Buhari vs Senate/NASS : My opinion

Many close observers would have noticed recently that despite my very vociferous and fanatical support for President. Buhari, I’ve been silent on few issues especially the Occupy Senate / National Assembly (NASS) movement. That appears strange. Isn’t it. I see myself as one of the most (if not the most ) fanatical and vociferous Buhari supporters. I still remain one because I haven’t backslidden from that. However I’m a reasonable and thinking supporter, not a blind supporter.

Inasmuchas I’m not condemning the Occupy NASS movement but see the patrotism and zeal in some of their actions, I’ve decided to stay aloof. However, there is a latent danger it could achieve giving stupid publicity to the next generation of Dino Melayes and initial campaigners of #IStandWithBuhari (now condemned by the presidency). I don’t believe in projects that will make noise but not bring much/intended results most especially when there are easier and more effective ways to achieve such goals. I still remember Occupy Nigeria and how the labour sabotaged our efforts at the most critical stage.

I don’t pity President. Buhari at all. In fact I laugh at him and mock him. Let him stew in his vomit and reap the work of his hands and fruits of his foolishness and naïvety. If he had been serious, Bukola Saraki wouldn’t have been Senate President. He would have had his own men in charge of the Senate and National Assembly and the legislative bodies would have followed his policy direction without being an unnecessary rubber stamp. He sat and did nothing till Saraki emerged and started “Kwaralizing” the national assembly. Obasanjo did not allow the Senate to run like a goat or headless chicken, he pushed his agenda. One year is almost gone from this administration if the President is still unable to learn anything from this, then he needs to change his political advisers.
Despite GEJ’s seeming weakness,he was seriously interested in who became the senate president when he held forth in Aso Rock.If Buhari is serious, everyone else will get in line or ship out.

I said it from day one that PMB was being unrealistic by saying that he belonged to everybody and to nobody. Body language is not enough for a president that wants to sanitize the system. Let the world know your interest. When people like us were warning him of impending foolishness in saying ” I belong to nobody, I belong to everybody, I won’t involve myself in senate/ National Assembly (NASS )leadership “,he didn’t listen. I said then that’s the most foolish move. Governance must be mixed with politics. His handlers refused to tell him the truth. Some even lied that Tinubu was trying to gain control of NASS/Senate to blackmail him. Which is better: to be under Tinubu’s attack or Saraki’s ? Tinubu remains an indefatigable loyalist of Buhari (talk for another day). Telling the public he is not going to be involved in who becomes the Senate President/NASS leadership wasn’t a smart move. Nostra II warned him seriously but he failed to heed. Let his stew in his vomit.

I have a piece of advice for Buhari, he should stop this gentle man politics. I have four suggestions for him. I’m gonna make one public (free) and the rest three I can be contacted by any of his advisers for a professional fee { I offered free advice in the past which were ignored but the free advice offered here is still enough if he’s serious to implement it }.

Politics is always a game of strategy and numbers; and majority will always carry the day even if it’s only by a vote. Loyalty and putting your team in order with the right strategy is very important. After Saraki might have been put to where he belongs, get some senators loyal to Saraki arrested on the day of election and allow smooth election of new senate president. By doing so, heavens will not fall. That is called ” Roforofo politics ” { dirty mud politics }

Additional Credits : Oyewole K Akinsola
Olugbenga Olayiwole

Ben Murray-Bruce and the Glamour of Favour By Pius Adesanmi

A national teachable moment happened recently on Twitter between Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, Nigeria’s Area Father Plenipotentiary of commonsense, and Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, who needs no introduction. There is a background to that Twitter spat that most commentators have not critically examined. The said background is wholly rooted in the tragedy of our collective definition of Nigeria and our stubborn persistence to clinch to an understanding of nationhood and statehood in the 21st century that is inferior to how Askia the Great understood those notions in the late 15th century.
We must sympathize with Ben Murray-Bruce before exploring the background of his spat with Mrs. Ezekwesili. These are not the best of times to be Ben Murray-Bruce. The Bayelsa Senator is finding out in a very harsh way that it is impossible to be a national crusader for ethics, morality, and commonsense from the belly of the cesspool that is Nigeria’s National Assembly. Nigeria’s NASS is one of the most corrupt and irredeemable political institutions ever to bestride the African continent. In the two chambers of NASS are the most execrable African humanoids. As Senator Ben Murray-Bruce is finding out, nothing good can come out of the Nigerian National Assembly.
NASS is constitutionally and statutorily set up to be a crematorium of good and great intentions; an unforgiving grave yard for the angelic reputation. Consider the example of Ben Murray-Bruce’s commonsense crusade. It is crumbling under the weight of its own contradictions for a very simple reason: when you are a member of Nigeria’s National Assembly, commonsense is the very first victim of your situation. You may be honest; you may not have stolen a dime (very unlikely though); you may not have rigged your election, however, your legitimate earnings, allowances, and sundry perks put you above the pay grade of Barack Obama. Does this make sense? No, it doesn’t.
Your legitimate pay puts you above the pay grade of parliamentarians and congressmen and women in any part of the developed world. Yet, they do much more work than you and are answerable to constituents who are citizens in full civic sentience and will therefore not tolerate the rubbish that Nigerians take from you. You are basically the highest paid parliamentarian in the world and you put in the least hours for your constituents. Even the hours you put in are useless for being a Senator or a Rep does not require any cerebral effort from you in Nigeria. You need no intellect to be in NASS. You just wear your agbada and go and yawn and sleep for a few hours every day and watch your account swell every day. Does this make sense?
To be in the position to talk about commonsense at all, our friend from Bayelsa would have to remove the speck in his own eyes. That speck is where the context from which he connects daily with Nigerians. That speck, NASS, is wholly corrupt and indolent. That specks, NASS, is Nigeria’s greatest theatre of legitimate corruption by legislating immoral and amoral allowances which defy commonsense.
Has the Senator done anything about this speck beyond the perfunctory inaudible noise? No, he hasn’t and I do not expect him to. I am just trying to show him the inherent contradictions of his situation. That is why he is salving his conscience by promising Osun workers a cut and riding Okada from time to time to distribute pure water and Tetmosol to his constituents in line with the loot trickle down philosophy of Nigerian politicians.
You will notice that I have concerned myself only with the legitimate earnings of our Bayelsa friend which automatically exclude him and anyone in NASS from being in the same bracket with commonsense. Whatever is legitimate about him disqualifies him from being a spokesperson for commonsense for that role cannot be anchored from within the existential contradictions and ironies of NASS. NASS is antithetical to commonsense. NASS negates commonsense. You cannot crusade for commonsense on the platform of its existential negation.
Now, we all know that the part of the role and functions of a NASS member which devolves from legitimacy is less than 5%. The remaining 95% space in your life as a Senator or a Rep is occupied by everything we associate with politicians and government officials in Nigeria: corruption, patronage, and prebendal avarice. If the 5% that is even legitimate about you and NASS stands commonsense on its head, what does that make of the remaining 95% which falls in the province of the Nigerian way?
The second part of Senator Ben Murray-Bruce’s problem is the mediocrity of his context. He wants to be seen as Nigeria’s answer to Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau, and co: an urbane and cosmopolitan politician powered by 21st century cutting-edge ideas and ideals. Yet, as someone famously puts it on Twitter, his Obanikoro predilections are in tandem with the overall Baba Suwe level of his peers in the Senate. Hence, his attempts at cosmopolitanism are constantly overwhelmed by the prelogical mentality of the Orangutans who dominate the two Chambers.
This is why Senator Ben-Murray Bruce is heehawing for commonsense from the platform of a National Assembly where the predominant opinion is that granting gender equality to women in marriage will make of them lesbians and prostitutes in the 21st century! And the same week they emit these pre-Medieval ideas, they go on a spending spree like demented demons, buying jeeps in an orgy of spending which defies commonsense and the only thing we have heard from the commonsense Chief Priest is the feeble noise that he did not accept his.
By the way, I saw a photo-op of Senator Shehu Sani with his own jeep. This is the man donating donkeys and camels to his constitutents. May Sango thunder Shehu Sani’s jeep!
It is in the context of all this turbulence on the commonsense front, when the Area Father of Commonsense had wisely crawled underground to contemplate the ruins of his crusade – ruined by tragic contradictions – that Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili decided to call him out. The wounded Senator, a master of the knockout repartee, promptly advised the Bring Back Our Girls crusader to occupy her own Senator and stop bugging him. You are making your own Senator lazy by focusing on me, he opined.
On the surface, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce’s response to Mrs. Ezekwesili would appear to be a brilliant uppercut. I was even tempted to think that Mrs. Ezekwesili deserved it for not allowing a man to mourn the ironies and contradictions of his doomed commonsense crusade in peace. Doomed not because Nigeria does not stand in desperate need of commonsense but by the contradictions and hypocrisy attendant upon the Senator’s context and platform: right message, wrong bearer, diseased platform.
However, if you look at it closely, the Senator’s response is silly and irresponsible. A man who has spent an entire year trying to curate a national image for himself as a pan-Nigerian spokesperson of commonsense is suddenly scurrying under the cover of representing only his constituents in the National Assembly when called out on the very basis of his own national crusade! Mrs. Ezekwesili made it clear that she was calling him out on the basis of what he has been projecting. Has he ever projected or given the slightest hint that his crusade was exclusively addressed to his constituents?
This is part of the hypocrisy that has undone Ben Murray-Bruce’s crusade. We must also advise him that it is called the National Assembly for a reason. If he wants to be answerable exclusively to his constituents, he is welcome to go to the Bayelsa House of Assembly – if Mama Peace approves of such a move. In Abuja, the laws and bills you are making (or not making as is the usual case) have a national purview. Besides, not all of us have Senators representing us.
In my own case, Senator Dino Melaye has made it clear that he is representing only Senator Bukola Saraki in the Senate till death does them part. Okun people have no Senator currently representing them so don’t tell me to call my Senator. At any rate, I’d sooner call the boss, Saraki, than call his self-styled slave, Dino Melaye.
There is a second aspect to the exchange between Senator Ben Murray-Bruce and Mrs. Ezekwesili. There is a certain patronizing and condescending tone in the Senator’s responses. You’d be right to surmise that he believes he is doing her a favour by even responding at all.
This brings me to my earlier point about our tragic understanding and definition of Nigeria. We define and understand Nigeria as a chaotic association of favour doers and recipients of favour. It is not an accident that Nigerian Pentecostals constantly disturb God with endless requests for uncommon favour. They are taking to the spiritual domain how they have been shaped and defined by Nigeria.
We have conceptualized the social contract as a terrain of favour-doing in Nigeria. Nobody does anything for you because it is their duty and obligation. Rather, every secular transaction in Nigeria is a favour done for you by somebody drawing a salary to do precisely that task. Every Nigerian politician, from the President down to the Local Government Chairman, considers every aspect of what he or she is elected to do a favour rendered to the people.
That is why your politician tars a road, digs a borehole, builds a gada or a culvert or a gutter and his aides gut the airwaves with noise, demanding acknowledgement and appreciation from the people for the uncommon favour.
This national mental malaise is not limited to politicians. Interactions among the ordinary people are also subject to the same affliction with civil servants being the worst culprits. There is no service you receive in any office in Nigeria that is not conceptualized as a favour by the service provider. Try obtaining any document from a Ministry or a local government office in Nigeria. Everyone you come into contact with sees what they are doing in the delivery of that document to you as a favour.
Go to shoprite and the attendant who accepts your money is doing you a favour.
Go to Mama Put and Sikira who serves you amala and abula believes she has done you a favour.
Go to your ‘forganaiza’ and he is doing you a favour by fixing your tire.
Go to WAEC or JAMB, they give you your results as a favour.
There is no sphere of life that is free from this disease in Nigeria.
This is why Ben Murray-Bruce did Oby Ezekwesili a favour by sending her to her Senator.
This is why I have done you a favour by writing this!

Shaggy Boys vs Downtown Boys

Beware of Cultism!
Parents prevented their little children from going to school when Shaggy was murdered. Some Primary Schools around Gbagada, Bariga and Shomolu didn’t even open their gates for days and my landlady, like most house-owners in my area closed their gates earlier than the usual time.
Segun Ogbere, popular known as Shaggy was a leader of a Cult Group known as ‘Shaggy Boys’. He was a god around Shomolu Bariga. When he sneezes, other cult groups catch cold. Unfortunately, on that fateful day, he was coming from Yaba Magistrate Court when members of ‘Downtown Boys’ trailed him with a Volkswagen Gulf Car, he noticed them and tried to maneuver his ways, but one thing led to another, members of ‘Downtown Boys’ caught him around Adeshina Street, off UNILAG Road, dragged him out of the vehicle and started stabbing him repeatedly until his intestines ripped out and his life left his body. This happened on a broad day light. Due to his death, some areas in Akoka, Bariga, Shomolu and Mushin were in fear for days.
If Shaggy could be killed then no cultist is immuned from death. None! Never you forget this truth.
There is NOTHING good in Cultism. Do not contemplate it and if you are in pls get out. The only sure way out of it is to Genuinely Repent and then come to Jesus Christ for Salvation. You can only be safe when you are genuinely saved.

China Is A Currency Manipulator

Yes, China Is A Currency Manipulator And Their Owning US Debt Doesn’t Matter
One of the standard complaints surrounding trade issues these days is the allegation that some nations, most notably China, are currency manipulators.
They deliberately adjust the value of their currencies against the US dollar in order to benefit their own domestic economies.
The interesting thing about this is that it’s true. And the really interesting thing about this is that it works in exactly the opposite way around everyone claims it does.
For China is indeed a currency manipulator but they are manipulating their currency up.
We can see that China is deliberately selling off dollars and buying yuan as a result:
China’s foreign exchange reserves shrank again last month in a sign the country’s central bank continues to support the currency’s exchange rate after a surprise devaluation. But the smaller size of September’s fall indicates receding pressure on the currency.
Central bank data show that the reserves fell by $43.3bn (£28.3bn) in September after declining a record $93.9bn the previous month.
So, yes, manipulation, and manipulation to keep the value of the yuan up.
We can approach the same point from the other side, as Paul Krugman does here:
Well, don’t tell anyone, but the much-feared event is happening now. As China tries to prop up the yuan in the face of capital flight, it’s selling lots of U.S. debt; so are other emerging markets. And the effect on U.S. interest rates so far has been … nothing.
China isn’t actually selling dollars, it’s selling dollar denominated assets and using the proceeds to purchase yuan. That doesn’t make much difference, except that it is evidence that China is manipulating the value of the yuan.
Yuan Devaluation Does Not Mean a Currency War
China does this in another manner too: it places severe restrictions on the ability of Chinese citizens to get their money out of China. This prevents capital flight and is another way that the value of the yuan is kept high.
So, the AFL-CIO and others are correct: China really is a currency manipulator. Except the manipulation is going the other way.
The usual allegation is that China deliberately pushes down the value of the yuan in order to increase exports to the US. I think this is fine of course: it makes Chinese goods cheaper for Americans and thus makes Americans richer.
That’s not how the AFL-CIO and others see it of course: they shout that it puts their members, the manufacturing workers that are just about all that is left of the unions in the private sector, out of work. And thus they want China punished for making the 308 million Americans who are not manufacturing workers richer. By imposing import tariffs on Chinese goods. Thus making 308 million Americans poorer.
I do not think this is good policy. However, let’s run with this. Now that we have the proof that China really is a currency manipulator are these people going to have the courage of their convictions? Now that China is pushing up the value of the yuan are they going to agitate for a reduction in tariffs on Chinese goods?
And if not, why not? For intellectual consistency is something to be praised, right? Something desirable in and of itself?
Tim Worstall is a Forbes Contributor

My SaharaReporters Story – Omoyele Sowore

sowore-omo

He has been described as controversial, a political activist and his passion to see the Nigerian project work has inspired him to stand up against The Establishment in various ways most of his adult life. This also led to his founding an online news medium in a small room in Manhattan in the United States of America that has today become a household name, subscribed to by many all over the world. In a very interesting encounter The Interview had with Omoyele Sowore, founder of Sahara Reporters, he speaks about his days of student activism while at the University of Lagos, Sahara Reporters and the danger he has often had to face as he pushes on with his cause.

What was on your mind when you started Sahara Reporters in 2006?

The idea was inspired by citizen journalism that emerged out of anti-WTO (World Trade Organisation) protests in Seattle, Washingtonin the US. I was totally taken by the fact that ordinary citizens could tell the riveting and powerful stories of an unfolding event that had been ignored by the mainstream media. I started thinking really hard about replicating that experience for Nigerians and Africans, but with a particular focus on corruption. Before establishing Sahara Reporters I had tried a few collaborations with others, but those efforts went nowhere.

What collaborations and with who? My first collaboration was with Jonathan Elendu, founder of Elendureports.com. I also sought to pitch my investigative reports to several Nigerian newspapers. One or two newspapers picked a report here and there, but the papers were mostly not interested, or they were too scared to pick up the explosive reporting I was sending to them.
How did you start, especially since you did not have a journalism background?

I’ve always been a communicator, as a matter of fact. As a student union leader at the University of Lagos, I served 27,000 students. To lead that many students demand a great deal of flair for mass communication. And we did a lot of communicating. In my foray into social media, I’d say the Internet provided an opportunity to reach vastly more people. I started out with the emergence of this great technology that has disrupted the status quo. In some ways, I am by nature somebody who questions and challenges and disrupts unfair orders or systems. So everything came together very well. I also realised that when people are far away from home, living in a variety of foreign countries, they frequently yearn to know what’s happening at home. In a sense, I started by acting as a reporter to and for those kinds of people

Share a few of your teething problems with us.

The biggest was combining my daytime job with the tasking duty of collecting news and publishing Sahara Reporters. Initially, I had little support, because most of the people I approached for editorial help did not think it was a possibility. There was always the pressure to pay my bills. Also at the beginning, I got knocked out frequently via Denial of Service (DoS)attacks. And because my initial hosts were small, they frequently delisted my website from their servers. I also received a lot of legal threats and attacks. I was sued by a few people who were intent on shutting down the website.

Any particular legal threat that gave you concern at those initial stages? How did you handle it?

It’s not in my nature to be really worried about legal threats because I have always ensured that my reports were from solid sources and often backed up with documents. However, the threats of legal action couldn’t be ignored. So I had to spend considerable time looking for lawyers willing to offer pro bono defence to the website and me. 

Maybe it’s a bit easier to make money from online publishing now than it was 10 years ago. Are you making money?

It is actually more difficult to make money from online media now than it was before. I make the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate earnings because I was determined, from the beginning, to pursue only legitimate earnings. Google AdSense is paying less and less for ad inserts, and other services are also paying less. Everyday, new means and formats of advertisement pop up. Direct advertisers are paying, but only if you’re willing to do their bidding. We can’t allow that to happen. There is a category of publishers that are working directly for interests or blackmailing people. I understand those kinds of publishers make a lot of money, but I consider what they do criminal, illegitimate and unethical.

During the Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan administrations, you were probably the journalist most wanted by the security agencies. Did you go out of your way to cause trouble for these governments, or you were just doing your job?

I was doing what my conscience told me was right. That’s my consistent standard. As you’d probably agree, both administrations went out of their ways to cause devastation in Nigeria. I tried at every turn to report their evil plans to Nigerians and the world. At first, many had trouble believing us, but now Nigerians know better—even though it is too late in some instances.

What/who gave you the courage to press on in spite of the Doubting Thomases you encountered at those early stages?

I believed that Nigeria, especially its future, was worth fighting for. That cause—using the resources of the emergent social media technology to expose and combat those wrecking Nigeria—seemed to me extremely important. I was determined not let the dream die. I saw the potential for a new genre of media that is at once unstoppable and disruptive to the corrupt status quo. Even so, I never envisaged that it would grow to become such a huge platform.

In your years of practice, you have had many close shaves with danger, including a few with the security services under Yar’Adua and then one with Mountain on Fire. Which one do you consider your closest shave yet and why?

Every major report we have done since I started is potentially explosive, and there were seen and unseen dangers, dangers from state actors and non-state actors. But I always remained unfazed.

What specific dangers come to your mind and where were they from?

There were all forms of threats, and I’d say dangers. There was a time Boko Haram included Sahara Reporters on its hit list in a video they released shortly after they bombed the Thisday office in Kaduna. As recently as two months ago, the Nigerian Senate sought to gag social media and specifically mentioned Sahara Reporters.

One of your biggest stories was your encounter with Gbenga Obasanjo. Your report of that encounter nearly destroyed the family of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In the back-and-forth that followed, Gbenga said it was a private discussion he had with you. Do you regret publishing the story?

It was a life-saving story for Nigeria. Gbenga Obasanjo pretty much revealed all the characters behind the intent of his father to destroy Nigeria in his desire to have a third term in office. He also revealed the intense corruption ravaging the nation under the Obasanjo presidency. It would have been a crime against humanity on my part not to report the story. On Gbenga’s part, he took it to the next level by filing a divorce case that alleged that his father might have fathered his (Gbenga’s) kids. It was a broken family. I think the interview helped the family to confront its internal contradictions. If you thought Gbenga’s interview was bad, think of Iyabo Obasanjo’s letter to her father as the 2015 election approached. Think also about their mother’s explosive book about the former president, her ex-husband. Phew! I wish I did more interviews with members of the Obasanjo family. Their stories could become material for a soap opera someday.

Did Gbenga or any member of the family call you directly after the publication?

No, we heard from Gbenga Obasanjo’s lawyers and responded legally. When I met Gbenga on my way from the Benin Republic, we did not exchange numbers. However, I emailed him after he filed an action in court against his wife, alleging a sexual relationship between his father and her. He didn’t respond to my email.
The report about [former Aviation Minister] Stella Oduah’s acquisition of two bulletproof BMW cars was another big one. Is it true that she tried to kill the story by offering you a bribe?

Stella Oduah was desperate, but there is no bribing me. The moment I had the paperwork, I never looked back!

What were the challenges you faced following the Oduah story through?

The challenge was mostly watching the former minister’s spin, which was taken up by the established media. It was despicable. However, that was the moment I convinced myself that the power of the media had shifted—away from the establishment media to the social media department. Ms. Oduah’s scandal became a test case of social media power.

SaharaReporters is a nightmare to many, especially politicians, who often lash back against you with accusations of unethical practices. Dino Melaye is one recent example. What’s your response toMelaye and other critics of your website?

Dino Melaye exposed himself as something of a hypocrite, a man who floats with the wind. It was sad to listen to this man, who used to posture as a democratic activist, asking the Nigerian Senate to contact the US government to do something about Sahara Reporters. I couldn’t believe he was so unprincipled and ill-informed.

Would you take him up on his challenge for Sahara Reporters to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission?

I heard that challenge too. How would he stop the registration from happening if we decided to register? He sounded like a former UniLag registrar who once told us at a meeting that he would ensure that we would never be allowed to register in any college around the world if we were expelled. I was expelled twice from UniLag and was still accepted into an Ivy League university in the US to study for a Master’s degree.

Why were you expelled from UniLag?

It was purely political. The first time I was expelled was because of my participation in the Babangida Must Go/anti-SAP (Structural Adjustment Programme) protests that grounded Nigeria. The second time was after the military authorities targeted the student leadership by empowering and employing the services of cult gangs on campuses against us. It was at the height of the June 12 protests against the regime of General Sani Abacha.

SaharaReporters has perhaps been the single, biggest source of breaking news about Nigeria, but Premium Times and The Cable, among others, appear to be challenging that position. Do you think you’re losing ground?

I am a sucker for collaboration. If you ask the operators of these websites, I reached out to them to assist with popularising their content and brand. There are almost 200 million Nigerians; Sahara Reporters can’t possibly serve them all. You can ask from the guys at 234Next, established by Dele Olojede, about when they started. I was so excited about the brand that I started working for them underground, but Mr. Olojede seemed to hate Sahara Reporters with a passion. He bragged that he came to send us out of existence. I predicted to his people that he came to the world of print publishing at a different time and that the brand would collapse because it was backward thinking. I never met Olojede in person.

The media has been dragged into the ongoing investigation of NSA Sambo Dasuki over the $2.1billion for arms. What are the lessons from this for the future?

It was just a matter of time before the Nigerian media was dragged into a big mess. During Yar’Adua’s Presidency, a bunch of media executives were given land in Abuja. I am told that the same happened under the administration of ex-Governor Bola Tinubu. Some media executives have become as ferocious as politicians are, in terms of their desire for primitive accumulation. The kind of material acquisition by some of these executives comes via shady outlets.

Readers’ comments in SaharaReporters can sometimes be quite trenchant, if not libellous. Does it worry you?

You possibly haven’t read the comments in the online editions of New York Times and CNN. It is a new day in the media and commentators have created a new genre of journalism. It is the long-awaited “People’s Parliament”. It has expanded the frontiers of free speech. Commentaries and the commentators who write them have become major participants in the media game. In fact, the New York Times recently devoted considerable space to celebrating its top commentators. It is hardly ever libellous because those affected are also commenting. In fact in Nigeria, there is a lucrative cottage industry of commentators paid by politicians and public officials to tell their side, albeit anonymously.

But the right of reply is not a defence in libel. CNN and NYT websites impose very stringent conversation rules. 

I have not said that it is. However, there is a strong argument to be made those commentaries constitute some of the best tools for interacting, engaging with and responding to reports. Particular publications may have stringent rules, but commentaries and other forms of engagement with a report do not end in the commentary boxes below the stories. Readers also interact and engage as they deem fit, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, listservs, emails and so on. It is extremely difficult to police comments and responses to reports. However, I do insist that the commentary sections are necessary. And they have become self-regulating as well.
If you were to describe the impact of Sahara Reporters on journalism practice in Nigeria in two sentences, how would you put it?

History knows (better).

Sahara Reporters is helping to shape that history, correct?

Absolutely, SaharaReporters has become part of Nigeria and Africa’s contemporary media history. I daresay that it has become a powerful part of that history, in fact.
Did Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu or any other Nigerian politician or political party officer provide funding for Sahara Reporters at any time in the past? Is Ford Foundation still funding you?

I’ve only met Bola Tinubu once in my life, in 1999 before I left Nigeria. I’ve heard a lot about his alleged generosity, but I am not interested in his money or dole outs. I think there are many people who have made so much from him that they and others can’t believe there is anyone out there who has not collected money from him. And who is not interested in the least. I am determined to continue to stand out in this way. I always challenge anyone, I mean anyone, to release information to the public if I have ever received a kobo from Bola Tinubu in my life.

Ford Foundation funded SaharaReporters until the last general elections of 2015. Even when Reno Omokri tried to scare them by threatening to sue them on account of our expose of his shady activities, they didn’t back down. SaharaReporters, as a cutting-edge digital medium, has recently received further funding from Omidyar Network in California.

As student union government president at the University of Lagos, you vehemently campaigned against cultism, almost at the cost of your life. How did you escape being harmed?

I was saved by the mass action of students. They came to rescue me as I was about to be killed. It was a revolution of a kind. The cult gang members ran away, even though they were armed when they saw at least 2000 students storming the location where I was being held. They ran for dear life.

What year did this happen? Did you report it to the school authorities and the police?

It happened in March 1994. The school authorities and the military government instigated the attacks. They were behind the attacks on me and other student leaders. They arrested other student leaders and charged some of them with robbery shortly after I was attacked. The police even attempted to abduct me from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. I had to escape from my hospital ward disguised as a dead person. I was declared wanted, and then they expelled us (student leaders) along with the cult gang members. When we protested, the authorities granted us amnesty—but extended the same to the cult gang members the same day. And these were the cult gangsters who had initiated the assault on student union leaders. 

Where do you want SaharaReporters to be in the next ten years?

SaharaReporters will be looking to expand its multimedia content, its production capability, its creativity and digital distribution of groundbreaking content across Africa and the world. 

Do you have any plans to go into politics any time in the future?

I get asked this question frequently, but I feel like no one is more political than I am. I think the question you meant to ask is if I would ever seek elective office. I honestly don’t know. The idea that political engagement must be partisan must be driven by a desire for material reward or even for holding office is not my thing. Unfortunately, that’s the model of political engagement that one has seen in Nigeria. We just recently led the pack of media outlets that reported to Nigerians a historical transition of power from a ruling party that had been in power for 16 years to an opposition political party. It was the first time the election results and its winner were declared by an online news platform. Our ability to do that saved the election from being rigged. We performed an important political and even moral duty.

But surely that does not rule politics out for you?

I maintain that I am currently in politics in the same sense that every politically attuned and conscious citizen is in politics. Political engagement is not limited to those who seek elective or appointive offices. I’d say, in fact, that elective or electoral politics should never be rated higher than the everyday political engagement of citizens who hold political leaders to account, who insist that their country’s affairs be transparent, who fight those whose goal is to enrich themselves at the expense of the public. In doing this kind of work, I consider myself profoundly engaged in politics.

You created a hash tag and advocated that Nigerians who have mobile phones should get an alert after each loot recovery. How would that work?

It is very simple. Let the government set up an account just like an individual savings account or a TSA for recovered funds, to be managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. As looted funds are recovered and deposited, Nigerians who subscribe to that account get an alert. I envisage an automated process. If the account is somehow tampered with, subscribers would get an alert. If there is interest accruing to the account, we would also get an alert. I’d bet that many Nigerians would be happy to subscribe to the account voluntarily by paying a fee like N100. That subscription revenue could be used to hire a small staff to handle the website and the SMS and take care of technicalities around the account. It would be a tragedy if the plundered revenues being refunded or recovered are once again stolen.

You’re a huge fan of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. What is it about him that influenced you?

I absolutely admired Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet him until a few years before his death. I was impressed and inspired by his many philosophical, political songs, by his activist music. I once auditioned for the musical, Fela on Broadway, produced in New York. Fela opened my mind and gave me guts when I was much younger. I used to hide to listen to Fela’s music.

Is Hilary Clinton the next US president?

It is hard to say. Americans can be very unpredictable, even weird, politically. But if Donald Trump becomes the Republican candidate, he would have to contend with Mexicans, Muslims and Blacks. He’s not going to find it an easy task. But with Americans, there are many times I’ve wondered if there were masses of educated voters or if educated people ever vote.

What’s your view on the pace of the Buhari government?

Snail speed.  It appears that Buhari is not moved by speed. But Nigerians want him to hasten up quite a bit, because there are so many problems, even crises, in our country and these are calling for attention.

Who are your role models?

Lots of ‘crazy’ people cool people and counter-cultural people.

Are any of your children going to be like you?

I hope they don’t try to be me. If any of them does, I hope they’ll be prepared for the consequences.

What areas are they showing interest in? 

I am letting them be who they choose to be.

Are you coming home (Nigeria) to stay any time soon?

I am always there with you, but you don’t know.

Surely you don’t follow the ‘NADECO’ route!

I did that for several years during the administrations of President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan. That was how I met Gbenga Obasanjo in December 2005.It is an interesting travel route into Nigeria. I fell in love with the route, because of its breathtaking and dynamic nature.  

* Interview published by Lagos-based magazineThe Interview 

Full Credits : Naijarchives

The 9 highest paid footballers in the world

France Football magazine ranked the sport’s highest earners, and the amount of money in play might make your eyes water.

The football rich list is collated by adding club salaries, endorsement deals, and performance bonuses.

Europe cemented its position as the home of big-money soccer — all the clubs featured are on the continent, while all but two of the players are European.

Despite the Premier League being the most watched in the world, English football clubs did not take part in the survey.

France Football notes that Manchester United player Wayne Rooney would have been ninth if they had.

Check out the list below:

 

9. Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona, ​​31)
Annual Salary: €15m (£12m; $17m)

Performance Bonus: €2m (£1.6m; $2.3m)

Other Income: €4.5m (£3.6m; $5m)

We kick off with Barcelona’s captain, who is known for his versatility. He’s also a nice guy too, winning the “Golden Foot” in 2014, which awards personality as well as athletic ability.

 

 

8. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich, 26)
Annual Salary: €16m (£12.8m; $18m)

Performance Bonus: €600,000 (£478,600; $677,000)

Other Income: €7m (£5.6m; $8m)

Muller is something of a legend in Germany, having led the country to World Cup glory in 2014. And his extended contract with Munich to 2021 ensures his bank account will stay healthy for at least another half-decade.

 

 
7. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid, 26)
Annual Salary: €14m (£11.2m; $16m)

Performance Bonus: €500,000 (£399,000; $565,000)

Other Income: €10m (£8m; $11.3m)

The only Brit on the list, Bale was a wunderkind at Tottenham Hotspur before being sold to Real Madrid for a whopping €100 million. Corporations took notice too, and he is now the face of the Pro Evolution Soccer video-game series.

 

 

 

6. Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain, 28)
Annual Salary: €24m (£19.1m; $27m)

Performance Bonus: €800,000 (£640,000; $900,000)

Other Income: €1.2m (£960,000; $1.35m)

The first of two Argentines on the list, Di Maria left Manchester United last year to negotiate a huge wage with Paris Saint Germaine (PSG) — a team you’ll see again on here.

 

 

5. Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain, 31)
Annual Salary: €23m (£18.3m; $26m)

Performance Bonus: €1m (£800,000; $1.1m)

Other Income: €2.5m (£2m; $2.8m)

PSG’s Brazilian captain is the highest-paid defender in the world. An endorsement deal with car company Nissan doesn’t hurt either. He also enjoyed a big bonus for his team winning the trophy treble last year.

 

 

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain, 34)
Annual Salary: €20m (£16m; $22.5m)

Performance Bonus: €2.5m (£2m; $2.8m)

Other Income: €6m (£4.8m; $7m)

This Swedish player is a veteran by footballing standards, but has managed to negotiate a very nice salary with PSG for his final season there, as well as an endorsement deal with sportswear giant Nike.

 

 

3. JR Neymar (FC Barcelona, 24)
Annual Salary: €20m (£16m; $23m)

Performance Bonus: €2.5m (£2m; $2.8m)

Other Income: €21m (£16.8m; $24m)

The youngest player to make the top nine is also the third richest, breaking the €40 million mark for the first time. If rumours of his move to PSG — who seem to pay a lot if this list is anything to by — are true, that figure could swell even more.

 

 

2. Christiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 31)
Annual Salary: €32m (£25.5m; $36m)

Performance Bonus: €400,000 (£319,000; $451,000)

Other Income: €35m (£27.9m; $39m)

It was close for this Portuguese player, but Ronaldo with have to settle for second place. A combined income of €67 million and lucrative contracts with Nike, Armani, and, strangely, Kentucky Fried Chicken will have to do in the meantime.

 

1. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona, 28)

Annual Salary: €36m (£28.7m; $40.6m)

Performance Bonus: €3m (£2.4m; $3.4m)

Other Income: €35m (£27.9m; $39m)

The best footballer in the world (according to FIFA’s Player of the Year award) is also the best paid. This marks the first time a footballer has ever had an income of over €70 million, and with Messi’s contracts with sports-related giants like Adidas and EA Games it’s perhaps no surprise the Argentine player is rolling in money

 

 

 

CREDITS : France Football; YahooSports

Fire On The Mountain: Dele Momodu’s Desperate Memo To President Buhari

Your Excellency, Assalam Alaikum. It has been over six months since you graciously invited me to your office in Abuja. I must note once again that I was truly honoured and humbled by our one-on-one meeting.

We spoke and interacted like two old buddies. What was more, I was all alone with you without a third party in the room.

We spoke candidly and cracked jokes freely. I remember presenting you with an advance copy of my forthcoming book and you even requested me to autograph it for you which I did with such pride and gratitude in me.

We took loads of pictures before and after the meeting. I left you reassured in my belief that Nigeria is in safe hands. Sir, a lot has happened since that meeting took place.

In fact, so much water has passed under the bridge. Let me take you down memory lane a bit. You started contesting the Presidential election as far back as 2003. For three consecutive times, you lost and it seemed all hope had evaporated.

In 2011, we were co-contestants. I was driven to your house one night by Prince Lanre Tejuoso (now a Senator) who wanted me to tone down my criticism of you and opposition to your candidacy. I was totally disarmed by your humility and simplicity.

You spoke softly and candidly. I felt you were too old to return to a post you left nearly 30 years ago but you were certain you still have so much in you to offer Nigeria.

The Jonathan government that won the election at that time was ushered in with so much hope and promise. After that election, you said that you would never seek elective office again.

After three arduous attempts, you must have felt it was all a bloody waste of time seeking an opportunity to rebuild an irredeemable country that seemed determined to be plunged into the abyss by those you were convinced did not mean well for the country.

But the government that promised us fresh air soon lost its sail and floundered aimlessly. It wobbled and fumbled till it became obvious that something had to be done to avert a monumental catastrophe, the kind that you had foreseen.

The situation became so bad that most of us were left with no choice but to see you as our only God-sent redeemer.

This was how the stone previously and repeatedly rejected by the builders suddenly transfigured into the much needed cornerstone. Your most caustic critics soon became your ardent fanatics. We were hypnotized and mesmerized by your new look.

You were repackaged as a reformed and born again democrat. We studiously ignored your military credentials and dictatorial proclivity. The young and old screamed your name from the rooftops.

Many youths were ready to march for you and even die in the process. The last time we witnessed such a phenomenon was in 1993 when Chief Moshood Abiola contested and won the June 12 Presidential election which was later annulled by your former colleagues in the army.

You and your political party enjoyed a whirlwind romance with Nigerians. The covenant was based on mutual trust and the hope that you had robust knowledge of Nigerian history as well as vast experience in governance.

Your avowed integrity was the icing on the cake. We expected you to inspire us as a veritable example of honesty-personified. The election came and you won almost effortlessly. What mattered to us was for someone to liberate and remove us from the suffocating yoke of the PDP. You looked the perfect man to do it.

Of course, to whom much is given much is expected. The burden of proof and expectation hung around your neck like an albatross. Soon, it seemed Nigerians thought and assumed that they had voted for a magician and so expected miracles to happen instantaneously.

Trouble started very early. You inherited a government with plummeting revenues as the crude oil which greased the economy had suffered a massive collapse in price thus emasculating our country’s fortune and reserves.

In addition, just before you returned to power the outgoing government had twice devalued the Naira leaving you with a currency that was set for free fall. In short the Government that you assumed control of was one which was like a disaster waiting to happen.

Nigerians are generally impatient. We are action-packed and expect talismanic results.

Unfortunately that has not happened and is not likely to happen soon no matter how hard you try.
Sir, let me stop the introduction and go straight to the crux of the matter.

While I do not want to sound like a doomsday prophet, I wish to alert you that there is fire on the mountain.

This is not a subtle or covert attempt to create any panic. As a war General, I’m certain you have enough liver to withstand shock.

But what I wish to say without mincing words is that we are yielding grounds to the enemies.
Hard core supporters of your campaign like me are being derided by those who feel you are not living up to expectations.

I know your handlers are likely to dismiss this as crying wolf where there is none but please, don’t listen to them. The situation is very critical and may even get out of hand if not carefully and delicately managed.

You are going to be told the usual tales and rigmarole of how corruption is fighting back. Yes, perhaps corruption is fighting back truly but it is because you did not prepare adequately for the backlash.

The style and manner of the war you are waging has not been novel. The approach has been a rehash of the Obasanjo era with Nuhu Ribadu in charge.

What would I have done differently if I were you? I would have traced and located the loot as much as possible before launching my attack.

Surprise is one of the most effective weapons of war. And you are without doubt an accomplished General. It is only in Nigeria that investigators announce in advance who the next set of villains they are coming after will be.

I would have gone to the courts to seek permission to freeze the looted funds. Thereafter, I would have asked my operatives to show evidence of the identified perpetrators and located the looters and ask for their cooperation in gently signing the purloined money back to the State without hullabaloo.

I will then exchange a grudging handshake and tell them to sin no more. Those who wish to be difficult would be treated like hardened criminals and the full weight of the law would descend powerfully on such recalcitrant fellows.

I would have kept the promise you made prior to assumption of office of drawing the line after being sworn in on May 29 and punish any fresh acts of rascality and irresponsibility.

I will ensure there is a uniform treatment for all Nigerians, rich or poor, members of my party and others. I will avoid anything that would suggest I’m principally after my perceived enemies and opponents.

I will not create tension and confusion within my own party and accept the verdict of the people in their collective wisdom or stupidity. A house divided against itself cannot stand, I read in the Holy Bible.
I would also make sure that as much as possible I would internalise the process and not wash the country’s dirty linen in public.

Such tactics only tends to frighten away those who would assist us and make life unbearable for our citizens abroad.

If we require assistance from other countries to repatriate our looted resources I would have engaged the leaders of those countries privately and sought their co-operation surreptitiously.

I would have realised that even if they desired to assist my government they would be hampered by the rule of law enshrined in their respective jurisdictions and recourse would be required to the judicial process in those countries.

My silent approach to the recovery of the looted funds would also ensure that the expectations of the people of this country would not be unnecessarily heightened. The money Abacha pillaged is still being recovered in staccato and stuttering fashion almost 20 years after his death.

It is important for you to realise that corruption will fester and even explode when it is incubated in an economy approaching a comatose state as people seek to survive by all means possible.

I will therefore make the economy my utmost priority. Trust me Sir, as important as the war against corruption is wonderful, it pales into irrelevance and insignificance where hunger, deprivation, poverty, unemployment, poor education, ignorance, diseases, insecurity of lives and properties and other complications are concerned.

Many people are going to hail you for arresting the thieves but the same people will soon turn around to attack you when they can’t feel the effect of the war positively on their bodies and souls.

In case you are shielded from reading the comments making the rounds, let me inform you Sir, that people are already saying they would rather have corruption back, out of the desperation and suffering they are going through.

And these are not the so-called looters but the ordinary Nigerians. Nothing illustrates this more poignantly than the video posted by Instablog9ja on Instagram and other social media platforms yesterday showing a man that looks like a taxi driver being interviewed.

The man said he is so frustrated that he wants Nigeria to perish and all of us with it instantaneously. He wished that we all die simultaneously, at once and suddenly. The clip has already gone viral globally. Therefore, if anyone tells you only the elites are grumbling, they are telling you a blatant lie, Sir.

The poor who were your best friends and biggest supporters appear totally confused, disillusioned and ostensibly tired of the endless excuses coming out of your Administrations spokespeople.

I read somewhere that your foot-soldiers will soon embark on town hall meetings but I can assure you it won’t achieve anything. Why do you want to engage in campaign after election? Some expert scammers would just collect money for these jamborees.

Nigerians want positive change and not a cacophony of lies bandied at stage managed, hurriedly assembled meetings populated by sycophants and glory hunters. They are ready to sacrifice but not when they think things are going from bad to worse.

There is so much to do but without an agile economy nothing tangible can be achieved. The economy itself cannot be fixed in an atmosphere of permanent strife. One year will soon pass by next month and a second year shall begin.

It is time to bite the bullet and take the economy head on. Forget about all distractions and concentrate on what really matters to the generality of our people.

You will find out that once the economy is tamed all else will follow suit and the successes that you crave in your corruption crusade will start being manifested.

I pray you will hearken to my humble advice and concentrate your energy on resurrecting the economy instead of embarking on a war of attrition.

You will be judged ultimately by the comfort you bring to your people and not the self-immolating pain you inflict on real and imaginary enemies.

May Allah grant you the wisdom of Nelson Mandela who chose the path of reconciliation and national rebirth above the tempting choice of prolonging the horror of racial segregation.

My warmest regards to you and yours always.

I remain yours sincerely.
Dele Momodu

FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vols 354 , 357 , 359 to 373

354. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 354
Plunging Naira – Before You Blame Emefiele, Look At Yourself by Kenneth Ezaga 2001-2016.
It is either I do not understand economics and how exchange rates work or a vast majority of us Nigerians still don’t get how we have wrecked our country with our own curious choices. Just this morning I was listening to the radio and the lady on air went on and on about how she thought CBN governor Godwin Emefiele was incompetent and should be sacked because the naira was now exchanging at 309 or so to the USD. That view pretty much echoes the sentiments expressed by many people I know and it amazes me that there are Nigerians who actually think there is some magic POLICY that can make the naira strong in the near term. If my economics and my understanding of the way the world works are right, then that is as far from the truth as Jesus Christ is black. The simple fact of the matter is that apart from oil that accounts for over 90% of our revenues, we really don’t have much of an economy. We hardly produce anything, we import even toothpicks, so exactly what policy is going to be implemented that will turn Nigeria into a top exporting economy in the near term? Where are our Apples, IBMs, Disneys, GMs, General Electrics, Coca Colas, Empire State buildings, Statues of Liberties, Lockheeds, Citibanks, JP Morgans, ExxonMobils, NBAs, Super Bowls etc? Let me bring that closer home. There was a time long ago when Nigeria had a truly strong economy and the naira was one to the dollar – even exchanged for higher than the USD, but that Nigeria is not this Nigeria. Sadly that Nigeria was laid by the British, and this Nigeria (if you don’t believe in the nonsensical imperialist conspiracies like me) – fueled by the DAMAGING Indigenisation Decree, has been the creation of us Nigerians.Back then we had a booming economy. We were either the top, or among the top exporters, of timbre, cocoa, groundnuts, rubber, palm oil, etc, in the world. Nigerians not only holidayed at home in their villages, at Yankari Games Reserve, at Obudu Cattle Ranch, at Oguta Lake, at Ikogosi springs, at Gurara Falls, at Mambilla Platueau, etc, we attracted international tourists who brought in loads of foreign exchange. Even Nigerian schools were foreign exchange earners because they attracted foreign students. We had different car assembly plants – Peugeot, Volkswagen, Anamco etc. Nigerian government officials only bought vehicles assembled in Nigeria for official cars. We had a thriving sports industry. We were not Man United or Chelsea fans, we were Rangers or IICC fans. We had the Nduka Odizors, people made money from sports. We also had companies like Lennards and Bata producing school shoes in their thousands, we had the thriving Nigerian Airways and the Aviation School in the north that produced some of the best pilots in the world. In those days if you were brilliant you were respected much more than the crass money-miss-road contractors of today. Most of the Aje Butters I knew had fathers who were university dons. Back then it meant something to ‘know book’. Our textile industry was alive and well. Just recently I watched a news report on the textile industry in Nigeria on CCTV News. Though the main focus was on the comatose status of the industry, I was stunned by the gigantic Kaduna Textile Mill built in 1957. I could go on and on. Today however, no thanks to our parents (and we must call them out the way Wole Soyinka did his generation) and many of us (and we should be remembered for failing our children if we continue like this), we have destroyed everything. Today for instance Nigerian football (which comes easy to me obviously) doesn’t appeal to us, we have to fly across thousands of miles to watch ‘our’ clubs play. Every year we collectively burn billions of naira being fans of clubs that give us nothing back, but some ‘entertainment value’ – simple pleasures for which we are ready to destroy the future of our children. Well people, payback time is here. Even with our ta-she-re money we all want to wear designer clothes and carry designer bags, Armani, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton etc. We all want to drive jeeps with American specs, our children must now school overseas and acquire the necessary accents to come back home and bamboozle their ‘bush and crass’ contemporaries that they left behind. Who holidays in Nigeria anymore, is there Disneyland here? No one buys made-in-Nigeria school bags for their children, after all no Superman or Incredible Hulk or Cinderella on them. We are no longer top exporters of anything and the demise of oil means we have zilch… zero. A country of 170m fashion-conscious people has no textile industry. We take delight in showing how our made-in-Switzerland Aso Ebi is different class to everyone else’s. When we help our musicians grow and pay them millions, they repay us by immediately shipping the monies overseas to produce their “i-don-dey-different-level”music videos. It makes no difference that distinctly Zulu dancers are dancing to a Nigerian highlife song. As stars concerned they also wed and holiday overseas to impress us all. All the musicians who acknowledge their Ajegunle roots now speak in a cocktail of strange accents to symbolise how much they have blown their monies overseas. Were we a more serious people, the highly popular Kingsway Stores of the past would probably have a thousand outlets pan Nigeria today supporting a massive agriculture industry among others, but today we have the likes of SPAR, Shoprite, dominating the retail industry while Kingsway is dead. And we Nigerians make it a special point to shop from the Oyibos who have ‘cleaner shops’, ‘better this and better that’. For our personal pleasure we don’t mind them dominating us in our own backyard and shipping proceeds overseas. I could go on and on, but I don tire. Even as you are reading this, stop for a moment and look around you. What you see will probably explain why we are lucky it is not N1000 to the USD yet. And don’t think for a moment that it cannot get there. Just continue to wear your Armani gear and Swiss-made lace, continue to spend your money on Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Barca and encourage your children to do same. (My article in This Day tomorrow is on the Nigerian champions Enyimba FC – Nigeria’s most successful club – not having a sponsor, yet Nigerian brands pay over N600m to Man United and Arsenal for sponsorship to impress us.) Ehhh, no problem, continue to tell me the NPFL is rubbish or the clubs should clean up their act if they want sponsorship, mo gbo. Don’t curtail your interest in choice wines ( we were the number one champagne consumers in the world in 2015), continue to love your American specs, cheer the education ministry for letting schools sink to pitiable levels, don’t fight them to improve our schools, don’t chide them for letting schools drop Nigerian history and embrace British, America and whatever else curricula. Carry on with your love of French wines and Chinese silk, don’t bother about Jamiu Alli when there is Roger Federer. Stock up on your Italian, American, British products which you cannot live without, including the ‘baby soft’ toilet rolls produced only in that small unique village in England – the days are long gone since you were a broke student who used wet newspapers to wipe your butt. Don’t even consider holidaying in Nigeria, it’s too dangerous – you have to fulfill your dream of being Nigeria’s Henry Ford. Don’t listen to people like me who have a wardrobe full of only cheap adire that is actually cheaper than just one of your Tom Ford blazers. Please keep dressing in fine silk made in some exotic place so you can be addressed accordingly. Finally keep letting corrupt leaders who have looted your commonwealth and shipped all the monies overseas get away because to attack them does not fit your political narrative. Let us continue with the fine life, let us all continue to work for Oyibo. But don’t forget that there is payback time and Emefiele is not your problem. Time for us all to look in the mirror and take responsibility

357. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 357

MY DEAR NIGERIAN YOUTHS…
“I am very angry and that is why I am addressing you. You are the source of my anger and I want to vent my spleen- maybe not at you directly- but at the arrogance of your ignorance. .You sit in front of a computer and rant all day through social media but with every click, you make money – not for yourself – but for Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).With every megabyte of data you spend complaining and maligning, you make stupendous bucks for Etisalat, Glo,Airtel & Mtn.Over the next two years, the number of Nigerian millionaires will jump by 47% but most likely you will not be among because you are too busy whining and complaining. And yet about 60% of Nigeria’s 170m population are below 35 years. Oh, what a waste! By the way, Mark Zuckerberg was 19 when he started Facebook.Africa’s youngest billionaire, Ashish Thakkar, is 31. He escaped from the Rwandan genocide and relocated to Uganda where he started an IT business. Collin Thornton, who made his millions by fixing bad computers and setting up Dial-a-Nerd, is 35.Adam Horowitz, an 18-year-old entrepreneur, started 30 websites in 3 years before he became successful. The only thing you have ever started is an online petition.Have you heard of Jason Njoku?He’s 33 and the founder of Iroko TV. He received $8m investment into his company just a few years ago. What he does? Sharing the same Nollywood films that you spend hours to watch online. He didn’t just hang around waiting for Buhari to make something happen or blaming Jonathan for not making anythinghappen.Kamal Budhabhatti was deported from Kenya but while on the flight, he thought of the opportunities in Kenya. He found his way back after 6 months and today his company is valued at $30m. He’s 36.Have you heard of Chinedu Echeruo? Apple just paid $1b for his app. He’s a Nigerian like you and all he did was attempt to fix a problem. But for you, the only thing you attempt to fix are your nails- and your hairdo! Chinedu moved to New York in 1995 and found it difficult to navigate the city with ease so he developed HopStop to fix the problem. Stop listing all the problems – we know them already but what are you doing about them?-Awolowo was 37, Akintola was 36, Ahmadu Bello was 36, Tafawa Balewa was 34, Okotie-Eboh was 27 and Enahoro was 27 at the time of independence of Nigeria.In 1966, the first coup was led by Kaduna Nzeogwu (29) and stopped by Murtala Mohammed (28), TY Danjuma (28), IBB (25), Sanni Abacha (23) and Shehu Yar’adua (23).It brought in Yakubu Gowon as Head of State at 32 and Olusegun Obasanjo at 29.You are in your 40s and you still sag your trousers. Of course, you know Linda Ikeji. You’ve spent hundreds of hours on her blog laughing and commenting while she smiles her way to the bank. She’s just built a house for her father in the village- just by you clicking on her gossip and sharing.Your day is not complete without a stop by at her blog. She was as broke as you are but she turned a hobby into a business. Are youthat void of understanding?You think those politicians have any regard for you?That is why I referred to the arrogance of your ignorance at the beginning of this diatribe.-You have a false estimation of yourself. You have an over bloated ego. -You are only as good as an election ticket – pure and simple.-You are only good to be used and discarded like a used ballot paper. Who keeps a used ballot paper anyway?That is why they only remember you every four years. You are like a menstrual pad that is only useful during the menstrual period.A food for thought…Start doing something today for better tomorrow.”

359. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 359

Whatever Happened to the Twelve Apostles by Ken Curtis, Ph.D.
They were not the kind of group you might have expected Jesus to send forth on his mission to reach the world. There was nothing special or spectacular about them. The twelve apostles were just ordinary working men. But Jesus formed them into the backbone of the church and gave them the most extraordinary task imaginable: calling the entire world, including the mightiest empire ever known, to repentance and faith in the risen Christ. You can be sure that any educated, first-century Roman citizen would have laughed at any prediction that within three centuries the Christian faithwould be the official faith of the empire.
Many wonder how the 12 apostles died, but The New Testament tells of the fate of only two of the apostles: Judas, who betrayed Jesus and then went out and hanged himself, and James the son of Zebedee, who was executed by Herod about 44 AD (Acts 12:2). Read how each of the apostles spread out to minister and evangilize and how many of the apostles died for their faith. Into All the World
Reports and legends abound and they are not always reliable, but it is safe to say that the apostles went far and wide as heralds of the message of the risen Christ. An early legend says they cast lots and divided up the world to determine who would go where, so all could hear about Jesus. They suffered greatly for their faith and in most cases met violent deaths on account of their bold witness.
PETER and PAUL were both martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
ANDREW went to the “land of the man-eaters,” in what is now the Soviet Union. Christians there claim him as the first to bring the gospel to their land. He also preached in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, and in Greece, where he is said to have been crucified.
“Doubting” THOMAS was probably most active in the area east of Syria. Tradition has him preaching as far east as India, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder. They claim that he died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers.
PHILIP possibly had a powerful ministry in Carthage in North Africa and then in Asia Minor, where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul had Philip arrested and cruelly put to death.
MATTHEW the tax collector and writer of a Gospel, ministered in Persia and Ethiopia. Some of the oldest reports say he was not martyred, while others say he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
BARTHOLOMEW had widespread missionary travels attributed to him by tradition: to India with Thomas, back to Armenia, and also to Ethiopia and Southern Arabia. There are various accounts of how he met his death as a martyr for the gospel.
JAMES the son of Alpheus, is one of at least three James referred to in the New Testament. There is some confusion as to which is which, but this James is reckoned to have ministered in Syria. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that he was stoned and then clubbed to death.
SIMON THE ZEALOT, so the story goes, ministered in Persia and was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.
MATTHIAS was the apostle chosen to replace Judas. Tradition sends him to Syria with Andrew and to death by burning.
JOHN is the only one of the company generally thought to have died a natural death from old age. He was the leader of the church in the Ephesus area and is said to have taken care of Mary the mother of Jesus in his home. During Domitian’s persecution in the middle 90’s, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. There he is credited with writing the last book of the New Testament–the Revelation. An early Latin tradition has him escaping unhurt after being cast into boiling oil at Rome.

360. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 360

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE A TYRE BLOWOUT
In the event of the unfortunate death of Nigeria’s minister of state for labour due to an accident occasioned by a tyre blowout and the fact that in Nigeria now-a-days, we have many untrained drivers, it has become pertinent for me to write this.

There are 6 simple steps to take within a maximum of 2 minutes and you will be safe, these by the grace of God I have been familiar with for decades.

They are as follow:

(1) DON’T PANIC in the event of a blowout, calm yourself down fast because your car will start misbehaving and you need to take charge.
(2) Hold FIRMLY to your steering wheel with both hand, NO VIGOROUS TURNING, as you concentrate on the road and your mirrors, in seconds study the movement pattern of the car. Your car will naturally swerve to the direction of the burst tyre.
(3) Gradually take off your foot from the accelerator, DON’T EVER ATTEMPT TO PRESS THE BRAKES, IF YOU DO, YOU HAVE A 95% CHANCE OF A SOMERSAULT. The car will decelerate gradually while you concentrate on the road to avoid collision with any other road user.
(4) Disengage the gears of the car by shifting to neutral (n) as you still maintain a firm grip on the sheering wheel and put your eyes on the road.
(5) After a while depending on your initial speed, your car comes to a speed less than 60km/h when it is now safe to GRADUALLY apply the brakes and navigate to the side walk
(6) Ultimately, it is now safe to put the car to a complete stop and turn off the engine. You have just saved yourself and passengers from untimely death.
NOTE:Of course, everyone in the car will be in a panic mode BUT this is NOT THE TIME TO LISTEN TO THEM, it is TIME TO CONCENTRATE.

361. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol 361

Open Letter and a Take Charge Call to President. Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) by Dr.Biggie Nostra II
I use this medium to first of all thank you and appreciate all the good work that you have been doing so far. Nigeria is a very complex and difficult country to rule, no thanks to years of mismanagement, impunity, corruption and indiscipline, amongst other vices. The problems you inherited are legions. I know that and appreciate how far you have gone in a short while; knowing you can do far much better. Certainly, one has to be wise, strong and decisive in order to rule Nigeria.
Mr. President, I am writing this open letter to advise and encourage you to do the needful as I further need to intimate you of the fact that you are fast losing the great support Nigerians once gave you before, during and immediately after last year’s presidential polls which you won, trouncing the incumbent on people’s popular support. Nigerians really want the promised change and very fast too! I can’t too much blame them because they have greatly suffered in the past and their capacities to further bear more suffering has greatly waned. I may need to tell you that in some places where you once had tremendous support, one cannot openly say “change” or “Sai Buhari”, lest one risks being attacked. It’s that serious!
Advisedly, I write this open letter to you through the social media hoping it gets to you and it’s implemented. I chose this medium because it’s through the same social media I tirelessly campaigned for you against forces of impunity that were dragging Nigeria down to an intractable dungeon and bottomless pit. I’m happy my strategy with many other change agents worked. Whether recognized or not, I know you specially know and appreciate the impact of social media for your campaign against countless state sponsored agents. Within the ranks of your supporters, we have been put under so much pressure by the opposition to start finding faults all over the place.
We are not going to behave like some who hated criticism of their beloved “tin-gods” and were neither able to criticize nor correct him when he was wrong. They created a path for his destruction and ouster. We who truly love you won’t open our eyes and let you fail. We will constructively criticize you where necessary and even protest to press forward our position. No #Wailing Wailers should rejoice over our criticism because it is patriotic unlike theirs which is destructive and hate filled. I know in spite of all your great achievements since you were sworn into office just over 9 months ago including Single Treasury Account, your anti corruption crusade and touching the untouchables and collecting looted funds from them; letting them know the days of impunity are over because a new Sheriff is in town; even bribe giving SANs are not left out, Boko Haram has been practically defeated with so many other laudable achievements, nonetheless, the people are suffering greatly for few reasons and those reasons are blanketing your great achievements.
Though not entirely your fault, the economy is in a very bad shape. You need to wake up and smell the roses. There are at least two areas where Nigerians are currently suffering the most, which your prompt intervention will not only bring back smiles to their faces, but will make you regain and surpass your once popular support. The economy is in a very bad shape as well as the power sector too. It’s no exaggeration to say Nigerians are in darkness. It would be hypocritical of me not to tell you the truth. It appears your economic team isn’t working as they should. You know a child that doesn’t pass despite great efforts at reading is deemed a failure, likewise a team that plays good football but doesn’t win matches or trophies.
Your economic team has failed Nigerians. The economy is in shambles. I put the blame mainly on the Finance Minister – Kemi Adeosun and CBN Governor Godwin Emiefile. I’m Yoruba like Miss. Adeosun but the economy has proven she’s incapable of the job. She has underperformed and should quit. The CBN governor too has badly advised you and has not helped put your intentions to work. This is not the time to work by the rules strictly. He should be fired or forced to quit so that you put a more capable person you not only trust, but is capable of doing the job well. The CBN governor is among the vestiges of last inglorious GEJ led PDP government and so should go with his principal.
I know you know how the service chiefs were ineffective in the first few months of your government and how they undermined your efforts in fighting Boko Haram till you fired them and put better people. The controversies concerning the 2016 budget is still fresh in our minds how the vestiges of the last government padded the budget in ways to embarrass your government. Recently despite it being after 9 months, you rightly fired the VCs of GEJ formed universities and DGs of some corporations (including DG budget office) because they were vestiges of last government and incompatible with change. Please extend your action to the CBN governor, Nigerian foreign missions abroad, paramilitary agencies too as unconfirmed rumours say some of them like NSCDC and Immigration are secretly recruiting people like they did in the last inglorious GEJ led govt. They need to know a new Sheriff is in town and days of impunity are over. You need to stamp your authority sir.
Finally, most Nigerians are still experiencing power shortage contrary to your campaign promise. I want you to realize you need to urgently address the issue of electricity because majority of Nigerians are in darkness. There are some people who won’t let you realize your objectives and the earlier you get rid of them, the better. Those who never wanted you to be president are in charge of the oil and gas sector. Mr. President, I am sure you know your predecessor – GEJ didn’t sell PHCN to genuine, competent investors. Rather he sold them to his cronies and card carrying PDP members, who lacked the capacity to effectively manage power. They have shown they don’t have what it takes to develop the power sector. They have failed in finance, technical expertise and investment. They are always short of funds because they never had funds in the first place. They are always asking for bail-outs and threatening to put the nation, your beloved nation in darkness if their selfish increase in electricity tariff is not granted. Didn’t they call themselves investors? Why can’t they improve the electricity situation first before asking for any increase? Was that what MTN, Airtel, Etisalat or Glo did to improve telecoms sector?
They claim to be broke yet were donating billions to your political opponent during last elections. Is that a sign of being broke? The truth is that most of them are broke GEJ cronies. They want you to fail and are assiduously working towards their goals. Don’t allow your enemies to have field day in your government. Mr. President, you must be strong and decisive in shunning the weak lily livered attitude of the past regime. The law privatising PHCN giving our commonwealth to GENCOs and very inefficient DISCOs must be reviewed fast. The DISCOs should be taken away from the ineffective ones (at least 80% of them fall into this category) and taken over by government and resold to genuine foreign investors in a very transparent manner sir. That will make power to be stable within 24 months.
Body language isn’t going to work here but real fast action. We all know that MTN, Airtel (Econet), Glo and Etisalat are very effective because they were bought by competent foreign investors while others like Starcomms, Visafone, Multilinks, Zoom, Intercellular, Reltel are no more and have gone to the doldrums of oblivion. If in doubt of my position, you can send any of your aides to get the proceedings of the recent meetings the Senate committee on power held recently with stakeholders in the power sector and study the submissions of the DISCOs, labour and civil society groups, follow them yourself and make your judgment based on the submissions of these three groups. I know you are a very wise and intelligent man and will make a very just judgment in the best interest of the masses.
There is also a need to regularly brief Nigerians of your efforts as a way of carrying them along and dispelling any seeds of bitterness your enemies may want to plant in their hearts. We cannot afford another failed government. You must do the needful even if some toes will get bruised. To be sycophantic at this period is dangerous. I tell the truth to those I love because I don’t want them to fail.
Thanks for your understanding. I’m still standing with Buhari!
Dr. Michael “Dr.Biggie Nostra II” Adeyemi
– A concerned Citizen and ardent supporter of good governance and PMB!

 

362. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol   362

The Eagle and Change: Why the Eagles undegoes a difficult and painful process of CHANGE to survive longer !

The Eagle has the longest life-span of its species. It can live up to 70 years. But to reach this age, the eagle must make a very difficult decision!
In its 40th year, the eagle’s long and flexible Talons can no longer grab a prey which serves as food. Its long and sharp beak becomes bent.
Its old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, stick to its chest and make it difficult to fly. Then, the eagle is left with only two options: DIE or go through a painful process of CHANGE!

This process lasts for 150 days (5 months)
The process requires the eagle to fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest. There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out.
Then the eagle will wait for the new beak to grow back after which it will pluck out its talons. When its talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old aged feathers.

And after this the eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and LIVES for 30 more years!!
Why is Change needed???

In order to survive and live. We too have to start the change process. We sometimes need to get rid of the unpleasant old memories, negative habits and our fixed mind set. Only Freed from the past burdens can we take advantage of the present.
If an eagle can make a life saving and life changing decision at the age of 40….why can’t we? In order to take on a New Journey ahead, let go of your negative old limiting beliefs.

Open up your mind and let yourself fly high like an eagle!
When it rains, all birds occupy shelter. But the EAGLE avoids the rain by flying above the clouds….The problem is common to all but the attitude to solve it makes the difference!

Don’t be afraid of change…accept it gracefully..!!!

363. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol  363

NUC’s new 11 year policy for studying medicine in Nigeria is dead on arrival

Medical students to spend 11 years now in varsity before obtaining MBBS degree says NUC. The problem is that most Nigerian policy makers neither think deeply about implications of a policy nor weigh it properly nor study the dynamics and applications to our own local situations here before they conclude and force their policies on us. There have been many changed and failed policies in govt.

For instance, someone wakes up and says Unitary Govt is good for Nigeria, another recommends Federalism, another says Regionalism, another wants more states to be created no matter how unviable they may be, yet another views seccession as the panacea and cure for all the problems is if he’s not seeing the Carnage in South Sudan now.

In another instance, different people have views of presidential / parliamentary systems of govt without weighing the pros and cons of such moves. In the education system, someone wakes up today and forces 6-3-3-4 system on u. Another says 7-5-2-3 is better while another wants 6-5-2-3. Yet one man may wake up and say 9-3-4. How positively has this impacted us?

NUC is just talking like people with no brains (apologies for such harsh statement). Have they viewed the implications on Nigeria? Have they viewed how badly Nigeria still needs more doctors and the doctor:population ratio is still very low? Did they consider the brain drain of doctors and how lesser number of people are considering studying medicine? Have they noticed how many doctors no longer practice medicine yet are youthful? I forgot Senate Presido is also a medical doctor.

Have they considered residency trainning and the female folks? Studying Medicine for 11 years is not worthy in a country like Nigeria. Later one aunty nurse, radiographer or lab scientist will start dragging C.M.D post with me. The reasons for making it 11yrs are even fake and not thoroughly convincing. In our times ( when I was young ( the 70s and 80s ), small children were not allowed to write JAMB. You can’t see 11, 12, 13, 14 year old writing JAMB. Average age was 18-21 and extremely few (less than 5% wrote their Jamb before 17yrs).

Which yeye maturity? It would discourage people from studying Medicine. Later in future, the country will complain of shortage of medical doctors when they won’t know it’s retrogressive policies like this that cause them. Already over 50% of my coursemates we finished together in same class are abroad. Shows how willing people are ready to practice in Nigeria This policy is bound to fail says Nostra II.

Disregard Nostra II to your peril !
God rules in the affairs of men !!

364 . FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol  364

THE CROSS CHALLENGE

The cross is an emblem of eternal love not for my body only but for my spirit and soul. #ILoveTheCross for what it stands for. It is the whole essence of my faith. I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live yet not I but it’s Christ who lives in me. I boast of nothing but the cross.
#ILoveTheCross.The cross reminds me of the moment when God took away sin, shame, guilt and pain that should be mine upon Himself.
#ILoveTheCross because it’s my hiding place, my refuge, my icon of salvation, the stronghold on which I lean.
#ILoveTheCross
I nominate my friends (mention 5 to 12 names ) to say one thing the cross means to them end it

#ILoveTheCross

365. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol  365

WHAT MY MOTHER TOLD ME
A DAY BEFORE MY WEDDING!

Mummy’s boy, you are now a man.
Tomorrow you will have a new mother,
a new cook and a new person to share all your secrets with.
It will no longer be me but her.
Love your new mum even more than you love me.
Before you walk into her arms forever, let me give you some words to guide you.

There was a day I was arguing with your father. We were screaming, Tempers were high. I was angry and He was angry. Then I called him an idiot! He was shocked, He looked at me asking how dare I call him that, Immediately started calling him idiot, fool, stupid, crazy, I called him all sort of name.
Guess what he did? He didn’t raise his hands to hit me. He just walked away, banging the door as he went out.
My Son, If your father had hit me and destroyed my eyes, how will you feel sitting here with me today? How will you regard him as your father? Would you have been proud of him or would you be blaming me for calling him names? Never hit your wife! No matter the provocation just walk away and things will be normal. Whenever she offends you, think of this story I just told you, it could have been your mum!

Before I forget, after he left, I was filled with guilt. We slept on same bed that night and I went to him the next day. I pleaded with him, I did all I could to show am sorry and he forgave me.
That day I cooked his favourite food, yes you know he loves Pounded yam & Vegetable soup right?
After that day, I never called him names, my respect for him was ten times stronger.

There is something very important you must always do, my son listen very carefully, defend your wife. When she is under pressure, stand by her. If your friends hates her, it is your duty to make them see her as a Queen.
Your Uncle, I mean Uncle Emeka, never liked me. But Ur father was always supportive until his perception changed.
There was a day your Father was going to host the owner of his company and friends. They were three of them. That day I was in the kitchen cooking for them and your father went to buy drinks. When the table was set and food was served. Everyone started eating. Then I remembered I did not add salt in the food. I was embarrassed.
Your father tasted the food and looked at me. He immediately turned to the guests. He told them that he instructed his wife last month not to add salt whenever she is cooking because of some problem with his body.
He said it in a funny way and everyone laughed! The guests understood and he asked me to bring salt and everyone added according to their taste. He managed to eat the food without salt. After the guest left, he went on his knees and asked God to forgive him for lying.

Your wife is like a baby,
sometimes she don’t know what to say or do. Stand up and speak for her!

Now let me talk to you about Sex.
You see Sex is a wonderful thing.
Do not be surprised if your wife enjoy and need Sex more than you do.
There were days, I needed Sex more than your father and there were days he needed it more than me but the important thing is to always try to satisfy the other when they need you.
Don’t always think of your self.

There was a time things were hard and I needed to do two jobs to support your father. One night I was so tired. When I got to bed he was in the mood. He try to make love to me and I didn’t refuse him. I was tired but I felt I needed to be there when he need me. When he tried undressing me, he saw my look and he stopped. He asked what was wrong and I said nothing. But he understand me better. He stopped and then started telling me stories until I fell asleep.
My son, Sex is best enjoyed when the two parties are physically and mentally ready for it. Sometimes, read your wife and understand her.

Make it a habit to go anywhere with your wife. Beside your job, move around with her. If anyone invite you to his house and told you not to come with your wife then be very careful. Use wisdom.

I know you love mummy…
I know you tell me all your problems.
But now things will be different.
Let your wife be the first to know before me. Let her be the first to see before me.
When you have problems with her don’t run to me immediately.
Wait for a day to pass and then talk to her about it.
Pray about it.
Report her to nobody but talk issues out within yourself.

Finally, don’t forget to come and visit me with your wife every month!
I know you will have a happy home.
You will always be mummy’s boy.
God will bless Ur home.
Pls don’t forget

366. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol  366

A bit of Nigerian history:

Do you know that?
1-2. The River Niger Bridge at Onitsha was constructed between 1964 and 1965 by Dumez- a French construction company and cost £5 million.
3. The highest peak in Nigeria is located in Taraba and is called Chappal Waddi which means “The Mountain of Death”.
4. There are 196 countries in the world and at least one Igbo person from Nigeria lives in every one of them.
5. The Pidgin word ‘Sabi’ came from ‘Saber’, Portuguese and Spanish for ‘to know’. Both country’s ships traded slaves from the Bight of Benin.
6. Katsina College (now Barewa College in Zaria) has produced 5 Nigerian Presidents/Heads of State since it was founded in 1921 in Katsina.
7. Ojukwu taught Murtala Mohammed and Ben Adekunle at Regular Officers Special Training School, Ghana. Both ‘fought’ their teacher during the civil war
8. At Nigeria’s independence in 1960, there were 41 Secondary Schools in the North and 842 Secondary Schools in the South.
9. In 1983, Senator Arthur Nzeribe spent $16.5 million to win a Senatorial seat in Orlu (in Imo State).
10. In 1973, the Federal Government of Nigeria considered officially changing the name of “Lagos” to “Eko”. Regarding “Lagos” as a colonial name.
11. The geographical area now referred to as Nigeria was once referred to as ‘Soudan’ and ‘Nigiritia’.
12. Offences punishable by death sentence after the 1966 coup included embezzlement, rape and homosexuality.
13. MKO Abiola was named Kashimawo (Let us wait and see) by his parents. He was his father’s twenty-third child, but the first to survive infancy.
14. Jaja Wachucku was the first person to refer to Lagos as a “no-man’s land” in 1947, provoking a national controversy.
15. Jollof rice, chicken breast, serve of ice cream, tea, coffee or Bournvita, with full cream milk and sugar: Meal Cost = 50Kobo- Unilag in the late 1970s
16. At the point death in 1989, Sam Okwaraji was a PhD candidate and qualified lawyer with an LL.M in International Law (University of Rome)
17. When British Bank of West Africa (now First Bank) opened a branch in Kano in 1929, Alhassan Dantata (Dangote’s Grandfather) opened an account depositing 20 camel-loads of silver coins.
18. Jaja Wachuku is reputed to have owned the biggest one-man library in West Africa. Balewa sometimes referred to him as “Most Bookish Minister
19. The colonization of Nigeria took more than 40 years to achieve and the territories were integrated by the use of force.
20. Yoruba is spoken as a ritual language the Santeria cult in Carribean and South-Central America.
21. Slavery existed in the Nigerian territory before the 15th century and was abolished in the 19th century- 1807 by the British.
22. At least 55 women were killed in South-East Nigeria, in 1929 when the women forced the Umuahia warrant chiefs to submit to their rule.
23. The coinage ‘Supreme Court’ was first used in 1863 by the colonial administration through the enactment of the Supreme Court Ordinance No. II.
24. MKO Abiola died suddenly on July 7, 1998, exactly one month after General Sani Abacha died mysteriously on June 8, 1998.
25. Agbani Darego was the only one to wear a maillot as opposed to a bikini during the Miss Universe contest in 2001.
26. The ‘Ankara’ material is not indigenous to Nigeria. Our indigenous textiles include the Akwete, Ukara, Aso-Oke and Adire.
27. Aloma Mukhtar is the first female lawyer from the North and went on to become the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria.
28. The area known as Makoro town in Lagos was first a swamp, later sand-filled by the colonial government and served as the first bridge to the Island.
29. Esie Museum is Nigeria’s first museum, established in 1945. Once reputed to have the largest collection of soapstone images in the world.
30. Aminu Kano formed the Northern Teachers’ Association (NTA) in 1948, the first successful regional organization in the history of the North.
31. George Goldie, who played a major role in founding Nigeria, placed a curse on anyone who attempts to write his biography.
32. In 1996, John Ogbu, a Nigerian Anthropologist firmly advocated for the use of African-American Vernacular to teach in the U.S
33. Hause Language indigenous to Northern Nigeria is spoken in 11 African States. Germany, French, U.S., and British International radio stations broadcast in Hausa.
34. The surgeon who ‘killed’ Stella Obasanjo was sentenced to 1 year in prison, disqualified for 3 years and fined €120,000.
35. The word ‘asiri’ means ‘secret’ in Hausa, Yoruba, Nupe and Igarra. It also means ‘gossip’ in Igbo.
36. Igbo-Ora in Oyo State, Kodinji in India and Candido Godoi in Brazil are the towns that produce the highest number of twin births in the world.
37. Bishop Ajayi Crowther, a Yoruba, in 1857 produced a reading book for the Igbo Language and a full grammar and vocabulary of NUPE in 1864.
38. The first TV broadcast in Nigeria and Tropical Africa was on October 31, 1959.
39. In 1978, a 50Kobo increase (from #1.50 to #2) in the cost of University Students’ meal per day caused the ‘Ali Must Go’ protests.
40. Albert E. Kitson discovered coal in Enugu in 1909. This discovery led to the building of Port-Harcourt town in 1912.
41. Today, only Nigeria has a larger black population than Brazil. More than 3.5 million Africans were captured, enslaved and transported to Brazil.
42. Groundnut pyramids were the invention of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata to stack bags before export.
43. In 1967, old traditional ruler, Oba Akran and A. Ademiluyi were jailed for 14 years (7 each) for stealing £504,750 (#2.5b).
44. Since 1960, Nigeria has been either ruled by an ex-lecturer/ex-teacher or military man. The only exceptions are Azikiwe and Shonekan.
45. If you visited Lagos in 1975, you could spend a day at the Presidential Suite of Federal Palace Hotel for #100, single room for #19.
46. The first aircraft to land in Nigeria landed in Kano in July 1925. A British fighter jet flew from Khartoum (present day Sudan).
47. In 1895, Koko of Nembe (now in Bayelsa) took 60 white men hostage. When the British refused his demands, more than 40 of those men were eaten.
48. The ‘Naira’ was coined by Chief Obafemi Awolowo when he was serving as the Federal Commissioner of Finance.
49. Koma Hill (settlement in Adamawa where people lived and practised the killing of twins) was discovered in 1986 by a NYSC corps member.
50. The pilot (Francis Osakwe) that flew Ojukwu away from Biafra (1970) was the same pilot that flew Gowon to Uganda (last flight as Head of State).
51. In 1986, Shehu Shagari was banned from participation in politics for life. The ban has still not been lifted.
52. As the wife of the deputy Head of State (Vice President of Nigeria) in 1984, Biodun Idiagbon personally ran a small ice cream shop in Ilorin..
53. Koma Hills (Adamawa State) inhabitants when discovered were observed to engage in the practise of borrowing wives among themselves.
54. Juju, Dashiki, Yam and Okra are words in the English dictionary that originated from ethnic groups located in present day Nigeria.
55. Nigeria has more English speakers than England, and more Muslims than Saudi Arabia.

367. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol  367

If I am Samson Siasia

If was Siasia, coach of the U-23 Olympic team and acting coach of the Super Eagles, I would have raised two teams for the AFCON’17 qualifier home and away, against Egypt. I would have used a different squad for the home match and another different squad for the away match. I would have used the foreign based Eagles for the away match against Egypt in Cairo next week, having known the Egyptian weather is mild this period and very suitable to what they play in Europe.
I would have camped them in Portugal or Spain or UAE or a north african country for more than a week. My assistant would have overseen trainings till I come.
I would have used the home based U-23 Olympic team to play the home match. I would have camped them for at least 4 weeks and made them train during the intensity of the sun during 12noon to 3pm to acclamatize. I would have played the match today Thursday 24th March, 2016 in a northern city like Kano or Kaduna or Gombe or Katsina or Bauchi. The match would have started 12.30pm. I would use the advantage of the weather to my advantage and wear out the Egyptians in the 1st half and pumped in at least 4 or 5 goals in the second half.
What do u think about my suggestion?

368. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol  368

He paid all for me ( Good Friday Poem )
See Him carrying the cross
Created by me, a sin boss.
It was the emblem Of suffering and shame
And for the agony I had to pay,
The burden on him they lay.
They took all my charges,
Leveled them against Him, an innocent man,
Then sentenced him for death.
He Had to pay for what he did not buy
they sent his Father a receipt.
But He turned away His face. He too could not bear the shame.
So he cried out ELI ELI LAMA SABACHTANI
It should have been me at the cross and not Jesus.
That’s the truth so swallow your pride and face it.
Someone said count your blessings and name them one by one.
Well I say count your sins and name them one by one
And you will feel the weight of the cross meant for you.
I will count mine too
Then we do our sums and just imagine burden an innocent man bore.
Today is GOOD FRIDAY indeed.
Cos no name is worthy enough.
It was the day every man
Bound or free.
Sick or strong
Slave or prince
Black or white.
Debtor or indebted
Poor or rich.
I dare say Kings and Rulers. Priests and Leaders
This was the day of their final redemption.
When evrything was really free for undeserving souls.
– Full Credits : Korkoradjoa Love

 

369. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol  369

CHANGE! CHANGE!! CHANGE!!!
What is Change?

*CHANGE is when a Friday goes by and no one is dying in the Mosque due to Bomb Blast.. .

* CHANGE is when Sunday goes by and no one hears of another Bomb Blast in a Church killing worshipers….. .

* CHANGE is when mansion built with stolen money are sealed up and confiscated….. .

*CHANGE is when Boko Haram suicide bombers are intercepted before they kill innocent people…. .

* CHANGE is when prominent looters fall sick after years of eating our yams and bleat like demented goat for forgiveness… .

*CHANGE is when untouchable comes to court with Handcuffs… .

* CHANGE is when Corrupt people swallow or chew their confessional statements in panic to escape the long arm of the law….. .

*CHANGE is when judges stop giving stupid interlocutory injunction to stop corruption from being investigated and prosecuted….. .

I am neither surprised nor worried by ” their” hatred for Buhari… Rats and a cat can never live in the same place.

Too many things divide and draw heavy distinctions between BUHARI and his haters:

He loves Nigeria , they hate it.

He thinks of Nigerians, they think of themselves and family.

He is honest, they are dishonest.

He has character, they lack it. He pursues the Hereafter they struggle to have the world in their armpits.

He is patriotic, they are greedy and selfish.

He serves, they derail and enslave.

He is devoid of moral stains, they are immorality personified.

His past is clean and shinny, their past hunts them.

They are thieves, he catches thieves.

They have stolen, he wants to get back the loots.

They are insects and pests, he is a powerful and effective insecticide.

Fear fear fear, they are afraid of BUHARI.

They are running, Buhari is in hot pursuit.

They call for division, he works on unity.

They say Boko Haram, he calls Nigeria.

They want Biafra, he chooses Nigeria.

They shout Niger Delta, he advocates Nigeria.

They shared money for arms, he is retrieving the money and buying the arms.

They sponsored insurgency, he is defeating insurgency.

Keep on keeping on Mr. President we love you and we appreciate all that you are doing to revive and integrate this country into a strong economic institution.

370. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING    Vol 370

“Her Blood Is Not On My Hands”- The Travails Of A Nigerian Medical Doctor (Must Read)

Serious food for thought. Happens in almost every health care facility in this country.

A colleague sent this to my colleague who shared this with me. I am just sharing as received.

I own a hospital in Southwest- (not Osun state Nigeria …lol). I currently have about 17 patients on my ward each of whom I have admitted at several occasions through emergency. None of these patients has paid upto 30% of his/her bill. Some of them have stayed upto 7 weeks on the ward. I admitted and attended to them based on the fact that their conditions were life-threatening as at the time they came. I made their bill known to them – and they signed before they were treated. But there is a common trend, as soon as they felt relief and became stable they pleaded for their bills to be reduced – this I vehemently refused.
About 4 weeks ago a woman was rushed in with Eclampsia having just convulsed while pregnant and she was unconscious. I promptly took her straight to the theatre without collecting a dime though i had informed the relatives of the charges – #120,000 for her operation and medications. They signed and I carried out the surgery succesfully. Mother and baby survived. Within the following 6-days they paid a total sum of #12,000 and they began pleading to go home for the child’s christening ceremony. I looked at them with disdain. Till now, they have only managed to pay a total sum of #14,000.
Another man who was managed for strangulated hernia has only paid 20,000 out of 75,000 bill. And the list goes on. Their failure to pay has made it difficult for the hospital to replace consumables and medications needed to manage other people’s condition.
In the early hours of today 1:30am, a woman was rushed into the hospital following delivery at the referrral center. Blood had refused to stop gushing out. I did a quick assesment and realised she would need more materials than the hospital pharmacy currently had in store. I could have my staff get from a nearby pharmacy too. However, the husband said he had no money on him and so did the numerous relatives that accompanied. It was indeed a familiar pattern. I decided to let them go. I referred her to a government hospital. Ofcourse they pleaded for me to help but there was nothing I could do. Few minutes after they left – just few metres from my hospital gate, she collapsed. She had lost a lot of blood. I rushed there and rigorously tried resuscitating her right there outside the hospital 2am early morning, but all efforts proved abortive. A young woman of 28years had just died after having her first baby. Screams, wails, cries ensued. I felt bad – this is not why i became a doctor. But her blood is not on my hands.
Her blood is on the hands and heads of all the patients on the ward who can afford to pay but to – on the grounds that – “What will they do?. Her blood is on the hands and heads of the government officials past and present who have made it difficult and impossible for workers to get paid for their work. But the government officials are not the target of this my narrat. It is aimed at those who take hospital healthcare and medical doctors for granted. Those (including myself) who emphasise that doctors should not put money first before treating emergency conditions. In emergency cases, relatives would go to any length through any struggle to get money. As soon as the situation becomes calm, they relax and then they refuse to pay.
Last year a distant relative of mine was delivered of her baby via Caesearian section (in a hospital in Lagos- not mine). They were billed #180,000 which they accepted before the operation. After the surgery, her husband called me and asked how much I charge and i told him. He then began pleading with the management of the said hospital to review his bill. They declined. The husband being who he is, paid #120,000 and absconded with his wife and his newly born son. How he did this, I do not know, but i know that at the christening ceremony a week later, he had two cows slaughtered to celebrate the birth of his first son.
Many times we complain of doctors who ask for charges before treating patients but no one has ever bothered to ask the doctors why they do? Doctors are humans too, we need to pay bills. This is our trade, our profession, our means of livelihood. We have needs too. We can not go to the market place with the ID showing that we’re doctors and hope to get food items on credit. We need to pay our children’s school fees, we need clothes , shelter etc just as you. Everywhere in the world healthcare is expensive, both services and materials are exepensive. Well we understand that you may not have money. The government should find a way. The government should find a way/policy that ensures that we get our money back after we have rendered our service. In the UK there is the National Health Scheme, in the United states they have health insurance schemes too in addition to Medicare, Medicaid. In Nigeria we have the barely effective, poorly regulated and massively corrupt National Health Insurance Scheme.
Well i have decided to change the modus operandi of my institution. The previous one has not benefitted anybody. Henceforth if any one comes to my emergency room without a dime. I will not attend to. If such a person dies, the blood is not on my hands, its on the hands of those who have received treatment in the past and failed to pay afterwards.

371. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING   Vol  371

Academic Excellence vs Real World Excellence

Prof. Abletor Sedofia from University of Ghana has this to say :
“Academic excellence is overrated! Did I just say that? Oh, yes, I said it. Being top of your class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be at the top of life. You could graduate as the best student in Finance but it doesn’t mean you will make more money than everybody else. The best graduating Law student does not necessarily become the best lawyer.
The fact is life requires more than the ability to understand a concept, memorise it and reproduce it in an exam. School rewards people for their memory. Life rewards people for their imagination. School rewards caution, life rewards daring. School hails those who live by the rules. Life exalts those who break the rules and set new ones.
So do I mean people shouldn’t study hard in school? Oh, no, you should. But don’t sacrifice every other thing on the altar of First Class. Don’t limit yourself to the classroom. Do something practical. Take a leadership position. Start a business and fail. That’s a better Entrepreneurship 101.Join or start a club. Contest an election and lose. It will teach something Political Science 101 will not teach you. Attend a seminar. Read books outside the scope of your course. Go on missions and win a soul for eternal rewards… Do something you believe in! Think less of becoming an excellent student but think more of becoming an excellent person.”
Make the world your classroom !

372. FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol   372

Why I Voted for Buhari ( no regrets doing so )

“When I voted for Buhari, I did so with a number of things in mind:

1. I knew that after 16 horrible years of misrule, we needed a patriot and Buhari is a patriot.

2. By 2014, our nation was already on its knees. Our bridges of unity, peace and understanding were already breaking down. We needed a bridge builder and i saw a bridge builder in Buhari.

3. I realized that a few individuals had already kidnapped our nation and were holding it hostage. We needed a man with the heart of a lion to fight these wicked people and free our nation has an awesomely large quantity of courage in stock. I had strong feelings that he could face and over power them .

4. For 16 years, corruption was institutionalized and groomed into a monster. It has consumed the fabric of our society. There were no laws, no rules and no limits. To fight corruption, we needed a leader who is not corrupt. Again, Buhari became my choice because he was and is still unbeatably incorruptible.

5. Our dear nation was on fire. No one was safe…insurgency became our daily routine. Kidnapping became business. It was death, arson and destruction everywhere. Bombs, bombs and bombs everywhere. Insurgents ruled the nation freely while the government looked the other way. We needed a leader who was not culpable and not a coward to subdue the militants and expose the perpetrators.
Billions were stolen in the name of oil subsidy and purchase of military equipments to fight insurgency. They milked the nation dry. A man with clean hands must come and end the conspiracy against our nation. Buhari became my choice.

And so……I voted Buhari. I did so wholeheartedly and patriotically.

Today , i look back. Do I have any regrets? My answer is an emphatic NO! Looting has ended and looters are returning the loots. No sacred cows as the cabals have been scattered and neutralized. Trillions have entered our treasury and many thieves have abandoned their loots in illegal accounts. Buhari stopped the payment of subsidies . what is the story of Boko Haram today? Where are bombs in markets and motor parks? Where are the noise making militants? Who.is above the law today? Where are the grenades and brand new Hilux vans used by insurgents?
Buhari is fighting corruption. He is defeating insurgency. No one is stealing oil. We are recovering our loots in trillions. Nigeria is regaining it’s lost glory. Our image is beautiful in the eyes of the international community. Buhari has continued to enjoy international respect, honour and recognition. He is the toast of every nation.

I was not expecting Nigeria to change in just one year. I’m only confident and hopeful that we are on the path of national rebirth. Nigeria will rise again. Yes, it will!

373.  FREEDAY FREE FOOD FOR FRIENDS’ FREAKING FREETHINKING Vol   373

 

HOW PMB MISSED IT!

When the National Assembly was constituted, and both Chambers were about to elect their Leadership, the ruling APC Caucus swiftly moved in to advance its preferred candidates for the positions of Principal Officers of the Upper and Lower Chambers. The Party could not achieve this without the tacit support of the President. The President however, displayed a neutral disposition to the whole matter, just as highly ambitious guys swayed the unfolding, witty and delicate politicking to their personal advantage. And they won. The ruling Party caucus lost. But the President simply declared that a rather fair and democratic development took place.

I have no doubt as to the good intention of the President, nor his attempt at enthroning a free and fair democratic value where justice is done to all through non meddlesome and arm twisting game as obtained in the past. But this is Nigeria where everyone to himself and none to his fatherland. The emergence of very questionable and over ambitious persons (including staunch PDP stalwarts and unrepentant beneficiaries of the past administration) sent tongues wagging and the wisdom of the President in this regard, was put to test. It all came and passed, however, but almost broke the fragile alliance in the new ruling Party.

It could have been worse. But the repercussion is now trailing the goof made by the Presidency in this case. If the President has supported his Party’s preferred candidates, he might have enjoyed full loyalty in the National Assembly. But as it is playing out now, the two Chambers are deliberately scheming the downfall of his administration as a pay back to some of his policies on funds that accrue to all National Assembly Members’ coffers as well as those funds provision they bury in the budget to plunder through the MDAs later.

They started by delaying the budget for three months before it was passed, and now passed without its details. This to my little understanding is nothing short of criminality. The President is said to be livid with anger when he discovered the budget passed on to him was only a highlight. The Lawmakers failed to provide him with the details of what amendments they have made, and expect him to blindly, sign the document into law. The President refused to sign it and is said to have accused the Lawmakers of sabotage. Mr President, this is the work of Chambers led by the “Democrats” you allowed to come on board as against your Party’s choice!

Three months into the year, with low capital budget in the previous year, Nigerians have waited patiently, to see your administration implementing the 2016 budget. But as it is, another page of rancour is now open to further thwart the effort of your administration in proving its worth to the teeming masses who voted you for a change. As a solution to the present imbroglio the National Assembly must provide the details of what they passed (as amended) for the President to sign into law. This must be done pronto, otherwise the National Assembly members will see the ugly side of desperate Nigerians!

The Egypt Syndrome

Captivity of the mind and soul is far greater than captivity of the body. Having observed events in Nigeria within the past ten months, one would say that the economy of Nigeria is in turmoil. Truth be told, the condition of an average Nigeria has not improved since the change of government form PDP to APC. Many naysayers have used the opportunity to chide those who campaigned and voted for change. Those who couldn’t build roads, infrastructures or even refineries for years now expect them to be built in ten months. While I believe the President needs to do much more than he is currently doing, GEJ would never have been a better choice…GBAM! I wouldn’t bother to go into the rhetoric of PMB vs GEJ as it has been over flogged by supporters of both leaders.
The danger of oppression is that when it is prolonged enough, the oppressed may see a potential savior as worse than the oppressor. This brings me to the story of the Israelites in the Bible when they were delivered from oppression by Moses. When they left the land of Egypt where they had been oppressed and deprived for years, they found it difficult to adapt to the challenges of getting into the Promised Land. Of course the first challenge was the red sea ahead of them and the chariots of Pharaoh behind threatening to destroy them. They complained, murmured and insulted Moses saying he should have left them to die in Egypt as there are better graves in Egypt. Eventually, Moses was able to perform a miracle and they were all saved. Upon entering the wilderness, it was from one complaint to the other. They complained of lack of cucumber, meat, garlic, olives and the perceived good life they once lived in Egypt. There was preference for the little comfort they enjoyed in Egypt even though they were under bondage as slaves. They failed to see the hope of a better life that the Promised Land portends. They failed to understand that the journey of the wilderness is a MUST in other get to the Promised Land. The journey to success is full of challenges and you can’t escape the wilderness in other to get to Canaan. Nigeria is currently passing through the wilderness on the path to greatness. Do Nigerians have every right to complain and hold PMB accountable, of course we do! But we must also realize that if we don’t go through this phase now, our children will eventually go through it. It’s the sacrifice we all have to make to birth a nation of our dreams.
While our immediate woes and the name GEJ are inseparable, it’s time to move on. It is important for PMB to quickly move from talk into action, to turn the MTEF into a roadmap for proper economic development and diversification. While it is important to recover loot from rogues who emptied the treasury, the economy must not be left to suffer. Times are hard but the potential for greatness is there. While we must continually criticize the current administration constructively, we shouldn’t expect dawn before dusk. The citizens should also realize that it is easier to destroy than to build. Criticisms should be combined with patience and support provided we are on the right path.
All those spreading hashtags like #‎bringbackourcorruption‬ should realize that we will never go back to Egypt. They are only further denting the already battered image of Nigeria with such hashtags.
We can’t bypass the wilderness as long as we want a better Nigeria. We must travail to bring forth. A seed must first die before it can sprout.
“You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today – Abraham Lincoln.”
“Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children – Isaiah 66:8(NIV)”

Full Credits: Oluwakayode Ajayi

SARAKI IS NOT GUILTY FOR WE ARE THE GUILTY ONES By Attah Essien

As Michael Wetkas the EFCC operative who conducted the forensic analysis of Bukola Saraki’s accounts gave testimony before the code of conduct tribunal it immediately became as clear as crystal why Saraki tried everything possible to stall his trial.
As the Detective reeled out his findings, one wondered how Kwara State is still existing on the map after such alleged pilfering.
No, this can’t be true. How can a person pay in 600 to 900,000 fifty times in one day, with the aim to avoid the sacred amount of 1 Million that triggers an automatic red flag to the Serious Fraud Office of the NPF and Financial Intelligence Unit of the EFCC .
But despite this Saraki is not guilty.
Nigerians are the guilty ones for sitting quiet while Societe Generale Bank was brought to its knees by this same Saraki. Scores lost their life savings as the Bank was run like a personal kingdom where absolute power holds sway and of course such power corrupts absolutely.
To see grown men cry is not a figment of my imagination for as a student of Medilag in which Societe Generale Bank was the only rival to the old haggard Union Bank in Idi-Araba, I personally watched the horror show of the collapse of that bank.
There was no restitution. No one went to jail for gross financial mismangement. And the only one who escaped the horror was Jay Jay Okocha who was indemnified his huge losses by the Government because of his celebrity status as a national soccer icon.
Many others were not so lucky. Nurses, Doctors and students were left to scramble for furniture and tables in lieu of their life savings as the collapse of Societe Generale bank is as clear in my memory as yesterday. Even the louveres in the banking hall and car tyres of the banks official vehicle were unbolted by angry customers in the mad scramble for a few assets of the bank which could offset their loss.
And upon this platform isn’t it foolishness to elevate the same unrepentant architect of this grand collapse to the corridors of Government house. But alas the guilty Kwara people decided to go down this road to perdition.
Yes the state treasury is his reward for being born with a silver spoon into the political dynasty of the priviledge.
Human beings not ghosts were willing conduits in the alleged mass movement of money from Government house to private bank accounts from which it was converted into dollars to buy palatial homes overseas and live like gods amidst the poverty of the masses.
Indeed he is not guilty. It is the people that failed to blow the whistle when these acts were going on that are guilty.
It is the people that queued up for a morsel of Amala and gbigiri dished out from the corridors of the Sarakis like a mess of porridge which they failed to realise was a guise to obtain their birthright to the dividents of democracy in exchange for perpetual servitude, that bare the guilt.
Stomach infrastructure replaced good governance and now we want to blame Saraki for doing what “others” were doing. Or did he do more than Ibori and Alams who despite all the evidence against backed by their conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction are seen as shininng Knights in spotless armour until they were rendered indisposed.
Release Ibori today from jail in the UK and I can bet my last kobo that he will return to a hero’s welcome.
“Triumphant home coming of our dear son”
“A Prince comes home”
“James Mandela Ibori you are welcome back”
Will be the littany of placards that will line the runway as Ibori returns like a mighty conqueror instead of being pilloried with rotten tomatoes.
But that is the social fabric of Nigeria. We love our captors who have held us hostage for so long that Stockholm syndrome has set in.
There is no semblance of unity for ethnoreligious bias pushes us to protect the guilty.
Why should 60 SANs leave their booming practice to defend a Senate President when only 1 can speak in court at a time?
Why should 30 to 90 Senators follow Saraki to court in a show of solidarity without thinking twice about what their constituencies think and feel about this incident?
Besides the courts are as lame as a lame duck thus are unlikely to find a big and powerful man guilty when he can hire a battalion of SANs. And with the case of Ricky Tarfa on show it is not misplaced to allege that some judges are in the pockets of these ubiquitious SANs hence wherein can justice be found.
Saraki is not guilty. We all are. How many Nigerians can resist the trappings of power enriched by Ghana Must Gos of hard currency? How many can think of the suffering masses when their generations yet unborn have not been catered for so that the dynasty may live on.
In less than 24hrs the Panama papers has forced out the Prime Minister of Iceland. Saraki soldiers on because he is not guilty.
Who will dare protest again him in Kwara State after eating his Amala? That is pure greed. Who will dare call for his resignation after enjoying Special assistant status under him? Only a mad man.
Nigerians are guilty of creating our own problems. How else will one describe the elevation of Saraki to the Senate Presidency when in other climes he should be making license plates in a state penitentiary.
Saraki is innocent. We are the guilty ones