06072019 - REVEALED : How plan to fleeced govt bungled Ruga


Vanguard Newspaper 06 July 2019

2 —SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—3

4 — SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

Court orders interim forfeiture of Diezani’s

$40m jewellery, Gold iphone

By Soni Daniel The items are: Bangles (

419); rings (315); earrings

(304); necklace (267);

wristwatches (189);

necklace and earrings

(174); bracelet (78); brooch

(77); pendants( 74);

necklace(48); necklace,

bracelet, earring and ring

(44); necklace, earrings

and rings (32); pendants

and earrings (30) and

necklace and bracelet

Justice Nicholas Oweibo

of the Federal High Court

sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos,

yesterday, ordered the

interim forfeiture of some

pieces of jewellery and a

customized gold iphone,

all valued at $40million

belonging to Diezani

Alison-Madueke, a former

Minister of Petroleum


Justice Oweibo gave the

order, following an exparte

application filed by

the Economic and

Financial Crimes

Commission, EFCC.

Alison-Madueke is the

only defendant in the

application filed by the

EFCC pursuant to Section

17 of the Advance Fee

Fraud and other related

Offences Act No. 14, 2006.

The applicant, through

its lawyer, Rotimi

Oyedepo, stated in the

application that the items

were found and recovered

from the premises of the

respondent, Alison-


The EFCC further stated

that it reasonably

suspected that the items

were acquired with

proceeds of unlawful


In granting the order,

Justice Oweibo directed

the applicant, EFCC, to

publish the interim

forfeiture order in any

national newspaper within

14 days for the respondent

or anyone interested in the

items to show cause why

they should not be

permanently forfeited to

the Federal Government.


Others are: Earrings

and rings (15); earrings,

rings and bracelet (12);

cufflinks (11); pendants,

earrings and rings (6);

single earrings (5);

bracelets and earrings

(5); necklace and single

earrings (3); necklace

and rings(3); travel

clocks(3); brooch and

cuff-links (3); pendants

and rings (2); bracelets,

earrings and ring (1);

bangle and earring (1);

necklace, ring and

bracelet (1); bangle, ring

and brooch(1); necklace,

earring and two

bracelets( 4); bangle and

ring (1); brooch and

earring (1) necklace and

two pairs of earrings (3)

and customized Gold


Some pieces of jewellery and a customized gold iphone all valued at $40m

belonging to Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum

Resources which Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting

in Ikoyi, Lagos, yesterday, ordered forfeited to the federal government.

Kogi Guber: APC adopts indirect primaries

By Omeiza Ajayi



Working Committee

NWC of the ruling All

Progressives Congress,

APC, has adopted Indirect

Primary method ahead of

its governorship primary

election for Kogi State.

National Publicity

Secretary of the party,

Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu

in a statement, Friday,

said the approval was

given after a meeting of

the NWC yesterday

“where a formal request

from the Kogi State

executive and

stakeholders in

preference for the Indirect

Primary was considered

and deliberated on”.

Part of the statement

reads; “The National

Working Committee

(NWC) of the All

Progressives Congress

(APC) has approved

Indirect Primaries to elect

the Party’s candidate for

the forthcoming Kogi

Governorship election.

“Recall that the APC

Constitution which was

reemphasized by a

decision of National

Executive Committee

(NEC) provides for three

mode of primary election to

elect Party candidates –

Indirect, Direct Primaries

and consensus – depending

on the peculiarities of the

state and preferences of the

stakeholders in respective


“The Party’s timetable

for the sales of forms and

conduct of primaries will

be announced in due

course”, he said.

Meanwhile, the APC

has commended President

Muhammadu Buhari on

his reappointment of

Mallam Abba Kyari and

Mr. Boss Mustapha as his

Chief of Staff and

Secretary to the

Government of the

Federation respectively.

”These reappointments

formally reiterate the

determination of President

Buhari to step up on the

Next Level agenda. The

ruling party noted with

satisfaction the

reaffirmation of the

President’s confidence in

the duo”, the party said.

APC said having

worked with Mallam

Kyari and Mr. Mustapha

in the last few years, “we

at the National Working

Committee NWC of the

party strongly believe that

the President has made a

well-informed decision.

FG summons IOCs, as Maritime workers

suspend shutdown of ports operations

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

LEADERS of Maritime

Workers Union of Nigeria,

MWUN, yesterday

suspended ongoing shut

down of ports operations

nationwide to compel International

Oil Companies,

IOCs, to pay outstanding

wages to Dockworkers,

among other issues.

This came as the Federal

Government summoned

the IOCs and other stakeholders

to Abuja next

week to resolve the matter

and other pending issues.

Maritime workers had

since Wednesday withdrawn

their services and

shut ports operations nationwide

over the unpaid

wages to Dockworkers

spanning over one year

among other sundry issues.

Recall that the Union

had on June 11, issued a

14-day ultimatum to the

Federal Government to

compel the IOCs to pay

the over a year outstanding

wages to Dockworkers,

among other issues or

face nationwide industrial


Announcing the suspension

yesterday in a statement

after a marathon

meeting of leaders of the

Union, MWUN said the

suspension followed the

intervention of the Permanent

Secretaries, Federal

Ministries of Transportation,

Federal Ministry of

Labour and Employment,

among other notable


Buhari re-appoints Boss

Mustapha, Abba Kyari

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has reappointed

the former Secretary to the Government of the

Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha and the former Chief of

Staff Abba Kyari to their former positions.

The two appointments according to the Senior Special

Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam

Garba Shehu, took effect from May 29, 2019.

He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved

the re-appointment of Mr Boss Mustapha as Secretary to

the Government of the Federation (SGF), and Malam

Abba Kyari as Chief of Staff (COS) to the President.

“Both appointments take effect from May 29, 2019.”

The President has also approved the appointments of

eleven personal staff.

A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media

and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu named the names

as, Mohammed Sarki Abba – Senior Special Assistant to

the President (Household and Social Events), Ya’u Shehu

Darazo – Senior Special Assistant to the President (Special

Duties) Dr Suhayb Sanusi Rafindadi – Personal Physician

to the President, Amb. Lawal A. Kazaure – State Chief of

Protocol, Sabiu Yusuf – Special Assistant (Office of the

President), Saley Yuguda – Special Assistant (House


Others are, Ahmed Muhammed Mayo – Special Assistant

(Finance & Administration), Mohammed Hamisu Sani –

Special Assistant (Special Duties), Friday Bethel – Personal

Assistant (General Duties), Sunday Aghaeze – Personal

Assistant (State Photographer) and Bayo Omoboriowo –

Personal Assistant (Presidential Photographer) The

appointments take effect from May 29, 2019.

Oredo APC suspends EDHA

member-elect, Christopher

Okaeben over mis-conduct

THE leadership of the All Progressives Congress

(APC) in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo

State has suspended the Edo State House of

Assembly (EDHA) member-elect, Hon. Christopher

Ewere Okaeben.

The suspension which was announced on Friday

at an enlarged meeting of APC members in Oredo

Local Government Area of the state, was

recommended by a 5-man panel set up on July 1,

to investigate Okaeben’s misconduct.

According to the Chairman of APC in Oredo LGA,

Godwin Alabi, who read the report of the findings

to members of the party, “the party followed the

provisions of Article 21 of its constitution which

stipulates disciplinary actions for erring members.”

Alabi explained that the suspension of Okaeben

was as a result of his failure to honour several

invitations extended to him to ascertain his

grievances against the party.

“Following his utterances, the APC in the council

area asked him to apologise but he refused to

comply with the party’s directive, rather he

threatened the life of the chairman of the party in

the council area, Godwin Alabi.”

Alabi thanked the committee members for their

objectivity while carrying out their job.

He added that the party has complied with the

recommendation of the panel which includes the

suspension of Chris Okaeben, who was elected to

represent Oredo West Constituency in the state


IYC urges IGP to end arrest of

Ijaw youths

By Festus Ahon, ASABA

IJAW Youth Council, IYC, has called on the

Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman

Abubakar to prevail on the Edo State police

command to desist from what it described as the


arrest of Ijaw youths in thr State over their

resistance to the building of Oba of Benin Housing

Estate at Gelegelegbene, an Ijaw community in

Ovia North East Local Government Area of the


IYC, in a statement by its President, Mr. Eric

Omare, listed those already arrested and being

detained at the SARS department of the Edo State

Police Command to include Ebiwana Sam, Daniel

Ezekiel, Olu Preye Oyeh, Abiodu Peter Eda and

Olu Derimon.

Describing the arrests as “gross abuse of state

power and the use of federal police to promote an

ethnic agenda,” the statement said: “It is

unthinkable for the police to arrest citizens of

Nigeria for

committing no offence known to law and leave

their freedom and liberty to the whims and caprices

of a State Governor and traditional ruler of an

ethnic group.

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019 — 5

REVEALED: How plan to fleece govt bungled Ruga

*Contract sums heavily overpriced

*Sola panels were to cost millions of Naira, borehole N20m each

*Officials in haste to execute Ruga projects, fail to carry out consultations

Emma Ujah, Abuja

Bureau Chief, Peter

Duru & Femi Bolaji

Investigations have re

vealed how top officials of

the Federal Ministry of Agriculture

and Rural Development

mismanaged the controversial

Ruga settlement

projects across the country, a

development that led to its suspension

last Wednesday by

President Muhammadu Buhari.

Following widespread

opposition to the programme.

The President asked the National

Economic Council,

NEC, presided over by Vice

President Yemi Osinbajo, to

suspend implementation of

the project under the National

Livestock Transformation


Well informed sources at the

ministry and the presidency

told SaturdayVanguard in

Abuja, that the top officials

were so much in haste to implement

the projects due to ulterior

motives and as a result

bungled what the Presidency

saw as an otherwise excellent

programme. The mismanagement

gave rise to public

outcry that forced President

Muhammdu Buhari to suspend


According to the sources,

there were supposed to be wide

consultations and public enlightenment

campaigns on the

modalities, with emphasis on

voluntary participation on the

part of state governments. Benefits

to both herders and crop

farmers, across the country

were supposed to be well articulated

in the enlightenment

campaigns before the commencement

of its implementation.

In the heat of the Ruga controversy,

top officials of the

ministry were summoned to

the Villa to explain why they

commenced such a sensitive

programme without due consultations

with the presidency

and sub-national governments.

It was learnt that the sensitisation

and public enlightenment

programme of the entire

plan was ignored. It was meant

to take representatives of the

Federal Government, donor

agencies, local and foreign investors

who were prepared to

invest in the plan to move

round the country and secure

the people’s buy-in before the


Having come under immense

pressure the ministry invited

journalists for a press conference

on Friday, June 28,

where its officials were to explain

their actions. Journalists

waited for more than one hour

but the press conference did not

hold, as officials of the Information

unit of the ministry announced

, later, that the press

conference had been postponed.

It never held.

Presidency sources said President

Muhammadu Buhari

suspended the controversial

Ruga” programme in anger

because its implementation

was at variance with the National

Livestock Transformation

Plan (NLTP), developed by

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo(m) with Alumni of Obafemi Awolowo

University, Economics Class of 79.

the National Economic Council

and approved by the Federal


They explained that the President,

on hearing about the Ruga

programme, first expressed surprise

about the programme that

it did not conform to the terms

of the NLTP.

The president then ordered a

swift review of what Ruga was

all about and sought clarifications

on its connection with the


A source said, “The President

was annoyed that the plan, promoted

by senior officials in the

Federal Ministry of Agriculture

and other Federal Government

officials, purported to use gazetted

lands in the States for the

purposes of building Ruga settlements

without carrying along

the States thereby creating a

wrong impression that the Federal

Government was trying to

take over land belonging to

states and the people in those


He said that Vice President

Yemi Osinbajo, had also strongly

objected to the Ruga plan, arguing

that it made nonsense of

the NLTP, a very deliberate and

elaborate plan developed by

NEC, under his watch, and a

plan which the Federal Government

had okayed.

When news about Ruga broke,

it immediately raised widespread

controversy as state governors

and other interest groups

were alarmed how it was developed

and the fact that there were

no consultations with States especially

regarding land, which

according to the law are vested

in the Governors.

We gathered that there was

visible panic in the villa on

Monday when senior officials

in the President’s office were trying

to get information about

Ruga and its connection to the

NLTP, although some in the office

had tried to suggest that Ruga

and NLTP were the same.

Sources said that the President’s

discovery that the Ruga

programme was not aligned to

the NLTP infuriated him the

more. As if that was not bad

enough, officials in the presidency

also discovered that the contract

sums allocated for various

aspects of the Ruga programme,

were heavily overpriced.

For instance, purchases of solar

panels were put at tens of

million naira each, while boreholes

were also to be procured

at an average cost of N20m

each. We also gathered that

some top officials who pushed

the programme appeared to be

in a haste for pecuniary reasons.

Another top official who participated

in the Ruga project

said that the Otobi, Benue State

project which sparked the outrage,

across the country, for instance,

was not even designed

to be a Fulani Ruga.

He said that it was originally

meant to be a damn which was

expected to attract Benue indigenes

who were interested in

cattle business to establish private

ranches around the damn,

which could be replicated in other

parts of the state.

He said, “We told Governor

Samuel Ortom, that given the

stiff opposition to the open grazing

of cattle in the state, we

could establish damns in various

parts of the state and then

encourage individuals to establish

ranches around those

damns. This was meant to

attract the people of Benue

State and of course when people

see the success of it, more

people would build more

ranches around other damns.”

The plan, as learnt was

meant to be implemented basically

in the North and not

throughout the country as some

government officials have


It was also learnt that even in

the North, only states that

choose to participate would be

part of it, as no state government

would be forced to provide

land for the scheme.

The source explained that

the “Ruga” programme was

considered “closest to ranching”

and would eliminate roaming

of cattle which had been

cause of conflicts between herders

and crop farmers.

It was also designed to create

opportunities for adequate water

and grass for the cattle in an

area where there could be

shared facilities such as veterinary

clinics, milking palours,

abattoirs, meat and leather processing


As learnt, with cattle and their

herders restricted to specific areas,

the problem of cattle rustling

would be eliminated as it

would be difficult for the rustlers

to steal other herders’ cattle

and take them away from

where they are settled.

The model would equally

create opportunities to process

agricultural wastes such as rice

and maize stocks and cassava

leaves into feeds for the cattle,

while using the dung to generate

power in addition to using

it as manure for crop farming.

The official said, “Government

recognizes that the era of

cattle roaming around is over

across the world. Nigeria cannot

be an exception. Our target

is to eliminate roaming and the

attendant conflicts between

herders and crop farmers. We

want to stop rustling and kidnappings

by young Fulanis

who wander around in the guise

of herdsmen. We want to improve

the breed of cattle

through artificial insemination.

This has been done successfully

in Brazil, Argentina, Tanzania,

Pakistan. Even Ghana

started it last year. That is the

way to go.”

On Ruga settlement in the

South, the source insisted

that, “there is no intention to

go to the South with this plan.

Niger State alone is about

three times the size of the entire

South East. No mischief

intended as it is for the overall

good of all Nigerians.” As

learnt the Bobi Damns in the

state are being built to provide

water for a large expanse

of land covering an equivalent

of about 31, 000 football


In addition, the Federal

Government has a large expanse

of land at Paikon Kore,

near Gwagwalada, in the

Federal Capital Territory, that

could take between 10 to 15

years to be utilized by herders

under the programme.

With a successful Ruga programme,

culminating into

full blown ranches, the official

said, “not only that the

conflicts between herders and

farmer would end, Nigeria

will stop milk importation.

What does a cow need? Water

and grass. With damns, we

can provide our cattle adequate

water and grow

enough grass, as well as feed

to make the business more

profitable, not only for Fulani

herders but for other Nigerians

interested in livestock


Genesis of Ruga crisis

About two weeks ago, residents

of communities in

Ukum, Otukpo and Tarka

Local Government Areas of

Benue state woke up to behold

signposts in their area

with inscriptions which read:

“Federal Government of Nigeria.;

Client: Federal Ministry

of Agriculture & Rural

Development; Project: The

Establishment of Pasture

Plots Grazing Reserve, Benue

state, Otobi road; Contractor:

Clear Sky Broad Band Ventures

Limited. When pictures

of the signposts started

trending on social media the

development swiftly aroused

fierce anger across the state

as youths and other interest

groups in the state embarked

on protests condemning attempts

by the Federal to take

away their land. This was followed

by condemnations in

several quarters across the


Benue state government, in

a statement explained that:

“few weeks ago, the Director,

Federal Ministry of Agriculture

with his team in Benue

State informed officials of the

State Ministry of Agriculture

that he had received directives

from the Ministry’s headquarters

Abuja to establish Ruga

which means ‘Fulani settlement’

in parts of the State. The

Director stated that the local

government areas selected for

the settlements were Otukpo,

Tarka and Ukum but the Permanent

Secretary, Benue State

Ministry of Agriculture drew

the attention of the Director

and his team to the Open Grazing

Prohibition and Ranches

Establishment Law 2017 being

implemented in the state.

“When they were also reminded

about the Land Use

Act which confers on the Governor

the powers to administer

lands in all parts of the

State, the officials left with a

promise to relay the message

to their headquarters. They surprisingly

returned a few days

later with contractors to commence

work on the Ruga settlements.

We find the approach

of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture

not only as a gross violation

of the Ranching law

but also as an insult to the sensibilities

of the entire people of

Benue State.”

Other state governors and

prominent Nigerians either

disowned the programme or

tried to justify it. Governor Kayode

Fayemi of Ekiti state declared

no part of Ekiti land

would be ceded to outsiders

because the land was not even

enough for the indigenes. On

his part, Governor Dave

Umuahi of Ebonyi state, who

is the Chairman of South East

Governors’ Forum said “there

will be no part of the South East

that will be given out for the

purpose of the establishment

of Ruga settlement.”

Presidency defends Ruga


Following public outcry

against the programme, the

Senior Special Assistant to the

President on Media and Publicity,

Mallam Garba Shehu

defended it saying that the

Ruga settlements across the 36

states of the federation was

aimed at bringing lasting solutions

to the farmers/herders

clashes and also to create jobs.

He asserted that the Federal

Government has gazetted

lands in all the 36 states of the

federation for the Ruga settlement

but that the programme

was optional for states to participate.

He explained that already

12 states have indicated

interest in the pilot programme,

adding that it was not

only for those in cattle business

but in animal husbandry. Theses

12 states are: Adamawa;

Bauchi; Kaduna; Katsina; Kebbi;

Kogi; Nasarawa; Niger;

Plateau; Sokoto; Taraba and


According to him, “Ruga

Settlement” that seeks to settle

migrant pastoral families simply

means rural settlement in

which animal farmers, not just

cattle herders, will be settled in

an organized place with provision

of necessary and adequate

basic amenities such as

schools, hospitals, road networks,

vet clinics, markets and

manufacturing entities that

will process and add value to

meats and animal products.

“Beneficiaries will include all

persons in animal husbandry,

not only Fulani herders.

“The Federal Government is

planning this in order to curb

open grazing of animals that

continue to pose security

threats to farmers and herders.

“The overall benefit to the nation

includes a drastic reduction

in conflicts between herders

and farmers, a boost in animal

protection complete with

a value chain that will increase

the quality and hygiene of livestock

in terms of beef and milk

production, increased quality

of feeding and access to animal

care and private sector

participation in commercial

pasture production by way of

investments. Other gains are

job creation, access to credit

facilities, security for pastoral

families and curtailment of

cattle rustling.”


There was however controversy

whether Ruga settlement,

which the Federal Ministry of

Agriculture tried to implement

in Benue state which ignited

the crisis was the same as National


Transformation Plan, NLTP,

headed by Vice President,

Yemi Osinbajo which was

conceived by the National

Economic Council and approved

by the Federal Government.

The Vice President had

been publicly drawn into the

fray last Friday when the Secretary

of the Miyetti Allah

Cattle Breeders Association

of Nigeria, MACBAN, Baba

Uthman Ngelzarma

claimed on a TV interview

that the Ruga was being supervised

by the Office of the

Vice President.

Governor Simon Lalong of

Plateau State also argued

that there was no difference

between Ruga project and

ranching under the chairmanship

of the vice

Continues on page 6

6 — SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

Ruga: Stop harassment of Fulani and

their cows, NEF tells FG, Govs

*To meet Northern Govs next week

By Omeiza Ajayi

THE Northern Elders

Forum,NEF has asked

the federal and state governments

to stop what it described

as the harassment

of the Fulani and their cattle,

as well as inciting remarks

regarding the nowsuspended

Ruga project

which was designed to settle

herders across the country.

Deputy Convener, Northern

Elders Forum, Amb.

Yahaya Kwande who gave

the charge in a statement

yesterday in Abuja, said Nigeria

as a country should

rather remain sensitive to its

rising deficit in security of

lives and economic assets.

The NEF said, “Federal

and State governments

must adopt policies and

positions which address the

harassment of Fulani and

their cattle, de-escalation of

inciting rhetorics and actions

and short and longterm

solutions to the problems

which could damage

the livestock industry, worsen

community relations

and threaten national security.

“The nation should remain

sensitive to its rising

deficits in security of lives

and economic assets, and

must do everything possible

not to escalate tensions

and distrust among Nigerians.”

The Forum said it has followed

with keen interest the

raging controversy since the

Federal Government hinted

at moves to introduce “a certain

Ruga scheme,” as well

as diverse positions adduced

by groups and interests

from the South and

those from Northern Nigeria.

In particular, NEF said it

has taken note of the representations

made at a Press

Conference held by the Coalition

of Northern Groups

on the latest developments in

the failure to find solutions to

the problems related to management

of the livestock assets

of Nigerians, particularly

cattle of the Fulani.

While the Forum said it has

also taken due notice of the

intense reactions which the

statement by the Coalition

generated across the country,

it added that it has been contacted

by a broad spectrum of

interests and opinions to use

its position to calm nerves and

assist in the search for a practical

and fair resolution of the


Parleys Northern Govs

...As Ortom calls for arrest of Coalition of

Northern Groups’ leadership

By Peter Duru, Makurdi


Ortom of Benue State

has urged security agencies

to arrest the leaders of the

Coalition of Northern

Groups, CNG, which recently

issued a 30-day ultimatum

to the Federal Government

to implement the

Ruga policy across the country.

He said their inflammatory

statements was capable

of causing anarchy in the

country and should not be tolerated.

The Governor in a statement

by his Chief Press Secretary,

CPS, condemned the utterances

of the group warning that

“the act of the Coalition poses

What parents should do with Autistic Children —Ndolo

*Awareness campaign holds in Enugu today

By Dennis Agbo


United States based

Behaviour Analyst,

Mrs. Dicta Ndolo has asked

parents of children with Autism,

not to be shy about

their children but should

rather come out and seek

solution for their disabilities.

She said that Autism is just

a mere behaviour disorder,

which she stressed was not

a diseases but a disability

that can be worked upon for

the affected person to join

the society and attain his or

her fullest potential.

Ndolo, who presently is

creating Autism awareness

campaign in Enugu, told

Saturday Vanguard in an

interview that the signs to

look out for to spot a child

with Autism were communication,

social behaviours

and speech challenges.

She encouraged parents

to seek behaviour experts

to offer help to their child

with such disability, noting

From lett: Political Adviser, British Deputy High Commission, Lagos, Mr. Wale

Adebajo; Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade Jaji; British

High Commissioner, Catriona Laing; Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu;

his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and outgoing British Deputy High Commissioner,

Laure Beaufils during a courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Alausa,

Ikeja, yesterday.

that the Microsoft CEO, Mr.

Bill Gates was an Autistic

person, yet he was able to

climb to the pinnacle of his


Ndolo’s Autism awareness

seminar holds at Bush

House Arena Nza street,

Enugu, on Saturday July 6,

and a road walk on Saturday,

July 13.

Ndolo said: “Autism is a

developmental, neurological

disability that affects one

in 87 children and for every

five kids affected, four of

them are boys and one is a

girl. Autism affects children

when they are born, if they

don’t get the help they need,

they grow up into adult with

autism and being an adult

with Autism is not a terrible

thing except if the child is

very heavily affected.

“There are three major

characteristics of Autism and

there are minor ones. The

major ones are difficulty in

communication, difficulty

with social skills and difficulty

with sensory response. Difficulty

in communication

means that some of them may

not be able to speak or when

they speak, you may not be

able to understand their pronunciation.

Some of them may

not be able to understand spoken

language and they have

to use gestures and sign language.

Some talk but may

have issue with volume. Some

scream, others whisper. On

social skills; as children they

don’t play with anybody, they

stay on their own; they don’t

play appropriately with toys.

“It’s not anything to be

ashamed about. I am urging

parents to stop hiding these

children. Some of these children

have been allowed to

starve to death, some are

dumped and abandoned,

some have been pushed to the

streets as crazy people and

that’s not right. Bill Gates is a

person with Autism and it

shows that every child is a gift

from God.”

“Interestingly, NEF has

also received the decent

and statesmanlike reaction

of the Chairman of Northern

Governors Forum,

Governor Simon Bako Lalong

of Plateau State in

which he disclosed the

Forum’s move to reach

out to stakeholders in the

matter including the

Northern Groups represented

by CNG. NEF acknowledges

that the

Northern Governors’ Forum

Chairman has also

made similar overture to

its leadership and a meeting

has been fixed for next


a real threat to the country’s

unity and deserves to

be tackled urgently.

“The Coalition is not an

alternative government

and therefore has no right

to issue such a warning.

If the government introduces

a programme but

later decides to suspend

it in the larger interest of

Nigeria, groups under

which ever appellation

have no constitutional

powers to coerce it to rescind

the decision.

PDP arrogance and four takeaways

from Osun verdict

By Emmanuel Aziken

THE Peoples Democracy Party, PDP was yesterday con

soling its members after the All Progressives Congress,

APC,courtesy of the Supreme Court finalized what had been

considered to be an impossible victory in the Osun State

governorship election.

The APC which had ruled the state for eight years had

gone into the election last year with the significant disadvantage

of a very challenging record.

Workers were owed months of arrears of salary in the state

that introduced graduated payments for civil servants.

Projects were abandoned here and there, and citizens were

weighed down by a low morale.

If there was any state that the APC mantra of change

really echoed ahead of the Septemeber election, Osun State

seemed to be the resonating board.

If the PDP had its sight on any state in the Southwest,

almost everyone saw Osun or the State of Osun as Rauf

Aregbesola rebranded it as the easiest target for it.

But the party lost it. What happened?

*PDP arrogance towards Senator Iyiola Omisore.

If there was anyone that had consistently upheld the platform

of the PDP in Osun State since he joined the party in

2002, that person was Senator Iyiola Omisore with a solid

bank of votes in the Ife axis of Osun Central.

However, as the party re-organized after the emergence

of the Prince Uche Secondus leadership, control of the structure

of the party was forcefully taken over from Omisore and

transferred to the Adelekes.

Soji Adagunodo an ally of the Adelekes was made the

chairman of the state chapter forcing Omisore to opt out to

the Social Democratic Party, SDP with his preferred chairman,

Dr. Bayo Faforijin. It was a bad divorce in the view of


*Excitable Product.

The candidate of the PDP, Senator Ademola Adeleke was

severally seen as a jester. His dancing flicks were what many

saw and few voters heard him speak even before the election.

If the PDP thought that the fact that Aregbesola and the

APC were very weak and disadvantaged by the poor record

on the ground that they could just bring anyone, the party

probably took the voters for granted. And that factor accounted

for the fact that the APC by hook or crook was able to bridge

the gap to allow for a runoff.

*Rudderless Leadership

The above two factors flowed from the lack of firm leadership

in the Osun and nay, Southwest flank of the party that

had been bestirred with internal crisis for some time. With

the exit of President Olusegun Obasanjo and the aloofness

of Chief Bode George everyone became a god to himself

and the national leadership of the party did not help matters.

* Aloofness

Finally, with the runoff at hand, the PDP could have invested

more commitment from Omisore by sending some of

his highest officials to strike a deal with him considering the

way the party treated him the last time. The national chairman,

Prince Secondus perhaps out of the bad divorce did

not visit.

*APC Desperation

Whatever the PDP may have done, the determination of

the APC to hold on to the state by hook or crook was not

hidden. The military and other security agencies were heavily

mobilized and the PDP saw themselves fighting an alliance

of the APC and the security forces in the ground war

during the runoff.It is, however, no surprise that the PDP

lost the case in the Supreme Court on technical reasons and

not on consideration of the battle on ground that was itself

heavily tilted against the opposition party.

REVEALED: How plan to fleece govt bungled Ruga

Continued from page 5

president saying Ruga was

the same as ranching. He

said that some mischieve

makers however started introducing

terms to cause

confusion in the country.

According to him, “at the

committee level when we

discussed the issue, some

people said we would prefer

to do open grazing in

our state, some said we

would prefer to do ranching

in our state and some

said in our state we would

call it Ruga model. So, the

different states with their

different approaches.”

An apparently angry VP

however issued what was

seen as a disclaimer, disclosing

that his office was

not supervising Ruga and

explained that what his office

was overseeing was the


In a statement issued last

Friday, the Vice President’s

Spokesman, Laolu Akande,

noted that the Ruga initiative

was different from the National

Livestock Transformation

Plan approved by state governors,

under the auspices of the

National Economic Council


Akande further stated that

the scheme will be implemented

in seven pilot states on the

frontlines of the farmer-herder

crises which include: Adamawa,

Benue, Kaduna, Plateau,

Nasarawa, Taraba and

Zamfara. According to him,

other states such as Katsina,

Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo,

and Edo have also indicated

readiness to implement the

plan. The VP’s office also insists

that the Federal Government

will not impose on any

state government regarding

its land.

No going back on ranching——Taraba

Meanwhile, Taraba state

government has said its

ranching programme which

has been in the pipeline for

sometime will soon take off.

Senior Special Assistant to

Governor Darius Ishaku on

Media and Publicity, Bala

Dan Abu noted that the suspended

Rga project was the

right thing to do as the state

government was never a party

to the idea.

He said, “the suspended

RUGA project was the right

thing to do because we have

already maped out startegies

for our ranching programme.

The ranching programme

of Taraba government

will soon take off which

we believe will solve the crisis

between herders and

farmers. Before now we have

consulted with relevant

stakeholders and we believe

we are on the same page for

the success of the ranching


Minority leadership tussle: PDP suspends

Elumelu, Ikpeazu, Oke, others

...Refers matter to disciplinary committee

green chamber.

*We’re shocked by our suspension —Elumelu, Oke

By Dirisu Yakubu and

Levinus Nwabughiogu


controversy over the

twist in its preference of

the minority leadership of

the House of Representatives,

the Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP, Friday,

announced the suspension

of Honourables Ndudi

Elumelu, Wole Oke

and five others for a period

of one month.

The decision was taken

after the National Working

Committee, NWC, of

the party met and reviewed

the circumstances

surrounding the role

allegedly played by the

aforementioned lawmakers.

Addressing newsmen at

the party’s secretariat,

Abuja, after the meeting,

party’s spokesman, Kola

Ologbondiyan said: “The

party noted the roles

played by the under-listed

members which resulted

in the Speaker of

the House of Representatives,

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila,

reading another

list for Minority Leadership

of the House other

than the list submitted

to him by our party, the


“The members are;

Hon. Ndudi Elumelu,

Hon. Wole Oke, Hon.

Lynda Ikpeazu, Hon.

Anayo Edwin, Hon.

Gideon Gwadi, Hon. Toby

Okechukwu and Hon.

Adekoya Abdul-Majid.

“After preliminary examination

by the NWC, it

was evident that the roles

played by the above mentioned

members, bordered

on indiscipline, insubordination

and disobedience

of party directives

contrary to Section

58 (1)(b)(c)(f)(h) of the

PDP Constitution (as

amended in 2017), which

provides that:

“Subject to the provision

of this Constitution,

the Party shall have power

to discipline any member

who says or does anything

likely to bring the

party into disrepute, hatred

or contempt; disobeys or

neglects to carry out lawful

directives of the party

or any organ or officer of

the party; engages in antiparty

activities; or engages

in any conduct likely to

cause disaffection among

members of the party or is

likely to disrupt the peaceful,

lawful and efficient conduct

of the business of the


“Consequent upon this,

the above mentioned members

of our party are hereby

suspended for one

month and this matter is

hereby referred to the National

Disciplinary Committee

of our party, in keeping

with Section 57(3) of

the PDP Constitution.”

The party had in a letter

addressed to the speaker,

settled for Hon. Kingsley

Chinda as its choice of

House Minority Leader,

only for the Speaker to read

another letter announcing

Elumelu instead; a development

that brought

a mild chaos in the

Meanwhile, Hon.

Ndudi Elumelu and

another member of the

House, Wole Oke have

expressed shock over

their suspension by the

main opposition Peoples

Democratic Party,

PDP, describing it as


Reacting to his suspension,

Elumelu said

he was surprised to

hear that the party suspended

him without

waiting to hear from

him before taking a decision.

He said: “I am surprised

and shocked,

that the National Working

Committee of our

great party, the People’s

Democratic Party,

(PDP) can sit and take

a decision without giving

room for fair hearing.

“I lost an aunty and

left Abuja immediately

after plenary in the

House of Representatives

on Thursday and

travelled to Delta state.”

Air Peace commences Dubai/Sharjah flight


By Lawani Mikairu

AIR Peace airline

yesterday commenced

its flight operations

to Dubai and Sharjah.

The inaugural flight

which took off at about

8pm Nigeria time had

important dignitaries on


Speaking at the airport

ceremony before the

commencement of the

flight, the Chairman/

CEO of the airline, Allen

Onyema said the idea of

going into international

operations was to make

Nigerians have a choice

and to break the monopoly

of the foreign airlines.

According to him, “

Nigerians pay more for

Six hours flight to Europe

than than people

pay for 12 hours flight

to other parts of the

world. We have decided

to crash the fare to

Dubai and Sharjah. “

“ For our economy

class , Nigerians will

pay as low as N150,000.

While our First class

will be N850,000, lower

than the over N1million

foreign airlines charge.

“By God’s grace, we

are going to sustain the

fare. I know they will

come after us and probably

also crash their

fares. But we are ready

to go into competition

with them if the federal

government will support

us”, Onyema added.

Representatives of the

•Airpeace chairman Allen Onyema cutting the inuagural flight cake

aviation agencies were

present at the brief ceremony

witnessed by travellers

and aviation stakeholders.

There was also the

cutting of cake after the

encomium on the airline

and management

by those present.

British envoy meets Sanwo-Olu, discusses

partnership on water transportation

•Focuses on digital inclusion, ‘Smart City Initiative’

THE British High

Commissioner to

Nigeria, Ms Catriona

Laing, on Friday met

with Lagos State Governor,

Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu,

to discuss bilateral

partnership, focusing

on three key areas of

common interest – technology-driven


transportation, investment

and smart city initiative.

The Governor, in company

of his deputy, Dr.

Obafemi Hamzat, received

the British envoy

and her entourage in his

office for the bilateral

meeting, which was held

behind closed doors.

The envoy said the meeting

was necessary, as it

was in continuation of a

dialogue with Lagos State

government on areas of


Addressing reporters after

the meeting, Ms Laing

said discussion with the

Governor and his deputy

focused on strategies to be

adopted by the Lagos government

and private sector

partners to enable Lagos

realise its aspirations

to be a leading city in

technology and innovation

on the African continent.

She said: “There are

three topics in particular

that we discussed.

The first was about the

Governor’s vision and

how the United Kingdom

(UK) can support

Lagos to achieve that

vision. Technology is

changing the world.

Lagos is one of the few

city-states in Africa that

is well positioned to

take advantage of the

fourth industrial revolution

around innovation,

robotics and artificial


SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019 — 7

PDP blasts Gbajabiamila over alleged

threats against Hon. Chinda

...Demands retraction within 24 hours

By Dirisu Yakubu

THE Peoples Democrat

ic Party, PDP, has condemned what it called an alleged

threat by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila,

against Hon. Kingsley Chinda following a controversy

on the floor of the green chamber on Thursday.

The Speaker had said, “Do not test the resolve of this House.

If you do, you’ll regret it.”

Reacting to the development yesterday, National Publicity

Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbindiyan in a statement on

behalf of PDP, demanded for a retraction of the alleged threat.

The statement read: “Nigerians watched with utter shock

and dismay as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives,

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, in open chamber, jettisoned

all parliamentary procedure to make hate statement, inciting

comment and direct threats to the bona fide Leader of the

Minority in the House, Hon Kingsley Chinda, for no justifiable


“Hon. Gbajabiamila, in open chamber, exhibited personal

hostility, with threats that Hon. Chinda will ‘regret’ taking his

rightful seat as the bona fide Leader of the Minority in the House.

“This vicious outburst by Hon. Gbajabiamila is a direct threat

and affront to our democratic order, the rights of the minority

members in the House of Representatives, the people of

Obio/Akpo Federal Constituency and sensibility of millions

of members of the PDP who nominated Hon. Chinda as Minority


“The PDP, in the strongest terms, condemn this outburst and

demands that the Speaker retracts his inciting threats against

Hon. Chinda within the next 24 hours.

“The PDP also invites the Police and the Department of State

Services, DSS, to summon Hon. Gbajabiamila to explain the

intents of his threats.”

The party also warned that should anything untoward happen

to Hon.Chinda, the Speaker would be held responsible.

“Our party further invites Nigerians to hold Hon. Gbajabiamila

directly responsible should any harm suddenly comes to

Hon. Chinda, any member of his family or any member of the

PDP in the House of Representatives.

“It is indeed unfortunate and completely condemnable that

Hon. Gbajabiamila is turning the chamber of the House of

Representatives into a theater of avoidable conflicts just because

of his vested interest in the affairs of the opposition,” it


530,664 Deltans join Contributory

Health Commission—Gov Okowa

By Emma Amaize

GOVERNOR of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi

Okowa, has said that more than 530, 664

Deltans, including pregnant women, traditional

rulers, elderly persons, widows and artisans,

have enrolled in the Delta State Contributory

Health Commission, DSCHC, as at May, in over

110 primary, 65 secondary and 52 health facilities

across the state.

Okowa, represented by his deputy, Deacon

Kingsley Otuaro, said this at Akwukwu-Igbo,

headquarters of Oshimili North Local Government

Area, at the Roll-out Implementation of the

Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, BHCPIF, said

the state was the first in the country to commence

the programme with the establishment of DSCHC

in 2016.

Congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari

on the successful launch of BHCPIF in January,

he said, “I thank the Federal Ministry of Health

for the opportunity accorded the state, our donor

and development partners for their tireless efforts”.

8 — SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

Pupil found dead inside school’s bucket

By Evelyn Usman

There was confusion

yesterday at Dela

Mog school located at

Raji Oba street, Iyana

Ipaja area of Lagos,

following the discovery

of the lifeless body of

one of the pupils inside

a bucket.

The circumstance

under which the 10-

year-old pupil,

identified as Joy, died

and was found inside

the bucket could not be

ascertained as at time of

writing this report.

Late Joy, said to be the

only child, had gone to

school yesterday, hale

and hearty.

But apprehension set

in when she did not

return home after

closing hour. A search

by some of the teachers

round the school

premises, led to the

discovery of her remains

RUGA: Plateau people chide Lalong for supporting

anti-people policy


By Marie-Therese


Residents of Plateau

State have continued

to express their opinion

following the suspension

of the Ruga settlement

policy earlier proposed by

the Federal Government

with a call on citizens to

continue to be united and

speak with one voice

against any unpopular

government policies and


The people however

called for vigilance to

ensure that the policy is

not suspended in the open

but secretly implemented

to the detriment of other

groups in the State.

Among those who

commented was a former

Member representing Jos

South/Jos East federal

constituency in the

National Assembly, Hon.

Bitrus Kaze who said,

“They called us wailers but

they now know that ours

was constructive

opposition against an antipeople

policy. Finally, the

wishes of wailing majority

have prevailed. Only

yesterday, Governor

Lalong described

opponents of (now

comatose) Ruga policy as

“mischief makers”, he can

now look elsewhere for

mischief makers.

“The Governor and co

must now be nursing the

wounds of PMB’s nutmeg,

a lesson to those who for

political expediency, must

align with government

policy no matter how

unpopular. This is the

price for blind loyalty.

Ruga like its predecessor

cattle colony could be

resurrected in another

name. We will keep vigil

and be ready to return to

the trenches.”

Yet another, Makut

Macham added, “Whether

we like it or not, sentiments

will always be there. I’m

•Dela Moga Schools, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos.

inside a blue plastic

bucket used to store

water. But eye witnesses

said there was no water

inside the bucket as at

the time she was found.

The startling discovery

caused an uproar in the

environment, as

residents throng the

school to have a

glad government has

suspended this Ruga

thing. Ruga just makes

communities feel

vulnerable beyond the

level they already are and

will make the perceived

aggressors feel the urge to

be more aggressive

because it seems like in

Nigeria the aggressor is

always given a form of

gratification just as in the

Gov AbdulRazaq okays N350m for Colleges

of Educ, FADAMA in kwara

By Demola Akinyemi


o v e r n o r


AbdulRazaq of Kwara

state has intervened in

the ongoing industrial

action across Kwara

State Colleges of

Education with the

approval and

immediate payment of

N250m to pay at least

two months of their

outstanding salary.

AbdulRazaq also

assured the schools of

subsequent prompt

payment of their salary

along with gradual

offset of the arrears

inherited from the

previous administration

under which the

case of Niger Delta

militants and the Boko

Haram terrorists group at

some point.

“Cattle rearing are

personal businesses and

herders should be given

loans to set up small farms

just like the anchor

borrowers scheme for crop

farmers. Poultry farmers

are a clear example of a

business model that every

livestock farmer should


•The bucket where late

Joy’s body was found.

Ruga settlements: Gombe gov kicks against


— Earmarks 200,000 hectares for project

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru



G o v e r n o r

Muhammad Yahaya,


disappointment over the

suspension of Ruga

settlements by the Federal

Government. The Ruga

settlements project which

was a brain child of the

glimpse.Her distraught

mother wailed as she

demanded to see her

only child. But

sympathisers, told her

she was not dead.

A resident who

identified herself as

Alero, said "this is

startling. Nobody can

tell her the child died,

Ministry of Agriculture to be

set up in the 36 states of the

federation for the Fulanis

had generated controversy

especially from Southern

part of Nigeria and the

Middle Belt.

But President

Muhammadu Buhari on

Wednesday directed that the

project should be

suspended. Speaking with

State House correspondents

schools embarked on

the strike.

The Colleges of

Education had long

embarked on strike to

protest the nonpayment

of their salary



administrative issues,

leading to the shutting

down of the schools

while the last

administration in the

state expired.

The affected colleges

are Kwara State College

of Education, Oro;

Kwara State College of

Education, Ilorin;

Kwara State College of

Education (Technical)

Lafiagi; Kwara State

College of Arabic and

Islamic Legal Studies

(CAILS), Ilorin; Kwara

but blamed the school as

the management was

supposed to look after

the girl. “We suspect foul


But one of the teachers

who spoke on the

condition of anonymity,

said that the late Joy was

a special child.

Policemen from Gowon

estate division who were

contacted, evacuated

the body, while wife of

owner of the school was



feels this is a good time to

be a Nigerian as

Nigerians spoke with one

voice not only on the Ruga

issue but also others

saying, “Somehow, our

voices have been heard

and our wishes respected

in the last seven days.

The Federal Government

suspended its planned

Ruga as a result of unified

opposition of the proposal.

after a closed door meeting

with President Buhari at the

Presidential Villa, Abuja,

Governor Yahya expressed

disappointment that the

project was suspended.

He said that already his

state had earmarked

200,000 hectares of land to

be donated to the Federal

Government for the project,

adding that the pastoralists

deserve sympathy as the

conflict was also affecting


State College of



Midwifery, Ilorin and

Kwara State College of

Nursing, Oke Ode.

“The total amount the

Governor released for

salary payment is

250,774, 328.34. This

covers salary for the

months of May and

June,” Rafiu Ajakaye,

spokesman for the

Governor, said in a

statement yesterday.

“Concerned about the

status of the schools,

the Governor also

approved additional

N25m for the College of

Education Technical

Lafiagi for immediate

re-accreditation and

N24.8m for CAILS for


LPPC confers SAN rank on

38 lawyers

....SGF, Adegboruwa, Ejesieme make list

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee,

LPPC,yesterday, elevated 38 lawyers to the rank

of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.

The Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court who

doubles as Secretary of the LPPC, Mrs. Hadizatu

Mustapha, disclosed that the new SANs emerged

from a total of 117 legal practitioners that applied for

the rank.

She revealed that 80 applicants were shortlisted,

out of which 38 were selected at the 138th plenary

session the LPPC held on Thursday.

Among the new SANs are the Solicitor General of

the Federation, Mr. Dayo Apata and Lagos based

human rights activist, Mr. Ebun-olu Adegboruwa.

Others are wife of a Justice of the Supreme Court,

Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, Abdullahi Haruna,

Manga Nuruddeen, John Onuegbulam Asoluka,

Adedokun Makinde, Daniel Enwelum, Emmanuel

Oyebanji, Tuduru Ede, Abdul Ajana and Ama

Etuwewe and Oladipo Olasope.

Others are Leslie Nylander, Olusegun Fowowe,

Andrew Hutton, Olukayode Enitan, Paul Ogbole,

Olaniyi Olopade, Samuel Agweh, Olusegun Jolaawo,

Prof. Alhponsus Alubo, Ayo Asala, Abiodun Olatunji,

Olumide Aju, Chimezie Ihekweazu, Prof. Mamman

Lawan, Prof. Uchefula Chukwumaeze, Usman Sule,

Safiya Badamasi, Echezona Etiaba, Godwin Omoaka.

Emeka Ozoani, Alexander Ejesieme, Jephthah

Njikonye, Aihkunegbe Malik, Alhassan Umar and

Oyetola Atoyebi.

While four women applied, only two made the list.

The SAN rank is awarded as a mark of excellence

to members of the legal profession who have

distinguished themselves as advocates and


Mrs. Mustapha further disclosed that swearing-in

ceremony of the new SANs will take place during the

2019/2020 New Legal Year of the Supreme Court

scheduled for September.

Police warn against Ilorin cult


By Demola Akinyemi

The police in Iloring, Kwara State yesterday tried

to douse tension as suspected members of different

cult groups in the state have reportedly concluded

plans to celebrate annual festival of cultism in

the state capital today. Police warned that they would

not allow any such festival in the state.

Saturday Vanguard reliably gathered that previous

celebrations in notable areas of the state capital

were trailed by violence and criminal activities among

members of cult groups.

The violent cult activities, which are usually fomented

by students of both secondary and higher institutions

in the state, also involved artisans like vulcanizers,

bricklayers, okada riders, tricycle operators, among


However, following intelligence reports, the state

police command said that it had put in place adequate

security measures throughout the state to check the

development, describing it as unacceptable.

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019 — 9

Osun Gov Election: S-Court panel splits as Oyetola floors


By Ikechukwu Nnochiri,

Omeiza Ajayi, Shina

Abubakar, Johnbosco

Agbakwuru, Rotimi


The Supreme Court, on

yesterday, upheld the

election victory of Governor

Adegboyega Oyetola of

Osun State.

The apex court, in a split

judgment of five to two,

dismissed the appeal by

Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP, and Senator Ademola

Adeleke challenging the

Court of Appeal verdict

which affirmed the outcome

of the September 27,

supplementary election that

led to Oyetola’s victory.

In the lead judgment

delivered by Justice Bode

Rhode-Vivour, the Supreme

Court, held that the

appellate court was right to

nullify the judgment of the

Osun State Election Petition

Tribunal that declared

Adeleke winner.

It agreed with Oyetola’s

lawyer, Chief Wole

Olanipekun, SAN, that the

majority judgment of the

tribunal amounted to a

nullity since it was delivered

by Justice Peter Obiora who

did not participate in the

entire hearing process.

The apex court noted that

Justice Obiora was absent at

the tribunal on February 6,

when two witnesses, Ayoola

Soji and Oladejo Kazeem,

testified for the respondents,

saying he therefore failed to

observe the demeanor of the

witnesses to warrant the final

conclusion he reached in

favour of Adeleke.

It held that it was unlawful

for the judge to have

authored a judgment in

which he reviewed oral

evidence of the two


“The writing of and or the

participation of the

Honourable Justice P. C.

Obiora in the writing of the

judgment of the lower

tribunal of March 22, 2019

and delivery of same, vitiates

the entire judgment,” Justice

Rhodes-Vivour held.

The Acting Chief Justice

of Nigeria, Justice Tanko

Muhammad and three other

Justices: Kudirat Kekere-

Ekun, Amiru Sanusi and

Uwani Aba-Aji, concurred

with the lead verdict.

However, two other

members of the panel,

Justices Kumai Akaahs and

Paul Galinje, disagreed and

maintained that Adeleke

won the election and ought

to have been declared

winner by the Independent

National Electoral

Commission, INEC.

In his dissenting

judgment, Justice Akaahs

accused INEC of

partisanship, saying it failed

to act as an unbiased


Justice Akaahs said he

observed that INEC, through

an officer without legal

powers to act, ordered the

supplementary election to

ensure that Oyetola

canceled over 300 votes that

•Buhari congratulates gov, APC hails judgment

•Adeleke accepts defeat •We're shocked —PDP

Adeleke led with after the

initial election that held on

September 22.

“INEC which is the 1 st

Respondent is supposed to

be an umpire and not an

interested party. In this

particular case, INEC used

its manual to cancel an

election by an official that has

no authority to do so.

“Even after the

cancellation, the Appellant

still had the majority number

of votes cast and the required

spread. To have pronounced

the first election as

inconclusive showed that

INEC had something up its

sleeve and it was able to

achieve that by the re-run

whereby the 3 rd

Respondent (Oyetola) got a

majority of 400 votes as

against the appellant.

“Whereas on the

September 22, after the

illegal cancellation, the 1 st

Appellant had a majority of

300 plus votes,” Justice

Akaahs noted.

He held that the electoral

body ought to have

announced result of the

initial election and allowed

aggrieved parties to proceed

to the tribunal instead of

declaring the Osun

gubernatorial contest


Similarly, Justice Galinje

observed that his colleagues

based their decision to

uphold Oyetola’s victory on

conjecture and well

articulated speculation,

saying there was no concrete

proof that Justice Obiora did

not participate in all the

proceedings of the tribunal.

He further noted that they

relied on certified true copy

of the tribunal’s

proceedings, instead of the

original record.

Judgment is victory for

Osun people—Gov


Reacting immediately

after the Supreme Court

judgment, Governor

Adegboyega Oyetola

described the judgment as

victory for Osun people

saying it is time to move


“ This is a victory for Osun

and I am extending a hand

of fellowship to the

opposition in a bid to move

the state forward.

“ We are all virtuous and

we are all honourable

individuals, hence, the

peace in the state. My

administration would focus

on security and welfare of the

people, especially women.

“ I thank the people of the

state for standing with us and

voting for our party

massively during the

election last year.”

My ambition not a do-ordieaffair—Senator


Senator Ademola Adeleke

in a statement submitted to

the Supreme Court

judgment saying he wished

Governor Gboyega Oyetola


While congratulating

Oyetola, he affirmed that his

ambition to be governor of

Osun was never a do-or-die


In a statement issued by

his spokesman, Olawale

Rasheed, Senator Adeleke

said the Supreme Court

remains the highest in the

land and as a law abiding

citizen, he would abide and

respect the ruling of the apex

legal unit no matter his


He also expressed

appreciation to his teeming

supporters, leaders and

members of the PDP for their

massive support throughout

the duration of the case.

Adeleke also lauded what

he described as the high

spirit and commitment of the

party’s stakeholders to the

cause of democracy as

championed by all of them.

“In all cases, we must

thank God Almighty. We

gallantly fought a good fight

in pursuance of a

democratic cause. The ideals

we fought for lives on.

Our ambition was never a

do or die affair. We aspire to

serve and deliver democratic

dividends to the people of

Osun state.

“Our ambition was

altruistic. We wish Governor

Oyetola the best in

governance of the state.

Judgment is victory for


The All Progressives

Congress,APC, hailed the

judgment of the Supreme

Court saying it is victory for


Spokesman of the party,

Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu in

a statement said the

judgment will now allow the

governor to focus on the task

of building the state.

The statement reads; “The

All Progressives Congress,

APC, welcomes the ruling

of the Supreme Court

affirming the election of

Gboyega Oyetola as the

Governor of Osun State.

“Our great party also

congratulates Governor

Oyetola and indeed, the

party’s Osun state chapter

for successfully defending

our legitimate mandate. This

ruling now cements the

majority status of progressive

governors in the country.

“Undoubtedly a closelycontested

election, we

commend the apex court’s

decision which is in tandem

with the choice of the Osun

state electorate who voted for

continuity and our party’s

change agenda.

“ This is victory for

democracy. The judgment

will now allow the Governor

Oyetola-led APC

administration in Osun state

focus on the core business

of governance and

implementing the many

pro-people developmental

plans for the state.

We’re shocked-PDP

The Peoples Democratic


Supporters of Osun State Governor Oyetola jubilating as Supreme Court

affirmed his victory at Supreme Court Abuja. Photo:Gbemiga Olamikan.

expressed shock at the

ruling of the

Supreme Court on the


The party in a statement

issued by its spokesman,

Kola Ologbondiyan said

“the fact that the Supreme

Court had a split judgment

also speaks volumes on its

verdict in this matter.”

This is even as the party

added that its study of the

judgment “however shows

that the Supreme Court did

not negate the position of the

PDP and millions of

Nigerians that our

candidate, Senator Ademola

Adeleke won the election,

but based its verdict on

reservations over issues of

technicalities arising at the

election petition tribunal.”

Be magnanimous is

victory-Buhari tells Oyetola

In his reaction, President

Muhammadu Buhari

congratulated Governor

Gboyega Oyetola asking

him to be magnanimous in

victory. President Buhari in

a statement by his Special

Adviser on Media and

Publicity, Chief Femi

Adesina said, “The decision

of the apex court lays to rest

the tussle over the

governorship of Osun State

and removes all

encumbrances on the path

of the governor from fully

delivering dividends of

democracy to the good

people of the State.”

He commended the

government and people of

Osun in allowing the rule

of law to run its entire course,

urging them as well as

security agencies to sustain

the peace.

He also called on the

victorious governor and the

ruling All Progressives

Congress party to be

magnanimous in victory

and make concrete moves

towards inclusive

governance as may be


President Buhari

expressed the Federal

Government’s continued

willingness to partner with

the State Government for the

betterment of the people

going forward.

Judiciary is on course—

Asiwaju Tinubu

On his part, All

Progressives Congress

National leader, Asiwaju Bola

Tinubu, commended the

judgment saying the verdict

is a further testimony that the

judiciary is firmly on course

and works in synch with the

people aspiration.

He said in spite of the

“intimidation, unnecessary

accusations and rumourmongering,

the apex court

lived to its billing by

dispensing justice without

fear or favour.”

Asiwaju Tinubu

congratulated Governor

Oyetola, urging him to be

magnanimous in victory,

extend his hands of

fellowship to the Peoples

Democratic Party and

continue to unite the people.

According to him, with the

electoral case now laid to rest,

governance can now begin

in full swing and the people

of Osun can begin to reap the

fruits of the government they

voted to put in place.

Atiku to Adeleke: We are

with you always

Former Vice President and

Presidential candidate of the

Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP, in the 2019 election,

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has

however assured Senator

Adeleke of cooperation and

togetherness in the wake of

his loss to Governor Gboyega


He urge the ex-lawmaker

to be proud of his outing at

the polling, regardless of the

decision of the apex court.

In a statement issued on

yesterday, Atiku thanked

the people of Osun state for

the show of support for the

lawmaker, noting that the

party has a huge prospect

in the state, going forward.

The statement read: “I join

the people of goodwill all

over Nigeria to say to

Senator Ademola Adeleke,

and the people of the great

state of Osun, that we stand

with them in good times

and in difficult days.

“The Supreme Court has

ruled and because of its

judicial finality, the legal case

is over. However, the love,

acceptance and

endorsement that the

people of Osun bestowed on

both Senator Adeleke and

the Peoples Democratic

Party is not over and cannot

be overlooked.”

Atiku warned those who

may be tempted to write off

the state to have a rethink,

adding the lawmaker would

henceforth be on the path

of political ascendancy.

Ede deserted

Our correspondent who

visited Ede, the home town

of the PDP candidate,

Senator Ademola Adeleke

observed that the

community wore gloomy

atmosphere as major streets

were deserted while shop

owners stayed back at


Schools in the town had

sent students back to their

respective homes due to

anxiety over what may

likely happened in the


Similarly, Ile-Ife was also

quiet as civil servants did

not turn up at work early

10—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

By Emma Amaize,

Regional Editor, Niger Delta

EXPECTED at the meeting hosted by

the Senate President, Senator Ahmed

Lawan on Tuesday night in Abuja, the

Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki,

was conspicuously absent. The Inspector

General of Police, Director General of

Department of State Services, DSS and other

select top government officials, however,

attended the meeting where they appraised

the embarrassing situation and security

implications of the raging crisis in the state

House of Assembly.

Despite the denial to the contrary, it is plain

as the nose on your face that the forces of

Governor Obaseki and the National Chair of

All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade

Adams Oshiomhole, who crowned him as his

successor, were at war.

In the nonappearance of Obaseki, Senate

President went ahead with the meeting, which

started at about 11.00 pm and ended at about

2.00 am. Saturday Vanguard learned that as a

way of out of the crisis, they resolved to ask

Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation letter

where the 24 members of the state House of

Assembly must be present for inauguration.

The National Working Committee of the

party had after deliberation on the Edo

conundrum, also arrived at the governor

issuing a new proclamation letter.

Obaseki strikingly missing

However, Governor Obaseki, who absented

himself from the Tuesday meeting already had

an idea of the decision the meeting was likely

to take and flew back from Abuja to Edo state

to execute a counter plan.

We learned that while politicians loyal to

Oshiomhole thought that they had boxed

Obaseki into a corner with the Senate

President instructing him to issue a fresh

proclamation within five days, Obaseki and

his political forces had dug out an

unanticipated action plan.

At the beginning, multiple sources

confirmed to our reporters that there was an

unwritten agreement for Obaseki, as a

technocrat, to face governance of the state,

while his erstwhile boss, Oshiomhole remains

the political leader.

Obaseki’s alleged spin on the understood

accord is actually part of the cause of the current

imbroglio, but those who underestimated his

capacity to fight were grossly mistaken.

One, he had vowed even before the Abuja

meeting hosted by the Senate President that

he would not issue a proclamation letter twice.

Multipurpose court order

Therefore, while Oshiomhole’s forces in the

state were waiting, Wednesday, to know

whether the Senate President had conveyed

the directive to Obaseki, the governor’s kitchen

cabinet, already privy of the game plan, were

awaiting the ruling from the Federal High

Court sitting in Benin City to stay on top of

the game.

They secured a court order restraining the

party’s National Working Committee, NWC,

which first faulted his proclamation, Inspector

General of Police, Commissioner of Police in

the state, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, all

defendants, their servants and agents from

interfering, disrupting or obstructing the

constitutional duties of the Edo House of


Many viewed the inauguration of the

Assembly on June 17 with nine of the 24-

members and election of Hon Frank Okiye,

the governor’s candidate as Speaker, as a

direct disrespect of Oshiomhole, the assumed

political leader by Obaseki.

The Federal High Court court presided over

by Justice M. G. Umar ruled, “That an

interim order of injunction is hereby granted

restraining the defendants by themselves,

their servants, agents, officers or

privies from interfering with,

obstructing or harassing in any

manner whatsoever the

plaintiffs in the performance of

their constitutional duties as the

Legislative Arm of the Edo State

Government pending the

hearing and determination of the

Motion on Notice for

interlocutory injunction.”

The court also ordered, “That

an interim order of injunction is

further granted restraining the

1st defendant, his servants,

agents, officers or privies from

further publishing in any

newspaper or other media any

inciting publication concerning

the inauguration of the 7th

Assembly of the Edo State House

Assembly and the election of the

Speaker and Deputy Speaker,

which took place on 17/6/2019 in

the Edo State House of


Justice Umar further declared: “That interim

order of injunction is also granted restraining

the defendants by themselves, their servants,

Obaseki and the

Speaker, Rt. Hon

Okiye are also not

leaving anything to

chance in attracting

more lawmakers to

its fold to beef up

its number from

the nine that sat on

the inauguration


Intrigues as Obaseki,

Oshiomhole continue

battle in Edo

•Lawmakers now 12 on both sides

•Obaseki springs surprise as Senate President, security chiefs weigh in

•Oba of Benin, other monarchs beg Buhari to stop the feud

agents, officers or privies from further

committing any act aimed at disparaging the

integrity of the legislative arm of the Edo State

Government and/or destabilizing the peace,

order and good governance of Edo State in

general, pending the hearing and

determination of the Motion on Notice for

interlocutory injunction.”

The orders of the court followed

prayers in an ex-parte motion of

the plaintiffs/applicants, Alhaji

Yahaya Omogbai, the Clerk Edo

State House of Assembly and the

Edo State Government, filed on

June 28, 2019. The court

adjourned the matter to October

9 2019.

It was obvious that Obaseki

knowing that the party’s NWC

planned to direct him to issue a

fresh proclamation letter, went to

the court to outfox the forces

arrayed against him. The

temporal order would not have

been handier, as he could easily

use it to ignore that directive,

which the Senate President was

to convey to him.

12 against 12

Those loyal to him opined that

with the Wednesday orders from

the Federal High Court, the legal

coast is clear for the inaugurated Edo State

House of Assembly to continue its law-making


Obaseki and the Speaker, Rt. Hon Okiye are

also not leaving anything to chance in

attracting more lawmakers to its fold to beef

up its number from the nine that sat on the

inauguration day.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, on

Wednesday, July 3 swore-in another memberelect,

Emmanuel Agbaje, as honourable

member, bringing the number of the

inaugurated members of the 7th State

Assembly to 12.

Hon. Emmanuel Agbaje represents Akoko-

Edo Constituency II. At the sitting on

Wednesday, the Speaker said the assembly

reconvened to inaugurate the member-elect

who has completed the required


He also announced the compulsory

retirement of the Deputy Clerk of the

Assembly, Mr. Samuel Efeizokhae.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday after his

inauguration, Hon. Agbaje said, “Sincerely I

would say that there comes a time when one

would put his personal interest aside and

consider the interest of the people. I was

elected to serve my people, so their interest

comes first.”

He added, “I may have some reservations

about my earlier decision, having reviewed

my position and the position of my people; I

have decided to toe the line of the masses. That

is why I came forward to be inaugurated for

my people need to be represented. I was

elected to serve them. I did not come on my

own. Whichever way you view the situation, I

must have to toe the path of my people.”

“I think they will also appreciate that I

listened to them. I want to assure them that I

will uphold the confidence they have reposed

in me, I will not let them down. I will provide

that representation which I have received the

mandate to do,” he said.

Hon. Agbaje appealed to the other 12

members-elect yet to be inaugurated to

complete necessary documentation to be

inaugurated as members of the assembly,

noting, “My message to my colleagues is this;

I urge them to sheath their sword. I granted

an interview and said this is a family matter.

For intra-party issues there must always be


“But there should be compromise.

Therefore, I urge them to sheath their sword.

Let them come back home and join forces with

the present government and rebuild Edo State.

We as House of Assembly Members have our

own issues. I think we should join hands and

support the present government’s

developmental strides,” he added.

Other members of the Assembly at the

sitting presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon.

Okiye include: Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yekini

Idiaye representing Akoko-Edo I; Nosayaba

Okunbor, representing Orhionmwon East;

Roland Asoro representing Orhionmwon

South; Hon. Eric Okaka representing Owan

East; Marcus Onobun representing Esan

West. Others are Ephraim Aluebhosele

representing Igueben and Henry Okhuarobo

representing Ikpoba-Okha.

Continues on page 12

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—11

How hoodlums held

delegates hostage, stopped

INC election in Bayelsa

•We were winning when they aborted poll –

Bozimo, ex-Police Affairs Minister

•Bayelsa govt officials behind invasion,

disruption of election – Prof Benjamin Okaba

By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, Niger

Delta and Emem Idio (Yenagoa)

WHAT played out at Ijaw House,

Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the venue

of voting for the aborted Ijaw

National Congress, INC, election, where thugs

stormed the complex, last Saturday, snatched

and escaped with ballot boxes while counting

was going on still appear like a movie to many,

seven days after the unpleasant incident.

It is complicated to rationalize how

hooligans could invade the fenced Ijaw House

guarded by a combined team of Mobile

Police, Department of State Services, DSS

operatives, Nigeria Security, and Civil

Defence Corps, NSCDC and successfully run

away with ballot boxes without noticeable


Saturday Vanguard can confirm that the

thugs, who carried out the act, were not armed.

They did not manhandle anyone and did not

steal phones or money, a clear indication that

their agenda was simply to cart away the

uncounted ballot boxes and interrupt the


Yet, there were early signs that the exercise

would not be crisis-free, as some youths had

earlier on laid siege to the Gabriel Okara

Cultural Centre, venue for the accreditation,

where accreditation had commenced by 8.00


The intruders barricaded the gate of the

venue, preventing the electoral officials,

delegates, candidates, their agents and

journalists from leaving the accreditation

venue to Ijaw House, location of the elections,

about one kilometer away from the

accreditation venue.

Electoral officials, delegates, candidates,

and others were later conveyed to Ijaw House

for the election at about 1.30pm where voting

began around 3.00 pm and ended by 5.45pm.

Expectations were high, as

Ijaw- speaking groups from

Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta,

Edo, and Ondo States

converged on Bayelsa State,

considered as The Jerusalem

of Ijaw land, to elect new

national executives to pilot

the affairs of the apex Ijaw

socio-political organization,

Ijaw National Congress, INC.

The 450 delegates selected

across various Ijaw clans also

included those from Abuja,

Lagos and Diaspora Chapters

of the INC while the electoral

committee screened 31

candidates for various

positions at the elective


According to the

programme of events, the

accreditation venue was the

Gabriel Okara Cultural

Centre, while the voting

venue was the iconic Ijaw

House Complex.

The electoral officers had already collated

and announced the results for the positions

of Publicity Secretary, Treasurer, Legal

Adviser, Organizing Secretary, Welfare

Secretary and Women Secretary and the

sorting of ballots for the Financial Secretary

was ongoing when attackers invaded the


They flung the gates open and what

followed at 8.15 pm was an invasion.

Surprisingly, the massive security deployed

to the venue watched helplessly.

The invaders first switched off the power

generating set thereby disrupting power

supply before they carted away some yet to

be collated ballot boxes under the cover of


Although no life was lost, however, scores

Yet, there were

early signs that the

exercise would not

be crisis-free, as

some youths had

earlier on laid siege

to the Gabriel

Okara Cultural

Centre, venue for

the accreditation

of people sustained injuries, as they

scampered to exit the venue.

We know the winners

and those who

snatched ballot

boxes- Chief

Monday Keme

Meanwhile, Chair,

All Delegates Forum

in the suspended

election, Chief

Monday Keme has

said the group

already knew the

winners, as


had ended peacefully before

hoodlums snatched the ballot


According to him, “After a

meeting in Warri by all the

delegates who participated at

the last Saturday Ijaw National

Congress (INC) election, which

was marred due to snatching

of ballot materials after

peaceful/ successful voting

and counting, we have resolved

to declare the names of the

winners, which the ELECO

chair was to announce at Ijaw


“As the Chairman of the All

Delegates Forum, I was the

first person to cast my vote in

Ijaw House in Yenagoa. The process was

peacefully completed and counting of votes

commenced with announcement of names of

candidates returned unopposed. We have

known the winners before the

disruption of the process by

hoodlums. We identified some of

them as members of the Bayelsa

State Volunteers. How did they gain

access into the venue where Bayelsa

State Commissioner of Police

mounted a tight security? Suddenly,

the generating set supplying

electricity was put off by the

miscreants and ballot boxes were

snatched. Funny enough, the

ELECO also finished counting of

votes before the disruption by the

thugs. The process was peaceful and

successful. The outcome of the

counting did not go the direction of

some highly placed persons and

caused the disruption of the electoral


“That is why we have resolved that

whether ballot boxes were snatched

or not, we have known names of

various winners and their positions.

Therefore, we are giving this notice

that if the ELECO fails to announce the names

of the real winners, we, the delegates will do

so soon” he said.

He described the ELECO chair as

inexperienced, which led to such shoddy

situations, querying, “How could hoodlums,

who were carrying no arms snatch ballot

boxes before the watchful eyes of armed

security personnel? There was complacency

on the part of the police. The ELECO left

security in the hands of Bayelsa state

government, which is an interested party

without alternative security arrangement. The

same members of the Bayelsa state vigilantes

snatched ballot boxes after they shut down

the electricity at the venue in the presence of

Bayelsa state Commissioner of Police. The

inexperience on the part of the ELECO chair

also compounded issues,” he said


We were still collating when

they stormed the venue – Rear

Admira Yanga (retd.) ELECO

Chair of the Electoral Committee, ELECO,

Rear Admiral Woyengidinikpete Yanga, retd,

while reacting to the commotion, said, “The

ballots for the positions of the President, Vice

Presidents 1 and 2, with one vice president

already declared unopposed, the National

Secretary and National Assistant Secretary,

had not been counted before the hoodlums

took away the ballot boxes. We were still

collating the ballots for the Financial Secretary

when they came. There is no decision that we

can take now except that we have stopped

the process and any other thing will come

later,” he said.

I was coasting to victory

when thugs disrupted

election – Bozimo, aspirant

Former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei

Broderick Bozimo, a leading contender for

INC president, said, “We condemn outright

the kind of hooliganism that was

demonstrated in Ijaw nation today, we can do

all that in the political parties. I have become

non political since I turned 80, I am not in any

political party, which was why I had the

courage to run for INC president apart from

being a foundation member.”

“I was so sad and it was regrettable to find

out that our youths stormed the place when it

was clear that I was leading and heading to

victory. Detractors organized youths to come

in there to disrupt the counting in order to

obstruct my inauguration as INC president

2019. I want to debunk the falsehood being

spread around Ijaw nation and everywhere

that the opposition was leading. Let me

emphasize that clearly from all indices, we

were heading to victory and they were truly

shocked to find out that an octogenarian like

me was going to dwarf them, which was what


happened. I however believe that the truth

will prevail; it does not matter how long. There

is no way that I can be involved in such

rubbish, I am not a politician, this is first time

that I will stand for an election, I have never

contested an election in my life.

“I was persuaded, cajoled to come and save

Ijaw nation at this critical time when there is

madness all over the country and they want

to overrun Ijaw nation. But the younger people

do not understand, they think it is a trading

post where you maneuver and do all kinds of

rubbish,” Bozimo asserted.

On his next line of action, the elder

statesman said, “we will look at all the options

and decide the way forward. All of us will

work together in tandem with the Conference

of Ijaw Traditional Rulers and Elders, CITRE,

the Electoral Committee and the Steering

Committee. For now we are waiting patiently

for the ongoing criminal investigations of

those those who were responsible for the

dastardly act.”

Bayelsa govt officials sent

thugs to stop election – Prof

Okaba, aspirant

Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social

Sciences at the Federal University in Otuoke,

Professor Benjamin Okaba, another contender

for INC President said the 2019 National

Convention of INC aborted by thugs in

Yenagoa clearly shows that the agitation for

state policing is a bad idea.

Prof Okaba said the manner hoodlums held

delegates hostage at the Dr. Gabriel Okara

Cultural Center in the presence of security

agents for three hours proved how desperate

state governors could be when they are bent

on having total control of both public and

private institutions.

“What happened yesterday (last Saturday)

during the election was a clear demonstration

of the negativity of state policing. The bad

idea behind the agitation for state policing

clearly manifested in that election. The

problem with this country is not about the

constitution, but those who implement the

laws. Obviously, the election was aborted by

agents of government and no right thinking

person would agree that Bayelsa is safe for a

free and fair election. A situation where in the

presence of elders like King Alfred Diete-Spiff,

Amb Godknows Igali and highly placed

police officers, thugs held delegates hostage

at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Center for three

hours to ensure that election went into the

night so they could do what they did, is

unacceptable. Based on this, if they choose

Bayelsa state as the venue for a re-election

into the offices that were hijacked, I will not

take part in such an election,” he said.

12—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

Plans and counter-plans, as Oshiomhole,

Obaseki continue battle in Edo

Continues from page 10

With 12 members on both sides as at

Wednesday, there is fear that with the way

the Obaseki camp swayed seven members to

join the five that were on his side, as at June

17 afternoon when 19 members-elect

addressed a press conference, urging him

issue a proclamation letter, more would join

his camp before the October 9 adjournment


With the surprising court order, Obaseki let

loose a stratagem that bowled over the forces

against him, who have gone back to the

strategy room.

From our findings, the

National Assembly was to

take over the administrative

functions of the Edo House of

Assembly if within five days;

Obaseki did not issue a fresh

proclamation letter, while the

Police were to seal off the

Assembly until he complies

with the directive.

However, it is a different ball

game, as all parties by the

court order are to wait until

October 9, except a superior

Court vacates the order.

Before Hon Agbaje

switched loyalty, a member

elect had confided in Saturday

Vanguard early on

Wednesday that the

governor’s camp just lured

two members of the group

opposed to them, bringing the

number to 11.

A leading member of the

group, Hon Washington Osifo,

said he was unaware of such

development shortly after, but

what happened on July 3

showed that it is not just 11,

but 12 on the other side, meaning they are

equally matched now. More surprises are

likely to unfold in the next few days.

Edo royal fathers seek Buhari’s intervention

On Wednesday, members of the Edo

State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs

By Louis Amoke

There is no doubt that the recent

inauguration of seven sectoral adhoc

committees by Governor Ifeanyi

Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, to review

programmes, policies and activities of his

administration in the last four years and

make recommendations that would assist

the government to reposition the state’s

public service for optimized service

delivery and advancement of good

governance, is a right step in the right


The innovative approach which is

among the series of post-election

executive actions so far taken by Gov.

Ugwuanyi, to advance the cause of

development in the state, is also geared

towards the full actualization of his

administration’s policy thrust and

campaign promises for more positive

impact on the peoples’ living standard.

The administrative review therefore

underscores the governor’s ultimate

desire to further strengthen and grease the

wheel of governance for the wellbeing of the


After his re-election, the governor has

continued to entrench peace and good

governance, address the needs of residents

and close the gaps between the hinterlands

and urban areas in line with the 2019 budget

deliverables for better urban, inter-local

government and rural infrastructure in the


His administration’s first tenure, no doubt,

witnessed unprecedented achievements in all

sectors of public service, especially in the

areas of massive infrastructural development,

peace and security, workers’ welfare, sound

education, qualitative and affordable

healthcare delivery, investment drive and

socio-economic expansion, among others,

despite the lean resources at its disposal.

For instance, Ugwuanyi’s administration has

remained regular in the payment of workers’

salaries and retirees’ pensions. Over 400

kilometers of roads have been constructed and

reconstructed across the length and breadth

of the state. The administration has recruited

over 4000 primary and secondary school

However, it is a

different ball

game, as all

parties by the

court order are to

wait until October

9, except a

superior Court

vacates the order

led by the Oba of Benin Omo N’Oba N’

Edo, Ewuare II, visited President

Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, pleading with

him to quickly intervene in the feud between

Comrade Oshiomhole and Governor,

Godwin Obaseki.

In a written address at the meeting which

was held under closed door, the Oba said, “Mr.

President, we as traditional rulers in Edo State,

are concerned about the crisis between

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the All

Progressives Congress National Chairman

and his Excellency, Governor Godwin

Obaseki of Edo State, and

Edo State House of


Saturday Vanguard recall,

however, that President

Buhari had since waded into

the matter, directing Obaseki

to go and reconcile with

Oshiomhole, which he had

done with Alhaji Aliko

Dangote and some

governors, but the crisis is


The Benin monarch told

Buhari: “If this crisis is not

resolved now with

immediate effect it may

jeopardize the progress of the

state. On behalf of the good

people of Edo State, we

kindly appeal to Mr.

President to use your good

offices to intervene and stop

this crisis.”

“Personally even though

I do not like to interfere in

inter-party or intra party

matters and always

maintains that the Benin

Crown is non-partisan, it is,

however, difficult to turn a

blind eye because if this

crisis is not brought under control, it is likely

to jeopardize the welfare of the masses.

“This is where I in my capacity as Chairman

of Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and

Chiefs supported by members of the Council,

The imperative of Ugwuanyi’s

public service reform

teachers, with additional 1,500 for

primary education ongoing.

589 primary and secondary

school blocks across the

state have so far been

constructed and

renovated, while

additional 263 are


Learning tools

are being



to improve

the standard

of education.

Similar transformation is taking place in the

state-owned higher institutions such as in the

areas of infrastructural development and

accreditation/reaccreditation of courses. The

story is the same in the areas of health, human

empowerment, among others.

Recently, Enugu State was rated by the

World Bank Group as the second most

advanced state in Nigeria towards the frontier

of global good practices with regards to Ease

of Doing Business. Through the impressive

increase in the state’s Internally Generated

Revenue (IGR), as a result of far reaching

reforms introduced in the sector by the

governor, Enugu State has remained on top

as one of the few states in the country that can

survive without allocations from the

federation account, among other outstanding


The ongoing reform in public service will

fundamentally mirror the programmes and

policies of the government as contained in its

four-point agenda, take stock and engage in

critical analysis of inherent issues and

developments to be able to invent new ideas

on how to improve efficient service delivery

and accelerate good governance in the state.

In a nutshell, the initiative is all about the

people, their wellbeing and the avowed

promise to reward them with good

governance as the true heroes of democracy.

It is also about the progress of Enugu State

and the need to sustain its enviable status as

the historical capital of the Eastern Nigeria.

The public service reform therefore is a major

milestone that has demonstrated the

will endeavor to broker peace between the

warring parties.

“I have been talking to both parties on my

own and I am about to invite them to the palace

for reconciliation. When a date is set for this

meeting, I will invite members of the council

to join me in this effort. We believe by the

grace of God, if we succeed in achieving this,

the benefit should trickle down to resolving

the impasse in the Edo State House of

Assembly, “he said.

Genesis of

the crisis

Many are wondering why the disagreement

between Oshiomhole and Obaseki

degenerated to this level knowing that

Oshiomhole personally picked Obaseki and

stuck to him in spite of advice to leave

him by some leaders across the state.

Signs that all was not well between

them started very early in Obaseki’s

tenure when he took on some political

leaders and removed them from their


His decision to sack alleged political

thugs, who the party used to win election

and stop them from collecting revenue on

behalf of government, which was like a

governor’s dexterity, innovativeness and

political will to undertake another voyage

towards the rapid development of Enugu


Consequently, the reform has

reawakened the consciousness of the

public to the rising challenges facing the

public service and the need for periodic

policy review to enable

government at all levels to

strengthen their service

delivery strategy for

optimal result.

It is pertinent to

note that the newly

inaugurated seven

sectoral ad-hoc


namely; education,

health, public

service, justice,

water, security and



matters, have an assemblage of highprofile

professionals in their various fields

of expertise.

For instance, a glance at the

committees’ membership shows that the

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics),

University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN),

Prof. James Ogbonna; the Coordinator,

Health Policy Research Group, UNN,

Prof. Obinna Onwujekwe; former Head

of Service and Secretary to the Enugu State

Government, Prof. Onyema Ocheoha;

former state Attorney General, Chief Mrs.

Justina Offia, SAN; Seasoned Water

Engineer and former/pioneer MD of

Anambra (now Enugu) State Water

Corporation, Engr. Laz Mba; Retired

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr.

Ogbonnaya Onovo and former state

Commissioner for Local Government

Affairs, Prof. Frank Asogwa, chair the

above listed seven committees,


Inaugurating the all-important

committees, Gov. Ugwuanyi expressed

confidence that the membership will

deploy their wealth of experience, expertise

and commitment to add value to the

governance of the state.

The governor disclosed that the

committees will “review the structure and

operations of Enugu State Public Service

over the last four years; analyze the

strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and

threats within the various sectors of

governance; develop roadmap, templates,

policies and systems that will support the

•Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

Hon. Emmanuel Agbaje

(right), representing

Akoko-Edo Constituency

II, taking oath of office as

member of the Edo State

House of Assembly, on

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

compensation to them, was not well

received by the beneficiaries of the policy.

However, any right-thinking member of

the society would commend rather than

condemn him for the action. Comrade

Oshiomhole, however, asked him to

provide alternative means for the boys,

but Obaseki did not see the reason,

mouthing that the boys had raked in a lot

of naira from the project and should make

do with it.

In terms of performance, hardly would

Oshiomhole or any other person in the

state conclude that Obaseki has not lived

up to expectation, the problem, however,

is that he has alienated many party

leaders and structure that brought him to


He seemed of the opinion that many of

the party leaders collected money to work

for his election and so, they collected

money for services rendered him. But a

political leader in the state said, “Leave

him, he reasons that way because he is

not a politician, which money, how much

did he spend, let us see how he is going

to win again if he does mend his ways.”

However, Obaseki is banking on his

achievements to retain power. And he is ready

to fight the battles ahead.

government to consistently and optimally

discharge its various sectoral mandates”.

Other terms of reference, according to him,

include making recommendations that would

help his administration to “reposition

government to improve transparency and

coordination in its business process and

strengthen responsiveness of the Ministries,

Departments and Agencies (MDAs); ensure

that the administration delivers on its electoral

promises and social contract, key of which are

employment generation, enhanced social

services and good governance, rural

development, security and justice; consider

any other matter(s) which may be incidental

or ancillary to the above stated tasks and

make feasible recommendations thereon to

the state government with a view to

improving collaborative productivity and

optimal delivery of desired services by the


Interestingly, to further underscore the

importance of the policy reform towards the

full actualization of his administration’s sound

vision for Enugu State, in keeping with its

social contract with the people, Gov.

Ugwuanyi opted to work closely with the

committees and operate mostly from their

secretariat and less from the Government

House till the conclusion of the exercise,

which has a one month duration.

For the Public Service Committee

Chairman, Prof. Onyema Ocheoha, who

responded on behalf of other members of the

committees, it was a great honour for finding

them worthy to serve the state.

The erudite scholar and professor of

Public Administration, applauded Gov.

Ugwuanyi’s passion and dexterity in

conducting the affairs of the state in the

first term of his administration as well as

the innovative approach he has adopted

to advance good governance in the state.

He promised the governor that the

committees will study the terms of

reference and adopt a holistic approach

to policy analysis and decision making

in the discharge of their duties for

optimal result, saying: “You have taken

the right people to handle this important


As the outcome of the exercise is being

awaited, a clear message has been sent

cross - that the next four years of Gov.

Ugwuanyi’s administration will witness

a great deal of positive impact on the lives

of the people of Enugu State, who have

continued to show his government

tremendous support and goodwill. Enugu

State is truly in the hands of God!

•Amoke writes from Enugu State

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—13


in Nigeria:

Full text of Christian Elders’

letter to British Parliament

By Sam Eyoboka

THE National Christian Elders

Forum, NCEF, which submitted a

written evidence to the UK

Parliament over the state of

insecurity in Nigeria, yesterday

debunked the rebuttal submitted by the

Buhari Administration arguing that it was not

based on facts and should be ignored.

A rejoinder, “Re: NIGERIAN



CHRISTIANS” and signed by NCEF

chairman, Elder Solomon Asemota, SAN, on

behalf of eminent Nigerian Christian elders

including Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro (rtd) (Vice-

Chairman), Prof. Joseph Otubu Dr. (Mrs) Kate

Okpareke, Dr. Ayo Abifarin, Gen. Zamani

Lekwot (rtd), Elder Moses Ihonde, Elder Nat

Okoro, Gen. T. Y. Danjuma (rtd), Elder

Matthew Owojaiye, Hon. Justice Kalajine

Anigbogu (rtd), Elder Shyngle Wigwe, DIG P.

L. Dabup, Sir John W. Bagu, Dr. Saleh

Hussaini, Elder Michael Orobator, Hon.

Justice James Ogebe (rtd), Dr. Chukwuemeka

Ezeife, Dame Priscilla Kuye, Dr. S. D. Gani,

Mrs. Osaretin Demuren, Prof. Yussuf Turaki,

Lady Mariam Yunusa, Prof. (Mrs) Deborah

Enilo Ajakaiye, HRM Oba Dokun

Thompson, Dr. Taiwo Idemudia (Diaspora) and

Pastor Bosun Emmanuel (Secretary) made

available several facts and advised the British

Parliament to discountenance the government


“In response to the request of the All Party

Parliamentary Groups of the UK Parliament

for “written submissions” for an Inquiry “into

the on-going violence between farmers and

herders in Nigeria”, the National Christian

Elders Forum (NCEF) made

a submission on June 3,

2019. In response to this

submission of the NCEF

which was reported in the

media on June 27, 2019 that

the Government of President

Buhari, through the Nigerian

High Commissioner to the

UK, wrote to the British

Parliament denying

persecution of Christians in


Excerpts from the rejoinder:

“While we concede that the

Government of Nigeria is at

liberty to contact the British

Parliament, we are concerned

that any information relayed

to the UK Parliament should

be based on facts and not

deliberate dissimulation. It is

on the basis of this concern

that we issue a follow-up to

our submission of June 3,


As if he is unaware that

we are in a digital

world, which explains

why America and

Britain have issued

travel directives to their

citizens not to travel to

more than 2/3 of

Nigeria, the VP without

much thought for his

integrity stated that


While trying to deny culpability in the

wanton murder of Christians in Nigeria, the

Buhari Administration could not hide its

hostility and sectional discrimination against

other ethnic nationalities that are not from his

northern part of the country. In October 2017,

the President of the World Bank, Mr. Jim Yong

Kim revealed that President Buhari informed

the World Bank to concentrate projects in the

North of Nigeria.


It is permissible in Islam for a Muslim to

lie, especially to non-Muslims, to safeguard

the Muslim or to protect Islam. This is called

“Taqiyya”. This culture seems to have

extended to Christians in an Islamic

dominated Federal Government of Nigeria.

It is rather unfortunate that due to political

patronage, for culture change, Christians in

the Buhari Administration are also practicing

dissimulation. The Vice President of Nigeria,

a Pastor, regularly dissimulates on the issue

concerning the persecution of Christians as

well as the genocide going on in Nigeria. The

Vice President of Nigeria was in the United

States where he made statements that many

people considered inaccurate and gross denial

of reality.

According to news report, “A former Acting

Asst. U.S. Secretary of Defence, Mr. Frank

Gaffney accused Nigeria’s Vice President of

“shamelessly” lying about the killings of

Christians in Nigeria. … ‘Mr. Pence’s visitor

is a man who should be on their side. After

all, he’s one of the very few Christians in a

Nigerian government otherwise dominated

by Islamist Fulani tribesmen. Unfortunately,

he is instead part of the problem’”. The report

continued: “He lies shamelessly – including

this weekend in New York – about the anti-

Christian persecution his government is at

least tolerating and, at worst, enabling.”

The VP’s own tribe has sharply repudiated

him for doing so.

“The socio-cultural group of the tribe of the

Vice President called ‘Afenifere’ said, “All the

reports provided clear indications of failure

of the state as the security forces are largely

incapable or unwilling to safeguard the lives

of our people against these criminals as we

are not aware of any of them that has been

arrested or is under trial at the moment just

as all the Federal Government has done so

far is to make excuses for the Boko Haram

and Miyetti Allah groups (Fulani Herdsmen)

that have been accused of so many crimes

against the people of Nigeria.”

“It is against this backdrop

that the meeting was

scandalised by the opportunistic

and provocative utterances of

the Vice President in New York

on Sunday dismissing the

danger we are faced in

Yorubaland as well as by other

zones in Nigeria as being

“politically motivated.”

“As if he is unaware that we

are in a digital world, which

explains why America and

Britain have issued travel

directives to their citizens not to

travel to more than 2/3 of

Nigeria, the VP without much

thought for his integrity stated

that: “With respect to general

kidnapping which we have

seen in parts of the country,

again, this is not entirely new.

In fact, some of the kidnapping

stories you read or listen to are

simply not true anywhere, some

are fuelled by politics.”

Describing the alleged Vice

President’s comments as unfortunate,

Afenifere alleged that the Vice President had

shamed the Yoruba people with “his very

cheap politicking with the lives of




On September 6, 2017, the National

Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) asked the

leaders of Islam in Nigeria for answers to the

following questions. To date, no leader of Islam

has ventured an answer. The Buhari

Administration, being overtly Islamic in

deeds, may do well to consider the questions

rather than dissimulate at the UK Parliament.


The questions are as follows: 1. Abubakar

Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, in one of

his video releases, said in 2012, “…This war

in not political. It is religious. It is between

Muslims and unbelievers (arna). It will stop

when Islamic religion is the determinant in

governance in Nigeria or, in the alternative,

when all fighters are annihilated and no one

is left to continue the fight. I warn all Muslims

at this juncture that any Muslim who assists

an unbeliever in this war should consider

himself an unbeliever and should consider

himself dead.”

If this statement is not a declaration of Jihad,

could Muslim leaders explain what this

means?ii. In 1989, Islam in Africa

Organization (IAO) held a Conference in

Abuja and amongst many other decisions,

released a Communiqué tagged Abuja

Declarations 1989 in which it affirmed that its

purpose was “To eradicate in all its forms and

ramifications all non-Muslim religions in

member nations. Such religions shall include

Christianity, Ahmadiyya and other tribal

religions. (In the original Declaration, the

word Christianity was underlined.) Since

Nigeria is considered a member nation, could

what is going on be an implementation of this

decision? Or could we be corrected that the

Conference never held in Abuja in November

1989 or such Communique was never

released? We are also unaware of any rebuttal

of the same statement by Islamic leaders.

iii. In a 154-page Research Report

conducted by Arne Mulder in 2015, the

researcher affirmed that over 13,000 Christian

places of worship (Churches) have been

destroyed in Northern Nigeria as at December

2014. Under what condition do Muslim

insurgents destroy Churches if not Jihad?

iv. On February 4, 2017, the United States

Congress affirmed that the most dangerous

nation on earth for anyone to be a Christian is

Nigeria. The implication is that Nigerian

Christians have become endangered species

in a country in which they constitute over 50%

of the population.

v. According to the Global Index on Terror,

the first and fourth most terrible Islamic

Terrorist organizations in the world operate

in Nigeria. Boko Haram is first while the

Fulani Herdsmen is fourth. If these terror

organizations are not fighting Jihad, what

then are they doing in Nigeria?

vi. Under the present administration, every

key and sensitive position in National Security

is held by Muslims from the North, in outright

violation of Section 14 (3) of the 1999

Constitution. Also early in the life of this

administration, we recall that more than 95

per cent of senior army officers retired from

the Military were Christians. In NNPC, only

recently, more than 95 per cent of the new

appointments into senior management

positions are Northern Muslims. Taking these

developments in conjunction with the

lopsided appointments in National Security,

is one not confronted with the inevitable

conclusion that there is a deliberate attempt

to emasculate Christians, Southerners and

other non-Muslim population of Nigeria

verifiably by intimidation and force which are

stealth Jihad?

vii. Despite unconstitutionally

appropriating all security positions to the

Muslim North, the Fulani Herdsmen operate

with impunity in mostly Christian areas,

killing, maiming, raping and destroying

without any arrest, without any prosecution.

If this is not complicity of the Muslim

dominated Security Services, are we then to

conclude that the Nigerian security units are

so incompetent that they cannot successfully

engage insurgents after the Nigerian Army

successfully prosecuted a Civil War?

viii. We recall that in 2011 in Harvard, USA,

his eminence the Sultan of Sokoto who is also

the President of the Supreme Council of

Islamic Affairs, was reported to have said

during a public function, “I do not recognize

any Nigerian Constitution and the only

Constitution I recognize is the Koran” By

virtue of Section 38 (1), the Constitution

Continues on page 14

14—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

Full text of Christian

Elders’ letter to

British Parliament

Continued from page 13

guarantees freedom of Religious conviction

while Sharia through its law of “Ridda”

forbids it with capital punishment. It is

clear there is a huge conflict between the

Democratic values of the Constitution of

Nigeria and Sharia in the 1999

Constitution. The Late Justice

Mohammed Bello said, at a lecture in

Kaduna, “Section 38 (1) of the

Constitution ensures for every person the

right to freedom of thought, conscience,

and religion, including freedom to change

his religion or belief, whereas under

Sharia, “ridda” is inconsistent with

Section 38 (1) and by virtue of Section 1

is unconstitutional”

Therefore, when the President of the

Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs said

in a foreign land (which is in itself a

treasonable statement) that he does not

believe in the Nigerian Constitution

(which guarantees freedom of religious

conviction), but he believes only in the Koran

(which forbids freedom of worship through

Sharia’s “ridda”), could not the statement of

the Sultan be interpreted as an endorsement

of Jihad?

ix. Added to the above are the big

questions begging for answers. Who is

funding and equipping the Islamic

insurgents? And more importantly, who is

shielding them from prosecution?

x. We would not wish to belabour these

issues but rather appeal to the distinguished

leaders of Islam, who have stepped forward

to be identified, to join us in putting Nigeria

first.Nigeria is a Secular State according to

Section 10 of the Constitution, but a multicultural,

multi-ethnic and multi-religious

society. The diversity in the country should

be harnessed for progress and prosperity and

not resisted thus leading to disintegration of

the country. It is wishful thinking for anyone

to imagine the possibility of imposing one

religion or one culture on 389 Ethnic


In June 2018, the Amnesty International

also accused the Nigerian Government of

encouraging the killings going on. The report

stated: “Rights group, Amnesty International,

says the failure of Nigerian government to

hold murderers to account is encouraging

them and fueling rising insecurity across the

country. The group made the observation on

Thursday through a statement signed by its

media officer, Isa Sanusi. It said

independently verified estimated figures

showed at least 1813 people have been

murdered in 17 states in the country this year,

double the 894 people killed in 2017”.

“According to the group, the death tolls

reflect killings as a result of farmers-herders

conflict, communal clashes, Boko Haram

attacks and banditry. “We are gravely

concerned about the rising spate of killings

across the country, especially the communal

clashes between farmers and herders and

attacks by bandits across at least 17 states,”

the statement quoted Osai Ojigho, Director

Amnesty International Nigeria. “The

authorities have a responsibility to protect

lives and properties, but they are clearly not

doing enough going by what is happening,”

Mr Ojigho said.

Open Doors International Organization

said: “Open Doors raised the issue of

escalating violence in Nigeria’s Middle Belt

where, because of the violence and the

doubling of fatalities, villagers have started

to abandon their homes and flee for safety. In

the Plateau State, 1,885 Christians were killed

by the Fulani herdsmen. The atrocities of the

Fulani herdsmen were declared ‘genocide’ by

the Nigerian House of Representatives in

2018. However, despite this designation, the

Nigerian government has not taken any

decisive steps to address the situation and the

attacks continue to this day”.



The Federal Government’s letter was also

said to have indicated that “the issues of

grazing routes is historically central to these

conflicts ...”

*Hon. Justice Adewale Thompson’s 1969

Judgement on Open Cattle Grazing – Suit no


Hon. Justice Adewale Thompson held on

April 14 1969 “that he the Judge did not

accept the contention of Defendants that a

custom exists which imposes an obligation

on the owner of farm to fence his farm whilst

the owner of cattle allows his cattle to wander

like pests and cause damage. Such a custom

if it exists, is unreasonable and I hold that it


is repugnant to natural justice, equity and

good conscience and therefore

unenforceable…in that it is highly

unreasonable to impose the burden of fencing

a farm on the farmer without the

corresponding obligation on the cattle owner

to fence in his cattle.” Sequence to that I ban

open grazing for it is inimical to peace and

tranquillity and the cattle owners must fence

or ranch their animals for peace to reign in

these communities.”

The NCEF can confirm that the demand for

grazing land predates Amalgamation, and

the introduction of Certificate of Occupancy

was a contraption by the British to identify

and protect the Land of indigenes who were

driven from their lands by Fulani Jihadists

before Amalgamation. When the above is

considered along with the concept of “Sacred”

Space in Sharia, that land already conquered

by Muslims as well as any space ever granted

in the past are “Waqf” and considered sacred

ground endowed by Allah to Ummah-Muslim

people forever, for which Muslims can wage

a Jihad.

This explains why Fulani in West Africa now

claim ownership to land in Nigeria as they

form part of the Ummah. Other Fulanis in

West Africa are on Jihad in Nigeria, which

explains why an adviser to Buhari advised

Nigerians to give up their lands to the Fulani

for grazing rather than be killed. The inference

is that we have two choices, keep the land

and be killed or vacate the land and live. This

is Jihad.

Nigeria therefore remains a target of the

Islamists with respect to ownership of land

by the forces of Jihad with intent of returning

land to the Dar al-Islam. We Elders know the

Islamists would not succeed. However, NCEF

want a change of policy by the Buhari

Administration to stop this Jihad to save lives

and properties and above all the unity of an

indivisible Federal Republic of Nigeria.



In our petition of June 3, 2019 which we

titled “Competing Ideologies of Democracy

and Sharia”, we listed the nuance

understanding of the drivers of the conflicts

in Nigeria, which included: The man on the

spot for Amalgamation – Lord Lugard; Verses

of the Quran; Role of religion; Evidence of

organized co-ordination; State support;

Disproportionate number of victims; Finance

and weapons; Evidence of collusion;

Actions to be taken to prevent further

conflicts; Fake news and concluded that and

The conflict is primarily ideological –

Democracy Vs Sharia.

The Nigerian High Commissioner to the

UK in his reply on behalf of the Federal

Government of Nigeria was not forthcoming

and was downright evasive. The NCEF

cannot understand why the High

Commissioner who is of age bracket with

NCEF members with an average age of 70

years most of whom are known to him, if not

all the members of the National Christian

Elders Forum. They are made up of champions

in the Military, Police, the Judiciary, Business

industry, Bureaucracy, and others who were

in the colonial service before independence.

To suggest that NCEF represent Elders of only

the North and not the whole of Nigeria even

though our petition was written on NCEF

letterhead is “Taqiyya” - deceit. We stated the

Church Groups which each member belongs,

including one of our members who served

with the High Commissioner as Supreme

Court Justice throughout the period the High

Commissioner was a Justice of that court.

The undersigned Solomon Asemota, SAN

who also signed the earlier petition to the

APPG on IFoRB appeared before the High

Commissioner when he was Justice of the

Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. His

Excellency knows that Solomon Asemota,

SAN is not a Northerner and the Asemotas

are Edos from the South South region of


NCEF does not know where the High

Commissioner got his Northern Christian

Elders Forum (NOSCEF) in answer to such

an important issue confronting Nigeria -

conflict of ideology that has consumed

thousands of lives and displaced millions of


The NCEF can only attribute the conduct of

His Excellency to culture influence. The High

Commissioner and most other members of the

NCEF were part of manpower development

established by the British for Nigeria’s

independence that formed the nucleus of the

three arms of government – Legislative,

Executive (including the Armed Forces, Police

and Civil Service) and Judiciary at

independence in 1960.

President Buhari was not in this category

in that he joined the Army in 1962 after

independence. The High Commissioner

was a student at Independence in 1960.

As a group, NCEF was able to appreciate

fully where Nigeria got it wrong. The High

Commissioner in his letter tried to

downplay the status, importance and

influence of the members of the group by

reducing them to representing a section of

the country by changing the word National

to Northern. By this act, we are clear in our

minds that the High Commissioner did not

appreciate he too is part of the group of

Nigerians, who the Islamists, who regard

western education as a sacrilege (Boko-

Haram), refer to as “useful idiots”.

We do not expect that culture influence

would change a learned friend and brother

from common law culture to Sharia law

culture that made His Excellency to reduce

an ideological problem to a lesser one of riot

between Muslims and Christians. His

Excellency the “High

Commissioner” was reported to

have said “the Northern

Christian Elders Forum had

made allegations against the

administration of President

Muhammadu Buhari whom this

group said was practising


President Buhari’s

administration is far more than

bigotry that in a country with

equal number of Christians and

Muslims in population that

constitute over 80% of Nigeria’s

total population, that Muslims

should occupy the following key

and strategic offices including

Ministers of Interior, Finance,

Defence, Justice, National

Security Adviser, Chief of Army,

and Air-Force Staff, Inspector

General of Police, Director

General, Nigeria Security and

Civil Defence Corps, Director

General, Department of State

Security, Chairman

Independent National Electoral

Commission, Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria,

President Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the

Federal High Court, Chief Judge High Court

of Federal Capital Territory.

If this is not bigotry, then it must be “Stealth

Jihad” by President Buhari, the same stealth

jihad which seemed to have caught up with

His Excellency, the High Commissioner of

Nigeria to the UK who we knew was once an

erudite scholar and judge. He seemed to have

succumbed to the influence of the culture of

Sharia now being imposed on Nigeria.

How NCEF wished that the High

Commissioner had used his intellect, training

and knowledge to bear, on the conflicting

ideologies of Democracy and Sharia in

Nigeria and how it is affecting the country,

men and women and what may happen to

future generation of Nigerians. Educated

Christians must change the perception of

“useful idiots” to “useful neighbours”. We

must all – Christians, Muslims and Animists

ensure that our education reflects in our day

to day life. In the case of a lawyer, we must be

learned at all times.


It is very clear that the above facts constitute

Jihad on a section of the Nigerian populis –

non-Islamists that which include Christians,

non Islamist Muslims and Animists. There

are two types of Jihad: A Conventional

Jihad which meant the constant state of war

since 1914 that must exist between the Darel-Islam

and Dar-el-Harb since the 8thand

9th century. “Fight in the name of Allah and

in the “path of Allah”, “combat those who

disbelieve in Allah”. Conventional Jihad fits

Boko-haram and Fulani Herdsmen based on

available evidence contained in this


A Stealth Jihad which is the same as violent

jihad. The object of stealth jihad is the same

as conventional jihad - subjugation of Dar-el-

Harb which will result in non-Muslim world

being subsumed under Dar-el-Islam. Some

of the actions enumerated earlier suggest

stealth including actions of the present

administration such as refusal to sign the

Electoral Act authorising the use of Card

Readers for election purposes, especially in

the known fact that Sharia law is incompatible

with democracy because one tenets of Islam

provides that “any system of man-made law

is considered illicit under Islamic law for

whose adherents Allah already has provided

the only law permitted which is Sharia”.


Islam and Democracy cannot co-exist in

harmony. (Kamil Principles of Islamic

Jurisprudence, The Islamic Text Society 2003).

This explains why democracy has been very

difficult to operate in Nigeria. RUGA is

another Stealth Jihad by the Buhari

Administration among many other attempts

to subjugate non-Islamists in Nigeria.

To determine the scope of this Jihad, there

is need to appreciate that Nigeria has only

two races (Negros and Negroids) - The

Negros who are over 300 ethnic nationalities

outside the three Negroid tribes of Hausa,

Fulani and Kanuri. The three religions of

Christianity, Islam and Animism shaped the

predominant cultures in Nigeria.

As at today, it would appear that the Animist

culture has lost out to Christianity and Islamic

cultures. As Islam is losing out to Christian

western cultures, attempts are being made to

stem this trend by strict application of Sharia

law in 12 states of the Federation contrary to

the provision of the Nigerian Constitution on

Human Rights. It is very clear that Sharia law

is incompatible with the Human Rights

provisions and this has also been established

by the European Union.

In Nigeria, this fact of incompatibility

notwithstanding, the present administration

has decided to turn Nigeria to a country where

Sharia and the Quran are alternative sources

of legislation and to make matters worse, this

administration has decided to use Jihad, both

conventional and stealth to turn Nigeria from

a Democratic country under the rule of law to

a Sharia caliphate country.


In matters of such magnitude, it makes

sense to invite a third party, in this case, the

United Kingdom to mediate, not in the form

of an Arbitrator but as a

friend of Nigeria. The type

of mediation envisaged is a

meeting place outside

Nigeria where the issue for

discussion would be

“whether sovereign nation

state is in compatible

sovereignty of Allah and

primacy of Ummah.” It is

Nigeria therefore

remains a target

of the Islamists

with respect to

ownership of

land by the

forces of Jihad

with intent of

returning land to

very clear that economic

development is responsible

for shift from

authoritarianism to

democratic practical system.

It will be unfortunate for

Nigeria to shift from

democratic practical system

to authoritarian caliphate

system. In other words, the

United Kingdom should

help us to bring back, if you

like, help solidify democracy

in Nigeria.

It is clear from our history

that the British helped to

plant democracy in Nigeria

the way they did in

conjunction with the United State of America

to plant democracy in Spain and Portugal,

many Latin American countries, the

Philippines, South Korea, etc. It is pertinent

to say that all the points raised above were

appreciated by the British and the founding

fathers of Nigeria as can be deduced from preindependence

conference papers.

Our founding fathers however were

convinced that with time, democracy would

supersede any other system. Little did they

know that oil wealth from Saudi Arabia and

Nigeria would promote the politics of Sharia.

We agree completely with what Sir Ahmadu

Bello said in the House of Representatives in

1953 “Sir whatever Nigerians may say, the

British people have done them a great

service by bringing all the different

communities of Nigeria together”. If Britain

does not intervene, they should prepare for

an influx of Nigerian refugees into Europe

and Great Britain in particular.

The NCEF is convinced that the Islamists

like those that strive to establish a modern

caliphate in Iraq and Syria will fail but all

that the Christian Elders are trying to do is to

stop the ongoing Jihad in Nigeria so that it

will not leave a quake of destruction as it did

in Iraq and Syria after the Islamists

murderous adventure in the name of culture.

Democracy is the answer not Sharia. The

Jihad has extended to ensuring that Sharia

trained Lawyers i.e. Lawyers with LL.B Sharia

are appointed into sensitive positions in the

Legal Profession. The former Attorney

General majored in Sharia. The Head of the

Nigerian Law School, was one time Professor

of Islamic Studies. The present Acting CJN

was one time Judge of the Sharia Court of

Appeal whose ambition then was to be Grand

Khadi of Nigeria. This is a country where

Lawyers that majored in Sharia constitute less

than 5%, and the other over 95% are Common

Law Lawyers. The over 95% of Common Law

Lawyers must speak out and not feel

intimidated by the less than 5% Islamists in

their midst.

Finally, no one should put asunder what

God through the instrumentality of the British

had joined together since 1914 and Nigerians

re-affirmed this vow with blood in the Civil

War of 1967 – 1970 to keep Nigeria one.

God save Her Majesty the Queen, and God

bless Nigeria,” the letter concluded.

Handover of weapons in

Ogun was done in the open

– CP Makama By Emma Nnadozie,

Crime Editor

Commissioner of Police, Ogun state,

Bashir Makama was, recently, on the

firing line for performing his official

duties. In fact, the astute officer who had

served creditably in different volatile parts of

the country as Police Commissioner had a

bitter taste of Nigeria’s ‘dirty politics’

following claims and counter-claims over the

amount of ammunition submitted to police

authorities in the state by the former Governor,

Adekunle Amosu.

Luckily, he stood his grounds and was able

to untie the cryptic nuts weaved by political

elements to discredit him. He spoke about

the ugly incident and other issues relating to

fighting crime in the state’.


Tell us how you have been policing Ogun

state so far?

We have been trying to be pro-active and to

carry the community along, trying to identify

security challenges and doing the needful,

committing ourselves to advocacy, where

dialogue is required to solve issues by way of

alternative dispute resolution and to ensure

safety in the whole community at large.

What are the major challenges in policing

the state?

I wouldn’t call them challenges but I will

call them security issues. Here we found out

that the young men are on their way taking

drugs, and doing the wrong things, getting

involved in cultism, getting involved in

criminal act, sometimes cases of kidnap,

robbery, mostly the bottom line is cultism and

administration of illicit drugs. If we can curb

drugs, then we can curb cult activities and

most of the criminal actions must have been


How are you able to check criminal acts in

the state?

Youths are involved indrugs. Before the

election, there was political thuggery. After

the election, we are now looking at

stabilization of the polity. Here in Ogun

state, honestly, the challenges we have are

mostly cult related activities because it is there

•Says cultism, drugs ravaging youths

you will find killings, people being hanged

and maltreated. The fact that there is

freedom of movement, freedom of

association, these young men you

will never know when they will go

and meet and the next thing you

will hear is a fight has broken

out, somebody has been

macheted. So, we will go out,

identify these areas , identify the

culprits and make sure that the

innocent ones do not suffer and once

they are identified like that, especially

with the introduction of Operation Puff


How are you synergizing with other

security agencies in fighting crime

in the state?

We have


meetings. As I

talk to you now, I

have a meeting

with the director

of state


where we are

going to

address the



and issues

this afternoon.

The military will also

have joint activities which we do to build

safety. As I talk to you, there is an operation

we are planning because of lawlessness of

some drivers and commuters. You will see

vehicles with no registration numbers, no link,

no identification marks for auto cycles,

tricycle and for all, so we are working towards

ensuring that the state internal revenue

service makes available licenses for both

vehicles , motorcycles, and tricycles so that

when the operation commences, there will be

enough to go round and to serve the


On the issue of arms proliferation, what are

your experiences and how far have you gone

in the state?

The first aspect of this operation Puff Arder

is to mop up what we call, left over arms” from

those that were recovered during

and after the election. Like in this

state, the governor that has been

newly inaugurated has also

issued directives on how to mop

up by giving amnesty to those that

have weapons to turn them in and

after the amnesty period you know

that it is no longer business as

usual. We are facing cultism.

Sometimes we arrest and recover

weapons from them. We recover

their arms, mostly locally -made

weapons. We get information,

intelligence, we go in and conduct

searches. That’s how we recover

and mop up these weapons. We

are still on it and in the next few

days, we will be 100 days in this

office and we shall display

our score cards so that we can

take feedback of our activities

because we cannot judge


Let’s talk about the

issue of weapons

surrendered by the former

governor of the state. Can

we have the details?

I don’t really want to go

into matters that affect

the state but for clarity

and for the sake of public

consumption, I will say

categorically that the state

has the responsibility to

assist security

agencies in

t h e


o f

logistics to do their work . But they have

procedure. Procedures are followed if you

want to acquire them and it is not a recovery.

When the Governor was preparing his

handing over, he said that he had some items

to hand over to the police and they included;

Apc’s Armoured Personal Carrier,

Ballistic jackets for bullet proof, and

Ballistic helmet which were purchased for

the state command. These weapons, Ak47

were given in 2012 to the command to boost

our crime fighting activity and when he was

going, he said part of these things we bought

at that time, some certain things are

remaining so, come and take them over for

use. That is just what we did and as soon as

that happened, headquarter was informed. We

cannot collect items of such magnitude and

keep them to ourselves and I don’t know

Why I killed my husband —mother of four

41-year-old mother of four, Douglas

Ajemine, who was arrested recently by

operatives of the Inspector General of Police

Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, in

Abalama area of Rivers State, has revealed

why she killed her 40-year-old husband,

Inedugoba Tyger and buried his corpse in a

shallow grave within the area.

The suspect, who is a staff of the Rivers State

Primary Health Care, in Asari Toru Local

Government Area of the state told Vanguard

that she contracted two men to kill her husband

in January 25, 2019, because he was in the

habit of beating and raping her whenever he

needed to have sex. She also alleged that she

killed her husband because he abandoned her

and moved into a new apartment in Port

Harcourt, Rivers State with another woman.

Operatives of the IRT, who were drafted into

the matter in February 2019, after the victim

got missing disclosed that a petition was

written to the Inspector General of Police,

Adamu Mohammed, detailing how the

victim, who was a native of Buguma area of

Rivers State got missing after a political event

within the community and the IGP, directed

his operatives at the IRT, headed by DCP Abba

Kyari, to investigate and bring the suspects to


Police sources revealed that before his death,

Tyger had a misunderstanding with his wife,

Ajemine,which made him move out of his

home in Abalama area of the state and

relocated to Port Harcourt City, but the 2019

general elections, provided him an

opportunity to reconcile with his estranged

wife, Ajemine.

The sources explained that instead of

accepting her late husband’s proposals for

reconciliation, she made arrangements with

two other persons to attack and kill her

husband in their Abalama residence where

she lured him to. It was gathered that the victim

was sleeping when his assailants came into

his house and killed him. They then took his

corpse to the back of the house where they dug

a shallow grave and buried his remains there.

The police sources added that, after killing

her husband, Ajemine took his car to a nearby

market and parked it where it could be

recovered by the police. She also took his

mobile phones and sent text massages to his

brothers informing them that he was travelling

out of the state on a business trip. The brothers,

having waited for several days without hearing

from him with his mobile phones switched off

each time they called him, then alerted the

Her late husband

operatives of the IRT, who initially thought

that the victim was kidnapped. Their

investigation after six months however showed

that the victim was killed by his wife.

The sources added that when Ajemine was

arrested, she confessed to killing her husband

and led the police to arrest the men who

assisted her in killing her husband. She took

the policemen to the spot where the corpse of

her husband was buried before it was


Her confession

When she was interviewed, Ajemine said; “I

met my husband, Inedugoba Charles Tyger,

in December 2014, and we got married the

following year. My husband had two children

before I married him and he pleaded that he

needed me to help him take care of his children

as his two children were out of school because

there was no woman to look after them while

he was equally not residing in Port Harcourt.

I accepted, moved into his house and started

taking care of his children. But I usually spent

two weeks with his children after which I

would move to my own house to be with my

own children. The same year, he proposed that

Suspect and acomplice

we should live together and I moved into his

house with my second son. My husband

worked with Elf oil and Gas but at a point he

couldn’t pay his house rent and by January

2016, he was sacked from his job. We then

relocated to our village in Buguma with his

children and we were all staying in my house.

By April 2016, my husband came to pay my

bride price. But since he had no job he became

so aggressive and abusive and resorted to

beating me. He later rented an apartment in

Port Harcourt but at a point, he stopped me

from coming to see him in Port Harcourt and

when I took his daughter to see him in Port

Harcourt, we discovered that another woman

was already living with him. I also rented an

apartment in Port Harcourt but when he

discovered where I was staying, he would come

to molest me. By this time, I had met one

Kingsley who promised to come my aid

whenever my husband came to beat me up.

On the day my husband showed up again, he

tore my clothes when I refused him sex, I then

ran out and called Kingsley on phone who

came with one of his friends. When they started

beating him, I couldn’t bear it, so I went outside

and by the time I came back to the house and

asked them where my husband was, Kingsley

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—15

We are




we arrest and



from them

where the issues are coming out

from. The clarification is part

of my responsibility. If there is

a misconception, it is my

responsibility also to clear it.

Do you suspect the handiwork

of politicians in this scenario?

I wouldn’t say that, we are all

political animals so, whoever

plays politics can only be seen by

those who act with him. So, I

don’t see any issue of politic here

since it has to do more with

security than politics. I consider

the security aspect of it more than

seeing it as politically motivated.

What can you tell Ogun state

people who felt alarmed over this


The very day these things were given, a

journalist asked that question and I said the

good people of Ogun state have no cause for

alarm and no cause to fear, no cause to think

anything bizarre is happening. We will

always ensure that the right thing was done.

Whoever that does the right thing, will have

rest of mind but, definitely, if you have

criminal intention and you want to perpetrate

crime, then you will be doing it with second

thoughts; what if am caught?


That is the

What really happened?

Experience matters a lot, my main target is

that explanation. I was happy when it was

dispelled. I think I read it online, somebody

said this noise that you are making; that it is

the state that used their money to buy weapon

and when the governor is going, he will hand

over to Commissioner of Police but, when

politics come into it, I felt it was not worth the


But they said the former Governor had a

secret meeting with you before handing over

the weapons?

Yes, somebody said that the former Governor

had a secret meeting with me and then he

confessed to me. It is not true. The

ceremony was done in an open place. I did

not receive 1,000 AK47 rifles and four million

ammunition from the former Governor.

When the ammunition was physically

counted, there were one million, four hundred

thousand and some fractions and checks into

police records revealed that the said weapons

were handed over to the force in 2012. I

didn’t hold any meetings with the Governor.

What is the secret about giving what belongs

to the state to the state? He called and said

he was going to hand over some equipment.

I didn’t do it in his office neither did he do it

in his house. It was an open air

presentation; he did it in front of governor’s

house. I came out and went and collected

these things in trucks. So, he couldn’t have

been under the bed that he handed over a

million rounds of ammunition to me with APC

armour carrier in my house. It was an open

thing. Whoever said it was done in secret

is just being mischievous. The wrong

impression is what we have corrected.

told me that my husband had died. He then

warned me that if I told anyone that they killed

my husband, they would kill me and my

children. They later took his corpse and buried

him somewhere close to our house. I then took

his car to an abandoned market in Egbelu,

parked it there with the car key and sent text

messages with my husband’s phones to his

family members that he had travelled out of

Rivers state on a business trip. I also sold the

phone for N15,000. Kinsley who killed my

husband then started calling me to ask for

money and I gave him a total sum of

N150,000. He also started having sex with


How we killed the husband—Kingsley

On his part, Kingsley Nnaa who narrated

how he killed the victim Nna, said; “In

December 2018, I was with one of my friends,

Sunny when a woman known as Jemina met

me at Egbelu Odara Junction in Ogbogoro

Town and told me that her husband was

maltreating her. The woman told me that the

husband used to beat her everyday and I

assured her that she should call me any time

she needed me to come and beat up her

husband. On January 26, 2019, she called us

that the man was sleeping.

When we got there we met the woman and

her husband naked and it was like they had

just finished making love. The room was dark

and when the woman flashed a torchlight for

us, we found the man on a bed. Sunny wrapped

the man’s face with a wrapper and I started

beating the husband. But when the man woke

up he started struggling and when he removed

what was tied on his face and saw Sunny, he

recognized him and they started speaking their

Kalabari language. Sunny then said we should

kill the man since he had seen his face. I then

held the man while Sunny strangled him to

death. When we called the wife who was outside

and told her that the man was dead, she told

us that she didn’t ask us to kill her husband.

She later brought a shovel for us and showed

us the place where we should bury the man.

The following day which was Sunday, the

woman called us again and gave us N30,000.

In the evening of that day she called me and

said she wanted me to make love to her and

when I met her in a hotel we made love for two

hours. One week later, we met again in that

same hotel in Egelu Town in Ogbogoru

community and made love again. We also

made love for the third time, but I stopped

responding to her calls because she wanted to

turn me to her new husband. Since the day I

killed that man I have not had peace with

myself. I have gone to church to pray for

forgiveness and now that I have been arrested,

I believe God has forgiven me.”

16—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

KWARA: Abdulrazaq begins

rescue mission in Judiciary,

education, health sectors

By Demola Akinyemi

Ilorin...The ongoing facility tour of

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

across the government ministries and

parastatals in Kwara state since he took over

the reigns of governance had enabled him to

know about the probles first hand


Abdulrazaq while on an

unscheduled visit to Magistrate

court at Zango in ilorin said he

had embarked on statewide visit

of various government facilities to

fully appreciate the extent of the

rot in the system.

He said the rots were so deep

and that they would need proper

planning, spanning multiple

budget years to fix.

He said,”I have come to see

things for myself. We have always

known that the rot is

unimaginable. But it is important

that I see things for myself.”

“I have seen things for myself

and I have asked the Chief Judge

(and his team) to raise a memo,

stating what the problems are

and what we can do to solve them

in short and long term.”

Abdulrazaq said he would

ensure that the judiciary is given

the support it needed to function as an

independent arm of government.

Chief Judge of the State Suleiman Kawu

told the Governor he had long prepared a

report detailing the problems faced in the

sector, especially the decrepit state of the

facilities and lack of any modern courtrooms.

“I will soon forward the report to you and I

trust that you will do your best to address the

problems,” the state Chief Judge said.

Abdulrazaq also visited the Shariah Court

of Appeal on Ahmadu Bello Way and

Customary Court at Centre Igboro.

Many of these tours were strategically

unscheduled to enable the Governor see the

problems raw as they are. He had arrived

Radio Kwara and met it off the air. He

inherited that from the last administration and

expressed sadness, saying that what he met

in terms of performance was below zero level.

The latest was the issue of Universal Basic

E d u c a t i o n

Commission(UBEC)where he

discovered that Kwara state

was on the lowest

performance chart among

other states in Nigeria.

The current rots in primary

and secondary education in

the state prompted him to visit

UBEC headquarters office in

Abuja where he was told that

the last administration fleeced

the funds and stopped

participation for more than

three years now.

He had approved

immediate payment of the

N450m that the previous

administration had diverted

from the UBEC funds, clearing

the way for immediate

readmission of Kwara to a

scheme that is meant to

improve access to basic


The approval came a few days after the

UBEC officials narrated how the previous

administration had diverted the N1.5bn 2013

funds allocated to Kwara and how that had

led to the official blacklisting of the state from


Abdulrazaq signed the documents

approving the refund of the N450m during a

meeting with the Permanent Secretary for the

Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board

(SUBEB) Bayo Onimago and Permanent

Secretary for the Ministry of Finance

Benjamin Fatigun in Ilorin, the state capital.

The payment of the N450m was a

I have seen things

for myself and I

have asked the

Chief Judge (and

his team) to raise a

memo, stating what

the problems are

and what we can do

to solve them in

short and long term

•Gov Abdulrazaq

precondition for readmitting Kwara back to

the UBEC after a five-year ban.

Lamenting the ‘criminal neglect’ of the

education sector and the decrepit state of

infrastructure in a statement , Abdulrazaq

said he immediately paid the N450m in the

interest of the children, restore Kwara’s

relationship with UBEC and commit

whatever fund accessed only for the purpose

for which it was meant.

Rafiu Ajakaye, spokesman to the Governor,

said one implication of this crucial step is that

the state can now access UBEC funds worth

over N5bn since the counterpart fund has

been paid.

“The situation before now was such that

Kwara could no longer approach UBEC

because the previous administration diverted

the 2013 funds. That sullied the name of the

state. Now, the governor has put that ugly

chapter behind the people of Kwara State,”

according to a statement issued by the media


Kwara state before the intervention of the

new governor

ranked 37th or the lowest on the UBEC

Matching Grant Disbursement Performance.

But the immediate past governor Alhaji

Abdulfatah Ahmed in a sharp reaction

refuted the claims that his administration

mismanaged Universal Basic Education

Commission(UBEC) counterpart funds

His statement was issued by his

spokesman, Dr Muyideen Akorede .

He, explained that the federal agency

essentially canceled a N2,090,101, 208 grant

to the state when the government borrowed

from SUBEB its fifty-per cent counterpart fund

of N1,045,050,604, for the payment of salaries

at the height of the 2015 economic recession

which prevented most states in Nigeria from

meeting salary obligations to workers.

While stressing that the government’s

temporary borrowing of the counterpart fund

for salaries was based on its concern for

workers’ welfare and a commitment to repay

from then expected refunds from the federal

government, the statement added that the

administration had partly refunded the money

but was prevented from paying the balance

of N450m from funds received by the

administration in the last days of its tenure

due to its accounts being frozen.

But in another counter reaction Governor

Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq dismissed these

explanations saying that they were neither

justified nor acceptable based on the rots he

met in the education sector which

consequently placed the state as the lowest

in performance among other states of the


Since health is wealth as the saying goes,

Abdulrazaq is currently in the health sector

where he approved the immediate release of

N282m for nutrition, primary health care.

The N282m is a counterpart funding to

deepen access to primary healthcare, health

insurance and nutrition for under-three

children in the state, according to a statement

by his media aide.

Rafiu Ajakaye, giving the break down,

explained that the N282m covers N100m

counterpart funds for Basic Healthcare

Provision Funds (BHPV); N50m for

Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria

(ANRIN); and another N82m to access global

grants for malaria.

The statement said the release of the

counterpart funds for BHPV would grant

Kwara access to the World Bank/Federal

Government’s grant to cater for health needs

of pregnant and nursing women and


UNICEF has said stunted/wasted children

—all of them victims of malnutrition — are at

risk of early death or becoming liabilities to

the society as they are unable to cope in school

or contribute to economic growth.

“Experts have decried malnutrition rate

among children in the North Central, where

Kwara falls. Because these children are so key

to the bright future that this Governor

envisions for Kwara, it is important to urgently

key into any initiative that would boost their

nutrition and give them a brighter chance at

life,” according to the statement.

L- R: Former Governor, Ogun State, OtunbaGbenga

Daniel, Her Excellency, Ogun State Deputy Governor,

Engr.(Mrs). Noimot Salako- Oyedele and The Akarigbo and

Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba BabatundeAdewaleAjayi,

Torungbuwa II inspecting the facilities.

he commercial city of Sagamu, Ogun

TState recently came alive as a new

Passport Front Office was commissioned at

Olotu Michael Oyedele Avenue, Government

Reserved Area (GRA), amidst pomp and

excitement. Dateline was Wednesday, 3 rd

July, 2019. As expected, the event played

host to notable dignitaries among whom was

the Governor of Ogun State, Prince (Dr.)

DapoAbiodun, MRF, represented by his

Deputy, Engineer (Mrs.) NoimotSalako-


The commissioning of the edifice, facilitated

by the Remo Growth and Development

Foundation, (RemoGDF), attracted of the

cream of indigenes including the Akarigbo

and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba

BabatundeAdewaleAjayi, Torungbuwa II,

former Governor of Ogun State,

OtunbaGbenga Daniel, Asiwaju S.K.

Onafowokan, OtunbaTunjiLawal-Solarin and

Aare (Dr.) KolawoleOyefeso who are Co-

Chairmen of Remo GDF Governing Council.

Others in attendance were Chief

AyotundeOredipe, Deputy Comptroller

General of Nigeria Immigration Service

(Rtd.), Senator DipoOdujinrin,

OtunbaSeniAdetu, former Managing

Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Remo

L-R: Her Excellency, Ogun State Deputy Governor, Engr.

(Mrs). Noimot Salako- Oyedele, former Governor, Ogun

State Otunba Gbenga Daniel and the new Assistant-

Comptroller General (ACG) Doris Braimah, cutting the

commemorative tape at the commissioning of Sagamu

Passport Front Office

L- R: Otunba Tunji Lawal- Solarin, Chairman, Governing

Council, Remo Growth and Development Foundation (Remo

GDF), the new Assistant-Comptroller General (ACG) Doris

Braimah and the outgoing ACG, Mohammed Harande,

welcoming The Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland,

Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, Torungbuwa II

Pomp as the Nigeria Immigration Service opens a Passport Front Office in Sagamu

Traditional Council of Obas, Remo titled

Chiefs and a host of others.

The Ogun State Governor, Prince (Dr.)

DapoAbiodun, MFR, on the occasion, called

on the Nigeria Immigration Service to adopt

a more coordinated approach and ensure

stiffer migration control policy, while

lamenting the influx of criminals into the

nation’s porous borders which, according to

him, posed major challenges to the operations

of the Nigerian Immigration Service.

“One of the challenges of ease of access to

passport to our nationals is the abuse of the

system by non-Nigerians who may want to

acquire our passport illegally. Some of these

bad neighbours are those who give us a bad

name with illegal activities and make the

international community view legitimate

Nigerians with suspicion”, he said, calling on

the Nigerian Immigration Service to root out

those criminals.

The Governor further observed that

establishment of the passport front office will

be “a further boost to the economic viability

and overall development of Ogun State.

“With regard to trade and commerce, it

means Ogun State is fast attaining a mega

status”, the Governor said.

Governor Abiodun added that the opening

of the office which makes Ogun State to be

the second state apart from Lagos state in the

South West to have two passport offices, is a

confirmation of the state’s emerging status as

an economic power house of the nation.

While commending the Remo Growth and

Development Foundation, RemoGDF and

other interest groups involved for the initiative

and the feat in facilitating the project, the

Governor said “it is a symbolic example of

the height we could all take our state by our

collaboration and support; and with

strengthened collaboration, we could achieve


Speaking at the occasion, the outgoing

Officer in Charge of Ogun State Command,

Assistant-Comptroller General, Mohammed

Harande, recalled that the conception of the

Sagamu Passport Front Office came into being

during the 2017 Comptroller-General of

Immigration Annual Conference in Ogun

State between the 6th and 8th of December

where the former Governor, Senator

IbikunleAmosun, made a request for a new

passport office which, according to him, was

expressly granted by the service.

He stated that the new Passport Front Office

which was being commissioned is designed

as a strong contribution of the Nigeria

Immigration Service towards making life

easy for all residents of the State in recognition

of its mega status.

Also speaking, the Comptroller-General,

Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed

Babande, represented by Assistant Comptroller-

General, MuhammedAlhaji Alfa, said the idea

was conceived because the immigration service

“is determined to reduce to the barest minimum,

all human interference in our transactions with

members of the public”.

He warned officers and men of the service to

shun indolence, indiscipline and corruption

saying “the Federal Government has been

magnanimous enough to approve our

proposal for the 10-year e-passport and

passport front offices. Consequently, nothing

less than corresponding performance and

commitment to duty is expected from us”,

adding that “we must continue to justify the

confidence reposed in us”.

He stated further that the new 10-year e-

passport rolled out at the headquarters in Abuja

which has also been rolled out at the Ikoyi

Passport Office in Lagos will soon be rolled out

in all state commands across the country, assuring

that more passport front offices will also be

opened in places where there is high demand

for it.

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019 — 17

18 — SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

‘The amazing lifestyle of

Nollywood damsel’

*Continues from page 17

Rita Dominic is an embodiment

of beauty and brain. The actress

has continued to prove that she

might not be too young in age but

not in looks as she is most times

elegant and vibrant. If there is

anything she loves most about her

style, that would surely be fashion

because she knows she must

never fail whenever she is

stepping out. Many have been

carried away with her sparking

eyes, luscious lips, sultry voice


and flawless skin that draw them

them glued to their TV screens.

Meanwhile, apart from the

frivolities, Rita Dominic has

manged to stay out of scandals and

controversies that have to do with

her love life and personality. Since

debuting in Nollywood, and

marking her mark as top rated

actress, she has enjoyed a smooth

career devoid of negative

perceptions. She has refused to be

drawn into a controversy that

would later take a serious toll on

her flourishing career. And

because she is wise, her critics

have never had any cause to

celebrate any shortcoming on her


The multiple award-winning

actress, however, is hopeful that

God will present the right man to

her at the right time.

In one of her interviews, Rita

expressed optimism that God

would someday present the right

man to her at the right time. She

admitted that she almost got

married. “I almost married

someone. We were there. We were

at that point. It didn’t work out and

I’m happy it didn’t work out

POPULAR film director cum producer, Lancelot

Imasuen was in the spotlight again on Wednesday

night, as friends, fans and colleagues gathered at Achwac

Poolside, National Stadium, Surulere, to celebrate his

life and achievements.

The respected film director was marking his 48th birthday

and 24 years of making quality films and bringing happiness

to many homes in Africa. It was a double celebration of sorts.

Lancelot, whose historical film, “Invasion 1897” enjoyed

global acclamation few years back, started his film making

career in 1995. But it was after directing the film, “The Soul

That Sinneth” in 1999, that he came into prominence. Since

then, he has not looked back as he has continued to grow

from strength to strength, grooming talents and raising the

bar in Nollywood.

“This came very humbling to me.. nothing compares to

see you being celebrated while still alive and

kicking,”Lancelot enthused.

Meanwhile, the film maker is celebrating the milestone,

with the take off of the pilot edition of his Benin Film Academy’s

TV programme, BFA Half Hour. It’s a record breaking 30

minutes social, style and entertainment variety

programme, scripted and directed by students and

because I saw the signs.”

Agreeing that social pressure is

getting to her, Rita said “I am a

human being and I would be lying

to say that it doesn’t sometimes.”

“More so because it’s something

I sincerely want to do but the

feeling passes when I remember

that society will not live with the

person. will live with the man, so

it is very important that I do it

because I want to, not because

society wants it for me,”she was

quoted s saying. However, all said

and done, Rita Dominic remains

one of the most admirable and

eloquent actresses in the Nigerian

movie industry that knows her

onions. Indeed, she guides

jealously her sexual preference,

and it’s to her credit that no one

can point accusing fingers at her

regarding what was once

prevalent in the movie industry -

wife or husband snatching saga.

Lancelot Imasuen soars higher

...as he celebrates 24 years behind the camera

*His BFA Half Hour TV programme hit the screens

grandaunts of the academy.

The programme, according to the film director, started

airing on Independent Television, (ITV) Benin and

on Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS TV) as well

as on satellite stations on Wednesday, July 3.

“The vision for creating BFA half hour was

bore out of our desire to constantly engage and

provide a visible platform for our products.”

“At Benin Film academy, it’s not just about

the teaching but more of hands on practical.

We also provide opportunity for our

products to continually find a space for


“The scripts are written by them,

produced by them and presented by them.

Ours is just to supervise them.”

“What this does is to foster trust and belief

on themselves to be able to face the rigors and

struggles of the industry,” said Lancelot.

BFA Half Hour, a production of Benin Film

Academy, according to industry observers is bound

to open a new window to aspiring actors who

intend to learn the art of movie making through

the right Channel.

L:R. 2016 AFRIMA Nominee, Best Female in Central Africa- Ewube;

2017 AFRIMA Nominee, Best Male in Central Africa- Mr Leo;

Cameroonian Artiste- Chilli; and Cameroonian Artiste and TV host -


AFRIMA 2019:

Cameroon pledges

support for organizers

THE music industry of

Cameroon has pledged its

support and commitment to the

African Union Commission, AU,

and the 2019 All Africa Music

Awards, AFRIMA, in the

actualization of the vision for an

integrated, prosperous and

unified Africa through the

continental awards platform.

This was made known during the

AFRIMA 2019 Cameroon

Stakeholders’ Conference and

meeting held on Friday, June 28

at the Las Vegas VIP, Sable,

Bonamoussadi, Douala and

attended by media personalities,

record label owners, Cameroon

music stars and past AFRIMA

winners and nominees.

Representing the International

Committee of AFRIMA at the

conference were the AFRIMA

Regional Director, Central Africa,

Mr. Ernest Ewane; AFRIMA

Associate Producer, Ms. Adenrele

Niyi and the AFRIMA Head,

Media, Mr. Sola Dada.

Delivering the opening address,

Ms. Adenrele Niyi said the

decision to hold the Stakeholders’

Conference in Cameroon was as a

result of the growing impact of

Cameroonian music and culture

across Africa. “Cameroon has

shown that it is a powerhouse of

music in Central Africa especially

with Cameroonian artistes

featuring prominently on the

annual AFRIMA nominees list. An

appreciable number of

Cameroonians have won


AFRIMA trophies in past editions

including the legendary Manu

Dibango who has been honoured

by the AU and AFRIMA for his

influence on Africa music.

However, the African Union and

AFRIMA are also interested in

examining ways we can use the

6th AFRIMA programme of events

to engender greater unity and

peace in all regions of Cameroon

working with all relevant

stakeholders in the country”.

The team revealed details of the

6th AFRIMA ‘Call for Entry/Entry

Submission’ process which

opened on May 15 to end on

August 2, where African music

professionals from across the

continent submit their musical

works, songs and recordings via

the official AFRIMA website

www.afrima.org for a possible shot

at nomination in one or more of the

36 categories of AFRIMA.

Information was also shared about

the programmes for the annual

continental awards to effectively

engage music talents and content

creators from Cameroon who are

key stakeholders and

beneficiaries of the awarding


Among key attendees were

Cameroonian artistes Wax Dey,

Mr. Leo, Ewube, Mic Monster,

Sango Edi, Wams, Divine Verjika,

Awu and media personalities such

as Che Che Elvis, Miss Gina

Promotions, Fon Felix, Emmanuel

Asafor and many other

stakeholders in Cameroon’s

culture and music industry.

Speaking at the conference,

Cameroonian music star and

AFRIMA 2016 winner, Best Male

Artiste in Central Africa, Wax Dey,

stated that being an artiste and a

business executive, a strategic

collaboration between the

Cameroon culture industry and

AFRIMA and the AU would

further aid the development of

music and arts in the country.

Later on Friday evening, Las

Vega VIP hosted AFRIMA to

a “Night with the Stars”

with top Cameroon

celebrities and artistes

including Cameroon

Music Producer Salatiel;

star artiste, Mr. Leo;

breakout Cameroon

music star, Blaise B

amongst others who

came to party with

AFRIMA. Prior to the

conference in Douala,

on Thursday, June 27,

AFRIMA officials had

hosted media and music

industry stakeholders in

Yaounde, the Cameroon capital

to a meet and greet to give

insights into the 6th AFRIMA

programme of activities.

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6 , 2019—19



I don’t have

any y silicon in

my y boobs


ometime ago, Nollywood

Sactress and singer, Judith

Mazagwu known as Afrocandy

confessed that she had gone

under the knife to have some parts

of her body adjusted surgically. In

fact in one of her recent Tweets, she

declared she was going for another

one soon but that would not be her

breasts. This revelation was made

in a recent Instagram face-off

between her and a troll.

Afrocandy had shown off her

cleavage, with lavish flash of her

boobs, prompting the troll to

comment “ Silicon gang”

Afrocandy would have none

of it and she expressed her

mind in the most caustic


“ Fool, my boobs are all

mine, all natural. There’s no

silicon here, so, stop saying

what you don’t know before

Amadioha strikes that your

empty coconut head off. Idiot”

she fired.

Ghana director

ors don’t know

how to shoot t sex scenes well

— Ghanaian actress, Efia Odo

Efia Odo, popular Ghanian actress

and OAP who was said to be

entertaining suicidal thoughts months

ago have come out to lambast Ghana

movie directors for their poor way

of handling sex scenes.

According to her, they are

too raw and do little or

nothing in embellishing

the scenes.

“Some Ghana movie

sex scenes can be so

rawwww ah. Chaley,

don’t they know how to

direct a sex scene to •Efia Odo

make it look sultry and

sensual. Chaley,

Chaley,” she


Sex: I love it small size

—Cossy Ojiakor

Commotion Cossy Ojiakor is an unusual babe who loves to do and say

unusual things. Days ago when she posted a picture of herself riding a

bike in a sensual manner, no one would have guessed there was more

than a bike ride in the detail until Saturday Quickie prodded her with a simple

and harmless comment.

“Rough rider,” Saturday Quickie had commented but her reply that followed

packed a punch that would have put a bull to sleep.

“ I like it small size” she had replied. “ Who does big manhood help? My

own is too tight so big stuff is a huge punishment except I am exceptionally

wet. As for me you will get dumped if your manhood is big. Maybe after

having a baby it


will open up and be able to

accommodate a big manhood

but for now it is a no,” she


The greatest need

of a man is not sex

—Bella Ebinum

•Ninolowo Bolanle

aboard the jet

Regina Daniel’s mother shoots movie

aboard Ned Nwoko’s private jet

een actress’ mother, Rita Daniels has started enjoying the spoils of

Ther daughter’s marriage to the billionaire politician, Ned Nwoko as

she recently hit location to shoot some scenes aboard the billionaire’s

private jet.

In some pictures and videos of the movie titled “ The Enemy

I know” and posted by the star actor of the film, Ninolowo

Bolanle, a scene involving Ninolowo and some

actresses was shot inside a private jet which a close

source has hinted belongs to the billionaire.

Actor Ninolowo plays the role of a spoilt billionaire

son on spending spree, high on alcohol with many

girls to play with. Also in the film are Sola

Sobowale, Rita Daniels herself, Regina Daniel,

Ken Erics, Tana Adelana, Jide Kosoko,

Desmond Elliot, Broda Shaggi, Naira

Marley Wole Aroleand many others.

In one of the pictures posted by

the actor, the billionaire was seen

welcoming the actor to a residence

which could be one of the

billionaire’s properties.

•Bella Ebinum

udding Nollywood star, Bella Ebinum has

B aired her mind on the issue of man and

sex and what a woman should seek to give a

man instead of thinking sex is all that a man


In a post on her Instagram page, she writes;

“The greatest need of a man is not sex. He can get

that from a prostitute if he’s not born-again, neither

is it food, he can get that from a good restaurant. A man’s

greatest need is respect and peace.”

When one of her colleagues, Angel Ufuoma queried if the

respect should be automatic she replied that it is not automatic.

“ It is not automatic o even though I’m still trying to figure which

of the automatic you mean,” she said.

Dine with your enemies, Tont


Dikeh counsels


ontroversial Nollywood star actress sure knows how to wade through stormy waters without

Cgetting scathed and she’s not new to having enemies either. When she talks about handling

enemies she deserves some listening ears as she offered her candid advice on how to treat enemies

in a recent post on Instagram.

“ Who else has laughed and eaten with people who have said the most terrible things about

them and they think you don’t know? Nowadays you don’t hide from your enemies, eat and drink

with them, they got more to prove than a fake friend,” she counsels.

In recent times Tonto has made more enemies in the industry than she ever did in her entire

career over issues concerning her ex husband, Churchill.

20—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

By Tolulope Abereoje

08134730794 (sms only)


I can never

raise my kids

in Nigeria

– Uti Nwachukwu

Award-winning actor and winner of Big Brother Africa

season 5, Uti Nwachukwu has reacted to

the viral video of Senator Elisha Abbo

assaulting a lady in a sex toy shop in Abuja.

The 36-year old model took to his Instagram

page to bear his grievances and express his

disappointment in the youths, accusing them

of being the major problem in the country.

According to him, the youths learnt from the

elders and also brought in more than enough.

Uti-Nwachukwu gives reasons why he can never

raise his kids in Nigeria

“Say no to freedom of speech. We have imploded;

we just do not know it. I mean how can we be patriotic

at times like these? Forget hope for things to get better.

In fact, the youths are now the major problem, thanks

to what was learned from the elders multiplied by

hundred. I am lost for words. Power is toxic. God

help Nigeria, we are deceiving ourselves in this

country. I can never raise my kids in this country.

Never,” he said.

Family and friends

turn up for Burna Boy’s

28th birthday party

Top notch Nigerian afro-fusion singer,

Burna boy recently turned 28 and upon

his return from the United States held a party

in Lagos to celebrate his new age.

It was a night of glitz and glam as the BET

award winner on Tuesday 2 nd of July held a

party which saw his mom, his grandparents,

his girlfriend, Stefflon Don and friends in

attendance to celebrate with him.

Much prayer was said for him by his

grandparents as they cut his birthday cake

with him and blessed his new age.

The event was attended by

executives from Star (Nigerian

Breweries) and industry friends like

Phyno, Kaffy, D’Banj, Korede Bello,

DJ Lambo, Poco Lee, Toolz,

Slimcase, Efe Omoregbe, Naira


Jago and a host of



•Burna Boy


Davido seen praying

with crew while

holding a bottle of



N igerian


singer, Davido

was recently

spotted having

a prayer session

with his crew

m e m b e r s

moments before his

show and the fact

that one of his crew is

seen holding a bottle

of Hennessy has sent

tongues wagging.

The singer who was

recently in

Amsterdam for the

‘Oh My Music

Festival’ was captured

on camera praying

and probably too

spiritually engrossed

to notice one of his 30

Billion Gang crew

mate flaunting a bottle

of Hennessy during

the prayer.

While some reacted

sarcastically to the

scene, others felt there

was no qualms, noting

‘God connects with the

soul and not the flesh’.

•Tiwa Savage


I’m embarrassed

to be a Nigerian


– Tiwa Savage

In the wake of recent trend of

events in which women have

been mostly the victims, popular

Nigerian songstress, Tiwa

Savage has categorically stated

that she is embarrassed to be

called a Nigerian woman.

The singing sensation aired

her displeasure on her

Instastory over how women are

being treated in the country and

also revealed that she has

decided to do more than just

make a post but take necessary


“I don’t know where we

went wrong as a nation that

women are treated so badly.

This past week has been filled

with very disturbing news about

women. I personally can no

longer keep quiet anymore; I

have to do more than post. Do

we deserve all these? Today, I am

actually embarrassed to be a

Nigerian; the way women are

treated is disgusting. I don’t care

what backlash comes from this,

I said what I said. The hate is

too much. How can we continue

like this? In every sector, women

are being bashed constantly for

things men get away with. No

man can handle the heartbreak

and pain women go through on

a daily basis. Mothers, wives and

little girls are being abused,

raped, underpaid and

disrespected. I have a son and I

will do everything in my power

to raise a man; one that will love

a queen and protect her. So help

me God,” she said.

You are not the

queen of dance

– Naira Marley

tells Kaffy



singer, Naira Marley has

•Naira Marley

replied award winning dancer,

Kaffy, who described his new

dance move, ‘Soapy’ as


Recall that Vanguard E-Daily

reported that Kaffy opined that

the dance style should be

banned for its obscenity and immoral

nature which she said should be

censored for kids and even describing

it as “ offensive to an adult.”

The dance step, which is done by

imitating the act of masturbation, was

demonstrated in a video posted by Naira

Marley on his Instagram page last week

and fans have since been doing the same

dance style.

Responding to her comment via a live

Instagram video, Naira Marley said the

dancer is old and no longer useful to the

new generation musicians.

“You are not the queen of dance. We

don’t use you anymore. You have gone

with the previous generation, so how will those

of us in this generation use you? Why won’t

you talk rubbish? We can’t use you; we have

those we use now. Can’t you see Poco Lee?”

he said.

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—21

By AYO ONIKOYI 08052201215


Big Brother Naija 4 :

House of damsels and

macho men




Big Brother Naija season 4 has already begun and the vibrations have pervaded

the land. Like every Big Brother season, one is never like the other. And this

season holding in Lagos, Nigeria may very well be the most thrilling of

them all.

For one, it is the first time the housemates will be 21 in number compared to the

last year which had 20 housemate and the two previous years of 14n housemates.

In any of the previous seasons, never have the females being in the majority

as this season 4 of “spicy hot’ housemates aptly dubbed ‘Pepper Dem


The theme ‘Pepper Dem Gang” might not have altogether been

unintentional going by the array of characters who made it into the house.

They are simply a collection of damsels and macho men, with each a

professional in their various callings. Although some Nigerians have

complained that most of them have foreign accents, accusing the organisers

of favouring Nigerians of exotic grooming but it is unquestionable the

alluring pack they make. Nigeria can only brace up for fun and


And the 21 young men and women have got up to speed by shaking

the tables already. We have seen some hot, flashy and

stimulating moments. While the guys have impressed

with their bristling muscles, the gals have not

disappointed with their charm and beauty.

The new housemates bound for BBNaija

household-name stardom include: Seyi, Esther,

Ella, Frodd, Omashola, Avala, Khafi, Ike,


Tuoyo, Kimoprah, Isilomo, Jackye, Khafi,

Nelson, Sir Dee, Thelma, Gedoni, Diane,

Mercy, Tacha, Mike and Jeff. The new

housemates have an array of exciting career

backgrounds including a part-time stripper

to a Lawyer and a music video vixen.

Speaking on the return of the highly

anticipated reality show, here’s what John

Ugbe, C.E.O. of Multichoice had to say,

“We’re proud of the work everyone has

delivered to bring this hsow to viewers’

television screens and devices. Our


customers are in for a treat and this

season is going to be even bigger

and hotter and more importantly,

it’s taking place right here in







•Sir Dee









Why we are sponsoring BBNaija 2019 —Bet9ja


s the much anticipated Big Brother Naija 2019 reality show kicked off last weekend, Olufemi Osobajo,

Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications, Bet9ja, has revealed why the company is

supporting the popular show.

According to Osobajo, “Our sponsorship of Big Brother Naija is to enhance and make participants

achieve their dreams of becoming valuable players in the Nigeria entertainment industry.”

“Our support will influence the winning prizes and help boost the entertainment industry in Nigeria,” he





He noted that more importantly, Bet9ja intend to use the Big Brother platform to amplify its “More Than

A Bet” campaign of how it is changing lives.

He explained that a lot of people really

don’t have a good understanding of what

Bet9ja does as a business; they therefore

reduce it to gambling. However, the

impact of sport betting is huge. Through

the “More Than A Bet” campaign, Bet9ja

plans to show how it has been

empowering Nigerians, especially the


The Senior Manager hinted that when

the show starts, Nigerians will get the

opportunity to see clips on how Bet9ja

has touched lives across Nigeria through


Bet9ja with its foothold across Nigeria

currently employs over 40,000 Nigerians

directly and indirectly.

Through the “More than a bet”

campaign, the company seeks to L-R Martin Mabutho, Chief Customer Officer

highlight just how it is transforming lives, MultiChoice Nigeria, Olufemi Osobajo Senior Marketing

Manager Bet9ja and Akinola Salu, Executive Head

empowering the youth and contributing

to Nigeria’s socioeconomic of Sales MultiChoice Nigeria.


22—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019




I don’t make music

to be recognised

— Burna Boy

When Afro-fusion singer, Damini Ogulu, better known as

Burna Boy won Best International Act at the BET awards

held on June 23, 2019, in Los Angeles, he barely said

much about the achievement.

However, speaking about it in a chat with Showtime, the 'Yawa'

crooner said he feels great and honoured for BET to have noticed

him after a long time.

According to him, the award signals the beginning of more big

achievements for him.

“I feel great and honoured. There’s a lot to be done but this is a great start to a lot to come”, he said.

Asked if he saw the BET award coming, he said; “I don’t make music to be recognized. I don’t care about that

because it’s not my primary objective in life. I feel like BET is so great, the fact that it recognizes that this is what

I do, this is the reason I do it and it recognizes me for that. I’ve been doing this music like forever, but now they

can see that this is what I’m doing and I appreciate it”, he said.

Speaking on what to expect from him musically in future, he said; “Nobody tells you what is going to happen

in a movie before the movie comes out, if not you are not going to go see the movie when it comes out. Expect

greatness because I cannot deliver anything short of that.”

Meanwhile, he expressed profound gratitude to everyone who has been supportive of his music.

“I want to say a very big ‘thank you’ to everyone that has been supporting me; all those who have known me

from the beginning and those who are just getting to know me. I appreciate you all for everything”, he said.



Why I won't be releasing songs

anytime soon- -- Mr. 2Kay

Afro-pop music artiste, Abinye David Jumbo, a.k.a Mr. 2Kay has been

missing in action for a while, he has no plans to make his fans happy anytime soon.

This is because when he finally decides to, he wants to be the cynosure of all eyes.

However, in a chat with Showtime, the 'In the morning' singer explained why it

seems he has been away from the music scene and why he would not be dropping

a new project anytime soon.

“I’ve been working; I want the result of my work to make the noise for me.

People have been saying I’ve not been working, but it’s not about what they

say. I see what they say; asking me to drop songs, but it’s really not about

dropping songs. I don’t want to make the same mistakes I made in the past.

I left my former record label, Grafton Records, I’m no longer with them; I’m

all by myself trying to get a focus. I’m trying to rebrand myself, from how I

dress, how I look, how I relate with people. So basically I don’t care what

people say. Like I said, I’m working in silence but the result would be loud. I

want to wow my fans with my success. I can assure them that I’m coming

out with something mad. However, I’m not going to release any

song till Big Brother Naija is over because if I do now believe

me Big Brother Naija would overshadow it. Everybody’s

attention is on Big Brother Naija right now, so there is no way

I’m going to release a song now”, he said. He added that now

that he has parted ways with his former record label, Grafton

Records, he is on a mission to rebrand himself and music.

“You have to be innovative; you can’t be doing the

same thing all the time. Change is one constant thing.

While I was with Grafton Records, there were a lot of

mistakes I made that I don’t want to repeat because I’ve

learnt from them. Starting all over doesn’t mean I’m

staring afresh but starting with experience. The good

thing is that my name is already out there. Take it or leave

it, I’m already known. I want my songs to be played in clubs, I’ve done mid-tempo songs

because that’s what is popular now, so that’s it for me.” Speaking on the robbery/physical

assault saga between himself and Burna Boy, he said; “I and Burna are brothers; we’re

from the same place. We’re trying to settle the whole stuff underground. The case is still

in court though but we’re trying to settle it underground”, he said.

The most challenging part of my

music career ---VJ Adams

For every human endeavour comes challenges that either motivates you to put in

more effort or discourage you to give in. The former has been the case with rap

music artiste, Adams Ibrahim Adebola, a.k.a VJ Adams, who at a point in his music

career did not allow the challenges he faced discourage him.

Speaking with Showtime on his music journey so far, the talented rapper revealed

the most challenging part of his music-making craft.

“The most challenging part of my music career is the transition from making

music without putting my vocals on it, then to putting my vocals on it. Of course I

was worried of how people will receive it. Even though for most part of being in the

studio, I get excited but knowing fully well that I made success from TV first before

my music. Usually Naija people will be like stay and do one thing bit of course am

not about that lifestyle. That transition from just putting out music and then putting

my vocals on it was really a bit challenging”, he said.

He added that contrary to belief that he is a pure rapper, he is a perfect blend of both

a singer and rapper.

“I’m a perfect blend of both a singer and a rapper. Even though I think my rap

competence is a lot more. I am into words, painting pictures with words, though I

don’t have Wande Coal’s kind of voice, but auto tune can help us with that singing part.

I can hold my own.”

My main focus at the

National Assembly

--- Shina Peller


Aquila Records/Club

Quilox chairmanturned-lawmaker,


Abiola Peller, may be new in

business of lawmaking but he

definitely knew what he set out

to achieve when he decided to venture into politics.

Speaking with Showtime on how he intends to

make meaningful impacts during his tenure at the

National Assembly, he said; “My main focus in

the National Assembly is to make sure that at

least I propose bills that affect the life of the

masses. Recently, I was just talking to my guys

in Abuja; I told them I just want to add an alias to my name. I want to be

called the ‘voice of the common man’ (VCM). We can build Nigeria but

we can't build it from the top, we have to build from the bottom. We look

at Nigeria as a whole, the country is divided into 36 states; each state has

local governments and each constituencies. We have a total of 360

constituencies. This means that whatever we can build in our various

constituencies can make a great impact in the nation itself and my mission

is to create a model constituency that every other constituency in Nigeria

can emulate. I want to create a winning formula that people can easily

say they want to replicate what I’m doing. I want to create a land where

oneness, unity and progress reign. In a land where you have oneness,

unity, peace and progress of course business will thrive.”

Speaking further, he noted that venturing into politics has had a strain

on his businesses.

“Yes definitely, on one side. Like they say, a hundred eyes can't be like

your own eyes. The attention I give to my business has dropped drastically.

Normally on a Friday night you would have seen me at Quilox, I would

have posted on my social media pages, but it’s not so anymore”, he said.

He added that contrary to speculations, his continued absence at Club

Quilox doesn't mean the club won't thrive.

“I don't think so. Although in life, there is a price for everything. For me,

whatever I want to do, I don’t focus on the negative side; I focus on the

positive side and get the thing done. During my campaign I was not at

Quilox for about 4 to 5 months and the business went

successfully. If that can happen during my campaign, I see

them doing well. Even during this our last seasonal party,

I didn't make any contribution but when I went for the

party I was surprised with what they did. These are

people that have been working with me for about seven

years so they know me well”, he said.

I thought I was

underrated till my song

with Wizkid, Tiwa

— Mystro

Having paid his dues on

the Nigerian music

scene with almost a decade

of music-making, multitalented


songwriter and producer,

Segun Michael Ajayi, a.k.a Mystro still struggled to hit limelight till

his collaboration with Wizkid, 'Immediately', hit the airwaves.

In a chat with Showtime, the singer who after his hit song with

Wizkid went on to drop another single, titled 'Gawu' with self-styled

'African Bad Girl', Tiwa Savage, noted that prior to his song with Wizkid

and Tiwa, he thought he was underrated.

“For a while I thought I was underrated but after my song with

Wizkid and Tiwa, I left that zone and it’s a huge privilege and honour

for me and the consumers of my music because when you’re tagged

underrated it’s really hard to get out of that zone. Right now I don’t

think I’m underrated. Wizkid did a great job; he actually put me in

the limelight. Now I’m just here to prove myself more. I’m not doing

a lot of collaborations this time; it’s just going to be about myself”, he


He added that asking Wizkid to jump on his song 'Immediately',

was a deliberate act.

“Of cause featuring Wizkid on my song was deliberate, I felt like he

was going to be the perfect person for the song and he actually did

justice to it. The result was the exact way that I wanted it”, he noted.

Speaking further, he revealed that the fact that people think he sounds

like Wizkid is a good thing but he is currently on a conscious mission

to define and prove his sound.

“I hear that a lot but it’s good that it’s Wizkid, at least they aren’t

saying I sound like Speed Darlington; no disrespect to him though.

I think it’s a good thing because Wizkid is a legend. It still boils

down to what I said earlier, this is the right time to prove myself as

Mystro. In case you don’t know, I’ve been the brain box behind

many of the biggest hits we have in the Nigerian music industry. So

just watch out for me, I’m going to surprise the industry in a lot of

ways”, he said.

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—23

Madam Ogunfere mark jolly 80

It was a frolicking day of joy, celebration and

entertainment when Chief (Mrs) Christiana

Ogufere celebrated her 80 th birthday last

Sunday. The church thanksgiving service to mark

the milestone was held at WOSEM Apostolic

Church, University of Lagos, Akoka while the

reception of guests took place at Kings Plaza,

Surulere, Lagos.

Final burial

for Oladapo

Ogunwemimo holds

The final burial in honour of Late Chief Albert

Ayinla Oladapo Ogunwemimo A.K.A Jangola

held at St. John Anglican Church Grammar

School, Imo, Abeokuta Ogun State on the 21st of

June 2019, followed by reception at DLK Event

Centre along Moshood Abiola Way Leme NNPC

Abeokuta Ogun State. His children, relatives and

well wishers graced the event. Photos By AKEEM


Chief (Mrs) Christiana Ogufere, celebrant and her

husband, Chief Jonathan Ogufere.

The celebrant (middle) with her grandchildren

L-R :Mr Kolade Ogunwemimo, head of family; Mrs

Bolanle Ogunwemimo; Mrs Yemi Adeboye; Miss

Busayo Ogunwemimo and Mrs Bose Ogunloolu

L-R: Mrs Florence Ajimobi, wife of immediate past

governor of Oyo State and Mrs Genny Adeosun.

L-R; Mr Peter Arigbe; Mrs Damola Akinfiesoye,

her husband, Akintunde with their baby.

L-R: Mrs Bukkie Adeosun;Mrs Bolanle

Ogunwemimo and Miss Busayo Ogunwemimo.

L-R:High Chief Ame Oviri; Professor Egerton

Uvieghara and Dr Matthew Eshalomi

L-R: Mr Solomon Ogufere; his wife Chichi; Mrs

Susan Nwajei; Dr Wallace Ogufere; Mrs Violet

Onyemenam; Mrs Hilda Oloniniyi and her husband,

Lanre Oloniniyi, children and in-laws of the


Immaculate Conception College, ’84 set marks





IMMACULATE Conception College, ICCOBA class of 84, recently celebrated their 35th year

Anniversary/Re-union. Many of the members graced the occasion.

L-R: Mr Niyi Adekoya;Mr Bolarinwa Adeoti ;Mrs

Fadekemi Opeyemi and Tola Ayanbeku.

Group photograh of some of the members cutting

the anniversary cake.

L-R; Pa Omogui, Prof. Raymond Elaho, Dr. O.M

Idahosa , Prof Omuemu and Dr. Osa l. Bruce

L-R: Mrs Bidemi Odususi;Miss Busayo

Ogunwemimo and Mrs Janet Moses

in the nam

24—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

What Pas

•COZA Pastor(

Pastor Abiodun


Holy Spirit directed m

impregnated a woma

•Holy spirit directs me to sleep with married women and the

•One pastor Rapes 9yr-old girl to death inside church •Wom

•Grand Jury report reveals 1,000 alleged cases of sexual mo

By Evelyn


Men of

God all

over the


a r e

revered by their

congregants, most of who

see them as oracles of

God, owing to a bloated

perception of their saintly

nature , devoid of infallible


But with the prevailing

incidents, this magnified

ovation accorded some of

them has begun to fizzle in

a flickered manner, revealing

instead ,their vulnerability to

sinful nature, particularly the

temptation of women.

The recent allegation by

Busola, wife of music star, Timi

Dakolo, on how she was

allegedly raped by Pastor Abiodun

Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of

God Assembly, COZA, as a

teenager, could be one pointer to this

assertion .

The mother of three , in an

interview with Y-TV, alleged that

the act was done in her parents

home, when she came on holiday,

as a secondary school student,

adding that he made her drink Krest

, a soft drink, thereafter. Then, the

clergy man in the eye of the storm

was still a bachelor and not a Pastor

at COZA.

Although Pastor Fatoyinbo,

supported by his wife, has denied

the allegation. Biodun, his wife said

that her husband couldn’t have

•Reverend Prince

Chizemdere ( Who

allegedly raped infested

teenaged boy with HIV )

Pastor Timothy


pastor arrested for

rape says he acted

under the instruction

of the Holy Spirit

done such a thing.

At the moment, the

clergyman has stepped

down , to allow elders of

the church investigate

the case, with calls for

probe into the allegation

of rape by Busola and

other ladies, among

who was Ms. Ese


Strange as it may

sound, such news is not

new within the circle of

clergy men: be they of the

Christian or Muslim religion,

either here in Nigeria, or other

parts of the world.


For instance , in far away Rome, Italy, a new

lay group, Better Church Governance, BCG

tors do

e of God

e, says pastor who

n and his daughter

r husbands consent to it

an abandons husband, 10 children for Pastor

lestation on minors by Catholic priests

hired the services of former FBI agent, Mr

Philip Scala , to probe the 224 men, who

advise Pope Francis (including their sex lives,

if any). His particular focus was the 124 who,

would succeed the pontiff, should he die.

The reason for this checks stems from the

loss of confidence from an enduring scandal

over cases of molestation and sometimes

rape, of children by priests, with most of the

cases allegedly covered up by Bishops, who

were accused of posting such erring cleric to

other dioceses where they continued the

atrocious acts.

Report issued by a grand jury in

Pennsylvania ,last year, revealed that Bishops

and other leaders of the Roman Catholic

Church in Pennsylvania covered up child

sexual abuse by more than 300 priests over a

period of 70 years, by persuading victims

not to report the abuse and law enforcement

not to investigate it.

The report, which covered six of the state’s

eight Catholic dioceses and found more than

1,000 identifiable victims, said there were

several other victims whose records were

lost or who were too afraid to come forward

One of the catalogs horrific instances of

The reason for this

checks stems from the

loss of confidence from

an enduring scandal over

cases of molestation

and sometimes rape, of

children by priests, with

most of the cases

allegedly covered up by

Bishops, who were

accused of posting such

erring cleric to other

dioceses where they

continued the atrocious


abuse as cited by the report,

was that of a priest who

raped a young girl in the

hospital after she had her

tonsils out. It cited another

instance of a priest who

was allowed to remain

in ministry after he

allegedly impregnated a

teenager and aborted the


The Pennsylvania report,

came on the heels of the

resignation of former archbishop



of Washington, Cardinal

Theodore E. McCarrick, who was

accused of sexually abusing young

priests and seminarians, as well as minors.

Another report by the grand jury was on a

priest who allegedly groomed children for oral

sex. It claimed that several sexual abuse

allegations pointed to a priest who

remained in the Diocese of Greensburg

between 1976 and 2002.

Priest abuses

five sisters

The report further alleged that one priest

in the Diocese of Harrisburg, Augustine

Giella, sexually abused five sisters from the

same family, starting around 1982. The

priest, according to the report, allegedly

collected samples of the young girls’ urine,

pubic hair and menstrual blood, adding that

during a police raid, these samples were

recovered from Giella’s house, along with

child pornography. Giella, was

consequently, arrested in 1992 and he

confessed to his crimes. He died while

awaiting trial.


In Florida, a 38-year-old Pastor who calls

himself a “prophet” was arrested for allegedly

sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl, three

years ago. The President of Prophetic

Worshipers International Church, as

reported in the Sun-Sentinel, was accused

of paring the teenager on 36 different

occasions. An arrest report by the Police

said Strachan had sex with the child in his

vehicle in the parking lot at Dillard High

School 10 times and that at other times he

took her to a hotel.

It further stated that he scared the

child into keeping the abuse a secret by

having her steal clothes and other personal

items from her family for him to use in voodoo


He was said to have also told the girl

that his wife was a cop and had a gun,

according to a police report.

Strachan, now 40, is being held in the

Broward Main Jail on a single felony count

of performing a lewd or lascivious act on a

victim between the ages of 12 and 16. His bond

as at the time the report was made, was set

at $100,000.

His lawyer, Lawrence Hashish, said his

client was “completely shocked about” and

“completely denies” the act.

A medical exam showed evidence of

sexual abuse and the girl’s school records

showed tardiness and unexcused absences

that matched up with times she was allegedly

with Strachan, police said.



The wind of the rape scandal also blew to

South Africa , two years ago, when two

prophets of the Charis Missionary

Ministries Church, led by Apostle Jerry

Makananisa , were accused of raping a

member of the church on three separate

occasions last year.

The victim, according to a publication in

Sunday World, opened three cases of rape at

the Tembisa Police station, where she claimed

that she was first raped by one of the men,

when she went to clean the church.

She was quoted as saying: “He phoned

me when I was busy cleaning and said he

wanted to talk to me. I left my handbag behind

and went to his car and we drove off to my

room in Tembisa after he insisted we go there.

“When we arrived there, he said there were

too many tenants there who would suspect

we were having an affair and that would dent

his reputation because he was a respected

man of God,” she said.

She said he then drove with her to his room

in the same town, where he allegedly raped


Describing how he allegedly raped her, she

said, “When we arrived there, he

sat on his bed and I sat on

a bucket that was in his

room and we

started talking

about general


“He then

stood up

a n d


me onto

his bed,


me and

raped me

o n c e


using a


When I tried

to scream, he

put his hand on

my mouth to

drown my


The victim further

alleged that the same suspect

raped her for the second time at the same room

after a few weeks.

“When there, he raped me again and gave

me money to buy morning-after pill and to

do HIV tests,” she said.

She alleged that the second man raped

her in June last year. According to her, “ He

told me that there were people who wanted

to offer me a job and said we should meet them

at a park next to where he lives in Clayville.

“Thereafter, he took me to his house for a

meal as he said he was hungry. Despite

asking to remain in the car, the prophet

insisted I came with him to his room. When

I entered the room, I sat on the bed and

watched the television, but shortly

thereafter,he lifted me from behind and

violently pushed me onto the bed and raped

me without a condom. He then ordered me to

shower and gave me money to buy a morningafter


After the rape by the second prophet, the

victim said she confided in another

congregant who encouraged her to talk to

Apostle Makananisa and to also open rape


“ I opened the cases but I feel the police are

failing me because till date these guys have

not been arrested and I fear for my life because

they are still roaming the streets,” she said.

Makananisa’s spokesman Freddie

Hlongwane confirmed that the apostle

encouraged the victim to open the cases. He

said Makananisa had previously

reprimanded the pair from having love affairs

with women in the church.

Rape of

four girls

Again, in 2017, a self-proclaimed prophet

was arrested for allegedly raping four

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—25

girls for more than eight months in

Burgersdorp, in the Eastern Cape, South

Africa. The victims according to the Police,

were ushers in the church.

Police spokes person, Lieutenant-Colonel

Moatshe Ngoepe, who confirmed the arrest,

said that “ The 32-year-old suspect

raped all these victims inside the church on

different dates after he invited them one by

one to come to the church for prayer and while

busy praying, he would attack the victim

and rape them. The suspect will appear before

Lenyenye Magistrate Court soon on four

charges of rape”.


In Houston, former Southern Baptist Pastor

, Stephen Bratton, 43, was arrested on

charges of child sex abuse. He was accused

of repeatedly molesting a teenage family

member over the course of two years.

He was charged with one count of

continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Anambra State :

married woman raped

Back home in Nigeria, the case is not

different. Three years ago, a white garment

prophet, Pius Okoronkwo, was accused of

raping his younger brother’s wife in a

farmland in Umuchu town, Aguata local

government area of Anambra state. The

suspect, who was the founder of Covenant

Sabbath Mission Yaweh church, was said to

have raped the woman identified as Chinasa

Okoronkwo, when she went to farm after, she

managed to escape incessant sexual

harassment by him.

Report according to Mrs Okoronkwo, had

it that the prophet was one of those who

sponsored her marriage with his brother. She

claimed that shortly after her traditional

marriage, Prophet Okoronkwo approached

her and told her that he had the responsibility

of impregnating her despite the fact that she

was married to his brother. She claimed to

have turned down his love advances but that

he continued to harass her, until he allegedly

raped her and threatened to kill her if she

revealed the act to anyone.

As if that was not enough, she alleged that

the prophet , connived with some people to

chase her out of her husband’s house without

his consent, apparently to cover his track. As

at the time the matter was reported, a

Human Rights Awareness Initiative and Road

Safety, had taken up the matter, with a

petition written on her behalf, to the

Commissioner of Police, Anambra State


But the prophet denied the allegations,

describing them as a ploy to blackmail him

Another arrested for

raping 14 yr-old boy

Six years ago, in Ama-Alim Ngugo in

Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo, the

General Overseer of Jesus Army of Salvation

Ministry, Pastor Chukwunonso Okudiover,

was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-yearold


The victim’s ordeal as reported, began

owing to a sharp pain he had in his chest

region. He was said to have been invited by

the Pastor, who also owned a medicine store.

A member of the victim’s family, Francis

Ejiekwu, stated that on the victim’s arrival to

the prophet’s store, the latter rubbed a liquid

substance on the former’s chest, after which

he became unconscious.

Explaining, Ejiekwu said, “ the victim told

us that by the time he woke up from sleep ,

he felt sharp pains in his anus , adding that

the Pastor abused him sexually while he was

unconscious. He further stated that the

Pastor confessed to the rape when confronted

by youths of the community.

The then Imo State Police Public

Relations Officer, Joy Elemoko, confirmed

the incident, saying the case had been brought

to the command headquarters.

Three pupils

fall victims

On Tuesday in Abuja, one Pastor, Emmauel

Mathew (50), was arraigned before Justice

Husseini Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court

over alleged rape of three pupils in his school.

Mathew, who is the General Overseer of

The Choice Bible Church, Mpape and

proprietor of the Primary school where his

victims attended, was arraigned on a sixcount

charge of rape.

The prosecutor, DSP Stanley Nwodo, told

the court that the accused raped two sevenyear-olds

and a nine-year-old pupil within

the school premises, on different occasions.

Nwodo said the offence contravened

Section 283 of the Penal Code, which if

convicted, would earn the accused a 14-year

jail-term, an option of fine or both.

Matthew, however, pleaded not guilty to

the charges.

Another allegedly

impregnates mother and


The list of men who hide under the guise of

Pastors and religious leaders to commit

abominable acts is endless. One of them

Continues on Page 26

26—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

Continues from pg 25

occurred in 2014, in Enugu state, involving a

53-year-old man who claimed to be the

Pastor of Ministry of the Holy Trinity in

Umudikwere community, Timothy Ngwu.

In this case, he allegedly slept with married

women , saying he was acting in according

with God’s directive. He allegedly slept with

a mother and her daughter and impregnated

both of them.

He was arrested for allegedly

impregnating married women and young

girls in his ministry. During interrogation, he

attributed his action on the leading of the

Holy Spirit.

A report on him by Crime Guard alleged

that his sexual exploits came to lime light

when his estranged wife, Veronica

Ngwu, who had three children for him,

could no longer stomach the continuous

harassment. .She reportedly lodged

complaint with the Anti- Child

Trafficking Unit of the Criminal

Investigation Department, Enugu,

which led to her husband’s arrest.

The estranged wife reportedly

informed the police that she escaped

from the ministry with one of her

daughters when her husband

impregnated her niece and claimed

he was obeying the directives of the

Holy Spirit and a prophetic

revelation. She also informed

detectives led by DSP Gloria

Udoka that the situation at the

Vineyard Ministry of the Holy

Trinity was better imagined than

seen, alleging that her husband

converted married women and single girls to

his own and impregnated all of them while

pretending to be obeying spiritual directives.

During interrogation, the Pastor allegedly

claimed that he had sex with women following

directives from the Holy Spirit and with the

consent of their husbands. But for the single

ladies, he said he carried out the deed through

a spiritual directive.

Woman abandons husband,

10 children for Pastor

The Police in Enugu also alluded to the

allegations when it issued a statement through

the Public Relations Officer, DSP Ebere

Amarizu, stating that two women, among

others in the enclave of the vineyard, left their

husbands to reside with the General Overseer.

According to the statement, the two women

identified as Calista Omeje and Assumpta

Odo, confirmed that they left their husbands

to live with the General Overseer on the

prophetic injunction to do the will of God. The

statement noted that Calista revealed that she

had 10 children for her husband but was later

impregnated by the General Overseer

(Timothy) but that the baby died later. Calista

also said that she gave out her daughter to the

General Overseer to be impregnated, an act

she described as “the fulfillment of the will of


Amarizu noted in the statement that the

Pastor said he had five wives with 13 children

apart from other concubines who he had,

courtesy of the prophetic direction to do the

will of God.

“Timothy Ngwu said that Veronica used to

be his wife but described her as a falling wife.”

He also said, “I do not do anything with any

married woman until the full consent and

agreement were sought and reached between

the husband in line with the directives of the

Holy Spirit to do the will of God, which is an

act of spirituality.”



In Port Harcourt, the River State Capital,

six years ago, one of the Pastors who could not

resist sexual temptation was in the news.

Many found it hard to believe when the news

filtered round, while several others close to

him, called him on the phone to ascertain the


But the man at the centre of controversy,

Bishop Chibuike Nwabueze ,narrated before

journalists, at the State Criminal

Investigation Department, SCID, Port

Harcourt, Rivers State, how he raped a 15-

year-old girl, shortly after ministering at

Calvary Army Ministry, Rumuoji Eneka in

Obio Akpor local government area of he


As he spoke in an emotionally laden tone,

he fought hard not to betray his emotion by

berthing his eye lids intermittently to prevent

the tears of regrets from leaving the tearbags.

He started that while relaxing

after the ministration, the girl came for

deliverance but that while praying for her,

she started removing her dress and that

before he could restrain her, he found

himself on top of her.

He said, “ I was surprised when I saw

her pulling off her blouse and skirt. But,

before I knew it, I had carnal knowledge

of her. That is the truth of the matter.” His

head suddenly dropped after the confession.



do in the

name of


She hypnotized me

According to him, when he realised he had

sinned against God, he called some junior

pastors to tell them what he had done and

requested to be prayed for. Pastor Nwabueze,

said he took a second look at the little girl who

probably was still lying nude and waiting for a

second round but that what he saw pissed him


He said, “She started laughing at me. She

said ‘are you angry?’ I told her that I did not

know she had hypnotised me. She said I

should not bother,”.

“I was so angry and annoyed that I called

some of my pastors and made a confession,

that I did not know what was happening. It is

not true that I raped the girl. I also did not

procure abortion on her. It was her father

that did it but I paid the bills.

“I was set up by my enemies. I have so

many people who are my enemies. The man

in-charge of where I went to minister is my

enemy. He is the person that set me up. He

invited me to his church for a programme,

claiming to be my friend. After the

programme, he set me up because of the

tussle over the chairmanship of the


The then Deputy Commissioner of Police

in charge of Rivers SCID, Mr Samuel

Okaula, who paraded the Bishop and a male

nurse who allegedly facilitated the abortion,

advised people be conscious of worship

centres. He said Nwabueze would be

arraigned before the court to serve as a


Pastor rapes infects

minors with HIV

One of the most pathetic cases of rape by

clergy men occurred in Ejigbo area of Lagos,

three months ago. In this case, the General

Overseer of Jesus Intervention Household

Ministry, Rev Prince Ezuma Chizemdere, was

arrested for allegedly having anal sex with

some teenage boys in the area .

As if that was not enough, some of his

victims, were infected with the Human

Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, in the process.

The suspect, who was arrested by policemen

attached to Ejigbo division, was alleged to have

been taking teenage boys, between 15 and 16

years , to his apartment, where he penetrated

them through the anus, at the end of which he

would give each of them N2,000. . But the

bubble burst after one of the boys reported to

his parents, who subsequently contacted the


As at the time his atrocity came to limelight,

one of his victims, 16-year-old Anthony

(surname withheld as he is still a teenager),

who was discovered to have been infected with

HIV, had begun treatment.

Crime Guard gathered that his wife

packed out of the house when she discovered

what he was into. After much entreaties from

her husband, church members and both

families, she returned home, only to pack out

again on discovering that her husband was

HIV positive. But she passed on, few months

after, leaving behind two children.

During interrogation, the suspect admitted

culpability, begging to be forgiven. He said:

“This is the work of evil spirit, with the aim to

destroy me because I have genuine gifts from

God. Whenever the evil force comes on me, I

would be helpless, until I have accomplished

its mission.”

Spokesman for the Lagos State Police

Command, DSP Elkana Bala, who confirmed

the arrest, said: “ The Pastor has been at large

for about three months. On March 22, 2009,

at about 1 am, Police laid siege to his

apartment based on information gathered

that he often sneaked into the house

through the back entrance. “When he

discovered that Police had cordoned

his house, he hid himself in the

ceiling for two hours before he

was arrested. “Investigation has

it that Reverend Pastor Prince

Ezuma brought in about 15

boys into his apartment

where he forcefully

penetrated them, through

the anus. Some residents

revealed that the

reverend usually

washed six bed

sheets daily

whenever he brings

in little children,

suspected to be his

sex partners.”

Orphan raped,

impregnated by Pastor

From the north to the south and the East to

the West, the story is the same. Last month , a

48-year-old Pastor, at the Gwarinpa branch of

the Mountain of Fire Miracle Church,

MFM in Abuja, was arrested by the

National Agency for the Prohibition of

Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), over

alleged rape and sexual exploitation of a 16-

year-old orphan.

NAPTIP’s Head, Press and Public Relations

Unit, Stella Nezan, who made the disclosure,

alleged that the victim was impregnated in

the process.

Like some previous culprits, the Pastor,

according to her, volunteered to provide

shelter for the girl and deliver her from an

evil spirit after she was accused of witchcraft,

only to take advantage of the situation.

She said, “”The victim, a

JSS 2 student of one of the

government schools in Abuja,

suddenly dropped out of

school and was in dire need

of accommodation shortly

after the death of her parents

in 2018. Investigation

revealed that the Pastor was

living with his daughter in

the same compound with the

According to him,

when he realised

he had sinned

against God, he

called some

junior pastors to

tell them what he

had done and

requested to be

prayed for

victim’s deceased parents in

Karmo, a suburb of Abuja, and

volunteered to assist her in

her education.

“According to the victim,

after the first year of their

living together, the pastor

started making love advances

toward her, an action she

constantly resisted. She

narrated that the first time the

pastor raped her was in

March, after her birthday

outing,” Nezan said. She

added that the pastor

continued to rape her until

it resulted in pregnancy.

“During interrogation, the

pastor confessed to sexually

abusing the girl only twice

and attributed the evil act to the devil,” she


Meanwhile, the Director General of NAPTIP,

Ms Julie Okah-Donli, has described the action

of the suspect as the highest form of

wickedness against a fellow human being,

promising that the case would be diligently

prosecuted in order to secure justice for the


9yr-old girl

raped to death

In the Abuja orphan’s case, she lived to

narrate her ordeal in the hands of the

supposed Pastor turned predator. But same

could not be said of nine-year-old

Covenant Elijah, who was allegedly raped to

death by a prophet, right inside a church

premises in Iyana-Era, along the Badagry /

Mile –Two expressway.

Covenant, would have been 19-year-old

today, had life not been snuffed out of her by

the pedophile, who masqueraded as a

prophet. The gory sight of the girl in one of

the rooms of the church , was not only mind

burgling but also ear-tingling, as a teeming

sympathetic crowd gathered to behold her

lifeless and violated body, in 2008.

Like a lamb to be slaughtered, the innocent

girl obediently followed her mother who, out

of determination to find a spiritual solution to

her strange behaviour, ended up in the claws

of the devil himself, thereby sending her to an

untimely death with an untold torture and

excruciating pains which could only be

imagined than described.

Covenant’s unprepared journey to the land

of the great beyond started few years after her

mother Mrs Arit Bassey, reportedly noticed

some strange behaviour in her. Efforts to

proffer a lasting solution, saw her taking her

daughter from one spiritual home to the other,

until she landed at Miracle Deliverance

Church International.

Crime Guard investigation revealed that

the unsuspecting mother was introduced to

the Edo State-born Pastor, Henry Ovotoka, by

one Essi, a member of the church, the previous

month. The clergy man requested that the

child be brought for deliverance with an

assurance that all would be well at the end of

the spiritual cleansing.

On July 25th 2008, a Friday to be precise,

the desperate mother, in the company of Essi,

reportedly took the child to the Pastor who

immediately started a prayer session.

In an interview with Crime Guard then,

Mrs. Bassey said, “After two hours of praying,

he stopped and said my daughter was

possessed. He asked if Covenant had eaten,

I shook my head..

“He said it was even better so that she could

start a three day fasting that would usher her

to the deliverance proper. He claimed he was

acting under the instruction of God.

“Since the Pastor insisted that the prayer and

fasting period would be done in the church, I

decided to rush home to pack some of my

clothes and other perishable things I left

outside. But when I got home, it was too late

for me to go back”.

Crime Guard learnt that she was unable to

make it the next day being July 26th. Then on

the third day, with great expectation that all

was going to be over, she made for the church

to take her daughter but did not see either

the Pastor or her daughter.

Being a Sunday, some of the worshipers had

started assembling on the open plot of land

used as a prayer ground. The perplexed

mother narrated: “At that point, I became

curious and went to Essi’s house to inquire

about the Pastor’s whereabouts. She tried him

on his phone but there was no response. All

we heard was that the phone was switched


Apprehension set in at that point and she

reportedly rushed to Ijaniki police division to

alert them of the disappearance of her

daughter. A policeman was said to have

followed Mrs Bassey, who was weeping and

at the same time, praying for the worst not to

happen. But the heaven at that moment

seemed to be silent, as the

rudest shock of her life

occurred at the church, when

the policeman reportedly broke

the wooden door of one of the

rooms, only to be thrown off

balance by the sight on the


Right on the floor was

Covenant Elijah, who could

barely be recognized . She was

reportedly found stark naked

with clot of blood in her virgina,

stone dead! The agonizing

cries of Mrs Bassey who kept

shouting ‘Jesus! rented the air.

This alerted some worshipers

who also exclaimed in their

different dialects and ran out

of the room upon sighting the

lifeless remains of nine-yearold

Convenant. But Pastor

Ovotoka was no where to be

found. As at the time of

writing the piece eleven years

ago, the Police were still

making frantic efforts to trace


Crime Guard reliably

gathered that preliminary

investigation suggested that

the late Covenant died of exhaustive sex while

the clot of blood from her virgina indicated

forceful and deep penetration. It was also

discovered that she took no food during her

stay with the self acclaimed man of God.


clerics too

There were also instances where Muslim

clerics otherwise known as Alfa were

arrested over alleged cases of rape of minors,

especially those who attended Arabic lessons

with them.

With these and other clandestine activities

by some men of God who are supposed to

be spiritual guide to the congregants, one

begins to wonder which way to go. But that

does not rule out the fact that there are still

several other genuine men of God who would

not yield to the temptation of Delilah, like

Samson, or the nakedness of Bathsheba like

David but have made covenant with their

eyes like Job, not to look lustfully at young

women and have learnt to flee like Joseph,

from every appearances of fornication and

adultery .

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—27

Continues from 27

Investigation. Investigation of sexual

crimes is different and that is why we are

saying that we need a specially trained

police force for violent crimes because it

will help them understand.

Handling Gender Based Violence

Yes, the police handle crime generally

but if you look at gender based violence,

it is not the same thing with murder or

other forms of assault. If you look at the

dynamics of issues around rape, how do

you deal with responses of victims?

A victim can come and say something

now and the next moment says something

else. Sometimes they are incoherent. If

you don’t understand where they are

coming from you will have difficulty in

dealing with them or proving it.

As individuals we react differently to

issues but because there are researchers

who have studied the variety of survivors

who can say these are some of the things

they do. So when they start talking, such

person can understand where they are

coming from, and how it has affected

them. An attempted rape victim can have

psychiatric problems while somebody

that is gang raped may not have

psychiatric issue or anything. So it is

dynamic and as individuals we respond

to issues differently.

It’s also because of our histories. Our

histories are different so also our

exposures and world view are different

from one another. So understanding the

basis, we need expertise in the area of

sexual violence.

Forensic examinations

We are talking about forensic

examination of sexual violence scenes.

Don’t forget that only sexual violence that

is reported immediately can be proved

from the views of those involved. There

are specific ways you talk to people there.

Mostly investigation here ends up in: I

call your name, you come to the police

station and write your statement, go for

medical examination and then papers are

filed. But it goes beyond all that.

To talk about the charges, there are

sexual crimes that you will not get to

charge the person on that assault. Look

at the video that is ongoing for instance;

there are a lot of things that can be picked

from that video. She’s dragged out. Where

are you taking me to? There was no

warrant of arrest. You took a child to a

place and you held the child down there.

You forcibly held the child there. There

are different things the law has. You see a

30-count charge abroad, if you escape

one, you will meet the second, you escape

the second one, you will meet the third

one. The charges are interlinked.

A typical case

I remember a case we have, two little

girls aged 2 and one year old. They can’t

talk very well but the Landlord was

physically penetrating them. The oneyear-old

would be on the floor playing,

after a while, the Landlord used his left

hand fingers to push the diapers to one

side and then insert. Physically, she goes


Meanwhile, the case has been reported

to the police, the accused person has gone

to the police for monitoring. The

monitoring call invited all of us and we

got the Office of the Public Defender, OPD,

involved. When we got there, they could

not find any evidence.

The policeman now turned to the small

girl and asked her: “Do you know this

man?” She said: “Yes. Oga Landlord” (Mr

Landlord). “What happened to you?” The

child pulled her dress up separated her

legs and said he put his hands here.

This is a two-year-old. But that case

couldn’t be handled because medical

examination was not showing anything

any more in the two girls. But in the oneyear-old,

it confirmed behaviour that

somebody had introduced her to that


But the two-year-old was able to stand

up to speak. There are so many cases that

Nigerians have

declared zero

tolerance for

sexual violence

have not been able to get to the court even though there is evidence.

So the essence is that proving sexual violence proving in court is very


Busola Dakolo’s video

Like every other Nigerian, I woke up to that video shared by Busola

Dakolo about her rape experience and it was a shock. But one thing I

want people to realise is the fact that the protest was not intended to

attack the Church.

It is the person that something happened to that can really describe

it. She is not a child, I am trained to work with children, she has been

able to express graphically what happened to her. All over the world

where there are systems in place to respond to this issue, sexual

violence is one of the most under-reported crimes. We cannot fault

what she has said. I can seat as a victim advocate and tell you that I

Rape, for instance,

is under-reported

because of the fear

of public shame,

ridicule and

stigmatisation, but

that may be

changing, going by


developments in


*Rape protest

believe her. We can give support

to people who come to complain.

We try to do something that can

help you move on with your life

and if there is avenue to seek

redress we also help you take

advantage of it.

I have handled over 20,000

cases, but not all have gone to

court, not because it did not

happen but because there is no

legal stand. Based on the laws,

there is a time line, we have to

follow the law. She said it

happened in Ilorin, so Kwara law

will have to determine if there is

a case to be called. But on my

seat as an advocate I stand with

her. I’m also a survivor, so where

we are coming from is different.

You are a hearer. I’m a victim

advocate, so I’m going to address

that matter as a victim advocate.

I’m also an activist, and what

activists do is to act.

COZA protest

Majority of people that joined

the protest were more of

Christians. There was certainly

no intention to destroy the church with that protest or

stop people from worshipping, it was essentially to

make a statement. The goal was for the leadership of

the Church to be awakened that they are not exempted

from accountability and authority.

We demanded four things with that protest. We called

on COZA Trustees and Executive Council and leaders

to act. First demand was that Biodun Fatoyinbo

should step down, so that we can separate the issue

from the church and face him as an individual.

Second, there should be instituted an in-house

investigation with no partiality or favours. The Church

should set up a panel to listen to the grievances within

and not just wave it off. Third demand, listen to people

who have something to say and make sure that the

platform does not stigmatise them and that survivors

may continue their worship without retraumatisation.

Fourth is to uphold the virtues of Christ

in all truth.

Our acting has gone beyond Busola. It is for every

other woman or child out there that has been violated.

So when you see blood boiling there is a reason for

that. We will do the best we can. We have several NGOs in

the coalition. There has to be zero tolerance for violence

against women and children.

Role of dressing in rape incidence

What dress could a 9-year-old wear that would cause her

to be sexually violated? What of the women wearing Hijab

that are raped, do they also entice men? It is still a myth

about the connection of rape and the dress you are wearing.

To date, the moment a rape is reported and a woman is

involved, people tend to attribute it to indecent dressing.

We need to get it right that sexual violence has nothing to

do with what you are wearing. All the cases I have handled,

I have not seen one that the woman was violated as a result

of the way the woman was dressed.

Mess up

It is better for rape or any sexual violation not to happen.

We have seen the mess up already. There is serious mess up.

I still carry the scars of sexual abuse, and it is not easy on a

survivor. Some survivors don’t even know that certain

things happening to them in life have to do with the sexual

abuse they suffered earlier as children. There is emotional

trauma brought on by the experience. Some abused children

become abusers themselves.

Coming out about rape

I am also a survivor. The first time I talked about my

experience was 2003. When I came out publicly, I was not

prepared to say it, people asked whether it had happened

to me and I said yes. My own happened when I was a child

and I kept facing multiple abuses.

The day you decide to tell your story is your choice. You

can see all over the world people that open up, it didn’t

happen to them today, it happened long ago, they just

needed to have courage to talk about it.

A child would say “I cannot tell my mother.” The ones

that summon courage are not believed by family members.

Some people are afraid of future stigmatization. I use to

tell them that rape doesn’t mean your future is ruined.

Nigerian laws on sexual violence

There are many cases that don’t get to court. Sexual

violence is difficult to prove. Most times the application

and process of our laws come with different challenges. I

think our Magistrates need more enlightenment to

understand those issues because some think it cannot


Investigation is an issue, today, if you go and report that

somebody raped you, it is you that will bring money to the

police officer for the vehicle that will go and pick the


Police has no vehicles to use, you are still the one that will

bear the cost, it is not supposed to be so.

The process needs to be re-evaluated and it has to come

from the National Assembly. The police don’t have

equipment. You get to the police station and you have to

buy statement paper and everything, so most people don’t

want to come and report. Those that report need to bear

the cost.

If you go to the police station you are spending the whole

day. There are cases of mothers who when reporting the

abuse of their children, lost their job. The process is not

okay. Our police is federal so it is federal issue. Allocation

needs to be made to protect citizens. Police is not equipped,

and most of the officers are not trained in these issues.

For survivors of sexual violence

Sexual violence victims need to seek support and

encourage each other to be strong. We need each other

because there is a lot happening to you today as a result of

the experiences from long ago. Look for trauma

management counselors. Find a true counselor who is

trained in trauma management. If you have been sexually

molested or traumatized, you need therapy. You need help

and tell the story whether you want to seek justice. For your

life’s sake and mental health and to move on in life, you

need to find therapy and support group.

Many groups are currently offering free counseling in

this area. There are also online support systems, and victims

only need to just tap into these resources. We share our

stories and troubles and help each other.

28—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019


Bride had 34 bridesmaids by her

side at 'dream' beach wedding

t may seem like a large bridal

Iparty to most, but Casme Carter

said she would have had 50 if she'd

had more time to plan.

Twelve of her bridesmaids walked

down the aisle with the 12 groomsmen

while the remainder strutted

'catwalk style' at the Florida nuptials.

The group included six of her sisters,

who were her maids of honour.

Casme said she was blown away

by how well the women, whose

ages ranged from 21 to 50, bonded.

She said her girls from different

places are now all chatting to each

other on social media, which makes

her feel happy.

The women did a photoshoot on

the beach in bikinis, before posing

together on the big day in nude and

cream coloured dresses.

"Every lady was handpicked,"

the New Orleans-based performer

'Coffin in Confessor' deliberat

ately ely disrupts funerals


- at the request of the dead


private investigator

has revealed how he

is paid to disrupt funerals

- at the request of the

people being buried.

Australian Bill Edgar -

who brands himself a

'Coffin Confessor' - has

opened up about the unusual

things he is asked to


On one occasion, he

told the Gold Coast Bulletin

, a 79-year-old man

told Today.

"I travelled for 18 years as a singer

and made incredible friends along

the way. I felt so loved and blessed

to have them by my side."

Casme added: "We had doctors

and performers and lawyers, just a

big assortment of different personalities

and it was nothing but love."

The bride revealed her husband

asked him to butt in when

his best pal was giving a

eulogy - telling him: "I

know you were trying to

screw my wife."

Another mourner was

told to "f*** off" as Mr Edgar

read from a note left by the


The congregation at the

service quickly dispersed,

apparently fearing they

would be at the sharp end

of the dead man's wrath.

Mr Edgar has now done

jobs across Australia,

which generally require

him to make 'confessions'.

Among these are admissions

of infidelity and minor


He charges thousands of

dollars for the service,

which can be very difficult.

But not all his tasks are

bitter or resentful - each

month he sends a letter

from a woman who died to

her husband.

Mr Edgar said: "Part of it

will say 'Please don't ever

forget me because I will

never forget you'.

"Some of this is just so


An online description of

the service he provides

says: "Engaged by those

knocking on death's door

Mr Edgar is to interrupt

their funeral services without

care or concern for anyone

but his client.

"He lets those his client

loved know just how much

they were loved and those

they loved to hate to f*** off."

Gary initially thought she

was joking when she told him

her bridesmaid count.

He said although he had 12

groomsmen - he thought this

would be the most you could

possibly have by your side.

But his wife wanted everyone

who was part of her life

to be involved.

Some of the girls wore

dresses they already had,

while others went for a $25

design Casme found on Amazon

as she wanted to keep it


The bride said she told her

girls not to give her presents,

as their presence was


And she told ABC News

the day - with around 100

guests - could not have gone


Casme, who has been imagining

what her special day

would look like for years, says

it was a "dream come true".



MAN has miraculously survived

falling into a pool of toxic tar in Russia.

He was rescued by passers-by after

tripping into a pit of asphalt in an abandoned

factory in the western city of

Pavlovsk, near Saint Petersburg.

Nurses then painstakingly removed the

sticky gloop using razor blades after he

was rushed to hospital, MailOnline reports.

Shocking photos show the 33-year-old

victim - who has not been named -

writhing in agony as he's completely

caked in the liquid tar.

Later, he's seen on a hospital gurney as

a stunned medic looks on.

It reportedly took several hours for the

tar to be scraped off every inch of his


Doctors later said that his life was no

longer in danger and he has been discharged.

The tar and other chemicals were reportedly

left in the abandoned site after

the closure of a plant.

Local authorities are now said to be

planning to clean up the area following

the near-fatal accident.

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, , 2019—29


Why some mothers find

breast feeding difficult!

RECENTLY, more than

ever before, there has

been a step up propaganda

on the advantages of breastmilk

for babies. If, for a

reason, you can’t breastfeed

your baby, the-poor mite

might he left with a future so

disadvantaged you would

wish rent-abreast-milk

options are readily

available on the market.

According to an expert

rooting for women unable to

breast feed: “You’re

exhausted, your new baby is

screaming and you’re

desperately trying to

breastfeed; after all, you’ve

been told throughout your

entire pregnancy that

‘breast is best.’ But your

baby isn’t gaining weight. It’s

agony every time you try to

feed, and all the experts

have time to do is tell you to

‘keep at it’ which only makes

you feel even moire guilty.

“Nobody’s denying that

breast-feeding is best for

your baby. Indeed, mothers’

rights to breast-feed their

babies whenever they need

to cannot be

overemphasised. But some

experts are currently

concerned that ‘breastfeeding

bullies’ might be

doing moire harm than


A couple of years ago, a

renowned British

paediatrician, Dr. Ganesh

Supramaniam, claimed that:

‘The militant attitude of

breast feeding or nothing is

causing hundreds of babies

to be readmitted to

hospitals suffering from

dehydration.” In a new

book: What to Expect When

You’re Breast Feeding...

And What if you can’t?

author Clare Byam-Cook, a

qualified nurse and midwife

who now runs a private

practice helping mothers to

breast feed, observed that:

“Women are told they have

to breast-feed, and then are

sent home and left to get on

with it. No one tells them it’s

a skill that has to be learnt.

Currently, more than 70 per

cent of mothers breast feed

when their baby is born. But

only 25 per cent are still

breast-feeding when the

child is six months old. And,

92 per cent of mothers have

given their six months baby

milk other than breast milk.”

One of Clare’s patients,

who said she was still angry

about her treatment by

breast feeding bullies, said:

“I had an emergency

Caesarean with my first

child. My daughter was

taken away from me when

she was born because she

wasn’t breathing, and given

a bottle of formula. She

looked content and I was

exhausted and in pain, so I

decided not to breast feed.



disapproved, so I was

determined to breast feed

my next child.

Unfortunately, he was also

born by caesarean. I tried

My daughter was

taken away from

me when she was

born because she

wasn’t breathing,

and given a bottle

of formula

really hard, but my nipples

were so sore and cracked that

after a couple of days, they

were bleeding. I told a

midwife that I was bleeding

and in pain. She said:’Just

carry on. The blood won’t

hurt your baby.’

“I was very stressed and in

tears every time I tried to

feed. Eventually, I rang my

own midwife who told me:

‘Your son needs you to be

happy more than he needs

your breast milk.’ That was

the best advice I was given

and I put him on formula.”

Another of Claire’s casestudy,

Siobhan, said she came

under intense pressure to

breast feed when she was

expecting her third child.

“Every time I had an

appointment, they’d ask me

if I was going to breast feed. I

told them I wasn’t. They

refused to put that on my

notes—they just put a

question mark I was called, a

‘silly woman’ and one midwife

even asked: “Does your

husband know what you’ve

decided?’ Everyone says

breast is best and if you can

do it, that’s great. But women

who can’t shouldn’t be made

to feel bad. All my children

are fit, healthy and bright. I

defy anyone to spot any

difference between them...!

Another of Clare’s casestudy

observed that: “With

my first child, the nurse tried

to get him to latch on a

couple of times, then gave

up and left me to it. 1 couldn’t

get the hang of it, so I put him

on infant formula. Then I

tried with my second child.

My mum wanted me to do it,

and even when I told the

nurses in the maternity

ward my intention, they all

became my new best friends.

One said: ‘It’s the only way.

But once I took my son

home, things were very

different. Releasing milk was

very painful. My breasts

would sting every time I tried

to feed. It was as if I was

being cut. I looked

everywhere for information.

I even rang a support line but

the woman was on the other

end of the phone—she

couldn’t see what I was

doing, she told me to get

some cream which didn’t

help. Again, I gave up, and I

felt as if I’d disappointed

everyone. I wanted to do the

best for my kids but it was

agony. Everyone tells you

how wonderful breast feeding

is, but nobody tells you how

much it can hurt. And, no one

has the time to help you.”

Clare urges you to take

heart if you’ve encountered

the breast-feeding bullies,

and not feel guilty. “It is not

true that every woman can

breast feed,’ she says. “You

might not produce enough

milk. Your baby might have

certain conditions that make

it difficult, such as a floppy

larynx. Or you might have

awkwardly-shaped nipples or

breasts. And, some babies

just don’t want to suck. If

someone gives you advice

and it doesn’t work, that

means it’s bad advice! It’s not

your fault. You should do

whatever feels right for you

and your baby.”

He blamed his father-in-law

for raising a spoilt brat

PATIENCE and her husband had been married for five years

when they moved into a posh bungalow on a better side of

Lagos. As they both showed guests round during the housewarming

ceremony, they looked the perfect couple and took

in the ooh and aah gasps of admirers. The guests thought that

Luke, the husband, must have made some appreciate progress

in his job for him to be able to afford a pad like this. Three

years after, Luke was out of the house, the bitter feud that ‘d

been brewing for a couple of years had now boiled over. One

day, Luke came home from an all-night outing and found his

suitcases neatly packed and waiting for him by the door. In

the rain! Four fierce-looking men stood guard at the door,

menacing looking cudgels in their hands.

“I was shocked and I guess the shock will never wear off,”

Luke said a few months after the incident. “That’s what comes

with marrying a rich man’s daughter I can’t see my children

now, and my wife thinks I’m dirt, and it’s all thanks to my

money-bag father-in-law. He wants you to roll on the floor

with gratitude whenever he shows you the slightest favour. I

mean, there are other ways of showing gratitude without

licking someone’s hand like a dog. Well, he has his daughter

now, let him marry her!” Patience was at pains to talk about a

marriage she described as a waking ‘nightmare.’ I sought her

out to ask her side of the story. “That man is an animal,” she

shuddered, remembering the things she said she had to go

through to stay married to him. “Despite the good education

he had, he had this giant complex about my parents’ wealth.

Daddy was very generous to us when we got married. I am his

first daughter and he gave us a brand new car and furnished

flat. Luke was quite happy letting daddy shoulder his

responsibilities as that gave him extra cash for his twin

obsessions: wine and women. I’d seen these traits in him

before we got married and had naively assumed marriage

would change him. The women he ran around with were

obviously a deliberate attempt to belittle me. Very uncouth

and classless, they thought they were having a stab at the

upper-class by sleeping with the same man that I was sleeping

with. I felt really inadequate and humiliated. My friends told

me that I was probably a bit too straight-laced; that men prefer

firebrands in bed and that I should be more adventurous in

the bedroom. They gave me a few pointers. So when next we

made love and I wanted to try some of the things my friends

advised, my husband just stopped.

30—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019


Presidency, religious

leaders still sleeping


Pastor Abraham Sam Ayedogbo, is

the Senior Servant of Realm of

Glory Churches, Nigeria and

beyond. He is also the Regional Director,

Every Nation, Movement of Churches,

which Realm of Glory is an affiliate.

He started a movement called, ‘Not

Forgotten, Not Forsaken’ for the release

of Leah Sharibu and other innocent Nigerians

who are in captivity of Boko Haram

and those who have been killed. With the

foundation ‘Calayst for Global Peace and

Justice’, CPJ, according to him, that

advocates for Justice, Equity, Good Gover-

nance and Enabling Environment, the

movement has been in the fore-front of

advocating for the release of Leah Sharibu

from Boko Haram captivity and other

innocent Nigerians especially ladies.

In this interview, he speaks on how the

present administration led by President

Mohammadu Buhari has disappointed

Nigerians on the release of Leah Sharibu as

well as other victims of Boko Haram. He

also berates religious leaders who have

decided to be sleeping on the case and as a

result, allowed the poor girl go through

trauma in the dungeon of the terrorists.


By Ebunoluwa Sessou

In May 2019, there was a

reception in honour of Leah

Sharibu’s 16th birthday, organised

by CPJ in partnership with other

civil society organisations. There

were expectations but it seems the

campaign has been fruitless. What


We are not under an illusion to

think that our government is

capable to do the needful. We are

not deceived to believe that as

Leah Sharibu

much as in time passed they have

tried to make us believed. There

have been many hope raised, hope

dashed for Nigerians, not just on

the case of Leah Sharibu.

But, when I say, we are not under

an illusion to think, they would do

something with the loud advocacy

for Leah Sharibu’s 16th birthday in

May. I am not mistakening.

I recall the fact that in November

30, 2018, we had a Mega protest

on what we called, ‘Not Forgotten,

Not Forsaken’, the protest was in

partnership with the Leah

Sharibu’s foundation and others

over some that have been killed by

Boko Haram. Some of them were

executed like the Red Cross


Using them as the woman face of

what we are advocating we came out

with big programme in collaboration

with Women Advocacy Research

Development, WARDC, led by Dr.

Abiola Akiode Afolabi, we had the

convener of ‘Our Mumu Don Do’,

Charley boy. We had the national

president of the Committee for the

defence of human right among

others alongside Mr. Femi Falana,


What we wanted was that the

government and the nation will not

forget those who have been killed in

captivity nor forsake those who are

still in captivity. And we did that

programme before the

electioneering campaign because we

knew that, once the campaign begins,

nobody will mention it and once the

election is over, everything will be

over. We were inspired to have

organised that programme. We knew

that the government has both

forgotten those who were killed and

forsaken those who are still in

captivity. And so, it became a

movement that CPJ, is now running

a movement called, ‘Not Forgotten,

Not Forsaken’. And on Leah

Sharibu’s 16th birthday, we rolled out

the drum of not forgotten, not

forsaken, using Leah as the arrow

head but there are many that have

been forgotten and forsaken.

Therefore, it has been a longtime

struggle. The crisis of terrorism,

kidnapping among others did not

start with the case of Leah Sharibu

but women. And, we have not seen

any definite thing that the

government has done. Rather, they

have only perfected the act at a stage

to come with an already made

speech and say, what they think, we

want to hear. We will not leave any

stone upturned, we will do this and


I remember, on October 2, last year,

CPJ in collaboration with CAN as

well as Global Movement, Every

Nation Movement, had a Mega rally

at the National Christian Centre,

Abuja, after the Independent Day

celebration. We were advocating for

the release of Leah Sharibu and it

was after the event, the President

for the first time picked his phone

and called Leah Sharibu’s mother.

We are not

under an

illusion to think,

they would do

something with

the loud

advocacy for

Leah Sharibu’s

16th birthday in

May. I am not


It was interesting and a bit consoling

that after the rally, the President

called the mother, I believed other

civil society organisations have also

added their voices in the advocacy.

The President made the call and

promised Leah Sharibu’s mother

that he would do everything within

his power to ensure the release but

nothing has been done after that.

So, if we look at the track record of

this government, I think, we will be

expecting too much to think that

with all that happened during Leah

Sharibu’s birthday, as they had

promised to make something work.

So,we are not disappointed that

they have disappointed us.

Now, this is the second term for

President Mohammadu Buhari, it is

the still the same old story.

Everything is still crawling. Nothing

that affect Nigerians that have been

addressed, so, it is unfortunate that

Leah Sharibu is part of the saddest

commentary of our contemporary

history. It is the sore that hurt so bad

and we thought that if there were

people listening and thinking as a

government and that they are

mothers and fathers, all they need

to do is to put themselves in that

situation. That was what motivated

me for what I am doing. Even if the

release of Leah Sharibu and others

is the only thing this government

could do, either to use that to end

the first term or start the second term

and as a symbol for the

inauguration, that would have been

a huge success. But, I doubt, if that

is going to come any moment. So,

for us, it is a longtime struggle as

they say, so, the struggle continues.

And it does not matter how the case

of Leah Sharibu goes, she remains a

hero and it will also be a centre for

discourse anyway or time. So, I

commend you for not given up on

Leah Sharibu. We pray the Lord will

keep her alive and we believe that,

one day, we will get her released and

unite her with her family again. And

if that wouldn’t happen, we will keep

on the struggle and we will not keep

quiet and if this government remain

incompetent and incapable of doing

anything, we hope that someday,

God will let people that can do the

needful rise up.

You sound as if all hope is lost

and that getting Leah Sharibu

released is impossible.....

Far from that, my last statement is

that, the incompetence of this

government and their lack of

capability to do anything is telling

on everybody. We are all living with

it. You just have to be realistic. So,

we live with that but all hope is that

lost because Nigeria is bigger than

any individual or government. If

even, it would not happen during

their tenure, whether through the

efforts of the media, civil society

organisations or international

communities, we believe strongly

that someday somehow, Leah

Sharibu will be released.

We do not think, all hope is lost.

The terrorists will think they are

having their ways now, it does not

matter what they do to her. I think,

there are two fears we have. There

was a time, they threatened with an

ultimatum of one month to kill her if

the government did not do

anything, so we drew up an

advocacy and thank God, they gave

up that idea. They said, she was

going to be a slave for life. Probably,

the worse that can happen is if she

loses her life. But, many people are

praying against it. But, even if that

happens, she remains a hero.

There are people that are alive

that are not known but Leah is

known everywhere. Leah has

become not only the conscious of

Nigeria but a symbol of courage,

conviction, ability to stand for what

you believe. It is not just about the

religious apart but a symbol of an

ideal Nigerian girl. That alone is

hope. She gave us hope when there

was no more hope. It is as if there

are no more heroes but this girl just

came from nowhere like a star in the

dark cloud. So, that couldn’t have

made us to be hopeless. The second

one is that, they might force her into

marriage against her wish. And if by

that means she becomes pregnant

and have a child for Boko Haram

commander or whoever, that would

be very traumatic for her. As it is, it is

a traumatic situation for her and her

parents but in the midst of that, there

is still hope that something good can

happen. Moses was in captivity

when God used King Pharaoh’s

daughter and his palace to raise

Moses who was going to deliver the

people of God. I am saying, it does

not matter what Boko Haram does,

we are not hopeless, we believe that

God is going to turn the darkness to

light. It is not going to end as a tragic

but it will be something to proof the

Sovereignty of God. It is just that as

far as the current government and

the party in power is concerned

whose main responsibility should be

security of lives and properties, there

is nothing to expect. They have not

given us hope. But, our hope

transcends them.

On issues like this, would it be

out of place to say that the church

of God is sleeping?

Definitely and obviously, I think

the larger part of the church appears

to be like a sleeping giant because,

we are also perplexed that the big

names in the Christendom, the big

church leaders are not vocal enough

on the issue of Leah Sharibu.

We are wondering that if it were

the daughter of one of them, or the

governor or the president, I am sure,

they will do better to impress the


This girl is suffering for denying

her faith. The way we, CPJ and

Realm of Glory started the advocacy,

it is also expected that all Christain

leaders talk about it. But, it is

amazing that some people do not

even talk about it. Largely, it looks

like a good number of people that

made the church appear to be

sleeping. Probably, they feel that

there are other things that are

important than Leah Sharibu’s case.

One would expect that if we know

what Jesus stands for, all of us will

prioritise speaking out, fighting,

Continues on page 32

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—31

NCWS, FIDA, , development


Agencies call for affirmativ


action in Buhari’s govt

As President Mohammadu Buhari stalls over the annoucment of a

cabinet for his second term, women have been coming out in groups

as well as individuals to call for gender inclusion and affirmative action.

President Buhari needs to break

the jinx— Dr Gloria Laraba Shoda

•Laraba Shoda

FOR Dr Gloria Laraba Shoda,

President, National Council of

Women Societies, NCWS, “As an

organisation, we have paid him a

By Josephine Agbonkhese

Only an adequate representation for

women will ensure an impactful

leadership — Obibi

ALSO, Iheoma Obibi, activist cum

international development consultant,

said, “Our population is made up of men and

women and that should adequately be

represented in our leadership. The

governed need to feel they are part of a

process. It is unfortunate that President

Muhammadu Buhari has not recognized

that fact, at least as proven by his last


“Having a leadership that adequately

represents the population will give a more

holistic view of what different sections of

the society needs. This government makes

decisions that do not really affect me as a

woman; sincerely, I have no idea what they

are doing. If you tell them to dig a borehole

for a community, they will dig it in a place

that is unsafe for a woman to walk through

due to potential rapists. If a woman was part

of the decision-making from the beginning,

she would be able to tell them that such a

place is not the safest to dig a borehole for a


“Only an adequate representation for

women will ensure an impactful leadership

for any government and this, President

Buhari should understand. His previous

administration, in my assessment, did not

do any work and co-incidentally, it has

fewer women. This time, things should be

done differently for a more holistic

development for the country”, she opined.

courtesy visit and advocated that he

carried women along if the

government must indeed take

Nigerians to the next level. He also

confessed to us that Nigerian women

were doing. That confidence in

women, we believe, should reflect in

his cabinet this time around. Our 35

percent affirmative action is still lying

fallow as we struggle within seven and

ten percent.

“We urge Mr President to include

more women in this second term

especially the ministerial

appointments this time as we have

lost out in the elective offices. This

will be of immense impact to the

country and the anti-corruption war

because women are known to be less

corrupt than men.

“We urge President Buhari to break

the jinx and give us at least 35 per

cent representation in his cabinet this

time around. There are women

available for whatever position. After

all, we sit in the same classes with

men and even outshine them in

school”, she added.

•Iheoma Obibi

Democracy that excludes half the

population from leadership position has a

long way to go — Rhoda Prevail Tyoden

RHODA Prevail Tyoden, National President,

Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA in her

own submission noted that, “The gap between men

and women in representative capacity has to be

reduced this time around. It has

been proven, and we know it is

true, that 50percent of the

population that go out to

vote are mainly women; so

why can the gap not be


“Democracy that excludes

half the population from

leadership position has a long

way to go. Reducing that

gap is very key

because it is part of

creating a

responsible and


government that

we direly need.

“Women are

agents of

change and are

persuasive in

their approach

to whatever they

desire to

achieve. With

this naturally

endowed nature,


By Gabriel Ewepu and Emem Idio

YENAGOA- A non-governmental

organization, Kebetkache Women

Development and Resource Centre, has

charged women to speak up against the

negative impacts of corruption and its

practices on women’s ability to access rights,

justice, services and demand accountability

and inclusiveness in decision making under


The charge was given by the Executive

Director, Ms Emem Okon, KWDRC, in

Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, during a town hall

meeting on Open Government Partnership,

OGP, organised for women leaders and gender

based organisations in the state in

partnership with Women’s Rights

Advancement and Protection Alternative,

WRAPA, and MacArthur Foundation.

While lamenting that women were not vocal

enough in issues of accountability and

corruption, Ms Okon noted that the Open

Government Partnership, OGP, is an initiative

that can promote commitment by state

government to empower citizens to fight

corruption and strengthen governance,

regretting that women have been relegated to

the background while they bear the brunt of

bad governance.

She said: “The project aims to project

critical women’s voices tied to anticorruption

and accountability, particularly,

the project is to highlight the intersection and

connection between corruption and women’s

we can rightly say the wellbeing

of Nigerians is dependent on

women. You will also find out

that successful leaders

worldwide have been persuaded

at different times to take certain

decisions by women and these

decisions have affected their

societies positively. A woman is

a realist; therefore, any

democracy that excludes the

women population is likely to


“Nigeria has more than

enough women to man any

position whatsoever.

Look at what is

happening in Rwanda.

The country has 50

percent men and 50

percent women in its

government and it has

become a known

country. Nigeria has

wonderful women in

every facet of life and

we hope President

Buhari will give us

the chance to

express our

capabilities”, she


Group urges women to speak against

corruption, demand inclusiveness

lack of access to public

services including access to

health, access to their issues

and education, water,

transportation, agriculture

subsidies, security,

employment and

participation in decision


“The aim is to enable the

women understand and speak

out on and against the impact

of corruption and its

practices on women’s ability

to access rights, justice,

services and opportunities

from the perspective of

accountability in governance

and service delivery.

“It is expected that the

programme will raise

women’s rights issues and

narrate the way women are

impacted by the

implementation of

government programs. The

issues you will highlight

here will enable the public

and government to

understand the gender

dimensions of government

policies, and programs.”

According to her the

move by her organization

and other development

partners would translate to

deeper understanding by

women about the relegated

condition they find

themselves despite their

openness to come out in

large numbers to elect

leaders they thought would

ameliorate their plight.

She also lamented how

women have not maximally

benefited from the so-called

democratic dividends

rather are been used during

elections and dumped.

“This will promote deeper

knowledge on recognizing

the patterns, trends and

consequences of corruption

on women’s access to social

services”, she said.

Ms Okon

32—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019


Continues from page 30

crying out, identifying with Leah.

But, it is not so. I would not want to

blame or condemn men of God and

Christains in power, but I think, we

should all agree that if we claimed

to be doing our best, it is not good

enough. Maybe there are people

among us that seems to be sleeping.

The religious bodies should be a

pressure group checking

government but it seems the body

has become hypocritical in


I doubt, if we can advice such

Christian leaders or Islamic leaders

that have become not just

hypocritical but also part of those

sycophants that patronise any

government in power for their own

pecuniary gain to build their umpire.

The point is, religious leaders or

entities are supposed to be

conscience of the nation. They are

supposed to be the people that take

a different point and not just follow

the crowd. But, when you find

religious bodies or leaders that are

doing the opposite and patronising

government almost as if, they are

prostitutes and government or

politicians are also using them for

politicial reasons is a case of the salt

has lost its savour. And according to

Jesus, such salt is good for nothing

and it will be trampled upon. Such

Those who say Olusegun

Obasanjo changed Nigerian

culture forever between 1999

and 2007 have very good reason to say

so. Apart from the Global System for

Mobile Communications, GSM

telephony introduction which has by

and large been attributed to him, the

Obasanjo administration displayed

several landmarks traversing the good,

the bad and the ugly.

You could not have attributed this

to him as an individual, yet it was

under Obasanjo that certificate

scandals became the rage, starting

with the sweet Fourth Republic

Speaker, Salisu Buhari who had first

come under suspicion on account of

his age. It was long before the

#Nottooyoungtorule age, or any

hashtag for that matter. That Buhari

had fallen under the prescribed age of

30 by one year, for the elective position

he held as Representative of the

Nasarawa Federal Constituency of

religious leaders have become

watchdogs that cannot bark even

when the thieves are there.

Politicians and people in

govermnet trample religious leaders

because they give them money.

They do not listen to them. Except

for some few individuals.

Therefore, such religious leaders

need to re-discover themselves.

They need to go back to the

foundation. They need to revisit their

calling and know what next to do. It

is God that calls and empowers and

not government. Except they learn

to trust God and not look at who is

in power that can give them

something, they will keep failing

God. And the bible says, “Woe unto

that man that trust in mortal”. If you

can’t trust God to sustain you then,

you will compromise and convive

with evil. The values are already lost,

so we need some kind of revolution

and I am sure you and I can be part

of that process.

You have lived in the North and

now in the South West and Lagos

precisely. If you have to take a trip

to the North as a preacher of the

gospel, how would you survive?

It is tough. We were there close to

10 years of our lives. Just as it is in

most part of the North. It is a dessert

and you are having psychological

experience of the dessert and it can

be challenging. When we were there,

Kano state for barely

two months.

But that turned out to

be the least of his

problems, as the young

Buhari also had a

certificate scandal to

contend with. The

‘Toronto’ scandal was

born, as was the ‘Chicago’ scandal,

which questioned the claims of the

erstwhile Lagos State governor Bola

Tinubu of having received an

undergraduate certificate from the

prestigious University of Chicago.

While the latter had survived by the

sheer determination of his party, the

Alliance for Democracy; the young

Buhari had to sacrifice not his coveted

seat alone but his entire political career.

Giving up after a feeble fight for which

he procured the services of the revered

late FRA Williams, SAN, CFR, Salisu

Buhari had released a strong and

moving statement of apology to “all

Nigerians home and abroad” for the

controversy generated by the scandal.

“The controversy generated by that

issue has greatly undermined my

authority and prestige, making it

difficult to (for me) to continue in office

as Speaker and member of this

Honourable House”, he had said.

Begging for forgiveness he had said,

Presidency, religious

leaders still sleeping

there was no democracy, no human

right groups, or activists. And some

part of the North especially the place

that I lived, Kastina which was under

Kaduna state then, some people

both religious leaders and civic

leaders would run different law as if

they are not part of the country. It

was very discouraging.

We were almost killed because riot

can just broke out anyday either from

the higher institution or maybe

religious crisis like the one that

happened 1987. You can just hear

after the Friday J’umat prayer, some

extremists would shout and then riot

would start and then innocent

people killed. We watched our

church been burnt. We were to be

slaughtered but before they could

broke into our gate, Mobile Police

came and they left.

When you find religious

bodies or leaders that are

doing the opposite and

patronising government

almost as if, they are

prostitutes and government

or politicians are also using

them for politicial reasons is

a case of the salt has lost its


Today, I probably might not have

survived if not for God. Many pastors

were killed and so, surviving there is

difficult. So many atime, the

Christains in the South and people

in government are not aware of what

is going on. They are just used to

hearing the news afar off. But, the

positive thing is, whenever the

Christains are faced with

persecutions, they make

advancement to gain grounds.

Christians in the North do not joke

with their faith or play double

standard. They know that to go to

church is at the expense of their lives,

so you cannot be involved in

hypocrisy. It is sad that neither the

government nor even some

Christians and leaders in some

comfortable part of the South cannot

identify with what is going on in the

North. My experience can fill a book

but the highest point was that we

just managed to get out without

losing my life.

You have been in the church for

29 years and yet standing still?

I did not know, I could stand at

all not to talk of coming so far. The

way I put my story especially my wife

and I. We were already in the

ministry as evengelists before we got

married. So, we decided to go to

Bible College together before we got

married. We got married in 1983 and

we stayed in the Norhh till 1990, we

were doing our evangelism in the

North until 1990 when we came to

Lagos. We use to capture our story

with a passage in the bible. That God

chooses the foolish things to deal

with the wise, He chooses the weak

thing to deal with the strong. He

chooses the ordinary things to deal

with the powerful things.

In other words, I started in

weakness, I started not even

thinking, I was qualified. One thing

that was important was that, I heard

God and I can say, when you choose

to deal with God in whatever He is

leading you to do with your whole

heart without any hiding agenda,

He will not leave you. We never

knew we could recall any success.

Unlike now, when people think of

becoming rich, they go into the

ministry. When we started, I could

not point at any preacher who had a

car. Those I knew were the ones with

motorcycle. Ministry was not

attractive. We were just young

people who were saved by Christ and

that was how we started.

What I knew was that, God is

always faithful. It has been a journey

of grace, adventure, tough, inspiring

and if I have to live my life all over, I

would rather dedicate it to the same

thing. There is no regret.

What should Nigerians be

expecting, going forward?

That will be our strategic move

which we will not want to disclose

now. We have gone back to the

drawing board to collaborate with

other civil society organisations and

we are trying to turn advocacy for

Leah Sharibu not just for her release

but institutionalise it and let it

become a timeless movement so that

on every birthday of Leah, there will

always be a celebration of her virtues

and courage. That way, we are

building something for the younger

generation and the older generation.

Whether she is out of captivity or

not, we will find a good platform to

promote her and also ask younger

generation to aspire and compete

with what Leah did. It will be a well

structured, strategic move and

intevention. In other words, if

government releases Leah, it is not

over, the story just begins. Just like

Malala Yousafzai a Pakistani activist

for female education and the

youngest known for human rights

advocacy, especially the education

of women and children in her native.

In captivity, the whole world is

waiting for Leah. Whether, we see her

alive or not the story goes on. And

we will make sure that the

movement become an institution.

ormer Senate President,

FSenator Bukola Saraki gave

his disengagement package or

allowance to Leah’s father and I am

think, if that was a gesture or.....

As the saying goes, half bread is

better than none. When politicians

do things, people read meaning to

it especially trying to know their

motive and what they are trying to

achieve. People can make their

predictions. But, when you look at

all that he did, there is no so much

self centredness in it. And the way

he did it was different.

...One would have expected more

especially when he was Senate


At least to awaken the sleeping

President. You are right. But, I think,

the 8th National Assembly led by

Senator Bukola Sakari made some

spirited efforts unfortuantely, there

was no meeting point between the

legistators and the executives. It was

a tenure of cat and mouse. I do not

know what else they would have

done that would made the executive

do better. But, what I am saying is

that, if everyone across board would

make such gesture, I think, it will

change the narrative. You should not

forget the former Senate President

is not the same faith with Leah

Sharibu. That is what we need in

Nigeria. A little effort will go along

way. Although, it cannot fill the

vacumn that the parents are feeling

but, it is putting a little medication

to relive the pain. We thank him and

we will also appreciate if he can think

more on what to do and other people

to follow do suit.

Empowerment for women and

children, what are you doing as a


We are trying as much as within

our power to contribute our quota.

We are doing lots of empowerment

through His Grace Charity Network

coordnated by my wife. For us, as

servants of God, there should be

provision for abandoned children,

widows, orphans among others. The

need is so much. Even when there

was no money, my wife insisted, we

should have empowerment

programmes for people and that was

what led to the orphanage home and

we have seen many children who

graduated from there. We are also

collaborating with human right

groups including committee for the

defence of human right, WARDC

among other NGOs. It is our policy

not just as a church but as civil society

organisation. We also empower

younger people through scholarship

scheme established about 10 years

ago during my 50th birthday and I

told the committee that I would

rather give donations to people

especially the less priviledge and it

was accepted by the committee. It is

called S and G Foundation. My wife

also work in organisations where

women are empowered. It is a forum

to mentor younger girls. We can’t

meet all the needs but we can make

a difference. So, it is not just a church,

we are running an organisation. The

church is just one stream of a big

river and in this digital age, it is

expected that we reach the larger


Certificate scandals: Are they fighting or increasing


“I am bound under all circumstances

to live above suspicion… Everything

in life is for a purpose and my prayer is

that my humiliation will illustrate that

in our new democracy, nobody- no

matter how highly placed- will be

above the law”.

Someone ought to apologize to that

gentleman, who is now middle aged

and so politically damaged that he

stayed away until recently, from

politics. Clearly, his wish that our

democracy be more important than

any individual or group has not only

failed to come to pass two decades

down the line, the entire democracy

has been so rubbished that some of

those who suffered under the weight

of military regimes have almost openly

called for military intervention in the

recent past.

It was in the Obasanjo era that

certificate inquests had become a thing

and morphed down the line from a

valid check and balance in setting

standards, education and otherwise,

for men and women in public office. It

is to the credit of the ruling PDP that it

had not wielded its influence in

keeping Buhari as Speaker, damning

complaints from the citizenry and all

other consequences.

Things have since changed. Far from

being a means of ensuring standards,

certificate inquests or the rumours of

them have simply become another

inglorious tool in the hand of political

hustlers, honed to discredit candidates

and substantives, of political positions.

No one has been spared, not even

the President whose WAEC certificate

comes up as a national issue each time

the opposition to the ruling party feels

the need to stir the murky waters. While

the President has survived so far, very

many have not.

In the last four years, persons in

government at different levels

including some formidable men and

women were subjected to certificate

inquests, including former NSE

Amazon Ndi Okereke Onyuike and

former Minister for Finance Kemi

Adeosun, both of whom did not survive.

Some have even turned certificate

inquests into a negotiating tool, with

which those who are actually guilty of

not possessing the certificate they claim

they have are able to negotiate with

the opposition, who also is using it as

a negotiation tool in the first instance.

Far from discouraging the practice,

offenders are more likely to get away

with a forged or non existent

educational certificate than ever before.

The New and Social Media, rather

than ease up the ability to decipher

between real and ‘fake’ claims, has

only succeeded in complicating

matters. Those, like Dino Melaye,

retired activist and Senator

representing Kogi West at the Upper

House, who are given to drama use

the social media to distract and detract

from the matter at hand. His wishywashy

certificate inquest did not only

fail at dragging him down, it turned

him into a successful drama queen

whose singing and dancing talents

were used to regale the cyberspace.

Another drama king politician,

Ademola Adeleke who is better known

as the Dancing Senator, had his

ambition to occupy the State House

of Osun fatally hurt by a certificate

inquest which revealed the guber

candidate might not have acquired the

number of O-Levels he claimed to

have. Will he get away with it? Only

time will tell.

SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—33

As Air Peace commences

international flight to Dubai/Sharjah

. . . Ovation, caution greet Airline

By Lawani Mikairu

Air Peace airline

commencement of

international routes

operation with the

inaugural flight to Dubai/

Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates,

UAE, on Friday 5 th July has received

a thunderous ovation from aviation

stakeholders who feel that a Nigeria

airline with the right business model,

considering the fleet size, is entering

international operation to make the

country proud.

The Dubai/ Sharjah route is the first

step in Air Peace’s huge international

expansion plans, with ambitions to fly

as far as Houston, United States of

America and Guangzhou, China. The

airline will operate the UAE three

times a week using

one of its Boeing


Recall Air Peace

set a domestic

record as the first

Nigerian airline to

acquire and register

the Boeing 777

aircraft in the

country. Three of the

four wide-body

aircraft it acquired

for its long-haul

operations to Dubai,

S h a r j a h ,


London, Houston,

Guangzhou and

Mumbai have so far

been delivered.

The choice of the

UAE route has also

been commended.

According to Mr

Andrew Curran, a

veteran aviator, “The

ties between Nigeria

and the UAE extend

beyond oil. Nigeria

is the largest

Some frequent

travelers told

Saturday Vanguard

that they are

confident that Air

Peace will not make

the same mistakes

other domestic

Nigeria airlines who

ventured into the

Middle East routes


economy in Africa, with a population

tipped to reach 400 million by 2050.

Fast population growth and a rising

GDP offer significant investment

opportunities, and the UAE is already

one of the largest investors in West

Africa. The new Air Peace flights

between Lagos and Sharjah can

leverage from these links”.

However, others have called on the

airline to be very conscious of its choice

of destinations to operate to as the

Middle East routes are currently

dominated by big world airlines like

Emirates and Qatar airlines who are

capable of deliberately crashing

airfare in order to run a competitor out

of the routes. But some frequent

travelers told Saturday Vanguard that

they are confident that Air Peace will

not make the same mistakes other

domestic Nigeria airlines who

ventured into the Middle East routes


The former Director General, Nigeria

Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and

current Rector, International Aviation

College, Ilorin, Engineer Benedict

Adeyileka while reacting

, told Saturday Vanguard

in an exclusive interview

that ,: “ This is a brilliant

idea by Air Peace. It is a

good thing for Nigeria. It

is about time Nigeria

airlines rose to the

challenges posed by

capital flight, boosting

employment and

helping the economy.

Now, going to Sharjah, I

know it is going to be

challenging because I

know we will be

competing with big

airlines like Emirates.

However, it is a good


“Nigerians from

records have always

patronized Nigeria

airlines. But to be honest

with you, Nigeria

airlines have not

performed well. They

have disappointed the

passengers and they

have not been managed

properly. Though this is

due to unfair competition we get from

oversea countries. So, I think it is a good

idea and I will support it. If any

Nigerian airline operates

internationally, I will patronize them. I

have patronized Arik Air . I have

patronized MedView when the two

airlines were going to Europe and Arik

to America. I will patronize any Nigeria

airline that comes up. I am going to

patronize Air Peace.”

Andrew Osigwe who introduced

himself as an international

businessman and has flown in many

foreign airlines for his business trips

said he was confident Air Peace will

succeed in international routes

operations. According to him, “the

management of the airline is conscious of

having the right fleet size and modern

planes that can be deployed for these

operations. I am aware Air Peace recently

placed order for brand new planes and

have been planning and taking their time

in starting these new international


“Other Nigeria domestic airlines failed

in their international operations because

there was no proper planning. If smaller

countries airlines are succeeding in these

routes, why can’t Air Peace ? Is it rocket

science?. My brother, it ( Air Peace) will

make it. I have flown in the airline several

times and they have good aircraft. They

will make Nigerians to now have a choice

and call the bluff of these foreign airline

who sometimes take Nigerian passengers

for granted.”

Reacting, Mr Olayinka Abioye,

immediate past General Secretary,

National Union of Air Transport

Employees, NUATE, when contacted by

Saturday Vanguard said : “ Lets first

congratulate the Management and Staff

of Air Peace for this landmark

achievement. However, pertinent

questions begging for answers are...does

Air Peace have what it takes to compete

favourably with Emirates? How does

she intend to attract customers ? Price

reduction or what?

“I asked this simply because all Gulf

States airlines enjoy some form of

subsidy from their governments.

Nigeria government has not shown

she has capacity to help our airlines in

this direction. As an optimist, if Air

Peace is not anxious to make profits

immediately, and can be patient in

understanding the routes and

customer preferences, then its good to

go. I also hope they will respect

international standards and

recommended practices”.

Speaking also with Saturday

Vanguard, Group Captain John

Ojikutu (rtd) , the former commandant

of the Muritala Muhammed Airport,

Lagos, said : “It’s a wrong route to start with.

Sharjar is a connecting point or hub; which

airline would Air Peace be partnering with?

Can Air Peace compete in airfare with

Airlines on that route? Time will tell”.

When told that the airline will likely go

into code sharing, he said ,”Whichever

airline goes into code sharing may have

to reduce its frequencies to Nigeria or to

Air Peace final destination; at what cost

to the airline or to Air Peace? Either way,

the cost of air fare to the passenger will

be the determinant factor”.

“In Aviation, build your own routes

based on your own market. Do not jump

into a fast flowing river against the

current, leading to another one .Create a

hub, consolidate your own market and

take your market to their destination, not

to the hub of another. People want to travel

to their destination not to another bus

stop. Never, never, ever repeat the

mistakes of others, but learn their lessons,

note their mistakes and learn, if you can’t

do it better, more, efficiently, leave it


Ojikutu further said, “the best or only

option for Nigerian carrier on

international routes is direct to London or

any state east coast or central state of US;

these are the major routes of Nigerian

travellers. 50% of passengers on middle

east airlines are Europe and US bound.

If you go to Europe and US, you are in

better standing than going east and you

are very likely to reduce the 50% Europe

and US bound on the middle east routes.

Going east as a start, will be in

competition with all middle east airlines

and east, and central African airlines for

the remaining 50%”. He added that “The

question Air Peace needed to ask before

venturing on the route was; out of the

2million international outbound

passengers, how many are eastbound

beyond the middle east? How many is it

targeting to middle east and beyond in the

code sharing? We have about 20 flights

daily from Europe and US to Nigeria; we

have less than 10 flights from middle east,

east and central African daily but about

50% of passengers on these flights are still

Europe and US bound so what is the

sense in flying to the east and why not

Europe or/and US?”.

There are indications however that

Sharjah will not be a final destination for

Air Peace. Feelers from the airline indicate

that it could also be a transit point for the

airline passengers going to far Asian as

it will also operate the Guangzhou,

China and Mumbai , India routes.

34—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

lisha Abbo is a symptom of a

Esystemic illness ravaging the

country. There are tens of thousands of

Elisha Abbo’s scattered like rashes all

over the country. They are intoxicated

by their power and money. They maul

whoever crosses their path. They

torture him some more if he proves

recalcitrant. The country is morally


The rich and mighty, all very religious,

trample on laws, trample on the weak

and poor, and walk away with swagger.

When the law enforcement agents don’t

look away, they help the powerful

offender bring the poor victim to abject

submission, to further humiliation. Law

enforcement in many situations becomes

the enforcement of the caprices of the

Big Man.

Elisha Abbo is a brilliant portrayal of

the rot that has infested the soul of the


The Giant of Africa is decomposing

from within. The police which should

be a national resource has been

privatized. The police force is now

literally the property of politicians and

rich businessmen. We see them

everyday behind the rich and their girl

friends as they march to markets and

sex toy shops. No one bothers.

Musicians and celebrities flaunt

pictures with cops acting as bag carriers

and maids for them. No one bothers

about the sensibilities of the public.

Communities are left to languish in

crime infestation and inadequate

policing. Nobody is touched by the

absurdity of it all.

In Elisha Abbo, the youngest of all the

senators, all the old cankerworms that

have eaten the nation hollow came

together, for a reunion. The senator

called the police. There was no danger

to his personal safety in that shop. Once

the police arrived , he began to inflict

bodily harm on a nursing mother. You

can’t get a better contrast. Apart from

giving false information to the police,

he used the police as cover for his

savage attack. The police force was

effectively employed as a shield for a

criminal enterprise in that sex toy shop.

And it was crude violence by a Big Man

against a poor nursing mother. It was

a picture from hell.

The police didn’t do mere

cheerleading for the savage senator for

too long. Once the senator exhausted

himself slapping and punching the

woman, he motioned to the police. The

policeman, like a tag team partner in a

ast; what does “Ruga” mean? It may

Factually mean the Rural Grazing

Area as the Federal Ministry of

Agriculture interprets that acronym that

is actually the name of its programme,

but many have convinced themselves that

it is a Hausa word standing for Cow

colony. A Hausa word?

Don’t kick yourself if you are not

proficient in the Hausa language; but it

has been said that it is a Hausa word

standing for Cattle settlement. That any

adult could believe such shows how lowly

they rate the sensitivity of the

Mohammadu Buhari administration.

If so, what business has it with being

established in non-Hausa states? None,

yet the plan was not only on until

Wednesday, but is likely to return to the

front-burner because the man of the

moment in Nigeria holds all whose

thoughts and beliefs are contrary to his

in pure disdain while this terrible trait is

deodorized as the man’s stubbornness

or bluntness. Now, the policy’s

suspension was decided upon on

Wednesday because only states that

willingly want to own or run or host a

RUGA can have such as no state will be

forced to take part in the project.

Indirectly, the government was saying

that it recognized Nigeria’s being a

federation. Yet, this is nonsense for no

true federation would have ever

entertained the thought about thinking

of running any form of RUGA. That it

has taken the Federal Government

several years to realize what ordinary

Nigerians have been saying all along

that no state should be forced into

donating land for cattle colonies of any

sort, is a cause for worry.

Actually, it is tragic that since President

Mohammadu Buhari’s second term

incepted on May 29th 2019, the nation

has remained stuck on the same exact

single topic that had kept it writhing in

the death pangs of self-inflicted wounds

during Buhari’s first term; cattle colony,

cattle ranches and or cattle routes.

This discordant (as in leading to

disputations) contentious (as in

generating conflicts, combativeness and

ferocious blood-letting), belligerent (as

in causing naked hostility) policy has

been undermining the sick federalism

that Buhari was supposed to exert his

energy to his fullest ability to make

Senator Elisha Abbo: A true Nigerian big man

WWF wrestling match, jumped in,

bristling and oozing threats of

violence. He seized the woman’s

phone which she was using to call

for help. Then he dragged her away.

That wasn’t strange. Nigeria

policemen are betrothed to the rich

and powerful. They feed them, pay

them, and use them as errand boys

and as thugs. That policeman in that

sex toys shop was a thug in uniform.

A friend of mine who has a couple

of petrol stations once had 16

policemen allocated to him. He

marched around with them. He

could drive against traffic. He could

run red at traffic lights. He could

bully his neighbours. The law was

with him, in his pocket.

That Elisha Abbo’s policeman is not

to blame. It’s an institutional rot. He

dragged the victim of the senator’s

Nigeria policemen are

betrothed to the rich and


barbarism out and forced her into a

vehicle. He would claim he received

a distress call from a senator. He

would claim he didn’t see him batter

the woman. He would claim he was

doing his job. He must have have

claimed much more. But that CCTV

recording would have further story

telling uncomfortable.

But Elisha Abbo and his policeman

are just two rashes out of thousands.

The other day a video clip went viral.

Starring in it was one

megalomaniac called Onyeze.

Onyeze, it was reported, was

offended by a female blogger who

took pictures of his house. She

allegedly claimed ownership of

the house which belonged to

Onyeze. The lady said she came

to an angry Onyeze to apologize

for her wrong doing. Onyeze

decided to teach her a lesson.

The video showed the lady,

handcuffed on her knees, crying.

Onyeze’s thugs were seen

dictating her confessions. She was

dragged around Onyeze’s

premises. A policeman was seen

behind Onyeze. She was never

arrested by the police. She was

handcuffed by Onyeze and his

thugs. The police simply stood

provided cover for the lawlessness.

After the video went viral the police

didn’t not investigate the physical

battery of the young lady. The

police didn’t find it outrageous.

Nobody was charged. Onyeze

casually announced in another

video recording that the matter had

been settled ‘amicably’!

Elisha Abbo had the intention to

cause his victim grievous bodily

harm. He slapped not her cheek,

but on her eyes. That is a very

grave offense. But Elisha Abbo is

only a picture of the society.

Violence against women is now

a national epidemic. Police stations

have special offices for these

offences. But it’s all lip service.

Women are routinely battered and

bruised at home and in the public.

And they get no justice because the

police treat cases of battery and

violence against women like trivial

civil disputes. They plead with the

victim to “forgive and forget.” They

Suspended or not, RUG

UGA A has wounded


whole, stout and hearty. Despite all

the controversies and prickly problems

associated with the Fulani herdsmen’s

inclination to drive their cattle herds to

the four cardinal points have elicited,

the attacks against, and the killing of,

persons and entire communities that

have been attributed to “suspected

Fulani herdsmen,” have not convinced

Buhari that the old Fulani ways of cattle

husbandry has run its full course.

Nothing in the crises that have resulted

from that age-old manner of tending

cattle was able to convince Buhari that

the time has come to bid bye to the

Fulani old ways of doing their cattle

business and to welcome a new era into

Nigeria. Thus something as natural as

making every Cattle owner to fence in

his animals in ranches which he would

own and operate like any other

business has not occurred to the

leading lights of the central


On Wednesday, the government

suspended RUGA’s implementation,

but received no applause. The reason

for this is simple; the core tenets of

RUGA will return when RUGA’s

implementation begins in earnest. That

core is this: that the Federal

Government would spit on the concept

of federalism to the extent that it would

begin to contemplate setting up cattle

ranches or colonies in certain states at

all. Ordinarily, no government should

be involved in the business of

organizing the running of a given

business for some businessmen and

women... as the Federal Government

wants to do for cattle herders.

Yet, the very suspension of RUGA

shows a worrisome trait of the Buhari

administration. The suspension

shows that RUGA was not wellthought

out before the government

adopted it as a state policy. Now,

some aspects of it need to be

redesigned for it to be fully

implemented. And that speaks

volumes about the very nature of the

Buhari administration.

RUGA has been terribly divisive.

Perhaps nothing in the past has tried

the country’s unity as stringently as

RUGA; and I say this with the utmost

sense of responsibility and with real

recognition of the fact that Nigeria

did once fight a civil war. In that

conflagration, only parts of the then

Eastern region wanted to form the

breakaway Biafran Republic which

caved in after 30 months of

anguished existence. So, Only a

single ethnic group was in that

struggle for self-determination. But

today, various ethnic groups have

been muttering about selfdetermination,

though it must be

stated that the leaders of such

activities dwell in the fringes of the

society as the majority of Nigerians

still cherish their membership of the

Nigerian federation.

Fortunately, a majority of Nigerians

think like this writer; we do not

cherish little and inconsequential

countries that would be easily

pushed about in the international

arena. Nigeria packs some weight

Elisha Abbo is a brilliant portrayal of the

rot that has infested the soul of the

nation;the Giant of Africa is decomposing

from within

ask the offender to render a dubious

apology. And the case ends. The offender

shows ‘appreciation’ to the police, and

walks away. No one is charged. It’s been

settled amicably!

That must be why Elisha Abbo, who

committed a grave criminal offence, who

should have been arrested immediately

the scandal broke, was allowed to address

a world press conference by the police. At

the press conference, he tendered a

dubious apology. He had bragged the

night before that he was crafting a robust

response to the allegations. And his wife

had gone on twitter to defend his

righteousness. Elisha Abbo knows that in

Nigeria you can beat a woman, drop a

stupid badly worded apology and walk


The police force is on trial. The police

have an opportunity to begin to redeem

their sullied image and to reset moral

standards. An apology is not a sufficient

atonement for crime. The senator has

confessed. He referred to himself as an

ambassador of Christ. He would be

expected to plead guilty in court if he is

indeed, an ambassador of Christ. His

apology would only be useful only to the

mitigation of sentence. He has all but

earned a criminal conviction. The public

is watching the police and their handling

of the Big Man.

A criminal offence is an offence against

the society, the state. The victim can forgive

but the state must charge a high profile

offender to set standards. The Senator

should be charged immediately. And he

should plead guilty. When he has been

convicted, he should resign from the

Senate. Then next will be restitution. He

would have to settle the civil aspect of his

offence with his victim. And he may need

a more than words. He would certainly

need a more contrite and personal apology

than the hasty and haughty generic

concoction delivered at a world press


This is something Buhari must

acknowledge; that the Nigeria whose

leadership reins he received in 2015, is

today, less united than he met it. And

nothing he has done has tended to

destroy the nation’s unity than the

RUGA policy

simply because of its hefty size. Yet, even if

when talks about dismembering the country

has not become rife, the divisive tendencies,

the feeling of being an underdog in the

Nigerian federation, the thoughts and open

talks about Fulani hegemony, and

complaints about a lopsidedness in the way

the federation is presently structured has

dented the country’s unity.

This is something Buhari must

acknowledge; that the Nigeria whose

leadership reins he received in 2015, is

today, less united than he met it. And

nothing he has done has tended to destroy

the nation’s unity than the RUGA policy.

And if Buhari thinks he has been helping

the Fulani cause, he is terribly mistaken.

Whatever victory the Fulani may have won

so far, has been pyrrhic; they have come at

a prodigious price, even if that price is not

immediately visible. But the price does exist.

Open the newspapers, listen to the radio

or be brave enough to peep into the social

media, and you would understand the

amount of hatred others are developing for

people of the Fulani stock. Unfortunately, it

keeps growing as more and more persons

visit such un-channeled and terribly murky


Only magnanimous empires last for long;

that is the central lesson the Roman Empire

has taught the world. Ferocious and brutal

ones are short-lived as their subjects often

fight for independence. For a long time,

the Fulani hegemony had been there,

quietly enjoying a pride of place in the

North and in Nigeria. But now, it has been

exerting its influence forcefully. But if

action and reaction is equal and opposite,

then one day the people that have suffered

at the hands of the fierce Fulani would

really, really rise up and vow: give me

equality or give me death.






prominent Minister in the last

government once told me a

story of how as a young boy, he was

hurrying out on an errand along the

dusty streets of his village in

Otukpa, Benue State when he went

past a heavily pregnant woman

labouring to pound yam. Because of

the urgency of his assignment, he

averted his eyes and made to hurry

past. But something pulled him

back. He took the pestle from the

grateful woman and finished the

task for her. The woman never

stopped praying as he pounded

away and intensified her prayers

when he refused to eat. She found

out where he lived—not that

difficult in the village in those days—

and came to thank him. She

explained that she woke up wanting

to eat pounded yam badly—you

know how pregnancy affects the

appetite of some women —even

when she doubted if she had the

strength for the task. To further

show her gratitude, she named the

child after him. This act should

resonate well with people in their

60s and 70s who grew up in the

rural parts of Nigeria. Doing chores

for the elderly and the infirm was

one of the values ingrained in us. It

was unthinkable to walk past an

elderly person carrying a load

especially if you were heading in the

same direction. Grinding pepper,

fetching water and pounding yam all

went with the territory.

Some of these values also seemed

ingrained in a few who grew up in

the cities. About two decades ago, a

‘big boy’ who later became a South-

West governor, was opening his

magnificent office complex in

Maryland. I was there along with

many whose paths had crossed his.

After the crowd had thinned out,

some of his friends gathered at the

parking lot to share drinks and

banters. One of them was the

founder and CEO of a successful

second generation bank. A retired

Judge decided to join this ‘group of

boys.’ Before a seat could be gotten

for him, the banker got up and

It has undoubtedly been a very

exciting week for the media,

especially the genre of online media.

With salacious tales from the

bumpy eruptions of the stand-up

entertainer at COZA, the eccentric

predilections of the senator at a sex

toy shop, and the bizarre

abandonment of the Ruga

settlement project, it has indeed,

been an exciting week.

It is not surprising that at times

like these that comments from

leaders are normally restrained.

Certainly not because they are shy.

The reason flows from the reechoing

injunction of Jesus, The

Christ, who famously told Jewish

leaders of his day without sin to cast

the first stone at the woman caught

in the very act of adultery.

Given your correspondent’s

proximity to political leaders in the

course of his years on the beat, it is

safe to say that those we see as our

leaders are also human. They feel

hunger, go to the toilet, and do

stupid things because of sex!

They are susceptible to the

weaknesses of the flesh.

Interestingly, the weakness of the

flesh is not unique to Nigerian

leaders. What we find with our

leaders is also common with other

world leaders. However, the

difference is in how we respond to

the issues that are found with our


It was as such welcoming that on

Thursday that it emerged that

Senator Elisha Abbo was

questioned by the police over his

altercation at the sex-toy shop.

Before then, his party, the Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP had

summoned him for questioning at

Some values we used to hold dear

offered his seat. The retired Judge

declined. The banker insisted. This

went on for a full minute before the

Judge gratefully accepted. This bank

CEO was left standing for a while

before a seat was procured for him. I

still remember this show of humility

and display of a traditional African

value anytime I see this banker who

is himself now long retired.About this

time, Punch Newspapers had an

event to which I was invited. When a

senior colleague got up to go, I

offered to carry his bag of souvenirs

to his car. He refused. I insisted. He

gave in. Before we could leave the hall

however, a junior colleague who had

become a magazine publisher in his

own right got up and took the bag

from me. The parents of the three of

us wherever they might be, must

have felt good at the way we

projected our upbringing that

afternoon as we walked towards the

parking lot.

I must say that this deference to

elders though common to us is not

limited to our shores any more.

About two months ago, my wife and

I found ourselves in a crowded train

in London. We perched precariously

each with one hand holding a carrier

bag and the other holding on to the

railing as the train lunged on. Then

one white chap seeing our

discomfiture, tapped my wife and

offered his seat for her. After a little

hesitation, the chap by him also

offered his seat for me. I felt grateful

Understanding Tinubu’s silence

the end of which he made his tearful

apology on Wednesday night.

It perhaps could be a new beginning.

In the very recent past, we have had

tales of leaders enthroned over

institutions that they desecrated or

leaders with indictments promoted to

higher offices.

Or who has forgotten that a

governor was caught on video just as

Senator Abbo more than once

collecting bribe. And the same

governor has the moral arrogance to

cut in pieces a 200-year old emirate

just in the bid to suppress the

conscience speaking against him.

It is remarkable that Senator Abbo

apologized for the physical assault on

the lady in the sex toy shop. Good


It is, however, shocking that the

moral latitude of Nigerians has gone

so low that few are raising the

question as to what such a leader was

doing with three ladies in a sex toy


Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo, who is about

the same age with Senator Abbo who

should have raised such issues has

himself been embroiled with

allegations of his sexual escapades

within and outside the country.

Understandably, the political class

and said a quiet prayer for them.

According elders little privileges is a

custom that is as old as time in Africa.

It is something we can say we have

now taught the world as it seems to

be gaining traction everywhere. Now

elders are first attended to in queues

and during appointments in most

parts of the world.

But it now seems that the continent

that taught the world to defer to elders

is back sliding on some core African

values. We hardly genuflect anymore.

We don’t feel any obligation to do

chores for elders. We shout them

down in public and private places. We

defer more to wealth and position

than to grey hairs. I do not know why

that young man who requested an 84

year old Professor Wole Soyinka to

get up in the plane because WS had

usurped his seat did so. I do not know

why he refused to accord the old man

the indulgence that is the privilege of

age. I read somewhere that it was on

account of the young man’s medical

condition. Maybe. Those who have a

fear of heights would probably not

want to seat near the window. And

those who are averse to the press of

people might not want the aisle. But

the debates on the social media are

on everything but medical. Some

talked about rights. Some talked

about paying extra for that right.

Some talked about usurpation. Many

didn’t express their views in any

language that is decent. If the kind of

rage, of hatred, of class

is in no position to provide succour.

Never mind the indignation that was

raised by some senators over Abbo’s

indiscretion. We know what happens

when senators travel, especially for


In the face of these, the quietness of

a particular section of the political

class to the Ruga Settlement issue has

also been conspicuous.

Of particular note has been the

silence of the national leader of the

All Progressives Congress, APC,

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

At the peak of the controversy with

ethnic jingoists taking over the public

space there was the expectation that

the leader would show the way by

bringing caution to bear as he often


The leader was, however,

uncharacteristically reticent.

Understandably so, given the

sensitivities involved. Many had

assumed that the president as a

patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle

Breeders Association of Nigeria,

MACBAN was personally involved as

the project was seen as one to benefit

the Fulani.

It was even remarkable that when a

MACBAN official traced the Ruga

programme to Vice President Yemi

SATURDAY Vanguard, , JULY 6, 2019—35

If the kind of rage, of hatred, of class

consciousness, of expletives that

one regularly finds in the social

media represents the youths of

today, then we are in a very serious

trouble as a nation

consciousness, of expletives that one

regularly finds in the social media

represents the youths of today, then we

are in a very serious trouble as a nation.

To denigrate the person of our own WS

with all he has achieved because he sat

on a young man’s seat in a plane is

worrisome indeed. Despite my many

travels, I know I have mistaken a

window seat for an aisle seat several

times. I know I have swapped seats with

total strangers on account of that or any

reason. I also know some people insist

on having their seats for whatever

reasons while some voluntarily give up

their seats so that couples can seat near

each other. It really should be no big

deal. Your reaction is usually as a result

of your upbringing, your disposition

and what you have garnered in your

journey of life. I know I would not ask a

Wole Soyinka, a Christopher Kolade, a

John Pepper Clark, a Sam Amuka or

anybody in their mid-80s and above to

get up under any circumstance because

they are occupying my seat. I would

instead use that opportunity to

introduce myself, and after insisting

that they remained on the seat, use the

goodwill to start a conversation.

Like the Minister found out, you never

lose when you help an older person or

defer to an elder. Their heart is

automatically warmed towards you.

They will respond either by way of

prayers or other gestures of goodwill.

In any case, it is one of our age old

values. Like the saying goes; ‘agbanbo

was kan e.‘ You too will become old


Did Asiwaju who was the co-chairman of the

Presidential Campaign Council ever solicit the

Ruga proposal to the electorate?

Osinbajo that the country’s number two

man came out with a stunning denial.

Until President Muhammadu Buhari

came out to claim ignorance of the

project, it remained about the most

divisive policy ever to be linked to the

APC administration.

The question many had asked was

whether Ruga was in the APC manifesto

that was presented to Nigerians ahead

of the last general election? Did Asiwaju

who was the co-chairman of the

Presidential Campaign Council ever

solicit the Ruga proposal to the


It is as such worrisome that a policy

that the president claims ignorance

about, and which the national leader of

the ruling party has been quiet about,

and that has also been disowned by the

number two man in government could

have found its way to near


It then brings to fore the question as

to who authorized the implementation

of the programme? Was it some middlelevel

apparatchiks or some cabal

outside the mainstream of government?

Given the high expectations from

Asiwaju on account of his frontal role in

returning the APC to power, there is

high expectation on him to regularly

provide direction to his many followers

and then much-needed counsel to the

man he did much to return for a second


36—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

In my bachelor days, I had two female

friends, platonic friends, for

emphasis. Just one outing with each of

them and the red flag was so scary, both

relationships never developed beyond

that, even though they were stunning

beauties (I loved stunning beauties) and

we were great friends. There was a third

female friend whom I had the same kind

of still-birth relationship with. She came

to see me in the office one day. A female

colleague wanted my attention; I

excused myself to attend to her. As I was

leaving, I heard “Frannnnnk” behind me.

That “Frannnnnk” meant “how dare you

leave me to attend to or be with another

woman.” In her foolish and blind rage,

she forgot I was at work. I turned in

shock, saying to myself, “you do not own

me and you are behaving like this; what

if you do own me tomorrow, I am

finished.” That day, I made up my mind

that this relationship would never get off

the ground and it never did.

Many married people are currently in

prison, not marriage. Their spouses’

level of suspicion borders on paranoia.

They cannot stand with somebody of the

opposite sex without getting hostile

stares or outright rebuke; they must

disclose and explain every telephone call

they receive and reveal details of

conversations. They almost need

permission to make phone calls. The

details of every outing must be disclosed.

When they get back from work, it is not

enough to respond “good” to the

question, “how was your day.” The

spouse must give a blow-by-blow

account of how his/her day went, who

they talked with, who they went out to

lunch with, who entered their office,

whether or not they went out of the office

for business and with which colleague(s).

If they go out for business often with a

particular colleague, that colleague must

be thoroughly investigated via social

media and checking the spouse’s call logs

and messages if the opportunity arises…

the madness just goes on and on. That

would have been my experience with any

of these three and I was not ready for that

imprisonment, so I got out before we got

to the stage of preliminary commitment.

There is no cause for alarm, Nigeria

will beat Cameroon today, but the

Eagles cannot win the 2019 Africa

Nations Cup. The 2-0 loss to Madagascar

turned the tide against the 2013

champions and Egypt is not a favourable


Eagles must knock out the Indomitable

Lions, because they are tormentors of

defending champions. Except in 2010

when Egypt won 3-1 in Angola, no

defending African champions ever

defeated Nigeria.

It all began at Ethiopia ’76, when

defending champions, Leopards of

Congo Democratic Republic [Zaire ] fell

4-2 in Dire Dawa. Ghana Black Stars were

subdued 2-1 at Cote D’ Ivoire ’84 while it

ended barren with Pharaohs of Egypt at

Maroc ’88.

Elephants of Cote D’ Ivoire slumped at

Tunisia ’94. Ten years later, again in

Tunisia, Cameroon lost 2-1. The Carthage

Eagles of Tunisia lost out at Egypt 2006

and Chipolopolo of Zambia got a 1-1 draw

in South Africa. Today in Egypt, the

Indomitable Lions are defending the

trophy. I do not see them winning.

One result that will work against Nigeria

is the 2-0 loss to debutants, Madagascar,

in their last group B match. A draw would

have seen them cruising to cup glory and

even when the new comers were two

goals up, I thought of a 2-2 tie.

Eagles never lost to Afcon debutants.

That was before the Madagascar

humiliation. In 1978, a Segun Odegbami

braced after early goals by Christian

Chukwu and Adokiye Amiesimaka, gave

Nigeria a 4-2 victory over Burkina Faso

[Upper Volta] in Accra.

Tanzania made their debut in 1980. In

the opening game, Nigeria welcomed

them with a 3-1 win, courtesy of Muda

Lawal, Ifeanyi Onyedika and Odegbami

respectively. Malawi came in 1984, and

were forced to a 2-2 draw, thanks to

Clement Temile’s goals.

At Tunisia ’94, Gabon received an

unpleasant 3-0 reception from the

Eagles. In the next ten years, Tunisia

2004, Benin Republic, playing with the

Nigerian trio of Moussa Latoundji, Muri

Fiery y insecurity and prot


Unfortunately, some people

either did not see the red flag or

saw but ignored it during

courtship, that is, if they had a

proper courtship at all. Today,

they are in prison and it is not

funny. There are few things worse

than marrying an insecure spouse

turned maniac. The problem is

Many married people are

currently in prison, not


with them, but they want you to

adjust your lifestyle to that of a

prisoner to fit into their weird and

crooked expectations. Insecure

spouses are the ones who need to

fix their lives. Often they need

help; somebody needs to help

them dig into their lives and get to

the root of the insecurity. It is a

mental sickness and they need

therapists, counsellors and/or

psychologists to cure them. It is

easier to deal with if it is the

woman who has the problem. It is

tougher with husbands because

Why Eagles will not win!

Ogunbiyi and Jonas Oketola, lost

2-1 to Nigeria.

A draw against Madagascar

would have boosted Eagles’

chances of repeating History. All

three times, they won the Nations

Cup, the Nigerians played a draw

in, at least, one of their group


When Nigeria hosted, it ended

goalless with the Ivorians. At

Tunisia ’94, Eagles bagged another

scoreless draw with Egypt. South

Africa 2013 gave Nigeria two

drawn games and their

opponents, Burkina Faso and

Zambia respectively, got late

minute goals to equalize 1-1.

Records show that anytime

Nigeria lost a game in the early

round, the Eagles did not win the

cup. Debuting in 1963, Egypt

trounced them 6-3 in Kumasi.

Sudan added salt to injury with a

4-0 drubbing.

When Nigeria picked the first of

legion bronze medals, Morocco

beat Super Eagles 2-1 in their

group. Libya ’82 was worse. A 2-1

loss to Algeria and 3-0 disgrace

by Zambia did not tell the story.

The lead story was that Nigeria

went as defending champions and

in their last group game against

Zambia’s KK Eleven, keeper Peter

Fregene, deliberately played the

ball into his own net nine minutes

to time to increase scores to 3-0.

Algiers ’90 began on a sour note.

Algeria bombed Nigeria 5-1 in the

they are “the man of the house,”

with gargantuan egos. They see

admittance of the problem as a

sign of weakness. How do you then

find a cure for the problem you

live in denial of.

You see some households

where the man is not earning

enough, he needs help, yet he will

not allow his helpmate, his wife,

to work and lend a helping hand.

“I can cater for my family,” yet

you are falling behind in your

financial obligations. They are

scared that if their wives pick up

jobs, they cannot monitor them

anymore. When you are at work,

do you know what she does at

home? If you like, employ

bodyguards to guard her. In no

time, the bodyguard will become

her lover. Are the bodies of these

muscle-bound bodyguards made

of iron and steel? “No be ordinary

flesh?” How many men can resist

the sight of a beautiful naked

woman when they are all alone?

Joseph in the bible fled; how

many men have the presence of

mine and inner strength to flee

such temptation. Often their legs

are weak to take them from the


My own policy is if you cannot

trust me, leave me alone. I am

your spouse, not a prisoner, a

citizen of a free world. I am

opening duel. In 2004, Morocco

beat Eagles 1-0 and Cote D’I voire

did the same at Ghana 2008.

Egypt thrashed the Nigerians 3-1

at Angola 2010.

Losing to Madagascar in

Alexandra means the Super

Eagles have played themselves

out of cup glory. Even if they are

lucky to go all the way to the

grand finale, History does not

favour them to win.

Taking the Nations Cup to Egypt,

does Nigeria more harm than

good. When Egypt first hosted in

1959, the Eagles, then known as

Red Devils did not qualify. Egypt

hosted again in 1974, it was a sad


The Green Eagles lost 5-1 to

Zambia in Lusaka with Joe Erico

in goal. The Lagos first leg ended

3-2 against the visitors. Emma

Okala manned the post. This was

the same Eagles team that won All

Africa Games soccer gold in 1973.

General Yakubu Gowon was so

angry that he disbanded the team.

The Zambians went ahead to

distinguish themselves in Cairo.

They got a 2-2 draw in the final

forcing the Nations Cup grand

finale to be replayed for the first

time. Zaire won 2-0.

In 1986, Egypt hosted. Nigeria

did not qualify. They were

knocked out again by Zambia.

And that was how Muda Lawal,

the first player to play in five

consecutive African Nations Cup

rationale enough to know when to draw

boundaries. I also have a God I cooperate

with to guide me. You have no right to

make me miserable. I married you to

complete my joy, not diminish it. You

need help, you are insecure. Let us talk

about your insecurity. If we cannot solve

it in-house, we get professional help, but

do not pull me down.

If you find today’s column useful, to God

be the glory, but it is meant for a certain

madam, who is driving her husband crazy

with her distrust and insecurity. I hope

you are reading this, madam; you are

crying wolf where none exists. You are

joking with your marriage. You are

pushing your luck too far. I have known

your husband for a while; he is decent

man, a good father and a good husband. I

can assure you there is nothing to worry

about in your marriage, except your

paranoia. Your siblings are younger and

cannot call you to order, your mother is

too scared of you to tell you the truth and

your father is not around anymore to

caution you. Get help, you need help.

Your insecurity was always there, but it

has gotten out of hand.

You are there in your office wondering

what your husband is doing in his office,

or whom he is talking to, or if he is having

an affair. He has a right to also suspect

you, but he is not because he trusts you

to respect your marital vows. That is what

he also expects from you: trust. During

courtship, you were suspicious; now you

are 10 years in marriage, you are still

suspicious. Meanwhile, you have not

found him wanting for once. Don’t you

think it is time you gave him the benefit

of doubt and trusted him? Your marriage

is on the brink because of your maniacal

insecurity. Get help before you ruin your

family. If your husband gets to the point

of no return, he would walk away from

everything, including the children he

loves with his last breath. It will be tough

for him, tougher for the children and

toughest for you.

What a man needs most in marriage is

his peace of mind and you are denying

him. Retrace your steps, madam. Time is

running out. I protected your identity,

but you know you are the subject here.

Losing to Madagascar in Alexandra

means the Super Eagles have

played themselves out of cup glory

championships, hung his cleats.

The very first time the Eagles played the

Nations Cup in Egypt was 2006. After

eliminating defending champions,

Tunisia, in the quarter-finals, they lost to

Didier Drogba’s lone goal for the

Elephants in the semis.

It is difficult to forgive Guinea. Sylli

National stopped Nigeria from playing in

the 2012 edition of the Nations Cup. It

turned out to be the last time Dele

Aiyenugba would play for Nigeria. That is

part of the story.

The real gist is that the first time Nigeria

played against Guinea at the Nations Cup,

Eagles were beaten twice by another team,

and failed to win the cup.

It was Nigeria 1, Guinea 1 in Ethiopia, 43

years ago. Muda got the opener seven

minutes into the second stanza, Papa

Camara drew Guinea level two minutes to

time. Morocco beat Nigeria 2-1 in the

group stage, and 3-1 in the second round.

Algeria also beat Nigeria twice in 1990 and

won the cup like the Red Atlas Lions did

in 1976.

Sylli are in Egypt now and played in the

same group with the Eagles who triumphed

1-0 when both sides met.

No matter what the Nigerians do in

Egypt, history is not on their side. Captain

Mikel Obi deserves encomiums even if the

going is bad. Sad enough, his Nations Cup

debut was in Egypt, and this is where he

will leave the stage.

For Alex Iwobi, my wish is for him to

score his first Nations Cup goal. His

uncles, Emma and Jay Jay, scored in

North Africa: Algeria and Tunisia,


SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019—37


shrine in limbo

•Flooded road leading

to Okija Shrine

By Vincent Ujumadu

TIME was when Okija in Ihiala local

government area of Anambra State was

very famous because of the popular Okija

Shrine. Like many communities in Igbo land, Okija

habours many shrines, but the most popular one

was the Ogwugwu Akpu Shrine located on the bank

of Ulasi River. It is located in Ubahuezike, which

is one of the 30 villages in Okija and lies at the end

of the village such that once one passes the last

building in Ubahuezike from Nkwo Okija ,

Ogwugwu Akpu is the next thing to see and no one

knows what is beyond the shrine because people

hardly get to the end of the shrine.

In the olden days, stories had it that people who

committed atrocities were dumped in the shrine on

their death. Those who died as a result of such

diseases, like small pox and leprosy,, were also

dumped in the shrine. That is why the entire shrine

is littered with dead bodies till today.

About 19 years ago, Ogwugwu Akpu assumed a

new status when some educated young people in

the village decided to become priests of the

Ogwugwu, thereby bringing some ingenuity in its

worship. That was how Okija became famous as

people from various parts of Igbo land came there

to administer oaths on their people suspected to have

committed one offence or the other.

It was common those days to see convoy of vehicles

conveying people from either one kindred or village

to the shrine to subject themselves to the oath on

suspected thieves or murderers among them. If,

eventually the guilty ones died after that exercise,

their corpses would be deposited in the shrine.

At the time the shrine was booming between 2002

and 2009, the road to Ubahuezike was smooth and

was the most popular route for Okada riders in Okija,

who served as agents to the priests of the shrine.

But all that have changed because Ubahuezike

village is no longer easily accessible due to the

dilapidated nature of the road to the village.

For years, the villagers, including their Umuhu

neighbours, who also have the popular Ogwugwu

Isiula, faced the challenges of bad road such that Okada

riders tripled their fares to the two communities. Their

joy therefore knew no bounds when, during the

campaign for the 2017 governorship election in Anambra

State, Governor Willie Obiano promised to reconstruct

the Nkwo Okija- Umuhu-Ubahuezike-Umuogu-Nkwo

Okija ring road during his second tenure.

Contract for the project was promptly awarded to a

construction company, Hammcorp Limited, owned by

an indigene of Okija and work started in earnest shortly

after the swearing in of Governor Obiano for his second


Unfortunately, the current rainy season has worsened

the situation of the road such that many houses in the

area have become flooded. The situation was

compounded by slow nature of the work on the project,

which has made the road completely impassable.

Due to the bad road, those who usually come to

patronize the Ogwugwu Akpu Shrine can no longer

reach their destination and the resultant effect is near

zero business for the priests and their patrons.

One of the priests, Mr. Ofokansi Okoli said their clients

no longer come because they can’t find their way to their

village any longer. According to him, the last client

he attended to was in March this year, adding that

although the customer promised to return by the

end of May, he could not come because neither

vehicles, nor motorcycles get to this village again.

Okoli said it would have been better for the road

to remain the way it was before the contract was

awarded. He said that the joy the people had when

construction equipment moved to the area had gone,

adding that it was becoming obvious that the road

contract was a deceit in the first place.

Another priest, Mr. Ejionu Ilodinobi wondered

why the road project was stopped, adding that

many tourists who visit Ogwugwu Akpu Shrine

no longer come. He called on Governor Obiano to

release money to the contractors to continue the

work because that was the reason given by the

contractor handling the project.

For now, Ogwugwuakpu Shrine in Okija is in

limbo and whether it would still bounce back

would be seen in the near future.

Benue fuel tanker explosion:

I watched helplessly as

raging fire was consuming

my son — Father of victim

•Says, it's a disaster I'll not forget in a hurry

•Children, pregnant woman, fire service men among victims

•I narrowly escaped being burnt to death---Local Govt chairman

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Benue has been in a somber mood

from last Monday when the news

spread like wild fire across the state of

the ghastly petrol tanker explosion at Ahumbe

village in Gwer East local government area of

the state where 50 lives were lost and 101

others suffered various degrees of burns.

How it


According to an eyewitness, “the truck laden

with Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known

as fuel was traveling to Makurdi but lost a

tyre to the terribly bad Makurdi-Otukpo road.

The driver lost control of the truck which

apparently fell and spilled its cargo on the

busy highway. When the truck fell and fuel

was spilling, the people in the community

rushed to the scene and started scooping fuel

from the truck.

“Given the obvious danger the spilling fuel

posed to the immediate neighborhood,

vehicles were not allowed to pass through the

road and drivers of vehicles sensing danger

parked on both sides of the road.

“Unfortunately the driver of a fully loaded

18 seater bus heading toward Makurdi

insisted on driving through the flowing fuel

and in the process the exhaust pipe of the bus

brushed the ground and sparked off the fire

leading to an explosion which consumed the

lives of the several passengers in the bus and

those scooping the fuel. Among the victims

were two children and a pregnant woman and

a serving Youth Corp member who was

traveling in another bus but got trapped in

the fire as she was trying to take photographs

and video of the accident”.

The Benue state Sector Commander of the

Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Mr. Aliu

Baba who alongside his personnel slept at the

accident scene to evacuate the victims and

control the traffic on the ever busy road

disclosed that the 101 victims were taken to

10 hospitals, clinics and dispensaries for


He said “the victims were taken to various

hospitals both at Aliade and Makurdi,

including Federal Medical Center, Air force

hospital, Bishop Murray Hospital, Benue State

University Teaching Hospital all in Makurdi

while others are St Vincent Hospital, Hosanna

Clinic, General Hospital and Justin

•Mr. Ajirzua


dispensary all in Aliade because some

of the hospitals lacked bed space.

Continuing Baba said, “there were two

explosions, the second explosion affected so

many people including two fire service

personnel, passengers of other vehicles, as

well as the social media journalists who were

taking photographs after the fire officers had

contained the fire before a second explosion.”

While Benue wept, Ahumbe, the

community where the tragic accident

happened was in deep mourning as several

households lost loved ones in the disaster.

I watched my son engulfed

in fire, wailing for help—


For Mr. Ajirzua Tsekohol who lost his 21 year

old son, Iyortuah Tsekohol in the inferno, it

was a disaster he would not forget in a hurry.

According to him, his son who was a

commercial motorcycle operator only dropped

off a passenger and was on his way back home

when he saw the tanker burning.

“He joined the youths of the community to

put out the fire and it was while doing that

that the tanker exploded for the second time

and he got trapped and got burnt to death.

We saw how he was covered with fire, crying

and wailing for help but nobody could go near

because the flame was intense. It is tragic

because this community lost over 35 persons

to this disaster,” the 45 year old stated as he

fought back tears.

How my brothers got

trapped —Atese

Another resident of the community, Atese

Ade also lost a sibling while three others

sustained various degrees of burns and are

receiving treatment in hospitals in Makurdi

and Aliade.

Recounting how it all happened, Ade said,

“When the accident happened we all ran when

we discovered that the truck was carrying fuel,

though some persons went to the scene to

scoop fuel while most of them got trapped

when there was an initial explosion. But when

we noticed that the fire fighters have put out

the fire most of us returned to catch a glimpse

of what happened not knowing that there was

still some left in the tank. All of a sudden the

tanker exploded again and my brothers got

trapped. One of them got burnt to death

beyond recognition but three others suffered

burns and were taken to different hospitals

in Aliade and Makurdi for treatment.

38—SATURDAY Vanguard, JULY 6, 2019

Third Letter To

Sen. Akpor Pius


Idid not plan to write this year, but I

was moved by my spirit to do so. I just

want to do my usual updates during your

anniversary. Your hope of APC winning the

Delta State governorship election was again

dashed in 2019. It is a long story, but the

All Progressives Congress, APC, went into

the election with a divided house. Even

with a united front, it is an uphill task

dislodging an incumbent in Nigeria, so APC

stood no chance; we were trounced. Any

other story is for the marines.

In those days, we would do our

permutations on where our votes were

going to come from before elections. In your

absence, we also did; it was a hopeless

situation. You know, like you, I never

believed in zoning. We felt then and I still

feel that all interested Deltans should be

allowed to contest and let the best candidate

win at all times. But the smaller ethnic

groups in Delta want(ed) zoning. They feel

(felt) that is their only hope of ever

producing a governor. It has happened with

the Itsekiris and the others are waiting for

their turn. Many of our people in Delta

Central were (are) in agreement with them.

It was (is) the dominant paradigm; it should

have been allowed to prevail. The nonacceptance

of the will of the majority

escalated the split in the APC, which made

it impossible to put up a strong showing

during the governorship. The Aniomas

should have been allowed to produce the

APC governorship candidate; that was the

dominant feeling.

Of course, some Urhobos had their fears

that if an APC candidate of Anioma

extraction won the governorship, he might

want to go for a second term and deny the

Urhobos the opportunity to get the

governorship seat in 2023. Privately, I told

them that if such a governor is

transformational, does unbelievable things

and delivers hitherto unheard of

performance in Delta State, I will be in the

forefront of those championing his reelection.

Good governance is what we have

always craved for, no matter where it came

from. Good governance knows no ethnicity

and the Urhobos, as the majority ethnic

group, will have more beneficiaries. Urhobo

people, of course, will always have the

opportunity to rule Delta State and even

Nigeria. Your prayer then, and mine now,

is that we put forth our best; somebody who

will govern with the best

interest of our people at heart.

Ours is not yet a sophisticated

society; our needs are still

basic: security, good roads,

good health facilities, good

schools for our children,

enabling environment for

entrepreneurship and job

creation to strive, etc.

Anyway, it is not all

negative news; on June 11,

2019, the ninth national

assembly was inaugurated

and one of your successors,

Senator OvieOmo-Agege,

became the only senator from

Delta Central to start a second

since the re-election of the late

Sen. David Dafinone in 1983.

Hopefully, he will complete

his second term, unlike Sen.

Dafinone whose second term

was truncated by a military coup.

Of course, some

Urhobos had their

fears that if an APC

candidate of Anioma

extraction won the

governorship, he

might want to go for

a second term and

deny the Urhobos

the opportunity to



governorship seat in


Even more joyous is the fact that he emerged

the deputy president of the ninth senate, the

highest position a Deltan has risen to at the

national level since the return to civil rule

in 1999. Much is being expected from him.

He is currently the highest ranking Niger

Deltan in this dispensation. Niger

Deltans expect him to pursue the

issues of resource control and

fiscal federalism; we expect him

to deal with the issue of

devolution of power to the

federating units and we expect

him to liaise with the executive

and tackle the insecurity in the


You were an apostle of state

police. A report on state police

was submitted to President

Muhammadu Buhari

recently. I expect him to

champion the constitutional

amendment to enable states

have their own police. Many

states already have all

kinds of security outfits. It

is just that they are not

supposed to carry fire

arms, so there is no big

deal anyway. Insecurity

currently pervades the

land and some of us

sincerely believe that

state police will

ameliorate the situation.

Of course there are

fears of state governors

using state police to

intimidate and

victimize their

opponents. When we

get to that bridge, we

will cross it. Nigeria has crossed more

hazardous bridges in the past.

Some people feel that as deputy president

of the senate, Sen. Omo-Agege should

automatically become the leader of APC in

Delta State. It is a legitimate feeling, but

he would have to earn it. Positions do confer

leadership status, but in a fragmented set

up like the Delta State APC, he has to earn

it. He needs to reconcile with all those he is

at loggerheads with, and also reconcile

other members at loggerheads. He needs

to embrace all and now go beyond his

current faction of the party in appointments

and other political and economic benefits

peculiar to Nigerian politics. That is only

one strand of the matter.

Now the second strand: If he is able to do

these, it will be easier for him to

assume the leadership role of APC

in Delta State and even South

South. You remember how they

almost tore you to shreds in the

social media during the APC

merger talks. It was not as if you

claimed to be the leader of the

Democratic People’s Party (DPP).

You never contested the leadership

with anybody. A local newspaper

only published a story with a

headline, “Ewherido Leads DPP

into APC” and hell was let loose.

You never granted an interview and

claimed to be the leader of DPP.

Whatever the newspaper published

was its opinion, but you were

vilified. Now Omo-Agege is in the

same situation, albeit deputy

president of the senate. He did not

bring APC to Delta State, you were

the arrowhead. He was also not

part of APC at the time you died.

Shortly after your death, our political family

invited OlorogunOtegaEmerhor to take

over your political structure. He obliged and

substantially sustained the party until after

the 2015 elections, which the party won at

the centre. That was when APC became

attractive to many new entrants.

Notwithstanding, the treatment meted to

you by DPP must not be visited on Sen. Omo-

Agege. In a state like Delta, where the

current governor is not a member of APC,

the deputy president of the senate should be

the party leader, but he must earn it. This is

hard teaching to some party leaders and

their followers, but that is the way I see it.

Whether older or elder brothers, everybody

should queue behind Omo-Agege. That does

not make them any less leaders.

Every organization needs an arrowhead

and the deputy presidency of the senate has

thrust that role on Omo-Agege. But Omo-

Agege must be very magnanimous in his

new status. He must learn from the mistakes

of others. Politics of exclusivity, exclusion

and parochialism has never taken any

leader far; his case will not be different.

I often say that politicians are the only

group I know who forgive easily, much

easier than Christians. So much wrong has

been done. People who worked very hard

for their elections and won have been

denied their victories intraparty.

Foundation members and financiers are

now outsiders. There is so much healing to

be done and Omo-Agege must work

assiduously to heal the wounds and unite

the party. Truth be told, he is a principal actor

in the division within the Delta APC today.

You do not come into a house, kick out the

occupants you met and takeover everything.

The Labour Party people who came into

APC were very greedy. What they could not

have condoned while they were in DPP, they

meted out to people they met in APC.

I complained to people privately and at

public fora: “How can these people want

the Delta Central Senatorial seat and

governorship seat at the same time?” That

escalated the crisis. If the Emerhor group

had been allowed to produce the

governorship candidate while the Chief

Great Ogboru/Sen. OvieOmo-Agege group

produced the senatorial candidate, we

would not be in this mess. Mention must,

however, be made that OlorogunEmerhor

did not transmit his human management

skills in business to politics. His human

management skill in politics is not good

enough. What happened when Chief

Ogboru and Senator Omo-Agege came into

APC is akin to what happened when my

brother, Sen. Ewherido and his political

family, came into DPP. You do not bring

people into your political party to

strengthen the party and not properly

incorporate them. They must be fully

accommodated. Such terms as

“mainstream,” “authentic,” “original,”

“genuine” are no longer necessary. Like

Christianity, no more Jews or gentiles, all

are one and the same. Anything outside this

is a recipe for crisis. The same poor human

management made some key people in our

political family to move to other APC

factions or PDP. I particularly found this

very distressing.

But we must move forward. We

now need to sheath our

swords, pride, egos,

bitterness, anger and

move forward. It is

difficult to build peace

on a foundation of

injustice, so Delta

APC needs to look

for semblance of

justice within the

mountain of

injustice that has

been created. In

doing that, it is my

humble opinion

that the Prophet

Jones Erue-led

executive and the

Chief Cyril


executives should

either be

disbanded or they

should resign,

whichever is

expedient, and the

case(s) in court

should be


Whatever the

outcome of these

cases, they will not

help to unity the

party. There will

always be the

lingering feeling

of victor and vanquished. Forget the “no

victor, no vanquished” rhetoric; talk is

cheap. In the stead of the Erue and Ogodo

executives, there should be a unity

executive, which will accommodate the

divergent interests and make Delta APC one

big family. Sen. Omo-Agege and other

leaders should work hand-in-hand with the

new party executive to continue the healing.

Delta APC is bigger than any individual,

so everybody should be ready to make

sacrifices; egos and personal interests need

to be subsumed.

Supporters of both factions have spewed

so much venom in the social media

especially. Their paymasters need to call

them to order. You cannot build peace with

so much hatred in the air. Delta APC must

go back to the original goal of the chief

promotor: provide Deltans with a viable

alternative and ultimately takeover

power. You do not abandon the vision of a

founder without a better alternative.

Right now, the initial vision is not even

on the leaders’ agenda; that is why this

crisis is lingering. The leaders are

contented with positions, appointments

and patronages coming from the centre.

They forget that if the centre behaved the

way they are behaving in Delta State,

there would be no appointment or

patronages to benefit from. People must

be whipped into line now or we can forget

the 2023 governorship election, which

offers a great opportunity to have a strong

showing. There will no power of

incumbency, so APC chances of winning

will be brighter, but first things first.

There is still so much to talk about, but

I have to go now. I will continue to keep

you posted more regularly henceforth.

Continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord.

I miss you.

•Francis Ewherido, a brother to the late

Sen. Akpor Pius Ewherido, wrote from


By Clifford Ndujihe

FIVE weeks after the Nigerian Financial

Intelligent Unit, NFIU, guidelines on

the management of local governments’

funds came into effect, the measures are yet

to be fully implemented in most local councils

of the country for many reasons.

The reasons include absence of

democratically elected executives at the

councils, inability of the states joint allocation

committees to meet, inability of unelected

councils to access funds, lacuna over what to

do with local council development areas that

are not recognised by the 1999 Constitution,

and a suit asking the stoppage of allocation to

councils without elected officials.

Currently, only 24 states and the Federal

Capital Territory, Abuja have democratically

elected councils. Local councils in 12 states

are run by caretaker or transition committees.

The Federal Government, states and the 774

local councils shared N679.7 billion as May

2019 statutory allocation, according a

statement by the Federal Accounts Allocation

Committee, FAAC, issued at the end of the

Third Treasury Workshop held in Kano,

penultimate week.

The guidelines stipulating direct

allocation to the local councils were to

commence on June 1. The guidelines

are designed to enhance the financial

autonomy of the local governments and

check the abuse of the joint state/LG

account by state governors.

Among others, the guidelines are to

ensure that federal allocations are

paid directly to the councils’ accounts

and to ensure prudent spending of

such monies with daily withdrawal

restricted to N500,000.

NFIU is the Nigerian arm of the

Global Financial Intelligent Unit

domiciled in the Economic and

Financial Crimes Commission,


Vanguard’s checks, indicate

that the old order is still

prevalent in most states.

While some councils said they

have started receiving direct

allocation, some said they are

waiting to see what would

happen next week.

Some govs carried

out civilian coup

against councils –


Last May, Human Rights lawyer, Dr Olisa

Agbakoba, SAN, filed a Suit at the Federal

High Court, Lagos seeking the Ministry of

Finance to stop allocation of public funds to

unelected and unaccountable Local

Government councils.

Agbakoba said the basis of the case is that

Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution

guarantees a system of democratically elected

Government Councils. But many Local

Government Councils in Nigeria are never

elected and are unconstitutional. Therefore

allocation of public funds, to them is a violation

of the Constitution and unelected persons have

unimpeded access to huge monthly allocations

that are actually funds intended for

democratically elected Local Government

Councils, as guaranteed by Section 7 of the


Dr Agbakoba noted that Nigeria operates

democratically elected governments at all

levels. The current situation where many of

the 774 Local Governments are unelected is

not only unconstitutional but meant no

development at the Local Governments level.

He also noted that corruption is widespread

in Nigeria because unelected persons that are

not accountable to the electorate have received

trillions of Naira of public funds.

Asked why he went to court and the progress

made in the litigation, Agbakoba told

Saturday Vanguard: ‘’The court will deliver

judgement on Monday. The main thing is

Nigeria is a federal democracy with three

levels of government. The LGs are guaranteed

to be democratically elected but governors

have conducted a civilian coup by not

conducting council elections. Therefore, the

Ministry of Finance should release allocation

to undemocratic local councils. The court will

give judgement on our case on Monday.’’

APC tasks Ikpeazu

on LG polls

The Abia State chapter of the All

Progressives Congress, APC, applauded the

NFIU guidelines on the distribution of local

government funds, and decried running of the

local councils by transition committees.

The party called for proper elections to be

conducted in the 17 Local government areas

of the state, to enable the people elect those

who will oversee their council affairs.

The State Publicity Secretary of the party,

Comrade Benedict Godson, reportedly said:

“Just few days ago, all LGAs got their June

allocations directly. This new system ought to


Hurdles before

local councils

•Undemocratic LGs to know fate Monday

•Governors carried out civilian coup against councils – Agbakoba

•12 states yet to conduct council polls

bring about prudence, accountability and

transparency in handling the finances of

LGAs, but in Abia I don’t think the aim of that

financial autonomy will be realistic if

politically appointed TC-chairmen are

allowed to head our 17 LGAs.

“Those guys are cronies of the governor and

are only there to fulfill the mandates of those

who put them there. The whole struggle will

end up producing no result if we keep

accepting appointees as chairmen.

“The Local Government is a different tier of

government and should be allowed to decide

what to do with their new funds, but

unfortunately that’s not the case in Abia. No

matter what the debt level of each LGA in Abia

might be, you can’t tell me that in the system

where the least amount gotten by an LGA in

Abia is N120,555,809,58 which is Ukwa East

and the highest N229, 514,988,80 which is Aba