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Court Adjourns Dasuki’s Trial To March

Thu, 2020-01-23 20:36


Former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd)

Former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) Sahara Reporters Media

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned the continuation of the trial of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to March 11 and 12.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned the case following the withdrawal of some applications filed by Dasuki challenging his illegal detention by the Nigerian Government.

Recall that Dasuki was held illegally by the government in disregard for various court orders asking him to be released.

He was eventually released on December 24, 2019.

At the resumption of his trial on Thursday, Dasuki, through his counsel, Olukayode Ariwoola, informed the court of the decision to withdraw the two applications on the grounds that the applications had been overtaken by the event of the release of his client.

The prosecutor, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), said he had no objection to the request to have the applications withdrawn.

The trial judge subsequently struck out the applications and adjourned the trial till March 11 and 12, 2020.

The former NSA is standing trial on two separate sets of charges of alleged diversion of funds for the procurement of arms meant for fighting Boko Haram in the North-East region of Nigeria.

 

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Amotekun: I Only Gave Advice, Didn’t Oppose Idea, Says Malami

Thu, 2020-01-23 20:34


 

Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said that he never at any time opposed the formation of ‘Operation Amotekun’ by South-West governors but rather advised them to enact laws to support the establishment of the security outfit.

Malami’s comments on Thursday followed a backlash that trailed his earlier position last week when the governors inaugurated ‘Operation Amotekun’.

While appearing for a radio programme in Abuja on Thursday, “I was misinterpreted on Operation Amotekun, I did not say it's Illegal.

“I said the Operation Amotekun should be properly backed by law, so if at the end of this government, if the operation has been backed by law, any government that eventually succeeds this government will not rubbish the operation.

“I said if they failed to enact a law in support of Amotekun in the South-West region of Nigeria, another government can come and say it's Illegal and this is because it is not backed by any law.

“So, it just an advice to the state governor to use their powers and the House of Assembly in their various states to enact a law that will make the operation more effective.”

 

Legal Politics News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

EFCC Arraigns Nigeria’s Ex-Attorney-General, Adoke, On 42-count Charge

Thu, 2020-01-23 20:31


 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has finally arraigned Nigeria’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke.

Adoke was arraigned on 42 counts of fraud and money laundering at the Gwagwalada Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Adoke pleaded not guilty to the charges read to him.

Adoke, who was involved in the controversial Oil Prospecting Licence 245 deal to the tune of over $1.2bn, was extradited from the United Arab Emirates.

Recall that SaharaReporters had reported that Interpol arrested Adoke when he visited Dubai on a business trip.

He was deported to Nigeria and handed over to the EFCC for prosecution.

 

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Imo: Protesters Storm US, UK Embassies, Demand Visa Ban On Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Others

Thu, 2020-01-23 17:17


Civil society groups are currently protesting at the embassies of the United States and United Kingdom respectively in Abuja, demanding a visa ban on all seven members of the Supreme Court panel that delivered judgment in the Imo State governorship election case that produced Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the exercise.

The panel including Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Tanko, has in its ruling on January 14 nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party, arguing that several valid votes due Uzodinma during the exercise were not counted and credited to him by the Independent National Electoral Commission. 

According to the protesters at the US and UK embassies, the judiciary cannot continue to give judgment that undermines the nation's democratic process.

The group under the aegis of Coalition in Defence of Democracy and Constitution led by Ariyo Dare Atoye, said that democracy would no longer be the same again in Nigeria with the conflicting ruling of the Supreme Court.

He added that the trust of the people in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man had been dashed and Nigerians would no longer have confidence in the Supreme Court.

He said, “The justices who delivered the Imo judgment and their families should be placed on visa restriction to serve as deterrent to others.

“The justices are Tanko Muhammad, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Sylvester Ngwuta, Olukayode Ariwoola, Amiru Sanusi, Amina Augie and Uwani Abba-Aji.”

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NSCDC Arrests Two For Selling UTME Forms Above Fixed Rate

Thu, 2020-01-23 17:01


The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in Ogun State has arrested two men for selling the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination forms above the approved price of N4, 700. 

NSCDC commandant in the state, Hammed Abodunrin, said the arrests were made following complaints by applicants.

He said the suspects will be tried on a criminal charge of extortion in a competent court of law. 

According to him, this will serve as a deterrent to other persons throttling the efforts of government.

He said, “The candidates are forced to pay extra money. It is going to be treated as a criminal case of extortion. The price of JAMB form is fixed.”

Abodunrin advised applicants to patronise approved centres for forms.

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Tinubu Vs Amotekun By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Thu, 2020-01-23 16:58


Bayo Oluwasanmi

Bayo Oluwasanmi

Amotekun was the response to General Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to protect lives and properties of Nigerians. Over time, the Fulani terrorists had turned Yoruba land to a killing field. The brutal murder of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the Afenifere leader, was a wake up call for Yorubas. 

In his reaction to the murder of Olakunrin, Bola Tinubu, the APC leader, stoutly defended and exonerated Fulani terrorists of the murder of Olakunrin. “I don’t want to be political. The question is where are the cows?” Tinubu said.

Since the creation of Amotekun, Tinubu had maintained sealed lips. He was forced to break his silence on Amotekun. He came out with a long winded statement why Amotekun is necessary and why it’s unnecessary. Speaking from both sides of his mouth, Tinubu laboriously searched for the politically correct rationale behind Amotekun and the logic behind Fulani’s opposition to Amotekun. I’ll spare you of Tinubu’s pendatic polemics about Amotekun. 

Tinubu doesn’t want to be “political.” He’s neither here nor there. He’s a Yoruba and a Fulani at the same time. Tinubu’s evasive and effusive rant about Amotekun sounds like a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. As he struggled to come up with politically correct statement so as not to incur the wrath of Fulani terrorists, he openly revealed himself as a traitor to Yoruba race. 

No true Yoruba would be surprised at Tinubu’s Machiavellian response to the issue of Amotekun. While Yorubas are being slaughtered, terrorised, kidnapped daily by Fulani terrorists, Tinubu is missing in action. His calculated non-committal response to justify the creation of Amotekun, proves he’s not the standard of character. It shows he’s not a model for decency. He lacks the test of experience. 

Instead of condemning Fulani terrorists in the strongest terms, he appeased them. As a traitor, he betrayed his own when his loyalty is needed most and kept quiet at a time when his voice should be the loudest. But who cares? By the way, who needs his endorsement or approval of Amotekun? With or without Tinubu, Amotekun is here to stay. Amotekun is a necessary deterrence to the indiscriminate killings of our people by Fulani terrorists.

It’s no secret that Tinubu is a seducer in cahoot with Fulani terrorists. His blind loyalty and sheepish deference to Buhari makes him an insider traitor against Yoruba nation. Only a traitor like him would forget our shared cultural experiences and historical memories of how Fulanis denied Awo and MKO the presidency. 

Tinubu is known for Machiavellian tactics: unscrupulously cunning, deceptive, and dishonest. To realise his pipe dream of becoming the next president in 2023, he must show hatred and repulsion to his own people. This is the time for Yorubas to jettison Tinubu because he’s cunning, treacherous, easily bought, and ruthlessly dangerous to our collective resolve on Amotekun and other important issues germane to Yoruba nation. As a morally corrupt person, Tinubu exists at a selfish level. Tinubu’s soul is long dead!

Much as he wished to be canonised as leader of Yorubas, let’s remind him that throughout history no group of people has ever chosen a traitor as a leader. Yet, the main goal of a traitor is to become a leader by throwing everyone else aside and trying to surpass them. This time around, it’s not “where are the cows?” It’s Tinubu vs Amotekun!

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Bayo Oluwasanmi Disable advertisements : 

Nigeria Must Go Beyond ‘Empty’ Promises In Addressing Climate Issues

Thu, 2020-01-23 16:53


Responding to the realities of climate change has been more of political rhetoric than real-life action in Nigeria.

While this continues to build a disastrous future for the country, the government is ignoring the early warning signs.

Severe weather conditions have been affecting most states thereby causing terrible flooding, destruction of farmlands and other life-threatening situations.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency in 2019 reported that more than 100 local government areas in 33 states across the country were affected by flooding and 13 states were placed on high alert for severe flooding.

In spite of this, the country has failed to take any notable action in climate solutions, leaving thousands of people in the country at risk of climate crisis.

This has begun to manifest in the drying of water in the Lake Chad, overflowing of beaches and ocean shores and excess flooding.

Plastic pollution is another epidemic the country has failed to identify and take appropriate steps in tackling.

Flooding has rendered thousands of people displaced and homeless.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Borno and Adamawa states are currently facing the worst flood in seven years, which have destroyed homes and livelihoods across entire communities in the region.

“About 300,000 people have been affected by floods so far this year, which is at least five times more than expected in the humanitarian contingency plan,” the UNOCHR said.

In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari while speaking at the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York, United States, said that the country would mobilise Nigerian youth towards planting 25 million trees to enhance carbon sink.

He also said that “in the water sector, Nigeria will issue a Green Bond for irrigation and construct multi-purpose dams for power, irrigation, and water supply”.

The move was reiterated by the Minister of Environment, Muhammad Abubakar, who said the country would soon commence the planting of the 25 million trees to curb deforestation and erosion in the country in the face of worsening climatic conditions.

Sadly, these are mere political statements and nothing tangible had been done months down the line.

In the same vein, governors of different states have at one time or the other made public utterances committing themselves to take any action that is in line with climate solutions but not more than two of the 36 state governors have taken climate issues as seriously as they should.

In the midst of these inactions by the government, experts have issued a warning to the government stressing that policies must be immediately put in place and enforcement ensured.

Technical Director, Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Dr Joseph Onoja, in an interview said the country collectively needs to take immediate action to reduce the growing heat index and plant trees to serve as shield against flooding.

“As a government, we need to put policies in place that would ensure that trees are planted and criminalise indiscriminate tree clearing.

“The president talked about 25 million trees but if measures are not put in place to nurture them into maturity, we might continue to have high heat index in Nigeria,” Onoja said.

President of Society for Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Mitigation, Dr Funmilayo Doherty, highlighted some of the steps the government must take immediately.

Dr Doherty recommended that the government must build defences to protect against sea-level rise, improving the quality of road surfaces to withstand hotter temperatures, building flood defences and raising the levels of dykes.

She also advised Nigerians to embrace behavioural shifts such as using less water, adopting renewed energy, good waste disposal practice and planting more trees.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Oyetunde Oluwatobi Disable advertisements : 

Tarkwa Bay Eviction: Our People Don't Care About Each Other Anymore By Ayo Moses Ogedengbe

Thu, 2020-01-23 16:37


Growing up as a young boy around Ewu Titun area of Lagos State, I could hardly tell the children of the rich from those of the poor. 

Government primary school had children of top civil servants who sometimes go on holiday abroad only to return to the same school field where we played soccer and the same classrooms where we were taught the same thing. 

Those days are over as our people and by implication, the government throw everything away to the individualistic spirit that accompanies capitalism. 

Africa use to be a continent that was largely in tune with socialism. 

We cared for our brother's and sister's children as well as other members of our community.

The concept of nuclear family responsibility was hardly the thought pattern and children use to grow in a compound-like setting with cousins seeing each other as brothers and sisters. 

This is why many Africans still call their cousins "cousin brother" and "cousins sister" because of that deeper feeling that a cousin is a brother or a sister and not just a "cousin" in the white man's ideology. 

I cannot forget how my mother celebrated my cousin's trip abroad to get an education as though the boy was her very own.

I cannot forget how she made her home in Ladipo available for anyone who was not just blood relative, but friends of her children.

Before the white man came, there was not a single person that was homeless in all of Africa.  Even the mentally challenged had a place to return to. After going on a ‘missionless’ trip, most insane people often returned home to the warm embrace of their people and community. 

There was a time when the rich in the family took care of the indigent within the same family. It is the African way of life before capitalism, the mother of individualism, took the greater part of us as a people. 

Recently, at the home of Seun Kuti, friends gathered to listen to him share the story of his father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and his social theory of egalitarianism. We were regaled with tales of how homeless people will walk into Kalakuta Republic and become "citizens" in the place with equal rights as those who have been there earlier. 

They get clothed, and if known with a foreign name, given a local name by Fela himself and other members of KK as we use to call the place, will welcome new "citizens" with cloths and other gifts that will help them comfort themselves for free. 

Now wait!

If Fela could accept and take care of homeless people, why is government finding it difficult to do same with million times greater resources?

There was a time when communities gathered together to celebrate the achievement of one man as though it was the achievement of the entire people. 

 

Then gradually, for not selectively picking what is compliant with our very own way of life, we started to lose our core values through colonisation. 

We lost our culture, lost our religions and eventually our very pristine way of life to the propaganda machinery of colonialism and neo-colonialism, without the sense of purpose to commission a program do decolonise of anti-people programs of the west. 

Today, it is more important to many of our citizens to be able drive a G-WAGON whilst still having a niece or nephew who is out of school because of 10,000 unpaid school fees. 

Today, it appears very okay to wear True Religion jeans than to prepare for generations unborn. 

Today, a supposed government of the people, cannot comfortably resettle its own citizens who live in a community that is of interest. 

This is individualism at its apotheosis and we are fast becoming a people on the path to self -destruct. 

I remember the story of Tivoli Gardens in great island of Jamaica and how the eviction of poor masses led to the establishment of violent gangs that will later give birth to the shower posse group led by Jim Brown, the cocaine lord that first attempted to Kill Bob Marley and the subsequent violence that rocked Jamaica from the late 70's up on to the 90's. 

Why have we become so insensitive to the needs of our fellow citizens?

Why is the law, which is the non-compliant child of western thoughts and philosophy, more important than the survival of our very own people?

How can we consistently fail to grow the ability to resettle people and provide succour to the indigent in our society?

Why is it hard for governments elected at the various levels to envisage that it will always come to this embarrassing removal of a people and not plan for their resettlement and compensation, where necessary?

When it comes to governance what is the most important thing?

Isn't the number one thing the safety and security of lives and property?

Imagine the children growing in Tarkwa Bay who are experiencing this eviction today and how stone- hearted they will become in the future.

What kind of people do you think most of those kids will grow up into tomorrow based on the seeds that is being planted in them right now?

Let me guess. Armed robbers? Yahoo-Yahoo? Fake pastors? Ritual killers? Crude politicians? Drug dealers?

Of course some will become accountants, engineers and lawyers, no doubt. 

But you know what? They will not be different from ruthless criminals at the community or professional environment where they get to work. 

The images from Tarkwa Bay Island is reminiscent of successive governments’ failure to care for the indigent in the society and this is becoming too troubling for the eyes to see. 

Question really is when are we going to start watching out for each other as it is in the pristine social philosophy of our people? 

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

Fani Kayode's N5.9bn Trial Stalled, Shifted To February 24

Thu, 2020-01-23 16:31


Femi Fani Kayode Arriagned In Court

Femi Fani Kayode Arriagned In Court

The N5.9bn fraud trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, scheduled to continue on Thursday before the Federal High Court in Lagos was stalled due to the absence of one of the defence counsel, Clement Onwuenwuenor.

Fani-Kayode is being tried alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman; Danjuma Yusuf, and a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited.

Onwuenwuenor, who is a lawyer to Yusuf and Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, wrote to the court for an adjournment.

He said he was before the Court of Appeal in Lagos in respect of three criminal cases.

As a result, Justice Rilwan Aikawa adjourned the case util February 24 and 25.

The defendants are facing 17 counts bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

Fani-Kayode was accused of conspiring with the others to directly and indirectly retain various sums which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.

In one of the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiring among themselves to “indirectly retain the sum of N1,500, 000,000.00 which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing.”

The four were also accused of indirectly retaining N300m, N400m and N800m, all proceeds of corruption, according to the EFCC.

Fani-Kayode was accused of directly using parts of the money at various times, including a N250,650,000.00, which he allegedly used between March 20 and 25, 2015.

Fani-Kayode was also accused of making a cash transaction of N24m with one Olubode Oke, said to still be at large, on February 12, 2015 “to Paste Poster Co of 125, Lewis Street, Lagos Island.”

The duo were said to have made the transaction without going through any financial institution, an act the EFCC claimed was contrary to sections 1(a) and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

The defendants pleaded not guilty.

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South-West Professionals Back Amotekun, Urge Government To Drop Charges Against Sowore

Thu, 2020-01-23 15:16


South-West Professionals have asked governors of the region to go ahead with the full implementation of the new security network known as ‘Operation Amotekun’, saying that the initiative would stem crime in the region.

The group also urged the Nigerian Government to drop charges against activist and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, arguing that the case against him was politically motivated.

In a statement by SOWPROF President, Chief Segun Ajibulu, the group said it may be compelled to drag Nigeria before the United Nations for threatening an institution meant to protect lives and property of people living in the South-West region.

The statement reads, “Dont be intimidated. Your action is in line with several local and international conventions on the protection of lives and properties. The people are with you. We urge you to go ahead and fully implement the project.”

The group also berated Miyetti Allah for blackmailing the South-West on the 2023 Presidency.

According to SOWPROF, there were currently 23 states in Nigeria with one form of local security or the other, adding that the Amotekun initiative was not a new thing in Nigeria.

It said Amotekun was necessary to tame the possibility of invasion of the entire South-West by criminals and armed gangs.

The statement added, “Amotekun was not set up to fight any ethnic group but to fight criminals in any part of the South-West. Any responsive government should not fold its arms and allow criminals to take over the towns and villages.

“SOWPROF will give full support to Amotekun in terms of education and knowledge provision.

“We are prepared to link up with relevant donor agencies across the world that can assist South-West governors run an effective local security outfit driven by respect for the constitution and important international human right conventions so that members with enjoy public support.”

Speaking further, the group called on the Nigerian Government to pay huge compensation to Sowore for unlawfully keeping him in detention for about four months, saying the move violated his fundamental human rights.

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Panic In Delta State As Lassa Fever Kills Woman, Two Others Quarantined

Thu, 2020-01-23 13:51


Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever

 

Residents of Asaba, capital of Delta State, are currently living in fear following an outbreak of Lassa Fever, which has killed a woman and left two others quarantined.

At a briefing with journalists on Wednesday in Asaba, Commissioner for Health in the state, Mordi Ononye, confirmed the development, urging residents not to panic.

He said, “A robust mechanism is already in place to sensitise the general public on how the disease can be handled to guide against spreading it further, both the private and public health facilities in the state are being carried along in efforts to check the disease from going out of control.

“The state government has built and furnish a 10 bed Isolation Unit at the FMC and more collaboration is on with the Federal Government and its agencies to tackle the situation.

“Though the disease is contagious but if residents keep a high personal hygiene, keep their environments clean and cut grasses close to homes, address places where rodents hide and breed and stop exposing food and drinks to rats, the disease would not be able to spread.”

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Court Adjourns Hearing On Shehu Sani's Rights Enforcement Application To Tuesday

Thu, 2020-01-23 13:51


 

The FCT High Court sitting in Gudu has adjourned the hearing in the application seeking the enforcement of fundamental rights filed by former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Shehu Sani, to January 28.

The matter was adjourned at the instance of the presiding judge, Justice A.B Mohammed, who lost his father in-law.

Sani had on December 31, 2019 honoured the invitation of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegations of extortion and name-dropping.

Owner of ASD Motors, Alhaji Sani Dauda, had accused Sani of collecting around $20,000 from him with a promise to use his influence to prevail on the anti-agency not to investigate him for corruption.

Sani had on January 16 filed the enforcement of his fundamental rights following his continued detention by the commission which he described as illegal and a breach of section 35 ( 5 ) of the constitution.

SaharaReporters has gathered that the EFCC may arraign the former lawmaker before the expiration of the additional five days extension to the 14-day detention order obtained against him.

The order will elapse on Monday, January 27.

Legal News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 

Mob Attacks Robbery Suspect In Abuja, Victim Dies In Hospital

Thu, 2020-01-23 13:48


The vandalised police vehicle at the scene in Abuja

The vandalised police vehicle at the scene in Abuja SaharaReporters Media

 

An angry mob on Wednesday in Abuja attacked a ‘one-chance’ robbery suspect, who attempted to rob a victim.

The incident occurred along Jahi-Katampe Expressway.

According to a reliable source, the mob was about lynching the suspect when operatives of Rapid Response Squad, who responded to a distress call, arrived the scene and rescued the suspect.

In the process of rescuing the suspect, the mob attacked the police team with dangerous weapons, leaving one of the officers seriously injured. 

Spokesperson for the FCT Police Command, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, in a statement on Wednesday confirmed the incident.

He explained that the suspect later died in the hospital where he was receiving treatment.

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South Africans Tell Nigerians, Other Foreigners To Leave Towns In Latest Xenophobic Violence

Thu, 2020-01-23 13:47


Xenophobic attacks in South Africa

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa NAN

 

Two weeks after South Africans in Keimoes and Upington areas of Northern Cape vowed to eject Nigerians and other foreigners from their communities, locals in Diepsloot area of Johannesburg have begun to attack foreign nationals in the area.

The attack on foreign nationals began on Wednesday evening but was curtailed by the police.

However, there was a renewed attack on properties and protest action on Thursday with locals demanding that all foreigners leave the community.

President, Nigerian Union South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, confirmed the attack in a statement sent to SaharaReporters.

He added that locals were not ready to back down on attacks on foreigners.

He said, “Angry residents started burning tires and chanting that foreigners must leave the area.

“Police intervention brought calm but the violence erupted again this morning.

“The community members want undocumented foreigners to leave the area. They accused foreign nationals of criminal activities and killing of a senior police officer.

“Though there is heavy police presence in the area, the local residents are not backing down in there demand.”

He added that the area was still tensed and not safe for foreign nationals, advising Nigerians to stay away from the area until it was safe.

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Was It All About Meghan, The Witch Of Windsor? By Azu Ishiekwene

Thu, 2020-01-23 13:43


Azubuike Ishiekwene

Azubuike Ishiekwene

 

The boy whose mother was hounded to her death by the paparazzi has come of age. And he is reminding the British establishment of everything it has tried desperately to forget about that tragedy, and more.

Harry, still addressed as His Royal Highness and Duke of Sussex at the time, was not supposed to remember. He was just 13, shy and impressionable. Like most last born, he was the apple of his mother’s eye. Lady Diana doted on her salt-and-pepper-haired lad and did all she could to protect Harry and his elder brother, Prince William, from the limelight and crushing weight of royalty.

It was not always easy. She tried to find quiet moments, away from the preying press, for herself and her children as the toddlers grew. A teenager at the time of her marriage to Prince Charles, she was from a broken home and did all she could to prevent her own marriage breaking up. But the more she ran with the children under her wings and her philandering husband on the loose; the more she invented getaways, the more her tormentors chased her.

When they could not catch her by springing a surprise interview, they sussed her out with gossip. And there’s not a press in the world as rotten with gossip – hurtful, downright snarky gossip – as the British red tops. They just love blood sport.

One particular gossip that rankled was aired last year in an ITV documentary on the disquiet in the House of Windsor. The word was put out there that if Diana had her way, she would have preferred Harry, and not William, to be second in the line of succession. 

In response to that gossip, Diana fought back, accusing her tormentors of trying to poison the relationship between her children whom she was doing her best to bring up not just to be fit for the throne, but also to be good human beings and noble subjects of her majesty the Queen.

But gossip piled on gossip and intrigue on intrigue until slowly, but surely, it all began to take a toll on Diana’s marriage and family. She became suspicious and turned in on herself, shedding friends and confidants.

According to one report, “She spent years looking for answers, and in seeking comfort. The comfort came from an endless round of therapies to which she became attached, from hypnotherapy, to acupuncture and osteopathy to reflexology, shiatsu, deep-tissue massage and even regular colonic irrigation.”

None of these brought her lasting comfort. So, she took to kickboxing, a sport which Harry would also later adopt as both he and his elder brother were gradually sucked into the vortex of the pressure swirling around the family. Harry, in fact, told the press that he took to kickboxing because he had absorbed the pressure from his mother and felt the need to kick out something to keep his sanity. At 13, this teenager was dealing with his demons in the only way he knew how: kickboxing. 

Yet, as Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, picked up the pieces of their lives after a traumatic decision last week to step back from royal duties and following which the palace stripped them of their titles, we are not hearing anything about the demons from Harry’s past life that may have led the pair to this sorry pass. 

All we’re hearing from the self-righteous, all-knowing British press, is that Meghan the witch must be responsible for Harry’s current misery. She must be quartered for bringing the Queen and the Windsor House to shame. It has been sensationally called Megxit, a variant of the virus that has confused, paralysed, divided and brought out the worst in British politics in the last four years. 

But Megxit is also a little more complicated than the vicious, grasping, treacherous, woebegone narrative shamelessly paraded by British journalist, Piers Morgan in his recent article.

Harry had an exceptionally difficult childhood and it doesn’t take Sigmund Freud to figure out that thanks to the British press, in a fundamental way, the young man is taking back his own pound of flesh on a system that he holds vicariously responsible for his mother’s death and his difficult upbringing. 

The problem Harry had to deal with was not only in the brutally harsh and unforgiving way the press treated his mother. The press also drove a wedge between him and his brother, William. Whether it was about the pair’s drinking binge or when they were caught off-guard in some other pranks, Harry always saw it as his duty to play the counterfoil. He had been given to believe that his chances to the throne were slim and he saw it as his bounden duty not to let any harm come to his elder brother’s chances.

Harry was a man long before he could enjoy his childhood. His mother’s tragic death and the hypocrisy of the British establishment eloquently expressed in the tabloid press were the incentives he needed to walk back to his future. His mother’s difficulties and tragic death were open sores and even though the Queen rallied Britain after a spell of initial awkwardness following Diana's death, Harry in particular, is still stranded in that painful chapter. 

I’m not suggesting that Meghan has been a naïve, disinterested and completely blameless passenger on this journey. Of course not. A divorcee, three years older than Harry and significantly, from a mixed race; an actress who has seen a bit of the world from California to Johannesburg and from Vancouver and Bueno Aires, can hardly been expected to be a piece of royal decoration.

Did she underestimate the challenges of getting involved in a royal family dyed-in-the-wool in centuries of customs and traditions? Maybe. But if Harry and Meghan’s unusual meeting and courtship did not serve sufficient notice of what was to come, then their avantgarde wedding, complete with ebullient evangelical ministration and the preeminence of rock stars and celebrities ought to have put everyone on notice that it was not going to be royalty as usual.

Sure, Windsor did not bargain for Rachel Zane of Suits, but Meghan was also not another Kate Middleton. Through the ups and downs of life and in spite of a difficult and complicated relationship with her father and a failed marriage, Meghan earned her stripes. Through it all, she had become fairly secure and independent. And more important, she found in Harry a kindred spirit of adventure and iconoclasticism.

Not the same for Kate Middleton who, it appears, is happy just to live for one thing and one thing alone: Prince William, the man who would be king someday.

Yet, this distinction, which has significantly shaped the lives of Harry and William and influenced their choices, is hardly accounted for in the villainous press attacks determined to re-create Meghan in the image of Kate, and Harry in the image of the prodigal prince.

Too bad – and too late. After years of searching for an answer to his misery, Harry has, at last, found a path that works for him. And he has also found a woman who is, in some ways, like the mother he did not have – or more correctly, who the establishment won’t let him have. Harry and Meghan are determined to do things, to live, differently.

Megxit. Harxit. Or MegHarxit. It does not promise to be easy for the couple and their son, Archie. But then, neither does living in denial.

Ishiekwene is the MD/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview

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Agba Jalingo Is Still In Captivity By Elias Ozikpu

Thu, 2020-01-23 13:40


 

Perhaps one of the most horrifying news in today’s Nigeria, besides the barbaric decimation of innocent citizens by overly coddled terrorist organisations running amok across the country, is the continuous incarceration of journalist, Agba Jalingo. Agba remains in captivity solely on the executive order of Governor Ben Ayade for rightly demanding that the governor comes clean on the N500m microfinance bank funds that mysteriously disappeared under the governor’s watch.

Agba’s arbitrary incarceration is loudly endorsed by the same timid state House of Assembly that hastily embraced a fraudulent superhighway project that was designed to plunge several generations of Cross Riverians into a deep pool of debt and slavery for a sustained period of 180 years – approximately two centuries! It comes as no surprise, therefore, that not a single member of the House of Assembly has called out the governor for his incessant abuse of power.

The political class in Cross River, with special emphasis on members of the House of Assembly, have all looked the other way and even revel in Agba’s perceived predicament owing to his desire to consistently insist on accountability and transparency from all political office holders in the state.

Governor Ayade’s metamorphosis from a senator into a full-blown dictator remains an inscrutable mystery. His phantom belief that those who elected him into office are without the competence to ask him crucial questions about the decisions he makes on their behalf is unacceptable and a gross abuse of his powers as governor. I have extensively written elsewhere that those who abhor public scrutiny are unfit to make themselves available for election into public offices.

Agba Jalingo’s detention on the direct order of Ben Ayade symbolises the incarceration of all Cross Riverians. The governor is sending an unequivocal message to the Cross River electorates, laced with unmitigated impudence, that he is the emperor of the state and therefore should not be questioned.

As I write, roads, public schools, hospitals and other infrastructures in Cross River State are in total shambles with the governor clearly unwilling to resuscitate them. In spite of this, the Ayade regime readily mobilises to arrest critics of his regime across Nigerian cities, drive them by road to Calabar, and then claim afterwards that they were arrested by the Federal Government, as though federal high court divisions are non-existent in the different Nigerian cities where these critics are arrested.

So the question is: why is it that the governor goes to any length and at the expense of Cross Riverians in his determination to arbitrarily arrest his critics but unwilling to show a similar determination when it comes to giving life to infrastructures in the state?

The conspiracy against Agba Jalingo became even clearer when Justice Simon Amobeda, who has long recused himself from Agba’s case, reportedly refused to release his case file to the Chief Judge for re-assignment and subsequently travelled with it during his holiday in a bid to keep the journalist in perpetual captivity. Impunity has never been this bold, this daring!

So, dear reader, as you go about your work and business, always remember that a journalist and activist, Agba Jalingo, has been held in captivity since August 22, 2019 by Governor Ben Ayade of Peoples Democratic Party for demanding accountability, transparency and good governance for the people of Cross River State.

Elias Ozikpu is an activist and a professional playwright, novelist, essayist and polemicist

 

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Tinubu Had Better Get A Designer Perfume By Femi Adeyeye

Thu, 2020-01-23 12:46


I was in a discussion till late last night with one of my mentors and I learnt some things I think are necessary to share here as I type my juvenile thoughts. 

Like him or hate him, Obafemi Awolowo was a deep and disciplined scholar. I have always known this but not much. 

I learnt yesterday that Awolowo stopped sleeping with his wife at age 40. He would only eat when he is hungry and would stop when satisfied. There was no room for extra. All these, he did so he could study and give himself to critical thinking. 

Did he practice prebendal politics and steal? Maybe. 

But there is a difference between being a thief and being a useless thief. Not justifying crime of any form. 

Let me paint this descriptive. 

America steals from all over the world to give to her citizens some token in form of social security. A thief. 

Nigerian politicians steal from poor Nigerians to take to America. They like the sound of mentioning their money in dollars than naira. That’s a useless thief! 

The former description was Awo. 

However, many of today’s irredentists chanting, “I am an Awoist” think it is by wearing his type of cap and eye glasses knowledge is transferred. What you don’t have, you don’t have. 

Despite using his type of glasses, they can’t see far. His type of cap only covers their empty heads. 

There is one in Ogun State, who sniffs more than a mouse, claiming to be an Awoist. Education suffered in his hands more than anyone else. He brought arms into cultism in Ogun State and monetised the politics like never before. 

Interestingly, they have a father in Tinubu.

As deep as Awolowo was, I don’t think I have come across a picture of Awolowo posing with books like the confused Lagos landlord did in one of his photographs. 

You know this popular saying they have always pushed down our throats as young people – “Readers are leaders”. Yes! That’s the reason for this branding. The Adebola Williams’s have started the branding contract like they did for Buhari. 

Have you forgotten so soon how we were told that President Muhammadu Buhari had an Igbo driver. A pupil saved her meal money meal to donate towards the purchase of his nomination form. Just to brand him as a detribalised Nigerian, we were told the same Buhari gave his daughter’s hands in marriage to an Igbo man. His cook, a Christian. Fiction! Baba nla fiction. All of these characters disappeared after 2015 elections. 

Here we are in 2020 with someone, who has many false records of existence (from birth to academics) pretending to be a scholar. 

“Se b’emi ni mo lowo mi” too is now reading Steve Jobs. “Toronto” is now issuing statements with highfalutin verbiages. All for 2023! 

Ha! We af suffered o. 

Unfortunately, no amount of perfume oil can suppress the stench of a he-goat. Not even a plastic surgery would save Tinubu. 

If there be any sin Nigerians have committed to have these misfits ruling, the ever-merciful God should have forgiven. It’s taking too long. 

To be frank with God, we don’t deserve the kind of punishment. We can’t be the most sinful, I know.

Adeyeye Olorunfemi writes from Lagos. He can be reached through femiadeyeye101@gmail.com

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Significance Of Nigerian Words, Coinages In 2020 Oxford Dictionary By Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Thu, 2020-01-23 12:42


Olabisi Deji-Folutile

Olabisi Deji-Folutile google

At long last, my daughter can now use the word ‘severally’ without my adrenaline surging unnecessarily, courtesy of the 29 Nigerian words and expressions included in the January updates to the Oxford English Dictionary. This is a big relief. Apart from having to correct her for repeatedly using the expression, which she was probably convinced was right going by the number of people around her that boldly used it, I had another challenge of constantly editing the word in my brain each time I heard it. Unfortunately for me, there was hardly any public or private discussion in Nigeria where the word ‘severally’ would not crop up. And having been trained to always edit it to ‘several times,’ which used to be the proper English expression, you can imagine my ordeal and the attendant stress I went through in my bid to do  the job of a self-imposed custodian of her Majesty’s language. 

I am glad all of this is in the past. Apart from the freedom to use the word ‘severally’, Nigerians have been officially permitted to use many more words and expressions they have created over the years. For example, they can now decide ‘to rub mind together’ when deciding on which ‘Tokunbo’ car to buy or plan a ‘send forth’ for their colleagues and friends.  Yes, they can now ‘flag-off’ their programmes and ‘gist’ without anyone accusing them of speaking bad grammar. Believe me, this is a big deal.  As editor, I can’t tell how many reporters were punished for using the term ‘flag-off.’ Doing so was not almost sacrilege but a major howler that could lead to the ‘offenders’ losing part of their pay. You dared not use the expression ‘to put to bed’ in describing anyone that was just delivered of a baby. To describe a thief as ‘eating money’ or say something had a ‘k-leg’ was a no-no.  That is why I find it exciting that we can now go to our ‘buka,’  ‘bukateria,’ or ‘mama put’ and do our ‘chop chop’ or just ‘chop’ as we like. Not only that, we are free to board our ‘danfo’ in our ‘ember months’ and rest assured that we would reach our destinations in peace without having to explain the meaning of ember months to anyone. And when we write ‘Okada,’ it will no longer be necessary to put it in italics and there won’t be any need to explain to non-Nigerians that it is our own way of describing motorcycles. 

Interestingly, majority of the new additions to the 2020 Oxford dictionary are either borrowings from Nigerian languages, or unique Nigerian coinages that have only begun to be used in English in the second half of the twentieth century, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, according to OED’s World English editor, Danica Salazar. Other Nigerian words that made new entries into the dictionary apart from the ones in single quotes above are guber, Kannywood, next tomorrow, non-indigene, sef, zone, zoning, qualitative and agric. ‘Next tomorrow’ According to Salazar, is regarded as the oldest among the uniquely Nigerian words/expressions as it was first used in written English as a noun in 1953, and as an adverb in 1964. Kannywood, which refers to the film industry in northern Nigeria, is deemed the youngest among the lot. 

The inclusion of these Nigerian words and coinages in Oxford dictionary is significant in many ways. First, it’s a positive departure from the usual negative narratives around Nigeria in recent times. That Oxford issued a statement on this inclusion is also a testimony to its importance. Looking at it from a broader perspective, this will likely encourage those who assume that anything Nigerian or indigenous is inferior to have a rethink. Possibly, policy makers in the education sector may decide to revisit the suggestion of late Prof Babs Fafunwa that indigenous languages should be used to teach Nigerian pupils for easy assimilation. Those who were hitherto afraid that some scientific terminologies might not be correctly interpreted in indigenous languages can now see that there is really nothing sacrosanct. The way we carry our basket is the way others will help us to carry it. In other words, whatever name we choose to describe any scientific expression in our local parlance, is the same thing that the world will eventually recognise as our own local expressions of such words. Although I don’t like the fact that Nigeria is using okada for transportation in this age and time, unfortunately that is the reality.  Foreign investors have even bought into the booming business and Okada is now part of the world lexicon. Can we imagine what the nation will gain  if through the application of our indigenous languages to learning sciences, we are able to come up with positive scientific inventions that could solve some of the myriads of problems bedevilling the world?

It is high time Nigeria encouraged the use of its local languages. Nigerians should freely express themselves in their own ways and continue to push themselves to acceptance on the world map. After all, people made up all the words that we have all accepted to be correct English expressions today. That shows that there is really nothing right or wrong. Have we ever bothered to ask ourselves how people came up with what is accepted to be right or wrong today?  Who are the people saddled with the responsibility of authorising what is deemed to be correct? Who gave them the power and authority to do so? What are the yardsticks employed in arriving at such decisions? The truth is that the more popular some expressions, the greater the possibility of them being accepted by the larger society.  It is unfortunate that all the words that we had previously punished and reprimanded people for, have now become acceptable.

Schools should encourage students to speak Nigeria’s indigenous languages. They should stop punishing pupils for conversing in their local languages. Why should children pay fine for speaking their indigenous languages? Is it possible for a Chinese teacher to punish a pupil for speaking Chinese in class? I have made this suggestion before and it is worth repeating. Stakeholders should work at boosting students’ interest in local languages through writing competitions in indigenous languages. 

Life is dynamic and language is a reflection of a people’s culture, we need to reflect our cultures in our languages. Aside this, there is also the need for those in charge of the education sector  to be flexible in their approaches to curriculum development at the basic and secondary school levels. Why for instance, should a science student be prevented from taking literature as a subject? Will literature do harm to scientific thinking? There are many science students that would have loved to do literature but the curriculum has ruled this out. Students should be given the opportunity to think widely. It doesn’t make sense fitting science and art students into a convenient pigeonhole without taking into account the students’ personal preferences. 

Olabisi Deji-Folutile is a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. Email: bisideji@yahoo.co.uk

 

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No, Mr Oyeyemi, Nigeria Will Not Break Up By Churchill Okonkwo

Thu, 2020-01-23 12:24


Most Nigerians acknowledge that Nigeria, as presently ran is not working as efficiently as it should. The same Nigerians will also be quick to tell you that the solution to the challenges we are facing cannot be quickly resolved by a break-up. It was, thus, interesting that Remi Oyeyemi’s piece, “Why Nigeria Must Break Up” was written while Nigerians were saying “Never Again” as we marked the 50 years to the end of the Civil War. 

Ndigbo have a saying that if one does not know the place where a corpse was buried, he digs it up at the feet. Rather than digging for the problems of Nigeria from the feet, our myriad of problems will only be resolved with some 21st century solutions. What we need in Nigeria at this point is an informed understanding of where we are today as a nation and where we should be heading.

Nigerians do now want to be traumatised by another Civil War. A quick lesson on the traumatic and life lasting effect of the last attempted break up of Nigeria, was on display in Onyeka Onwenu’s speech at the ‘Never Again Conference’ organized by Nzuko Umunna, to mark 50 years since the end of the Nigerian Civil War. At the conference, Onyeka Onwenu’s uncharacteristic outburst and expression of pains over what Igbos went through, during the Nigerian Civil War, was revealing.

Listening to Onyeka Onwenu, I was reminded of the powerful Igbo proverb that “when we see an old woman stop her dance to point again and again in the same direction, we can be sure that somewhere there, something happened long ago which touched the roots of her life." Here we are 50 years after the Civil War and Onyeka Onwenu, who has remained my go-to person for Nigerian music of unity, bitterly expressing the hurt and unhealed wound from the scars of the Nigerian Civil war.

My heart melted when she narrated her shock and pain over the abandoned properties in Port Harcourt. The pain in Onwenu’s voice when she recollected the betrayal made me believe that an apology from President Buhari on behalf of Nigeria and Governor Wike on behalf of Rivers State will not be inappropriate. That’s a subject for another piece though.

For now, let me circle back to why we should be saying “Never Again” rather than push for another break-up. Every Nigerian should pause and ask, what will happen to us after the breaking up of Nigeria? If the “contraption” will not give us peace, do you think that the rest of the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria will open their hands and welcome foreigners on a red carpet?

Without downplaying the worth of the abandoned properties after the Nigerian Civil War, pause, as Onye Igbo, and think of what will happen to the properties and investments of Igbos, worth trillions of Naira, across Nigeria after we are carried away by the seductive whisper of letting Nigeria break to pieces.

While I agree with Remi that “The Agatu is not satisfied”, “The Magale is not satisfied”, “The Lamang is not satisfied”, I disagree with his conclusion that “the silent majority are angling to extricate themselves from the contraption called Nigeria.” 

Does it mean that the people of Agatu in Benue state, the people of Southern Kaduna, in Kaduna State and the people of Onitsha in Anambra State, for example, should “extricate” themselves and form their own nations because they are not satisfied with the “contraption” called Nigeria? 

The truth is that it is easy to latch on the cleavages across the diverse and complex Nigerian cultural and ethnic landscape and advocate for the division. But, it is also easy, very easy, to latch on the same cleavages that could be found within regions, states ethnicities, subethnicities, clans, kindred’s, families, husband and wife, and even identical twins to promote violet breakups.

My question for people advocating for the breaking up of Nigeria is, at what point should one set the boundaries to the breaking to “pieces” as some of us are currently advocating? What should be the rationale? Where should we you stop after we commence the disintegration?

As Igbos say, a woman who began cooking before another must have more broken utensils. Ethnicity in Nigeria is complex, interwoven with Nigerians of different tribes starving together; drinking unclean water together; fornicating together, risking their lives on bad roads together; struggling to make a living in the streets and markets together; sickening and dying together. These Nigerians already have more than enough broken memories; broken lives; broken relationships; broken hopes and broken businesses experiences. A broken Nigeria, will only worsen their situation.

To my Igbo brothers clapping for breaking up of Nigeria, remember our proverb that he who kills his plantain tree with his own gun does not know that it is his own property being lost. Agitating for breaking up of Nigeria is akin to killing your plantain plantations in Yenagoa, Otuoke, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri Lokoja, Benue, Lagos, and even Asaba. One who throws away the seed pod does not realize that he has thrown away a basket of vegetables. Assisting to break Nigeria up is like throwing away the seed pod.

My people have a saying that an effective word is not long. I have written a long rejoinder, but permit me to end by first urging Nigerians to free ourselves from the trap of ethnocentrism. 

Hot soup should be eaten slowly. Nigeria is hot soup. The complexity, interrelationship, interdependence has grown much bigger than pre-civil war era. I, thus, strongly believe that the solution to the problem of Nigeria will not come from its breaking up.

We are stronger together and together, we can.

I rest my case.

Twitter: @churchillnnobi

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Seven Persons Killed In Clash Between Cult Gangs In Lagos

Thu, 2020-01-23 12:10


The Guardian Nigeria

The police in Lagos have said that seven persons had been killed during cult violence in the Ijede area of Ikorodu, a sprawling suburb in the state. 

Spokesperson for the police in Lagos, Bala Elkana, further disclosed that 10 others had been arrested in connection with the crime.

According to him, the fracas started after an argument ensued between members of two rival cult gangs. 

He added that the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, called an emergency meeting and summoned the Area Commander, DPOs, tactical commanders where the incident happened, and ordered the arrest of the miscreants to deal with the situation.

Chairman of Ijede Local Council Development Area, Fatiu Salisu, said the clash started on January 20 when a man was reportedly stabbed with a bottle and was rushed to a hospital. 

According to Salisu, the man was rejected due to the nature of his injuries and was later referred to a teaching hospital. 

Salisu added that his members thought he had died and so launched a reprisal.

He said, “I was at a meeting in Ikeja when I was called that a boy belonging to ‘Eiye Fraternity’ had been stabbed.

“On that day, two people died, another four were killed the next day while another one was killed on Wednesday, making seven in all.”

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