Wednesday, 10 January 2018


Buhari to address restructuring in second term – Voice Of Nigeria-DG

THE Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu has stated that President Mohammadu Buhari would address the issue of political restructuring if he wins a second term in office by 2019.

Okechukwu said that what Buhari was doing‎ presently is addressing issues of economic restructuring and will look into political restructuring when he is given a second mandate. The VON DG made the statements while giving a nod to ‎ a “Handshake across the Niger” meeting, scheduled for Enugu on tomorrow.

The Chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, congratulated the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo for convening the meeting and appealed to Igbo and Yoruba leadership to support the Rails, Roads, and Power, RRP, projects and the economic restructuring initiated by the President. Okechukwu assured the Igbo and Yoruba delegates to the Enugu meeting that President Buhari would address the issue of political restructuring in his second term. 

He noted that the meeting provides an opportunity for Igbo delegates to lobby their Yoruba counterparts to support the creation of additional state in the South-East and a President of Igbo extraction in 2023 after Buhari’s second tenure. Okechukwu said: “To be candid, am one of those, who view the two as competing brothers rather than adversaries as some have internalised. I also share the view that the unity of the two will in no small measure enhance the unity of our dear country. 

“The delegates should take serious and deep analysis of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic restructuring captured in RRP – Rails, Roads and Power projects, as enunciated in his 2018 New Year Speech. “This to me is important because Mr. President has in the midst of competing options elected to first embark on massive critical infrastructure renewal, after which he will embark on political restructuring. The infrastructure renewal is an urgent programme in the face of huge infrastructural deficit.” 

“I agree that some may argue, why not both together or no, we can do better infrastructural development in regional units. Those who argue the regional option born out of devolution of power, easily forget that our governors control about 48 percent of monies accruing to the Federation Account and nobody queries them like the federal government.” He said that because the State Governors were not held accountable like the President at the federal government, the State Houses of Assembly act like Rubber-Stamp Assembly; leading to democracy recession compounded by lack of free and fair local government council election and no anti-graft agency at the local unit. 

He argued that until Nigeria grows democracy at the State level and hold the State Governors, local government Chairmen and Councillors accountable, the country will never appreciate the critical infrastructural foundation being laid by President Buhari. “It is in this connection that a large spectrum of Buhari’s supporters nationwide have agreed with him to first embark on RRP and to embark on political restructuring during his second term. 

“Mr. President I know, is aware that one of the cardinal programmes in our great party’s manifesto is devolution of powers from the center to the units. He has this on his cards. And therefore no political party, at least, not All Progressives Congress, APC, for sure will hold on ad infinitum to 68 items in the Exclusive List of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without amendment,” he said. He reminded the Igbo delegates to the meeting the demand of President Buhari from our leaders in the last meeting at Aso Presidential Villa, where in response to their demand for an additional state to par the South-East with other geopolitical regions with 6 states, demanded that we should name the particular state of our choice, which has not been done. 

Okechukwu maintained that the meeting provides a golden opportunity for Igbo delegates to lobby their Yoruba brothers to buy into redressing this equity and justice placebo, of South-East region, “which some have dubbed shortchange or as some cynics posit, punishment because of the civil war.” He noted that the rigorous process of state creation requires lobbying for buy in of this nature, adding that the buy-in of Yorubas will strengthen the hands of Mr. President in lobbying his brothers in the north to create additional state in the South East. Okekwukwu appealed to Ndigbo not to work out of the conference hitting the table, out of lamentation, without tangible take-away of items like State creation. 

“Thirdly, our Igbo delegates need to also lobby that after Buhari’s second term in 2023, it will be our turn. For the Yorubas and our South South brothers had had their turn as presidents since our return to civil rule in 1999. We must utilise the essence and hallmark of equity and justice,” the VON DG said. He wished the delegates a fruitful deliberation guided by the collective interest of our unemployed youths and poverty ridden citizenry, many of whom will be lifted out of poverty.
Yusuf Buhari To Be Transferred To Germany Tonight For Further Treatment

He will be accompanied by his mother, Aisha Buhari, the daughter of the President, Mrs. Halima Buhari-Sheriff, the personal physician to the first lady, Dr. Kamal Mohammed and three other aides. 

Medical sources said Yusuf had remained largely unresponsive to treatment at Cedarcrest Hospital where he was first taken after the bike accident in Abuja.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

H&M Apologizes Over Racist Hoodie Advert As Celebrities Severe Ties With The Company

Fashion group H&M apologised for an advertisement featuring a black child modelling a sweatshirt with the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle" and said it had removed it from all its marketing. 

The ad was widely criticised for being racist, including by Canadian pop star The Weeknd, who collaborated with H&M, the world's second-largest clothing group, on two collections in 2017.

He said he would not do so again after seeing the advertisement.

Swedish H&M said in an emailed statement it fully understood and agreed with The Weeknd's reaction to the image.

"We are deeply sorry that the picture was taken, and we also regret the actual print," it said, adding that it would now look into its internal practices to avoid similar situations in the future.

Other celebrities criticising the advertisement via social media included US rap star Diddy and basketball star LeBron James.
Buhari: Between Yesterday and Tomorrow By Reuben Abati

I wrote the following piece, presented in italics, shortly after the postponement of the 2015 Presidential elections. It is important that the reader approaches it with an open mind, with an understanding of the context of its construction. The piece, titled “Buhari’s One Chance Campaign” never got published. One of my colleagues to whom I showed it advised against its publication. His point was that we should remain professional and not get involved in partisan politics. A member of our digital media team was so excited he wanted the article published. Anyhow, the older team member won the argument. But in the light of recent developments and the fortunes of the Buhari administration since 2015, the article has proved prophetic.

In 2015, the Buhari campaign train was so hypnotic most Nigerian voters jumped onto it. Less than three years later, the same persons are struggling to jump off the train. Out of the 15 million persons who voted for Buhari in 2015, millions of them have lost their jobs. Today, the strongest and most vocal supporters of the Buhari proposition are all so embarrassed they have chosen to keep quiet. One of them is now a self-appointed referee of Nigerian democracy going about with a RED CARD.

A former Minister of Petroleum who promised that under Buhari, petrol would be N40 per litre has been wisely quiet. A senior citizen who asked Nigerians to stone the Buhari team if they did not deliver in two years has not been heard from for a while. On twitter, and the rest of social media, many Nigerians are wielding stones and throwing them at will.

The tomorrow that we looked forward to yesterday is now so laughable if not saddening. The country is in a worse shape than it was in 2015. The same economy that used to be one of the most stable in Africa is now in tatters; insecurity has worsened, yesterday’s hope has turned into despair. Yesterday’s supporters have become today’s critics of the government. There are many lessons involved: how the Nigerian intelligentsia gathered dust in their faces, and how the people betrayed themselves. In 2015, here is what I wrote and kept:

BUHARI’S “ONE CHANCE” CAMPAIGN:

“Ordinarily, a busy bus station in Lagos is the headquarters of nightmare. Getting from one stop to the other could be an uphill task especially during rush hours. In those days when I journeyed from one end of the city to the other in Molue buses, I had to, like nearly everyone else in the same situation, learn how to jump into a moving vehicle, how to descend while it was in motion and how not to end up under the wheels as many routinely did in our Alakuko-Alagbado side of the city.

But the “One Chance” always seemed, at first encounter, like a God-sent. If you lived in Lagos in the 80s and 90s, you’d probably remember those buses referred to as “One chance” and the dubious notoriety that they eventually came to acquire. Once you heard the bus conductor screaming “One Chance…one chance…enter, enter.. ko si change ma wole o”, you knew immediately that with only one seat left to make up the full passenger load, your long wait at the bus stop had come to an end.

It was natural to jump into the bus. It promised a change of circumstances and offered hope. It was also reassuring because you could actually see a number of people already seated inside the bus. And of course, it was ready to move. But with time, and this is the rub of it: the “One Chance” acquired real notoriety. The phrase itself has since become a footnote in motor park lexicography, following the realization that a “one chance” trip could be a journey to despair. Not every “One Chance” bus was necessarily bad in those days, but the phrase became a metaphor for impending evil, and the label stuck.

It became synonymous with a vehicle of deceit deployed by criminals who posed as transporters and passengers, and lured anxious commuters into their trap. The passengers in the bus were practised con-artists who would eventually reveal their true nature. The driver could be an agent of the real gangsters waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting victim. Lives were lost, many ended up in ritual dens, never to be seen again, women were raped, the luckier victims were dispossessed of valuables and pushed out of the vehicle.

As such frightening tales made the rounds, people became wary of “One Chance buses”; they became more careful in responding to the calls of urgent movement and deceptive completeness. They learnt to look before boarding. They learnt that useful lesson about the contrast between appearance and reality. What you see is not always what is. When the illusion clears, the residue is sheer regret. And so, to every “one chance” call, caution became advisable.

The leading opposition party in the 2015 Presidential elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) reminds me of this “One Chance” phenomenon. General Buhari is driving a “One Chance” bus, and trying to lure unsuspecting Nigerians to certain despair. His passengers are a motley of disaggregated, conflicted persons, looking for innocent preys. Their conductor is a waltzing, energy-drink-guzzling hustler who is driven by malicious desperation. With drums and dance, and a song, they have managed to generate hype, hoopla and hysteria at every bus stop. The unwary may have boarded the bus, not even knowing where it is headed. Those who seem to believe that a democracy also guarantees the right to be misled, have jumped into that tragic “one chance bus”.

They have been told their driver is unqualified, lacks a mastery of the road; he doesn’t even have a licence. Happily enough, they are all beginning to get the message. I have heard some of the once- hypnotized respond that they actually wouldn’t mind if the fellow brandishes a NEPA receipt and calls it a driver’s license. This is a strange kind of hypnotism; and that is how it works: it is the first cousin of delusion. No wonder, every attempt to get the driver to take a driving test has also failed.

The conductor is also hyper-active, gripped by strangely high spirits, having customarily taken a quantum of same. He urges the driver to keep his feet on the accelerator, and yet, the last time this man drove a vehicle was in the other century. But the hashish is so strong, its effluence so consuming that the passengers have failed to see that their driver is already falling asleep on the steering.

He is the oldest driver in the motor park, but he wears stylish clothes to make him look young by all means. His bones are weak; his grip on the steering is failing. He often forgets the name of his assistant. He can hardly remember the name of his conductor. And don’t bother to ask him about road signs. If only those rushing into his “One Chance” bus would take a look at the passengers and the conductor: the tell-tale signs are not hidden.

A certain kind of people is easily deceived by appearances. It happens often on our expressways, where all you need to do to mislead other motorists is to suddenly make a U-turn in the middle of the road, and face the opposite lane. Wave your hands to suggest anything and mumble some mumbo-jumbo such as “Change, Change”; almost instinctively, every other motorist will slow down and begin to stare at you for signs, and they will obey your cue.

They will even scramble to do so, until a logjam is created. The madness could continue for close to an hour, until a reasonable man would venture out in the proper direction of the original route. Gradually, others will return to the same route until it is realized that they had initially been misled, scammed, misinformed, deceived.

This is exactly the tragic nature of the Buhari campaign in this election. Apart from the hotly-contested 1959 and 1964 General elections, which unfortunately sowed some of the seeds of an eventual blow-out, no other general election in recent memory has been this fiercely contested. Before February 14, emotions had reached a boiling point in Nigeria. This is probably why the postponement of the elections has been a blessing in disguise. If the pre-February 14 tension had run its course, with the country tottering dangerously on the brink, the outcome could have been disastrous for the polity or whosoever emerged as winner. Elections in themselves do not guarantee peace or stability; they could in fact, become the catalyst for dissolution. This is why caution is advisable.

But the Buhari campaign group and its supporters are incautious, driven as they are solely by narrow interests, unbridled passion and phantom triumphalism. For an election that has not yet taken place, they are already claiming victory, and threatening chaos if Buhari does not win. Their attempt to force their candidate and ambition on Nigerians as an inevitable outcome only points to sinister motives. This is their undemocratic strategy with which they are luring the unwary into a tragic “One Chance” bus. Such shamanistic tactics, and the hideous propaganda propelling it, do not bode well for our country.

Buhari was unelectable in 2003, 2007, 2011, and he is even far more unelectable now. In his previous failed attempts, he was at least his own candidate, but this time, he is at best some other people’s Special Purpose Vehicle; that is why he comes across more in this campaign like a mannequin under the control of seen and unseen masters with hidden agenda.

Nobody should seek the Presidency of Nigeria as an SPV. I argue that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, apparently the owner of the APC, wants a Buhari Presidency because he imagines it will transform him, not Professor Yemi Osinbajo, not anyone else, into the most influential political figure in Yorubaland. The “treacherous” Rotimi Amaechi is busy dancing up and down because for him, a Buhari Presidency will enable him settle scores, with his imaginary enemies. Festus Odimegwu, who was booted out as Chairman of the National Population Commission for making racist comments about Nigerians of Northern extraction wrote a Buhari endorsement article recently, it was actually a masked revenge piece. They will all be disappointed. And if General Buhari wants to be President, he needs to come across as his own man.

President Jonathan is his own man. All the self-proclaimed, would-have-been Godfathers to his presidency have on their own committed political suicide. He is tested, healthy, strong, focused and committed. He has campaigned on the basis of his record of achievements and the phenomenally positive transformation that Nigeria has witnessed under his watch in the past four years: the revived railways sector, the strengthened education sector, greater emphasis on youth, women empowerment and inclusive governance, a robust, economy, massive job creation, expansion of the space for human freedoms, and a purposeful, engaging campaign for a second term.

In comparison, all I see on the Buhari side, is a lot of mean tactics, hate-driven propaganda, shallow costuming, third-party outsourcing of leadership, and manifold deception. Their attraction is that of a “One Chance” bus, not concrete vision, not change or progress, not leadership. The electorate is beginning to see through their charade. Their “One Chance” bus is now being seen for what it is: and it is precisely why the electorate will vote massively for Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on March 28.”

That is the article that never was. But here it is, three years later, unedited, fully reflective of the mood in which it was written. I leave you to draw your own conclusions. But this much can be said: no matter how challenging the last three years may have been, we can only hope that we have all learnt our lessons about the complexity of Nigerian politics and the length of the politics of acrimony. Looking forward to tomorrow, President Buhari can still change the narrative and prove all Damascus-moment critics wrong. I am optimistic that he can. He should.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Meghan Markle Wore A $75,000 Couture Gown For Engagement - Photo

Kensington Palace has released the official engagement photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the royal-to-be’s dress was truly fit for a princess! Markle wore a gorgeous black Ralph & Russo gown with a sheer, embellished bodice and full tulle skirt from the designer’s fall 2017 couture collection.

Considering the dress retails for $75,000, Markle definitely made a major statement with her risqué fashion choice, proving that she’s willing to bend the traditional rules of royalty.


Credit: Essence
He impregnated another woman, married her, after I fed, clothed him for years — Wife

A woman, Aminat Busari has brought a divorce suit against her husband, Wasiu Busari at Ile Tuntun Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State. Aminat in her suit accused her husband of neglect and being unfaithful to her. She added that he was in the habit of beating her always. She thus urged the court to separate them and grant her custody of their two children.

Aminat when giving her evidence stated that, “My husband and I have been living from hand to mouth since we got married. We were living with his mother after we got married and I had our two children there.

“I trained as a fashion designer but ended up as a food vendor because my husband didn’t have money to set me up in the business.

“I trek miles hawking food every day and also work in canteens in order to keep the home going since my husband comes back home with little or nothing. But my husband appears indifferent to all efforts and sacrifices I have been making.

“He shows me no care or affection and has consistently neglected me, “Aminat told court.

“He is a barber and has a saloon but his business has not been doing well, he, therefore, decided to move to Lagos to work. I was the one feeding and taking care of our children’s welfare while he was away.

“And when he finally returned, he came with nothing. He had to start from the scratch again.

“I did all I could to cover his shame during the last Ileya festival. I bought him and our children clothes for the celebration and, as always, fed the home. I also gave him some amount to give to his mum.

“But being an ingrate, his best way of showing appreciation is to beat me. He beats me on a regular basis and on many occasions leaves me with swollen face, bruises and wounds, “she added.

“My lord, I later learnt he had impregnated another woman. I asked him, he confirmed it but showed no sign of remorse. We quarreled on the issue and he left home.

“I went to where he was staying and met the woman with him. He beat and almost killed me. There and then I made up my mind I was going to divorce him.

“I reported him to his father and he threw his weight behind me on the issue of divorce, the plaintiff stated.

Wasiu, responding to what his wife said, stated that he acceded to divorce, but refused that his wife has custody of their two children.

“My wife is never contended with whatever I give her. She’s always nagging and complaining that I have not done enough.

“I was dating a lady who I later impregnated. She wanted to go for an abortion but I refused because I wasn’t sure if it would be successful.

“I tried all I could to keep the incident away from my wife but she later got to know. She fought and made our home hot for me.

“I tried to placate her by giving her more attention and money but she was not just satisfied. I left home when she refused that I have peace of mind.

“She came to where I was to fight me. She threatened to leave me and packed her things out of our home.

“I took our first child to my mother at Osogbo in order that he might have proper care while our second child is with my wife, “he concluded.

After he had listened to both parties, the court president, Chief Olasunkanmi Agbaje stated that there would be the need to have the children and parents of both parties in court before judgment was given. He thus adjourned the case till January 22, 2018 and ordered the duo to come along with their children and parents.
Time to Take Back Nigeria By Shaka Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, it is no longer in the realm of speculation that our reticent general would seek a second term in office. It is not just his infamous body language speaking volumes about his intention, his actions and utterances lately give us a clear picture of his desire for a second term. His supporters under the umbrella of the Buhari Support Organisation have already launched Buhari’s 2019 bid. His foot soldiers have commenced nocturnal meetings to sell to the public what they know in their heart of hearts is a bad product. Although this has provoked incredulity and anger among many Nigerians, it is not enough however. Our discomfiture must be backed by unwavering action.

This is therefore a clarion call to all those who truly wish Nigeria’s progress, especially the youth who refused to learn from history and threw their weight behind a man they share nothing in common with, to rise up and oppose any attempt by President Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election in 2019. Although he has the constitutional right to do so, the surprising thing really is that he has the audacity to even nurse the idea of a second term after failing so spectacularly to deliver on any of his campaign promises. Instead, he has created more problems in the country than he met. He is constantly giving excuses for the glaring incompetence of his government while blaming others for his poor leadership; but quick to claim credit for the work of others.

Fellow Nigerians, such a bid will not be in the national interest. It is not just a patriotic duty to oppose his re-election in 2019, it is in the overriding national public interest to deny him the opportunity to continue in office beyond 2019 should he ultimately decide to test our resolve. Failure cannot be rewarded with a fresh mandate.

Frivolous solidarity visits have already begun, to urge him to contest and remain in office till 2023 “to enable him finish the good work he has started”. Some useful idiots are already telling him that “he is the only one who can save Nigeria”. Those fanatics and heretics of faith must be living in another world where delusion is accepted as reality. Well, the truth is that, reality is somewhat less exciting.

All I have for those peddling this narrative is utter contempt. Some of his supporters in Kano are even threatening to drag him to court should he refuse to seek a second term. How ridiculous! We have seen this madness before. Every era has its deranged fellows, just as they have their heroes. We must tell these pretenders that the future of our nation is more important than the election of one man.

If you recall, that was the same thing they told the late General Sani Abacha. The former governor of old Anambra State, Jim Nwobodo even went to the extremes when he threatened to commit suicide if Abacha did not succeed himself. After the death of Abacha, he was reminded severally by the media to carry out his threat, but he would have none of it. Chief Nwobodo is still around, jumping from one church denomination to another, and from one political party to another in search of bread and butter.

All patriotic Nigerians who genuinely mean well for this country must come together to stop Buhari. A second term of Buhari in power will cause a grave and near irreparable harm to our nation’s unity in diversity and whatever will be left of it by the time he finishes his first term. Nigeria is already dancing on the tip of a pin. It is unthinkable to imagine a continuation of the foreboding nightmare much longer.

My opposition Buhari is principally because he lacks the capacity, competence and wherewithal to govern a modern and diverse society like ours. His performance so far is damning evidence of a visionless leadership foretold. It is a cold vindication of an unbiased assessment of the then-candidate Buhari. It was never about personal hatred or party affiliation. It was a vigorous interrogation of the evidence of his previous record in public office, viz. the narrow prism of his worldview, his impunity and contempt for due process and sensitive policies designed to promote national unity, his palpable nepotism and legendary ethnic disposition, his poor leadership style, and above all, his

lack of vision predicated on a broad national renaissance of Nigeria. All these to me, made him unsuited for the office of president. His two and a half years in office so far have reinforced his unsuitability and glaring lack of capacity to govern. Buhari belongs to the past; he cannot pursue policies and programmes that will safeguard the people’s futures.

The man who rode on that powerful, all-encompassing magic word of CHANGE to power unfortunately had no vision that crystalises change and national rebirth that he and his party promised a desperate people yearning for a new direction. It has turned out that the people blindly and foolishly placed their hopes and expectations on a man totally unable, and totally bereft of ideas to move the nation forward.

Come to think of it, is it not ironic that a man who has failed so abysmally to achieve anything other than exacerbate the nation’s fault lines like never before wants another term? Does he want to finally bring down the roof on everybody? The mistake of 2015 MUST not be repeated. Buhari has so far failed all those who took a big leap of fate and trusted him with their vote and support to berth a new nation.

We must take our country back from this set of politicians. We must collectively decide whether Nigeria lives or dies. We are starkly aware of the risks of re-electing Buhari. It is a choice between going back in time and moving forward in progress, a choice between the illusion of reality and actual reality. There is no sitting on the fence anymore. We all must choose; either you are with Nigeria or you are with Buhari. There is no sugar-coating the dire situation in which we’re in anymore, or pretending that what is clearly obvious to all is not.

Let everyone within the voting age register so that on election day, we can decide the future of our country. Let us deliver a message to him and his supporters. Even if INEC would like to put its thumb on the scale to favour Buhari, let’s tie their hands by overwhelmingly voting out Buhari. We cannot continue to pretend that whatever happens to Nigeria is not our business. It is as much my business as it is yours. We have a duty to rise up and save this country from the current leaders and their party.

If the campaign to re-elect Buhari elicits no vigorous response and challenge now, it may be too late before we realise and try to fight back for the soul of our country. We cannot approach this with indifference any longer because indifference is always the friend of the enemy. Not to respond to the current attempt to foist Buhari on Nigerians again in 2019 will amount to accepting that we are powerless to change Nigeria’s hopeless drift into perdition under him. We must have the courage to tell the enemies of this country that we have already paid a huge price for electing Buhari and that another term of him in office is not an acceptable preposition. As a matter of fact, we should use our power to change the story of Nigeria for good. For those who feel a sense of loyalty to support Buhari because of party or ethnic affinity, there is a higher loyalty and duty to country which is a nobler cause to live and die for.

Now, let us even review Buhari’s term in office so far: What has he really achieved to be worthy of another term? He rose to power on the tripod of fighting insecurity, corruption and restoring the economy. On these three key issues, he has failed spectacularly. Apart from the partial containment of Boko Haram which Buhari prematurely announced as a “technical” defeat in December 2015 and an “effective” defeat in 2016, insecurity in the country has grown worse. While he has repeatedly claimed that no part of the country’s territory is under the control of the evil terrorists, the recent United Nations report definitively gives the lie to that claim when it stated that three local government areas were still fully under Boko Haram’s control while so many areas liberated were still unsafe owing to the fear of attacks.

Is it not curious that Buhari wants to withdraw $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to fight the “technically” and “effectively” defeated Boko Haram? We have been told by several officials of this government, that all that was left was a small mopping-up operation to clear out the remnants of the Boko Haram. The war was long ago declared won by Buhari and his supporters. And it was touted as evidence of the winning approach of this government to the Boko Haram menace. So what does he need $1 billion for?

Under Buhari, Fulani herdsmen have simply gone berserk – killing and maiming thousands and burning down villages unchallenged. Nigerians have never witnessed such terrifying ferocity of violence that has been unleashed by these once-upon-a-time peaceful herdsmen who since Buhari won power have transformed into mindless killers and kidnappers. What has the government done? Nothing! It is now a fact of our new reality that if someone is not killed by the killer herdsmen encroaching on their farmland or just marauding in towns, then the herdsmen might as well kidnap them. They torture male victims, rape women and girls in communities and villages, and extort huge ransoms before their victims regain freedom. Our security agencies have simply failed the country. Buhari has looked on without a care in the world and without doing much or even as much as empathise with the people who have faced unprovoked violence. He has been distant and aloof to their pain.

Under Buhari the Nigerian state has failed to demonstrate its essence and relevance. Security of lives and properties is near zero. On a general note, Nigeria has become a huge den of kidnappers, as the people are left to their fate. Even security agents are being kidnapped on a daily basis and ransoms paid by their families or government agencies to secure their release. This is the state of Nigeria under Buhari, the man who purportedly came to make things better. Any leader who is unable to guarantee the security of the lives and properties of his people is unfit to lead. Buhari has demonstrably failed on this all-important front except for those who pretend that facts should be called something else. For these people, there is a certain attractiveness to untruth and a draw to violence.

More than anything else, Buhari’s perceived reputation of being incorruptible and his pledge to launch a crackdown on corruption was the most significant selling element that won him the presidency. This has since taken a big hit with his “insecticide” and “deodorant” approach to corruption when it concerns his enemies and allies respectively. He has thoroughly abused the trust of the people. The recent $25 billion NNPC contracts award is a case in point.

However, It was heart-warming that the Senate quickly set up a committee headed by Senator Aliyu Wammako to probe the NNPC contracts award after Kachikwu’s letter was made public. The committee was scheduled to commence sitting, but our beleaguered president immediately invited Wammako to Aso Rock as reported in the media. Since then, nothing has been heard about the committee meant to probe the $25 billion contracts awarded by Baru with the approval of the president but without due process. The question is, why did Buhari with unusual speed and alacrity intervene to obviously stop the probe? Was he afraid of being embarrassed by the evidence of corruption and breach of due process that would have been unearthed by the Senate?

On the economy, Buhari’s performance so far has been a disaster. He inherited an economy growing at 2.35 per cent in May 2015 and under a year, he plunged it into the worst recession in 25 years with the attendant mass poverty and hunger in the land. The misery index is at an all-time high. His policies (if any) have triggered a wave of massive retrenchment of workers across all sectors of the economy, while hundreds of companies have been forced to shut down on account of the economic downturn.

Even as some diehard Buhari supporters continue to deny and exonerate him of culpability in the many own goals the administration has scored, some candid insider assessments were delivered recently by no less a person than Hammeed Ali, the Comptroller-General of Customs, who is a staunch Buhari ally. This is what he had to say: “Let me say here without fear of being contradicted, that I think half way through the journey, we are losing our core values. We are losing our vision and mission and I think that the idea of our being here today is to look critically at what we need to do to get back on track. There is no doubt that we have derailed because we are not doing what we say we want to do. ….

“It is my belief that those of us who have been in the trenches all these years to get good governance will surely be sleeping with bellyache every day; especially in the recent past. Everyday, when you wake up, there is a story that makes you shiver.” Need I say more other than say it’s time to take our country back?

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

“The problem with Nigerian youth is that they just want to take over from the elite” – Rotimi Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says Nigeria youths are copying the wrong model of leadership, an act, he notes, may jeopardise their future.

Amaechi made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the Future Awards Africa held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos last Saturday.

He said the youths are not ready yet to embrace a corrupt-free society because they were wrongly orientated by those who were using them for their interest. He said:

The problem with Nigerian youth is that they just want to take over from the elite but they are not ready to embrace change, they don’t want reform.

They say that the roles being played by the elite are not satisfactory, but they must be ready to upset the leaders of this country through their ingenuity.

For example, during our days of activism, we engage government over unfavourable policies and we get headlong even during the military administration.

Now, student union presidents want a vehicle and a driver to be driving him about to attend meetings; during our time, who dares have a car, we all struggle on the street.

He advised Nigerian youth to rise to the fight against corruption. He said:

I will advise the youth to fight against corruption with all their energy instead of giving tacit support to those they think are their benefactors.

During our time in the student union struggles, we rose against impunity and organised protests; but what happens today, the government of the day announces the money siphoned but the youth keep quiet.

Such astronomic stolen amount government announced wouldn’t have happened during our time, all the street would have been filled with youths protesting and seeing that the culprits were punished.

Today, we have some of our youths dancing behind the corrupt politicians for a pot of meal that will not last long thereby mortgaging their future.

Amaechi said that Nigerian youth should stand up to the reality of life by asking questions from leaders on how they manage the economy and the commonwealth of Nigeria. He wrote:

Nigerian youth should start asking questions from leaders, including me, about what we are doing with our resources. It’s time to reject those that put us in this.

We should all desist from pulling our country down through corruption. But unfortunately, the youth are not interested in that, all what they want is how to look good.

Maybe they looked at me wearing designer shoes, what they will notice is that designer and how they can get it. That is not supposed to be.

During my time as a student union leader, I had only two pairs of clothes. But now the value system is wrong and the youth are copying wrong leadership model.
My wife is hot tempered, fights me everyday, clergy man tells court

A Nyanya Customary Court in Abuja has dissolved the 16-year-old marriage between a clergyman, Peter John, and his wife, Lucia, over the latter’s temperament.

The court president, Mr Jemilu Jega, ruling, granted John’s request, stating that the union had collapsed irretrievably.

He said the court had tried everything within its powers to resolve the issues between the parties, adding that all efforts failed.

“The irreconcilable differences between the two parties showed that they are no longer compatible; therefore, the marriage is hereby dissolved, ’’Jega said.

He, however, gave custody of the four children in the marriage to their mother, saying their father was often travelling as a missionary.

Jega also ordered John to pay N50, 000 monthly for the upkeep of the children and be responsible for their education and healthcare.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), John had earlier told the court that his wife is hot tempered and often engages in quarrels with him.

He also told the court that her behaviour, apart from affecting his health, had also started making him unproductive.
Court of Appeal Says EFCC Lacks Powers to Prosecute Judges In A Landmark Ruliing

In a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeal in Lagos Monday held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) does not have the powers to investigate or prosecute a serving judicial officer and struck out the criminal charges filed by the commission against a serving judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa.

Delivering judgment on the appeal filed by the judge, the appellate court held that the EFCC could only investigate or prosecute a judicial officer when such officer has been dismissed or retired by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Should the EFCC appeal Monday’s ruling at the Supreme Court and it is upheld, the ruling by the Court of Appeal will have far-reaching implications for the war against corruption and would mean that all the alleged corruption cases instituted by the EFCC or any other law enforcement agency of government against other judges will collapse.

The EFCC had arraigned Justice Nganjiwa before a Lagos State High Court for allegedly receiving a total of $260,000 and N8.65 million gratification to enrich himself as a public official.
The anti-graft agency claimed that the judge received the money through his bank account between 2013 and 2015.

The EFCC claimed that the judge could not explain the source of the funds, adding that he acted contrary to Section 82(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No. 11, 2011.
Justice Nganjiwa was also accused of giving false information to operatives of the EFCC, which the prosecution said amounted to an offence under Section 39(2) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2014.
The trial of the judge had commenced before the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere.

However, following an appeal by his lawyer, Chief Robert Clark (SAN), the Court of Appeal which anchored its decision on the principle of separation of powers between the three arms of government, ruled that serving judicial officers could only be prosecuted for offences like murder and stealing if such offences were committed outside the discharge of their official duties.

Justice Obaseki Adejumo who delivered the lead judgment, said once the offence was allegedly committed in the discharge of their duties, they must first be tried by the NJC and dismissed or retired before the EFCC can investigate or prosecute them.

He held that the condition precedent to the filing of charge number: LD/4769/2017 had not been fulfilled.
The appellate court judge further held that the NJC must first strip or remove the appellant (judicial officer) of his judicial standing before he could be charged with such alleged offence allegedly committed in the course of discharge of his duties.

He, therefore, submitted that the High Court of Lagos State lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the charge against the serving judicial officer.
The Appeal Court accordingly set aside the trial of Justice Akinbode of the Lagos High Court and upheld the preliminary objection by the appellant in the court below.

But in a swift reaction, the EFCC said Monday that it would appeal against the ruling of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal.

In a statement signed Monday night by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujiaren, the commission said it considered the ruling a dangerous precedent that has no basis in law, adding that it was confident that the Supreme Court will upturn the judgment.

“Criminal trials take precedence over administrative procedures and it is strange that the Court of Appeal wants to put the cart before the horse. This is ridiculous!
“The appellate court simply wants to confer immunity on public officers from prosecution for corruption, it will not stand,” the EFCC added.

‘Looters of Recovered Assets Can’t be Charged’

In a related development, the federal government Monday provided reasons why it had not filed charges against individuals from whom it had recovered purportedly stolen assets and money, saying it was based on the “strategic advice” it got from independent sources, anti-corruption committees and special panels it had set up for the recovery of the assets.

It made the clarification at the celebration of the 2017 International Anti-corruption Day organised by the Inter-agency Task Team (IATT) in Abuja, saying that while it campaigned in the 2015 elections to take on corruption and rout it out of the country, it had initiated processes to achieve this and was making progress, but requires the support of all Nigerians to continue the anti-corruption war.

Speaking at the event, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo stated that within its plan to nip corruption in the bud, the government has been able to weed out 50,000 ghost workers from its payroll in the last two years, while the EFCC has charged 17 suspects to court for allegedly including ghost workers on the government’s payroll.

Represented by his Special Adviser on the Rule of Law, Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran, the vice-president explained that assets were recovered from people he claimed stole from the government during Goodluck Jonathan administration, but they had not been charged to court because it has been advised against it.
“The administration has relied a lot on strategic advice, looking at the fight against corruption from a broad perspective, and basically relying on independent advice in order to move forward in fighting corruption.

“It is focused a lot on prevention, and this is one aspect that a lot of people do not talk about so much. Then enforcement, this is the key aspect of the fight against corruption, there has to be accountability for those who basically violate the law.

“Then asset recovery is a key element in the fight against corruption. As regards assets recovery, where there has been no conviction, it is because of the strategic advice that we were given,” Osinbajo said.
He explained that the government has approved a National Anti-corruption Strategy, with which it would engage all strata of the Nigerian society in the fight against corruption.
The strategy document, he explained, has five thematic areas and appeals to the efforts of international communities in the fight against corruption.

The vice-president further stated that the government had after the sack of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal, who was indicted for alleged corruption, referred him to law enforcement agencies in the country for further prosecution.

Insisting that it had made tremendous progress in its anti-corruption war, Osinbajo stated that international agencies and countries had in the last two years shown a greater interest in helping Nigeria fight corruption and recover most of its monies that were allegedly stolen and kept in foreign accounts by past government officials.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who doubles as the chairman of IATT, stated that the government would continue to make it increasingly difficult for corrupt practices to thrive in all its businesses.

Fayemi equally called on countries where financially corrupt Nigerians had stashed the monies they stole from the government to complement Nigeria’s efforts by depriving them of safe havens for their stolen wealth.
He said: “We acknowledge the fact that we have huge corruption problems. We are also not relenting in our efforts to deal with the issues. We continue to see a quickening of efforts in enforcement and sanctions as well as innovative methods to prevent corruption.

“However, there is still a lot to be done. For us to succeed in this fight, we must say no to impunity and eliminate the syndrome of sacred cows.
“Our emphasis must be on tackling corruption from the root and closing the doors to illicit activities before they happen. This will preserve the integrity of our systems and save us valuable resources for sustainable development.

“To demonstrate commitment as a people, there must be leadership by example. The highly placed must show example of following due process and avoiding impunity.
“This will speak louder than all the words and public enlightenment campaigns. Our international friends must stop to offer safe havens to illicit financial proceeds, and once they do, they must work with us to recover them,” he stated.

Source: Thisday
POLICE SARS OFFICER REPORTEDLY KILL MAN WHOSE WIFE TURNED DOWN HIS SEX REQUEST

The wife of 37 year old Seun Ayoade, has accused an officer of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ondo State Police Command, Ojelabi Oladele, of torturing her husband to death because she refused having sex with him while she was married to the deceased. 

Gbemisola in an interview with Sahara Reporters, said Seun and officer Ojelabi Oladele were friends and that during her marriage to Seun, Ojelabi had asked her for sex and she turned him down. 

He persisted in his request and she repeatedly turned him down on the grounds that she is married and not just that, but that she is married to someone who is his friend. 

Gbemisola alleged that this did not go down well with Ojelabi who framed her ex-husband up, got him arrested on October 12th and had him tortured to death while in SARS detention. 

Ojelabi then dumped Ayoade’s corpse at the morgue of the Ondo State Specialist Hospital in Akure and lied to attendants that the deceased died as a result of gunshot wound he sustained during a duel with the police. 

Speaking to Sahara Reporters, Gbemisola said “I can’t just imagine how a friend to my man [Mr. Ayoade] will be asking me for sex. It is very disgusting. Many times he [Mr. Oladele] asked me to go out with him, but I always tell him ‘no’ and that I can’t do it. 

Because I turned down his offer, he then decided to punish Mr Ayoade. And despite all this, Inspector Oladele is still threatening to deal me just because I refused to allow him to sleep with me.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Beyoncé Breaks The Internet With The Slaying Dress She Wore To Honor Colin Kaepernick

On Tuesday, Beyoncé presented Colin Kaepernick with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award at the 2017 Sports Illustrated SportsPerson of the Year Awards. While the true star of the evening was Kaepernick for the highly deserved honor, Beyoncé’s dress came in second place.

Beyoncé hit the stage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY in a form-fitting black and silver mini dress by Black designer LaQuan Smith. To say that the singer absolutely slayed the look is an understatement.

Credit: Essence 

Nigerians Should Take Over Their Country with the National Intervention Movement - Olisa Agbakoba

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, has called on Nigerians of all creed and tongue to take advantage of the rave of the moment in Nigeria called the National Intervention Movement (NIM) to put the country where it rightly belongs by demanding good leadership at all time from the political class.

He called on Nigerians to wrest power from the political elite for the betterment of the society.

Agbakoba who visibly lamented the current ‘pathetic’ state of the country, highlighted the many wrongs in the system, saying it was time Nigerians called their leaders to order through a credible and apolitical platform like the NIM.

At a media parley yesterday in Lagos, the maritime lawyer cum activist who disclosed that on November 29, he and other concerned Nigerians, out of serious anxiety about the state of the nation, decided to initiate NIM as a platform to uplift and ‘defreeze’ Nigerians (who he said are frozen right now) so as to salvage what is left of the country.

According to him, Nigerians need a coherent platform to prevent bad leadership in the country, hence the constitution of NIM, adding that “we want a functioning democracy where political office holders are accountable to the people, public institutions are strengthen and the rule of law works.

“We want the government to work for Nigerians. Presently, it is not. President Muhammadu Buhari needs to take his job seriously by sacking his entire cabinet because they have failed. In the meantime, he is sleeping on the job.”

Agbakoba, who noted that against the insinuation that he has the backing of some political bigwigs, stated that former President Olusegun Obasanjo did not give him any support in the formation of NIM, adding that NIM is a political movement but not a political party, and has no political interest at the moment.

He explained that “membership of the movement is free and easy. Participation will be based on social media among others to galvanise Nigerians to speak against bad government in one voice. Changing the way our political leaders think and act is what the movement is all about. The movement which was formed by G90 doesn’t hold onto anybody’s political ideology or interest, it doesn’t also prevent any member’s political interest but must be distant from the movement because it is strictly apolitical.”

On the many wrongs in the system which the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president said led to the initiation of NIM, he asked: “Why for instance has nobody been fired for Mainagate? What is government plan for unemployment? 70percent of our young people are unemployed, and this is alarming!

“What is the federal government plan for power? Should the privatisation process be reversed? Why are our bidding and procurement processes failing? Why is government still appropriating billions of naira for turnaround maintenance of dead refineries?

“At the states, governors must deploy state resources efficiently. For example, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State is fixing federal roads when state roads are deplorable; Governor Rochas Okorocha is erecting status of all kinds of people when Imo State owes pensioners; Governor Ayodele Fayose is making Christmas clothes for children but has not paid Ekiti State workers, and on his own, Governor Nyesom Wike is using River State money to buy SUVs for members of the National Assembly. All these must stop! Is it not a scandal that oil producing states like Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Delta among others owe salaries? So the Nigerian people will use this movement to guide as well as cut the excesses of their political leader. Enough is enough!”

Agbakoba also urge Nigerians to use the medium to demand that confidence return to the country’s judiciary, adding that “how come corruption cases involving politicians never terminate in our courts? Governors accused of corruption after office, get judicial immunity? Politicians charged with corruption present themselves for public office in every election circle; some are even senators making laws for the country.

“Therefore, we believe strongly that the way forward is for civil society (including the media) to wrest power from this ruling political elite to achieve a new system that is inclusive and works for all and not a few.”

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

GOV. OKOROCHA SWEARS IN SISTER AS THE COMMISSIONER FOR HAPPINESS

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has sworn in his biological sister, Mrs. Ogechi Ololo (nee Okorocha) as the state’s Commissioner for Happiness and Couples’ Fulfillment.

She is among the 28 new commissioners and 27 Transition Committee Chairmen for the 27 local government councils in the state sworn in. .

Ololo, who is married to Chuks, an engineer, was the APC’s candidate into the House of Representatives for the Owerri Federal Constituency seat in 2015 and she has served in various capacities since Okorocha became the state governor in 2011.

She had, before her new appointment, served as her brother’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Adviser on Domestic Matters.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Atiku’s Exit of No Consequence - Says APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) is not loosing sleep over the departure of a key chieftain of the party, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, from the party, expressing confidence that any opposition party bringing on board a Northern presidential candidate to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections, would not serve the interest of the Southern section of the country.

Based on this, party chieftains who spoke exclusively to THISDAY on the issue, said Atiku was a non-issue because there will be concerns in the South that should he win the 2019 presidential election it could amount to power remaining in the North for 12 years, as it was unlikely that Atiku or any other Northerner emerging president in 2019 would serve for only one term.

APC, sources also said, is premising its calculations on the fact that the South-west may have already committed to supporting Buhari’s second term bid, as this would boost the chances of the region getting the presidency in 2023 through Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Furthermore, reliable sources in the presidency expressed optimism over the prospects of the ruling party achieving a major turnaround in its popularity rating, following a boost in infrastructure rollout that the APC-led administration plans to achieve in the next 18 months with funding from external loans.

The National Assembly recently approved the request by the executive arm of government to raise $5.5 billion from foreign sources, part of which will be used to fund the capital component of the 2017 budget.

The federal government is planning to rollover capital projects from 2017 to the 2018 budget for which funding may have already been raised.

Speaking on the emerging political dynamics that the APC is banking on, a party source said most people, especially those from the South, would rather throw their support for a Buhari presidency in 2019 so that he can complete the second four-year tenure for the North than vote in another person who will want to stay for a period of eight years, meaning that power will remain in the North for 12 years.

The party chieftain who preferred not to be named further pointed out that even some members of the opposition party from the South whose interests will be hurt adversely by such a development would secretly lend their support to APC.

Also weighing in on the issue, the National Vice-Chairman (South-south) Chief Hillary Ettah who spoke to THISDAY in a phone interview yesterday, dismissed any fears about an implosion in the ruling party, saying this would not happen.

Providing some kind of forecast on the likely scenarios to play out in the run-up to the 2019 elections, Ettah said what the country will witness “will be the absence of a coordinated opposition that can challenge APC and President Buhari”.

Also speaking on the possible defection of many loyalists of Atiku including governors to the PDP, he said nothing like that would happen, insisting that not many would be ready to take such a risk.

Specifically, he said the governor of Adamawa State, Jibrilla Bindow would not quit the party along with Atiku, adding that no serious member of the party would take the risk of leaving APC at this stage.

“It is going to be difficult, nobody is going to follow Atiku anywhere. You can be sure that no one is following Atiku to leave the party.

“That is not to say that we would not have the normal political realignment associated with Nigerian politics but we are unlikely to see an exodus of people following the former vice-president out of APC,” he said.

On what he thought of aggrieved members of the ruling party who had complained of being ignored or marginalised, Ettah said none of those complaining could equate their plight to those of the members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC who had toiled for the success of the party since 2015 but have nothing to show for it in terms of patronage.

“Look, I always tell people that we are all affected by the situation. Now take the members of the NWC, for instance, what benefits have come to them?

“As the people who sacrificed and defied all odds to ensure victory for the party, a feat in the political history of Nigeria, who defeated an incumbent to take over power, what do we have to show for it?” he asked.

However, despite the confidence expressed by the leadership of the APC, some of its stalwarts have cried out to Buhari to urgently do something to deflect a possible exodus of party men.

Following last week’s exit of Atiku from the APC, concerned party loyalists had expressed concern that if nothing was done to improve on their plight, they might be encouraged to defect.

But a top party source said yesterday that the presidency has acceded to their demands to sort out the board and ministerial appointments, and that it was acting swiftly to mitigate the possible impact their grievances could have in the wake of Atiku’s resignation.

He disclosed that the visit of the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (APC), Boss Mustapha to the leadership of the party was part of the efforts aimed at stemming revolt in the ruling party.

The source said Buhari has directed the SGF to go and consult the party on how best to ensure that the next batch of appointments addresses some of the grievances.

During the meeting with the SGF, THISDAY gathered that the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun took time to discuss some of the petitions that had been piling on his table concerning complaints over neglect in federal appointments.

Buhari at the last meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party had also promised to address complaints of marginalisation by party men from parts of the country over federal appointments.

He had said he would set up a committee to review the modalities for selecting those that will fill the outstanding appointments to boards of parastatals and federal agencies.

The president also promised to expand the size of his cabinet by appointing key party men as ministers.

But even as the APC appeared confident that it had an edge over Atiku owing to the power rotation principle in the country, loyalists of the former vice-president informed THISDAY that they were not unaware of the permutations for 2019 and that their principal has no intention of serving for more than one term in office should be win the presidential election.

“The Waziri Adamawa has no intention of doing more than one term in office and he intends to declare this publicly so that Nigerians will hold him to his promise.

“He is very aware of the power rotation principle in the country; he knows that should he not keep to his promise, he will be swept away by the electorate in the same manner as former President Goodluck President who failed to keep to his promise to only serve out the remainder of late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s terms.

“Besides, by our calculations, he (Atiku) will be 76 years old by the 2023 elections and the last thing Nigerians will want and should accept is someone trying to re-contest for a second term at that age. He should be ready to move on and ensure that a successor emerges from the South,” a source close to the former vice-president revealed.

Credit: Thisday