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Buratai Moves To Gag Soldiers Over Posting On Social Media

Wed, 2019-05-29 09:39

Nigerian soldiers

Nigerian soldiers

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has said that soldiers use of social media to express their dissatisfaction with the Army is unprofessional and unfortunate.

Speaking yesterday in Kaduna at a four-day Nigerian Army Officers’ Office Management and Document Security Workshop 2019, Buratai, represented by the Chief of Administration, Army, Major-General Kuta Isyaku, said social media has brought about hindrance in information security.

According to him, the Nigerian army misguided personnel make use of the platform which is not in line with the service rules of the Nigerian Army. He noted that the Nigerian Army has a policy that guides the use of social media by Soldiers which prohibits the use of it to discuss or disclose service matters.

He said: “It is indeed very unfortunate and unprofessional for service personnel to resort to the social media to disclose classified information or express grievances when the army has well-established channels for addressing complaints.” 

Buratai said the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command had the technical know how to handle and deal with cyber-related issues, including the management of social media. 

He called on officers and men to handle with care service documents as some of them are highly classified to the extent that disclosure could be injurious to national security.

The General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major-General Faruk Yahaya, said the security of information and documents are a very important requirement for “operations security, effective operations and effective administration in the army.”


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We Will Retrieve Stolen Presidential Mandate Says PDP

Wed, 2019-05-29 09:25

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has given President Muhammadu Buhari’s first four-year tenure a low mark for failing Nigerians adding that it will retrieve the 'stolen mandate' of its presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

In a statement on Tuesday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said that the President’s interview on Monday was nothing short of his usual blame game and continuous search for scapegoats.

“The PDP notes that it was an internationally accepted position that all critical sectors in our country performed abysmally in the last four years because of the incompetence of President Buhari’s administration.

“It was unfortunate that instead of accepting responsibility for the failures of his administration, Mr. President is looking for scapegoats where there are none.

“It is for this reason that the PDP presented a presidential candidate and deputy with strong knowledge of the economy and social order in order to rescue our nation from the dire straits into which she had been thrown due to poor leadership in the last four years”, the statement read.

The PDP also commented on the Buhari’s recent statement that leadership of the National Assembly led by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were not patriotic for not speeding up the approval of the 2018 budget.

In its reply to the President’s statement, the PDP said: “Mr. President’s personal attacks on the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were totally uncalled for and speak volumes of his disposition about democracy.

“Moreover, President Buhari should end his showboating on the war against corruption. He must admit that he failed because his administration, which swims in the ocean of corruption, cannot fight corruption.

“This is an administration which thrives in concealment; under which over N14 trillion belonging to Nigerians have been frittered by officials, who have not been investigated or prosecuted.”

“Furthermore, it is disappointing that Mr. President has no soothing words for millions of compatriots who have been subjected to the worst form of economic and social misery under his incompetent and corrupt administration

“The party, however, urges Nigerians not to despair but continue in their determination and prayers to retrieve the stolen presidential mandate at the tribunal so that our nation can have a purposeful government that will be truly alive to its responsibility to the people.”


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I Have No New Houses Says Buhari As He Declares Asset

Wed, 2019-05-29 09:11

Ahead of the Presidential inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for his 2nd term in office, the president in line with the constitution declared his assets.

Before a public office holder is sworn into office, the Nigerian constitution demands that an asset declaration forms are submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau nothing less than May 28. 

President Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja met the May 28 deadline as he submitted his asset declaration forms to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The President who will be inaugurated today for another second term in office following his victory at the 2019 Presidential election said that since 2015 which was the last time he declared his assets he has not acquired any new house or shares in any bank.

The disclosure was contained in a statement by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu.

He said, “The duly completed forms were submitted to the Chairman of the CCB, Prof Mohammed Isa, on behalf of the President by Sarki Abba, Senior Special Assistant, Household and Domestic Affairs.

“The forms, are signed by the President and sworn to before a Judge of Abuja High Court, showed no significant changes in assets as declared in 2015 by him.

“There are no new houses, no new bank accounts at home and abroad and there are no new shares acquired.

“The chairman of the CCB commended the President for leading by example by declaring his assets in accordance with the law.”

In 2015, in a statement by Shehu on the assets of President Buhari was listed as 270 cows, 25 sheep, five horses, birds and economic trees, there were five houses in Kaduna, Daura, Kano and Abuja, a plot of land each in Port Harcourt and Kano; farms, an orchard, and some cars while he owned a mud house in Daura. 

The statement further revealed that the President had shares in Berger Paints, Union Bank, and Skye Bank. 

“The retired general uses a number of cars, two of which he bought from his savings and the others supplied to him by the Federal Government in his capacity as a former Head of State.

“The rest were donated to him by well-wishers after his jeep was damaged in a Boko Haram bomb attack on his convoy in July 2014.”

For Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the Presidency stated that he had, “A bank balance of about N94m and 900,000 United States Dollars in his bank accounts.”

The houses owned by Osinbajo back then were listed as “four-bedroomed residence on Victoria Garden City, Lagos, and a three-bedroom flat on 2, Mosley Road, Ikoyi;  two-bedroom flat on Redemption Camp along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and a 2-bedroom mortgaged property in Bedford, England.”

The Presidency added, “Apart from his law firm, known as SimmonsCooper, the vice-president also declared shareholding in six private companies based in Lagos, including Octogenerium Limited, Windsor Grant Limited, Tarapolsa, Vistorion Limited, Aviva Limited and MTN Nigeria.”

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I Lived As A Slave, Was Violated By My Former Manager, Otunba Wale Akinboboye, Ara Calls Out Ex-Manager

Wed, 2019-05-29 09:04

Video of I Lived As A Slave, Was Violated By Former Manager, Otunba Wale Akinboboye, Ara Calls Out Ex-Manager I Lived As A Slave, Was Violated By Former Manager, Otunba Wale Akinboboye, Ara Calls Out Ex-Manager

World first talking drummer, Aralola Olumuyiwa Apake popularly known as Ara, in an interview with Sahara TV recounted her seven years of slavery and torture in the hands of her former manager Otunba Wale Akinboboye.

Ara who is known for playing the Yoruba drum called “Gan Gan” said that she wished she listened to her parent before signing her contract with the said management company of Otunba Wale. 

“I feel and I know that if I had a Don Jazzy in my life when my career as Ara started I wouldn’t be where I am today my career would have grown bigger. I was abused, I was violated I was robbed and I am trying to be nice with my words and I am trying not to cry because it is actually very emotional for me.

“Those seven years of my life I can’t get them back even if I was to go to court and sue him it can’t get those years I labored for the Ara brand I can’t get them back. Mine was a really bitter story I smiled through the tears through the abuse every form of abuse you can imagine I went through it in the hands of my former manager. His name is Otunba Wale Akinboboye. He took advantage in every way, my dad God bless his soul was my first manager. I didn't go into entertainment out of hunger it was out of passion.” She said 

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FEATURE: From Obasanjo To Buhari, Four Things Each Administration In The Fourth Republic Will Be Remembered For

Wed, 2019-05-29 04:10

Olusegun Obasanjo At Swearing-In Ceremony 1999

Umaru Musa Yar'adua At His Inauguration in 2007

Goodluck Jonathan Waving To Onlookers Shortly After His Swearing-In, 200

President Buhari At Eagle Square During His Inauguration In 2015

May 29 is symbolic in the chequered history of Nigeria. The day is only rivaled in significance by October 1st and perhaps June 12. These two days-May 29 and October 1st--speak of freedom. One speaks of the freedom from the clutches of colonialism and the beginning of self-rule while the other speaks of an end to militarism and the return of democratic rule or what some people call the beginning of 'the fourth republic'.

On May 29,1999, in an exuberant ceremony of martial music and marches Nigeria was ushered into democracy as General Abdusalami Abubakar handed the reins of power to Retired General Olusegun Obasanjo ( 20 years after he did the same thing to the late Shehu Shagari). The historic event signaled the culmination of tumultuous military interregnum whose end started with the sudden death of Sanni Abacha.

Olusegun Obasanjo At Swearing-In Ceremony 1999 AP

However, 20 years of seamless transition from one democratic administration to the other have been characterized with the good- often few and far between, the bad and the ugly( which is the order of the day) and the stuff of the Nigerian brand of politics.

In the spirit of democracy day, we present you four things, of all the numerous things, that happened in each democratic administration.

Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007)
He was the second executive president of Nigeria. Obasanjo once ruled as the military head of state from February 1976 to October 1979. He was plucked from the gulag, where he was thrown by the  Abacha-led junta for the trumped up charge of treason, to contest on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) against Oluyemisi Falae of the Alliance For Democracy(AD)/All People's Party. He defeated Olu Falae to become the second executive president.

Four Things Obasanjo's Administration Will Be Remembered For
1. Obasanjo established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent  Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and also strengthened the Code of Conduct Bureau to fight corruption in Nigeria. Corrupt politicians and public office holders like Tafa Balogun, Bode George and swindlers and internet fraudsters have been sent to jail by these agencies.

2. He secured an $18 billion debt relief from the Paris and London clubs.

3. He originated the "do or die" politics in Nigeria.  His desperate efforts, in the build-up to the 2007 election, to install his political godson and younger brother of his friend and second-in-command during his military reign (Shehu Musa Yar'adua), Obasanjo perpetrated one of the violent electoral heists in the history of Nigeria.

4. Obasanjo used his position to 'corner' considerable shares of Transcorp, a blue chip company that was formed overnight, to corner juicy contracts and make unlawful company acquisitions. The former President used his influence to sway the purchase of  Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) in favor of Transcorp.

5. He wanted tenure elongation through his "Third Term Agenda" but his selfish and unconstitutional wish did not come to fruition. Though he keeps denying this but there have 'confessions' from his erstwhile allies and confidants to put the lie to his claim.

Umaru Musa Yar'Adua( 2007-2010)
He was the president of Nigeria from May 2007 to May 5, 2010, when he died in office after a protracted illness. 

Umaru Musa Yar'adua At His Inauguration in 2007 File

Four Things About His Administration
1. The first president in the history of Nigeria to declare his assets before assuming office; he also accepted publicly that the election that brought him into power was marred with violence, irregularities, and manipulations.

2. He released the N10 billion Lagos state local government council funds withheld by the Obasanjo administration because of political differences with the then governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

3. In a flagrant violation of constitutional stipulation, he refused to relinquish power to Goodluck Jonathan, his second-in-command when he was leaving the shores of the country for medical treatment in Saudi-Arabia. It took the intervention of patriotic activists and other influential Nigerians under the auspices of Save Nigeria Group(SNG) to correct the anomaly and ensure Jonathan's ascendancy to the presidency.

4. Yar'adua brought to an end the militancy in the Niger Delta region when he invited the militants to Aso Rock and urged them to lay down their arms. He also kick-started the amnesty program which re-absorbed the militants into the society and rehabilitated them ending the years of crisis in the region.

Goodluck Jonathan( 2010-2015)
He became the president of Nigeria after the demise of Umaru Yar'adua. Jonathan remains the first and only president to have come from the South-South geopolitical zone in Nigeria.

Goodluck Jonathan Waving To Onlookers Shortly After His Swearing-In, 200 BBC

Four Things About Jonathan's Administration
1. He granted presidential pardon to Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former governor of Bayelsa State, who was convicted of money laundering. He also shielded Stella Uduah, former Aviation Minister, who bought two armored BMW cars for  N255 million from prosecution. When he eventually acted, he only removed the former minister from office.

2. Jonathan inherited as much as $60 billion in foreign reserve but plundered it to as low as $40 billion in five years. The country's external debt rose by 40 percent to $9.377 billion and domestic debt of $ 47.653billion in June 2014.

3. More than 100 girls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014 when Jonathan was in power.

4. He lost the 2015 election to the perennial contestant, Muhammad Buhari. He remains the first incumbent president to lose an election to his opponent. However, he was gracious in defeat, he conceded defeat to Buhari. Jonathan said, in his post-defeat statement, "My Ambition Is Not Worth The Blood Of Any Nigerian".

Mohammadu Buhari(2015-)
He became president in 2015 after losing in his bid to become president in 2003, 2007 and 2011. He defeated the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. He contested again in February 2019 and won.

President Buhari At Eagle Square During His Inauguration In 2015 Time Magazine

Things His First Tenure Will Be Remembered For
1. Nigeria has become a massive killing field with marauding Fulani herdsmen, which Global Terrorism Index named the fourth deadliest terror in the world, wreaking havoc, especially on southerners.

2. Selective fight against corruption, cases of corruption against Buhari's loyalists and APC  members are treated with kid's glove while prosecution of people other than his loyalists and party members are often carried out promptly. The case of Ayo Fayose, former governor of Ekiti and Musiliu Obanikoro is a good example.

3. He will go down in Nigerian history as the president that spent more days outside the country. As of April this year, Buhari had spent 217 days outside the country on health grounds and meeting of Commonwealth Heads of State and Government.

4. The administration implemented the Treasury Single Account (TSA) proposed by the Goodluck Jonathan in 2012. The financial policy is to consolidate all inflows from all agencies of the  Federal Government into a single account at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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Court Remands Man Over N492.5m Money Laundering Charge

Wed, 2019-05-29 00:19

The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos has ordered the remand of one Olabisi Sulaimon Akanbi, pending the hearing of N492.5 million money laundering charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Akanbi, alongside four companies, were arraigned on Tuesday before Justice Ridwan Aikawa, on a four-count charge bordering on false pretense and money laundering.

The companies are Labo Entertainment Limited, Labo Autos Limited, Labo Group of companies Limited and Facebuk Magazine Limited.

One of the counts reads: "That you, Olabisi Sulaimon Akanbi (a.k.a Labo), Labo entertainment Limited, Labo Autos Limited, Labo group of companies Limited, Facebuk Magazine Limited and Olaoluwa Wahab Akanbi (a.k.a self paid) sometime between 2017 and 2018 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court transferred the sum of N210,000,000 to Arknad properties Limited which you reasonably ought to have known that such funds form part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to with obtaining Money under false pretense contrary to section 15(2) (b) of the money laundering prohibition Act 2011as Amended  and punishable under the same section of the Act .

Olabisi pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.

Following the defendant's plea agreement, counsel to the EFCC, M.K Hussain, urged the court to remand the defendant in prison pending commencement of the hearing on the case.

Opposing this prayer, the defendant's lawyer, Ifedapo Adedipe (SAN), prayed the court to remand his client in the custody of the EFCC.

"My Lord, we were served with this charge at the close of work on Friday and today is the first working day, I plead with my Lord to give a short date for us to file our bail application and remand the defendant in EFCC custody pending bail," he pleaded. 

Justice Rilwan Aikawa in his short ruling granted the prayer and ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody. 

The trial judge later adjourned the case to May 30, 2019, for the hearing of bail application. 

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AAC Drags Expelled Secretary, Leonard Ezenwa, Others Who Staged Sowore's 'Suspension' To Court

Tue, 2019-05-28 23:44

The African Action Congress, AAC, has dragged its former national secretary, Leonard Ezenwa and others who participated in a widely televised suspension of pro-tem party Chairman, Omoyele Sowore to court.

Leonard Ezenwa in the company of one Mazi Okwy had on May 13, 2019, announced the suspension of Omoyele Sowore; and eight others, including its Deputy National Chairman (South West), Ogunlana Rotimi Jacob, for a period of six months over alleged anti-party activities.

READ BREAKING: INEC Debunks Sowore's Suspension From AAC, Says 'He Is The Only Chairman We Recognise'

Shortly after, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) discarded the suspension and maintained that the only chairman it recognizes is Omoyele Sowore.

However, the party on Friday dragged the participants in the event to court as conveyed in a statement by Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, director public relations, and media for the party.

The statement reads: "Today, 28th May 2019, the African Action Congress (AAC) took its first legal steps towards a conclusive end to the greedy, grasping reaches of the expelled former national secretary, Leonard Nzenwa and his cohorts.

"Our lawyers have approached the courts to firmly and vehemently deny all of Nzenwa’s lies, claims, and accusations, and will present evidence showing irrefutably the character – or lack thereof – of the man and his followers, and we will have our day in court as the case has been adjourned to the 24th June 2019. 

"Before that time, there are some truths that must be made known; some legal facts that Nzenwa, with all of his newly-acquired friends and their dishonest wealth, cannot make dispel with:
There is no court injunction naming Leonard Nzenwa as the “Acting Chairman” of the African Action Congress. He sought the position from the court in the same suit where he requested to have Sowore suspended as chairman and it was never granted.

"To all intents and purposes, Leonard Nzenwa remains exactly what he always was: an outcast without the support, the control or the ability to run a party driven by Omoyele Sowore’s ideas and vision for Nigeria.

"Today, the African Action Congress garnered a victory in court; a victory that is sure to cripple their plans to profit off the hard work, sweat and endeavours of the TiB/AAC leadership over the past fourteen months, Nzenwa’s lawyer has been forced to make an undertaking before the court that his planned national convention on the 5th of June will not hold because it is illogical and indeed illegal to do so while the case he hastily brought before the courts is still pending.

"The founders and leaders of both the Take it Back Movement and the AAC party are very astute students of history and politics, both within and outside Nigeria, and, when they conceived and birthed both the TiB and AAC, they did so with foresight, putting the necessary structures and guardrails in place to ensure that the pedestrian political jobbers who will invariably be embedded in our midst do not have the control, the instrumentalities, nor the capabilities to actualize the nefarious, destructive missions.

"The Take it Back Movement is resolute in its crusade for Nigeria’s liberation and progress. An integral part of this goal is freedom from the ties that bind us to malfeasance and utter demoralization. We continue to fight corruption wherever we find it. The struggle continues because Nigeria MUST progress."


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Adewura’s Death: What Is The Value Of The Nigerian Life? By Damilola Faustino

Tue, 2019-05-28 21:20

After social media messages surfaced on May 15th that beautiful and recent graduate of the University of Lagos, Adewura Lateefa Bello, has gone missing along the Cement/Iyana Ipaja axis of the center of excellence, hundreds of Nigerians contributed their likes, retweets, and comments to make the message go viral and it sure did.

Sadly, social media has become a platform for Nigerians to report their challenges, problems, and concerns because the people, the government and its parastatals have completely failed and collapsed at all levels.

Therefore, it came as a rude shock, a depressing tale of a country that 'kills' its own citizens when it was eventually confirmed that lovely and innocent Adewura has died. It is even more painful, unpleasant and irksome when you consider how she died.

She was not kidnapped like everyone had thought nor was she butchered! She died because of 'OUR' carelessness and negligence. How did she die? She fell in a manhole...a manhole that was supposed to be covered! How come the manhole was open?

The lackadaisical government official that was supposed to monitor them, the greedy man who removed the manhole and sold it, the man who bought it, the Nigerian who every day take that route and ignore the manhole as well as the government official who ride past that road in tinted convoy of cars and are blinded to these holes.

It then begs the question what is the value of Nigerian life? Uncle Jimi of Classic FM has asked this question severally! The life of a Nigerian is worthless, useless and insignificant. It is by the grace of God we are surviving in this country. Last...last...all of us go run go Canada! Like a singer sang: 'If no be God ooo...If no be God...I for don finish! OYO.

Nigerians have been killed by our ragtag security agencies, some have been kidnapped and never found while others have been murdered by armed robbers. What about Nigerians killed by falling containers, tankers? The list is endless...No apologies, we die like chickens in this country.

We can only mourn Kolade Johnson, killed by a trigger-happy SARS official, Stephen Urueye, Unilag graduate and House Officer stabbed to death by arm robbers, Rotimi Adeyemo, the LASTMA official shot dead during an altercation with a SARS operative who was later beaten to death by a vengeful mob. Remember the stray bullet that hit a mother at Onipanu in 2017 because SARs officials were chasing yahoo boys? See how the lives of Nigerians are 'wasting' in Rivers, Jos, Bauchi and Benue.

To show you that we are in an ill-fated country, the killers of each of the aforementioned persons and those not mentioned are on the streets planning their next attack and readying their guns for the next life to take.

The death of Adewura will probably attract so much uproar for the next few weeks or months and everyone will move on afterward. Annoyingly the status quo will remain until another disaster happens.

This leaves the family of Adewura to mourn like others without closure. Will they ever get closure? 98% no and 2% yes. That is our Nigeria!

Nigeria, please convince us that the death of Adewura won't go the same way as others did because Nigeria you killed Adewura! Yes, you killed Adewura! You murderer!

Who is the next person that will fall to the cold hands of the Nigerian manhole? Who will change the Nigerian narrative? Of course, it is not bubu...he is busy lounging in Aso-Rock waiting to leave in 2023 and definitely not the incoming governor of Lagos state. He is in the pocket of the man in Bourdillon. He dare not squeak! And the other governors? They are too weak to resist the temptation of stealing. Oh, Fela...Oh, Gani...Where art thou?

Whatever the case may be, all manholes should be covered and whoever dares touch or even as much as open it; should be shot immediately! Nigeria needs 'mad' leaders to give us brain! These avoidable deaths must be ended. We are humans from Nigeria and someday somehow we MUST get there.

For the family of Adewura, we know the pain is unbearable and the loss irreparable but...I am sorry...I am lost for words to comfort the family...the only good news here is that she was found.

Let’s us all continue to pray for Nigeria to become a better place for everyone-the rich, and the underprivileged. Love your neighbors …and let’s all pray we do not fall prey to the bad side of Nigeria!

Damilola Faustino

A Social Commentator from Lagos

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I Pleaded With Senator Melaye Not To Commit Suicide, Witness Tells Court

Tue, 2019-05-28 20:16

A prosecution witness on Tuesday told an FCT High Court that he pleaded with Senator Dino Melaye not to drink a substance he had in his hand when he threatened to commit suicide on April 24, 2018.

Testifying, a Police Sergeant with the Inspector-General of Police Special Tactical Squad, Sgt. Alwo Mohammed, said, “I pleaded with him to get back into the bus.

“I told him he was my most favorite senator. He refused to get up. He had a substance in his hand.”

Melaye, who represents Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly, is charged before Justice Sylvanus Oriji, sitting in Apo, by the police with six counts bordering on attempted suicide, attempt to escape from custody and damage of Police property.

He was alleged to have committed the alleged offense on April 24, 2018, while being conveyed by the Police to Lokoja, Kogi State.

The witness informed the court that while conveying the defendant to Lokoja, on reaching Area 1 roundabout, a white Toyota Hilux van blocked their bus.

He said the defendant then broke the windshield, stood up and started shouting, “I will not go to Lokoja.”

“I held him down with one hand. While we were struggling with the defendant, he pushed one of the officers and forced the door open.

“The defendant then jumped out of the bus, sat on the ground shouting, ‘I will kill myself and put the Police in trouble.'”

The witness further reported that street urchins then blocked the bus and seized Melaye.

The Police sergeant further informed the court that the Police team chased the Hilux van and caught up with it at the Yar’Adua Centre.

“We caught up with them near Yar’Adua Centre because their vehicle had hit a jeep.

“Some of the men ran into the bush behind the National Mosque. Only one person was eventually arrested there.”

While being cross-examined by counsel for Melaye, Benson Igbanoi, who held the brief for Dr. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, the witness said that he gave a statement on the day the Police team attempted to convey Melaye to Lokoja.

Mohammed, who testified as the third prosecution witness (PW3), informed the court that the signature on the statement was his but said that the phone number did not belong to him.

“I am not the owner of the MTN number 08067678745. It is not my phone number,” he said.

Igbanoi, offered to tender the statement as exhibit, but the prosecution counsel, Mr. Jovi Oghojafar, objected to the application, arguing that the CTC was not paid for the document.

The defence counsel, urged the court to overrule the objection, saying it was a public document and the name of the schedule officer who certified it and signature, were on the document.

Justice Oriji ordered the defence counsel to pay the required fees before the document will be admitted in evidence.

The defence counsel asked for an adjournment to enable him act as necessary.




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EFCC Nabs SSG's Brother With N60m Cash In Car Boot

Tue, 2019-05-28 20:07

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Sokoto zonal office, on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, arrested one suspected politician with N60, 000, 000 (Sixty Million Naira) cash, following intelligent report of his suspicious money laundering activities.

The suspect Murtala Muhammad who is alleged to be a brother to Secretary to the Zamfara State Government, Professor Abdullahi Shinkafi, was arrested at No.145 Igala Housing Estate, off Byepass Road, Gusau, Zamfara State by the operatives of the Commission.

Items recovered from him at the point of arrest include one Black Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Jeep with registration number DKA 67 PX Kaduna loaded with 4 bags of 'Ghana Must Go' containing one thousand Naira notes of fifteen million Naira each, totaling to sixty million Naira.

One single barrel gun, one locally made revolver pistol, 25 rounds of cartridges and 12 rounds of 12.9mm live ammunition.

He will be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.

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ICPC Set To Investigate Alleged Malpractices In 2019 UTME

Tue, 2019-05-28 18:27

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Crimes Commission (ICPC) has commenced investigations into the Joint Admissions Matriculations Board for alleged malpractices during the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

This was made known to newsmen earlier today by a member of the ICPC board, Olubukola Balogun.

Balogun told the newsmen in Abuja that malpractice is an act of corruption it is the mandate of the anti-graft body to investigate by some of the candidates who were aided by their parents to get professional help.

“We are putting everything together for Jamb. The Commission is going to know what happened and how we can prevent it in future,” she said.

She further declared that anyone found to be involved will be prosecuted.

“Those that err, after our investigation, we are going to prosecute”. She disclosed.

Balogun decried the current spread of corruption in the country and claimed that the ICPC would not let it thrive in the educational sector.

“There is corruption everywhere, therefore, we have to go back to the drawing board and we have to all come together to fight against this scourge,” she added.

The JAMB Registrar had stated in an earlier forum called for a synergy between all stakeholders in the education sector in order to stem the ugly tide of sharp practices in the conduct of the UTME.

The examination body had conducted the 2019 UTME in April with about 1.6 million candidates participating.

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Kano Court Orders Arrest Of Sanusi, Two Others Over N4bn Fraud

Tue, 2019-05-28 18:13

The  Kano State Public  Complainant and Anti-corruption Commission's Investigation into the alleged N4billion fraud against the Emir of Kano took on a legal coloration on Tuesday when the commission wrote to the court for an order of arrest of three palace officials.

A Chief Magistrates' court in Kano on Tuesday granted the order citing their refusal to honor the commission’s invitation.

Chief among those ordered to be arrested is Mannir Sanusi, the Chief of Staff to the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II. Sanusi holds the traditional title of Damburan Kano.

The two others are Mujitaba Abba and the Accountant of Kano Emirate Council Sani Muhammad-Kwaru. 

Chief Magistrate Mohammed Idris consequently issued and signed the arrest warrant sequel to a motion by Salisu Tahir, Chief State counsel.

Tahir had said that the request was based on the provision of Section 38 of the enabling Law establishing the Commission.

NAN recalled that the Commission had invited four people in connection to the allegation, of which only one person, Isa Bayero, alias Isa Pilot, who was a former Scribe to the Emirate Council, honored the invitation.

Mr. Muhiyi Magaji, the Chairman of the commission, said the three persons that have an arrest warrant on their heads are the principal suspects in the case.

He said the commission had already requested security operatives to enforce the order and arrest the three persons.

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Bow Out, APC Deputy National Chairman Tells Oshiomhole

Tue, 2019-05-28 17:51

Senator Lawal Shuaibu, Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, has asked Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the party, to resign from his position for being unable to add to the value of the party.

In a letter to Oshiomhole dated May 27, 2019, Shuaibu blamed Oshiomole for APC’s loss in Zamfara.

Oshiomhole was advised to take the honourable path and step aside from his position in the party and gave room for improvement of the damage done by him.

The letter titled “APC: IT’S FORTUNES Vs MISFORTUNES, TIME TO ACT!” reads, 

“I write this letter to you with very deep heart and high sense of responsibility.

“I write this letter thinking because I am a critical stakeholder in the APC project.

“I write this letter with my hands shaking arising from the realizing of myself being involved in a project that is currently seen as failing, even before achieving the ambition of its founding fathers. I never found myself in any failed project.

“In advanced democracies, people who fail to add value or build over and above what they met on assumption of duty show some civilized examples, they honourably bow out.

“In that connection, therefore, I want to advise you to take the path of honour, to step aside and allow the Party to embark on the onerous task of reconstruction and rehabilitation in those States it was weakened by the effect of manner (sic) the last primary election exercises were conducted or even the task of recreating the party where it is on the path of extinction, arising from the loss of a sitting APC Government, for example in Zamfara State, where you directly personally created the problem leading to the painful complete loss of APC’s electoral fortunes. From up to down, all these are uncontestable facts.

“You cannot exonerate yourself from blame on what happened to APC Zamfara State, thereby destroying the hopes and aspirations of 534,541 APC members and supporters.”

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Ambode Hands Over To Sanwo-olu As Governor Of Lagos

Tue, 2019-05-28 17:10

Ahead of the May 29 official inauguration and handing over ceremony, Akinwumi Ambode has handed over the reins of Lagos State to Babajide Sanwo-olu, Governor-elect of the state.

The handing over ceremony took place at the Governor's office in Alausa, Ikeja.

Announcing the handing over process, Ambode, who failed the secure the party ticket at the primary election, posted on his Instagram page saying he had a "rewarding 4-year experience," while governing the state.

"To the Glory of God, I have just handed over the reins of government in Lagos State to His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, after a rewarding 4-year experience. This would not have been possible without the support, cooperation and prayers of all Lagosians. I remain eternally grateful to you all. God bless you all. And to God be all the Glory," Ambode posted.

On his part, Sanwo-olu announced that Ambode has handed over to him.

"Thank you H.E @AkinwunmiAmbodefor your kind words today as you officially handed over your stewardship of our great state, Lagos. Life is a succession of moments and today we are at the right place and moment to build #ForAGreaterLagos. #SanwoOluInauguration," he tweeted.

Thank you H.E @AkinwunmiAmbode for your kind words today as you officially handed over your stewardship of our great state, Lagos.

Life is a succession of moments and today we are at the right place and moment to build #ForAGreaterLagos. #SanwoOluInauguration

— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) May 28, 2019

The official handing over ceremony would take place tomorrow, May 29, 2019, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

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Zlatan Ibile Stopped From Performing At Children's Day Event Over EFCC Arrest

Tue, 2019-05-28 16:05

Nigerian singer, Zlatan Ibile is still feeling the effect of his arrest by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as he had to plead with event organizers in Agbor, Delta State before he was allowed to perform.

Zlatan who was arrested alongside Nigerian rapper, Afeez Fashola aka Naira Marley on what the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission described as 'connection to advance fee fraud popularly called 'Yahoo Yahoo' was initially stopped from performing at a Children’s Day Carnival organized by actress Regina Daniels.

According to reports, the singer was not allowed to perform on the grounds that he was arrested by the anti-graft agency and over his alleged links to cybercrime and the possible negative impression it might create on the children present at the event.

In a video online, Zlatan could be seen pleading with one of the organizers to grant him clearance to perform.

It took the interference of Ned Nwoko, Regina Daniels husband and her mother before he was finally allowed to perform.


View this post on Instagram                  

#ZlatanIbile begs to be allowed to perform at an event in #Delta . . There was drama, yesterday, at actress #ReginaDaniels Children’s Day Carnival In #Agbor, Delta State, as singer #ZlatanIbile was initially prevented from performing. . . It was gathered that the decision to stop his performance was linked to his recent arrest by the #EFCC over his alleged links to cybercrime and its potential negative effect on the impressionable children at the event. . . At a point, the singer had to profusely beg one of the organisers to allow him perform so as to shore up his image. . . As the matter degenerated to a stage when some of the organisers threatened to shutdown the event if Zlatan is allowed to perform, Regina Daniels’ husband and mom had to be called in to intervene before he was eventually cleared to perform.

A post shared by Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) on May 28, 2019 at 4:30am PDT

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Civil Society Groups Mourn Victims of Violent Killings In Nigeria

Tue, 2019-05-28 15:24

A group of civil society organizations on Tuesday in Abuja mourned and honored many Nigerians who lost their lives in different violent attacks across the country.

The procession which was tagged, "National Day of Mourning"  saw protesters troupe out donning black Tee Shirts with inscriptions such as 'Not Just Number Nigeria Mourns, End The Killings'.

Jaiye Gaskiya, convener of the procession said that the 'National Day of Mourning and Remembrance' is a citizen-led initiative to express solidarity and demand accountability for the security and welfare of all Nigerians. 

Gaskiya said that Nigerians are dying on a daily basis but no name can be placed on those who have lost their lives.

He noted that the procession is to rekindle the hope of the families of the victims that they are not alone.

His words, "We are always saying people are dying. Whenever you read newspapers you will see 27 people were killed in a community. These 27 people are human beings and they  have names,  they have families."

He pointed out that government must do everything possible to ensure that there is a decent and befitting program in their honor with the view to putting a name to the number of Nigerians who have been gruesomely killed in different parts of the country. 

According to him, "Our people that we lost every day are not a mere number, they are the people that we know. They are the people who are our neighbors, people who are our colleagues and compatriots." 

"We want those who have lost people to violent attacks to know that they are not alone, that the nation is with them". 

Gaskiya noted that the only honor Nigerians can give to those that have died in such circumstances was to count, name and recognize that they come from home.

The group called on Nigeria government to be alive and wake up to their responsibility in protecting lives and properties. He expressed worry on the alarming rate at which life has become valueless in the country. 

The protest which began from the unity fountain was taken to the Ministry of Justice where a roll call of 323 victims of various violent killings in the country was read.

A list containing names of all the victims was read in an emotion-laden voice by the former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu.

The list includes mass killing in Zamfara, killings in Numan Adamawa, herdsmen massacre at Nkiedonwro in Plateau, victims of electoral violence.

Other are; Shiites massacre in Zaria and herdsmen killing in Benue among others. 
The group also lunch various hashtag which includes; #NigeriaMourns #NigeriaStandUp # NigeriaLivesMatters.

The groups include, Global Right, Amnesty International, YIAGA AFRICA, Enough Is Enough Nigeria, Concerned Nigerians Center for Democracy and Development,  Budget BringBackOurGirls, Nigerian Intervention Movement among others.

National Day of Mourning was consequent to the resolutions reached at a meeting of more than a hundred civil society actors a year ago in Abuja, to undertake a National Day of Mourning as a symbolic action capable of registering citizens’ dissatisfaction with the state of our national security, since protests no longer seem to impact the conscience of our political elites.

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Stop Blaming Us For Your Failure, Speaker Dogara Fires Back At President Buhari

Tue, 2019-05-28 14:04

Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has blasted President Muhammadu Buhari for always blaming people for his personal failings.

Buhari, while speaking, on Monday in an interview broadcast on the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA said “I asked them how they felt to hold the country at ransom for seven months without passing a budget. Unfortunately, they were not hurting me; they were hurting the country. So, really, in terms of patriotism, I think I rated them very low indeed.”

READ 2019 Budget: I Rate Saraki Very Low On Patriotism, Says President Buhari

Reacting to the allegations in a statement on Tuesday, Dogara said: “His first budget was the 2016 budget, which was submitted on December 22, 2015, exactly nine days to the end of the fiscal year.

“The minimum time the National Assembly requires to pass a budget is three months. But he presented it just nine days to 2016’ and that ‘what Nigerians didn’t know and the President won’t say is that the Executive through the various ministries continued to propose additional projects to be included in the 2018 budget even as at April and May which further delayed the passage of the 2018 budget. These were communicated officially and if anyone is in doubt, the letters are there with the dates they were written and received. But here’s Buhari blaming the National Assembly.’

“President Muhammadu Buhari a few days ago, in his usual characteristics of self-righteousness, and buck-passing blamed tardiness in the passage of budgets by the National Assembly for the delay in the completion of projects across the country by his government.

“To be precise, the president said, ‘If the National Assembly takes seven months to pass a budget, then we should be commended for the much that we have achieved, and can still achieve. I personally feel very disappointed. I spoke with the leaders of the National Assembly on the issue that seven months is a long time to work on a budget.”

“Even though buck passing and blame game is not new to Buhari as it is now his stock in trade; in the past few days and weeks, there is no day that passes without the President blaming others in a desperate move to exonerate himself from any blame or failure of the Executive under his leadership to execute projects across the country.

“In fact, very recently, Buhari blamed all his predecessors for failing to build infrastructure. And I wonder why? It was the general consensus that the former employees didn’t perform as expected and that was why Nigerians hired him for a job he has sought for four conservative times but here he is blaming the same people he replaced. If you are the boss of ” Nigeria limited”, what will you do this employee?

“Some weeks ago, he even blamed the media for failing to showcase his achievements.

“I’m very disappointed with the Nigerian press. They didn’t give this government the credit of the go back to the land programme,” he said on 26 October. Time and space would not permit me to list all his “blaming”.

“However, it is disingenuous for President Muhammad Buhari to blame the National Assembly for his government’s inability to implement budget and execute projects that affect the lives of Nigerians in the last three years.

“To set the record straight, this is a President who, from the inception of his government didn’t show any sign that he was well prepared and ready for the job he sought for four times in 16 years and for which we voted for him.

“For instance, it took him six months, yes six months not six weeks to form his cabinet. It also took him two years to appoint board chairmen for most government agencies. This is was his greatest undoing and was principally responsible for plunging Nigeria into recession because activities in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government were brought to a half for the period since civil servants could not take decisions due to the absence of political heads in a country where public sector spending drives the economy. At a point, he even said he was happily working with civil servants because ministers or politicians were noisemakers because “they are only there to make a lot of noises”, he told a French television station in September 2015.

“Now, after three years, with the election in three months, the President is at it again, exonerating himself from the apparent failure of his government thereby throwing the blame right at the doorstep of the legislature. But facts don’t lie and they could be stubborn and here are the facts.

“Since his assuming office, the president has been unable to present the budget on time. His first budget was the 2016 budget which was submitted on December 22, 2015, exactly nine days to the end of the fiscal year.

“The minimum the National Assembly requires to pass a budget is three months. But he presented it just nine days to 2016.

“Again, the 2017 budget was presented on December 14, 2016, just 17 days to the end of 2016. ‘The earliest he presented budget was on November 7, 2017, which was the 2018 appropriations bill. It was less than two months to the end of the year.

“However, his ministers refused to appear before National Assembly committees to defend the budget for five months thereby delaying the passage.

“It was after the leadership of the National Assembly sought the President’s intervention on March 16, 2018, that the ministers reluctantly appeared before the committees, an exercise that takes at least one month to complete.

“In fact, some of them who felt they were super ministers sent in their permanent secretaries.

“What Nigerians didn’t know and the President won’t say is that the Executive through the various ministries continued to propose additional projects to be included in the 2018 budget even as at April and May which further delayed the passage of the 2018 budget. These were communicated officially and if anyone is in doubt the letters are there with the dates they were written and received. But here’s Buhari blaming the National Assembly.

“Violation of Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 ‘Since the inception of the Buhari administration, it has been in constant violation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act which stipulates that budgets should be presented in early September. The wisdom or import of the FRA is that the National Assembly will have at least three full months to work on the budget bill.

“Intact, the Executive admitted its failure and inability to abide by the law on August 24,2018 when former minister of Budget and National Planning, now minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed that the Federal government will present the 2019 budget in September in a bid to restore the budget circle from January to December but here we are in November without the budget estimates before the lawmakers. See link

“Buhari’s Failure/Refusal to assent to budget submission Bill ‘In a bid to address the issue of late budget presentation and passage, the National Assembly passed a constitutional amendment bill that requires the President to submit the Appropriation Bill not later than 90 days to the end of the financial year but unfortunately, very, unfortunately, the president has vetoed the bill.

“Veto of National Assembly Budget Office Bill ‘In an effort to improve the institutional capacity of the Parliament to process and pass budget expeditiously, the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) establishment Bill was passed into law. It was loosely modeled after the American Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Again, President Buhari has also vetoed the Bill.

“Lack of Adequate Consultation ‘Under a Presidential system of government like ours where the doctrine of separation of powers and principles of checks and balances is well enshrined in our constitution, wisdom presupposes that the Executive at all time engages the legislature on all issues that requires legislation in order to have their buy-in even before it is presented to the parliament formally.

“The three President’s before Buhari, from 1999 -2015, Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan despite their failings sustained this tradition which is necessary for harmonious relations between the Executive and the Legislature and smooth running of government. Under this, it is expected that the President meets with the leadership of the two chambers (Body of Principal Officers including members of the opposition) and brief them on the details of the budget and key projects he would want to execute. They, in turn, would brief their colleagues while the MDA's will then engage the committees over sighting them in pre-budget session. President Shehu Shagari used to hold such meetings monthly.

“Doing this would have helped in reducing the time it takes to pass the budget because even before it is presented, the MPs would have been well informed about it and their inputs are taken into consideration at the preparation stage by the various MDAs. Unfortunately, this too has not been done in the last three years. “National Assembly Not A Rubber Stamp Parliament”

“The National Assembly has repeatedly challenged the Executive to approach the Supreme Court to seek interpretation on the constitutional powers of the legislature over budget, but up till now, they have failed to do so. Until then, the judgment of the Federal High court in FHC/ABJ/CS/259/2014 delivered on March 9, 2016, which was not appealed by either party stands.

“This is what his lordship, Hon Justice Gabriel Kolawole said in delivering judgment in the suit by Femi Falana SAN “the National Assembly was not created by drafters of the Constitution and imbued with the powers to receive ‘budget estimates’ which the first defendant is constitutionally empowered to prepare and lay before it, as a rubber stamp parliament. The whole essence of the budget estimates being required to be laid before Parliament is to enable it, being the Assembly of the representatives of the people, to debate the said budget proposals and to make its own well informed legislative inputs into it.”

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Amaechi Cannot Speak For Igbo's, Peter Obi Fumes

Tue, 2019-05-28 13:23

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate Peter Obi has said berated Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation over comments attributed to him on Igbo presidency in 2023.

Rotimi Amaechi said the people must not demand the presidency slot in 2023 for refusing to back the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Nigeria which has three major ethnic groups has not produced a President of Igbo extractions since 1999.

READ 'Forget 2023 Presidency', Amaechi Tells South-East

He said: “I don’t know what they will do now for voting against the APC. For refusing to support the APC, they cannot come to the table to demand the presidency slot."

Reacting, Obi while addressing reporters yesterday in Port-Harcourt said he was amazed at Amaechi’s statement, who is not from the Southeast but is writing off the region from the next presidential election.

According to Peter Obi: “Amaechi is not from the Southeast, so he cannot speak for us.

“He is not in any position to make such statements because even he that is in APC; he did not contribute anything to the success of that election.

“He did not even achieve anything in his own state.  Those of us from the Southeast who are from the PDP contributed to the success of our party.

“For example, PDP in my state got 95 percent. They (APC) didn’t even get 25 per cent in Rivers State.  So he is not competent to speak on the Presidency in 2023”.


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Ndigbo: As 2019 Beckons By Peter Claver Oparah

Tue, 2019-05-28 13:02

Ohaneze National President, John Nwodo at Ukehe

For Ndigbo, another chance beckons in 2019. Yes, in 2019, Nigeria will go through another election process. After the self-inflicted tragedy of 2015, the coming election should be an opportunity for Igbo to mend or further mar their chances in a Nigeria that is built on multi-ethnic chassis.

Will it be a period for Igbo to undo the mistake they did to themselves in 2015, which has worsened their fate? Will Ndigbo use that golden opportunity to make political peace with the rest of Nigeria and most importantly, signify their intent, their readiness, and their suitability to handle the baton in 2023? Or will Ndigbo fail to seize the current and rather make another egregious political miscalculation that will reduce their chances of leading the country in 2023? These are critical questions, whose answers are still whirling in the wind but which, one way or the other, must be answered by how well the Igbo play their card in 2019.

To be clear, Igbo made an egregious mistake in 2015, by packing all their political eggs in one fragile basket. Call it political naivety. Call it political myopia or anything but it was a costly mistake that boomeranged. The ripple effects of that regrettable political mistake resonate in the noisome clanging the Igbo have made their primary business in Nigeria since 2015.

That mistake finds expression in a poorly articulated and awfully hatched Biafran utopia, whose contradictions charges fully at the chaotic demand for it. Ndigbo may strive to underplay the effects of the 2015 political mistake but the acrimonious darts and furious allegations of marginalization and dissenting clamors that emanated after the 2015 election show that Igbo is faced with the consequences of its political choice in the last election.

As escapist as the Biafra agitation is, Ndigbo must stay in Nigeria and fight it out with other constituent units. Demanding to be given Biafra, with all the inchoate arguments and the real promises of a more conflicting life in said Biafra, if granted, amounts to a defeatist way of walking away from a problem one inflicted on oneself and which one must confront.

To get what they desire or what belongs to them in Nigeria, Ndigbo must realize that there is no shortcut; there is no room for the self-pity, which had dotted most of their agitations since 2015. There is no room for beggarly appeal. There is no room for the victim mentality the race has stubbornly stuck to. There is no room for the kind of group think Ndigbo have adopted since 2015. Ndigbo must realize that they will make their bed in Nigeria the way they want to lie on it.

In politics, power is never given on a platter of gold. It doesn’t come for free. It doesn’t land on your laps just because you have made enough appeal to be pitied by others. It doesn’t come to you because you have made the loudest noise. It doesn’t come to you because you have cried loudest. It is struggled for and the best way to struggle for power is for a race to first, embrace introspection. This is a time the race goes into its inner covens, reviews its moves and strategies so far, tells itself the home truth and adopts new, workable and acceptable strategies to get what it wants.

Sadly, one of the major deficiencies Igbo have is the lack of capacity for introspection. Igbo have not yet fangled out a forum where it looks itself in the mirror and tells itself the truth, no matter how unpalatable it may be. This deficiency has accounted for why any reprobate, miscreant and scoundrel seizes the center stage, with cheap popular mantra and every other person follows. This is the sad stage Igbo are today and this can never elevate the race in any sphere of human endeavor, talk less of politics.

Igbo must recreate its society and allow the philosopher-king to assume his rightful place to dictate where and how the society is headed. Igbo must disperse the illiterate rabble that has seized its throne and get for themselves a credible leadership that would not shirk from telling them the unpalatable truth and exile the rabble from the throne to the lowest rung of the society where it belongs. A tail does not wag the dog, as we are seeing in Igboland today.

Next, Igbo must evolve a credible political leadership that is not ruled by selfish and narrow interests and who will not sink the collective ship for its self-interest. This blight has been the singular most portent atrophy that has held Igbo down at present. Those clubs of evergreen political profiteers who have made a life business of making a profit from Ndigbo must be retired. This emergent political leadership must sit down and mobilize the good brains in Igboland to chart a political way forward.

No one should be afraid of hearing dissenting opinions on how best to achieve the goals. No one should seek to take the quest to the unthinking mob, believing to reap the aftermath. This is what led Igbo to the political valley it is in today. Whatever political roadmap Ndigbo comes up, en route and beyond 2019 should take full regard that Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural entity so whatever political course must adequately take care of the interests, the fears and the assurances of other ethnic groups. It must, while attending to the Igbo political needs, accommodate the fears and interests of others.

Then, Igbo must follow up by identifying political platforms that will make it practically possible for them to realize their interests and build support for that platform. This, by no means, will amount to outlawing other platforms but rather the concentration of efforts at supporting or building such identified platform. Such platform could be APC, PDP, APGA or any other platform but Ndigbo must ensure they live with the consequences of supporting such platform and living with the aftermaths and not sulk or seek dismemberment because their chosen platform lost in an election. That means more than a narrow perspective will come into play in deciding what platform Igbo need to back to realize their political ambitions in Nigeria.  

Based on the choice of platform, which I presume, must be built on future strengths and prospects, Ndigbo should proceed immediately to repair and rebuild damaged bridges with every other ethnic group in Nigeria. Igbo should employ its brightest and best for this task and ensure that no stone is left unturned in cementing the deep crevices that have been carelessly created in the bridge that links Ndigbo and other ethnic groups in Nigeria. The aim is to eliminate mutual suspicion, anger, and acrimony with other Nigerians for the 2019 and subsequent elections. Bridges mended, Ndigbo should look deep enough to get the best Igbo that is not only Igbo enough but trusted by other ethnic groups to steer the Nigerian ship to fruitful anchor and prepare such person for the 2023 presidency.

With the foregoing, Ndigbo can go into the 2019 election with a deep conviction that whatever move they make in 2019 will affect the future relationship between Igbo and other Nigerians and of course, prepare the grounds for the long expected Igbo presidency in 2023. Igbo should note that how well they play the 2019 card will determine how they achieve the 2023 goal. If they misuse their cards again in 2019, they must embrace the reality that their 2023 quest for the nation’s presidency will get greatly damaged.

On the other hand, if Igbo elects to approach the 2019 election with the reigning post-2015 election mindset, with the grudge, bitterness and deep-seethed anger they are carrying over from their historical mistake of 2015, then they should be prepared to warm that role longer than 2023.

After 2023, they will realize the truth in the saying that power is never surrendered on a platter of gold. One has to work to get the power he dreams of. Again, it is very difficult in Nigeria today to get power while antagonizing or working at cross purpose with the majority of other Nigerians. It is impossible to get power while building a wall of hatred, antagonism, and bitterness. It is impossible to access power while erecting reclusive garrisons around oneself. We must open up, reach out to others and generate a pan-country understanding that will tremendously assist us to realize our just political ambition. How we play our cards in 2019 will determine how ready we are for power and Ndigbo must start now to work towards making the very best use of that golden opportunity. Posterity will not spare Ndigbo if they fail again to make use of this golden window.

Biafra? Perish that thought. It is an unrealizable utopia for now.
Peter Claver Oparah
Ikeja, Lagos.

This article was first published in September 2017. The 2019 election has come and gone and the question of Igbo presidency in 2023 has risen to make the re-publication of this article imperative.

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2019 Budget: I Rate Saraki Very Low On Patriotism, Says President Buhari

Tue, 2019-05-28 01:06

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has passed a vote of no confidence on the leadership of the National Assembly in the enactment of the 2019 Appropriation Act.

Buhari, while speaking, on Monday night, during a videotaped interview broadcast on Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, said he had conveyed his reservation directly to the legislative leaders while assenting the bill on Monday morning.

When asked to comment on the delayed budget passage, president Buhari said, “I think a culture was developed in the National Assembly that they should dictate the terms, which was wrong. It is the executive that dictates the terms and takes it before the legislature. It (the legislature) will examine it and agree or disagree with it.

“But when they go around posing that they are the government and not the executive, then that’s the problem. I felt and I spoke personally to the Senate President, Saraki, and the leader of the House, Dogara. They could not deny it.

“I asked them how they felt to hold the country at ransom for seven months without passing a budget. Unfortunately, they were not hurting me; they were hurting the country. So, really, in terms of patriotism, I think I rated them very low indeed.”

The President noted that constitutionally, he could not help that there were things that had to go through the legislature.

“But to hold a budget for seven months cannot be justified if you really bother about the country,” he added.

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