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Pius Adesanmi: Celebration Of A Life By Madiba Ibrahim Lapinni​

18 March 2019 - 10:35am


The news of your sudden death hit millions of your acquaintances all over the world with an uprooting force of a mild thunder clap.

To those who all the while appreciated and adore your enviable literary and academic prodigy, with the deliberate engagement of your craft to redress societal ills, coupled with your ebullient youthful zest, it is a death too painful to bear.

To the entire community of writers, academia, journalists and literary activists, the traumatic shock of your death threw many into quandary of restless and inquiring shocks and aftershocks.

For me as a writer and fellow alumni at the prestigious missionary-established Titcombe  College, Egbe, Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, the deep shock and riveting pain jagged into the deepest recess of my soul, triggering a noiseless tremor that shook off the special spaces I neatly paste the portrait of your positive and revered perceptions. For as long as I live, I will often revisit my memory bank to commune with the deposits of your inspiring creativity and every good virtue you emblematized.

Unexpectedly, Africans on the 10th day of March, 2019, woke up to the news of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa  en route to Nairobi, specifically at Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometers South East of Addis Ababa, killing all the crew and passengers.

This is not the first time such an iron bird will drop off the sky and reduced to rubbles by the force of its descent on the mother earth. Sadly, any time it happens, such an act leaves behind sorrow, tears and blood as the case of the recent plane crash in Bishoftu, where its passengers were flung in gravitationally redirected trajectories, only to be rescued and body-bagged for a journey to eternity.

Today, Adesanmi, like the rest of your compatriots, belongs to the ages, reluctantly so. Imagine the fright and attempted flights in your last movement in a wobbling aircraft. Imagine the rapid thoughts of an escape route; perhaps through a parachute and not an egbe. Imagine the staccato of confusion in the cabin and the rapid ejaculations of celestial supplications by a morbidly worried crew and passengers at that last moment, in a reluctant and brazen confrontation with death. The thought of this scenario makes the death more painful to us you left behind.

My condolences to all the families of the victims of this unfortunate tragedy. We share their grief and pray that the good lord continues to console you. He who feels it knows it.

Our beloved Desan is gone, gone to the glory, never to be seen again, but perchance in dreams and intersections of thoughts. The sharp and surgical pen of yours is stilled forever, yet your ideals and ideas will certainly lives in our minds. The infectious smile, which brightens our low moment as it reveals a perfect dentition is stilled and cold, only to be recollected in the meditative realm of thoughts and reasoning.

We have lost our hero. We have lost a rare gem. The world will miss you, but Africa will miss you the more and Nigeria the most. Kogi State and the entire Okunland remain inconsolable, tear-weary with misty eyes, yet we cannot but quickly come to terms with your death.

Pain is the most difficult path to walk at this very mournful moment, yet we will try to cope. Yes, we will. We are feeble as frail; frail as the children of dust. Lord, help us please; we will try to cope.

Your call was in academic and your craft writing, yet you deftly combined both using your incisive pen to surgically exorcise demons that stifle and stunt the growth of our nation, consigning them into igbo irumale, the forest of thousand demons.

You were a soldier, writer, surgeon all rolled into one personality. You derive immeasurable joy in engaging your craft to promote the essence and beauty of our common humanity. You selflessly mentored many as you equally subject your humble self to the corrective inputs of masters of literary crafts.

Your constant search for truth and self actualization propelled you to be the best in the ivory tower, evidenced with landmark achievements all steps through.

Your sources of inspirations were diverse; men, materials and the environment, but you cherished spiritual inspirations above any earthly ones.

Many of us who went to Titcombe College, Egbe, were steeped in the traditions of piety, letters, volunteerism and robust intellectualism; you never betrayed or failed to reflect such a tradition.

Today, the world takes a leave of one of its very best; the world takes a leave of erudite Professor Pius Adesanmi, a writer, essayist, columnist, author, literary critic, award winning patriotic poet, satirist, a much-sought after international speaker and a truly global citizen.

Your impact remains indelible and inspirational. Through many of your write ups, you strove to refine Nigeria's social and political system for better. You deployed foreign languages for national integrations and global harmony. You helped deepen the francophone influences in Africa. You were busy on both national and international speaking circuit. Airports became like a backyard market place to you and aircraft like a common commodity such as guguru. No wonder such an intellectually prodigious life is reflected in awards, testimonies and decorations. Lord, please raise many more of his like in our land!

You survived many vicissitudes of life never believing that "Ottawa"-presence of adversaries. You survived a ghastly land accident, only to be consumed by a fatal air crash.

We will continue to miss you dearly. We will miss your vast expertise and deep breath of your grasp of what seems to be wrong with the African continent and the concerns to address it.

The lesson for us all is to live a life of purpose and legacy. Your life clearly demonstrates an African who rejected the label of a wasted generation and proved beyond all reasonable doubt that his generation is indeed blessed, redeemed and a pathfinder one!

To the Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, I say erokun, eku araferaku. Accept our condolences.

To your dutiful and loving wife and the children, I urge you to give all your pains and worry to God, the greatest burden bearer. Lean wholly on Him. He will never forsake you, despite the seeming hopelessness and darkness of the moment. May the good lord empower your resilience to bear this irreparable loss.

Desan, we did not get to say goodbye; it was the hardest thing for many of us. We are consoled and assured that one day, that glorious morning, we will meet, on the other side of eternity, to share what has happened when you left us.

Lord, at a time like this, we cast our pains on your stretched arms. Comfort us oh lord! Our strength is feeble as we unquestionably let go our beloved friend on you able hand.

Adieu, our dear Professor Pius Adesanmi.


Madiba Ibrahim Lapinni is a Journalist/Writer

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Court Admits Statement Of Obanikoro’s Dead Aide Against Fayose

18 March 2019 - 10:08am


Former Minister of State for Defense, Musiliu Obanikoronow on the run

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday admitted in evidence a statement made by one late Justin Erukaa, who worked as Personal Assistant to Musiliu Obanikoro, former Minister of State for Defence, before his death.

In a short ruling, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun admitted Erukaa’s statement and marked it as Exhibit J in the ongoing trial of Ayodele Fayose, former Governor of Ekiti State, over allegations bordering on N2.2billion fraud.

At the previous hearing, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), the second defence counsel had tendered the statement made by Erukaa made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the course of investigating the alleged N2.2billion fraud against Fayose.

Ojo said Erukaa’s statement was relevant to the case, adding that it could be admitted in the absence of the deceased.

“In law, the first litmus test of admissibility is relevance. Obanikoro said in his testimony that he sent Erukaa on errands, including to collect $1million and he came and met him in Ekiti,” Ojo had told the court.

After the judge admitted Erukaa’s statement in evidence, the case proceeded with further cross-examination of Obanikoro, who is the fifth witness to testify for the EFCC against Fayose.

While fielding questions from Ahmed Tafa, who stood in for Ojo, Obanikoro reiterated that he was into farming, noting that his farms are in Lagos, Badagry and Ogun states. He also confirmed knowing a company, MOB Integrated Limited.

“That company is owned by my son,” the former Minister of State for Defence said.

When asked by Tafa if he knew that staff members of MOB Integrated Limited were signatories to the bank account of Fayose’s co-accused, Sylvan Mcmanara Ltd, Obanikoro said: “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

He explained again that Sambo Dasuki, the then National Security Adviser (NSA), entered into an agreement with Taiwo Kareem, who owns Sylvan Mcmanara Ltd., to use the firm’s account for the disbursement of funds for security operations in Lagos.

Obanikoro said after the agreement with Kareem, he took over Sylvan Mcmanara Ltd’s account in supervisory capacity, adding that all the major decisions taken on the account were cleared with him.

“There were three transactions. One was for the security of Lagos; one for election in Ekiti and for election in Osun State,” he said.

When Tafa asked if “matters of elections were matters of security,” Obanikoro said: “They can be.” But when asked if the Office of the National Security Adviser funded his campaign while he was vying for governorship on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Obanikoro answered: “Not to my knowledge.”

He said he had no records of his transactions with the NSA. He, however, said he would not be surprised if the record of the NSA showed no N2.2billion transaction.

Justice Olatoregun adjourned further proceedings till Tuesday.

The EFCC arraigned Fayose and Sylvan Mcmanara Ltd on October 22, 2018 on 11 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, stealing and money laundering.

Among other things, the EFCC alleged that on June 17, 2014, Fayose took possession of the sum of N1,219,000,000 to fund his 2014 governorship campaign in Ekiti State, which he “reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing”.

He was also alleged to have on the same day “received a cash payment of $5,000,000 from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law” and “thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 1 and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act”.

In another count, Fayose was accused of “using an aggregate sum of N1,151,711,573 to acquire chalets 3, 4, 5 and 9 of the property situated at Plot 100, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos in the name of JJ Technical Service.” Fayose was equally accused of purchasing a property at Plot 1504, Yedsema Street, Maitama, Abuja for N270million from one Rabi Kundili.

The former Governor was also alleged to have purchased another property at 44, Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja for N200millio in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji.

The former Governor and the firm pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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NBA President Usoro's N1.4bn Money Laundering Trial To Continue On April 17

18 March 2019 - 9:35am


A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, presided over by Justice Rilwan Aikawa has adjourned the trial of Paul Usoro (SAN), President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), until April 17, 2019 for hearing of three pending applications.

The applications are a Motion on Notice brought by Usoro, pursuant to Section 36(6)(B)(D) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 379(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), seeking an order of the court directing the complainant to serve on him a summarised witness statement of evidence of those listed to give evidence on the matter.

The other application was brought by Uwemedimo Nwoko, the Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State, and three others.

Their application filed by Mike Ozekhome (SAN) on their behalf prays the court to set aside the bench warrant issued against them.

On March 1, 2019, Justice Rilwan Aikawa granted a bench warrant for the arrest of Uwemedimo Nwoko, the Akwa Ibom Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Nsikan Nkan, the state Commissioner of Finance; Mfon Udomah, the state Accountant General, and Margaret Ukpe, a cashier of the state government.

The third application was brought by Dr. Charles Mekwunye, counsel to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to proceed with the entertainment of the charge. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had slammed a N1.4billion money laundering charge against the NBA President and others before Justice Muslim Hassan, who later recused himself from the matter on account of being a former prosecutor with the anti-graft agency.

Usoro was thereafter re-arraigned before Justice Aikawa on March 1, 2019.

He pleaded not guilty and had consistently maintained that the funds received from the state government were his professional fees.

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After Delivering Constituency To APC, Nasarawa Assembly Minority Leader Dumps PDP

18 March 2019 - 9:29am


Peter Mbucho, the minority leader of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, who represents Akwanga North of the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Right Honourable Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, Speaker of the House, made this known while reading Mbucho’s letter announcing his defection during proceedings on Monday.

Abdullahi congratulated the Minority Leader for taking the decision to join the ‘next level’ train.

Speaking on the development, Mbucho said: “I have joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) on March 8th, 2019, and I have delivered my constituency to APC during the governorship and state house of assembly elections.”

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Don’t Approve Amosun’s ‘Injury-Time’ Loan Requests, Ogun APC Tells Banks

18 March 2019 - 8:59am


The Ogun State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned banks and other financial institutions to ignore the “injury time” loan requests by Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of the state, as the incoming administration would not recognise them.

The party also alleged that the outgoing Governor was moving sensitive government documents out of the office as he prepares to exit the Government House.

A statement issued in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Monday by Tunde Oladunjoye, the Ogun APC Publicity Secretary, noted that Amosun had been pressuring banks to grant loans and overdrafts to his administration.

The statement read: “It has come to our notice that the outgoing Governor has been exerting pressures on banks and financial institutions to grant frivolous loans, overdrafts and other instruments immediately Prince Dapo Abiodun was declared governor-elect.

“We are equally aware that files and other sensitive government documents are being moved out of government offices on the order of the outgoing Governor, His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

“It is therefore important to let it be known to the concerned public officers that it is part of their duties to protect public properties, including files, documents and information at their disposal, as anything contrary to this will be running foul of the laws and their oath of office. The allegiance of the civil servants is to Ogun State and not to any individual, no matter whom.

“As for the banks, we want to state categorically that the incoming administration believes so much in the rule of law and due process. Therefore, the administration will not honour any obligation that did not follow due process or any loans that did not receive the prior approval of the State House of Assembly.

“According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, Ogun State’s Internally Generated Revenue has increased by 590 per cent in eight years totalling N74,835,979,000.51 (seventy four billion, eight hundred and thirty five million, nine hundred and seventy-nine thousand naira and fifty one kobo).

“Why the outgoing administration still wants ‘injury-time’ loans despite those already incurred, beats one’s imagination and leaves much to be desired. The incoming administration will not honour such shady loans.”

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BREAKING: Many Feared Dead As Another Building Collapses On Lagos Island

18 March 2019 - 8:16am

Many people are feared dead as another building has collapsed in Lagos.

The building is located at 57, Egerton Square, Oke Arin, Lagos Island.

The development is coming barely one week after another building collapsed at Ita Faji, Lagos Island, killing 20 persons, including school children, while more than 40 people sustained injuries.

The building was one of those marked for demolition.

Firefighters from the Iganmu Division have been deployed to the scene of the accident to commence rescue operations, accorrding to Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musbau, who confirmed the incident.

According to Lagos State officials, officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency were demolishing another house beside the building when it went down.

Video of BREAKING: Many Feared Dead As Another Building Collapses On Lagos Island BREAKING: Many Feared Dead As Another Building Collapses On Lagos Island

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EXCLUSIVE: Boss Mustapha, Malami, Sirika... Ministers Who Will Make Buhari's Next Cabinet

18 March 2019 - 7:38am


Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has been tipped to retain his seat in Buhari's second term cabinet, SaharaReporters can report.

Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), tops the list of a few returning ministers, with Hadi Sirika, Minister of State Aviation, also making the list.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, after securing his reelection, declared publicly that "only people of proven integrity will make the next cabinet".

Accordingly, the President’s inner clique, Abba Kyari, Mohammed Babagana Monguno, Mamman Daura, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and Babagana Kingibe, are said to have taken a firm stand, to ensure that many members of the present cabinet are weeded out.

For the SGF, the clique refers to him as a level-headed and a tall, standing stabilizer, especially within Adamawa politics. Other reasons include the expectation that he would play a significant role in the legal battle by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to challenge the outcome of the presidential election, especially as the SGF has been a long-standing associate of Atiku.

However, Mustapha may face stiff opposition from the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, for his role in scuttling the chances of her younger brother, Mahmood Halilu Ahmed, during the APC governorship nomination.

For daring to oppose her in that humiliating manner, SaharaReporters gathered that Aisha Buhari has also shopped for Mustapha's replacement. Mohammed Buba Marwa, who hails from the same Adamawa State as Mustapha, is being positioned from Mrs. Buhari's camp to take over the SGF job in the new cabinet.

However, Aisha's move may be contained by the cabal, since, over time, Buhari has been swayed against her where conflicts of interest arose.

Mrs. Buhari has had cause to repeatedly cry out and openly allege that her husband's government is 'cabal-driven', an allegation the President has openly denied.

But much of the drama that would characterise Buhari’s second term may be staged in the South-West, as sources are predicting that Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), may eventually pull out of the party.

This is because the cabal is weaving a strategic plan to checkmate his overbearing influence within APC politics. Part of the plan is to inject a new breed of politicians from the South-West against Tinubu's interest.

Akinwumi Ambode, outgoing Governor of Lagos State, may top the array of those disgruntled by Tinubu's control style. If the plan succeeds, all presidential appointees from the South-West may be selected from Tinubu's bitter rivals. This way, he (Tinubu) would have been cut to size ahead of 2023.

As to why the cabal would turn its back on Tinubu, the answer lies in Buhari's ready-made 12 million votes in the north, at least, going by the permutation of the cabal. The position of the cabal is that owing to the North's capacity to produce over 12 million votes, which was the case in the February 23 presidential election, rotational presidency is no longer tenable.

It is, therefore, most likely that the cabal is zeroing in on either Mallam Nuhu Ribadu or Nasir el-Rufai to succeed Buhari in 2023.

For the rest of the south, the cabal has no soft spot for anybody, except that Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, and few others are still considered dependable allies.

Somehow, as the theatre of activities would be unveiled with Buhari's inauguration on May 29, Boss Mustapha is believed by the cabal to possess certain indispensable qualities for the battle ahead.

But as to whether things will work out eventually as planned, only time shall tell.

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Cleaners, Security Officers Shut Down FMC Makurdi Over Unpaid Allowances

18 March 2019 - 6:44am


The Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi, Benue State, has been shut down by workers at the hospital.

The workers say the shutdown of the hospital is to protest the non-payment of their allowances by the hospital management for two years.

The workers, who are comprised of security guards and cleaners, claim the hospital owes them two years and nine months, respectively, in allowances.

Anijaba Mtomga, one of the protesters, who is a security guard, said: The management keeps saying it is the Federal Government that has not released money for our emoluments and it is running to two years that we have not been paid.

“We understand that the hospital provides essential services to the people and we have exercised patience and understanding with the management, but we can no longer continue like this. We have families and other responsibilities to attend to.”

Speaking on the development, Moses Atime, Deputy Director, Nursing Services, said: "The Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services was responsible for the payment of all contract staff within the health sector", adding that "management is aware of this particular issue and all hands are on the deck to resolve the issue.”

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Prosecution Tenders Exhibits As Onnoghen’s Trial Resumes In Abuja

18 March 2019 - 6:24am


Onnoghen in court

Exhibits have been tendered in the ongoing trial of Walter Onnoghen, suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), by the prosecution team led by Aliyu Umar (SAN).

The exhibits comprise the petition written by a civil society group and which informed the six-count charge preferred against the suspended CJN. Also tendered were two assets declaration forms (Forms CCB1) submitted by Onnoghen in 2014 and 2015.

The defence counsel to Onnoghen led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) noted that the forms were “in loose form and appeared to be tampered with”, adding that he would refer to it later.

The evidence was admitted without further objections by the defence team.

Justice Onnoghen is facing a six-count charge bothering on fraudulent declaration of assets.

The proceeding, which commenced on Monday morning, had the suspended CJN, as well as other high ranking judicial officers in attendance.

The trial was earlier scheduled to commence on March 12, but was adjourned till Monday following Onnoghen’s absence from the Code of Conduct Tribunal, over medical conditions related to toothache and high blood pressure, according to the presentation made by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) on the earlier scheduled date. Onnoghen’s medical doctor had also recommended bed rest.

However, the CCT under the chairmanship of Danladi Umar, resumed proceedings at 10am on Monday after the suspended CJN indicated that he had recovered.

James Opala, the first witness in the case, led by the prosecution counsel has given his testimony.

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EXCLUSIVE: Jonathan Calls Gbenga Daniel, Begs Him Not To Leave PDP

18 March 2019 - 6:06am

Former President Goodluck Jonathan leads an array of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders to have called Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Governor of Ogun State, to convince him to rescind his decision to leave the party.

Daniel announced his exit from the PDP and from partisan politics on Saturday, saying he wanted take on “new challenges”, which include rejuvenating his charity-based organisation, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF), and resuscitating the “non-partisan Political Leadership Academy (POLA)”, which was “established some years ago as a platform of political education to our citizens”.

However, notable PDP leaders, including Jonathan have been calling him to have a rethink.

Having earlier reported the real reason's behind his exit, SaharaReporters understands that Daniel informed Atiku Abubakar, whom he served as Director-General of his presidential campaign orgnisation, as well as Jonathan, before publicly announcing his decision. 

Atiku said it expressly that he couldn’t leave, while Jonathan encouraged him to “reconsider and consult widely” before taking a final position. 

SaharaReporters confirmed that when Daniel made the decision public on Saturday, Jonathan called again to make a last-ditch attempt to change his mind, saying specifically that “PDP still needs his participation in the party”.

SaharaReporters has also been told PDP stakeholders, particularly from the North, have been rejecting Daniel’s resignation from the party.

“Calls across the country have been coming; the major stakeholders in PDP have been telling him not to leave, but he has been insisting he has not taken a position for now,” a source close to Jonathan told SaharaReporters on Tuesday. 

“PDP stakeholders across the North, governors and former governors mainly from the North, they’ve all reached out to him.”

Oyo State governor-elect Seyi Makinde, described as Daniel’s “very good friend”, has also reached out.

Also, a Lagos PDP source told SaharaReporters that Daniel’s exit will further deplete a party serious struggling to hold some influence in the South-West. 

“If he leaves, the PDP in the South-West will be left without a leader,” he said.

“Fayose has been unable to hold the PDP in the South-West since leaving office as Governor of Ekiti State. Lagos PDP is boiling with issues. You can imagine a party chieftain, Segun Adewale, locking up the PDP secretariat and declaring himself the authentic Lagos PDP chairman in place Adegbola Dominic, who was attending a meeting in Ibadan. There have also been complaints of the siphoning of campaign funds in Lagos.

“So, PDP is in crisis in Lagos. In Ogun, it is non-existent. The only place it exists is Oyo State. Fayose is fighting in Ekiti with Abiodun Olujimi. So, PDP leaders feel they still need Daniel’s leadership to hold the South-West together.”

The PDP has not yet formally taken a stand on Daniel’s resignation; however, this could happen at an emergency meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) scheduled for Tuesday. 

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Nigeria: A Country of Unsung Heroes and Missed Windows of Opportunities By Akinbode Fasakin

18 March 2019 - 5:56am


Two prominent Nigerians, Fela Anikulapo and Gani Fawehinmi, bestrode the Nigerian space like colossi, they indeed left their marks on the sand of time. Fela Anikulapo was the founder of Afrobeat music, from Nigeria/Africa to the rest of the world. He was from the elite class and trained as a professional musician. He used his life and music to challenge the ills of the Nigerian society, to the anger and disdain of those in power, and often to his own detriment. He led a life of complete sacrifice to humanity by confronting injustice and public impropriety that characterise the Nigerian leadership. In his lifetime, Fela was never appreciated both by the authority and a vast majority of the Nigerian people. Instead, his socially-conscious music was repeatedly banned by the government. Parents cautioned their children and wards from listening to his songs, lest they emulate his “immoral” lifestyle. Fela died in 1998. Nigeria is believed to be worse now than when Fela began to use his music to prick and preach public consciousness. Fela’s “inglorious” path and past gained tremendously leap after his death. He became everybody’s hero, including those that had chastised him in his lifetime. Those that refuse to listen to him openly began to sing his praise in death. Everyone keenly wished to be associated, even if remotely, with the humanist that was never given any state recognition in his lifetime. His Kalakuta Republic, believed to be the haven of the never-do-wells, became a resort of some sort in Nigeria. The Fela African shrine continue to play host to local and foreign tourists, including government officials and even foreign government’s visitors, most of whom now extol Fela’s virtues in death.

It was the aluta conscious students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife that conferred the title of the senior advocate of the masses (SAM) on Chief Gani Fawehinmi, before the revered Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee deemed it fit many years later to confer the titled of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on him. For someone that had done many pro-bono cases, many attribute the delay in the conferment of the title of SAN on Gani to his constant conflict with the Nigerian government. Gani’s travails with the powers-that-be began in the late 1960s and continued up to the period of Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. For fighting the cause of human rights and improved quality of life, Chief Fawehinmi was, arrested, beaten, tortured and imprisoned in many police cells and several prisons across Nigeria. Popularly believed to be the people’s president, Gani ran under the platform of the National Conscience party unsuccessfully for the office of the president of Nigeria in 2003. He came distant fifth with just 161, 333 votes behind Obasanjo, Buhari, Ojukwu and Nwobodo. The winner of the said election had more than 24 million votes, votes much more than all the votes of all the other 19 candidates put together. While Gani got recognitions for fighting at the risk of his own live for human rights, civil liberty and improved quality of life, he was roundly victimised by security agents and the Nigerian state at home. In death, however, Gani, like Fela, became an instant hero. He has now been recognized by the governments of Ondo and Lagos states and the Federal Government of Nigeria. He has been awarded the second highest title in the land, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), in recognition of the same thing for which he was vilified, arrested, beaten, battered and imprisoned during his life time.

The illustrations above merely point in one direction – Nigeria is a site of many unsung heroes and missed windows of opportunities. It is sad to observe that Nigerians have now developed the attitude of putting their worst foot forward when it comes to placing people in the position of authority. Clearly and apart from Gani and Fela, a lot of Nigerian unsung heroes have died unrecognised, with the opportunity for them to contribute their best to building a viable nation missed on the altar of carelessness, hatred, negligence and sheer wickedness. These Nigerians’ qualities were unappreciated, untapped and unused in their lifetime. Their virtues extolled in death, whereas those without ideas run the affairs of the country, even determining the fate of the ones with ideas. It is in death that Nigerians realise that Awolowo, a man who ran unsuccessfully for Nigeria’s presidency, was the best president Nigeria never had. The same can be said of Mallam Aminu Kano, a gentleman whose vision transcend a narrow northern agenda. It is also in death that Nigerians now mourn how Nigeria sorely missed the sort of leadership that Bashorun M K O Abiola, the winner of the June 12 elections, would have provided for Nigeria, had he given a short at the seat of power. Nigeria missed the golden opportunity to evolve into a detribalised, effective and efficient nation in each of these cases. Indeed, the list of Nigeria’s unsung heroes is endless.

However, an interesting twist to this story is that unlike the military era, where human rights and civil liberties are caged and flagrantly violated by the military regimes, Nigeria is now under a civilian rule. The space has thus been opened up for the participation of all and sundry in politics in the interest of the nation. There is an opportunity now thrust on our thumps to decide whether to appreciate our heroes and take advantage of the golden opportunity or g the usual route. To go the usual route is to choose between a lifeless presidency that offers lame excuses of sixteen years of mismanagement and misrule or to embrace those that destroyed Nigeria’s past. Either way, Nigeria ends in a catch 22, hence the need to look beyond going the usual route. The current and the past administrations are already characterised by bad leaderships, leaderships that fail to appreciate and harness Nigeria’s enormous potentials. It is time to have a rethink in the coming elections, which presents itself as an opportunity to rewrite Nigeria’s future, an opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and begin on a clean slate, if only Nigerians are willing and able to do the right. Doing the right thing entails bringing people with ideas and determination to power.

Individuals such as Omoyele Sowore, among a host of other candidates, come to mind. In terms of capacity, character and competence, Sowore for instance has a lot to offer. He stands out of the pack, even among the new breed politicians. Raving with passion and energy to transform Nigeria within the shortest time possible, Sowore has traversed the length and breadth of the country, visiting 32 states and outlining and highlighting his blueprint encapsulated in SPICER HEAT to the people. Rough, rugged and realistic in his vision and mission, Sowore has presented Nigeria with another opportunity, this time to choose who would serve and not rule them. Would Nigerians oblige him? While it would be saddening if Nigerians fail to take advantage of the current wind of change that is throwing up new candidates for political office, it would be a great disservice to the nation if valuable assets that some of these candidates constitute are allowed to pass Nigeria by. It is also important not to forget that the current beneficiaries of the Nigerian system would stand in the way of such change. But they should be reminded by J. F. Kennedy’s quote that “those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable”.

 

Akinbode Fasakin

PhD Student, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

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89 People Die In Zimbabwe After Heavy Rains

18 March 2019 - 5:32am


Eighty-nine people have died in Zimbabwe after Cyclone Idai ripped through the eastern and southern parts of the country.

According to officials on Monday, the scale of destruction is only becoming apparent as rescuers reached the most affected areas near the border with Mozambique.

Nick Mangwana, Secretary, Ministry of Information, told Reuters that "the number of confirmed deaths throughout the country is now 89".

He added that "Chimanimani district has been cut off from the rest of the country by torrential rains and winds of up to 170 km per hour that swept away roads, homes and bridges and knocked out power and communication lines.”

So far, about 100 people have died in weeks of heavy rain and flooding in Mozambique and Malawi, where villages were left underwater according to the UN.

Rescuers are struggling to reach people in Chimanimani, many of whom have been sleeping in the mountains since Friday, after their homes were flattened by rock falls and mudslides or washed away by torrential rains.

Also, many families cannot bury the dead due to the floods.

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Thinking With You... Why Do Good People Die Young? By Bayo Oluwasanmi

18 March 2019 - 4:38am


The sudden death of Dr. Pius Adesanmi once again brings into the fore the age-old question: Why do good people die young? When good people die young, we feel devastated because we have lost something precious. Our hearts are ripped apart and left with a gaping hole. We wonder and we question why they were taken away from us. “He was such a good person, why would God kill him?” “She was so young, why would God call her home so soon? She never got a chance to live!” “He didn't deserve to die.”

We are confused, angry, and bitter. We try to come up with different reasons why good people are taken away by death while wicked and evil people are spared. Some people believe God decides to take good people to save them from something bad. Others say may be God wanted another angel in heaven. 

I don't just get it! Why do good people die young? I have lost a number of friends who were the best people I know. I can also think of bad people who are living longer than expected. Where is the justice? Can anyone make sense of this upside down world? We feel robbed when good people die young. We feel we have been robbed by a robber. We see it as the greatest absurdity. We become hopeless and senseless. The pain and sorrow are burned into our memory for life.

Knowing the fragility and brevity of life, Adesanmi worked round the clock believing in Jackie Robinson's philosophy that “a life is not important except in the impact it has on others. Adesanmi made an impact on us the way atomic bomb does: He imploded before he exploded! His mind was never at rest, and his pen is connected to his mind by the best conductive narrative magnet we've ever seen. He developed a reputation for ruthlessness with the enemies of our poor people – Nigeria's ruling ragamuffins. 

Thoughtful and tough, passionate and strategic, outgoing and introspective, Adesanmi was always worried and troubled about defenseless, forgotten, unemployed, downtrodden, excluded, impoverished, marginalized Nigerians. He was always willing to wade in where and whenever justice is on trial. He was a giver, not a taker. He served others to help them grow and thrive. He solved problems that could prevent others from reaching their potential. He saved causes that benefited mankind.

Looking at possible reasons why some good people die early, author Nayaswami Pranaba says “Sometimes an early death could be a blessing; a person may simply have worked out as much of their karma as they are able to do in their current lifetime, and that's far as they're going to go. One way of looking at karma is that an accident is a relatively quick way to move on.” 

For author Amanda Linette Meder, “An early death for some souls also holds another possible reason – a reason related to the core of the human soul. The desire to make a difference. All humans have the desire to make a difference in people's lives is far stronger than in others. For some souls, once they become well networked in their lives, have built friendships, relationships, held bonds with many people, live many places, they die. Suddenly.”

The three key stages of life for a proper and complete life cycle are: being young, being adult, and being old. But our best option is to live a quality life in the moment. A quality life includes struggle, happiness, wins, and losses. When someone good die young, we assumed wrongly that they died before their time and that we have unwritten promise of a long life. The truth is, “there is a time to be born, and a time to die.” As to when we are born and when we die, we don't really have any say regarding our birth and death.

Pius Adesanmi was only 47 years old. It was said that he had confided in a friend that he would not live to be 50. It's not unusual for rare breeds like him to predict their own death. They all saw it coming. President Abraham Lincoln recounted a dream he had to a friend, Ward Hill Lamon. He told Lamon he had heard mourners sobbing and saw a corpse lying on a raised platform in the East Room of the White House. He asked a nearby soldier who had died and was told, “The President – he was killed by an assassin.” Ten days after having the dream, he was shot dead by an assassin at the theater. 

Mark Twain was born the year that Halley's Comet appeared. Twain predicted that he would die the next time Halley's Comet appeared again. Twain died in 1910 the day after Halley's Comet appeared in the night sky. Halley's Comet appears every 76 years. Twain was 76 years old when it appeared! John Lennon sang about living on borrowed time. He recorded a song called “Borrowed Time,” in which he sings, “Living on borrowed time, without a thought for tomorrow.” Lennon was shot dead before the song even came out. It was later released posthumously. 

Bob Marley revealed details of his death to his friends. He told one of his friends that he would die in his 30s. Marley died at age 36. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said: “... I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. Dr. King was shot dead the second day.

But the question remains: Why do good people die young? Who are we to question God? As a Christian, I believe the Books of Job (14: 1-2) and Prophet Isaiah (45:7) adequately answered the question. Job (14:1-2) reminds us that “Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue.” Prophet Isaiah (45:7) perfectly sums it up: “I form light and create darkness, I create peace and I create calamity. I, the Lord, do all these things.” 

But we should celebrate Adesanmi's brief stay with us with a heart of gratitude that he was given to us in the first place. We are blessed to have a wonderful man in our lives. The world is privileged and is made a better place to have such a “heavenly guest come down to earth.” Though Adesanmi was on a short visit, he gave us his all. He left his foot prints. He lives on.

We were born to die. The lesson from it all is that we have to cherish everyday because we never know when it will be our last. We have to treasure those we love because they may not be here tomorrow. In the end, how we live is more important than how long we lived. Adesanmi lived a full and meaningful life. 

bjoluwasanmi@gmail.com

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Shall We Tell His Excellency The Home Truth? By Abdullah Abdulganiy

18 March 2019 - 4:33am


An Open Letter to the Governor-Elect of Kwara State

Dear Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq,

Let me begin by congratulating you upon sweeping the polls at the just concluded gubernatorial election in Kwara State. It is a rare feat I must admit. Verily, your name has been written in gold and will go down in the annals as the David of Kwara State. You defeated a big masquerade. You fell a supposedly invincible political dynasty. You broke a jinx. You birthed a new dawn in our native land. Who does all these except an enigma that you are?

Before the gubernatorial election, I had personally predicted, considering the voting behavior of our people during the presidential and NASS elections, that victory is yours. Albeit voting behavior is a complex phenomenon which cannot be easily predicted in most cases as many factors influence it, the handwriting in the case of Kwara State was clear on the wall. What it was saying is obvious: Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (O to ge) will sweep the polls.

As an aside: As a political sociologist in the making, I loathe a situation whereby the APC will take all the seats in the state assembly. I had always argued that the state assembly be peopled by lawmakers of different political parties even if the seats would not be evenly shared. This is because a viable opposition is a fundamental aspect of democracy. The outcomes of the elections have however proved me wrong. In all cases, democracy wins. At least there would be no room for complaint as two arms of the government are solely in the hands of the APC.

Our incoming governor, it is important that you note that you conquered not because you were the best among your equals. If educational background and political experience were to be considered, it is clear that Hon. Abdulrazaq Atunwa is far ahead of you. On the flipside, if performance were to be considered, I believe Comrade Issa Aremu can fare better than you. This however does not in any way connote that you too cannot perform. In essence, what accounted for your victory is the will of God. So, thank him and rule to please him. There is another thing that amounted to your success: the support of the masses. Thus, as you step in as the governor of dear state, it is important that you also rule to please the people. The masses rather than few political elites are to be served. 

I am not in any way saying that you shouldn’t pay back those political stalwarts that abetted your victory; but in case their interests clash with that of the masses, the latter’s should prevail. The masses ushered you in; the political elites alone cannot do it. The result of the election speaks volumes to the fact that sovereignty resides with the people. It was the masses’ revolution and not the APC’s.

Let me also hint you sir if you will not consider it an affront that you are surrounded by an array of political investors. In essence, you should know how to play your game if you want to sustain your popularity with the people. We know some politicos and personas chanting “O to ge” with you today who destroyed and battered Kwara State alongside Saraki yesterday. Though they might have turned a new leaf necessitating giving them the benefit of doubt, it is important you be skeptical with them if you don’t want them to ruin your Administration. We know some of them who ran away from Saraki because they were not given the political platforms they wanted. These people are mere political investors, and they can be dangerous too. So, know how you play your game with them if you don’t want to be in Saraki’s shoe in the coming years.

Your Excellency, the fall of Saraki and the gale of defections that rocked his party, the PDP, should serve as an avenue for you to learn and not to gloat. No one associates with failure or a loser. This is why the masses must constitute the first item on your scale of preference. If you lose popularity with the people as a result of not living up to expectations, before the twinkle of an eye, your political associates will scamper for greener pasture. These political investors are after their selfish interests. So, look before you leap.

Your Excellency, I must also confess to you that there are an array of social problems staring Kwara in the face. But I believe God will see you through. Should we talk of the debt we are plagued with as a state? Or the innumerable roads in the state that are in deplorable conditions? How about the shambolic state of our hospitals? How about the eroding quality of our schools? How about the challenge of meagre industries? How about the mediocrists that dot the civil service? How about the twin challenges of cultism and burglary? How about the moribund state of the agricultural sector? How about environmental problems? Ad infinitum. I think of these numberless social problems bedeviling Kwara State and I am afraid.

Your Excellency, Governance is, of course, not an easy task as our people deem it to be. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Will the people bear with you in restoring sanity to the system? How do you want to balance the equation between physical infrastructure and stomach infrastructure? How do you strike the balance between felt needs and ideal needs? All these require that you recruit the best hands in your cabinet. They are there in academia. They are also there in one corner of their homes. Do not politicize the making of your cabinet. There are better ways you can reward the political elites that gave you the platform on which you rode to power. But definitely not at the expense of dear state!

Your Excellency, let me tell you what Martin Sheen taught me about politics. He wrote and I quote: “Future generations are not going to ask us what political party we were in; they are going to ask us what we did to the situation when the glaciers were melting.” There are people in the opposition (not necessarily the PDP only) that can perform extraordinarily. Comb for them and engage them since we are all after the betterment of our state. It’s not time to play the politics of division. See yourself more as a public officer than a party man. It is better to lose a second term ambition than to soil your name and lose popularity all in the name of satiating the interests of some selfish party gladiators and members. Good name, they say, is better than riches.

Thank you for your time Your Excellency. I wish you best of luck. May your tenure be a turning point in the history of Kwara State. Do expect my accolades when you deserve it. On the contrary, do expect me to take the “Obasanjo-mode” if need be (I may not be able to write up to 16 pages though). In the end, let me assure you of my highest regards.

 

Abdullah is of the better-by-far University of Ilorin. Reach him via 08090637356 or olamilekanhalarho@gmail.com.

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BREAKING: Court Sacks Delta APC Faction That Produced Ogboru As Gov Candidate

18 March 2019 - 4:25am

A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, has sacked the Jones Erue-led faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The ruling was given a few minutes ago in Asaba.

The Erue-led faction produced Great Ogboru, the APC governorship candidate in Delta State for the 2019 general election.

Details soon...

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EXCLUSIVE: The Real Reasons Gbenga Daniel Pulled Out Of PDP

18 March 2019 - 3:49am


Gbenga Daniel, Director General of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, announced his resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and from active politics on Saturday, citing a number of reasons.

In a letter dated March 14, 2019, and addressed to the National Chairman of the party, the former Governor of Ogun State noted that the decision is personal and that he decided to take on “new challenges”.

He also said he had decided to “rejuvenate” his charity-based organisation, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF), and that he wanted to resuscitate the “non-partisan Political Leadership Academy (POLA)”, which was “established some years ago as a platform of political education to our citizens”.

Daniel indeed made a feeble attempt at revealing the real motivation for his exit when he stated in the fifth and sixth paragraphs of his resignation letter thus: “Notwithstanding these widely acclaimed achievements however, our party, the Peoples Democratic Party ran into trouble waters towards the end of our administration (about the year 2009) which led to the sad loss in the election of 2011, and regrettably ten (10) years after the party has been unable to resolve those internal disputes and challenges.

“Meanwhile, the PDP in Ogun State was confronted with a very difficult situation in matter of choice. Whereas the national leadership of our party, recognized one candidate for the 2019 election, by court pronouncements another candidate, and in compliance with those court orders, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognized was on the INEC list. The candidates recognized by INEC were not acceptable to the national leadership of the party. Our situation was then compounded because the candidate which the court and INEC recognized and accepted as valid has also been expelled by the party. This was the dilemma we found ourselves as we approached the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.”

But SaharaReporters understands the issues run deeper than that. 

Daniel’s Chairmanship Interest

These two exclude ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’, which is his sidelining by the PDP from the moment he helped Atiku Abubakar secure the presidential ticket of the party — an action he considers not just an affront on himself but a continuation of the party’s long-running “disdain” for the South-West. The story of Daniel’s emergence as Atiku’s campaign driector is itself steeped in his interest in the national chairmanship of the party, an ambition he ultimately failed to realise.

“Gbenga Daniel contested the national chairmanship of the party in 2017,” a source at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja, who asked not to be named, told Saharareporters.

“Then, everyone agreed, according to the Wike-Ekweremadu report, that the National Chairman should go to the South-West. But Wike, with his overbearing attitude, was everywhere blasting the South-West leadership that they wanted to reap where they did not sow; and in the end, the ticket was taken away from the South-West and taken to the South-South.”

Seeing that the PDP’s power brokers, spearheaded by Nyesom Wike, the major financier of the party, were bent on making a south-southerner the National Chairman, Daniel was forced for withdraw from the race.

Other politicians from the South-West who also withdrew are Rashidi ladoja, former Oyo State Governor; Jimi Agbaje, perennial Lagos State governorship aspirant; Aderemi Olusegun, an Ekiti State politician; and Bode George, former National Vice Chairman (South-West) of the party, who was very critical of the party.

“The zoning principle, which was publicly reinforced last year in Port Harcourt, had specifically and rightly affirmed the South-West as the zone to produce the National Chairman. This binding proclamation was based on equity, fairness and natural balance that hold any organisation together,” George said while announcing his withdrawal.

“It appears the PDP is now bent on self-destruction. It has obviously allowed money moguls to dictate its thematic largeness. The party has lost its soul. It has lost its principled beginning and the predications of righteousness. It has traded the finer principles of democratic guidance and equity for the squalid, dirty and shameful resort to mercenary agenda where nothing matters save the putrid, oafish gains of the moment.

“I cannot be part of this screaming aberration. And as the Atona of Yoruba land, I do not expect any well-meaning, well-disciplined, forthright, sincere Omoluabi of Yoruba land to continue with this deceit and shameful theater.

“The Peoples Democratic Party has now mangled and distorted its soul and spirit. There is no morality here anymore. There is no sanity or any sense of enlightened civility. I, hereby, withdraw from this brazen fraud and absolutely preconceived, monetised, mercantilist convention.”

Uche Secondus — one of only two south-southerners who showed interested in the race in contrast to seven from the South-West — eventually became National Chairman in December 2017. Raymond Dokepsei from the South-South and professors Taoheed Adedoja and Tunde Adeniran from the South-West were his only three opponents, after all others withdrew.

Removal From Atiku Campaign 

Not long after that, Atiku, who was running for the PDP presidential ticket, approached Daniel and made him the Director-General of his campaign. 

“The entire PDP leadership also stood up against him, the Wikes of this world, the Fayoses of this world. And I can tell you that for the campaign, he spent most of the personal money because Atiku didn’t spend as much as he spent on past primaries. Daniel wanted to prove a ppint as well, so he spent his money,” said the source.

“Now, Atiku won the ticket in Port Harcourt, against all odds and the gameplans of Wike. Goodluck Jonathan told Atiku in confidence that, having been a victim of it, Atiku should retain the structure that won him the ticket of the party — because if he gives in to the pressure of the party, they would end up milking him; and instead of concentrating on the campaign, they would concentrate on making money from him. 

“But what did they do? After he won the primary, they shove Daniel aside and brought Bukola Saraki from the North-Central. This is one of the anti-South-West sentiment going on in the PDP.”

The Obasanjo-Kashamu, Kashamu-Adebutu Tussle

Since 2009, when Daniel was still Ogun State Governor, PDP has been in crisis, a part of which was the war between Ogun East Senator Buruji Kashamu and former President Olusegun Obasanjo. 

“Instead of the national exco to look for a way to resolve it, they turned it into a cash cow and started collecting money from both sides,” a member of the PDP in Ogun told SaharaRepporters.

“They did that till even 215 as well, when Jonathan was in government. Adamu Mu’azu was also collecting money from Buruji to give him the exco of the party. In 2019, it was Ladi they turned to, and they were collecting money from him; Ladi paid them to actually expel Buruji Kashamu from the party, so it was not really because they thought Buruji had violated the rules of the party. That’s just one of the PDP issues.”

After the recent judgements that favoured Kashamu, it has become clear that the tussle will not end anytime soon.

Part of the judgement Kashamu got from the court is that after the tenure of this present exco ends in 2020, that exco, since it has now been legitimised, has the right to conduct a congress that will produce the next exco, which means it is either they remain in power or they make sure to bring on an exco that is loyal to Kashamu.

Therefore, Daniel, who is on Adebutu’s side, sees no place for himself in Ogun politics, especially with the party also factionalised. Adebutu has become a friend of Amosun, further depleting the PDP’s rank.

On Sunday, Daniel held a meeting with his ‘political family’, who are now pressuring him to join to the All Progressives Congress (APC). That was a day after Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor-elect, met with him at his home in Maryland, Lagos.

Daniel hasn’t decided yet whether to join the APC.

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JUST IN: Tension In Bauchi As Garrison Commander Is Shot Dead

18 March 2019 - 3:42am


There is tension in Bauchi State, as residents are jittery over the killing of Colonel Mohammed Barack, the Garrison Commander, 33 Artillery Brigade of Nigerian Army in Shadawanka Barracks.

He was shot dead by yet-to-be-identified gunmen in Bauchi on Sunday.

The incident, which happened along the Bauchi-Jos road when the deceased was riding a power bike from Kaduna, was confirmed by Major Yahaya Nasir Kabara, the spokesperson of 33 Artillery Brigade.

Kabara said it is, however, unclear if the incident was a robbery or an assassination but noted that "investigations are ongoing at the Brigade".

SaharaReporters can confirm that preparations are ongoing to convey the corpse of the Colonel to Kano, his state of origin, for burial according to Islamic rights.

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I Wasn't Aware Onnoghen Was Suspended Before I Was Sworn In, Says Muhammad

18 March 2019 - 1:08am


Justice Tanko Muhammad, acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), says he was unaware of the any order issued by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) against Justice Walter Onnoghen, the suspended CJN.

He said he accepted to be sworn in as the acting CJN “in the larger interest of the country and the Constitution”.

Tanko said this in response to the query issued against him by the National Judicial Council (NJC), on accepting to be sworn in as acting CJN without the approval of the NJC.

The query was issued after a group, Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative, submitted a petition to the NJC demanding that Tanko be removed as acting CJN.

Tanko also said President Muhammadu Buhari does not need the approval of the NJC to swear him in as the acting CJN but added that Justice Walter Onnoghen remains the substantive CJN as he was only suspended.

He said: “In my respectful view, the National Judicial Council has no role to play in the appointment of an acting Chief Justice of Nigeria in the first instance, that is to say on first appointment. The council comes in where the appointment as the acting CJN is to be renewed or extended. I humbly refer to Section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution.

“It was for the larger interest of the judiciary and the constitutionality that I accepted to be sworn in as acting CJN with the conviction that if the order of January 23, 2019, is eventually set aside, the status quo would be restored."

He maintained that while Onnoghen is under suspension, “there should be no vacuum in the office of the CJN and the chairman of the NJC.”

Tanko also stated that he was unaware of Onnoghen’s suspension when he was invited to the Aso Villa to be sworn in as acting CJN.

He said: “On January 25, 2019, I was summoned to the Aso Villa at the instance of the President. Prior to the summons, I was not aware of the fact that the Code of Conduct Tribunal made any order on January 23, 2019.

“Furthermore, beyond what I read in the newspapers and watched on the television just like any other Nigerian, I was not privileged to see any of the processes filed by the parties before the tribunal. Hence, I could not really appreciate the merit or demerit of divergent positions.

“On the 25th day of January, the President swore me in as the acing CJN and not as the substantive CJN. Justice Walter Onnoghen remains the CJN until he is removed from office in accordance with the provision of the constitution. He is only suspended.”

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PDP Needs To Show Some Decorum, Says INEC

18 March 2019 - 12:48am


Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Economic Commission (INEC) has cautioned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to exercise decorum in its press statement, saying that the commission and its chairman deserve respect.

The commission gave the warning in response to the PDP press statement that accused INEC of deliberately disobeying the court order that directed the commission to allow Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, access the materials used for the just-concluded presidential election.

Abubakar had filed an application to compel INEC to grant him access to materials used for the election and the court granted his prayer.

However, Kola Ologbondiyan,  the PDP National Publicity Secretary, had said despite being served the order, INEC denied Atiku access to the materials.

Speaking on the development, Rotimi Oyekanmi, spokesman of the INEC Chairman, said the electoral agency would comply with the court directive “if and when the Commission receives the order."

He added: "it is common knowledge that since the declaration of the results of the presidential election, the commission has been busy with the multiple activities associated with the national assembly, governorship, state houses of assembly and federal capital territory elections.

“Only last Thursday, the Commission presented certificates of return to senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect; including PDP members. Nevertheless, the Commission will comply when the due process is followed.

“But, let me also say this. The PDP needs to show some decorum in the way it composes its press statements. The INEC chairman and Commission members deserve some respect.

“The PDP’s frequent use of offensive and abusive words, which secondary school students get to read, very often, is unhelpful. It is advisable for every political party to show good examples and a deep sense of responsibility in the way it composes statements for public consumption.”

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

Endless Glowing Tributes On Pius Adesanmi By Ehi Braimah

18 March 2019 - 12:41am


Why do good people die? Why are they always in a hurry to leave us? I have been searching everywhere for answers to these questions but no clues have come up yet. When good people die, they serve no notice; they just leave us heart-broken and helpless with so much grief and pain in our hearts. You get the feeling that they have been called to a higher purpose by our Father and Creator. There is a time to be born and a time to die but when death comes so suddenly and unannounced like a thief in the night, it hurts badly. Death of any kind is painful but dying in a plane crash is horrifying and devastating. Dreams die with untimely and violent deaths. 

Death was never part of Prof Pius Adesanmi’s plan when it occurred. At only 47 years old, the late Prof was a man of many parts – humourist, thinker, humanist, writer, prophet, teacher, mentor, coluumnist, critic, satirist, public policy analyst, friend, colleague, father and husband. Prof was constantly sought after as a speaker because of his scholarship and integrity. I never met Prof Pius Adesanmi who died along with others in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines tragedy on Sunday March 10, 2019 but it is evident he lived a good life with a generous spirit and kind heart. I have read enough tributes on him and it is now looking like Prof and I knew each other. Maybe our paths would have crossed. I was inspired to add my voice to the chorus because of his goodness and what he meant to so many people.

Prof’s uncommon humanity has provoked an outpouring of tributes. I have read moving tributes by Segun Adeniyi, Reuben Abati, Dele Momodu, Molara Wood, Remi Oyeyemi, Rudolf Okonkwo, Seyi Adedokun, Jamilah Nasir, Sonala Olumhense, Ogaga Ifowodo, Festus Adedayo, Tope Fasua and others. Clearly, Prof was a good man and a great mind and it is difficult to write about good people in the past tense. As a goodwill ambassador, Prof related well with his diverse audiences and the tributes on him have revealed the enigma that he was: thoughtful, kind, loving, humble, friendly, graceful, erudite and intelligent. At this time, the world is at Prof’s feet because of his achievements and strong character. Prof was a man of the people. As a frequent flyer, the world was his canvas and every stroke of the brush represented his connection with different people.

His opinion pieces are in the finest language and prose that you can find and his biggest concern was how we can build a better Nigeria – a theme that I also find interesting. Prof believed that we accept mediocrity as a way of life in Nigeria and this attitude annoyed him greatly. Why settle for good, when things can be better; in fact, Prof’s aim in his writings was that we should settle for the best at all times and become a first world country. In his view, Nigeria is so blessed that the country can become a land flowing with milk and honey. Unfortunately, this is not the case because of lack of vision, poverty of ideas and the greed of our political leaders and ‘vested interests’ who are determined to hold Nigeria to ransom for as long as they wished. As far as Prof also concerned, this was the secondary problem. The primary problem, according to his thesis, was how we think and behave as Nigerians and the kind of choices will make based on who we know, where we come from and our religion -- Prof loved to write Naija for Nigeria – as if we operate under a spell for poor outcomes all the time. 

We have enough good people which imply that good things can come out of Naija. It is difficult to understand why we are mocked regularly when we have some of the brightest minds and most enterprising people with solid records of achievements around the world. For example, see the way we drive; we are so impatient with other road users without any regard for traffic lights, that is when they are working. What of the illegal toll gates created by Olopas (uniformed men) on the road? Prof regularly complained about the culture of impunity that has become a way of life in Nigeria; we have laws that are enforced selectively. Let me re-phrase that: we have two sets of laws – one set for the rich and mighty, and the other set for the poor; the dregs of society. When politicians fight dirty, it is for their selfish interests; please ask Rotimi Amaechi and Magnus Abe what they are turning Rivers State into with their constant fights. Also ask Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha what they were thinking when they toyed with the idea of turning their respective states into their private estates. Shameless politicians.

As a man of deep faith, Prof was a seer, prophet and clairvoyant. He could see tomorrow and well into the future. Otherwise, how can we possibly explain how he accurately predicted his death? He wrote on his Facebook page before he boarded the plane that crashed by quoting Psalm 139:9-10 as follows: “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost part of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me”. I have no doubt God Almighty’s right hand is holding Prof after departing from this sinful world and his name will be written boldly in the Book of Life. The righteous are always protected so that they do not fall into sin in our earthly journey – this may probably explain why he left us so suddenly – but I see the Angels in Heaven rejoicing because Prof has joined the Saints. Even as we mourn Prof, we are reminded by the Holy Book to be thankful in every situation because even his death is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We remain thankful for a life well lived by Prof and may the family and loved ones he left behind find the strength to bear this great loss. Prof’s physical body is what has left us; his spirit is alive and with us! A key lesson untimely death teaches us is to be prepared when it happens – have a will in place and take a life insurance policy. There are online resources for preparing wills and it can be done in matter of minutes.

In different places, candle lit processions have been organised to remember Prof. One way we can keep Prof’s memory alive is to compile all the glowing tributes on him into a book and publish it. Proceeds from the launch and sales of the book can go into the ‘Professor Pius Adesanmi Memorial Fund’ set up by Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada – his last place of work as Professor of Literature and African Studies – to honour his memory. The endowment fund will support students and continue his life’s work. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in perfect peace. So long Professor Pius Adesanmi!

Braimah is a public relations and marketing strategist based in Lagos.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Ehi Braimah Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio