*ELEVEN POWERFUL LESSONS TO LEARN FROM THE HEN*

1. She first lays enough eggs before sitting on them
*- GOOD PLANNING.*

2. When she starts sitting on her eggs, she minimizes movements
*- DISCIPLINE.*

3. She physically loses weight while sitting on her eggs due to decreased feeding
*- SACRIFICE AND SELF DENIAL.*

4. She can sit on eggs for another hen *- INDISCRIMINATION AND GENEROSITY.*

5. She sits on her eggs for twenty one (21) days, patiently waiting, even if they do not hatch, she will lay eggs again
*- FAITH, HOPE AND NOT DISCOURAGED.*

6. She detects unfertilized eggs and rolls them out
*- SENSITIVE AND DISCERNING.*

7. She abandons the rotten eggs and starts caring for the hatched chicks even if it is only one
*- WISDOM, CONSCIOUSNESS, AND REALISTIC.*

8. No one touches her chicks
*- PROTECTIVE AND LOVE.*

9. She gathers all her chicks together
*- UNITY OF PURPOSE.*

10. She cannot abandon her chicks before they mature
*- MENTORSHIP.*

 11. She always be at the front of her chicks.
*- LEADERSHIP*

“Never Give Up in Sharing Good Messages & God bless you!!

The Benghazi Attack Is Finally Being Properly Prosecuted

The trial of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the alleged ringleader of the September 11, 2012, attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is the result of a fairly radical plan.
The trial of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the alleged ringleader of the September 11, 2012, attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is the result of a fairly radical plan.

Photograph by Dana Verkouteren / AP

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On the night of June 15, 2014, eight Americans—six Delta Force operators, an F.B.I. agent, and an Arabic translator—travelled in rubber boats across the Mediterranean and arrived on a beach in Benghazi, Libya. They hustled across the sand and snuck into a nearby safe house. Their plan was to lure and capture Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the alleged ringleader of the most politicized terrorist attack since 9/11.

Twenty-one months earlier, on September 11, 2012, Khatallah had, according to federal prosecutors, coördinated the assault on the American Consulate in Benghazi. Two State Department officials, including the U.S. Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, died in that attack, and two C.I.A. contractors were killed in a subsequent firefight at a nearby C.I.A. facility.

A day after the eight-man team beached on the coast, one of Khatallah’s associates unwittingly led Khatallah to the safe house. As soon as Khatallah stepped into the dark villa, several soldiers pounced on him. He tried to kick, punch, and bite his way free, without success. The F.B.I. agent present—who has been identified in court by only a surname, “Johnson”—brought Khatallah into a bathroom, where he covered the suspect’s eyes, plugged his ears, and stuffed a bit into his mouth. The team then hustled Khatallah across the beach, boarded its boats, and raced toward the U.S.S. New York, a twenty-five-thousand-ton* amphibious transport dock made, in part, with steel recovered from the World Trade Center towers, and waiting offshore.

The Benghazi attack has been thoroughly scrutinized. The Republican-led House of Representatives spent millions of dollars and held hearing after hearing on the matter during President Barack Obama’s second term. But the lawmakers leading the hearings seemed more focussed on Hillary Clinton and her colleagues—trying to find any missteps they made before, during, or after the attack that could be used for political purposes—than on the alleged perpetrators of the violence itself.

Meanwhile, the hunt for Khatallah was being pursued by operators and analysts from the C.I.A., Joint Special Operations Command, and the F.B.I. One of the biggest questions for them was what to do with Khatallah once they found him. Counterterrorism officials considered a drone strike or a lethal raid, a former military official told me, but President Obama and the Justice Department wanted to capture him alive and bring him to the United States to stand trial.

This was not a straightforward task. American officials did not have sufficient confidence in the Libyan police to coördinate with them for Khatallah’s arrest. And the F.B.I. wasn’t in a position to pursue Khatallah on its own. Moreover, the intelligence on Khatallah suggested that he could prove difficult to capture—he supposedly carried around a grenade like an explosive cyanide pill.

Officials hatched a hybrid plan: F.B.I. agents would accompany one of the military’s élite manhunting units on the mission for Khatallah. The agents would be present throughout the operation to preserve evidence, so that they, as law-enforcement officials, could later testify in civilian court.

This was a fairly radical concept. Plenty of terrorists had been indicted and tried in American civilian courts, but Khatallah would be the first known case of someone captured through a military mission, Mirandized by law-enforcement officials, and then tried in open court, before a jury. John Walker Lindh, the so-called American Taliban, was captured by military and intelligence officers in Afghanistan and charged in civilian court, but he pleaded guilty before going to trial. More typically, terrorists targeted during military raids have been either killed; detained in U.S.-run military prisons, such as Abu Ghraib; handed over, in the case of Iraq or Afghanistan, to local police or intelligence agencies; or, in the years immediately after 9/11, sent to Guantánamo Bay. Osama bin Laden was indicted by a federal court in 1998, three years before the September 11th attacks. But when American Navy seals finally confronted him in Pakistan, in 2011, they shot and killed him.

Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have been vocal critics of trying terrorists in civilian courtrooms. Trump described Obama’s stated desire to close Guantánamo as a “terrible decision,” and Sessions has called the military tribunals at Guantánamo the “perfect place” for terrorism trials.

After his capture, Khatallah was interrogated first by military and intelligence officials. Then, after five days, a “clean team” of law-enforcement officials took over. Michael Clarke, an F.B.I. agent, read Khatallah his Miranda rights and told him that he was entitled to an attorney. Khatallah asked if there was a lawyer on board. There was not.

Speaking through a translator, Khatallah gave Clarke a lengthy statement over the course of the thirteen-day trip across the Atlantic Ocean. In D.C. district court, Khatallah’s current attorney, Eric L. Lewis, has argued that his client’s “slow boat” extradition was unnecessarily drawn out. “The capture of Mr. Abu Khatallah was a spectacular logistical operation . . . [but] a legal failure,” Lewis said at a June hearing. He wanted Khatallah’s statement thrown out. The judge, Christopher Cooper, ruled against him.

Yet Cooper has set some limits to the proceedings. In the run-up to Khatallah’s trial, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, the judge decided that prosecutors would be unable to admit evidence purporting that Khatallah once told an associate that he was intending to kill Stevens’s replacement, too. Allowing such evidence, Cooper said, would heighten “prejudicial risk” and “do little to illuminate the formation and contours” of the actual 2012 attack. It seems, at long last, that someone is intent on paying attention to what actually occurred in Benghazi.

*This post has been updated to correct the weight of the U.S.S. New York.

Credits : The NewYorker

 

Asari Dokubo- Of Con men & a Betrayed Niger Delta People

This below excerpt is from Wikipedia (freely available online):
‘’In 2013, Dokubo Asari became a citizen of Benin and moved his wealth and assets out of the Niger Delta, Nigeria and relocated to Cotonou, Benin Republic where he built several schools, colleges and a university for the school children and students in Cotonou. Dokubo Asari however did not build any school, college or university in Rivers State, Delta State, Enugu, Bayelsa or any other states of the Niger Delta.[3]’’
I’m writing about a man known as Asari Dokubo. A man who has invented nothing, who has created nothing , who has added value to nothing , but yet this Asari Dokubo is probably one of the richest men from the Niger Delta.
This man Asari didn’t start a career in a Blue Chip company where over the decades he rose through the ranks to become its Chief Executive. Asari didn’t become rich by inventing the medicine that can cure deadly diseases like Ebola, AIDS, or Sickle Cell. Asari wasn’t a renowned businessman or trader who found wealth by selling and distributed products and commodities that are household names. Can you find any value Asari has added to our society through which he created his great wealth and astounding fortune?. So how did Asari become so wealthy?
The answer to that question draws a direct line to the criminal betrayal of the people Niger Delta and the attendant arrested development in the region.
Asari didn’t trade in products and commodities , instead Asari traded on his Niger Delta identity. A confidence trickster and conman who bluffed his way to prominence as the champion of his peoples cause. He positioned himself as a standard bearer for the Niger Delta agenda, a man who was defending his people against parasites and exploitation. But at the end, the people got poorer and Asari became a billionaire. A con game.
Lets together trace Asari’s background and review his bio-data to see if maybe we are wrong in our assessment of this man. Maybe there are signs in Asari’s early life that show he has lived a productive life which set him on the path to earning his great wealth and maybe this wealth was well deserved and gotten through the sweat of his brow and the toil of his hands.
Asari was born to a humble Christian family in 1964 . Nothing in his background shows he inherited any wealth or that his parents passed the seed money he’s used to build his current empire. Asari attended schools in Rivers and Cross Rivers States. Asari didn’t conclude his education both at University of Calabar nor at Rivers State University. He claimed he was (even from those early days) a freedom fighter and was persecuted by the university authorities for his activism which resulted in failure to graduate with any qualification. In other words; Asari have no professional qualification or skill for which he could be employed.
An older and matured man, In 1992 and 1998, Asari turned to politics. He became active in politics and created a network of friends and contacts that gave him the confidence to run for office. In this again; Asari falied. He lost the elections both times to get into elected office.
In 1998, Asari became a co-founder of the leading youth platform, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) . This platform was the tool for the expression of Asari’s involvement in Niger Delta affairs. IYC was agitating for improved standards of living for its people and for a better deal in the Nigeria equation. IYC was an embodiment of the aspirations of the Ijaw/Niger Delta indigenes.
Given his energy and leadership qualities, Asari soon became the IYC leader and a central authority in his community. He defined his people’s quest for resource control and self-determination. He confronted the Nigerian State, challenging them to free his people from State oppression and take their destiny into their own hands. The Niger Delta communities were destroyed environmentally; there was no water clean enough for drinking throughout the region. The waterways where polluted. Aquatic life was decimated. A riverine community without fish in the water? It was scandalous and terrible the treatment they suffered from the day the fuirst barrel of oil was pumped in Oloibiri In 1956 till this very day in 2017.
The long suffering people of the Niger Delta could no longer tolerate the continued suffering and exploitation and Asari found a willing group of young and angry men to follow him into armed struggle. With unrelenting focus and energy, Asari directed his agitation to free the oppressed people of the Niger Delta into the realm of violence , bullets and bombs. He and his band of armed men lived in the near impenetrable creeks where the Nigeria soldiers couldn’t locate them. From there they engaged in sabotage and destruction of State oil assets/installations, kidnapping and extortion and of course; illegal oil bunker. Upon failure to convince Asari and his boys to stop the violent agitation, Asari was arrested by the administration of ex President Olusegun Obasanjo.
It took the arrival of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua onto the scene for Asari to gain his freedom through the Amnesty Program. Not only did Asari gain his freedom, but he and all other militant leaders where absorbed onto a program that saw them providing security services to the oil industry and protecting oil sector assets. They became part and parcel of the exploitative system they had fought on ‘behalf of the Niger Delta People’.
That’s the story of ‘brave’ Asari Dokubo. The Niger Delta son who went from a young man in his family ‘polo’ in Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, to a vicious and determined militant and then to a billionaire.
From the above background story, I ask you again; how did Asari make his wealth? How did he manage to own businesses, build mansions and become a ‘shot caller’?
The answer is this; through the Niger Delta struggle. He leveraged on the struggle and misery of his people to gain influence, power and wealth for himself, his children and extended family members. How can you come out of a struggle a billionaire and your people still have no water, schools, hospitals, electricity or HOPE!
Those Asari represented in the struggle against the Nigerian state are still the same ( if not worse) . The greatest tragedy of this story is not just that Asari exploited the struggle to become who he is today, its that Asari took the wealth that he made from the Niger Delta, he took that wealth away from the Niger Delta and took it as far away from his people as possible.
That’s the story of a con men and a betrayed Niger Delta People
-Contributed Article.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA.

What Is Bitcoin? 10 Things You Need To Know

Bitcoin is a hot topic right now, but it’s easy for anyone to have a hard time wrapping their heads around all that is Bitcoin. What is it? It’s a digital currency that isn’t controlled by a central authority such as a government or bank. Bitcoin is only eight and a half years old, but it’s the oldest and most highly valued cryptocurrency out there. It’s currently a frequent point of discussion among investors, entrepreneurs, stock traders, and anyone really; so you should want to know all about it.

So let’s take a look at the 10 things you need to know about Bitcoin according to Entrepreneur.

1. The Start of Bitcoin

The origins of bitcoin trace back to 2008, when its creator, who went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, published a proof of concept for Bitcoin. The proof was then published to a cryptocurrency mailing list in 2009. Nakamoto left the project in 2010 and disappeared, but other developers picked up the work. Bitcoin’s birthday is Jan. 3, when Nakamoto mined the first 50 unitsof the currency.

2. The Elusive Creator of Bitcoin

The true identity of Bitcoin’s creator has never been confirmed. Newsweek claimed to have found Bitcoin’s creator in 2014, identifying Temple City, Calif., resident Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto. He has vigorously denied it. In 2015, an Australian entrepreneur named Craig Wright said he was Bitcoin’s creator, but he couldn’t produce the evidence to support his claim. Whoever Nakamoto is, that person is very rich, as the creator is estimated to have mined a million bitcoins in the currency’s early days.

3. The First Bitcoin Transaction

The first transaction involving bitcoin was reported on May 22, 2010, when a programmer identified as Laszlo Hanyecz said he “successfully traded 10,000 bitcoins for pizza.” As of Aug. 28, 2017, 10,000 bitcoins are worth about $43 million.

4. How You Can Spend Bitcoins

While it may not seem like it, people continue to use bitcoins to buy stuff. The largest businesses to accept the cryptocurrency include Overstock.com, Expedia, Newegg and Dish.

5. The Federal Bureau Of Bitcoin

At one point, the U.S. government was one of the largest holders of bitcoin. In 2013, after the FBI shut down Silk Road, a darknet site where people could buy drugs and other illicit goods and services, it took over bitcoin wallets controlled by the site, one of which held 144,000 bitcoins. Investors have been making a killing by bidding on government-seized bitcoins.

6. The Mountain-sized Setback

In early 2014, Bitcoin suffered a devastating loss after the alleged hacking of Mt. Gox, a Japanese exchange. About $460 million of the currency (in 2014 value) was stolen. It was the largest loss of bitcoins ever and raised concerns about how secure the currency was.

7. The Billionaires’ Thoughts

Warren Buffett, perhaps the most famous investor in the world, was not so keen on Bitcoin one of the only times he addressed the currency. “Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically,” he told CNBC. “The idea that it has some huge intrinsic value is a joke in my view.”

Fellow billionaire investor Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, had even stronger words about Bitcoin: “You can’t have a business where people are going to invent a currency out of thin air. It won’t end well … someone is going to get killed and then the government is going to come down on it.”

But not all billionaires are against Bitcoin. Mark Cuban has said its value is inflated, but he recently invested in a venture capital fund that backs cryptocurrency. Richard Branson, however, has spoken more optimistically about it.

8. Notable Bitcoin Investors

Other notable investors in Bitcoin include Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (the Harvard-educated twins who sued Mark Zuckerberg claiming that Facebook was based on an idea they’d had). They invested $11 million into Bitcoin in 2013, an amount said to be about 1 percent of all bitcoins in circulation at that time. The Winklevoss twins have been petitioning the SEC to create a bitcoin exchange traded fund. The agency rejected the idea earlier this year.

Another is investor and entrepreneur Erik Finman, who invested $1,000 into Bitcoin when he was 14 years old and is now a millionaire.

9. Celebrities Are Investing

Celebrities have also expressed enthusiasm for the cryptocurrency. Actor and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow advises Abra, a Bitcoin wallet, and Ashton Kutcher, Nas and Floyd Mayweather have all invested in Bitcoin startups.

10. Support From a Big Financial Institution

In August 2017, Fidelity Investments became a rare standout among financial institutions in embracing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The company allows its clients to use the Fidelity website to view their bitcoin holdings held through digital wallet provider Coinbase. “This is an experiment in the spirit of learning what these crypto assets are like and how our customers may want to interact with them,” Hadley Stern, senior vice president and managing director at Fidelity Labs, told Reuters.

Credits: Richdad.com
 
My take:
I agree with Warren Buffet 100%. It is a mirage. Jamie Dimon too said basically my mind ” You can’t have a business where people are going to invent a currency out of thin air. It won’t end well “. Bitcoin is the biggest ponzi scheme i have ever seen. Sooner or later, the bubble will burst and very many people will lose, like in all Ponzi schemes worldwide, not doubting relatively few people will make heavy profits from it. Sooner or later, the bubble will burst, be it this year or next century

 

Reign of Terror – The Story of Ejigbadero, The King of Land Grabbers

“History Is Not Was, It Is”

Reign of Terror – The Story of Ejigbadero, The King of Land Grabbers

As you go from Iyana Ipaja to Egbeda in Alimosho, Lagos State, Raji Oba Street is to your left. It is one of the most popular streets in the area. It is the street that hosts the imposing complex of Bishop David Oyedepo’s Winner Chapel. There is a branch of Diamond Bank close to Moshalasi Bus Stop that leads to the street. It is a street that you can’t miss. Ha! You know the street? I told you it’s a street you can’t miss.

However in the 1970s when this true-life story began, there was no Raji Oba Street. There was no Winner Chapel building. There was no Diamond Bank. In fact, almost all of what is now one of the most densely populated areas in Lagos State was a forest. Except for some rural settlements scattered here and there, the entire Alimosho was a village.

So who was Raji Oba? Why was the street named after him? Is there a story behind the naming of the street after him? What happened that fateful night in 1975? You know you cannot make eba without garri? To tell you the story of Raji Oba, I must tell you the story of Ejigbadero.

Raji Oba’s story is Ejigbadero’s story. Ejigbade’s story is Raji Oba’s story. It was a story that shook the entire Lagos State to its foundation. My uncle who was then a young surveyor  told me that for years, some people were scared of going to the area once it was nightfall. Today, Onigegewura brings you the story of  Kiniun Baba Moradewun! Lion of Mushin! Jimoh Ishola Adeyemi!  Ejigbadero! Gbadero! The Chairman!

Jimoh Ishola was arguably one of the famous people in Lagos of 1960s and 1970s. He was rich. He was streetwise. He was known. He was connected. He was the darling of musicians of the day. One of the surest ways to launch a musical career then was to sing about Ejigbadero. Yusuf Olatunji (Baba Legba) devoted substantial part of his Volume 19 to sing his praises. Baba Commander, Ebenezer Obey and his Inter Reformers Band, celebrated him in his 1974 album.

If Nigeria was not under military rule in 1970s, Jimoh Ishola could have contested and won an elective political position. He was that famous.

Though Ejigbadero was not born in Lagos, he became the unofficial Lord Mayor of Lagos metropolis. Jimoh hailed from Oja-Oba Quarters in Ibadan, Oyo State. He came with his uncle to Lagos as a young man to learn a vocation. On his arrival Lagos, he quickly graduated from an apprentice to a company owner.

When he incorporated his company, Jimsol Nigeria Limited, he was not satisfied with just being called the Managing Director. Everybody in Lagos was MD. Gbadero must be different. He styled himself the Chairman and Chief Executive of the nail manufacturing company. His  office and factory were at Matori in Mushin Lagos. Yusuf Olatunji was the musician invited to the company’s opening. With his sákárà andmóló vibrating in the background, Baba Legba praised Gbadero to the high heavens. Overnight,Olatunji’s throaty “Gbadero Ishola di Chairman! Omo Adeyemi!” became the national anthem. Ejigbadero was the Chairman.

Nail manufacturing was however not Ishola’s only vocation. Over the years, Kiniun Baba Moradewun had acquired reputation as a dealer in landed properties. He bought land. He sold houses. If you needed someone to protect your landed interests, Ejigbadero was your man. If someone forcefully took over your land, Abibatu’s husband was your best bet. If your own interest was to take over someone’s land, Baba Gani was the person you needed to see.

Ejigbadero was known to the police. He was familiar to the judges as a perennial litigant. And one curious thing about his court appearances is that he was never a plaintiff. He was always the defendant. He was popular with lawyers. At a point, he was reputed to know the criminal code more than some lawyers. He used to ‘advise’ his lawyer to cite section 45 subsection 3 instead of section 33 subsection 1 that the lawyer wanted to cite.  He had done enough cases to make him a Senior Advocate if he was called to the Bar.

In 1975, Ejigbadero went with his boys to clear his land in Alimosho Village. The land was full of cocoa and kolanut trees. Remember I told you that Alimosho was a village in 1970s.   The land we are talking about is not one plot or two plots. It was a vast area of land. When the villagers saw their economic trees going down, they challenged Jimoh Ishola and his boys. The Lord Mayor informed the villagers that he had purchased the land in 1970s. Purchased? Which Land? From whom? For how much? Who witnessed the transaction? Who collected the money? These and more were the questions the villagers were throwing at Ejigbadero who was calmly leaning on his walking stick.

The villagers refused to allow Eji and his boys to continue to work on the land. The Boys looked at their Boss. They were waiting for the signal. The walking stick was the signal. This was not the first time they would be challenged over a parcel of land and they knew it wouldn’t be the last. They knew that once Ejigbadero stepped on any land, the land must become his. Eji was like a snail. Ìgbín tenu mo igi o gun! Any tree a snail touches must be climbed. Eji smiled at the crowd. It was not a friendly smile.  The Boys looked expectant. Instead of Eji to raise the walking stick, he turned back. The Boys followed him, their disappointment was apparent.

The villagers shouted after the retreating figures. “We don win! We don win. You think you can just take our land like that. Never! Never!” Some of them were however not shouting. They knew that the retreat of Ejigbadero was not a surrender. They knew that he would be back. The Chairman was not the one to run away from a fight. The Boss was a vulture, a patient bird.

They remember what happened to Okuwobi in 1962. Ejigbadero had informed his boys that he was looking for a buyer for one of his properties. He promised them generous commission. The boys went to town. Okuwobi indicated interest in the building. It was a building under construction. Okuwobi paid part of the agreed purchase price. It was agreed that the balance would be paid upon completion.

Okuwobi collected receipt and began to dream of becoming a landlord in Lagos. He was considering whether to paint the house blue or grey. Or green, or cream. He finally decided on white. He had heard that the official residence of the American president was White House.  It was then that a friend told him that the house, his house, had been sold to someone else. Okuwobi didn’t know whether he walked or flew to Mushin. He shouted. He threatened. Ejigbadero was unmoved. Okuwobi reported to the police. He was advised to go to court. He spent more than 10 years in court.

The villagers knew that they must act fast if they didn’t want to spend 10 years in court. At the time, the nearest police post was at Agege. They went to Agege Police Station to make a report of malicious damages to property against Ejigbadero. As they were writing their statements, the Chairman himself appeared with his boys. He had come to lodge a report of trespass against the villagers who entered his property without his permission. The police officers were confused. They attempted to broker a peaceful settlement. No way. Ejigbadero wanted his land. The villagers wanted their land. Who then was the owner of the land?

Police assured the warring parties that the case would be investigated. They were asked to go and maintain peace.

Raji Oba was one of the villagers. He was as brave as he was vocal. He was not afraid of Ejigbadero and he told him to his face. Even when Ejigbadero threatened to kill him, the threat was met with a sneer. “Igbá ni won n pa, enikan kii pa àwo” was his retort. He was confident that only calabash could be smashed with foot, no one would dare drop a plate.

Police investigation or no police investigation, Ejigbadero was not the one to keep away from the land. Raji Oba had finished work on the farm for the day. He was almost at home when he was informed that the Chairman was around with his thugs who he usually described as his workers. Raji turned back. Ma fi oko mi se ona, ojo kan ni a n dekun re. Raji was determined that he was going to stop the land grabber that day. He was followed by some of the villagers who had also heard the news.

They met Ejigbadero on the land. His boys were cutting cocoa trees with ruthless determination. Kolanut trees were not being spared either. Raji Oba flared up. A big fight erupted. Ejigbadero stood like a rock. He was commanding his boys to give it to the villagers like an army general. In the free-for-all that followed, Ejigbadero saw his chance as Raji Oba moved close to him. In a moment he had stabbed him. Raji didn’t see the dagger, but he felt the blood flowing from his eyebrow. It was clear that Jimoh Ishola was aiming for his eye. “Mo ku o!” The villagers heard the agony in the voice of their leader and rushed to his aid.

They took him to the hospital and from there to the police station. They made a report of criminal assault and attempted murder against Ishola. Police promised diligent investigation. But it appeared to the villagers that the police at Agege belonged to the Lion of Mushin.

Back at his base in Mushin, Ejigbadero was not happy. He had expected the villagers to put up the usual feeble resistance. He had planned how to subdue them.  After all, ‘ibeji kii se akopa aje’. Killing twins is not a new thing to a witch. But he had not expected the stiff opposition he met in Alimosho. He knew the cause of the problem. It was Raji Oba. What type of Oba was he that he would stop Ejigbadero, Kiniun Baba Moradewun?

“Baba Fatai, your food is ready.” Ejigbadero looked up. It was his youngest wife, Ramota. Though he was not particularly hungry, he didn’t want to displease the pregnant woman. He told her to bring the food. At the sight of the expectant mother, an idea started to form in his mind. He smiled. Ramota thought her husband was enjoying the meal. She was pleased.

It was in the month of August 1975 that Lagos social circle heard the news it had been waiting. Ramota, Ejigbadero’s wife had put to bed. Socialites knew what to expect. It was going to be a grand occasion. It was going to be an assemblage of Lagos who’s who. It was going to be the party of the century. And it was a Friday! TGIF!

True to expectation, Ejigbadero didn’t spare any expenses for the naming ceremony.  Food was in excess. Wines replaced water. Musicians were competing with themselves on the bandstand. The blind requested to be led to the occasion. The lame crawled. Ejigbadero and his four wives were dressed in a manner befitting a king and his Oloris. They were a spectacle to behold.

Sabitu Oba was Raji Oba’s wife. She was coming back from the market when she saw Ejigbadero and his boys.  A woman was in their midst. She was shocked to see the Chairman. They had heard in the village that his wife had delivered a baby and that the day was the naming ceremony. She was wondering what type of man would leave his baby’s naming ceremony to come to the village. Well, that’s his business, she thought.

Sabitu quickened her pace. She needed to warn her husband of the presence of the chairman in the village. It was already dusk but the moon had appeared. It wouldn’t be nice for Raji to be roaming the village at such a time when Ejigbadero was around. She met her husband reclining in front of their house. She heaved a sigh of relief.

She informed her husband that Ejigbadero was in the village. Raji Oba was also surprised. He had heard that Ejigbadero was holding a lavish party that day in Mushin. So what was he doing in the village? And why did he choose to come to the village at dusk. “I hope he has not come to bury charms on the land!” His wife suggested.

She had hardly finished speaking when she heard an explosion. GBOAH! Raji Oba fell from his seat with a thud! Sabitu jumped in alarm! Raji had been shot in the head. The wounded man began to groan in pain. Blood was oozing from the wound.

Sabitu turned to the direction where the sound of the explosion had come from. Smoke from gunpowder was drifting up to the clear moonlight sky. She saw seven people running away towards a nearby bush. She distinctly recognized Ejigbadero. He was wearing a short sleeve shirt and trousers. He was holding a gun. He was at the rear of the fleeing people. Her temporary shock over, Sabitu shouted at the retreating figures: “Ejigbadero mo ri e o! Ara Abule! Ejigbadero ti pa mi loko o!”

Back in Mushin, the naming party was in full swing! Ejigbadero was moving from table to table, exchanging banters with his friends and well-wishers. Remember I told you that Ejigbadero was well connected in the society. His guests that night included magistrates, lawyers, police officers and leading journalists of the day. Camera bulbs were flashing as Ejigbadero posed for photographs with his guests. It was a party that Mushin would remember for a long time.

Police officers in Agege were already familiar with Alimosho villagers. There was hardly a week that they would not come to the station to report one incident or another. On the evening of August 22, 1975, the police officers on duty heard the crowd from a distance. Alimosho people have come again! What has happened again? The officers wondered.

“Ejigbadero ti pa Raji o!”

The officers knew that Yoruba language was full of hyperbolic expressions. A mere tap on the cheek could lead to a shout of ‘Mo ku o! O ti pa mi o!” They were however shocked when they realized that Raji had actually been killed. This was not a case of Mo gbe! Mo ku! Mo daran! The villagers were unanimous that it was Ejigbadero that killed Raji.

Ejigbadero was in company of late party guests in his house when the police came. He was informed that his attention was needed at their station. He was wanted in connection with the murder of Raji Oba. Ejigbadero’s visitors did not allow him to speak before they jumped to his defence! “When? Where? Ejigbadero who did not step out of  this Mushin throughout yesterday!”

The Lion of Mushin was confident of himself. His defence was as solid as a rock. His alibi was incontrovertible. He had judges, lawyers, police officers and journalists as his witnesses. What more could he want? He retained Chief Sobo Sowemimo, a highly experienced advocate, as his counsel. His case was good. He knew. On the other side was the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Omotunde Ilori.

As the prosecution began its case, Ejigbadero was becoming rather impatient. He knew the trial was going to be a waste of his time. Mr. Ilori called Sabitu Oba to the witness box. She narrated the event of the day. Ishola was smiling throughout her testimony. Who would believe the testimony of a village woman?

Mr. Ilori then called Nimota Kelani, Sabitu’s neighbour. Nimota’s evidence was straightforward. She informed the court that on hearing the alarm raised by Sabitu to the effect that Ejigbadero had killed Raji Oba, she dashed out of her house. She also saw Ejigbadero running away towards the bush. She saw him clearly in the moonlight. She also called on the accused telling him that she saw him and reminded him that he had kept his promise to kill Raji.

Rafiu Latifu was another witness called by the learned DPP. Latifu testified that on the evening of August 22, he was returning to the village when he saw a white Peugot 504 station wagon parked by the side of a mosque a distance of two minutes to the house of Raji Oba. He also saw Ejigbadero and six other persons, one of whom was a woman, run out of a nearby bush towards the parked car.

On arrival at the premises of Raji Oba he met people who told him that Ejigbadero had killed the deceased, who was still lying on the ground and bleeding from the head. Latifu then told the people that he had seen Ejigbadero and six other persons running out of the bush but did not know at the time that he had already killed Raji.

It was at this point that Ejigbadero began to doubt his defence. Awodi oke ko mo pe ara ile n wo ohun. Like the hawk he had assumed that he was invisible to the people below. If he had known how diligent the DPP, Mr. Omotunde Ilori was, perhaps he would not have been too confident with his alibi. Ha! You don’t know ‘alibi’? It’s a Latin word. It means ‘elsewhere’. It is a piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an act, typically a criminal one, is alleged to have taken place. I hope you are following me.

There was a policeman who was riding a bike that night who also recognized him. Remember I told you that Ejigbadero was as popular as Iya Agba’s aso onisuga. Aso onisuga was very common in the 60s and 70s. The design on it was in the shape of a cube. Just like a cube of sugar, hence the name. Ilori found the police officer. Ilori also found two women who saw Ejigbadero when they were coming from the farm with firewood on their head. Immediately they saw him, they ran into the bush.

Ejigbadero’s defence was straightforward. He was in Mushin on August 22. He didn’t step out of his house. He had witnesses who were eminent people in the society.  He called Bashiru Ajape, a police officer; Jacob Oyelakin, a Manager with Leventis Motors; and Emmanuel George, a lawyer. They all testified that they were with Baba Gani at his baby’s naming ceremony that day. The court considered the evidence of these eminent personalities and found each of them to be ‘miserably untruthful in the evidence they gave’.

Tried as much as he could, Gbadero could not disprove the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses. The best cross-examination failed to crack the witnesses. They were all adamant. It was Ejigbadero that they saw that night. It was Ejigbadero that killed Raji Oba.

The trial judge took his time to review the case for the prosecution as well as the case for the defence. A life was at stake and mistake must not be made. The judge found the evidence of a security guard in the employment of Ejigbadero helpful. Kehinde Yekinni was the security guard employed to guard Ishola’s factory. He testified that Ejigbadero came to the factory in the evening and later left for Alimosho with Modina, Osadebey, Isiaka, Bakare, Wahab Oduntan, and Lukman. The group later returned to meet him at the factory around 9pm. On their return, Ejigbadero drew out a gun from underneath his trousers and told Kehinde that he (Ishola) had killed the man that Kehinde refused to kill.

In the end, the judge found that Mr. Ilori had proved the case for prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. Jimoh Ishola was found guilty on the two counts: conspiracy to murder and murder.

He was sentenced to death. As the trial judge pronounced the sentence of death on him, Ejigbadero turned to his counsel and in his Ibadan accent asked, turning his nose to indicate His Lordship: “Emi ni n wi?” What was the Judge saying?

Jimoh Ishola appealed the judgment to the then Federal Court of Appeal. My Lords: Mamman Nasir, Adetunji Ogunkeye and Ijoma Aseme considered his appeal. His appeal in respect of Count One (conspiracy to murder) was allowed, meaning he was not guilty of that charge. His appeal in respect of the second count failed and the appellate court affirmed his conviction.

This time around, Ejigbadero did not bother to ask his counsel what their Lordships were saying. He had spent enough time in court to know the meaning of ‘Appeal is hereby dismissed.’

Off to the Supreme Court. His case was the 7thcase filed in the Supreme Court in 1977. On Thursday, October 26, 1978, a panel of the Supreme Court comprising My Lords: Alexander, Fatai-Williams, Irikefe, Bello and Idigbe  affirmed his conviction and dismissed his appeal.

In 1979, four years after the gruesome murder of Raji Oba, Jimoh Ishola, alias Ejigbadero, alias the Chairman,  alias Kininun Baba Moradewun paid the supreme price.

What a price to pay for a piece of land!

Authored by :Olanrewaju

Onigegewura is a legal practitioner and an amateur historian

BETWEEN NEYMAR AND BILL GATES – DON’T BE DECEIVED

Well, it is no longer news that earlier this month on Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 the biggest contract ever in the history of world football was signed. Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior officially signed for Paris Saint Germain from Spanish giant Barcelona after they met his buyout clause of €222M. Hours later the news of his weekly earnings of about €515,000 or 248 million naira broke the internet. have made out of it here at home.


Now, if Neymar without a WAEC result (according to those who claim to know) earns 248 million per week, how much does Bill Gates (who actually went as far as Harvard) earn? Mind you, Bill Gates went to school as far as Harvard, the whole talk of him dropping out is widely misrepresented. He didn’t drop out because he was not good enough, he didn’t drop out because he was irresponsible, in fact he had a meeting with the school authority when it became obvious that he needed more time to work on the Microsoft idea and in his exact words he told the school that he was going on a ‘leave of absence’ and should return if the idea failed to work as planned. He didn’t leave the school empty, he left with the knowledge he had acquired, he left having made friends and built a network of like minds, he left having access to mentors from the school (for me, these are some of the most important reasons of going to university in the first place, and not just for that paper called certificate). With that knowledge and skill acquired directly or indirectly by going to school, Bill Gates was able to build Microsoft and in 2013 he earned 11.5 billion dollars in a single year. That figure would give you 1.38 million dollars per hour. What it means is that the 248 million naira Neymar earns in a week is what Bill Gates earns in 30 minutes.


Don’t be deceived.


Why would I rather be a Bill Gates than a Neymar? Why would I rather point my kids to Bill Gates than to Neymar? It is simple. If you go by the figures, you have already seen it above. If you want to look at the future, then you will know that Neymar is 25 today, but will he still be playing football at this level at 35? What if in an unfortunate situation where he breaks his leg tomorrow (no one prays for that, but it does happen), that will be the end of everything, football doesn’t even provide for pension or gratuity. But Gates can sleep for the rest of his life and the billions will keep flowing because alert has been set on auto run, he has ‘programmed’ his business directly into his bank account – with his knowledge (you need education to set up that kind of system). What if you are looking at relevance and significance, how many millionaires have Neymar made or will he ever make in his lifetime? Bill Gates has made 3 billionaires and over 12,000 millionaires.


I asked someone what Neymar will do with this money, and he said Neymar already has a private jet, now is the time to get a yacht and start paying for the penthouse of all the 5-star hotels in the world. Do you think someone who is well schooled will choose to spend the money that way? 


Don’t be deceived.


Education is still the key, education is still superior, education has birthed technology and technology is where the money is and not football. The most valuable club in the world according to Forbes 2017 rating is Manchester United and they are worth a whopping 3.69 billion dollars to edge both Barcelona and Real Madrid. But how whopping is that compared with the worth of Apple, Google, or Microsoft? In fact the total worth of the top 20 football clubs in the world (including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, PSG, Arsenal, Manchester City, Juventus, Liverpool) is 29.6 billion dollars. Mark Zuckerberg can simply pull out a cheque from his back pocket and buy those 20 clubs without even discussing with the board of Facebook (that sounds like an insult but that is the fact). That is how powerful ideas are, that is how powerful knowledge can be, that is how powerful education can be. What would you rather choose for your child?


Don’t be deceived.


The standard of education in Nigeria has dropped so badly that it is beginning to lose its relevance, but rather than turn our backs on it completely, rather than encourage our children not to go to school, rather than insult it the more, we should champion a course on how to make it what it ought to be and more attractive. We should teach our children the real importance of education and not just to come out and get a good job.


Trends are changing, the world has evolved and our educational system must evolve and not allowed to dissolve.


Don’t be deceived. Send your children to good school if you can afford it, and after that allow him or her the freedom of choice and if he or she chooses to play football he will be buying football clubs and earning 10x what Neymar earns today.


I choose to go to school, learn how to build and buy existing businesses. I choose to go to school, learn how to employ the grace God has given me to serve humanity. I choose to go to school and learn how best my ideas can be a solution to the problems of the society.


What do you choose, for yourself

Many states get money for contributing nothing

Many states get money simply for contributing practically nothing! According to the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, Lagos State alone generates 55 per cent of the VAT collected in the country, followed distantly by the Federal Capital Territory, which chips in 20 per cent. This means the contribution from the remaining 35 states of the federation is just 25 per cent. Adeosun, at a meeting of the Progressive Governors’ Forum in Birnin Kebbi in Kebbi State, put the VAT returns from Rivers and Kano states at six per cent and five per cent respectively. And when Rivers’ and Kano’s total of 11 per cent is added to that of Lagos and Abuja, making it 86 per cent, it means the remaining 33 states jointly make a paltry contribution of just 14 per cent.
In fact, Lagos has so much potential that the state government is realistically setting a target of making it the third largest economy in Africa. This is a state that accounts for 70 per cent of maritime trade in the country and hosts 60 per cent of industries that help generate the VAT that is shared among all the states. Aside from accounting for 86.2 per cent of Companies Income Tax in 2008, according to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Lagos is also the manufacturing hub of Nigeria. The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, recently noted that all the 214 people who paid up to N20 million each as tax per annum were resident in Lagos. He went on to add that, of the 914 who paid between N10 million and N20 million tax, only two were resident outside Lagos. Those two are domiciled in Ogun State. Figures from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria also indicate that the Ikeja Industrial Zone alone – not even the entire Lagos – accounted for 55 per cent of goods manufactured in the country in 2016. This also means sustenance of jobs for Nigerians from all parts of the country.
However, the setting becomes very provocative when it comes to the sharing formula. For the month of February, for instance, while Lagos got N6.14 billion, reports have it that Kaduna State, whose contribution was put at mere one per cent, got N4.23 billion, just as Kano and Rivers got N1.66 billion and N1.33 billion respectively. The question then arises, how did the state with one per cent contribution end up getting more than the bigger contributors? Where is justice in such a system?
 

VAT, a tax levied on goods and services consumed, is shared among the three tiers of government, with the Federal Government taking 15 per cent, while the state and local governments share 50 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. With the present LG structure in the country, the Northern section of the country is placed at an unduly advantageous position because it has by far the greater number of LGAs. These are LGAs created based more on land mass than on human population.
The country was deliberately structured that way during the military rule to give that part of the country an undue advantage when it comes to revenue distribution, not generation. An often cited example is that of Lagos and Kano states, which started off with the same number of LGAs at the 1967 state creation, only for Lagos to still remain at 20 LGAs while Kano, despite Jigawa State having been carved out of it, now has 44 LGAs. Even Jigawa, the sister state, boasts 27 LGAs, while efforts by Lagos State, which is indisputably the most populous in the country, to increase its number of LGAs have been met with deliberate frustration.
Besides, when a bill came up at the Senate last year, highlighting the special status of Lagos, it was promptly thrown out without senators batting an eyelid. Oluremi Tinubu, the sponsor of the bill, had sought the setting aside of one per cent of accruals to the Federal Government from the Consolidated Federation Account for the funding of the peculiar challenges of the state as a former capital of Nigeria. Those who threw out the bill conveniently forgot that an investment in Lagos is also an investment for Nigeria because Lagos, the economic capital of the country, has become a home to many Nigerians, regardless of their state of origin. Interestingly, when a bill for the creation of a North-East Development Commission came up at the same Senate that rejected the Lagos bill, it was overwhelmingly passed. The commission, ironically, will draw its funding for the next 10 years from VAT, the burden of which is borne chiefly by Lagos. The same attitude of contempt was displayed when the lawmakers slashed the budget proposal for the repair of the dilapidated Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Added to this brazen injustice is the inclusion of the 12 Sharia practising Northern states in the sharing of VAT on alcoholic beverages. Hisbah, the Sharia law enforcement agencies in these states, regularly confiscate and destroy alcoholic drinks. In 2001, a group that called itself the Independent Sharia Implementation Committee destroyed more than 600 crates of assorted beer. On November 27, 2013, the Hisbah destroyed over 240,000 bottles of beer in Kano. In January 2015, the Kano State Hisbah Board said it destroyed 326,151 bottles of beer. This is outrageous.
It is wrong and unjust for states to have an entitlement to a share of other people’s efforts rather than a reward for their own efforts. The reality of the present is that Lagos, as a former capital of the country and the economic livewire, deserves special treatment to continue to drive the economy. Many federal institutions and roads exist in the state which should not be abandoned. It is the treatment such as Lagos and the oil producing states of the country are facing today that is fuelling the ongoing campaign for the restructuring of the country. Wealth is not sitting there waiting to be shared; it must be constantly created. There is no way a country mounted on a tripod of injustice can stand; it will surely collapse unless urgent steps are taken to address these obviously dangerous contradictions. As the great American president, Abraham Lincoln, once said, there is no greater injustice than to wring your profits from the sweat of another man’s brow.
  Copyright PUNCH.

​Saraki, Sowore & Nigeria’s Barabbas MomentBy Pius Adesanmi

There are two problems bordering on abomination in my title. First problem: the names, Saraki and Sowore, are appearing in the same sentence. Second problem: Saraki’s name even comes first in the list. If you feel disgusted, even violated, you are right. The names, Saraki and Sowore, should have no business in the same sentence, the same environment. What is the business of darkness with light? And why is Saraki’s name first?
These questions have only one answer: Nigeria. Nigeria is the agent that has created a situation in which darkness and light are not only appearing in the same sentence and environment but darkness even enjoys the added perk of coming first.

I think that Nigeria is enabling this travesty, this abomination, because Nigerians have not had a serious sober reflection on the issues attendant upon Saraki’s long-drawn battle to silence Omoyele Sowore and put Sahara Reporters out of business. We have not thought of the deeper ethical and moral implications of the fact that we are in a nation space in which a Saraki versus Sowore match is even possible in the first place. In saner societies, Saraki would be in jail and there would be no conditions of possibility for the current scenario.

I have put Saraki’s name first in this equation to drive home the choice that Nigeria is making. I have put his name first so that nobody would turn around and claim that they did not know when, where, and how we made that choice as a people.

I have put Saraki’s name first so that nobody would claim innocently down the road that they had merely imagined that Saraki versus Sowore was merely the usual roforofo between two famous and politically exposed Nigerians; that they did not know that what is unfolding before our eyes today is significantly bigger, much bigger than Saraki and Sowore and goes into the core of who we are and where we are headed as a people.

I have put Saraki’s name first because I don’t want anybody – especially members of Nigeria’s vast community of conscience such as progressives, activists, civil society leaders, intellectuals, who have been largely silent – to be able to claim that they did not know that Saraki and Sowore, especially in the context of the current face-off, are signs, symbols, and metaphors of our condition, choices and future direction.

But these are different signs, different symbols, diametrically opposed metaphors representing totally different, totally irreconcilable visions and versions of Nigeria. That is why we are currently in a situation of national choice and direction.

I’d say that we do not need to revisit the curriculum vitae of both men but ours is a society that can barely remember what happened this morning. Sowore has spent roughly the last thirty years in the trenches fighting for what Wole Soyinka calls the first condition of humanity: justice. He has spent his entire adult life fighting that Nigeria may be just and fair. He has spent his entire adult life fighting that Nigeria may overcome the demon of corruption. Above all, he has spent his entire adult life fighting to hold generations of corrupt orangutans responsible for the Nigerian tragedy accountable.

The least we say of Bukola Saraki, the better. However, we must say something about him for there are millennials and younger generations who only know him as a Senate President involved in the usual shenanigans of Nigerian politicians. Because of our national affliction of incuriosity, not too many will be able to make a direct link between Saraki and the current condition of Nigeria as the open sore of a continent (apologies to Soyinka). The three decades that Sowore has spent fighting for Nigeria correspond roughly to the time Saraki has spent consolidating an illustrious career in looting and corruption.

Today, Bukola Saraki is one of the most corrupt characters ever to bestride our national space in the 21st century. From Societe Generale Bank to the Senate via eight years as Governor of Kwara State via Panama Papers to his current complete ownership of the treasury of Kwara state as an extension of his personal estate, there is really no shortage of dossiers you could look into if you are sufficiently curious about the guy. If you are a millennial, an undergraduate, and you are at home because of ASUU Strike, see if you can research and write an essay exploring the link between Saraki’s looting and why you are home.

Our friend is, of course, Nigeria’s current Senate President, within a heartbeat of the Presidency. Inordinately ambitious and devious, he is not even beyond engineering the occasional Senate kerfuffle to test the waters. He is even now in Mecca to pray for President Buhari we are told. Nothing you hear about members of Nigeria’s political elite is implausible or improbable. Suffice it to say that Saraki represents a sick version of Nigeria. He represents a putrid vision of Nigeria.

It is this sort of character that our system has enabled, empowered, enhanced to compromise institutions, undermine society, buy judges and judgements in his private estate of Kwara, impoverish people in order to be able to buy them as supporters and thugs to be unleashed on civilized spaces of agency. Were Saraki to be domiciled in his second country of nationality, the United Kingdom, he’d probably be spending the second decade of his life by now in jail.

Anybody with half Saraki’s hefty dossier of corruption would be in jail for a very long time in civilized societies. In Nigeria, he is a lord of the manor, free to aspire to the highest office in the land, buy judgements to intimidate light and spread darkness.

I hinted earlier that what is going on between the two men have implications that are much bigger than both of them. Nearly twenty years after our return to democracy, a paradigm is being entrenched in which dark and corrupt forces in the political class are able to deploy bastardized instruments and apparatuses of state to shrink the space of civil agency and curtail the freedoms associated with democracy.

The forces of darkness and corruption have so personalized the state that they can use her instruments – the security agencies, the judiciary – to severely constrain and constrict the space of agency, free will, and expression. This is what has created a situation in which one of Nigeria’s most corrupt citizens, Saraki, can corral the judiciary in a state he owns and enlist her on assignments of intimidation and silencing. Hence the moral and ethical conundrum: what to make of a society where the thief gets to make rules to silence the anti-corruption activist and icon.

Saraki as sign.

Sowore as sign.

In both men, we are offered two opposed visions, two opposed possibilities for our country. Both men represent a symbolic struggle. That struggle is bigger than them. Where we stand, what we say or do not say, represents a position we are taking in that struggle. Our stance represents a choice we are making. Sowore will continue to confront this great evil in the courts. The legal process is taking its course as it should but we would be sorely mistaken not to understand that, beyond all the legalese, there is an ongoing struggle for which version and vision of Nigeria will prevail.

It is even possible that Saraki will win more Pyrrhic legal battles given the fact that the entire process is going on in a court system he has bought and he has access to limitless looted funds to bankroll the charade. However, beyond the battle lies a symbolic war, a struggle for meaning that he must not be allowed to win.

And the voices of progress must be steadfast and united in sending a clear message to Saraki that we do not intend to concede Nigeria as a space to him and his ilk in the political confederacy of looting and corruption. They will always have us to contend with and they cannot and will not win the struggle for meaning that is Nigeria.

Some two thousand years ago, another place, another time, some people faced this same choice between Saraki and Sowore and the visions each represent. They faced two individuals who were iconic of radically opposed versions of their society. They thought they were choosing between two individuals. They did not know that each individual was a metonym.

They screamed: give us Barabbas

THE ABURI ACCORD THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED NIGERIA FROM ALL HER PROBLEMS

This article was written by Femi Adesina the current Spokesperson to President Buhari in 2012 after the demise of Ikemba Odumegwu Ojukwu.
Hmmmmm…… Plz read;
THE ABURI ACCORD THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED NIGERIA FROM ALL HER PROBLEMS…( but aborted by the Fulani Oligarchy)
By FEMI ADESINA( current spokesperson to President Buhari)
In December 2009, I was at Aburi, while holidaying in Ghana. We Nigerians call it A-b-u-r-i, but the Ghanaians pronounce it as E-b-r-i. For those who have read widely about the civil war that we fought between 1967 and 1970, Aburi is a significant place. This was what I wrote about Aburi, after returning from that journey:
“Aburi. Beautiful, serene Aburi, set daintily atop a hill. It is home to a botanical garden that is 119 years old. But for us in Nigeria, Aburi goes beyond just nature and its preservation. It is the town where General Yakubu Gowon and Odumegwu Ojukwu met, to try and avert the Nigerian Civil War that lasted between 1967 and 1970. They came out with Aburi Accord, which later broke down. And a shooting war started. You could see the Presidential Lodge on a hill, where the Nigerian leaders had parleyed at the behest of Ghanaian leaders. It all ended in futility.”
As one of the key parties to the Aburi Accord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, returns to mother earth today, it is also apposite to return to Aburi, and look at the letter and the spirit of the accord once again, an agreement that was violated by the Federal side, and which made a bloody internecine war inevitable.

For most part of 1966, the northern part of Nigeria, particularly, had been turned to killing fields. Non-natives, especially Igbos, were killed in thousands. Many fled, many others were displaced. There was complete anarchy in the land. The average Igbo looked up to Lt. Col Odumegwu Ojukwu, military governor of the Eastern Region, to provide leadership and direction. He did not fail. He picked the gauntlet and championed the cause of his people.

By January 1967, the drums of war were loud and clear, reverberating across the length and breadth of Nigeria. But there was a last ditch effort to prevent what was imminent. There was a peace meeting hosted at Aburi, in Ghana, by the then Ghanaian head of state, Gen J. A. Ankrah. At the meeting were Gowon, Ojukwu, all the military governors of the regions, and some top civil servants, both from the Federal side and the Eastern region. The meeting held on January 4 and 5, 1967, and came out with what is popularly known today as the Aburi Accord.

The agenda of the meeting consisted of three crucial issues: (i) Reorganization of the Armed Forces (ii) Constitutional agreement (iii) Issues of displaced persons within Nigeria.
The two-day meeting reached consensus that were acceptable to both sides. Among others, it was resolved that legislative and executive authority of the Federal Military Government was to remain in the Supreme Military Council (SMC), to which any decision affecting the whole country shall be referred for determination provided it is possible for a meeting to be held, and the matter requiring determination must be referred to military governors for their comment and concurrence. What does this mean in simple language? The SMC would run the affairs of the country, but not without consulting the regions as represented by the military governors. This was something akin to federalism, even under a military government.
Other terms of the agreement include that appointments to senior ranks in the police, diplomatic and consular services as well as appointment to superscale posts in the federal civil service and the equivalent posts in the statutory corporations must be approved by the SMC. What does this mean again in simple language? Equity, fairness, true federalism.

Other matters like the holding of an ad hoc constitutional conference, fate of soldiers involved in the January 15, 1966 coup, rehabilitation of displaced persons, etc, were also amicably resolved, and the conferees returned happily to Nigeria. Only for the Federal side to deliver a blow to the solar plexus: the Aburi Accord, Gowon said, was unworkable, and he reneged on all the agreements.
Using the Eastern Nigerian Broadcasting Service, Ojukwu played the tape recording of the proceedings at Aburi repeatedly, to educate the populace on who was playing Judas. Later, he made a broadcast in which he said: “we in the East are anxious to see that our differences are resolved by peaceful means and that Nigeria is preserved as a unit, but it is doubtful, and the world must judge whether Lt. Col Gowon’s attitudes and other exhibitions of his insincerity are something which can lead to a return of normalcy and confidence in the country.
“I must warn all Easterners once again to remain vigilant. The East will never be intimidated, nor will she acquiesce to any form of dictation. It is not our intention to play the aggressor. Nonetheless, it is not our intention to be slaughtered in our beds. We are ready to defend our homeland.”
In a piece I did last December, shortly after Ojukwu passed away, I said he was virtually pushed into war by the infidelity of the Federal side to the Aburi Accord. I still stand by that position. Ojukwu was called ‘warlord’ for many decades, but he was by no means a warmonger. He only did what he needed to do for his people–and for the country.
As his earthly remains are interred today, it is tragic that Nigeria is still submerged in the morass that Ojukwu already identified about 45 years ago. Today, bombs go off like firecrackers in the country. There is agitation for the review of the revenue allocation formula. There are strident calls for the convocation of a sovereign national conference. Even some component parts are threatening to pull out of the federation if anything happened to their ‘son’ who is now in power. Didn’t Ojukwu warn of these landmines ahead? Were all these issues not already settled at Aburi? Foremost journalist and media administrator, Akogun Tola Adeniyi, in a recent media interview, explained the Aburi Accord this way: “Let every region be semi-autonomous and develop at its own level.” Yes, that was the spirit and letter of Aburi, but which sadly became a road not taken. And is that not why we are still suffering today, living in a rickety and decrepit country that can burst at the seams any moment? I tell you, Ojukwu was a prophet, and like most prophets, he had no honour in his own country. Pity. But whether we like it or not, there’s no way we won’t return to Aburi. Willy-nilly. I only hope it will be sooner than later, before Nigeria goes to grief. On Aburi I stand.
Federal Government was perfidious and duplicitous on Aburi. It is still the same way today. That is why as Nigerians, we are most times disillusioned, dismayed, dispirited, dejected and depressed. When will change come to this land? Our hearts are getting weary.

Last December, I wrote that Ojukwu should be buried like a hero. I’m glad at the rites of passage so far, culminating in the interment today. Yes, bury him like a true hero. An icon, an avatar, deserves no less. This generation will surely not see another like Ojukwu. He fought not only for his own people, but for a true federation founded on justice, fair play, equity and rectitude. Unfortunately, he did not see the Nigeria of his dreams. Will we? Adieu the Ikemba, the Eze Igbo Gburugburu. May your soul rest in peace. Ka nkpur’obi gi zue ike n’adukwa.
By Femi Adesina

Friday March 02, 2012

Joe Igbokwe

Joe Igbokw wrote:

NNAMDI KANU CALLED ME A HUNGRY SLAVE RESIDING IN LAGOS AND I HAVE FOUND THE NEED TO TELL MY STORY AGAIN FOR RECORD PURPOSES. I WANT NNAMDI TO TELL HIS OWN STORY TOO. PLEASE READ THIS:

In 1971, after my primary school education, poverty drove me to Lagos to find something to do to help my poor mother and siblings. Civil War devastated my father’s thriving business in Onitsha and we all suffered from 1966 to 1970 when the war ended.

With four wives and 34 children, my parents could not cope any more. My brothers and sisters dropped out of school to learn a trade. Because I was a little ‘sharp’ in school, my father encouraged me to finish primary school. It is needless here to recall how I and few of my siblings survived to finish our primary education. Consequently when my mates were taking Common Entrance Examination, I did not because there was no need to do so. No money, no three square meals a day, no good clothing, just nothing.

My mother encouraged me to travel with friends to Lagos. We landed at Sawmill Ebute Metta where I worked as a sawdust carrier at seven Shilling, six Pence a day. My job was to pack sawdust from the Machines to the Lagoon from 7am to 5 pm daily. I did this for nearly two years and later I became a danfo conductor plying Idioro/Ajegunle axis. From there I joined my brother in a supermarket business at Ijesha Road, Surulere. I did this until I returned home during Christmas in December 1973. I came home to meet my friends I was beating academically in school trying to make me feel and look inferior. Again I also noticed while in Lagos that if I fail to go to school, I may end up doing menial jobs meant for illiterates till the end of age. I decided to go back to school to add values to my life. But where are the school fees? There was nothing. How I managed to get the first school fee to start and what happened thereafter will take a book to do the narrative.

In 1979 I left Okongwu Memorial Grammar School Nnewi with Division One and was the school Head Boy. I taught in the same school as an Auxiliary Teacher from 1979 – 1980. In 1980 I got admission to read Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nigeria Nsukka and graduated in 1985. I did my Youth Service in Ogun State and thereafter I returned to Lagos in 1986 to begin a journey to where I am today. I walked the streets of Lagos from 1986 – 1988 until the then military government headed by Gen Ibrahim Babangida set up the National Directorate of Employment, (NDE) to encourage graduates to start their own businesses. I got a loan of N27,500, using my NYSC discharge Certificate and my Degree Certificate as collateral at 9% interest rate. I set up a Restaurant Business in Western Avenue, Lagos and hit an instant success. While doing this business, I spread my nets also to the auto spare parts market in Lawanson, Surulere where my brother thrives as a very successful importer. I opened a shop there and got a boy to take charge of the business. From there, I entered into Auto dealership in Western Avenue Surulere. I paid back that loan in full and collected back my certificates.

In 1995, I wrote my first book, Igbos: 25 Years After Biafra. I also established National Vision Newspapers in 1997. In 1999, I wrote my second book: Heroes of Democracy. In 2004 I co-authored 2007: The IBB Option with my good friend, Peter Claver Oparah. One thing led to another. I became an opinion molder, a public commentator, political analyst, writer and an advocate of the peoples’ cause. I bought my first car in 1990 and became a millionaire in 1995 after launching of my first book.

In 2006, the then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, made me the pioneer General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure & Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) and I was there for almost 10 years. I served Asiwaju’s government for the remainder of his days as Lagos Governor. I served His Excellency Governor Babatunde Fashola for 8years. In September 2015, His Excellency Governor Akinwunmi Ambode moved me to Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority Apapa as Chairman. I became the Publicity Secretary AC, ACN, and APC since late 2006 till date. By the grace of God I have been the Chairman of Conference of APC Publicity Secretaries (CAPS) in Nigeria since 2014.

These positions and exploits have put me in the limelight in Lagos and Nigeria since the early 90s, and God has been kind to me. These offices have opened the doors of the rich and poor to me. They have opened the inner ways,byways, subways, expressways and highways to the corridors of power in Nigeria. I have been connected to the pace setters, policy makers, the movers and shakers of blue chip companies, newsmakers and the powers that be in Lagos. The magic of Lagos, the beauty of Lagos, the dynamics of Lagos, the glory of Lagos, the momentum of Lagos, the capacity, capability and the strength of Lagos touched me in no uncertain terms since 1986 (32years ago) till date…..and still counting.

My sojourn in Lagos for 32 years has also opened my eyes as a historian as to what Lagos has done for my people from South East. Today as I write this Igbo do not have a quarter of what they have in Lagos in the South East in terms of investments. As I write this book, Igbo are the second most populous ethnic group in Lagos. Today, Igbo exert tremendous influence and capacity in Lagos and its success story. Few years back two prominent sons of Nnewi told me in confidence that they did not know they have been wasting their time in Nnewi until they came to Lagos. They said Lagos opened doors for limitless opportunities and endless possibilities. I have seen people come from other parts of Nigeria to hit gold mine in Lagos.

I got married in 1990 and all my five kids are all Lagosians and so are millions of Igbo kids born in Lagos. They have lived most of their lives in Lagos, schooled in Lagos, worked in Lagos, made friends in Lagos and have keyed to the Lagos success story. They know any other place except Lagos. Lagos is their home. This is not limited to Igbo alone but all other ethnic groups and of course Yoruba from outside Lagos. Lagos is a melting pot, a mega city, a cosmopolitan beehive. Lagos controls the heartbeat of Nigeria, its wealth, its influence and its strategic socio-economic and political hub. Lagos changed my thinking and original thoughts, Lagos emboldened me, Lagos motivated me, Lagos challenged me and Lagos made me. I can say no less. This is the story of Lagos, my Lagos. It is still unraveling, not for me alone but millions of other Nigerians, to the glory of God.”