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It is dishonest for anyone to pin the Boko Haram terror on the Army or Jonathan. On the other hand, credit Yar’Adua for using South-south governors to tame MEND. Many of us have called on Northern leaders, especially in Borno State to rise up against Boko Haram. It was plain the folks watching families disappeared, that rose up to fight. Only to be betrayed by the financiers. They ended up being lynched and made examples of for cooperating with kaferi soldiers.  

We do not give enough credit to talikawa that risked their lives fighting Boko Haram, including   fathers that turned on their sons and one brave enough to give newspaper interview. Helplessly watching school kids kidnapped from boarding schools. Instead we praised those leaders that agitated for a secular state to join organization of Muslim countries. They wanted Sharia as the law of the land. Though know well, that they are above any law, not to mention Sharia law.

 

Sharia, on customary courts level could be alright at the localities, as long as basic human rights were not tramped on. If it had been well implemented, people may even elect Sharia court or customary court. But religious frenzy can be easily drummed up in disguise for power. How else can we explain talikawa kidnapping, butchering and maiming talikawa rather than supporting one another against poverty hailed on them by their politicians funding Boko Haram or MEND?

 

Recently, Aregbesola also called on the Sultan, whose life has been threatened to lead the fight. Actually, he has a moral and religious role to play but the problem at hands calls for more than the Sultan without Jihad Army. Nevertheless, some Muslims unlike ours have declared Fatwa on terrorists to keep their countries at peace. Indeed, many of these terrorists fled those countries.

 

Blame Ebele all you want; he did not create Boko Haram. Finger pointers were overpowered by Frankenstein monsters they created. Ebele already has his hands full with MEND and splinter groups. Though, Boko Haram also wants the monthly allowance MEND gets. Indeed, MASSOB and OPC will follow, asking for their own shares. The same money that should be spent training and creating jobs for youths that work and play according to the rules.  See demands by others

 

There is nothing wrong with religion itself. It is supposed to instill the fear of God and civilize us making humans better persons. We have always said that but for religion, our world would be a bad place to live. Yeah, it can get worse. Instead of making it a better place, some calculated that they have to live off the suffering of the poor and working class. They promise happiness and everlasting life in heaven if we endure, while they inherit and enjoy the earth.  

 

Africans that should be more alert to this reality because we are still struggling to get out of economic colonialism introduced to us through religious missionaries. Nowhere is this more of a reality than in the North where talikawa looking to avenge poverty on scapegoats, adhered to religious extremists. Yet, they are taught as guerrilla fighters, no one can change it, it is written.

 

We also have some jokers promising they could curtail Boko Haram in a month, if elected. One of the untouchables wanted a free hand, to quashed Boko Haram or resign. Even if they have magic wands, only traitors will wait until their houses burn down before they put out the fire.  All hands should be on deck regardless of party, religious or ethnic sympathies.

 

As for those that rightly or wrongly postulated that Boko Haram controls the Army. We know that there is no unit or organization, secret or open that can never be infiltrated by spies and traitors. Any branch of the Armed Forces can be infiltrated. Even Armed robbers infiltrated the Police and the Army while some of them specialized in renting arms to hoodlums, OBJ cried out. It is a reason to be more vigilant as some bona fide members would certainly turn rogues.

 

It was not too long ago we had arrogant soldiers claiming only members of the Armed Forces can rule effectively in African countries; bloody civilians could not effectively curb dangerous criminals and religious extremists. When anyone could get arms in the world markets, the same bloody civilians and armed robbers got trained but military alone could not curb them. Indeed, military leaders confessed that it could not be solved just by military means.

 

We need fairness, justice and religious tolerance on board as well. You see, we all romanticize with the good old days, but it was not good for the working class, women and child labor or abuse. Believe it or not, many people cannot see the connections between ultra conservatives and religions in the name of God. Did God send anyone to kidnap adolescence girls from school?

 

Pakistan is in full fledge showdown with terrorists, India had to invade the holiest Mosque to fish out the terrorists and Saudi Arabia will not tolerate any radical extremist in their Country. They find Saudi Arabia so uncomfortable; they have to establish bases in weak foreign countries. At some point, nothing can satisfy terrorists, they want power and control. They dream of times in Jesus and Mohamed days. So, Christian and Muslim conservatives have so much in common.

 

They forget that the Arch Bishop of Canterbury or the King of England does not rule anymore, that the feudal lords and systems have gone with the ages. But conservatives as Christian Rights and Muslim fundamentalists are trying to find their ways back either by killing human rights, voting rights, union rights or women and children rights. They make promises to get elected in a subtle manner and the people that put them in power only regret after the fact, as in Egypt.   

 

Abeg, Ebele has enough blame to deal with but neither Army nor him created Boko Haram. It is a shame when locals complain that their oppressors came in Army uniform to kill them. This is a country known for its peace keeping skills worldwide. Blessed with many ethnic groups that can be sent to anywhere in the country, neutral to local conflicts. Who sent offending ethnic group?

 

GONE, the Magic Muse of Aracataca. In a manner similar to his wondrous tales, I can see him levitating towards the skies, a pen in one hand, a trumpet in the other, a rueful smile on his face. For his body is too precious, too imperishable for the grave’s cramping dungeon and its ravenous coven of worms.

Beyond the clouds, Angel Gabriel is waiting for his famous namesake at Heavensgate, waiting expectantly for this curious mortal whose fame and flourish competed so triumphantly with those of hosts of heaven.

And I can see the intrepid ‘Gabo’ later, negotiating a niche with a revolving door and a wide window through which he can continue to peep at the turbulent world he has left behind and watch how the strands of his magic narratives continue to unfold. Without a doubt, his dealings with other angels are likely to be contentious; for this Gabriel is a being who so often obeys his own rules; a spirit averse to time-worn routines and conventional thou-shalt-nots.. . .

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the most influential literary figures in the past 100 years; and in literature in the Spanish language, his fame and impact are only rivaled by those of Miguel de Cervantes, the pioneering genius who gave the world the timeless Don Quixote.

Veteran journalist and author of numerous novels and short stories, Marquez shook the world with the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude in 1967, and literally rewrote the rubric of the narrative genre. Intensely political and socially committed, he assailed the incubi of colonial/imperial exploitation and social injustice in a language and style that made his narration of that exposure irresistible even to those being exposed. He settled, finally, the quarrel between History and Literature, Myth and Reality by making Politics the flexible Mediator between the four. He gathered the strands of our workaday life, wove them into tales with an indelible touch of weird wanderings and wonder.

He erased – or extended – the traditional gulf between the probability of the improbable and the improbability of the probable. And therein lies the phenomenon which literary critics and avid name-givers have christened as “magic realism”, a terminology that has been with us for several decades now and which has been splashed rightly or wrongly on works from different parts of the world with little or no consideration for local peculiarities. Whatever name his style is called, in whatever critical lingo it is couched, Marquez is the master of the hint and hyperbole, of the awe in the story and the aura in its telling.

His narrative invented other ways of perceiving reality, other ways of cognizing human existence, other ways of being human. That is why his works are so full of rumble and resonance. That is why his new realism unlinks the chains of the old one. That is why William Kennedy, the noted American writer, recommended that One Hundred Years of Solitude should be compulsory reading for the human race.

Influence, or, better still, influentiality, comes naturally to women and men of Marquez’s stature. And he had it and made the best of it. His influence is easily seen in the literary sphere where he changed the content and form of the narrative genre since the last half of the 20th century.

Unbreakable pledge

The other kind of influence, a little less easy to perceive, is his influence on the political scene (I almost said ‘destiny’!) of Latin America in a 20th century bloodied by military dictatorship and all manner of murderous incivilities.

Marquez spoke out against evil. His voice was loud, insistent, unafraid. And when he spoke, the world listened, for he earned his space, his right to speak, his will to the Word. Not infrequently, his interventions made military dictators shake in their boots. Quite often, the people found their strength in his words. Like the great Pablo Neruda, his Latin American compatriot, he too made an unbreakable pledge to himself that the people would find their voices in his song. We must never underestimate the contribution of people like Marquez to the return of democracy to Latin America and other parts of the world afflicted by the absence of that ideal.

Gather round this fire, therefore, oh ye acolytes of the Word. Sing a song and shake a leg. The master storyteller has levitated to the skies. Gabriel is back at Heavensgate. Banana leaves are clapping in the fields of Aracataca. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is laughing, his patented moustache lush and green like the forests of his beloved Colombia.

  • Niyi Osundare writes from New Orleans

Ordinarily one would have thought that as a religious organisation,  Jama ‘atu Nasir Islam will be the beacon of truth, honesty and sincerity promoting the truth for peace, justice and  a better society.

A good scientist will use current data in computing and making analysis for better development.

The Pew Research Center known globally for its accuracy has put the Nigeria religious population at 50.8% Christians. The Muslim population was estimated at 48.8%. Native ifa followers at 1.4-1.8% as at 2012 December.

Like I have always said, at this age of internet, google map and all information super high way at our finger tips, I did not expect Jama’atu Nasir Islam (JNI) to lie blatantly with fingers.

This is the same JNI which vehemently rejected the inclusion of religion and tribes into the 2006 population census but is eager to quote a concocted data which cannot be found anywhere.

Hate writers like Mohammed Haruna will lace unto that to write rubbish.

Obviously the 2011 voting pattern has exposed the fallacy of JNI and its cohort in the propaganda and lying game.

For the umpteenth time I repeat, it was the shock of that 2011 presidential election that made Jama’atu Nasir Islam to commission Boko Haram and the Fulani militia to attack all Christian communities in the North and the Middle Belt of Nigeria.

There is no gain stating the obvious that all the far Northern Hausa states of Nigeria have substantial Christian population.

Out of the over 9.3 million people in Kano for example, over one million of them are Pentecostal Christians who are actual and attended the crusade held in Kano on the 15th of November 2009 by Pastor W.F Kumuyi. Source: Punch and Vanguard Newspapers of Monday the 16th November 2009.

In fact the then Governor Ibrahim Shekarau preached “sermon” for 55 minutes.

JNI must learn to preach peace in a diverse country like Nigeria.

I sympathise once again with all those affected one way or the other by Boko Haram attacks on innocent Nigerians Christians and Muslims and even pagans alike.

The real sponsors of Boko Haram are those unguarded and demoralising statements about our gallant Armed Forces. Persons like Ahmed Zanna Khalifa, Ali Ndume must respect the Armed Forces of Nigeria. The unguarded statements by them make them culpable in Boko Haram menace.

Times and times again, it is said, nobody has the monopoly of violence.

By now we expected the Jama’atu Nasir Islam (JNI) to learn lesson from the history of countries like the Central African Republic, Syria, Libya, Liberia, Egypt and even Afghanistan.

Why must the blood of innocent people be shade for no just course?

Jama’atu Nasir Islam (JNI) must stop beating the drum of religious war in Nigeria and call its armed wing Boko Haram and the Fulani militia to order to stop killing people forthwith.

Certainly JNI officers know the sponsors of Boko haram. They must talk to them to stop the blood shading in Nigeria.

They must know by now Nigeria has changed for good and forever.

That Goodluck Jonathan must finish his second term in 2019 is a fait accompli.

Jama’atu Nasri Islam must embrace and preach peace.

More than ever before, we need peace in Nigeria to prove negative pundits wrong that Nigeria will not break up in 2015.

We must equally know that as Muslims and Christians power and leadership comes from Allah and he gives it to the person he wants at a time. Otherwise ask General Abdulsalami Abubukar who God made Nigerian Head of State on the night he was to be retired in June 1998.

Please Jama’atu Nasir Islam let peace reign again Northern Nigeria.  

Ultimately too Jama’atu Nasir Islam must accept religion and tribe as part of the data to be captured in the 2016 population census.

 

Ndiameeh Babangida Babreek.

Can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 78 Bosso Road Minna.

What Fashola and Obanikoro are trying to prove can only work to the detriment of the good people of Lagos State. This writer has to disclose his bias against Obanikoro up front. He gave the Yar’Adua Administration an excuse, not the reason, to ditch Bode Augusto for the position of Finance Minister. Lagos lost Finance Administration only to gain Ambassador to Ghana.

In this case Obanokoro thinks he has reason to oppose Fashola about sand filling Ilubirin for building a housing estate. Though, he is not the Minister of Housing like another Lagosian, Wahab Docemu that asserted Federal Authority in Lagos, during the Shagari Administration. It seems this Federal power goes into their heads against their states of origin. Docemu bragged then that he could declare any land in Lagos as a Federal territory.

 

Well, Fashola is not a saint either. He handed Tinubu the best of Lagos land. More importantly, Obanikoro raised a good point. Out of all the dry land that is flooded in every raining season, Fashola could not find any from Eti Osa to Ikokomaiko for urban renewal. Fashola did a good job in Isale Eko area when he called owners together reallocated some, financed and rebuilt their slum into modern apartments giving them the option to move back or rent. Omo-oko!

 

This is not the place to discuss Eko Atlantic, but reclaiming areas that would disturb adjacent land resulting in new flooding is worse than addressing areas already claimed as dry land. Of course landfilling is more capital intensive and calls for engineering capabilities that have to be sourced to foreign contractors leaving our graduates pandering to foreigners as we see today in Eko Atlantic. The cost itself as Obanikoro pointed out would be out of reach to our neighbors.

 

Jakande has laid a foundation for every Governor of Lagos State. He built schools and housing within, which Lagosians can afford. Apart from that, government should not build houses that working and medium income people cannot afford. The best we can expect from government if they are worried about degeneration is to build mix income housings where people of different classes can live in peace and harmony. If anyone messes up, he loses that privilege. 

 

Unfortunately, decay of beautiful housing, schools and parks is not the handiwork of the poor or the uninformed alone, but lack of maintenance mentality. Watch how Surulere is going down or what happened to FESTAC. Anyone that knew Ikoyi and Victoria Island, woke up, would go back to sleep again. Fashola has certainly made a difference in the upkeeps of the new places he built. We must give him his dues. It does not negate the deep slums that still need attention.

 

We have to be careful about creating government sanctioned blogged drainage in the name of new housing. If Fashola did his homework and found Ilubirin suitable, there is no reason he and Obanikoro cannot work together to bring Federal presence to Lagos. The benefit of having a local representative in the Federal is to enhance local interest. But Lagosians and others, we must admit think they have to display Federal might to spite the home Governor.

 

Some of you may remember Joseph Wayas as Senate President with all the Federal accolade and guards when on a visit to his State. Another Federal power Sen. Christy Anyanwutried it with Owelle Okorocha's motorcade.We have to understand that working for one level of government or the other does not mean we should disrespect each other. We are all serving the same people without whom we are powerless. Our power comes from the people. 

 

Another case in point was one of our respectable chiefs in Lagos. Before he built his house, he got permit some 30 to 40 years ago and it took him about 20 years to build. Then, drainage was    albatross anyone would avoid. But over the years, drainage has be channeled and rechanneled by our engineers and in the process some permits were issued while old permits fell under their reconstruction. Moreover, after so many years, some influenced their ways out of drainage.

 

Therefore, some 30 years later the honorable Chief was told his house was blocking drainage! Drainage is now a fact as well as a political tool. This is what we witness in Lagos. It is not clear whether Obanikoro gave the reason for drainage at Ilubirin as afterthought but it makes sense. The people of Lagos have enough political fights within the families. These are grown informed   men that should be looking out for Lagos instead of – man pass man position pass power!

 

We do not know if there is anyone left that can call these politicians to order since it was reported that one of the Lagos usurpers told the Oba of Lagos to mind his business since he, made him. Can you imagine a non-native of the soil in any village in Nigeria putting the Emir, Obi or Oba of a prominent town in his place? Oh well, nobody has Lagos. It belongs to no one.

 

However like any village, the real Omo-Onile Lagosians have to wonder and ask: if politicians in Lagos do not listen to them, who in Lagos do they listen to? Many of their cousins and relatives lament that they have no influence over a state they fought so hard to create and build while accommodating everyone. States have developed the fear of sharing land or resources. Even worse, it has spread like wild fire where people have become less tolerant of other Nigerians.

 

Nonetheless, Obanikoro has to be careful and learn from Wahab Docemu on what belongs to Lagos and what belongs to Nigeria. Power either locally or nationally is transient dependency like drug, which can cloud the legacy of man. Our reputation lives forever after we are gone. As for those that care very little about their legacy, Lagos is after all a very small village. They know one another and which house Agbole each comes from.

 

 

 

Nigerians have waited so long for this moment. Now it is a reality. Light has dawned on the agitation for the convocation of a national conference to address the various issues affecting the Nigerian polity. The voices of the people are now being heard as their representatives sit to discuss their differences after years of agitation.

This national conference has come at the right time as our nation faces numerous challenges from all fronts. This conference is a fitting avenue to identify and proffer lasting solutions to all the challenges confronting this nation. The president seemed to have proved sceptics wrong with his inaugural speech which has been well accepted by delegates and termed as one of the greatest speeches that any Nigerian leader has delivered.

The president emphasised in his inaugural speech that he has no hidden agenda in convening this conference. I’m pleased to hear that the president has no hidden agenda. The Achilles’ heel of this kind of exercise that has been held in time past is the hidden agenda of those that convened it. When there are hidden motives, delegates are constituted along the agenda of the convener and the voices of reason are stifled.

I am glad that delegates in this particular conference are given the leeway to freely generate their issues and agenda for discussion.

At the same time, Nigerians observing by the side-line are also given the opportunity to follow the proceedings and add their own two cents to the process of making the conference a success and Nigeria a great nation. Although the conference started on a stormy note on the issue of voting pattern to be adopted, it is noteworthy that the wisdom of the leadership of the conference came handy to diffuse the tension by reaching an acceptable voting formula which was accepted by majority of the delegates.

It is also gratifying to know that the leadership and secretariat of the conference have deemed it fit to give Nigerians daily updates on conference proceedings through different social media platforms. Apart from the news media where we get updates, I also monitor and follow conference proceedings on the official twitter handle, @NGConfab2014 whilst getting a holistic grasp of things with the hashtag #NGConfab.

Even the conference official Facebook page has been enriched with informative posts like Quotes from the conference, Daily Roundups, Press Releases, Order Paper posts, Breaking News from the conference, Media mentions of the conference across different platforms, etc. 

These posts and updates have given Nigerians the opportunity to air their views and talk back to their representatives at the Confab. Some of the comments and feedback of Nigerians on the social media platforms show that Nigerians are interested in seeing the conference succeed.

Nigerians on the social media are setting their agenda and making their voices heard. Here are some of the agenda that are being set on the social media platforms for delegates at the national conference:

 

Prince Ureyin wrote:

I will suggest a bill be passed that will allow our constitution to be part of our secondary school curriculum. To be taught as a subject of its own. Whose purpose is to teach students citizenship; their right, their duties and their obligation as citizens. It should be made as important as mathematics and English if not more important than them. This will help give Nigerians a sense of citizenship. It will also help reduce corruption and crime. And most of all it will also help bring power back to the people. Since knowledge they say is power.

 

Prince Ajibola Mathew Adeniyi wrote:

With due respect sir, I hereby draw the attention of all the delegates of the national confab, to look into the issues of local government autonomy/independent of local government from state government, to immunity clause must remove totally.

 

Haaga William wrote:

I stand on the existing protocol. I'm appealing to you to delegate to consider the issue of primary Education in the country. One the governors are finding difficult to fund the primary education. 2 they are finding difficult to pay primary school teachers even though FG have been playing its part. 3 the falling standard of education. Is as a result of poor primary school system, incessant strikes eg In Benue state the primary school teachers has been on strike for the past five months, they have not seen any kobo for the said months, the pupils have not seen the classroom for this period so how can such teachers teach effectively? And how can such pupils excel in their exams? The said problem is not to Benue state. So if this administration what to consider common man something should be done. Is not everybody that can afford nursery school fee charge in private institutions.

 

Samuel Ude wrote:

Education should be on top of their table as one issue that must be discussed. Please hence corruption is not a tribe or religion in Nigeria, our delegate should make sure that corruption in Nigeria is total eliminated as this will enhance development.

 

Adekanye Funso wrote:

The secularity of the Nigerian state must be emphasized in the new constitution; Governments at all levels MUST cease sponsoring Christian and Muslim Pilgrimages. Religion is a personal affair and whosoever wanted a trip to the holy lands must fund it. If this inequitable practice is not stopped, a day is coming the so many traditional religionists in Nigeria shall start demanding for sponsorship. It will be great as well to go back to Regionalism and Parliamentary political system and above all let fiscal federalism reign. 

The secretariat of the national conference has done the right thing in providing an interactive and viable social media platforms for the conference. Nigerians are speaking. It is now left for the delegates and the leadership of the conference to pay attention to the voices of Nigerians on these platforms and not just open the platforms for opening sake.

Akwa Ibom State is made up of about 5 million people mainly Ibibio, Annang, Oron, Ibeno, and Eket. Uyo their major City is 95km to Calabar the Administrative headquarters of Nigeria before Lagos. These are very decent people known in Lagos for neatness, pride and hard work. Once you taste the Ibibio Afang or Efik Edikang-Ikong soup especially with pounded yam, you are sold. If you eat it as a bachelor, forget your worries, you just got yourself the most beautiful lady.

How Akwa Ibom becomes the leading oil producing state is secondary, what they could have done with it as others did is the point here. However, culture of greed and insatiable pursue of power by any means necessary have not gripped their conscience like some ethnic groups destroying their so called mother and fatherland. It is not the same as portraying them as holy saints that see no evil or do no evil. We have those in the best of us wherever you are.

 

If Akwa Ibom people have anything to learn or were less than polite, friendly and easy to get along with; they will be agitating for their own Country or might have raised militants to take over their Country. In case you are wondering why power grab is what our Country has become. Everybody wants power for no other reason than to be in charge of the treasury and loot it dry. It used to be the best way to power and gain treasury was by population, inflated or not.

 

Since Akwa Ibom State is now the highest oil producing area, it is only fair that they should be in the fore front agitating for the highest office in the land. There is no doubt that Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan got a clean shot at the presidency because he comes from oil producing area where most of the income is generated for the Country. Moreover, their means of primary livelihood as fishermen were destroyed and turned into environmental disaster. Well, look at precedent.

 

Watch the acts of Army Forces officers needed to lead the armed robbers to power. Contracts and payments to their cronies were taking too long in the bureaucratic process.  So, officers as masked saviors took over ordering the Governor of Central Bank to deliver foreign cash from the vault with immediate effect. Once military took charge, they occupied most of the avenues for generating incomes according to power of officers, regardless of where the oil comes from.

 

Ijaw elders armed and instigated the youths until they lost control while the rest of the Country and international countries sympathized with them. It was these same international countries in search of black gold, whose corporations destroyed their environment. Compensation apart from few schools and clinics were little or token local high level employees for public relations.     

 

Since arms and ammunitions were advertised worldwide in the open markets; it took armed robbery to take power and there were open guerrilla training camps just as there was Army training in Royal Military Academy Sandhurst England or American Military academies; youths learned fast. America and British require home governments’ approval before the students are accepted but Guerrilla, Christian and Muslim extremist fundamental camps take all comers.

 

Therefore, it was easy for those contemplating the takeover of governments to go to Sandhurst to earn their stripes only to become the leader of their countries someday. Needless to say, our leaderships were also taken over by Christian and Muslim radicals. Some attended guerilla training camps in Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan. Many of them fighting for opposite causes or political parties even met one another at these camps.

 

We do not know at this moment if the people of Akwa Ibom are thinking of shedding amicable culture and hard work for which they were known and are now planning to send their youths to some of these guerrilla camps or military academies. In fairness to their leaders, we have not heard complain of marginalization or any grievances greater than the rest of Nigerians or to the point of arming themselves against their Country. But any state producing oil belongs to Ijaw.

 

We must enlighten those that do not understand why any state governor in a country would send their youths to Sanhurst or guerrilla training camps because they want to take over the national government. Natural resources like oil, gold, diamond and uranium are very important to the world but not as much in their raw state to Africans. The reason is our hedonist leaders create civil wars over dwindling raw material from the ground but careless over brain abilities.

 

Our brains are what enable us to think about how to turn these raw materials into the finished products that can be valuable to the world. You would think that since Africa was blessed with so much rich natural resources, after many centuries of old civilization, we would have used our brains to develop most of them. Laziness and easy income take over our spirits many times. We do not philosophies, write, or adapt education to what our ancient scientists and artists left us.

 

Indeed, we wait for people outside our Continent to rediscover our legacy so that they can re-interpret and sell it back to us. But when it is civil wars, chicanery to dispossess one another, take one another as slaves, smuggle and kidnap babies and women for foreigners to make easy money and live temporarily in opulence we did not create, some of us are not found wanting.

 

Gods knows only a few of us engage in these unsightly activities. But the sins of a few infect and influence so many and corrupt our youths following their leaders. Africans love power too much as individuals, breaking spirit of team work. Without teams, it’s hard to nurture cities and states.

 

The people of Akwa Ibom are not desperadoes waiting in the dark to hijack their own Country. Their hospitality to strangers at home and their respect to their outside hosts in communities they reside are the examples other Nigerians must emulate. They travel far and wide in Africa and foreign countries, yet they have not made notorious name for themselves in large mass.

 

With the 2011 presidential election result as shown below,

Party
Candidate
Votes
Percentage
Of
Total
1
PDP
Jonathan
 22,495,187
58.89%
2
CPC
Buhari
12,214,853
31.98%
3
ACN
Ribadu
2,079,151
5.41%
4
ANPP
Shekarau
  917,012
2.40%
 
       
 
 
Summary of the 16 April 2011 Nigerian presidential election results
Candidates
Parties
Votes
%
22,495,187
58.89
12,214,853
31.98
2,079,151
5.41
917,012
2.40
82,243
0.21
56,248
0.15
54,203
0.14
51,682
0.14
47,272
0.12
34,331
0.09
26,376
0.07
25,938
0.07
23,740
0.06
21,203
0.06
19,744
0.05
16,492
0.04
12,264
0.03
12,023
0.03
11,544
0.03
8,472
0.02
Invalid votes
1,259,506
3.19
Valid votes (turnout 53.7%)
39,469,484
96.81
       
 
 
Dear readers, I have reproduced the 2011 presidential election for your convenience and information.
With the above results, nobody should lose sleep over a Buhari/Tinubu Janjanweed Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2015.
The whole truth is that in 2015 presidential election not much will change in respect of voting from 2011.
The truth is that Dr Goodluck Jonathan will win Osun, get more votes in Edo, and all the South Western states. Get more votes in Benue, Adamawa, Gombe and Niger states than what he got in 2011.
The 2011 presidential election results have actually shown the majority religion in Nigeria. The 2015 election will just be a confirmation.
Therefore, we the progressive of the Nigeria article writers association hereby appeal to this APC otherwise called the Angry People’s Congress to please give us the Janjanweed Muslim-Muslim ticket of Buhari/Tinubu. This will be the easiest opponents to beat.
Form today, I will start fasting for the Janjanweed ticket to be actualised by APC.
After all has that not been the reason why Jama atu Nasir Islam (JNI) has been sponsoring Boko Haram to kill Christians in the North?
Has this not been the reason why JNI and Sharia people in Northern Nigeria have been kicking against the inclusion of religion and tribe in the National census?
Fielding the Janjaweed Muslim-Muslim Buhari/Tinubu ticket is a welcome development. The Christians in Nigeria will have their laugh at last.
We thank you Jesus Christ for answered prayers.
The JNI using Boko Haram have failed but rather more Muslims have been killed than Christians. This simply is the act of God and not man.
As it is now, my friends like Mohammed Haruna, Aliyu Tilde and Dr Sani Mohammed has my sympathy.
 

On Saturday 5th April 2014, at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel in London, the Association of Nigerian Academics in the UK (ANAUK) led by Councillor Adedamola Aminu, the acting Mayor of the London Borough of Lambeth and a lecturer himself, recognised the achievements of Mrs Oluremi Tinubu, OON, former First Lady of Lagos State, and now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She was recognised by ANAUK as an outstanding Nigerian whose various initiatives has contributed greatly to education, youth development and empowerment in Nigeria.

I am writing at great risk to myself and my reputation, because knowing my people, I might stand accused of “being bought” or induced to write this, or at best, naivety. People will also ask a lot of puerile questions or statements such as the source of her or Tinubu family’s money, or her husband’s wealth, or using tax-payers’ money, blah, blah, blah.  I will say, people, figure that out for yourselves. I know who I am and that is what matters to me.

I normally do not attend such events, even when invited, honouring our mostly errant and irresponsible politicians and rulers from Nigeria. In fact, I cannot recollect attending any event featuring any Nigeria politician/leader held in London or even in Nigeria, since 1999. And it is not for want of invitation, because most times, I am always invited. But I always decline, because of my abhorrence for this set of Nigerians who I see as people who do not have any plans for me and my people. I am a cynic and sceptic when it comes to bestowing honour, awards, kudos, and recognition on our politicians for many reasons, the chief of which is: what does such award and recognition transmute to in terms of good governance, development, progress and alleviation of the hardship and poverty of our people?

I was privileged to be a witness at this particular event for Senator (Mrs) Oluremi Tinubu, and also to learn and see first-hand (at a previous outing), and not hear-say of the accomplishment of this most humble of leaders and womanhood, one of our leaders. Also, the pedigree, integrity and credibility of the group that came up with the award convinced me to attend. Most members of ANAUK are known to me personally - Cllr Adedamola Aminu is a brother and also, like myself, and Ibadan man and I hold several of them in the highest esteem and admiration. And as my friends, colleagues and family know of me, I am very economical with giving kudos to our Nigerian politicians. In fact, I don’t do it. I rarely find a word of praise, respect or even commendation for our political leaders, simply because of the following reasons.

First I believe that if they are doing something worthy of recognition (not of praise) they are only  doing the work/job we employ them and pay them billions to do at the expense of any other development of the country. They wanted the job, they asked to be elected to do it, we trusted them and we elected them (please note that the word  ‘elect’ is used with some reservations here, because mostly we get our rulers by selection, rigging and cheating). So let them do it without any noise or propaganda

Secondly, most of them do not even do what they are elected to do and as such I do not respect them. Of course, anybody who cheats or rig themselves into any elective position is automatically not worthy and is always a thief who went in there to make money and acquire wealth by looting the treasury. It is obtaining money and power under false pretence.

Third, most of them are so arrogant and are liars who embellish their achievement in attempts to fool the people. Their propaganda machines are always in full operation, spewing out lies and deceit and in fact, a lot of them believe in their own lies.

It was not what I read or heard about Senator (Mrs) Tinubu that made me write this; it was not what transpired during the award ceremony and dinner, with encomiums heaped upon her by the many dignitaries, either from Nigeria, living in the UK or even non-Nigerians who were present; it was what happened afterwards between the honourable Senator and my wife, outside the hall, after the event. My wife went up to her, surrounded by her aides, and expressed her delight at hearing such good things about her, and her fears of returning to Nigeria because of the apparent lack of concern by the people ruling us. To my surprise, this humble, well-bred, well-educated lady, a very rare gem member of her political ilk, took time to explain several things to my wife.  This convinced me of her sincerity; it convinced me, as my wife said afterwards that she did what she was doing for the people in Nigeria, poor or rich, because it was an innate and inherent trait for her. It is natural for her to do good things for people. She has a good heart, as a wife, a mother, an educationist, a politician and most especially, as a compassionate and benevolent human being, conscious and grateful that God has put her in a position of strength, power, wealth and opportunity to help the less-fortunate and the weak of her people.

I will not try to list all that she has accomplished during both her terms as the First Lady of Lagos State for eight years and now as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as this essay will too long. Suffice it to say, I believe she did all these things, NOT because she has to do them, but because she wanted to do them. In fact, I suspect it was because of this that she begged her husband that she wanted to go into the Senate, and he agreed.

Let me state here that I have never been supportive of her husband as a governor of Lagos State and as the chieftain of his party, APC. Readers who have read most of my articles on Asiwaju Tinubu will know that I have never been kind to him in my criticism of his brand of politics and his acquisitive nature and disposition. In fact, I was very harshly critical of Asiwaju Tinubu prior to the 2011 elections when he appeared to have imposed his wife, now Senator Oluremi Tinubu, on the people of Lagos Central Senatorial District, and I was one of those who made a lot of noise about the then ACN party imposing favourites of Asiwaju Tinubu on the people, especially in Lagos State.

I have seen and observed a lot of politicians in Nigeria, from presidents to governors, federal and state legislators to local government chairmen, both inside and outside Nigeria and come to know that when Nigerians (and as a matter of fact, Africans) get to positions of power, they dispense with humility. They become arrogant, they think they are mini-gods, and some of them actually behave like gods. Even the sycophants and lackeys (called special assistants or advisers) that buzz around them often assume false airs of importance. At this event, there were several other senators, members of the House of Representatives and minor local government political officers, and the body language politics of most of them reeks of what I described above.

Not so Senator Oluremi Tinubu! Her body language was that humility, down-to-earth and a consciousness of the fact that it was only the Grace of God that got her where she is today. She was humility-personified. She is the sort of ruler/politician that Nigeria so much craves, in terms of focus, vision, hard-work, sincerity, integrity and hope for the people. I have taken a very different view of this lady whom I had never met and whose my previous perception has always been negative, mainly because of the reputation of her husband.

Her book “The Journey of Grace – My Faith Walk” is another conviction to me. I read the small book when I got home, and I was wondering to myself why I never researched this woman all these years before I virtually condemned her. The book was full of Christian virtues – another surprise, knowing that her husband is a Moslem. I am sure she is living up to, and practicing what she was preaching.

There were several highlights of the events, but one which I must mention was the testimony given by Ezenagu Alexander, a University of Cambridge post-graduate Law Student, and a beneficiary of Senator Oluremi Tinubu’s contribution to education in Nigeria. This young man, an Igbo, mentioned the fact that he is not Yoruba, but this did not debar him, and many other non-Yoruba from Lagos State in enjoying the benefits of Senator Tinubu’s charity and vision.

Another worthy highlight was when one of the speakers, Dr Chris Imafidon, a UK-based educational consultant to governments and institutions in Europe, in his tribute, averred that it is an insult to call Mrs Tinubu, a politician, knowing our politicians in Nigeria, but that he regards hers as a mother, philanthropist and educationist.

In her acceptance speech, the Senator from Lagos Central confirmed that ANAUK had not asked her or solicited for any money to organise any event for her or to give her any award, but in recognising their efforts and genuineness, she announced the creation of a Hardship Fund (the establishment of the fund is an extension of the work she is doing in Nigeria through her New Era Foundation, which provides opportunities for disadvantaged children) in aid of Nigerian students struggling in the UK to cope with school fees and accommodation expenses, and has already made an initial contribution of US$20,000.00, and she urged all other Senators, House of Rep members and Lagos House of Assembly members to contribute to the fund. This was widely applauded by the guests.

Now, some might ask me or say, oh well, she’s just doing with the money she earns as a Senator, what she is supposed to spend the money on – constituency projects.  Yes, indeed, I asked myself that too. She never claimed to be a millionaire, as one would have assumed, being in government as first lady of Lagos State for eight years. In a video clip, she told us that when she was the first lady, she had gone to a previous first lady, the wife of former Military Governor of Lagos State, Mobolaji Johnson, to ask her for advice in what to do as first lady, and also as an attempt to introduce continuity in government (something that doesn’t happen in Nigeria). It was the advice and ideas she received that she used during her eight years as First Lady, establishing the Annual Spelling Bee competition, Annual One-day Governor, Junior Chef Competition, building classroom and science blocks, etc.

The point here is if she’s spending the money she earns for constituency projects, and we don’t want to call it philanthropy (and I am not sure of this) or the proceeds of the ill-gotten wealth of her husband, then she is spending it well and appropriately and at least returning some of it back to the society, even if as a result of some conscience, unlike many of her colleagues who just convert such funds to their personal use or spend it buying and distributing bags of rice, beans, and Indomie or bicycles and televisions to villagers and women in the name of empowerment. Apart from this, she has, through legislative oversights, helped secure funding for many other projects. And note here, she’s not spending her husband’s money.

The bottom line is: Senator Oluremi Tinubu is not just doing her job but she’s doing it well, with a lot of sincerity, focus and approbation. If only fifty percent of our legislators and other politicians are like her, I guess the country will not be in such a muddle as we are now.

I salute the Cllr Adedamola Aminu, acting Mayor of Lambeth Borough and current ANAUK President; Dr Bisi Adewole, Vice President; Ms Dolapo Ajakaiye, Social Secretary; Mr Toyin Coker, General Secretary and other members of the Association of Nigerian Academics in the UK – ANAUK for discovering a rare diamond and beacon of hope in the quagmire of self-service, greed, mediocrity and corruption that has become the lot of Nigerian political leaders.

It is unlikely that I will meet this woman again, but I just want to urge her to keep doing the good she’s doing. There is still a lot more to be done for our people. She cannot do it alone, so she has to influence her colleagues in politics and governance. We need more of her. And such politicians will be recognised and go down in our minds and books as those who did their utmost best.

Let the Truth be told always.

 

 

Since Boko Haram embarked on their well planned and sponsored mission of decimination of Nigerian Christians which has eventually boomerang, the way General Buhari has been talking leaves much to be desired.
 
For the benefit of readers, Abubukar Shekau, the Boko Haram terrorists Amir, has been very clear about their mission. Turn Nigeria into a Muslim state under the sharia the Islamic law.
 
At one time, he even commanded President Goodluck Jonathan to become a Muslim for Boko Haram attacks to abate.   
 
In all his video and audio tapes including the most recent one where Shekau owned up to attacking the Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, he has made it clear that their main targets are Nigerian Christians and their Churches.
 
It is true that they may have killed more Muslims by chance stance by virtue of their attacks mainly in Borno State and Yobe States and probably one or two attacks in Kano and Adamawa States, but their primary target originally were Christians especially Northerners and Southerners living in the North because of the way they voted in the 2011 presidential elections.
Recently they burnt two churches in Funtua Kaduna State.
 
In this age of information technology, where all information is at our finger tips on YouTube, facebook, twitters, google and internet, I cannot understand why General Mohammadu Buhari has consistently made all efforts in his media speeches to distant Boko Haram from the attacks in the North and Nigeria in general.
 
In all his media speeches, he has always claimed that some people are trying to destabilise Northern Nigeria! In fact at one time he out rightly condemned the declaration of state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
 
I mean, if there are persons who are bent on destabilising Nigeria, it is Boko Haram and their Northern sponsors and their foreign collaborators.

 

If General Buhari is ‘mai gaskiya’ as some of his northern Muslim admirers will want us to believe, he must come out plainly to acknowledge and condemn Boko Haram as the terrorists that they are who are bent on destabilising Nigeria.
 
Boko Haram terrorists and their Fulani herdsmen militia get encouragement from their active and passive supporters like General Buhari when they do not condemn them openly.

 

Northern elders must come out to condemn openly for them to takenly seriously. Anything short of that is taken as covert and overt support for Boko Haram terrorists.t
 
General Buhari was at Sabuwa local to commiserate with those attacked there two weeks ago, but did not go to Funtua to commiserate with those Christians whose churches and schools were burnt by irate Muslims youth just last week. General Buhari, na wah for you woh! Are the Funtua Christians at your backyard not part of your constituency? Abi you do not want their votes?
 
Finally the Northern Nigerian brand of Islam leaves much to be desired. Northern Nigeria Islamic preachers have turned the Holy Quran upside down.

 

There are no stories of Muslims youth burning Churches in Senegal, Niger Republic, Mauritania, Morocco, and Algeria or even in Chad or Libya.
 
It is just because some Islamic scholars who are bankrupt of Holy Quran knowledge brainwash Northern Nigeria Muslim youths who now even embark on suicide mission. These are young people who have terminated their lives forever for the children of Muslim elite to continue to live.

 

Ndiameeh Babangida Babreek.     

There is a financial mathematical inclination to believe that about $90 billion dollars have been missing under NNPC since the inception of Jonathan administration than the $ 20 billion dollars as revealed by the sacked Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido.

 

 

According to Sanusi Lamido when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance  in February 2014,“as far as the Central Bank is concerned, the most important point to establish is that there is a difference of $20 billion between what NNPC shipped and what it repatriated”.

 

 

According to the Managing Director of Shell Group, Mr Mutiu Sumonu , $ 5 billion dollars is stolen annually by oil bunkerers. Speaking at the Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Up-Stream) and Navy in 2012, Sumonu said that "The scale of crude oil theft now is more than what the oil companies can handle. It is extremely pervasive now. If you over-fly the whole of our operational areas in the Niger Delta, you will see canoes, barges and illegal refineries all over the place…"The country is losing about 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the equivalent of $5 billion per annum. Imagine what that amount of money could do to our economy if we chose to put it into the power sector”.

 

 

According to the Chairman House ad-hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft, Bashir Adamu, $5 billion dollars is annually stolen by oil thieves. Speaking during the inauguration of the Committee in 2013, Bashir disclosed that “The oil and gas industry accounts for about two-thirds of government revenue and more than 90 per cent of export earnings in Nigeria. “Illegal bunkering has caused Nigeria to lose an estimated $5 billion (N780 billion) yearly, amounting to $400 billion since Nigeria’s independence”

 

 

According to the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, Nigeria lost $11 billion dollars to crude oil theft in 2013 alone. While disclosing this at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja in March 2014, Yakubu said that “in 2013 alone, the country lost 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd). By implication, computing these figures at an average price of $100 per barrel, it would result in a total loss of $10,950,000,000 (300,000 x $100 per barrel x 365 days= $10,950,000,000) in 2013 alone”.

 

 

According to the Comptroller General of Customs, Mr Dikko Inde, the nation lost N603.8 billion naira ($4 billion dollars) to waivers in 9 months, out of which N263 billion naira was for petroleum products.   Speaking when he appeared before the Joint Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriation in 2013, The Customs boss said that “of the N603.8 billion, N263.8 billion was lost to waiver granted on importation of petroleum products.”

 

 

According to a report by a Swiss based non-governmental advocacy group titled “Swiss Traders Opaque Deals in Nigeria,” the Berne Declaration, that outlined how the NNPC, in connivance with two Swiss oil trading companies- Vitol and Trafigura, drained Nigeria of over $6.8 billion in subsidy payments through shady deals involving lifting of crude oil at prices far below what obtained in the open market. This revelation sparked off outrage in Nigeria’s Senate in November 2013 but the lawmakers have probably forgiven the offenders.

 

 

In 2012, following the exposition of another $ 1 billion dollars Malabu Oil Scam where funds were wired into the private accounts of some friends of government, the embarrassed Nigeria Senate mandated its Committee on Upstream and Finance to investigate everything about the Malabu/ OPL 245 deal.

 

 

According to Hon Farouk Lawan ad-hoc Committee on Subsidy report, N1.2 trillion ($ 6.8 billion dollars) was overpayments in subsidy which they asked the indicted companies to refund to the government coffers. The Committee had reported that contrary to earlier figures from various official sources, subsidy payment of N2.59 trillion had been made as at 31st December, 2011, an amount more than 900 percent over the appropriated sum of N245 billion." In addition, there are "outstanding claims by NNPC and the marketers in excess of N270 billion as subsidy payments for 2011." The Committee, in its report, established that "NNPC was found not to be accountable to anybody or authority”. Based on these findings, the committee recommended among others that, “ii. The freezing of the accounts and recovery of all illegal payments made to the Petroleum marketing firms, the NNPC, PPPRA and others which, according to the House Committee, amount to N1.2 trn or $6.8bn”

 

 

Therefore, for the purposes of this mathematical analysis, we shall use the period Goodluck Jonathan became the substantive President of Nigeria, which is May 2010 till when Sanusi revealed the missing $20 billion dollars, a total of forty five (45 months).  The second calculation will be based on the period Jonathan became president in 2010 till May 2015, when Jonathan’s first tenure would have expired, which is sixty (60 months). Though the NNPC had agreed that under their watch, $ 11 billion dollars was stolen in 2013 alone, we shall still use the conservative figure of $ 5 billion dollars annually to calculate the oil theft. The use of least average in cost computations is applied.

 

 

Therefore, in Jonathan’s 45 month period as President of Nigeria, there is a probability that the stated sums might have missed under the watch of NNPC and other agencies

 

 

1 $20 billion dollars missing in 18 months =$1.1 billion monthly x 45 months =$49.5 billion dollars

 

2 $5 billion dollars lost annually to oil thieves =$0.41 billion monthly x 45 months     =$18.5 billion dollars

 

3 $1.5 billion dollars (N263 billion naira) lost to suspicious waiver on petroleum products in 9  months=$0.16 billion monthly x 45 months =$7.2 billon dollars

 

4 Subsidy Scam of 2011=$ 6.8 billion dollars

 

5 Swiss-NNPC Oil Scam of 2013=$ 6.8 billion dollars

 

6 Malabu Oil Scam of 2011=$1 billion dollar

 

Total probable missing/ stolen or unremitted Oil funds in 45 months =89.8 billion dollars

 

      Going further, In Jonathan’s 60 month period ending May 29, 2015, there is a probability that the sums stated below might have totally missed if he fails to tackle corruption within NNPC

 

1 $20 billion dollars missing in 18 months =$1.1 billion monthly x 60 months =$ 66 billion dollars

 

2 $5 billion dollars lost annually to oil thieves =$0.41 billion monthly x 60 months=$ 25 billion dollars

 

3 $1.5 billion dollars (N263 billion naira) lost to suspicious waiver on petroleum products in  9 months=$0.16 billion monthly x 60 months= $ 9.6billion dollars

 

4 Subsidy Scam of 2011=$ 6.8 billion dollars

 

5 Swiss-NNPC Oil Scam of 2013=$ 6.8 billion dollars

 

6 Malabu Oil Scam of 2011=$1 billion dollars

 

 

Total probable missing/ stolen or unremitted Oil funds in 60 months = 115.2 billion dollars.

 

 

     Therefore, with additional sums of either 89.8 billion dollars stolen, missing, unremitted, diverted , waiver-ed off between May 2010 when the incumbent took over and February 2014 when the CBN chief was sacked, and a probability that further loss cumulating  to $115.2 billion dollars would probably have been stolen by May 29, 2015 the nation is already in financial mess.

 

 

      In an earlier piece first published in April 2012 and titled, ‘How Babangida, Abacha, Obasanjo shared Nigeria’s Oil Blocks’, I had opined that “Discretionary allocation of oil blocks entails that a president can reward a mistress who performs wonderfully with an oil block with capacity for cumulative yield of over $20 billion dollars without recourse to any process outside of manhood attachments”.

 

 

     I also added in the report that “Signature bonuses which are paid when an investor successfully bids, wins and signs agreement with the petroleum ministry, running into tens of millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of naira, is often waived off. There is actually no waiver; rather a diversion of what would have been paid to government t coffers is paid into private purse as appreciation gifts. THAT IS WHY THOSE IN THE PETROLEUM MINISTRY DREAD RETIREMENT AS THOUGH IT SIGNIFIES GOING TO HELL FIRE . No matter how little your influence, something substantial must enter your hands especially in hard currency. The nation loses billions of dollars in diverted revenue whenever any round of auction occurs”.
 
    The volume of corruption as recently revealed by state agencies had shown that what was contained in that report was a mere tip of the iceberg. NNPC has proven worse than Boko Haram because the fraud within it had sent millions of Nigerians to early grave due to poverty, diseases, armed robbery, and ritual killings.  I therefore, advise President Jonathan to urgently declare a State of Emergency in NNPC bearing in mind that additional financial mathematics shows a probable theft of $ 90 billion dollars might have occurred therein.
 
Obinna akukwe
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 














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