MY PERSONS OF THE YEAR 2015

Having awarded the bloggers of the year , I’m now gonna award the personalities worthy of award and emulation this year through worthy roles, worthy of emulation. One of them is surprisingly an enigmatic journalist. Another is a hard working but honest lady of worthy character. I’ve always advocated that national awards shouldn’t be given to politicians and famous people only but also to worthy characters irrespective their low cadres like tailors, cleaners, road side mechanics, caterers/cooks, taxi men, okada riders, clean journalists, vulganizers etc, in fact ordinary people.
Without much talk,let’s see those who have the awards this year :

1. Josephine Agwu: She is a toilet cleaner who works at the Lagos Airport and earns #7,800 monthly but found $28,000 and other foreign currencies worth #12m in a toilet. She had an opportunity to steal this money and “better” herself. Rather she returned the money to the authorities to look for the rightful owner! What a worthy character worthy of emulation. And that’s not the first time she’s done that. She endured jeers and mocks from her colleagues and others who deemed her action foolish.
Her employers then increased her salary from #7,800 to #15,000 ( Chai! Still below minimum wage). She was also honoured by the Lagos state house of assembly.
Honesty pays and a good name is better than stolen wealth. Qudos to her.

2. Anas Aremeyaw Anas : This is a Ghanaian journalist who shook the whole of Ghana with his shocking revelations. He had gone undercover to reveal corrupt practices of many magistrates and judges who pervert justice after collecting gratification. About three months ago, his work changed the course of Ghanaian history when he released an anti-corruption film called Ghana in the Eyes of God, Epic of Injustice. Released in late September, Anas’ new three-hour documentary has led to the shocking suspension and later sack of many High Court judges and 22 lower court judges secretly filmed in an alleged judicial bribery and corruption scandal which Anas investigated for about two years.

Money, sex, yams and even a goat were among the alleged pay-offs. In exchange, many robbers, murderers, drug dealers, rapists and others allegedly received shortened sentences or went free. He still maintains his cover as he refused to open his face while testifying against them. People rarely see his face. Even when he gives public talks about his work or receives awards, he hides it.

This is an important lesson for journalists, who rather than make great investigations rather publish lies, half-truths or beer palour gists as news. No wonder Nigerian journalists are that cheap, they can be bought with as little as spaghetti and noodles. I hope @George Onmonya Daniel is taking notes.

3. Prof. Attahiru Jega : The former INEC chair needs no introduction. The vibrant former ASUU chairman spent 5 years as INEC chair from 2010 to 2015 and conducted 2 general elections (the 1st to achieve that) that’s been seen as the best general elections conducted by CIVILLIANS in the 4th Republic. His elections have been seen as fairer than his predecessors. His role in conducting a transparent elections this year cannot be underemphasized. He survived many attempts to prematurely and illegally remove him including a gun pointed at his head. He’s an enigma worthy of emulation. He was calm even with Godsday Orubebe’s calculated attempt to scatter coalation of results. He conducted credible elections that made the incumbent lose, even freely and voluntarily throwing in the towel. Jega’s integrity and doggedness is great.

4. President.Muhammadu Buhari. He needs no introduction. He defied all odds this year defeating the incumbent with a newly formed party of about a year ( the APC ) to defeat and floor the incumbent on his 4th attempt. Many people had held wrong notions about the man including being a certificateless illiterate and a sponsor of terrorists but he swept that away like a wind blows off dust, to re-establish the truth about himself. Qudos must be given to the Buhari campaign team especially his online media team for a great campaign work for him.
He’s the Abraham Lincoln of Nigeria and has shown persistence pays. Yes, he met a lot of mess in the system, so much rot that he ever imagined but he’s gradually repairing Nigeria slowly and steadily. The road to change may be long and rough but Nigerians will get there sooner or later.

5. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi: Popularly called the Lion of the Niger Delta. The former 2 term speaker and 2 term governor of Rivers State and DG of Buhari campaign organisation. A man who tortured and taunted PDP,being a thorn in their flesh and bringing them to their knees with tears in their eyes, eating even humble pie and saw dust. He hasn’t lost a political battle till date.

Amaechi may not be a saint but, never pick a fight with him, you will lose. If you join him, you will be a winner. If you oppose him, he will destroy you. Many have tried. Former Governors Peter Odili and Celestine Omehia and the then seemingly powerful PDP faction tried and failed. Former President Goodluck Jonathan tried and failed as well. Honorables Evans Bipi, Ihunwo and AIG Mbu of the Nigerian Police force also tried and failed.
The One they call Mama Peace also tried failed most woefully. Akpabio and all the PDP Senators also tried, they all failed .

Also, This Man is unstoppable. The Hands of the God must be strong in his life. He is the Slayer of Wailers. The Lion of the Niger Delta, A one man Army. What he sets his mind to he achieves.

For those who don’t understand the meaning of “Chibuike”, it means “THE LORD IS HIS STRENGTH”.
Whom God has blessed, no man can curse.

6. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He’s a former two term governor of Lagos, the national leader of APC and a political godfather. He needs no introduction. I do not admire Tinubu because he is a saint.Every human is fallible. I admire Tinubu because he saved Nigeria from the danger of falling into “one party state”. He has nurtured many renowned national successors. He strategically terminated PDP 60 years life spam in 16 years. The robust critic and critique we are enjoying today is because Tinubu aligned himself to the masses to return the power to them. Tinubu had the option of joining the PDP elites to hold us hostage for another decade but he gave his all to the masses to dethrone the elites. Political juveniles believed that APC won because of the votes from the North. No!!!, APC victory was cemented the day PMB and Tinubu resolved to work together. . An average PDP man is sad with Asiwaju because he brought them to their knees.
Qudos to the Jagaban of Nigeria and Asiwaju of Africa.

El-Zakzaky, Buratai and the Zaria crisis of Dec 13/14 2015 and hypocrisy of Nigerians:  Why the avoidable carnage?

I have not been silent over this issue but have spoken in the past,but yet will still speak again. I took time and watched the video on you-tube, where for more than 10 minutes where Nigeria’s army chief (COAS) Lieut.Gen Tukur Buratai, a number one target of Boko Haram took the risk and begged some Shiites having a programme that blocked the Kaduna-Zaria highway to give way but they vehemently refused to leaved the road for him and his entourage.

Now tell me, what type of country are we where a religion sect like the Shiites block the highway and are not ready to move even after many entreaties to them. A country where soldiers currently fighting BH has to beg another religious sect before they can move? Tell me whether this can happen in IRAN and even any other countries sympathetic to these Shiite muslims?

Would they leave the road if they were to be mad cows or lions? I don’t think it’s ideal for an army chief to be begging some civilians who illegally blocked the road without any government permit, to allow him access for vehicular movement for right of way. Nobody in his/her right senses should engage armed soldiers in any confrontation. How on earth would you support the fact that the COAS should have taken another route to his destination? Its an insult on the military. top brass officers who were in the COAS convoy got down to plead with them to clear the way,yet they blatantly refused. A lawless group that doesn’t recognise or respect our state now asking for human rights?

It is absolutely wrong to prevent the military from moving at this time. This is war time. Allowing the Chief of Army Staff to pass will not stop their prayers from being answered. Are they not praying for Nigeria too? Nigeria is fighting terror at this time. Our military moves with precision, while trying to live above humiliation suffered under Jonathan when their arms money was shared, leading to the death of many soldiers thru boko haram, some worshippers took the tense situation in the country for granted. There is no where in the world, talkless of war areas, where military will be so humiliated. I put the blame on Shiites and their leaders.

So what some people expected was for Buratai to turned back to where he was coming from, like they did to Kaduna’s former governor Ramalan Yero or former VP Namadi Sambo? If the Shia members had succeeded in harming or killing the COAS, the same folks who are condemning the Army would have taken over the social media to jubilate and mock the Nigerian Army, just as they did when they circulated their fabricated story of the “kidnap” of about 100 Nigerian soldiers by Boko Haram.

They refused all entrities to disperse and allegedly started firing and pelting the convoy with dangerous objects. Few of the sect members went into the bush and tried to sneak up on the COAS while he was out of the vehicle pleading with the sect members. Eyewitnesses stated that the sect members that tried to sneak up on the COAS from behind, had petrol bomb and machetes. This angered the military and they opened fire to clear the crowd and drive the COAS to safety, then they came back to take on the sect members in a bid to arrest their leader.

It is a pity that some hypocrites have forgotten how a group of miscreants who called themselves Omatse cult group sometime ago slaughtered about 100 policemen and DSS operatives in a single attack in Nassarawa State. The shiites were going about what they called “Peaceful Procession and Prayers”, what were they doing with machetes and petrol bombs? Are those weapons part of worship? This is a lesson for all, we don’t have to be stubborn where only wisdom is required. If Boko Haram attacked them on that day, won’t they disperse? Describing the sect as defenseless civilians or innocent citizens on peaceful protest was a misnomer giving the fact that they were armed, barricaded the road and were set for the worst.

You can watch the video here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSR0CYszvaU

For Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, with a reputation as a firebrand Shiite muslim preacher and large following, Zaria, Kaduna State is not just a home-town, it has also been a war zone. When the fiery cleric was not being confronted by the university administration that denied him a first class for his Islamic activities, military and para-military troops are hounding him for his iconoclastic conduct and radical views about statecraft and religion.

Zakzaky has a trajectory filled with warfare. A veteran of 10 jail houses – from Kaduna, Enugu, Port Harcourt to Kirikiri, among others – in the country, he has been a sworn enemy of the system since his student days at the Ahmadu Bello University where he was a leader of a radical segment of the Muslim Students Society. For his fundamentalism and the violence that erupted while he led the MSS in ABU, Zakyzaky, meaning “Man of Zaria” who was coasting home to a First Class Honours degree in Economics at the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1979 had the degree withheld by the university authorities.

His fall-back positions have always been his three million-man strong Shiite followership, his international allies, including many leaders in the Middle East and effervescent touch with world events and understanding of the dynamics and manipulation of local politics. Believed to be violent by critics and the security forces that have challenged him, the man fondly called Mualim (Teacher) by his followers acquiesced sarcastically: “Our weapon is positive reasoning, truth and good conduct.”

His sect members have been found out to hold cudgels, knives and pestles “for self defence” each time they conduct road shows or sessions in the ancient city of Zaria and its environs. Not a few agreed that the Shiite movement which he leads is harmless and unassuming. Followers of Zakzaky only ascribe their leader’s crime to his truthful but acerbic rhetoric. Could this engender unrest if not expeditiously curtailed?

Like other ideological groups or sects, the Shiite’s might comes from abroad. Expectedly, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani pulled repeated calls across to President Muhammadu Buhari asking him to set up an investigation into the skirmishes. He also summoned the head of the Nigerian diplomatic mission in Tehran to protest against the clashes and ask that Shiite Muslims be protected. This shows that susceptibility of internal crisis to powerful foreign forces in any future disputes.

The internationalisation of the crisis also ominously signposts how self-styled leaders benefit from a system that does not work. From Abubakar Shekau of Boko Haram, to Nnamdi Kanu of Biafra to Asari Dokubo, of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, and now Ibrahim Zakzaky, these rebels are growing in influence.

Inasmuchas I agree that the military over reacted by also going later that night to arrest and kill in cold blood El Zakzaky’s supporters, even later destroying their mosque and residences and shrine, this situation was absolutely preventable. If the shiites hadn’t courted trouble on the road, none of these would have happened. Don’t the Shiites under El-Zakzaky have a history of violence?

A friend once told me that when a man knows the penalty of an offence and still go ahead to commit it, he/she must be ready to bear the brunt of his misdemeanor. Sympathy will be scanty or nonexistent. Let Christians do what they did in Iran and see what will suffice. The Iranians who are protesting should tell themselves the truth.

El-Zakzaky’s supporters reaped what they sowed. Remember that he who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind. He who sows trouble, will reap wahala. Like Fela sang ” Trouble sleep, yanga man go wake am up, wetin e dey find? Palaver, e go get! Wahala e go get o! Cat sleep mice come bite his tail, wetin e dey find? Palaver e dey find! wahala e go get o!”

The military’s actions were CORRECT, Very CORRECT. The Nigerian Army has through their actions against El-Zakzaky boys sent a clear warning to the whole world that it will not tolerate any assault or attack on the Army by any group of miscreants who go by whatever name in any part of the country.

Primate Elijah Ayodele Unveils His Prediction For 2016

The year 2016 is coming and with it many prophecies from respected men of God.
The founder of INRI Evangel­ical Spiritual Church, Lagos, Primate Elijah Ayodele, has unveiled his prophecies for coming year in an interview with the Sun News.

Primate Elijah Ayodele Unveils His Prediction For 2016

Nigeria is currently facing many challenges. The deadly Boko Haram insurgency that Buhari’s government is said to have crushed, the upsurge in pro-Biafra agitation, corruption and many other political battles.

Read below the top 14 prophecies from the prominent cleric:

1. Nigerians should not expect President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve much in the anti-corruption war as the whole effort will backfire as several notable people who are close to him will be indicted and thereby tie his hands such that he will not make progress.

2. Buhari’s administration will have more problems by removing the oil subsidy. If care is not taken, we are going to buy fuel at N200 per litre. The removal of oil subsidy will spur militant youths to damage pipelines to steal products for sale.

3. Nigeria army will not be able to defeat Boko Haram if the air force is not fully involved. They can only defeat the insurgents with combined air and ground assaults and using satellites to target their leaders.

4. People in the south west and south south must be careful because the Boko Haram will infiltrate these areas. The insurgents will still carry out more suicide bomb attacks in Plateau and Abuja.

5. If the All Progressives Congress is not careful, the party will crack. Also if the PDP does not go back to beg the founding fathers, the party may not recover, because some PDP governors will flee to the APC.

6. A northern party will emerge. CPC is not yet over. A group from the north will recreate the CPC with a northern person in charge. APC as it is now will have problems if they are not careful. APC and PDP need a lot of prayers.

7. More political parties will be registered. Not all House of Assembly speakers will finish their terms. It is only prayers that will make the Taraba woman to go back to that seat.

8. Seriake Dickson has to pray very well to retain his seat.

9. The Halliburton case will come up again.

10. In probing Jonathan, Buhari will end up shooting himself in the leg. What I mean by that is that as he tries to trouble Jonathan, it will cause problems. He will only be able to hit corruption, but will not make much impact. In the process of the corruption battle, some people who are close to Buhari will be indicted. That is why I said that Buhari will shoot himself in the leg.

11. Buhari will make efforts to make Nigeria better, but his efforts will be frustrated by a cabal in his government. He will step on many toes, but that would frustrate his administration the more.

12. Buhari must not overlook Biafra. He should dialogue with them. He must not hold dialogue with Boko Haram. If he does it, he will destroy his administration. Nigeria will face a lot of agitations by different groups. His government should not see these predictions as doom messages, but as a warning and follow the advice appropriately.

13. NFF will have crisis. If our club sides play very well they might win a cup. They have to be motivated or they might not perform well. Government efforts to alleviate poverty will not be easy, fruitful. I see a lot of crises: Kanuri-Fulani crisis, Hausa-Fulani crisis. We should pray against massive fish poisoning in the river.

14. Atiku should seek the face of God very well because some people want to create trouble around him and destabilize his political machinery.

#2015InReview: 16 Events That Shook Nigeria In 2015

Year 2015 is just a few days away from winding down, but memories from events that took place throughout the year still linger in the minds of Nigerians.

These events have shaped Nigerians’ perception about how successful or terrible the year has been for them, especially with the tension associated to this year’s general elections which presented President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s newly-elected democratic leader.

From election campaigns to hate speeches by opposition parties, to the confusion surrounding the demise of the immediate past Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade Okunade to the unusual ‘phone call’ made by ousted president Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat, as well as the re-emergence of pro-Biafran protests, Naij.com has made a comprehensive compilation for Nigerians to reminisce in no particular order.

1. Fayose’s Buhari ‘death’ advert

The 2015 pre-election took a new twist when on Monday, January 19, 2015, The Punch newspaper published a ‘death’ advert on Buhari which was clearly sponsored by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state.

The advert, which was also placed on the front page of Daily Sun, showed a representation of past northern Nigerian leaders who met their demise as the head of state.

The advert placed in The Punch by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state.

The advert was meant to warn Nigerians on the purported dangers of voting Buhari, a 72-year-old aspirant (at the time), who may no see through his tenure as the leader of Nigeria.

Nigerians all over the world soon condemned the governor’s act, slamming him for being to extreme with the level of campaign against the opposition.

2. Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo tears PDP membership card

Nigerians were stunned on Monday, February 16, 2015, when former president Olusegun Obasanjo rejected the PDP and ordered that his membership card be shred in pieces during a meeting with some of his followers in his ward.

Footage of the event showed that the PDP membership card was torn into pieces on the orders of the former president as he announced to his followers that he was no longer interested in being a member of the then ruling party.

 

“If you people’s worry is that I’m a card-carrying member of the party and I’m not showing you people direction and you are worried that I’m neither here nor there, this is the card; you can keep it, you can burn it or you can tear it, do whatever you want to do with it,” Obasanjo, a former Military ruler, was quoted to have said before the chairman of his former ward, Sarajudeen Oladunjoye, decided to tear the card.

But in explaining the reason for his action, Obasanjo informed that, “They were concerned that I had only one leg in the party, and worried that since I’m their leader in the ward, they need to hear from me.”

3. Pre-election hate speeches

Prior to the 2015 general elections, the country witnessed series of hate speeches by opposing political parties, especially between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Because the then ruling PDP seemed to be pensive over the possibility of relinquishing power to the APC, their party members engaged in series of hate speeches against the opposition, most notably, Dame Patience Jonathan, who championed the campaign in several parts of the country.

Patience Jonathan says President Buhari is brain dead.

At a point during the heated campaign sessions, she regarded President Muhammadu Buhari as being ‘brain dead’ and subsequently asked Nigerians to stone anyone who mentioned APC.

“Wetin him dey find again? Him dey drag with him pikin mate. Old man wey no get brain, him brain don die pata pata,” she was quoted to have said during a campaign rally help in Kogi state.

4. Emergence of President Buhari

In spite of all the hate speeches, ads and intrigues that preceded the presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari was on March 28, 2015 elected as Nigeria’s next president for the next four years.

Buhari polled a total of 15,424,921 votes as against Jonathan’s 12,853,162 as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, while announcing the official results of the election.

His election was a milestone in many regards as he became the first president to unseat a sitting president via electoral process.

President Muhammadu Buhari

The emergence of the new president was also widely believed to have been orchestrated by the APC party leaders, especially its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom many perceived to have fought vigorously against the hate speeches which would have otherwise reduced their chances of ‘survival’ at the polls.

Buhari’s emergence gave Nigerians a glimmer of hope that their votes could count whenever they feel displeased about any political office holder and can decide what they want.

5. Former Kogi’s state governor Abubakar Audu’s death

To some, the death of Audu Abubakar, the All Progressives Congress’ gubernatorial candidate in Kogi, is still some sort of a dream. Quite a lot of people cannot still figure out how a man will die just at the verge of his victory; thus, making his crowd of supporters wail instead of dancing to the song of victory with him.

Former Kogi state governor, Abubakar Audu, before his demise

68-year-old Audu had thrice tried to go back to the government house in his hometown after occupying it twice. He was relentless and determined to go back to the coveted position. This made him jump in when there was an opportunity to do so during primaries which he emerged the winner in his party.

But the inevitable came, just on the day of his victory! While some relatives claimed he was poisoned, some said he had a heart attack. He died November 22, 2015.

6. Former president Goodluck Jonathan’s call to Buhari

One of the surprises that rocked Nigeria in 2015 was Goodluck Jonathan’s display of humility, simplicity and the spirit of sportsmanship in the process the presidential election. Although many were of the opinion that his body language from the beginning gave many Nigerians the impression that he was not likely to concede the defeat.

Buhari receiving Jonathan’s call shortly before Buhari was proclaimed the winner of the 2015 presidential election

Jonathan put aside his manly ego and he called Buhari, congratulating his opponent over his victory in the election. This exemplary and historic act got many marveled as numerous ‘study’ had suggested the tearing apart of the country due to the chaos that the election might herald. However international accolades and commendations concerning the former president’s rare display of political maturity and gentlemanliness has gotten him numerous recommendations since he handed over in May 29.

7. Bayelsa’s former governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha’s death

In September 2005, the then governor of Bayelsa state Diepreye Alamieyeseigha jumped bail from the United Kingdom back to Nigeria. Alamieyeseigha returned to Nigeria dressed as a woman in order to deceive the airport authorities.

On July 30, 2007, he was given a two-year jail term by a federal high court judge in Lagos following his prosecution on corruption and money laundering charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He was later granted a presidential pardon by the former president Goodluck Jonathan in March 2013, despite being wanted by the UK government.

Diepreye Alamieyeseigha

The news of the death of Alameisegha, who was popularly known as “Governor-General of Ijaw Nation” was welcomed with mixed reactions. This is because it came at a time when the British government announced the continuity of the politician’s abandoned trial in London. While a quarter claimed he slipped into a coma two days before his death and was placed on life support, Esueme Dan-Kikili, the Bayelsa state commissioner for information, said the former governor died of cardiac arrest.

And family sources said Alamieyeseigha suddenly fell ill in his hometown in Ammassoma township of Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa and was rushed to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, where he died at age 62. May his soul rest in perfect peace!

8. The election drama between former INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega and former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe

One of the most controversial tale of 2015 election is the drama that ensued at the Independent National Electoral Commission collation centre, Abuja. Professor Attahiru Jega was verbally attacked by Elder Godsday Orubebe, an official of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who accused the INEC chairman of siding with the APC.

Godsday Orubebe, a former minister of the federal republic of Nigeria caused a stir when he hurled barrage of accusations at the INEC Chairman, alleging that Jega was doing a disservice to the nation by being partisan in a bid to ensure PDP loses in the presidential election. He went further to call Jega a tribalistic, selective and partial fellow.

9. Patience Jonathan’s Many Rants

The popularity of Nigeria’s former first lady, Patience Jonathan, stretches far beyond her being the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Ask a number of Nigerians about the comments of Dame Patience in 2015 and you might just have won yourself a ‘laughing gas lottery’. This is because some of the comments of the former first lady came out really funny!

Dame Patience is always by the side of her spouse. She is always supportive, agitating Nigerians, and women of the country in particular, to believe in GEJ. Still, it seems that the former first lady, who can be characterized as quite an emotional person, crossed the line of what is taken as acceptable in politics (and society).

Before and during the general elections, Mrs. Jonathan dropped several statements that have been tagged as seriously controversial. Below are a few of her controversial comments:

a. “The PDP is a party that talks less and does more, unlike the APC that tells new lies every week. When you catch them today, they will tell another lie tomorrow. We (PDP) do not tell you about change because we are not bus conductors that ask for change.”

b. “Anybody that come and tell you change, stone that person. Anybody that come and tell you he will change, stone that person.”

c. “Wetin him dey find again? Him dey drag with him pikin mate. Old man wey no get brain, him brain don die pata pata.” (Referring to Buhari). You can read more of her outlandish rants here.

10. Dangote’s suspected involvement in Radisson Hotel in Mali

It was sad enough to know that gunmen who were suspected to be terrorists attacked Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako, on Friday, November 20 and about 170 are being held hostage. The story became sourer when a foreign news medium reported that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, was at the venue of attack.

All thanks to social media as the business mogul quickly took to his social pages to debunk the news of him being among the people held hostage. Although he was at the venue a day before the attack, he left Mali same day and was safely in his office at the Union Marble house in Lagos, Nigeria during the sad attack.

10. Linda Ikeji’s multi-million naira mansion

Up till now, tongues are still wagging as to how Nigeria’s most popular blogger, Linda Ikeji, could have gotten such a huge money to acquire that kind of property in high-brow Banana Island in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Linda chilling inside her massive mansion

Talking about the new house on her twitter page, the celebrity blogger tweeted: “my house is not N450m…where did y’all get that from? It’s over N500m. And thanks for all the kind words. Love to you all.” Ms Ikeji is known for her rags to riches story, hence, the argument over how blogging business alone could have been her only source of income. But to burst the bubbles of Thomases, she went further to say she has never in her life slept with a man for money, and it was only blogging that brought her that far!

Even when she was ‘bad-mouthed’ towards the end of the year for allegedly collecting money from a certain politician, she still came out to clear herself. We can clearly say Linda Ikeji is one of our top women of the year!

11. Emergence of Mama Taraba as the the first female governor in Nigeria

Aisha Alhassan also known as Mama Taraba is one who should be  called a pacesetter! Against all odds, she was declared the winner of the April 11 governorship election in Taraba state, thus making her Nigeria’s first female governor-elect.

This is first of its kind and this got numerous Nigerians surprised. This was after a Taraba state governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja nullified the election of Governor Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

12. Toke Makinwa’s husband, Maje Ayida, impregnates another woman

Just 18-months-old after getting married, news made rounds about Maje Ayide, the husband of popular Nigerian radio personality, television host and vlogger, Toke Makinwa, impregnating an old time lover.

Toke Makinwa and Maje Ayida.

The 30-year-old social media-active woman got married to her on and off boyfriend, Maje Ayida(who is also a health instructor) in a surprise wedding in 2014. The wedding, came as a surprise to many because it happened at a time when every onlooker taught they might be parting away.

But 18 months down the line, a totally shocking one hit the news page! Maje Ayida impregnated his former girlfriend, Anita Solomon and she was said to have gone to the UK to deliver their baby. Anita is partly a Lebanese and partly Calabar. Anita is also a lawyer who runs a beauty salon in Calabar. Ayida and Anita have been in a relationship for the past 8 years but broke off briefly when he got married to Toke.

Though the media does not exactly know what is presently going on between the couple, there are strong indications that they are back together after the Maje publicly apologized on Instagram and also called her his wife on her birthday recently.

13. The Return of Biafra Agitation

When radio station named Radio Biafra started operations from an unknown location in Rivers state, it got many panicked. The station is said to have just one radio personality named “Director,” and he often refers to listeners as “the indigenous people of Biafra.” The conversations on the radio programme was back to back tirades against the current government of the federal republic of Nigeria, and raw undiluted anti-semitic messages were targeted at the Yorubas and Hausas.

Although the director of the radio station, Nnamdi Kanu, has been arrested and has had to face the court of law countless times, protests in and outside Nigeria are a great pointer that the followership of the Biafra dream has gone so far. The radio is presently not transmitting.

14. Dasuki’s Trial

When retired Nigerian Army Colonel Sambo Dasuki was  appointed National Security Adviser (NSA) to former President Goodluck Jonathan on June 22, 2012, little did he know what was awaiting him.

Former NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki

On December 1, 2015, Dasuki was arrested by Nigeria’s State Security Service (SSS) for allegedly stealing $2bn and accused of awarding phantom contracts to buy 12 helicopters, four fighter jets, and ammunition meant for the Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram Islamist militants.

The Dasuki has led to numerous sub-dramas that implicated many high and might in the Nigerian political and media world. The former NSA even spent 2015 Christmas day in Kuje prison as he was given bail conditions the fear of EFCC did not allow any civil servant be his guarantor.

15. Ooni of Ife’s death

One of Nigeria’s prominent ruler, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade died in a London hospital and quite a lot of people did not believe the news. At a point, there were rejoinders saying the king did not die and that ‘kings don’t die’. However, after few days of hullabaloo, it was reported that Oba Sijuwade was truly dead and preparations were in top gear to bury him.

The new ooni of ife, Prince Adeyeye Ogunwusi

After months of going back and forth among the ruling houses of Ife, a relatively young king, that is well-read, Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, was announced as the new Ooni of Ife by the Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola. Aside from looking good, the 40-year-old is a great dresser with so many other things which are a plus for a traditional king. He is also a big time entrepreneur with stakes in top Nigerian companies. He has a wife and they are blessed with just one child, who recently graduated from a foreign university.

16. Diezani’s $20b allegations, cancer surgery

Diezani-Alison-Madueke

Former Nigerian pretroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, was arrested in London in October on suspicion of bribery and money laundering. She has allegedly gone to the UK to seek treatment for breast cancer. After she was released on bail, Alison-Madueke decided to go home and visit a Lagos-based controversial preacher, TB Joshua.

Do you remember any major event that shook Nigeria? You can join the discussion in the comment section!

Boko Haram attacks: Which way Nigeria?

I’m not happy posting this but I think I greatly under rated Boko Haram and over rated Buhari’s capacity to deal with Boko Haram without considering so many factors. Not that I wasn’t warned by now #WailingWailers but I dismissed their arguments with a wave of the hand.
I thot Buhari will cut thru Boko Haram within 3 or 4 months the way hot knife cuts through butter. I thot by now he’ll have crushed and annihilated Boko Haram the way he did in a few months to Maitatsine in 1984. How wrong was I ? Maybe I was hasty in judgement or overzealous for Buhari.
The factors that made him crush,no annihilate Maitatsine isn’t there anymore. Idiagbon isn’t there nor Abacha or IBB. There’s so much rot in the army thru scumbags like Dasuki and members of the former govt led by GEJ who were rather interested in selfish interests and looting the country dry than properly equipping the military to defeat Boko Haram.

Buhari met a lot of rot on the ground similar to,but far worser(sic) than he met with Shagari’s govt. To make matters worse, Boko Haram is more technologically advanced than Maitatsine with use of modern advance gadgets like IEDs, RPGs, tanks, rocket launchers, GPMGs, anti tank and anti aircraft missiles amongst others. They have even affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and later ISIS for synergy and advanced aid and it shows? Abubakar Shekau and his plethora of clones are more advanced than Mohammed “Maitatsine” Marwa and Musa Mechainiki.

Chibok girls are still missing after 7mths of Buhari’s reign? I’m sure George Onmonya, Portia Anthony and Kemi Elechi with a plethora of others must be laffing their asses now. We told u, didn’t we? But who will save us from Boko Haram?

God Almighty will arise and save us one day from these blood sucking vampires. It won’t be forever. Buhari has seriously undermined and destroyed Boko Haram. Gone are the days they controlled 3 states. Now they control just 3 local govts or less and no longer control territories but just do sporadic attacks to give a feeling of being alive but are almost dead,like the last reflex bite of a dying snake.

I still trust in president Buhari’s ability to crush Boko Haram finally. I can still follow him to battle blindfolded. He has my trust. The fact I’m saying this doesn’t mean I’m brainwashed. I’m only saying reality. We still have more to do and pray for Boko Haram to be vanquished.

– Nostra II

Why Nigerians can’t use their bank debit cards outside the country anymore

The story of how Nigeria’s then Central Bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, in August 2009, shook up the local banking establishment is well told. He bailed out five banks and dismissed their chief executives and introduced reforms like capping the duration a bank boss could stay in office to ten years.

But something else happened as a result of his intervention—the centre of gravity of retail banking in Nigeria quietly shifted. The sudden realization that some of Nigeria’s banks were effectively insolvent triggered a kind of flight to safety. The banks which were untouched by ‘Hurricane Sanusi’ became very safe in the eyes of customers.
The most upwardly mobile and footloose Nigerians bank with names like GTBank, StanbicIBTC, First Bank, Diamond Bank and Access Bank these days. They go on holidays to Dubai, shop in London and take their kids to Disney World in Florida now and again. Unlike, say, the UK where the idea of travel money is cultural, Nigerians over the years have come to rely on their debit cards anytime they are outside Nigeria. The exchange rates are generally decent so as long as you have naira in your linked account,it’s always more convenient to pay for things in Debenhams with your bank card.

At times it feels like Central Bank is determined to burn down the village in a bid to save it

There’s also the coterie of Nigerians who run a variety of web-based businesses that require them to pay for things like server space and web hosting in Europe or America on an ongoing basis. Many of these people use their debit cards to make payments online.

This is all well and good when it works but right now all the major banks are dealing with the same problem at the moment.
Nigeria is running against strong economic headwinds right now with oil prices below $40 and foreign reserves below $30 billion—enough to pay for maybe six months of imports at most. The Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, has introduced ‘demand management’ in response to the challenges he’s faced with. In practice, this means stifling demand for foreign exchange by declaring certain imports unworthy of expending Nigeria’s precious foreign reserves.
Certain things have been discouraged from importation with the country’s foreign reserves—toothpicks, some types of steel, wheelbarrows, even Indian incense. This is effectively a ban if the importer doesn’t already have their own foreign currency in banks abroad or under a pillow somewhere. This has been accompanied by nationalist rhetoric about how Nigeria shouldn’t be importing things it can produce. If you can’t access foreign currency through official channels, you are left with no choice but to use the black market at much higher rates. At times, it does feel like the Central Bank is determined to burn down the village in a bid to save it.
International nightmare

So what does this have to do with the retail banks named above? They have been hit hard by the demand management policy. Buying dollars from the Central Bank to settle international payments for their customers is a nightmare these days. The banks typically don’t have many customers who export—mirroring the wider Nigerian economy which depends on oil for the vast majority of its forex earnings.
All of a sudden, having so many upwardly mobile and jet setting customers is not that much fun anymore for the banks. Almost on a daily basis, people have been getting emails from their banks telling them the daily or monthly or annual limit dollar spend on their debit cards have been adjusted—almost always downwards.

Stories abound of Nigerians who travelled abroad and when they tried to settle their hotel bill, their cards were declined.

Stories abound of people who travelled abroad and when they tried to settle their hotel bill, their cards were declined. As at last week, some banks were sending emails saying the daily spend had been reduced to $100. It is hard to find any bank that allows more than $300 per day spend now. One friend who needed to make a business payment online for $1,800 had to plead with the supplier to allow them pay $300 per day over 6 days as a workaround.

All of this desperation is also encouraging people to come up with all sorts of daring ways to get their hands on foreign currency. One example is that of people travelling out of the country with as many debit cards as they can lay their hands on. These cards are then used to make withdrawals at the ATM and taken back to Nigeria. In October, a man was caught with 108 debit cards trying to leave the country through the international airport in Lagos. Just a few days ago, this time in Kano, another man was caught trying to leave with more than 800 debit cards. One has to assume others have managed to get through.
There will be fewer Nigerians than usual shopping in Dubai over the holidays this year.(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
As I live in the UK, nearly everyday I get a request from someone in Nigeria asking to swap naira for pound sterling. But there is a limit to how much naira anyone wants as the currency is not convertible. Further, everyone assumes another devaluation will happen sooner rather than later. Why hold naira?
All of this has greatly added to the economic uncertainty since the new government of president Muhammadu Buhari took office in May. Nigerians have also been dealing with fuel queues for months on end now. Stress levels are very high, to put it mildly.
The latest comments by Emefiele suggest that, far from easing the restrictions, he is going to double down and shut down what he has decided to be ‘illegitimate’ demand for scarce foreign exchange.
The bank’s rhetoric often sounds like Nigerians are being blamed for having the nerve to buy things not made in Nigeria.

Most Nigerians intuitively understand that the country is in a pretty bad place as a result of walking into the oil price crash practically naked with no national savings. Nigerians are also a resilient people who will make adjustments if they need to. They have not turned on president Buhari yet. They know he got dealt a bad economic hand.
Yet, a lot of this feels like needless suffering. The rhetoric that has accompanied the restrictions often sounds like Nigerians are being blamed for having the nerve to buy things that are not made in Nigeria. To be clear, some of the things Nigerians import, on the face of it, look ridiculous. But they are almost always a response to an environment that can be extremely hostile to any kind of business. It also does not help that, based on ongoing corruption trials, when politicians steal public money, the first thing they almost always do is change it to foreign currency. It is sometimes difficult to figure out how much demand for foreign currencies is genuinely for productive purposes in that sense.
Free floating naira?

What to do? There are no easy answers. But it surely must be counterproductive to arbitrarily shutdown legitimate economic activity in the name of demand management. The more these restrictions go on, the more they open up gaps for corruption to flourish and for the well connected to game the system. History teaches us this – from Venezuela to Argentina where the new president, Mauricio Macri, is now drawing 12 years of ‘El Cepo’ to a close.

Nigeria has to earn its keep in other ways by producing things that other countries want that are not crude oil. This is obvious enough but by no means easy—infrastructure is terrible to non-existent and productivity will take time to build up. It is tempting to pray for oil prices to rise again to give the country some breathing space but it is more likely that the country will simply return to its old spendthrift ways.
Should foreign exchange be made available to people who simply want to go shopping and enjoy themselves in Dubai at a time when it is scarce? Asking questions like this leads to all sorts of dangerous places. What exactly is legitimate demand? How do you curb ‘illegitimate’ demand without hurting people who are genuinely trying to run their business?

The only answer to this is pricing. Freely floating the naira will allow the market determine what is the real value of the currency. But the political appetite for such a policy move is exactly zero. Politicians are just not going to accept that the currency is something they have no control over.

I fear that things may be this way for a while yet. And the longer it goes on, the more damage it will do to the economy and ordinary Nigerians. Will it be worth it?
*This story previously said Central Bank of Nigeria banned importation of certain items. These items were not banned but were included in a list deemed “not valid for foreign exchange at the Nigerian foreign exchange window.”

SOURCE: FEYI FAWEHINMI/QUARTZ

Why The Saudis Opened The Holy Ka’aba For Buhari In 1984

The Ka’aba is the holiest site in Islam. Muslims believe that it is the precise replica of God’s House on earth, a worldly representation of the Divine House in heaven. Also called Ka’aba Muazzama meaning the Grand Ka’aba, it is considered the House of God and doubles as the most sacred site in Islam anywhere in the world. Located at the very heart of the holiest mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Ka’aba has captured the imaginations of billions across the globe and for billions of Muslims, it is a passionate wish and desire to touch or even enter the Ka’aba, which they face five times a day. The cubical building is very rarely opened but in 1984, the Saudis opened it for Muhammadu Buhari to enter and pray in it. Then the military head of state and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Buhari was so warmly received by the Saudis that the memories of the visit still linger till date. This is the story of precisely what happened and the exclusive photos.

The Kaaba in the Masjid el Haram, Mecca, 2010.

THE HOLY OF HOLIES: The Kaaba in the Masjid el Haram, Mecca, 2010.

THE HOLY OF HOLIES: The Kaaba in the Masjid el Haram, Mecca, 2010

BACKGROUND TO THE VISIT

Buhari’s visit to the desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia in November 1984 was his very first visit outside Africa since taking over as the military head of state. He was in the country to observe his umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage). General Buhari had left Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, where he attended the 20th summit of the heads of state and government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

ARRIVING SAUDI ARABIA

On the night of Thursday, the 15th of November, General Buhari arrived at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah. The time was fifteen minutes past midnight. On hand to receive him was Prince Abdul Majid Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Governor of Mecca, Sheikh Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister and other high-ranking government officials.

VISITING MEDINA

Medina (Madinah) is the second holiest site in Islam as it contains the Prophet’s Mosque. The next day, Buhari offered his Friday Jumuat prayers in Medina at the Prophet’s Mosque. He was also taken round on a ziyarah (tour) of the holy mosque. He visited and offered prayers at the graveside of Prophet Muhammad and that of Caliphs Abubakar and Umar. While doing these, he was accompanied by Sheikh Zaki Yamani and his two kids – Faisal Yamani (aged 8) and Sharaf Yamani (aged 7) and the Muslim members of his entourage. Buhari was treated like a superstar in the kingdom and all his tours of the holy sites in Madinah were given a lot of publicity in the Saudi media with his photos splashed on all the newspapers and magazines. Everywhere he went, the red carpet was rolled out in his honour, all his paths were cleared by the police and enthusiastic crowds lined up the roads to wave to and welcome him. It was a grand affair.

BUHARI PRAYS IN SAUDI ARABIA: The Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (fifth from left) offering Asr prayers at Medina in Saudi Arabia. Leading the prayers is the Saudi Oil Minister, Sheikh Zaki Yamani. Second from the right is the Minister of External Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Gambari.

BUHARI PRAYS IN SAUDI ARABIA: The Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (fifth from left) offering Asr prayers at Medina in Saudi Arabia. Leading the prayers is the Saudi Oil Minister, Sheikh Zaki Yamani. Second from the right is the Minister of External Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Gambari. Behind them are four portraits of the past kings of Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the amazing reception and wonderful hospitality extended to the Nigerian leader, Sheikh Yamani said:

 

It manifests our respect and feelings towards Muhammadu Buhari’.

The Saudi government officially described the visit as a private one.

ENTERING THE KA’ABA, THE HOLY OF THE HOLIES

HISTORIC MOMENT: Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (left) stepping out of the Ka'aba after offering prayers.

HISTORIC MOMENT: Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (left) stepping out of the Ka’aba after offering prayers.

On a Friday, the 16th of November, 1984, a Nigerian was given a royal welcome in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, something more interesting happened when before a mesmerized 50,000 Muslim worshippers inside Islam’s holiest sanctuary, the massive golden doors of the Ka’aba were flung open. The excitement in the air was so thick one could cut through with a knife. A few people, very few people, were allowed to enter the Ka’aba and pray in it. One of them was the leader of the 82 million people of the West African nation of Nigeria: Major-General Muhammadu Buhari. In the Islamic calendar, that date was recorded as the 23rd of Safar, 1405 AH.

Buhari did not enter the Ka’aba alone. The Commander-in-Chief was followed by 26 members of his Muslim entourage. Some of them were Air Vice Marshal Usman Mu’azu, who was the military administrator of Kaduna State, Dr. Ibrahim Gambari, who was the minister of external affairs (now called foreign affairs), Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu, who was the Director-General of the Africa Department of the Ministry of External Affairs and others. General Buhari was also accompanied into the Ka’aba by Sheikh Zaki Yamani, who had been Saudi Arabia’s oil minister for 20 years at that time.

THE INTERPRETATION

The Ka’aba is very rarely opened, not more than twice a year, usually for cleaning. Very select dignitaries, foreign diplomats and figures and allowed to ever enter. It is a very exclusive privilege indeed. Thus, when the Saudis flung open the gates of Islam’s holiest site to the lanky Nigerian general from Daura, it was widely interpreted in the religious and diplomatic circles that it was a sign that Saudi Arabia held Nigeria, Nigerians and the head of state in very great esteem.

VISITING THE SAUDI KING IN RIYADH

After Buhari was done with his religious activities, he was invited to the capital city of Riyadh on Saturday by King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz. The Saudi King himself was waiting at the King Khalid International Airport to receive General Buhari. Others waiting to receive him included Crown Prince Abdallah Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence as well as the Inspector-General of the Police, Prince Sultan.

From the airport, the king then drove with them to his farm on the outskirts of Riyadh where Buhari and others were treated to a luncheon. After holding a brief discussion, King Fahd conducted them round his farm, introducing them to his own efforts geared towards food sustenance for Saudi Arabia. Buhari, who later spoke to journalists, said he was overwhelmed by the profound hospitality and royal welcome given to him and his delegation in all parts of the kingdom and hoped it will herald a new and fruitful period of relations between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.

ABIYAMO.

 

FULL CREDITS : Abiyamo/ Naijarchives

How ‘Sagay’ interview ruined my honeymoon — Olakunle Taiwo, Tribune reporter

I got married on Saturday, December 19, 2015 and with my wife, I looked forward to beautiful days of honeymoon. But if that was a dream, it never came to pass. An interview I conducted with someone I had related with in recent time as Professor Itse Sagay ruined everything.

Olakunle Timothy Taiwo
How did it start? Sometimes last year, there was a need to seek the views of constitutional lawyers in one of my reports. My boss, Kunle Oderemi, who heads the politics desk, asked me to seek Professor Itse Sagay’s views also. I asked him to give me his phone number. I collected his phone, searched and dialed 0802313**** and I asked ‘Hello sir, am I on to Professor Itse Sagay?’ ‘I am Olakunle Taiwo from Nigerian Tribune’ and the person replied ‘Yes, what can I do for you?’ and I continued: ‘I would like to seek your views on some issues as a legal expert’, he responded: ‘Can you please send me a text, because I am busy?’. I replied ‘Okay sir.’

I sent him a text but he didn’t reply then I never called back until the middle of this year that I was transferred to Sunday Tribune. I started calling the number back around August/September and I would ask for his reactions and on several occasions, he replied on Whatsapp and once as a text message. In fact, the number was the first I called when the matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty passed on. The news of Mama Awolowo’s death came to the owner of the number as a shock. Then I asked for his reaction and he did nothing more or less.

A few days ago, I called the number again and asked that I would like to have an elaborate interview with the man on the legal implications of the Kogi governorship election, why key institutions are corrupt, the president’s anti-graft crusade, among other national issues. And he asked if I could come to Lagos or do a phone interview. I said since we planned to publish it quickly I would prefer to conduct it on phone. But the interview could not be conducted that day. It was conducted the following day around 3:30 pm. The interview was published on December 20, 2015, a day after my wedding.

I received a call from my Editor, Sina Oladeinde, that Professor Sagay had disclaimed the interview. I was stunned, surprised but calm, because I had the audio recordings of the interview spanning 46minutes 16 seconds. I was calm because apart from my conscience being very clear on the matter, I knew I had also related on phone with this respectable Nigerian, seeing him as a mentor, especially when I discovered that despite his age, he was so ICT savvy, communicating not just with sms, but interestingly on Whatsapp. He was even one of the key invitees to my wedding. He not only wished me well but promised to be at the event. I felt on top of the world. I was so happy to the extent that I instructed the event planners to create a special seat for the presidential adviser on anti-corruption war. But he did not come.

The audio recordings of the interview was/is in my phone and so, I played it for my editor to hear and be convinced that I didn’t concoct the interview. But I saw some signs of disturbance in my editor’s countenance after listening to a few minutes of the interview. He said he was not sure that was Sagay’s voice. He asked for the number again. I gave him. Then he called Mr Oderemi (on whose phone I copied the number in the first instance last year) to also forward Sagay’s number to him. Oderemi supplied the number- 0802313****- and I did not immediately see trouble until we compared the two numbers and discovered I had made a mistake while writing out the number in the first instance and I had all along been calling the wrong number-0802313****-, and speaking with the wrong person, instead of Professor Itse Sagay. I almost collapsed at the lobby of the hotel which was hosting my honeymoon. What have I done to myself, my career, my bosses, my employers, my company that feeds my family, God!? I felt like asking the ground to open up and swallow me. My wife of two days was in the room oblivious of the damage that had been done to our honeymoon. With me, the honeymoon was over in just two days!

But I have read so many reports online (including on Saharareporters) accusing me of concocting an interview with Professor Sagay. I did not set out to do that. I did not do that. I was careless. I could be accused of naivety, taking things for granted. I could be accused of not being alert enough as I should. I plead guilty to all. What I am innocent of is criminal intent in conducting a fake interview.

I joined journalism with an ambition to go far. I never knew there were deadly potholes on my way to realizing my career dream. I hope and pray that this cup shall pass…While accepting responsibility for the error, I state with all sense of responsibility that it was not intentional, not deliberate. In my almost two years in journalism, I have worked hard to build a future in the profession and serve my country, through my employers, truthfully and diligently.

I apologize to Professor Itse Sagay most especially.

But there are lessons to be learnt in all these. I have learnt mine in a very bitter way. I urge my colleagues everywhere to learn from my case.
– Sahara Reporters

WHY WAS I LEFT OUT OF BUHARI’S SOCIAL MEDIA DINNER?

I want to use this medium to express my gratitude to President.Muhammadu Buhari and his wife for recognising the impact of social media canvassers in his campaign and the help rendered to help him correctly place and launder his image, against the plethora of lies by wailing wailers. This has been demonstrated many times including the dinner hosted last night to recognise the social media canvassers.

However, I was very disappointed and appalled by the rather shoddy and crude manner the organisers of this event decided to use to disenfranchise many social media canvassers. Who were the organizers of the event that shut out the many different social media groups that supported PMB during the election? What criteria did they use to decide whom and who shouldn’t be invited? Did they do thorough research or they wanted to make it a “cult thing” ? The way it was conducted makes me think other ulterior motives was involved.

Why was I, the Nostra II of our time, the original show stopper not invited ? Why wasn’t several others like Agatha Benson, Innocent Eboigbe Ehiz , Adeyemi Love Micheal , Bucky Hassan, Essien Attah, Adeola Samuel Opeyemi, Marshal Sampson , Shehu Zailani and several others also not invited ? Even known government critics like George Onmonya Daniel , Portia Emilia Anthony, Yemi Odunaike et al should have been invited to grace the occasion. It’s not that what we did we wanted recognision or wanted perculiar gains, but yet, the worker is worth his wages. I hope some PDPs are not trying to reap through our sweat my masquerading with few change agents?

We know the mistakes of the past government and will not fail to point out the mistakes of this one. Oya, I need answers before I start occupying some phone lines!

Michael DrBiggie Adeyemi's photo.
Michael DrBiggie Adeyemi's photo.
Michael DrBiggie Adeyemi's photo.

Nigeria’s Khomeini, Spreading Iran’s Revolution to Africa

Ibrahim Zakzaky is a mortal enemy of Boko Haram—and of the United States. He’s the avant-garde of Iran’s gambit in Africa, and his followers were just massacred.
The Nigerian army has been accused of massacring a large number of Shia Muslims in the town of Zaria in Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna state over the course of three days earlier this month. Shia sources say hundreds, perhaps as many as 1,000, have been killed in fighting, but those numbers could not be confirmed independently.

The Nigerian authorities claim that members of the radical Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) had attempted to assassinate the Nigerian Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai on Dec. 12 when his motorcade was passing through a Shia procession.

The incident suggests just how fractured and extensive unrest can be in Nigeria’s deep interior, far from Lagos, the thriving commercial hub of Africa’s biggest economy.

The clashes in this case were not between security forces and the infamous terrorist forces of Boko Haram, a radical Sunni Muslim group now affiliated with the so-called Islamic State. This group is led by converts to Shia Islam originally inspired by the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

The Nigerian military police claimed in a report that some members of the IMN were crawling through grass towards Buratai’s car, aiming “to attack the vehicle with [a] petrol bomb,” while others “resorted to firing gunshots from the direction of the mosque.”

One witness told The Daily Beast that the Shia protesters placed burning tires on the road as a barricade to prevent the approaching Buratai and his entourage from passing, and then stoned his convoy, a claim that has been denied by the IMN.

Maj. Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade, commander of the army division in the area, said last week that the military acted because they had good intelligence that members of the Shia sect were gathering for an attack.

“I take that very seriously that the life of the [the chief of army staff] is under threat, and within the rules of engagement permissible by law, I had to bring the forces available to me to bring the situation under control and that was exactly what I did,” he said.

The IMN suffered many casualties, Oyebade said, but he insisted “there were also causalities among the security forces.”

Boko Haram Leader Says Ruling Nigerian Town By Islamic Law
Inform

The leader of the IMN, Ibrahim Zakzaky, was wounded in the fighting—and his son reportedly was killed. The Nigerian Army said it arrested both Zakzaky and his wife, Malam Zeenat Ibrahim.

Not surprisingly, Iranian officials were the first outside Nigeria to react. The country’s foreign ministry called the violence “unacceptable,” the official IRNA news agency reported, and officials summoned the Nigerian chargé d’affaires in Tehran to protest against the deadly clashes. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also called his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, to say that he expects the Nigerian government to compensate the families of the dead and injured.

Zakzaky, an Iranian trained Shia theologian, became a proponent of Shia Islam around the time of the Iranian revolution in 1979, when he was inspired by the Ayatollah Khomeini. The overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty by the Islamic Republic convinced Zakzaky that an Islamic revival was also possible in Nigeria. And on the sidelines, he may well have been encouraged by Iranian missionaries helping to establish and fund a Shia presence in Nigeria. In the last two decades, Iran has increased its influence here, and maintains a large diplomatic presence.

The Shia leader denies his movement gets any funding from Tehran, butmany of its leaders and adherents regularly visited Iran.

In 1996, when Nigerians faced repression under military rule, Zakzaky reportedly said, “Nigeria must become wholly Islamic and Allah proclaimed Lord of the entire nation.” That about half the population of Nigeria

is Christian, and the vast majority of Muslims are Sunni, seems not to have deterred him.

Zakzaky is vehemently anti-American, and his supporters have been involved in many violent clashes with the state over the decades. Hundreds of his soldiers are currently in prison, and for approximately nine years during the 1980s and 1990s, Zakzaky was incarcerated by Nigeria’s military leaders who accused him of civil disobedience.

The Shia leader has grown increasingly confident he can build a permanent Islamic state within the country. He denies his movement gets any funding from Tehran, but many of its leaders and adherents regularly visited Iran or have studied there.