Amotekun and matters miscellaneous

THOSE who foamed in the mouth that Amotekun was a design by Yoruba to opt out of Nigeria must be so daft about our pedigree. I told a group of dedicated journalists in Akure on Tuesday that if Yoruba came to the conclusion that it’s time for self-determination, it would not be through protective guards but a sophisticated approach sanctioned by the United Nations.

I added that in spite of the injustices we have gone through In Nigeria from the jailing of the sage Obafemi Awolowo in 1962, through June 12 and lately Amotekun, we have always insisted on justice through negotiated settlement and not “Araba”. I concluded that the day Nigeria pushes the Yoruba to say “enough is enough”, you can begin to count the last days of the “impossible country”.

The Amotekun moment was another warning to Nigeria that Yoruba would not go out of our ways to hurt any other nationality in Nigeria but anyone who wants to treat us like dirt will see the redness of our eyes. That was the solidarity Nigeria just saw until Mallami recounted.

It was, therefore, a serious pain in the heart that we still have a few ‘omo o gbon a ni ko ma ku (a child is stupid and we are tempting God praying to Him to spare his life) who would swallow Mallami and Adamu incitement to violence over Local Government immediately after our victory. Those who do not consider you good for ALL the topmost jobs in the land suddenly became your “lovers” to railroad you to self-help to destroy your solidarity and you started  breaking doors like transport workers. A sensible group should have asked why the duo did not start their “enforcement” in Katsina where Governor Bello Masari dissolved elected councils in 2015 and the removed chairmen and councillors are still in court as I write this with no  fresh elections till date.

We only asked the duo not to cause violence in our land and allow the court to rule on the matter in Oyo State. Some unlearned who could not understand what is going on started abusing us in bad verses with tenses like “DID PDP PARTICIPATED?”.

But the power of metaphoric Amotekun has been working wonders with amazing testimonies.

Sometimes last year I called Professor Itse Sagay out over some comments I did not expect from him. He made a rejoinder and I felt so strong about a statement he made about me. I told my Editors at the Tribune to publish his rejoinder minus the statement as I would take a legal action against such. The Nation newspaper published it and I instructed my lawyers to institute suit against it and Professor.

Then came Amotekun and Professor rolled out in clear terms in defence. Memories of yesteryear came back. This was the essential Sagay I went to visit at UNIBEN 33 years ago as a students leader in Ife to come speak to us, I  couldn’t in good conscience continue to stay in court with him. I called my lawyers to tell them we could no longer go on with this. I then made a call to my friend and brother, Mr Jiti Ogunye, who we had put in a difficult position as he represents Professor Sagay who was his teacher. It was good news to his ears that it was all over.

I can now go back to Aremo Olusegun Osoba with my new badge. I have spoken with him to drop a court matter but he told me he is bent on clearing his name. As I persuaded him, my conscience was telling me that it is for his  the same reason that I am also in court. When I go back now I can fulfil the condition people of a certain ethnic stock will take before accepting  a medicine from you for any ailment: [They would ask] have you taken the drug to cure similar ailment yourself?

And this is a place to give a testimony about Chief Osoba. Many years ago, I was detained at Panti in Lagos, with Abuja having instructed that I should be given the worst possible treatment. I was locked with hardened criminals who were going to treat me badly until their leader recognised me and assigned two guys to “Toshiba” me in the serious heat in the cell. I had spent up to six hours in the cell when two policemen came around 2:00am and called my name. As I stepped out, they led me away. I wondered where they were taking me to at that time of the night. I was thinking that would the government want to eliminate me when they know that my being with them was public knowledge? It was when they took me to one room that I was overwhelmed with emotion. I saw Chief Osoba and Otunba Niyi Adebayo. After spending some time with me, Chief Osoba offered me some money which I told him to keep as there was nothing to buy in the cell. I can’t forget that moment in life.

As they left and we got back into the facility I asked the policemen to open the cell so I could go in. They hesitated and the senior one said: “make yourself comfortable here. Those men would not come to see you by this time if you are what they told us you are”.

By the following day, they asked my wife to bring a mattress for me. But the top was still under Abuja pressure. DCP Yinka Balogun, who was head of Panti then, disappeared after my lawyer, Mr Kola Awodehin (SAN) visited him. He had to go to court to enforce my rights. This wonderful lady judge whose name escaped my memory now granted an ex-parte order for my release. For three days after the order, my lawyer could not see Balogun to serve. When it was clear that it was a ploy to still keep me illegally, we had to show we were wiser than them. Mr Balogun who absconded from work, surfaced and was frantically looking for who to sign my bail. This did not stop me to condemn his controversial compulsory retirement from the police years later.

By the time we returned to the court, the police could not show up. The judge awarded  me a damage of N500,000. The police owe me that sum with interests till date. They will pay someday!

Still on the power of Amotekun, some mad Fulani natives went to a town in Ekiti to hoist a flag weeks back and I had to call my brother, Dr Kayode Fayemi, out on the matter. I felt he was more committed to his political associates to care about the fate of our people. One aide of his who used to be an acquaintance crossed the line in fighting back. I told him he would not be there when we would resolve our differences. Then came Amotekun and Dr Fayemi was one of our ‘omo oko’ Governors who stood with our people’s will solidly the way he did in the June 12 days when I knew him.

By the time my closest associate and brother from another mother, who, incidentally, I met in 2009 in a situation related to Dr Fayemi came in for reconciliation, Amotekun already triumphed over any disagreement. I met the good brother as I stepped out of LTV around where I went to talk about how thugs were going to kill me and Honourable Wale Oshun in Ifaki Ekiti. He left his office to come and wait for me.

I told him I was ready for the meeting as the events we just passed through had shown that while Dr Fayemi would be in good relationship with his friends outside our space, I have my friends across Nigeria too-he would not sell our people cheap.

When three of us met on Wednesday, we did not spend more than five minutes of our over two hour-meeting  which continued with sharing breakfast the following morning on pre-Amotekun matter.

And the big revelation Amotekun has thrown up in our midst is Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State. I started paying attention to him last year when there was an unfortunate clash in my community in the state. The whole incident stinks for me to be recounting. A life was already lost before I could reach Dr Charles Akiniola, Chief of Staff to the Governor, whose office in Ikeja was the headquarters of some of our critical operations for the progress of our people for years. A life was already lost before I reached.

A few months after, another needless provocation was going to lead to another crisis between two communities so interwoven I asked the elders to go meet the Governor and the Ooni of Ife whom I called up. I asked them to go and try the Governor as I was not even sure he would intervene. I was pleasantly surprised when they told me he received and listened to them attentively. In 24-hours, he resolved the matter amicably and the communities did not experience another clash .

The role he has played on Amotekun has shown the consistency of his character. I acknowledged his response to some group the enemies of our people are using for divisive purpose by spreading lies that Amotekun is a Christian agenda in the order of Professor Ishaq Akintola, who said Amotekun  is a Christian agenda because the Bible talks about leopard. I don’t know whether Professor has come across  the words of my friend, Kayode Ogunbunmi, who reminded that Ishaq is also in the Bible. He is a Muslim too but not a divisive one.

Governor Oyetola was again on hand during the week to set aside the tagging of Amotekun with any religious bias by another group that called itself Supreme Council for Islam. The Governor has been appointed for a time like this when elements that would want to damage Yoruba values through bigotry are rearing their heads. He is here to raise the standard and I henceforth call him:

Asiwaju Musulumi Alaafia

of Yorubaland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amotekun and the length of Sokoto

 

We wait for how far the Centralized (not Federal) Government of Nigeria will go in its attempt to trivialise Amotekun after the Thursday more civil intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as against the earlier internal colonialist approach of AGF Abubakar Malami who was forced to climb down his high horse by the resistance of the West and its freedom loving friends across Nigeria.

Amotekun was too token for those of us who have eyes on the big prize of federalism at the beginning. I told a western diplomat in Lagos last week they it was infradig of me to be explaining to him that I am struggling to have guards around me in 2020 when I commune regularly with Mr Solomon Asemota (SAN) who was a Federal Police Officer alongside the Native Authority Police in Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s Owo hometown in 1962.

The imperial attitude of Abuja made us to invest our time in asserting the will of the West and on Amotekun as a matter arising on the federalist agenda in this unsettled polity. I wonder why this dialectics is so difficult to understand by a former Yoruba self-determination activist who is now a full-time Fulani internet thug. Well, if he has not become a turncoat, he would not have been throwing poisonous daggers at the back of his bosom friend,Omoyele Sowore at a time we invested all our strength to get him out of illegal detention. I will not waste time on the contemptible cultist who plagiarised him.

The Amotekun struggle no matter its limitations has reassured Yoruba assertiveness and brought a new focus for all cheated nationalities in Nigeria. The internal colonialists should know by now that yesterday ended last night and never will they be able to rule in the old way again.

Now to the length of Sokoto and Amotekun. When civil rule came in 1979, veteran journalist Chief Bisi Onabanjo was elected Governor of Ogun State and he did something unusual to check little things that determine big ones when he was to put his cabinet together.

He had a team of the best Ogun could produce put together with more nominees than portfolios. They had to go through the final test after all the screenings which none of them knew was part of the examinations for the job.

The nominees were invited to a dinner where the number of meat each person packed on his plate and the bottles of beer consumed were used to gauge what their attitude would be to public resources. Some were dropped that night.

When order returns here, we have to get to those little things that matter even though the big things don’t even matter to us at the moment.

One of such little things that matter could be the length of a sokoto (trouser) which has played out in my state of origin -Osun.

The state was an embarrassment to Yoruba values years back when it became the epicenter of religious intolerance which was an alien thing in Oduduwa land. As young pupils in that space, we never knew there was any difference between being born by Muslim or Christian parents. I attended Christian Primary and Secondary Schools with all my Sherif and Mulikat classmates who never changed their names or faith. We shared our festive foods across religious lines. We danced to welcome Hajj returnees singing “Barka re o e, Barka re; Alhaji to re Mecca to bo Barka re”. Experimental ones from both divides would even munch some bean cakes with egungun worshippers.

All of a sudden the same space became one where government could not insist on uniform in its schools when Hijab wearing became an instrument of fomenting  religious fault lines.

A court in the State delivered what was seen as an orchestrated judgment giving right to female students to wear hijab to schools instead of uniform. Duoform started immediately. Before anyone knew what was happening, students who were Christians tuned up in schools in church service garments and egungun worshippers in their masks.

Public schools in the state were thrown into disorder. The Government lost control with Governor Rauf Aregbesola speaking in forked tongue about the judiciary that destabilised the harmony in public schools being an independent arm of government. He spoke about the state being a democracy (that should allow a breakdown of existing harmony?) and not a theocracy.

Of course he was hiding behind a finger. The entire hijab distraction flowed from the length of his own sokoto. His trouser is never full length. It is not because of lack of clothe but because short trousers are the normal for Tabllqs-a Muslim sect. It was a religious exhibition the hijab-wearing students were enforcing in their own way.

Where the Governor failed to be governor because of his own bigotry, the Yoruba spirit prevailed. There was a meeting of leaders across faiths as the issue degenerated. It was Islamic leaders in the state who ended the crisis at the meeting when they told the Governor that they sent their children to school to acquire knowledge and not to exhibit faith attires!

The remnants of that divisiveness raised their ugly heads again as Abuja breathed down the necks of the Yoruba over Amotekun. They spoke for those who would want to drag the Yoruba people in the mud.

The phooey group that went by the name Osun State Muslim Community said that they were in full support of existing security outfit, which has made our people so vulnerable, for protection of life and property in Nigeria provided by the Nigeria constitution and the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The group in the communique signed by the duo of Alhaji Mustafa Olawuyi (President) and Alhaji Hashim Ilelabade Olapade (Secretary), added that “The composition and establishment of Amotekun in the South West of Nigeria is unacceptable by the Osun State Muslim Community (OSMC) as highlighted in its nomenclature.”

“The composition and establishment of Amotekun in the South West of Nigeria is unacceptable by the Osun State Muslim Community (OSMC) as highlighted in its nomenclature.

“We unequivocally condemn issuance of certificate of birth, letters of recommendation from the Church deliberately silent about other religions. Osun State Muslim Community (OSMC) can never support one-sided security outfit which may later on prove insecure for the general populace.”

They made a lot of other sense bereaved comments not worth this space.

This group lied of course  when it claimed to be the community of Muslims in Osun state. We know it is not a body for the  proper Yoruba in the state who are Muslims including my good brothers Mr Kayode Ogunbunmi, Dr Lasisi Olagunju and Governor Gboyega Oyetola.

And because the governor knows the responsibility of his office and  a Muslim whose sokoto is full length, he did not allow any saber-rattling. He did not speak in forked tongues when he quickly made a statement. I quote his timely and responsible response:

“Amotekun: Kidnapping, Rape and Armed Banditry have no religion.

The raging debate over the launch of the South West Security Network otherwise known as Amotekun  is no doubt healthy and a welcome development.

But to politicise it on the altar of religion and ethnicity will be unhealthy, dangerous and counter productive.

Amotekun is a collective response by the South West region to the spate of armed banditry, rape, kidnapping, and other violent crimes that suddenly became a past time in the South West.

To therefore claim that it is an agenda against a particular faith or adherents of a particular religion is not only preposterous, but also in bad taste.

Kidnapping, Rape and Armed Banditry have no religion and know no tribe or ethnicity.

For the records, no recruitment has been carried out so far, especially in our dear State of Osun. So, rather than constitute ourselves into opposing a project we all clamoured for in response to existential threats for which some of the governors in the region have been called out and vilified in the past, we should rally support for Amotekun by coming up with strategies to fine-tune it with a view to bridging any communication gap between the Federal Government and the South West Governors over it.

Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear that the security of life and property of citizens as well as their welfare is the primary purpose and responsibility of government, be it state or federal.

The State of Osun is committed to protecting its citizens; and every reasonable and responsible Osun indigene must join our collective resolve as a government to protect our citizens and their property. “

A-Class leadership!

 

 

FEEDBACK:

Nigeria: Ko le work!

Dear Sir,

 

I must appreciate your courage and indefatigable commitment to the cause of human rights, fairness and justice.

It is begging the issue to think or believe that Yoruba have not already been pushed to the wall with the nauseating and putrid activities of the audaciously clannish and lawless political warlords at the corridors of power in Abuja. The unfair opposition by Abuja to the Amotekun security outfit to safeguard the Southwest from banditry and other like criminality, should sound a clear alarm to the Yoruba that there is fire on the mountain; Abuja does not mean well for the Yoruba.

Yoruba, again by fate, must now lead from the front and take the bull by the horns to redeem their own people and other people alike that are suffering from this cesspool of brutal and narcissist overlord tribe plaguing the country. Progressive Yoruba leaders and vibrant youths must think out of the box now to birth a regional government  or a true federal system for their people, away from this totally rigged, unworkable and incompetence laden current pseudo federal system. Sustainable pressure must be asserted using both domestic and international strength and wherewithals to rescue and reposition the destiny of the Yoruba and other oppressed ethnic nationalities before it is too late. The template of regionalism fought for and established by the Nigeria’s heroes past like Awolowo, Azikiwe and Abubakar after independence to reflect the ethnic diversity and existential cooperation of the people of Nigeria must define the new Nigeria where the regions must develop at their own pace and not at the no pace strategy and incompetence of the clannish political bandits at the corridor of power. Thank you.

-Kola Osundairo.

 

Sir,

Thank you so much for your views. I am one of the die-hard readers of your column. Thanks to God for Amotekun. It has suddenly united Yorubas nationwide no matter our political or religious affiliations. I hope those opposing Amotekun will tread with care.

-Ayo Aluko.

………………………..

 

 

DELIBERATIONS FROM THE MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN BOXING BOARD OF CONTROL (NBB OF C), OYO STATE CHAPTER, HELD AT KAYROM LEE FITNESS CENTRE, OBAFEMI AWOLOWO STADIUM, IBADAN ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 2020.

 

*The meeting started with prayer by Coach Hassan Olawale Johnson at 12:45pm.

 

*Coach Sunny Bruce moved a motion for the adoption of the minutes of the last

meeting and was seconded by Coach Quadri Ismail.

 

*The Chairman welcomed members to the new year and noted that the Board recorded a huge success in 2019.

 

*He also said we must address our shortcomings towards taking the body and professional boxing in the state to higher level.

 

*The Chairman said there was a plot to hijack the Board by some people as a result of the achievements recorded by the Board in the outgone year, as he emphasised the need for board members to work in harmony at all times. He stated that he is ready to be guided by members likewise the secretary as he believes in transparent leadership.

 

*The Chairman promised to work towards the take off of the Board’s office at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium by March this year. He reiterated that the Board needs more members adding that the Board must also have its own referees, judges as well as medical personnel to function effectively.

 

*He said arrangments have begun to organise a workshop for intending boxing referees in the state and beyond later this year, adding that the programme will be handled by renowned Lagos-based boxing judge, Lateef Muiss. He added that the certificate to be issued every participant at the end of the workshop will bear the name of the NBB of C, Oyo State chapter.

 

*The Chairman noted that the focus is how to train referees who are young adding that having aging referees is not helpful to the Board. He stated that there is no single professional boxing referee in Oyo State for now, adding that this must be addressed without delay.

 

*Coach Sunny Bruce emphasised the need for the Board to encourage people to be trained as referees in the state as there are a lot of benefits that would come to the Board at the end of the day.

 

*He also said the Board will also organise a League shortly after the referees’ workshop so as to test the ability of our own referees through the event.

 

*He said he had been informed of the plans to organise a tournament tagged ‘Ija Ibadan’ next month, adding that one of us, Mr Olusola Ayodele, was already working with the promoter of the show.

 

*It was agreed that the Board’s meeting will now be held on a Wednesday fortnightly at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium so as to encourage members to always attend.

 

*Coach Quadri Ismail called for more support among members for the Board to achieve its set objectives.

 

*The Chairman decried a situation where a member will transact business directly with the National body without authorisation, adding that such behaviour undermines the existence of the Board.

 

*It was also agreed that the Secretary must at next meeting present the do’s and don’ts of a board member, which must be followed to the letter, while a sanction will have to be considered if anyone runs foul of the regulations.

 

*The Chairman said the episode which was witnessed when we hosted the Ileya Boxing Fiesta on August 12, 2019 must not be allowed to repeat itself, adding that we were treated as visitors by the National body which was really embarrassing.

 

*Coach Hassan Olawale Johnson said that there was the need to put in place regulations that will guide member at any given time.

 

*The Secretary was mandated to write to the NBB of C President and express displeasure with the officiating of national super featherweight champion, Rilwan Oyekola’s bout with Sikiru Sogbesan at the last GOtv Boxing 20 held in Lagos last December.

 

*It was agreed that the decision of the NBB of C to let the fight hold in the first instance was a misnormer as Sogbesan overweighed by 2kg and ought to have been ruled out of the fight or made to shed weight to meet up the required weight for the bout.

 

*It was agreed that the judges were not always fair to our boxers as Habeeb Oladeji ‘Ige’ was also robbed of victory when he fought Adeyemi Opeyemi ‘Sense’ in a bantamweight challenge at the Ileya Boxing Show, while Jubril Lukman ‘Terrible’ was also stopped right in the first round during his welterweight clash with Isaac Chukwudi for no just cause at the 2019 April GOtv Boxing Night also in Ibadan.

 

*It was also agreed that no member should grant a media interview except with the approval of the Board, while the Secretary was mandated to pass the information across to the media organisations.

 

*The motion for adjournment of the meeting was moved by Coach Bruce and seconded by Coach Quadri Ismail.

 

*Closing prayer was offered by Coach Quadri Ismail at 2:05pm.

 

Signed:

 

Salman Ganiyu (Secretary-General).

 

ATTENDANCE:

 

  1. Hon. Gbenga Opaleye.
  2. Mr Salman Ganiyu (Sec-Gen.)
  3. Coach Sunny Bruce.
  4. Coach Hassan Olawale Johnson.
  5. Coach Ismail Quadri.

………………..

NBB OF C, OYO STATE CHAPTER’S REGULATIONS

 

  1. Every board member should be committed to the growth of professional boxing in Oyo State and Nigeria at large through moral and financial contributions.

 

  1. He is bound to attend meetings as decided by the Board and other functions assigned in the interest of boxing.

 

  1. He is expected to accord the office of the Chairman due recognition and respect on issues concerning professional boxing within and outside the state.

 

  1. A board member must not grant a media interview except with the approval of the Board.

 

  1. Any manager whose boxer features in a major tournament henceforth must remit 10 per cent of the purse to the Board. The manager will be sanctioned should this provision be violated. The boxer may also be sanctioned after due approval of the national secretariat in Lagos.

 

  1. It is the duty of every board member to monitor boxers at various Boxing Clubs in the state so as to recommend promising ones among them to the Board for exposure to Nigeria Boxing Board of Control-sanctioned championships.

 

  1. The meeting of the Board shall hold fortnightly on a Wednesday from 11:00am at Obafemi Awolowo ‘Liberty Stadium’, Ibadan.

 

  1. Every member is expected to attend the Board meeting, and must send an apology to the secretariat if he will not be available at least 24 hours to the D-Day through the media platform of the Board.

 

  1. Reminder for the meeting of the Board will always be on the media platform from Sunday, i.e three days to the meeting. A meeting can be postponed as a result of force majeur and rescheduled as an emergency meeting with at least three days notice as well.

 

  1. A member who acts against the interest of the Board will be given a fair hearing to defend himself or herself before any sanction if at all, could be imposed on the person.

 

  1. A member can represent the Board at a professional boxing tournament within or outside the state with the consent of the secretariat.

…………………………..

 

 

 

SIDELINES:

 

A newly-established radio station in Ghana, Kanor FM (90.5) has reportedly been fined GH¢38,000.00 by the authorities, for operating with illegal connection to the national grid. Hmmm, when a media organisation that is meant to educate the public on civic responsibilities chose to perpetrate illegality too, this is indeed a drama in the Gold Coast!

………………….

ODUMAKIN COLUMN:

 

Nigeria: Ko le work!

 

Yoruba nation has sacrificed some of its best to the impossible country called Nigeria and only God knows the greater contributions they would have made to humanity if they were in an autonomous Yoruba polity.

Instead of using their knowledge to advance human civilisation, they were being locked in one prison or the other to continue the project Yoruba traducers started with Oloye Obafemi Awolowo in 1962.

I wept uncontrollably when about three of us were destined at a rally in 1995 by Abacha junta and locked up at the Adekunle Police Station in Yaba. As we got there we met Mr Alao Aka-Bashorun, one time President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) whose chambers was the sanctuary of the oppressed people in Nigeria for several years. I will respect his dignity and will not describe the state Nigeria left him with  hounding and deprivation of his liberty.

Chief Gani Fawehinmi and a few us visited Mr Kanmi Isola-Osobu on his death bed in his last days. The vibrant gentleman was already hallucinating and talking of owning things Nigeria did not allow him to own as all life was full of “struggle”.

Chief Fawehinmi himself was to die of cancer later after several years of living more in his second house (prison) than his comfortable home because Nigeria did not agree with him that we must run our country for the benefit of all. There has been this suspicion among inquiring minds if Gani’s cancer was not inflicted on him in detention as he never smoked.

Chief as we called him, was being treated for pneumonia in Nigeria until it was too late in a space that once boasted of the seventh best medical facility in the Commonwealth, the University College Hospital, Ibadan, where the Royal Family in Saudi came to regularly for medical treatment.

Fela Anikulapo-Kuti spent two hours to review his sufferings in the hands of Nigeria with me and Lanre Arogundade one afternoon and he would intermittently say “I don waka. “If Fela did not die of what Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti announced to the world, longevity could not have been the portion of the versatile musician given the beatings Nigeria gave to him for years.

His junior brother, Dr Beko-Ransome was also a regular detainee in the hands of Nigeria for no other crime than standing for a better society. Ironically Beko became a “Spiritualist” on Nigeria in his last days on earth though he disputed anything spiritual in his lifetime.

And Fela was always his practical experiment. Fela told me and Lanre how he went to one Babalawo in Ajilete who gave him a bullet proof that was tested on a goat and the bullet did nothing to it. He then went to tease Beko before facing Dodan Barracks to face bullet. After Beko took his taunt about the “power” he received, he persuaded him they should go and test the charm again with Dr Ore Falomo’s gun.

“We come enter bush and put the vest for goat. Na im Ore Falomo wey be doctor come become marksman. As he fire the gun, the goat neck just tear commot fiam. Beko and Koye come dey give me one yeye look wey dey pain me.”

On another occasion Fela was taking one Professor Hindu the magician around the world. The guy, according to Fela “Kill person for shrine, he wake am the third day.” Beko asked him to kill somebody in his presence one day. He asked him if the person was dead and he said yes. He brought out a syringe and inserted it to the guy’s buttocks and he screamed.

I was telling him something one day and he was looking at me with his wry smile. I asked him if he did not believe what I told him and he said “if my Dad who didn’t see God believed Him, why would I not believe you that I am seeing ?”

Beko in his last days fell to cancer. By the time the sickness reached a critical stage, the courageous man chose to die before death could arrive by discharging himself from hospital and returning to Nigeria to taunt death to come whenever.

In his departing months, there was no idea you brought to him about Nigeria that would not meet the standard answer “Ko le work (it can’t work).” His brother Fela would have said “he don see Nigeria finish”.

It is now 14 years after Beko and he is daily being proved right that Nigeria as constituted cannot work as it is built on a foundation of clash of civilisations. This can only be addressed by constructing it along federal lines but those with conquest mentality don’t want to hear that. They believe that it must always be under command and control which is tearing it apart.

The latest signal of the perpetual feud Nigeria is burdened with is the testing of the Yoruba spirit by the unlawful declaration of a token security measure by the South West Governors in the face of total collapse of the capacity of Nigeria to secure their citizens including non-Yoruba who live in their space illegal.

Miyetti Allah came out to say that an outfit targeted at criminals was set up against them in a case of a vegetable seller a potential buyer called shouting that her vegetable is not from the dumpsite. The Federal (Fulani?) Government of Nigeria immediately asked the Attorney General of  the Federation to make a wild pronouncement to the effect the operation “AMOTEKUN” is illegal while the North keeps its Hisbah, Civilian JTF and other outfits under this duality.

We advise those who are behaving like internal colonialists to let the Yoruba be. They should stop breathing down our necks as if we are a conquered people. We are too decent and civilised to fight at every provocation. But once we are pushed to the perfect storm, we will fight until the fight gets tired. The last time our will was tested was in 1993 and it took us six years to settle it. Abacha wanted a conventional war to destroy our space but we took the war to where he had no capacity. When it was tested from 1962, it ultimately ended the Republic. When they dared it 1983, it had consequences. Let’s negotiate instead of all these threats.

In those years of June 12 crisis, our young people faced Abacha bullets and sang:

Ile ya, Ile ya o (it’s time to go home)

Omo Oduduwa Ile ya (Children of 0duduwa let’s go)

Tia Ko ba mobi a nlo (If we don’t know where we are going)

Se bo ye ka pada sile (We should return home)

Ka jawo lapon ti koyo (Let’s give up on wild mango that is not drawing )

Ka lo gbomi ila kana (And prepare to cook okro)

Ile ya, Ile ya o, Omo Oduduwa Ile ya (It is time to go home children of Oduduwa)

If Yoruba are pushed to the wall again, this may become the anthem of the young and old this time around as it would have been clear to all that: Ko le work!

 

…Yoruba are Yoruba, not APC or PDP

 

“He said the ruling party would  not allow the opposition to take advantage of the crisis against it (the APC) in subsequent elections”.

A n wiru o n wiru is the case of Chief Bisi Akande as he was quoted by a newspaper on Friday talking about the next elections while the present of Yoruba is threatened within Nigeria. Baba should just have taken some fresh palm wine and enjoy his 81st birthday and let us pretend he is not in town instead of reminding us of his presence this way.

Is it party the Fulanis who have dropped their brooms somewhere playing with you rubbing the noses of your people in the dust? If they saw you as fellow partymen, should they not have called five of our six Governors who are in APC to a meeting in all the months AMOTEKUN has been in the work for discussions? To wait and  humiliate them by “annulling” AMOTEKUN like June 12 is the height of contempt for our people which all Yoruba must stand against.

The action of the Federal Government has brought a consensus among Yoruba and we no longer see ourselves in party colours anymore but as Yoruba who have to defend our dignity as a people and secure our lives and land.

This moment is a defining one that would make heroes and villains because  once Yoruba manage to achieve consensus the way we have done, shame is the portion of those who step out of line.

We are under siege and we have bonded. Akeredolu is my governor and Makinde is my governor for as long as they defend the values we hold dear. As for their parties, Yoruba call it “pati” (set it aside). We have forgotten parties for now and only honourables will earn the support of our people after this, not party cards sir.

Thumbs up, CP Odumosu

When the police misbehave we shout it to the rooftop. We should say it loud when they do well as fairness consists in giving even the devil his due.

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu blew my mind on Friday. A police officer among the train that received VP Yemi Osibajo (SAN) to Lagos arrested Abagun Kole Omololu, the Organising Secretary of Afenifere around NNPC filling station in Ikoyi for “not parking well” on the road.

He was subsequently taken to Lion Building and detained there. Word came out and I reached to the Lagos State CP. He asked me all the details and he said he would call back. He was back in three minutes and he told me he has ordered his release.

In five minutes I was talking to Anagun in freedom. Three Gbosa for CP Odumosu for the efficiency and professionalism he displayed!

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Amotekun and this gaol

 

If there are still souls yet to get the reason we have ceaselessly called for Nigeria to be restructured to a federalism, instead of being locked in its present unitary arrangement and maligning the most ideal structure for multi-ethnic society; the brouhaha over the introduction of Amotekun in the South-West-substantial area of Yorubaland within Nigeria should have brought them some understanding.

The Western Region with relative autonomy under a federal structure in 1962 established a university in Ile-Ife with an Atomic Energy Centre in place without  any internal colonial authority asking it any question.

Fifty eight years after and under a unitary structure, one of its governors had to go from Israel to Egypt (the same distance from Lagos to Abuja) on behalf of his colleagues to take approval from an ordinary Inspector General of Police to attempt to secure their people.

I repeat the “Ordinary” before the IGP because there is no state in what Nigeria calls South West today that does not have what it takes to be a country in the United Nations with a head of police reporting to its leader.

That trip to the colonial office by Dr Kayode Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti State to take the nod of IGP Adamu to commence Neighbourhood Watch at best should not be lost on all those who do not believe in singing freedom song in captivity.

There was this hot debate at the 2014 National Conference on state police with vociferous opposition from delegates from the core north. We adjourned the matter to the next proceeding. Shortly after we adjourned for the day I got a copy of The Nation in my hotel room and behold on its front page was the image of unformed man you would mistake for an elite police cop with new and well ironed attire. It was only the inscription that told you he was of Hisbah the Sharia Police in Kano.

My adrenalin pumped and I let all those who should know be in the know. I called the Abuja Editor of the newspaper to get us about 500 copies of the edition. With the marked picture, a copy was placed on the table of every delegate the following morning and we passed multi-level policing without the opposition of the previous day.

There was no trip to the IGP by the governors of Sharia States before Hisbah was introduced to enforce Sharia Law in the north. The whole Sharia itself was introduced in subversion of the constitution some loudmouths now say will handle Amotekun. It was the greatest dare thrown at the Obasanjo presidency but which he handled with deft maneuvering to avert a crisis that would have ended this nasty (nascent ?) democracy years ago.

It was a defining moment of a section of the country that believes it can always force its wish down the throats of the rest of the country at its insolent best. I remembered those days when our “airplane driving” CJN started his Sharia next level campaign recently .

The countries that were at the same level of projections with the Western Region of 1962 are today looking for spaces to conquer outside the moon. Was in China recently and robots were coming to serve us food in our hotel rooms while Yorubaland that was aiming for atomic energy in 1962 is locked in perpetual feud with feudalists over mundane issues like the permission to learn our history in our schools, right to prospect mineral resources under our territory and the capacity to defend ourselves with  the cheapest rifles while our tormentors surround us with illegal AK 47s the Nigerian state has failed to disarm.

This is why Amotekun is a token symbol of assertion of the right to live as human beings which Yoruba must not back down from and other vulnerable groups in Nigeria must assert. If Fulani herdsmen carry sophisticated weapons across Nigeria unhindered to trouble the lives of other nationalities, the command-and-control rulers of Nigeria will have to let us go to any court in the world to argue the reason why the rest of us should be denied the right to defend ourselves.

There could be among operators of Amotekun who many not see this beyond political mileage to just show we can still find some accommodation to continue to manage under this structure as it is. We have no problem with them for as long as our people have their sense of history without necessarily being professors of history.

All we ask of the governors at this time is to stand firm on the resolve to secure our people. We know they have no desire to trouble Nigeria contrary to the postulations of our troublers. They must be warmed by the experience of Nigeria to pay living wages to the boys engaged in the Amotekun project. To give gums to poorly paid people is to breed a new layer of extortionists and robbers of the poor that the Nigerian Police has epitomised.

The vulnerable groups in Nigeria must understand that what they face within the country which made former Defence Minister, Lt. General T.Y Danjuma to scream “collusion between bandits and security forces” and former President Olusegun Obasanjo to alert of “Fulanisation agenda”; is not what you can overcome easily with just informal security measures. You have official apparatus stacked against you in addition to the state-of-the-art weapons of the enemy. This is why a detour should not supplant the main struggle to re-work Nigeria into a properly federated country where all sections of the country are equal, free and cooperating. We must bring an end to the current apartheid arrangement where a section is superior and the other is inferior.

I have shared my feelings about the recent daring encounter of Borno State Governor with some soldiers at a checkpoint. I have not stopped wondering what a governor from a part of the country would drink that would not clear from his eyes to be so “unruly” at the sight of the caliphate army.

In the meantime, when those who are repositories of all available means of violence   which has Nigeria to a major insurgent point in the world come foaming in the mouths saying the fence of the house of their neighbour is becoming too high for their comfort, just remind them of the eight-point demand of their fathers as a condition to return to Nigeria after they practically opted out in 1953 as a protest against the motion for independence:

1) That each region shall have complete Legislative and Executive Autonomy with respect to all matters except the following: External Affairs, Defense, Customs and West African Research Institutions;

(2) That there should be no Central Legislative body and no Central Executive or Policy making body for the whole of Nigeria;

(3) That there shall be Central Agency for all regions which will be responsible for matters mentioned in Paragraph (1) and other matters delegated to it by a Region;

(4) That the Central Agency shall be a neutral place preferably Lagos;

(5) That the composition and responsibility of the Central Agency shall be defined by the order -in-Council establishing the constitutional arrangements. The agency shall be a non-political body.

(6) That the services of railway, air, posts and telegraphs, electricity and coal mining, shall be organised on an inter-regional basis and shall be administered by public corporations. These corporations shall be independent and covered by the statutes under which they are created by the board of experts with a minority representation of the regional governments;

(7) All the revenues shall be levied and collected by the regional government except Customs revenue at the port of discharge by the Central Agency and paid to its treasury;

(8) The administration of the Customs shall be so organised so as to assure that goods consigned to the region are separately cleared and charged to duty. Each region shall have a separate public service.

FEEDBACK:

Kudos to Iku

 

My dear brother,

Let me profusely thank you for the stance you take for our people without apology to any interests no matter how powerful. May all the forces in our land always be at attention for you and all forces that stand for us.

Let me also use to reach the Iku Baba Yeye, the Alaafin of Oyo whose voice continues to ring for us in the Nigerian wilderness.

His royal voice came on forcefully again last Sunday as he spoke powerfully to developments in our Ekiti State in the season of peculiar siege we are in.

Kabiyesi’s angst against Fulani provocations in our territory and his asking if acts could be allowed in the North is so straight to the point and a leadership stand at a time our traducers deceive themselves that they have completely enveloped our land with evil.

This evil season shall come to pass like previous ones and the good Lord who protected Kabiyesi for us during the Abacha season will spare him always.

-Akin Abayomi, Ado-Ekiti.

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Unabated Fulanisation of Ekiti (2)

 

“He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck.shall suddenly be destroyed without remedy”-Proverb 29:1

My calling out the governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi for his I-don’t-care attitude to the plight of Orin Ekiti people under Fulani assault while doing overtime to appear a good boy to the Fulani establishment has drawn the ire of the Ajele.

First was a lawyer who called me to say he is the counsel defending the suit filed by 16 Pelupelu Obas against the governor of Ekiti over his choosing of an Oba they insist is not among the 16 the law says can be chairman of the council of Obas in the state. He said I was validating the leading Obas in the state whom he called “a motley crowd”, “irrelevant kings” and other names that speaks volumes about the mindset of some of the folks Yorubaland is burdened with today.

Then came the tale told by an idiot rejoinder of one of the governor’s media Rottweilers, Segun Dipe who churned out lengthy abuses without facing the issues I have raised about the plight of our people.

His worthless piece is not worth my time in the midst of existential threats our people face at the moment. I only need to clarify his childish comment that I was calling out Dr Kayode Fayemi on behalf of the PDP.

I belong to no political party. I have supported candidates I believe in their programmes on federalism on the platform of PDP the way I served as Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman in 2011 when he ran on CPC after we signed an MOU on returning Nigeria to federalism.

The present political parties are beneath my personal values but like a senior judge told me a few days ago of the pains he bears having to decide which of the two thieves before him he should give the key to the treasury, we look at what is available and make a choice.

I supported Fayemi when he sought to be governor in Ekiti. I escaped death by the whiskers when PDP thugs attacked a vehicle I was in with Honourable Wale Oshun in Engineer Segun Oni’s hometown. I was not a member of ACN but I belonged to a group with Fayemi then. I was to back out of the campaign at a point when I saw some perfidy but persuaded to stay on. But I eventually opted out of the group over the betrayal of trust conducted during Fayemi campaign.

If I decided to carry the card of any party, I will flaunt it. I will not behave like Dipe’s paymaster who was a spook for security agencies under Obasanjo PDP government in Abuja and was flirting with ACN in Ekiti simultaneously. I don’t walk both sides of the streets at the same time.

I recall the words of my Features Editor at The Punch, Mr Bola Bolawole when this character called Dipe threw darts at him on Fayemi’s behalf and I quote as they are very germane to the issue at hand:

“Fayemi has his good points; Fayose, too. Both have their drawbacks. I cannot endorse or accept any of them warts and all… I dare to say, however, that while Fayose is an open book, Fayemi is crossword puzzle. Fayose became the lone voice in the wilderness standing up against the excesses and atrocities of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. Whatever you say about Fayose, you will never take that away from him. Fayose defended his people against mindless and murderous Fulani herders; his anti-open grazing law and ferocious speeches curbed them. Since he left office, Ekiti has become the killing fields of Fulani herdsmen. Fayemi at best has been ambivalent on a burning issue that demands firm and prompt action. “The hottest places in Hell” says Dante,”are reserved for those who in times of moral crisis maintain their neutrality, “We are in such a time in Nigeria today. I told Fayemi hard truths. I told him he would lose in 2014 and why – and it happened . That was before “federal might”.

What did Fayemi’s ministerial appointment fetch Ekiti or the South West ? How can I then root for him to be President ? It appears to me that Fayose will better defend South West interests than Fayemi.”

BB already ended this issue in July, 2019. We criticised Fayose on issues we disagreed with him on but no one can take from him eternally his rising up to the shenanigans of the herdsmen that Fayemi was writing cowardly petitions to the Sultan of Sokoto on.

I have no other issue with him than the fact that he needs testicular fortitude to act like a man and stop behaving like a sissy.

You came to office the first time and humiliated out of by losing in all 16 LGAs. What a referendum. Now you are back via “dibo kosebe” (vote and cook soup) which gives you an opportunity to rewrite your history. Instead of using the opportunity, you are playing opportunism trading the interests of your people for some far-fetched presidential ambition.

You are from the intellectual region and shouldn’t be difficult for you to take some courses in leadership about leaders we are proud of in Yorubaland.

You wear Awo’s cap. Study hi political life of placing the interests of his people above personal ambition. He didn’t become President of Nigeria but greater than Presidents in what Professor Wale Adebanwi called his post-life career.

You were born in Ondo State that had the fearless Chief Adekunle Ajasin as governor. Even in his 90s we were proud of his encounter with Onyearugbulem in his stubborn defence of NADECO’s core values.

You partly live in Ibadan where the great Lam [the late Alhaji Lamidi Adesina] once received a Fulani delegation led by Gen. Buhari  who came on an offensive mission to the governor. The late Lam listened with rapt attention as they ventilated. He stroked his beards intermittently. When they were done, he took the floor and spoke words of courage that they could not take the lunch he offered them thereafter.

Know this: any king that reigns and the city multiplies would have his pages in history and the one under whom the town disintegrates will also be remembered scornfully.

Ekiti is being rubbished while you are playing poster boy for Fulani around Nigeria. That is our objection. Defend your people Mr Governor and let your manhood stop rising like garri Ijebu against we that are yours and getting flat when Fulani approaches.

I pause for now.

FEEDBACK

 

Core noth deliberate provocations

Sir, let me air the following views through “voice of Courage”. These views are majorly a reaction to ideas and revelations contacted from your previous writings and publications by other compatriots. Thank you.

Sadly, but inexorably GMB’s government is tearing this country apart! And the actors in this regime know it. They cannot claim ignorance of the potential danger this nation is being driven towards by the too obvious cold war they-the Fulani of the core north-have been waging against the South as a geo-political entity. This Scenario is not a new reality; it dates back to the first republic when the nauseating slogan of “born to rule” reared its ugly into the Nigerian polity. It has all this while been an ethno-religious ambition, the pursuit of which has seen changing tempo over the years depending on the character and world view of each of the Hausa/Fulani heads of state this nation was been ruled by.

The ambition is manifestly demonic, its features are as empirical that no right-thinking compatriot would deny the sweeping Jihadism behind it all. The controversial 1963 national census was the launching platform. Since then the steady but progressive usurpation of the nation’s key assets by the north continued unabated. All strategic military installations of this country are sited in the north. A sweeping proportion of the oil blocks in the Niger Delta are in Northern hands. The current regime has shown its extreme hatred for the South while simultaneously pampering the north with the most strategic and consequential appointments in ministries, departments and agencies. As reflected in your column of Sunday, December 15, 2019 and elsewhere, there is complete northernisation of the top echelon in the military, customs, immigration, the police, DSS, judiciary and NNPC! Why on earth is a democratically elected government doing this? Even some military governments under northern  leaders did not go this far! Where is justice? Where is equity? Where is fair play? Where is the federal character principle? And to reflect on the sources of the resources that this country relies on for sustenance!

Certainly there appears to be deliberate intention to provoke the South. Those who love this nation will readily read the potential danger being sowed into the future of this nation by these developments. To deliberately endeavor to subjugate a section of the polity as second-class or third-class citizens in a multiethnic, multilingual and religiously heterogeneous country like ours is reckless move and fraught with consequences such as what brought disintegration to some countries of old.

The core-north appears uninterested in calls for restructuring and devolution of power and resources from the centre to the federating units; they have rejected wholesale the report of the 2014 National Conference. This attitude is part and parcel of their game-plan; even though it is evident that only a truly federal arrangement will lead this country into her greatness. Now “only righteousness exalts a nation, sin is the reproach of any people”. Any practice or policy that contradicts fair play, justice and equity in the governance of any society is sinful. Nations don’t just attain greatness, it is virtues inspired in the people-including leaders-that initiate and sustain greatness. Conversely, fallen or dismembered systems suffer their terrible fates as rewards for the people’s vices, many of which have been touched in this humble submission.              -Alade Ogundiran, Ile Ife.

 

Re: O Nami

My brother, a few corrections to Kemi Rotimi’s rejoinder in to “O Nami”: Gen. Martin Luther Agwai was the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) during OBJ’s second term. He is from Kaduna State (NW). Likewise the heads of the Airforce and Navy were from the NC.

OBJ made El-Rufai from North West FCT Minster, was it that he could not get a Yoruba man? In spite of his obvious flaws he still remains the most detribalised President/Head of State to date.

Lest I forget, Gen. Agwai was also upgraded to CDS (Chief of Defence Staff) during OBJ’s second tenure.

-Chief Femi Alafe-Aluko.

 

Re: Unabated Fulanisation of Ekiti

Thank you sir for bringing the neglect of our plight in Orin Ekiti under Fulani assault in focus. We are saddened that our governor does not care about what we are going through. He plays politics at our expense as if we don’t matter to him.

I pray for divine covering upon your life. They will rise against you for the truth you speak in one direction but they will stumble in seven.

-Tunde Adewole, Orin Ekiti.

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Kogi youths undergo training on agribusiness and ICT

 

The Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI)  in collaboration with Jasper Books Nigeria Ltd tutored 10 youths from Kogi State on strategic training and empowerment in agribusiness and ICT.

The one-week training sponsored by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is aimed at empowering the youth to leverage the use of ICT (software) to make an informed decision translating to improved yield and agricultural self-sufficiency in Nigeria.

Executive Director, ARMTI, Dr Olufemi Oladunni, who was represented by Dr Olaoyin said the programme was designed to empower the youth in agribusiness development in order to enhance participants’ competence in engaging Agricultural value chain activities to boost agricultural production and eradicate hunger and poverty. He affirmed that the training had the capability to impact useful knowledge and encourage entrepreneurship to boost the nation’s economy.

Lead Consultant, Jasper Books Nigeria Ltd, Engineer (Dr) O.A. Ogunjirin said the programme was borne out of the dire need of government’s desire to equip selected youths of Kogi State with relevant skills in value chain entrepreneurial development in Agriculture, which was needed to drive and transform agriculture into an enviable level of excellence and sustainability in Nigeria.

He charged participants to move from a life based on crude (crude oil) to a life that is driven by green (agriculture) and also be informed on the modern trend so as to fit in any of the agricultural value-chain.

The training exposed the beneficiaries to the concept of agripreneurship and farming as a business, The use of the internet to enhance productivity in agriculture, Basic computer appreciation, farm record keeping using a mobile application, fish farming for improved livelihood, poultry farming for improved livelihood, etc.

Another catchy area of the training is business ethics and customer relation and funding opportunities in Nigeria.

The participants lauded the Federal Government for sponsoring the training.

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Caption:

 

Participants pose with the organisers after the strategic training and empowerment in agribusiness and ICT.

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on agribusiness and ICT.

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SIDELINES:

 

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, reportedly said traditional institutions remain a strong mechanism for good governance because of the reconciliatory and advisory roles they play in the society. Good remarks of course! But do traditional rulers get the respect they even deserve from politicians again in this country when an incumbent governor will make a mockery of the monarch if he doesn’t get his support?

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ODUMAKIN’S COLUMN:

 

Unabated Fulanisation of Ekiti

 

When former President Olusegun Obasanjo raised the alarm of a Fulanisation agenda unfolding in the country months back, some raving dogs of the system asked for his head claiming he was shouting hoax.

But events have moved at a frenetic speed to confirm the fears of the elder statesman  with the latest being the “annexation “ of some areas of Ekiti state by Fulani herdsmen.

Those who are not aware of what is going on would think it was the first time herdsmen would be hoisting their flag on Ekiti soil following the outcry by the people of Orin Ekiti in the Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State on December 17, 2019; that herdsmen were taking over their community.

The placard-carrying protesting men and women lamented that the invading herdsmen had vandalised farms worth N50million owned by 70 farmers as one of the placards they carried read “We won’t allow Fulani to chase us out of our land”.

The Onikare of Orin Ekiti, Chief Bamidele Fasuyi, alleged that the herdsmen, in addition to the occupation of the Orin Farm Settlement, which he said comprised over 2,500 acres of land, had destroyed crops planted by farmers in the community.

Fasuyi said, “From our records, over 70 farmers were affected. Crops worth N50million have been ravaged. They ate up their products like cocoyam, yam, cassava and others and made them incur debts.

“Several hectares of land had been destroyed. They operate at night with AK 47 rifles. What they want is to invade our land and chase us away. They even killed one of our able-bodied men this year. They are imposing some curfew in this town because our youths can’t go to farm freely and the GOVERNMENT HAS NOT BEEN DOING SOMETHING”.

Speaking in the same vein,the Oniwaro of Orin Ekiti, Chief Mathew Oke, appealed to the Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, to make good his promise to build a police station in the town and rejuvenate the farm settlement to ward off herdsmen invasion in the area.

According to residents, the herders allegedly killed a hunter and farmer in the community, Mr Emmanuel Ilori, some months ago and as well chased away the Benue farmers working in the town.

A youth leader, Mr Kayode Omotoso, appealed to the state governor to compensate the farmers in order not to frustrate them out of farming.

Omotoso  alleged that the herders were not discreet with their plan to take over the community and its lands, saying they had hoisted a flag at the farm settlement to warn the farmers to keep off or face death.

He said, “They wrote ‘keep off’ with a picture of cattle rearer on the flag. This is a serious threat. The police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and soldiers removed the flag last year, but they have hoisted another one.

The closing statement of Omotoso shows clearly there is a present and clear danger  in Ekiti in particular and Yorubaland in general as the enemies have surrounded. The serial threats of Fulani herdsmen made the former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose to promulgate the anti-open grazing law whose coordinator has been suspended indefinitely by governor Kayode Fayemi for announcing that Ekiti would register herdsmen in the state to monitor their activities.

The slavery APC rule means for Yoruba people is evident in the dead silence the government Ekiti has maintained over this matter in spite of various protests by the affected communities.

Instead of taking steps to reassure his people that they would not be colonised or chased away  from their ancestral land, the state governor has been junketing about to find peace between the Emir of Kano and the governor of Kano State as if he is a Fulani high priest who cannot be touched by the infirmities of his own people. I am not aware Ganduje came to Ekiti when Obas took exception to the imposition of an unqualified Oba by law as chairman of throat council by Fayemi.

And it is not that the governor is not aware of the source of this problem. It has been building from his first term as the helmsman of the state. I have seen a letter he wrote to the Sultan of Sokoto in his first term as governor over the inimical activities of herdsmen in Ekiti which shows the dysfunctional country called Nigeria.

It would not happen that the governor of Kano will write to Alaafin of Oyo or Ooni of Ife if some Yoruba boys start to trouble the peace of Kano. They would be into pieces or rooted out with AK 47 within a jiffy. The day they said Gideoen Akaluka used a page of the Qu’ran to clean his backside in Kano, his head was dancing on a stick and one of those who beheaded is still around today.

In the letter to the Sultan as Patron of Miyetti Allah, the Ekiti State government gave the names and addresses of Fulani troublers of Ekiti. Some of them were traced  to Kogi, Nasarawa and other states in Nigeria.

The Sultan who is not the head of the police in a move highlighting the helplessness and hopelessness of Yoruba within Nigeria as constituted set up a panel headed by a former Secretary of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Saleh Bayari and now President of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association to interview the named persons with some of them refusing to talk to the panel. A report was submitted to the Sultan and that was the end of the matter.

Ekiti people must remember the Ogedengbes in history and brace up for the challenge as this is not a joke. Indeed, the entire Yoruba nation should be aware that Ekiti is the entry point for this cancer to spread.

If you wait for those who seek salvation in sucking up to the enemies to do Amotekun or Amotokoko to secure you from this threat, Gen. T.Y Danjuma already predicted your fate in Jalingo.

 

FEEDBACK

 

Re: O Nami

 

Dear Yinka,

 

I appreciate your political tendency and commitment to the defence of Yoruba interests to a degree I won’t attain! But I think it will enhance the quality/believability of your arguments if your points are moderated by known facts of our (i.e., Nigerian)history especially since 1999.

You bemoan the fact that “With the two latest weeds everything…is now in the firm grip of the North:…” And then the reference to current “Security Architecture”. I will just hint at a few “known facts” between 1999 and now.

On the NNPC, Gaius Obaseki and Funso Kupolokun held sway as GMD, 1999-2007. On the NPA, Sarumi ( from Ibadan) was MD for much of the OBJ period while late Anenih and Bode George were Chair.

On the FIRS, OBJ appointed/inherited Naiyeju from ODS as executive chairman and he was replaced with Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru who (after a brief Ag appointment by a Katsinawa regular staff) was replaced by Fowler who has served a full first term!

Between 1999 and 2010, the NPF was led by five Southerners, the first three in direct succession being Yoruba. On the armed forces, I recall that in all of the OBJ years, no NW/NE officer led any of the three components. Between 1999 and 2015, the army was led by Malu, Ogomudia, Azazi, Dambazau, Ihejirika and Minimah; so save for Dambazau under Yar’adua, the army leadership was largely a southern portfolio. In the Air Force, it was a NC/SW/SS preferment: Petirin and Dike moved from CAS to CDS. The Navy was similar: Ombu et al. Right now, Olonisakin is CDS and you know where he hails from. And like the current service chiefs, one of whom is from the CRS Olonisakin is on OVERTIME!

Before I sign out, may I also plead that you don’t make it a habit to raise the ethnic flag when some public officers lose office. When they got, and held it, I doubt that they consulted you. Or did they?

We can interact as occasions demand more by phone calls. I’m not too disposed to writing “rejoinders” to privately-held views. But while comments are free, facts are sacred. The Nigerian project is of interest also to some of us outside of active political engagement/visibility.

Regards to Joe.-Kemi  Rotimi.

My comments:

Dear KR:I usually don’t do this  but this matter is so weighty and I need to make these  two points.

One, to pick NNPC, COAS and NNPC GMD under OBJ-GEJ does not answer what is going on today where 15 out of 17 service chiefs are from the North, the heads of the three arms of government from the core North, all heads of courts and agencies under the judiciary (CJN, President Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of Federal High Court etc) from the north and all revenue generating bodie (AMCON, FIRS, NPA, NNPC, Customs, Ministry of Finance et al) are in the hands of North. No southern president can try this and remain in that villa without Boko Haram opening secretariat in Abuja. What is happening is sui generis.

Read all my writings and you will not see me “raising ethnic flag” because people lose positions. Hell no! I have been very critical of Fowler for example. I only defend Federal Character. Or you are saying there are no qualified people in the South to mix  this “recklessness”?

Cheers my brother .

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Caption:

 

Participants pose with the organisers, after the training on strategic value chain entrepreneurial development at Sagbama town, Bayelsa State.

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Sagbama youths trained on strategic value chain entrepreneurial dev

 

Twenty-five participants from Sagbama town, Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State took part in the training on strategic value chain entrepreneurial development (including industrial attachment) for youths in the town.

It was organised by the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) in pursuance of her mandate in collaboration with McGeorge Consulting Ltd.

The one-week programme which was sponsored by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is aimed at empowering the youth to harness opportunities along the strategic value chain entrepreneurial development in Agriculture.

Executive Director, ARMTI, Dr Olufemi Oladunni, represented by the Auditor, ARMTI, Mr Raji Abdulrahman, said the programme was designed to empower the youth in agribusiness development in order to enhance participants’ competence in engaging agricultural value chain activities to boost agricultural production and eradicate hunger and poverty.

He affirmed that the training had the capability to impart useful knowledge to the participants and encourage entrepreneurship to boost the nation’s economy.

Oladunni further admonished the participants to actively participate in all activities as directed and tutored by the facilitators, as these would engender self-sufficiency and self-actualisation.

Lead Consultant, McGeorge Consulting Ltd,  Engineer (Dr) O.A. Ogunjirin said the programme was borne out of the dire need of government’s desire to equip the youth of Sagbama town with relevant skills in value chain entrepreneurial development in Agriculture, which was needed to drive and transform agriculture into an enviable level of excellence and sustainability in Nigeria.

He charged participants to move from a life based on crude (crude oil) to a life that is driven by green (agriculture).

Participants were tutored by seasoned facilitators on understanding the basic concept of agripreneurship and farming as a business; basic concept of value chain development; agricultural land management for crop production; fish farming for improved livelihood; poultry farming for improved livelihood; farm record keeping using mobile application, and market analysis and linkages.

Some of the participants who spoke after the week-long training lauded the Federal Government for sponsoring such a laudable programme to empower the youth to enable them to overcome emerging challenges.

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SIDELINES:

 

A court in Abuja ordered one Yakubu Nasiru, to be given 12 lashes for stealing eggs, butter, three loaves of bread, sachet milk and cash of N1,850 before he regains freedom after the convict blamed hunger for his act. Hmmm, the judge may have considered Nasiru’s strength to order a ‘koboko’ punishment that would make him go back home and sleep very well!

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BACK PAGE COLUMN:

 

Daily Trust’s DTN moment

 

This piece would never have been written because of the dictate of our fathers from the depth of the wisdom that chickens should get stuff to eat outside each other’s intensities put too many chicks or adults in too small an area and chickens pecking each other is bound to occur but there is a line they would not cross.

In like manner there is an ethical line in the media that no decent organisation crosses. Columnists do have different perspectives and disagree in a healthy manner and even even combative sometimes but for newspapers to take each other on openly in a very caustic manner is not a popular tradition especially on behalf of a government or regime.

It was that sacred line that the Daily Trust crossed last week when it turned to Aso Rock bulletin churning out a not very responsible editorial against the very popular editorial against the very captivating editorial against the serial abuse of power in Nigeria that is creating angst in the land and earning US international opprobrium like we got in the days of Abacha dictatorship.

The Punch editorial took a deep overview of the attitude of the government to the rule of law and made the following infallible observations:

“The entire country and a global audience are rightly scandalised by the unfolding saga over Omoyele Sowore and the unruliness of the SSS and the government; but it is only a pattern, a reflection of the serial disregard of the Buhari regime for human rights and its battering of other arms of government and our democratic institutions. The Punch views this tendency and its recent escalation with serious concern, knowing as the great thinker, Edmund Burke, said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Nigeria had trod a path, a veritable obstacle course, where repression, especially under military jackboots, was a malignant presence and this attracted heroic resistance by ordinary people, civil society groups and the press. But Nigerians have lately become lethargic, divided by ethnic and sectarian sentiments and weakened by widespread poverty brought on by a rapacious political class and bad governance.

The Punch will not adopt the self-defeating attitude of many Nigerians looking the other way after each violation of rights and attacks on the citizens, the courts, the press and civic society, including self-determination groups lawfully exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful dissent. This regime’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders and arbitrary detention of citizens reflect its true character of the martial culture. Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) ran a ham-fisted military junta in 1984/85 and old habits obviously run deep. Until he and his repressive regime purge themselves of their martial tendency therefore, The Punch will not be a party to falsely adorning it with a democratic robe, hence our decision to label it for what it is – an autocratic military-style regime run by Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).”

And it backed that with a resolve in the order of patriotic media organisations under repression like Malawian newspapers who once left their front pages blank to protest against media repression under Kamuzu Banda’s autocratic reign by declaring:

“As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, The Punch (all our print newspapers, The Punch, Saturday Punch, Sunday Punch, Punch Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially punchng.com) will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”

The paper is not new to standing for democratic values with its sister organisations across the country. It was for this reason it was shut down for several months by the Abacha junta in which our current leader served as PTF chairman and several key operatives of that evil reign in so many positions today. We can’t remember what Daily Trust stood for in those dark days.

The editorial gained wide acceptance among all Nigerians who have not sold their souls to the devil nationwide. The revered Sultan of Sokoto speaking in Abuja at the 2019 fourth quarter meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council with the theme, ‘Religion and civil authorities in dialogue for nation-building did not mince words when echoed punchy view disobedience to court orders was a recipe for lawlessness and chaos.

According to him, “If you are served a court order and you deliberately refused to obey it because you are a governor, president or any influential person, then you are setting a dangerous precedent.

The monarch said, “We must regularly obey and respect the laws of our land. We should never disregard the laws to avoid the consequences. If a court makes a judicial pronouncement on a particular matter, it should be obeyed to the letter.

“If you have any problem or disagree with the pronouncement, the next step is to appeal the pronouncement instead of disregarding or violating court judgments.

“Ignoring court orders by any category of leaders is equal to setting a bad and dangerous precedent for the future.

“Disagreements with any court order should be followed by an appeal and not disregard for such order.”

Days after him, our exalted Iku, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi  Adeyemi spoke truth to power at the 70th anniversary event of the Nigerian Tribune in Ibadan when he asked why any government in this modern age should be thinking of killing people for disagreeing with it as the nasty social media bill is seeking:

“If I have not killed anyone and I give an opinion that is contrary to the government’s, will it be sufficient reason for me to be hanged? Where are the lawyers in Nigeria? Can’t they speak up?

“Nobody is speaking up. If you don’t want to be criticised, then you don’t have to be in government,” he said.

The Alaafin recalled Awolowo’s projection that if the Northerners were not educated, the Almajiri would become bandits who are now being pacified when contrary opinions are being criminalise .

“Today, in Zamfara and Yobe, the governments are now subjected to banditry. And they are exchanging these bandits, giving them money. How can the government give bandits money? That is a collapse of governance and government.”

Our  leading monarchs are showing the perspective of what is right cuts across regional lines.

But Daily Trust would want to sustain the notion that we are different values locked in one country when it came with a reactionary  editorial rejoinder to The Punch opinion resembling the words of Femi Adeisina and Garba Shehu.

It would be a waste of media space to quote too much from the hogwash which my brother Farook Kperogi rightly dubbed unprofessional. I take this little from what the paper titled “Punch and Counter-Punch”, even when there is no punch in their counter:

“Secondly, the decision to refer to him by his military title removed focus from the real substance of the editorial which was the issue of alleged repressive tendencies and disrespect for the rule of law by the Federal Government. The editorial was an example of clear deductive logic and their decision to change Buhari’s nomenclature was the conclusion of their argument, not the premises. However this conclusion provided the opportunity for their editorial to be reduced to the mundane issue of whether or not Major-General Buhari (retd) has a right to be addressed as respectfully as “President”. That should not be in dispute because unlike his first sojourn this time around he was actually voted into office.”

What do we say to the fellows who will still continue to go  about with the word “trust” after this moral turpitude? They even said disrespect of court orders in Nigeria today is an allegation. Did they read it before they published?

They are reminded that there was a newspaper called Daily Times which was the most influential in the country for decades.In the years of my childhood “Daily Times” was the name for any newspaper.

Then came Abacha evil reign and the paper became a rag sheet in aid of authoritarianism. The readers rejected it and its building became only the relic of its existence. It was eventually sold off many years after its death and the new managers are struggling with the brand.

This editorial will haunt Daily Trust for ever like Abacha did to Daily Times!

 

The true meaning of GSM victory

 

I called my big egbon, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) minutes after the Supreme Court ruled on the Appeal Court contrived governorship crisis in Oyo State last Wednesday .

I told him what he did was not for my brother Governor Seyi Makinde, who earned his seat democratically but for the good people of Oyo State and Yoruba nation now spared of what would have been another “tatatatatata” like Kogi by power mongers who do not mind turning a whole state to ashes just to control its treasury.

Thank God we are now saved of a bloodbath because the court did not order a re-run.

In our pre-Banana Republic days, we would have called on the NJC to probe that  strange decision of the Appeal Court which made no sense outside compromise. That judgement that people cannot make sense of till today is a blight on our judiciary in this season of “anything goes”. Lawyers who participate in these shenanigans should be realising the harm they are doing to their profession hopefully.

The broader significance of GSM victory is that anyone thinking of making Yorubaland a one-party state should perish the nonsensical thought. Yoruba are one people but they cherish plurality.

Governor Makinde should continue to let the good people of Oyo know that they made no error in choosing him as their governor. He just must sustain his rating and do even more.

Congrats to him!

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SPORT PRESENTATION FOR MONDAY, DEC. 9, 2019

 

  1. Fallout of NOC’s AGM in Abuja, AFN crisis, other matters.
  2. Nigerians beg Samuel Peter to quit boxing.
  3. When will the decider between Joshua and Ruiz take place?

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Peter:

Former WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter halted in first-round by heavyweight prospect Arslanbek Makhmudov in their bouts on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

 

Unbeaten heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov (10-0, 10 KOs) scored a first-round TKO over 39-year-old Peter (38-9, 31 KOs) in a bout for the NABF title.

Beat Oleg Maskaev in 2008 to win the WBC belt.

 

Lost the WBC belt to Vitali Klitscko on Oct 11, 2008 after winning it on March 8, 2008. Has a six-month reign. He is 39 years old.

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AFN:

 

Shehu-Gusau reacts to corruption allegations.

 

Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau, embattled President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), has said that the federation will work diligently to unravel all corrupt practices in the federation.

 

Shehu-Gusau said this on Sunday in a news conference to address the situation of things happening in the federation.

 

He said that the measure was in keeping with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to accountability and transparency.

 

Shehu-Gusau was, however, suspended last week by some members for alleged violation of the constitution of the federation, misappropriation and misapplication of funds, and his penchant for taking unilateral decisions without the board’s approval, among other charges.

 

But while reacting to the allegations, Gusau said his travails began when he invited the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to look into the $130, 000 saga with a view to clearing his name.

 

“On the inauguration of our Board in July, 2017, I was confronted with an allegation in respect of USD150,000 paid to the AFN.

 

“I was accused of mismanaging the funds and in keeping with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to accountability and transparency, I submitted myself to the relevant agencies for investigation.

 

“The individual reports exonerated me from any culpability but raised questions which the agencies are diligently pursuing.

 

“My action in submitting myself to be investigated laid the foundation for the misunderstandings being experienced in the AFN today.

 

“It is common knowledge that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has been doing everything within his powers to attract foreign investments.

 

“He is also irrevocably committed to creating jobs, especially for our teeming youth,” he said.

 

He said that securing alternative means of funding the activities of the federation would ease the pressure on government.

 

“The sponsorship deal signed with Puma attests to the capacity of this board to attract private funding for sports from within and outside the country.

 

“It will also create jobs for the youth of this country as sports has the capacity to create enormous job opportunities.

 

“This is part of the reasons we seek autonomy to enable us to increase the funding base of the Federation.

 

“I am pleased to inform Nigerians that the Puma sponsorship deal, which is in kind, will run from Sept. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2022.

 

“It is unique in the sense that Puma will deliver kits worth USD2.76m to the Federation in Abuja, that way, we do not have to spend scarce resources available to be travelling to Germany to collect the kits.

 

“We are working hard to ease the pressure on government yet some people are bent on frustrating our efforts.

 

“Since the advent of this current leadership, there has been one problem or the other, all geared towards directly administering the Sports Federations.

 

“The AFN is not the first and if something is not done to curtail their excesses, it will definitely not be the last,” he said.

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Why we want autonomy for AFN – Shehu Gusau

 

 

The embattled President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ibrahim-Shehu Gusau, has said that the recent call by the federation at its congress in Awka, Anambra State, for autonomy from the Ministry of Youth and Sports was not made in bad taste.

 

Mr Gusau while speaking with journalists in Lagos on Sunday, noted that his board since inauguration has been faced with different problems but has been able to make some gains.

 

The AFN boss said he is positive that with the requested autonomy, more gains will be achieved.

 

He said: “Let me make it abundantly clear that everything we have done has been with the best interests of athletes in mind and an innate desire to develop athletics in Nigeria.

 

“We believe that without athletes, there will be no sports and without sports, there will be no Sports Federation.”

 

The AFN boss said though President Muhammadu Buhari has been doing everything possible to attract foreign investments, securing alternative means of funding the federation will ease the pressure on the government.

 

“This is part of the reasons we seek autonomy to enable us to increase the funding base of the federation. The sponsorship deal signed with Puma attests to the capacity of this board to attract private funding for sports from within and outside the country.

 

“The autonomy we are talking about is in so far as administering the federation is concerned and had always been in existence in the statutes of the AFN, the CAA and the WA.

 

“We have always borne all expenses associated with the administration of the federation.

 

“This does not, however, preclude the government, through the FMYSD, from meeting its obligations to the athletes.

 

“If athletes are representing Nigeria in a competition, it behoves on the government to take care of them because they are representing the country, not the federation,” Mr Gusau said.

 

He warned that if the crisis rocking the AFN is not quickly nipped in the bud, it may be a clog in the wheel of progress ahead of the Olympic Games.

 

He said: “The world is fast moving towards the independence of sports federations.

 

“We must join or risk being left behind. The Olympic Games is barely 6 months away.

 

“While other countries are consolidating on their plans to excel at the Games, our administrators are busy hounding the Federations.”

 

Two parallel congresses of the AFN were held last week with one controversially suspending Mr Gusau as the president of the Athletics body in Nigeria. The other congress announced the autonomy from the sports ministry.

 

The sports ministry has since recognised the congress that suspended Mr Gusau.

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AFN Acting President vows to unravel past corrupt practices

 

Thursday, December 5, 2019 9:13 pm | News, Sports

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Mgid

 

Olamide George, Acting President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN)

PHOTO: TheInterview Nigeria

 

Olamide George, Acting President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), says a fact-finding committee will work diligently in line with the law to unravel all past corrupt practices in the federation.

 

George made this known on Thursday in Lagos.

 

He said in a statement that all the atrocities that bedevilled the federation in the past few years would be looked into.

 

According to him, there is a need for the federation to rebuild its image and the confidence of athletes and officials by remaining committed to promoting its founding objectives.

 

“AFN is still a member of the National Sports Federation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and will continue to act in line with the Code of Governance.

 

“The Athletics Federation of Nigeria Constitution in Article 6.13 states An Ordinary Congress is held every year as stipulated by the National Sports Federation Code of Governance.

 

“The AFN ordinary elective congress is held every four years in line with the Olympic circle subscribe to.

 

“The purported Awka, Anambra State Congress is illegal and of no effect.

 

“It contravenes Article 6.1.4 which states that convening of the Congress shall be sent to the Secretariat of each member association by the AFN Head Office.

 

“It should be done at least 60 days prior to the date of the Congress of the Constitution of Athletics Federation of Nigeria,” he said.

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SIDELINES:

 

An Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) has been summoned before an Accra High court in Ghana following an allegation by a 20-year-old suspect, Jeff Omarsa, that he was only given 200 cedis of the 800 cedis he had with the police after his arrest. Hmmm, will police be magnanimous to the extent of granting a suspect loan or was the remaining 600 cedis detained too?

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ODUMAKIN COLUMN:

 

What is wrong with Amaechi?

 

There was this year the Faculty of Health Sciences in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife recorded an unusual mass failure of students that caught the attention of the students Union. A protest was mounted against the leadership of the faculty to explain what happened.

On the second day of the demonstrations, the Dean of the Faculty had to address the students and was a bit undiplomatic with the frankness of an Ondo man. He said something to the effect that “I have checked these results again and again and I couldn’t find anything wrong with them. “That statement infuriated one of the leaders of the protest who said to the Professor rudely “If you cannot see anything wrong with these results sir, something must be wrong with you?”

This incident flashed back to my mind lately when the Minister of Transportation in Nigeria, Mr Rotimi Amaechi looked what he must have thought a cowed country straight in the face and asked “What is wrong with my siting University of Transportation in Daura?”

The Minister in his childlike outburst at the commissioning of the University brought up all that is wrong with Nigeria as he declared;

“When we sited the factory at Kajola, there was no noise, nobody debated about it, nobody abused us for it unlike the site for the University.

“Daura is in Nigeria, it is not in any other part of the world. It is not in Niger Republic, Biafra or Mali, it is in Nigeria. So, what is wrong in siting the University of transportation in Daura?

“I have no regret siting this university where I have sited it, it is not because I want to get any gain,” Amaechi said.

According to him, the establishment of the University was an attempt at responding to the question of how we (Nigeria) will maintain the infrastructure we are building in the country.

He said: “It is my attempt at responding to the question of how to maintain and manage all the infrastructure we are building and realised that education is key.

“I engaged the companies, the first engagement was when they were constructing Lagos-Ibadan.

“They were not so keen at spending their funds to build a university for Nigeria until I refused to sign the contract for the Lagos to Ibadan railway.

“I insisted that I will only sign if three things are done

“The first thing is to take our children to China and train them by giving them first degree in railway technology.

“Today as I speak, 60 of our children are in their second year and we thank CCECC and 90 are on their way to China this week, making it 150.

“The second is that, if we must sign the purchase of locomotives in China, they must build a factory where we can construct for coaches, locomotives and wagon and today at Kajola that factory is being constructed.

“Finally, I insisted on the University of transportation and today we are here for the groundbreaking of the University and for all we are grateful to CCECC and the Chinese government (sic)”.

Anyone who has a robust idea of  how proper nations function would not miss the about 1000 “I” in the Minister’s speech.”I engaged”, “I insisted”, “I sited” etc as if he was talking of Amaechi and Sons Ltd and not the affair of a country. A minister of  Transportation holds a contractor by the throat in his office and insists his company must build a University in the country without any  input from the Ministry of Education that should have been able to decide on which way such a project would benefit the country. There should have been consideration about how much of technology a capitalist organisation whose motive is to cream the host country would be ready to transfer to a client it wants to continue to cream to be self-reliance. A proper country would ask if the construction company was an NGO that would not pass the cost of the structures (University?) that may not be more beneficial than a few buildings springing up, to the project it is handling .

What are the other things that a Minister who had all  the powers of “I insisted “ would have forced from the company that could possibly explain the celebrated scandal of how much the firm charged Nigeria for its railway and what it charged for  a similar job in neighboring Ghana?

With a so-called University in the home town of the President to boot, which of the anti-corruption agencies would ask the Minister any question on the rip-off.  The Cable alleged was being perpetrated with this contract in all the “I engaged “ and “I insisted “?

Do these officials think we can’t reason? Who doesn’t have some little idea of how to put meat in the corner of the mouth and not find anything again? And to now ask us what is wrong with siting the so-called University in the home town of the President by the supervising minister is rubbing salt on a festering injury. When we ran a proper country with ethics in public service ,would such a thing have happened?

One would not blame the Minister so much being a product of “new breed” ( new greed?) politics in the country who have no idea that there was a country that once had a moral finishing post. Which explained why when Ahmadu Bello University was built under the Sardauna of Sokoto, it was sited in Kaduna and not the Premier’s home town. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe as Premier of Eastern Region would have sited the University of Nigeria in his place in Onitsha instead of Nsukka but for moral boundary. And the great University Awolowo sited at the cradle of the Yoruba would have been sited in Ikenne if it was planned by those not driven by overall public good.

The story was told of how the Action Group (AG ) government mooted the idea of establishing a world-class cement factory. Some Amaechis in government decided the factory should be sited in the home town of the Premier, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Some AG operatives in Ikenne already secured land for the project and were already raising their shoulders all over town.

Their gallivanting lasted until the moral avatar came on the scene. When Baba Layinka got to know of the plan he summoned a meeting of all AG leaders in Ikenne with the supervising minister in attendance where he declared “What do you people take me for? I am the Premier of this region and the first factory we are building would be sited in my hometown? There are two options here: Ikenne should have the factory and I resign as Premier or I stay on and the factory goes elsewhere. “That was how Ewekoro became the home of the factory.

It was that profound consideration that saw to it that none of the many firsts Awo pioneered as Premier was sited in his hometown but the capital of Western Region and other parts. Ikenne remains famous till date because it gave Yoruba its greatest leader and not because that great man converted opportunity to opportunism by taking government projects to his home town.

If Nigeria needed a Transport University, a guided leadership would look at the best approach to properly set-up one and the ideal area that would support such. A report in Leadership Newspaper of February 15, 2016 titled “Almajiri Schools: The Rot and The Blame Game” showed the state of Almajiri School in Daura, a town that boasts of so many two years after:

“TETFund built Almajiri schools in Katsina, Daura, Danmusa, Dutsinma and Funtua LGAs in the state. About eight of such schools exist in Katsina State with most of them completed.

Findings by LEADERSHIP indicate that only that of Katsina, Funtua and Daura incidentally, the three major cities in the state, have begun what could MILDLY(emphasis mine) be referred to as academic activities.”

And how this prebendal spreads? The Chief of Army Staff had taken Army University to his town while the Chief Of Air Staff has also found his own village suitable for Air Force University.

Amaechi is still asking us what is wrong with all these acts of privatising the state? We should be asking: what is wrong with Amaechi?

 

Sowore bringing out the beast in them

 

A tragedy of monumental proportion hit this country yet again on Friday as the DSS invaded an Abuja court trying Omoyele Sowore with some creatures Mr Femi Falana (SAN) called “lumpen elements” to violently disrupt session and take away the man Mr Owei Lakemfa has now dubbed Prisoner of War (POW).

The Judge fled the court. Lawyers and journalists were harassed. Sowore was dragged on the floor like a common criminal by a system that would not bring killer herdsmen to court and treat Boko Haram activists with dignity.

The desecration of the court on Friday was the icing on the cake of the serial crude and violent assaults on the legislative and executive arms of government by the secret police. It started with the midnight raids of judges homes, followed by sealing of the National Assembly and now violation  of the temple of Justice.

I agree with Falana that those senior lawyers who are poster boys of this administration should bury their heads in shame they they are being recorded as aiders of the lawlessness of the administration that treats the judiciary with this sheer contempt and reckless impunity. The man dies in each and everyone of them.

I equally endorse the position of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka that dogs-even mad ones-would behave better than our DSS who now conduct themselves worse than Rafindadi NSO in a manner that suggests we do not hold any value dear again in this country.

Nigerians who still subscribe to decency must not accept what happened on Friday. This has gone beyond Sowore as I still hear comments from people who are not looking at the larger picture such as “Sowore was one of those who brought this upon us.”

If Sowore supported the emergence of this and they are now dragging him on the floor because he called for the right things to be done, the more reason those who were not with him to enthrone this should be worried. The Yoruba say half-brothers should be on their toes with a man who chastises his full-blooded brother with pestle .

History is on the side of Omoyele Sowore that his revolution that was not staged has brought out the beast in them like the uprising did to Botha in South Africa. He will live to write his memoirs.

My heart goes to his mum at this time. I shrunk at her pains in that interview she had.

……………….

 

 

 

Operation bankrupt Nigeria

 

The ant once shared a night of passion with the elephant and woke up the following morning to discover the bedmate was dead. Mr Aunt was in tears as he lamented “Just one night and I will now spend the rest of my life digging a grave.”

In like manner, Nigerians should be weeping today and screaming “Just two terms of APC and we and our children will now spend the rest of our lives paying debts.”

It was a rude shock that days after after Senate President Ahmed Lawan declared that ANYTHING President Buhari brought was good for Nigeria, the rubber stamp Senate received a request for another $30billion loan to add to the country’s crippling debt portfolio.

In re-submitting the letter for the loans rejected by the 8th Senate, the President said “While I transmitted the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan to the Eight National Assembly in September 2016, this plan was not approved in its entirety by the legislature.

Only the Federal Government’s emergency projects for the North-East’s four states projects and one China-Assisted Railway modernisation project for Lagos-Ibadan segment were approved out of the total of 39 projects.

“(b). That outstanding projects in the plan that were not approved by the legislature are nevertheless, critical to the delivery of the government’s policies and programmes relating to power, mining, roads, agriculture, health, water and educational sectors.

“These outstanding budgets are well-advanced in terms of the preparation, consistent with the 2016 date.

“Sustainability analysis undertaken by the Debt Management Office were approved by the Federal Executive Council in August 2016 under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan.

“Accordingly, I have attached for your kind consideration, relevant information from the Minister of Finance, the specific outstanding projects under the 2016-2018 external borrowing plan for which legislative approval is currently being sought.

“I have also directed the Minister to make herself available to provide any additional information or clarification which you may require to facilitate prompt approval of the outstanding projects under this plan.”

While this Senate of course lacks the testicular fortitude to ask any question on what happened to the projects the 8th Senate approved loans for in the order of a Yes-Assembly, the former Chairman Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt in the 8th Senate, Senator Shehu Sani  has revealed the patriotic reason why they turned down the $30 billion loan request was to save Nigeria from sinking into the dark gully of a perpetual debt trap.

He said that the action was aimed at averting a situation where the country would be recolonised by creditor banks.

He disclosed this in a press statement on Friday in Abuja while reacting to the loan request submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly.

Sani said the current escalation of borrowing would plunge the country into debt slavery and move us from landlords to tenants.

Sani said: “They will always tell you that even America is borrowing and I don’t know how rational is it to keep on borrowing because another country is borrowing.

“We turned down the FG loan request for $30 billion to save Nigeria from sinking into the dark gully of a perpetual debt trap. We don’t want our country to be recolonised by creditor banks.”

Sani added that our foreign debt in 2015 was $10.32billion before Buhari assumed power.

He lamented that the figure escalated to $22.08bn in the second quarter this year, which he said, represented a 114 per cent increase.

He said, “If we had approved that loan request, our external debt could have catapulted to over $52bn and that is not sustainable.”

A former Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Professor Anya O. Anya alerted the country in October that Nigeria has borrowed in three years under this administration more than it did in 30 years.

He explained that at current levels of over N25 trillion, it means that Nigeria has borrowed in three years more than it borrowed in 30 years previously, and for the country to remain peaceful and get the economy working better, it must return to the basics of federalism, as the foundation of her national enterprise.

He quoted the Debt Management Office(DMO) figures to the effect that our debt portfolio in 2015 was N12trillions but has now risen to N25trillions.

In his maiden broadcast to Nigeria on January 1,1984; Gen. Muhamadu Buhari said of the ousted profligate Shagari administration:

“It is true that there is a worldwide economic recession. However, in the case of Nigeria, its impact was aggravated by mismanagement. We believe the appropriate government agencies have good advice but the leadership disregarded their advice. The situation could have been avoided if the legislators were alive to their constitutional responsibilities; Instead, the legislators were preoccupied with determining their salary scales, fringe benefit and unnecessary foreign travels, et al, which took no account of the state of the economy and the welfare of the people they represented. As a result of our inability to cultivate financial discipline and prudent management of the economy, we have come to depend largely on internal and external borrowing to execute government projects with attendant domestic pressure and soaring external debts, thus aggravating the propensity of the outgoing civilian administration to mismanage our financial resources. Nigeria was already condemned perpetually with the twin problem of heavy budget deficits and weak balance of payments position, with the prospect of building a virile and viable economy.”

What would the mind that assessed the Shagari government in this fashion in 1984 say of what we are going through today in Nigeria?

There would have been some little comfort if there were deliverables for all the debts the administration is plunging Nigeria into.But we cannot find any. Our Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola continues to rationalise failures on the state of our roads. A few weeks ago he said the roads are not too bad and two days ago changed the bad tune to road users destroying the roads which he said are not too bad. Power supply remains epileptic. The health sector remains in a shambles as our top officials seek medical help abroad while leaving the rest of us to die at home.

Where have all the borrowed monies gone? What will happen to the fresh loans? Who will repay the debts? These are fundamental questions that would have been on the lips of Nigerians when the soul of this country was alive? The young people whose future is being pawned for death would have been confronting these decisions by now.

 

…How debt ruins

 

Stephen Simpson, CFA

 

There may be nothing more central to a country’s independence than the freedom to allocate its resources more or less however the populace wishes. High levels of debt directly threaten the ability of a government to control its own budget priorities.

………………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rubber stamp bringing guillotine

 

On a day myself and a brother sat glued to the TV watching the Intelligence Committee of the US House of Reprentatives putting the microscope on the actions of President Trump, the Nigerian Senate President, Ahmed Lawan (sorry Senator Lawan; lest one is marked for hate speech was making a very lousy declaration: “I want to assure you that any request that comes from Mr President is a request that will make Nigeria a better place in terms of appointments or legislation.”

This was why the Senate ratified with “bow and go” many ministerial nominees who should be answering questions at EFCC within a jiffy and has taken no one step to show it is an independent arm of government. It also explains why of all the problems confronting Nigeria today, it is the “Hate Speech Bill” which the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) would have been careful to touch that is now so appealing to the only arm of government that differentiates military rule from civil rule.

Those of us who have christened the 9th Assembly a rubber stamp are daily being proved right in a very tragic sense. Perhaps the only miss was that we didn’t warn that they would be this brazen in removing Nigeria from the list of open societies by initiating a bill that will make “hate speech”, a whimsical and capricious charge, an offense punishable by hanging.

A standard definition of “hate speech” would be found in a compilation of the speeches of APC leaders in 2014/15 BC (Before Change). Not one of them was invited by the police as they called the sitting President every available hate word in the dictionary talk less of facing the hangman.

The same people are now bringing a cruel law in  the order of the “National Razor” of France in its crude years.

The word “guillotine” dates  back to the 1790s  and the French Revolution, and it was for beheading and similar execution machines that had been in existence for centuries. There was a beheading device called the “planke” in Germany and Flanders during the Middle Ages, and the English had a sliding axe known as the Halifax Gibbet, which may have been lopping off heads from antiquity. The French guillotine was likely inspired by two earlier machines: “mannaia” from Italy, and the notorious “Scottish Maiden,” which claimed the lives of some 120 people between the 16th and 18th centuries. Evidence also shows that primitive guillotines may have been in use in France long before the days of the French Revolution.

It was Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (we will remember Lawan Senate like him) who proposed that the French government should adopt a gentler method of execution.  Guillotin was of the opinion that decapitation by a lightning-quick machine would be better than sword and axe beheadings, which were often botched. He later helped oversee the development of the first prototype, an imposing machine designed by French doctor Antoine Louis and built by a German harpsichord maker, Tobias Schmidt. The device severed the neck of its official victim in April 1792, and quickly became known as the “guillotine”—much to the horror of its supposed inventor. Guillotin tried to distance himself from the machine during the guillotine hysteria of the 1790s, and his family later unsuccessfully petitioned the French government to change its name in the early 19th century. I am sure those considering the “Hate Speech Bill” would be full of regrets some day.

During the Reign of Terror of the mid-1790s, thousands of “enemies of the French revolution” met their end by the guillotine’s blade. The “Hate Speeh” must have a similar target. Some members of the public initially complained that the machine was too quick and clinical, but before long the process had evolved into high entertainment. People came to the place de la Revolution in droves to watch the guillotine do its grisly work, and the machine was honored in countless songs, jokes and poems. Spectators could buy souvenirs, read a programme listing the names of the victims, or even grab a quick bite to eat at a nearby restaurant called “Cabaret de la Guillotine.” Some people attended on a daily basis, most famously the “Tricoteuses,” a group of morbid women who supposedly sat beside the scaffold and knitted in between beheadings. The theater even extended to the condemned. Many people offered sarcastic quips or defiant last words before being executed, and others danced their way up the steps of the scaffold. Fascination with the guillotine waned at the end of the 18th century, but public beheadings continued in France until 1939.

Children often attended guillotine executions, and some may have even played with their own miniature guillotines at home. During the 1790s, a two-foot-tall, replica blade-and-timbers was a popular toy in France. Kids used the fully operational guillotines to decapitate dolls or even small rodents, and some towns eventually banned them out of fear that they were a vicious influence. Novelty guillotines also found their way onto some upper class dinner tables, where they were used as bread and vegetable slicers.

As the fame of the guillotine grew, so too did the reputations of its operators of the head slicer. Executioners won a great deal of notoriety during the French Revolution, when they were graded on how fast and precisely they could orchestrate multiple beheadings. The job was often a family business. Multiple generations of the famed Sanson family served as state executioner from 1792 to 1847, and were responsible for dropping the blade on King Louis XVI among thousands of others.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the role of chief headsman fell to Louis and Anatole Deibler, a father and son pair whose combined tenure extended from 1879 to 1939. People often chanted the Sansons’ and Deiblers’ names in the streets, and their choice of clothing on the scaffold was known to inspire fashion trends in a society already sold to nothing more than the consciousness of an animal world. Executioners were also a subject of morbid fascination in the criminal underworld in France. According to some accounts, notorious gangsters and other hoods would get tattoos with grim slogans such as, “My Head Goes To Deibler.”

From the moment guillotine came on board, speculation abounded over whether the heads of the guillotined remained conscious after being severd. The debate reached new heights in 1793, when an assistant executioner slapped the face of one of his victims’ heads and spectators claimed to see its cheeks flush in anger in a show of how debauchery takes over a society. Doctors later asked the condemned to try to blink or leave one eye open after their execution to prove they could still move, and others yelled the deceased’s name or exposed their heads to candle flames and ammonia to see if they would react during the festivals of barbarity. In 1880, a doctor named Dassy de Lignieres even had blood pumped into the head of a guillotined child murderer to find out if it would come back to life and speak. The ghastly experiments were put to a stop in the 20th century, but studies on rats have since found that brain activity may continue for around four seconds after decapitation.

Though the guillotine is most famously associated with revolutionary France, but it may have claimed just as many lives in Germany during the Third Reich. Adolf Hitler made the guillotine a state method of execution in the 1930s, and ordered that 20 of the machines be placed in cities across Germany. According to Nazi records, the guillotine was eventually used to execute some 16,500 people between 1933 and 1945, many of them resistance fighters and political dissidents.

The guillotine remained France’s state method of capital punishment well into the late 20th century. Convicted murderer Hamida Djandoubi became the last person to be dispatched  by the “National Razor” after he was executed by the guillotine in 1977. Still, the machine’s 189-year reign only officially came to an end in September 1981, when France abolished capital punishment  completely with oddities of the past still alive.

Why Nigeria is going back to French 1790s which that country can not be proud of today can only be explained by our lack of any sense of history that prompted our country to remove history from school curriculum at a point.

At a time when a leadership with a sense of vision should be engaging the people and giving them succor, the current leadership in Nigeria is behaving like one that is at war with the people. Daily they give the impression that they are tired of the people.

Superior scholarship should have told them that it is better to allow people to express their views rather than that driving dissent underground which may now manifest in more dangerous ways. They should have known that Decree 4 of 1984 was meant to cow the media but it convicted only two journalists before the season expired and the press remained vibrant after the death of the gag law.

Unfortunately for them this will also come to an end. How many people can they hang before it comes to an end. They are the ones that would have the last regret when all these come to pass except they take the advice of Bertolt Brecht:

After the uprising of the 17th June

The Secretary of the Writers Union

Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee

Stating that the people

Had forfeited the confidence of the government

And could win it back only

By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier

In that case for the government

To dissolve the people

And elect another?

We wait for a bill to dissolve the Nigerian people from the Senate!

…………………..

Former Ghana president, John Dramani Mahama reportedly handled mower to clear weeds in the middle belt of the ‘Mahama’ Road in front of the newly-constructed Military Cemetary in Accra which hinders traffic flow. Hmmm, what an uncommon service to the nation by a former number one citizen! Indeed, power can never take one’s humility away except one never had this quality in the first instance.

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Ranti omo eni ti iwo se

 

Non-speakers of Yoruba language should pardon me for this week’s headline. It simply means remember the son of whom you are but it is sweeter in my native tongue. The ‘Chief Commander’, Ebenezer Obey has one of his evergreens in that line in which he admonishes proper-borns not to ever forget their roots no matter the peak they get to in life.

It’s about reminding about the ladder of life and the first step on it. A smooth climb can take you to a peak where you view the firmament all around you to the point that you begin to forget your roots as you are in another terrain. But the law of life is that you can’t hang up their for life. So before Isaac Newton spoke of whatever goes up must come down, our fathers from the depth of their wisdom have put the whole thing together when they said “laala to roke ile lo nbo” (the object doing all the wonders in the sky is rebounding on earth). That was the wisdom the English man learnt and said that you should be careful how you deal with people you see on your way up as you may encounter  them on your way down. Often in life, coming down is more reflective and sobering going up.

May the soul of Uncle Bola Ige rest in peace. I will never forget his admonition on a prominent NPN chieftain from Ibadan in 1982 on the then TSOS now called BCOS. He picked on all the good strengths of the brilliant politician but concluded sadly “won se oselu titi, won de gagbe ibi ti a ti biwon” (He played politics to the point of forgetting his roots).

Unfortunately, that has always been the lot of many Yoruba who find themselves playing at the centre. They always behave as if distancing themselves from their roots is a sure way of convincing the colonial masters that they are “loyal” and “detribalised”. Yet the people they are playing with make no such pretensions about their affinity with their own local people, culture and interests.

A friend of mine asked a question I have not been to answer. And I want any reader who has an idea to help me out. He said he has seen President Buhari moved the Presidency on occasions to his home town, the last time was when he gave Nigerians two days Sallah holidays and he spent nine days in Daura which became a tourist destination for all favor seekers. He then asked if VP Yemi Osinbajo has ever spent one night in Ikenne in four and a half years.

Which brings me to another gentleman from nearby Odogbolu who was CGS to the late dictator Sani Abacha. Diya was so ensconced in the allure of power and glory with Abacha that he was calling principled men in Yorubaland resisting Abacha under NADECO “agbako” (condensed Trouble). In the same manner somebody I don’t want to mention calls some of us insisting on our values “rascals” today.

I still recall what happened in Gbagada in Lagos about two weeks before Major  Al-Mustapha put Gen. Diya on his knees. The CGS was passing by and his convoy was like that of an ECOMOG Commander on a road show in Monrovia in the days of war. Everyone ran heller shelter and one pregnant woman ran into the culvert with her car and fainted. We rushed her to hospital. I recall the late Commodore Francis Ademoroti asking me that day “Can Diya go to Kaduna to do this? “In two weeks after Diya had kissed the dust.

A few months earlier he had shocked the Yoruba establishment in Owo at the burial of Pa Adekunle Ajasin the leader of NADECO. When Diya arrived at the Church, there were more solders than the people who had come for the farewell service for Ajasin .A lot of Ajasin’s colleagues were not even allowed into the service. I was looking at the gun of a soldier standing by my side inside the church that I could not pick half of what the preacher said.

But when Diya’s master bared their fangs against him it was “agbako” people that could speak for him. All his hangers-on kept mute. He is alive today because Abacha dozed off eternally the night before he was to be executed!

From Odogbolu back to Ikenne. A Professor came from the hometown of Baba Layinka to be Vice President of Nigeria in 2015. He is indeed married to the granddaughter of the sage. How much proud he is of that I am still deciphering as I have never  seen him once at the patronal service for Awolowo over the years.

Indeed as Vice President it became a pastime for him to repudiate Awo at every turn until it became necessary for some us to put up the lamp to look at his face.

As Attorney General in Lagos under Tinubu he fought many restructuring battles up to the Supreme Court  but started to diss the subject of federalism to please his bosses.

When Fulani kidnappers make our land so unsafe, he went to America to say it was all a hoax and we were making things up.

There are stories of Yoruba sons and daughters who needed a word here and there from our most senior representative in government but got adversarial treatment. We will talk about them in the future.

All those home goals have not counted in the days of dagger I warned about in “Arewa Songs of Conquest “ as we now see serial assaults on the office of the Vice President.

It is time to say “so tan?” but it is not in our character or DNA. We fought for Shugaba, we were at the forefront of breaking the back of the cabal when they stood against Goodluck Jonathan. We will always side constitutionalism and condemn injustice in all issues all the time.

There are those who have said that what is the incentives for our children to remember their roots when we will always stand for those who despise us in their days of affliction? It is a tough one really. There are various wisdoms of our fathers I have been reflecting on, on this.

There is one that says “Gba fun Muri nile, ni gba fun Gbada loko, ara oko tofe je buredi a fi su ranse sile” (Give to Muri at home is take for Gbada on the farm. The man on the farm who wants bread must have sent yam to town).

There is another one that says “Abuke to ni olorun o foju re wo ohun, se o o ko eyin re si olorun?” (The hunchback who is frowning that God is not looking at him with a good face has forgotten the type of back he is turning at God).

But there is binary in everything Yoruba. They say on the other hand that “Omo eni o se idi bebere ka fi Ileke si idi omo elomiran” (The crookedness of the waist of one’s child should not make one to wear beads on another ‘s child). That is complemented by “a leleyoro jina ka to ba adie wi” (We must have chased the hawk to a reasonable distance before chastising the chicken).

That was always the tug between my Comrade Professor Omotoye Olorode, a Microbiologist versed in Yoruba in Ife and my Vice Chancellor Professor Wande Abimbola, an authority in Yoruba. Whenever Professor Abimbola used a proverb to support establishment at Council meetings, Professor Olorode would find a counter one to further anti-establishment. They both lived in the same University community.

We will always find a way out of this  type of situation of farthing in one’s and poring honey in it simultaneously but our sons and daughters do not  always have to come to this sorry pass if they don’t allow politics to make them forget their roots in the order of Oloye Obsfemi Awolowo, a great Ikenne man,a Yoruba patriot and Nigerian nationalist.

 

FEEDBACK

Re: Atiku Abubakar: Constant as the Northern star

 

The encomium your showered on the Turaki Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was not misplaced. As a matter of fact, if any politician could be said to have impacted the nation’s political space the most, the person is Atiku Abubakar. The iconic IBB described the late Avatar, Obafemi Awolowo as the main issue in Nigeria politics. In actual fact, Atiku Abubakar has moved one step forward. He can be described as the determinant factor in Nigeria politics. At least, he has constantly played the role in the last three decades. In your write-up you have emphasised his role in June 12, which not need being repeated here. In the build up to the 1999 general elections which ushered in this present political dispensation, his role which catapulted him from a Governor elect to a Vice President elect was historic. In ‘2002-2003’ but for his magnanimity, President Olusegun Obasanjo might have failed in his bid for a second terminal in office. Ironically, he paid dearly for his attempt to outsmart the best military General in Africa in political chess game with his political ambition. Abubakar was the determinant of the two terms tenure of the president being maintained in Nigeria today. But for Atiku who rallied pro democracy elements together defend the sanctity of the Nigeria construction, his boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo would upturn the applecart. His roles in 2007 to 2011 are well known and need not being repeated here. However, but for his support for the incumbent president, hope of Buhari becoming the President would have been dashed. Although, as is common with military Generals, Abubakar ended up an hounded benefactor.

My point is that Abubakar Atiku is a Nigerian star and indeed a black star. His political credentials should not be a surprise to anyone because Yoruba adage says a club of a tiger must take after its mother. In terms of switfness, tenacity of purpose, large heartedness, bridge building ability, generosity and political dexterity, he took after his mentor and benefactor, Gen Sheu Musa Yar’ Adua of blessed memory. The last presidential election, in spite of the criminal betrayal of their party by some PDP stalwarts revealed Atiku Abubakar’s popularity in Nigeria. It is an irony that the change he helped ushered in has turned out to hurt him. His dove naively found itself in the company of  hyenas. His loss at the Election Tribunal is not unexpected, it is not in Nigeria’s character for a petitioner in a presidential election to get justice. Judiciary should not be expected to be the hope of common man in a state of nature. Democrats like Odumakin and like minds will do the nation good if they persisted in their pursuit of the good of this nation as Atiku has been doing. If Buhari after four attempts and at 72 could still become the President, nothing stops Abubakar from attaining the same prize. Restructuring is a must if Nigeria is to attain her destiny. Unfortunately, few Patriotic and visionary Nigerians noticed this fact. Non recourse to it by successive government is like postponing the evil day. Those who are benefitting from the lopsided political and economic space will not like to forgo the perks until political upheaval forced it down their throats- Adewuyi Adegbite.

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US President Donald Trump said that his wife of 14 years, Melania, would not cry if he got shot in an assassination attempt. What an expensive joke! Is Mr President trying to providing a comic relief? Will this kind of joke ever come from an average African leader whose dream is always to remain in power till eternity if possible?

…………………………

Atiku Abubakar: Constant as Northern star

 

A brief stopover at Dubai on my return from a trip to China afforded me the opportunity to meet with former Vice President of Nigeria and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in the last presidential election in Nigeria in company of my good brother, Mr Wale Gomez.

As we sauntered into his house, one of his aides asked us to write our names on the visitors’ note and took to him upstairs. Within minutes he was with us and two other guests who came to see him.

As we sat down chatting, a man who played influential role in the not-too-distant  past of Nigeria admirably also walked in and we moved to the table for lunch. Atiku was still his calm and measured self in spite of the fact that the Supreme Court of Nigeria only two days earlier “drove” an aeroplane to  speedily dismiss his petition against the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last Presidential poll.

It was one election in which the zeal of Waziri Atiku Abubakar was put to test, as he believed he earned a victory which the Supreme Court has now promised to give reasons for not agreeing with him.

It was Professor Ango Abdullahi who once told me that the late Major Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua confided in him on why he advised the late MKO Abiola to pick Atiku as his running mate.The master tactician said that he knew Gen Ibrahim Babangida would not easily relinquish power and that Abiola would need a fighter like Atiku to get into office in the battle that would ensue.

It happened as Yar’Adua predicted but Abiola did not have an Atiku in the field of battle as he succumbed to pressures from the SDP governors in particular to pick Alhaji Babagana Kingibe as running mate. Kingibe ditched Abiola shortly after the June 12 election was annulled!

In a similar twist, the election Atiku contested was almost one between him and the network he built over the years and ordinary members of his party. This was complemented by the efforts of Nigerians who don’t belong to the PDP but were tired of APC.

Most of the PDP governors were known not to have supported the candidate of their party. Some of them were alleged to have made more donations to the party they were supposed to have been in opposition to in a classical case of chicanery and high-quality sabotage. What Atiku witnessed at their hands was enough to make a skimpy-heart faint.

Not a man of his stuff. He soldiered on and fought a good fight to have received the official figures he got in the election. His campaign was clear about the need to reset Nigeria back to federalism. He was not a convert to the idea. At the 1995 National Conference, he was on the Devolution of Power committee and their report was essentially about federalism.

He spoke with passion and deep understanding of the issues involved in federalism. I remember his speech at a lecture in University of Nigeria Nsukka(UNN) where I was a guest about three years ago. I had made it to the lecture from the country home of the President-General of Ohaneze, Chief John Nwodo. Atiku told his listeners that it was the power of federalism that made the UCH in Ibadan a medical centre where the Saudi Royal family used to visit for medical treatment.

On another occasion in Lagos he talked about his native community having only about five policemen in the First Republic with all the effectiveness because they were indigenes of the community. They knew every honest people in the community and the rogues to go and challenge if anything got missing. He compared the situation to now that the same community has over 100 policemen who are less effective because they are deaf to criminals as most of them don’t speak the local language and blind to be able to pursue them since they don’t know the roads.

Atiku would have been able to persuade the North to accept the message of federalism with all its benefits as nobody would have been able to blackmail him since he is a northerner himself .

He would also have been able to rise above the fissiparous tendencies and unite the country around productivity which he has personal testimony in.

His detribalised nature and understanding of the deep sensitivities of the different sections of Nigeria would have made it very easy to commence the process of forging a united in Nigeria.

It has been a practical life issue for him.

General Muhammadu Buhari visited him in Lagos in 2015 shortly after emerging the winner of the APC primaries. The purpose of the visit was to seek his support in the general elections. Atiku promised to fully support Buhari only on one condition: he would  not toy with the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket. Buhari was said to have bowed his head and looked up after about five minutes with a promise that he would not run with a Muslim.

About an hour after he left, a Muslim from the South-West with a serving governor and a former interim Chairman of their party walked into Atiku’s residence. The Muslim praised Atiku for the sacrifices he is always ready to make for democracy. He recalled how he stepped down for Abiola in 1993.

After he finished rendering all his composition, the former party Chairman took over and reportedly told Atiku: “We are here for an important matter. General Buhari did promise this man that he would make him his running mate before the primaries. Now that he has won, we need your assistance to get that fulfilled.”

Atiku looked them round and fixed his gaze at the former chair and said, “In 2007, when you handed me the AC ticket, you remember you told me not to do a Muslim-Muslim ticket? What has changed now in 2015 for you to back a Muslim-Muslim ticket?”

Silence descended on the room and that was the end of the meeting.

This is the kind of leadership that Nigeria has missed as the judiciary brought a closure to the whole election process. How Nigeria survives without going back to federalism and its present reeling under exclusive leadership is one big question hanging in the air .

Speaking at a book launch in 2016, Atiku cut Nigeria’s job for it when he said:

“I have spoken a number of times in the past several years on the need to restructure our federation in order to devolve more power and resources to the federating units. Recently I went to Kaduna and told an audience of mostly my compatriots from the North, where most of the resistance against restructuring seems to come from, that restructuring is in the interest of the north and Nigeria…

“We must acknowledge that what got us to our current over-centralised, and centre-dominated federal system is political expediency and fear, and bolstered by the command and control character of military regimes. But after 50 years of “unitary federalism” we are now in a position to clearly see that it has not worked well. The federating units in the First Republic had their disagreements but none claimed to lack autonomy of action, and none waited for federal fiscal allocations before it could implement its programmes and pay salaries. The current structure may be working for some elite, but it has clearly not worked well for any section of this country and the country as a whole. We should take deliberate steps to change this structure to serve us better. And we should not dither for too long that we let fear and expediency stampede us into another disastrous policy shift that may not serve us well either. We have to acknowledge that federalisms are works in progress: there is no ideal federal system or so-called true federalism. Each nation has to work out the best federal system suited for it. In Nigeria’s case we must acknowledge that it is disingenuous if not outright dishonest to say that the system is not the problem. If the problem is just the operators how come we have failed for 50 years to produce the right people? Should we import them from outer space? A look at our 1999 constitution, specifically Section 7, which, as the Introduction to this book notes, has 83 legislative items as against 15 for the states (which the Federal Government can also override) shows that there is a huge problem with the system. I challenge anyone who is against restructuring our federation to show me another well-functioning federal system in the world with that level of lopsided central dominance. Individuals operate within certain structural and institutional constraints. If all we lack are good operators, as these people argue, would anyone advocate doing away with constitutions altogether so we rely on fantastic individuals to do the right things.”

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SIDELINES:

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo reportedly begged Nigerians to bear with the Federal  Government over the border closure, saying it will ensure that commodities become cheaper in the country as smuggling has stopped, while the system would also encourage local farmers to prosper. Good initiative, but according to the popular saying, a roasted dog is always nutritious, but what will the owner feed on until the delicacy is ready?

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There was never a country

 

The last testament of one of the greatest novelists Africa ever produced, Professor Chinua Achebe, on Nigeria was “There Was A Country”. It was a moving story of the disintegration of the very idea of a country in Lugard’s creation.

I read the book in three nights but the question that kept nagging my mind was if there was ever a country in Nigeria. And Chief Obafemi Awolowo is my witness once again.

He recorded in “The Travails of Democracy and the rule of Law” how the Action Group (AG) stormed Northern Nigeria in 1959 with sophisticated campaigns that did not take into consideration the clash of civilisations that plagued the nation-state.

The AG campaign forced the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahamadu Bello for the first time in all his princely life to descend from his high horse and get on the roads and market places to meet the ordinary people and ask for their votes. Awo and his team had posed a nauseating challenge to the feudal concept of “born to rule”.

One day, the Sarduana after series of public meetings and rallies stopped at a catering house to have his lunch. He brought out his handkerchief, sneezed into it and discovered his nostrils were filled with dust. He shook his head vigorously and spoke in utter revulsion: “I shall never forgive Chief Awolowo for this!”

A report in the Sunday Express of 20th December, 1959, on page 2 was a kind of open declaration of war in a story quoting the Sarduana as saying “I shall divide Nigeria into two and hand them over to my lieutenants”. The report read:

“Sir Ahmadu Bello contended that NPC’s new decision to invade the South politically was a reply to the recent invasion of the North by Southern political parties.

He cited a portion in the Koran which says ‘you have come to our home and from now on we shall be taking the battle to your own house.’

Sir Ahmadu Bello claimed that like his great grandfather, Shehu Othman Dan Fodio, he said after his conquests, divided the conquered country between his two sons, ‘I too after conquering the South will also divide Nigeria into two to be taken charge by two of my lieutenants.”

He said the South had already been handed over to Alhaji Abubakar, the Prime Minister, and added that before his resignation from politics, he would appoint another to take over the administration of the North. He presented a cloak of Authority to Balewa.”

The conquest and domination Balewa reign in Lagos symbolised in 1959 in the words of Bello is what Abuja now codifies in the lives of Southerners today!

Several injuries were inflicted on the AG in the course of the 1959 election campaigns that showed there was no country and it is knocking heads against the bind trying to live with the false notion of one till date.

There was the beating up of an organising secretary of the AG on the orders of a Sokoto Prince, and abandoned as dead. The victim came back to life later at Sokoto General Hospital, under the care of an expatriate doctor.

A report was made to the Native Police Authority which ignored it and to the Nigerian Police who confessed that they were unable to act, because the crime occurred in Sokoto city outside their jurisdiction.

Mr Thanni who led the AG team of lawyers was then instructed by the party to institute private prosecution. He did and the prince involved was convicted by an expatriate magistrate who sentenced him to two years imprisonment with hard labour. The prince appealed to the High Court which dismissed it.

The expatriate magistrate who tried the case in the first instance and the expatriate doctor who testified to the condition of the applicant when he was in the hospital for treatment left Nigeria for good within a month of the conviction of the Prince. The High Court Jugde, Sir Algermon Brown who heard the appeal and dismissed it committed suicide by shooting himself within a fortnight of the adjudication of the appeal.

On another occasion, Awo went to campaign in a district of Sokoto in an helicopter. He had been given a permit to hold a meeting but refused permit to land in any of the public open spaces available. The AG leader in the area decided to uproot his groundnut plants, levelled the heaps and invited Awo to land there. Awo accepted to land in the private open space.

When the rally was over and Awo retired to the hotel, Mr Thani came around midnight to report to him and Chief Ayo Rosiji that the man who uprooted his groundnuts for the helicopter to land had been tied to a tree on the orders of the District Head. It was upon protest to the expatriate Senior District officer who went to appeal to the District  Head that led to the man being untied!

Another bizarre occurrence involved Chief Ayo Rosiji who was the General Secretary of the AG. He went to Raba the hometown of the Sardauna to address a rally. The AG had a good followership in the area. As he was returning from the rally, the only road leading to the town was already taken over by thugs. He was lucky that his car was not recognised until he had almost reached the end of the road. Even at that, the car was badly damaged with axes from the rear to the middle with Rosiji escaping with life by whiskers.

About 10 days to the election, Awo arrived in Bauchi only to discover that Mr Azi Nyako had been imprisoned for an offence which his driver allegedly committed about  six months earlier. It was the case of  the running-down of a young girl by Nyako’s driver. The police investigation into the matter showed that the little girl was at fault. All eyewitnesses, including her parents, testified that that the girl mistakenly ran from the front of a stationery lorry across the road without looking. The offence of Nyako was sitting at the back of the car!

Mr Jubilee Sagoe who was the AG lawyer in Bauchi was directed to appeal to the Senior District Officer in the area. The latter called for the record of the trial and there was none. Mr Nyako was therefore released within five hours.

But his real offence was that he was the AG candidate who contested against Balewa the incumbent Prime Minister and making him to have one of the slimiest wins across the country.

There was yet another incident in Sokoto where the Native Authority at the very last minute refused the AG permit to hold a rally two hours to the schedule. As meetings in private premises were not outlawed, Awo decided they should hold the meeting in the house of the Sokoto branch leader of the party around which a fence was hurriedly erected. The meeting was shifted for about four hours to allow the Prince and retired police boss to put up the fence.

One hour to the meeting, NPC thugs stormed the venue and pulled the fence down and set the place on fire. Those who gathered took to their heels and the Prince had a big machete cut in his right arm for resisting the invaders.

It was in the midst of this ethnic stone-walling that Nigeria got Independence in 1960. And within two years, Awo was jailed for not being forgiven for the dusts in the feudal and aristocratic nose.

A country never blossomed in Nigeria talk less of the false nation some people mouth for convenience. This is the reason why patriots continue to insist we re-negotiate  Nigeria and reset it, but the beneficiaries of the unjust arrangement continue to pretend not to understand restructuring because the command and control order benefits from this chaos.

…Eagerness for gbese

I wrote here last week of the calamitous rate at which the Nigerian government is piling up debts that may totally bankrupt. I made reference to the Finance Minister’s announcement that the World Bank had approved another $3billion loan for electricity projects for Nigeria.

But the spokesman for for the bank on Wednesday told TODAY NEWS AFRCA USA that the Minster may not be totally correct:

“The World Bank and the Nigerian Government are in discussion for technical and financial assistance to support Nigeria’s power sector reform.

The focus is to improve access to electricity for the people of Nigeria. Discussions regarding our support are ONGOING (emphasis mine) and more details will be available when the negotiations are completed by March 2020.”

It is confounding how our officials continue to appear like the management of a failed company who are engrossed in assets stripping with the love of debts.

…………

 

 

 

 

 

October 24, 2019.

The Commissioner for Youth and Sports,

Oyo State Secretariat,

Ibadan.

Sir,

 

REQUEST FOR BUS FOR GHANA TRIP

 

I write on behalf of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Oyo State chapter to inform you that one of our boxers, Akeem Sadiku ‘Dodo’ is scheduled to fight in Ghana on November 2, 2019.

The undefeated national light/middleweight boxer, Dodo, is listed to fight on the night of boxing festival dubbed ‘Fist of Fury’ where World Boxing Organisation (WBO) bantamweight world title contender Ghanaian Joseph Agbeko will face Kenyan Gabriel Ochieng in the main bout.

The event which is being organised by Aborigines Promotions will take place at the Aborigines Beach Resort KETA, Volta Region, Ghana.

In view of this, the NBB of C, Oyo State chapter humbly request for a 16-seater bus to convey Board members to Ghana on November 1 for the fight.

Dodo, it will be recalled this year, stopped Republic of Benin’s Ekpresso Djamihou via a TKO in Round 4 in the 18th GOtv Boxing Night while he secured a first round TKO against Lokossou Jacob of Benin Republic in an eight-round international middleweight challenge bout in his last fight in August.

It is our belief that the support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in this regard will further motivate our boxer, ‘Dodo’ to excel in Ghana God willing.

 

Best sporting regards.

 

Salman Ganiyu.

Secretary-General.

…………………….

 

 

 

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS:

 

SENATE PRESIDENT: Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan.

 

DEPUTY SENATE PRESIDENT: Senator Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege.

 

SPEAKER. House of Representatives: Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

DEPUTY SPEAKER, House of Representatives: Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase.

 

33 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF OYO STATE AND HEADQUARTERS:

 

1 AFIJIO -Jobele

2 AKINYELE-Moniya

3 ATIBA-Ofa-Meta

4 ATISBO-Tede

5 EGBEDA-Egbeda

6 IBADAN NORTH-Agodi-Gate

7 IBADAN NORTH EAST-Iwo-Road

8 IBADAN NORTH WEST-Onireke

9 IBADAN SOUTH EAST-Mapo

10 IBADAN SOUTH WEST-Ring-Road

11 IBARAPA CENTRAL-Igbo-Ora

12 IBARAPA EAST-Eruwa

13 IBARAPA NORTH-Ayete

14 IDO-Ido

15 IREPO-Kisi

16 ISEYIN-Iseyin

17 ITESIWAJU-Otu

18 IWAJOWA-Iwere-Ile

19 KAJOLA-Okeho

20 LAGELU-Iyana-Ofa

21 OGO OLUWA-Kinnira

22 OGBOMOSO NORTH-Arowomole

23 OGBOMOSO SOUTH-Ajaawa

24 OLORUNSOGO-Igbeti

25 OLUYOLE-Idi-Ayunre

26 OORELOPE-Akanran

27 ONA ARA-Igboho

28 ORIRE-Ikoyi-Ile

29 OYO EAST-Kosobo

30 OYO WEST-Ojongbodu

31 SAKI EAST-Ago-Amodu

32 SAKI WEST-Saki

33 SURULERE-Iresa-Adu

………………………..

 

MINISTERS AND THEIR PORTFOLIOS SINCE AUGUST 21, 2019.

 

  1. Dr Ikechukwu Ogah (Abia State) -Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development

 

  1. Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa State) -Minister of the Federal Capital Territory

 

  1. Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom State)- Minister of Niger Delta

 

  1. Chris Ngige (Anambra State)- Minister of Labour and Employment

 

  1. Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra State)-Minister of State Environment

 

  1. Adamu Adamu (Bauchi State) -Minister of Education

 

  1. Maryam Katagun (Bauchi State) -Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment

 

  1. Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa State) Minister of State, Petroleum under the President

 

  1. George Akume (Benue State) -Minister of Special Duties

 

  1. Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno State) -Minister of State, Agric and Rural Development

 

  1. Goddy Jedy Agba (Cross River State) -Minister of State, Power

 

  1. Festus Keyamo (Delta State) -Minister of State, Niger Delta

 

  1. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi State) -Minister of Science and Technology

 

  1. Osagie Ehanire (Edo State) -Minister of Health

 

  1. Clement Ike (Edo State) -Minister of Budget and National Planning

 

  1. Richard Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti State) -Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

 

  1. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu State) -Minister of Foreign Affairs

 

  1. Ali Isa Pantami (Gombe State) -Minister of Communications

 

  1. Emeka Nwajiuba (Imo State) -Minister of State, Education

 

  1. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa State) -Minister of Water Resources

 

  1. Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna State) -Minister of Finance

 

  1. Muhammad Mahmood (Kaduna State) -Minister of Environment

 

  1. Sabo Nanono (Kano State) -Minister of Agriculture and Development

 

  1. Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Kano State) -Minister of Defence

 

  1. Hadi Sirika (Katsina State) -Minister of Aviation

 

  1. Abubakar Malami (Kebbi State) -Minister of Justice

 

  1. Ramatu Tijjani (Kogi State) -Minister of State, FCT

 

  1. Lai Mohammed (Kwara State) – Minister of Information and Culture

 

  1. Senator Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara State) -Minister of State, Transportation

 

  1. Babatunde Fashola (Lagos State) -Minister of Works and Housing

 

  1. Adeleke Mamora (Lagos State) -Minister of State, Health

 

  1. Mohammed H. Abdullahi (Nasarawa State) -Minister of State, Science and Tech.

 

  1. Zubair Dada (Niger State) -Minister of State, Foreign Affairs

 

  1. Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun State) -Minister of Mines and Steel development

 

  1. Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo State) -Minister of State, Labour

 

  1. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State) -Minister of Interior

 

  1. Sunday Dare (Oyo State) -Minister of Youth and Sports

 

  1. Paulen Talen (Plateau State) -Minister of Women Affairs

 

  1. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State) -Minister of Transportation

 

  1. Maigarai Dingyadi (Sokoto State) Minister of Police Affairs

 

  1. Sale Mamman (Taraba State) -Minister of Power

 

  1. Abubakar D. Aliyu (Yobe State) -Minister of State for Works and Housing

 

  1. Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara State) -Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

……………….

FIRST NIGERIAN PROFESSORS IN VARIOUS DISCIPLINES:

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of History – Prof. Kenneth Dike (From Awka, Anambra).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Philosophy – Prof Olubi Sodipo (From Ilishan-Remo, Ogun state).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Linguistic – Prof Ayo Bamgbose (From Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of French Language – Prof Evans.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Arabic language and Islamic studies – Prof M.O.A Abdul (Ijebu Ode, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Yoruba and African Literature – Prof Wande Abimbola (From Oyo, Oyo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Music – Prof. Lazarus Ekwueme (From Oko, Anambra State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Theatre and Arts – Prof Joel Adeyinka Adedeji (Esa Oke, Osun State).

 

  1. First Professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria – Prof Alfred Opubor (Nigerian-Cotonou).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Library and Information Science – Prof Mrs Adetoun Ogunsheye.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Education – Prof. Aliu Babatunde ‘Babs’ Fafunwa (Isale Eko, Lagos State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Physical Education – Prof. M. Oluwafemi Ajisafe (Ekiti State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Tests and Measurement – Prof. Dibu Ojerinde (Igboho, Oyo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Law – Prof Teslim Olawale Elias (Lagos State)

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Agriculture – Prof. Victor Adenuga Oyenuga (Ijebu Ife, Ogun state).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Animal Science – Prof. Gabriel. M. Babatunde (Afijio, Oyo State).

 

  1. First Nigeria Professor of Forestry – Professor Kolade Adeyoju (Ijan-Ekiti, Ekiti State).

 

  1. First Nigerian professor of clinical pharmacy – Prof. Nzebunwa Aguwa (Eke-Nguru, Imo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Medicine – Prof. Theophilus Ogunlesi (Sagamu, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Nursing – Prof (Mrs). Elfrida. O. Adebo (Abeokuta, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Physiotherapy – Prof. Vincent C. B. Nwuga (Asaba, Delta State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Anatomy – Prof. Thomas Adesanya Grillo (Lagos State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Physiology – HRH Prof. Joseph Chike Edozien (Asaba, Delta State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Psychiatry – Prof. Thomas Adeoye Lambo (Abeokuta, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Public Health – Prof. Oladele Ajose (Lagos State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Nutrition ~ Prof. Babatunde Oguntona.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Paediatrics – Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti (Abeokuta, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Botany – Prof. Eni Njoku (Ohafia, Abia State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Physics – Prof. Muyiwa Awe (Esie, Kwara State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Statistics – Prof. Nwoue Adichie “Chinamada’s dad (Abba, Anambra).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Mathematics – Prof. Chike Obi (Anambra State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Geology – Prof. Mosobolaje O. Oyawoye (Offa, Kwara State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Computer Science – Prof. Olu Longe.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Chemistry – Prof. Stephen Oluwole Awokoya (Awa-Ijebu, Ogun state).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Architecture – Prof. Ekundayo Adeyemi (Iyin-Ekiti, Ekiti State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Urban and Regional Planning – Prof. Adepoju Onibokun (Iwoye-Ijesha, Osun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Estate Management – Prof. John. A. Umeh (Nnobi, Anambra State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Accounting – Prof. Micheal A. Adeyemo (Irun-Akoko, Ondo State)

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Marketing – Prof. Julius Onuorah Onah (Orba, Enugu State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Insurance – Prof. Joseph. O. Irukwu (Eteem, Abia State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Chemical Engineering – Prof. Sikiru A. Sanni (Ibadan, Oyo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Industrial Engineering – Prof. David. E. Osifo (Benin-city, Edo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Civil Engineering – Prof. Ifedayo O. Oladapo (Ondo, Ondo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Petroleum Engineering – Prof. Gabriel Kayode Falade

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Mining Engineering – Prof. Zacheus Opafunso (Ede, Osun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Public Health Engineering – Prof. Paul Aibinuola Oluwande.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Geography – Prof. Akin Mobogunje (Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State)

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Psychology – Prof. Dennis Ugwuegbu (Orlu, Imo State).

 

NIGERIA’S FEMALE FIRST PROFESSORS:

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor ever – Prof. (Mrs) Felicia Adetoun Ogunsheye.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Law – Prof. (Mrs) Jadesola Olayinka Akande.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of History – Prof. (Mrs) Bolanle Awe.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Pharmacy – Prof. (Mrs) Babalola Chinedum Peace.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Psychiatry – Prof. (Mrs) Olayinka Omigbodun.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Mass Communication – Prof. (Mrs) Chinyere Stella Okunna.

 

  1. First Female Physics Professor in Africa – Prof. (Mrs) Deborah Ajakaye.

 

  1. First Female Professor of Chemistry in Nigeria – Prof. (Mrs) Modupe Ogunlesi.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Quantity Surveying in Africa – Prof Olubola Babalola.

 

  1. First female Nigerian Professor of Accounting – Prof. Jane Ande.

 

  1. First Female professor of physiotherapy in Africa – Prof. Arinola O. Sanya.

 

  1. First Female Professor of Computer Science – Prof Adenike Osofisan.

 

  1. First female professor of Chemical Engineering in Nigeria – Professor (Mrs) P.K. Igbokwe.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Mathematics Education – Prof. (Mrs). Grace Allele-Williams.

 

  1. First Female Professor of Animal Breeding & Genetics in Nigeria – Prof. Adebambo Ayoka. O. Ayoka-Olufunmilayo.

 

  1. First Female Professor of Yoruba Studies in the world – Prof. (Mrs). Omotayo Olutoye

 

  1. First Female Professor of Agriculture in Nigeria and First Female Professor of Agricultural Economics in Africa ~ Professor (Mrs) Tomilayo O. Adekanye.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Urban and Regional Planning – Prof. (Mrs). Ogbazi Joy Ukamaka.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Animal Science – Prof. Mrs Oyebiodun Longe.

 

POPULAR RIVERS IN AFRICA:

 

  1. Cuanza – Angola
  2. Turbeville River – South Africa
  3. Karla Zorrilla River (Western Cape)
  4. Groot River (Southern Cape)
  5. Groot River (Eastern Cape)
  6. Gamtoos River – South Africa
  7. Ihosy River – Madagascar
  8. Kafue River – Zambia
  9. Kuiseb – Namibia
  10. Luangwa River – Zambia
  11. Mania River – Madagascar
  12. Sankuru – Democratic Republic of the Congo
  13. Lualaba – Democratic Republic of the Congo
  14. Wouri – Cameroon
  15. Tana- Kenya
  16. Ruvuma – Tanzania
  17. Shebelle – Somalia
  18. Juba – Somalia
  19. River Benue – Nigeria
  20. River Niger – Nigeria
  21. Cestos River – Liberia
  22. Sebou River – Morocco
  23. Chelif River – Algeria

…………………

 

 

SIDELINES:

 

One Richard Appiah, 33, who bagged a 24-month jail term for stealing  about 24 mobile phones in Ghana, declared in court that he did not know how he stole the items. Perhaps, Appiah does not need to worry again as the prison yard remains the place to teach him modesty which he lacked in the first instance!

………………………

 

ODUMAKIN COLUMN:

 

Balewa taqiya Awo and his descendants continue

 

The essence of inheritance is that two generations should not travel the same hard road. That was what Oloye Obafemi Awolowo had in mind by documenting even the minutest of his travails in Nigeria’s political forest of a thousand demons. At his transition in 1987, he willed this huge library of his experiences in the syntax of Nigeria in volumes upon volumes that should guide any group that subscribes to his political views and ways in navigating the treacherous political landscape of Nigeria.

But the greatest tragedy of Awo’s post-life political career is the wobbling and fumbling of players on his lane who are are largely illiterate and too lazy to read their best bequeath.I was told of a governor in Yorubaland who was given a copy of Awo’s “The Strategy  and Tactics of The People’s Republic “ as a good read for leadership .He took the book and admired it briefly .Instead of keeping quiet and be thought of being ignorant, he opened his mouth and removed all doubts when he said “Awon Awolowo yi tun raye ko novel sa” (This Awo even had time to write novels!).

That sums up the shame of a leadership without the mental magnitude and intellectual fortitude to play the dexterous power game of Nigeria with its sharks and jackals. They would always be worsted because they don’t even have an idea of the terrain and are only groping in the dark.

Read Awo’s experience of taqiya (deception) on 30th-Sept to October 1,1960 in the hands of PM Tafawa Balewa and what political players from Yorubaland are still going through today:

“As the attainment of Independence approached, invitations for various functions and ceremonies came to me in large numbers. Invitation cards were sent to me for all the functions. However, on examining them and accompanying car labels, I was satisfied that they were not meant for me as the Leader of the Opposition for whom the Prime Minister or his Government had any due regard. As one of the leading architects of Nigeria’s Independence, I felt greatly affronted by the types of invitation cards and car labels sent to me. I decided to ignore all the invitations but one: that for the ceremony on the night of 30th September, 1960, where, at midnight, the Union Jack would be lowered for ever to be replaced by the Nigerian Flag. Consequently, I did not, at all preceding functions, put in an appearance.

“In the meantime, both Sir Abubakar and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe noticed my absence from all the functions preceding that of 30th September. Zik spoke to me on the telephone from Lagos and expressed surprise at my absence. Sir Abubakar also spoke to me on the telephone and expressed similar surprise. I gave Sir Abubakar the same reply as I had given to Zik. Sir Abubakar gave me an appointment for seven o’clock at his official residence in Lagos. So I left Ibadan the same afternoon, and was in the compound of his official residence at 6.55 p.m. prompt. When I got there, his Private Secretary, Mr. Odukale, told me that I would have to wait for a while. He very respectfully invited me to wait in his office until the Prime Minister was ready. The Prime Minister regretted the inconvenience that might be caused me; but he had to attend to some Heads of State who were attending the Independence ceremonies. I then asked to know from Mr. Odukale for how long I would have to wait. He did not know; but it would not be up to an hour. Then I remarked to Mr. Odukale:

‘I see-e-e. You will tell the Prime Minister that I am here at the time appointed by him. I have come all the way from Ibadan. I certainly cannot and will not wait. If he is still keen on having a meeting with me, he could contact me at Dr. Akanni Doherty’s place between now and eight o’clock, or at the Ikeja VIP Rest-house anytime after half past eight.’

“To his credit, Sir Abubakar rang me up about 9 p.m. at the Ikeja VIP Rest-house. We spoke. He expressed regret for not being able to attend to me at the time appointed by him, and offered to come over to see me immediately at Ikeja. He came, and we discussed. I repeated what I had told him previously on the telephone  and added, from my point of view, one important piece which I had earlier mentioned to Zik on the telephone, but did not tell Sir Abubakar during our telephone conversation. I stated, with all emphasis at my command, that in any ceremony or function connected with Nigeria’s Independence, I was prepared to give precedence to only Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and himself as Prime Minister of the Federation. If they were around, I would give precedence to three other outstanding nationalists, namely, Ernest Ikoli, Oba Samuel Akinsanya, and H.O. Davies – all of whom were great pioneers in the agitation for Nigeria’s self-determination. I would not give precedence to anyone else. But the invitation cards sent to me put me in the same bracket as Junior Ministers and Civil Servants.

“Sir Abubakar apologised and promised to make amends. In addition, he undertook to send me a police motor-cyclist to help me beat the traffic hold-ups on my way to and from social functions. I thanked him very much, and we parted.

“The following morning I received new invitation cards and car labels for the night of 30th September. I was accompanied by my wife who was also invited. When we got to Tafawa Balewa Square, our invitation card was examined by the official usher who, after visibly shaking his head, took my wife and myself to the appropriate place indicated on the invitation card. On getting there, we found ourselves in the midst of ex-servicemen! I was shocked to find Sir John Rankine and his wife there too! Sir John Rankine was the immediate predecessor in office of Sir Adesoji Aderemi as Governor of the Western Region. He had been invited to the Independence Ceremonies by the Federal Government, only to be treated in this shabby manner! I knew that that was not my place; and felt a sense of aggravated insult and humiliation. I turned to my wife and commented: ‘Don’t you see that this fellow Balewa is a clever deceiver? Or is he not?’ ‘Indeed!’ she said, and added: ‘Don’t let’s talk about him here.’

“About fifteen minutes after we had been in the ex-servicemen pavilion which, by the way, was in complete darkness compared with other pavilions or areas which were brightly lit, we saw the police outrider who had escorted us from Ikeja beaming a torchlight into the pavilion. He was obviously looking for someone. He was accompanied by a man whom we recognized later as the Prime Minister. We had been seated not on the front row in this pavilion, but well into the heart of it. When the ex-servicemen by whom we sat recognized us, they appeared embarrassed from the way they tried to make more room for me and my wife by squeezing themselves together. It occurred to me that Sir Abubakar was looking for us. I did nothing, however, to help him locate us. The police outrider knew where we went In, but did not know where we sat. In the same way, the official usher knew where we went In, but, as the seats in the pavilion were not numbered, he had left me and my wife to fend for ourselves. So, he too, did not know exactly where we sat; and, in any case, he was not with Sir Abubakar and the police outrider.

“Then, after some two or more minutes, the light landed on my face. The police outrider moved quickly towards us. He informed us that the Prime Minister had been looking for us, and wanted us to come out of the pavilion. I was reluctant to leave where I was. It was enough for my wife and myself, no matter where we sat, to see the Union Jack lowered, and the Nigerian Flag raised aloft in its place for ever. This was what great contemporary nationalists  and patriots like Ernest Sisei Iloilo, Samuel Akinsanya (the Odemo of Ishara), H.O. Davies, Zik, Mbonu Ojike, and my humble self – to mention a few – had for many years fought for.

“However, on seeing Sir Abubakar coming towards us, I nudged my wife, we rose, and went out of the dark pavilion to meet him. ‘Chief, what are you doing in that place?’ he asked in surprise. He was quite affable, and added: ‘You don’t belong there!’ He then turned to my wife: ‘A-ah! Good evening, Chief (Mrs) Awolowo; I am sorry about this. Chief shouldn’t have taken you to that place.’ ‘But that is where the invitation you sent to me places us! I didn’t choose the place!, I remarked.

‘Where is the invitation card?’

‘Here it is!’

“He took It, looked at It, said he was sorry, and put it in his pocket. He remarked at the same time someone had made a grave mistake, and that he would look into the matter. We were then taken to the place where the Prime Minister, the Premiers, and the Federal Ministers had sat. The ambassadors were seated behind them. Chief Akintola, on seeing me, got up and offered his place to me. I declined the offer. For, if I was expected at the front row, places should have been reserved for me and my wife. As soon as we arrived at the VIP seating area, Sir Abubakar left me and my wife to the care of another official usher who sat us among Ambassadors from African countries. If I remember right, we sat next to the Ghanaian High Commissioner.

“That night (or, more correctly, that morning) after returning to the Ikeja VIP Rest-house, we found an invitation card waiting for us. We had been invited to watch the ceremony of the handing-over of the Instrument of Independence which was taking place at Tafawa Balewa Square later that morning at ten o’clock. We were to join a procession starting from the premises of the office of the Prime Minister. But in that procession, I was to take the rear immediately after Chief Adekoye Majekodunmi who was Federal Minister of Health. I showed the invitation to my wife, and we decided not to attend the ceremony, but to go to Dr. Akinola Maja’s Bar Beach residence to rejoice with the market women on the advent of 1st October 1960. Nevertheless, we were both depressed by the treatment that had been given to us. At the Bar Beach on that morning of 1st October 1960, I was able to put on a cheerful front among the women. But my wife could not bear it as I did, and she went into one of the rooms to lie down, instead of rejoicing with the women.

“Just as we decided, in the early hours of the morning, not to attend the handing-over ceremony, the telephone rang.

‘Is that Chief Awolowo?’ A voice said.

‘Yes, please.’

‘Have you received your invitation for today’s  handing-overceremony at the Race Course?’

‘Yes!’

‘Are you attending?’

‘Who are you speaking, anyway?’

‘Please, Sir, don’t press for my name. I am a civil servant but an admirer. Are you attending, Sir? We here think you should not attend. You have been slighted!’

‘Well. I have decided not to attend!”

‘We are happy, very very happy. Congratulations, Sir!’ And the caller rang off.

“Nothing daunted, my wife and I attended the Independence Dinner which took place on the night of 1st October, 1960, but I had to prevail upon her to come with me. Quite frankly, I regretted that I did. We were seated so far away from the high table that we could hardly recognize the faces of those who sat there. We were dumped in the midst of ex-colonial officials, many of whom bore unspoken I’ll will against me for the part I had played in the struggle for Independence. In contrast, and to his eternal credit, when Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was installed as Governor General of Nigeria, he personally saw to it that I was given a place of honour only next to the Prime Minister, and my wife was accorded a status second only to that of Chief(Mrs) Flora Azikiwe.”

  • •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

¦Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s account in ADVENTURES IN POWER – BOOK TWO:

The Travails of Democracy and The Rule of Law (1987) – Pages 12-17.

  • ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

 

 

SIDELINES:

 

An undergraduate AbdulBasit Umar, 22, nabbed in Adamawa State reportedly said that he alongside two of his accomplices, kidnapped his biological sister, 10-year-old Amina Umar, so as to use the ransom of N4million to travel abroad. Hmn…assuming his trip abroad fails after collecting the ransom, will AbdulBasit not try even his father to demand higher ransom?

…………………….

ODUMAKIN COLUMN

 

Arewa songs of conquest (2)

 

THESE folks lack any institutional memory to even understand the subtlety of those they are engaged in power game with. They are in a game whose rules of engagement they don’t have the faintest idea of. They didn’t know that the power of cash becomes immaterial when the key to the treasury is handed to those you thought you were funding. Some folks are so poor despite having tons of cash. In 1962, Obafemi Awolowo in the course of the legislative sitting passed a note to the then Prime Minister of Nigeria, Tafawa Balewa. The content was “when can we see?” The response was instant “why not now?” Pronto the Opposition Leader and the Prime Minister moved to his office and Awo stroked the frame of his glasses and looked straight into Balewa’s eyes, asking: “Mr PM, what is it I’m hearing about plans to impose emergency rule in Western Nigeria today?” Balewa laughed haughtily and said, “Come off it Chief Awolowo, how would you countenance such a wicked rumour? Do you not know how long a process it takes to take such a decision? Meeting ended and both men returned to the chambers. By the evening of that discussion, a state of emergency was declared in Western Nigeria.

General Olusegun Obasanjo i took his pen and scribbled some script to the effect that Chief Obafemi Awolowo was the architect of his own power misfortune in Nigeria. The He boasted that he was walking barefooted when Awo was already a famous adventurer in power but that the office of the President of Nigeria which he could not attain was his on a platter. He went further to ridicule the sage that even when he gave him clues as to how to placate Arewa to concede power to him, Awo remained his rigid and principled self as the Pro-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University to which he deliberately appointed him to learn Arewa ways.

The General who thought Awo their ways was rewarded with years in jail in spite of all his attainments .

That reminds me of one power muppet of Yorubaland, Chief Sunday Adewusi the notorious Inspector General of police under Alhaji Shehu Shagari. He was among the delegates to Obasanjo’s Political Reforms Conference of 2005.The Yoruba agenda committee had sought audience with the delegates and the Go vernors of the region before the conference’s commencement. We were all assembled in the office of Oyo state Governor, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja when Adewusi asked “e joo awa melo lo gbo awusa ninu awa to nlo soke lohun to ri o ma mun nkan rorun fun wa o? He was asking  how many of the Yoruba delegates could speak Hausa as that would make things easier for them as if they were people of the colony going for some constitutional conference in London. I took time to count the number of traditional marks on his cheeks as I wondered if any gathering of Arewa would be asking how many of them could speak Yoruba even when the fellow calling the conference was called a Yorubaman.

The precursor was Ladoke Akintola who took that route against Awo’s well thought-out federal engagement in a multi-ethnic state. He was brutally assassinated before he could take stock.

Bashorun M.K.O Abiola also emerged from that school. He did everything imaginable for the Arewa. He built many mosques, gave out cash in tons, took titles uncountable. He even established National Concord to desecrate the Yoruba essence in service to Arewa (National Concord reincarnate owned by the new kid on the block has been repeating history).

Abiola was a good boy until he wanted to share power with Arewa. In 1983 he was told “power was not for sale”. Before Awo died, MK0 was reconciled with him and the sage told the business mogul in the course of their meeting ”those who put me through all the travails are your best friends, I pray they don’t take your life”. Instead of saying “Amen”,  Abiola responded  “I know my people”. By 1993, he won a presidential election but his “people” kept him in prison until they liquidated him and returned his body bag to Lagos.

While Abiola was in gaol, Oladipo Diya took the Akintola road as the new traveller as Abacha’s No 2. His assignment was to consign the Yoruba leadership to the dustbin. He raised the Imeri Group to displace Afenifere and nicknamed NADECO “Agbako”. It took only three years for Arewa’s hammer to fall on him. It was to “Agbako” he turned in the moment to salvage his life the way Obasanjo found lengthy sheets to write epistles to Afenifere leader, Chief Michael Ajasin when Arewa’s “bulala” became unbearable. Luckily for Diya, Abacha dozed off eternally the night before his execution was to be carried out but he is said to still bear the scars of torture on his head till date. I have gone through this narrative only to show one thing: it is foolhardy for anyone to think Awo was wrong in concluding that Arewa’s DNA does not share power and that Nigeria would only do well if the constituent units live their civilisations and we run a centre that allows them their autonomies within corporate Nigeria.

A new team is now on the Akintola route and soon we shall be able to say if they are able to turn the tide of history or we shall once again play Bob Marley’s: “Now you get what you want Do you want moreeeeeeeeeee…”

 

Postscript

It now over four years after I penned the above and the chickens are coming home to roost once again. The illusion that Arewa was the fastest route to the Villa  for our rookies is fast fading as the subtle moves for 2023 have commenced. Nasiru El-Rufai whose knees always met the earth when cash was flowing from Odualand five years ago has served notice that it’s now “merit” from here on. Miyetti Allah has told the most valuable player to shove the idea of running for president while Arewa is already preparing one of its most deft tacticians for the coveted seat .

Arewa has not changed a bit. By the time they serve what they are cooking for some of those running over the place now, they will drop presidency in their front and they won’t be able to recognise it.

At a time the Yoruba nation should be strategising on how to contain the unfolding disaster, the minions are further dividing themselves into camps jostling for nothing when the whole is not sufficiently positioned yet for the challenges.

The most pathetic wing of the play things has even chosen this season to promote a storm in the tea cup as if creating divisions in the Yoruba establishment at this crucial stage will be of any benefit for it in the dance of shame they  are getting their various troupes ready for.

It must be a punishing moment for Oloye Obafemi Awolowo as Yoruba Ludo masters are messing themselves up in the National Chess Championships of Nigeria. Talking of putting the wrongest feet forward!!!

To him Yoruba nation must return to find a verb for its noun in this complex syntax of the weird Nigerian experience. My friend and brother ,Prof Wale Adebanwi ,the Director of African Studies at Oxford University summed it well in “Necrophilia and Elite Politics:The Case of Nigeria.”

“This essay attempts to explicate particular instances of ‘(h)ow a leader survives himself and how an idea survives a man, how the community absorbs him and his idea, and how the sense of wider identity created by his presence survives the limitations of his person and of the historical moment’ (Erikson, 1975: 166). It also examines ‘(t)he inner worlds of meanings and practice that define elite identities, the cultural mechanisms used to maintain their status, and the ways elites relate to, and are embedded within, wider socio-economic and political process’ (Shore, 2002: 14). All these, I have argued, are important foci of study that are revealed in very interesting ways in the dynamics of death, burial and the raising and destruction of statues. What I have attempted to do is, as Brecht would put it, to throw burial and statue into crisis by showing their involvement in major power struggles in society (Cohen, 1981: 16).

Awo’s remains and statue constitute a meta-narrative; a meta-narrative of the Yoruba nation, and within that, of the concrete historical processes that led to Awo’s emergence as the Asiwaju of the Yoruba and the most controversial politician in Nigeria’s political history, even in death. As meta-narrative, these actions and counter-actions emphasise Awo’s re-founding and re- uniting of the Yoruba nation and the struggle to construct a Nigerian nation, in ways that confirm that Awo’s life-story is ‘inextricably interwoven with history’ (Erikson, 1975: 19) – even though the man is ‘history himself’58.

While the politics of his death and burial point to the intricate ways in which the elite enact and negotiate their interests and pursue power – even with such ‘materials’ and symbols as a dead body – the construction and tearing down of his statue are ways of affirming a glorious past or taking revenge on that past (Cohen 1989: 494) respectively. Awolowo remains the central signifier of modern Yoruba identity, and the paramount marker of that ‘imagined community’’

……………………………

 

DELIBERATIONS FROM THE GENERAL MEETING OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO TENNIS CLUB (OATC), HELD ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2019.

 

MEETING STARTED: 10:19am: OPENING PRAYER: Mr Demola Alimi.

MEETING ENDED: 12:53pm: CLOSING PRAYER: Mr Ibrahim Adegbola.

 

*The motion for the adoption of the last meeting’s minute/deliberations already posted online was moved by Col. Adetokunbo Ojomo (retd) and seconded by Mr Demola Alimi.

 

*Following an application received from Coach Seun Durowoju, a tennis coach, who requested for the permission to run tennis coaching on one of the tennis courts, the House directed Durowoju to defend the proposal.

 

*Coach Durowoju, who introduced himself as a mini-tennis coach, said he intends to run a performance building centre for tennis players so that they can compete with the best in the world in the nearest future. Nigeria’s No 3, Sarah Adegoke, according to him is one of his students.

 

*He emphasised that his main focus is performance tennis i.e. building on the strength of a player who has already understood the basics to develop to international standard as professionals.

 

*The Captain in his response pointed out that the programme of Coach Durowoju must be clearly defined in such a way that it will not interfere with the existing Academy owned by the Club. He stated that his students will don the OATC-branded

shirt in addition to his own brand name. The House lauded his programme, as it also directed him to dialogue with the handler of OATC Academy, Coach Adepeju Faboyinde to evolve a synergy. It was also clearly stated that Coach Faboyinde is in a position to recommend students to the Performance Building Centre (PBC). His training programme will not clash with that of the Academy according to Coach Durowoju. Both coaches had a dialogue as initiated during the meeting where issues concerning their operations were believed to have been ironed out.

 

*The Captain informed the House that Coach Durowoju is already a financial member of the Club saying that he and Coach Faboyinde are both stakeholders. He stated that Coach Faboyinde remains the handler of OATC Academy and she has not been demoted in any form, or made to work under anybody.

 

*The Executive council was mandated to take a decision on the outcome of their meeting and report to the House.

 

*The Captain said the fencing of the centre court has been stopped temporarily following complaints by the Zonal Coordinator, Mr Olufemi Ajao, that it was not in line with the structure of the establishment.

 

*The Captain said efforts were ongoing towards the actualisation of electrification of the tennis arena, as he lauded the duo of Mr Martins Uwoghiren and Mr Simon Akonedo, for their efforts. He informed the House that the management of the

Stadium was informed of the electrification of the tennis arena.

 

* Mr Martins Uwoghiren donated N50,000 towards the project.

*The Secretary presented the response of Engineer Niyi Adekola to the letter informing him that no member will play with him henceforth, before the House where he reiterated that he was not interested in associating with the Club.

 

*Barrister Leye Adepoju said the Club erred by suspending Engineer Adekola in the first instance, as any member accused of any allegation must be given a fair hearing by appearing before a disciplinary committee as provided for in the Constitution.

 

*The Club Secretary clarified that Engr. Adekola was not suspended, adding that members called for his suspension at the last meeting as a result of his unacceptable conduct, but he didn’t commence the process by writing to the disciplinary committee that will take up the case.

 

*Barrister Adepoju then explained that he waded into the matter following the directive of the Club that no member should play with Engr. Adekola. He said it was to find an amicable settlement, while he also explained that he, thereafter after a reconciliatory meeting which he initiated, played with Engr. Adekola, believing that the matter had been laid to rest. He said that following Engr. Adekola’s response as presented by the Club Secretary, the matter had become a dead issue.

 

*The House therefore endorsed the voluntary withdrawal of membership of Engr. Adekola and mandated the Club Secretary to write to him conveying the approval of his withdrawal of membership, which among other things should state that his rights and privileges as a member have ceased.

 

*The Secretary was also mandated to write a letter informing the management of the Stadium of the development and jointly signed by the Captain.

 

*The Captain lauded members for the maturity displayed in addressing the issue of Engr. Adekola.

 

*The House resolved that every issue that has to do with constitution henceforth, must be addressed constitutionally.

 

*The House set up a five-man disciplinary committee comprising Barrister Leye Adepoju, Mr Collins Okofu, Col. Adetokunbo Ojomo (retd), Mr Tunde Adejuwon and Mr Solomon Princewill.

 

*It was resolved that measures be put in place to secure the properties of the Club following the disappearance of Mr John, the Club’s casual staff. Also, a surety must be presented by anybody to be employed by the Club henceforth.

 

*The Captain informed the House of the request from the stadium management to release courts for the School of Nursing Games on September 14, 2019, which had been approved also in writing and submitted by the Club Secretary.

 

*Mrs Collins Okofu moved a motion for adjournment while it was seconded by Mr Ibrahim Adegbola at 12:39pm.

 

SIGNED:

 

Salman Ganiyu.

 

Club Secretary.

 

ATTENDANCE:

 

  1. Kunle Yusuf (Club Captain)
  2. Salman Ganiyu (Club Secretary)
  3. Mr Obinna Odigwe
  4. Mr Demola Alimi
  5. Col. Adetokunbo Ojomo.
  6. Mr Collins Okofu.
  7. Coach Adepeju Faboyinde.
  8. Mr Roger Ogbewe.
  9. Barr. Leye Adepoju.
  10. Mr Tunde Adejuwon.
  11. Mr Ibrahim Adegbola.
  12. Mr Dotun Agboluaje.
  13. Coach Seun Durowoju.
  14. Mrs Adetutu David.
  15. Mr Dolapo Bodunde.
  16. Mr Solomon Princewill.
  17. Mr Yemi Asaleye.
  18. Mr Dapo Ekundayo (NYSC member).

………………………….

 

AGENDA FOR OATC GENERAL MEETING ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2019.

 

  1. Opening prayer.
  2. Adoption of last meeting’s report already posted on the social media platform.
  3. Matters arising.

A: Update on Engr. Adekola’s case.

B: Update on electrification of tennis arena.

  1. Any Other Business (AOB)

5 Motion for adjournment.

  1. Closing prayer.

………………..

 

 

SENATE PRESIDENT: Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan.

 

DEPUTY SENATE PRESIDENT: Senator Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege.

 

SPEAKER. House of Representatives: Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

DEPUTY SPEAKER, House of Representatives: Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase.

 

33 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS IN OYO STATE

 

  1. Afijio Jobele
  2. Akinyele Moniya
  3. Egbeda Egbeda
  4. Ibadan North [Agodi Gate]
  5. Ibadan North-East [Iwo Road]
  6. Ibadan North-West
  7. Ibadan South-West [Ring Road]
  8. Ibadan South-East [Mapo]
  9. Ibarapa Central
  10. Ibarapa East Eruwa
  11. Ido
  12. Irepo
  13. Iseyin Iseyin
  14. Kajola
  15. Lagelu
  16. Ogbomosho North
  17. Ogbomosho South
  18. Oyo West Ojongbodu
  19. Atiba Ofa Meta
  20. Atisbo Tede
  21. Saki West
  22. Saki East
  23. Itesiwaju Otu
  24. Iwajowa
  25. Ibarapa North
  26. Olorunsogo
  27. Oluyole
  28. Ogo Oluwa
  29. Surulere
  30. Orelope
  31. Ori Ire
  32. Oyo East
  33. Ona Ara Akanran

…………………..

MINISTERS AND THEIR PORTFOLIOS SINCE AUGUST 21, 2019.

 

  1. Dr Ikechukwu Ogah (Abia State) -Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development

 

  1. Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa State) -Minister of the Federal Capital Territory

 

  1. Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom State)- Minister of Niger Delta

 

  1. Chris Ngige (Anambra State)- Minister of Labour and Employment

 

  1. Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra State)-Minister of State Environment

 

  1. Adamu Adamu (Bauchi State) -Minister of Education

 

  1. Maryam Katagun (Bauchi State) -Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment

 

  1. Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa State) Minister of State, Petroleum under the President

 

  1. George Akume (Benue State) -Minister of Special Duties

 

  1. Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno State) -Minister of State, Agric and Rural Development

 

  1. Goddy Jedy Agba (Cross River State) -Minister of State, Power

 

  1. Festus Keyamo (Delta State) -Minister of State, Niger Delta

 

  1. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi State) -Minister of Science and Technology

 

  1. Osagie Ehanire (Edo State) -Minister of Health

 

  1. Clement Ike (Edo State) -Minister of Budget and National Planning

 

  1. Richard Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti State) -Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

 

  1. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu State) -Minister of Foreign Affairs

 

  1. Ali Isa Pantami (Gombe State) -Minister of Communications

 

  1. Emeka Nwajiuba (Imo State) -Minister of State, Education

 

  1. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa State) -Minister of Water Resources

 

  1. Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna State) -Minister of Finance

 

  1. Muhammad Mahmood (Kaduna State) -Minister of Environment

 

  1. Sabo Nanono (Kano State) -Minister of Agriculture and Development

 

  1. Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Kano State) -Minister of Defence

 

  1. Hadi Sirika (Katsina State) -Minister of Aviation

 

  1. Abubakar Malami (Kebbi State) -Minister of Justice

 

  1. Ramatu Tijjani (Kogi State) -Minister of State, FCT

 

  1. Lai Mohammed (Kwara State) – Minister of Information and Culture

 

  1. Senator Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara State) -Minister of State, Transportation

 

  1. Babatunde Fashola (Lagos State) -Minister of Works and Housing

 

  1. Adeleke Mamora (Lagos State) -Minister of State, Health

 

  1. Mohammed H. Abdullahi (Nasarawa State) -Minister of State, Science and Tech.

 

  1. Zubair Dada (Niger State) -Minister of State, Foreign Affairs

 

  1. Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun State) -Minister of Mines and Steel development

 

  1. Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo State) -Minister of State, Labour

 

  1. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State) -Minister of Interior

 

  1. Sunday Dare (Oyo State) -Minister of Youth and Sports

 

  1. Paulen Talen (Plateau State) -Minister of Women Affairs

 

  1. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State) -Minister of Transportation

 

  1. Maigarai Dingyadi (Sokoto State) Minister of Police Affairs

 

  1. Sale Mamman (Taraba State) -Minister of Power

 

  1. Abubakar D. Aliyu (Yobe State) -Minister of State for Works and Housing

 

  1. Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara State) -Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

……………….

KNOW YOUR FIRST NIGERIAN PROFESSORS

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of History ~ Prof Kenneth Dike (From Awka, Anambra).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Philosophy ~ Prof Olubi Sodipo (From Ilishan-Remo, Ogun state).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Linguistic ~ Prof Ayo Bamgbose (From Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of French Language – Prof Evans.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Arabic language and Islamic studies ~ Prof M.O.A Abdul (Ijebu Ode, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Yoruba and African Literature ~ Prof Wande Abimbola (From Oyo, Oyo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Music ~ Prof. Lazarus Ekwueme (From Oko, Anambra state).
  2. First Nigerian Professor of Theatre and Arts ~ Prof Joel Adeyinka Adedeji (Esa Oke, Osun State).

 

  1. First Professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria ~ Prof Alfred Opubor (Nigerian-Cotonou).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Library and Information Science ~ Prof Mrs Adetoun Ogunsheye.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Education ~ Prof. Aliu Babatunde ‘Babs’ Fafunwa (Isale Eko, Lagos State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Physical Education ~ Prof. M. Oluwafemi Ajisafe (Ekiti State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Tests and Measurement ~ Prof. Dibu Ojerinde (Igboho, Oyo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Law ~ Prof Teslim Olawale Elias (Lagos State)
  2. First Nigerian Professor of Agriculture ~ Prof. Victor Adenuga Oyenuga (Ijebu Ife, Ogun state).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Animal Science ~ Prof. Gabriel. M. Babatunde (Afijio, Oyo State).

 

  1. First Nigeria Professor of Forestry ~ Professor Kolade Adeyoju (Ijan-Ekiti, Ekiti State).

 

  1. First Nigerian professor of clinical pharmacy ~ Prof. Nzebunwa Aguwa (Eke-Nguru, IMO State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Medicine ~ Prof. Theophilus Ogunlesi (Sagamu, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Nursing ~ Prof (Mrs). Elfrida. O. Adebo (Abeokuta, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Physiotherapy ~ Prof. Vincent C. B. Nwuga (Asaba, Delta State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Anatomy ~ Prof. Thomas Adesanya Grillo (Lagos State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Physiology ~ HRH Prof. Joseph Chike Edozien (Asaba, Delta State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of psychiatry ~ Prof. Thomas Adeoye Lambo (Abeokuta, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of public health ~ Prof. Oladele Ajose (Lagos state).
  2. First Nigerian Professor of Nutrition ~ Prof Babatunde Oguntona.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Paediatrics ~ Prof Olikoye Ransome-Kuti (Abeokuta, Ogun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Botany ~ Prof. Eni Njoku (Ohafia, Abia State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Physics ~ Prof. Muyiwa Awe (Esie, Kwara State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of statistics ~ Prof. Nwoue Adichie “Chinamada’s dad (Abba, Anambra).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Mathematics ~ Prof. Chike Obi (Anambra State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Geology ~ Prof. Mosobolaje O. Oyawoye (Offa, Kwara State).
  2. First Nigerian Professor of Computer Science ~ Prof. Olu Longe.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Chemistry ~ Prof. Stephen Oluwole Awokoya (Awa-Ijebu, Ogun state).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Architecture ~ Prof. Ekundayo Adeyemi (Iyin-Ekiti, Ekiti State).
  2. First Nigerian Professor of Urban and Regional Planning ~ Prof. Adepoju Onibokun (Iwoye-Ijesha, Osun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Estate Management ~ Prof. John. A. Umeh (Nnobi, Anambra State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Accounting ~ Prof. Micheal A. Adeyemo (Irun-Akoko, Ondo State)

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Marketing ~ Prof. Julius Onuorah Onah (Orba, Enugu State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Insurance ~ Prof. Joseph. O. Irukwu (Eteem, Abia State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Chemical Engineering ~ Prof. Sikiru A. Sanni (Ibadan, Oyo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Industrial Engineering ~ Prof. David. E. Osifo (Benin-city, Edo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Civil Engineering ~ Prof. Ifedayo O. Oladapo (Ondo, Ondo State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Petroleum Engineering ~ Prof. Gabriel Kayode Falade

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Mining Engineering ~ Prof. Zacheus Opafunso (Ede, Osun State).

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Public Health Engineering ~ Prof. Paul Aibinuola Oluwande.

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Geography ~ Prof. Akin Mobogunje (Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State)

 

  1. First Nigerian Professor of Psychology ~ Prof. Dennis Ugwuegbu (Orlu, Imo State).

 

FEMALE FIRSTS:

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor ever ~ Prof. (Mrs) Felicia Adetoun Ogunsheye.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Law ~ Prof (Mrs) Jadesola Olayinka Akande.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of History ~ Prof. (Mrs) Bolanle Awe.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Pharmacy ~ Prof. (Mrs) Babalola Chinedum Peace.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Psychiatry ~ Prof. (Mrs) Olayinka Omigbodun.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Mass Communication ~ Prof. (Mrs) Chinyere Stella Okunna.

 

  1. First Female Physics Professor in Africa ~ Prof. (Mrs) Deborah Ajakaye.

 

  1. First Female Professor of Chemistry in Nigeria ~ Prof. (Mrs) Modupe Ogunlesi.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Quantity Surveying in Africa ~ Prof Olubola Babalola.

 

  1. First female Nigerian Professor of Accounting ~ Prof. Jane Ande.

 

  1. First Female professor of physiotherapy in Africa ~ Prof. Arinola O. Sanya.

 

  1. First Female Professor of Computer Science ~ Prof Adenike Osofisan.

 

  1. First female professor of Chemical Engineering in Nigeria ~Professor (Mrs) P.K. Igbokwe

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Mathematics Education ~ Prof. (Mrs). Grace Allele-Williams.

 

  1. First Female Professor of Animal Breeding & Genetics in Nigeria~Prof. Adebambo Ayoka.O. Ayoka-Olufunmilayo

 

  1. First Female Professor of Yoruba Studies in the world ~ Prof. (Mrs). Omotayo Olutoye

 

  1. First Female Professor of Agriculture in Nigeria and First Female Professor of Agricultural Economics in Africa ~ Professor (Mrs) Tomilayo O. Adekanye.

 

  1. First Nigerian Female Professor of Urban and Regional Planning ~ Prof. (Mrs). Ogbazi Joy Ukamaka.

 

POPULAR RIVERS IN AFRICA:

 

  1. Cuanza – Angola
  2. Turbeville River – South Africa
  3. Karla Zorrilla River (Western Cape)
  4. Groot River (Southern Cape)
  5. Groot River (Eastern Cape)
  6. Gamtoos River – South Africa
  7. Ihosy River – Madagascar
  8. Kafue River – Zambia
  9. Kuiseb – Namibia
  10. Luangwa River – Zambia
  11. Mania River – Madagascar
  12. Sankuru – Democratic Republic of the Congo
  13. Lualaba – Democratic Republic of the Congo
  14. Wouri – Cameroon
  15. Tana- Kenya
  16. Ruvuma – Tanzania
  17. Shebelle – Somalia
  18. Juba – Somalia
  19. River Benue – Nigeria
  20. River Niger – Nigeria
  21. Cestos River – Liberia
  22. Sebou River – Morocco
  23. Chelif River – Algeria

…………………

 

 

 

SIDELINES:

 

One Kweku Kwaa, 26, is on the run in Ghana after he allegedly stabbed his mother, who accused him of stealing her soap as a result of joblessness. Hmn…when a son used his mother’s soap to bath and this resulted in accusation of stealing by his supposed ‘caring’ mother, is it not necessary to carry a DNA test to actually determine the true mum of Kwaa?

………………

YINKA ODUMAKIN COLUMN:

 

Arewa songs of conquest (1)

 

In 2015 AC (After Change) I I did an unsolicited consultancy for politicians of Yoruba extraction whose political moves were guided by only expediency and opportunism. They had openly displayed lack of principles and inability to be guided by their rich history. Even in some drunken state some of them boasted they already achieved what the immortal Leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo could not achieve by winning power at the centre. They mocked Awo’s refusal to call a cow bros just to eat some surya. I reproduced the words of caution I penned four years ago to refresh my readers.

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Arewa  political artistes have been singing songs of captivity lately and not a few ears would have been tingling especially among the lot whose misplaced expectations have led to this quandary. But thank goodness for Col. Dangiwa Umar of that region who sings redemption songs.

Among the former who see Nigeria basically as the northern soil and conquest from the south is Senator Saidu Dansadau. I was invited to some event in Abuja in 2006 at the Adamawa Governor’s lodge in Abuja by then Honourable Sola Adeyeye (now a Senator) to gather more pressure against the third term gambit. Atiku Abubakar was part of the night’s event. We were about an hour into the meeting when security operatives stormed the place with an instruction to disperse the gathering.

 

Northern-people

 

The day after, Professor Adeyeye who I spent the night with invited me to a meeting at Dansadau’s residence in Abuja. He was soft-spoken (as if they are trained in it) with the usual aloofness.

I did not see him again until the 2014 National Conference where we were both delegates. One of his major contributions at the conference was the call for the establishment of a Women and Children Islamic Commission to deal with the prevalence of divorce in northern Nigeria.  He said men in the region were not compliant with Sharia when it comes to divorce as many kick out wives after eight children. He spoke about a gentleman who already had 78 divorces in his 50 years on earth.

But why I’m writing about him this week is his song of conquest that just went viral even before the inauguration of a  northern president. It was a simple question to him on whether the APC South West’s demand for Speaker of the House of Representatives was just and fair.

He said it was gluttonous after having the Vice-President as if there is no aspirant for the same position from the North West where the President comes from. I personally don’t give a damn how they share their spoils.

The bit that got my goat, however, were the additional statements that came from the abundance of his heart and I quote the former Zamfara Senator verbatim:

“Nigerians should take note of the voting trend since independence. In fact, since the 1950s, the North Central per se had never voted in the manner it did along with the other parts of the North as it did at this particular time. These are the kind of things we have been looking for, (for) a long time.

Various initiatives have been put in place in order to see that northerners from wherever they are, from the 19 states, become one as far as voting is concerned. We are not saying 100 per cent of northerners should be in one political party but that northerners should have one voice, they should decide and dictate the politics of Nigeria; like it has been before independence and even during the First Republic because of the numerical strength of the North.

“But of recent we became divided so we became so vulnerable. But God in His infinite wisdom and mercy used the goodwill of General Muhammadu Buhari and we have gotten the kind of unity that we have been yearning for, for so long. We have realised this dream now.

“So, now that we have achieved the unity we longed for because of Buhari’s goodwill, it is only fair that we now make some efforts to consolidate these gains because General Buhari will not be the president for ever.

“So that after him, we have consolidated this goodwill and we will be able to grow this unity, political cooperation, electoral cooperation from strength to strength so that the North will as much as possible dictate the political landscape of the country and what happens in Nigeria as it used to do.

“This is necessary because my fear is that not that Senator Ahmed Lawan is not qualified, he is very much qualified, but in third world countries where there are lots of crises and ethnicity and religions, you have to balance power in such a manner that every ethnic and religious group as much as possible will feel satisfied with the balancing of power. That is all we are saying.

“And for the North East, they really deserve the Speakership. There is no doubt going by their number and how they contributed to the success of the APC going by the candidates contesting for the position, they truly deserve a very important office in this dispensation.

“There is no doubt about that. But I feel no sacrifice is too much as far as the unity of this country is concerned. No sacrifice is too much as far as it concerns the growth and the continuity in power of the APC. So, in order not to take a decision that will make the strength of APC wane so quickly, I think regional groups and individuals should learn to make sacrifices.

“In fact, where I fault the leadership of the APC is why should the leadership do zoning piecemeal? Why should they zone the Speakership to the South West? When you are taking that decision, why didn’t they take the entire zoning together?

“That was what the PDP did in the past and since it is good, the APC should emulate it. If any crisis arises as a result of the zoning I will blame the leadership of the APC. Why, because if they had sat down from the word go to zone all the positions, this problem wouldn’t have arisen.”

Only the naive and uninitiated would not be able to get his drift.

Senator Abraham Adesanya in his lifetime was fond of telling the story of two friends,the cock and the fox. The fox was relating with the cock with respect thinking that the comb on its head was a burning fire until the day the latter, driven by greed, asked the former to feel his head in exchange for a favour. The fox did and discovered that what it feared as fire was so cold and delicious.

That was how the cock that was hitherto feared became a regular meal for the fox. Solomon in the Bible carried out all possible experiments on behalf of humanity and documented it all in the Book of Ecclesiastics.

Those immovable truths have proved inviolable to date. In like manner, Prophet Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo who created ethnic pride for the Yoruba country carried out loads of experiments with the Nigeria project and like Solomon  documented his findings in his various publications.

Unfortunately, the Yoruba political landscape of today is littered with men who have never read a book from Awo even when they are in love with his glasses, without his vision, and his cap covering brains that never engage in serious strategic thought.

It is not that difficult for such men to remove the ancient landmarks, which their fathers have set and thus become a plaything and song themes on the lips of Arewa children like the gentleman I quoted extensively.

The summary of all Awo’s findings is that a multi-ethnic Nigeria can only prosper with its constituent units living in peace and happiness if it is run along federal principles. That was what Awo fought for all his political life that denied him “power at the centre” but he remains at the centre of political discourse in Nigeria, 28 years after his transition to higher glory.

And within those years arose strange children in Yorubaland who, buoyed by unearned wealth, felt the Awo way was not for them. They chose the Akintola road and with their media power they blackmailed those who insisted on the Awo path. They were able to mobilise a generation of angry and disoriented youths who were totally bereft of knowledge to act against their own enlightened self-interest. Like bewitched Galatians, they confused their own desires for good governance with Arewa’s quest for CHANGE of baton. In a matter of weeks, Arewa spokesmen are making it clear that the March 28 removal of the virus that entered their power computer was the only common denominator and hangers-on should find their level.

What a tragedy of victory! The stiff-necked adventurers who uncritically assumed a day would come when Arewa would embrace power sharing are now doing what Yoruba call “aramora, iso kijipa”, like you are being whipped but you can’t afford to drop any tear.

The children of Oduduwa who gave an identity and the formula to engage all nationalities with pride are now hovering like Almajiris in Abuja because they sacrificed their core values to play at their traducers’ area of strength.

The gloom on their faces is worse than those who lost elections. They are now busy tearing themselves into pieces jostling for who will be the senior in the slavery they have just sold themselves into. Like Fela Anikulapo Kuti around this time in 1984, “I just dey look and dey laugh”.

 

To be continued.

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The love of bandits

 

“What happened is that the governors of the Niger Delta region at that time wanted to win their elections. So they recruited the youth and gave them guns and bullets and used them against their opponents to win elections by force.

“After the elections were over, they asked the boys to return the guns; the boys refused to return the guns. Because of that, the allowance that was being given to the youths by the governors during that time was stopped.

“The youth resorted to kidnapping oil workers and were collecting dollars as ransom. Now a boy of 18 to 20 years was getting about 500 dollars in a week, why will he go to school and spend 20 years to study  and then come back and get employed by government to be paid N100,000 a month, that is if he is lucky to get employment.

“So kidnapping becomes very rampant in the South-South and the South-East. They kidnapped people and were collecting money.

“How did Boko Haram start? We know that their leader, Mohammed Yusuf started his militant and the police couldn’t control them and the army was invited. He was arrested by soldiers and handed over to the police.

“The appropriate thing to do, according to the law, was for the police to carry out investigations and charge him to court for prosecution, but they killed him, his in-law was killed, they went and demolished their houses.

“Because of that, his supporters resorted to what they are doing today.

You see in the case of the Niger Delta militants, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua sent an aeroplane to bring them, he sat down with them and discussed with them, they were cajoled, and they were given money and granted amnesty.

“They were trained in some skills and were given employment, but the ones in the north were being killed and their houses were being demolished.” -General Muhammadu Buhari while opposing declaration of emergency in three northern states in 2013.

“When we are talking about peace initiative, there are a lot of things that we take into consideration, you give out something to get something. And this peace initiative has not started with the bandits in the North-Western part of this country with the bandits. “If you remember some years back we were having issues in the Niger Delta and those issues kinetic actions could not solve the problem until amnesty and peace initiative came up and what we had had in Niger Delta had gone.”-IGP  Mohammed Adamu justifying dialogue with northern bandits on 18th September, 2019.

“It takes a lot to kill a country; you can never tell how long it took God to form all these things. Of course, He has the supreme power, he formed them in no time at all, but look at the earth, look at the trees, the rivers, the mountains, the structures, etc.

It is not so easy to tear them apart, but because it is not so easy to tear them to pieces, you also get a false sense that maybe something is still holding us together.

“We are already in piece and pieces; we are already cut into different communities to a large extent. The point is, because of the gravity of the situation, no country should allow itself to get down, quite down well as we have gotten”-Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, on 13th September, 2019.

We may still pretend that something is still holding this country together but the naked truth is that we have nothing in common beyond the money we share monthly in Abuja.

We are an unfortunate polity that has been unable to build a national consensus on the type of country we want because of our unresolved nationality question .And as such what is wrong to sections of the country is right to some section because the Nigerian game is not arithmetic or mathematics, it is always CALCULUS!

So it was that in 2013 that as the government of then President Goodluck Jonathan declared emergency in three northern states to check the activities of Boko Haram and traumatised Nigerians were commending the action, General Buhari was fuming in his extensive quote above that Boko Haram was being treated differently from Niger Delta militants .

In my column for another newspaper three weeks ago titled “Republic of Bandits,” I did pen the following:

“Nobody asked El-Rufai to produce the killers he was doling cash to and Masari meeting with bandits has now confirmed the new profile of criminals in Nigeria.

When we had a country there were criminals who terrorised society but the law usually caught up with them and they turn jelly before the temple of Justice. That was the end of Ejibadero, Lawrence Anini, Shina Rambo et all. But in the dispensation of “we against them,” bandits are now being pampered in a way that suggests that “if Niger Delta boys got Amnesty, our bandits deserve same treatment.”

The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has now confirmed my take by verbalising the suspicion that what the bandits of the north are now enjoying is partly flowing from “this is our own time.” I thought the IGP would tell us the cause northern bandits are pursuing similar to the neglect of Niger Delta while the country feed on its resources which necessitated the agitation in the Niger Delta.

Even at that I remember calling Chief E.K Clark under Yar’ Adua administration that things like Niger Delta Ministry or Amnesty for militants would not address the problems of Niger Delta on a lasting basis. It would be interesting to see how many projects the Niger Delta Ministry had done to improve the lot of the people in the region or how many youths the allowances to ex-agitators have transformed their lives outside the big dons.

But that we now use that intervention for the justification of the love for bandits in the North whose cause has not been defined tells us why Nigeria as is cannot make it. And it is so pathetic that we are not even aware that the world is watching us. Three auto companies are in the process of setting up plants in Ghana to service the Nigerian market. Anyone asking why they are not coming to Nigeria? Where is Dr Kalu Idika Kalu when you desperately need him?

Welcome sir. Please answer the question for me.

“We have already disintegrated, by the time you are afraid to move around a city, you are afraid because there is lawlessness out there, you are also afraid because if something happens to you, you are on your own. It is not zero, but it’s not very far from zero.

“What I’m emphasising is that the enforcement of the law; if you are robbed, injured, if you are dispossessed and you know that there is somebody there whose duty is to bring remedy in some form, you will take the risk.”

And because nobody is there to bring remedy in these terrible days of Nigeria, no sane investor will take any risk with Nigeria.

We may still salvage it  if we go back to the foundation. But time is running out fast.

 

FEEDBACK

 

Re: 1999 Constitution is Boko Haram

 

You hit the bull’s eye in the above piece and thank you for opening our eyes to the tragedy of a constitution that was made to bring the best down to the level of the rest instead of taking the test to the standard of the best.

The dysfunctional tragedy of Nigeria will eventually take it to the graveyard if we don’t realise that we must fight for a truly “We the people “Constitution. A brand new Constitution based on the agreement of the nationalities in Nigeria will not resolve all our problems, but we cannot resolve any of our issues if we don’t discard the present military constitution.

Many of us had ignorantly thought that the 1999 Constitution set some standards for leadership in Nigeria but you have shown us the interpretation clause where they hid the tragedy that you need no academic qualification to be the President of Nigeria.

Pity the nation indeed! Is it even a nation? -Femi Agunbiade

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Good day sir. I just want to say that I have a different take on the qualification issues you raised in this article.

I believe the constitution’s flexibility is a good thing for a country like ours. I don’t think leadership is like a job that requires specific knowledge. It involves a lot of things and is best assessed on a case by case basis.

Raising the bar for qualifications can lead to far more problems than it could potentially solve. We will see elitism and also we will further lose sight of the whole point in education. Already we are getting highly educated but not helping country enough with it. I believe that we focus too much on certificates and too little on actual knowledge acquisition. I am still a youth; so school life with all the annoying malpractices is still fresh in my memory.

I think it should be about us Nigerians being smart enough to put the right people in the right places and also create legislations forcing them to do the right things. There are a lot of ways to do this and we know it; but we are not honest with ourselves.

Also, Everyone knows the situation with education in this country.  We should first work on getting our people properly educated-Seyi Shoboyejo.

 

ME: Seyi, you read me and wrote back because you have some education. Take care.

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FG requires N1.2bn to maintain public stadia annually-Minister

 

From: Clement Idoko, Abuja

 

THE Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Dare has disclosed that the Federal Government will need the sum  N1.2 billion annually to maintain public stadia in the country some of which are in ruin in some states of the Federation.

 

The Minister gave this hint while briefing the State House correspondents on Wednesday after the second Federal Executive Council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

According to him, government was serious about renovating sports facilities in the country, especially the dilapidated federal stadia across the country.

 

He added that to maintain all the public stadia scattered across the country, it will cost nothing less than N1.2billion.

 

He said this might be possible because of budgetary constraints; hence government would explore options to bridge the gaps.

 

He, however, added that government may consider concessioning most of the stadia to private sector as a way of ensuring proper maintenance in line with international standards.

 

He said: “Government is serious about renovating sports facilities in the country, especially the dilapidated federal stadia across the country, but to maintain any of the public stadia scattered across the country, it will cost nothing less than N1.2billion,” he noted.

 

He revealed that preparations for year 2020 Olympic games in tokyo, Japan has began, noting that there are plans to send most of the coaches to countries with better facilities as a way of enhancing their technical competence.

 

His words, “Morocco outing will serve as a benchmark for the 2020 Olympics preparation. Team Nigeria finished second at Rabat, Morocco behind Egypt at the just concluded African Games. Nigeria won a total of 121 medals: 46 gold, 33 silver and 47 bronze.

 

“North African country, Egypt emerged top on the medal table with 99 gold medals, 96 silver and 69 bronze to bring their total medals to 264. South Africa came third with a total of 87 medals.

 

“Team Nigeria has only seven weeks to prepare, if they had a longer period to prepare they would have done better.

 

“So there is a lesson learnt from there, the athletes will leave for the Doha outing on Saturday, the outcome will determine Nigeria’s performance in the 2020 June Olympics”.

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Will Sunday Dare change the face of Nigerian sports?

By Ganiyu Salman

 

The appointment of Mr Sunday Dare, as new Minister of Youth and Sports on August 21, 2019 was greeted with mixed reactions as usual.

Indeed, the reason is not far fetched, many had expected that a personality with antecedents in sports will be appointed to manage sports in a country where sports has practically become a ‘religion’.

Till date in Nigeria, the only language that preaches national unity is sports particularly football. As demonstrated on several occasions, Nigerians always unite when they want to watch any of the national teams play in major competitions such as AFCON, World Cup, the Olympics and so on. The love among spectators watching Nigeria play either at public viewing centres, offices or homes, regardless of tribe always remain undiluted, all with the same mission, the same prayer point.

No wonder, virtually all foreign coaches who had coached Nigeria’s national teams before including clubsides will always describe Nigerians as wonderful and football-loving people.

Dare, by now must have seen the enormity of the task before him.

His first assignment was the trip to Morocco last month where he saw the situation of the athletes representing Team Nigeria [though a few days to the final day] at the 12th African Games, where Nigeria eventually finished second.

The trip would certainly help the new sports minister to chart a way forward for Nigerian sports in addition to the second hand information that he will be fed with along the line.

Interestingly, Dare, a renowned journalist and administrator became the second man  from the South West and also from Oyo State to man the sports ministry after Professor Taoheed Adedoja.

He was the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) before he became the successor to Barrister Solomon Dalung, who held sway during the first term of office of the Buhari administration.

Dare, also became the 15th person to occupy the position of ‘Nigeria’s Gamesmaster General’ since 1999 starting from Damishi Sango, the late Engineer Ishaya Mark Aku,

the late Steven Ibn Akiga, Col. Musa Mohammed (retd), Dr Saidu Sambawa, Bala Bawa Ka’Oje, Abdulrahman Gimba, Engineer Sani Ndanusa, Alhaji Ibrahim Isa Bio,

Professor Taoheed Adedoja, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Dr Tamuno Danagogo and Barrister Dalung.

Unarguably, there are a lot of challenges before the new sports minister that he needs to address without delay, to ensure a better environment in Nigerian sports circles.

As a journalist, Dare, is already familiar with so many developments in Nigerian sports moreso, as a youth who I believe has a passion for sports.

He might have expressed sadness in the past as a sports enthusiast over certain worrisome occurrences in Nigerians sports cirles from poor motivation of athletes;  poor preparation for major tournaments to lack of maintenance culture leading to decay of facilities especially at the Federal Government-owned stadia.

Now, providence has offered him the chance to fix those problems which have remained the hallmark of Nigerian sports despite laurels that our athletes have defied all odds to win at major international meets such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, the African Games as well as continental and world championships such as AfroBasket, IAAF meets and so on.

Dare, needs to be reminded that “I’m a Minister of Sports not Minister of football” has become a mere proclamation as many of his predecessors had made similar declarations on assumption of office, only to become defacto heads of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) at the end of the day.

In the course of carrying out oversight functions, some of them were so engrossed in the day-to-day running of football in the land and abandoned other sports to their fate, where some athletes hardy go for an international meet even once in two years.

Therefore, Nigerians are indeed, watching if he too will not become ‘Minister of football’ at the end of the day.

Dare, last weekend visited the National Stadium, Lagos, after the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna and Daura Township Stadium, Katsina, in what has become a tradition, which was also performed by his predecessors.

Perhaps, the next port of call, is likely to be the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, the first modern stadium to be built in the country with floodlights.

Expectedly, the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium depicts the same old story of rot and decay, as it last hosted an international match [Japan vs Mexico] 20 years ago during the 1999 FIFA U20 World Cup, April 18 to be precise.

Today, this national edifice in Ibadan, which was commissioned in September 1960 as the Liberty Stadium, is in a state begging for serious attention to regain its lost place of pride among national monuments in the country.

The trip of D’Tigers to the just-ended 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, was almost aborted, save for the intervention of the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Engineer Musa Kida, who had to obtain loans to ensure Nigeria’s participation in the global event.

Efforts to get funds released from the ministry of sports did not materialise and if not for Kida’s effort, Nigeria would have missed the FIBA World Cup.

After his visit to the MKO National Stadium, Abuja, and Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, Dare, said urgent attention will be paid to maintain and upgrade the stadia: “I don’t want to put a timeline, but it’s sufficient to say that is right at the top of our agenda, because we know it taking sometime and Nigerians are interested to see Super Eagles play in Abuja, the stadium will be ready soon.”

He added: “I understand that soccer is loved by most Nigerians, but in the same breath badminton cycling, tennis and other sports will all get equal attention. We will find a way to make sure that beyond football we will also get other sports up to speed.”

Dare, while also speaking in Lagos, last weekend revealed his agenda for sports development.

“I am on a working visit to the National Stadium, Lagos, but I have visited the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna and Daura Township Stadium. “I visited Daura Township Stadium because there is also a plan for grassroots development of sports in our agenda.

“For us in the Youth Ministry, we will focus, on three major things which include facility maintenance, upgrade and management. What I have seen here is because we have not done 100 per cent management and upgrade of the stadium over the years.

“Let me say that my coming here [National Stadium, Lagos] is not for ritual sake, I came with a renewed instruction from the President Muhammadu Buhari who gave the assignment.

“There is political will on the part of the president this time to make sure that national monuments like this are not neglected.

“For this, we will find out an option at which we can restore to glory Nigeria as a football nation.

“We should have up to 10 or 12 international standard stadia and pitches up to FIFA standards. So, there is a renewed political will to restore this stadium.

“I hope that the arrangement with the Federal Government and Lagos State government will come and we are also looking at Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a model to evolve and put the facility back.

“As I have said before I will not be only the Minister of Football, but sports. Nigeria has excelled in many sports; we have about 12 sports which we have a competitive edge,” he reiterated.

The truth of the matter according to some stakeholders, is that the minister must focus on renovating one or two of the stadia through scale of preference, as there are other areas which the ministry’s allocation must also cater for.

Also, he must be reminded that running of football is better left in the hands of experts saddled with the responsibility, while he focuses on creating a structure that will develop the game from the grassroots level.

The issue of the IAAF excess grant [$135,000] received by the AFN in 2017 needs to be laid to rest under his administration.

 

Morocco 2019 performance chart, an impetus

 

Interestingly, the result of the just-ended African Games should give the ministry of sports an impetus to focus more than before on developing other sports.

Team Nigeria finished second behind Egypt with 46 gold, 33 silver and 48 bronze medals and weightlifing alone won 16 of the 46 gold medals aside from 13 silver and 18 bronze.

Athletics team won 10 gold, seven silver and six bronze; wrestling produced seven gold, four silver and one bronze; canoeing had four gold; table tennis had two gold, four silver and four bronze while badminton produced two gold, three silver and three bronze medals.

Boxing which has been one of Nigeria’s strenghts in the past only produced one gold, one silver and five bronze medals.

Had Nigeria resolved to attend the Games with weightlifters, athletics team, wrestlers and canoeists only, the Nation would have still finished second on the final medals table with 37 gold, ahead of South Africa which finished third with 36 gold, 26 silver and 25 bronze medals.

Football which is regarded as the mother of all sports produced one gold [by the Super Falconets] and one silver [by the Flying Eagles] involving 36 players excluding no fewer than 14 officials in charge of the two teams.

Will football continue to grow in Nigeria to the detriment of other multi-medal sports? Team Nigeria success story at Rabat 2019 remains the case to examine to answer this poser.

In fact, there is the need to revive Nigerian boxing as the sport is no longer giving the Nation medals like before, largely as a result of lack of funds to attend periodic international championships. This is also peculiar to some other lesser sports.

The Handball Federation of Nigeria was suspended in June 2016 by the Confederation of African Handball (CAHB), for owing affiliation fee as well as participation fee for the January 2016 African Men’s Handball Championship. The ban, which was later lifted on January 22, 2017 after HFN was able to pay the outstanding debt of 9,800 euros cost Nigeria participation at the 2016 African Women’s Handball Championship in Angola, a competition which served as qualifiers for the 2017 World Women’s Championship.

Save for the selfless efforts of Funke Oshonaike, Nigeria would have missed the 2016 ITTF African senior championship in Morocco in October due to cash crunch. Oshonaike, based in Germany sponsored herself to Morocco and eventually won the women’s singles title for the third time in her career at 41.

Nigeria’s women’s team were walked over as Oshonaike was the only player at the event venue, while other athletes were unable to travel to Morocco.

At the end, Oshonaike couldn’t participate in the women’s team and women’s doubles events.

“I’m so very sad and disappointed. Nigeria was walked over because we couldn’t produce a team. I understand that the other girls couldn’t make it since the Sports Ministry failed to fund their trip,” Oshonaike had lamented.

In July this year, home-based D’Tigers had to attend the AfroCan basketball championship in Bamako, Mali, by road as a result of cash crunch.

“Even if there was a professional [player] that was taken for AfroCan, he would have gone by road because that was what we could afford at the time to ensure our players participated,” NBBF president, Musa Ahmadu-Kida, had said in a media statement after the road trip, a development which was heavily criticised by stakeholders as discouraging.

Nigeria could not participate at the ongoing 20th edition of the AIBA Men’s World Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia, which will end this weekend also as a result of cash crunch, while it is not certain too if the Nation will attend the 11th AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships scheduled to kick off on October 3 also in Russia.

The minister was also in Ilorin to attend the just-ended 5th National Youth Games, where he saw some of the talents that Nigeria is blessed with on display in various sporting events, and this, is also an avenue for him to evolve a scheme that will encourage these youngsters to become world-class athletes in the near future.

Will the era of Dare as sports minister give other sports in the country a new lease of life in terms of funding and well-structured organisation? Nigerians are indeed waiting!

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Caption:

 

Mr Sunday Dare (second left), in a handshake with an athlete, during his visit to the camp of Team Nigeria in Rabat, at the just-ended 12th African Games in Morocco.

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SIDELINES:

 

Famous Nollywood actress, Queeneth Agbor, reportedly revealed that she was almost bedded by a promoter [already naked], in a bid to collect script for a movie, but for the juju she allegedly claimed to have been cast on her by her fiance. Perhaps, this is a good script for Nollywood movie too which can be tagged ‘Thunderbophobia or ‘Magunphobia’.

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YINKA ODUMAKIN COLUMN

 

1999 Constitution is Boko Haram

 

Before Yusuf and his disciples came up with Western education is forbidden (Boko Haram), Professor Auwal Yadudu had codified the concept in a document for Abacha’s self-succession called the 1999 Constitution which is at the heart of most problems confronting Nigeria today.

Thank God I told Professor Yadudu on the floor of the 2014 National Conference that we are bogged down with all the lacunas in the Constitution he prepared for the late General Sani Abacha. I saw my friend and brother, Comrade Dan Nwayanwu, walking to his seat as I made the point. He later told me he went to tease the Law Professor “You see people know about this thing.”

There is no evidence Abacha had serious education and the Constitution was prepared in a way to ensure that leadership in Nigeria is the only job for which no serious qualifications are required. Unfortunately, the political crass (class?) in Nigeria lacked the testicular fortitude to ask for a copy of the Decree 24 of 1999 (nicknamed Constitution) before embracing the Abubakar Abdusalami transition.

When I tried to check Abacha’s educational background, this is all I could get. “A Kanuri from Borno, Abacha was born and brought up in Kano, Nigeria. He attended the Nigerian Military Training College and Mons Officer Cadet School before being commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in 1963”.

Our Constitution was therefore tailored to make him eligible for self-succession before he expired in June 1998 and the Yadudu draft was picked from under his pillow for Nigeria to continue its leadership disaster. Niki Tobi Committee empanelled to look at the draft had only 155 days to peruse it.

Mr Eric Teniola who worked at the Presidency in 1999 has revealed that as at the time our President and Governors were sworn in at the beginning of this dispensation, there was no clean copy of the Constitution as it was still under print at Heritage Press in Abuja!

I recall calling a fellow columnist, Dr Femi Aribisala, a few weeks ago after he wrote that President Buhari was not qualified to contest the 2019 elections on account of certificate requirement. I had told the man with a fiery pen to check the interpretation clause of the Constitution and he would see that there is no educational qualification required to lead Nigeria.

The Appeal Court Panel that ruled on Atiku vs Buhari last Wednesday could have been annoyingly inelegant and overreaching in its presentation of its judgment, as there are those who hold that even if the defendants were to write the judgment in their own case; they would have put it in a nicer form. The cold fact however, is that we have a Constitution that should not be the basis of governing decent and civilised people in the modern era.

Many Nigerians were of the view that Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution which stipulates conditions for eligibility for the office of the president to include “They have been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent,” meant you need School Certificate to lead Nigeria.

They never bothered to check the interpretation clause to decipher what Professor Yadudu and co meant by “equivalent.”Here is it:

“School certificate or its equivalent” means:

(a) a Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent, or Grade II Teacher’s Certificate, the City and Guilds Certificate; or

(b) education up to Secondary School Certificate level; or

(c) Primary Six School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent and –

(i) service in the public or private sector in the Federation in any capacity acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission for a minimum of ten years, and

(ii) attendance at courses and training in such institutions as may be acceptable to the Independent National Electoral Commission for periods totalling up to a minimum of one year, and

(iii) the ability to read, write, understand and communicate in the English language to the satisfaction of the Independent National Electoral Commission, and

(d) any other qualification acceptable by the Independent National Electoral Commission;”

The eighth wonder of the world would have been if any society that accepted this type of document to be the instrument of its governance had made it.

By this provisions of this Constitution, if a man appears before the electoral body and an official says “come” and he moves, he tells him to write “go” and he puts the two alphabets correctly and he says “bye” to him and he too says “bye officer”; he is eminently qualified to lead Nigeria.

The electoral body is at liberty to even accept a “qualification” according to its whims and caprices. If a candidate presents a “certificate “ from Tramadoll Academy in Sambisa Forest and INEC is satisfied with it, eligibility is assured.

By this weird provision a  10-year service as fuel attendant (private sector ) or 10 years as messenger (public sector) is enough to qualify for the No 1 job in the country.

The Presidential Election Tribunal should have interpreted the law as it is to do their job without behaving like the proverbial overzealous labourer who does more than a day’s work for a day’s pay; by going into all the legal somersaults of an affidavit being an article of faith and all the rest.

Discerning Nigerians should know by now that this country is going nowhere except we shred this Constitution and put an autochthonous one in its place.

 

…Sorry, Buhari and Enwerem

 

This is the apt time to formally apologise to the Speaker of the House of Reprentatives in 1999, Honourable Salisu Buhari and the Senate President, Chief Evan (s) Enwerem for whatever misguided role I played in their public ridicule because I was one of those who naively thought we had some moral columns.

I have not been able to sleep well after last Wednesday’s all-day judgement by the Presidential Election Tribunal. I realised we wronged these men and my conscience would not allow me to be at rest except I apologise to them publicly.

I would have had to send one of those  ancestors we gave board appointments  to Evan (s) Enwerem but since Salisu Buhari is still alive, I can use him as a point of contact.

The minor offence the first Buhari in this dispensation committee was that he presented a certificate from the University of Toronto which the institution for reasons best known to them said was not theirs. All he should have done was to do an affidavit. We then brought out our stones until Buhari was forced out of office. But being a country of several standards that we are, there are those who have presented such documents from other cities in the world without consequences and are playing ubiquitous roles in our non-country today.

For Uncle Evan (s) Enwerem, just some silly mix-up over just one alphabet ‘s” was why we yanked him off his seat as Senate President while those who “attended “schools that were not yet established in the years they claimed now lead our political process.

The Presidential Election Tribunal has told us we wronged these distinguished Nigerians in their landmark pronouncements.

They held that a candidate is not required under the Electoral Act to attach his certificate to Form CF 001 before he/she is adjudged to have the requisite qualification to contest election and cited a previous Supreme Court judgement in submitting that “submission of educational certificate is not a requirement for qualification to contest election under section 177 of the constitution”.

The tribunal equally said that once one of the names of a candidate is correctly written on the documents for elections the other name with errors pale into insignificance.

Pray, what crime did Buhari and Enwerem commit other than coming 20 years before the arrival of the Daniels of our jurisprudence?

I am sorry gentlemen!

…Free Jalingo now!

 

I got a message from Agba Jalingo, the publisher of ‘Cross River Watch’ on August 17, to the effect that the Cross River Police command had invited him for a chat over a story he published on the state’s micro finance bank.

“The letter dated 14th August, 2019 delivered two days later by Eni Benjamin 9:30am and signed by Mrs Tami Evelyn Peterside, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation reads:

“This office is investigating a case of conspiracy to cause a breach of peace, reported by Cross River Microfinance Bank, Calabar, in which your name is mentioned.”

My response to his information to me that he would be honouring the invitation was “Go with your honour.”

Jalingo did report to the police and has since been detained at the Anti-Kidnapping and Terrorism Unit and reportedly accused of “terrorism and plotting to overthrow the Cross River State government.”

No formal charges have been preferred against him as I wrote this while his health is reportedly failing in detention despite being in high spirits.

Those of us who were at the forefront of anti-military campaign did not anticipate that civilian despots would be their replacements.

When an invitation over a story complained against by a bank suddenly becomes “terrorism”, something is fundamentally wrong.

Jalingo should be freed immediately or be charged to court if he has committed any offence.

 

…Pity the nation

 

The words of Khalil Gibran keep ringing true over Nigeria every now and then:

“Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.

Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave

and eats a bread it does not harvest.

 

Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero,

and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

 

Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,

yet submits in its awakening.

 

Pity the nation that raises not its voice

save when it walks in a funeral,

boasts not except among its ruins,

and will rebel not save when its neck is laid

between the sword and the block.

 

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox,

whose philosopher is a juggler,

and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,

and farewells him with hooting,

only to welcome another with trumpeting again.

Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years

and whose strongmen are yet in the cradle.

Pity the nation divided into fragments,

each fragment deeming itself a nation.”

……………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIMC REGISTRATION EXPERIENCE:

 

Investigations further revealed that there are some Nigerians who had completed their registration process, but with errors being unattended to, months after they have fulfilled all righteousness thereby are left to their fate.

As findings revealed, an error on date of birth attracts N15,000 fine to be paid through the Remita account to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

However, there were cases in which the complainants after the payment still had the old data submitted left unchanged from the central server system.

One of these helpless citizens spoke with Sunday Tribune on his predicament.

“My date of birth was 15th May, 1966 as filled in the NIMC enrolment form in the first instance, but when the registration was completed, it carried the date of 9th May, 1966. After I lodged complaints about the error, I was told that it was the data obtained from the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of my account that was used as it should be.

“To correct the error tagged ‘Date of Birth Modification’, I was asked to pay N15,000 into the Remita account with an application letter to ask for the amendment of the error which I did and submitted with relevant documents including the photo page of my BVN, photo page of my international passport with 15th May, 1966 as date of birth.

“I submitted the application with evidence of payment of N15,000 plus N275.63 charges on January 30, 2019 but uptill now, the error has yet to be rectified. My payment receipt reads Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) number is 2702-7539-0245.

“The error is to be effected from the server only as date of birth will not reflect on the printed slip already issued until the permanent plastic Identity card will be ready.

“I went again to find out from the NIMC secretariat in Ibadan, as at 12:35pm on Tuesday, September 11, 2019, the correction was yet to be effected as confirmed in their network computer system.

“Imagine, they said as usual that it takes time to correct an error even after the payment of fine. It’s rather unfortunate.

“This is not a question of begging for favours, it’s my right, I was asked to pay to correct an error on my data supplied which I did, but why should I pay and going to eight months, the NIMC refused to act on the case? It’s pathetic.”

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…………………

 

Serena: Time to quit?

By Ganiyu Salman

 

The amazon called Serena Willams, has practically become the face of women’s tennis in the open era given her exploits since she came on board 20 years ago with her elder sister, Venus.

Since the American turned professional on September 24, 1995, she has become a colossus in women’s tennis.

With 23 Grand Slam singles titles in her trophy cabinet aside from the Olympics gold in singles and doubles; one Grand Slam Cup in 1999 and five Tour Finals titles (2001, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014), Serena remains the player to watch on the court any day anytime until she calls it quit.

Serena then at 17 won her first Grand Slam in 1999 at US Open. As at 2014, she had six US Open titles won in 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014. She had seven Australian Open titles  (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017); three French Open titles (2002, 2013, 2015) and seven Wimbledon titles (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016) with 14 Grand Slam doubles titles.

Serena off the court has laurels to show. She won the ‘Laureus Sportswoman of the Year’ award four times (2003, 2010, 2016, 2018), and in December 2015, named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.

She was ranked 63rd in Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Athletes list this year.

In the Open era, Serena to many is regarded the best in women’s tennis, she has absolutely nothing to prove.

However, Serena is still on the trail of all-time 24 Grand Slams record held by Australia’s Margaret Court.

Born on Septemer 26, 1981, she first became the world’s number one on July 8, 2002 and regained this top rank for the fifth time on November 2, 2009.

Since January 28, 2017 when Serena last captured a Grand Slam [Australian Open] incidentally at the expense of Venus, efforts to move to the have remained fruitless.

Serena since then had lost in three finals aside the semi-final loss to Italian teenager Roberta Vinci, in the 2015 semi-final of the US Open, which was regarded as the greatest upset in sports then.

Perhaps, bookmakers will find it hard to come to terms with the loss suffered by Serena in the US Open final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium last weekend given the form she displayed right from the first game of the tournament where she dismissed Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-0.

Perhaps her toughest game en route to the final was the second round game against

fellow American Caty McNally. Serena lost the first set 5-7 and came back to win the second set 6-3 and the last set 6-1 while floored Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2 in the third round.She defied an ankle injury in the Rd of 16 to beat Petra Martic  6-3, 6-4 as she spanked China’s Qiang Wang 6-1, 6-0 in the quarter-final. Serena made a nonsense of Elina Svitlona in the semi-final 6-3, 6-1. The victory earned her 10th US Open final and a record-equaling 101st win.

Expectations were high when Serena filed onto the Flushing Meadows for her 33rd career final against Canada’s 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu, who playing her first Grand Slam final.

Serena lost in the final of the Wimbledon in July this year to Simona Halep but her form in this year’s US Open gave many bookmakers confidence that she will break the jinx against 24th Grand Slam.

A BBC analyst said it will be a surprise if Serena loses to the Canadian youngster as the American had proved that she had rediscovered her awe-inspiring form right from the opener against her arch rival Sharapova.

She had to retire in the Rogers Cup clash with home girl Andreescu in Toronto.

A few hours before the showdown at Flushing Meadows, since it was obvious that winning a 24th Grand Slam title had become a jinx of sorts, The Washington Post in a piece noted that for Williams, “a Grand Slam win after childbirth could be the mother of all accomplishments.”

At almost 38, Serena’s fighting spirit never diminished ditto her array of aces, forehands, and power tennis. At a time Andreescu could be thinking of how to celebrate her first Grand Slam with a 5-1 lead in the second set, Serena clawed back to 5-5 before losing that set 7-5. Perhaps, she was the fans favourite, every point she scored was always greeted with loud, goosebump-inducing applause.

Williams has not won a Grand Slam since she gave birth in 2017 to Olympia and had lost four finals till date.

Interestingly, Serena lost to an opponent who was not yet born when she won her first Grand Slam in 1999.

Perhaps, as age begins to set in so also maturity for Serena, who after losing two straight sets [6-3, 7-5], took the defeat in good faith and congratulated Andreescu. This surprised many spectators unlike the on-court outburst drama she created during the 2018 US Open final loss to Japan’s Naomi Osaka. She later apologised early this year to the Japanese and explained the reason behind her unsporting behaviour.

The emphasis on Williams winning a 24th Grand Slam title has been assigned too large a significance, in too small a space. That Williams is even playing at a level where she can reach the finals, at age 37 (almost 38), after childbirth, is unprecedented in itself.

Consider that her contemporary, and former world No. 1, Maria Sharapova, returned to playing in 2017 after a 15-month ban for failing a drug test, and has still failed to find her footing. Sharapova (who is six years younger and has not given birth) made it the quarter-final of the 2018 French Open, after Williams withdrew due to injury, and lost to Williams in straight sets in this year’s first round of the U.S. Open. The sheer level of excellence required by Williams to sustain playing at such an elite level after a prolonged and physically taxing absence cannot be understated.

For Williams to reach the 2018 Wimbledon final, just 10 months after her traumatic experience in labour, was nothing short of miraculous. And for the American to do the same at last year’s US Open, with very few matches in between, was another phenomenal feat.

Though, it is obvious that Serena will be desperate to win her 24th Major to equal Court’s record but she downplayed this before the final against Andreescu saying “

“To be in yet another final [US Open], it seems honestly, crazy, but I don’t really expect too much less.”

Serena equally blamed herself after the loss to Andreescu.

“Serena…,” Williams said, addressing herself in a post match news conference. “You didn’t miss a serve, you lost serve maybe twice in the whole tournament, and you didn’t hit a first serve in today.

“That was obviously on my mind. How do I play at a level like this in a final?”

Wimbledon 2013 champion, Marion Bartoli, a close friend of Williams, thinks the American puts extra pressure on herself, and cannot rid that from her mind when she steps on to court.

“She just feels she has to win this one, and it has to be that one that she’s going to get to 24, and then to 25 [Grand Slam titles],” Bartoli told BBC.

However, the dream to win the 24th Major will have to wait till next January in the

Australian Open in Melbourne.

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SIDELINES:

 

Thieves reportedly broke into the office of Takoradi District Police Commander in Ghana and made away with his laptop, a flat-screen television and an undisclosed amount of money. Hmn…when thieves could steal right in the police station, is this not a message that no property is secured even with uniformed men in charge?

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YINKA ODUMAKIN COLUMN:

 

Rugbo and Ruga

 

Those who are familiar with hunting for animals in Yorubaland would easily understand the meaning of the word “rugbo”. It is about bush beating by amateurs while experienced hunters wait with their guns to shoot at animals running from their activities to catch preys.

The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has been thrown into this kind of expedition since the ‘Rugarians’ started the next level in internal conquest by seeking lands to grab for Fulani herdsmen all over Nigeria.

There were serious outcries in all non-Fulani communities in Nigeria when the Ruga idea was mooted as the project was interpreted as an agenda in conquest and domination being the only reason why the Federal Government would want to grab land in all the 36 states of the federation for the private business of Fulani herders.

It was the Miyetti Allah group that inserted Professor Osinbajo into the noxious plan when.

The General Secretary of MACBAN, Baba Uthman Ngelzarma said Osinbajo’s office was in charge of implementing the programme nationwide.

He had said, “This Ruga settlement model is a component part of the livestock development and transformation plan that is being implemented under the office of the Vice President. It is a component part of it.

“All must agree with me that the crisis we are facing today has become a multi-dimensional one and so the approach must also be holistic. It was the desire of the Federal Government to take a holistic approach that gave birth to the Ruga settlement model and it is not only for Fulani herders.”

Miyetti Allah has been much more eloquent than even Alhaji Lai Mohammed in articulating sectional and insensitive policies of this government.

Embarrassed by the outing, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande quickly responded  that the programme being handled by Osinbajo was different from the one being referred to by Miyetti Allah.

Akande said the National Livestock Transformation Plan, which had been endorsed by the National Economic Council, was different from the Ruga programme.

He tweeted, “Contrary to claims reported in sections of the media, Ruga settlements are not being supervised by the office of the Vice President. Ruga is different from the National Livestock Transformation Plan approved by state governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council.”

Before anyone could spell Osinbajo, SSA Media to President Buhari went on The News at 10 on Channels Television to rubbish the VP’s clarification insisting that Ruga and the National Livestock Transformation Plan were only different in name.

When asked if the two were different, he said, “It is just a matter of semantics. These herders who roam the entire country and overrun farmlands cause disaffection and fight and the government wants to stop this.

“So, we want to settle them in one place, provide the entire infrastructure they need. As a matter of fact, markets will come to this Ruga settlement or ranches. There will be establishment of meat processors, the utilisation of by-products including sanitary wares that will be developed from hoofs and horns. There will be a lot of business and money from this. It is not confined to Fulani. It is a business open to all Nigerians.”

Thereafter the FG announced a suspension of the “unilateral implementation” of the policy by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, a misnomer under Federalism, which some people naively thought was a backdown.

Events in the country ever since have proved those who read things correctly that the government is committed to the project in spite of the serious opposition to it and the potent threat it poses to national unity.

A fresh dimension of opposition to Ruga which Osinbajo cannot easily wave came from his constituency as a Pastor when the Christian  Association of Nigeria (CAN) kicked against the programme in Lagos a few days back.

CAN told the Federal Government to jettison the planned RUGA scheme, saying the association was opposed to the implementation of the programme anywhere in Nigeria.

The President of CAN, Pastor Samson Ayokunle who announced the position of the association at a church leaders’ summit in Lagos said: “We, the Christian body call on the Federal Government to immediately suspend and abrogate the RUGA settlement programme.”

According to him, anything that smacks of mutual distrust should be avoided in the interest of national unity.

“We, the Christian body also kick against the Control of Waterways Bill now before the National Assembly. The Control of Waterways by the Federal Government Bill before the National Assembly should be rejected.

“Waterways in each locality should be controlled by local authorities. God created the waterways there. At most, they should be controlled by state governments.”

The CAN chief advised the Federal Government to intensify efforts on the establishment of modern ranching facilities, abattoirs and meat processing firms.

The final seal came from the usually reticent General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye,whom some have accused of being silent on some burning national issues because Osinbajo is a Pastor in  his Church, who said that he supported the position of CAN on the RUGA settlement issue.

“CAN must do everything possible to let the world know that CAN is one. Whatever the CAN president says is the final.”

As if in a direct response to CAN the leader of the Fulani herders association, Bello Bodejo said that for for peace to reign in the country, every state must carve out a portion of land for his ethnic group to settle.

And Osinbanjo goes on trial on Tuesday as he goes to Adamawa to launch what has promised to be Ruga.

The  five federal gazetted grazing reserves in the state were chosen to pilot the implementation because of its large Fulani herdsmen population.

However, Chairman of National Livestock Transformation Programme, Professor Alikidon Voh, said the move had nothing to do with RUGA.

Adamawa State deputy governor, Crowther Seth, had convened a strategic meeting on Wednesday with traditional rulers, where he informed them of the development and urged them to support its implementation.

Seth said, “The Vice President will visit the state on September 10, 2019, to inaugurate the National Livestock Transformation Programme.

“The NLTP as you will soon see during the presentation, is a very laudable, non-political, non-religious non-ethnic and non-partisan plan that seeks to modernise livestock production.

“It is also to bring an end to the violence and fatal crises that engulfed some states of the country including Adamawa.”

He said  the NLTP, also known as Ruga would also stop violent conflict between farmers and herders which the Peoples Democratic Party government in the state had embraced and not hesitated to align with the All Progressives Congress led Federal Government’s plan.

Indeed the PDP at the national level has yet to make any coherent statement on the divisive Ruga policy.

Forty-eight hours now stand between Professor Osibajo’s integrity and the obnoxious Ruga policy. If what he launches on Tuesday is not Ruga he would still walk tall with his integrity but if Garba Shehu is proved right that he is being semantic and all he is supervising is Ruga, people would have to check their wristwatch before answering when next the VP says “Good morning”. And it would confirm he has just been doing ‘rugbo rugbo’.

 

Happy Birthday to Bisrod

 

All roads led to Igbeba Housing Estate in Ijebu Ode on Wednesday as Giwa Bisi Rodipe celebrated his 80th birthday .It was a big do that attracted the high and mighty as Bisrod rolled out the drums with harvest of thanksgiving for celebrating eight scores in a clime where life expectancy is 53.4 years.

Chief Bisi Rodipe who has achieved so much in different spheres of life in 1984 ventured into conservation and is today a foremost tree planter in the country .His Evergreen Tree Planter has done so much in afforestation project in the country.

It was a great worry when Chief Rodipe plantations came under the  Fulani herdsmen attacks about two years ago but he gladly told me last Wednesday as a few guests including Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Olori Adetona spent the last hour with him in the celebration hall that the sad event is now history “The police did very well and I commend them.”

He was so full of life,vibrant and  and energetic for the age he has clocked suggestive of the grace of God upon his life .

“Nigeria is a rain forest country that has all it takes to restore and rejuvenate its forest sector for wealth creation, sustainable environment and industrial prosperity” he said about his passion.

Left the bash for the home of my wonderful brother ,Prince Ade Adetona to cap the evening with a wonderful reception in his serene vicinity of the town.Prince is married to one of Chief Rodipe’s lovely daughters.

Here is wishing Chief Rodipe many more years of celebration .

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DELIBERATIONS FROM THE GENERAL MEETING OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO TENNIS CLUB (OATC), HELD ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019.

 

MEETING STARTED: 10:48am: OPENING PRAYER: Coach Idowu Otubusin.

MEETING ENDED: 12:53pm: CLOSING PRAYER: Mr Badmus Tolulope.

 

*The motion for the adoption of the last meeting’s minute/deliberations already posted online was moved by Mr Roger Ogbewe and seconded by Mr Oladimeji Olatunde.

 

*The secretariat informed the House that only four offices (Captain, Secretary, Asst. Secretary and Social Secretary) had nominations while two offices, Treasurer/Financial Secretary) were not yet filled.

 

*It was resolved through voting (7-5) that the election of the Club be conducted as scheduled, after the suggestion that the exercise be postponed to allow more time for members to show interest in vying for elective offices was shelved.

 

* Chairman of the three-man electoral committee, Col. Adetokunbo Ojomo (retd) later announced the dissolution of the Club’s executive council as unanimously agreed by the House.

 

* He later conducted the poll where the following officers were returned unopposed: Mr Kunle Yusuf [Captain]; Salman Ganiyu [Secretary]; Mr Demola Alimi [Asst. Secretary] and Mr Obinna Odigwe [Social Secretary].

 

*The Chairman of the electoral committee, Col. Adetokunbo Ojomo (retd) declared the four officers as duly elected.

 

*The House later unanimously appointed Mr Roger Ogbewe as Chief Whip and Mrs Adetutu David as Treasurer respectively.

 

*It was agreed that the process of restructuring should begin in earnest to pave the way for a new environment towards taking the Club to greater heights.

 

*It was agreed that the three-man committee [Ibrahim Adegbola, Oladimeji Olatunde and Badmus Tolulope] set up to manage the facilities of the Club should meet and decide the head, in order to enhance effective performance.

 

*Engineer Niyi Adekola joined the meeting late deliberately as he was engaged in training on Court One when the meeting had already commenced. Later on, he declared that nobody can impose any directive on him as he stands to enjoy fundamental rights at all times. He also said he disliked the situation he witnessed a few days back where four kids who wanted to train in the Academy section were asked to pay first to obtain forms.

 

*Nobody can impose anything on anybody, what right do we [the Club] have to control the tennis courts? If the Club can’t make kids to play for free, then, I don’t want to be part of this Club any more,” Engineer Niyi Adekola said, as he thereafter left the meeting without seeking permission.

 

*The House as a result of this conduct called for the suspension of Engr. Adekola, while it was also agreed that any member who plays with him will be sanctioned.

 

*It was also agreed that the issue could only be reviewed, if Engr Adekola tenders an apology in writing, before the executive committee for onward delivery to the entire House.

 

*It was agreed that the notice of this development be placed on the Club’s social media platforms and the notice board.

 

*The Captain thanked members for the confidence reposed in him and other  re-elected officers who were returned unopposed.

 

*The Captain reminded members of the need to pay dues promptly to take care of the running and other expenses incurred by the Club which include monthly payment of the casual worker’s wage.

 

*The Captain informed that part of the fencing of the centre court had been done in the area of installation of poles, adding that efforts will be made to complete the fencing before hosting the Adejumo Sports Club from Lagos on Monday, August 12.

 

*The fencing was estimated to cost about N200,000.

 

* The Captain said the Club will bear the cost of installation of one of the poles for lighting.

 

*Mr Martins Uwoghiren was commended for his efforts towards the actualisation of the lighting project of the tennis arena.

 

*It was agreed that notice be put through the Club’s social media platforms to remind members to make their financial donations to two projects.

 

*It was agreed that members should always create time to attend the Club’s activities regularly.

 

*The House commended Mrs Adetutu David for always attending the Club’s activities which informed her choice for the position of Treasurer.

 

*The Secretary informed the House that the procedure to register a pupil at the Academy is well known adding that, a parent must accompany his or her child to obtain a form for N1,000 and fill while the monthly training fee per child is N1,000.

 

*The secretariat informed the House that following a request from the Ministry of Sports, South West Zone One, the tennis courts had been released to them for the hosting of the Nigerian School of Nursing Games billed to hold from August 4 to 10.

 

*The House also granted the request from Coach Opeyemi Durowoju for the use of court to train his athletes including national female players, while a two-man committee made up of Mr Obinna Odigwe and Engineer Dotun Agboluaje, to meet the coach to know details of his programme and submit report to the House at next meeting.

 

*Mrs Adetutu David moved a motion for adjournment while it was seconded by Mr Collins Okofu.

 

SIGNED:

 

Salman Ganiyu.

 

Club Secretary.

 

ATTENDANCE:

 

  1. Kunle Yusuf (Club Captain)
  2. Salman Ganiyu (Club Secretary)
  3. Mr Obinna Odigwe
  4. Mr Demola Alimi
  5. Col. Adetokunbo Ojomo.
  6. Mr Collins Okofu.
  7. Coach Idowu Otubusin.
  8. Mr Roger Ogbewe.
  9. Mr Badmus Tolulope.
  10. Mr Emma Oluwafemi.
  11. Mr Ibrahim Adegbola.
  12. Mr Martins Uwoghiren.
  13. Mr Dotun Agboluaje.
  14. Mr Oladimeji Olatunde.
  15. Mrs Adetutu David.
  16. Engr. Niyi Adekola.

………………..

AGENDA FOR OATC GENERAL MEETING ON SATURDAY, SEPT. 7, 2019.

 

  1. Opening prayer.
  2. Adoption of last meeting’s report already posted on the social media platform.
  3. Matters arising.

A: Review of Engr. Adekola’s case.

B: Coach Durowoju’s request to run an Academy.

C: Update on fencing of the centre court & electrification of tennis arena.

  1. Any Other Business (AOB)

5 Motion for adjournment.

  1. Closing prayer.

………………..

 

 

August 31, 2019.

 

Engineer Niyi Adekola,

OATC,

Ibadan.

 

Sir,

 

NOTICE OF PLAY SUSPENSION:

 

I write to inform you on behalf of the Obafemi Awolowo Tennis Club (OATC) that based on your conduct at the last general meeting held on August 3, 2019, at the Club House, the House resolved that no member should play with you any longer on any of the [tennis] courts, and such a member will be sanctioned if the directive is violated.

 

Also at the said meeting, the House resolved that the play suspension could only be reviewed, if you tender an apology through the executive committee for onward delivery to the House at next general meeting.

 

Sir, this is to also remind you that the next general meeting of the Club will take place from 10:00am on Saturday, September 7, 2019.

 

Best sporting regards.

 

Salman Ganiyu.

 

Secretary, OATC.

……………………………

 

SIDELINES:

 

One Ahmadu Abdullahi, 70, prayed a court in Kaduna, to order his ex-wife, Magajiya Abubakar, to return the N30,000 bride price, saying he had resolved to forgo other monies he spent while the three-month union lasted. If one may ask, is Abdullahi too ready to pay for the conjugal services rendered by his ex? What a drama!

……………….

YINKA ODUMAKIN COLUMN:

 

Memo to Yoruba Governors (3)

 

We have advocated and will continue to insist that states must have their own police so that they can deal with crimes in thief territories. It is awkward that state governments at the moment have no agency to arrest criminals the way Sharia states do within the dual ideology that governs Nigeria.

But within the distorted federalism that we run, the power to prosecute crimes like robberies, kidnappings and murders rests with states. And there can’t be any reason why the ministries of Justice in Yoruba states have been laid back and not getting proactive in prosecuting arrested kidnap suspects as the scourge of this crime has put the region under a serious siege.

An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital on April 9, 2017 sentenced seven men who were involved in the kidnap of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, to life imprisonment.

The seven men, who were all Fulani herdsmen were found guilty of kidnapping the elder statesman in his farm in Ilado Village, Akure North Local Government Area of the state in September 2015.

The convicts are: Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed, Idris Lawal, Abdulkadir Umar and Babawo Kato.

The charges against the kidnappers were not filed by the Attorney General of the Federation or the Federal Police but by the Ondo State government.

If our states have become very active in ensuring prosecution of arrested kidnap suspects in this fashion, some signal would have gone to these criminals to avoid the zone as there would be consequences for their action.

The aim of this serial has been to call attraction of governors in Yoruba states to the responsibility of their offices. It is a wake-up call for them to see the opportunities in leadership in service of the people as against the opportunism of office that is the fad at the moment. A region that has a rich history can only record governors who serve for four or eight years as monumental failures if all they achieved were no more than epileptic payment of salaries, resurfacing a few roads here and there and refurbishing Government Houses or building new ones.

Come off it, you have been opportune to lead a people who first watched Television in Africa. It was the UCH in Ibadan that was the medical resort for the Saudi Royal Family in the years of glory. The Western Region built a world-class institution at Ile Ife with an atomic energy centre in 1962. There are records of all the firsts under visionary leadership that made Yorubaland the home of progress, development and commendable achievements.

What has happened that we are now Rear-Admirals in underdevelopment and backwardness? How come Professor Yemi Osinbajo, ‘Vice President’ of poverty distributing Federal Government of Nigeria can come to any of our states and find thousands of our people queuing to be insulted with Almajiri  N5000 Tradermoni?What brought about a situation that a region where even handicapped people were involved in one trade or the other is now populated by able-bodied beggars? How do we explain the scandal of now having a generation of illiterate children born by educated parents ?

Part of the answers is that the dysfunctional Nigeria has afflicted the Yoruba region to the extent that leadership is no longer sourced from among the best. The hansards of the Western House of Assembly show quality minds comparable to those in the House of Lords in elucidation and faultless presentation of ideas on issues. Today, our Assemblies are littered with watch repairers, thugs and drop-outs.

A space that was renowned for conquering ignorance through the free education programme of Oloye Obafemi Awolowo and his faithful cum disciples now leads among leaders with fake credentials in public life. It is only Ekiti and Ondo states that have not been prominent among Governors embroiled in allegations of forged certificates in the current dispensation!

The situation calls for leaders who will break down the walls of mediocrity encircling the Yoruba space at the moment. We wait to see a Governor like Alhaji Lateef Jakande who will face the education sector squarely and return his state to among one of the first three in WASCE results.

It is a season to show we still can boast of a Governor in the fashion of the late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, who will serve the people and boasts at the end of his tenure that he leaves government with the same sets of agbada he brought into office but can point at testimonies of changed lives (positively ) because he was there.

What we have at the moment should make any leader with a conscience to be sad with a resolve to make a difference. It cannot be business as usual. And there are possibilities even within the limited opportunities the constrained political structures we currently have afford. A journey through some of our wretched neighbours in West Africa would show we can do better than we are now.

The type of roads you will find in a place like Benin Republic with very limited resources are not available in our states where most roads have broken down in a manner worse than those of war-torn countries. Even within Nigeria, we still have examples. I came in contact with somethe other day in Yola, Adamawa State. We were in the city for the farewell for the late Dr Bala Takaya, former President of the Middle Belt Forum and we drove on several kilometers of well-tarred roads that I had to ask at a point if it was the Federal Government that was tarring the roads within Yola. The only city that has anything near Yola in Yorubaland today is Akure, the capital of Ondo State.

Ultimately, we have to get Nigeria back to a proper federal restructure to unleash the potential of the federating units can be unleashed against the many challenges confronting our people but let it be said here that minds that cannot make any difference within what is available would not be of any use in a restructured polity.

 

 

…No bail out in their bailouts

 

Now the Federal Government wants 35 states to cough up the N614billion bailouts they were given at the starting years of this administration and I am shaking my head vigorously. I remember now the warning we issued in July 2016:

“There is much hardship in town largely occasioned by the fact that government is the largest spender in our economy, and the economic crunch that the government is facing has made it difficult for government at all levels to meet their obligations to their workers.

“This has created a terminal crisis which almost 30 states today cannot pay their salaries for some months. We are insisting that until Nigeria restructure to have a new economic model that allows every state to go under the soil and bring out their resources to expand the productive base so that there will be more prosperity and can take care of their workers.

“But in the short term, we are asking that the Federal Government should stop being a money lender to the state, giving bail-outs and giving conditions like IMF to states; rather we should take another look at the revenue allocation formula and free some of what the federal government is holding at the moment to go to the state.

“Statutorily, in any case, most of the resources that the FG is using to getting these resources that are given as bail-outs came from the state.

“The only territory that belongs to the FG today is the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and that FCT, ordinary pure water; they are not producing anything there. So if you are giving bail-out, let us slash what FG is taking to go to the state and so that they can meet their statutory obligation to their workers.”

Federalism is the only bailout and to Awo we return. He wrote a book in 1966, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, in which he painstakingly analysed the core challenges of Nigeria. He stated: “The evils  which afflicted Nigeria and brought about the end of the First Republic may be put in a nutshell as follows: (1) Abnormal imbalance in the constituent units of the federation. (2) Gross incapacity and utter lack of honesty and comprehension on the part of those who directed and administered the affairs of the federal government. (3) Total absence of correct ideological orientation and courageous and selfish leadership at all levels of our government activities, but more especially so at the federal level. (4) Tenacity of power –that is, over-powering and obsessive desire on the part our political leaders to stick to indefinitely to public offices by all means fair or foul.”

Awo was convinced that the solution to the challenges of attaining nationhood was in a suitable constitution that would become the building blocks for political stability in Nigeria.

He wrote: “It must be generally agreed that the making of a constitution is not an end itself. It is a means to the welfare and happiness of the people, the fountain of which, in a material sense, is economic prosperity. Of all the factors which conduce to the economic prosperity and, again in a material sense, to the greatness of a nation and its people, the most important is political stability. Without it, material resources, manpower, and capital, whatever their quantity and quality, plus technical knowledge will avail very little.

Drawing from his vast and in-depth knowledge about the constitution and practice of federalism in most advanced countries, Awo declared that, “From our study of the constitutional evolution of all the countries of the world, two things stand out quite clearly and prominently: first, in any country where there are divergences of language and of nationality-particularly of language-a unitary constitution is always a source of bitterness and hostility on the part of linguistic or national minority groups. On the other hand, as soon as a federal constitution is introduced in which each linguistic or national group is recognised and accorded regional autonomy, any bitterness and hostility against the constitutional arrangements as such, disappear.”

…………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

………No bailout in their bailouts

 

Now the Federal Government wants 35 states to cough up the N614b bailouts they were given at the starting years of this administration and I am shaking my head vigorously .I remember now the warning we issued in July 2016 :

“There is much hardship in town largely occasioned by the fact that government is the largest spender in our economy, and the economic crunch that the government is facing has made it difficult for government at all levels to meet their obligations to their workers.

“This has created a terminal crisis which almost 30 states today cannot pay their salaries for some months. We are insisting that until Nigeria restructure to have a new economic model that allows every state to go under the soil and bring out their resources to expand the productive base so that there will be more prosperity and can take care of their workers.

“But in the short term, we are asking that the Federal Government should stop being a money lender to the state, giving bail-outs and giving conditions like IMF to states; rather we should take another look at the revenue allocation formula and free some of what the federal government is holding at the moment to go to the state.

“Statutorily, in any case, most of the resources that the FG is using to getting these resources that are given as bail-outs came from the state.

“The only territory that belongs to the FG today is the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and that FCT, ordinary pure water; they are not producing anything there. So if you are giving bail-out, let us slash what FG is taking to go to the state and so that they can meet their statutory obligation to their workers.”

Federalism Is the only bailout and to Awo we return.He wrote a book in 1966, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, in which he painstakingly analysed the core challenges of Nigeria. He stated: “The evils  which afflicted Nigeria and brought about the end of the First Republic may be put in a nutshell as follows: 1) Abnormal imbalance in the constituent units of the federation. 2) Gross incapacity and utter lack of honesty and comprehension on the part of those who directed and administered the affairs of the federal government. 3) Total absence of correct ideological orientation and courageous and selfish leadership at all levels of our government activities, but more especially so at the federal level. 4) Tenacity of power –that is, over-powering and obsessive desire on the part our political leaders to stick to indefinitely to public offices by all means fair or foul.”

Awo was convinced that the solution to the challenges of attaining nationhood was in a suitable constitution that would become the building blocks for political stability in Nigeria.

He wrote: “It must be generally agreed that the making of a constitution is not an end itself. It is a means to the welfare and happiness of the people, the fountain of which, in a material sense, is economic prosperity. Of all the factors which conduce to the economic prosperity and, again in a material sense, to the greatness of a nation and its people, the most important is political stability. Without it, material resources, manpower, and capital, whatever their quantity and quality, plus technical knowledge will avail very little.

Drawing from his vast and in-depth knowledge about the constitution and practice of federalism in most advanced countries,  Awo declared that, “From our study of the constitutional evolution of all the countries of the world, two things stand out quite clearly and prominently: first, in any country where there are divergences of language and of nationality-particularly of language-a unitary constitution is always a source of bitterness and hostility on the part of linguistic or national minority groups. On the other hand, as soon as a federal constitution is introduced in which each linguistic or national group is recognised and accorded regional autonomy, any bitterness and hostility against the constitutional arrangements as such, disappear.”

……………..

 

 

Memo to Yoruba Governors (2)

 

“Do not remove the ancient landmarks that your fathers set”-Prov 22:28.

Yoruba nation continues to remove the precious landmarks established by our forefathers in the order of strange children. A people known for being the first in noble things are now making it to the top in negative reckonings.

The first television station in Africa was birthed in Ibadan just two years after Britain watched TV and before Southern France could have that pleasure. It was also the space where the first tallest building  in the country, Cocoa House was constructed. And in spite of these wonders and extra-ordinary conquests in human development, the Western Region under Oloye Obafemi Awolowo paid the highest minimum wage in the country, even higher than what the Federal Government paid to its workers.

One of the areas Yorubaland is leading negatively today is in the area of domestic debts. A report by Sunday Punch of August 20, 2019 quoting figures from the debt a Management Office showed that South-West has more domestic debt than other regions of the country with an exposure to the tune of N1.04tn as of March 31.

The statistics also showed that the six geo-political zones of the country were exposed to a total domestic debt of N3.97tn as of March 31.This means that the South-West geopolitical zone of the country accounts for 26.2 per cent of the country’s total subnational domestic debt.

Lagos, the commercial capital of the country accounts for much of the indebtedness of the zone as it has domestic debt of N542.23billion.

Thus, the state, which is the largest subnational economy in the country, accounts for 51.92 per cent of the domestic debt owed by the six states in the South-West.

Osun State with N147.7billion accounts for 14.2 per cent of the indebtedness of the South-West region while Ekiti State with N118.01bn accounts for 11.35 per cent of the domestic debt owed by the South-West geopolitical zone.

Ogun State accounts for 9.34 per cent of the domestic indebtedness of the region with a total of N97.09billion while Oyo State with N94.14billion accounts for 9.03 per cent of the domestic debt of the region.

Ondo which has the least domestic debt in the region accounts for 5.48 per cent with N56.96b.

The South -East geo-political zone is the least indebted with a total debt portfolio of N305 .67b.

What value has accrued to the people of Yorubaland from these humongous debts is the natural question?

Our borrowings seem not to conform to both Keynesian and Monetarist views on the subject.

Keynes advocated higher government borrowing in a recession. Keynes noted in recession, firms cut back investment and households cut back spending. This causes a rise in private sector saving and a rise in unused resources. In this circumstance, government borrowing will not cause crowding out, but inject money into the circular flow and ‘kickstart’ economic activity. Government borrowing will enable economic recovery and an improvement in tax revenues

Monetarists on the other  are more critical of government borrowing arguing that government borrowing is often due to political pressures. As Milton Friedman stated “There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government programme” Friedman argued government borrowing arises due to vested political interests which keep governments committed to raising spending on programmes like social security, farm subsidies and healthcare.

My brother, Babatunde Gbadamosi helped out with a chilling exposure on Lagos Light Rail project as an example of where the money has been going.

A 27.5km  yet-to-be completed light rail starred by Lagos in 2009 was valued at $1.5b compared to Ethiopia that started a  standard gauge 759km rail two years after Lagos started its own and already completed  it at $4.5billion.

A little arithmetic shows that while Ethiopian heavy  rail costs $5.2m per km while Lagos light rail is $54m per km per km,about  10 times cost. The worry here is that it is CRCC  from China that got the contacts for both rail lines.

The worst scandal of the whole deal is that the 2010  Q1 report of CRCC showed that the  actual cost of the Lagos Light Rail  was $181m, leaving the state with over $1.2n disappearing into thin air.

It’s a monumental tragedy that Lagos with the highest revenue in the country plus being the most indebted state today has nothing on the ground that can be commended to other states to copy  the way you see in some states that have  financial endowments like the state.

In spite of aviation being on the exclusive list on the present suffocating and anti-development 1999 Constitution, Ibom Air, the Akwa Ibom commercial airline took off on June 8, 2019. Governor Emmanuel Udom was so fulfilled as he said, “Akwa Ibom State is, therefore, the first to achieve this, and we should all collectively give ourselves a pat on the back.” Mr Emmanuel’s address was presented by the deputy governor, Mr Ekpo.

The governor said the takeoff of Ibom Air was a testimony to his administration’s vision for “rapid industrialization” of the state.

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly approved a budget size of N672.98billion for the 2019 fiscal year while the Lagos State House of Assembly appropriated N873. 532billion for 2019. But while the former has floated a commercial airline the latter only boasts of private jets in the fleet of its former officials !

There are various sectors there could have seen creative interventions to solve the problems confronting people living in the South West with the available resources and the debts being piled here and there if there are enough hearts for the people. The pitch darkness that envelopes towns and cities in the zone where  we would play under street lights as kids in the late 60s and and early 70s has been left unchallenged. My neighbourhood in Lagos had to make a special arrangement with a power company to have a 20-hour electricity supply a day. This is costing inhabitants N47 a unit of electricity as against N21 in other areas of the city with epileptic supply. This invariably is a poverty worsening project as most of the money earned by many families would now go into payment of electricity bills.

Lawyer-cum rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) speaking at the launch of a report by SERAP “From Darkness to Darkness: How Nigerians are paying the price for corruption in the electricity sector,”on August 8, 2017; urged state governments to generate and distribute their own electricity to improve the well-being of the people of their states.

He quoted items 13 and 14 of of the schedule to the bad constitution that we have which stipulate that state governments shall have power to generate electricity outside the national the national grid.

“I generate electricity in my home and my office. So why can’t 20 million people? We must really challenge the control of our affairs by the government in Abuja.”

There is none of our states that has taken up this challenge. Why can’t one state launch a major offensive against darkness and let us see the Federal Government that wants to stop such without the Épe experiment of EFCC officials at Ambode house.

Besides, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) as Minister of Power cleared some air in a keynote address he delivered at the Punuka Annual Lecture Series in Abuja on May 9 where he said:

“Clearly therefore, contrary to widely held beliefs, state governments can establish their own power stations, can generate, transmit and distribute electricity in areas not covered by the National grid within the state and establish their own electricity to promote and manage their own power stations.”

Why is this nor being explored while we deal with the larger issue of the command and control National grid, a clear anti-federalist thing? It can only be about abdication of responsibility ….To be continued .

 

…No bail out in their bailouts

 

Now the Federal Government wants 35 states to cough up the N614b bailouts they were given at the starting years of this administration and I am shaking my head vigorously .I remember now the warning we issued in July 2016 :

“There is much hardship in town largely occasioned by the fact that government is the largest spender in our economy, and the economic crunch that the government is facing has made it difficult for government at all levels to meet their obligations to their workers.

“This has created a terminal crisis which almost 30 states today cannot pay their salaries for some months. We are insisting that until Nigeria restructure to have a new economic model that allows every state to go under the soil and bring out their resources to expand the productive base so that there will be more prosperity and can take care of their workers.

“But in the short term, we are asking that the Federal Government should stop being a money lender to the state, giving bail-outs and giving conditions like IMF to states; rather we should take another look at the revenue allocation formula and free some of what the federal government is holding at the moment to go to the state.

“Statutorily, in any case, most of the resources that the FG is using to getting these resources that are given as bail-outs came from the state.

“The only territory that belongs to the FG today is the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and that FCT, ordinary pure water; they are not producing anything there. So if you are giving bail-out, let us slash what FG is taking to go to the state and so that they can meet their statutory obligation to their workers.”

Federalism Is the only bailout and to Awo we return. He wrote a book in 1966, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, in which he painstakingly analysed the core challenges of Nigeria. He stated: “The evils  which afflicted Nigeria and brought about the end of the First Republic may be put in a nutshell as follows: 1) Abnormal imbalance in the constituent units of the federation. 2) Gross incapacity and utter lack of honesty and comprehension on the part of those who directed and administered the affairs of the federal government. 3) Total absence of correct ideological orientation and courageous and selfish leadership at all levels of our government activities, but more especially so at the federal level. 4) Tenacity of power –that is, over-powering and obsessive desire on the part our political leaders to stick to indefinitely to public offices by all means fair or foul.”

Awo was convinced that the solution to the challenges of attaining nationhood was in a suitable constitution that would become the building blocks for political stability in Nigeria.

He wrote: “It must be generally agreed that the making of a constitution is not an end itself. It is a means to the welfare and happiness of the people, the fountain of which, in a material sense, is economic prosperity. Of all the factors which conduce to the economic prosperity and, again in a material sense, to the greatness of a nation and its people, the most important is political stability. Without it, material resources, manpower, and capital, whatever their quantity and quality, plus technical knowledge will avail very little.

Drawing from his vast and in-depth knowledge about the constitution and practice of federalism in most advanced countries, Awo declared that, “From our study of the constitutional evolution of all the countries of the world, two things stand out quite clearly and prominently: first, in any country where there are divergences of language and of nationality-particularly of language-a unitary constitution is always a source of bitterness and hostility on the part of linguistic or national minority groups. On the other hand, as soon as a federal constitution is introduced in which each linguistic or national group is recognised and accorded regional autonomy, any bitterness and hostility against the constitutional arrangements as such, disappear.”

Re: Memo to Yoruba Governors (1)

 

Good day Sir, I am Idowu Samuel from Ago Are, Oyo State, where I am currently carrying out my mandatory NYSC service programme. It has been a herculean task getting my hands on newspapers here Sir but I strive to get on Sundays. I am always happy to read your articles,they speak wisdom. Thank you very much. The new one,”Memo to Yoruba Governors (1)” really touched my heart. I really wish you all the best as I and other unknown followers await the second part of the thoughtful article.

God bless you .

…………………..

 

 

 

 

…………………

Abia Warriors petition Pillars on Enaholo

 

Abia Warriors have petitioned the management of Kano Pillars over what they described as unprofessional attitude exhibited by one of their players, Joshua Enaholo, who is hibernating in the club.

In a letter to the management of Kano Pillars and signed by the Club’s Sporting Director Mr Patrick Ngwaogu, the Umuahia Warriors frowned on the unprofessional attitude of Kano Pillars in keeping goalkeeper Enaholo from resuming with his colleagues in Umuahia.

The letter cautioned Kano Pillars to desist from using any falsified document which the player might have presented to effect his registration for the new Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.

The Warriors informed Kano Pillars that they have completed actions to prosecute Enaholo, who featured at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup for forgery of its official documents. It could be recalled that the Umuahia Warriors had declared the former junior international, Enaholo AWOL  following his absence from the camp in Umuahia since the team’s official resumption on August 5.

…………………………..

 

 

CORPORATE SPORT NEWS:

 

Betway’ll take sports betting to next level -Awokoya

 

Sports Betting outfit, Betway, has promised to serve its customers better  and take the betting industry to the next level in Nigeria.

At a meeting with Media Executives Marketing Manager of Betway, Lere Awokoya  stated that the outfit was ready to make the customers enjoy sports betting in a special way.

He noted that it was important to carry the consumers along in the day-to-day operations of the organization especially because Betway is basically online.

Awokaya said: “We need to relate with our customers as much as possible and since we do not have the luxury of having offices all over the country but we are doing good.

“It is important to gain the trust of our customers and that is what we are working hard to achieve over the past two years.

“It has been nice so far people trust us to deliver on our promises but in the next months, we will engage our customers more to make them happy.”

Only earlier in the week, BetWay kept  its promise to Emeka Cephas, the winner of the #50m price when he was paid his win.

Cephas, a Manchester United fan, received his  N50m payment at an impressive presentation ceremony at the company’s office.  The Estate Agent won the N50m after betting with N13,000 on 10 different games played over the weekend.

He was at a meeting with media executives on Wednesday and confirmed that he was paid his full win.

“They have paid me to the last kobo. This is unlike my precious experience with another company who are still  owing me. This is my biggest winning since I have been forcasting and I am happy to have received all my money.”

……………………..

Peter Okoye experiences LaLiga passion

 

Singer/songwriter Peter Okoye (Mr P) who was one of the celebrities that unveiled the new LaLiga ball experienced the passion of LaLiga as he was the special guest at the Villareal vs Granada CF match during the league’s opening weekend.

One of the key highlights for Mr P during his visit at the Estadio de la Ceramica was his meeting with Super Eagles and Villarreal winger, Samuel Chukwueze and Azeez Ramon who plays for Granada.

Commenting on the trip, Peter Okoye said, “I am very thrilled to be amongst the celebrities across the world to unbox a LaLiga ball and experience a live LaLiga match. I had the opportunity to meet with iconic players and watch my friend and brother Chukwueze in the eight-goal thriller by Villarreal against Granada. Thank you LaLiga for this wonderful experience. Keep watching LaLiga!”.

Mr P who also met with former Spain international and Villarreal ambassador, Marcos Senna also visited the City’s iconic Arts and Sciences complex in Valencia designed by the world famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

—————–

Man City set for trophy tour of Lagos

 

Manchester City is bringing its silverware to Lagos, Nigeria to celebrate with fans as part of their global trophy tour, presented by Etihad Airways on August 31.

Supported by regional partners Marathonbet and Star Beer, the Trophy Tour is a part of a global club celebration after making football history by becoming the first English football club to lift six trophies across both its men’s and women’s teams in the same season.

Club legend, Micah Richards, who played centre-back for Manchester City from 2005 – 2014, making 246 appearances, will accompany the trophies in Lagos for a series of exciting fan activities.

On Saturday 31 August, City will also be hosting a CityLive! match day viewing party and welcoming hundreds of fans as their eagerly watch the team take on Brighton at the Etihad Stadium.

One of the highlights of the Trophy Tour is an immersive fan experience that is modelled to look like the home dressing room at the Etihad Stadium, giving fans who would never get to visit Manchester the chance to experience the excitement of a City matchday.

As well as the opportunity to take photos with the six trophies, fans will be able to create their very own walk out video to experience what it’s like to be a Manchester City player.

City Legend Richards, shared his excitement on bringing the trophies to Nigeria: “Nigeria is known as a very vibrant football country so Lagos was the perfect location for the Trophy Tour.

“The intensity and passion of the City fans in Nigeria always blows me away so I can’t wait to meet them and hear about their favourite City moments from over the years.”

Nuria Tarre, Chief Marketing Officer at City Football Group, commented: “We’re excited to have the men’s and women’s trophies on tour at the same time. This is a football first and we can’t wait to celebrate our historic success with fans in the Nigeria. The tour will bring an authentic City experience to Lagos, allowing those fans who would never get to travel to Manchester the chance to experience the club they love closer than ever and right in their hometowns.”

The tour is visiting a number of destinations worldwide including Thailand, China and India. Fans can keep up to date at www.mancity.com/trophytour and via the Club’s Cityzens platform.

…………..

 

 

 

MINISTERS AND THEIR PORTFOLIOS SINCE AUGUST 21, 2019.

 

  1. Dr Ikechukwu Ogah (Abia State) -Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development

 

  1. Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa State) -Minister of the Federal Capital Territory

 

  1. Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom State)- Minister of Niger Delta

 

  1. Chris Ngige (Anambra State)- Minister of Labour and Employment

 

  1. Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra State)-Minister of State Environment

 

  1. Adamu Adamu (Bauchi State) -Minister of Education

 

  1. Maryam Katagun (Bauchi State) -Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment

 

  1. Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa State) Minister of State, Petroleum under the President

 

  1. George Akume (Benue State) -Minister of Special Duties

 

  1. Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno State) -Minister of State, Agric and Rural Development

 

  1. Goddy Jedy Agba (Cross River State) -Minister of State, Power

 

  1. Festus Keyamo (Delta State) -Minister of State, Niger Delta

 

  1. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi State) -Minister of Science and Technology

 

  1. Osagie Ehanire (Edo State) -Minister of Health

 

  1. Clement Ike (Edo State) -Minister of Budget and National Planning

 

  1. Richard Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti State) -Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

 

  1. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu State) -Minister of Foreign Affairs

 

  1. Ali Isa Pantami (Gombe State) -Minister of Communications

 

  1. Emeka Nwajiuba (Imo State) -Minister of State, Education

 

  1. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa State) -Minister of Water Resources

 

  1. Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna State) -Minister of Finance

 

  1. Muhammad Mahmood (Kaduna State) -Minister of Environment

 

  1. Sabo Nanono (Kano State) -Minister of Agriculture and Development

 

  1. Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Kano State) -Minister of Defence

 

  1. Hadi Sirika (Katsina State) -Minister of Aviation

 

  1. Abubakar Malami (Kebbi State) -Minister of Justice

 

  1. Ramatu Tijjani (Kogi State) -Minister of State, FCT

 

  1. Lai Mohammed (Kwara State) – Minister of Information and Culture

 

  1. Senator Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara State) -Minister of State, Transportation

 

  1. Babatunde Fashola (Lagos State) -Minister of Works and Housing

 

  1. Adeleke Mamora (Lagos State) -Minister of State, Health

 

  1. Mohammed H. Abdullahi (Nasarawa State) -Minister of State, Science and Tech.

 

  1. Zubair Dada (Niger State) -Minister of State, Foreign Affairs

 

  1. Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun State) -Minister of Mines and Steel development

 

  1. Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo State) -Minister of State, Labour

 

  1. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State) -Minister of Interior

 

  1. Sunday Dare (Oyo State) -Minister of Youth and Sports

 

  1. Paulen Talen (Plateau State) -Minister of Women Affairs

 

  1. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State) -Minister of Transportation

 

  1. Maigarai Dingyadi (Sokoto State) Minister of Police Affairs

 

  1. Sale Mamman (Taraba State) -Minister of Power

 

  1. Abubakar D. Aliyu (Yobe State) -Minister of State for Works and Housing

 

  1. Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara State) -Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

……………….

DELIBERATIONS FROM THE MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN BOXING BOARD OF CONTROL (NBB OF C), OYO STATE CHAPTER, HELD AT KAYROM LEE FITNESS CENTRE, OBAFEMI AWOLOWO STADIUM, IBADAN ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2019.

 

*The meeting started with prayer by Coach Hassan Olawale at 12:29pm.

 

*Mr Olusola Ayodele moved a motion for the adoption of the minutes of the last meeting and was seconded by Coach Tajudeen Olusesan Ultimate.

 

*The Chairman said the notice of meeting of the national body inviting him and the Secretary-General to Lagos came too late and frowned on this development. He pointed out that the notice ought to have been sent a week earlier for adequate

preparation.

 

*He however, informed the House that he was able to attend the meeting despite the short notice.

 

*He also disclosed that he said at the meeting that he was not aware of the Ileya Boxing Fiesta because the Board was not informed from the outset, adding that we were only officially informed by the national body through a message sent to the

Secretary a few days to D-Day.

 

*He stated that National President, Dr Rafiu Ladipo, at the meeting urged me to support the Ileya Show which I promised to do on behalf of the Board.

 

*The Chairman said the Board is entitled to sanction local fights and remit 25 per cent of the fees to the coffers of the national body. He added that Dr Ladipo said no money will come to the coffers of the Board on Ileya Boxing Fiesta because they [national body] sanctioned the Show as it involved international bouts.

 

*It was resolved that on no account must any board member relates or transacts business with the national body without the approval of the Board including himself, as such transaction must be a collective decision.

 

*It was also agreed that any defaulter of this directive should consider himself out of the Board.

 

*It was agreed that there must be adequate security arrangement in place to enhance successful hosting of the Ileya Boxing Fiesta on Monday, August 12, 2019, while it was also resolved that every board member will work towards making the event a huge success as hosts.

 

*It was also agreed that 15 passes as agreed at the previous meeting with the representatives of Lewis Boxing Promotions were okay for the Board members to watch the show.

 

*The Chairman informed that the national body plans to organise a two-day seminar for referees and judges which we are going to host later in the year.

 

*It was also agreed that the Board should organise trials for boxers in Oyo State and neighbouring states, to fish out promising boxers who could be nurtured to become professionals in the near future. Any interested boxer is mandated to obtain registration form for N1,000 for the trials which will take place after the hosting of the referees’ seminar.

 

*Mr Michael Ovie on behalf of Lewis Boxing Promotions thanked the Board for the support so far towards the Ileya Show, as he promised to strengthening the cordial relationship in future.

 

*One of our boxers during the enlarged meeting with Lewis Boxing Promotions after the main meeting, Akeem Sadiqu ‘Dodo’ suggested that the mobile line of Mr Tope Obileye, be added on the group’s WhatsApp platform, in order to carry him along

saying that he [Obileye] had done a lot in the past for the Board.

 

*The Chairman lauded Mr Olawale Hamzat, who attended the Board meeting for the first time, for his invaluable roles in assisting the Board towards taking professional boxing in Oyo State to greater heights through his media platform on radio.

 

*The motion for adjournment of the meeting was moved by Coach Ismail Quadri and seconded by Coach Rufai Wasiu.

 

*Closing prayer was offered by Coach Lateef Akande at 2:52pm.

 

Signed:

 

Salman Ganiyu (Secretary-General).

 

ATTENDANCE:

 

  1. Hon. Gbenga Opaleye.
  2. Mr Salman Ganiyu (Sec-Gen.)
  3. Mr Olusola Ayodele.
  4. Coach Tajudeen Olusesan Ultimate.
  5. Coach Sunny Bruce.
  6. Coach Hassan Olawale.
  7. Coach Ismail Quadri.
  8. Coach Rufai Wasiu Sala.
  9. Mr Kayode Adeniyi ‘Samuel Afonda’
  10. Coach Lateef Akande.
  11. Mr Olawale Hamzat.
  12. Mr Akeem Sadiqu ‘Dodo’.

…………………

 

 

CORPORATESPORT NEWS:

 

WABU boss, Aboderin, counsels young boxers on GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 5

 

President of the West African Boxing Union (WABU), Mr Remi Aboderin, has advised young Nigerian boxers aspiring to turn professional to take advantage of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 5, as its represents the surest way into the paid ranks. Aboderin, who is also the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), offered the advice while speaking at the NBB of C Secretariat in Lagos yesterday.

According to the boxing administrator, GOtv Boxing NextGen Search 5, scheduled to take place from August 29 to 30 at the Kwara Stadium Complex, Ilorin, will provide young boxers around the country the opportunity to be assessed and selected by the country’s best coaches for nurturing and guidance that will elevate their craft. He also stated that boxers selected during the programme will have their professional licences and comprehensive medical examination paid for by the sponsors, GOtv.

“My honest advice to talented boxers between the ages of 18 and 25 is to seize the opportunity offered by this programme. The benefits are numerous. Aside from having the licences and medical examinations paid for by the sponsors, such boxers also stand a good chance of featuring at coming editions of GOtv Boxing Night, which exposes them to promoters around the continent because it is shown live on television across Africa. They cannot ask for more,” he said.

Aboderin commended the sponsors for their continued support for Nigerian boxing, saying without such, the sport would have been in great distress.

“They have funded GOtv Boxing Night, the biggest and most regular boxing event, since 2014 and GOtv Boxing NextGen Search since 2015. The latter has unearthed promising professional boxers such Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde,  Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola, Tope “TP Rock” Musa and Opeyemi “Sense” Adeyemi among others,” he stated.

The WABU President urged eligible boxers to go and pick up registration forms for the programme in designated centres. Forms for participation, which are free, are available at the NBB of C Secretariat and the Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame Gym, both in Lagos; Kwara Stadium Complex, Judges and Referees Office in Ilorin, Akure Township Stadium, Akure and Alake Sports Centre, Abeokuta. The last two editions of the programme held in Abeokuta and Ibadan respectively, while the first two held in Lagos.

………………

Premier Cool, Man City partner HiFL on coaching clinic

 

As part of measures to make the 2019 Higher Institutions Football league season, bigger, bolder and better, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing and the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) recently partnered Premier Cool and Manchester City to host an all-impactful Coaching Clinic in Lagos.

During the two-day session, top varsity coaches across Nigeria were exposed to the latest developments in player development, preparations, tactical innovations among others.

Speaking on this groundbreaking event, Chief Strategy Officer, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Mr Olamide Adeyemo expressed his excitement with the initiative and praised Premier Cool for its efforts in partnering the growth of Nigeria’s collegiate sports. “From the outset of HiFL, we have always emphasised our hopes and dreams that the platform will provide opportunities for growth and development not just for the players but also for every stakeholder in the spectrum. As such, we are excited to have coaches from a top club like Manchester City FC on ground to train the coaches. This, we believe will improve them personally and by extension the quality of play in HiFL. We are grateful to Premier Cool and will continue to work with them on the quest to develop collegiate sports in the country.” Olamide enthused.

In a statement, Head of Marketing, PZ Cussons Consumer, Mr Charles Nnochiri expressed the rationale behind sponsoring HiFL and the 2019 coaching clinic as a part of the company’s vision of delivering sustainable value to everyone, everywhere.

“One of our values at PZ Cussons has always been to add value wherever we find ourselves, as such we thought it best to merge the best of both worlds – our sponsorship of HiFL along with our partnership with global football powerhouse, Manchester City FC. Hence “Coaching the Coaches” is here as the first of its kind experience for the best collegiate coaches in the country to be globally relevant and competitive. We are proud to be at the forefront of this wave of change blowing across collegiate sports”. He concluded

While speaking on the involvement of Manchester City, Technical Director, Mancity Football Schools, Andy Smith admitted that although it is the first time Mancity will be partnering to deliver a coaching clinic in Nigeria, the club is very glad to impact the coaches with Manchester City’s playing philosophy.

……………..

Caption

 

A cross section of Higher Institution Football League coaches alongside Manchester City Trainers during the just-ended HiFL 2019 coaching clinic in Lagos recently.

………….

Honeywell Prize:

Caption:

 

From left, Trade Marketing Manager, Mr Adedayo Adeniyi; Brand Activation Officer, Mr Oluwatosin Adewusi both of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, captain of Bright Star FC of Itire, Kehinde Kpekpe receiving a carton of noodles, while the Managing Director, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc, Mr Lanre Jaiyeola watches, during the grand finale of the 9th Senator Muniru Muse U12 boys and U15 girls football tournaments supported by Honeywell Flour Mills Plc held at the Campos Square, Lagos, last Sunday. Photo: Sylvester Okoruwa.

……………

 

 

 

SIDELINES:

 

Multiple award-winning Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, lamented that her visit to Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo was a sheer waste of time as it didn’t yield dividends despite seeing the First Lady earlier. Sorry Nelson, perhaps, if it were to be the captain of the Black Stars, it would have been a different story and that marks the distinction between football and entertainment!

…………………..

YINKA ODUMAKIN COLUMN

 

Memo to Yoruba Governors (1)

 

There is a worrisome situation of serious underdevelopment in Yorubaland due to poor governance with even little possibilities within the existing  dysfunctional structures not being explored.

A restructured Nigeria along federalism has been and remains our ultimate but the Yoruba say that ‘ayangbe aja dun, sugbon ategun ko lenu a je kaja togbe’ (smoked dog meat is delicious but the mouth will not feed on air until the barbecue is done). This is why we need to call attention of our governors to some good things happening in other zones even within the present bad arrangement which shows there could be lack of imagination or lethargy in our own space.

We are known for our achievements on the education front in Yorubaland and this is with great gratitude to the sage, Oloye Obafemi Awolowo who launched over 500,000 children against ignorance in a day when he started the Free Education programme. I stared into space the other day when his daughter, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu called my attention to the fact that we now have illiterate children born by educated parents in the same zone.

The Punch report on the results of 2016 WASCE results published on August 17,

2017; had this pathetic commentary:

“However, the South-West states, often regarded as leaders in the education sector, put up a less sterling performance in the examination. Aside from Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti which emerged in the seventh, ninth and 14th positions respectively, Ogun and Osun states, with 53.24 per cent and 46.77 per cent respectively, were outperformed by five northern states, including Borno, to emerge in the 19th and 24th position nationwide.

At 36.69 per cent, Oyo is the least performing of the south west states. It emerged in the 29th position nationwide, falling further below Adamawa, Ebonyi, Kano and Katsina states.”

Oyo and Osun states positions worsened in 2018 edition with the former dropping to  26th position while the latter was relegated to 29th .

Abia, Rivers, Edo, Imo and Bayelsa that emerged the best performing states in that year are not yet in a restructured Nigeria.

The 2019 results chart has further reinforced that something has gone wrong in the South West with only Lagos among the best 10 states as Abia, Anambra and Edo states led other Nigerian states in the 2019 performance ranking chart of the West African Examination Council.

The top 10 performing states at the 2019 examination are Abia, Anambra, Edo, Rivers, Imo, Lagos, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, and Ebonyi.

While Adamawa, Osun, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kebbi, Katsina, Gombe, Jigawa, Zamfara, and Yobe occupy the bottom 10 of the chart.

Full ranking:

Abia

Anambra

Edo

Rivers

Imo

Lagos

Bayelsa

Delta

Enugu

Ebonyi

Ekiti

Kaduna

Ondo

Abuja

Kogi

Benue

Akwa Ibom

Kwara

Ogun

Cross River

Taraba

Plateau

Nasarawa

Kano

Borno

Oyo

Niger

Adamawa

Osun

Sokoto

Bauchi

Kebbi

Katsina

Gombe

Jigawa

Zamfara

Yobe.

Siting at 26 and 29 positions, Oyo and Osun are the worst performing states in Southern Nigeria. I wept for my state of origin when I read Governor Gboyega Oyetola on 9th July promising workers in the state to sustain full payment of salaries months after inauguration:

“I will not only sustain the payment of your full salary but by the grace of God, I’ll pay your arrears. I will prioritise your welfare,” the governor said.

I would sound idiotic to myself to stand before my employees today and be promising them to pay their salaries in  full. The promise can only be a testimony to the ruination of a state.

I have listened time and again to Pastor Tunde Bakare giving the testimony that but for the free education programme of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, he would have ended up a carpenter. What a waste of human potential would that have been if a man of his intellectual endowment had ended in life making beds and seats for people. But how many children can speak in like manner today?

How would those in charge of our affairs explain the state of education in Yorubaland   to Awolowo if he were to appear on Mapo Hill today?

How forlorn leadership focus has become in Yorubaland came to the fore again on 26th August, 2018; when  Kebbi State govenor, Atiku Baguda played host to the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, in his office.

Bello had gone to inform him of the plan to develop an Inland Container Depot, ICD and a Truck/Trail Transit Park in the state.

Bagudu assured the management of NSC that any people-oriented project embarked upon by them that will ensure trade facilitation and sustained economic growth will be supported by his administration. As part of measures to earn more from the popular staple food and shore up the economy of the state, the governor said three giant rice millers, Wocat Rice Processing Mill, Dangote Rice Processing Mill and Dadangari Rice Processing Mill are working at full capacity with the state earning about N150billion from sale of rice in 2017 alone. He equally stated that Kebbi State as an agrarian state has enormous potential in agriculture coupled with acquatic splendour which positions the state as part of the Blue Sea economy.

Bagudu however, did not mention that the investment that led to the generation of N150billion from rice growth in one year came from Ambode’s  Lagos. Ogun is the home of Ofada rice and Ekiti the land of Igbimo rice but this investment travelled to Kebbi State.

In 2018, the combined Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states was N66.27billion less than Ogun State’s N84.55billion. When you add the total incomes of these five South West states outside the receipts from federation account, you have the exact amount of what Kebbi State made in rice through Lagos finance in one year!

Lagos State Commissioner for Information in 2016, Mr Steve Ayorinde, did announce that the state government had acquired land in Ogun, Ondo and Osun states for farming. Ayorinde told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt that the land was acquired for large scale mechanised farming.

The commissioner, who did not disclose the quantity acquired, said the state was planning to acquire more land in Oyo State. The decision has to do with economic integration of the South West states he added.

It would be a pleasant surprise if that acquisition has translated to anything beyond that announcement as I pen this …..

To be continued .

 

………The warning from Alaafin.

Our fathers from the depth of their wisdom said that when two children are cutting a tree in the forest, the elder watching from a distance knows the direction the tree would fall into.

On June 24, 2019; the Alaafin of Oyo wrote to the President a letter titled “Yoruba Question In Nigerian Connudrum.” It was a wake-up call on the collapsing security architecture in the country at large and the South West in particular due to unhinged activities of criminal Fulani bandits and pseudo-herdsmen.

The monarch threw several serious warnings in the letter. I quote one of them:

“On top of it all is the menace of professional kidnappers usually in military uniforms. What is more worrisome about the kidnapping notoriety is what looks like impunity which these kidnappers enjoy their nefarious activities. After due consultations with Yoruba leaders and as the pre-colonial head of the Yoruba nation, we are worried by the audacity of these lawless people in effecting their illegal acts in broad daylight on our usually bushy highways without any arm of security being able to do anything. Worse still is the confidence with which they demand ransoms and collect such illegal levies at designated spots without any arm of security being able to lay siege on them as it was the practice in the recent past.

Now, we cannot even talk of parading suspects, when in actual sense, no major arrests have been made in this part of the country. Without arrests, we can not talk of their facing of the law. Unfortunately, and painfully indeed, in the face of the apparent helplessness of our security agencies, where do we go from here?”

Weeks after the letter was issued, anti-kidnap policemen went to Taraba State to effect the arrest of a notorious kidnapper. The crack team credited with the smashing of notorious kidnap rings including Evans and those who made away with a district head in Daura succeeded in putting the kidnapper in chains.

On their way back and with songs of conquest on their lips, soldiers whose ‘oga’ has been alleged to be in several conversations with the arrested kidnapper opened fire on them and killed three of the best the police can boast of in tackling the menace of kidnapping. The kidnapper is a free man today and possibly plotting the next kidnap while we are “investigating”the killings the Army already admitted with viral images of the killers. Only in Nigeria!

Where do we go from here is Alaafin’s question .

…………………….

 

 

 

 

DELIBERATIONS FROM THE GENERAL MEETING OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO TENNIS CLUB (OATC), HELD ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019.

 

MEETING STARTED: 10:48am: OPENING PRAYER: Coach Idowu Otubusin.

MEETING ENDED: 12:53pm: CLOSING PRAYER: Mr Badmus Tolulope.

 

*The motion for the adoption of the last meeting’s minute/deliberations already posted online was moved by Mr Roger Ogbewe and seconded by Mr Oladimeji Olatunde.

 

*The secretariat informed the House that only four offices (Captain, Secretary, Asst. Secretary and Social Secretary) had nominations while two offices, Treasurer/Financial Secretary) were not yet filled.

 

*It was resolved through voting (7-5) that the election of the Club be conducted as scheduled, after the suggestion that the exercise be postponed to allow more time for members to show interest in vying for elective offices was shelved.

 

* Chairman of the three-man electoral committee, Col. Adetokunbo Ojomo (retd) later announced the dissolution of the Club’s executive council as unanimously agreed by the House.

 

* He later conducted the poll where the following officers were returned unopposed: Mr Kunle Yusuf [Captain]; Salman Ganiyu [Secretary]; Mr Demola Alimi [Asst. Secretary] and Mr Obinna Odigwe [Social Secretary].

 

*The Chairman of the electoral committee, Col. Adetokunbo Ojomo (retd) declared the four officers as duly elected.

 

*The House later unanimously appointed Mr Roger Ogbewe as Chief Whip and Mrs Adetutu David as Treasurer respectively.

 

*It was agreed that the process of restructuring should begin in earnest to pave the way for a new environment towards taking the Club to greater heights.

 

*It was agreed that the three-man committee [Ibrahim Adegbola, Oladimeji Olatunde and Badmus Tolulope] set up to manage the facilities of the Club should meet and decide the head, in order to enhance effective performance.

 

*Engineer Niyi Adekola joined the meeting late deliberately as he was engaged in training on Court One when the meeting had already commenced. Later on, he declared that nobody can impose any directive on him as he stands to enjoy fundamental rights at all times. He also said he disliked the situation he witnessed a few days back where four kids who wanted to train in the Academy section were asked to pay first to obtain forms.

 

*Nobody can impose anything on anybody, what right do we [the Club] have to control the tennis courts? If the Club can’t make kids to play for free, then, I don’t want to be part of this Club any more,” Engineer Niyi Adekola said, as he thereafter left the meeting without seeking permission.

 

*The House as a result of this conduct unanimously called for the suspension of Engineer Adekola, while it was also agreed that any member who plays with him will be sanctioned.

 

*It was also agreed that the suspension placed on Engineer Adekola could only be reviewed, if he tenders an apology in writing, before the executive committee for onward delivery to the entire House.

 

*It was agreed that the notice of suspension of Engineer Adekola be placed on the Club’s social media platforms and the notice board.

 

*The Captain thanked members for the confidence reposed in him and other  re-elected officers who were returned unopposed.

 

*The Captain reminded members of the need to pay dues promptly to take care of the running and other expenses incurred by the Club which include monthly payment of the casual worker’s wage.

 

*The Captain informed that part of the fencing of the centre court had been done in the area of installation of poles, adding that efforts will be made to complete the fencing before hosting the Adejumo Sports Club from Lagos on Monday, August 12.

 

*The fencing was estimated to cost about N200,000.

 

* The Captain said the Club will bear the cost of installation of one of the poles for lighting.

 

*Mr Martins Uwoghiren was commended for his efforts towards the actualisation of the lighting project of the tennis arena.

 

*It was agreed that notice be put through the Club’s social media platforms to remind members to make their financial donations to two projects.

 

*It was agreed that members should always create time to attend the Club’s activities regularly.

 

*The House commended Mrs Adetutu David for always attending the Club’s activities which informed her choice for the position of Treasurer.

 

*The Secretary informed the House that the procedure to register a pupil at the Academy is well known adding that, a parent must accompany his or her child to obtain a form for N1,000 and fill while the monthly training fee per child is N1,000.

 

*The secretariat informed the House that following a request from the Ministry of Sports, South West Zone One, the tennis courts had been released to them for the hosting of the Nigerian School of Nursing Games billed to hold from August 4 to 10.

 

*The House also granted the request from Coach Durowoju for the use of court to train his athletes including national female players, while a two-man committee made up of Mr Obinna Odigwe and Engineer Dotun Agboluaje, to meet the coach to know details of his programme and submit report to the House at next meeting.

 

*Mrs Adetutu David moved a motion for adjournment while it was seconded by Mr Collins Okofu.

 

SIGNED:

 

Salman Ganiyu.

 

Club Secretary.

 

ATTENDANCE:

 

  1. Kunle Yusuf (Club Captain)
  2. Salman Ganiyu (Club Secretary)
  3. Mr Obinna Odigwe
  4. Mr Demola Alimi
  5. Col. Adetokunbo Ojomo
  6. Mr Collins Okofu
  7. Coach Idowu Otubusin
  8. Mr Roger Ogbewe
  9. Mr Badmus Tolulope
  10. Mr Emma Oluwafemi
  11. Mr Ibrahim Adegbola
  12. Mr Martins Uwoghiren
  13. Mr Dotun Agboluaje
  14. Mr Oladimeji Olatunde
  15. Mrs Adetutu David
  16. Engr. Niyi Adekola

…………………

 

 

SIDELINES:

 

Multiple award-winning Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, lamented that her visit to Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo was a sheer waste of time as it didn’t yield dividends despite seeing the First Lady earlier. Sorry Nelson, perhaps, if it were to be the captain of the Black Stars, it would have been a different story and that marks the distinction between football and entertainment!

…………………..

YINKA ODUMAKIN COLUMN:

 

 

 

…………………

 

 

 

SIDELINES:

 

One Chioma Abaraonye, 31, is now in custody in Ghana, for allegedly engaged in trafficking young ladies from Nigeria to Ghana for prostitution on the pretense of working as sales girls, where a client is to work and pay back GH¢ 8000 [N640,000] to regain ‘freedom’. Hmn, how time flies! Gone are the days [in the late 70s through the mid 80s] when the story was opposite!

…………………

YINKA ODUMAKIN COLUMN:

 

Moments with Iku and GSM

 

I didn’t die! It was a pleasant week started with Iku Baba Yeye, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi. His palace is always an exciting place to be anyday because of the richness of Yoruba culture always on display.

As I arrived at the gate on Monday afternoon, the palace intelligence service (talking drummers) sighted me and I knew what the sound that followed meant. Kabiyesi was being told the person at the gate to see him. When I sauntered into the waiting room, a visitor waiting asked me to go and fill the visitor’s form. I told him it was not necessary. He was looking at me until a servant came and said Baba asked me to come.

Every encounter with men like him is a nugget-loading session. I was still chewing the one I picked two days earlier from former President Olusegun Obasanjo as we met with Gan Allah Fulani Development Association in Abeokuta. In a didactic moment, Chief Obasanjo told the meeting the importance of leaders speaking the truth and making the right call no matter who is at the receiving end. He recalled how he detained OPC leaders during the Yoruba/Hausa clash in Lagos during his Presidency and the unhappiness of his biological son when he asked his media office to disown him after he granted an interview critical of his Vice.”I told the young man I didn’t need him to deal with my VP if I needed to and that he would definitely acquire his own enemies if he became a successful man, as such he needed not to inherit mine.”

Back to Iku. I arrived his royal presence awed by his presence of mind at his age and his intellectual awareness remaining fresh. The voracious reader was speaking to my column a day earlier confirming his open assertion at the launch of the Yoruba translation of Awo’s autobiography in Ibadan weeks earlier that he reads me always.

We had deep discussions and I was reassured of Iku’s abiding commitment and loyalty to the Yoruba nation. I could connect every sentence in his recent letter on insecurity to the words of his mouth and the expression on his face. Every minute with him was a morale booster and encouragement tonic.

The happiness flowing from the meeting of minds with Iku was followed the next day when I encountered the new revelation in Yorubaland: Governor Seyi Makinde (GSM) of Oyo State, the youngest governor in the region today who packs the values of old and holds the promise of the future.

The first impression he made on me was that he was ready at the very time we agreed to meet. He was not the type to play power by keeping visitors waiting without being busy. He greeted warmly with his affectionate smile.

We met at his personal residence which is now the “Government House” in the order of Obafemi Awolowo who carried out the wonders in Western Region from his Ibadan personal residence and Alhaji Lateef Jakande whose legacies still speak in Lagos today but governed from his personal home in Ilupeju.

It occurred to me what the value of various obscene structures called Government Houses in our states would have done for our people if we had public spirited leaders out to serve the people and not the other way round. Between 1999 and now I know  many who served as governors and had as their best achievements construction of new Government Lodges. A lot of them never built anything serious in their personal lives and could only use public resources to live in their dream homes. GSM told me he would only be in Government House for state functions!

It was hardly surprising that he remains the only Governor in the country who has declared his assets openly. It takes a man who is not out to feather his nest in office to have that boldness. He has taught a vital lesson on how to fight corruption, in action and not in words.

Politicians are loquacious people who cover the ground with empty words but GSM is not known to talk frivolously. Our meeting revealed to me that it is not that there are no words in his belly but he said to me “I am careful  with what I say because it would hurt me to be in a position where I can not act what I said.”

And from the above flows his sense of history and realisation that you don’t have to misbehave because you hold tenured office “I am conscious that I am coming back (has he really left?)  to town after this office. You must act in a way to relate with people you meet during your tenure as friends when you are out of power. You don’t act as if your life ends with your tenure.”

As we discussed the problem of shameless people serving in government and stealing government vehicles while leaving, GSM showed a digital and problem solving mind in him. “Every government vehicle bought under me would be tracked. “That settles it.

I did not have to ask him where his steely mien comes from as he told me “Look at this spot on me, it was a mark of stubbornness. My brother was given money to go and watch football one day but I was not given because I was too young. I got up  and trekked to the Liberty Stadium [now Obafemi Awolowo Stadium] to watch the match. Unfortunately, I fell from the bus on my way back.”

That stubbornness propels his rugged determination to come to the top. As I parted his company, a prayer was going on in my inner mind: may GSM tribe increase in our land .

 

Detain all Yoruba

 

It was irritating reading filthy words uttered against the entire Yoruba during the week by some Arewa loudmouths whose names are too toxic to put on this page. Their grouse was that the protest called by Omoyele Sowore is a Yoruba insurrection against President Muhammadu Buhari for which they expected a people Awo taught not to call a cow Uncle no matter the crave for suya should be penitent.

They must have used a few Yoruba who owe Awo nothing and are doing meeeeen sir like goat around their seat of power (from “our power”) as the measuring rod of Yoruba character.

In their gworo-inspired fury, they asked the President to severe political alliance with the Yoruba and return to “our traditional  allies.”

Is that all? Methinks that is too lenient. Since the Nigeria yam and knife are both in their hands they should go tougher.

The 45-day detention order against Sowore is too mild and that is why the Yoruba don’t realise the gravity of being accomplices in terrorism with Sowore.

The FG should approach the court immediately after Ileya holidays to secure a 180 day-detention order against all Yoruba in Nigeria while the DSS investigates their role in Sowore revolution.

 

FRSC as road unsafety?

I witnessed a gory scene around The Apostolic Church area of Alapere in Lagos on Friday evening as some officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission stood right on the expressway checking a vehicle for God knows what. They stood by the median and kept this vehicle on the fast lane. I was wondering what level of training was available to folks wearing Road Safety uniforms and constituting such a danger on the road. My anger welled at the level of incompetence that pervades every facet of our national life that the guys would not know that the appropriate place to do that was on the service lane.

My driver slowed down as this madness was going on about 15 meters ahead of us. Suddenly a lorry on speed zoomed past us and ran into the vehicle and two other cars. A man was flung out of the window of one SUV and landed on the other side of the road. It would be a miracle if he didn’t die.

I am calling on the FRSC to fish out the guys on duty on that spot around 5:30pm on Friday evening. They do not deserve to remain in service and they should pay dearly for their action.

Feedback

Re: Drone ko, drown ni

 

Dear Comrade,

Thank you so much for your forthrightness on all the issues.

I have been following you and your indefatigable wife who I call the Lioness of the Palace. God will always defend you in Jesus name.

On the above subject which was reported in Sunday Tribune of this morning,

I appreciate your powerful submission on the issue of SECURITY or Insecurity,

I would like to let you know that what occupied the heart of our President Muhammadu Buhari is nothing but to hand over the entire country into the hands of Fulani hence the use of herdsmen who have been well equipped .

The Fulani have taken control of Kwara and Kogi states over the years and the only way to continue their expansionist project is to embark among other things which you already know as follows:-

FULANISATION of the Military

FULANISATION of the Custom

FULANISATION of the Immigration

FULANISATION of the Judiciary

FULANISATION of the Education Sector

FULANISATION of Strategic Federal Institution.

You will notice the pounding of the West. It is a deliberate combing of  Ekiti that borders Kwara and Kogi states, Oke-Ogun/Ogbomosho which also border Kwara and Akoko which borders Kogi State.

We must not allow any body other than our own people to man our forests.

The President is not and never a clueless person but a serious  empire builder whose major and only interest is Fulanisation programme.

How do you want to develop Ruga in rural areas without good road network?

Why is that the government should only be interested in cow business?

Who armed the Fulani herdsmen?

Why should Miyetti-Allah be allowed to be calling press conference?

Why has no Fulani herdsmen been arrested and prosecuted?

Why would government ask people to surrender registered weapons  and herdsmen would go about with unregistered weapons?

Why and many more whys? Because government wants it so.

Our traditional rulers must never be deceived into any tricks to turn our land into the hands of foreigners.

There is a community at Kara Province of Togo Republic called Wahala as a result of attacks from the Fulanis, we must avoid that.

The issue of Sarkin Fulani at Surulere, Lagos must never be allowed to stay like that.

From Fred Emmanuel.

04 August 2019.

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Drone ko, drown ni

 

The Yoruba nation must have gone through some regret as one of its first class monarchs in a childlike manner brought out a campaign poster of President Muhammadu Buhari under his agbada and grinning  from ear-to-ear as he had moment with the country’s helmsman. The unfortunate spectacle captured on video during the latest visit of monarchs from the region to Aso Rock was punishing for those who have history.

The shameful scene of an Oba invited over the serial killings of his people not carrying the list of those he had lost to herdsmen terror, but will hold a poster of the President in a manner that is infradig of a hostling Ward party stalwart would bring to memory how the fathers used to carry themselves.

When Oonirisa had to meet the colonial Governor in Lagos in 1904 to tell him if the Elepe was among oduduwa children entitled to bearded crowns upon a petition by the Akaeigbo, the white man did not have the opportunity to behold Oonirisa face as he backed him throughout the encounter.

But whatever was lost in that royal indiscretion was gained in the fact that the team led to Aso Rock by Oonirosa was able to insist on the demand of Yoruba people that criminal herdsmen must vacate their space.

Beyond that was the revelation by the leader of the team that what would amount to taqqiya (deception) was all the reason for dragging the royal fathers to the Federal Capital Territory(FCT).

There was no response to the request to flush terror-herdsmen from the region with the only offer being that drones in the hands of a Federal Government that has looked the other way as Fulani herdsmen supervised a reign of terror over communities across the country would be deployed to check crimes .

A drone is unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) (or uncrewed aerial vehicle. It is an aircraft without a human pilot on board and a type of unmanned vehicle. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS); which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously by onboard computers.

Drones are known to have been put to various uses but we have not heard or learnt they can arrest criminals or put  them on trial which has been the bane of law and order in Nigeria in the last few years.

A former Defence Minister and taciturn General, T.Y Danjuma rightly placed his fingers on what is wrong with law enforcement in Nigeria as it relates to herdsmen killings when he declared in Jalingo on March 23, 2018. The usually press shy Taraba-born General said the unnecessary killings which was a target to ethnic cleansing on the people of Taraba and Nigeria at large must stop, just as he called on the people to rise and defend themselves against the killers.

“You must rise to protect yourselves from these people, if you depend on the Armed Forces to protect you, you will all die.

“This ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba, and it must stop in Nigeria. These killers have been protected by the military, they cover them and you must be watchful to guide and protect yourselves because you have no any other place to go.

“The ethnic cleansing must stop now otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play. I ask all of you to be on your alert and defend your country, defend your state,” he said

His take which has yet to be faulted by events all over the country has made it very clear that locating merchants of terror who openly address press conference with the enforcement of law and order against them being near-nil has not been our problem  and anyone talking of drones must therefore be having some fun at the expense of the victims of herdsmen terror afflicting the country.

The above-the-law status of  Fulani herdsmen in our country was confirmed to The Punch on February 24, 2018 by a Commissioner of Police, Airport Command, Mustapha Dandaura, who said the police cannot arrest herdsmen who allow their cattle to stray onto and graze on airport runways in the country.

He said herdsmen could only be arrested in states where the anti-open grazing law was effective.

However, Dandaura said that all policemen and other security officials at the airports had been instructed to stay on high alert to prevent a situation whereby cows would take over airport runways.

He said, “It’s only in states where the anti-open grazing law is in place that herdsmen can be arrested for allowing their cattle to graze on airport runways. Apart from those states, we have not been told to start arresting herdsmen.

“But we have already alerted our men at the airports to ensure such incident does not occur again. The state police commands have also been carried along and everyone is on the alert.

“We can’t have a situation whereby cows would be straying onto and grazing on airport runways because it is embarrassing. Everyone is now on the alert and it’s going to be prevented.”

His statement came after an Air Peace flight from Lagos was prevented from landing at the Akure Airport, Ondo State as cows took over the runway.

This embarrassing utterances of the CP in a supposed modern society is a reflection  of the weakness of our laws against Fulani herdsmen and the high point of the devaluation of our country which has seen cows being at the centre stage of our national life in the last four years. Most of our conversations have been around Miyetti Allah, cattle routes, grazing reserves, Ruga and all that.

Of course Dandaura was being comical when he said herdsmen could only be arrested in states that have anti-open grazing laws as members of Miyetti Allah have shown what their weapons can do in states that didn’t get the message that herders are above the law in the country.

When Benue paid with 73 lives on January 1 2018; for enforcing anti-open grazing bill, Governor Samuel Ortom was summoned to Abuja to receive instructions on how to co-exist peacefully with killer-neighbors. It was around the time the then Minister of Defence declared that herdsmen were killing people because their cattle routes have been blocked !!

The drone promise to Yoruba Obas is the wake-up  call to the current Nigerian reality that anyone who looks up to Abuja to save him from the festival of blood going on in the country will drown in his blood like General T. Y Danjuma warned. There is no solution coming from the seat of unitary rule that is only content with command and control rather than allowing federating units to control their lives and make progress .

I recall some events at the 2014 National Conference as we took two days to discuss multi-level policing. The first day was stormy with opposition coming mainly from the North. As we closed for the day I saw a photograph on the front page of The Nation newspaper. It looked like a Nigerian policeman in crisp uniform. But the caption showed the gentleman was a Hishba police, the Sharia enforcers in Kano.

We got 492 copies of the paper and placed a copy on the table of each delegate with the image marked. The debate the following day ended with the adoption of multi-level policing.

But the conquest agenda has ensured that till date only the Sharia police is allowed outside the single police that is anathema to federalism with elected Governors who are jokingly called Chief Security officers not having law enforcement units.

Is it that the best parole who are patriotic and love the people across Nigeria can only be found in Abuja and the only ones that can be trusted with policing? Heck NO!  The many abuses that are prevalent with the existing single police have shown that all we need is institutionalised management of the police at all levels to ensure no one at any tier turns it into his thugs in uniform.

Our traditional rulers, governors and all citizens must unite to ensure we solve this issue and once and for all by insisting on a proper federal structure. All the “Ona eburu”(short cut) of this security outfit or that in the absence of state police are too token and mere stop-gap measures that only scratch the surface.

Nigeria has a very short life-span left if we refused to recalibrate as Papa Obafemi Awolowo warned as far back as the 60s:

“Besides, it is not difficult to forecast that the work of government in Nigeria under a unitary constitution is bound to become unduly complex, inextricably tangled, extremely unwieldy and wasteful, and productive of disunity and discontent amongst the people. Unless we have veritable supermen at the helm of affairs, the administrative machinery would eventually disintegrate and break down under the crushing weight of ‘bureaucratic centralism” — Oloye Obafemi Awolowo on June 12, 1967 from CELL DUP2, CALABAR PRISON in his book ‘Thoughts On The Nigerian Constitution’.

 

Goni of Borno

 

I inadvertently referred to Mohammed Goni as Second Republic Governor of Gongola last week. The jolly good friend of Papa LKJ who was by his side as he celebrated his 90th birthday in Lagos recently was of Borno State.

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Ilechukwu joins Heartland

 

Fidelis Ilechukwu has agreed personal terms with Heartland FC after ending his 13-year stay as head coach of Lagos-based MFM FC.

Sources close to the coach claim he is expected to put pen to paper on Friday and will be named the new Naze Millionaires head coach anytime from now.

Ilechukwu had last week confirmed that he needs the blessings of MFM FC owner Olukoya to make a move.

He said: “I cannot make a move except I get my Daddy’s blessings, it is a must, that’s the only way I can be successful wherever I go to”.

Ilechukwu guided the club to the CAF Champions League in 2018, but missed out in a continental ticket last season.

He will replace Ricardo Cabanas who was in charge of the five-time NPFL champions for just one season.

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CAF Champions League: Ezeji expresses confidence in Pillars

 

FORMER Enyimba star, Victor Ezeji has expressed confidence that Aiteo Cup reigning champions, Kano Pillars will enjoy a good run in this season’s CAF Champions League.

Although Pillars have their work cut out, with a preliminary round tie against Ghana’s Asante Kotoko, Ezeji is convinced the four-time NPFL champions have the motivation to go far in the competition.

“The good thing about Kano Pillars is that they have been on the continent before, they’ve also been playing; they didn’t shut down like every other team and went on holiday.

“They’ve been playing, so, Pillars will always have an edge against other teams on the continent.

“If they take it serious and talk to the players to go all out I believe they will succeed because they’ve got the personnel to achieve that,” the former Sharks and Dolphins forward told footballlive.ng.

Meanwhile, Kano Pillars will host Asante Kotoko in the first leg of the preliminary round of the prestigious continental championship on August 10 at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.

The winners of the two-legged fixture will square off against the winner of the clash between Hafia FC of Guinea and Etoile Sahel of Tunisia in the second round of the money-spinning tournament.

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Kwara Utd coach gets official car, accommodation

 

Head coach of Kwara United, Ashifat Sulaiman, had been presented with an official vehicle by the management.

According to the Media Officer of Ilorin-based side, Abdulwaheed Bibire, the gaffer was also given official accommodation to ensure total comfort for him in carrying out the set goals of the club, especially in the next season in the Nigeria National League.

He said the club’s Chairman, Oladimeji Thompson, handed over the car to Sulaiman, a former Doyin Babes and Jasper United player.

Bibire quoted Thompson as saying the gesture was to give the coach the necessary encouragement ahead of the enormous tasks in the NNL season.

“The presentation of the vehicle to Sulaiman, as well as the provision of accommodation, became necessary in view of the determination of the management to give the coaching crew the support to achieve success,” he said in a statement.

Bibire said the chairman said that the task of returning the club to the  Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), where it belongs required adequate preparation and support.

“In spite of the challenges we faced, and the daunting challenges ahead, we must move on with clear cut objectives.

“In achieving that, all hands must be on deck, and that was why we are laying a solid foundation to spring back as soon as possible,” he quoted Thompson as saying.

Bibire assured the coach and his lieutenants of adequate support at all times.

He added that the club would continue to provide an enabling environment for its technical crew and players, with a view to making the state’s darling team return to the elite league next season.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kwara United was relegated at the end of last season.

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Enyimba suspend Governor, Chukwude

 

Reigning Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Enyimba have slapped indefinite suspensions on defender Ernest Governor and forward Stephen Chukwude.

Though the actual offences committed by the duo were not revealed, the club simply stated the affected players are being punished for gross misconduct.

The club also added the erring players will not be paid all through the duration they would be serving out their punishments.

“Enyimba Football Club have handed indefinite suspensions to defender Ernest Governor and forward Stephen Chukwude for gross misconduct.” the two-time African champions wrote on their official page.

“The suspensions take effect immediately and will be without pay.”

Sources ar Enyimba told Goal that the suspended players were being punished for their unruly behaviour at the club’s training session on Tuesday.

“The two players disrupted training yesterday [Tuesday], it was so bad that the fans were almost dragged into the whole issue,” the top source stated.

Governor joined Enyimba from Nigeria National League side ABS FC in the 2017/18 season, while Chukwude has been with the People’s Elephant since 2015.

Coach Usman Abd’Allah’s men will begin their quest in the 2019/20 CAF Champions League with a tie against Rahimo FC from Burkina Faso in the first round.

The first leg will be played in Burkina Faso from August 9-11, before the People’s Elephant return home for the reverse fixture two weeks later.

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SIDELINES:

 

One Jeremy Ikoli, 8, last week beat 12 other contestants at the Kwadie dance competition in Abuja, to pocket the star prize of N50,000, which his mother, Anita, promised to invest in the teenager’s education. Good initiative, but one only hopes that Jeremy’s talent in dancing will be extended to academics as he is too young to be turned to a cash cow.

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YINKA ODUMAKIN COLUMN

 

LKJ: The Governor of Lagos @90

 

A course mate of mine, Bayo Fabiyi, had some celebration in his house a few months back and invited me to his house somewhere in Lagos. As I made my way to the place on the fateful day, I needed a little assistance for direction at some point.

I asked the driver to stop an Okada man to give us some guide “Please direct us to LSDPC Estate around here”. The guy was lost for a minute and started scratching his head. As if shocked into some reality he asked me “Jakande Estate?”. As I answered in the affirmative he directed us to the place in a jiffy.

My respect for Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande (LKJ) grew taller by a few inches that Sunday.

LKJ is a name that has refused to go away in Lagos 35 years after the Buhari coup of December 31, 1983 terminated his tenure as the first elected governor of Lagos State.

He worked for Lagos in his four-year tenure to the point the entire state became his praise assembly. He did not name anything after himself but an appreciative city has named all his good works after him as there is no area of Lagos you get to today that you will not hear Jakande this or that.

Generations not born when he served as governor have joined in the immortalisation of the name Jakande even when he does not have to engage in  the Lagos fad of today -throwing cash at people on the street. Does he have?

As the helmsman of Lagos, Jakande lived in his house in Ilupeju and his “official car “ was his Toyota. He still lives in the same house from where he performed all the wonders he is eulogised for till now. Cars that are not available in oil companies fleet adorn every car park in Alausa where Jakande used to drive his personal car to work.

As we sat on the table next to where he was seated with his friend and colleague-Governor in the Second Republic, Alhaji Mohammed Goni of Gongola State; with Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alhaji Razak Okoya, Honourable Dipo Olaitan and Mr Fafa Dan-Princewill at his 90th birthday last Tuesday, Chief Jimilehin Obafemi regaled me and Fafa with the philosophical underpinning of LKJ success “Alhaji Jakande always said the problems of Nigeria are very easy to solve. That it is like if  you are in a dark room with a candle and a matches box,strike the match and lit the candle, darkness will disappear.”

That was what he did in Lagos. Before he came in, Lagos schools were crowded that shifts were the order of the day. Within months the shift system were abolished in all schools by constructing thousands of classrooms. Critics called the classrooms “sheds” but Jakande insisted all his appointees must enrol their children in the public schools to maintain standards.Products of those schools are holding their own globally today.

He realised the housing challenge of a big city like Lagos and embarked on construction of massive low cost houses in major areas of Lagos. Many of those who bought those houses would have remained homeless if a leader with foresight like him did not come up at the time.

In 2007, I had cause to be in the villages in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos state and  tears welled my eyes as villagers showed us the various unserviceable agricultural and trade implements Jakande bought to assist them. He was the first and the last governor they saw.

Lagos today remains the only mega city around the world without an organised transport and the reason why the hours most inhabitants spend in traffic are more than in productivity .

Jakande was going to solve the problem permanently with a metro service .He embarked on the project before Buhari struck. The project was cancelled by the junta and the pay-off to the company handling the project would have completed it. The same General, now a civilian President, who cancelled the Metroline came to commission a bus stop in the same city 34 years after!

It is a big shame that Lagos golden era till date remains the Jakande era when there was little resources compared to today’s. In all the four years of his stewardship, Lagos never spent N1billion in any year. When he proposed the 1984 budget, the headline was “Lagos hits N1b. “He didn’t spend that budget because of the coup.

The budget of Lagos today is one eighth of the National Budget and the wonder is what the state could have done with the humongous finances with a prudent manager like LKJ who has a heart for the people.

Private capital and development cover the shame Lagos has become today in spite of its wealth which is more in action in the hands of greed and in private high-rises traceable to those who have handled public finances. I was told of an industrialist who had to take bailout from someone who has no industry but access to public till in the mega city some years back.

Drive around  town with a brand new car for six months in Lagos of 2019 and the shock absorbers would be dancing KWAM 1.

I was in Liberia after their civil war of the late 80’s and the worst road I saw there was better than the best road in Ikeja GRA in Lagos three days ago. Apart from Bourdillon, Kudirat Abiola, Igando Airport Roads and a few distances here and there, most of the roads in Lagos are unmotorable.

The last time I saw pipe-borne water in the city was in my former house where a human finger dropped into my bucket in 2004!

This is is why Jakande remains THE Governor of Lagos 35 years after he left office as the people have not seen anything good as him.

Before he joined progressive politics, Jakande had made his mark in journalism and contributed greatly to the success of the newspaper you are reading. He was the first President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).

The truth however is that the four most memorable years of his life are the ones he spent faithfully implementing the cardinal programmes of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).

There was no commissioner who served in his cabinet at his birthday last Tuesday as they had all taken abode in heavenly estates. May the souls of all of them who assisted him to achieve the dream rest in peace.

Aspiring leaders who want everlasting legacy as against filthy rich that does not edify would have to adopt Jakande who worked  in the order of his Leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as a model.

Happy birthday sir!

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Yinka Odumakin column

Aero Plane “driver” and our free fall

 

America never knew what ordinary tuber can cause until 1992 when Vice President Dan Quayle was visiting Rivera Elementary School in Trenton, New Jersey, and forayed  into facilitation of a spelling bee. William Figueroa, age 12, was called to the board to demonstrate how to spell “potato.” With a stick of chalk Figueroa carefully spelled the word correctly on the board. The student stepped back, satisfied—until the Veep  himself urged the young man to add another letter on to the end to make the spelling “correct.”

 

Despite the ensuing applause from the adults in the room, Figueroa knew he had spelled it correctly the first time. “I kept thinking, ‘How the hell did I spell ‘potato’ wrong?’” he later said.When a reporter pressed him further ,the boy quipped “Future American Vice-Presidents should study hard.”

 

What most people don’t know (or don’t remember) is that Quayle was looking ata flash card provided by the school that had the “correct” answer on it, spelled incorrectly. So, yes, Quayle did mess up—but so did the school.

 

Whether Quayle should have known better (yes) or the school should have known better (yes), that one little letter was the vowel heard around the world, damaging Quayle’s credibility and adding to the public’s perception that the vice president wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box. Quayle was embarrassed by the incident .’He later wrote in his memoir Standing Firm that “It was more than a gaffe. It was a ‘defining moment’ of the worst imaginable kind. I can’t overstate how discouraging and exasperating the whole event was.”

 

What made Quayle a laughing stock in America would not have meant so much in Nigeria ,a land full of it,a country that boasts of some best in the world but whose affliction is that  its cream does not make it to the top.

 

Those who are fifty and above would remember so well  Alhaji Barkin Zuwo , the Kano State governor during the second Republic . Zuwo was a  successful businessman before he came into politics  but he couldn’t acquire  basic education.He became a comic character and a press delight because of his crass  ignorance of the  simplest terms and  mumbling of English meanings of words, sentences and phrases.

 

When asked about his running mate,Zuwo  who was  a PRP man referred to his NPP counterpart, ‘’that boy, Rimi, he has been chasing me all around.’’ Asked if his state had any minerals of note as part of natural resources, the governor fired back, ‘’kai … mineral berekete for Kano…akwoi Fanta, akwoi Coke, akwoi…’’

 

The Buhari/Idiagbon coup that toppled the Shagari government on December 31,1983,denied the press one of its greatest comic figures . Zuwo  had a parting shot for the media as  banked in his numerous bedrooms  bags  full of cash – state money!

 

And when he was put on trial he ignorantly but funnily said “Government money in government house,what is the problem in that ?”

 

One politician who has provided comic relief of Zuwoan dimension is Hon.Muhammad Kazaure Gudaji of the “Nigerian economy is doing like this” fame.His speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives usually make people to practically roll on the floor.

 

The member of the green chambers once offered to finish off Boko Haram when he said “ Let the President appoint me. I will delegate a team to go inside the bush with myself to finish those idiots. I am a hunter. I know all these bushes. I am a professional hunter. I can delegate a team of hunters. Let the government give us Army and Police, we will go inside that bush. I will lead it. Even if it is tomorrow, I will lead.”

 

I wonder if the reason this assignment has eluded him from the government is either because he is not taken serious or if his offer would remove the  fight against insurgency as a budget line.

 

If Zuwo and Kazaure are of so much entertainment value,I doubt if the recently screened and confirmed Chief Justice of Nigeria Muhammad Tanko would not draw tears instead of joy from perceptive Nigerians .

 

And it was no accident it was a former Education Minister,Dr Obi Ezekwesili  who brought the issue to the attention of Nigerians onTwitter on Thursday to showcase the leadership crisis which afflicts  all the tiers and arms of government across the country.

 

She tweeted, “Do we need to be told that there’s a quality of leadership crisis in our country? It’s across board; the executive, legislature ,judiciary; federal, state and local.“That Senate hearing with Justice Tanko merely reminded us of the depth of our leadership crises. Better own our crisis.”

 

A video clip showing part of Tanko’s confirmation hearing which has since gone viral on the Internet has sparked a major debate about the judge’s capabilities.

 

The CJN had been asked a question by the Senate Majority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, to explain if the Supreme Court under his watch would be more concerned with delivering judgments based on the merit of cases or technicalities of such cases.

 

Abaribe had asked, “In the 2018 case of Akeredolu vs Abraham, the Supreme Court said, ‘technicality in the administration of justice shuts out justice’ and went further to say, ‘it is therefore better to have a case heard and determined on its merit than to leave the court with the shield of victory obtained on mere technicality’.

 

“This is the Supreme Court, so we are very happy with that. But My Lord, just a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court also said, ‘The correct order is to declare the judgment of the trial tribunal a nullity as a result of one of the panellists not sitting on the day proceedings were held’.

 

“And so Nigerians are really worried. Where would the Supreme Court stand under you? Where would justice be and what we can expect from the Supreme Court under you?”

 

 

 

In his response, however, the CJN attempted to define what a technicality means.

 

Tanko defined a technicality as something technical and went ahead to compare a technicality with the inability of a judge to effectively fly an aeroplane.

 

The CJN, however, failed to say if the apex court under him would ensure that the need to ensure that justice is served would supersede mere technicalities.

 

He said, “Permit me distinguished senators to ask what a technicality is? It is something which is technical. By definition, it is something that is not usual and may sometimes defy all the norms known to a normal thing. Now, we have technicalities in our laws and this is because these laws we have inherited were from the British.

 

“The British people centuries ago introduced what is known as technicalities in their laws. Now, if something is technical, it is giving a leeway for double interpretation. It may be interpreted in one way by Mr A and another way by Mr B.

 

“Now, if something which is technical comes before the court, what we do in trial courts is to ask people who are experts in that field to come and testify. We rely on their testimony because they are experts in that field.

 

“Ask me anything about an aeroplane, I don’t know; ask me to drive an aeroplane (sic), I am sure if you are a passenger and they told you that the flight is going to be driven (sic) by Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko, I am sure you will get out of the plane because it is something that requires technicality and if I have any technicality, my technicality will only be limited to law. Therefore, it is something that has to do with the perception or the way you will be able to achieve the goals you want to achieve.”

 

Would this have been the response of some of the greats  the Supreme Court ever produced like Andrew  Obaseki,Anthony Aniagolu,Kayode Eso,Chukwudifu Opua,Alfa Belgore,Adolphus Karibi-Whyte,Philip Nnaemeka -Agu,Olajide Olatawura,Dahiru Musdapher ,Samson Uwaifo ,Michael Ogundare and Legbo Kutigi among others ?

 

A look at the Career path of Justice Tanko showed he was appointed Chief Magistrate/Deputy Chief Registrar, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from 1990 to 1991. From 1991 to 1993, he was appointed as Kadi (Judge) of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Bauchi State.

 

Justice Muhammad was elevated to the position of Justice of the Court of Appeal from 1993 to 2006. His Lordship was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the year 2006 and was sworn in on the 8th of January 2007, the appointment he holds till he was recently nominated Acting CJN and now substantive CJN.

 

That  the CJN at the twilight of his career would  not know you fly(not drive!) a plane speaks of the crisis of the cream not making it to the top in our country where factors outside excellence determine those who lead .

 

Now matter how technical technicality is according to my Lord,the words of  John Davisson Lawson applies to our society :

 

“In this country to-day, society is demoralized; the old respect for law is disappearing, crime is triumphant for the reason that it has become the rule of action with our appellate courts, that the penalties consequent upon the commission of a great crime may be escaped by a criminal, because of the unintentional committal by the prosecution of an error of procedure.”

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PAGE 46 STORY:

 

Olympic silver medallist, Gloria Kemasoude, battling with psychological trauma

 

Unarguably, one of Nigeria’s finest athletes, Gloria Kemasuode, needs urgent help to enable her to pass through psychological trauma which has made her a pitiable figure in recent times.

The Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist was recently spotted roaming the streets of Yenagoa, talking to herself in haggard dress while soliciting handouts.

Gloria was last seen carrying bags containing mostly diets and scavenging on the streets of Yenagoa, a development that shocked her colleagues at the Bayelsa State Sports Council where she is a staff.

According to her colleagues who spoke with Tribunesport in Yenagoa, the former African champion is believed to have been suffering from depression as a result of broken relationship.

It was gathered that depression set in for Gloria after her fiance whom she had concluded marriage arrangements with dumped her in Australia and reportedly bolted with all her life’s savings.

Tribunesport’s investigation revealed that Gloria, who hails from Bomadi community in Delta State, is a staff of the Bayelsa State Sports Council and lived all by herself in a rented apartment somewhere in Ugheli, Delta State before her present predicament.

When Tribunesport spoke with the Director of Sports, Bayelsa State Sports Council, Mr Patimidi Tukuru, in Yenagoa, he said when he accosted Gloria sometime last year to ascertain what the problem was, the former athlete was fine.

“When I first saw her, I didn’t know she was suffering from depression. But when I later noticed that she was acting strange, talking out of point and becoming hostile to people, I approached her and asked her if she was okay.

“She said ‘I am fine. It is just that since my fiance who promised to mary me disapointed me, I sometime get bothered when I remember how it happened’. In fact, Gloria even promised me that she would be fine soon.

“Not too long she disappeared and later resurfaced. This time, it became clear to me that she is battling with psychological trauma. She always carries bags around while her make up gives serious concern, she looked like a clown when I last saw her.

“We have made several efforts to lure her to hospital for medical attention but, she always put up strong resistance. But with the way things are, we have resolved that we will do everything humanly possible to force her to go to hospital this time round because she needs medical attention.

“We don’t know where she currently lives, she comes to the sports council once in a while. So I have left a standing order that she be apprehended whenever she is spotted anywhere in Yenagoa so that we can take her to hospital. We do not have any choice but to save her, she is still a staff of the Bayelsa State Sports Council and her condition brings embarrassment to us,” Tukuru told Tribunesport.

Also, a friend of Gloria, also an athlete, who spoke on condition of anonymity said that her friend has been living a pathetic life for about two years now and many sportsmen and women knew about this worrisome development.

“Why are people pretending as if they don’t know that Gloria’s condition of living is unpalatable of late. Even the sports authorities at the national level know about her condition.

“It is very unfortunate, some members of a popular sports association in Benin, Edo State even called recently to say that we should come and carry our athlete, that she was dancing naked in the stadium when they were having a competition,” she said.

For Mr Bomo Kigigha, head coach of Bayelsa State chess association, Gloria, actually needs urgent medical help.

“I saw Gloria briefly last week but, I didn’t approach her for a conversation. At times, she speaks off key, and if she noticed that you are trying to observe her, she would become hostile to you.

“She is going through a lot right now and she needs urgent medical help to get her life back and moreso, retain her job in the sports council.

“I have heard lots of stories about what led to her present living condition but for me, only the doctors can tell us the exact situation,” Kigigha told Tribunesport.

Loveday Herbert, a renowned sports journalist, who also spoke with Tribunesport lamented Gloria’s predicament.

“I saw her sometime last year during a dry season walk along a street in Yenagoa. Initially, I thought she was on a training session, but when I moved closer, her mode of dressing revealed something was wrong. I also tried to talk to her but she snubbed me.

“Her condition at present is unfortunate. I feel her condition is a psychological but I think her condition is not out of hand yet. If people can come together as soon as possible to assist her, I am sure that she would get over this worrisome condition. She has contributed to sports in the country in no small measure and therefore deserves help,” Herbert said.

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Caption:

 

Kemasoude (second right) celebrates with other members of the 4x100m who won the silver for Nigeria at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

……….

Kemasoude in a world of her own, during an international outing.

 

Kemasoude in a joyous mood after a superlative outing.

 

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The Head of Department                                                         17th July, 2019.

 

……………………………………….

 

 

Oluyole Local Government Area,

 

Ibadan.

 

Sir,

 

RE:QUERY:

 

With reference to your memo dated 11th July, 2019, I hereby tender an unreserved apology for my absence from my Place of Permanent Assignment (PPA) for weeks.

 

However, my absence from the PPA beat was as a result of the medical condition I went through after child birth in May this year.

 

Sir, I sought permission to go on maternity leave between May and June this year and it was granted by my Supervisor in the local government.

 

Thank you for your understanding.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

Tope Olaniyan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DELIBERATIONS FROM THE MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN BOXING BOARD OF CONTROL (NBB OF C), OYO STATE CHAPTER, HELD AT D’ROVANS HOTEL, IBADAN ON THURSDAY, JULY 4, 2019.

 

*The meeting started with prayer by Mr Olusola Ayodele at 11:51am.

 

*Coach Ismaila Quadri moved a motion for the adoption of the minutes of the last meeting and was seconded by Mr Olusola Ayodele.

 

*Following the absence of the Chairman, the Secretary-General presided over the meeting.

 

* Coach Rufai Wasiu Sala said identity cards must be provided without delay for proper recognition of board members at any boxing event in or outside Oyo State.

 

*Coach Tajudeen Olusesan Ultimate said he was embarrassed during the last GOtv Show held at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, when he could not produce an identity card as a board member of NBB of C when asked.

 

*The Secretary-General said efforts will be made to get the identity cards ready by the next meeting, as he asked board members to submit their passport photographs through the Board’s social media platform or in hard copy.

 

*It was also resolved that board members will raise the N50,000 as annual rent for the secretariat of the Board at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium.

 

*Mr Olusola Ayodele pledged N10,000, Secretary-General pledged N5,000, Coach Tajudeen Olusesan Ultimate pledged N5,000, Coach Rufai Wasiu Sala pledged N5,000, Coach Ismaila Quadri N3,000 and Mr Afonda Samuel N2,000 totalling N30,000 while the Chairman is mandated to contribute N20,000 to complete the rent.

 

*It was also agreed that other board members must contribute minimum of N2,000 each for the take off of the new secretariat.

 

*Mr Olusola Ayodele said the Ileya Boxing Fiesta scheduled to take place on August 14 at the main bowl of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, has been sanctioned by the NBB of C national secretariat due to the inclusion of two international bouts listed.

 

*Mr Ayodele stated that a state’s chapter is empowered to sanction only local bouts, and must pay for the accommodation and feeding expenses of the President of NBB of C, the Secretary-General, referees, judges, time keeper and the weighing machine operator (13 in all) for the show.

 

*It was agreed that a befitting secretariat of the Board be put in place without delay.

 

*The motion for adjournment of the meeting was moved by Coach Rufai Wasiu Sala and seconded by Coach Ismaila Quadri.

 

*Closing prayer at 12:55 pm by Coach Rufai Wasiu ‘Sala’.

 

ADDENDUM:

 

*Board members present later visited the Awolowo Stadium complex to finalise the issue of office accommodation where N50,000 was agreed as annual rent.

 

*The Chairman also came to the Awolowo Stadium about 2:00pm where he met the organisers of the Ileya Boxing Fiesta, Lewis Boxing Promotions alongside the Secretary-General and Mr Olusola Ayodele, while issues that would enhance the success of the event were deliberated on.

 

Signed:

 

Salman Ganiyu (Secretary-General).

 

ATTENDANCE:

 

  1. Mr Salman Ganiyu (Sec-Gen.)
  2. Coach Rufai Wasiu Sala
  3. Coach Tajudeen Olusesan Ultimate
  4. Coach Ismaila Quadri.
  5. Mr Olusola Ayodele.

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Olatunde counsels City of Knowledge Academy graduands

 

The Vice Chancellor of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Professor Ganiyu Olatunde, has charged the graduating students of the City of Knowledge Academy (CKA), Ijebu-Ode to imbibe patience and the fear of God in their future endeavours.

He made the call at the 6th Honours’ Day Ceremony of the school, held last Thursday.

Speaking as guest speaker at the event, Olatunde advised the graduands to build their leadership potential by being creative, innovative, actionable, accountable and maintaining self-discipline, attributes he pointed out that would enable them to achieve success in their chosen careers.

“As you prepare to face the challenges on your journey to greatness, I greatly implore you to exhibit patience, be prayerful and have the fear God in all your dealings,” he said.

Earlier in her address, the Head of School, Ms. Abiola Lamikanra said that: “Today, we celebrate not just the Year 12 students who leave the school, but also the students who have excelled in various areas of school life. Today, we showcase the best of CKA, founded on the three ethical pillars of culture, character and confidence.”

Lamikanra extolled the Class of 2019 saying, “judging by their results in a couple of external examinations and all the activities they have engaged in over the years, I am assured that they are all confident in their interactions with their juniors, peers, adults and the public and I am emboldened to say that their character will stand the test of time.”

Lamikanra said one of the students of the school, Zainab Lawal, who took the IGCSE examinations passed with 3A*s, 4As, 1 B & 1C, and also scored 293 in the last Joint Admissions and Matriculation Examinations (JAMB).

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Caption:

 

From left, representative of the Chairman, CKA Board of Trustees, Dr Mrs Joke Coker; Guest speaker, Vice Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Professor Olatunji Olatunde; Head of School, Ms. Abiola Lamikanra, at the City of Knowledge Academy graduation held last week in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.

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Photo: CK Academy.

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SIDELINES:

 

Founder and general overseer of the God’s Crown Chapel in Ghana, Prophet Reindolph Oduro Gyebi, reportedly blamed the Black Stars coach, Kwesi Appiah, for the exit of Ghana from the ongoing African Cup of Nations, saying the coach did not follow his instructions to let Andre Dede Ayew and Asamoah Gyan play for 90 minutes against Tunisia. If one may ask, did Gyebi know the fitness level of the players to warrant selection for the coach?

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YINKA ODUMAKIN BACK PAGE COLUMN:

 

When Eni Ogun meets Eniogun

 

“The man dies in him who keeps silent in the face  of tyranny”

 

Those immortal words of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka were produced by his experience in the gulag for his opposition to the senseless war Nigeria fought against Biafra from 1967 to 70. Today Nigeria has been thrown into contradictions  worse than the ones that led to the war that made Soyinka to opt for a THIRD FORCE.

Though he spoke in elevated diction, the warning Soyinka gave Nigeria on Ruga days back in Lagos was a rude awakening of the déjà vu consequences if the inimical actions of government that create situations that make war inevitable are not put to a halt.

One of the disappointments of the terrible season Nigeria lives in is that many leaders who should stand in the gap between Nigeria and anarchy have out of fear or protection of interests embraced what Soyinka said kills a man even when he may  still be breathing: SILENCE.

Silence is a terrible thing which means to cause to be prohibit or prevent from speaking. Its synonym is quiet.

I have for days now been trying to look at my EGL notes in Ife since the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E.A Adeboye responded to protesters to the Church headquarters last week that being quiet does not mean you are silent. The group was worried that the Pastor with a VOICE and huge following has been silent over unpleasant happenings in the country.

They reminded me of Bakayoko in God’s Bits of Wood who told the Priest and Imam the government employed to pacify striking workers these biting words “Do the Priest and Aimsm know that those who are hungry are likely to forget the ways to the Church and Mosque?”

They equally mentioned his silence over Leah Sharibu who is in Boko Haram captivity because she refused to renounce her Christian faith. Maybe it didn’t occur to them  that when a RCCG evangelist was hacked to death in Abuja while preaching the gospel, Daddy G.O visited the family Nichodemosly without saying a word. Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was Acting President at the time also remained quiet and could not invoke law and order.

I was sharing with a friend days back that it appears the heaven has been quite (not silent?) over Nigeria in the last four years as “Thus sayeth the Lord” has become a distant echo in our clime. Except the Prophets are hearing things but censoring the spirit!

It is against this backdrop that the July 4 meeting between Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi (Eni Ogun) and Professor Wole Soyinka (Eniogun) should be appreciated in the context of the culture of silence that has eaten up many voices that should ordinarily be heard in a season like this.

After over four hours engagement by the two greats, iron sharpened iron and their communique would be a historical reference point for leaders who stood up when it mattered. Every word and punctuation mark in that document came out of minds fully aware what distinguishes a leader from a dealer. I reproduce some of the choice words:

“In this regard, the recent ultimatum delivered by a sectarian order to the president of this nation to set up the so-called RUGA cattle settlements across the entire nation within a stipulated time, despite national outcry, should be acknowledged as entitlement under the bounty of freedom of expression. In return, we exercise ours, and call upon Nigerian nationals across state demarcations to defend the sanctity of their ancestral lands. This birthright has never been annulled, not even under colonial occupation.

“We call on the Nigerian people to recognise that the internal colonisation project is ever recurrent, that there are backward, primitive, undeveloped minds that have failed, and continue to fail to overcome delusions in this antiquated belief in sectarian domination as the key to social existence, a belief that despises peaceful cohabitation that is based on mutual respect, a spirit of egalitarian apportionment, and recognition of the dignified existence of others, including their antecedent modes of material production of the means of existence.

“We pledge our commitment and the commitment of institutions to which we belong and with which we identify, to the protection and advance of our own enduring faith in a common humanity, a respect for the rights of others, but also declare an uncompromising embrace of responsibility for the defence and protection of the rights and egalitarian entitlements of our indigenous communities.”

The Nobel Laureate in his departing years has sustained what made him the quintessential Soyinka from his youthful age, while the Ooni has re-enacted the mystique of Oba Adesoji Aderemi who saw the ancient throne in Ife as a pedestal for progress and standing firm on the side of the people. Thank you Eni Ogun and Eniogun.

… And they murdered Funke Olakunrin (Nee Fasoranti)

 

I have just scribbled a few lines of this piece when I received a shocking message from the one we fondly called Idowubobo in far away America which just read “Herdsmen have killed Funke, Papa Fasoranti’s daughter. “Tears rolled freely down my cheeks. The 58-year -old daughter of our Leader  and her husband are close friends of mine.

I was praying the news would not be true in the end. I placed a call to Taiwo Fasoranti, immediate younger brother of Mrs Funke Olakunrin if only he would tell me she was shot but recovering in some hospital. He told me she was already in the morgue.

All accounts we gathered made it clear that Fulani herdsmen emerged from the bush as her vehicle was about to enter the expressway at Ore and shot her dead and inflicting wounds on her staff in the car.

How would the 93-year-old father who lost his first daughter when he was put in gaol for no offense by the Buhari junta in 1984receive this devastating news of herdsmen killing the daughter that bade her farewell in Akure a few hours earlier under the same Buhari government? In what state would we find him on our plan visit the following day?

Suddenly my phone rang and it was Pa Reuben Fasoranti on the line who had summoned courage like his Leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo did after the news of his son, Segun Awolowo was broken to him in prison. These men teach us lessons of life!

He spoke with me, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Pastor Tunde Bakare and Basorun Akin Osuntokun in unbroken voice. Silence enveloped the sitting room of Chief Adebanjo where we converged after hearing the news after speaking with the old man.

Sleep well, Funke. You didn’t die in vain. Your death will achieve something. Your blood will water the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Goodnite!

 

FEEDBACK

Re: Osun verdict: Technicality defeats justice

 

The five justices have spoken the minds of men but you have plucked up courage to state the mind of God. The selfsame Justice Oputa that you cited equally stated in another celebrated case that there are two judgements: judgement of men and that of God.

The  lead judgement delivered on Osun governorship election was a charade and a half boiled rice. The five justices have succeeded in giving the verdict of men but the Supreme Judge (God) will deliver His own verdict whether we like it or not.

Those who joined hands together to recoin black as white will equally appear before the divine throne of judgement one day where their cohort will not be able to defend their man-made verdict. We shall all render our accounts before the Supreme Being. The lead judgement has no regard for God. This is a judgement that abused justice and equity. God will judge everyone of us according to our deeds. It’s our deeds that will stand before us on the day of judgement. –

Ralph Akintan, Esq.

 

I never expected the Supreme Court to be on the side of justice. Someone actually tweeted on the same judgment that Nigerian leaders are not gifted in delivering expected expectations but I replied that I don’t even ever entertain any expectation from Nigerian leadership. So, the Supreme Court judgment is no exception. Preserve your wellbeing, don’t expect anything positive from this current leadership including the Judiciary. Thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari for his latest appointments: the leopard can never change its spots.-Ademola Adeniyi

 

Your write-up on the above subject well noted. Opponent will capitalise on your error to defeat you. Did  you ever find out why Justice Obiara was absent that day? Mere irresponsibility? Costly. I am a Professor and it is like telling me that a student who fails to show up for my examination should pass. I think Supreme Court decision was appropriate.

-Hammed Agboola

 

Your voice of courage in Sunday Tribune of 7/7/2019 was good and instructive. Grateful to God for blessing our Yoruba nation with people like you. God bless you.

-Akin Falade.

 

 

 

 

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Celebrated players exiting Egypt 2019

 

Tribunesport’s GANIYU SALMAN in this piece, highlights some of the celebrated players whose countries didn’t go far in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), as well as coaches who ended up as victims of this year’s continental biennial showpiece.

 

Mohamed Salah (Egypt):

He remains the most celebrated player in the colours of Egypt nay the whole tournament given his pedigree as reigning African Footballer of the Year. The Liverpool talisman did not however, disappoint his teeming admirers globally given his output in all the four games before his country’s exit from the race in the round of 16. Salah after firing blank in the opener against the Brave Warriors opened his goal account in the game against DR Congo as he scored in the 43rd minute. He was also on song in the last group game against the Cranes of Uganda. Salah’s dream to win the AFCON title ended in the round of 16 clash as the Pharaohs lost 0-1 to South Africa’s Bafana Bafana. Salah featured in all the 360 minutes played by Egypt in the tournament.

 

Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo):

The French-born forward soared high in the colour of DR Congo before the team crashed out following the 2-4 loss via penalties to debutants, the Barea of Madagascar after a 2-2 draw at regulation time. Bakambu after stints in Sochaux, Bursaspor and Villarreal joined Chinese side Beijing Guoan in February 2018 and finished the Egypt 2019 as highest scorer for DR Congo with three goals. He netted a brace in the 4-0 win over Zimbabwe [group stage] and one against Madagascar before the game ended in penalties. The ouster of The Leopards of Congo has robbed the former French junior international of the opportunity to fight for the Golden Boot, but he remains one of the players to miss as far as the remaining part of the AFCON is concerned.

 

Mohamed Elneny (Egypt):

The Arsenal man made little impact even though, he  featured in all the games played by the Pharaohs without a goal. He bagged a yellow card against DR Congo as well as against Uganda. He was replaced by Walid Soliman in against South Africa in the 83rd minute. Elneny could have been hoping for a better had Egypt not crashed out of the biennial showpiece.

 

Hakim Ziyech (Morocco):

The Ajax man to some of his country men in Morocco will remain a villain for a long time to come following the late penalty kick he missed against the Squirrels of Benin Republic when the score stood at 1-1.

The Atlas Lions during the penalty shootout missed two of their first three kicks leaving Benin to advance to the quarter-final with a 4-1 scoreline. He was replaced in the 75th minute by Sofiane Boufal during the game against Cote d’Ivoire. Ziyech came on to replace Faycal Fajr in the 90th minute when the Lions beat South Africa 1-0 in the last group game. Perhaps, Ziyech would for a long time not forget his 2019 AFCON debacle.

 

Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo):

The Everton winger had a miserable outing in Egypt. He bagged a yellow card in the 0-2 loss to Uganda despite coming in for Britt Assombalonga in the 71st minute. The  Anderlecht of Belgium loanee also replaced Merveille Bope during the 0-2 loss to hosts, Egypt in the 65th minute. He was absent when his team recorded their only win of the tournament 4-0 at the expense of Zimbabwe. Bolasie was introduced in the 70th minute of the round of 16 game where Congo were edged out via penalties

4-2 [after a 2-2 draw at regulation time] by Madagascar thus ended the AFCON campaign without a goal. The former Crystal Palace man will be always remembered especially by his kinsmen for the kick he missed during shootout which sent the Leopards packing.

 

Denis Onyango (Uganda):

The best goalkeeper on the continent did his best which also aided to advance to the round of 16 before the Cranes bowed 0-1 to the Teranga Lions of Senegal. His goalkeeping prowess saved the Cranes on a number of occasions in all the four games played by Uganda. He saved a Sadio Mane’s 60th minute penalty kick to keep his players in the game against Senegal. He kept a clean slate in the 2-0 win over DR Congo in their group A opener.

 

Andre Onana (Cameroon):

The Ajax Amsterdam man was a delight, he was at his best in all the first three group games for the Indomitable Lions where he maintained a clean slate after 270 minutes against Guinea Bissau, Ghana and Benin respectively. One of Onana’s heroic moments was against Ghana when he saved Andrew Yiadom’s effort five yards from goal to maintain a clean slate. His debacle was the round of 16 clash where he was beaten three times by Nigeria’s Super Eagles, leading to the exit of the Lions from the tournament. He is perhaps, one of the victims of Egypt 2019 as fans would have loved to see him till the final day on July 19.

 

Naby Keita (Guinea):

The Liverpool man could be rated as a flop given his pre-tournament ratings playing for the Syli Nationale for just 81 minutes in all. Naby was replaced by Mady Camara in the 62nd minute in the opener against Madagascar. Naby came on to replace Alhassan Bangoura in the 0-1 loss to Nigeria in the 71st minute which was his last match of the tournament as he missed the last group game against Burundi and Algeria which sent the Paul Put-tutored side packing with a 3-0 defeat in the round of 16.

 

Saido Berahino (Burundi):

The former England junior international switched allegiance to Burundi and made his debut for ‘The Swallows in Battle’ on September 8, 2018 in a 2019 AFCON qualifier. He captained his country of birth to Egypt 2019 and featured in all the group games against Nigeria, Madagascar and Guinea respectively with two starts totalling 176 minutes. Berahino who last played for Stoke City finished Egypt 2019 without a goal even as his team crashed out with neither a goal nor a point.

 

Andre Ayew (Ghana):

Andre, eldest son of Ghana soccer legend, Abedi Pele Ayew, captained the Black Stars to Egypt 2019 with a lot of expectations to wrest the title his dad last won in 1982. The Swansea forward scored the first goal for Ghana in the opener against Benin which ended in a 2-2 draw, while the Fenerbahce loanee was replaced Kwabena Owusu [87th minute ] against Cameroon. Andre played for 84th minute in the round of 16 clash with Tunisia before he was replaced by veteran Asamoah Gyan.

 

Jordan Ayew (Ghana):

The younger brother of Andre, also a player of Swansea who is on loan to Crystal Palace was also a delight to watch at Egypt 2019. He also scored in the opener against Benin, while he fired blank in the second game against Cameroon. Jordan this time scored the opener in Ghana’s 2-0 victory over Guinea Bissau. The former Aston Villa forward also converted his kick when the Black Stars were bundled out by the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in the round of 16 which ended 5-4 via penalties after a 1-1 draw at regulation time.

 

Thomas Partey (Ghana):

The Atletico Madrid defensive midfielder is indeed one of the players to miss as Egypt 2019 draws to a close. He featured in all the minutes played by Ghana at the tournament except during the seven minutes he spent on the bench when he was replaced by Caleb Ekuban in the last group game against Guinea Bissau. He scored the last kick for Ghana during the penalty shootout against Tunisia but it didn’t make any impact as the Black Stars lost 5-4 to crash out of the tournament.

 

Wilfried Zaha (Cote d’Ivoire):

The Crystal Palace man who is being is wanted by Arsenal had a fair outing at Egypt 2019. After missing the first two group matches against South Africa and Morocco, he marked his debut with a goal in the 4-1 victory over Namibia. The former Manchester United forward will easily remembered for the winner against the Eagles of Mali which sent the Elephants to the quarter-final. Zaha assited in the equaliser against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia before they eventually lost 3-5 via penalties after a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of play. As bids continue to come in the direction of the former England junior international, many fans would have loved to Zaha in action till the last day of Egypt 2019.

Meanwhile, following seemingly unimpressive performances of their teams at Egypt 2019, the coaches who have so far been sacked are Emmanuel Amuneke (Tanzania), Javier Aguirre (Egypt), Sebastien Desabre (Uganda) and two-time AFCON winner with Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire, Herve Renard who led the Atlas Lions of Morocco this time to a round of 16 finish.

………………….

COACHES:

 

Emmanuel Amuneke (Tanzania)

Javier Aguirre             (Egypt)

Sebastien Desabre      (Uganda)

Herve Renard              (Morocco)

…………………………..

 

 

 

 

SIDELINES:

 

One Hannatu Daung, who had prayed a customary court in Abuja to dissolve her marriage with Fredrick, made a U turn last week, as she declared before the Presiding Judge, Jemilu Jega, that “I and my husband have settled, he has begged me to pardon him. He also said he will always be truthful to me henceforth.” Now that the union remains intact, hope that Hannatu will not wake up one day to create another drama in court?

………………..

 

 

………..

Osun verdict: Technicality defeats justice

By Yinka Odumakin

Email: yodumakin1210@gmail.com

 

“The judge should appreciate that in the final analysis the end of law is justice. He should therefore endeavor

to see that the law and the justice of the individual case he is trying go hand in hand… To this end he should be advised that the spirit of justice does not reside in formalities, not in words, nor is the triumph of the administration of justice to be found in successfully picking a way between pitfalls of technicalities. He should know that all said and done, the law is, or ought to be, but a handmaid of justice, and inflexibility which is the most becoming robe of law often serves to render justice grotesque. In any ‘fight’ between law and justice the judge should ensure that justice prevails – that was the very reason for the emergence of equity in the administration of justice. The judge should always ask himself if his decision, though legally impeccable in the end achieved a fair result. ‘That may be law but definitely not justice’ is a sad commentary on any decision.” Oputa JSC.

The late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, one of the finest that ever sat in our Supreme Court must have turned in his grave on Fridsy after his successors at the apex court gave their decision on the appeal by Senator Ademola Adeleke on the 2018 Osun governorship election .

A seven-man headed by the Acting CJN voted five for technicality and two for justice. Oputa would however be consoled that two members of the panel heeded his words and affirmed justice in the matter.

Though the majority had their way, the minority gives hope that all is not lost and that  the redemptive factor still lurks somewhere. The minority decision is not for the appellant really  but for the justice system in Nigeria which is the wall between order and anarchy. A society has reached its final days the moment citizens reach the conclusion that justice can no longer be accessed in the land.

How absence of Justice is a  handmaid  of anarchy is well encapsulated in the story of Absalom’s revolt against his father,King David. In the book of Samuel, Chapter 15, it was recorded thus :” 1 After  this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run ahead of him. 2. Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the road into the gate; and when anyone brought a suit before the king for judgement, Absalom would call out and say, ‘From what city are you?’ When the person said, ‘Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel’, 3 Absalom would say, ‘See, your claims are good and right; but there is no one deputed by the king to hear you.’ 4. Absalom said moreover, ‘If only I were judge in the land! Then all who had a suit or cause might come to me, and I would give them justice.’ 5. Whenever people came near to do obeisance to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of them, and kiss them. 6. Thus Absalom did to every Israelite who came to the king for judgement; so Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel”

He thereafter mounted a rebellion against his father which forced the king to flee to Jerusalem and it took him a great effort to regain the kingdom .

Our Prof Yemi Osinbajo of the pre-VP days made this great impression on me about some thirteen years ago at a program organised by Rev Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Centre where he was a guest speaker. He told the story of his visit to the refugees camp in Liberia after their war.As he looked into the crowd ,he saw a man in tattered suit and sunken cheeks queuing for his ration with a bowl in his hand .That would not be an unusual spectacle among refugees until he was told the man was the former Chief Justice of Liberia. Osinbajo then delivered the punchy one “Maybe a pronouncement from his court would have averted the war and he would not have become a refugee”

And it was in that spirit  that there was great expectation about the Supreme Court verdict on the dispute over the Osun governorship polls whose conclusion raised quite a lot of dust and angst. Adeleke emerged a clear winner in the first ballot until the election was forced into a controversial run-off.President Muhammadu was to say during his Presidential campaign Ito Osun that the APC won Osun by “remote control.”

A joint statement by the U.S, EU and Britain on the supplementary polls though couched in diplomatic diction said a lot :

“Delegations from the Missions of the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States observed the voting in the Osun State re-run election on September 27. We once again commend the vast majority of the voters in the state for exercising their democratic rights peacefully.

In contrast to our overall findings on the vote of September 22, we were concerned to witness widespread incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, journalists, and civil society observers by some political party supporters and security agencies.  Many of our findings mirror those of leading civil society groups that observed the election.”

It was therefore comforting when the  Election Tribunal nullified the victory of APC by a majority decision before the party went to the Appeal court which upturned the verdict using technicality which the President of the Court warned against while Inaugursting members of the panels.They nullified the decision of the lower court on the ground that Hon Justice Obiora who read the lead judgement did not sit for 1 day without any affidavit by the party that made the allegation which would have allowed Justice Obiora and the Secretary to the tribunal to respond with their own affidavit to ascertain the true position of things .

All eyes were on the Supreme Court as it fixed July 5 for its decision on the appeal on the matter as the Supreme Court usually stands on the side of the Constitution in all Common Law jurisdictions.

It was quite discomforting when all sort of stories began to fly in the media about what the decision of the apex court would be and that political pressures were coming on the court .We expected those mentioned in the speculations to deny but none came as the time of writing this.

It got so bad that one Abegunde Adelowo Adetunji boldly wrote on the social media 72 hours before the judgement “The judgement will  be less than 10 minutes & D appeal will be dismissed, I am yet to confirm if there will be minority judgement .”On our Supreme Court?

It happened like Adetunji said on Friday except that there was a minority judgement .Hon Justice Rhodes Vivour based the entire decision of the five  Justices in the majority solely on the alleged but not proven absence of Justice  Obiora for one day.

It is quite interesting how Justices Rhodes and Kekere-Ekun (both from Lagos) made a panel of 7 on Osun elections petition where the interest of “Lagos “ is an open -secret .There was no Justice found suitable for this case from both the South East and South -South.

However ,Justices Akaahs and   Galinje disagreed with the technicality judgement of the majority .They went for Justice as prescribed by Oputa.They  stated categorically that Senator Adeleke had won the election to the office of Governor of Osin State on the 22nd of September 2018 in accordance with section 179(2) (a&b) of the 1999 Constitution.They  went further to say that the returning officer exercised the power he lacked in ordering a re-run. They also made a fundamental point against the majority ruling :only a sworn affidavit by counsel to the respondents could have shown the details of the allegation that Justice Obiora was absent instead of the hearsay.

 

Technicality carried the day in this matter but the justice in the minority decision will forever be in our positive history .

 

……Yoruba appreciates Buhari

 

I was almost concluding this when the the below statement came from Garba Shehu:S

 

“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the following appointments of personal staff.

 

  1. Mohammed Sarki Abba – Senior Special Assistant to the President (Household and Social Events)

 

  1. Ya’u Shehu Darazo – Senior Special Assistant to the President (Special Duties)

 

  1. Dr Suhayb Sanusi Rafindadi – Personal Physician to the President

 

  1. Amb. Lawal A. Kazaure – State Chief of Protocol

 

  1. Sabiu Yusuf – Special Assistant (Office of the President)

 

  1. Saley Yuguda – Special Assistant (House Keeping)

 

  1. Ahmed Muhammed Mayo – Special Assistant (Finance & Administration)

 

  1. Mohammed Hamisu Sani – Special Assistant (Special Duties)

 

  1. Friday Bethel – Personal Assistant (General Duties)

 

  1. Sunday Aghaeze – Personal Assistant (State Photographer)

 

  1. Bayo Omoboriowo – Personal Assistant (Presidential Photographer)

 

The above appointments take effect from May 29, 2019.

 

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

July 5, 2019”

The announcement was greeted with celebrations all over Yorubaland that Bayo Omoboriowo made the list of the President’s personal staff as a photographer .I couldn’t reach Chief John Nwodo,Ohanaeze President General to know what the mood is in Igboland that Sunday Aghaeze also made it as a photographer .

We are  now ready for battle with anybody who accuses the President of sectionalism henceforth I mean it!

And this is an appeal to leaders of APC in the South West never to bring up anything Bayo may have said against the President in the past if they found any.We must not lose this juicy post.

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…………………..

Guest columnist: Femi Fani Kayode

 

WHO WANTS TO RUGA NIGERIA?

 

First it was political sharia. Then islamist Boko Haram. Then terrorist Fulani herdsmen. And now Ruga cow settlements.

Nigeria has become the biggest shithole on the African continent. We are like an open public toilet that has never been flushed. Everything about our country stinks!

The Buhari administration have said they want to establish Ruga settlements all over the country for the Fulani and their cows?

My question to them is as follows: is cattle business government business? They have taken everything from us: our nation, our dignity, our identity, our future, our self-respect, our destiny, our lives, our liberty, our faith, our hope, our resources, our substance and so much more. And now they want to take away our land!

Well I have news for them: this will not happen without a fight! It can only happen over our dead bodies!

The gloves are off now and they are brazenly baring their fangs. Ours is a government and a nation of the Fulani, by the Fulani and for the Fulani. This is an incontrivertable and indisputable fact. It is self-evident.

More importantly it raises a number of fundamental questions about our supposed unity and so-called nationhood. Are we really one nation? Were we EVER one country? Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Premier of the Western Region of Nigeria, raised this question in his famous book, “Paths To Nigerian Freedom”, as far back as 1947 and his answer then was a resounding “no”.

Seventy-two years later I have to say that I agree with him and that he has been vindicated. Nigeria is not one nation and I do not believe that we ever were. We were just pretending and lying to one another: publicly professing love but secretly hating.

Whichever way you see it the following deeply profound and philosophical questions must be answered.

What does a compassionate, gentle, refined, beautiful, reticent and kind-hearted bird like a flamingo have in common with an aggressive, repugnant, violent, greedy, loud, flesh-eating and ugly winged-beast and bestial creature like a crow.

What does a peacok have in common with a vulture?

What does a kiwi have in common with an ostritch? What does a penguin have in common with a quail?

What does the noble, courageous and regal eagle have in common with a heartless chicken, a singing partridge, a humming pigeon, a red robin, a caged and chirping budgerigar or a cuckoo out of hell?

And what do a refined, civilised, noble and well- educated people have in common with ignorant savages and bloodthirsty barbarians?

We flow best and fellowship with understanding and commonality of purpose when we do so with our own. And when I speak about “our own” I am not necessarily referring to those that are from the same race or share the same religious faith as we do but rather those that share our values, standards, ethics, etiquette, heritage, culture and civilised worldview.

Anything less is a clumsy and oftentimes dangerous attempt to have fellowship between light and darkness which always ends in catastrophy and chaos and which is expressly forbidden in the holy scriptures and by the Word of God.

They say birds of a feather stick together. It follows that anything and everything that falls short of that is a match made in hell. And as it is in the bird and animal kingdom, so it is in the world of independent countries and sovereign nations and in the land of men. Strange bedfellows coupled together against their will never excel and rarely can they find happiness or know peace.

It is for this reason that many stand against the concept of the hybrid mongrel state and the man-made, artificial contraptions that the disciples and prophets of globalisation seek to establish, engender and foist on an increasingly skeptical world.

The Lugardian formula of a forced union and amalgamation of ethnic incompatibles and different and conflicting races, religions and cultures in one national super-stratem always results in a depressed, decaying and dysfunctional nation where mutual respect, love and trust has no place.

Permit me to be specific. Let us consider Great Britain.  I believe that BREXIT is the best thing for the United Kingdom and that is why I support my old friend Boris Johnson for the position of Prime Minister.

I do not see anything wrong in people trying to take their country back from foreigners and aliens.

Again I do not see anything wrong in rejecting a model, association and system of government which takes your identity, power, self-respect and dignity away from you and allows your nation to be controlled and your fate and destiny to be determined by a small group of unelected faceless officials and technocrats who reside at the heart of the European Union in Brussels.

A people and a nation ought to control their own destiny and not conceed that right to others. And of course this is what we need to do in Nigeria.

We must take control of our destiny, free our people from bondage and slavery and wrestle control and power back from those who worship cows, who live by the sword, who relish in shedding blood and who came to our land from distant shores.

We must send them back to Guniea, Mali,  Niger Republic, Chad and Futa Jalon where they originally came from. We MUST get our country back!

Failing that we must march out of this illicit, godless, accursed and unsolicited forced union and establish our own new nation.

The concept of the multi-racial, multi-cultural, hybrid, mongrel nation-state has failed in Nigeria and resulted in nothing but Fulanisation and Islamisation. We cannot bear it any longer and neither should we have to.

The British that forced it upon us long ago and that put us in this unworkable, evil contraption without ever even consulting us have themselves rejected the concept of a multi-racial and multi-cultural society and are no longer prepared to accept it in their shores. BREXIT presents an eloquent testimony to that and there is plenty more to come.

You can call me xenophobic, racist, nativist or tribalist,  I really do not care! I am proud of my history, culture, heritage, racial stock, religious faith and who and what I am. I can trace by bloodlines and lineage back to five generations and that is deeply gratifying and inspiring to me. It is from there and the Spirit of God that I draw my strength.

I know the values and virtues that my forefathers cherished, fought for and lived by and I intend to inculcate such values and virtues in each of my sons and daughters.

You cannot expect me to jettison all that in the name of misguided liberalism, leftist dogma and political correctness. You cannot compel me to accept your vain notion of a multi-racial melting pot where my racial and religious identity is sacrificed on the alter of “one Nigeria”.

For the last 59 years of our existence as a nation we have tried to live together in peace with those that consider us as nothing but vassals, subjects and slaves and that regard themselves as being divinely ordained and born to rule and it has been disasterous.

When this notion was forcefully and legitimately challenged in 1967 by a proud, strong and noble people with an irrepressable republican and Christian heritage known as the Biafrans, it led to a barbaric civil war and the genocide and ethnic cleansing of 3 million of their civilian population, including 1 million children who were starved to death!

And since then millions more from all over the country have been maimed, disfigured and slaughtered by those that have been doing such things to others since 1804 when they launched their first jihad in what was to later become known as northern Nigeria.

For the last 105 years “One Nigeria” has resulted in nothing but misery, suffering, subjugation, slavery, war, conflict, dissention, contention, strife, failure, terror, mass murder, genocide and ethnic and religious cleansing for the millions of sad, traumatised, brutalised, impoverished and beleagured people that live within its sanguine and blood-drenched borders.

What compels and constrains us to continue to accept such an arrangement and state of affairs and what makes us want to silence and destroy all those that challenge it? Are we under a spell? Have we been charmed and bewitched? Is that why we accept the abnormal as being normal and the unacceptable as being acceptable?

Is our quest for freedom not a natural and noble thing? Is our quest for liberation and our desire to be treated with dignity and respect and to be regarded as equals unreasonable and unacceptable? Surely not!

Why must we continue to live together in one country with tyrants, vandals, goths, visigoths and barbarian conquerors who regard us as nothing but sub-human vassals that deserve to be slaughtered like flies at the dtop of a hat?

Why should we continue to accept the notion of “one Nigeria” if our story is one of master and servant, slave and slave-master, horse and horserider and constant humiliation, persecution, marginalisation and mutual suspicion and hate?

I totally reject the concept, ethos and notion of multi-racialism, multi-culturalism and globalisation. I am proud of being a nationalist. I am proud of being on the far-right. I am proud of being a Bible-believing, devout and conservative Evangelical Christian.

I am proud of my Judeo/Christian heritage and education. I am proud of being a southerner and I am proud of being a Yoruba.

May the Lord shame and destroy our enemies and may He preserve our people and our race.

Permit me to end this contribution with the deeply insightful and profound words of Mr. Nur Miracle. On 25th June 2019 he wrote the following on Facebook.

“Forget about civility, democracy and everything that goes with them. And I am not discounting the importance of abiding by them; so,  dont get me wrong.

But, the truth is that this world is about conquest, displacements and subjugation. Life in itself is brutish. Its about the survival of the fittest.

Think about the British and European conquests and colonization of everywhere they colonized, to understand my point. It took the decimation and near extinction of indigenous populations for the Europeans to be able to own the Americas, Africa, parts of Asia and places like the US and Canada.

People were killed in their millions for them to achieve this, and the memories of those annihilated are long forgotten, while the Europeans took over, and everything is now normal.

Today, people struggle from around the world to secure visas to go and live in the U.S, Canada or similar ‘white’ countries. But, do they know that beneath the foundations of these so-called ‘civilized nations’ are rivers of the blood the indigenous people?

My point is that we see the same pattern of conquests shaping up in Nigeria, by Fulani jihadists, but it appears that we don’t recognize it.

Everyone should wake up to fight and live or risk being annihilated by Fulanis. That’s just the truth!”

Mr. Nur is right and I concur with all that he has said.

Finally consider the words of Mrs. Shola Salako. On 26th June 2019 she wrote the following on Facebook:

“This is how it works! Informed sources tell us that across the Middle Belt, our internal colonial masters the Fulani foreigner and her puppets accuse indigenous communities of having weapons.

They then send the Army, Police etc. to raid people’s homes, even taking knives.

A few hours after they have taken the weapons the Fulani terrorists arrive, rape, steal and kill the indigenous people.

They will also burn down whole villages making many homeless. This is what they have done most recently in Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Plateau etc..

The owners of the land are then placed in Internal Displacement Camps. The foreigners then take the land claiming its theirs.

Another trick that the imperialists use is to send a senior army man to say he wants to speak to your youth. The youths gather and are arrested.

Shortly afterwards with the youths out of the way, Fulani terrorists arrive to rape, steal, kill and destroy. Note they used it effectively in Taraba recently.

See why Danjuma says “they collude?” Hopefully the South are awake to these tricks”.

Shola is right. Her analysis of the modus operandi of the cowardly Fulani terrorists and the support that they get from the establishment is accurate and valid. I can confirm that.

Permit me to conclude with the following:

 

  1. Fulani radio station approved.
  2. Fulani can continue carrying their AK 47’s.
  3. Fulani are NOT terrorists even though they are commiting genocide.
  4. Fulani settlements are to be set up all over the country.
  5. Non-Fulani are to be disarmed.

 

Honestly I weep for this country. Is anyone surprised that millions of people from all over the south and the Middle Belt believe that it is time to BREXIT from Nigeria?

In 1958 Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Leader of the Yoruba, said,

“We would rather die than prostrate before the Fulani”.

Awolowo’s words give us strength and act as a reference point and reminder of who and what the Yoruba are.

On 27th June 2019 Aare Gani Adams, Field Marshall of the Yoruba said,

“Our land is not available for Miyetti Allah. I am a warrior and I am not afraid and the Yoruba are not afraid of any tribes who are giving us problems. I can still roll out one million Yoruba people”.

Adams’ words give us hope and serve as a reminder to both ourselves and our enemies of what we are capable of doing when pushed against the wall.

The biggest mistake that the Fulani can make is to test our will, underestimate our intelligence, dismiss our resolve and mistake our liberal disposition and accomodating nature as weakness.

The Yoruba are slow to anger but irresistable in battle.

We stopped them in 1840 and we shall stop them again.

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For June 23 Back Page

 

Guest columnist

 

Walking the talk on the Almajiri conundrum

Quote:

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

-Malcolm X

 

The recent presidential directive by Muhammadu Buhari for the North to do away with the long-established Almaijiri system, and more significantly get the millions of out-of-school children back to the classroom is highly commendable. That is, even as his diehard critics are asking why he is just waking up to the harsh reality of the social menace these denizens of the street constitute to the country, now. To his traducers however, he should have done the needful back in 2015. But for yours truly, as it is often said, “it is better late than never”.

All the same, pitched against the swirling, violent waves of the Boko Haram insurgency, blood-letting killer herdsmen and armed banditry that have ravaged the Northern geo-political axis, education and a quality one at that should come in as the sine qua non to mitigate the spate of lawlessness. That the gambits of kidnapping for ransom and armed robbery have swept from the Atlantic coast over the Middle Belt states up to Abuja-Kaduna road and beyond are all enough to inform the president’s wise decision. But then, what is the Almajiri social matrix all about and what is the best way forward?

According to the online medium,thewillnigeria.com of July 10, 2015 “the traditional Almajiri system, which began in the 11th century after Kanem-Bornu Islamic tradition was primarily conceived in humility through austerity and borne out of intellectual necessity”. Notable however, is the caution it gave that “the North will never get it right politically and developmentally until it stops seeing the Almajiri system as a  tradition and starts seeing it as the menace that it has become. It has become an affront to our religion, culture and civilization. No community will prosper by condemning its future generations to begging and all sorts of societal indignities”. Good to note that the National Security Adviser, Babagana is on the same page.

Of great importance is the fact that the federal government has identified the connecting chord between mass ignorance, joblessness and the escalating storm of all manner of crimes and criminality currently bedeviling the country.

Even then, the evolving scenario triggers a lot of burning questions, literally begging for answers from the federal and concerned state governments. Who are those who have benefitted from the Almajiri system and have they been sufficiently enlightened on the compelling need for a paradigm shift? Will they key into the vision of the empowering nature of western education? How serious are the state and federal governments on funding of education in Nigeria?

Oh, yes funding is critical to sound education delivery; in terms of provision of solid infrastructure, stable electric power supply, good access roads, learning materials, equipping the libraries and laboratories? Also important is staff welfare package and frequent training, especially in this era of technologically-driven, global knowledge economy. The reality on ground is however, a far cry from what is promised and even expected.

For instance, under President Buhari the funding of education has been paltry. For instance, in 2015 N392.2bn representing 7.74 % went to the sector. In 2016 it was N369.6bn or 6.10%. In 2017 it was N550bn or 7.38% and in 2018 it was N605.8bn or 7.03 %. In fact from 2009 till date, the highest percentage budgetary allocation to education was N493bn, representing 9.94%. That was under former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014. The worst was in 2010 when N249.09 bn representing 4.83% was voted for the sector.

It is instructive therefore, to note that only the Premier of the then Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo (of blessed memory) ever aligned with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommendation of 26 % budgetary allocation to education delivery. Out of the revenue generated from the export of raw cocoa (which could have been far higher if it was processed) his government still instituted the popular and impactful Free Education policy.Till date, no other government, either at the state or federal level has done the needful.

Although the Second National Development Plan (1970-74) raised the allocation to 13.5 per cent, it fell to 7.5 per cent in the Third National Development Plan (1975-1980). Again, it jumped to 17.3 per cent in the Fourth National Development Plan (1981-85). However, it has not gone higher than 13.5 per cent since 1990 except of course, in 1997 when education was given 17.5 per cent.

Even current President Buhari during a visit to France in November 2018, assured the Nigerian community there that education would be better funded. “We are currently reviewing investments in the entire infrastructure of the country like road, rail and power, including investing more in education, he had said. But while he proposed N61.73 bn to education, the Senate then under Dr. Bukola Saraki had to up to N102.907 bn. That must have been in the national interest.

According to the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, the ruling class in Nigeria does not prioritize education. “Go to Ghana; in the last 10 years, they have never budgeted less than 20 per cent for education. There is South Africa, Egypt, among others”.

Back to the Almairi conundrum. Kudos must go to ex-President Jonathan for establishing 165  Almajiri schools up North. “Over 80% of the 10.5 million children for which majority are known as Almajiri came from the northern part of Nigeria, where I recorded the least votes in the elections I contested.  But knowing the value of education, I could see that the ugly situation was limiting the opportunities of these children and negatively affecting the development of my country”.

He stated this while he addressing an audience at the Peace Summit at the Junior Chamber International, JCI, in Malaysia in 2018. Unfortunately, two years after he left office most of those schools were found to be in decrepit state, due to utter neglect. Must we politicize an issue as crucial as education? That remains the million-Naira question.

As reflected in my book: “How to be a successful student” the noble role that sound and quality education delivery plays in transforming a nation from one of mass illiteracy and ignorance to that of an industrial hub can never be underestimated. We all have become witnesses to the rapid rise in the economic activities of countries such as India, the acclaimed Asian Tigers and particularly China, which now rubs shoulders with the United States, U.S.as one of the most productive in the world. The secret lies in how well, the leaders have actualised their vision for the citizens in human capacity development.

For Nigeria to achieve meaningful socio-economic transformation and to be counted amongst the top 20 industrialized countries, increased resources and various governments’ attention must be deployed to arresting the drastic slide in the standard of education in the country.

Sad to note however, that up till now several state governments have refused to pay their counterpart Fund for the Universal Basic Education(UBE). It is a crying shame that some of those governors fly in private jets over dilapidated schools where pupils study under trees!

The time to frontally tackle the Almajiri issue is now, with the solid support from Emirs, rich individuals and corporate organizations. For, as the Chinese proverb goes, “If you are planning for a year, sow rice, if for a decade plant trees, but if you are planning for a lifetime, educate the people”

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Guest Columnist: Femi Fani Kayode

 

Rethinking June 12th, Democracy Day and Nigeria’s dance of death

 

June 12th, our nation’s Democracy Day, had been marked but I have some home truths to tell.

The struggle for June 12th was indeed a noble, worthy, cataclysmic and monumental one. It was also something of a nightmare which littered our fields with many corpses and soaked the very foundation of our nation with blood, sweat and tears.

I can confirm that because I was deeply involved in it and for many years I, along with many others, fought for it’s actualisation.

Many were martyred, many were jailed, many were tortured and many were compelled to flee into exile.

Great essayists, keen minds and profound writers and thinkers like Professor Adebayo Williams, Professor Wole Soyinka, Mr Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, Justice Adewale Thompson and the great Chinwezu kept us going, fuelled our courage, stirred our passion, inspired our spirits and ignited souls with their powerful essays which we read eagerly and voraciously wherever we found ourselves in the world.

This was an intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological conflict and struggle and we threw everything that we had into it.

Chief MKO Abiola was our hero and leader. He was the symbol and rallying point of the struggle and both he and his wife Kudirat sacrificed their lives for it.

I commend the Buhari administration for naming June 12th as our nation’s Democracy Day and I believe that Abiola deserves it. Yet this noble gesture, as commendable as it is, may well be too little and too late.

I say this because the Nigeria of today is the Nigeria of Buhari and not the Nigeria of Abiola. And this presents us with a very different set of challenges which have resulted in a far greater existential threat to our country than the annulment of Abiola’s June 12th presidential mandate and his subsequent murder ever did.

Consider the following. In Buhari’s Nigeria the President is from the core Muslim north. The Senate President is from the core Muslim north. The Chief Justice of the Federation is from the core Muslim north.

Again in Buhari’s Nigeria every single security, intelligence, investigative, military and para-military agency in the country except for the Navy is headed by a northern Muslim.

This begs the question: do the southerners and indeed the Christians have any place or any meaningful stake in Buhari’s Nigeria?

Yet it does not stop there. In Buhari’s Nigeria the core north says “no” when we say stop the genocide. They say “no” when we say restructure. They say “no” when we say establish a federation. They say “no” when we say establish a confederation. They say “no” when we say stop the hegemony.

They say “no” when we say Nigeria is a secular state. They say “no” when we say stop the Fulanisation. They say “no” when we say stop the Islamisation. They say “no” when we say Nigeria belongs to us all.

They say “no” when we say the northern minorities can lead the nation. They say “no” when we say there are many in the south that can govern the country.

They say “no” when we say Nigeria is not an appendage of Saudi Arabia. They say “no” when we say we are equal regardless of tribe or faith.

They say “no” when we say free Leah Sharibu.  They say “no” when we say we are not their slaves.

They say “no” when we say we demand a referendum.

They say “no” when we say we want to leave the marriage and break the union.

They say “no” when we say stop playing this dangerous music. They say “no” when we say stop indulging in this dance of death.

They say “no” to everything and to everyone that seeks to resolve our differences in a reasonable and peaceful manner.

And so it has been for the last 59 long and turbulent years of our existence as an independent state and sovereign nation.

Little did we know that in 1960 we had merely replaced our external British colonial masters with a new set of internal ones.

We locked ourselves into a strange and deceitful web and became enmeshed and entangled in a complex catalogue of self-induced and self-inflicted woes.

Today we are a people under occupation and our land has been desecrated by the precence of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of extremly violent, dangerous, well-armed, blood-lusting, blood-crazed and blood-frenzied terrorists and killer herdsmen who are just waiting for the signal from their masters before they unleash unimaginable horror, terror and hell on our people.

Must we wait until we are slaughtered like flies and buried in mass graves, like the Biafrans, the Bosnians, the Tutsis, the Jews, the Congolese, the Armenians, the Red Indians of North America, the Aborigines of Australia, the Incas and Aztecs of South America, the Ouigas of Mynmar, the Yazidis of Syria and Iraq and countless others, before our eyes open and we demand to leave this tinderbox?

Can anyone blame Prince Adekunle Odunmorayo when he said,

“The demand for restructuring is cowardly, useless and unachievable. Damn any restructuring. We want out of this charade. We want a new nation: we want Oduduwa”.

The Prince, who is my kinsman and a proud son of Ile-Ife, has spoken the minds of millions.

Yet it does not stop there. Permit me to add the words of one of the greatest, most moderate, most conservative and most respected leaders of our nation who fought to keep Nigeria together during the civil war, who has dedicated his entire life to that cause and who has had the privilage of leading the country on at least two separate occasions.

On 11th June 2019 former President Olusegun Obasanjo said the following to Premium Times:

“Now you have a situation where three top officials of Government will be from only two northern zones. Ahmed Lawan (who has been pencilled down as Senate President) is from the North-East, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria is from the north-east and the President of the country is from the north-west. They are all from what we call the core north. How can you have that kind of arrangement and then be absolutely insensitive to it?”

For a modeate and conservative man like Obasanjo to express his legitimate concerns in this way and for him, at an earlier date, to have confirmed the existence of the Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda, is noteworthy, significant and telling.

Given this only a compound fool, a village idiot or a delusional simpleton will dispute the fact that Nigeria is in trouble and that we are sitting on a time-bomb.

Frankly in my view the time for long debates and discussions about our sorry plight and deep afflictions are long over. And neither do I believe that our debilitating problems can still be fixed or rectified.

To those that still share the erroneous belief that we ought to remain in Nigeria I urge and challenge you to consider the following and reflect on our trying predicament.

Those that believe that they own this nation and that they were born to rule it have been insensitive, savage and unrelenting in their quest to conquer our space and they have boxed us in a suffocating and murderous corner.

Every attempt to build bridges with them and reach out to them in love and friendship has failed due to their insufferable arrogance, rappacious thirst for power and unquenchable desire to dominate every sphere of our existence and aspect of our lives.  And this applies to every single ethnic nationality in Nigeria who they believe must bow and tremble before them.

What more do we need to see? What more do we need to hear? What more do we need to say?

From a great nation that was once blessed with so much potential, hope and promise we are now nothing but a blood-soaked and demon-infested enclave of sociopaths, meglomaniacs, power-crazed savages, godless barbarians, callous cow-worshippers and bestial cow-lovers. It is only in Nigeria that the life of a cow is more important than the life of a human being!

This begs the question: are we under some strange, inexplicable, mysterious, ancient and binding Luciferean spell?

Is this the work of satan? Have the conjurers of the dark path been at work? Has the Queen of the Coast done her worse? Have they tsken us to the forest in the dark caves of the village?

Are voodoo and magic at play here? Have we been enchanted by the Army of the Dead? Have we been bound by the Whitewalkers that reside beyond the great icy northern wall?

Have we been cursed by the wizards, witches, goblins and orcs of Mordor? Have we been jinxed and hexed by the dark winter forces of the evil Nightking?

Yet spell or no spell, what exactly are we still waiting for in this land of blood, carnage and shattered dreams that is known as Nigeria?

Will inspirational words of faith and hope about a better tomorrow and the gentle expression of lofty ideals about the beauty and power of national unity stop the southern march of the terrorists, herdsmen and hegemonists?

They have already conquered, occupied, pacified and enslaved the entire Middle Belt and the rest of the north. They are now well on their way to “dipping the Koran in the Atlantic ocean” whist flying the flag of their great patriach and forefather Usman Dan Fodio and galloping with fury on his ancient white war horse. Must we wait for them to arrive before taking our leave?

The solution to our problem is to chart one of two courses: to either roll over in submission and let them sodomise and enslave us until kingdom come or to dig deep, find our courage, stand up boldly,  hold our heads up high, say “no more” and break out of this godforsaken gilded golden cage.

There is absolutely nothing sacrosanct about this godless and inequitable union and entity. The truth is that time is running out for Nigeria and there may no longer be any alternative to a break up.

They say where there is no justice, there can be no peace. How can there be peace and peaceful co-existence in Nigeria when there is no justice or equity?

What we have is the peace of the graveyard where everyone speaks in whispered tones or is too scared to speak at all.

What we have is the silence of two mighty armies facing and sizing up one another in the field of battle minutes before the onslaught begins and the chaos, turmoil, carnage, madness, savagery, butchery and barbarity unfolds.

What we have is the awkward and eerie silence, fuelled by years of latent hate and resentment, that reigns when brother is about to slaughter brother.  These are indeed truly dangerous times as the clock silently ticks and d-day approaches.

Unless there is a divine intervention, at some point the break up that everybody fears is inevitable. And sadly, because no-one is ready to be reasonable and to talk, it is likely to be a very bloody one indeed. May God grant us peace and may He guide and help us all.

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SIDELINES:

 

One Nyaluk Magorok, 20, was beaten to death by her brothers in South Sudan, on the orders of her dad, for refusing to marry a suitor, who had reportedly offered the family 40 cows as a dowry. If one may ask, is the life of his daughter not worth more than even one million cows? Perhaps, if possible, Nyaluk’s dad can surrender his life for survival?

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IG Wala vs Abdullahi Mukhtar: A final note

 

By Jaafar Jaafar

 

About two years ago, a certain state governor in the North, who was infuriated at the executive secretary of the state pilgrim board for allegedly sidelining his wife in Hajj contract, once lamented to his commissioners. “Since 1992,” the governor said, citing the name of the governor at the time, “First Ladies were given Hajj contracts. Why should it become an issue when my wife is involved in luggage contact?”

Although it was Hajj reform introduced by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) that year consumed the first lady’s deal, the governor soon fired the executive secretary board despite their closeness and long-term relationship.

I was forced by demand by my readers to reveal those who actually landed controversial social media activist, IG Wala, in trouble, or in a plain tone, his sponsors. Others asked me to explain whether IG Wala’s claims were actually true but failed to provide evidence to prove his case in court. On these issues, I will chronicle some curious occurrences and leave readers to connect the dots.

I have a belief that no single agency of Nigerian government that is as clean as a whistle, but for IG Wala to religiously hammer on one person without verifiable facts smacked of vendetta. Nobody will rule out corruption in an agency that awards multi-billion naira contracts, but the truth is that IG Wala picked wrong issues and a wrong man. Hajj commission is one of the A-rate agencies of Nigerian government that politicians lobby to be appointed either as the head or commissioners. Even at state level, the Hajj administration agency is the most lucrative.

At the state level, the key criterion for appointment of pilgrim board chairmen is loyalty or closeness to the first family. I know as a fact that most Northern governors set aside Hajj racketeering kickbacks to their wives. Deals related to purchase of pilgrims’ luggage, accommodation and feeding are exclusive to the first ladies.

Now take a glance at how accommodation deals are struck. For instance, between 2011 and 2015, Kano State government paid a whopping of N506,918,156 in the name of augmenting/subsidising accommodation fees charged the state pilgrims in four consecutive years. The figures rose astronomically when in 2016 alone the state government paid the sum of N478,942,500 for the state pilgrims from the state coffers.

Before NAHCON’s Hajj reform in 2017, the accommodation fee benchmark was 4,000 Saudi Riyals per each pilgrim, although some of the facilities were in reality secured at lesser prices. This made the state Hajj managers to connive with a cartel in Saudi Arabia to inflate the fees and fleece both the state and the pilgrims. A particular case was Niger State which in 2013 paid a whopping 14,000SR as accommodation fees for each of the over 3,000 pilgrims in the state that year. Insiders said the actual cost of the facility was not more than 7,000SR per head. In this deal alone the state officials got at least N2billion “profit”.

But trouble began when NAHCON introduced sweeping reforms that threw the accommodation racketeers and FOREX round trippers out of business and abolished Amirul Hajj sponsorship. Realizing that the Amirul Hajj “office” was just ceremonial as Saudi authorities were not in anyway dealing with the “office”, President Buhari abolished it.

Abdullahi Mukhtar’s tribulation was just predictable as he stepped on so many toes. Before the Hajj reform, Amirul Hajj alone smiled home with at least $1.6 million in estacode every year from public funds. In the twilight of the Jonathan administration, the Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar III had lobbied his way to be appointed the lifetime Amirul Hajj of Nigeria.

But Buhari’s decision hurt the monarch, who wrote letters to the president seeking reversal and even suggesting how his humungous estacode could be sourced from NAHCON – or simply put from pilgrims. President Buhari still refused.

Another source of NAHCON chairman’s problems is the fact that one of the senators investigating commission is a famous FOREX/BTA round tripper who made hundreds of millions of naira every year before the reform. This particular senator was the one who raised motion for urgent public importance, seeking NAHCON boss to be investigated. The issue of increasing Hajj fare and service charges deducted by NAHCON were a red-herring the cartel latched on to advance their agenda, while the real crime was Mukhtar’s ‘biting’ reforms that made their deals practically impossible.

Like National Rifle Association (NRA) in Washington, the Hajj racketeers can go to whatever length to keep their trade afloat. The NRA, despite having in Donald Trump a gun-friendly president, did not fold its arms without lobby. A Bloomberg February report says NRA spent a record $9.6 million lobbying lawmakers and federal agencies over the last two years.

Certain Sabo Lagos (now detained by the SSS), the billionaire leader of Arewa Foundation in Saudi Arabia, is behind Island Economy, one of the firms involved in the multibillion naira accommodation deals with the Nigerian state governments.

Sabo Lagos’ company had a mere 18,000SR share capital but deals in billions. The new Hajj reforms however put the share capital for companies handling accommodation at 5million Saudi Riyals for efficiency and quality service delivery.

Basking in its riches, the Hajj cartel deployed resources to lobby senators, members of the House of Representatives, top presidency officials and media to force NAHCON boss to shelve the reforms. In the media, the cartel approached social media influencers including my good friend, Dr Sheriff Almuhajir and I. At the senate, Senators Adamu Aliero and Abdullahi Danbaba led the battle.

When IG Wala was first detained in January 2018, and efforts to make him write a statement were unsuccessful, it was Senator Adamu Aliero who sent him a lawyer, Barrister Fatima Abdullahi, and directed him to do so.

The allegations against NAHCON by the Sabo Lagos cartel were many. Key among which, amplified by the National Assembly and IG Wala, were “exorbitant” Hajj fare, service and administrative charges.

When the Senate invited Mukhtar to explain why NAHCON levied pilgrims 50 Saudi Riyals, he told the committee at a public hearing that service charges are part of the legitimate sources of revenue to the commission as provided under Section 11 (1)a of its Establishment Act. Asked by the committee whether he sought the approval of the president before taking the decision, Mukhtar opened his folder and provided the memo he sent to the president, seeking his approval. The lawmakers prodded further, asking whether the president gave approval. Mukhtar again shuffled his folder and provided a letter showing the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari. The committee room went into a dead silence. Mukhtar then challenged his accusers to show any evidence that the money was remitted or diverted to any account other than NAHCON’s. Nobody gave the evidence. Mukhtar threw the same challenge to IG Wala when he was cross-examined at the Abuja Federal High Court.

But when it was apparent IG Wala had lost his case, a move to trade off the Senate committee report with his criminal case was made. In June 2018, IG Wala engaged a former senator, Nasiru Mantu, to give Mukhtar the choice of allowing the Senate to publish its report or drop his case, as a nominal complainant, against IG Wala. On June 25, 2018, Mantu showed Mukhtar the Senate report IG Wala gave him and presented the choices to him. But Mukhtar said the truth should be allowed to prevail in court. How did Wala get the Senate report before it was published? The answer is clear.

But why is Hajj expensive under Buhari administration? While I salute Buhari for scraping the Amirul Hajj “office” to check wastage, however I blame the president for mismanaging the Nigerian economy and allowing naira to slide into abyss of depreciation unchecked. The dollar constitutes about 98 percent component of the Hajj fare, and the commission uses the dollar to pay for all services rendered to pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. So, in actual terms, the component that determines the hajj fare is the dollar.

The official exchange rate in 2015 was N160 to a dollar, while that of 2017 was N305. Now when you multiply it by 4,805, which is the total fare per pilgrim as at then, it will give you about N1.5 million. Now if you calculate the exchange rate of N160 to dollar in 2015, the total hajj package of $4,671.43 was N758,476. The bottom line is the exchange rate, over which NAHCON has no control.

I can’t say the call for reduction in Hajj fare is misplaced but the call for the president to reverse the value naira to pre-2015 is better placed.

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BREAKDOWN OF PROPOSAL:

 

PART A

 

  1. Purse for Olaide Fijabi ‘Fijaborn’— N500,000
  2. Purse for Abolaji Rasheed ‘Afonja Warrior’–N500,000
  3. Purse for Waheed Usman Skoro’–N500,000
  4. Purse for Joseph Oto ‘Joe Boy’—-N500,000
  5. Purse for Akeem Sadiqu ‘Dodo’—N500,000
  6. Purse for Ridwan Oyekola ‘Scorpion’—N500,000
  7. Purse for John Koudeha ‘Togolese Fighting Machine’ —N500,000

 

  1. Purse for remaining 7 boxers at N300,000 each –N2.100,000

 

Total: N5,600,000

 

PART B:

 

  1. Hiring of hall and cleaning —N320,000
  2. Provision of Boxing ring—N500, 000
  3. Entertainment and musical show—-N1, 000,000
  4. Provision of hotel accommodation for boxers and their managers—N584,000
  5. Provision of hotel accommodation for NBB of C officials, ring managers and referees, announcer—N460,000.
  6. Media publicity, Road Show and branding of hall—N1.250,000.
  7. Logistics: N409, 530.

 

Total: N4, 523, 530. 00

 

GRAND TOTAL: N10,123,530.00

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His Royal Highness,                                                                          26th April, 2019.

The Olubadan of Ibadanland,

Oba Saliu Adetunji.

 

Sir,

 

COURTESY VISIT

 

I write on behalf of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Oyo State chapter to inform you that the board members will want to pay a courtesy visit to you on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 12 noon in your palace.

 

Sir, the visit is to among other reasons, present the new National Super Featherweight boxing champion, Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola and the National Light Middleweight title contender, Akeem “Dodo” Sadiqu to you, as well as some of our other notable boxers who have also made the Pacesetter State proud in recent times.

 

Oyekola “Scorpion” at the GOtv Boxing Night 18 held on Sunday, April 21 knocked out Taofeeq “Taozon” Bisuga, in just 46 seconds to become Nigeria’s champion, while Akeem “Dodo” stopped Expresso Dhjamihou of Benin Republic in an international contest to remain unbeaten in his professional boxing career.

 

The NBB of C, which is the body governing professional boxing in Oyo State, is also working towards organising a show tagged “The Night of Boxing Revival” scheduled to hold on Wednesday, June 5 to round off the Ramadan Sallah festivities.

 

Yours sporting regards.

 

Salman Ganiyu.

 

Secretary-General, NBB of C,

Oyo State chapter.

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  1. Alhaja Romoke Ayinde,

CEO, Kayrom Lee Fitness Centre,

Obafemi Awolowo Stadium,

Ibadan.

 

  1. His Royal Highness,

The Olubadan of Ibadanland,

Oba Saliu Adetunji.

 

  1. DJ Semite,

C/O: Ibadan Recreation Club,

Sabo Area, Ibadan.

 

  1. Chief Akin Alabi,

CEO, NairaBet,

Ibadan.

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SIDELINES:

 

A tradional ruler in Ghana, Nana Obonbo Sewura Lepuwura, reportedly advised his male sub chiefs to desist from “chasing young girls” adding “if you to take all the young girls, it will bring problems, because young bachelors will prefer young spinsters”. Good advice but if one may ask, will young bachelors who could claim to be in money bolt and leave these innocent girls in sorrow after they are put in the family way?

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The ministers who must not return to Buhari’s cabinet

By Jaafar Jaafar

 

I have not known a Nigerian president who left his cabinet intact, for better or worse, throughout his tenure than President Muhammadu Buhari. He is so allergic to change that he maintained the portfolio of the ministers for nearly four years.

The best sinecure in the world, editorial board of Guinness World Records will agree with me, is the Buhari cabinet job. No assessment, no sack, no queries and, of course, no worries.

Barring incidences of resignation (Amina Mohammed, Kayode Fayemi, etc), the media-induced sack of Babachir Lawan and Kemi Adeosun and the death of James Ocholi, no cabinet reshuffle took place in more than three and half years. It took the president over one year to replace James Ocholi who died in road accident on March 6, 2016.

In his wisdom, President Buhari believes Nigeria’s capital city Abuja deserves a minister who failed to replace the burnt-out bulbs of Abuja streetlights in more than three years, or Defence and Interior ministers under whom Boko Haram, herdsmen and kidnappers killed thousands of people or a minister of Labour who advocates brain drain of doctors.

When terrorists attacked Sri Lanka churches and killed hundreds of worshippers last week, President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the defence secretary and police chief, for their failure to protect the lives of the people.

In December 2018, Amnesty International Nigeria released a damning report on the wave of killings in Nigeria. According to the report, 3,641 people were killed between 2016 and 2018 in the conflict between herdsmen and farmers across the country. The report, entitled “Harvest of Death: Three Years of Bloody Clashes Between Farmers and Herders,” said further that the number would have been significantly reduced had security operatives acted accordingly.

Instead of President Buhari to look inward, make some changes in the security architecture and strategize, the presidency dismissed the report as “largely outdated”. And the killings go on and on because one has to admit there’s a problem before one identifies the solution.

Almost all members of the Buhari cabinet, if performance and competence really matter in Nigeria, do not deserve reappointment. With the exception of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and a couple of ministers, Buhari’s cabinet deserves the boot.

The problem with President Buhari himself is sheer incompetence. The old man’s incompetence is so infectious that his lieutenants suffer the same ailments. It is disturbing that the president of a country like Nigeria doesn’t know anything about statecraft. And even more disturbing is the fact that he doesn’t know he’s living in a fool’s paradise. Baba simply doesn’t know he doesn’t know. If you are looking for one person in the entire cabinet who does not deserve “reappointment” is the president. For his penchant for junkets, if really Buhari wants to hold a ministerial portfolio in the next cabinet it should be Foreign Affairs not Petroleum.

A friend at the presidency recently told me a scary story about the Buhari presidency. According to him, the president believes that whatever goes to his desk was meant to be signed without scrutiny. Another insider said the president’s cousin, Mamman Daura, vets the president’s memos before Federal Executive Council meetings and sometimes overrides the council’s decision.

But Buhari’s monochromatic view of modern statecraft manifested in the merging of key ministries to “reduce cost”. Which cost, for heaven’s sake? This counter-productive action, orchestrated by the Ahmed Joda-led transition committee, has created administrative bottleneck and slowed down governance. For instance, the merging of ministries of Power, Works and Housing is one of the biggest blunders of the Buhari presidency. Power is devolved for efficiency, better targeted public services and accelerated growth. This is the point the gerontocrats handling Buhari missed.

With the paper tiger president we have today, even the ministers are fighting each other or fighting with heads of some key parastatals because the president doesn’t sanction. At one point, there were Amaechi-Sirika feud; Kachikwu-Baru feud, Adamu Adamu-Onwuka feud; Isaac Adewole-Yusuf feud, etcetera etcetera. Unlike during the past administrations where ministers of state were given clear schedule of duties by the president to oversee some parastatals, a source told me that ministers of states this time are left almost redundant. With the exception of minister of state for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the technical aides of some senior ministers are more powerful than ministers of state.

Top on the list of ministers who do not deserve a comeback is the minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Musa Bello. The minister is mostly visible seeing off or receiving Nigeria’s nomadic presidency jetting out for greener medicare or returning from junket.

Bello’s successors had built districts with accompanying infrastructure, installed and energized street lights and provided functional transport system, but Bello’s primitive policies have led to the creation of more slums, darkness, and whatnot?

Under Bello’s eyes, slums in Galadimawa, Durumi, Guzape, etc are slowly consuming the capital city. While Akinwunmi Ambode is solving transport crisis in Lagos by building modern terminals and purchasing more buses, the story is different in Abuja. Every time I drove past a line of commuters in Area 1 or Berger Junction, my heart bled. As a result of incompetence of a minister, commuters who left their offices at 4pm may not get chances of reaching their homes until 7pm or above. Taxis park and pick passengers everywhere, just as agberos take over major junctions.

Those who know the current FCT minister say he is not corrupt. Really? Well, Nasir El-Rufai is remembered as the best FCT minister because of the developments he brought and the problems he solved. His competence and starling achievements have overshadowed whatever shortcomings he might have had. It is good to have a combination of competence and incorruptibility in an administrator, but in the absence of this combo in one person, I will choose the opposite of the latter. Personally I will rather give my car to a corrupt but competent mechanic than a trustworthy but incompetent mechanic. The keyword is service delivery.

In Abuja, even before the approval grazing reserve, Bello has allowed cows to take over the city as their grazing reserve. From the Three Arms Zone to Asokoro, Garki down to Maitama areas, cows are allowed to scavenge freely.

Transport system in the capital city is operated by rickshaws, okadas and all manner commercial vehicles without strict regulations.

The minister of state for Transport (Aviation), Hadi Sirika, should have tendered his resignation last year when the much-publicised Nigeria Air deal bungled after gulfing millions of dollars.

Although I have respect for the minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, but I faulted his appointment as the senior Minister of Education in November 2015 because it negates the principles of “square peg in a square hole” espoused by the Buhari administration. Hear my points: “I fail to see sense in elevating Adamu Adamu, a trained accountant, above a professor of Education and former vice chancellor as minister in charge of the Ministry of Education.

“Much as former President Goodluck Jonathan loved Barrister Nyosom Wike, he only made him Minister of State for Education, below Professor Rukayyatu Ahmed Rufai – a professor of Education. That was fair. Even after sacking Professor Rufai, Jonathan still did not place Wike above Malam Ibrahim Shekarau in the ministry.”

While some ministers suffer from chronic incompetence, inefficiency and corruption, Adamu Adamu’s case is just inefficiency.

If the president has cause to reappoint Adamu, let it not be minister of Education. For his financial discipline, Adamu will make a good Accountant General of the Federation.

In Buhari’s new cabinet, I would not like to see characters like Chris Ngige, Lai Mohammed, Audu Ogbe, Solomon Dalung, Adebayo Shittu, Mansur Dan-Ali, Isaac Adewole, Ogbonnaya Onu, Abubakar Malami, etc.

There is need for fresh blood to give life and direction to the new government.

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26th April, 2019.

His Excellency,

Senator Abiola Ajimobi,

Executive Governor,

Oyo State.

 

Sir,

 

COURTESY VISIT

 

I write on behalf of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Oyo State chapter to inform you that the board members will want to pay a courtesy visit to you at a date approved by your Excellency.

 

Sir, the visit is to among other reasons, present the new National Super Featherweight boxing champion, Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola and the National Light Middleweight title contender, Akeem “Dodo” Sadiqu to you, as well as some of our other notable boxers who have also made the Pacesetter State proud in recent times.

 

Oyekola “Scorpion” at the GOtv Boxing Night 18 held on Sunday, April 21 knocked out Taofeeq “Taozon” Bisuga, in just 46 seconds to become Nigeria’s champion, while Akeem “Dodo” stopped Expresso Dhjamihou of Benin Republic in an international contest to remain unbeaten in his pro boxing career.

 

The NBB of C, which is the body governing professional boxing in Oyo State, is also working towards organising a show tagged “The Night of Boxing Revival” scheduled to hold on Wednesday, June 5 to round off the Ramadan Sallah festivities.

 

Yours sporting regards.

 

Salman Ganiyu.

 

Secretary-General, NBB of C,

Oyo State chapter.

…………………………

 

 

26th April, 2019.

 

Barrister Abayomi Oke,

Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Sports,

Oyo State.

 

Sir,

 

COURTESY VISIT TO GOVERNOR AJIMOBI

 

I write on behalf of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Oyo State chapter to inform you that the board members will want to pay a courtesy visit to the Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi in due course.

 

The visit is to among other reasons, present the new National Super Featherweight boxing champion, Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola and the National Light Middleweight title contender, Akeem “Dodo” Sadiqu to the Governor, as well as some of our other notable boxers who have made the Pacesetter State proud in recent times.

 

Oyekola “Scorpion” at the GOtv Boxing Night 18 held on Sunday, April 21 knocked out Taofeeq “Taozon” Bisuga, just in 46 seconds to become Nigeria’s champion, while Akeem “Dodo” stopped Expresso Dhjamihou of Benin Republic in an international contest to remain unbeaten in his pro boxing career.

 

In view of this, we solicit your support in facilitating this courtesy visit to the Governor at a date approved by His Excellency.

 

Also, we will be glad to have you as part of the boxing family during the courtesy visit.

 

The NBB of C, which is the body governing professional boxing in Oyo State, is also working towards organising a show tagged “The Night of Boxing Revival” scheduled to hold on Wednesday, June 5 to round off the Ramadan Sallah festivities.

 

Yours sporting regards.

 

Salman Ganiyu.

 

Secretary-General, NBB of C,

Oyo State chapter.

…………………………

 

BREAKDOWN OF PROPOSAL:

 

PART A

 

  1. Purse for Olaide Fijabi ‘Fijaborn’— N500,000
  2. Purse for Abolaji Rasheed ‘Afonja Warrior’–N500,000
  3. Purse for Waheed Usman Skoro’–N500,000
  4. Purse for Joseph Oto ‘Joe Boy’—-N500,000
  5. Purse for Akeem Sadiqu ‘Dodo’—N500,000
  6. Purse for Ridwan Oyekola ‘Scorpion’—N500,000
  7. Purse for John Koudeha ‘Togolese Fighting Machine’ —N500,000

 

  1. Purse for remaining 7 boxers at N300,000 each –N2.100,000

 

Total: N5,600,000

 

PART B:

 

  1. Hiring of hall and cleaning —N320,000
  2. Provision of Boxing ring—N500, 000
  3. Entertainment and musical show—-N1, 000,000
  4. Provision of hotel accommodation for boxers and their managers—N584,000
  5. Provision of hotel accommodation for NBB of C officials, ring managers and referees, announcer—N460,000.
  6. Media publicity, Road Show and branding of hall—N1.250,000.
  7. Logistics: N409, 530.

 

Total: N4, 523, 530. 00

 

GRAND TOTAL: N10,123,530.00

………………..

  1. Alhaja Romoke Ayinde,

CEO, Kayrom Lee Fitness Centre,

Obafemi Awolowo Stadium,

Ibadan.

 

  1. His Royal Highness,

Olubadan of Ibadanland,

Oba Saliu Adetunji.

 

  1. DJ Semite,

C/O: Ibadan Recreation Club,

Sabo Area, Ibadan.

 

  1. Chief Akin Alabi,

CEO, NairaBet,

Ibadan.

……………..

 

 

The travails and troubles of IG Wala

By Jaafar Jaafar —-jafsmohd@gmail.com

Twitter: @jaafarSjaafar

 

On September 26, 2017, Ibrahim Garba Wala (IG Wala), the irrepressible social media activist sentenced to 12 years imprisonment last week, visited my office in Abuja for the first time. Earlier on that very day, he had posted on his Facebook page that the chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Abdullahi Mukhtar corruptly enriched himself with N3billion during the conduct of 2017 Hajj.

Wrote he on his Facebook timeline: “Official documents made available to CATBAN reveal that the Chairman of NAHCON after the 2017 Hajj operations makes not less than N3 billion for himself.

“In the interim, CATBAN tends to question how NAHCON expended the the total sum of N97,906,500,000 (almost Hundred Billion) accrued from the payment of N1.5million by each individual that made up the 65,271 being the total number of Nigerian Muslim Pilgrims for 2017.

“Looking into the document, airlines and hotels agents were involved in making of figures which consist of kickbacks to officials.”

IG Wala did not stop there. He demanded – with regimental finality – on behalf of CATBAN (which court found out that it was not a registered organisation) for a detailed report on the 2017 hajj operation.

“These figures are too exorbitant,” IG Wala continued, “In line with the objectives of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration on the fight against corruption, CATBAN demands a report detailing how the 2017 Hajj Operation was conducted to be published immediately.”

IG Wala is an outspoken rabble-rouser whose troubles could be measured in a Richter scale. He has surfeit of energy to dissipate fighting all manner of causes – good, bad and ugly – and ample time to spend haggling on crass trivialities. He is as daring and tenacious as honey badger.

Wala’s dangerous incursions into enemy territories foretells the latest vicissitude that befalls him. At the peak of his fanaticism on Buhari administration, IG Wala once accosted Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja and attempted to beat him up for issuing a statement dissociating the presidency from #iStandWithBuhari after alleged financial scandal that rocked the group. It took efforts of hangers-on to tame the energetic young man. Sometimes I wonder what he wants to achieve in many of his nebulous activism escapades.

I hate to speak on many issues regarding IG Wala’s travails and final conviction in public but there is need say a bit for readers to be put on the vantage point. As I said earlier, IG Wala was incidentally in my office the very day he made the first allegations one and half year ago. The NAHCON chairman was then in Saudi Arabia overseeing the 2017 hajj operation. I used the opportunity to call Mukhtar and make efforts to link up Wala with him to state his own side of the story.

Mukhtar was so angry with what Wala posted such that he blatantly refused to speak with him and threatened to go to court. Mukhtar initially stood his ground that he would seek legal redress but upon my earnest appeal, he agreed not to pursue the case on the condition that IG Wala would retract his comment and apologise.

But the trouble started after we ended the call and I returned to IG Wala. I requested Wala to retract the unsubstantiated post but he refused. At that night, IG Wala left my office fuming and threatening to make more revelations. I was helpless.

True to his promise, IG went berserk the following day, making even more damning allegations. I mustered courage to call IG Wala the following day to persuade him to leave the matter because as a journalist I know the perils of publishing unsubstantiated materials. True to his character, my friend IG Wala “warned” me not to call him again on that issue. I did not.

When I told Mukhtar that IG Wala would not retract, he said, “no problem, I have no option but to seek redress in court.”

Few months afterward, Mukhtar called to tell me that he was privileged to be selected among foreign dignitaries who will be allowed to enter Ka’aba and pray – a rare privilege exclusive to a few Muslim leaders.

“I was privileged to not only be allowed entry into Ka’aba but also allowed to pray in the choicest corner of Rukn al-Yaman. Top in my to-do prayer list that day was IG Wala. I supplicated and beseeched Almighty Allah for justice to be served in the case,” he said.

One month after Wala’s initial post, Abdullahi Mukhtar, himself a lawyer, filed a civil case against him on October 26, 2017, demanding N1billion damages. That was after Wala snubbed a letter formally written by Mukhtar’s lawyer, Professor Yusuf Dankofa, seeking retraction. To borrow an episode from Game of Thrones, Wala was “Unbowed, Unbent and Unbroken” as reeled out more “documents”.

But standing before Justice Valentine Achi in the civil suit, the judge made a momentous statement about the case. Justice Achi asked IG Wala whether he understood the veracity of the case, to which he (Wala) responded in the affirmative. The judge then told IG Wala in the open court that, “if I were you I will seek out of court settlement on this matter.”

Apparently IG Wala did not take Justice Achi’s dope, perhaps because he had prepared for the test. In his usual style, Wala snubbed all reconciliatory moves. All efforts to persuade Wala to “tone down” appeared like a spur to charge with roaring ferocity. Those who follow IG Wala knew how, at a point, he made it a daily routine, like a religious obligation, to spew invectives on the person of the NAHCON chairman in order to lower his estimation in the eyes of the public.

Since Wala was uncompromising even when the matter was in court, Mukhtar took another approach by filing a criminal complaint to the police. It took about a month for Wala to honour the police invitation. He was first detained for about three weeks before arraignment and later sent to prison for remand pending the determination of his bail conditions.

When it finally dawned on Wala that he had no case, he sought out of court settlement. In a surprise twist, most of the notable individuals who Wala sent to broker the peace accord encouraged Mukhtar to pursue the case after hearing his own side of the story.

Now let’s fast-forward the dramatic trial to the judgment day. About 30 minutes before the judgment on Monday April 15, Wala joined me in the elevator to the underground parking lot of the court building to see off a lawyer friend. “Jaafar, I know the efforts you did before,” Wala said in a tone actuated with emotion, “kindly help reach out to Abdullahi Mukhtar now. I will abide by all the conditions he set.”

I knew it was too late at that time as Mukhtar was not in the courtroom to witness the judgment. I wish I had enough time to try again. I wish I could save the family of this energetic breadwinner from the sorrow of his absence “Ok I will try,” I responded reluctantly in order to comfort him.

Wala’s act of making a Facebook live of himself in the courtroom, criticizing the judgment shortly after Justice Yusuf Halilu took a little break to decide on his lawyer’s plea of allocutus worsened the situation. The angry judge, who previously reprimanded IG Wala on two occasions for Facebooking in the dock and later denied him the privilege of sitting down, then served him the maximum sentence of 12 years.

I know as a fact that the judge on five occasions postponed the judgment in order to give Wala chance of out of court settlement, or providing witness or documents to back his claims.

As Wala practically walked himself into the gaol, throwing tantrum at the judge or any other party involved is not the answer. What Wala needs now are prayers and good lawyers to make case for quashing the judgment or commuting the sentence.

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