, to temples and synagogues into the Upper House, peoples’ houses and then elegant church buildings; but the unchanging Owner of the Purpose  of every gathering of His people remains steadfast in what He wants from His people. Even as they journeyed through the wilderness as  His “…… treasured possession out of all the peoples” what He expected was that they “. . . shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.” With the favoured admission of those who were formerly Gentiles through the redemptive grace of Christ, Apostle Peter still declares in striking continuity in the New Testament: ” But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” The people of God are created to be exemplary to all others. Simple.
In the Old Testament, Micah 6: 8 the prophet Micah asks, “What does the Lord require of you?” And answers, “To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” Apostle Paul speaks similarly in the New Testament in Ephesians 4: 1 says “To the church at Ephesus Paul writes, “I beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling.” Whatever may be the purpose that the people of God gather; if they be followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ; who believe in the power of the Holy Spirit; there is but one common denominator for both the Old Testament and the New Testament congregations. It is Holiness. There cannot be a “gathering” or “fellowship” of the people of God with God, without Holiness. In Leviticus 19v1-2, He repeated that same charge of Holiness which He had made to Abraham when He promised to make him “blessed to be a blessing” in Genesis. Without Holiness, God cannot be in the midst of those who have gathered to qualify it for His own definition of the Church that “the gate of hell cannot prevail against”.
The manifestation of the working of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church differentiates it from the Old Testament church. The Spirit of God brought great liberty to the individual who having confessed Jesus Christ as Lord is spoken of by our Lord as “being greater than the Great John the Baptist even if such a one were the least in the kingdom.  The importance of this is best appreciated as one reads the assessment that God made of the Churches in Revelations2-3 where it is the Spirit of God that is expressly talking to the Church via the revelation experience of John the Beloved, an Apostle of Christ. This is unlike in the days of old when God would speak to the Prophet or Priest who would in turn carry the message to the rest of the people.
History records that the Church in Nigeria is some 172 years old having started with the Catholic priests who were part of the Portuguese trade incursion into the coastlands of Nigeria. It was only after some hiatus, that there was the arrival of a more sustained missionary exploits of the Methodist Missionary Society in 1842 pioneered by the works of Thomas Birch Freeman. The Christian Missionary Society followed suit later that same year with the visit of Henry Townsend from Sierra Leone. Some years later the Catholic Irish missionaries arrived and much later down the line, Nigerians saw the emergence of indigenous churches that interpreted the Christian experience to have local relevance. Churches such as the Aladura movement in Western Nigeria, the Apostolic movement, the Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal movements were founded and thus the Church in Nigeria was fully formed as an organizational concept coincident with the era of independence. For example, the Redeemed Christian Church of God a mission in which my husband and I had the privilege of joining in the early 90s from our Anglican/Catholic backgrounds; is an indigenous Pentecostal/Evangelical church founded by Pa. Josiah Akindayomi sixty three years ago.
Each denomination of the Church in Nigeria flourished in  numerical growth and in an environment of relative religious freedom and constitutionally guaranteed secularity of governance, they individually carried on with their respective missions without the need for any collective structure. However, they did when during the military rule of General Ibrahim Babaginda, the Church in Nigeria collectively felt the threat resulting from that government’s signing up Nigeria as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Countries. The churches came together under the umbrella of the  Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in 1976. Today, CAN is constituted by Churches under five groupings that are the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, The Christian Council of Nigeria, the Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, the Organisation of African Independent Churches and Tarrayar Ekelesioyoyin Kristi. The Christian Association of Nigeria enunciates the following objectives:
  • to serve as a basis of [action for] the unity of the Church, especially as [intended] in our Lord’s pastoral prayer: ‘That they all may be one’
  • to act as a liaison committee, by means of which its member churches can consult together and, when necessary, make common statements and take common action
  • to be a watch-dog of the spiritual and moral welfare [of] the nation
  • to propagate the Gospel
  • to promote understanding among the various people and strata of society in Nigeria.
A critical analysis of the role that the Church has played in the nation along the lines of living up to its objectives of Unity of faith and collective action; its spiritual and moral watchdog of the nation objective; its promotion of understanding and peaceful relationship objective; is highly recommended for not just CAN but for all church leaders and their denominations. Any such objective assessment will reveal the deficit in acting to realize these lofty vision of CAN. Whereas it has done relatively well in some aspects of its vision, the association of Christians has a long journey to being the mega rallying point of Christians as the light that we are called to be for the Nigerian society.
Nation building in its simple definition refers to the use of the power of the state to construct or structure a national identity. Nation building is especially used in relation to countries in Africa and Central Europe where territorial habitation of people forces disparate nationalities to belong to a country and yet feel no common sense of shared identity among themselves. So, in basic terms, one could say that nation building aims to unify diverse people of ethnic, religious and other pluralities who have found themselves living together in a globally recognised entity known as a United Nations member country. The process of attempting to unify  the diverse nationalities within a territorial construction to make it politically stable and viable, is something that would resonate for all Nigerians-North, South, East and West-  seeing how so much it describes our story in the 101 years of amalgamation and 54 years of independence of our country.
“Today is Independence Day. The first of October 1960 is a date to which for two years, Nigeria has been eagerly looking forward. At last, our great day has arrived, and Nigeria is now indeed an independent Sovereign nation.  Words cannot adequately express my joy and pride at being the Nigerian citizen privileged to accept from Her Royal Highness these Constitutional Instruments which are the symbols of Nigeria’s Independence. It is a unique privilege which I shall remember forever, and it gives me strength and courage as I dedicate my life to the service of our country. This is a wonderful day, and it is all the more wonderful because we have awaited it with increasing impatience, compelled to watch one country after another overtaking us on the road when we had so nearly reached our goal. But now, we have acquired our rightful status, and I feel sure that history will show that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace: it has been thorough, and Nigeria now stands well-built upon firm foundations.”
The very gushing and giddy words of this quote were by the first Prime Minister of Nigeria Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa on October 1, 1960.
Sadly,  the reality of our trajectory as a country is that we never transited from country to nation contrary to the poetic declarations of our first leader. To call a spade a spade, our nation building process has been extremely dismal in outcome and so fifty four years after, we are at the Diamond event of FourSquare Church which is only five years older than independent Nigeria; still discussing matters of “Nation Building.” Our Founding Nationalists, simply equated our becoming a country with attaining nationhood. Our founding leaders forgot  that a State- i.e. A country-  is not always a Nation . True, Nigeria became a self-governing political entity that negotiated a federal structure in cognizance of the near autonomy of each of its constituent ethnic nationalities. The painful fact however is that our independent Nigeria does not yet act like a Nation after five decades. The inability to achieve the consensus necessary for nation building has robbed us of the fundamentals of shared identity, vision and values known as “nation formations”. Research proves that these fundamentals  are what have helped other countries in similar circumstances as Nigeria to transit into the more progressive concept of “State Building”. It is after Nation Building that the phase of State Building commences with a focus on building the social, human and physical infrastructure as well as the critical institution. It is the State Building process that progresses a territory of unified people into citizens of an economically, socially and politically viable nation-state through what is known as a “Capable State”.
Countries with multiple divides do not just melt into one happy union. It requires deliberation and intentionality for diverse people with divergent interests, threats, opportunities and strengths to forge a common and shared framework for lasting unity of purpose. In some of the instances where this has happened either through wars and or dialogues/negotiations or their combination , it had required the elite of such countries to lead the rest of the people in a deliberative process of nation building. Nation building agenda envisions the forging of a  common identity that all have resolved to defend at all time with clear mechanisms for conflict resolution. For countries like South Africa and more recently Kenya, they adopted a people- led constitutional process as their pathway to nation building. It is the visionary power of the elite to move a people of diversity beyond the lowest common denominator of being mere citizens of one country into a “nation of diverse people”. It is what  makes the United States to stand out as a “model” multi-cultural society. Hence, even “with its multicultural society, the United States is also referred to as a nation-state because of the shared American “culture” and “identity”.
Some people may of course dismiss this crave for evolution from country into a nation and say it does not matter. For those ones, I recall the wise words Carolyn Stephenson, who is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. She could have premised her thesis specially for Nigeria. Professor Stephenson states that “ Nation-building matters to intractable conflict because of the theory that a strong state is necessary in order to provide security;  that the building of an integrated national community is important in the building of a state, and that there may be social and economic prerequisites or co-requisites to the building of an integrated national community” Simply put, if a people of diversity in a country truly wish to succeed, they must forge a shared identity, vision and values to realise their goal of building a strong, secure and viable nation- state.
That failure to immediately use the early days of independence to commence the nation building process is what I consider the biggest missed opportunity in the history of Nigeria. So, it was not surprising that shortly after the novelty of our political independence wore off, the troubling underbelly of our nascent 1959/60 democracy was revealed in the rather prescient reading of the situation at that time by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)  of the United States in a memorandum of 1966.  The CIA wrote thus:  “Africa’s most populous country (population estimated at 48 million) is in the throes of a highly complex internal crisis rooted in its artificial origin as a British dependency containing over 250 diverse and often antagonistic tribal groups. The present crisis started” with Nigerian independence in 1960, but the federated parliament hid “serious internal strains. It has been in an acute stage since last January when a military coup d’état destroyed the constitutional regime bequeathed by the British and upset the underlying tribal and regional power relationships. At stake now are the most fundamental questions which can be raised about a country, beginning with whether it will survive as a single viable entity. The situation is uncertain, with Nigeria,……is sliding downhill faster and faster, with less and less chance for unity and stability. Unless present army leaders and contending tribal elements soon reach agreement on a new basis for association and take some effective measures to halt a seriously deteriorating security situation, there will be increasing internal turmoil, possibly including civil war”. Does this not sound familiar to Nigerians of all ages?
The question anyone reading this should ask in the context of our topic is, “where was the Church in Nigeria at the time these lethal strains that became entrenched even up until today,  were brewing? How could the Church have been irrelevant in the foundational work of unifying diverse aspirations by woefully failing to influence the individual actors of that era considering that many of them wore and do in fact continue to wear their ecclesiastic garment as boldly as they wore and wear their ethnic cleavages? Even if the other end of the dialogue was the mostly Muslim North, could there not have been a way that the church would have helped to prevent the needless deaths that started and degenerated into a pogrom, claiming the largest number of our people in the civil war that predictably occurred?”
In a similar situation in Rwanda, the Church has had to face the scrutiny of its failings or even its complicity in the genocide that almost wiped out an entire ethnic race. I do not recall that the Church in Nigeria has reviewed or has been compelled to review its role in the 60s multiple tragedies of our country. The satanic seed of deep ethnic distrust, mistrust and hostility were sown unchallenged in that era. It pervades the Nigerian society today, engulfing all generations in their relationships. It also explains why other ethnic groups often withhold  empathy from any other of the groups which is faced with challenges at any given time.
Nigerians engage in what I call “equal opportunity suffering”. Not having received empathy in their time of pain, they see no reason to empathize when it is the “turn” of another ethnic group to suffer their “own pain”. Nothing is more revealing of the absence of the spirit of nationhood as this inability to rise beyond ethnic trenches and show humanness to another group, regardless of past hurts. What one has known from advocating for our abducted 219 Chibok School girls and the North East more broadly, reveals extremely deep divides that should not exist, were the Church in Nigeria living up to its Reconciliatory role.  Unfortunately, the Church is very woven into the fabric of inter and intra ethnic suspicions and conflicts. Such conflicts have become very common within the Christian fold in Nigeria, thereby robbing it of the moral pedestal it must have in order to play the role of reconciliation in a country where conflicts easily erupt and escalate unnecessarily.
I dare say that our protracted  failure to build a nation out of a country is what changed the course of Nigeria’s history and squandered the huge benefits that empirical research shows is possible for diverse societies. That our political elite could not speedily and “sincerely act” on the lofty ideals espoused in their nationalist struggle when they successfully united against a common “enemy” and brought us our independence,  is the reason our language remains divisive, churlishly clannish and religiously irredentist. Rather, our political elite turned their backs on the supposed “independent sovereign nation” and resorted to lethal ethnicity. Worse, they hid under their fiery brand of ethnic and religious politics to paradoxically unite in offering a toxic variant of leadership that is mostly  devoid of altruism. Now, what remains of leadership if it is lacking in sacrifice?
Rather than thread a collective path toward nation building, what Nigerians know as the prevalent character of the political elite class across board is that they frequently push the country to a precipitous slide that has become the lot of Nigeria since independence. It was within this context of elite failure that the 1966 military coup struck and unleashed a huge canvass of governance instability epitomised by a long period of military adventurism in governance, that abated only recently in 1999 with the coming on of the fourth Republic. It is only in the last sixteen years that our fifty four year old country finally got the longest season of the sins qua non democratic context that helps a diverse people to embrace their differences through freedoms of discourse, disagreement, dialogue and principled negotiation. The question however is, “will our country ever seize the opportunity for such relationship building  and use it to triumph over the pain and discomfort of a nation birthing process?”
There is actually an incentive for us to push ourselves toward this painful choice.  Not having deliberately engaged the best medium for shaping our consensus around a shared national identity, shared vision and shared values means that we will all continue to struggle to “Become”. It means struggling to become whatever is positively possible for each individual or group however defined. This is obvious because even in the last sixteen years of the latest cycle of being a Democracy,  Nigeria stays struggling to commence sensible and sustained “State Building” process. I mean, how can you possibly commence the structure of a house without laying the strong foundation required by engineering standards? That is precisely what we as Nigerians have been doing by pretending that we can build a “capable state” out of this country, when basic nation building remains an unfinished business.
The unfinished business of nation building has created room for the wily elite class to cleverly capture what passes for the “State” and push the larger population of the excluded who dot the entire landscape of Nigeria to the fringes of the benefits of governance. Such elite capture and “pocketization” of  the “pseudo state” is exemplified by the governance failures of the past fifty four years and this has engaged the curiosity of academic researchers around the world. Nearly all of Nigeria’s problem is traceable to poor governance and its more manifest symptom of cancerous corruption. Corruption is empirically proven to be the greatest obstacle to Nigeria’s development. Grand corruption which is the variant popularized by the elite of our society created the current endemic and systemic corruption. That in turn, has produced the most unacceptable levels of poverty in a country that evoked great expectation at the time of her independence. Today, poorer segment of citizens all over the country, who find themselves caught in the corruption-poverty-corruption trap are angry at the “crumbling state” that has failed to provide them the most basic services that people of other nations enjoy. Hence, regardless of what part of the country they come from, what language they speak, what culture they practice, what religion they believe, Nigerian citizens are gradually realizing that the ethnic jingoism of our majority of our elite may after all be purely self serving.
Over the years, the depth of poor governance and corruption by the political class and their private sector collaborators, and to a lesser extent the acquiescing religious elite, has worsened the cynicism, pessimism and skepticism of citizens about leadership. The leadership crisis has hugely eroded our Social Capital. No society can build for a lasting future  without some reasonable measure of Trust of government by the people. The values exemplified by leadership sets the standard for the rest of society. That citizens do in fact openly express trenchant cynicism about the uninspiring role that the religious spheres including the Church has played in bring forth a values- deficit and broken down Nigeria is heartbreakingly opposite of the standard set for the modern church by the Early Church.
 The collapse of our values and the depletion of our social capital have further sharpened the ethnic and religious fault lines and increased the tensions and conflicts among our diverse groups. Conflicts of all kinds have further deepened poverty among the poor citizens who were already excluded from the benefits of recent economic growth. Feeling abandoned by the “Nigeria- State”, our society is seeing a growing number of people among the excluded cynically following after the “examples” of their elite. They do so by engaging  in all manner of acts of criminality and wickedness in an obvious attempt at lashing out at a country which they believe has failed them.
And yet, the nation building process is one in which all of society  must play a role, because it happens faster when it is designed as an all inclusive process that leaves no one, no segment, no group, no gender, no class and no sphere behind. Lessons from other lands show that in negotiating and agreeing a shared identity, the religious sphere for its inherent capacity to build and nurture human relationships, has the potential to play a strong role. Therefore, the Church –  whether as individual members and/or as a group/ organisation-  has always had a central role to play in nation building. The church, dear brethren, has an enormous role in helping to foster the sense of shared humanity of our people, majority of who feel bound only minimally by a shared territorial neighbourhood. To agree on our shared humanity is in fact the best starting point toward nations building.
However, the question today is ” how well has the Church in Nigeria fared as a potential catalyst that helps propel Nigerians toward a positive trajectory and progression into nationhood?”
Let us even narrow this evaluation of the role of the Church to the fundamental premise of my considered opinion that Nigeria and Nigerians have been victims of an elite class failure. How  much of a restraining or constraining  influence has the Church tried to be to curtail the destructive  habits of our  “power elite”?  Has the Church not mostly acquiesced with this class of people in the manner it welcomes and honors those of us among their flocks  who should at the least receive a rebuke or moral sanction for conducts that detract from the behaviour of “those who have been with Christ”?
There is, even if not empirical; at least some reasonable anecdotal basis for probing the role of the Church in so far as the public piety of its flocks is concerned. The privileged class are traced to the grand ills of the Nigerian society in nearly all the instances of truncation of governance by coups. Here is a classic description of the “power elite” of Nigeria in the statement “justifying” the 1966 coup:  ” our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalist, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.”
Every other coup that followed ( and there were at least five more); uncannily repeated that 1966 text of justification until the last one that occurred in 1993. One can thus reasonably conclude that what we today confront as systemic corruption only metamorphosed to current gargantuan scale as Nigeria’s elite class kept on perverting  the values of our country and distorting our incentive and disincentives regimes. It has been so since the painful 60s even unto this day that corruption which is the worst tax on the poor robs them of the opportunities of a good life.  Our elite class regardless of their origin, tongue and religion has been robbing the poor, who the Church in Nigeria, like the Early Church of the Apostles ought to protect.
So, sure the economy has been growing  at 7% every year in the last ten years but what quality of growth have we had with still more than 61% of poor in the land, 24% unemployment level with more than 40% level among the youthful segment? We have a negligible changed structure of the Nigerian economy since independence with the consequence that manufacturing has stayed at less than 15% thus narrowing the opportunity for rapid absorption of labour.  The massive unemployment and underemployment is because our indigenous private sector is underdeveloped compared to the countries of Asia and Latin America where small businesses account for more than 60 percent of the economy or 75% in America. Our private sector that thrives, does so mostly by depending on the distortion of policies, the corruption of the public sector and influence peddling while the small businesses suffer the severe adverse effects of failure of the same policies. Inequality and growing disparity between the few that have and those that don’t, has grown deeper. Regrettably the elite fail to understand the implications of such an unsustainable pattern of power and wealth relations in any society. Even  as the heinous effects of long lasting poor governance in the North East of Nigeria stares us in the face, our elite imperviousness remains.
All of the foregoing are matters that require policy, institutional, investment actions to solve. They are broadly the governance matters that constitute the State Building process. Our effort at tackling them without correcting the faulty foundation of “absence of nation building” has produced disappointing results. The corruption-poverty-corruption trap has thus capped the possibilities of our larger population of citizens while unlike the Early Church, today’s Church busies itself with materialism. When the Church in Nigeria provides a place of comfort rather than rebuke and sanction to any of the elite of the land who are culpable for poor governance and corruption, then it inadvertently becomes acquiescent in the entrenched inequality. It even worse violates the Word of God: “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15).
God cares about the poor. God wishes that His Church would also care about equity and justice for the poor, and stand on the side of the weak and vulnerable rather than with those who oppress them. A corrupted Nigeria will eternally rob the same poor that the Church should be protecting. Has today’s Church not mostly failed to use its Voice on behalf of the poor in the land by systematically living up to its “watchdog” roles in the same manner  as our Lord Jesus, John the Baptist, Prophets Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos and several others? How ready is the Church to champion a credible sanction era to punish the cancerous corruption that afflicts our land? Would it not be a tragedy if the government becomes actually serious to lead such a corrective war to rebuild our foundations and what the church does is to “blow the trumpet in an uncertain way” such that the people fail to prepare for battle?
While the political and to a lesser degree, the business elite,  set the stage for the broken and faulty foundation of Nigeria, the rest of our society must also accept their fair share of the blame for helping to accelerate the slide, by their apathy, lethargy or indifference. The governed, be they men or women have a major role to compel their elite to act in always that promote the collective good of society. Those citizens who not understanding the power they wield and so fail to collectively deploy it in demanding for good governance and accountability for resources and for results from those that lead them, will surely pay huge costs for their ignorance. To simply accept and applaud acts that injure a citizen is injustice to both the person and the rest of society. When citizens of Nigeria fail to actively engage, participate and exercise their voice in helping shape the course that the country is taking, nation building will be further delayed. Such reorientation and mass mobilisation of citizens to become an informed and active force for good is one role that the Church has so far missed playing.
To return to the basics and compel this all too important and painful process of nation building, I recommend that the Church in Nigeria acting as a collective, can become the Catalyst that galvanises individual members, families, civil society to set out an agenda for a discourse of our common identity, vision and values. There is no better organisation of people to trigger a Values Renaissance as a lasting counter to the present “distorted normal” . What happened to virtues like honour, honesty, integrity, character, dignity, hard work, kindness, sacrifice,  selfless service and such like?
The distorted VALUES of the failing Nigerian society has seeped so badly into the church such that we are reminded that “if the foundations be destroyed or broken, what will the righteous do”? Is it not the case that we also have crisis of leadership values in the church today? Should we not first repent for failure to be the SALT,  THE LIGHT AND THE CITY UPON THE HILL.  Reading Prophet Hagia’s first and second chapters, one will conclude that like the children of Israel in his time, we the Church of Nigeria of today sit  in church praying to all become prosperous while the vineyard (Nigeria) that God had given us over grows with weeds. “Consider your ways”, the Prophet roared then. Where are our own Prophets to roar at His church?  If today they will emerge,  then God will return to us!
Who better than the Church can boldly take this agenda to the top of our national discourse with a determination to force our deliberation of the ideals upon which vibrant and successful nations emerge? The justification for the Church to make such a bold move is the urgency necessitated by escalating inequality engulfing the land but which the political elite class that should provide leadership is too distracted by their power squabbles.
But, the Church also is distracted! The Church is distracted by its material needs and greed. The Lord understands that His children would have needs but His assurance in the four books of the Gospel is that if we kept the matters of the kingdom— such as nation building – by being the standard bearers in our nation as the “Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World”, excelling in our “Ministry of Reconciliation and Peace” unto which He has called us, then ALL THESE OTHER MATERIAL “THINGS” ( Note that He belittles them as mere “things”) shall be added unto us. God forbids that the Church will become irrelevant because it joined the people of the world to mind the irrelevant things and not the Lord’s  mandate! Our Lord goes further and warns that should His Church busy itself with “things” then it is no longer the “Assembly of the people of God” but a gathering of heathen.
 I believe that this awakening by FourSquare calls the Body of Christ to deep retrospection and introspection in order to unreservedly uncover and discover where we missed it and veered into the path of craze for perfidious acquisition. How did we, who should lead as His Light become the LED, into darkness? How did the Church become so “at ease in Nigeria” that we are now misled by our political and business elite who should have been under our positive influence? One pathway out of this quagmire is for the Church to judge itself and admit that it has fallen short as a cleansing ground; and that in order to qualify to function as a cleanser in this land, we would all need to plead with the Lord of the Church to mercifully come into the sanctuary and purge His people. But, is the Church ready for the painful purging?
When evil is prevalent in a society we know that God  keeps for Himself a Remnant.  There remaineth a REMNANT as Prophet  Isaiah declared in chapter  10 verse 20. How come FourSquare Church has tied its entire Diamond Anniversary to the issues of the Nigeria condition? It is because the Church senses that a new season has come.  It is a season of opportunity to “do a new thing that can spring forth!”. As Solomon said, there is a time for everything under the sky. A time to be indifferent and a time to become involved. A time to ignore and a time to no longer ignore. A time to sit in church and just pray and a time to both pray and work like Prophet Nehemiah and like the four carpenters that Prophet Zechariah spoke about. The season we are in, is the season when the salvation of Nigeria is closer than when we first began. The season for a new birth has come and so there is a restiveness in the spirits of the people of God. We shall both pray, groan in the spirit, travail and walk our beliefs for the birthing of the New Nigeria through deliberations that will transit us from country to NATION.
When Nehemiah heard the news of the broken walls of Jerusalem, his heart was burdened at what he was told-  not just for the city but for the poor in the land. Nehemiah had no reason to be so distressed because after all, his situation as the King’s cupbearer was remarkably privileged for one who was in captivity. Yet, his sorrow knew no end. He prayed, asked God for a strategy and received it immediately, because God loves and supports those who care about His vision. Nehemiah, set out on the journey back to Jerusalem determined to succeed. Of all the tools that Nehemiah needed for a successful reconstruction effort— money, men and material– a good read of his book shall reveal to us, that it was none of these that brought the prophet his successful and on-target delivery of his mission to rebuild the broken walls. What did bring the completion of work despite all the challenges he encountered, was RIGHTEOUSNESS. Nehemiah new how to do the RIGHT THINGS. He did not engage in the wrong things while praying to get a good result. In nation building, we know that it is “Righteousness that exalts a nation while sin is a reproach to any people”. It was the Church -as in the members of the Church and not the buildings;  that Christ commanded to become known for “a pattern of well doing”.
Today, because it is very appropriate to nation building, I have decided to use the concept of righteousness as the pattern of “doing the right things” even by a person or nation that is outside of the Christian Faith. We have an example of a country like that – of a people who do not confess our Lord Jesus Christ – as majority of our Christian folks do here in Nigeria.  It is a nation with similar multi- ethnic, history of colonisation and poverty challenges like Nigeria had in the 60s at independence. That nation, is known as Singapore. Together with Nigeria and many other developing countries, it started on the Development journey with Gross Domestic Product  – GDP per capita of less than $500 in the 60s. By first resolving the nation building process and then moving on to the state building process with leadership that “did the right things consistently” , Singapore today has a GDP per capita of $60,000 compared to  our beloved country’s  $2300. No wonder Singapore is an upper income economy offering majority of her citizens the highest quality of life.
Where then are our own Nehemiahs? Where are our Deborahs? Where are our Daniels? Where are our Ezras? Where O country of Nigeria, are your Modecais and Esthers who have made up their minds to not bow but to rather dethrone the STRONG MAN OF CORRUPTION that is sitting over NIGERIA? It is time, Church! This is the season!! It is time to:
To WALK!!!
To BUILD …………. Until we become a Nation. ….. Until our New Nigeria emerges. Until the Nigeria of God’s dream comes. Until Nigeria becomes a praise in all the earth. I BELIEVE.
Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili
September 17, 2015

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Olalekan Waheed: The Fight On Terrorism In Africa, How To Win This War

It is no longer news that terrorism is now an, if not the main, issue in African politics today. The terrorist did their very worst on 2 April, 2015. The Garrissa University terror attacks in Kenya by the notorious al-Shabab terrorist group which left 148 innocent students dead should at least be enough to convince even the most ridiculous doubting Thomas of the reality of the threat pose by these groups on our existence as a continent. The question then is how to fight it!

There have been various suggestions on how to deal with this disturbing trend. One central aspect in all the suggestions is the role of the Military. The perhaps only point of disagreement is methods or mode of its (Military’s) involvement.

Before we go on, we need to make some important clarifications. We have no issue against using the military to tackle terrorism can at best provide mixed results. This is from the fact that the military operates on conventional principles in prosecuting convention wars. National Armies are expected to observe certain laws in war such as treaties governing “Prisoners of War” and the likes. Professional Armies are by law prevented from training under aged as soldiers. Extraterritoriality often extended to friendly or allied militaries, particularly for the purposes of allowing that military to simply pass through some territories during war. All these do or may not apply to unconventional groups like guerrillas or terrorists. It is therefore illogical to fight unconventional elements using conventional means!

It is time for a more pragmatic approach to tackling this issue. The recent successes recorded by local hunters, in Nigerian towns of Mubi, Michika, and Madagali, and the efforts of the local group called Civilian Joint Task Force(JTF) in rolling back the notorious Boko Haram in Nigeria provides a vital clue to kick start the process. The success recorded by these efforts proves that the military may lack the thorough analyses as a result of poor institutional and system processes to really root out this menace.

To curb the menace of terrorists, there is need for a trans-border approach. We say these because terrorists are groups without territories of their own. This is where the African Union(AU) and other sub-regional blocs come in.

Like I argued in an earlier article the AU needs to do more than just depend on army recruits from member states. It must itself have its own standing High Command for its own specific operations and enforcements of its sanctions. The Union which has a rich history of armed struggle against colonialism, having through it powerful Liberation Committee, trained guerrilla groups against colonial and apartheid regimes, must rise up to its new challenge without much ado. The Union must ignite its historic spirit of struggle, and face this monster of terrorism.

It is on this note that I recommend an Anti-Terror Department (ATD) or any other suitable name under the direct supervision of the African Union(AU) for the specific purpose of combating terrorism. The ATD must be well-funded by member states, voluntary donations from individuals and organisations whose objectives are incidental with those of the African Union. It must have a secretariat of its own, and an effective means of propaganda. You heard us right “Propaganda” in the fight against terror.

We are equally recommending the ATD be trained under the guidance of professional soldiers in the art of conventional warfare. The ATD must be granted the full powers of extraterritoriality throughout the continent. This condition is not negotiable.

In some cases some governments for foreign policy reasons or any other politically-motivated reasons sponsor or harbour terrorist groups. This is where the efficacy of the propaganda machinery of the ATD will be put to test. The AU must do all within its powers: political, economic, social or any other to put pressure on such government by cutting of its arms supplies.

Volunteers for operations for the ATD must be regularly paid from funds available at its disposal. They must all be of African descent. Their camping base must be in strategic places in North, Central East and Southern Africa for effective operations.

The Garrissa University attacks and other nefarious activities of al-Shabab in East Africa and Boko Haram in West Africa should be seen as early warnings by the AU for further attacks whose next port of call is highly unpredictable.

We are aware some may take our recommendations as too simplistic. We agree. But a quick reminder here is that the United States-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation(NATO) have for more than a decade been in Afghanistan fighting Al-Queada and the Talibans the only mistake has been fighting terror using conventional methods!

Views Expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates


Olalekan Waheed ADIGUN is a political risk analyst and an independent political strategist for wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. He is based in Lagos, Nigeria.

 His write-ups can be viewed on his website

Tel: +2348136502040, +2347081901080


Follow me on twitter @adgorwell

Viola Davis Makes History As 1st African-American Woman To Win An Emmy For Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

50 year old Viola Davis made history at the Emmy Awards by being the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

She won for her role as Annalise Keating on ABC’s hit freshman show ‘How to Get Away with Murder’.

The “How to Get Away with Murder” star became very emotional as she received the award and gave a thank you speech. She said: ‘

In my dreams and visions, I seemed to see a line, and on the other side of that line were green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white ladies, who stretched out their arms to me over the line, but I couldn’t reach them no-how,’ Davis said, quoting Harriet Tubman in her acceptance speech.

‘Let me tell you something: the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.

‘You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.’ Thank you for taking us over that line. Thank you to the Television Academy.’ Davis, who is a graduate from the prestigious Juilliard School, concluded.

Her speech was a highlight from the show and also drew a standing ovation from Taraji P. Henson in the crowd.

An emotional Davis continued on by thanking the other actresses of color, including Washington, Halle Berry, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union and fellow nominee Taraji P. Henson.

Adagboyi Damian: Privatization Or Cronyism? The Case Of Benue State

The relevance of public infrastructure has been a debatable issue in Nigeria since independence, owing to the growing demand on governments to provide rapid social development and economic growth. As a result, both past and present governments have expended huge financial resources on these infrastructures through annual subventions to the public enterprise sector. Nevertheless, a worrisome trend has drawn more concern; they continue to witness huge losses due to presence of gross inefficiency, massive looting and unprofitability. All these have made most of the infrastructures a revolving-debt-asset.

Orokpo, & Ejeh (2014), noted that while the boom in the world market for oil and petroleum products lasted, no one complained about the wastes and inefficiencies of the public enterprise sector in Nigeria.

This same boom era recorded the highest number of public enterprises establishment in the country even when their commercial financial viability was questionable. However, the fall in the world market for oil, the early 1980s economic recessions and the quest for most developing countries to align themselves with the global trend has exposed the ailing condition of public enterprises in Nigeria.

It is against this backdrop that most economists argued that one prominent rationale for privatising public infrastructure is to make money available to governments. In order words, cash trapped in such infrastructure can be used to fix ailing infrastructure and perhaps build the much needed new infrastructure by creating an enabling environment, therefore shifting future financial risk from the public to a private sector.

A visit to Makurdi, the Benue State Capital of Nigeria would reveal how well the state has fared since it was created on 3rd February 1976. The Capital does not stand out among its equals in terms of infrastructural development. It prides itself as the food basket of the nation. Yet you will agree that a good deposit of resources must allow participation from the community through employment and thereby improving the economy of that community. This is what is assumed as development and growth.

The good deposit of resources in the state prompted the establishment of infrastructures like Taraku Mills, Otukpo Burnt Bricks, Benue Breweries, Kastina Ala Fruit Juice Company, Makurdi Sheraton Hotel, and the “privatised” Benue Cement Company (Now Dangote Cement Company) among other establishments.

Most of these establishments in the State were affected in the second round of privatization scheduled to commerce in 1999. Some of the establishments that were privatised are today, in various stages of liquidation, abandoned or shut down since they have failed to meet their economic and social objectives. As a result, the people are yet to feel the impact despite their eventual privatization. And cash recovered has not been used to build new infrastructures.

However, various excuses have been given for these shortcomings. First, the age of the plant and equipment, perhaps that was not properly assessed to enable preparation for turnaround maintenance. Second, harsh macro-economic environment and rough economic terrain characterized by erratic electricity power supply. Third, there exist an intermittent or acute shortage and high price of petroleum products. Fourth, there is also a low purchasing power due to infrequent payment of salaries, and by extension very weak economic activity.

However, as outlined by Orokpo & Ejeh (2014), most core investors declared as winners of the bids generated sporadic response by the people of Benue State accusing investors’ company of lack of managerial skills and technical capacity to handle the company. Legal proceedings were even instituted against the National Council on Privatization seeking to restrain it from selling the shares to most companies. Moreover, there were complaints of lack of transparency in the entire transactions which were shrouded in secrecy and that the majority of the investing public were ignorant of the sale of the shares.

Therefore, one can conclude that although privatisation is good having acknowledged that government business is not business. However, the process of privatisation must be properly followed in order to curb the perceived culture of cronyism that exists in the process.

Orokpo F.E & Ejeh A. W. (2014), An Assessment of the Privatization of Benue Cement Company Plc, Gboko, Benue State Nigeria: 1986- 2011 International Journal of Public Administration and Management Research (IJPAMR) 2(2):88-97

The Desperation Of Youths To Leave The Country Is Worrisome – Obasanjo

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president of Nigeria, has expressed his concern over the current wave of desperate youths risking their lives to travel to Europe and the maltreatment they received from their hosts in African continent. Obasanjo in a statement he personally signed, yesterday, however, called for probe of the death of Nigerians and other immigrants in Libya, saying the incident is the direct action of Western powers which is responsible for the current anarchy in the country .

“It is thus a matter of considerable sadness for me when I witness the current wave of desperate youths risking their lives to travel to Europe and the futile efforts of European countries to deal with those who have already set sail or have even reached shores of the European continent.

“The current inflow of African refugees into Europe from Libya is a direct consequence. The government in Libya which in 2000 acted humanely and responsibly to stem the outflow of illegal migrants to Europe has been replaced by unconscionable bandits and terrorists who have forcibly seized the instruments of state to facilitate human trafficking and illegal migration for their own material benefit.

“It is time for the international community and particularly African leaders to take a good look at the factors responsible for the death and destruction with the Mediterranean by illegal migration of youths from Africa and address the causes in an honest, responsible, humane and holistic manner rather than the current futile attempt to half-heartedly deal with the symptoms rather than the cause.

“The sure way of prevention is the elimination of conflict and abject poverty and creation of employment in the countries where migrants originate. In the meantime, let AU form a bulwark to stem the spate of migrants from Africa across the Mediterranean to Europe. It can be done”.

Iguomu Ogochukwu: Widening The Travails Of The Deprived Woman; A Response To Sugabelly On Legalizing Prostitution In Nigeria

I recently read on, an informative online magazine, the opinion piece by one Sugabelly on the need to legalize prostitution in Nigeria, a view which was necessitated by Amnesty International’s recent attempt at lobbying for a legalization of prostitution in the country. Being a fellow woman like Sugabelly, I would not pretend I am unaware of the various societal ills staring haplessly at us in the face. But all hope is not lost, has never been lost. Sugabelly, however, in playing to the times appears to be one of those bountiful individuals in Nigeria who l’d go to any length for fame. Everywhere from Twitter to Facebook they abound. With the harsh economic situation in the country, many people abide that probably would not blink their conscience when they speak or act. First thing, the way and manner Sugabelly put forward her argument would make one think that if her admonitions were not strictly adhered to, then doom and danger lurks around the corner for the country. Very good. Alas, Sugabelly dismantled the very impressive argument she put forward by declaring categorically at the end of her essay, “Make them pay!” Make who pay? Maybe Sugabelly isn’t aware, the principle of an eye-for-eye is that which would make the whole world blind. Perhaps, that would amount to an calculated error on her part, but if it was intentional, then Sugabelly from the ambiguous nature of that statement might have rendered her whole effort a nullity.

In life, we do know that the more one gets and gets things, the less valuable such thing would subsequently become to him/her. This is simply expressed in economics as ‘The Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns.’ Now, come to think of it, men (in the context which she meant her whole essay, if I am not mistaken,) should be made to pay for the sex they receive from women. What then happens where the men have to pay for every sexual access to the woman’s vagina? What possible worth would they attach to such transaction in the long run? Maybe Sugabelly could help us answer that in a subsequent joinder.

The path Sugabelly has decided to lay her argument is what is faulty, but nobody can doubt the genuineness and sincerity of her intent. One cannot but see that the end of all she is trying to say is sexual liberty and emancipation for the womenfolk. But for choosing to go through the extreme route of legalizing prostitution is what has made her argument totally flawed. If, for instance, as she claims, men must be made to pay for the sex they receive from we women, I wonder who’d be bothered about getting married, anyways. And if indeed we should do away with marriage, then why bother trying to get a male sperm or a female egg for artificial insemination; why bother about parental surrogacy at all? Sugabelly made a loose statement in her declaration.

Over the years in Nigeria, the issue of sex and sexuality has come to be such a very sensitive and controversial topic that people are always inclined to be at loggerheads once the word sex is mentioned. Maybe, it is as a result of our time-immemorial conservative nature in this country, when we consider it as wrong some folks trying to encroach upon us a foreign and unwanted mode of viewing sexuality just because they happen to see and watch foreigners engaging in abnormal sexual behaviour. Sugabelly though made the greatest of misfires when she claimed that in legalizing prostitution, women would be able to minimize the enormous risks they run in their social and sexual interactions. Nay, women stand the risk of being infected with countless and unmentionable number of sexually transmitted diseases.

But sadly, Sugabelly did not even say or intend to say minimize, in the real meaning of the word. Rather, to her it is the monetary end of prostituting that is even more important. It is the monetary value women get as a result of prostitution that should be the main focus and target of legalizing prostitution. What a pity!

Indeed, just because prostitution has been recorded even in Biblical times doesn’t in any slight instance make it right. That is what Sugabelly has failed to appreciate. If Sugabelly had been a Christian, I would had graciously recommended 1 Corinthians 3:16 to her, but from a glimpse of her online profile and her purported atheist propulsion, such Bible passage would do no good to her or to our argument. And for the fact that a few perverted men decide to further the cause of prostitution by patronizing prostitutes confers no form of rightness on prostitution. The average man who visits a brothel only goes there on the necessity of fulfilling his sexual urge. He’s only going to pay for a vagina. To such man, the prostitute he’s meeting holds no importance than a mere rag to him. Use her and clean off the libido, that’s all. She has no further use. What am I even saying, Tamar, a recorded ancestress of Jesus Christ in the Bible, narrowly escaped being lynched to death on account of her purported prostitution. Again, Rahab, another ancestress of the Savior, repented from her prostitution in order to be saved. If as Sugabelly claims prostitution has been established in that time, then the attendant wrong notion that individuals in that time had of it was even more prevalent as it could result to death of the person engaged in prostitution. What then had stripped prostitution of its wrongness today?

Like Sugabelly said, the use of religion to counter the propagation of prostitution has no place in a modern world. But her further stance that morality should also be jettisoned is what I don’t agree with. If we are to do away with that singular guide to our every actions, morals, life can only be like the noted Hobbesian state of nature — short, nasty and brutish. Our morality determines our rationality. I am obliged to think that one with a truthful and moral conscience would not wish another pain nor suffering. But that is what Sugabelly has clearly done to women in her essay. For example, if prostitution gets the nod of legitimacy, undoubtedly, sexual promiscuity becomes rampant and inconsequential. And as such, the prostitutes would inevitably be at the receiving end of the negatives associated with sexual promiscuity. He is a liar the one who would claim he is not aware that public morality is one of the determinants in making laws by parliament.

Sexual intercourse has its place of value and meaning within the marriage arena. For all generations, there has been a continual wrong placement of the gift of sexual intercourse in the Divine and human economy and situation. The situation even appears worse with intercourse through varied forms of sexual immoralities and sexual perversion.

Sexual promiscuity, for sure, has a very negative impact on the individual, and society at large. Fornication, lust or whatever form it chooses to assume has a very excruciating end and it leads to long years of agony, woes and regrets. Perhaps, it is the consequences of sexual promiscuity that have made it the agent of death. It is a fact that sexual promiscuity gives one gratification and sometimes, immediate pleasure. But, however, worthy of note is that such person’s physical health is gravely endangered. That is the simple case with prostitutes who engage in sex with multiple customers.

Sugabelly failed to note the very important fact that women are more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases. The cervix of a teenage girl, research has consistently shown, has a fragile lining which produces mucus. Only as the girl approaches menopause is this tender lining replaced with a tougher and more resistant lining. Mucus is a very good host of bacterial infections. During the first two years of menstruation, 50% of the periods occur without ovulation. This will produce more liquid mucus, which also grows bacteria and viruses very well. Therefore, a 20-year old prostitute has a one-in-eight chance of developing pelvic inflammatory disease simply by having sex with one man. Not to think of having sex with not one, two or three, but multiple partners! The fact of sexually transmitted diseases are alarming since more people are sexually active today than ever before. An entire generation remains at risk and the saddest part is that most people are unaware of the grave dangers they face. And prostitutes being mostly uneducated in a formal way stand the greatest risk of contracting STD’s. Sexually transmitted diseases are spreading to unprecedented and epidemic proportions. Sugabelly need only visit a local clinic or even a nearby chemist shop to verify this fact.

Incidentally, many people are already carriers of STD’s, and many more do not care about them and some others do not take their possibility seriously. One such deadly STD is the dreaded HIV/AIDS. The HIV is the causative agent of AIDS and it has no known cure today. From ages past, in our different customs and usages, we’ve developed some certain stigma to things considered bad and unwholesome in our communities. And indeed such things were really bad in their entirety. In Igboland, for example, songs were created which ridiculed persons that have done one societal taboo or the other. If Sugabelly, for she claims she practices traditional religion, came from any particular community in Nigeria, I am sure she would have known or heard about such accepted and tested practices. Sugabelly believed that legalizing prostitution would make for easy access to healthcare and certain numerous benefits for prostitutes. What she has failed to appreciate is that the social stigma that goes with prostitution is enough to nullify whatever purported legal benefit a prostitute receives.

Indeed, in her own thinking, prostitutes will enjoy the blessing of legitimacy with the insistence on the use of condoms. How very sad! Maybe I should briefly educate Sugabelly on the necessity that introduced condoms into society. The primary aim of condom was to prevent unwanted pregnancies (that is if any is unwanted, by the way.) This accounts for how condom was designed. Condoms in their nature have tiny intrinsic holes called voids. These voids aid the condom to be stretched and thus make it possible to be worn on the penis. This way the semen released during sex is trapped and may not swim pass these holes. But condoms have repeatedly failed to prevent the geometric rise of patients daily infected with HIV/AIDS. Condoms can never assure of even 50% protection against HIV/AIDS given the fact that they have tiny intrinsic holes through which the AIDS virus passes. The AIDS virus being 50 times smaller than these tiny holes. Moreso, paradoxically, the manufacturers of condoms don’t have the slightest assurance of their success in preventing HIV transmission, hence their constant insistence that abstinence remains the best and reliable way to stay free from sexually transmitted diseases — so, why place faith in what has been produced with some degree of impunity?

One would have thought that Sugabelly being a woman can appreciate the fraught and frightening risks involved with uncontrollable sex. The more one indulges in sexual promiscuity, the weaker one becomes. As this happens, premature aging sets in. Statistics of available prostitutes are there to substantiate this position. Also, prostitutes are open to all sorts of dangers. This Sugabelly appreciates, but legitimizing their mode of employment is never the way to help them nor protect them. One should be advocating for increase in business incentives, increase in access to formal education, increase in social amenities, increase in job creation, rather than advocating for legitimizing prostitution.

Alternatively, one could be seriously advocating for an end of such barbaric practices that make women susceptible to the wicked whims of the men; one could even go a step further to advocate that laws which should protect women in the domestic place and work place should be passed, not laws that will make women more prone and porous to whatever attack the menfolk dish out.

However, none can disclaim the fact that we are living in a unfair world of inequality (unequal economic power, unequal marital power, unequal political power, and, even, unequal sexual power); a world where the horse and ass are yoked, with the sad obvious result that the horse is always on the verge of annihilating the ass. Hence, Sugabelly, like I earlier said, had a noble intent and a kind disposition towards the down trodden in society — women, the metaphorical asses in this scenario. Women at least need to take charge of one area of their lives, and that should be none other than the one which personally touches their existence: their sexual power. They should be allowed to decide whom to give their bodies. I duly share in that sentiments.  But, truth be told, you don’t help a less privileged individual by compounding his woes.

Finally, prostitution is what has . Prostitution encourages sexual promiscuity. Sexual promiscuity remains the surest and possible manner through which the human body becomes infested with diseases and disease causing organisms. These diseases constitute great danger to physical health and often lead to its destruction, as most of them are incurable.

I am Iguomu Ogochukwu Ogo.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Kingsley Ohajunwa: The Certainty Of Growth, The Uncertainty Of Development In Nigeria

The most recent democratic dispensation in Nigeria led by Mohammed Buhari is already thronged with so many expectations. This is owing to the fact that the ruling party came in on the premise of “change” which acts as its slogan also. Whether Nigerians will experience this change is something only time can tell. Sadly however, this expectation of change may just be related to one of the salient words of the topic, “growth”. It is therefore understandable when the words “growth” and “development” are used interchangeably, perhaps the user in this regard may not have known that there is a difference between the two, how much more understanding the magnitude of their difference. For the purpose of this piece attention will be placed on growth and development; the certainty of the former and the seeming uncertainty of the latter, while “change” as a concept and slogan/tool of political machination, especially as used by the ruling party will be treated in a subsequent piece.

Growth basically means increase in size, number or amount while development deals with the sustenance of growth. So growth may comprise factors such as rapid population growth, income inequality, imbalance in multi-sectoral development, environmental degradation caused by growing rate of industrialization, moral, social and intellectual factors which affect our way of thinking amongst other factors. According to the World Bank in World Development Report 1991, “the challenge of development is to improve the quality of life”. Leading development experts Todaro and Smith in a 2003 publication put forward development as being the sustained elevation of an entire society and social system towards a better or more humane life. These therefore suggest a huge difference between growth and development. Two basic indices of development in any society are equitable distribution of wealth and social justice, and balance in multi-sectoral development. These indices alone when expanded cover virtually all human expectations from a purposeful government. However Nigeria may still keep growing without developing.

The simple fact that oil still thrives as the country’s major source of income calls for very serious concern since development centres around people and the quality of the lives they lead. How can individuals in other sectors be said to be fulfilled? What is wrong in developing the agricultural, tourism and automobile sectors while putting in place the single most constant factor which can enable all of them thrive- constant power supply. Let’s also understand that although these sectors are capital intensive, there are individuals who are eager to trade in either of them with their limited resources, thereby reducing crime. We must understand that the growing rate of industries, rise in the number of private universities, increase in the number of security forces recruited and mobilized to fight crime and insurgency, increase in revenue generated from oil export are not in any way signs of development. Nigerians do not expect “milk and honey” to be made to flow from their taps, all that is required are the proper functioning of basic indices which make life worth living.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Lagos Named 4th Worst City To Live In Globally

Lagos has been ranked amongst the worst cities to live globally following the ‘Global Liveability Ranking’, by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for 2015.

The centre of excellence, Lagos was considered the fourth least (137) liveable city in the world on the list of 140. The survey took account of cities’ healthcare, education, safety, culture, environment and infrastructure.

Syrian city of Damascus which has been ravaged by the country’s civil war was named the worst, followed by Dhaka in Bangladesh, Port Morseby in Papua New Guinea, Lagos in Nigeria and the Libyan capital of Tripoli, which has also been the victim of an ISIS insurgency.

Meanwhile, Melbourne was once again named the best city in the world to live in for the fifth year in the row while Vienna in Austria came second followed by the Canada cities of Vancouver and Toronto, and Australia’s Adelaide.

Ogun Police Issue Shoot-At-Sight Order Against Ritualists, Human Parts Dealers

Police in Ogun state will henceforth shoot armed cultists and “ritualists” at sight, the state command announced Thursday.

The commissioner of police, Abdulmajid Ali, gave the order shortly after parading 23 suspected criminals at the State Police Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta, saying that the command will not tolerate ?the rising cases of cultism and ritual killings.

He said the shoot-at-sight order will not amount to extra-judicial killing because the intention of armed criminals is either to kill or maim.

Mr. Alli said police would soon raid various campuses to apprehend suspected cult members, adding that the command had identified their abode and would get rid of them at all cost.

At the briefing, the commissioner announced that the suspects paraded were arrested in connection with murder, kidnapping, cultism and unlawful possession of human skull while several weapons, including guns, cutlasses, assorted charms and expended cartridges were recovered from them.

On the killing of Iyaloja of Ijebuland, Sadiat Elewuju, who was murdered on July 8, the police commissioner disclosed that one person had been charged to court for the killing but declined to reveal the identity of the suspect.

“Our investigation so far confirmed that he perpetrated the act? but tried to hide under a cover that six people were seen.

“We didn’t want to parade him because it’s a case that we have already charged to court. From all available information and the investigation conducted, the boy is a very close person to the woman. He was the person that saw the Iyaloja last, ?he was also the one that took care of her,” the police boss said.

Source: Premium Times

Dencia Reveals She Never Graduated from College on Instagram

Beauty super star Dencia may have a certain level of success but in a society that preaches school and education as a base for becoming what you want in life, Dencia has definitely proved them not totally correct in her quest and achievements she is sitting on top today.

 According to her, this happened because she didn’t need graduation ‘cos at the end of the day, unless you are studying medicine, law or a licensed profession, your degree is almost worthless (as was in her case).

She shared her true story on instagram and i must say this should definitely inspire someone out there today.

Nigerian Refineries Low On Petrol Production

Current data on refineries production in Nigeria indicate that more heavy or fuel oils (low and high fuel oil/black oil) are being produced from the four refineries than other high demand products like premium motor spirit, PMS, otherwise known as petrol.  The revelation comes despite assurances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which said last week that two of its refineries were working between 60 and 80 percent of their installed capacities.


NNPC had promised that the four refineries would be re-streamed by July end, when the turn around maintenance, TAM, of the hitherto almost comatose refineries would have been rounding up, thus, buoying high hopes for imminent relief from products scarcity in the country.

Capacity utilisation

However, status of the refineries operations as at July 31, 2015, exclusively obtained by Sweetcrude, indicate that the refineries cannot still meet the daily consumption requirement of between 40 and 42 million litres/day for petrol. For now, the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC 2, is only able to produce about 39million litres of petrol, i.e. 38,906 x 1000 = 38.906 million compared with fuel oil, which is in low demand of about 49 million litres.

This is because aside from the PHRC 2, the fluid cracking catalytic units, FCCUs of the other refineries are still under rehabilitation. But succour is expected from the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, WRPC, once its FCCU has been fully rehabilitated, to produce additional 30 million plus litres, while capacity utilisation in the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, remains nil.

KPRC only produces automotive gas oil, AGO, also known as diesel, and dual purpose kerosene, DPK, which can be used as both aviation fuel/Jet-A1 and household kerosene, HHK   Nigeria has four refineries with combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, bpd, comprising: PHRC 1 – 150,000bpd; PHRC 2 – 60,000bpd; KRPC – 110,000bpd; and WRPC 125,000bpd.

But current status data put the Crude Distillation Unit, CDU,capacity utilisation in the four refineries as, PHRC 2 re-streamed on July 20th -60.40 percent; PHRC 1 under rehab – nil; KPRC re-streamed July 30th – 64.4 percent; and WRPC – 62 percent.

Read more at – Vanguard

Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo Urges Nigerian Government To Repeal Anti-Gay Law

Below is a press statement sent out by her;

Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo a US trained Nigerian International Journalist, Global Gun Violence Activist, Pharmacist and Public Relations Specialist has denounced the ongoing onslaught of the Nigerian Homosexual law giving stiff prison penalties to Nigerians who are just being themselves. “The Nigerian government and lawmakers have given themselves the license to represent the people stating that God does not endorse homosexuality. God also does not endorse hate, ritualism, rape, polygamy, suicide bombing girls and baby factories” she said. It is simply hatred. Asked why she never follows her fans on twitter, she blamed it on homophobia stating that she does not follow hate
and all Nigerians are “hell bent” on homophobia.

Omololu-Olunloyo also wants the government to know that President Buhari’s visit to the United States should have addressed this law and not brushed it aside with American President Obama. “America is not telling us to legalize gay marriage, they are only telling us that when you have law abiding citizens going about their own business not bothering anyone, they should not be scrutinized and stripped of their rights of being themselves.” She also tweeted on her handle @HNNAfrica that Uganda dropped their anti-gay law after four months and one day Nigeria will do the same. “It’s very costly economically for a country like ours with no jobs for youth. We can never be chosen to host the Olympics, World Cup and other global events for this reason. We can’t be a host country to anything and already our image as one of the African countries promoting such hate is tarnished.”

Omololu-Olunloyo also spoke about last week’s denouncing of homophobia by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who lashed out at the stabbing attack at an Israeli Gay Pride rally injuring teens. Netanyahu stated that he will continue to lead his cuntry against hatred and homophobia. Israel ironically is a country Nigerians flock to for their annual Christian pilgrimages. “Contrary to popular belief, God does not hate gays” she said and “does not call anyone with a generic name” as she cited a pro gay tweet by Pope Francis.

She advices Nigerian lawmakers to listen to the tough messages President Barack Obama delivered at the African Union Summit about African leaders with anti-gay laws during his trip to Kenya and Ethiopia in July 2015. Hate should never reign in Nigeria.

Good News! Ebola Vaccine Works, Offering 100% Protection In African Trial

A highly unusual clinical trial in Guinea has shown for the first time that an Ebola vaccine protects people from the deadly virus. The study, published online today by The Lancet, shows that the injection offered contacts of Ebola cases 100% protection starting 10 days after they received a single shot of the vaccine, which is produced by Merck. Scientists say the vaccine could help to finally bring an end to the epidemic in West Africa, now more than 18 months old.

“This will go down in history as one of those hallmark public health efforts,” says Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy in Twin Cities, Minnesota, who wasn’t involved in the study. “We will teach about this in public health schools.”

“It’s a wonderful result and a fantastic illustration of how vaccines can be developed very quickly and can be used in an outbreak situation to control the disease,” says Adrian Hill, a vaccine researcher at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, also not involved in the work.

The vaccine, first developed by researchers at the Public Health Agency of Canada, consists of the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), which causes disease in livestock but not people, with the Ebola surface protein stitched into it. It is one of two vaccines currently being tested in the Ebola-stricken countries; the other one is produced by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The study of the Merck vaccine was led by Ana Maria Henao-Restrepo of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, together with colleagues at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, the Guinean Ministry of Health, and others.

The decision to start the trial was taken in October, but it didn’t get off the ground until March. By then, Ebola cases had already begun to plummet, and they were scattered across a large area in Guinea. To show efficacy in a standard randomized controlled trial, the researchers would have had to enroll far more people than was feasible.

Instead, they opted for a design called ring vaccination, in which only contacts of new Ebola patients, as well as the contacts’ contacts, were vaccinated. The rings, or clusters, were randomized; in 48 of them, vaccination occurred as soon as possible after the detection of the Ebola case in their community. In the 42 other clusters, the vaccination teams came to give the shots three weeks later. The researchers then counted the number of new Ebola cases in each ring; because they weren’t sure how long it takes for the vaccine’s protection to kick in, they only included cases that occurred at least 10 days after vaccination in their primary analysis of the data. There were zero such cases among the 2014 people who were vaccinated right away, and 16 among the 2380 who got the shot 3 weeks later. That translates to 100% vaccine efficacy, at least in this study, the researchers write.

The idea of a ring vaccination design, never before used in a formal vaccine study, “was absolutely very creative,” says Osterholm, and it allowed the team to follow the epidemic wherever it went. “Had this been a standard, straightforward randomized controlled trial, we would never had this answer.”

“It surprised me how quickly you can intervene with a vaccination and have an effect,” says Jeremy Farrar, the head of the Wellcome Trust research charity, which co-funded the study. “It’s possible to do that sort of complex work in very, very complex environments—ethically, socially, culturally and scientifically. You can do it. That is a revelation for many people.”


Unmasking Barack Obama’s Light Up Africa Project By Tony Ademiluyi

In 2013, United States President Barack Obama launched the Power Africa project with much fanfare in Cape Town in South Africa. The ambitious project is a $7 billion one handled by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the goal to double electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years. In his words ‘The program would provide light where currently there is darkness and the energy needed to lift people out of poverty.’ Five Hundred and Ninety Million Africans lack access to electricity and six countries were in focus – Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana and Ethiopia. The funds for this grand agenda will come from the Export-Import Bank, a government backed lender who will bring in $5 billion. The White House was also able to secure at least $9 billion in pledges from the private sector. The US Congress also showed more than a passing interest as two members: Ed Royce and Eliot Engel introduced a bipartisan bill to bring power to at least fifty million Africans by the year 2020. The indoor air pollution from wood stoves kills 3.5 million Africans annually more than the deaths from the combination from HIV/AIDS and malaria.
However some critical questions arise from this ‘laudable’ initiative. Firstly, will there be a conflict in enhancing energy with Obama’s climate goals? Africa cannot power itself through solar and wind power alone. Tanzania for instance is in a haste to tap massively into its large offshore natural gas reserves. How will this add up to Obama’s earlier pledge to cut back on greenhouse gas emission? Some environmental rules could limit America’s involvement in the project. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which pledged $1.5 billion in energy projects for sub-Saharan Africa has an internal cap on greenhouse gas emission. These rules will prevent OPIC from funding more than one medium-sized natural gas plant which will be grossly inadequate.
Secondly, what really constitutes electricity access in Africa as it is relative? Some households may just need a little to power their cellphones and light a few bulbs. Others may need it to run a small home based business. There is no clear benchmark as to a generally acceptable standard of what passes off as supply. Roger Pielke Jr, an environmental studies academic at the University of Colorado opined that the international community’s definition of modern energy access is so scant that it may mean providing people with 2.2% of the energy the average American uses.
Thirdly, how much money will the project gulp? A recent report by World Bank and International Energy Agency estimated that the light up Africa project will most likely cost between $120 to $150 billion annually over and above the existing levels to bring energy access to everyone by 2030. The amount raised so far is a mere drop in the ocean. It will also mean the alteration of regulations and institutional frameworks in these poorer nations. How easy will that be in view of the mind boggling red-tape?
Fourthly, is this a way of Uncle Sam drumming up business for her companies and allies under the guise of aiding the beleaguered continent? United States Consultancy, Taha Tech secured a $64 million consulting contract and Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s African Governance Initiative was not left out in the largesse as they clinched a $3 million deal.
Fifthly, will this project outlive Obama whose term will be coming to an end next year? His Democratic Party suffered a devastating defeat in last year’s mid-term elections while the EXIM and OPIC are battling for survival in Congress.
Sixthly, there is the perennial issue of corruption which has made nonsense of such noble initiatives in the past. Former Central Bank Governor and current Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi opened the can of worms in 2013 when he alleged that $20 billion was not remitted to Nigeria’s coffers by the state owned NNPC. The Tanzanian Parliament is currently reviewing a report on graft in the energy sector. What is the assurance that these funds will not develop wings as has been the sad case of how the local bureaucracy can act as a clog in the wheel of progress? The anti-corruption laws are still rather weak with too few successful prosecutions for the big fishes.
Seventhly, privatization is a key requirement needed to be met by the aforementioned countries. That exercise is still riddled with graft and nepotism in Nigeria for example. The privatization of the power sector didn’t alleviate the suffering of the hapless hoi polloi. Rather it merely transferred the ownership of strategic power plants to individuals who had access to the government at the centre and in most cases bought it at giveaway prizes. There are still unexplained questions that trailed the controversial sales of some government assets when Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the current Governor of Kaduna state held sway at the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE). The system has a way of stifling progressive ideas and initiatives.
Africa’s development can only come from within as experienced with the Asian Tigers. Let us cast our minds back at the US/Africa summit held in Washington last year. It was crystal clear that there was an agenda by Obama to prevent African nations from using coal under the guise of meeting climate ambitions. The developmental needs of the continent were coldly ignored who badly need roust energy to succeed. There are significant coal reserves in the continent that can be used to provide sufficient electricity beyond the cook stove and light bulb ‘solutions’ that is the focus of many of the so called international development agencies. The recent draft proposal for Sustainable Development Goals is unclear on how it purports to meet the gargantuan needs of the continent. The target set by the International Energy Agency is a mere five hours a day. How will this meet the demands of hospitals, schools, industries and businesses both large and small scale? Rather than crying wolf as to climate issues, the question should be how can coal be utilized without compromising the environment? Pragmatic solutions should be sought rather than the problems being magnified. It is still possible to strike a balance between the two.
For how long will Sovereign African States outsource their brains to the West? Our power problems should be solved ourselves with our peculiar technology rather than waiting for manna from the west that always turns out to be worse than a little lad crying his eyes out for a piece of candy in the moon.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Ebola: University Of Ilorin To Develop Ebola Vaccine

Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali says the school’s Ebola Research Committee is working assiduously to develop a vaccine for the Ebola virus.

“What is happening is that the committee is just monitoring events; in terms of the vaccine, it will take a while because there are processes that you have to follow before you develop a vaccine,” Ambali disclosed in an interview on Sunday in Abuja.

“For example, you have to isolate the virus; grow the virus; attenuate the virus; bring it out for testing; and then before the final usage.

“So those are the processes that any vaccine candidate will have to pass through before you can now use on victim.

“But right now what they are doing is monitoring events across the borders; and then we have put in place the facilities to be able to advise our staff as well as students that want to visit those places (High risk Ebola countries).

According to Ambali, the committee is monitoring developments in neighbouring countries, especially in Liberia where there was a resurgence of Ebola.

He said that people, staff and students, who travelled, would be advised on proper precautionary measures while those returning from high risk areas would be properly screened before entry.

He advised universities in Nigeria to step up the publications of their research findings in order to improve the global rating of the country’s universities, describing the recent ranking of African universities in which only one Nigerian university made the top ten as worrisome.

“Every academic should be worried about this ranking and we are doing our best to make sure that we enter that vicinity of the ranking arena.

“We need to increase our visibility; we need to improve on our interaction through the internet and then update our research publications.

“We also need to make sure that we are seen across globe as much as possible so that the world will know what is happening in our institutions,” Ambali told the News Agency of Nigeria.

This Pastor Says God Does Not Listen To Poor People

In a recent sermon he said :

“When one is rich and they have truly given their life to God they worship God truly. When one is poor they cannot worship God. It is in the mission of the devil to destroy people through poverty because he knows that when you are in poverty you will become a complaining machine instead of fulfilling your true purpose which is to worship God. The mammon god is the one responsible of controlling money. The mammon is the chief God of poverty. He directs the flow of cash. He ensures Christians are poor so that they will choose to be heathens. The mammon god also works in conjuction with marine spirits and ensures they take money to their kingdom.

When a demon of poverty attacks it does not attack an individual but it attacks the whole generation. You are not only poor alone but you are also poor for your children. It attacks the father, child and grandchildren. It uses four weapons, it uses the spirit of lack, pride, debt and lust.

When these four spirits attack you, you will not be able to separate them. These spirits make you live a lie. They make sure you start to believe your own lies. It blocks your eyes and it even leads into divorce and people believe they can do it on their own. When this spirit attacks you it makes you love the ones you are supposed to hate and makes you hate the ones you are supposed to love. When this spirit attacks you it ensures you never identify your blessor. No one succeed on their own you need people to succeed.

The spirit of poverty ensures that those around you are there to take away from you and never to give you. You are surrounded by people who are destined to take away from you. When you are under this spirit you are ever fighting and it ensures you cross the path of your blessor so that they walk out on you and you remain in poverty. Time and chance happens to them all and how you respond to the person who is supposed to bless you is what determines your success.

One Minute Extra With Jess : Managing Proud People #Vlog

On this final Episode of One Minute Extra with Jessica we close this first season with managing proud people either in our place of work, social circle or family.

I am very grateful to everyone who has been watching my Vlog and I am also super excited that I get to share my insights knowing that it is helping other people by means of the feedback I have received.

Let’s do this in season two and let’s have more fun while becoming better persons. Thank you for staying with me through this first season. I love you dearly.

Jessy Joseph

We Will Make Benue State Uncomfortable For Homosexuals – Governor Ortom

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has declared that the state government will not spare anyone caught in gay activities in the state.

Governor Ortom made the announcement yesterday at the old banquet hall of the Benue People’s house in Makurdi during a courtesy call on him by the Prelate of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh.

Governor Ortom said gay lifestyle which was being promoted in the Western world was alien to the customs, lifestyles, and the belief of Africans and the church.

He prayed that what he described as a revival would spring from the state and produce evangelists that would drive evangelization in Africa and the Western world, saying the personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus was the solution to the decadence sweeping across many nations.

He commended the Anglican Communion in Nigeria for its stand on gay marriage and pledged his support.

Governor Ortom reiterated that his administration, which was anchored on the fear of God would ensure due process and zero tolerance for corruption, even as it would entrench core values that would enhance the socioeconomic wellbeing of the people.

The Governor assured the Prelate of his readiness to personally participate in the scheduled programme of the Anglican Communion taking place in the state next year and wished them well in their current conference in Zaki-Biam.

The Prelate of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Okoh had appealed to the Governor to do everything possible to help the church fight against gay marriage in Nigeria.

He noted that Christians, animists, agnostics, and Muslims in the Country were united against such

Archbishop Okoh said they were in the Governor’s office to identify with him and invite him to their annual programme holding next year in the state and pledged that the Communion would continue to pray for the Governor to succeed in the task of governing the state.

Nigerian Students In The UK To Be Banned From Working And Forced To Leave When Their Course Ends

Foreign students are to be banned from working in Britain under a fresh crackdown on immigration ordered by Home Secretary Theresa May. When their courses finish, they will have to leave the country before reapplying to return for a job.

Ministers say the new rules, which will apply to all those from outside the European Union, will stop colleges being used as a ‘back door to a British work visa’.

Official figures show that 121,000 non-EU students entered the UK in the 12 months to June last
year, but only 51,000 left – a net influx of 70,000. The government also estimates that the number of foreign students coming to the UK will rise by more than 6 per cent a year up to 2020. Home Secretary Theresa May has taken action against 870 bogus colleges, banning them from taking foreign students.

They want to stop student visas being used as an easy way to enter the UK before getting a job and claiming benefits. Under the new rules, non-EU students will be denied the right to work while in the UK and will not be able to apply for a visa extension when their course finishes.
Students will have to leave the country before applying to return under a work visa.

The length of stay is also expected to be cut to two years when the plans are unveiled this week.

But universities have warned that any clampdown could damage the sector and business leaders are also wary of the move, warning it could rob Britain of vital skills. DailyMailUk reports that Seamus Nevin, head of employment and skills at the Institute of Directors, said:

‘The Business Secretary’s proposals to eject foreign students after graduation are misguided and would damage the British education system, our economy and global influence.

Britain already makes it difficult and artificially expensive for international students to enter and stay, and now these proposals would eject them ignominiously when their studies are finished.

Restricting talented workers from staying on in the UK would damage business and lead to a loss of important skills. Shutting the door to highly-trained international graduates at a time when our economy needs them most would be hugely damaging for UK businesses.

In the interests our education sector, our businesses, and our international standing, the Business Secretary should reconsider this proposal.’

Comedians Are Richer Than Actors, You Can’t Compare The Pay – Ali Baba

Ali Baba while still speaking about his career and success at 50 has hinted that Nigerian comedians are more richer than Nigerian actors and here’s why;

Nigerian comedians make a lot of money than actors. You wouldn’t believe but let me tell you. You shoot a movie, it takes 4 months for the movie to be released and they get paid. There is hardly an actor that charges N1 million or N2 million per movie unless you are in the top end of the hierarchy such as RMD, Genevieve, and Omotola. But then, there are comedians that charges N800,000 or N1 million per event.

In four months, such comedian would have done maybe 30 events but because he doesn’t do a movie that is on cable TV that can be seen in Kenya, South Africa, and all across the country, people do not think he is making that kind of money. Actors shoot a movie and it takes There are quite a number of Nigerian comedians whose wives do not have a job but they still live large. A popular comedian would have performed at 6 to 8 different shows in a month before a Nollywood actor wraps up shoot on set of a movie.

Ebola Resurgence: WHO Calls For Resilient Health Systems

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that recovery from Ebola will be impossible unless resilient health systems are rebuilt in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The world health body in a message yesterday on its website said recovery in West Africa needs more urgency as the region’s battered systems have limited capacity to reactivate essential health services.

In the lead-up to a major fundraising conference for Ebola recovery, the WHO described rebuilding of the national health systems in West Africa as a critical priority.

“While the countries are still working to get to zero Ebola cases, staying at zero is inconceivable unless rebuilding of the health systems begins now.”

According to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, “Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone entered the Ebola epidemic with severely underfunded health systems. After a year of handling far too many severely ill patients, the surviving staff need support, better protection, compensation and reinforcements. The existing facilities need a complete overhaul, and many new structures need to be built. If another outbreak strikes, the toll would be far worse.”

“Outbreaks of contagious diseases can flare up anywhere,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director-general for Health Systems and Innovation. “But the size of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is directly related to the lack of resilience of the national health systems. In West Africa, the governments did not have the tools or resources to identify the initial cases or control the outbreak that resulted.”

“National pride will not stop a viral outbreak on its own,” said Dr. Philip Ireland, an emergency medicine physician at John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. “But it provides a strong foundation for building a new health system; the one we had collapsed under the weight of Ebola. The hiring of well-trained doctors and technicians, nurses and physician assistants should be our nation’s number one priority.”

According to a WHO report released in May, Ebola took an exceptional toll on health workers. They were 20-30 times more likely to contract the disease than the general public, given the number of patients they saw and treated. More than 800 contracted Ebola, and more than 400 died – with the outcome of almost one quarter of the cases unknown.

The health systems of all three countries need an exceptional infusion of funding and other resources, the focus of the United Nations Secretary-General’s International Ebola Recovery Conference (9-10 July, 2015).

“To rebuild their health systems and provide services from now through the end of December, 2017, Guinea has budgeted $1.176 billion and still needs to raise $386.5 million; Liberia has budgeted $550 million and still needs to raise $169.7 million; and Sierra Leone budgeted $361 million and still needs to raise an estimated amount of $140 million,” the WHO said in the statement.

A sizable investment in the health systems would be a profound change of course for the region. As with other low-income countries, the governments of all three countries have not spent enough money on health care to provide basic services, and the life expectancy of the populations has suffered greatly as a result.

Dr Kieny added, “In this interconnected world of international travel and porous borders, no one is immune from disease outbreaks. This is the lesson the West African Ebola outbreak has taught us. We need to ensure that health systems everywhere can detect and treat emerging diseases and still keep their routine healthcare services up and running.”

“When people think global health security, they think disease surveillance,” said Dr. Moeti. “Nobody wants to see the Ebola outbreak start in West Africa and spread around the world. But disease surveillance cannot happen in a vacuum. Emerging diseases cannot be detected and controlled if there are no laboratories, hospitals and heath personnel,” the WHO added.

How To Be A Nigerian By Ololade Ajekigbe

Nigerians are a very special breed of people who possess unique qualities that only they could have been blessed with. Today, I will be attempting to help you recognize a full blooded Nigerian when you see one. If you are a Nigerian who has lived mostly in the diaspora, especially if you didn’t spend your formative years here, you may not be able to relate with the characteristics I will be highlighting, sorry… but that only suggests that you are not a typical Nigerian. But hey, all hope is not lost, you would definitely learn one or two things from this piece which if well practiced will confer on you the distinct privilege of being considered a Nigerian through and through. Without further ado, the following are the characteristics you must possess to be a Nigerian;
Attribute everything to God: You see to be a Nigerian, you have to first and foremost be religious. Nigerians don’t play with their god, and this is clearly evident in the ubiquitous churches and mosques that adorn the landscape. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, hold a white collar job or are an artisan, engage in advance fee fraud or rob people of their belongings for a living, as long as you pay your tithe as a christian and never fail to interject sentences with “It is well” or “God is in control” or pray five times daily as a muslim, you are covered. An atheist or agnostic is not a true Nigerian!
Be aggressive for no reason: The typical Nigerian takes the meaning of “purposeful” to a whole new level. We are forceful and energetic in speech, countenance and gait. The Nigerian certainly doesn’t do laid back.
Answer a question with another question: For instance;
Question: Where are you going?
Response: Why do you want to know? OR
Question: Will you be attending the party?
Response: Why should I?
When you hear conversations like the above, you can be sure the responder is a Nigerian.
State the Obvious: When you come across a sign which reads, “We are open 7 days a week, including Saturdays and Sundays” you can be sure the enterprise is owned by a Nigerian. I mean…aren’t Saturdays and Sundays part of the days of the week in the first place?
Be an expert in tautology: The phrases “Reverse back,” First priority,” “Close proximity” “Added bonus” or sentences like “Money for school fees” and “Prepay in advance” are needless repetitions commonly used by the Nigerian to drive home his point.
Impatience must be your watchword: When a Nigerian wants something, he wants it now. Patience isn’t exactly our forte. The typical Nigerian is constantly seeking ingenious ways to circumvent the system. From cutting through traffic indiscriminately to jumping a queue so we can be attended to before others “who have less important things to do,” the Nigerian being the go-getter that he is just needs to have what he wants as soon as possible. Don’t blame us. And no, there’s no explanation for it. That’s just the way we are wired.
Leave important stuff till the last minute: The recent rush to meet up with the deadline to obtain the Bank Verification Number (BVN) from commercial banks at the orders of the CBN is a very good example. Despite the fact that the Banks have been creating awareness on the importance of getting the BVN since early last year, many Nigerians never heeded the call and chose to wait until the last minute before doing the needful, thereby resulting in endless queues and chaos in banks. We only take things seriously at the dying minutes.
Show off but put up a false air of humility: Now, the average Nigerian loves to show off, don’t get it twisted, if we are doing well financially, we want you to know. We will post pictures of our latest wonder on wheels and vacation adventures, but put up a false air of humility with the “Oh, I am just managing o, nothing much” or “It’s just God” response when congratulated on how well we are doing, when we are in fact thrilled that you noticed!
Stare: Whether it is two people involved in fisticuffs or a couple in a public display of affection, we will stare, even if we stand the risk of getting robbed in the process. We are Nigerians. It’s what we do.
Make a joke out of a bad/embarrassing situation: If you cannot find it within yourself to rise out of a bad situation through humour, then you are definitely not a Nigerian. The drama that ensued between a former minister of the Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe and the former chairman of INEC, Attahiru Jega during the collation of election results by INEC during the last elections is a case in point. The fallout of the embarrassing situation resulted in coined words like “Orubebetis or Orubebeism” and “Jegaquin,” as well as memes being used to describe the case of a cantankerous person versus a calm one which elicited several jokes all over social media.
Have the ability to adapt to any situation: The Nigerian is naturally endowed with grit and resilience. It’s the reason why you would find us in places as far as Iceland. It’s the reason why we would embark on a journey through the desert in search of greener pastures in Europe. No one can match the Nigerian when it comes to perseverance.
With these few points of mine, I sincerely hope I have been able to help you recognize a true Nigerian when you see one. And oh! This list is by no means exhaustive, feel free to add your observation to it.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Need To Strengthen Regional Security Cooperation in West Africa: A Non-Negotiable Priority For The Incoming Administration By Fola Aina

The West African sub region has witnessed relative peace and stability over the years. This has also helped the economies within the region to consolidate economic growth and development. While the popular assumption has been that democracy has come to stay in Africa, the case has not necessarily been the same for all the countries in the West African region. Mali, Chad, Guinea Bissau and Niger for instance have been victims of the activities of Islamic extremists in recent times. Some of the countries within the region have seen their democracies stretched beyond limits from internal political divisions having external consequences to vulnerabilities posed by political instability from close neighbours. Nigeria has not been an exception to these challenges as well. Since the return of democracy to Africa’s most populous nation on the 29th of May 1999, the country has had to confront numerous political and economic challenges after several years of military rule. Not too long after the commencement of the forth Republic, the nation was confronted with an insecurity crisis emanating from the Niger Delta region.
Furthermore, the growing negative influence of ISIS in the West African region is something the global community and Nigeria needs to me mindful of. The emergence of new security threats such as the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, which recently rebranded its name to the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and the re-emergence of the Tuareg rebel group in Northern Mali, whose activities have wide reaching consequences, has made it pertinent for regional security alliances to be revisited because of the likely spill over effects these terrorist groups have on the region and beyond. Other security threats within the region have been aggravated by the increased proliferation of small and light arms, drug trafficking and the kidnapping of expatriates to mention a few. However, efforts aimed at countering these threats, despite their transnational nature, have remained fragmented because of the inability of neighbours to forge collaborative partnerships on one hand, and issues bothering on lack of trust on the other hand.
Some countries have also chosen to respond to these insecurity challenges in the region in accordance to their domestic policy interests, with disparate, largely uncoordinated operational undertakings. For instance, in April 2010, a Joint Military Command (JMC) comprised of Algeria, Mali, Mauritania and Niger was set up to implement a new regional security plan with joint monitoring forces that were expected to total 75,000. These forces have yet to be committed.
Though slow, efforts made by African leaders in ensuring peace and security across the continent since the creation of the African Union is commendable. Initiatives such as the African Standby Force (ASF) and the Military Staff Committee (MSC) as well as the Early Warning System (EWS) point to the urgency to confront insecurity using a combination of institutional security governance and comprehensive security architecture across regions on the continent.
There is no doubt that Nigeria did most of the ground work in promoting the principle of a transcendental West African supranational entity, nevertheless, it has since been in need of the confidence of all the West African States, including the French-speaking states to succeed. Nigeria has since continued to play a vital role in providing direction and leadership under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Through previous peacekeeping deployments and mediation, across Sub Saharan Africa, Nigeria has helped to sustain relative peace and security in the region but political skirmishes at home and economic setbacks are major constrains on Nigeria’s ability to meet up with regional expectations. The emergence of new threats in the region also points to the fact that no single country can address these challenges on its own.
Nigeria needs to take the bull by its horns and work on strengthening regional security. A step in the right direction would be to resolve her legitimacy crisis and show real leadership.
This requires that Nigeria as well as other countries within ECOWAS pull their resources together to ensure preparedness and efficacy in confronting extremism and other forms of insecurity in the region through coordinated intelligence sharing and joint military exercises. It is significant to also note that guaranteeing regional peace and security is also in Nigeria’s interest partly because the country remains at risk of being confronted with a mass influx of refugees from neighbouring countries in the event of protracted conflicts and violence from within these countries.
Follow me on Twitter: @folanski
Fola Aina is a public policy analyst. He is also an advocate of youth development and good governance

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

South Sudan Army Rape, Burn Girls Alive – UN

UN rights reports have said on Tuesday that South Sudan’s army raped then torched girls alive inside their homes during a recent campaign notable for its “new brutality and intensity”.

A UN mission in South Sudan said some of the most disturbing allegations focused on the abduction and sexual abuse of women and girls, some of whom were reportedly burnt alive in their dwellings. The UN mission said they have interviewed 115 victims and eyewitnesses in Unity state where South Sudanese forces were involved in fighting against opposition fighters in April. They have also promised to bring those involved to book.

Tunisia Attack: ‘Paralysed’ Police Let Gunman Run Amok For Half An Hour, Says Witness

Armed policeman were “paralysed by fear” and allowed the Tunisian gunman Seifeddine Rezgui to freely massacre British tourists for more than half an hour before shooting him dead, witnesses claim.

Even though two police officers arrived at the scene within minutes, it was said to have been around half an hour before Rezgui was killed. In that time, 38 people, including at least 30 Britons, were fatally wounded. The armed policemen who arrived at the beach were “paralysed by fear”, a Belgian tourist told The Independent, speaking anonymously because she said she was afraid. “Some youths told the police, ‘We’re not afraid of dying, give it [the gun] to us.’”

The youths took the gun and ran up to the pool area, shooting in the air to get his attention, but then the gun jammed. The gunman turned around, threw a grenade at them and chased after them.

Read more at :

Beninoise Wife Poisons Husband Over Boyfriend In Lagos

A Beninoise, Kwenume Ojo, aka Abiodun, has been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly killing her husband, Jimoh Ojo, 32, in the Yaba area of the state.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Kwenume put poison in her husband’s soft drink and forced it down his throat while he slept on the bed.
Our correspondent gathered that the 17-year-old suspect took the poison from a relative of her boyfriend after she was forced to marry Jimoh.The incident happened on Friday on Apolo Street, the Makoko area of Lagos.

Jimoh’s in-law, Rotimi Akinlagun, explained that the deceased was retarded, which made it difficult for him to get a wife.He said his marriage to Kwenume was arranged by the two families.
He said,
“Jimoh was a carpenter. When he was born, he fell sick and that affected his health as he became retarded.“When he became mature, we decided to get him a wife. We started asking around for anybody who could give him a wife.“Kwenume’s father heard and he contacted Jimoh’s family. He gave them Kwenume to become Jimoh’s wife. She had no choice in the matter.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that Kwenume’s father took the decision to prevent her from marrying her boyfriend, who he did not like.
The dislike, it was gathered, stemmed from the maltreatment of Kwenume’s sister, who was married into the boyfriend’s family.
“She was brought to me and we took her to Jimoh’s hometown in Yewa, Ogun State. He was going there to make love with her. After six months, she became pregnant and we brought her back to Lagos State.
“The couple moved into a new apartment to start a new family. Their apartment was close to my house so I could monitor them. Abiodun (Kwenume) was assisting my wife to sell food at her canteen,” Rotimi added.
Our correspondent learnt that after giving birth to a baby girl, christened Hannah, the suspect became attracted to her former boyfriend and she started visiting him.
She was said to have met his elder brother, Wensu, an herbalist, who allegedly gave her the poison to put in her hubby’s drink so she could marry the unidentified boyfriend.
Jimoh’s elder sister, Modupe Akinlagun, said the victim had returned from work on the fateful Friday and visited her shop to get food.
She said, “He dished the food himself and ate. After eating, I asked him to go home and rest. When his wife returned from an errand I sent her, I asked her to also return home with her baby.
“I was still there when his wife came to call me that he had slumped in the toilet.
“When we got there, people had surrounded him and were pouring palm oil into his mouth. He was vomiting the oil and a white substance. He kept saying, ‘Iya Hannah has killed me, she opened my mouth and poured drug inside.’
“Iya Hannah (Kwenume) denied Jimoh’s accusation, but he insisted that she forced the poison down his throat.”
Another relative explained that Kwenume put the poison in a bottle of drink that the victim had brought home to share with her.
He said, “They usually shared their food and drinks together. After he finished eating at the canteen that day, he bought a bottle of drink and drank half. He took the remaining home to share with his wife.
“It was when she returned that she put the poison in the drink. She then forced it down his throat.”
Modupe’s husband said Jimoh died around 11.30pm on Friday.
He said the community elders took Kwenume aside to press her for information on where she got the poison.He said after some time, she confessed to the crime, adding that she collected the poison from her boyfriend’s brother who lived in the Sogunro, Iwaya area of the state.
He said, “Around 3am on Saturday, a policeman, together with some of our people went to get the man.”
The two suspects were said to have been kept till dawn until a team of policemen from the Adekunle division arrived in six vans.
PUNCH Metro gathered that some youths attempted to lynch both suspects, but for the intervention of the policemen.
The traditional ruler of the Egun community, Seriki Dito,appealed to governmental and non-governmental organisations, to assist in taking care of the couple’s child, Hannah.
He said, “This is something that has shaken our community terribly. We want the government to give the deceased justice. We also want help for the girl because she is almost an orphan now.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the incident, adding that it had been transferred to the Department of Criminal Investigation.
He said, “The woman and her accomplice are in custody. The case has been transferred to the DCI for investigation.”

Putin Extends Western Food Ban For One Year

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday extended a ban against most Western food imports for a year after EU foreign ministers agreed to prolong sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict until January 2016.

“The government turned to me with an appeal to extend the measures,” Putin told a government meeting.

“In accordance with this letter today I signed a decree to extend certain special economic measures with a view to ensuring Russia’s security,” he said in comments released by the Kremlin.

“We are extending our retaliatory measures by one year beginning from today.”

Russia had been expected to prolong the ban for six months after EU foreign ministers formally agreed Monday to prolong damaging economic sanctions against Russia until January 2016, to ensure it fully implements Ukraine peace accords.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday said he would ask Putin to extend the embargo on Western food imports as well as sanctions targeting certain foreign trade transactions by another six months.

Officials led by Putin have previously said the sanctions have proved a boon for Russian domestic industries and have helped boost Russian agriculture.

Moscow has said the EU decision to announce the extension of the anti-Russian sanctions on June 22 — the day Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 and is now the official Day of Remembrance and Sorrow in the country — reeked of cynicism.

Brussels has hit Russia’s banking, oil and defence sectors hard and, along with the United States, it has warned more sanctions could follow unless Moscow lives up to its February commitments to withdraw support for the rebels and use its influence with them to implement the peace deal for Ukraine.

Russia retaliated with the embargo on most Western food imports last year.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Kiev has killed over 6,500 people in the past 15 months. Moscow denies sending troops to Ukraine and says any Russians fighting there are volunteers.

Kenya’s Central Bank Governor Nominee Grilled For Being Single At 54

When you get to a certain age and not married, people start to wonder. But when you’re 54, very successful and never been married…Kenyan lawmakers grill you mercilessly…lol. That’s what happened to the man nominated to head the country’s Central Bank. The lawmakers wondered, if you can’t find a woman, keep a woman and make a home, how can you keep our money? Lol.

54 year old University of Nairobi and Yale-educated economist Patrick Njoroge, who works as an adviser at the International Monetary Fund, is single. Never been married, doesn’t have children and when he appeared in front of Kenya’s parliament last week, telling them how he can move their economy forward as head of their Central Bank, they were like, really? lol. He was so grilled about his marital status that it caused debate online in Kenya with quite a few condemning the lawmakers

The lawmakers asked him about economic policy, why he doesn’t have assets in the country and why he isn’t married.

“I am single by choice and I am comfortable that way,” he told the lawmakers. “There is nothing sinister with that and I am sure this committee has done its due diligence on what sort of a person I am”. Kenya’s Daily Nation quoted him as saying

Why so much interest in his marital status? In Kenya and in most parts of Africa, it’s unusual to find a man over 40 who has never been married, so his status will definitely raise eyebrow in the country because the average age of first marriage in Kenya for men is about 30 years old.

Many condemned the line of questioning on twitter though, saying that Njoroge’s competence, rather than his personal life, that he should be tested by.

Kenyan Mom Whose 22-Year Old Daughter Eloped With Her Husband Tells Her Story

Her story is so complicated. The mom is only 36. She had her first child at 14, and at 36 she already has six more. Worst part, her new husband started sleeping with her first daughter (his step child) at 8. Now they have eloped together to live as husband and wife, leaving the woman behind with the six children. The story;

A woman in Kibera is searching for her 22-year-old daughter who ran away with her husband in a bizarre case of husband snatching. Caroline Achieng, 36, has been in agony for the past one year during which her efforts to trace her missing daughter whom she conceived as a teenager have been fruitless.

The daughter went missing after a family altercation that ensued from a revelation that she had an
affair with her stepfather, got pregnant and procured an abortion, all paid for by her mother after a well-choreographed trickery by the duo.

Achieng’s daughter was last seen at the Kibera District Commissioner’s office when the family had been summoned over rape allegations that she had filed against her stepfather.

“We have had our low moments as a family and at some point it got so bad that I fought with my husband and he moved out of our house carrying his and my daughter’s clothes,” Ms Achieng told Nairobi News.

The family drama started in September 2013 when Ms Achieng’s daughter was unwell and frequently complained of stomach pain.

“I told her to go for a checkup and when she came back from the clinic she told me she had been given ulcers medication,” said Ms Achieng.

The girl’s illness kept recurring and at one time the stepfather proposed that he takes her to a better hospital for checkup and to which Achieng obliged.

“He told me that he had identified a doctor at Kijabe Hospital where the girl would be treated and since I was the sole family breadwinner, running a charcoal business, I financed them and they went to the hospital,” she said.

Achieng also financed the follow-up trips to Kijabe Hospital for the treatment of her daughter as her illness kept getting worse until she closed down her charcoal vending business because of the huge hospital bills.

“It was months later after she (daughter) had filed the rape case that she narrated to the officers at Kilimani police station what had happened. That’s when I learnt that all this time when she was ‘ailing’ she was trying to procure an abortion,” said the mother.

Achieng felt cheated as the girl revealed that her step-father had impregnated her and sourced for a clinic where she was given abortion pills that made her stomach pains worse at first but later flushed out the eight-weeks-old foetus.

“She told the officers that she was sexually assaulted repeatedly by my husband since when she was 8-years-old and was impregnated later but she never wanted me to know since her father threatened her,” narrated the mother.

The mother of seven resolved to divorce her husband but before he moved out of the house, her daughter went missing.

Ms Achieng says she searched for her at her relatives’ houses in vain and it is only after her husband of 15 years moved out that she heard that the two had reconnected and were living in an estate unknown to her.

She has been living in agony over her failed marriage as well as being unable to trace her first born daughter who lives with a man who broke her heart and left her with six other children to fend for.

Achieng has managed to secure a casual job with the National Youth Service but she owes her landlord six months’ rent arrears due to her meager earnings that she splits to cater for children school fees and food.

Police Arrests Man For Raping 8 Year Old Boy In Bauchi

An 18-year-old man has been arrested by the Bauchi State Police Command,for raping an eight-year-old boy.

The suspect, Mustapha Abdullahi, committed the offence on Saturday at about 4pm.
He added that police detectives attached to the Dass division arrested Abdullahi in Wandi District in the Dass Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
The PPRO said,
“The suspect lured an eight-year-old boy and had unlawful carnal knowledge of him against the order of nature. The victim was rushed to the Dass General Hospital for medical examination..The suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.”

Full List Of 2015 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) Nominees

The full 2015 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) nominees list has been revealed. Movies from around Africa and the diaspora will slug it out in 28 different categories.
Kunle Afolayan‘s October 1 got 8 nominations including Best Director and Best Film while A Place in the Stars, Love or Something Like That, Invasion 1897 and Iyore all picked up nominations.

Box-office monster, 30 Days in Atlanta was nominated in the Best Comedy Film category.
The awards ceremony will take place in South Africa in September 2015.

Stories of Our Lives ‘’Run’ – Kenya

Aisha’s Story – Nigeria
Gulped of the Blue Sea – Togo
Memoir of a Honest Voice- Sierra Leone
Twaaga – Burkina Faso
The Throne – Nigeria
Alternative to Corporal Punishment – Namibia
The Legacies of Rubbies – Nigeria
Akorkoli – Ghana

Egypt Modern Pharaohs ‘Nasser’ – Egypt
The Dream of Shahrazad – South Africa
Nelson Mandela, The Myth and Me- South Africa
Beats of The Antonov – Sudan
The Supreme Price – Nigeria/USA

TIMBUKTU – Mauritania
Triangle Going to America – Ethiopia
Cheetanah – Nigeria
Juliet and Romeo- Burkina Faso
INumber Number – South Africa

Gone Too Far – Nigeria/UK
Thorns of Roses (O Esphinho Da Rosa) – Guinea Bissau/Portugal
Fevers – France/Morocco
Affairs of the Heart – Nigeria/USA

Sound of Tears- Canada
Hand to the Sky – USA
Calm – UK

Jimmy Goes to Nollywood- USA/HAITI
The Black Panthers Vanguard of the Revolution – USA
Bound: Africans VS African Americans – USA
Black Panther Woman – Australia

Under the Starry Sky – France
Supremacy – USA

INumber Number- South Africa
October 1 – Nigeria
Le President- Cameroun
Run – Cote d’Ivoire
Timbuktu – Mauritania

Dazzling Mirage- Nigeria
Run – Cote d’Voire
Njinga: Queen of Angola – Angola
October 1 – Nigeria
INumber Number – South Africa

Run – Cote d’voire
Iyore – Nigeria
Silver Rain – Ghana
INumber Number – South Africa
Njinga: Queen of Angola – Angola

A Place in the Stars – Nigeria
Triangle Going to America – Ethiopia
Iyore – Nigeria
Njinga: Queen of Angola – Angola
Timbuktu – Mauritius

Invasion 1897 – Nigeria
Kpians – Nigeria
Run – Cote d’Voire
INumber Number – South Africa
Triangle Going to America – Ethiopia

Lobraz Khan – South Africa
Le President – Cameroun
Run – Cote d’Voire
Timbuktu – Mauritius
INumber Number – South Africa

Triangle Going to America – Ethiopia
INumber Number – South Africa
Run – Cote d’Ivoire
Lobraz Khan – Mauritius
Timbuktu – Mauritius

October 1
INumber umber
Triangle Going to America

Le President
While You Slept
Love or Something Like That

30 Days in Atlanta
Iya Alalake
Last Three Digits

Invasion 1897
Dazzling Mirage
October 1
A Place in the Stars

Layla Walet Mohammed and Mehdi A.G Mohammed – Timbuktu
Joshua Ibrahim and Daniel Ibrahim- A Place in the Stars

Demola Adedoyin – October 1
Vinjeru Kamanga – BELLA
Kemi Lala Akindoju – Dazzling Mirage
Hassan Spike Insingoma -Boda Boda Thieves
Chiedza Mhende – Love the One You Love

Israel Makoe – INumber Number
Paul Obazele – Iyore
Chumani Pan- Silver Rain
OC Ukeje – Love or Something Like That
Going to America.

Hilda Dokubo – Stigma
Toulou Kiki -Timbuktu
Reina Salicoulibaly- RUN
Prossy Rukundo – Boda Boda Thieves
Ama Amphofo – Devil in a Detail

Tony Kroroge – Cold Harbour
Sdumo Matshali – INumber Number
Abdoul Kareem Konate – RUN
Sadiq Daba – October 1
Gerard Essomba- Le President

Lesliana Pereira – NJINGA: Queen of Angola
Queen Nwokoye – Cheetenah
Aida Wang – Juliet and Romeo
Jocelyn Dumas –Silver Rain
Ini Edo – While You Slept

Carey Mckenzie -Cold Harbour
Jenna Bass- Love the one you love
Destiny Ekeragha -Gone Too Far
Tawonga Taddja Nkhonjera –Bella

Theodros Teshome Kebede- Triangle Going to America – Ethiopia
Theo Nel- INumber Number
Abderrahmane Sissako – Timbuktu
Phillipe Lacote – Run
Kunle Afolayan – October 1

Run – Cote d’Voire
Timbuktu – Mauritania
INumber Number – South Africa
Triangle Going to America – Ethiopia
October 1- Nigeria

Read More:
Follow us: @kevindjakpor on Twitter | KevinDjakporBlog on Facebook

South African Stowaway Falls To His Death From British Airways Jet As It Approached Heathrow

According to a report by The Sun UK, a man believed to be South African fell to his death from a British Airways passenger jet as the plane approached Heathrow airport. The stowaway’s body was found on an office block roof of a retail company along a busy road in Richmond, South West London.
Another man, also believed to be South African, survived the 8,000 mile, 11-hour flight from South Africa to London by holding on to the undercarriage of a British Airways Boeing 747. No one knows how the two men got there.
The second man was taken to hospital and is said to be in stable condition but is yet to talk to the police.
A Scotland Yard police spokesman confirmed the incident, saying;
‘Police were alerted at 8.28am to reports of a suspected stowaway. A man, aged between 25 and 30, has been taken to West London hospital. Inquiries are ongoing to establish the man’s identity

Xenophobia in South Africa: Nigerians Report New Cases

The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Ikechukwu Anyene has raised alarm over fresh cases of xenophobic attacks launched by South Africans against Nigerians and other foreign nationals residing in Sternkopf, Namakwa Municipality, Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

Anyene said two cars belonging to Nigerians were burnt while their homes looted in renewed attacks.

 “The National Secretariat of Nigeria Union has received report of xenophobic attacks from Mr Kennedy Osagie, the Northern Cape Province chapter chairman of the union. The report indicated that South Africans attacked Nigerians. Two cars belonging to Nigerians have been reportedly burnt and they have been going from house to house looting and destroying their property. Six Nigerians have taken refuge with their families in nearby SpringBok community and they do not know the whereabouts of the other Nigerians” he said.

The Nigerian Consul General to South Africa, Uche Ajulu-Okeke, confirmed the incident, said investigations into the renewed attacks is ongoing

“The Nigerian Consulate in South Africa has received report of new xenophobic attacks in Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The mission has commenced investigation into the incident and will ensure that Nigerians are safe in South Africa,” she said.

I Was Ridiculed When I Got Pregnant At 18 – Waje

Sultry singer Waje has recalled how she was ridiculed for getting pregnant at 18. Waje’s whose daughter is now 16,told Saturday Beats

“I will not lie to you, I didn’t know anything. I was just a young girl. I was so naive and innocent. It wasn’t easy in those days. I was laughed at. I was given a nickname. I will not tell you the nickname. But the truth is that I was scorned.”My mother is a mother. She is a true mother. I don’t know what I would have done without her. She stood by me. She never discouraged me. I tapped from her strength. It was her strength that carried me on all through those years,” she said.

 If anybody had told me I would be this popular, I would have told the person to keep his prophecy. I am indeed grateful. It has been God all the way and also, I cannot take away the fact that I have worked so hard to get to where I am today. It is not yet over though. I still have more to do”.

Former China Security Chief Gets Life Imprisonment Over Corruption

Former China Security Chief Zhou Yongkang has been given life imprisonment after he was found guilty of bribery, abuse of power and intentionally disclosing national secrets.

Zhou Yongkang who pleaded guilty at a closed-door trial in the northern city of Tianjin was until his retirement in 2012 one of China’s most powerful men.

Mr Zhou was charged in April, nine months after a formal investigation was announced.

He was also once the head of the Ministry of Public Security, as well as a member of China’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee. He has now being given life imprisonment over the charges.

Only One Candidate Shows up For Tanzania’s Presidential Election Debate

The CEO roundtable (CEOrt) (an elite political forum in Tanzania) was forced to adjourn the first presidential aspirants’ debate it had organised for the Presidential hopefuls last night in the city after the aspirants failed to show up for the earlier confirmed dialogue.

The invitees to the platform debate were former Prime Minister Fredrick Sumaye, Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources Lazaro Nyalandu, Deputy Minister for Science, Communication and Technology January Makamba and Deputy Minister for Finance Mwigulu Nchemba.

Among the five invited, only the African Union Permanent Ambassador in the United States, Amina Salum Ali, attended. All aspirants have already picked up nomination forms.
Announcing the postponement of the debate, CEO rt Chairman Ali Mufuruki did not find a word with which to convince the audiences, who already had secured their seats waiting anxiously for the aspirants to come and start the debate on straight.

In his introductory speech he expressed his disappointment on the decisions made by the aspirants who at that moment had sent him messages to inform that they couldn’t attend the debate with no reasons whatsoever

Terrorists Attempt To Blow Up Ancient Egyptian Temples And Pyramids

Egyptian officials say a suicide bomber has blown himself up at the ancient temple of Karnak in Luxor, a southern city frequented by millions of foreign and Egyptian tourists every year.

They say there is no immediate word on casualties from Wednesday’s late morning attack.

They say police have foiled two other suicide attacks also targeting the Nile-side temple, one of the country’s main tourist attractions, While the other bomber targeted the pyramids at Giza.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

More details Later.

G7 Leaders Assure Pres. Buhari Of Their Support

The G7 group of industrialized nations has resolved to support the new Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari.

This followed the group’s acknowledgment of the way and manner of his emergence and the tremendous challenges faced by the government he leads, not of his making, especially in its efforts to combat the Boko Haram.

A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the President said that “at the end of the presentation he made on Monday, the G7 leaders said to him that they recognized the President’s massive amount of confidence and expectations behind his government.

They acknowledged him as having emerged from an election adjudged to be the freest in the country’s electoral history, but regretted the severe handicaps his new government has to face from the outset.

“They told President Buhari that they took cognizance of the fact of the several handicaps, including the lack of resources, leaving him with a government over-stretched in capacity, itself riddled with mismanagement. They noted that the country’s army lacked training and equipment with little or no will to engage.

“In recognition of the fact that the security threat of the Boko Haram had gone beyond Nigeria, equally affecting other countries in the region, the G7 conceded that no one country can tackle it alone.

“They expressed warm sentiments towards the Nigerian leader and praised him for reaching out to the country’s neighbours and the group of industrialized nations within a week of his takeover of government.

“In view of the seriousness he has shown in tacking this problem, the group pledged that they would “engage, cooperate and collaborate” with President Buhari’s government in tackling the serious problems that Nigeria faces.

“They left it to President Buhari to come up with the specifics on his requirements, assuring that they would study the requirements either individually or collectively and offer help. They asked to know the nature and the scale of the problems in order to know the nature and the scale of the assistance they will provide. Suffice it to say that they assured President Buhari that ‘Nigeria will find a partner in the G7.’”

President Buhari, who had the privilege of being the first to address the G7 among the invited presidents and prime ministers was warmly received at the summit. He returned to Nigeria in the early hours of Tuesday, 9 June.

Spanish Police Dismantle Nigerian Voodoo-Linked Sex Trafficking Ring

Spanish police have dismantled a trafficking ring which used voodoo rituals including animal sacrifice to force Nigerian women into prostitution in Spain.

According to a Police statement,six traffickers were arrested and four of the victims freed.
The women, who came to Europe on dangerous, makeshift boats, were recruited in Nigeria, where they were enticed with false promises of employment.But once they arrived in places like the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, they were forced into prostitution.

Authorities said the traffickers attempted to keep the women submissive by performing “tribal rituals” in Nigeria that sometimes involved “animal sacrifice”.

They used the women’s nail clippings and locks of hair to convince them that they had
been placed under a spell “so they would do everything asked of them, under the threat of death to them or their family”, police said.

The women had travelled across northern Africa to get to Spain illegally, making the arduous journey on foot and then by boat. But after arriving, they were swept into the sex trafficking world, and threatened with voodoo from Nigeria.
“Women take on a debt up to 50,000 euros ($56,000), and swear obedience to a ‘madam’ and traffickers,” police said.
Culled from AP 

Telegraph UK Praises Sahara Reporter’s Journalist For Thrashing President Mugabe

Compared to the BBC’s John Simpson or CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Adeola Fayehun from Nigeria is not exactly a global name in the world of television reporting. This week, though, she made broadcasting history as she did something that all few African reporters have ever dared do: ask one their ageing dictators when the hell he is going to quit.

As this video from Ms Fayehun’s TV channel shows, the feisty reportress ambushed Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe during a visit to Nigeria last weekend, asking the 91-year-old: “Are you going to step down?”

To the fury of his assorted security goons, she then refused to go away as they tried to push past her, repeating the onslaught like an African Jeremy Paxman. “Mr president, don’t you think that it’s time
you step down sir, so you can rest? When will there be change in Zimbabwe, sir? Is there democracy in Zimbabwe?”

Footage of her grilling of Mr Mugabe has now become a viral hit on among internet users in Africa, for whom it’s all too rare to see a leader publicly challenged in such fashion.

Yet while it may seem like nothing more than a piece of entertaining televisual theatre, take it from me, this kind of buttonholing takes quite a bit of guts. Waylaying any head of state is a nerve wracking enough experience at the best of times, and when it’s someone like Mugabe, there is every chance of a roughing up if he doesn’t like the drift of the questions (remember the vicious beating that his bodyguards once gave to the gay rights activist Peter Tatchell).

Not only that, in many parts of Africa, reporters can also find themselves arrested if they pull stunts like the ones Ms Fayehun did, especially if their target is a visiting heads of state. It hopefully says much about press freedoms in Nigeria these days that the Nigerian police did not apparently see fit to intervene – and that they let reporters near Mr Mugabe in the first place.

Indeed, at the risk of perhaps reading too much into it, this little episode says much about the changing politics of Africa in the 21st century. On the one hand you have countries like Nigeria, which despite its many problems, has just completed yet another relatively peaceful election, where the outgoing president has handed power without a fuss to his successor, Muhammadu Buhari. And on the other, there are still Cold War era gerontocrats like Mugabe clinging to power in the likes of Zimbabwe.

Senior Members Of Military Must Be Investigated For War Crimes – Amnesty International

Press Release 3 June 2015

· horrific war crimes committed by Nigeria’s military including 8,000 people murdered, starved, suffocated, and tortured to death;
· senior military commanders, named by Amnesty International, must be investigated in relation to war crimes and possible crimes against humanity;
· new government needs to ensure the protection of civilians and bring to an end the culture of impunity within the Nigerian armed forces.

The Nigerian military, including senior military commanders, must be investigated for participating in, sanctioning or failing to prevent the deaths of more than 8,000 people murdered, starved, suffocated, and tortured to death, according to a comprehensive report by Amnesty International.

Based on years of research and analysis of evidence – including leaked military reports and correspondence, as well as interviews with more than 400 victims, eyewitnesses and senior members of the Nigerian security forces – the organization outlines a range of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity committed by the Nigerian military in the course of the fight against Boko Haram in the north-east of the country.

The report, Stars on their shoulders. Blood on their hands: War crimes committed by the Nigerian military, reveals that, since March 2011, more than 7,000 young men and boys died in military detention and more than 1,200 people were unlawfully killed since February 2012.

Amnesty International provides compelling evidence of the need for an investigation into the individual and command responsibilities of soldiers, and mid-level and senior-level military commanders. The report outlines the roles and possible criminal responsibilities of those along the chain of command – up to the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff – and names nine senior Nigerian military figures who should be investigated for command and individual responsibility for the crimes committed.

“This sickening evidence exposes how thousands of young men and boys have been arbitrarily arrested and deliberately killed or left to die in detention in the most horrific conditions. It provides strong grounds for investigations into the possible criminal responsibility of members of the military, including those at the highest levels,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“Whilst an urgent and impartial investigation of these war crimes is vital, this report is not just about the criminal responsibility of individuals. It is also about the responsibility of Nigeria’s leadership to act decisively to end the pervasive culture of impunity within the armed forces.”

Amnesty International is calling for Nigeria to ensure prompt, independent and effective investigations of the following military officers for potential individual or command responsibility for the war crimes of murder, torture and enforced disappearance detailed in this report:

* Major General John A.H. Ewansiha
* Major General Obida T Ethnan
* Major General Ahmadu Mohammed
* Brigadier General Austin O. Edokpayi
* Brigadier General Rufus O. Bamigboye

Amnesty International is further calling for Nigeria to ensure prompt, independent and effective investigations of the following high-level military commanders for their potential command responsibility for crimes committed by their subordinates. They would be responsible if they knew or if they should have known about the commission of the war crimes and failed to take adequate action to prevent them or to ensure the alleged perpetrators are brought to justice:

* General Azubuike Ihejirika ­- Chief of Army Staff, Sept 2010 – Jan 2014).
* Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim ­- Chief of Defence Staff, Oct 2012 – Jan 2014).
* Air Chief Marshal Badeh ­- Chief of Defence Staff, Jan 2014 – time of writing

* General Ken Minimah ­- Chief of Army Staff, Jan 2014 – time of writing

Mass deaths in custody

In their response to Boko Haram’s attacks in the north-east, the Nigerian military have arrested at least 20,000 young men and boys since 2009, some as young as nine years old. In most cases they were arbitrarily arrested, often based solely on the word of a single unidentified secret informant. Most were arrested in mass “screening” operations or “cordon-and-search” raids where security forces round up hundreds of men. Almost none of those detained have been brought to court and all have been held without the necessary safeguards against murder, torture and ill-treatment.

Detainees are held incommunicado in extremely overcrowded, unventilated cells without sanitary facilities and with little food or water. Many are subjected to torture and thousands have died from ill-treatment and as a result of dire detention conditions. One former detainee told Amnesty International: “All I know was that once you get detained by the soldiers and taken to Giwa [military barracks], your life is finished.”

A high-ranking military officer gave Amnesty International a list of 683 detainees who died in custody between October 2012 and February 2013. The organization also obtained evidence that in 2013, more than 4,700 bodies were brought to a mortuary from a detention facility in Giwa barracks. In June 2013 alone, more than 1,400 corpses were delivered to the mortuary from this facility.

A former detainee who spent four months in detention described how on arrival “The soldiers said: “Welcome to your die house. Welcome to your place of death”. Only 11 of the 122 men he was arrested with survived.

Starvation, dehydration and disease

Amnesty International researchers witnessed emaciated corpses in mortuaries, and one former Giwa detainee told the organization that around 300 people in his cell died after being denied water for two days. “Sometimes we drank people’s urine, but even the urine you at times could not get.”

The evidence gathered from former detainees and eyewitnesses is also corroborated by senior military sources. One senior military officer told Amnesty International that detention centres are not given sufficient money for food and that detainees in Giwa barracks were “deliberately starved.”

Disease – including possible outbreaks of cholera – was rife. A police officer posted at a detention facility known as the “Rest House” in Potiskum told Amnesty International how more than 500 corpses were buried in and around the camp. “They don’t take them to the hospital if they are sick or to the mortuary if they die,” he said.

Overcrowding and suffocation

Conditions of detention in Giwa barracks and detention centres in Damaturu were so overcrowded that hundreds of detainees were packed into small cells where they had to take turns sleeping or even sitting on the floor. At its peak, Giwa barracks ­– which was not built as a detention facility ­–­ was accommodating more than 2,000 detainees at one time.

“Hundreds have been killed in detention either (by soldiers) shooting them or by suffocation,” a military officer told Amnesty International, describing the situation in Sector Alpha detention centre (known as ‘Guantanamo’). Amnesty International has confirmed that on a single day, 19 June 2013, 47 detainees died there as a result of suffocation.


In order to combat the spread of disease and stifle the stench, cells were regularly fumigated with chemicals. Fumigation may have led to the deaths of many detainees in their poorly ventilated cells. One military official based at Giwa barracks told Amnesty International: “Many Boko Haram suspects died as a result of fumigation. They fumigated with the chemicals you use for killing mosquitoes. It is something very powerful. It is very dangerous.”


Amnesty International has received consistent reports as well as video evidence of torture by the military during and after arrest. Former detainees and senior military sources described how detainees were regularly tortured to death, hung on poles over fires, tossed into deep pits or interrogated using electric batons. These findings are consistent with widespread patterns of torture and ill-treatment documented by Amnesty International over a number of years, most recently in the 2014 report, ‘Welcome to hell fire’: Torture in Nigeria.

Extrajudicial executions

More than 1,200 people have been unlawfully killed by the military and associated militias in north-east Nigeria. The worst case documented by Amnesty International took place on 14 March 2014 when the military killed more than 640 detainees who had fled Giwa barracks after Boko Haram attacked.

Many of these killings appear to be reprisals following attacks by Boko Haram. A senior military official told Amnesty International that such killings were common. Soldiers “go to the nearest place and kill all the youths… People killed may be innocent and not armed,” he said.

In a so-called “mop up” operation following a Boko Haram attack in Baga on 16 April 2013, a senior military official told Amnesty International how the military “transferred their aggression on the community”. At least 185 people were killed.

Detainees were also routinely killed. One military officer based in Giwa Barracks told Amnesty International that since the end of 2014, very few suspects were even taken into custody but were immediately killed instead. This was confirmed by several human rights defenders and witnesses.

High level military commanders knew of the crimes

The highest levels of Nigeria’s military command, including the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Defence Staff, were regularly informed of operations conducted in north-east Nigeria.

Evidence shows that senior military leaders knew, or should have known, about the nature and scale of the crimes being committed. Internal military documents show that they were updated on the high rates of deaths among detainees through daily field reports, letters and assessment reports sent by field commanders to Defence Headquarters (DHQ) and Army Headquarters.

Amnesty International has seen numerous requests and reminders sent from commanders in the field to DHQ warning of the rise in the number of deaths in custody, the dangers of fumigation and requesting a transfer of detainees. In addition, reports by teams sent by DHQ to assess military facilities and “authenticate data”, highlight death rates and warn that overcrowding was causing serious health problems and could lead to “an epidemic”.

Amnesty International has verified this knowledge and failure to act from a number of sources, including interviews with senior military officers. One military source told Amnesty International: “People at the top saw it but refused to do anything about it.”

Need for action

“Despite being informed of the death rates and conditions of detention, Nigerian military officials consistently failed to take meaningful action. Those in charge of detention facilities, as well as their commanders at army and defence headquarters, must be investigated,” said Salil Shetty.

“For years the Nigerian authorities have downplayed accusations of human rights abuses by the military. But they cannot dismiss their own internal military documents. They cannot ignore testimonies from witnesses and high-ranking military whistle blowers. And they cannot deny the existence of emaciated and mutilated bodies piled on mortuary slabs and dumped in mass graves.”

“We call on newly-elected President Buhari to end the culture of impunity that has blighted Nigeria and for the African Union and international community to encourage and support these efforts. As a matter of urgency, the President must launch an immediate and impartial investigation into the crimes detailed in Amnesty International’s report and hold all those responsible to account, no matter their rank or position. Only then can there be justice for the dead and their relatives.”

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

+ 44 (0) 20 7413 5729 or 07778 472126

+ 234 (0) 7035801786 or + 44 (0) 7904398319

The report and media materials can be downloaded here:

AV materials (11 and 5 minute video, B-roll, and images) can be downloaded here:


Between 2013 and 2015, Amnesty International delegates conducted six field investigations in north-east Nigeria and one in northern Cameroon.

This report is based on 412 interviews with victims, their relatives, eyewitnesses, human rights activists, doctors, journalists, lawyers and military sources. Amnesty International also analysed more than 90 videos and numerous photographs.

Amnesty International repeatedly shared findings with the Nigerian authorities. The organization has held dozens of meetings with government authorities and has written 57 letters to the federal and state authorities, sharing research findings, raising concerns about ongoing violations and requesting information and specific action, such as investigations.

Government responses are reflected in relevant sections of this report.

Amnesty International has also shared the findings of this research and relevant evidence, with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The organization has also submitted to the ICC a list of names of military officers who should be investigated for their possible role in the crimes under international law and serious human rights violations documented in this report.

This report follows on from other Amnesty International reports published about human rights violations committed in the context of the conflict in north-east Nigeria. The most recent of these, published on 14 April, ‘Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill’: Boko Haram’s reign of terror in north east Nigeria”

“Ebola Will Return”: The Veteran Scientist Who First Worked On The Virus Wants You To Know

Congolese expert Jean-Jacques Muyembe may be little known to the public, but he has been one of the world’s top Ebola investigators since the first epidemic erupted in central Africa in 1976.

Now, amid a decline in a west African outbreak that has taken more than 11,000 lives, Muyembe warns that Ebola will strike again in the future and that the deadly virus poses “a threat to the whole world”.

Muyembe studied medicine in Kinshasa and at the University of Leuven in Belgium. He returned home to the Democratic Republic of Congo — then known as Zaire — in 1976, when the northern village of Yambuku was struck by a mysterious disease.

“They said many people were dying, and the health ministry asked me to go investigate,” Muyembe told AFP.

He initially thought it could be a case of typhoid fever but he decided to continue investigating until he got to the bottom of it.

“I drew blood, and had no protective gloves or clothing,” Muyembe said.

Accompanied by a Belgian nun suffering from fever, he returned from Yambuku to Kinshasa.

It was her blood samples, shipped in a makeshift cooler to the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, that enabled scientist Peter Piot to identify the worm-looking virus for the first time.

It was then named after the Ebola river, located near the area first hit by the epidemic.

“Then there was total silence until 1995,” Muyembe said.

That year, he was summoned to Tikwit in the south of DR Congo where a bloody diarrhoea outbreak was decimating the population, including medical staff.

“I examined an Italian nun and saw signs that reminded me of the Yambuku incident,” Muyembe said.

He discovered that contamination “had taken place in the operation room — in other words, from the patient’s blood”.

Muyembe’s discovery that the virus is transmitted through bodily fluids was a key find.

“From then on, we put in place strategies to fight against the disease, isolating patients, following up on people they had been in contact with, and mobilising communities,” he said.

“These are strategies that the World Health Organization practises today.”

Professor Muyembe’s team then started testing serotherapy on patients.

“We drew blood from people recovering from Ebola, and injected it into eight sick patients. Seven of them survived, even though there was an 80 percent mortality rate,” he said.

This type of treatment is now being studied for its potential.

Even after decades fighting the deadly virus, Muyembe said he was “surprised” by the sheer size of the resurgence in Guinea in late 2013.

“We thought Ebola epidemics could be brought under control quickly,” he said.

Previously, DR Congo had successfully put an end to seven epidemics.

“These countries (in west Africa) believed that Ebola was a central and eastern African problem. They weren’t prepared,” he added.

The epidemic has now ended in Liberia, and is declining in Sierra Leone.

But in Guinea, “new cases continue to appear”, Muyembe said.

“We need to find the most recent cases, even if they are hidden deep in the forest, because if the disease becomes endemic, it would be terrible for the whole world,” he warned.

“In 10 or 20 years’ time, this epidemic will return, and we need to be prepared,” he said.

“Ebola can strike anywhere, and we need to be vigilant. The United States and Europe must understand that Africa is their shield.”

This year’s winner of the prestigious Christophe Merieux award for researchers studying infectious diseases in developing countries, Muyembe sees the 500,000 euros ($550,000) in prize money as a “boost” to help him study Ebola reservoir hosts.

“Monkeys, bats, we aren’t certain,” he said.

Muyembe also sees the prize as a way to encourage young Africans studying abroad to return to work.

“I have made my career in DR Congo, despite all the conflicts my country has known,” the researcher said.

“We must build up labs and research centres in Africa,” he added, “so that when the danger arrives, we can stop it in time. This is the lesson we must learn from this epidemic.”

Africans Task China On Fake, Sub-Standard Products In African Markets

Some Africans in China have called on the Chinese Government to curb the smuggling of fake and substandard products to African markets.

Some of the Africans, who are attending seminar on Intellectual Property Right in Beijing, said fake and sub-standard products were undermining the African economy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that about 25 participants from English Speaking African countries are currently attending training on Intellectual Property Rights in China.

The participants contend that fake and sub-standard products from China were having negative implications on the standard of living of Africans.

Mr Kyenda Stanley, a participant from Zambia, regretted that Africa had become a dumping ground for fake and sub-standard products from China.

Stanley called for collaboration between China and the affected African countries to rid their markets of such products.

Another participant, Ms Maudhoo Purnima from Mauritius, also lamented the negative effects of fake products on the quality of life of Africans.

Purnima said fake and sub-standard goods were killing small and medium-scale businesses in Africa.

He said as long as the indiscriminate smuggling of fake and sub-standard products into African markets are not checked, the industrialisation of the continent would be frustrated.

Responding, Mr Wang Chunye, an official of Trademark Office, China, expressed the readiness of the Chinese Government to collaborate with Africa to curb the smuggling of fake and sub-standard products.

Wang, however, called on the relevant standard regulatory and enforcement agencies in Africa to assist the Chinese government in accomplishing the task. (NAN)

Jonathan Urges ECOWAS To Support Buhari

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday in Accra asserted that democracy had come to stay in West Africa. In his valedictory speech at the 47th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, he spurred regional leaders to support the incoming administration in Nigeria, led by President-elect Muhammadu Buhari.

Jonathan said he felt deeply satisfied that the tree of democracy planted in Nigeria and the sub-region had “taken roots and blossoming.” He said recent elections held in Ghana and Senegal were largely peaceful without controversy, while polls in Benin, Sierra Leone and Togo had shown tremendous progress in consolidating democracy in the sub-region.

President Jonathan thanked ECOWAS leaders for their understanding and cooperation accorded him during his tenure as Chairman of the organisation from 2010-2012.

“As the new administration takes over, I am confident that the bond of friendship between Nigeria and each member state of our cherished Organisation and Nigeria’s role within ECOWAS will grow even stronger. I urge you all to extend the same friendship and fraternal cooperation that I have received from you to my successor. The future of our Organisation and West Africa is in good, safe and capable hands.”

“I shall, even out of office, continue to give my modest support to our noble cause of unity, peace, stability and development of our sub-region,” he said.

Ebola Cases On The Increase In Sierra Leone And Guinea – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO), confirmed on Tuesday that the Ebola virus is still raging in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Bruce Aylward, WHO Special Representative for Ebola in Geneva, told a technical briefing attended by health ministers that there were 36 new cases in the past week, which is four times as many cases as the week before.

Aylward said the findings were an indication that the virus would not go quietly and it would take painstaking efforts.

Burundi President Fires 3 Ministers After Failed Coup

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, has announced a partial cabinet reshuffle in addition to firing the ministers of Defence, foreign affairs and trade, replacing them with trusted figures after a failed coup attempt on May 13 by the military.

The decision was made public a few hours after thousands of people took to the streets of the capital of Burundi, in a new set of protests against Nkurunziza’s intention to seek an unconstitutional third presidential term, sparked after five days of relative calm in the African country.

Xenophobia: South Africa Repatriates 5,645 Immigrants

South Africa has repatriated 5,645 foreigners since the end of xenophobic attacks in late April, the government said yesterday. A Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, who said this in a statement, added that the foreigners chose to leave South Africa voluntarily.

Malawians made up the bulk of the foreigners, numbering 3,506, followed by Zimbabweans (1,440) Mozambicans (682), while Tanzanians had (17). Mr. Radebe said the repatriation process started soon after the latest spate of xenophobic violence ended in April.

“The Department of Social Development continues to work closely with other relevant departments, as well as civil society organisations to provide support to displaced foreign nationals,” Mr. Radebe said. The official also said over 1,000 foreigners received trauma counseling.

According to the statement, 10 women with children under 12 months of which three had just given birth were flown to their respective countries on their insistence. Mr. Radebe further said the department would continue to do its work to ensure that the underlying socio-economic issues that gave rise to tensions between South Africans and foreign nationals were dealt with.

He also defended the current Operation Fiela (meaning “sweep’’ in Sesotho language) launched after the end of the xenophobia attacks. He said the operation was meant to address the security challenges in a structured and coordinated manner.


Utomi Advocates New Approach To Labour Relations In Nigeria

Political Economist, Prof Pat Utomi on Friday said that there was need for a new approach to labour relations in Nigeria.

He also urged the incoming administration of Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to radically slash the cost of running political offices in Nigeria.

Utomi made said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos on the plight of Nigerian workers and the May Day celebrations.

He said that Nigeria, especially the incoming administration, should set a new agenda for labour in which the rules of the game was understood by all.

“We need a system of collective bargaining which entails appropriate wealth distribution for all.

“There should be an opportunity for workers both in the private and public sectors to recognise that the economy is a partnership that can create greater wealth when fairly distributed.

“International and domestic capital must respect the fair due to labour as a partner rather than see it as a threat.

“This is the fastest way to guarantee economic growth. Labour must get its fair due because it is the peoples’ sweat that creates wealth” he said.

He said that leadership must be cost effective and there was need for Nigerian leaders to do away with lavish comfort at the detriment of its workers.

“The President of Indonesia rides bicycle to work while the President of Uruguay uses a 30 year old Beatles.

“I am not saying that our President or leaders should ride bicycles or use Beatles. What I am saying is that there should be equitable distribution of wealth.

“Some of the state governments owing workers are busy chartering planes for their own comfort while their people toil in vain.

“We should care more about job creation so as to relieve the pressure on workers whose meagre salaries cannot even sustain their immediate families” he said.

He noted that fair distribution of wealth would make for posterity and greater opportunities for the nation.

Utomi, however, urged workers to be more diligent in their duties and assist government in creating wealth that can in turn provide more employment. (NAN)

“Family Reunion In The Mediterranean”, Charlie Hebdo Mocks Africans Who Died In The Mediterranean

Charlie Hebdo, notable satire french newspaper in their latest edition ridiculed the African migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean see on their quest to enter Europe for better opportunities. They wrote ‘Family Reunion in the Mediterranean’. This is coming after all the solidarity and #JesuisCharlie hashtag, shown to them by Africa and the world.

Police Kill 2 In Protest Against Burundian President Seeking Third Term

Burundian police shot dead two protesters and wounded at least one other on Sunday, in demonstrations against the President Pierre Nkurunziza seeking a third term, the Red Cross said.
Witnesses said police used water cannon, tear gas and in some cases live bullets to disperse demonstrators across Bujumbura.
The authorities earlier banned all protests either for or against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s renewed candidacy.
Critics say Nkurunziza’s renewed candidacy would violate a constitutional limit of two terms.
African leaders and Western nations have urged Nkurunziza not to run again.
U.S. and the European Union have indicated they could take punitive steps if violence erupted as a


“We counted two protesters killed by police, four others were injured and one is in coma in hospital after being hit by a bullet,” Alexis Manirakiza, Burundi Red Cross spokesman said.
However, Police had no immediate comment on the casualties.
Burundi’s ruling CNDD-FDD party nominated Nkurunziza as its presidential candidate on Saturday.
Those opposed to it say this not only violates the constitution, which limits leaders to two terms in office, but also goes against the spirit of a 2000 peace deal.
The peace deal has kept Burundi calm for a decade since a civil war between ethnic Hutus and Tutsis ended in 2005.
Photo Credit: Getty Images /Sean Gallup

Xenophobic Violence: Why Are The Citizens Not In Their Countries? – Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma on Monday hit out at other African countries after South Africa faced a backlash over the wave of anti-foreigner attacks in the country.

While Zuma condemned the violence, saying immigrants contributed to the South African economy, he also questioned why so many had flocked to South Africa.

“As much as we can have a problem alleged to be xenophobic, our brother countries contributed to this,” he said.

“Why are the citizens not in their countries?”

Earlier in April, mobs in Johannesburg and in the port city of Durban targeted migrants, ransacking
their homes and burning shops.

Seven people died and thousands were displaced.

South Africa faced a backlash over the attacks and regional relations have been strained, with Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique organising for some of their fearful citizens to return home.

Nigeria has also recalled its ambassador in Pretoria over the attacks while there have been widespread calls for South African products to be boycotted.

But Zuma went on a counter-offensive Monday, saying his government would strengthen measures to tackle illegal immigration.

“Some of them (immigrants) had very serious allegations against their own countries to explain why they are in South Africa,” Zuma said, speaking on Freedom Day that marks the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.

“In fact, some of them warned us that there is almost certainly another wave of refugees coming given the developments in their own countries.

“We have to address the underlying causes of the violence and tensions, which is the legacy of poverty, unemployment and inequality in our country and our continent and the competition for limited resources,” Zuma said.

Many South Africans have blamed the attacks on poverty and a severe jobs shortage in Africa’s second biggest economy. Undocumented immigrants are often accused of accepting work for less pay.

The spate of attacks has revived memories of xenophobic bloodshed in 2008, when 62 people were killed, tarnishing South Africa’s post-apartheid image as a “rainbow nation” of different groups living in harmony.

The South African army was deployed in some of the worst hit areas last week in a bid to crack down on the violence against immigrants.

Tony Elumelu, Nigerian Billionaire Entrepreneur To Fund 1000 Budding African Entrepreneurs

Tony Elumelu, Nigerian Billionaire entrepreneur as part of a $100 million (67million pounds) initiative to boost Africa’s private sector has decided to fund 1000 budding African Entrepreneurs.

Mr. Elumelu explained that the 1000 were chosen from 20,000 applicants from 52 African states who applied .
Mr. Elumelu was listed by Forbes Magazine last year as the 26th richest African with networth of $1 billion.
Tony makes history with his donation being the largest by a businessman towards the development of small businesses in Africa according to reports from BBC’s Lerato Mbele from South Africa.
Tony’s ultimate goal is to drive Africa’s economic and social transformation from within and to radically intensify job creation in Africa.
Great work Tony!!!!!

American Ebola Patient Admitted To US Hospital

An American healthcare worker who tested positive for Ebola in Sierra Leone was admitted Friday to specialized hospital near the US capital for treatment, officials said.

The person, whose identity has not been revealed, was evacuated from Sierra Leone via a private charter plane and “admitted to the NIH Clinical Center at 4:44 am (0844 GMT),” the National Institutes of Health said in a statement.

“The patient’s condition is still being evaluated. No additional details about the patient are being shared at this time.”

Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the NIH Clinical Center has “high-level isolation capabilities and is staffed by infectious diseases and critical care specialists,” said a statement from the hospital.

The same facility treated US nurse Nina Pham, who was infected while caring for a Liberian man at a Texas hospital.

The man, Thomas Eric Duncan, died. Pham and another nurse who was also infected have since recovered.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization announced that the death toll from the world’s largest Ebola outbreak had topped 10,000.

Most of the deaths in the outbreak, which began in late 2013, have been in the West African nations of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.