13022021 - We'll retaliate - Fulani Association Chair

vanguardnewspaper

Vanguard Newspaper 13 February 2021

2 —SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

Burial ceremony of late Alh Lateef Olukayode Jakande at Volts Gardens, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Oluwo urges Fulani to relocate to cities

•Tells Buhari to send them abroad for modern cattle rearing training

By Shina Abubakar,

Osogbo

THE Oluwo of Iwo, Oba

Abdulrosheed Akanbi

has charged President Muhammadu

Buhari to sponsor

Fulanis on foreign training

on modern cattle rearing

technology while urging the

Gaa Fulani to relocate to the

cities and mix with indigenes.

The monarch said the way

cattle rearing is done among

the Fulani herdsmen was

archaic and outdated, hence,

they need to seek modern

cattle rearing techniques.

Oluwo in a video recorded

during his visit to Gaa Fulanis,

Odo-Oba, Iwo on Thursday

said that if the children

of the herdsmen were exposed

to proper education

they could end up as elites

in the society.

“Open grazing is outdated,

it is no longer practiced

now. You feed cow in a spot.

I told the government to

empower you in other professions,

relocate you to

where you can enjoy social

amenities. The government

should shift attention to

your well-being.

“It is not all your children

that will be willing to be

herders. Some may like to

be doctors, astronauts, lawyers

etc. All your children

will not want to be just cow

merchants. I have advocated

it in the past that your

children should go to

school.

“You lack some basic

amenities here and I learnt

that you have been here

for over 200 years. You

need to relocate to town

and mix with us. You are

all residents of Iwo. We the

Yorubas chose this place

you are living in as a farm

settlement. You need to relocate

and live with us. I

want to monitor your activities

since you are not

willing to go back to your

hometown”.

The monarch disclosed

that government’s and

monarchs across the country

should focus effort towards

integrating non indigenes

in their domains

in the system and give

them a sense of belonging

that could further ensure

the security of lives and

property in the country.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu(left) and Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde

Fashola,SAN(right) during the commissioning of the Lagos State Mechanized Abattoir under the Management

of Lion Unisco Enterprises at Ayoola Lawal Street, Ilaje, Bariga, Lagos on Friday, 12th February 2021.

Pastor Adeboye dedicates kidney dialysis Center to

mark 40th ordination anniversary

By Nkiruka Nnorom

THE Redeemed Chris

tian Church Of God

(RCCG), through its Christian

Social Responsibility (CSR)

arm - His Love Foundation

(HLF) – has dedicated a Kidney

Dialysis Center at the Pastor

Enoch And Folu Adeboye

Intensive Care Unit at the

Health Center, RCCG Camp,

Mowe, Ogun State as part of

its Christian Social Responsibilities

and also part of programmes

to celebrate Pastor

Adeboye’s 40th year ordination

as the General Overseer

of RCCG.

The Dialysis Center, which

was built and equipped to

bring critical healthcare solution

closer to the people for

the benefit of humanity in general,

and the host community

in particular, is also driven by

the mantra of RCCG to touch

people’s lives, with emphasis

on improving standards of living

by providing good education

and health through infrastructural

development.

Pastor Adeboye became the

G.O of the RCCG ministry on

January 21, 1981, and still

holds the position till present.

Speaking at the dedication of

the Kidney Dialysis Center,

Pastor Adeboye, who was represented

by Pastor Joseph

Obayemi, Continental Overseer

Africa 1 and National

Overseer Nigeria, said he has

a lot to be grateful for after so

many years of leading this

ministry.

He stressed the importance

of the church’s CSR programme,

saying it is what the

Lord Jesus Christ demands of

the church, while adding that

the church will not relent on

its efforts to impact lives positively

by providing spiritual

and physical support to everyone

irrespective of where they

are from in Nigeria.

He noted that the availability

of a Kidney Dialysis center

within the location will prevent

unnecessary deaths arising

from inadequate medical

infrastructure around the

area. Pastor Adeboye further

thanked His Love Foundation

team lead by Pastor Idowu Iluyomade,

Special Assistant to

the G.O on CSR, for making

the dream a reality.

Pastor Idowu Iluyomade

while responding said ,”The

RCCG through its CSR arm

has been very concerned

about the loss of lives due to

inadequate healthcare facilities

in the country, which

makes Nigerians spend over

$3billion annually on health

tourism seeking state of the art

health facilities in countries

like India and the UAE.

IGP: NBA drags Buhari to court over

‘illegal’ extension of Adamu’s tenure

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

THE Nigerian Bar Asso

ciation, NBA, has instituted

an action before the

Federal High Court in Lagos

to challenge what it termed

as President Muhammadu

Buhari’s illegal extension of

the tenure of the retired Inspector

General of Police, IGP,

Mr. Mohammed Adamu.

NBA, which is the umbrella

body of legal practitioners

in the country, in a statement

that was signed by its President,

Mr. Olumide Akpata,

said the action was in fidelity

to its motto, which is

‘Promoting the Rule of Law’.

“The NBA’s decision to

take this extraordinary line

of action is underpinned by

an urgent need, and a sacred

duty to reassert the supremacy

of the rule of law

in the face of growing impunity

and the seeming reluctance

of law officers in

government to give proper

counsel.

“The NBA’s position in the

suit is that Mr Adamu

ceased to be a member of

the Nigeria Police Force

when he attained the milestone

of thirty-five years of

service. Therefore, the President’s

extension or Mr Adamu’s

tenure by three

months, in the NBA’s respectful

view, is unconstitutional.

“In the grand scheme of

things, the NBA is wary that

the more government officials

casually violate the

law, the harder it would become

to expect citizens to

be compliant.

“Citizens take their cues

from their leaders and public

office holders who flout

the laws of the country that

they are meant to uphold.

“The ubiquity of acts of

impunity, especially by

those in high public offices

portends an existential

threat to the survival of this

country and her hard won

democracy.

“The NBA, now more

than ever, is firmly committed

to changing this narrative.

“As the outcome of the

suit is awaited, the NBA

wIII continue to condemn

and confront lawlessness in

any form and from all quarters”,

the statement read.

Meanwhile, the sole issue

the NBA raised for the court

to determine in its suit

marked FHC/L/CS/214/

2021, is: “Whether by the

combined interpretation of

the provisions of section

215(a) of the Constitution

of the Federal Republic of

Nigeria, 1999 (as amended),

sections 7(3), (6) and

18(8) of the Nigeria Police

Act, 2020, the 1st Defendant

(Buhari) can lawfully extend

the tenure of the 3rd

Defendant (Adamu) as the

Inspector General of Police

after having retired from

service of the Nigeria Police

Force”.

The Police Service Commission

was also joined as

the 2nd Defendant in the

suit the legal body filed

through its team of lawyers

led by Dr. Charles Mekwunye.

CHANGE OF NAME

KYAKKYAWA

I, formerly known as ABIGAIL

KYAKKYAWA GWADAH, now

wish to be known as ABIGAIL

GWADAH. All former documents

remain valid. The relevant authorities

and general public please take note.

OGENYI

I, formerly known as Miss

Ogenyi Margaret Agube, now

wish to be known as Mrs. Otsapa

Margaret Agube. All former

documents remain valid. Benue

State Science and Technical

Education Board and general

public take note.

SULE

Correction of Date Of Birth:

Name SULE FRANCIS ADAH.

Wrong date of birth 14/02/

1984. Correct date of birth 14/

09/1989. The relevant

authorities and general public

please take note.

PETER

I, formerly known as

EVELYN PETER, now wish

to be known as EVELYN

ISHAKU. All former

documents remain valid. The

relevant authorities and

general public please take

note.

CHIROMA

I, formerly known as YUSUF

JACOB now wish to be known

as CHIROMA YUSUF JACOB.

Wrong date of birth 8/8/1983.

Correct date of birth 8/8/1992. All

former documents remain valid.

The relevant authorities and

general public please take note.

OWOLABI

I, formerly known as OWOLABI

SULIYAT IBIWUMI, now wish

to be known as OLAYIWOLA

SULIYAT IBIWUMI. All former

documents remain valid. The

relevant authorities and general

public please take note.

IDRIS

I, formerly known as YUSUF

IDRIS, now wish to be known as

YUSUF GAMBO. All former

documents remain valid. The

relevant authorities and general

public please take note.

OWOBU

I, formerly known as ELUIS

USIFOR OWOBU, now

wish to be known as USONI

BLESSING. The relevant

authorities and general public

please take note.

MARY

I, formerly known as SYLVESTER

ALICE MARY, now wish to be

known as SYLVESTER ALICE

OCHAI. All former documents

remain valid. The relevant

authorities and general public

please take note.

SANI

I, formerly known as SANI

ZEKERI now wish to be known

as ABDULLAHI SALISU. My

correct date of birth is 17/04/1997

not 01/01/1998. All former

documents remain valid. The

relevant authorities and general

public please take note.

MUSA

I, formerly known as SAMUEL

OJOAGBENE MUSA, now wish

to be known as SAMUEL

OJOAGBENE. All former

documents remain valid. The

relevant authorities and general

public please take note.


FFK’s botched defection, an attempt to

manipulate APC leadership — PGF DG

By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA: Director General

of the Progressive Governors’

Forum PGF, Salihu Moh.

Lukman has said the recent attempt

to accept Chief Femi

Fani-Kayode into the fold of the

All Progressives Congress APC

was a clear attempt by some

partisans to manipulate the

leadership of the ruling party

into doing the wrong thing.

There were reports earlier in

the week that Fani-Kayode, a

chieftain of the opposition Peoples

Democratic Party PDP was

set to join the APC following a

meeting with the Chairman of

the Caretaker Extraordinary

Convention Planning Committee

CECPC, Gov. Mai Mala

Buni and Kogi state Governor,

Yahaya Bello who chairs the

Mobilization Committee of the

party.

In a statement titled, “APC and

the Question of Values”, Lukman

praised the insistence by

many APC members and leaders

that Mr. Fani-Kayode “was

not welcome to join APC because

he doesn’t have the values

required to be a member”.

He faulted comments by a

PDP chieftain, Dr. Sam Amadi,

that “APC has no defined values

or defining values. APC is a

normless contraption, like Nigeria”.

Lukman noted that “the issue

of Mr. Fani-Kayode’s attempt

to join the APC is a clear

instance of attempts to manipulate

some of our leaders into

accepting membership of

someone who ought not to have

been considered as member of

our party. If that was the case in

the past, it is better late than never

to correct such a mistake”.

He also advised those angry

with APC to work hard to

form a better party.

“Without going into details,

the capacity to test wide range

of political options assisted to

create the needed confidence for

merger negotiations of our opposition

parties in 2012/2013

that led to the emergence of

APC. It is important to recognise

that for leaders of our legacy

parties to successfully negotiate

the merger, it meant that they

were responsive to the reality

that without being able to

merge they couldn’t have won

election at national level.

“You can say that the negotiation

only produces instrument

for capturing power. What is

wrong with that? Would you

have rather preferred APC or

any preferred party becoming

a permanently defeated party?

That APC is succeeding in capturing

power is the reason we

are having this debate. It is far

more encouraging to engage

the debate, on our part as APC

members, because the party is

succeeding in winning elections,

if you like capturing power. Is

there any successful political

party anywhere in the world that

is not an instrument of capturing

power? If your pain is that

APC is emerging as a successful

political party, the best advice

one can give is that those

who are opposed to APC should

work hard to produce the party

that can defeat the APC”, Lukman

stated.

‘Not all-comers affair’

The PGF DG also insisted that

the APC must not be an allcomers

affairs, saying only

those with progressive credentials

should be admitted into its

fold in the ongoing nationwide

membership registration and

revalidation exercise.

He said; “The fact of being

successful is what is attracting

almost everyone desirous of

accessing political opportunities

to join our party. No doubt,

that is not good. But it must be

stressed, it will require strong

SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 13, 2021 — 3

internal contestation to control

that. Again, that we are as a

party debating the issue of who

should join our party or not,

represents the qualitative difference

between the APC and

PDP. If it were PDP, once the National

Chairman of the party

acts on a matter and backed

by a serving governor, members

can only grumble.

“I am proud to have my voice

guaranteed and affirmed by

my leaders in APC. As an employee

of Governors, it has

been a privileged opportunity

to speak out openly on matters

within the purview of leadership

initiative. Rather than my

leaders, including our Governors,

relating to me as a subordinate

who should only take

instructions, they recognise and

respect my views as a loyal

member of the party. Part of the

responsibility that imposes is

that we should be able to speak

out to protect and defend our

leaders and our party.

2023: No Igbo man will vie for vice president

— Igbo group

By Chinedu Adonu

Ahead of 2023 general

election, an Igbo group,

National Forum for South

East Presidency says it will

frown at Ndigbo aspiring for

the post of vice president in any

political party, saying “Igbo

man becoming President is not

negotiable”.

The resolution was made

known yesterday at the zonal

meeting of the group held at

Meadway Luxry Hotels and

suit, GRA, Enugu.

The Summit which attracted

both religious, traditional

and political leaders from

South East, South South and

middle belt Region also took a

far reaching political decision

among which was the non

Negotiable agreement on the

South East presidential slot in

2023. They spoke without respect

to rights of individuals

and appeared to lord their interest

on others rather than

lobbying.

In a keynote address by the

National president of the group

Dr Patrick Enuneku, said the

presidency slot is not negotiable,

warning that any lgbo man

who tries to take vice president

From left: Mrs Chioma Ejikeme, Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional

Arrangement Directorate (PTAD); Mrs Olive Onono, Enyi Ngozi Giwa-Amu,

Mr Chris Anyaegbunam, Archbishop Valerian Okeke, Mr Frank Anyaegbunam,

Enyi Izukanne Arinze, Mrs Vivienne Edozie and Mr Chibundu Edozie

during the burial of late Mrs Joyce Alberta Anyaegbunam (née Petgrave)

in Onitsha, Anambra State on Wednesday.

*Says president of Igbo extraction not negotiable

slot of any political party would

not only be disgraced but will

also face the wrath of the Igbo

people. They did not say who

will command the wrath.

Dr Enuneku disclosed that

the group has embarked on

consultation with political

stakeholders, former heads of

State as well as traditional and

religious leaders from the six

regions across the country.

By Ochuko Akuopha

OBIARUKU - FIVE

days after they abducted

a female farmer Obiaruku,

headquarters of Ukwuani

Local Government

Area, Delta State, suspected

herdsmen again, reportedly

struck in the area on Thursday,

killing one Mr. Enumah.

Sources said the deceased,

a 30-year-old farmer was shot

dead while working in a farmland

near River Ethiope.

“His body was found on the

Hear him, “We want to make

it clear to every Nigerian that

we have no particular political

party of interest nor candidate.

It is the choice of a

favoured candidate of the Igbo

extraction that would determine

who and what party to

support at the appropriate

time”, He said.

He warned members of

making negative utterances

land and he was buried last

night (Thursday night). He

was shot by the herdsmen. All

the killings that have been

happening in the bushes are

being carried out by herdsmen”

a source who craved anonymity

told Saturday Vanguard.

Contacted, Police Public Relations

Officer of the state

command, Onome Onowvakpoyeya

said no one had

come to lodge an official report

to the police to that effect.

Meanwhile, Ukwuani

Community Youth Leaders,

have told the Federal Govern-

against the ideologies, policies,

programs and political agenda

of the group.

Earlier in a welcome address,

the South East zonal chairman

and Chairman of Enugu

State chapter Messers Chinedum

Ukwu and Chief Innocent

Nnadi respectively recalled

some of the efforts made

by some notable Nigerians in

support of a Nigerian president

of Igbo extraction come 2023

and tasked members on unity,

trust,and commitment.

Again, herdsmen kill farmer in Delta

community

ment to take seriously, it’s responsibility

of securing the

lives and properties of Nigerians.

Reacting to the activities of

herdsmen in the

area,President of the youth

leaders, Comrade Fidelis

Azaka said “We are all living

at the mercy of the herdsmen.

They go into our farms

and their cattle uproot our

crops we suffered to plant.

“We are predominantly

farmers in Ukwuani and they

don’t allow us to go to our

farms. They carry sophisticated

weapons to chase us out of

our farms, they kidnap our

women and demand for ransom.

Minimum wage: Imo, Rivers

begin implementation

By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri, Egufe Yafugborhi, Rivers

IMO and Rivers States yesterday said they have

commenced payment of the N30,000 minumum

wage to their workers.

In Imo, state commissioner for Information and

Strategy, Declan Emelumba, confirmed this in a

statement to newsmen in Owerri.

He said that the step was taken in fulfillment of

the agreement it entered with the organized labour

in the state.

According to the government “With this development,

the least paid worker on the employ of the

government will be going home with N30,000

monthly.”

Pointing out that, “Government was keeping its

own side of the bargain with the organised labour

through the payment of the new minimum wage.

“Any worker who has not received his or her January

salary must have missed returning the personal

identification form as earlier requested by

government.

“Government had demanded that all public servants

complete the personal identification form to

ensure that they are captured in the financial data

base of the state, even as the government “Directed

those who have not done so to comply with the

laid down procedures.”

He also urged pensioners to follow suit as the

government was working hard to ensure that all

genuine pensioners are captured and paid, just as

he called “Workers to reciprocate the gesture of the

Governor by refraining from acts of sabotage and

willful disobedience to constituted authorities.”

Rivers State Government said it has commenced

full implementation of the National Minimum Wage

of N30,000 with effect from January this year.

In Rivers, Secretary to the State Government

(SSG), Tammy Danagogo, following a Friday meeting

with Labour in Port Harcourt also disclosed that

the state has commenced full implementation of the

minimum wage. He said that a tripartite Committee

has also agreed to address sundry labour issues

pending in the state.

Thugs attack Joint Border Drill

Operatives, raze customs

check points, vehicles

By James Ogunnaike

THUGS suspected to be smugglers attacked the Joint

Border Drill Operatives stationed at Olajogun in Oja

Odan town of Yewa South Local Government Area of

Ogun State, razing two buildings and customs check

points in the attack.

The Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Customs, Ogun

1 Command, Hammed Bukoye Oloyede disclosed this

to newsmen in a statement issued in Abeokuta, the Ogun

State capital.

According to Oloyede, several operation vehicles and

personal belongings of customs operatives and other security

agencies, were also vandalised and burnt by the

hoodlums during the attack.

He said, the Joint Border Drill Operatives stationed at

Olajogun in Oja-Odan intercepted several kegs of 25

litres capacity of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) prepared

to be smuggled outside Nigeria, on Wednesday.

He added, “in an attempt to seize the petroleum products,

in contravention with schedule six (6) of Common

External Tariff, some suspected smugglers armed with

assorted dangerous weapons such as cutlasses, guns

and charms unleashed deadly attack against lawful officers

leading to a crossfire.

Oloyede explained that in the ensuing exchange of

fire between smugglers and the patrol team, one of the

attackers identified as Tunde Alabe, a native of Ohunbe

Community sustained a gun injury leading to his death.

“This unfortunate incident led to the blockage of Oja-

Odan/Obelle Road by a syndicate of armed smugglers/

hoodlums. They further advanced their hostilities by

burning down all customs checkpoints and those of sister

security agencies from Olajogun to Hanger and Ohunbe

Areas of Ogun State.

“The properties and items destroyed by the smugglers/

hoodlums include two customs Toyota Hilux patrol vehicles,

a patrol vehicle belonging to the Nigeria Immigration,

one Mercedes Benz SUV, Peugeot 206, four motorcycles

belonging to the Nigeria Immigration, original credentials

and other documents belonging to two customs

personnel and two buildings and many other patrol points”.

The Customs spokesperson stated in the statement.

Meanwhile, the Customs Area Controller, Ogun 1

Command, Peter Chado Kolo, has promised to thoroughly

investigate the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate

incident and promised to bring the perpetrators to

book. Kolo, however, appealed to traditional rulers, opinion

moulders and eminent personalities on the need to

dissuade the youths in the border areas from seeing

smuggling as means of livelihood, noting “the protection

of the society against socio-economic ills usually

compounded by smuggling is a collective cause we should

all join force to fight against”.


4 —SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

Burial ceremony of late Alh Lateef Olukayode Jakande at the Volts and Gardens, Ikoyi, Lagos.

PHOTOS: AKEEM SALAU

Second from left: Aremo Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun state; Dr

Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor Lagos State; Alhaja Sikirat Jakande,wife of the

late Alh Lateef Jakande; Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor and children

of late Alh Lateef Jakande at the burial ceremony held at Volts Gardens, Ikoyi,

Lagos, yesterday.

Cross section of Islamic Scholars during the janazah prayer

From lef: Mrs. Oyindamola Jakande, daughter in-law, Mrs. Abisola Olusi, daughter,

Dr. Lanre Adeboye, daughter, Alhaja Abimbola Jakande, widow, Dr. Obafemi

Hamzat Lagos State Deputy Governor, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, former Lagos

State Deputy Governor and Hon. Seyi Jakande, son.

Cross section of islamic scholars at the burial ceremony

Late Alhaji Lateef Jakande's children and other sympathisers... .

Photo: Bunmi Azeez

From right:Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Mr. Hakeem Muri-

Okunola, Head of Service and Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor.

Our father lived his life for others — Son

•As Gov. Sanwo-Olu, Osoba, Amosun, others bid LKJ farewell

•Jakande, an embodiment of all positives – Hamzat

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

THE body of elder statesman

and first civilian governor of Lagos

State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande,

was yesterday interred at the

Vaults and Gardens private cemetery

Ikoyi, Lagos.

The funeral service was

conducted by Islamic scholars

and clerics from different

communities and

mosques in Lagos State, who

prayed for the repose of the

deceased and family members

he left behind.

Leading Lagos State Government

delegation to the funeral

was Governor Babajide

Sanwo-Olu, accompanied

by his deputy, Dr.

Obafemi Hamzat, Head of

Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-

Okunola and other members

of the State Executive Council.

The remains of the late Jakande

escorted by his wife,

Abimbola, children, Deji and

Seyi, among others, families,

relatives, associates and eminent

personalities, was

brought into the Vaults and

Gardens Ikoyi at 5:19pm.

The remains of the deceased

conveyed by TOS Funeral

Ambulance was

brought into the vaults in a

MIC Funeral Casket guarded

by six pallbearers.

Sighting the ambulance

from far, security agencies

and sympathisers who were

standing outside the compound

of the cemetery sang

the National Anthem and

other renditions for several

minutes. The shout Jakande!

Jakande!! Jakande, which

was used to bid the former

Lagos State governor farewell

also rented the air.

Some of the dignitaries

that attended the funeral service

were former governors

of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun

Osoba and Senator

Ibikunle Amosun, former

deputy governor of Lagos

State, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu,

All Progressives Congress

(APC) chieftains, politicians

and journalists, among others.

Speaking earlier during a

special fidau in honour of the

former governor at the Ilupeju

residence of the deceased,

Governor Sanwo-

Olu described late Jakande

as an embodiment of all the

positives.

Dr. Hamzat, who represented

Governor Sanwo-Olu

at the event, said the former

governor was a great man

who cared and served his

people meritoriously when

he had the opportunity to

serve them.

“Baba Jakande was just an

example of what all of us

should aspire to be. A great

man, humble, selfless, loyal,

and dedicated. So, he is an

embodiment of all the positives.

A great man that served

his people when he had the

opportunity to serve. A man

that cared for the people and

a fantastic journalist,” he

said.

Hamzat while paying tribute

to the late Jakande,

stressed the need for political

leaders in the country to

emulate the former governor

by being humble and loyal

to the country. Recalling his

personal encounter with the

first civilian governor of Lagos

State, Hamzat said Jakande

showed up at his graduation

at the University of

Ibadan in 1986.

Signing the condolence register,

the deputy governor

wrote, “Baba was a great leader

in the State of Lagos. The

developmental strides he put

in place is unprecedented and

a greater leader in Nigeria. A

thoroughbred Awoist and a

man of the people.”

Speaking to newsmen, Mr

Deji Jakande, one of the children

of the deceased, said that

their father lived his life for the

good of others selflessly. “We

still don’t believe he is gone, it

is as if he is still sleeping. All

the guidance he has given to

us will remain with us. I will

miss him for being our father.

If I have a million opportunities

to come back to the world,

I will still choose him to be my

father. He was a wonderful

and contented father. The

family will sorely miss Pa Jakande.”

The first Civilian Governor

of Lagos State and former

Minister of Works, died on

Thursday at 91.


SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 13, 2021 — 5

Ike Nwachukwu, Clark, Marwa, Ambode, Mimiko

others pay tribute as Jakande goes home

By Dayo Johnson; Dapo

Akinrefon; Henry Umoru

& Shina Abubakar

Eminent Nigerians

have continued to pay

glowing tributes to the

first civilian governor of

Lagos State, Alhaji

Lateef Kayode Jakande

who died last Thursday

aged 91.

Jakande was an example

in leadership,

humility, professionalism——Gen.

Ike

Nwachukwu

In a tribute, Nigeria’s

former Minister of External

Affairs, Gen Ike

Omar Sanda Nwachukwu

and his wife, Mrs

Gwen Tonyesia

Nwachukwu said, “to

God be the glory for a

life well lived. He was

an icon. He showed the

way for a lot of us to follow.

I met him when

late Alhaji Alade

Odunewu ( Allah De)

recruited me on to the

staff of The Daily Service

which later became

The Daily Express

newspapers.

Odunewu was the Editor

and Alhaji Lateef

Kayode Jakande (LKJ),

the Editor-in-Chief. He

was unassuming and

accommodating. When

he found time to stroll

into the Newsroom, he

sat by me, as he did

others, to chat about

our work and how to

build on the reputation

of the newspaper. He

cared for us all. He singled

me out and invited

me on occasions to

find out how I was doing.

Our newspapers

published by the Amalgamated

Press Limited

was supportive of the

Action Group - the official

opposition at the

time. He taught us how

to be professional in

the face of competing

interests and philosophies.

He was a good

leader. As Governor of

Lagos State he anchored

his administration

on providing education

for all. He also

embarked on building

other infrastructures

and interests necessary

for a big state like Lagos.

As Minister of

Works under General

Sani Abacha he again

proved himself. He remained

principled, frugal

and selfless. My

family and I join in

mourning this legend;

this unusual man; this

example in leadership,

humility and professionalism;

this worthy

man and mentor.

God give his family

succour. And grant

LKJ eternal rest”.

Nigeria has lost a

Titan——Chief Edwin

Clark

In his own tribute,

former Federal Commissioner

for Information

and South South

Leader, Chief Edwin

Clark said that with the

death of Chief Jakande,

Nigeria has lost

a titan. In his statement

yesterday titled, “Farewell

LKJ”, Chief Clark

said that he always

found the former Lagos

State Governor as genial

and pleasant and

was implacably firm in

his cultural and political

roots. He said,

“widely referred to as

the “Baba Kekere” of

Chief Obafemi

Awolowo’s political dynasty

of First Republic’s,

Action Group, AG,

and Second Republic’s,

Unity Party of Nigeria,

UPN, respectively,

LKJ, nonetheless,

carved a pristine

niche for himself, on

the Nigerian social and

political landscapes.

He was a notable journalist,

who rose to the

position of editor of the

Tribune Group of

Newspapers, in its glorious

days. In politics,

he held the Lagos

Constituency for his

leader and party, in a

vice-like grip, before

emerging as the First

Civilian and only Second

Republic Governor

of Lagos State, in 1979,

re-elected in 1983. He

had a great romance

with the media and

public, because of his

populist projects, like

the massive expansion

of primary and secondary

classrooms, and

residential facilities,

generally referred to as

“Jakande Schools”,

and “Jakande Estates”,

respectively, though

derisively by political

rivals. That the

Schools and Estates

have, with inevitable

modifications, survived

for more than four decades,

speaks volumes

for his foresight in

those areas of human

development indices. I

was not in his political

camp, but respected

his calm and brave reactions

to criticisms.

He was a champion

of the people——

Mr Akinwunmi Ambode

Immediate past governor

of Lagos State,

Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode,

in a statement by

his Executive Assistant,

Hunsu Peter, said Jakande’s

life “symbolised

humility, uprightness

and honesty. He

was an exemplary

leader, a perfect gentleman

and a man of

Sympathisers at the Ilupeju residence of Late Alhaji Lateef Jakande yesterday.

Photo: Bunmi Azeez

integrity and character.

Lagos will forever

be grateful to him for

his unparalled

service. When I was in

office I always looked

forward to his fatherly

advice and encouragement.

Apart from that

was his visible presence

at state events,

even with his health

condition never

deterred him from

giving his support.

This shows how he

lived a very humbled

and upright life

throughout his sojourn

here on earth”.

His achievements,

legacies still visible——Brig

General

Buba Marwa (retd)

Former Military Administrator

of Lagos

state and Chairman/

Chief Executive of the

National Drug Law Enforcement

Agency

(NDLEA) , Brig. General

Mohamed Buba

Marwa (rtd) recounted

how Jakande who

was the state’s first civilian

governor supported

him when he

was the Military Administrator

of the state.

“He was always at our

events and ever willing

to give advice and

support at all times,”

he said in a statement

by his office on Friday.

He said decades after

Jakande served as governor,

his achievements

and legacies in

the areas of affordable

mass housing, free education,

quality

healthcare and infrastructure

development

are still visible in the

state’s landscape till

date.

Jakande was a lover

of the masses——

Dr Olusegun Mimiko

Former Governor of

Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun

Mimiko, in a tribute

he personally

signed described the

late elder statesman

as “a successful journalist

who combined

journalism with

elective politics. Baba

Jakande bestrode the

politics of his times

with focus and clarity,

social democratic

conviction and a pro

masses disposition.”

The former Ondo

Governor said late

Jakande’s exemplary

leadership style and

pro-masses approach

to governance are a

reference point in

African politics. According

to him, “one

is reminded at his

death of his remarkable

feats as a governor

of Lagos State

such as the development

of low-cost

housing estates in

various parts of the

State, his focus on

building new neighbourhood

primary

and secondary

schools and concerted

effort to make education

and health

free and accessible to

the commoners

among many other

pro-people initiatives.

A big loss to progressives

family—

—Akande

The Former National

Chairman of the All

Progressives Congress

(APC), Chief Adebisi

Akande, in a condolence

message on Friday,

said, “the sudden

passing of Alhaji

Lateef Kayode Jakande,

is a big loss to

the progressives political

family, to Lagos

state and to Nigeria as

a polity. In his lifetime,

either as a journalist

or as a politician,

he struggled for

democracy, true federalism

and the enforcement

of the rule of

law as a major system

of government in Nigeria.

As a faithful adherent

of Awolowo

school of politics, Alhaji

Jakande, like other

governors elected

on the platform of the

Unity Party of Nigeria

(UPN) in 1979, faithfully

implemented the

people oriented four

cardinal programmes of

Free Education at all

levels, Free Health

Services for all, Rural

Integration and Full

gainful employment of

our Youths in Lagos

state during his tenure”

The Nigerian poor

lost a formidable

ethical voice — Prof

Lai Olurode

Professor of Socioloy,

University of Lagos,

and author of “The Life

and Times of LKJ” and

also “LKJ in the Eyes of

the People”, Prof. Lai

Olurode has said the

Nigerian poor has lost

a spokesman who

thinks nothing but how

to mitigate the devastating

consequences of

poverty including its

sorrows, tears and

blood. In his tribute he

said: “Jakande was a

man of many parts just

like his mentor and

leader, Chief Obafemi

Awolowo: a poet while

at Ilesa Grammar

School, journalist,

business man, politician,

entrepreneur,

farmer, publisher, author,

and many more.

“In many respects, Jakande

was an exceptional

public administrator

who throughout

life shunned ostentatious

living. In and out

of office, he avoided

crass materialism and

greed, which remain

pastime of leaders at

all levels of public life.

In the course of writing

his biography, I asked

him why he didn’t

travel out for over four

years while in office.

His reply was that foreign

business entrepreneurs

should make

Nigeria their destination

because, Nigeria

was then where the

job was. Other than

greed for esta code he

said there was little to

gain from foreign

tours. “He relied on

science and data to respond

to monumental

challenges that

confronted his government.

Even when the

then military administrator

of Lagos state

told him to recant his

position on free education

and abolition of

shifts in schools, LKJ

brushed aside the

caution. Upon being

sworn into office, he

embarked on massive

construction of ‘cowsheds’,

most of which

stand erect today. Jakande

was an incurable

optimist to the

end. He wanted Lagos

to have Metrolink as

far back as 1983 and the

contract was duly

awarded and paid for.

He was far ahead of his

peers.

“If Babakekere had

any weaknesses, I can

only remember: he had

no time for crass materialism

and opulence.

No rest, a workaholic

from cradle to grave;

Oga loved listening to

small and big elite and

indeed non elite. He

was most compassionate

toward the weak

and wretched of earth

Jakande left unparalleled

legacies—MSSN

Lagos

The Muslim Students’

Society of Nigeria,

Lagos State Area

Unit described Jakande

as a great

achiever. The Amir

(president) of MSSN

in Lagos State, Miftahudeen

Thanni, said,

Jakande remained the

best administrator the

state had. According to

him, no governor in

Lagos has been able to

match his achievements.

According to him,

“Lagos State and Nigeria,

in general, have

lost a rare gem. An outstanding

personality

has been lost. He remains

the most educationally-friendly

governor.

Up till now, his

records in the education

sector remain unparalleled

by others.

While Jakande promoted

free and quality education,

other governors

increased school

fees despite the low

minimum wage and

economic hardship in

the state. He made

landmark achievements

that will never

be forgotten in the history

of the state. Today,

his housing policies

still remain reference

points for successive

governments. He was

such an outstanding

administrator that his

time as a Governor remains

a yardstick for

good governance in

the state”.


6 — SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

It’s irresponsible to say COVID-19

vaccines are killers — Clark

*Says: COVID-19 is real, I went through the pains for 14 days in Isolation

*Asks Nigerians to Support PTF to Deliver

By Henry Umoru

FORMER Federal Com

missioner for Information

and South South Leader,

Chief Edwin Clark has

said that it is irresponsible for

anyone to conclude that COV-

ID- 19 Vaccines are designed

to kill Nigerians.

Speaking with Saturday

Vanguard yesterday in Abuja,

the Ijaw leader who noted

Coronavirus, COVID-19

is real, said that he tested positive

for it, but survived after

14 days of isolation in his

Asokoro residence in Abuja.

According to the elderstateman,

Nigerians must not hide

under religion or politics to

frustrate efforts of government

in nipping in the bud,

the epidemic, just as he

pleaded with Nigerians to

observe all the safety protocols

as highlighted by the

government.

He said that the government

must be strict in ensuring

that people adhere strictly

to the rules and that it has

become very imperative for

Nigerians to support the

Chairman of the Presidential

Taskforce , PTF on COVID-

19 and Secretary to the Government

of the Federation,

SGF, Boss Mustapha and his

team for effective service delivery.

Chief Clark also urged Nigerians

to cooperate with the

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie

Ehanire, the Minister of

State, Dr. Olorunnimbe

Mamora and other medical

officials in addressing the

epidemic which is real and

devastating.

Clark who noted that he

has not left Abuja for his

country home, Kiagbodo

since the COVID- 19 started

last year, said that he even

marked his 93rd birthday

alone last year May in Abuja

because of the epidemic.

Clark said: “No, I didn’t go

to Kiagbodo, I’m in Abuja. I

have not gone to Kiagbodo

since one year now, I have

Bauchi Gov’s utterances shocking,

disappointing — Ortom

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

GOVERNOR Samuel

Ortom of Benue State

has described as shocking

and disappointing the allegation

by his Bauchi State

counterpart, Bala Mohammed,

blaming him for what

he termed ‘negative perception

of Fulani herders’ when

he spoke on the worsening

insecurity in the country.

Governor Mohammed

had also accused his Benue

state counterpart of instigating

hatred for armed herders

in the country.

But reacting yesterday in

a statement from his Chief

Press Secretary, Terver Akase,

Governor Ortom who said he

would not want to join issues

with his Bauchi counterpart

been in Abuja. I celebrated

my birthday alone.

“I’m pleading with all Nigerians

to allow the Presidential

Taskforce, PTF on

COVID-19 prosecute this

thing to a finish.

“It is not good to hide under

the cloak of religion or

politics. Giving vaccine a different

name which is criminal,

that the vaccine is meant

to kill Nigerians, it’s very irresponsible.

“Iam okay now, I’m appealing

to Nigerians to observe

the safety protocols and

sanctions must be enforced.

“Not only to sign it into

law by the President, but

should be enforced as it is

done in all parts of the

world.”

Recall that Governor Bello

had cautioned Nigerians to

beware of the Covid-19 vaccines,

claiming that they

were designed to kill people.

The Kogi State governor

had said, “They want to use

the (COVID-19) vaccines to

introduce the disease that will

kill you and us. God forbid!

Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Gen.

Mohamed Buba Marwa(Retd), welcoming Hon. Zakaria Dauda Nyampa, House of

Reps member representing Michika/Madagali Federal Constituency, of Adamawa

State when the latter led federal lawmakers from the North East on a courtesy visit

to the NDLEA headquarters in Abuja on Thursday

noted that it was shocking

that a fellow governor who

took the oath to protect and

preserve the constitution of

the Federal Republic of Nigeria,

took the lead in violating

provisions of the same

constitution by calling for lawlessness.

Part of the statement read:

“The most shocking part of

Governor Bala Mohammed’s

statement was where he defended

herdsmen for bearing

arms saying ‘they have

no option than to carry AK47

because the society and the

government are not protecting

them.’

“I wonder which section of

the law the Bauchi State

Governor cited to support

herdsmen’s free movement

around the country with sophisticated

weapons.

“I recall that it was the

same Governor Mohammed

who once said on national

television that a Fulani man

is a global citizen and therefore

does not need a visa to

come to Nigeria, and that the

forests belong to herdsmen.

“I wonder if my friend and

colleague in Bauchi State

knows a thing or two about

the horrendous activities of

herders in parts of the country

to warrant the emotional

defence and justification that

he has repeatedly put forward

in their favour.

“In reference to Governor

Bala Mohammed’s comment

that there are Benue

people who are freely doing

business in Bauchi and elsewhere,

no doubt Benue indigenes

in Bauchi have

been law abiding and do not

carry arms to attack their

hosts.

“Relatedly, Fulani as well

as many other Nigerians residing

in Benue who respect

laws of the land also live

peacefully with their hosts.

My administration has not

driven away any law abiding

Nigerian in Benue State.

“I find it unfortunate that

those who are trusted with

the people’s mandate and

should ordinarily uphold

truth and justice, have chosen

to mislead the country.

There is the need for leaders

to be cautious and retrace

their steps which are capable

of leading the country to

anarchy,” the Governor said.

Ekweremadu tasks churches

on political participation,

nation-building

By Henry Umoru

FORMER Deputy Presi

dent of the Senate, Senator

Ike Ekweremadu, People’s

Democratic Party, PDP,

Enugu West has dismissed the

notion that churches and devout

Christians are not supposed

to show interest in politics,

describing it as self-exclusion

from good governance

and nation-building.

Delivery a paper entitled

“The Role of the Church and

Politician in Politics and Democratic

Nation-Building” at

the Standing Committee forum

of the Church of Nigeria

(Anglican Church), which

held at the All Saints Cathedral,

Onitsha, Anambra State,

he equally enjoined Christians

in politics to be exemplary and

lead by bible principles.

The Senator was represented

by a Senior Advocate of

Herdsmen crisis: Northern

elders raise alarm over plot

by elites to incite violence

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

THE Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has raised the alarm that

some elites and elected public officers were bent on manipulating

the herdsmen crisis in parts of the country to create fear

among Nigerians and cause a major war involving groups and

regions..

A statement on Friday by NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy,

Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said there were attempts to

create multiple sources of falsehoods and other inflammatory

materials related to the herdsmen debacle with a view to inciting

the people to act violently against each other.

He said the latest communication from the Yoruba Council of

Elders to the United Nation was proof of efforts to also lobby the

international community into believing that some ethnic groups

were intent on mass extermination of other groups.

So, the Forum advised President Muhammadu Buhari and

the 36 State Governors to consult and explore measures that will

lower the tensions and assure all Nigerians that every citizen has

an equal right to live under secure environments.

The statement reads, “The Northern Elders Forum is constrained

to invite the nation’s attention to the dangers of sustained attempts

to raise tensions and create fear among Nigerians until,

presumably, they lead to major crisis involving groups and regions

in the country.

“In the last few weeks, we have led many responsible groups

and individuals to appeal for restraint and respect for the law in

the way we engineer developments that cause tensions, or react to

them. “Now the nation is facing imminent threats from persons

who are bent on pushing all of us nearer to disaster, to help them

achieve their nefarious goals.

“The Forum particularly notes that continuing narratives and

threats, including comments from seemingly responsible Nigerians

and even elected officials who swore to protect the rights of all

citizens and the survival of the country, are raising fears and passions

that could make it easy to break more laws of the land and

pitch citizens against each other.

“There are efforts to create multiple sources of falsehood in

videos and other inflammatory materials in the media clearly

targeted at inciting people to act violently against each other.

North East federal lawmakers

assure NDLEA of support

MEMBERS of the

House of Representatives from the North East zone

have assured the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency,

NDLEA, of their support in its efforts to rid the nation of

illicit drugs. They gave the assurance during a courtesy visit

to the new Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency, Brig.

General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Rtd.), in Abuja.

Honourable Zakaria Dauda Nyampa, House Member representing

Michika/Madagali Federal Constituency of Adamawa

State who led the delegation of members from Gombe,

Taraba, Bauchi, Yobe and Borno State stated that “the work of

NDLEA requires continuous review of anti-drug legislations

and that the House members from the Zone will rally support

for expeditious legislative action whenever the need arises”.

Nyampa who is from the same constituency as Gen. Marwa

said the group was on the visit to congratulate Marwa and

assure him of their support for the Agency.

According to Nyampa, Marwa’s appointment was well deserved

adding that Nigerians convinced that Marwa would

deliver on the mandate of the Agency. “We have followed your

career footsteps as a State Governor, soldier and diplomat. You

brought your experience to bear on all these positions and you

excelled. NDLEA is not going to be an exception and we are

beginning to see your efforts in the last three weeks. We are

confident that you will not disappoint. Just know that your

people are solidly behind you”, Nyampa noted.

Nigeria, Professor Offornze

Amucheazi,

In a statement yesterday by

his Special Adviser, Media,

Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu

said, “Often times, you

hear Christians say that the

church should not be involved

in politics. That, by extension,

is self-exclusion in the task of

nation-building.

“It is important that the

Church does not remain aloof,

but should play a decisive role

in the task of nation-building.

In doing so, she helps to foster

development, national identity,

and create stability in society.

“It is this lack of national

identity and instability that has

brought our country to where

it is today. It is the lack of national

identity that has fostered

the divisiveness in our country

and created the insecurity

which we now experience.”


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021 — 7

Self confessed cultists open up on

causes of rival clashes in Lagos

By Evelyn Usman

As part of effort to suppress this act of

lawlessness and hooliganism by cultists across

the length and breadth of Lagos State, the Lagos

State Police Command carried out raids of areas

prone to these attacks like Ikorodu , Surulere and

Mile 12 , where clashes between rival cultists were

recorded this year. So far, more than 100 suspects

have been arrested since January 2021.

Eleven of the suspects were among those

terrorising Owode-Elede, Agilinti, Maidan and

Afinjuomo, all in Mile 12 and Ketu areas of

Lagos State, with the recovery of a locally-made

pistol with life cartridges, weed suspected to be

Indian hemp and assorted charms.

Also, 19 persons were arrested in connection

with the recent cult clash at Alakuko area of

Lagos Sango/Tollgate and Dalemo, in Ogun

State.

In this case, these cultists held residents in the

border communities between Lagos and Ogun

states hostage for two days.

Confessions

Among those arrested were the trio of Ganiu

Ibikunle, Lucky Ebabhi and Kazeem Sherif,

31 years who confessed to be members of Eiye

and Aiye confraternities.

They were arrested in connection with the rival

cult clashes at Obale and Igbolomu, Agric areas

of Ikorodu, where lives were lost in the process.

They all have one thing in common- love for

mass communication.

In Igbolomu, the rampant cult crises are usually

between Eiye and Aiye.

In this interview with Edo State born Ebagbhi

Lucky , 34, who was arrested on January 24, 2020,

after a clash with Eiye , he revealed that he was

the Chief Butcher of the Aiye confraternity in

Ikorodu.

The holder of Ordinary National Diploma

,OND in Mass Communication from the Federal

College of Technology, Akoka, Lagos, said his

ambition was to end up being a journalist.

From Cultism to yahoo

Asked how he joined cultism, he said: “I joined

cultism in 2014 through a friend. He invited me

to a party . But on reaching there, I noticed the

atmosphere had changed from the normal party

I knew. I was initiated right there .

“After my OND, I went to study Computer

Operation and worked briefly in a cyber café

but left because of the poor remuneration.

“I branched into Yahoo online dating , where

I met a woman from Atlanta Georgia. She was

Suspected cultists

Recovered items

paying me 30 Dollars every month because I had

an intention to marry her.

Arrest

“ I was apprehended by Onyabo Security

Outfit during Aiye/Eiye clash. On that day, I was

on a motorbike, returning home, when I saw my

members and Eiye men fighting. Being the Chief

Butcher, I alighted from the motorcycle to restore

peace..”

This reporter interjected at this point to ask what

he meant by Chief Butcher.

He replied, “ The responsibility of the Chief

Butcher is to maintain and regulate peace among

Aiye members in the community. I did my best to

quell the fight but both parties did not yield. I had

no choice than to leave . I went straight to a hotel

around that area to relax. That was around 4pm.

By 7pm, Onyabo boys stormed the hotel to search

for those who partook in the fight. They found

none of them. But because I was well known as

an Aiye member , they picked me and handed me

over to the Police”.

Suspected cultists at Alakuko

He lamented that he had on several occasions

attempted to quit the confraternity to work hard

on his relationship with his online American

lover but could not because of his popularity in

the area.

Vain Promise

His colleague, Kazeem Sherif , (31), from

Kwara State has a Higher National

Diploma,HND in Mass Communication. Like

Lucky, he said his dream was to become a

journalist.

He explained that he was on the same

motorcycle with Lucky on the day of the fight but

never partook in it.

He claimed he was also forcefully initiated into

Aiye confraternity, by a friend who was into internet

fraud popularly known as yahoo.

Sherif said, “ My friend that lured me into

joining cultism said prominent persons in Nigeria

were cultists , that I would only get jobs if I joined

Aiye cult group. He promised to introduce me to

those that will help me get a lucrative job if I

joined . But since 2019, after graduation I have

not got any job, let alone a well paid one.

“ Nobody was injured or killed in the fight.

These guns(pointing to the exhibits) were

collected from those that fought, not from us.

Politicians’ largess cause of fight

•Lucky Ebabhi and Kazeem Sherif...

Igbolomu suspects

•Ganiu alias no friend

For Ganiu Ibikunle Obale, who confessed to

be a member of Eiye confraternity . He was alleged

to have killed his friend, Aloma , who belonged to

a rival cult group.

Surprisingly, a tattoo he inscribed on his chest

read, ‘ No friend’ , an inscription he was suspected

to have practicalised , in his alleged involvement

in the murder of his late friend, Aloma.

His members were alleged to have also killed a

trader and dispossessed him of cash running into

Millions of naira, during one of the cult clashes in

Ikorodu.

He revealed that he was newly initiated into

Eiye confraternity.

Hear him : “ I was initiated into Eiye in

December 2020. I am from Ikorodu. The recent

fight between Eiye and Aiye was as a result of

some money given to us by some politicians”.

Asked what the money was meant for, he replied

“ It is called owo adugbo (community money).

Each time they gave us the money, Aiye would

want to take the largest share claiming they are

more superior than us.

Another thing that causes fights among rival

cultists, especially Eiye and Aiye is women. For

instance , if an Eiye member takes a girl to the

party and an Aiye member tries to molest the girl,

it could lead to a fight between both groups. At

other times, a girl may be dating two rival cult

members. On getting to a party, if one of the

boyfriends sights her with the rival member, it

could also lead to a fight”.

The suspects have been charged before the Ebute

Metta Magistrate Court.

Former CNS, Ibas, pulls out of Military, celebrates 5yrs of stewardship

*5,099 illegal refineries destroyed 4,229 suspects arrested

By Evelyn Usman

THE pulling Out Parade Ceremony to

mark the official exit of former

Chief of the Naval Staff , Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete

Ibass, from the Nigerian Navy , was held yesterday

, at the Nigerian Navy Ship Quorra, Apapa,

Lagos, with the celebrant declaring that

the Navy under his watch was able to combat

various acts of criminalities in the nation’s maritime

domain, in 66 months. Statistics in the last

five years showed that 4,229 suspects were arrested

in connection with maritime illegalities,

while 5,099 illegal refineries were destroyed.

A total of 404 vessels were arrested, out of

which 13 were forfeited to the Federal Government.

In addition, 439 barges, 531 speed boats

, 2, 977 wooden boats , including 140 tankers

and 404 vehicles used for various illegalities

, were impounded.

Speaking at the occasion, the out- gone CNS

noted that the huge dependence of Nigeria on

its maritime resources could not be over emphasized

and therefore urged officers and ratings

to rededicate themselves to their

tasks and responsibilities , to ensure the safety

of the nation’s maritime domain.

He disclosed that some achievements were

also recorded in the areas of operational and

administrative infrastructure delivery, logistics,

as well as human resource management and

administration.

He said that the Maritime Domain Awareness

facility was sustained and expanded ,adding

that the Service also priotised force protection

like never before, by purchasing large quantities

or ordnance, as well as strengthened their

storage by widespread supply of standard amouries

and strict accountability.

He attributed the achievement recorded to

the efforts of his lieutenants and entire work-

POP: Immediate past Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, with

his Wife, Barr.Theresa Ibas, during the Pulling out Parade of Vice Admiral Ibok-

Ette Ibas in Lagos. yesterday. Photo: Kehinde Shonola.

force of the Nigerian Navy, and the procurement

of platforms and fleet renewal by the

Federal Government.

He highlighted some of the platforms procured

during his tenure to include : Offshore

Patrol Vessels ,OPVs, Seaward Defence

Boats,SDB, Fast Patrol Boats , ,I PBs, Inshore

Patrol Crafts, IPCs, Rigid Hull Inflatable

Boats (RHIB) and Riverine Patrol Boats, including

helicopters , training LST ships, survey

ships among others which he said were

either underway to Nigeria for delivery or at

advanced stage of building.

He said: “As it is said, to whom much is

given, much is expected, which is why in the last

66 months, together with you, that is, from the

Principal Staff Officers, Commanders at various

levels, officers, men and civilian staffs, we

had committed to this role put before us to tackle

the network of criminalities in the forms of

piracy, sea robbery, illegal bunkering, crude oil

theft, of illegal refineries, kidnapping hijack, trafficking,

environmental abuse and several other

infringements and infractions in our maritime

domain, and with the grace of Almighty God,

we have apprehended a great number of perpetrators

confiscated equipments of their dishonorable

trade, saved the nation incalculable

losses, ensured reliable persecution of crimes

and in the process drastically reduced the impact

of their unpatriotic and ungodly acts”.

“We also successfully carried out infrastructural

development in some of our locations.

These include upgrade of Naval Shipyard ,

reconstruction of NNS Beecroft jetty, completion

of a second NN reference of hospital , a

world class trauma centre in Calabar, Cross

River State and the construction of a standard

sports stadium in Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos, extensive

infrastructural creation take-off of the

Admiralty University , Ibusa, Delta state and its

formal commencement of academic activities

, now into the third year running.

“I make bold to say that some achievements

were also recorded in the areas of operational

and administrative infrastructure delivery, logistics

as well as human resource management

and administration.

“A number of personnel structures were

constructed and or renovated , associated facilities

refurbished and utilities restored and

strengthened across the breadth and length of

the country. The NN was able to make a commendable

breakthrough in the delivery of

quality houses.

“Training environment was generally upgraded,

training contents reorganized and several

aids including computer simulations were inducted.

Effective maintenance of these assets

was also taken into consideration with the expansion

of repair capacity, numerous docking

and major over hoards and acquisitions of

heightened maintenance skills to manufacture

levels”. Noting that the maritime environment

was strategic to the nation’s survival and

prosperity of the citizenry, as well as the maintenance

of the nation’s superiority in the comity

of nations, Ibass, urged officers and ratings

to rededicate themselves to their tasks and

responsibilities , as well as make exemplary

discharge of service the certainty of their lives

and a routine.

He further charged them to be unwavering,

undivided and have a single-minded commitment,

in order to deliver their constitutional

mandate, urging them to accord more support

to his successor, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo.

Eminent personalities drawn from all walks

of life were present at Ibas’ Pulling Out Parade.


8—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

TRIBUTE TO TAFA ADEOYE

The Yoruba Armoury lies in its

supernatural myths, pantheons, mores

and history.

Conventionally, an armoury is a place,

where weapons are kept. But an armoury can

also be things or qualities, that can be used to

achieve a particular aim.

The Agbekoya Revolt of 1968/1969,

establishes Yoruba core values of resistance,

defiance, determination, boldness, assiduity

and doggedness.

The Agbekoya Revolt is perhaps the best

known peasant driven revolt in Western

Nigerian history, and the great example of

collective action against unpopular

government policies.

In the early 50s, the Western Region

Government, established local community

depots, to serve as off takers for farm produce.

The managers of these depots, before buying

from farmers, would examine, grade, bargain

and agree at a price.

Farmers were subjected to arbitrary

standard in the examination of their farm

produce and a substantial amount of their farm

produce- cocoa, was discarded as unfit for sale

and the low prices they subsequently received

was a great disincentive. Depot Managers,

became local tyrants.

The farmers complained about the

neglected infrastructure of roads, they had to

travel to reach the depot and a hefty flat tax

rate imposed on them became worrisome and

burdensome

Farmers were battling with a tax rate of

£1:10µ (1Pound 10 shilling.)

As a result of the collapse of the first

Republic, on the 15 th of January, 1966,

General Thomas Auguyi Ironsi, became the

Head of state of Nigeria and was succeeded

by General Yakubu Gowon, on the 29th of July,

1966 after a successful Military putsch.

In the Western Region, Lf Col. Adekunle

Fajuyi also became the Governor of the Western

Region, after the assassination of the Premier

of the Western Region- Chief Samuel Ladoke

Akintola on the 15th of January 1966. Fajuyi

was equally assassinated, alongside- Aguyi

Ironsi, in Ibadan, on the 29th of July 1966

after attending a traditional rulers conference,

he conveyed, to explain the veracity of the

new Decree no. 34, to our Traditional Rulers.

The duo of Ironsi and Fajuyi, after being

murdered in the government House, Agodi

Ibadan, by some rampaging soldiers, buried

their bodies in a shallow grave in Lalupon, in

Iwo Road, Ibadan.

Col. Robert Adeyinka Adebayo succeeded

Adekunle Fajuyi, his friend and towns folk i. e.

both Ekiti men, from contiguous cities of Ado

Ekiti and Iyin Ekiti, respectively.

Adebayo was governor of the Western

Region from 1966 until 1971. He was later

Chief of Staff of the Nigerian army and later

Commandant of the Nigerian Defence

Academy, Kaduna from where he retired. The

civil war broke out in Nigeria in 1967 and did

not end until January 1970.

States needed resources to run the operations

of government. Chief Jeremiah Oyeniyi

Obafemi Awolowo, had now become the

Federal Minister of Finance and Vice

Chairman of the Federal Executive Council,

after his release from the Calabar Prison, by

the Federal Government of General Yakubu

Gowon.

Adebayo met a very prosperous and robust

economy, through Agrarian populism in the

Western Region. A sizable population of its

citizens were farmers, who were very

successful.

Adeyinka Adebayo, looking for

opportunities to booster the revenue of the

Western Region, imposed a new tax regime on

the populace and increased taxable adult tax,

from £1:10 µ (One Pound Ten Shillings) to £8

(8 Pounds).

As a resentment, against this obnoxious

increase, the farmers formed a union called

Agbekoya – (The Union of farmers who reject

suffering.)

The Agbekoyas revolted against this

arbitrary increase and on the 11 th of

November, 1968, the Agbekoya Crisis came

out full blown when thousands of agitators

matched to the Mapo Hall Ibadan armed with

sticks, cudgels, weapons and charms, to express

their rejection of the new tax as announced by

the Governor.

Singing-

“Oke mefa l’ a o San

Oke mefa l’ a o San

Bi o gba kuma

Yi o gba ori bi be

Oke mefa l’ a o san.”

Meaning-

“We are paying only 30 shillings.

If it cannot be achieved by the application

of cudgels,

it would be achieved

by the application of cutting of heads.

We are paying only 30 shillings.”

The government apparatus were equally

singing -

AGBEKOYA AND

THE YORUBA

ARMOURY

“Dan Dan l’owo ori je

Dan Dan l’owo ori je

Tu la si l’aso ibora

Owo Ori l’ a fi ko Mapo”

Meaning-

“The payment of tax is compulsory,

Just as night cover clothe is compulsory

It is the tax payers funds, that were used to

build Mapo hall.”

A combined team of the Army and the Police

opened fire on the rampaging demonstrators

in Mapo, killing about 20 of them.

This was a calamitous error, characteristic

of the Military Government. The Crisis spread

spontaneously, to other parts of the Western

region.

In parenthesis, payment of tax had always

been Ibadan’s albatross and deep cause for

community anger, anguish and angst.

It was so great in the early 20th century, that

taxable Ibadan adults, were usually arrested,

hounded in tax custody in Mapo.

It was so grave until the intervention of

Sanusi Adebisi Idikan- first Ibadan notable

entrepreneur and philanthropist. He was an

enigmatic personality, that traversed Ibadan’s

landscape in commerce, philanthropy and

humanness, until his death in 1938.

Ibadan had become then, the most

cosmopolitan city in Nigeria and perhaps

black Africa.

Sanusi Adebisi Giwa’s acts of philanthropy,

were demonstrated in his first tax rescue effort

in Ibadan. Payment of tax by every male adult

was made compulsory by the Colonial

In parenthesis,

payment of tax had

always been Ibadan’s

albatross and deep

cause for community

anger, anguish and

angst

"The Agbekoya

Patriots Revolting"

Government. Most Ibadan adults were

subsistent farmers, who could not afford the

payment of tax and thus evaded tax payment.

The punishment for tax evasion, then was

detention in Mapo, which also served as the

Treasury Office. A detained tax defaulter

usually found it difficult to get someone to bail

him out, because most adults were tax evaders,

and an attempt by a tax evader, to bail a tax

evader, would certainly land the rescuer in

detention.

Son of Baale commits

suicide in protest ...

Thus tax problem, became such society

anguish, that a Balogun of Ibadan,- Balogun

Ola, son of Baale Orowusi, committed suicide

in protest of the detention of Ibadan young

men for tax evasion.

This valiant self murder, was recognized by

the Ibadan people, who named

him Kobomoje (the one who displayed

gallantry against timidity)

The payment of tax, became a social

symbol and tax defaulters were usually mocked

and despised by the popular song-

“Owo Ori ti d’ ode o, o o’ode o baba wa

loko san”

Meaning-

“Payment of taxation has come,

our fathers were the first to pay,

the idiots and lazy ones who have not paid

are in detention in Mapo”

Adebisi was displeased with the tax situation

in Ibadan. His philosophy had always been

that the rich must help the poor who are

vulnerable. Adebisi had at this time, been one

of the first set of Ibadan elites, perhaps if not

the first person, to ride a car, apart from his

stable of horses.

Adebisi to the rescue

For effect, he had his horse dispatch rider—

Ladimeji to ride in front of his car, on his way

to Mapo, to see the Chief Tax Officer for the

Ibadan Colonial Office.

In his meeting with the officer, in the Colonial

office, he brokered an understanding -

“I want to be paying tax on behalf of every

taxable adult in Ibadan.”

The officer was dumb founded, shocked,

nonplussed and asked him if he knew the

financial implication of his gesture, but Adebisi

still insisted.

Henceforth, the Colonial officer would

calculate the amount of tax expected from all

Ibadan taxable adults and would go to Adebisi

Idikan’s residence to collect the money.

The Agbekoya group was led by Mr. Tafa

Adeoye- a renowned farmer/hunter from

Akanran in Ibadan.

His able lieutenants were - Mustapha

Okikirungbo, Tafa Popoola, Adeniyi Eda,

Adebavo Kobiowu, Rafiu Ishola, Mudaashiru

Adeniran, Adegoke Akekuejo, Alhaji Lasisi

Lalekan Akekaka, Waheed Baba Ijebu from

Ajibode.

These leaders decided to set an

organisational target as follows-

•The removal of local government officials

pillaging their villages.

•The removal of some Baales

•A reduction of the flat Tax rate from £8 and

an end to the use of force in tax collection

•An increase in the prices of cocoa

•An improvement of the roads leading to

many villages.

The peasants- shouting the “oke mefa”

slogan, marched through the villages, to

dissuade the farmers, not to pay any taxes to

the Military governor of the Western States.

Mayhem, pandemonium then descended on

the capital city of Ibadan and many other

towns and villages of the Western Region.

The revolution

The theatre of war started from Akanran at

Olorunda junction, specifically at Ogunsola

area and Akinyode Village, in Akanran Area,

in present day Ona-Ara Local Government of

Oyo State.

Governor Adeyinka Adebayo had insisted

on using his power, to curtail the crises. Armed

police men stormed the villages.

According to Alhaji Lalekan Lasisi

Akekaaka, one of Adeoye’s formidable

lieutenants,-

“when they came, our leader Baba Tafa

Adeoye was at Akanran while we stayed at

Olorunda junction. Baba has said we must

not do anything to respond to whatever the

government did to us until he was around

personally. He said we should not talk until

after he must have responded to whatever

they asked him. As the police were marching

towards us, they were singing that we were

stubborn people, who were playing with

death. Immediately they got to Olorunda

Junction, they shot at two of us. Once they

shot two among us, the rest of us went into

hiding because Baba Tafa had instructed that

we must not respond.”

“The news got to baba and so he came to

Olorunda. The news got to him through

“Aroko” (the Yoruba traditional GSM). As

soon as he got to the police men, one of his

guards standing beside him, saw that

someone beside him had been felled by the

police bullet, he said, so you people indeed

came to fight, baba Tafa was not wielding

any gun then, so he commanded a gun in the

air and shot at the police.”

“It was that single shot that triggered the

unrest making many of the police men to

start falling that day.

That was how it went and it set up an up

roar and its effect resonated through all

Yoruba towns and villages.”

At Isara, the Palace of the Odemo- Oba

Adeniran Akisanya was torched and his

esteemed library was burned. His Mercedes

Benz car was equally burned to ashes. Oba

Akisanya was a foremost Nigerian Nationalist.

He had contested election to the legislative

council in 1943 on the platform of National

Youth Movement, against Ernest Ikoli.

Akisaya managed to escape to Lagos.

At Ijebu Igbo, the Orimolusi- Oba Adetayo

Sami, woke up on December 16,1968, to find

out that his Palace had been taken over by

demonstrators, who were armed with cudgels,

charms and dane guns. His Palace was burnt

as well as his cars.

How he escaped, was unknown. Three days

later, when he came back to the Palace, the

demonstrators regrouped but couldn’t find

him. He escaped again.

The Agbekoya Revolt was equally serious in

major prominent towns and villages—Ede,

Oshogbo, Oyo, Ikire, Gbongan, Iwo, Ile

Ogbo, Ejigbo, Ikirun, Ila-Orangun,Ilesha and

so many others.

The most violent of the revolt and rampage,

was in the city of Ogbomoso- the city of late

Samuel Ladoke Akintola, former Premier of

the Western Region and that of the raving war

impresario - Brig. Benjamin Adekunle,

popularly called Black Scorpion and

Commander of the third marine commando

in the Biafra war- Olusegun Obasanjo

succeeded him. Benjamin Adekunle had just

been given the chieftaincy title of Asipa of

Ogbomoso, by the Soun,- the weekend before

the crisis.

Samuel Lodoke Akintola was the previous

holder of that title. The rampaging protesters,

and tax agitators, mounted a road block at the

entrance of the town of ogbomoso, raided the

Palace and demanded for Soun Olajide

Olayode.

The Soun was seized and killed. His body

was dismembered and his head, displayed on

the street by the agitators. It was alleged that

a traditional native broom, filled with charms,

was used to cut his head. Five of Soun’s chiefs,

one of his wives and a son were equally

slaughtered.

A number of civilians also were killed and

wounded as Police and Army units moved in to

take over.

As a method of protest, against the military

government, the Agbekoya attacked major

symbols of power, including court houses,

setting free thousands of prisoners.

The Agodi Prison in Ibadan, was emptied.

Several arrests were equally made.

Continues on pg 17


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021—9

Anti-Gay Law:

IGNORE

US THREAT,

LAWYERS

TELL FG

•Biden

•Say Biden can’t dictate our way of life

•We owe America no obligation to repeal

law made reflecting our culture, values

•Buhari

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri ,

Henry Ojelu & Jane Onozore

ABUJA— Senior Advocates of Nigeria,

SANs, and other lawyers across the

country have flayed the threat by

President of the United States of America, Joe

Biden, to sanction Nigeria and other countries

that fail to make laws to accommodate

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and

Queer and Intersex, LGBTQI, people.

In their separate reactions to the threat, the

senior legal practitioners, maintained that it

would be wrong for America to attempt to use

its superpower to force sovereign African

countries to embrace abhorrent sexual

orientations.

President Biden had issued a presidential

memorandum aimed at expanding the

protection of the rights of LGBTQI people

worldwide. He threatened to use full range

of diplomatic and assistance tools, which may

include financial sanctions and visa

restrictions, against homophobic countries

like Nigeria that retained its anti-gay posture.

Nigeria under former President Goodluck

Jonathan had in January 2014, signed the

Same-Sex-Marriage (Prohibition) Act,

despite spirited effort by erstwhile US

President, Barrack Obama, to abort the law.

The anti-gay law in Nigeria prescribed a

prison term of between 10 and 14 years for

anyone caught flouting the law, either by

cohabitation between same-sex sexual

partners, public show of same-sex

relationship, registration, operation or

participation in gay clubs, societies and

organisation, amongst others.

The pressure on Nigeria to repeal its antigay

laws ebbed with the emergence of the

President Donald Trump’s administration.

However, it appeared the change of leadership

in the US came with revived move to compel

countries like Nigeria to reconsider their stoic

stance against the LGBTQI community.

President Biden, in his recent memo, called

for sanctions against foreign countries that

restrict rights of LGBTQI persons.

Biden’s memo read in part: “When foreign

governments move to restrict the rights of

LGBTQI persons or fail to enforce legal

protections in place, thereby contributing to

a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged

abroad shall consider appropriate responses,

including using the full range of diplomatic

and assistance tools and, as appropriate,

financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other

actions.

“All human beings should be treated with

respect and dignity and should be able to live

without fear no matter who they are or whom

they love. The United States belongs at the

forefront of this struggle – speaking out and

standing strong for our most

dearly held values.”

The memo directed US

agencies working in foreign

countries to work harder to

combat the criminalization

by foreign governments of

LGBTQ status or conduct,

and directed the State

Department to include anti-

LGBTQ violence,

discrimination and laws in

its annual human rights

report.

It further called for

increased efforts to ensure

that LGBTQ asylum seekers

have equal access to

protection, expanded

training for US federal

personnel, and potential

increased use of priority

referrals to expedite

resettlement of vulnerable

people. It directed US

agencies to consider

appropriate responses,

including the full range of

diplomatic tools, and potentially financial

sanctions and visa restrictions, when foreign

governments restrict the rights of LGBTQ

people.

Meanwhile, responding to Biden’s threat

to sanction countries like Nigeria over their

anti-gay stance, a constitutional lawyer, Mr.

Dayo Akinlaja, SAN, said: “It is an interesting

situation. To us as Africans, it is morally

despicable and reprehensible for such to be

tolerated, even though in our Constitution,

there is a provision that says there should be

no discrimination against anyone on the basis

of sex. It is such a conundrum and difficult

It will be a bad

start for the new

American

President to

attempt to

promote what we

as Africans

classified as

immorality

situation really. But as Africans, it is morally

reprobate and not something we will want to

tolerate on ground of not wanting to be

sanctioned by the United States of America.

The President of America cannot force us to

do what we consider to be inimical. The

question of sanctions should not deter us from

abhouring what we consider to be immoral

or sinful. By reason of our cultural belief, I

don’t think anybody should be allowed to

force us into something that we consider to

be socially and morally

unacceptable in our own

system. Nigeria, as a

sovereign nation, does not

owe America any obligation

to repeal a law that was made

to reflect our culture and

values. We cannot repeal our

law to reflect the American

way of life. We have our

cultures and values, if they do

not accord with that of

Americans, so be it. Since we

cannot compel America to

comply with our own way of

life, likewise, America cannot

dictate to Nigeria the way of

life it should condone. It will

be a bad start for the new

American President to

attempt to promote what we

as Africans classified as

immorality. If it is acceptable

way of life in America, then

so be it”.

Similarly, another

constitutional lawyer

and former Secretary General of the

Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Afam

Osigwe, SAN, said: “I hate the idea of

America using their superpower to force

countries to adopt laws that will offend certain

values and customs. It is offensive for America

to attempt to force down their own values on

other countries through threats. Countries

should be allowed to develop at their own

pace. Even in America, there are many people

and religious organizations that are against

homosexuality. I have not heard of any

sanction against such persons. It is therefore

bad for America to threaten Nigeria with

sanctions over a law that in reality is not even

being enforced. Having taken over from

Trump, I think that threatening sovereign

nations with sanctions over anti-gay law

should not be one of the major starting points

of Biden’s administration”.

On his part, Mohammed Abeny,

SAN, urged the federal government to ignore

the threat and “damn the consequences”. He

said: “To us, homosexuality is immoral. It is

unnatural and also ungodly. They have their

own way of life which are inimical to our own

way of life in Africa. The American President

cannot sanction us for such issue. If he does,

then it is a bad omen for his administration. It

will show that he has no respect for other

peoples’ values, customs and traditions. We

are a sovereign country and we are entitled

to have our own laws and statutes to regulate

our conduct. Nigeria should damn the

consequences”, Abeny, added.

For human rights lawyer, Chief

Nkereuwem Akpan: ”My view has always

been that there are certain cultural taboos that

no westernization can cross. One of such is

homosexuality. I don’t see how the west can

ram this one down our throat. The conduct

has already been criminalized by federal

statutes and no threat of sanction can affect

its implementation, neither will the law be

repealed in our lifetime or at all.

“The anti-gay law was very easy to pass

because apart from the fact that the very idea

of homosexuality is something that all the

major religions forbid, most traditional African

societies hold an abhorrence to it”.

Adeniji Kazeem, former

Attorney -General of Lagos,

SAN

To the best of my recollection there is an

existing Federal law banning same sex

marriage. Most laws are a reflection of our

unique culture, prevalent norms and Socioeconomic

factors. The National Assembly or

the Executive have powers to review any law

if they believe there has come a time for a

Continues on page 10


10—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

Remembering why Nigerians prayed for Trump

to beat him As Biden pushes to sanction Africa ...

By Prisca Sam-Duru

It sure beats concerned citizens of Nigeria

hollow, that of all overwhelming issues the

country is facing at the moment, none deserves

the attention of the United States of

America. It’s truly difficult to fathom the reason

US President, Joe Biden, again brought

up the issue of LGBTQ rights not up to a

month of assuming office, thereby, confirming

the trepidations of anti-Biden Nigerians

and Africans, during the November 2020

US elections.

This same issue of LGBTQ rights, many believe,

was reason former President Goodluck

Ebele Jonathan was frustrated on his second

term bid, no thanks to the US.

Recall that in January 2014, when Joe Biden

was former President Barack Obama’s Vice,

President Jonathan signed the law imposing

up to 14 years imprisonment for gay relationships,

defying western pressure over gay

rights. The act provoked US criticism and

threats to cut aid to Nigeria and other countries

with same stance on the matter.

The bill, passed by the 8 th Assembly, before

it was signed by the President, prohibits

gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships”

and membership of gay rights groups.

It says that “Persons who enter into a samesex

marriage contract or civil union commit

an offence and are each liable on conviction

to a term of 14 years in prison.

“Any person who registers, operates or participates

in gay clubs, societies and organisations

or directly or indirectly makes public

show of same-sex amorous relationship in

Nigeria commits an offence and shall each

be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in

prison”.

Just like his former boss did, President Joe

Biden has just threatened Nigeria and other

countries by issuing a warning to terminate

her financial aid to them as well as impose

visa restrictions if, they do not abolish antigay

laws.

“All human beings should be treated with

respect and dignity and should be able to live

without fear no matter who they are or whom

they love”, Biden said. He was also said to

have through a memo, directed “US agencies

working in foreign countries to work

•Biden

harder to combat the criminalisation by foreign

governments of LGBTQ status or conduct,

and directs the State Department to include

anti-LGBTQ violence, discrimination

and laws in its annual human rights report”.

“To further repair our moral leadership, I’m

also issuing a presidential memo to agencies

to reinvigorate our leadership on the LGBTQ

issues and do it internationally,” Biden was

quoted to have said.

It is worthy of mention that most Africans

who prayed against Biden’s candidacy did so

because of issues such as LGBT and anti-life

policies. In a twist, just few weeks into 2021,

there has been an increase in the number of

individuals stepping out from the dark and

openly declaring that they are gay. It has never

been like that and this surely is connected

with the influence of the new Democrat-led

government in the United States.

Interestingly, with the anti-gay law, Nigeria

proved to be one of the African countries that

have maintained a firm stand against the

harmful acts of same sex marriage but it is

not yet certain whether the current APC-led

government headed by President

Muhammadu Buhari will maintain that status

quo. It must be made crystal clear here

that Nigeria is a sovereign state and must be

allowed to make decisions without external

inference.

The fact remains that

homogenous relationship

is alien to our culture

as Nigerians and as

Africans. To many, it is

just as repulsive as it is

anathema. It is sad that

one of the few moral values

still left in us as Nigerians

especially, is

about to be destroyed

having decimated most

of our traditions through

Western influence in the

guise of modernisation.

Biblically, same-sex

relationship is an abomination

that easily attracts

the wrath of God. In the

•Buhari first place, according to

the book of Genesis, during

creation God made

them male and female and also made the

woman out of the man, for the man. Many are

familiar with the Sodom and Gomorrah narrative

in the same book of Genesis. The people’s

sins especially sodomy, reached the high

heavens. In Genesis 19 v 5, the men requested

that Lot brought out the men he was harbouring

so they could have sex with them and then,

in verse 23-29, the destruction of Sodom and

Gomorrah is explained. Also, in Romans chapter

1 v 26- 32 it is clearly stated that God abhors

same-sex relationship and they that practice

or support such sexual immorality are

worthy of death.

According to an Islamic Cleric, “homosexuality

is highly forbidden in Islam and it is written

clearly in the Koran that once you see such

things happening, it means the world is

gradually coming to an end”.

Africans are very religious people with

more percentage of its population, being

Christians and Muslims. Their beliefs largely

influence many facets of their lives which includes

the subject of LGBTQ+. Agreed that

there are homosexuals in Nigeria, who are

actually in the minority, it has been a thing of

shame to openly declare to be gay in this part

of the clime.

The most annoying thing about those who

have and are still championing the coercion

of countries to legalise gay relationships with

particular reference to presidents Barak

Obama and Joe Biden, is that they are both

enjoying heterogeneous marriages, with children

to show for their union. So why force

people in other countries to live a lifestyle that

is alien to them?

The essence of gender- male and female is

for procreation. Now you ask yourself, has

homosexuality helped in promoting procreation?

If the rate at which the West, especially

America is forcing countries to legalise same

gender marriages, is not stopped, we may be

heading towards a world without humans.

Again, morally, Africa sees homogenous relationship

as not right, disgusting and a taboo.

It is part of practices that are destroying

the marriage institution and threatening our

culture and value system as Africans. It is also

viewed as the height of human degradation;

human beings behaving lower than animals.

If you disagree, have you ever seen animals

both wild and domestic, mating with same

sex? Nigeria and indeed Africa believe homosexuality

go against the natural sequence

of life. Again if you oppose that view, why do

lesbians for instance, need toys for sex? Why

would gay couples want to adopt children,

why not give birth by themselves since they

say they are ‘normal’? That’s the height of

self deception!

Health wise, experts say penetrative anal

sex has a higher risk of spreading Sexually

Transmitted Infections, STI’s because the lining

of the anus is thin and can be easily damaged

thus making it more vulnerable to infection,

unlike the Vagina.

The West appears determined to erase whatever

that is left in Africans with regard to identity.

The business of brainwashing rather than

ending with colonisation, seems to be taking

a novel dimension each day. A post that is

viral on social media says, “How did the West

manage to convince Africans that polygamy

is evil but homosexuality is a human right”.

Oh dear! That is a big question begging for

answers really.

The situation on ground calls for a rethink

by African leaders. It’s high time they truly

and genuinely became patriotic and honest

about governance. Most African countries are

richly endowed with resources to make them

completely independent from external aid.

African leaders must eschew corruption,

greed and dishonesty and develop the continent

such that interconnectedness of world

politics will stop forcing them into adopting

norms that are un-African.

If Africa does not stand firm on its believe,

culture and sound morals, as well as enjoy

her sovereign rights, the West might one day

compel her people into marrying their animals

or worse still, force them to be celibate

in the name of population control. We may

also, someday be forced to legalise abortion

as long as they need to depopulate the continent

for whatever reason.

Biden can’t dictate our way of life

Continues from page 9

shift. However if a debate or a public

discourse reveals that there is no basis for

change then I don’t believe any external

pressure should cause that change. Despite

the fact that we are a part of a comity of nations

we must always look at what’s in our best

interest as a nation.

Jitobo Akanike

Over the years only President Olusegun

Obasanjo had managed to keep a strong

foreign policy. Nigeria is not a poor country

in terms of earnings from crude oil sales. A

strong and focused Government can call the

bluff of American attempt to breach our

sovereignty which has been battered by

internal insecurity. Visa and all the rest is no

big deal. We have weakened our nation by

our hands, American government knows this,

hence this arm twisting tactic. Hopefully we

should be able to hold back President Biden’s

threats.

Maduka Onwukeme

First my view on same sex relationship is

that the private conduct of two consenting

adults within the privacy of their bedroom

should be no one’s business. That’s my view

and very few people share it.

However, accepting homosexuality as a

lifestyle in Nigeria should be a decision

Nigerians will make and not imposed on us

by threats or ultimatums from the US. Even

in the US, it took years to decriminalize

homosexuality and stop its classification as a

mental disorder. Gay marriage became legal

all over the US about five years ago. So why

not allow us as a society to debate this issue

amongst ourselves and make a decision on

it? America has no right to dictate to us. They

should respect our sovereignty as a country

on this issue.

Emmanuel Umoren

Nigeria is an independent country, but we

are also in the community of nations. Gay right

is like the right to vote by women and

oppressed people. Let’s think through it. If

the US comes against Nigeria, what can we

do? Nigeria could resist the US interest in

the 60s and 70s because we had a great

economy and the country was better run. Our

Heads of Government were treated in UCH

and LUTH. Today, our Heads of Government

are treated abroad. It has become a thing of

pride to tell people I am just returning from

the US or UK for treatment. We should fight

the fights we can win.

Yemi Omodele

The decision of Biden is funny and it is his

opinion. Nigeria is a sovereign state. The

country needs not copy America in running

her affairs in terms of law,

economy, and finance and so on.

It is immoral for same sex to be

legalized in Nigeria. The white

people do things as if they are

the best in everything. No!

America is now trying to use the

problems Nigeria is facing to

lure it into same sex marriage.

It will not happen in this land.

With everybody, Nigeria will

develop.

Ifeanyi Okolie

The threat of sanction by

President Biden to Nigeria as a

result of our anti gay laws calls

for questions if we still exist as

a sovereign nation. I think it’s

time the leadership of Nigeria

reaffirm its status as a giant of

Africa by providing the basics

for its citizens thereby reducing external

influence of the US. I believe with proper

leadership Nigeria will affirm its status as the

most populous Black nation on earth so as to

do anyway with reliance on aids and grants

from Western nations.. Nigeria will be great

in spite of her challenges. Finally Nigeria is

a sovereign nation and can’t be controlled by

the American government

Malachy Ugwummadu, Ex

CDHR President

We mustn’t and needn’t go that far. Mr.

Biden should be advised to tread softly on

most volatile issues in contemporary world.

Donald Trump brought America very close to

the brinks by his warped worldview and

convictions. The guy right issue is one of such

Over the years only

President Olusegun

Obasanjo had

managed to keep a

strong foreign policy.

Nigeria is not a poor

country in terms of

earnings from crude

oil sales

sticking issues which energised Trump’s base

within the evangelical and they used it

effectively against the Democrats and Biden.

There must be both a conscious and deliberate

determination on the part of the Biden

administration to respect and recognise both

the territorial integrity and sovereignty of

nations in current international relations and

diplomacy. Nigerian legislations are equally

products of our cultures and history amongst

other things. Therefore, America must learn

to respect them. Both the law and the religious

entities in Nigeria stood and

still stand firm on the issue

under review. It will be recalled

that even the recent ban on the

use of cryptocurrency in Nigeria

by the CBN of Nigeria was a

direct and express directive of

the Government of the United

States. Consistently, the IMF

has always urged the Nigerian

government to increase VAT

and remove subsidies on

petroleum products and other

natural resources in the

Nigerian economy. These are

fundamental and far-reaching

interferences with the internal

national affairs of Nigeria. That

undermines the sovereignty of

Nigeria.

Kunle Edun

Our cultures are different

from that of the Americans. I believe that it is

the prerogative of each nation to make laws

that will regulate the conducts of its citizen

provided such laws are not repugnant to the

principles of natural justice and equity. These

are issues that are within the prerogatives of

each nation and they should be respected by

other countries. I think that our foreign

missions may need to do more enlightenment

in this area to our foreign partners.

Kabir Akingbolu

It is highly ludicrous the way America

thinks so highly of itself. If they are good as a

country, we are not doing badly in our own

rights. That being so, it should be known that

we are a sovereign nation and we have our

own laws and ideal ways of life to which gay

is not congenial with. Therefore, since we

have rejected it, we should stick to our stand

on gay marriage and ensure we do not allow

our too much need for assistance from

America to blindfold us to agree with their

alien and obnoxious policy which the Bible

and the Q’uran condemned. I am so sure that

if we maintain our stand well enough, they

will be forced to rescind their funny and

felonious policy of promoting gay marriages.

Truth be told, can we force them to recognize

polygamy and practice it like us or can we

foist on them the culture of wearing agbada

or native dresses or implore them to start

adopting our other primitive ways of doing

certain things in Africa? I know it is

impossible and for that reason, every country

should paddle its own canoe without anyone

dictating the pace unnecessarily.

By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja

Hon. Alhassan Ado

Doguwa, Majority Leader,

House of Representatives

It will definitely not work here. It can’t work

in Nigeria because as an institution, we must

respect the peculiarities of our own setting

here. This is Nigeria. This is not America. This

is not England. This is Nigeria where we must

have to respect some of our traditions. We

must also respect some of our religious

bodies. We have Christians, we have Muslims

and I thank God that both Christianity and

Islam which are the two major religions are

all against the disposition of such kind of

legislation. I don’t think that in the near future

the Nigerian legislature as an institution will

entertain anything like gay here in this

country. We will not entertain that and it is

going to be blasphemous if we can begin to

consider such laws. It is against our culture

and against basically the provision of the two

major religions. It is obnoxious as far as I am

concerned. There are limits to sanctions. They

can continue to sanction as long as we know

that what we are doing is right within the

context of our culture, our religions, within

the context of our institutional expectations. I

don’t think that we can be threatened by

anything. Sanction or no sanction, we will

only stand by what we think is right within

the context of our own institutional existence.”


•Umar Labdo

Recently, Ondo state governor gave the

Fulani herdsmen ultimatum to vacate

the state forest reserves, how will you

react to it?

I have said it several times and I will say it

again that the quit notice is wrong, it is illegal

and it is not good if there is going to be peaceful

co-existence of members of one federation.

There are many southerners, including Yoruba

living in the north, in my own state, in my

town, doing their own business in peace,

making their own livelihood and no one is

asking them to vacate. Moreover, there are

criminals in all the tribes. Yahoo boys are

mainly Yoruba, drug pushers are mainly Igbo,

now if for the sake of argument, banditry or

kidnapping is found mainly among the Fulani,

that doesn’t mean that all the Fulani are

criminals. Generalizing and stereotyping all

Fulani is very wrong, it is dangerous because

the leaders in the south are indirectly telling

their people or followers to attack Fulani. And

naturally, when they attack the Fulani, they

will have to defend themselves which will lead

to chaos.

If there are criminals among the Fulani, they

should be dealt with according to the law. We

have law enforcement agents, it is their job to

fish out criminals, prosecute them and punish

them so that the society will be healthy. But

just because crimes are committed at your

backyard, you then lose all sense of reasoning

and start casting aspersions on people like

that.. That is not helpful at all.

You rightly pointed out that there are bad

eggs among every tribe including the Fulani,

as an association, have you ever taken any

step to fish out the bad ones and what was

done to them?

We tried to counsel our people or advise

them. We interact, enlighten them and make

them understand that times have changed and

they should come out of the bush and engage

in ranching. They can not continue moving

around as it was 50 or 100 years ago. We let

them know that they are Nigerians who have

helped in the development of Nigeria’s

economy. We told them you people are being

cheated because your children don’t go to

school, you don’t drink potable water, no

electricity, and you don’t enjoy amenities

provided by government. And so, it is to your

own detriment if you continue living in the

bush. Come out, let the government help you

settle down. And we believe the RUGA

Programme of the Federal government

should be implemented. That was what we

told them.

But fishing out criminals among them is

not our job. If we see criminals, we will run

away. How can we fish out criminals? But we

cautioned them not to mingle with criminals

or harbour them, if they do that, they are

inviting trouble to themselves. If they see

criminals, they should report them.

These people you see in the bush are normal,

rational human beings, they are not poor, they

We’ll retaliate

if herders are

banned from

south

Fulani

association

• Conspiracy, competition, politics responsible for crisis

• FG should muster political will to stop this madness

• Southern Nigeria is depopulated; RUGA must be revisited

for lasting peace

are going with their own wealth. Those cows

you see are worth millions, so even Fulani you

see in the bush don’t welcome criminality. If it

is somebody sitting idle, unemployed or very

poor, maybe that one will be tempted to

commit crime but not somebody who is

pursuing a very noble profession, herding

livestock inherited from his forefathers for

centuries. Fulani are very proud about herding

cattle, and to those who are living in the bush,

they are living normal lives. But to us who are

educated and living in the cities, we know

certainly, that way of life is outdated and they

should be reintegrated into the society so that

they will benefit from the social amenities

provided by government and the society too

will benefit from them.

Do you think Fulani herdsmen were

profiled as criminals because they still

believe in this old way of life by living in the

forest?

50 years ago, they were living in the bush

but no one called them criminals. In the 60’s,

and even before then, the colonial government

recognized the Fulani as great contributors

to the economic development of Nigeria. That

was why you saw their images in the Nigeria’s

pound inherited by the naira. Look at the naira,

you will see pictures of cows in the naira. Go

to the old postage stamps issued by the colonial

authorities you had pictures of the Fulani and

cows. So everybody knows that Fulani are not

criminals. 50 years ago, no one called Fulani

criminals. All those who lived with the Fulani

in Central, Western and Eastern Nigeria were

praising them. It is only now, due to

combinations of factors that we found

ourselves in this situation.

What are those factors and why?

First, there are a lot of politics in it. For

example, Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu who is

a senior lawyer (SAN), was issuing a statement

that he knew was contrary to our Constitution.

He wanted to be a hero of his people, playing

to the gallery. He knew that his people were

angry with the Fulani because certain criminal

elements among them were causing damage

to their farms so he wanted to gain cheap

popularity. How can you say Nigerians should

leave your state or leave your region? What

about your people living in other people’s

regions? Our region is bigger than the whole

of Southern region, South-South, South-East,

South-West) put together. They are not up to

half of Northern Nigeria. So somebody now

tells us to go back home, you also go back

home. Your people are here, living peacefully

despite all the propaganda against us, the

northerners. Yes, we have banditry, kidnapping,

but some southerners prefer to live in the north.

There is one dangerous thing which I don’t

think the southerners have realized. Southern

Nigeria is actually depopulated. Thousands

By Bashir Bello, Kano

Professor Umar Labdo is the National Secretary of Fulani

Development Association of Nigeria, FULDAN and also Professor

of Islamic Political Thoughts at the Yusuf Maitama Sule University,

Kano. In this interview, he traces the origin of the herdsmen/

farmers crisis in the country and proffers solutions on how to have

peace in the land. Excerpts:

of southerners especially young men and

women migrate to the north because they find

opportunities and settle there. I have carried

out a private research as a university professor

and I found out that about 30 to 40 per cent of

all NYSC members who are posted to the

north never go back to their southern states of

origin. They settle here and no one is harassing

them. Sabon Gari in Kano was established

purposely for southerners, not for northerners.

Why did we establish that? It was even our

traditional authority during the native

authorities who established Sabon Gari. They

said this is for our guests who have relatively

different culture and customs, therefore, let

them live together, govern themselves, do their

worship and ceremonies without hindrance.

If we establish a whole

township for

southerners to live in

peace and they are

living in peace, why are

we being ejected from

the south?

But it was said that

the Fulani were only

asked to vacate the

forest reserves area

and not the south?

When you ask them

to move out of the forest

where do they carry out

the rearing of their

livestock , where do you

want them to go? The

cities or where? You are

indirectly telling them

to leave the south. Now,

what are the other

factors why the Fulani

found ourselves in this

situation? The second

factor is economic

reason. For example,

our population has

grown higher. In the

60’s, our population

was less than 50

million, now we are

over 200 million, so

there is competition for land. Originally,

Fulani have their own cattle routes which were

designed and gazetted by colonial

governments. The grazing routes were for

Fulani and those who have interest in herding

animals. At that time, there was enough land

and no one encroached on those routes and

Fulani could pass without destroying

farmlands. Now, individuals, companies and

even the government have conspired to take

over those routes. Buildings are now being

erected on those routes making it difficult for

the Fulani to find enough routes to pass and

so the animals go astray and encroach on

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021—11

If there are criminals

among the Fulani, they

should be dealt with

according to the law. We

have law enforcement

agents, it is their job to

fish out criminals,

prosecute them and

punish them so that the

society will be healthy

farmers’ lands. Even before, the crisis used to

occur, but not on the large scale as we are

witnessing today.

So, I think what government at all levels

should do is to look into the situation as a

matter of urgency. We, the Fulani are not happy

that our people are going about. This is not

life, it used to be but no more. We want them to

settle down, we want our children to go to

school, we want them to enjoy life and social

amenities. And by doing that, even their cows

will be healthier and will produce more milk

and meat when they are settled. So, we want

government to help Fulani settle. They are

citizens, they are not empty handed, they are

people with enormous wealth, their wealth

are on four legs (cows). No one can claim that

they don’t eat cows and even cow legs. If these

people settle down and can provide feeds,

adequate water for their animals and their

children are enrolled in schools, with health

facilities, decent housing and electricity, it is

for the betterment of Nigeria and there will be

peace.

I don’t have to tell you the contributions of

Fulani to Nigeria’s political development and

other sectors. They are in politics and doing

well. So why should some people look down

on the Fulani as if they are not human beings?

And why is it that other crimes that are

identified with other tribes are not stereotyped?

We read on a daily basis and watch the

television about Yahoo boys and drug abuse.

We had cases of some Igbo who stole our

children especially in Kano and selling them

like goats. Hundreds of stolen children have

been traced to south eastern states and all the

people associated with the atrocities have been

apprehended. But we never called Igbo

criminals because we know it is not all Igbo

who were involved as we see other Igbo in the

market doing well in business. We don’t need

to cast aspersions on others in order to gain

political advantages. This is very bad.

When you said you are not happy that your

people are moving about, does it mean you

back the call by Governor Ganduje to ban

movement of herdsmen from north to south?

No, I don’t support Ganduje’s call that

herders or cattle rearers should be banned from

going to the south. If Governor Ganduje or

other Nigerians suggest that the Fulani should

be settled wherever they want, that will be

acceptable. But if you say you want to ban

them from going to the southern Nigeria, then

we have to ban others from coming to the

north also. This is justice and fairness. I replied

Governor Ganduje that what he said was

wrong and unconstitutional. You don’t talk of

banning people in their own country of birth.

If Nigeria is divided, then we can obtain

passport before going to the south and they

will also obtain passport and before coming

here in the north.

Do you support RUGA settlement for

Fulani herdsmen?

Yes, I support RUGA wholeheartedly. I

support all other programmes that will enable

Fulani to settle in one place, with their way of

life being taken care of. And they should be

treated like human beings and like Nigerians.

They have the right to be assisted with funds,

ideas and security like other Nigerians. If you

give help to people who engage in fishing,

poultry and mining, why not people who

engage in cattle rearing and livestock

management. If Fulani are settled it is an

investment and in the long run, people will

see the result. But trying to send them away is

not a wise decision and it is a dangerous way

to address the matter.

With the situation at hand,

what is the way forward

before it escalate?

It is for the Federal

government to step in. The

responsibility of security of

the citizens rests with the

President. So the President

should act and act decisively.

And he should not be

intimidated by those saying

he is pampering the Fulani.

They are citizens, if they need

pampering, they should be

pampered.

He should talk to the

governors and he should

hold the governors

responsible for whatever

happens to the Fulani

because a governor cannot

make this irresponsible call

for people or Nigerians to

leave his state. I know that

the presidency has called

them to order but that is not

enough. The presidency

should take this very seriously

before it lead to a state of

chaos in Nigeria. What do

you think will happen if it

leads to reprisal attacks in

other parts of the country? It can hardly be

controlled and who will be blamed?

The Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole

Soyinka was also quoted to have said that if

the situation is not handled properly, it can

lead to another civil war in the country. Do

you ascribe to that?

That is true, all rational thinking people

know that this is a serious situation which

should not be treated with levity. And the

responsibility rests on the Federal government

to have the political will to put a stop to this

madness otherwise it will lead us to hell.


12—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

Criminal herdsmen have

killed 4,000 farmers in

S\West in 6 years

—Okikiola, Farmers Association President-General

Godfathers buy arms, ammunition for them

•For money, security agents connive with them

•Amotekun alone can’t flush out criminal herdsmen

•We’ve cursed Yoruba leaders colluding with them

By Dapo Akinrefon

Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola is the President-General

of Agbekoya Farmers Association.

In this interview, he opines that marauding herdsmen

perpetuating crime in the South-West have godfathers,

who purchase arms and ammunition for them. He also

states that his group will wade off every expansionist

tendency of the killer herdsmen. He speaks on other

burning issues affecting the South-West. Excerpts:

•Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola

You recently raised the alarm that

criminal herdsmen have begun

guerilla warfare in the South-West.

What informed your remarks?

Some factors, events and incidents informed

my remarks especially the spate of

kidnappings and killings of farmers and

innocent Yoruba sons and daughters by Fulani

criminal herdsmen and bandits. Over 4,000

farmers and innocent citizens have been

killed in the South-West since the year 2015,

without any arrest and prosecution.

Kidnapping and killings of people by

criminal Fulani herdsmen continue unabated

without any positive and responsive steps

taken by the President Muhammadu Buhari

administration to curb the nefarious activities

of the armed criminal Fulani herdsmen.

President Buhari and his aides have not

spoken concerning all the criminal activities

of the armed Fulani herdsmen and bandits

until eviction and quit notices, with an

ultimatum, were given to Fulani herdsmen

by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State

and the Yoruba human rights activist, Sunday

Igboho in Ibarapa area of Oyo State.

Another factor that informed my remarks is

the influx of Fulani criminal herdsmen and

the amount of ammunition and weapons, like

AK47, being smuggled by these criminals into

the South-West. I am amazed that not much

has been done to arrest the godfathers who

are financially responsible for the purchase

of ammunition and weapons because I am

sure that the Fulani criminal herdsmen are

not the ones financing the purchase of these

weapons.

Gradually and subtly, the history of Fulani’s

expansionist tendencies towards the South-

West is being reenacted and Agbekoya and

other Yoruba nation stakeholders are aware

of these tendencies. These expansionist

tendencies will be seriously rebuffed with

everything that it takes if these senseless

kidnappings and killings are not stopped.

In most of the villages and towns in Yoruba

land, our farmers have deserted their farms

and people cannot move about freely to

conduct their business activities because of

the fear of being kidnapped and killed.

Criminal Fulani herdsmen now lay ambush

on our people on highways in towns, cities

and footpaths in villages. These are signs of

guerrilla warfare.

What do you think is responsible for the

influx of criminal herdsmen in the South

West?

The high level of poverty, children out of

school and insincerity of leadership in the

Northern part of the country have been

responsible for the influx of criminal

herdsmen in the South-West. The criminal

Fulani herdsmen believe that once they can

smuggle themselves to the South-West, they

will get a place to stay with their Fulani

kinsmen.

And once they can get a place to stay, they

will start mingling with the people of the

community under the pretense that they are

herdsmen. They now begin to wander about

with other herdsmen with cattle studying the

community environment and before the

community and the traditional rulers could

know what is happening, they would have

formed a gang of kidnappers and bandits,

committing rapes, kidnapping and killing

their victims who cannot afford to pay the

ransom they are asking for.

Even those who could pay were also killed

for one reason or the other.

Another reason is that our

land borders are very

porous and unscrupulous

security agents connive with

them, once their sponsors

offer them money. There is

also free and cheaper food

for cattle in the South-West

because of our climate. The

Fulani herdsmen move

around the cattle for free

green grasses, and in the

process, the animals eat and

destroy the crops of our

farmers.

Do you think Amotekun

operatives in the states can

flush out criminal

herdsmen in South West?

The Amotekun operatives

alone cannot flush out the

criminal Fulani herdsmen

in the Southwest. The

insecurity situation in the

South-West, as it is today,

calls for a concerted effort

from all the security stakeholders like

Agbekoya, OPC, the hunters, vigilante group,

the Nigeria Civil Defense Corps, and the

government security agencies.

The management of Amotekun needs to

reinforce and intensify the intelligence

reporting system of their operations in such a

way that on daily basis, information about

security situations in all the nooks and

crannies of the states are reported for analysis

and for prompt actions to be taken.

And the six states need to create a kind of

Gradually and subtly, the

history of Fulani’s

expansionist tendencies

towards the South-West is

being reenacted and

Agbekoya and other

Yoruba nation

stakeholders are aware of

these tendencies

synergy and networking in their operations to

complement each other. Amotekun, as a

security outfit, is yet to grapple with the

enormous task of securing lives and properties

in the states because the organization is faced

with inadequate personnel, funding, logistics

network, and ineffective intelligence

reporting system.

Do you support the strategy being adopted

by Mr. Sunday Adeyemo also known as

Sunday Igboho in his quest to flush out

criminal herdsmen from the South West?

I support the strategy adopted by Sunday

Igboho even though we all need to rally

around him to perfect the strategy.

He has taken the bull by the horn and has

sent the signal to Federal Government that

enough is enough and that we, Yoruba, at

home and abroad are not ready to condone

the criminal activities of the Fulani herdsmen

in the Southwest.

Sunday Igboho has awakened every son

and daughter of Yoruba land especially our

traditional rulers who have

been trading with the lives and

properties of their people and

the political class, who are

politicizing insecurities in

Southwest.

I want to use this medium

to inform him that the

Agbekoya Farmers Society,

a just cause.

the first farmers’ group in

Nigeria since 1938, is solidly

behind him and we are

already intensifying our

efforts and strategies to flush

out criminal Fulani

herdsmen from the

Southwest.

Agbekoya security

operatives are already in most

of the forests day and night

and around the land borders

in Yoruba land to monitor the

activities of criminal Fulani

herdsmen. I am also calling

on our traditional rulers,

politicians and South-West

Governors to support Sunday

Igboho because he is fighting

You recently disclosed that your group has

begun a manhunt for the killer herdsmen

kingpin, known as Mahmoud Waziri and his

men, who terrorise farmers and residents in

Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State.

How did you arrive at this?

We, farmers, are the most affected by

criminal activities of the armed Fulani

herdsmen and marauders and you cannot

expect us as a farmers group to fold our arms

when our farmers are being killed and our

wives and daughters are being raped by

criminal Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers and

bandits. The insecurity situation in the South-

West is no more a joke and we are not ready

to take it lightly with anybody who is the

kingpin of these criminal Fulani herdsmen.

The security agencies have failed us and

we can no more tolerate the way these

criminal Fulani herdsmen kill our farmers and

rape our wives and daughters with impunity.

The President and his aides are not talking,

but they could talk when we gave eviction

and quit order to the criminal Fulani

herdsmen. Whether anybody likes it or not,

we are seriously looking for all the kingpins

of the criminal Fulani herdsmen and their

men all over South-West and when we get

them, we are going to announce to the whole

world and then hand them over to security

agencies.

Do you think some Yoruba leaders are

colluding with these criminal herdsmen to

perpetuating crimes in the South West?

I don’t think some Yoruba leaders are

colluding with these criminal herdsmen to

perpetrate crimes in the South-West. It is only

a bastard and a sick Yoruba leader that will

be colluding with criminals to kill his people.

Agbekoya is watching and monitoring all

our Yoruba leaders. We have placed curses

on those traitor Yoruba leaders, their wives,

children and they will die mysteriously. But I

also want to add that some Yoruba leaders can

collude with these criminal Fulani herdsmen,

after all, we have seen some traditional rulers

supporting and protecting these criminals

because of money, even some politicians have

refused to talk because of their political

ambitions. Agbekoya is seriously warning

you all because the day of judgement is very

near.

Your association has vowed to launch a fullscale

war against Fulani armed herdsmen,

kidnappers and bandits if they are not nipped

in the bud. How do you intend to go about

this?

Yes, my group has vowed to launch a fullscale

war against armed Fulani herdsmen,

kidnappers and bandits if they are not nipped

in the bud. We are keeping our strategy to

ourselves, but you will be surprised that one

day, the criminal Fulani herdsmen will just

fizzle out like smoke from Southwest. I am

using this medium to call on President

Muhammad Buhari, the Northern Governors,

political leaders, traditional rulers from the

North to take urgent and bold steps to stop

the nefarious activities of these criminal Fulani

herdsmen, kidnappers and bandits in the

interest of all and sundry.


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021—13

Nomadic Education to educate,

take Fulani herdsmen off forests

has been neglected —Faggo

By Bashir Bello - KANO

Alhaji Yunusa M. Gidado Faggo is

the National Financial

Secretary, Fulani Development

Association of Nigeria, FULDAN.

In this interview with Bashir Bello, he

says the Fulani’s have contributed

immensely to the development of the

country with two of its illustrious sons,

at the helm of affairs and therefore do

not deserve poor treatment. He also

spoke on how the nomadic education

meant to cater for the nomads education

and change their thinking from moving

in the forest was neglected.

What is your reaction to the

quit notice order to Fulani

herdsmen?

We are saddened by recent

developments with regards to

the eviction notice on Fulani’s

to vacate the south because this

is want brings about tribalism

and ethnic crisis. The Fulani

are also Nigerians who have

contributed immensely to the

development of Nigeria. Talk

about Sir Ahmadu Bello

(Sardauna), Sir Abubakar

Tafawa Balewa are all

illustrious sons of the Fulani

who contributed immensely to

the development of the nation.

Why are their great grand

children and children threatened to

vacate a part of the country. We are

chased away from here and there, where

do they want us to go?

What do you make of profiling Fulani’s

as criminals and what steps have your

association taken to comb out the bad

eggs denting the image of Fulani?

We are actually not happy about

profiling Fulani as criminals because

there are criminals in all tribes. There is

a particular tribe that are known for

Yahoo boys and so also there are those

known for armed robbery, but they don’t

stereotype them. It is the fulani that are

stereotyped.

Anyone can imitate assent of the Fulani.

Their clothes can also be

bought in the market. It

is not only Fulani. There

are bad eggs in all

tribes.

We are also not left out

in the attack. They

We are also not

left out in the

attack. They

attack us, rustle

our cows and

government do

nothing about

that

attack us, rustle our cows

and government do

nothing about that. So

we are not exempted

from the attack, in fact

it started with us.

On what we did to

comb out the bad eggs.

We sensitized our

members on the need

not to mix up or harbour

criminals in their midst.

We ask them to report

any criminal to the

security agencies in order to ensure they

are arrested.

But unfortunately, sometimes, if you

expose the criminals and report them to

the security, they would connive and

come back to attack you. And it is well

known to all that the Fulani were the first

to be attacked. We are not exempted from

the attacks.

Way forward?

They should reconcile, construct RUGA

settlement for them wherever they are but

I don’t support the eviction notice because

we have Yorubas here in Kano too. They

are all Nigerians. Everybody should be

given fair and equal treatment. Any

Nigerian has the right to leave in any part

of the country.

Similarly, the Fulani should be provided

social amenities just as others. Talk about

education, health facilities and others to

•Faggo

better their lives.

The Fulani have been neglected on

education. And education is the bedrock

of every society. Whoever you give

education, you have given them life.

Governments at all level need to pay more

attention on nomadic education which

was meant to cater for the education of

the nomads. It is not good enough for

politicians to abandon or neglect it.

Nomadic education should be given the

much needed attention, funding and

construction of more classrooms.

Whoever is educated is empowered. So I

call on the government to give the Fulani’s

equal opportunities and treatments,

whatever is done to others should be done

to the Fulani’s. They should be given their

rights because they are also citizens and

partners in progress.

Poor leadership, cause of worsening insecurity —Agundi

By Dirisu Yakubu

he failure of leadership across all lay

Ters of government is largely to blame

for the worsening insecurity in the country,

a member of the ruling All Progressives

Congress, APC, Hon. Baffa Agundi

has said.

Agundi, a member of the Kano Security

Council is worried about what he called

the infiltration of politics in the security

architecture of the nation, saying until

men paid to protect lives and properties

of citizens are insulated from partisanship;

power abuse would continue to dominate

headlines; a development, he

added, would culminate in the

rise of criminals across the

land.

Agundi stated this early in the

week when he appeared as

guest on Sunrise Daily, a

breakfast programme on the

staple of Channels Television.

“When there is failure in leadership,

everything fails. When

you look at the security situation

in the country, it is pathetic.

When you come to the North,

say Zamfara state, there is no

Boko Haram. But all of a sudden,

bandits started operating

and kidnappers started taking

ransom. Virtually, Zamfara is

a no-go area now. All these are

related to failure of leadership, failure of

the security apparatus of the country. If

there are checks in the security network of

the country, these things would not have

been happening. Every part of the country

is having its own problem,” he said.

On whether the country is ripe enough

for a take-off of state policing; the APC

chieftain said the idea has its merit even

as he pointed out the abuse it could cause,

particularly in the hands of overzealous

governors bent on teaching their enemies

(real or imagined) some lessons.

“If you look at the agitation for state

police, it has its own problem-the good

and the bad. When you allow state governors

to have their own police, it is going

to be on political affiliation. And if you

have your security architecture affiliates

with a political party; that is the end of it.

Other groups will not have fairness in dealing

with security agencies in the state,” he

added.

While noting that “there are very responsible,

serious governors that

will do well with the state

police,” Agundi argued

that such

governors

would have to

be careful if

When you

allow state

governors to

have their own

police, it is

going to be on

political

affiliation

they lack

federal

backing,

lest they fall

prey to higher

powers.

He recalled

the

trouble he

once witnessed

as a

member of

the Ibrahim

Shekarauled

administration of

Kano state, saying “we

were in opposition during

Ibrahim Shekarau administration;

we had

many challenges with the

police at that time. He

was in the All Nigeria

Peoples Party, ANPP and

Rabiu Kwankwaso who

was then a Minister of Defence was in the

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The Police

werealways in support of the PDP no matter

what because the federal

might was always supporting

him no matter

what.

He continued: “Security

in any state of the

country should not be

compromised; but is

compromised in so

many levels. Whoever

is in power, the security

agency will work

along with him. This

ought not to be so.

They are supposed

to be

independent.

•Agundi

If they were independent, we won’t be having

these problems.”

Not a few Nigerians will agree with Agundi

given the sorry state of affairs in the country

today. Whether in Zamfara, Kaduna,

Borno, Owerri or Benin-City, human lives

seem the cheapest today. Tales of lives cut

short in their prime are perhaps the common

denominator in news stories in Newspapers,

television and online media.

For years, Nigerians clamoured for the

appointment of new service chiefs; a call

that was only recently heeded by President

Muhammadu Buhari. Before their eleventh

hour removal, immediate past service chiefs

had incurred the wrath of Nigerians including

members of the 9 th National Assembly.

Speaking exclusively with Saturday Vanguard,

Diran Odeyemi, deputy national publicity

secretary of the Peoples Democratic

Party, PDP, said “the failure of President

Muhammadu Buhari to lead from the front

has caused Nigeria more harm than good.”

He said: “The worrisome state of security

in our land can be attributed to President

Buhari and his party that promised Nigerians

heavens on earth. When the former

Chief of Army Staff told Nigerians that

Boko Haram had been degraded and decimated,

we were looking forward to improved

security. But what did we see? Boko

Haram, bandits and kidnappers now kill

for fun, make videos and circulate same

in a dare-devil manner. How long shall

we let this continue?” he asked rhetorically

Ṫhe new service chiefs have promised to

hit the ground running but like Capt.

Umar Aliyu (retd) told Vanguard recently,

they are a product of the same system

that produced their predecessors. This system

unless, overhauled to give room to a

reign of professionalism would only succeed

in throwing up highly credentialed

officers who would struggle to meet the

expectation of Nigerians.


14—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

Seven years

of banditry in

Niger State:

•380 killed, 71 abducted, N79m paid as ransom

•Residents flee their ancestral homes

•Farming disrupted; prices of foodstuffs soar

•Displaced residents flood IDPs’ camps

By Wole Mosadomi

iger state has been under siege from

Nbandits for the past seven years. Out of

the 25 local government areas in the state, 18

have been attacked by these bandits and local

government areas which are constantly

invaded and almost completely overrun are

Shiroro, Munyan, Rafi, Mashegu and of recent

Paiko.

These bandits now strike mostly in the day

time and operate without any challenge from

the security agents. Their mode of operation

remains the same; riding on motorcycles with

not less than two to three of them on each

motorcycle and fully armed. Sounds of gun

shots rent the air to herald their arrival and

scare the villagers and anybody that comes

across them, men, women, old and young are

felled by their bullets. They would then move

from house to house in search of money,

foodstuffs, other handy valuables and also

rustle cows and other domestic animals. In

some cases, the houses of the residents are

completely burnt down thereby rendering

them homeless. Besides, many have been

maimed while the women, both old and

young ended up being raped.

History of bandits attacks

What started as mere cattle rustling in 2015

has now turned into a full blown war against

the defenceless people with no end in sight.

Shiroro local government had witnessed the

highest number of attacks since the first

incident which occurred in some communities

in March 2015 when 30 heavily armed

bandits suspected to be cattle rustlers invaded

them leaving 20 people killed.

64-year-old Dauda Ibrahim, from Kokoki

village lost two of his children who were

secondary school students in the midnight

attack. According to him, “that was my first

time of seeing such a thing happening because

for over 100 years of the existence of this

village, we had never witnessed such dastardly

act before”. He said since then, there has never

been peace in the area till now.

Between March and December, 2015, forty

communities came under severe attacks from

these bandits.

No fewer than 38 people were killed while

many others fled from their homes. 2,000

cattle and 300 sheep were stolen from the

people by the bandits. Also 15 people were

kidnapped and ransom of about N11million

paid by their relations.

The then Governor of the state, Dr. Muazu

Babangida Aliyu immediately convened a

meeting of stakeholders comprising all the

local government chairmen, emirs, districts

heads, village heads and the representative of

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association,

Niger state to check the trend. Security reports

made available to the government then

revealed that those behind the gruesome

killings were not the familiar herdsmen but

the report was said to have been swept under

the carpet.

Subsequently, in 2016, 36 bloody attacks

were carried out in about 70 communities

across the three local government areas.

Communities like Kaure, Kukoki, Ajata and

Kwaki, all in Shiroro Local Government Area

became theatres of war. Pandogeri, Allawa

and Madaka in Rafi Local Government Area

were not spared by the bandits. Over 50 people

were killed, 12 others were kidnapped and

N5million was paid by relations as ransom to

secure the release of the victims while 2,600

cattle were rustled.

Disturbed by these incessant killings, former

Senator for the affected Zone, David Umaru

took his displeasure to the security agencies

in Abuja for their intervention. The move

yielded result as the then Inspector General of

Police, Ibrahim Idris, who is also from Niger

state ordered the then Commissioner of police

in the state, Muazu Zubaru to flush out these

criminals. Acting on this directive, the police

led other sister security agencies to launch an

all out attack against the bandits in an

operation, code named “Puff Adder” and this

brought some respite to these communities.

However on January 15, 2017, the bandits

struck again, killing nine people, with 6,000

others rendered homeless. Five people were

abducted and N3million ransom was later

paid to secure their release.

Between April and June

2017, 11 people were killed,

about N30million was paid

as ransom by the residents

to secure their release with

about 1,000 cattle and 150

sheep stolen.

Between September and

December in 2017, 20

villages within Zagzaga

community in Munya local

government with about

250,000 inhabitants

became a safe abode for

these armed men. The

bandits, within six months

in the area carried out

another attack killing six

people and abducted 19

people including an SS11

female student of Day

Between March

and December,

2015, forty

communities came

under severe

attacks from these

bandits

Secondary School,

Zagzaga who served as

cook for abducted persons

for two weeks before

ransom was paid on her

behalf and she was

eventually released. The communities it was

gathered paid N11 million to secure the

release of all those kidnapped after selling

almost all their farm produce. This situation

forced 90 percent of the 250,000 inhabitants

to relocate to nearby Communities.

In 2018, thirteen All Progressives Congress

(APC) Chieftains were abducted from Munya

local government on their way to party

stakeholders meeting at Sarkin Pawa, the

Council headquarters. The kidnappers

demanded N30 million as ransom for their

release but later settled for N13 million before

they were able to regain their freedom. Also a

Divisional Police Officer (DPO) attached to

Sarkin Pawa division was abducted and

unconfirmed reports had it that the state

government paid N4million for his release.

Between January and March 2018, 20 people

were kidnapped and N19 million ransom was

said to be paid while four people lost their

lives.

However on 12th of September, 2019,

another coordinated attacks were launched

by the bandits across the three local

government areas of Shiroro,

Rafi and Munya during which

80 people were killed, 100

others wounded and about

1,000 people fled from their

homes. Between September

and December, the blood

letting continued unabated

and about 100 people were

killed with 70 killed in one

attack in Kwaki, Barden,

Dawaki, Ajayin, Ajatai,

Bataro, Bwailo and Giji

communities leaving 3,500

people displaced.

After that bloody attacks, the

state government deployed a

joint security patrol to the

affected communities to

restore normalcy but the

difficult terrain almost

frustrated their efforts though

some level of normalcy was

achieved.

The attacks attracted

serious reactions and

condemnation from some

political leaders in the areas, including the

current Senator representing the zone, Senator

Sani Musa who called for military action

against the bandits, saying that it was not

acceptable that some criminal elements would

hold the people to ransom.

•Gov Bello

This development forced the government to

enter into a “Peace Deals” during which the

amnesty was offered to the bandits and 13 of

them earlier arrested by security agents in parts

of the state were released. No fewer than 40 of

them were said to have surrendered their arms

to the government as part of the peace deal.

However, less than a month after the socalled

peace deals, another set of bandits

attacked some communities in Rafi local

government, leaving four people killed, 20

people injured and six abducted.

However last year, the attacks assumed a

different dimension. Apart from Chanchaga,

Bosso, Suleja, Tafa and Gawu Babangida, the

remaining local government areas in Zone B

Senatorial District have been taken over by

the bandits.

Worried by this development, political

leaders from the areas, including Senator

Sani protested to the senate which attracted

the attention of President Muhammadu

Buhari who ordered air strike on the bandits’

location in the state. This, the residents said

has not yielded any results as they accused the

Air Force of always bombing wrong targets

while the bandits had fled the area.

In addition to the air strike ordered by the

President, the state governor empowered local

vigilantes with vehicles and motorcycles to

help compliment the efforts of the security

agents.

However, the mother of all attacks was the

killing of 11 soldiers and 17 mobile policemen

on March 26 2020 in Erena in circumstances

which have remained unclear with different

accounts of the incident. The killing of the

security personnel came barely two months

after an army captain and four other soldiers

were ambushed and killed by the bandits in

Munya local government when they went to

respond to a distress call from a community

under attack. This again was followed by the

invasion of some communities in Shiroro in

April where no fewer than 15 people were

killed, eight abducted and about 2,000

rendered homeless.

Between January and April 2000, 58 people

including the 32 security personnel (15

soldiers and 17 mobile policemen) and seven

local vigilantes paid the supreme price. In

addition, 70 people were kidnapped and

N40million paid to secure their freedom. The

number of displaced had also tripled across

the three local government areas.

Farmers unable to embark on

full scale farming

For the past few years, most of the farmers

in the state have been totally displaced and

can no longer embark on full scale farming

and this has had negative impact on food

production and prices. Some of the crops which

were harvested between 2019 and 2020 were

stolen by these bandits and the remaining set

on fire. Invariably, these developments have

pushed up prices of all foodstuffs not only in

Niger state but nationwide.

The banditry which started gradually

through cattle rustling in Shiroro local

government area in 2015 has now gone

beyond control as it has spread to other local

government areas forcing many to abandon

their ancestral homes to take refuge in

different Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

camps located in six different places across

the three local government areas of the state.


IMO: How Uzodimma is

making himself another

Mbakwe — Emelumba

With empty treasury, no handover notes, Uzodimma’s

achievements in one year have shocked opposition

By Clifford Ndujihe

Former Member of Imo House of Assembly and Commissioner

for Information and Strategy in Imo State, Hon. Declan

Emelumba, in this interview says Imo people have many

blessings to count, one year into Governor Hope Uzodimma’s

tenure. Outlining some of the things the Uzodimma has done,

he said the governor is on his way to becoming another Chief

Sam Mbakwe.

On what Governor Hope Uzodimma

has done in one year with regard to the

joke relating his name ‘Uzodimma’ (the

road is good) to bad roads in Imo

That joke was not misplaced. The only

thing is that the person who cracked the

joke did not have a historical perspective

of what we inherited and what we have

done. When we took over one year ago,

the roads were very horrible. Many roads

in Owerri were not passable and the

governor promised that once the dry

season sets in he would start fixing them.

The people were patient because it was

during the raining season. All the roads

were bad. If you visited Owerri that time

and visit Owerri now you would see the

remarkable difference. Many roads in

Owerri metropolis have been fixed, they

are all good now and Uzo adigo

mma (the roads are good) in Imo State

now.

We are flagging our one year in office

celebration next week, that’s official

celebration and we are going to

commission not less than 15 roads to

mark the one year in office in addition to

seven other roads commissioned within

seven months in office.

The roads include Douglas Road,

Wetheral road, Akachi Road, Relief

Market Road and Government House

Bank Road among others.

Now these are just some of the roads

but there is something the governor has

done that is not just fixing

these roads. The

government has shown

visionary leadership. Most

of the roads that are going

to be commissioned are

roads that had been

neglected over the years. We

have the Relief Market

Road, for instance. This is a

major market in Owerri and

it has been in a very sorry

state for more than three

years so much that flood

covered the road. People

living along the street had

to pack out because the

road was bad and not

accessible. The road has

been fixed now.

We also have the

Chukuma Nwaoha Road

and Lake Nwaebere Road.

These are roads that

nobody touched for

decades. If you come to

Owerri now you would see

that these roads are looking good now.

These are major strategic roads in

Owerri.

Owerri used to be flooded every rainy

season. Now, the government has

constructed a very mighty drainage that

goes round the city down and ensures that

during the rains you can’t find any flood.

Now, Douglas Road, for instance, was

abandoned for so many years. Douglas

Road has a history. It was named after

the first District Officer of Owerri

District, Sir H.N Douglas. And for Owerri

people, there was a time that was

the only road in Owerri, and later

on Wetheral Road. They were

named after the colonial masters,

so Owerri people are passionate

about the place.

The

previous

administration neglected the road

and at a stage became a dump site

and den of robbers and so on. But

today Douglas Road has not only been

fixed it has been dualised. It is like a

dream come true.

So, what the governor has

concentrated in doing is looking at

those roads in particular that are

important to the people, and had been

neglected over the years. There is

also the Nekede-Ihiagwa Road

that passes through the

Federal Polytechnic and

Federal University of

Technology, Owerri.

That road is a

strategic road

passing through

two higher

institutions.

The day we

went to

inspect the

road, it is one

of the roads that we commissioned, there

was a woman who was so full of joy that

she was dancing and praying for the

governor, saying ‘even if

this is the only thing

you’ll do for Owerri, you

have tried’. This is

because nobody has

thought about that road

since this democracy

started in 1999.

We have also done

We are flagging our one

year in office celebration

next week, that’s official

celebration and we are

going to commission not

less than 15 roads to mark

the one year in office in

addition to seven other

roads commissioned

within seven months in

office

roads linking the rural

areas to the local

g o v e r n m e n t

headquarters. So, in

terms of road

infrastructure the

government has done

extremely well and you

know that the greatest

master strategy he has

come up with is

dualizing and tarring

the Owerri-Orlu Road,

which all previous

administrations had

spent billions, yet it was

never done. A lot of

people had given up on

the road. The road is

regarded by the people of Imo as a curse.

But now, we brought a German

company that is a world class. It is doing

a great job there using modern

technology. Those roads they said they are

not building for maintenance, that when

they finish you don’t need to maintain the

roads in the next 20 years including the

drainage. It is the same with the Owerri-

Okigwe Road.

Both roads, Orlu and Okigwe are

seriously the major vision of the governor.

I can tell you that in terms of road

infrastructure, the governor has done very

well.

In fact, the opposition is shocked and

embarrassed by the level of achievement

because they can’t understand how he is

doing it.

What about the Orlu Road, how far have

you gone?

They are working on the road! They

started at Banana junction and now they

are going far.

Is it only roads that Uzodimma is

focusing on? What about education,

healthcare and other sectors?

One of the major achievements of the

governor is the activation of Otamiri

water scheme. For more than 15 years,

there was no public water in Owerri, the

state capital. Previous administrations

did worst. It was so bad that the Otamiri

water reservoir was at the verge of being

used as fish pound by the then government.

Today, water is running in parts of

Owerri now. But not in all parts of Owerri

because after many years of neglect, so

many things went bad. But at least a

sizeable chunk has started getting public

water supply. With reticulation and

replacement of burst and rust pipes,

within a short time all parts of Owerri

metropolis will get water.

The Adapalm, which was neglected for

more than 20 years, has been reactivated.

Today, Adapalm is working, producing

100,000 tons of palm oil daily. The 600

staff who were laid off because of

redundancy have been recalled and the

oil mill will soon diversify into other

chains that will get their raw materials

from palm oil

We are also going to commission many

classroom blocks with VIP toilets. We are

doing solar-powered boreholes in

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021—15

Okwele, Okigwe. Across the 305 wards of

the state we have constructed solarpowered

boreholes in 20 per cent of the

communities in one year.

We are also commissioning health

centres in different wards. We are also

commissioning the Umuaka Health

Centre, another health centre at Ngor

Okpala, another one in Obiaku, Ohaji

Egbema. We are also commissioning two

market blocks at Amaofuo in Oru West.

It is a harvest of projects.

You said the opposition was surprised

over what you have achieved. Is it the

opposition Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP, opposition within APC or both?

Anybody who goes out to jeopardize

your dreams is an opposition. One can

have opposition within and outside. And

it happens everywhere. Anybody who is

not with you is against you.

Workers have protested, pensioners

also protested over unpaid salaries and

pensions...

The government is not owing any

legitimate worker or pensioner. Everyone

who has been validated has been paid.

Only few people who refused to comply

with the government directives on the

payroll system that has been automated

that are left out. Part of requirement is

one must have a valid BVN that is linked

to your bank, employment history must

not be ambiguous, and then you must have

a letter of employment. When some

brought their BVN, it showed that they

were receiving double and multiple

salaries. Many in this category have not

been validated and they are the ones that

will shout loudest. When National leaders

of the NLC came, we showed them all the

documents, and documents of workers

who refused to come forward. At the end

they were satisfied. The local leader was

ashamed over the outcome because he

was being used by the opposition party.

Those who feel that Governor

Uzodimma stopped the elongation of a

family dynasty in Imo State have never

forgiven him for that. So they are not

happy with the government despite

concrete evidence of achievements.

We have published all verified paid

workers in Imo State. The total workforce

is 42,000, we have paid 41,000 that have

been verified. Total number of pensioners

in Imo is 22,000 and we have paid 21,000

plus. Some of the Imo workers who cannot

prove they are Imo state workers are the

ones we did not pay. These are people

who make noise. Most of the people

who protest are not pensioners

What about security challenge,

what is the government doing

to check insecurity?

To be honest with you, the

opposition should be held

responsible for what happened

in Orlu. They were finding a way

to discredit the government with

misinformation on the social

media. The good news is that

security has been restored in

Orlu. Curfew has been lifted in

the affected local government

areas

The APC in Imo State has big

people but it is obvious they are

not working together with the

•Emelumba

governor. Do you want to

reconcile them or carry on like

they don’t matter?

Everybody matters but one

can take a horse to the river but one can’t

force the horse to drink. But I can tell you

that most of the leaders re back together.

Only a few have not come.

Governor Uzodimma said he would be

another Sam Mbakwe in Imo. What is

he doing to enjoy that status?

He has revived Otamiri water works,

Adapalm. The Otamiri water was

functional during Mbakwe period and

that was the end. It has been revived now.

He is building quality roads and drainage

that are strategic. He has no craving for

estates unlike a former governor that

almost acquired Imo for himself, family

and cronies.

What are the challenges Governor

Uzodimma faced when he took over?

The first challenge when the governor

took over was no hand-over note. But

because of his determination, he was able

to achieve a lot even when there was

nothing in the treasury. Another challenge

was the outbreak of the COVID-19

pandemic.

On the Supreme Court verdict and

whether Governor Uzodimma really

won the election

Well the Supreme Court made it official

that Hope Uzodimma won the election.

Votes from 388 units were excluded from

the result. But because Hope has the

favour of God, he was able to get the

results to be counted and included. The

results from the 388 polling units were

authenticated by INEC as genuine result

because they were signed by party agents.

After all the troubles in tribunal, he won

the election. The people could not have

voted for anybody other than Hope who

saved them from Imo family dynasty. They

owed him that reciprocation. To answer

the question, Hope Uzodimma won the

election in a very free and fair manner.

C

M

Y

K


16—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

We don’t sleep

anymore, Policeman

with quintuplets says

BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI

For Edo state born Deputy

Superintendent of Police (DSP),

Bright Iyobosa Akhimien and his

wife, Joyce, enduring seven tortuous years

of childlessness was a very traumatic

chapter of their life.

When the narrative of tortuous wait

however changed for the couple on

January 12 this year, it came in bittersweet.

Joyce in his early thirties delivered

sextuplets at the BridgeStone Hospital,

Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

“We waited seven years for fruit of the

womb and God settled us once. Another

childbearing isn’t a consideration for us

again. We have to take care of what God

has blessed us with, four boys, one girl.

The girls were two, but we lost one”, DSP

Akhimien, in his early forties recalled.

Given BridgeStone’s reputation as an

IVF center, Vanguard nudged Akhimien

if the couple’s case was medical science

induced. The DSP responded: “Though we

waited for seven years, BridgeStone is not

all about IVF. The medical head, Dr. Eze

who managed my wife’s situation is very

knowledgeable in fertility issues and

many times, he gives corrective treatment

after ascertaining the causative factors

and conception comes naturally. That was

the case with my wife. We got to know that

IVF is so cost intensive, we could not have

afforded it. We don’t have the money. When

we went there, he did some tests, confirmed

the cause of our childlessness and they

placed my wife on treatment. Eventually,

God answered us once.

“Given the disappointments of the past

seven years, when my wife first told me

she was pregnant, I chose not to believe. I

thought it was one of those many stories

we have been used to. It became reality

when I watched the stomach growing.

Based on experience, Dr Eze deliberately

refused to disclose the number of children

we were expecting.

“All he told me was to prepare and have

money. I have seen cases where the

expectant father was told the number of

children being expected from

scan results and as soon as the

woman gave birth the man

would run away. So he simply

told me ‘just go and prepare

for money. Your child is not

just one, this is more than one,

more than two’ “, Akhimien

said.

Recalling the final lap of the

journey to parenthood, he said

“it was inevitable that Joyce

was relieved of the pregnancy

burden through cesarean

delivery. It wasn’t easy for my

wife to have carried such

number of children for first

birth. Carrying one is

difficult, not to talk of six. It

became quite unbearable for

her when the pregnancy was

eight months, she couldn’t

walk properly, her legs were

swollen, she had difficulties

in breathing and eating and

there was the risk of losing

her. It was therefore decided

that the babies had to spend

the remaining month in the incubators.

Acting professionally, even on the day of

the Caesarean Session (CS), Dr Eze never

insisted on the presence of the tensed father

before doing the needful. Eventually, when

I was called that my wife had delivered, I

went to the hospital, saw them and was

grateful to God. I know God is ever

faithful. Whatsoever happened to man is

equal to a man. That’s the belief I have

and that’s what is still keeping me. I am

police DSP, my wife is not doing anything

for now, so everything rests on my

shoulder. The physical and financial

burden have been very challenging ever

•As one stops crying, another takes over

•Enduring tortuous years of childlessness traumatic

•Encourages childless couples to be patient, faithful

•Quintuplets

since. We don’t sleep at night anymore. As

one restless child is keeping quiet, another

one is taking over. I want to thank my

Pastor and his wife as well as members of

my church, Four Square Gospel Church

who have been so

supportive from

the first day. My

colleagues at my

duty post,

especially the

Commander, CSP

Paul Obot have

Given

the

disappointments of the

past seven years, when

my wife first told me she

was pregnant, I chose

not to believe. I thought

it was one of those many

stories we have been

used to

been very

cooperative. At

times while on

duty, and there

were calls from

the hospital, I

would just be

allowed to rush

down. Their

understating has

been a source of

strength for me.”

According to

Vanguard

inquiry, a DSP’s

monthly pay is

slightly above

N150,000, and

with a wife that

is not currently

engaged in any gainful economic

venture, there is no debating that the

Akhimien can’t raise the five children

alone especially from this tender age.

The visibly disturbed police officer

explained, “even the hospital bill, I

have not finished paying. Due to the

magnanimity of Dr Eze, he allowed

us to go home, so we can come and

be offsetting the bill gradually because

the more we stay in the hospital, the higher

the bill as nursing each of the babies in

the incubator everyday cost much.

“Imagine all the five babies in five

different incubators. By the time we were

•DSP Akhimien

and wife, Joyce

•When

NGO, Mother of

Good Counsel

Initiative,

visited at the

hospital to lend

helping hand.

leaving for our home, the bill

had hit over N2.6m. Do you know that a

very magnanimous Dr Eze had to freeze

that bill at a point. Not only that, he

equally slashed N1m from the amount and

allow us to be paying the balance

gradually. He is just God sent, for us”

Much needed help

Because of our financial handicap,

support from well meaning individuals

and bodies have been trickling in. DSP

Akhimien recalled an NGO, Mother of

Good Counsel Initiative which gave him

a cheque of N300,000 on the day they

were leaving the hospital.

“That has really been our major source

of help so far. Friends too would just come

with N2,000, N3,000, N5,000. And

following the first publication in

Vanguard, we have been receiving a good

number of alerts, some N10,000, some

N15,000 and so on. We are really grateful

to Vanguard and believe God will do

more”.

Anticipating Wike’s support

Akhimien said, “I have seen cases where

the woman delivers up to four babies and

government takes over responsibilities. I

believe Governor Nyesom Wike is aware

because officials from the state Women

Affairs Ministry came visiting. I don’t

know why the governor didn’t pay us a

visit or invite us over, but I am just

believing that God who brought them will

definitely take care of them. This blessing

happens to be the first in Rivers, first in

the entire Nigeria Police. It’s a blessing to

Rivers happening at a time Chief Wike is

at the helm of affairs in the state, I expect

he will honour these kids. When something

like this happened in Lagos, the First Lady

of the state went to visit and she helped in

settling the bills. Rivers state is blessed

and I am still calling on other well

meaning Nigerians. Police Officers Wives

Association members came for a visit and

promised coming back, but for now I have

not seen them.”

Advocates endurance, faith

in expert advice

Akhimien then gave word of

encouragement for couples who may be

going through difficulty in bearing

children of their own.

“One thing I want to tell those who are

traveling the tortuous road which my wife

and I passed through is that to pray to

God who is ever faithful as heaven helps

those who help themselves. Any little thing

you take for granted today might become

a problem tomorrow. They shouldn’t look

at anything as simple. They should seek

professional guidance from good

gynecologist and someone

experienced in child

bearing. Even fibroid can

stop couples from child

bearing and that was a

key challenge we found

out. My wife had fibroid

which was the first thing

we dealt with. Today I am

a proud father of five

babies. Just few weeks old,

the babies look so

identical. At this tender

age, they really look alike.

What we had to do was to

place different rubber

bands on their wrists for

easy identification for now.

We know as they grow, the

differences will become

clearer”, the DSP

explained.The babies were

given names rooted in

biblical references during

the naming ceremony

penultimate Saturday.

Akhimien said, “this blessing

came from God, I was not

able to do anything on my

own and to God I totally

give all the glory. So, we

named them Bryan Mark

Ogbekhiulu (solid

foundation); Bright

Junior

Aigbe

(Untouchable); Brown

Gideon Eromosele (prayer

has been answered);

Iziegbe (Endurance)

Bridget Naomi Ebakota

the (togetherness) and

Benjamin Daniel Ojieme

(my king) Okokhere (last

born)

Good spirited individuals

and groups who want to

bless them in these trying

times are enjoined to

assist in cash or kind

through the FCMB

2440848014 account

details of Bright I. Akhimien or contact

DSP Akhimien on 08034253660.

#


Nigeria civil aviation gets world commendation

One of Air Peace’s brand new E195-E2 aircraft

By Lawani Mikairu

Nigeria civil aviation in the last one

week has been receiving world

commendation. The sector which was

rated among those with the highest number of

unserviceable aircraft in the world is suddenly

being seen as one with great potentials on the

Africa continent.

This sudden applause is due to the delivery

of the first of the 13 brand new Embraer E195-

E2 Nigerian Air Peace airline placed order in

April 2019 at the Embraer Business Meeting

at Port Louis, Mauritius. The order include

purchase rights for additional 17 E195-E2 jets.

If fully executed, the contract has a value of

about N640.5 billion naira or $2.12 billion

dollars based on the current price list. Data

from Planespotters.net shows that four more

E195s are already in production in Embraer

factory for Air Peace.

Commenting on the acquisition of the new

Embraer E195-E2 jet by Air Peace in a

statement titled “Air Peace’s First E195-E2 Has

A Groundbreaking Business Cabin”, Mr

Pranjal Pande, a renowned Indian Aviation

writer and commentator said , “ Nigeria’s Air

Peace has taken delivery of its first Embraer

E195-E2 this week. While the delivery of any

new aircraft type is notable, the business cabin

on this E195 is particularly unique, offering

all passengers direct aisle access”.

“Usually, business class on regional jets isn’t

a notable experience, with relatively narrow

seats in a 1-2 or 2-2 configuration. However,

Air Peace’s new E195 fleet shatters this idea of

not having direct aisle for all business

passengers”.

“The carrier has given every passenger direct

aisle access by offsetting each seat from the

one next to it. This allows passengers to enter

and leave their seats without disturbing or

needing to hop over their seat neighbors”

“Registered 5N-BYF, the new E195 marks

the first delivery for Air Peace and the first E2

jet to any African airline. The leading Nigerian

carrier will deploy the aircraft on regional

routes, taking advantage of the plane’s

impressive 2,600 nautical mile range”.

Speaking during the ceremony to receive

the new Embraer aircraft at the Nnamidi

Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the

Brazilian Ambassador to Nigeria,, Mr

Ricardo Guerra de Araujo, said the feat of Air

Peace was a remarkable one for Nigeria and

Africa. He revealed that Air Peace is the “ launch

customer of this aircraft type in Africa”.

The ambassador also expressed optimism

that Air Peace would consider direct flight

between Nigeria and Brazil as it has

demonstrated ability to operate into any

destinations during its evacuation flights at

the peak of coronavirus pandemic.

Explaining why the airline is purchasing 13

of the aircraft type, the chairman of Air Peace

, Barrister Allen Onyema said : “The E195-E2

is the perfect aircraft to expand our domestic

and regional operations. We are aware of the

aircraft’s impressive economic performance

as well as its unique configuration, the major

reasons we placed an order for this aircraft.

“The E195-E2 aircraft will further help us

actualise our ambition of connecting not just

the whole of Nigeria, but the entire African

continent, while feeding long-haul flights from

our Lagos hub.”

“It is also great that we will be the first E2

operator on the African continent. We already

have the ERJ145s in our fleet. So, we

understand the high standards of Embraer

products.

“The E195-E2 aircraft will strengthen Air

Peace’s drive to deploy the right

kinds of planes to under-served

and unserved domestic and

regional routes under its no-cityleft-behind

project.”

Air Peace is now the biggest in

West Africa. The coronavirus

pandemic has , however, slowed

its long-haul ambitions as the

airline already has approval to

operate into Mumbai, India, Tel

Aviv, Israel, London, Houston,

USA amongst others. It currently

operates Lagos – Johannesburg,

South Africa direct route and

Lagos-Sharjah, Dubai, UAE route

which it has just resumed again in February.

Recall the airline had launched the no-cityleft-behind

initiative sometime last year with

scheduled services into Yola, Jos, Minna,

Calabar, Akure, Ibadan, Kebbi, Asaba and

other domestic destinations . The acquisition

of eight Embraer ERJ145 50-seater jets has

helped it to actualise this initiative.

It has also acquired four Boeing777 aircraft

for its international operations into South

Africa, Dubai, and up coming routes like

Beijing, India, London, Israel and the U.S.,

among others. All these acquisition of aircraft

and routes expansion are happening within

the last Six years the airline has operated.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi

Sirika who was a special guest of honour during

the delivery ceremony of the new aircraft at

Abuja Airport commended Air Peace for keying

into the Aviation Roadmap of the federal

government.

According to Sirika, the aviation roadmap

of the current administration encourages

airline operators to buy new aircraft as it was

the right way to go for “a modern commercial

It is also great

that we will be

the first E2

operator on the

A f r i c a n

continent

carrier that wants to compete, survive and

endure”.

He said Nigeria has had its fair share of

airlines using the wrong aircraft type, earning

the nation the bad reputation of being among

countries with the highest number of

unserviceable aircraft.

The Minister said : “We must never forget

that the propensity to fly is determined by the

price of the ticket, and in turn the choice of

equipment. The equipment type determines the

profitability and sustainability of operations.

There is no way an airline that has invested in

the wrong equipment can compete with one

that has new aircraft. A new aircraft is fuelefficient,

requires minimal maintenance, the

low workload on pilots and higher profit; all

of which wrong equipment does not have”.

“I will urge other operators to rethink their

type of equipment for sustenance, following

the example of Air Peace. Air Peace has keyed

into the sectoral roadmap of

aviation and it is commendable.”

Speaking at the Customer

Experience Centre of Embraer

Aircraft Manufacturing

Company in San Jose, Brazil

while receiving Air Peace

inspection team to the factory, Mr.

Francisco Gomes Neto,

Embraer’s Chief Executive

Officer (CEO), said that Air Peace

had made history with the

delivery of the aircraft.

Neto said that the aircraft was

one of the most fuel efficient in

the world with state-of-the-art

equipment, adding that the airline’s engineers

would take delight in the technology, its pilots

would fly the brand with ease, while its

commercial department would appreciate its

economic value.

He noted that Air Peace was the first airline

on the continent to operate the aircraft brand,

stressing that Embraer had consistently

delivered quality airplanes to clients in the past

52 years.

He said: “It’s an honour to welcome the Air

Peace team to Brazil at this time. Air Peace is a

wonderful example of a progressive company,

which has been providing job opportunities

for qualified personnel in the sector.

“Air Peace will be the first airline operator in

Africa to fly the E195 aircraft brand. You are

taking delivery of two of the aircraft brand at

the moment and, while the third would be

delivered before the end of the year (2020).”

“The new 124-seat E2s complement the

airline’s eight 50-seat E145s Air Peace Hopper.

The Embraer fleet will create greater regional

and domestic connectivity from the carriers

Lagos hub. Apart from the 13 195-E2s on firm

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021—17

order, Air Peace has some purchase rights for

17 more of the aircraft,” he said.

Responding during the delivery ceremony

in Abuja, Air Peace chairman, Barrister Allen

Onyema expressed appreciation to President

Muhammadu Buhari, the Aviation Minister

and the National Assembly for creating an

enabling environment for the growth of the

aviation sector through waivers of Value Added

Tax (VAT) and duties for commercial aircraft,

engines and spares.

Onyema said : “The minister threw us the

challenge to acquire new aircraft. That is what

we have achieved today. The brand new aircraft

made it a great day for Nigeria. Those aircraft

will create at least 8000 additional jobs. That

is my joy. At the two-week interval, more aircraft

will start arriving in Nigeria,” he added.

Back in Nigeria, aviation stakeholders have

been celebrating the feat achieved by the

airline.

National Association of Nigeria Travel

Agents, NANTA, President, Mrs Susan

Akporiaye said : “ It is a very good

development. I commend Air Peace on that. I

see the action as Air Peace telling the world

that they are ready to compete in the industry.

I also see them telling the world that they take

safety serious especially in the covid-19 era”.

When asked how the new acquisition will

impact the airline, Akporiaye responded , “

Yes it definitely will. It will enable the airline to

increase their routes and add more fleet on

major routes to better serve their clients and

we hope that the long delays passengers have

been experiencing by Air Peace will be a thing

of the past”.

Also speaking with Vanguard, the immediate

past Secretary General of National Union of

Air Transport Employee, NUATE , Comrade

Olayinka Abiioye commended Air Peace .

Abiioye said : “ Given the current pitiable

situation we have found ourselves in the

industry with the constant embarrassing antics

of AMCON, it is heart warming that Air Peace

is rising to the occasion all the time, soothing

frayed nerves in the industry by improving on

safety, comfort and seamless air movement of

passengers from point A to B”.

“ I am delighted seeing these machines from

Air Peace...we only need to support the airline

by flying with her, encouraging the

Management and Staff and urging

government to create all necessary and

permissible environment for the airline to

thrive and provide same enabling environment

for other start up airlines.”

“ There is dearth of enough aircrafts, which

has ultimately led to flight delays and or

cancellations. With these fuel efficient and

economically viable machines, a new lease is

being brought to fore for passengers and the

sector. It is hoped that Air Peace will also enjoy

patronage from the government and

encouraged with further waivers where

necessary.

Commenting also on the feat of the airline,

Mr Fortune Idu.Chairman Airport Business

Summit said : “ It is very commendable of Air

Peace to continue to increase flights even in

this recession and downturns in the aviation

industry. Bringing in these new aircrafts is a

confidence booster to the stability of the

Nigerian aviation industry and it is a big

incentive to attracting investors into Nigeria

market”.

“ But something must be done to increase

generally local flights and the use of air

transport as most viable mode. So the airline’s

can increase frequency within local routes and

be able to have more passengers and make

profit.”

“ There will always be a great competition

on International route coupled with diplomatic

politics but a vibrant local and sub regional

activity will guarantee a stronge future for the

industry,” he added.

There is a general consensus that a new dawn

is beginning in the Nigeria aviation industry

with Air Peace new acquisition. Others

domestic airline operators will be challenged

to follow the Air Peace example.

AGBEKOYA AND THE YORUBA ARMOURY

Continues from pg 8

Tafa Adeoye had now become Agbekoya’s

most prominent leader and symbol of the

struggle. A folk hero.

In October 1969, chief Obafemi Awolowo

who had recently been released from Calabar

Prison and now Minister of Finance and Vice

Chairman of the Federal executive Council,

had to travel to Akanran Ibadan, to meet with

Tafa Adeoye. Awolowo made a well publicised

trek through the Bush- about Two kilo meters,

and consequent upon this visit, many of the

demands of the Agbekoya were met.

An armistice was reached. The hitherto flat

tax rate of 1 Pound 10 Shillings increased to 8

Pounds, by the Adebayo Government, was

reduced to (£2)Two Pounds a year.

An amnesty for tax defaulters was declared

and Agbekoya members were soon out,

helping local tax officials in the task of

collection.

Policewoman seduces Tafa

Adeoye; he falls like biblical

Samson

The Adebayo Government, still baffled at

the enormity of Tafa Adeoye’s power, and

needed to arrest him, to find out the myth

surrounding his power. In plotting these, a

pretty Police detective was detailed to get the

job done. She was an Inspector of Police. She

approached Tafa, who was reputed to be all

charms, to make friends with him.

The war lord fell in love with this pretty lady

and “married” her. A trap was set and appeared

to have caught a big prey. After two weeks of

the dalliance, romance and “marriage”, plain

clothes Police men stormed Tafa Akanran’s

residence, and arrested him, for the offence of

organising tax agitation against the

government.

This perhaps may sound like the popular

Samson and Delilah story in the bible.

Delilah, a beautiful lady had seduced

Samson, (a soldier chosen by God to destroy

the Philistines); in order to know the secret of

his strength and destroy him.

After Tafa Adeoye’s arrest, Lasisi Lalekan

Akekaaka, his second in command, was

invited to the government secretariat Ibadan,

to attend a meeting of Yoruba groups who

had assembled to find solutions, that would

ensure a lasting peace. Akekaaka’s, followers

escorted him as usual to this meeting.

His followers were hailing him, to the

annoyance of soldiers, who had prevented

them from following their leaders.

To ensure orderliness, a soldier guard,

slapped one of the Agbekoya boys.

The Agbekoya boy slapped him back,

because he felt he should not be treated like a

common criminal, and also when he did not

fight with him.

The soldier felt embarrassed that a civilian

slapped him, and he brought out his gun and

he shot at the Agbekoya boy about five times,

but nothing happened to the boy. The bullets

could not just penetrate.

In Yoruba land, in the midst of warfare,

any object could be commanded to serve a

different purpose.

In 1983 in Akure, as an aftermath of the

election of Michael Ajasin of the UPN and

Michael Omoboriowo of the NPN, the people

of Ondo State and Akure felt cheated by the

unjust announcement and declaration of Akin

Omoboriowo as the winner of the

gubernatorial election.

They went on rampage and caused mayhem

and violence. Properties were destroyed. The

buildings of Chief Agbayewa and Hon.

Olaiya Fagbamigbe were burnt to ashes, when

a piece of egg, was thrown at their houses and

the eggs became a combustible instrument.

Some mobile police officers deployed to quell

the violence, found it difficult to put off their

clothes.

Conventionally, and in science, a

combustible material is something that could

easily be ignited and burned, but an egg had

served this purpose in the Akure Crises.

. Tafa Adeoye, despite being captured by the

luscious power of women, like in the Samson

and Delilah story, still remains, a folk hero of

the Agbekoya struggle. May his soul and those

of his comrades who rescued the Western

Region from unjust taxation, continually find

peaceful repose with the Lord.

Article by-

Hon (Barr) Femi Kehinde

Former Member, House of

Representatives

National Assembly Abuja, representing

Ayedire/Iwo/Ola-Oluwa Federal

Constituency of Osun State, (1999-2003)

&

Principal Partner

Femi Kehinde & Co (Solicitors)

Ibadan, Lagos and Abuja.


18—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

On February 2, I decided to go to

Ladipo Market, Lagos, to pick

up a few items for my vehicle.

The weather was dull, but I just felt it

was making shakara; this is early

February; it will not rain, I assured

myself. When I got there, the spare part

sellers swooped on my vehicle. I

surveyed the nine of them, none had a

face mask on. “All these young men, no

be me una go endanger im life,” I said

to myself. I gestured to them to put on

their face masks before I unwound my

glass. When I did, they all chorused, Oga,

no Corona Virus here; Corona Virus no

dey. “A virus that has knocked down some

of my friends and relatives and killed two

of them?” I asked them. But they were

not interested in arguments or a debate,

neither was I. I went there to sort out a

couple of items, while they were only

interested in making sales.

Not long after the heavens opened, the

rain was so ferocious that the canopy we

took refuge under offered very little

protection. I was drenched. But my major

worry was that as the rain hit us

ferociously in the crowded canopy, some

of the traders removed

their face masks and were

talking loudly to avoid

their voices being drowned

by the sound of the rain.

What if the heavy winds

carried droplets of their

saliva into my face and the

rain water washed them

down my eyes, nose and

mouth? I asked myself.

When I left Ladipo, I

headed straight home

instead of the office. I

peeled off every clothing

item I had on and gave

myself a hot bath. I went

through my other COVID-

19-prevention rituals

before going back to the

office.

Two days later, I travelled

out of Lagos by air. COVID-19 protocols

were observed at the airport terminal

alright, but once we came out of the

terminal, there was no social distancing

in the bus that took us to the tarmac. There

was also no social distancing in the

Give it to women, they came into

the world with so much power

that many men in power are just

tools used efficiently to achieve the heart

desires of their wives and mistresses. I am

about to reveal this top-secret about the

big party loading at the Villa on Valentine

Day.

I got a call from Kogi State governor,

Yahaya Bello, GYB, the man with the latest

swag in town. At the end of it, Mr. Governor

apologized saying it was a mistake, that

he did not know how his fingers pressed

the wrong number. However, I got a full

gist.

Some very powerful Nigerian women are

planning to surprise President

Muhammadu Buhari tomorrow, Sunday

February 14, 2021 with a Valentine bash.

Honestly, I think Mr. President deserves

this party. The wahala in the country is too

much.

The only man these women let into their

secret is the Poster Boy in Kogi because

according to them, Bello is one member of

the opposite sex they can trust at the

moment. The governor sure knows how to

honour women.

The Kogi State governor is the only one

with a female Aide de Camp (ADC). The

police officer, Ifeoma Iwanger Akaya, is

also a lawyer. The Secretary to the State

Government, Folashade Ayoade- Arike, is

female. Another feminine touch is Head of

Service, Deborah Ogunmola.

Bello’s Media Adviser, Petra Onyegbule,

as well as Vice Chairmen of all the 21 Local

Government Councils in Kogi are women.

The governor went ahead to put finishing

touches to the Valentine Plan. It is like

Women Affairs minister, Paulen Tallen, is

deeply involved.

After the event planners confided in the

governor that they had reached out to about

four governors, two ministers and one

former minister to sponsor the party, Bello

asked them to read out the names.

Governors Kayode Fayemi, Bello

Matawalle, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

and Nasir El- Rufai could have sent their

We have an

obligation to

ourselves and those

around us, first of all,

to keep Corona

Virus at bay using

your face mask,

washing and

sanitising our hands

as often as we can

Life in COVID-19 era

economy section of the plane, where

I sat. We were tightly packed like in

pre-Corona Virus time. The return trip

was the same. A thought just ran

through my mind. Once you are out

of your house, the probability of

getting infected is elevated. But

“hafordu” (what do I do)? Lock myself

up like a recluse until Coro goes

away? Never. Moreover, this angel

of death does not

look like a visitor that

is in a hurry to go.

We have to learn to

live with it. I will

continue to live my

life, moving around

and travelling when

absolutely necessary,

but now with utmost

caution.

The stories coming

out of isolation

centres are gory and

very unnerving. “We

were five in the

room, only me came

out alive,” “for days,

I couldn’t breathe. It

was like someone

was suffocating me.”

Just before I started

writing, I spoke with

my friend, who just came out of

isolation. He said some of his co-

COVID-19 patients had no strength

to eat or have their bath. They had to

be fed and bathed like babies. Some

could not pooh on their own since it

Valentine day with Buhari

widow’s mite. Foreign Affairs minister,

Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of State

for Health, Adeleke Mamora and

former Minister of Agriculture and

President of the Africa Development

Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina made it too.

All of them were born in February.

Bello then drew up a list of women

that will manage the Valentine Party.

The Committee, headed by former

Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Sarah

Sosan, is loaded. Senators Betty Apiafi

and Akon Eyakenyi are also there. All

these women were born in February.

Eyakenyi, a minister during the

Goodluck Jonathan years will serve as

Secretary of the Committee because

she also has the distinction of winning

a senatorial seat on February 25, 2019,

a day after her birthday.

The women have resolved not to

allow any other man into Aso Villa

tomorrow. I have also received

messages from anonymous sources

that on no account should Information

Minister Lai Mohammed be informed

because they do not need a press

briefing yet.

These Valentine Coup plotters mean

business. They got in touch with Dr.

Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala who has a date

on February 15, concerning her World

Trade Organisation application. She

could drain the little oxygen left in

their system and lead to their death.

So such patients were taken into the

toilet with their oxygen masks and

cylinders. He was lucky because he

had no underlying ailment, so his

recovery was faster. He met and left

many patients in the isolation centre.

Some died while he was there. The

hardest hit were patients with

underlying ailments like diabetes,

asthma and high blood pressure,

according to him.

How many people in their 50s or

more are without at least one of these

ailments? That is why we are a very

vulnerable group. We have to be on

our guard. Our first task is to keep

COVID-19 at bay. Use face mask,

wash and sanitise regularly and

keep safe distance. The first two are

very easy because we are solely

responsible for observing them. But

keeping safe distance always is

tough. Some of our people are just

impossible. Let us even start from

the church. The rule is that three

people should occupy a pew. But

some people will come late to church

and sit on the space between the

three people already seated. A

mother of three little children will

come late and take over the one

space left in a pew. By the time he

fixes her three little children in the

spaces meant to keep social

distance, the pew will have six

people. If you insist that they

observe the COVID-19 prevention

will be watching on her phone from

the United States.

I have an idea what the party will

look like. Buhari needs to

unwind. The women say

the men have failed

everyone. Bello was not

listening when I heard this.

And that is why they have

fenced off all male

intruders. Deputy

Superintendent of Police,

Akaya, is coming along

with a squadron of Mobile

Policewomen to mount

tight security.

President Buhari is

human too. He needs to be

shown some love.

Everytime, he is

innundated with stories of

Shekau and head hunting,

Nnamdi Kanu’s tales from

Sudan and now, Sunday

Igboho and his Ibarapa

otapiapia.

Trust our women. They

have made arrangements

for Yemi Alade and Tiwa

Savage to perform for our president.

Funke Akindele will bring Jenifa. I

understand Patience Ozokwor was in

Minna to discuss with Dr. Babangida

Aliyu on the possibility of bringing

protocols, they can create a scene.

I narrated my experience at Ladipo above.

When I went to Lagos Island, the story was

not different. A young man, without face

mask was virtually in my face. I roared before

he brought his face mask out of his pocket.

The traders tell you boldly in every market

that there is nothing like Corona Virus. Is it

that none of them has suffered from the virus

or died as a result Corona Virus

complications? Have the harsh conditions

under which they operate strengthened their

immune system and made them to be

immune from the virus. They observe no

COVID-19 protocols, yet they go about their

daily lives unencumbered by health

challenges. Are some of them dying of

Corona Virus without knowing the cause of

death?

Whatever be the case with the traders,

COVID-19 is real. It has taken many people

from us tragically and we have no guarantee

that it will not take some more people. It has

created an army of orphans, widows and

widowers. You can reduce the numbers by

observing all the necessary protocols,

especially if you, like me, must continue to

go out. But it is not about you only. What

about your driver, who takes public transport

to your house every day? What about your

domestic staff you send to the crowded

market? What about your children who go to

school from the house every day? Some of

the people who died from complications

resulting from Corona Virus never left their

homes; it was brought to them by domestic

staff and members of their households, who

go in and out of the house. Just one slip or

inadvertently letting down their guards and

that was it. Some did not even know how

they got it.

We have an obligation to ourselves and

those around us, first of all, to keep Corona

Virus at bay using your face mask, washing

and sanitising our hands as often as we can.

If you feel exposed, like I felt after leaving

Ladipo, give yourself a thorough bath, and

if you have COVID-19 regimen, go through

it. Unfortunately, some of these regimens are

unorthodox and usage is not widespread.

They are not also recommended in hospitals.

Recently, we had a good laugh with a medical

doctor, who believes in and uses one of those

traditional regimens for COVID-19

prevention, but does not recommend it for

his patients. Africans floundered where the

Chinese were spot on long ago: alternative

medicine. Sad.

those Fulani maidens that animated PDP

rallies with their waist dance.

Someone just whispered to me that Joan

Okorodudu and her House of Isis have

delivered Mr. President’s red Valentine T-shirt

with the inscription : ‘ Omnia Vincint Amor’ (

Love Conquers All). Joan, the first Nigerian

female 400 metres Hurdles Champion will be

glad to hear that Buhari was a Marathon

champion as an Army cadet.

Under such a relaxed atmosphere, the women

will tell Mr. President that the price of garri

has gone up again and again. They will beg

him to stop fuel price hike. They will let him

know that children cannot feed three times

daily and their parents have lost their jobs.

It was because of Salome and her mother,

Herodias that Herod Antipas beheaded John

the Baptist. Esther caused King Xerxes to spare

Mordecai and hang

Haman. The leaders

were in party mode.

So our women know

what to tell our

President at the Aso

Villa Valentine ball.

The biggest surprise

The women say the

men have failed

everyone. Bello was

not listening when I

heard this. And that

is why they have

fenced off all male

intruders.

will be the arrival of

First Lady Aisha. Her

birthday is just four

days away, February

17. I am sure all the

katakata in the

country made it

difficult for Oga and

Madam to enjoy Val’s

Day. President Buhari

is someone’s

Valentine. Let’s give

them a chance.

I hope Alhaji Lai will

not lie me down in

court. This is not fake

news. Don’t mind me.

I took just one bottle of

burukutu and found myself in Lokoja. I saw

governor Yahaya Bello dressed in Ishiagu

(Tiger Head) Igbo attire and he told me he was

driving to Aso Villa. Then I woke up. I was

dreaming all along.


C

M

Y

K

You don’t drop an egg and lament

that it is broken’. Those were the

words of the late Tanzanian

President, Mr Julius Nyerere to me

during an interview. Although they were

said in a different context, the words

sometimes come to me when I think of

the socio/economic situation of our

country. We all lament the state of

insecurity in the country today. We

should have seen it coming because we

planted the seed, watered the soil, and

nurtured the plant of insecurity that has

now grown into a giant tree with roots

and branches in every corner of the

country. We were careless with the

fragile shell containing vital issues that

make for progress and security. We

shouldn’t lament now that it is

shattered. We dropped the egg.

I grew up in a country, or part of a

country where some things were deemed

more prestigious than wealth. Things

like character, integrity, dignity, decency

and lineage. Especially lineage because

keeping a family name unsoiled was

deemed important. A person with these

qualities was called an ‘Omoluabi’. The

English word ‘Gentleman’ approximates

but doesn’t quite describe it. Omoluabi

is more encompassing. It was what every

Yoruba person wanted to be. This person

may or may not be wealthy. But they

would be respected because there would

always be an aura of respect around

them. And they would be regarded

higher than a wealthy but cantankerous

person. Growing up, money was

respected but was not deified. The route

to wealth for my people was through

hard work and diligent application of

acquired skills. ‘Ise ni ogun ise.’

Meaning hard work is the medicine

against poverty. Discipline was key.

Accountability was key. Tolerance was

key. Respect was largely earned on these

platforms along with native

intelligence, and not on wealth. The

Nigeria I grew up in was not rich. But it

didn’t matter much because aspirations

were low and therefore manageable.

Nobody needed – or wanted - an account

in the Cayman Islands or a house in the

South of France for example. More

importantly, jobs were available for

those willing to work, shelter was

available for everyone who was not

discriminatory, food was available for

anybody willing to till the land and theft

of any kind was a scarce commodity.

If you were hungry, what would you do?

Thieves were limited to those who stole

petty things. It is also important to state

that they were ostracised if caught not

withstanding their religion or tribe.

If we were introspective enough, we

would know when rain started beating us.

For me, it started when the

military took over power.

The coups and counter

coups that led to the Civil

War took their toll. They

stretched the fragile rope

that tried to bind us; they

questioned the tenuous

basis of our existence. They

also supplied small arms

that were not mopped up

into the society. It is

arguable if we ever

executed any ‘Project

Nigeria’ with deep sincerity

or unity of purpose after the

coups. Then came the

arbitrary dismissal of top

Civil Servants which left

hitherto powerful officers

homeless and disoriented.

This taught those who

succeeded them the

inescapable lesson that

diligence and competence

didn’t matter much to the

new bosses and that they

needed to make hay during

the sunshine of their tenure.

Especially when they saw

how the khaki boys were taking care of

themselves. Although the Military came

as corrective, it actually worsened the

situation it met. It probably didn’t know

any better. Like Peter’s Principle, it had

promoted itself above its level of

competence. The Military of the fifties

SATURDAY Vanguard, , FEBRUARY 13, 2021—19

and sixties was not the profession the best

brains in the country flocked to at the

time. This showed when it found itself in

governance. The swagger and brashness

that accompanied their governance style

probably hid a deep seated inferiority

complex. Its early

disdain for

intellectuals and

c a r e e r

professionals

might have

Growing up,

money was

respected but was

not deified. The

route to wealth for

my people was

through hard work

and diligent

application of

acquired skills.

stemmed from

this. Besides, its

c o m m a n d

structure didn’t

lend itself to a

robust discussion

of policies let

alone dissent. The

result was the

enunciation of

some policies and

directives which

were ill thought

out. The result was

that Military kings

often danced

naked in the public

square without

anybody daring to

correct them. The

end result was a

building – the

Nigerian buildingwithout

proper

foundation.

In spite of the huge amount of oil money

that flowed into the country from the 70s,

critical infrastructures were neglected.

Man power development was neglected.

We refused, or were too incompetent to

see the red flag when multi-nationals

started leaving the country in droves. The jobs

were shrinking yet we were breeding like

rabbits while living like barons. How, with

the best of intentions, would a family rear

ten or more children without a couple of them

falling into bad ways? Our population moved

from about 60 million at independence to

about 200 million today without the requisite

infrastructure and jobs to take care of the

surging population. It meant we deliberately

bred children who were destined to be

disadvantaged due to inadequate provisions

for their future. We grew a youthful

population which witnessed the profligate

lifestyle of its parents, left it to fend for itself

and we are surprised it has turned to crime.

This is not an excuse for crime but if you

were a hungry and jobless youth what would

you do? Especially in a country where high

crimes and misdemeanours are rife in public

places; where accountability is low, hard

work is scoffed at and money has become a

god to be worshiped.

The Military committed many sins in

government but the greatest sin to my mind

is the loss of values it bequeathed to the

country. Those things that make ‘an

Omoluabi’ are all but gone. Everything we

touch is compromised and corrupted. Which

is why we now have some professional

doctors colluding with touts to compromise

the integrity of our COVID 19 tests and

endangering the same lives they swore an

oath to save. The Military also lowered the

entry bar into governance. Compare the

quality of those running the country today to

those who were at independence. Governance

is now an all comers affair. Yet the country

has the human and material resources to turn

the country around in five years maximum if

the system would allow it. Instead, we prefer

to wallow in mediocrity and corruption.

When you are in a hole like we are, you

should stop digging. We should stop

borrowing. We are only encouraging a false

lifestyle which would further increase

insecurity. We need to reduce the cost of

governance drastically and use the money

for productive ventures. The low hanging

fruits include agriculture and agro-allied

industries. We need to raise the bar and bring

character, competence and accountability

into governance. We need to have an

enforceable population policy to stop

irresponsible breeding. We need to stop the

deification of money and reduce the gap

between the very poor and the very rich.

Otherwise we would continue to have hungry,

angry youths who will not allow us walk the

streets at noon or sleep at night.

At the time he died last Thursday,

Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande,

LKJ was undoubtedly the role

model for good governance with

legacies spread around Lagos.

So impactful was his touch on society

that ahead of the 1983 election that

those plotting to rig the election in some

Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN controlled

states knew better not to touch Lagos.

That was essentially given the

phenomenal imprints he had put on the

ground in his first term.

The memory of LKJ and some of his

colleagues in the Second Republic

refreshes the ideological orientation of

the political class of that era.

Jakande’s UPN had its four cardinal

programmes of rural integrated

development, free compulsory

education at all levels, full employment

and free health for all.

Jakande by

and large

pursued these

programmes

and even more.

It is remarkable

that one of the

legacies he is

b e s t

remembered for

is housing which

significantly

was not among

the UPN’s

c a r d i n a l

programmes.

But through the

Jakande Estates

dotted around

the then rural

areas of Lekki,

Ajah, Mile Two

and so, the

programme of

rural-urban

integration was

driven.

One of the

operatives of the

Sarumi camp was

one Mr. Bola Ahmed

Tinubu who at that

time in the late

eighties had not too

long ago just retired

as an executive with

Mobil Oil.

While the UPN governors pursued

their platforms with gusto, the National

Party of Nigeria, NPN was also known

to have pursued its programme of

housing for all with a similar gusto. The

federal administration built and

Why Jakande and Tinubu didn’t

get along

commissioned housing estates around the

country known as Shagari houses.

The competition by the UPN and the

NPN to deliver on their platforms was a

healthy competition that helped to further

development.

None of the five civilian

governors who followed

matched him in the delivery

of democracy dividends to

the electorate.

But for a man with such

veritable legacies on

ground, it is remarkable

that he died a diminished

political entity. It is

doubtful if he could have

weighed influence in the

election of his councilor in

Ilupeju after 1999.

Though he was a member

of the All Progressives

Congress, APC, the party

apparently did not bother to

associate with him.

Jakande did not come

into the political terrain as

many others. He came well

prepared after a successful

stint as a journalist and

newspaper manager.

Having associated with Chief Obafemi

Awolowo from the fifties, he was part of

the inner caucus who prepared the policy

framework for the UPN during the preregistration

meetings that regularly took

place at Awolowo’s residence at Apapa.

By the time the party was registered and

he was eventually elected as governor,

Jakande went on to enunciate

programmes and projects that defined his

legacy. Perhaps one project which will

continue to haunt many in the APC is the

abandonment of the metro line.

At the flag off of the project in July 1983,

Jakande who was not given to selfadulation

was reported to have said that

the metro line project was one that

generations in 100 years’ time would

thank his administration for.

However, six months later, he was out of

office after the Muhammadu Buhari coup

and the project was scuttled albeit with

great financial cost on Lagos State. The

military government ‘diagnosed’ it as a

white elephant project.

Had that metro line project been

allowed to proceed, not only would it have

addressed today’s transportation chaos in

Lagos, it would also have shone as an

example worthy of emulation by other

parts of the country.

Indeed, given his success as governor

even while still in office, the idea of

Jakande succeeding Awolowo began to

crystalise and he began to be called Baba

Kekere.

After Awolowo’s death in 1987, and as

the country edged towards the Third

Republic, Jakande had become about the

most prominent political personality in

Lagos State.

His choice of his faithful adherent, Femi

Agbalajobi over Dapo Sarunmi to be

candidate of the Social Democratic Party,

SDP for the Lagos State Governorship

Election of 1990 tore the progressive

camp asunder.

Sarumi with the heavy money and backed

by the Gen. Musa Shehu Yar‘Adua tendency

fought Jakande/Agbalajobi to standstill

within the SDP. It was a battle of wits that

ended in a war of mutual destruction.

One of the operatives of the Sarumi camp

was one Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu who at that

time in the late eighties had not too long ago

just retired as an executive with Mobil Oil.

In the end, the military regime intervened

and both Agbalajobi and Sarumi were

removed from the contest. In the repeat

primary, Yomi Edu who was regarded as a

product of the Sarumi tendency emerged as

a candidate.

His choice of Awolowo’s daughter, Mrs.

Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu was seen as a

sop to Jakande and the Agbalajobi tendency.

However, it was flatly rejected.

Jakande then decided to show his control

of the Lagos political field in the main

election between the SDP’s Edu and the

National Republican Convention’s

candidate of Otunba Michael Otedola.

Despite having complete control of the

State House of Assembly, the SDP in the main

election massively lost the governorship

office to the NRC’s candidate.

That was because on election eve, the

Jakande tendency spread out the word to

vote Otedola instead of Edu.

By showing his political strength and savvy

he showed that he was the supremo in the

progressives’ camp. But many apparently

never forgave him. One of those who

apparently never forgave him was that young

operative, Mr. Tinubu who was at that time

at the beck and call of Sarumi.

Later as governor, Tinubu kept his distance

from Jakande despite the phenomenal

programmes and projects of the LKJ years.

Another spot on Jakande’s glorious political

sojourn was his adventure into the Sani

Abacha government. Though he entered the

government as was agreed by Yoruba elders

and performed creditably as secretary of

housing development, he along other Yoruba

elders when asked to leave rejected the call.

That was what drew the curtain to an

eventful political swagger across Lagos. He

lived on, however, till last Thursday. But his

legacies dotted around Lagos and the men

and women he raised through institutions he

created will even endure more.


20—SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY13, 2021

Achild in an adult body.

Nigerian politics is a rotten salad.

And it’s awful because many of our

politicians are rancid condiments, players with

shallow consciences in crucial roles.

The central issue is the absence of

accountability. Evil actions and vile words can

be thrown. The politician is free to push the

country to ruin. No criminal sanctions. No

social sanctions. Gifted with such impunity, the

politician sees the public as a toy—Lego pieces.

And politics is reduced to an exercise in reckless

self-indulgence, an enterprise governed by

shallowness and opportunism. With that state

of affairs, the average politician regresses in

thought and becomes a babbling child in an Femi emi F

adult body. When the child steps out in the adult

body, navel-gazing becomes his preoccupation

and vainglory an ideal.

For six years, Fani Kayode struggled to shred

the country. Everywhere he thought

inflammable, he lit and threw a match. The

child’s party lost in 2015, so he began stomping

around. He swore the APC was an Islamic party,

the vehicle for an imminent Fulani enslavement

and subsequent Islamisation of the Christian

south and middle belt. He punctuated his fables

with bible verses, and many believed him.

Today, beloved Fani Kayode, oracle of the

living God, dreams of backsliding into the

bosom of the Almajiri People’s Congress. He

has flirted with the “Islamists” to the extent that

Gov Yahaya Bello announced his full

hold the country

Islamization.

together, the

I like Fani Kayode. He is a shining example

Sadauki is now

masquerading a

of a Nigerian politician. Received good

bridge-builder.

education in England but lacking in basic

Femi Fani

civility. Gifted with a smart tongue but deficit

in sobriety. Loud and emotional, he knows

Kayode is one of

where the fault lines are. He is the sort of fellow

the folks who

you will want in your camp when everything

think the public

is perpetually

has come down to gutter sniping. He has an

a s l e e p ,

infinite capacity to brainwash the gullible but

perpetually

has little interest in articulating developmental

ideas. Perfect.

under the spell of

Politicians love agberos. Because they

their smart

believe people have to be bullied.

tongues, or

totally amnesic.

Sophisticated agberos may not have the

Fani Kayode is a

capacity for physical violence but they can do

60-year-old

incitement, generate alternative reality.

Nuisance value is value. Nuisance is

child who

particularly of great importance in Nigerian

politics, where politicians lack self-belief and

live make-believe. Fani Kayode is a

consummate rabble-rouser. The country is filled

with the excitable rabble. So do not be surprised

that Femi Fani Kayode, despite his glaring and

crippling moral handicaps, switches parties at

will and marches straight to the pulpits.

When Fani Kayode abandoned his gospel of

Yes, I was checking how Covid-19

has affected education in

Germany when I espied this: “MSC

Postponed Indefinitely, As Global

Partners Applaud Nigeria’s Military

Change of Guard.” MSC stands for

Munich Security Conference which

was planned for February 19 – 21 but

was postponed due to Covid-19

pandemic. This summit of global

politicians and experts to discuss

defence and security policies was

expected to be American President Joe

Biden’s debut on the international

stage. The story, written by Steepen

Claren, and dated February 1, 2021,

gave me my first glimpse of how global

experts rated the recent change of

Nigeria’s security chiefs and Nigeria’s

global security importance.

It read in part:”Some of the would–

be participants who spoke through

virtual platforms have reached

consensus on major issues that affect

global security challenges, also

applauded Nigeria’s President

Muhammadu Buhari replacement of

the Nigeria’s service chiefs in a bid to

(re-address) the country’s security

challenges.

The new Chief of Defence Staff

(CDS), General Leo Iraboh is a

decorated soldier and competent hand,

same with Major-General Ibrahim

Attahiru as Chief of Army Staff; Rear

Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo as

Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice

Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao as Chief

of Air Staff.

However, the retention of Major-

General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) as

the National Security Adviser elicited

prompt response from Nigeria’s

international partners.

Pentagon and State Department

officials expressed delight and

confidence that the new team will in

partnership with all regional and

international partners forge a better

response to challenges particularly in

the Sahel.

We are happy to continue working

with Gen. Monguno, a team player

soldier, scholar and highly efficient

emi Fani-K

ani-Kayode: The

epitome of Nigerian politics

imminent Foolanization and submitted

his head to a Zamfara Emir to be turbaned,

I knew new mischief was afoot. The new

Sadauki of Shinkafi has not disappointed.

He has left millions of primed secessionseeking

Igbo youths and eloped to that camp

of the jihadists in the zoo in the interest of

national unity.

After setting fires

on all the

structures that

Babagana Monguno; This is

your chance

•Gen. Monguno

Six months later, Fani

Kayode wants to

become a member of

the political wing of

Boko haram in the

interest of national

unity

spends a sizable

portion of his

time fantasizing

about his late

father’s greatness. If Femi Fani Kayode has

indeed come to any repentance, he must

come before the public with remorse. He

must recount his sins and forsake them. He

must admit his trespasses, diabolically

defamatory commentaries and demonic

Officer.”

A Senior E U official said Monguno

enjoys immense respect and has built

extensive security and intelligence

contacts globally.

We like working with him on all

facets of global security challenges,

from terrorism, narco trafficking to

fake drugs and narcotic,” a senior

official with India’s RAW told

newsplusview.”

As sign of Nigeria’s President’s

delights with the performance of his

security adviser, recently, President

Buhari directed him to coordinate and

speeches. He must confess his bigotry and

denounce it. He must disown megalomania.

In 2017, President Buhari took ill and flew

to London. Men of goodwill wished him a

speedy recovery. Evil men wished him death.

Weeks later, depraved people said he had

died in London. After the president returned

to office, Femi Fani Kayode

took to his megaphone to

announce that a corpse was

ruling over Nigeria. And he

labeled the system of

government in Nigeria as a

“Corpocracy.” Fani Kayode

exhausted himself poisoning

the minds of the people

against the president and his

party. Today Fani Kayode,

apparently driven by 2023

calculations, has abandoned

the young minds he poisoned

with corpsocratic sermons

and revelations. He seeks to

immerse himself in the

corpsocratic communion

in the interest of national

unity.

Fani Kayode’s tweets in the

last five years are mostly

unprintable. I will reproduce

one of them in the interest of

political accountability. On

the 19th of September 2019,

at 5.51 am, Fani Kayode,

perhaps after his morning devotion, dug

deep into the gutter and tweeted an

obscenity.

“If the short man doesn’t resign within 6

months, they will soon be sending him to

formulate a holistic approach to

stem the tide of the resurgent

banditry, illegal mining in the

Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina

corridor– states in the North-Western

region of the country— that has

continued to cost lives and the

displacement of thousands of

families from their towns and

villages.

The US Special Envoy for the

Sahel, Ambassador J. Peter Pham

and panelists from Global Coalition

members, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea,

Nigeria, acknowledged and

applauded Monguno’s efforts and

Nigeria’s roles in the fights against

terrorism in the sub-region at

providing key perspectives on

evolution of ISIS affiliates and their

troubling activities in West Africa.

While Nigeria and the USA are

committed to lead global coalition

against ISIS and other terrorist

groups, the challenges of global

terrorism had negatively impacted

on the economy, polity and

livelihoods of people as evident in

the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin and

parts of the North-Eastern Nigeria.”

Yes, the article reminded me of the

service chiefs’ removal call, and that

nobody excoriated NSA Monguno

in that lengthy national blame

game.

wash toilets. U came in on the same ticket, U

sold your soul, U betrayed ur people, ur tribe, ur

region, and ur faith and you sucked ur boss’

rectum for four yrs! Look at what you got in return.

Shame on you!”

That was the 60-year-old Cambridge lawyer,

child of the living God blessing the vice president.

The owner of the rectum referred to in the tweet

is President Buhari.

Many say every reprobate can switch parties

because no one can stop anybody from joining

any party. Yes, I agree. They also say that

politicians say many ugly things, which if held

against them, there would be no politics. I agree

too.

But if we allow politicians to get comfortable

inciting division and violence when throwing

tantrums, angling for chunks or crumbs, we will

ruin the country. If we encourage politicians to

forgo moderation in speech and action by

rewarding political arsonists with recognition

and prominence, we will destroy society.

Take Governor Wike, for instance. I like him

too. A bold and courageous man, isn’t he? One of

the strongest opposition politicians today. Brash,

crude, and vocal too. But he has been restrained

in publicly describing the ruling party as a Fulani

party or a vehicle for Islamisation. He has thrown

innuendos, but he hasn’t encouraged secession.

Wike isn’t the best model. But even that

comparison throws bold relief on Femi Fani

Kayode’s degeneration. Now compare Fani

Kayode against Okowa. Let’s not go there.

It is true defections have become routine in

Nigerian politics. Good and bad products have

defected for genuine and comical reasons. Only

two years ago, Fani Kayode thought defectors

were prostitutes, cowards, and traitors. Six months

ago, Dogara defected to the APC. Femi Fani

Kayode went loose on him.

“I am convinced that the former Speaker has

been put under a Luciferian spell and is the victim

of some form of a demonic ritual, voodoo, and

witchcraft. I expect nothing less from the APC

because that is their stock in trade. They are a

party whose leaders are well versed in the black

arts, the occult, and sorcery.”

Six months later, Fani Kayode wants to become

a member of the political wing of Boko haram

in the interest of national unity. He wants to taste

the rectum of Buhari. He wants to help Osinbajo

wash toilets in Aso Villa.

Some say the shameless live better lives. They

have no scruples. Fani Kayode is a sense living

the life. Igbos say if you want to eat a toad, then

eat the juicy ones. Fani Kayode is smart. He is

swallowing giant toads. Well done, my brother

in Christ. You are the best player. Have fun.

My hope is, the public sees and learns.

Now, dear NSA, President

Mohammadu Buhari has appointed a

new set of Service Chiefs. Now your time

has come. You now have the opportunity

to prove your worth. How do I really put

it to you, dear General? Do you love

music? I bet you do, for I see you, even

from afar, as this urbane dude, a real

Lagos boy who attended Kings College,

Lagos, when that school really meant

something. You are from Bornu state, but

it must stand for something that you

speak the three main Nigerian

languages, and have emerged tops at all

levels of your military education. As

Nigerians have been demanding for a

new security architecture, it may be just

right that a real architect (yes, you hold

a PhD in Architecture from the United

Kingdom as I gleaned online) should be

the one to produce that much-needed

security architecture.

And if it is true that you are somehow

related to Alhaji Shettima Ali Monguno,

a Minister in the Federal Government

during the past 1960s-70s era, the line

from our National Anthem “the labours

of our heroes past shall never be in vain”

should mean a lot to you.

You may remember Simon and

Garfunkel’s BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED

WATER music track. Please, could you

be that sort of bridge to Nigeria and

Nigerians? Remember the lyrics?

“When you’re weary/ Feeling small/

When tears are in your eyes/ I’ll dry them

all /I’m on your side/ Oh, when times get

rough/And friends just can’t be found/

like a bridge over troubled water/ I will

lay me down/ like a bridge over troubled

water.

“Sail on silver girl (which to me is

mother Nigeria). All your dreams are on

their way/ Like a bridge over troubled

water/ I will ease your mind. “

Please, NSA, Gen Monguno, ease

Nigeria’s mind. We have cried tears of

blood. We’re tired, helpless, hopeless.

Hey! bright soldier boy, make the muchneeded

difference. We are counting on

you. Help save Nigeria. Let the dirge

disappear. Let triumphant songs

resound.


•Zubby Michael

SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 13, 2021—21


22 — SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

She’s one of the emerging gorgeous

and perhaps, beautiful actresses in

the Nigerian movie industry who’s

currently receiving tremendous attention

and accolades. But Boma Arinyedokiari,

didn’t just get to where she is today

overnight.

She has come of age in the industry,

after the ugly experience that almost

ruined her career, when at the early stage

she refused to be intimidated by a top

Asaba-based producer who wanted to

extort money from her, in addition to

compelling her to sign a six-year

management contract with him. Over the

years, Boma has combined

being an actress and a

businesswoman. At some

point, she took a break from

acting to concentrate on her

business. But thank God, she’s

back in the story. The Rivers

State-born actress in this

engaging encounter shares

the story of her journey into

Nollywood, lamenting that

hustlers and desperadoes

have taken over the industry,

her experience with men and

her resolve to marry for love.

You relocated to Lagos about

two years ago. How are you

coping?

At the moment, I am filming

in Asaba. I will be there for the

next three weeks. I have been

getting calls from the

producers and marketers

asking me to return to the

industry. You know, I took a

break from acting for two

years to build my business.

But I am back in the industry

again. I returned to the

industry last year, when I

featured in about 10 movies.

How would you describe

your journey so far as an

actress?

You cannot compare when I

began my acting career to

what’s happening today. Then

the industry was far better

than what it’s today. But now,

people delve into acting

because they want to be

famous, especially the

women. They want the

menfolk to see them as stars

and start spoiling them with

material gifts. The passion is

not there any more. And that’s

Push beyond your fears,

Tolulope Oke tells African women

... as she releases her new movie

POPULAR actress and film producer,

Tolulope Oke, has said that her new

movie, “Cookie Spot” is a wake up call for

African women, adding “It’s a story that

promotes family values.” She stressed the

need for every woman to develop a strong

will to succeed against all the odds in life.

According to her, every woman has a

staying power to confront every challenge

that comes her way in life.

“I also want every woman out there to have

a positive spirit that will make them

overcome in life. Young women should see

the bigger picture of whatever they are

doing,” she stressed Oke made this

passionate remarks following the release of

her new movie, “ ‘Cookies Spot,’ which is a

reflection about life. The movie, also is a

story of survival. “Wherever one finds

oneself, one would have to find a way to

survive, and that is what the movie is about.

The inspiration for the movie actually came

I’ll marry for

love, not money

—Boma Arinyedokiari

‘A rich man once promised to pay

me N.1bn to have a baby for him’

By BENJAMIN NJOKU

why you see these desperados

going about playing and

exchanging their bodies for

movie roles. I started acting

while I was an

undergraduate. Everything is

so disgusting today, and that’s

why I don’t blame some of

these A-list actors when they

condemn actors of nowadays.

In terms of production, I must

tell you that today’s producers

have stepped up their games.

Are you saying that the

movie industry has been

taken over by gold diggers

and desperadoes?

In fact, that’s it. I am scared

of sharing my personal effects

with anybody because of what

is happening in the industry.

The desperation is 100

percent. And as far as I am

concerned, nothing is natural

in Nollywood again. The

desperadoes are even using

diabolical means to be getting

roles in movies.

At the early stage, you had

an ugly experience that

almost ruined your career,

when you refused to be

intimidated by a top producer

who wanted to extort money

from her, in addition to

compelling you to sign a sixyear

management contract

with him. How did that affect?

It didn’t affect my career at

all. Rather, it helped my

career to grow. The incident

happened with the advent of

Twitter. The likes of Don

Jazzy used my picture and

tweeted concerning the

harassment of women in the

movie industry. Then I had

no Twitter account. A friend

drew my attention to it . At

the end of the day, what was

supposed to work against me

turned around for my good. I

took my fight with the

producer to God in prayer.

The incident happened just

less than a year I joined the

industry.

Did you experience sexual

harassment at the early stage

of your career?

It’s a normal thing in the

industry. But I can tell

you that nobody has

dated me in the

industry. Before I joined

the industry, my manger

prepared my mind about

what to expect; the

challenges and temptations

that are inevitable in the

industry. He told me that as a

beautiful woman, men would

come after me. That I should

remain focused. Also, my

father told me to remember

the family I come from. So, all

those words of advice have

always been in my mind.

Name them, A-list actors, big

marketers and producers

have regularly asked me out

without success. At a point,

one of the top marketers

asked if I was a lesbian

because I wasn’t dating

anybody in the industry.

You know, once they

cannot get you they try to

use other means to bring

from a car-wash that turned to a big

business,” Oke added.

Currently showing on TV , online, cables

and cinema, “Cookie Spot’ stars notable

actors, including Adejumo Lewis, Funso

Adeolu, Sola Sobowale, Ayo Adesanya,

Bolanle Ninalowo, Omowunmi Dada

among others.

According to Tolu,” I believe in

hope and I tried to project life

and its possibilities.”

“Cookie Spot as she aptly

puts it, is a story that promotes

family values. “It also focuses

on women helping one another.

Women should identify

potentials in others and help

them. Women should see

themselves as pillar of support

for one another. A support for a

woman is a support other

generations,” Tolu stated. .

you down. That you

are not doing what

others are doing

does not mean that

you cannot

progress. It

became so bad

that one of the

top producers

and marketers in

his desperation

to date me, gave

me a role in a

movie that he

had

already shot.

I was rehearsing

my script every night

in my hotel room

without knowing that

the movie had been

shot and he wanted to

trap me with the script.

But at the end of the day, I

discovered that the movie

was shot months back. At

that point, I returned his

script without letting him

know why I did so. And

since that time till date, that

particular producer has not

called me for any job.

How do you welcome or

reject passes?

First and foremost, a lot of

men come my way. It’s not

been easy for me as an

actress. If I am not mistaken,

I have about ten men asking

me out everyday. The

disgusting thing is that

some of these men would

get telephone numbers of

actresses they want from

our colleagues. They will

start sending sms to you,

expressing their love

interest . Following this

unwarranted

disturbance, I have

blocked over 500

numbers on Whats App.

They will also tell you

that they got your

number from your

colleague. I am not a

cheerful giver and I

am not ready to give

anything to anybody.

I can date a man for

two years without

him kissing me talkless

of sleeping with

me. How many am I

going to sleep with?

As a matter of fact, I

am into a serious

relationship. I am a

disciplined actress.

How will you

•Boma Arinyedokiari

describe yourself?

I am an easy-going person,

transparent and very

emotional. But at the same

time, I can be mean, cool as

ice and sweet as candy. I am

also a reserved person. I don’t

do what others are doing. I

do what I like and I am a goal

getter.

You once said you don’t

mind marrying any man

that comes your way. Have

you eaten your words?

I still maintain my words.

You cannot change an adult.

A cheating man is a

cheating man. If all the

ladies he dated in the past

could not change him, who

are you to change him? I

will marry for love and not

for money. If I had wanted to

marry for money, I would

have married a long time

ago. There was a man that

once asked me to name my

price provided I would

agree to carry his baby. I

replied him that his money

cannot buy my love and

happiness. I recall that the

man lives abroad and he’s

wealthy. He was starring at

me with disbelief, while

asking me if I wanted him to

pay me N.1 billion or more.

It was an opportunity other

desperate actresses would

have jumped at, but I turned

it down.


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021—23

08116759759

NUN THE

WISER

THE WORLD’S secondoldest

person, a 116-

year-old-nun, has

beaten coronavirus.

Sister Andre told local media

she “didn’t even realise she

had it” and that she “wasn’t

scared”.

The nun who is a wheelchair

user was isolated from the

other residents but didn’t

develop any symptoms.

Sister Andre has now made

a full recovery and is

expecting to celebrate her

117th birthday tomorrow.

David Tavella, spokesman for

the Sainte Catherine Labouré

retirement home,

told Var-Matin

newspaper:

“She has been

very lucky.

“She didn’t

ask me about

her health, but

about her

habits. For

example, she

wanted to

know if meal

or bedtime

schedules

w o u l d

change.

“She showed no fear

of the disease. On the other

hand, she was very concerned

about the other residents.”

Sister Andre, originally from

Ales, France, wasn’t alarmed

at all when she got the

diagnosis.

When asked if she was

scared of having Coronavirus

she told French newspaper

Var-Matin: “No, I wasn’t

scared, because I wasn’t

scared to die.

“I’m happy to be with you,

but I would wish to be

somewhere else - to join my

big brother, and my

grandfather and my

grandmother.”

Sister Andre will celebrate

her birthday with a smaller

group of residents than usual.

According to the Gerontology

Research Group’s (GRG) World

Supercentenarian Rankings List,

Sister Andre, who was born on

11 February 1904 is also Europe’s

oldest person.

Husband found dolls in grave after wife

lied she’d given birth to twins who died

Freed from hell

Aw N

o INDIAN

m a n

allegedly held as a

slave for eight years in

a suburban Australian

home was found in a

pool of her own urine

and weighing just six

stone.

The victim had a

temperature of just

28.5C and was

suffering from sepsis

and untreated diabetes

when she was found at

a house in Melbourne

in July 2015,

according to reports.

The woman spent

more than two months

in hospital recovering

from the ordeal.

A husband and wife have been

accused of intentionally possessing

the woman as a slave between July,

2007 and July, 2015.

Both have pleaded not guilty to

the charges, ABC reports.

The couple, who have not been

identified for legal reasons, are on

trial at Victoria’s Supreme Court.

Prosecutor Richard Maidment

QC said the woman initially visited

Melbourne twice to look after the

couple’s three children and

returned to India each time.

But when she came back to

Australia for a third visit in 2007,

she did not return to India.

Eight years later, the wife called

the emergency services after

finding the woman collapsed on

the bathroom floor in their home

in Mount Waverley.

She has been accused of lying

after telling the operator she only

knew the woman’s first name.

Mr Maidment said the husband

and wife have been accused of

“interfering” with the woman’s

freedoms of choice, movement and

communication.

This included access to

healthcare and her ability to leave

the house.

“Each of them exercised such a

degree of control over

fundamental rights and

freedoms... as to constitute a state

of slavery,” he said.

He added the woman received

some saris and “the odd $5 or

$10 note on her birthday” in

exchange for cooking, cleaning

and caring for the couple’s

children.

“She worked very hard,” Mr

Maidment told the court.

“During the whole of the eight

years... she’ll say to you that all

she received by the way of

payment in Australia were the

odd $5 or $10 note here and

there that might have been given

to her on her birthday.”

The woman’s son-in-law

arranged for her to work for the

family in Melbourne and

believed she would have been

paid, the court heard.

“In the early days she would

be allowed to speak on the

phone with her son-in-law and

daughter two or three times a year,

but from about 2012 contact

slowed to almost nothing,” Mr

Maidment said.

A

woman who told her

husband she was pregnant

with twins who then died has been

exposed as a liar after the case

almost sparked a national

scandal in Russia. Laura

Daudov’s lies quickly snowballed

after she claimed to have

received a positive pregnancy

test. She told her husband, Daud,

and seeing the joy it brought to

him she said she did not have the

heart to tell him the truth.

Explaining her actions, Laura

said: ‘I saw how happy my

husband was when I told him

that I was pregnant. I didn’t want

to upset him and therefore

decided to lie to him and to our

relatives by faking the

pregnancy. ‘I didn’t have a clear

plan. Sometimes I felt as if my

tummy was growing, I felt as if I

was pregnant. In January I went

to have a look at babies’ cots. It’s

hard to explain, from one hand I

knew I wasn’t pregnant, but I

couldn’t stop pretending.’

She even went as far as renting

a flat near the maternity hospital,

claiming she gave birth on

February 3 but then saying they

died on Tuesday from a ‘cerebral

haemorrhage aneurysm’. She

said: ‘On that same day my

husband told me that we had to

bury the babies in Dagestan, at

his family’s graveyard.’ It was at

the funeral, where the dolls were

wrapped in shrouds, that Laura’s

lies started to unravel.

Daud said: ‘My cousin told me:

“Bro, they are still people… we

need to do this in a human way…

We need to see their faces before

we bury them”. ‘I opened the face

of the first baby and saw there

were no eyes. What was this? I

began to open the face of the

second one. The same. This was

a doll…a doll.’


24—Vanguard, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

few months back, Tinuke, a young

A professional colleague and friend,

approached me for advice on what she

called an 'urgent' matter. I quickly

assumed, the urgent matter had to do with

her husband. However, what she told me,

almost knocked me off my feet. According

to Tinuke, her husband, a University

graduate who works in the Telecom

Industry told her that morning that his

mother would be coming over from the

village that weekend to supervise the

circumcision of their little daughter, an

infant of less than six months at the time.

I had several questions to ask her. Had

they discussed the issue before this time

as husband and wife? Will her mother-inlaw

be performing the operation or they

will be taking the girl to a hospital? Since

she is against it, did she inform her

husband as his wife and mother of the

child? Tinuke could no longer hold the

tears and they came pouring down. She

said she had always made her opinion on

the matter known to her husband but that

always, during such discussions, his

opinion has always been superior to her

own. For him, it was a tradition that all

girls born in his family must be

circumcised to ensure their chastity. Why

was Tinuke against it since she was

circumcised too and ought to know the

benefits of it, especially in a highly

promiscuous society like Lagos. Besides,

had she not been, he would never have

married her. He did not want his daughter

to grow up spoilt, like most Lagos girls.

His mother had already concluded

arrangements with the woman who

performs the operation for all their town's

people in Lagos. But what about her own

parents, I asked? She said they had tried

to intervene but her husband had refused,

asking the same rhetorical questions, "was

her mother not circumcised? If it was not

good, why did they circumcise their own

daughter?

At this point, I was lost for words. The

'urgent' matter was a very delicate one that

required great tact. Its rebound effect

could affect her young relationship with

her husband and in-laws and indeed, the

marriage. I did not want to be responsible

for the young couple's marital problem.

Yetunde Arebi

FGM, an

individual resolve

When I saw Tinuke two weeks after, she

sadly told me that her little girl had been

mutilated while she stood by and watched

in tears.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) had

claimed another victim.

Several women have

shared their circumcision

experiences with me, but

none touched me as

emotionally and made me

as angry as Tinuke's

daughter's. I could excuse

our parents actions as

ignorance, but what can

one ascribe to Tinuke and

her husband's? Both of

them graduates, work in

the media, informed, yet,

determined to endanger

their daughter's life and

limit her chances of living

a fulfilled life where her

full potentials as a woman

are achievable. I was sad

that I could do nothing to

help rescue the little girl,

but I was more angry at

Tinuke, her mother who

betrayed the trust of her

It will require a

holistic

approach to

effectively tackle

and significantly

eliminate

violence against

women and girls

own daughter by refusing to stand up for

her in the face of tyranny and abuse.

Female Genital Mutilation is just one

of the many long list of crimes that has

been classified as violence against women

by the United Nations declaration of

1993. They include and are not limited to

battery, sexual abuse of female children

in the household, dowry related violence,

marital rape, traditional practices

harmful to women, non spousal violence

and violence related to exploitation,

physical, sexual and psychological

violence occurring within the general

community, including rape, sexual

harassment, sexual abuse

and intimidation at work,

in educational institutions

and elsewhere, trafficking

in women and forced

prostitution, as well as

physical, sexual and

psychological violence

perpetuated or condoned

by the state where ever they

occur as listed in article

two, sub-section a, b, and c

of the document.

Sadly, violence against

women and girls is one of

the biggest violation of

human rights across the

globe and it is fuelled and

sustained primarily due to

cultural and traditional

practices as well as

societal norms and

perceptions that continue

to undermine and devalue

the worth of the girl child

and women in general.

Though it will be grossly unfair to

generalise that all men are abusers, it is

also unfortunately true that men are the

main culprits of violent acts against

women. It would remain so for as long as

these men are protected by cultural and

traditional practices as well as societal

acceptance that promotes women

inequality to men. While I agree that more

Twitter: @yetundearebi

yetty5050@yahoo.co.uk

08054700825

laws should be put in place to protect

women, laws become ineffective,

meaningless and obsolete when they are

not used by victims to seek redress. A

typical example is the law on Bigamy

which has been with us for decades. How

many men have been successfully

prosecuted and convicted by the law courts

for this offence? Though the Police are now

better sensitised, trained and empowered

to intervene in domestic issues and

prosecute same since the creation of the

Human Rights Department by former IGP,

Dr. Solomon Arase. Another impediment

is that Nigerians generally have aversion

for the law court, especially in settling

domestic cases, and unless pushed to the

wall will rather seek redress within the

family or "leave God to judge".

Indeed, it will require a holistic

approach to effectively tackle and

significantly eliminate violence against

women and girls. For every single case I

have seen, there is always a peculiar factor

different from the other to have warranted

or sustained the abuse. Educational level

and exposure of both victim and

perpetrator remains a common factor,

ditto, economic and social class, usually,

the lower, the worse. A Nigerian constitution

devoid of religious biases and sentiments is

a must and very crucial to economic, social

and human growth and development.

Rural-urban integration and development

as well as individual or personal will and

resolve to protect one's self against abuse is

also an important key here. People will most

likely do to you, what you allow them to.

Tinuke and her husband had enough

education, exposure and information

required to make the change in their

daughter's life, but Tinuke lacked the

courage and her husband, the kindness,

compassion and understanding. As I have

stated in my many other articles, the

ability of the girl child to fully develop

and achieve her full potentials in life

depends largely on the men she comes in

contact with throughout the course of her

life. Tinuke and her husband already

short-changed their little girl in barely one

year of her existence.

Do have a wonderful weekend!

Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

The Giant of Africa, the dear country

Nigeria has done it again. She has

written a brand new chapter into the

coveted book of democracy.

The breaking news is that Nigeria is the

first and only country in the whole wide

world to put into practice what is known as

Miyetti Allah Democracy (MAD).

It was back then in his 1863 Gettysburg

Address that American President Abraham

Lincoln put out word that democracy is

“government of the people, by the people,

for the people…”

With the coming of Miyetti Allah

Democracy in Nigeria, Lincoln’s words

have been cast aside and buried inside the

dustbin of history.

What now obtains is government of the

cows, by the cows, and for the cows.

America indeed has many lessons to

learn from Nigeria in new trends in

democracy, especially after Donald Trump

expired like a bad drug.

For starters, there is no greater need for

democracy to serve than the protection of

cows. The cow is the milk of the constitution,

any constitution.

The protection of the cows is ensured by

daredevil cowboys, alias herdsmen, who

walk about with AK-47 as their walkingstick.

The motto of the cowboys of MAD, that is,

Miyetti Allah Democracy, translates to:

“Shoot first, think later, if at all!”

So anybody who puts forward any form of

opposition to the cows must be gunned down

at first sight.

Elements of Miyetti Allah

Democracy (MAD)

A toast to the sharpshooter herdsmen of

Miyetti Allah Democracy! A tear for their

hapless victims!

Going deep into history, one can see that

not even Athenian Democracy could rival

Miyetti Allah Democracy for hocus-pocus.

Even the type called Anticipatory

Democracy could not have anticipated the

immunity in impunity of Miyetti Allah

Democracy.

There is even the one called

Cellular Democracy but its

vast interlinked connections

cannot pin down the madness

in MAD!

In my occult search to fully

understand Miyetti Allah

Democracy, I was introduced

to what was called Electronic

Democracy but modern

electronics could not connect

with cows and forests.

I was in one instance made

to appreciate the type called

Guided Democracy but I could

not get far because I spent all

the time dodging the guided

missiles issuing forth from the

AK-47 of the herdsmen, the

cowboys of Miyetti Allah

Democracy.

It was when I got to the issue

of Liquid Democracy that I

gave up because I ended up in the lair of

the loquacious “Liquid Metal”, the yellowfaced

prophet based in Onitsha, and he

was forever shouting: “Indabosky

Pahose!”

Amid all my confusion, what I could

eventually learn as the fundamental

elements of Miyetti Allah Democracy

manifested in the repeated word:

“herd… herd… herd!”

Call it “herd mentality” or whatever

you choose - everything belongs to the

herd in Miyetti Allah Democracy: the

army, the police, the chief justice, the

cows etc.

For instance, the

supreme court of the

herd can appoint a

cow as a governor in

any state of their

choice.

With the coming

of Miyetti Allah

Democracy in

Nigeria, Lincoln’s

words have been

cast aside and

buried inside the

dustbin of history

In conducting

elections in Miyetti

Allah Democracy, the

chief returning officer

must perforce come

from the herd, and his

word is law.

It’s akin to the head

coach of Manchester

United serving as the

referee in a football

match between

Liverpool and

Manchester United.

It is the unique

selling point, aka

USP, of Miyetti Allah

Democracy – victory is always assured

even before the first vote is cast.

The “catch them young” philosophy of

Miyetti Allah Democracy ensures that all

the underage blokes must vote in

bandwagon style.

The owners of Miyetti Allah Democracy

regale themselves that they are slave

masters who can perform magic by

getting their children that scored just two

marks being promoted ahead of the

children of their slaves that scored well

over 139 marks.

Magic remains the stock-in-trade of

Miyetti Allah Democracy such that 100

percent suffers the bad arithmetic of 97

percent of chosen ones and 5 percent of

unwanted ones.

In the march of Miyetti Allah

Democracy, anywhere there is green grass

must be eaten up without any replanting

because it is incumbent on cows to eat

grass without any replanting whatsoever.

The mullahs of Miyetti Allah

Democracy flaunt their meetings in the

forests with bandits, and this has added

muster to the coming together of all mufti

terrorists in their promised homeland of

Nigeria.

Miyetti Allah Democracy deserves a PhD

dissertation, not the paltry article that I

am penning here in the absence of

electricity.

To lend a measure of bookishness to the

Miyetti Allah Democracy phenomenon,

let’s quote the grandee of political nous

Montesquieu: “If a republic be small, it is

destroyed by a foreign force; if it be large, it

is ruined by an internal imperfection.”

For now, I don’t know where the Miyetti

Allah Republic falls within because Miyetti

Allah Democracy passeth all

understanding.


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021—25

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk

Does your man have the ‘Love Rat’ gene?!

How do you spot a love

rat? The current man

in your life has

virtually swept you off your feet.

He texts you all day, takes you to

your favourite eatery from time

to time, buys you little gifts and

calls you at night because he

can’t stop thinking of you! The

first time Sandra’s phone went

at 2 am, she was as mad as hell.

“I’m a bad sleeper,” she says.

“Even the sound of a cockroach

rummaging in my wardrobe

wakes me up. I’d forgotten to

put my mobile on the ‘silent’

mode on this day in question.

What’s more, I seldom get calls

at that time of the day.

“What’s Chika’s name and

number showed on the screen, I

was worried. We had met just a

few weeks ago and the chemistry

was fantastic. We were in love.

How lucky can one get?

“Hello”, I said, still groggy

from sleep. “Is there anything

wrong?” ‘I’m sorry if I woke

you,” he was really apologetic.

‘I just couldn’t sleep, Sandra. I

had a good day in the office

today and I’m so happy. I want

to share my happiness with you.

I love you so much.”

“My resentment simply

melted. We talked for the next

one hour, then hung up. What

an incredible man! In the space

of a few weeks, I’d met most of

his friends and two of his

siblings. He always introduced

me with a lot of pride. We were

both smitten. If I played my

cards right, it could be the

beginning of a meaningful

relationship.”

But could it? For a fortunate

few, this type of romantic

whirlwind can lead to a lifetime

of happiness with a faithful man.

But, according to recent research,

when a man falls in love too

quickly, it’s a woman’s alarm

bells that should start ringing not

her heart. A survey of 5,000

people for a dating website has

revealed that men who believe

in love at first sight are three

times more likely to cheat on a

partner than those who take their

time. Most of the men

questioned said that it took them

at least five dates over several

weeks to decide whether or not

they want to start a relationship.

One in four men, however, said

they believed in the chemistry of

instant attraction. And, of those

men, almost half said they had

cheated in a previous

relationship.

According to Dr. Safsika

Thalassis, a relationship expert:

“Men who tend to fall in love at

first sight are impulsive. They

may barely know you but profess

to be in love and want everything

to happen quickly.

Impulsiveness is a quality many

women find attractive, while not

every impulsive man is going to

be a love rat, the survey does

indicate that there is a close

correlation between infidelity,

and this trait. Men who consider

themselves ‘in love’ within

minutes of meeting someone are

likely to fall in love rather

frequently even when they’re

already in a relationship. It is

also likely that such men

interpret attraction and love as

more or less the same thing.

“This means that when they

meet an attractive stranger they

are prone to telling themselves.

“I have fallen in love... I haven’t

felt that way about my partner

in years ... I have to try this out”

rather than more cautious; I

find this person exceptionally

attractive but I love my partner

and therefore I won’t pursue

things.

Now to the big questions: How

can you make sure you’ve

hooked up with a decent man

and not a serial love cheat?

According to Dr. Thalassis, “By

far the strongest indicator will

be his past. It’s worth finding

out if this person does this kind

of thing a lot, finding out a bit

about their relationship history.

Clearly, if your new man has

already proposed to a string of

women, it doesn’t bode well.

“Looking into his family

history could also help. One

factor that can influence us is if

our parents had an affair. We

do get influenced by the model

we grew up with. Another good

pointer is his depth of feeling.

Some men find it hard to bond.

Researchers in Sweden have

found what’s been called a ‘love

rate’ gene. Scientists claim that

the gene linked to the bonding

chemical vasopressin – could

explain why some men find it

hard to commit.

Men with this gene are less

likely to marry even if they have

children with a long-term

partner.

Look at whether your man has

any stable relationship in his life

and watch the way he treats his

friends. Does he actually like

women and does he spend time

away? Men who hate women are

more likely to cheat. Listen to

the way he talks about his ex. If

he’s vicious about her and

blames her for everything, it’s

Is your man taking you for granted by being a slob?

looking at some old

family photographs the

“Iwas other day when I realised

to my horror that Jude, my

husband still wears the same

revolting danshiki with matching

trousers that he wore 12 years ago!

Moaned Jesicca, a 49 year old

medical doctor married to Jude,

53 and the owner of a computer

consultancy firm. “He could just

about get away with them at 40,

but at 53 he looks as if he’s

completely given up caring about

how he looks. I feel angry and

resentful that he doesn’t take more

pride in his appearance. This

usually leads to my being

engulfed by shame over being so

horrible to him just because he

wears clothes I find repulsive.

“I fell for Jude when we were at

the university. Back then, he was

a trendy pace-setter and had wellgroomed

hair. I stayed very

fashion-conscious, but he started

to let himself go in his early 40s –

and has now development a

permanent frown to complement

his boring wardrobe. He tends to

buy his clothes from people in his

office and buys the same things

over and over again, namely shirts

and caftans. Having no colour

sense at all, he recently bought

some hideous bright-orange

complete native gear and wore

them everywhere – to parties,

dinners out with our friends – even

to his official end-of-year party! I

was so embarrassed I hid them

before giving them away!”

“How Jude dresses has started

to cause arguments. I would love

him to understand that how he

looks is important to me, and that

he should make more of an

effort.”

Jude doesn’t agree with his wife.

“I don’t think I’ve let myself go at

all,” he protested. “I wasn’t really

interested in fashion in the first

place. I’m smart at work but when

I get home, I pull on a pair of

native trousers and top – I want to

feel relaxed. My wife has her own

glamorous style, and I like most

of what she wears, but she is rather

overdressed for some occasions.

Like most men, I just get out of

bed in the morning and put on the

nearest clothes that come to hand.

I hate buying new clothes. Besides,

whatever I choose, I come home

to a chorus from my wife and

children of: ‘what on earth is that?’

“I suppose once I got to 50, I

thought my appearance didn’t

matter any more. But I see now

it’s important, especially to my

wife. If I’d known how fed up she

was, I would have done something

about it before now.”

Lizzy is a 43 year old company

secretary of a telecoms company.

Her husband Dapo, is a university

professor. “Dapo has always been

old fashioned in the way he

dresses,” says Lizzy, “but it has

really started to bother me recently.

It’s alright to fake it, ladies!

That famous scene in

When Harry Met Sally

summed up the situation

perfectly.

As Meg Ryan’s character

showed, faking an orgasm is

not difficult for the average

woman. It is often thought

that those who do so are

simply trying to spare their

partner’s feelings.

But a survey commissioned

by Cosmopolitan magazines

found another reason for

pretence. Just as many

apparently fake it because

they have had enough and

simply want their

lovemaking session to end so

they can get some sleep.

Sixty-seven per cent of those

polled had faked an orgasm

with a partner. The survey

also suggests that when it

comes to making love,

women’s pleasure isn’t

We were out with friends a few

days ago when I suddenly noticed

he was wearing shoe so old they

were actually falling apart. I’d

made an effort to look really

smart yet my husband thought it

was ok to come out with me in

footwear that belonged in the

dustbin.

“I feel insulted that Dapo has

taken me for granted just because

I’m his wife. Afterall, I still do my

best to look stylist and attractive

for him. So why can’t he do the

same for me? I don’t follow

fashion obsessively but I as a

make-up artiste whilst I was in the

university, so I know what I need

to do to make myself look good.

always a priority. Some 57

per cent, or just over half of

those surveyed, said they

had an orgasm most or every

time they had sex. But 95 per

cent believed that their other

half climaxed every time.

Most women said they had

their first orgasm between

the ages of 17 and 19. Almost

all of the 2,300 surveyed said

they had experienced an

orgasm at some point in their

lives.

not a good sign. People are much

more likely to cheat if they spend

any nights away from home and

it’s not just about having the

opportunity.

“For some people, spending

every night together is very

important. There’s something

about being at home with their

partner and waking up together

they value deeply.”

One scientific theory suggests

that unfaithful men have lower

IQs. This theory says that

intelligent people are more

likely to adopt new ways of doing

things to become more evolved

– so those with a higher IQ tend

to stick to just one partner. But

Dr. Thalassis adds: “Perhaps

more intelligent men are just less

likely to admit to cheating!

Even though Dapo has loads of

good quality clothes he’s bought

for himself over the years, he

chooses not to wear them. He

likes to slob around in old stuff

instead. He’s good on shirts (he’s

got dozens) but he always wears

them with scruffy denim trousers

(which he thinks are stylish) or

dreadful old shorts. His shoes are

particularly bad, and always very

old. I think it’s arrogant of him

not to care how I feel when he lets

us both down by wearing horrible

old outfits. Clothes do matter and

being conscious of your

appearance is a sign of respect –

both for yourself and those you

love.”

But Dapo doesn’t see eye to eye

with his wife on fashion. He says:

“I have my own style, which I have

worked on very carefully over the

years – I like to think of it as

classic, timeless elegance that

doesn’t need constant update. In

fact, I still have a pair of really

expensive denim and black

Italian shoes I bought when I was

at university! I know Lizzy thinks

I dress like a slob but it doesn’t

bother me. Besides, although she

generally dresses up well, she

takes for ever to get ready for

functions leaving me frustrated

when we arrive late yet again.

Maybe she should take a leaf

from my own dressing time which

I’ve got to a T. There’s more to life

than prancing all over the place

like an old model trying to be with

– it!”


Y

26 — SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13 , 2021

CONFESSION OF A FEMALE CIRCUMCISOR:

I used to perform FGM on girls in my

village, now I work to protect them

For years and years, I circumcised girls

in my own village and across the

local region to “help them become

women”. Sometimes I’d cut off all their

genitals, while at other times I’d cut off parts

of it. In many communities across Mali,

it’s seen as a requirement for marriage.

The procedure is performed without

anaesthetic and by women like myself, who

are known as traditional “circumcisers”.

We have no medical training and learned

the trade from our grandmothers. When

I was a child, circumcisions were celebrated

in our village. Once a girl was “cleansed”,

there would be a party thrown in her

honour.

Most young girls would see the

celebrations and want it for themselves, not

knowing the dark secrets only those who

went through the tradition were familiar

with. I was 10 years old when my own

genitals were cut.

My parents told me it was time for me to

be a cleansed, but I didn’t understand what

this meant until one morning when I was

suddenly taken to a family nearby. There,

I was sandwiched between two people who

forced me to sit on a stone.

One held my hands behind my back and

the other held my feet. An old woman

brought a blade and spread my legs and

started to cut me. You cannot imagine my

screaming as two men held me fiercely while

the old woman cut me non-stop. I will never

forget this until my last breath because of

the terrible pain that I suffered.

After she finished dissecting me, without

anaesthetic, I suffered dreadfully from a

By Emmanuel Ado

enator Uba Sani, Kaduna Central

S Senatorial District, did not attain his

political height by accident.

His aspiration to represent Kaduna Central

Senatorial District cannot as well be

described as an ego trip, propelled by a

competition to equal the achievement of

his former Comrade - in Arms Shehu Sani,

who he roundly trounced in the 2019

general elections, despite the contrived

shenanigans of Adams Oshiomhole, the

former Chairman of the All Progressives

Congress(APC). In 2011, long before

Shehu Sani dreamt of running for senate,

Uba Sani had contested the same seat on

the platform of the Peoples Democratic

Party (PDP) and lost to Alhaji Hamisu

Abubakar,aka Mai Rago.

Adams Oshiomhole’s attempt to impose

Shehu Sani, an ally of Bola Tinubu on the

zone, as “compensation” for Shehu Sani’s

supposed “principled support”, for his

several doomed attempts to impeach

Bukola Saraki, the then President of the

Senate, was a smokescreen, for the 2023

elections agenda of Tinubu. The ultimate

fall of Adams Oshiomhole, is evidence that

while Oshiomhole might have been a

“successful” labour leader, he failed as

party chairman.

Senator Uba Sani, with his very

compelling and superlative legislative

accomplishments, has concretely proved

that the capacity of a representative to

attract projects to his constituency, is to a

very large extent determined by the

character, commitment, the network and

the readiness of the representative to

deploy these for the common good.

Though Senator Uba Sani, is in his first

term, he has seamlessly married his

responsibilities as a Senator representing

Kaduna Central Senatorial District and

that of a distinguished Senator of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria, by pursuing the interests

of his people, side by side with those of other

Nigerians, the key difference between a Senator

and a Member of the House of Representatives.

Without doubt, the scandalous

underdevelopment of Nigeria, is intrinsically

tied to the appalling poor representation at

the Federal and State levels. Very, worrying, is

that the quality by day appears to be

blood hemorrhage, which made me faint. I

was then taken to a doctor nearby to stop

the bleeding.

The pain lasted for a long time and,

psychologically, I was scared to my stomach

every time I witnessed or anticipated other

circumcision ceremonies. But as this

tradition was part of the customs and morals

of our community, I was convinced that I

needed to have gone through it in order to

progressively decreasing.

So far, Senator Uba Sani has authored bills

for the establishment of a Federal College of

Education, Giwa, Federal College of Forestry

Technology and Research,, Birnin Gwari,

Federal Medical Center, Rigasa, Care and

Protection of Child Parents Bill, University of

Technology Kaduna, Institute of Information

and Communication Technology Kaduna

South, Foreign Exchange (Control and

Monitoring) Act (Repeal and Re-enactment)

Bill, Firearms Act (Amendment) Bill,NDLEA

Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, Police

Service Commission Act 2001 (Repeal & Reenactment)

Bill, State Police Service

Commission (Est) Bill, Federal College of

Education Giwa Kaduna State (Est, etc) Bill,

1999 Constitution (Alteration) Bill, Nigerian

Police Act (Amendment) Bill.

These bills, many which have been passed

and signed into law, are irrefutable evidence

that Senator Uba Sani has delivered and can

comfortably be considered an effective

Senator, with an unparalleled enthusiasm

and passion for the job.

Long before inauguration Senator Uba

Sani had emerged as a consequential

senator who will play a very crucial role in

the senate. His positioning has helped him

attract projects to Kaduna State, which had

between 2015-2019 suffered from very poor

representation especially at the Senate. Then

Kaduna had Senators Shehu Sani,

Sulaiman Hunkuyi and Danjuma La’ah.

Nothing much was achieved for the state

then. The harmonious working relationship

between Senators Uba Sani, Sulaiman

Kwari, and El-Rufai, is a reflection of the

wishes of their constituents, and a refreshing

air, unlike Senators Shehu Sani, and

Hunkuyi who were virtually at war with the

party and the state government from the very

outset. Thankfully, they were voted out and

the World Bank Loan, which the three axis

of opposition- Shehu, Hunkuyi and La’ah

had sacrificed in conjunction with Saraki

on the alter of dirty politics, was delivered

and the result is a transformed kaduna State.

In 2019, the erroneous impression in a

section of the media, was that Senator Uba

Sani would be stepping into some imaginary

over-sized shoes of Senator Shehu Sani.

Unknown to these critics, is the fact that Uba

Sani has a big feet,consequently filling

Shehu Sani’s size 6 shoes didn’t pose any

be a woman in the true sense of the word.

Most girls are told by their mothers or

female relatives that circumcision is an

obligation. They see it as part of their

culture and accept it; in fact, they are proud

of it and want it for their daughters, too.

What’s more, my grandmother was one of

the village’s practitioners, so it was a

cultural duty for me to learn from her in

order to be able to take over. It was also a

real challenge. Whatever lingering doubts

about the capacity of Uba Sani, who ran on

effective representation, were quickly erased

with his emergence as the Chairman, of the

powerful Senate Committee on Banking,

Insurance and other Financial Institutions,

a feat for a first termer. The quantum of laws

by the committee, is a confirmation of his

intentions to use the instrumentality of the

law to effect fundamental reforms. For his

sterling performance the people of Kaduna

Central Senatorial District, deserve a pat on

the back, for their informed decision to elect

him.

For Senator Uba Sani, central to his

assignment, as Chairman of the

Banking,Insurance and other Financial

Institutions is the re-positioning and

strengthening of the banking, insurance and

other financial institutions for the greater

benefit of the people. Consequently, the

committee has authored several key pieces of

legislation to strengthen the banking and

insurance industry, considering the strategic

importance of a stable financial sector,

particularly the banking sector, given the

unimaginable consequences of failure of the

sector. The passage of the Bill for an Act to

way of earning money since I had no other

source of income.

When girls were brought to me, we would

often tie them up during the circumcision.

Because it is a physically violent procedure

involving razors, we would stuff something

in their mouths to keep their screams from

piercing the sky.

I used to be proud of my work because I

thought I was continuing a tradition that

was necessary for purifying our young girls.

I didn’t know any better, as this was what I

was taught by my elders. I believed this

until I was 67-years-old and the charity

Islamic Relief, who were doing an

awareness-raising project on Female

Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C),

approached me.

They heard I was the chief cutter in my

village and wanted to speak to me about the

dangers of the practice. I know now that the

work I had been doing for more than 30

years has caused both mental and physical

harm to girls, such as haemorrhages,

complications during childbirth, and lasting

trauma. They also told me that FGM/C went

against religious scriptures because

harming anyone is forbidden in Islam. This

was the first time I had received information

like this about the procedure.

I realised then that I was causing pain to

girls, and I felt embarrassed and ashamed

of myself. I still regret it; if it was possible to

put those girls’ genitals back and remove

that pain that they have suffered, I would do

so. So I decided to break from this gloomy

tradition, stopped practicing FGM and

dedicated my life to urging others to stop as

well.

With Islamic Relief’s support, I underwent

training and was appointed the anti-genderbased

violence representative in my village.

I now lead workshops on circumcision,

contraception and family planning.

My husband used to encourage me to

perform FGM, but now I’ve managed to

change his attitude. We’ve been married for

over 45 years, and have many children and

grandchildren, and I will no longer accept

them – or any other woman or girl – being

subjected to this practice I want to shatter

the stories that we were fed as children.

Circumcision is not a prerequisite for

earning respect, becoming a mother, or

taking care of a family. I know it will

take generations to undo the damage that’s

been done, and that prejudices are very

difficult to eradicate. But if I’m able to

change the life of one girl, I will feel I am

doing my part in eliminating this harmful

practice.

Senator Uba Sani’s Compelling Legislative Accomplishments

•Sani

Repeal the Banks and Other Financial

Institutions Act and to Re-enact the Banks and

Other Financial Institutions Act and Other

Matters Connected Therewith, 2020,into law,

a landmark legislation, is part of the efforts to

put the industry on a more solid footing.

The activist in Senator Uba Sani continues

to play out, after all, a lion can’t suddenly

become a lapdog. And this explains Senator

Uba Sani’s justifiable anger at the antics of

chronic debtors, who continue to use legal

gymnastics to stall their loan repayment, which

to Uba Sani, amounts to “orchestrated acts of

economic sabotage”. His savage reaction; is

the provision of a Loan/Credit Tribunal to assist

the Asset Management Corporation of

Nigeria(AMCON), in loans recovery, because,

the success of AMCON is critical for Nigeria’s

economic revitalization. Re-positioning it, to

effectively play its role is therefore key for

Senator Uba Sani. Commercial Banks will

only lend if they are sure lenders will pay back,

hence making loans recovery less

cumbersome. Most certainly, without

AMCON, the banking industry would have

long collapsed due to the high rate of nonperforming

loans.

Uba Sani’s deep understanding of the

insurance industry, from his very powerful

statements and legislative actions, shows a

Knowledgeable mind, quick to grasp reasons

the Insurance industry has been tragically

relegated to the background, in spite of its

importance. More important to Sani for the

sector is also fundamentally proffering the way

forward, which includes addressing the sharp

practices within the industry, the lack of

awareness of the importance of the industry,

the appalling lack of requisite skills by

personnel, and most importantly, addressing

the outdated and ineffective regulatory

framework.

Senator Uba Sani, without the usual noise

of most activists, paid his dues in the struggle

to enthrone democracy, and as a Senator, in

his quiet style is obviously set to join historical

leaders, that left permanent mark in public

service. Senator Uba Sani, is conscientious, a

man of principles and deep convictions. His

mentor, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN,

will be very proud of Senator his achievements,

especially the fact that he has remained

committed to the entrenchment of an

egalitarian society.


Y

Positive impact on

lives, my secret of

success—Odii

Stories by Moses Nosike

r. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii is a young Nigerian from the east with a humble

Dbeginning. He was not born with a silver spoon, rather he experienced and witnessed

poverty. But before he conquered poverty and penury, Odii right from his growing up

possessed a heart of flesh where he renders help and enjoys service to humanity because

he doesn’t like seeing his follow human being suffer pain or difficulty without offering

little help. At this point, one begins to wonder if that reason God raised him from grass

to grace.

However, in that spirit of humanity Odii has touched lives home and abroad. He

has built over 100 homes for indigents in the rural areas, 6 churches, 3 Floors of

Primary and Secondary schools, offered scholarships to over 1000 students home and

abroad, with yearly medical screening via his foundation etc.

He is the Founder/Chairman of Orient Global Group with subsidiary companies;

Orient Global Manufacturing, Orient Haulage & Logistics, and Purity Agro-Allied

Ltd, others. Recently owners of The Classroom by Ultimus, Viarmor Healthcare Ltd

at Victoria Island.

aving a young man like you

Hwho is making impact in the

business world, also helping the

less privilege in the society, as

Ohanaeze president, Chief

Solomon Ogbonna confirmed, tell

us your experience while growing

up...

I was not born with a silver spoon.

As a matter of fact, my humble

beginning experience inspired me

to help the less privileged around

me and anywhere I come across

them. That experience made me

know today what people are going

through from poor background. I

had been there, so it is not an

experience another person should

tell me. I understand what people

are going through on a daily basis

to fight poverty.

These factors put together made

me see reasons the poor and less

privileged in the society should be

assisted to survive. Again, having

gone through poverty and God by

His grace helped me out of it, I felt it

is human and godly to help others

come out of poverty and penury.

At the media launch of The

Classroom by Ultimus, at Victoria

Island , there were list of

NHLF set for credible leadership, devt, good governance

M

embers of the New Heights

Leadership Forum, made up

of intellectuals, well meaning and

articulated Nigerians chosen from

the political, academic, business

organisations possessed with huge

leadership experiences had decided

that the right time to refocus and

make an impact in the leadership

and national development of

Nigeria is now.

Speaking on behalf of the group,

the Chairman, Arc Ogunseye

Solomon said that the group is one

of the foremost groups strategically

positioned to be a political and

national compass in the building

process of Nigeria, which of course

is continuum from one generation

to another and to another.

He said that NHLF is not limited

to educating the citizenry of the lofty

vision and mission of the group and

all that it stands for, but to from timeto-time

critically analyze the

challenges facing us as a nation,

share our thoughts on them and then

H

ollandia Yoghurt, Nigeria’s

leading drinking yoghurt

brand, has announced a new

partnership with Zainab Balogun-

Nwachukwu, a multiple awardwinning

actress, entrepreneur and

influencer. This move is part of the

brand’s plan to appeal to a wider

consumer audience and reinforce its

market leadership.

The partnership recognizes the

values which the brand and the

actress have in common, and

celebrates the recognition and

leadership both parties have

achieved.

Driven by passion, boundless

energy, and creativity, she

companies owned by, how have

you been successfully managing

these outfits?

One of the things that made it

possible for me to run my companies

is the fact that I believe in people,

human resources and development.

These factors are basic assets in

achieving results. Again, I realised I

can’t do all alone. So, I work with a

team of young people as partners,

who follow my vision, having the

understanding that it would not only

benefit us but the society at large

when we succeed.

You have raised structures for

many poor families in your

community even in this

challenging periods, how were

able to do that?

It all started when I was growing

up. I always liked to help people the

little way I can, and each time I did

it, I would always be happy. So I

grew up with that spirit of helping

others especially the less privileged,

and that became part of my lifestyle.

Reason being that I don’t like seeing

people in pain or difficulty. Maybe

God saw my heart and raised me up

knowing that whatever resources

He entrusted into my hand will be

go on to offer some advice to the

government and the governed,

which we consider far reaching.

However, he said, “our critical

objectives are to foster credible

leadership and development across

the nation, act as a support group to

the nation and Lagos state

government while advocating good

governance in Nigeria.

According to Arc Solomon, the

group will take it as a responsibility

to develop God-fearing leaders who

will take Nigeria to the promise land

through sensitization of citizen; also

ensure to provide a voice for

Nigerian youth and adults alike and

support for the government across

the nation through legal means of

media, politics and election.

Continuing, Art Solomon said,

“we thank President Mohammadu

Buhari for listening to the voice of

the good people of Nigeria, by

appointing new set of Security

Service Chiefs, persons we believe

will work very hard and smart to

guarantee Nigerians, all residents,

investors and all diplomatic core

members greater measure of

security of lives and property, which

is the first call to governance. We also

congratulate the newly appointed

Service Chiefs, who with their

respective track records of

achievements and victories against

insurgencies and all forms of

security threats are ably qualified for

the plum job”.

“Having said this, a point of great

concern is the catalogue of security

challenges facing us in the country,

a situation that is not lost to the newly

appointed Security Chiefs.

“Also, with the inflation rate on a

continual increase and our country’s

GDP on a steady decline, our

economy is really in a bad shape.

And knowing that we cannot afford

to continue on these paths, we want

to urge our economic team at the

federal, state and local government

levels to help proffer solution to every

economic threat.

Hollandia Yoghurt signs Zainab Balogun-Nwachukwu as Brand Ambassador

personifies the Hollandia Yoghurt

brand’s proposition and character.

As the ambassador for the brand,

she will inspire consumers to

unlock their potential for success

and high achievement with the

delicious taste and wholesome

nourishment that the product

provides its consumers.

Zainab Balogun-Nwachukwu

expressed appreciation to the brand

for the honour. “I am very proud of

this partnership with Hollandia

Yoghurt. The brand has a unique

proposition, is the most popular

drinking yoghurt product in

Nigeria, and occupies leadership

status of its category. Like me, the

Hollandia Yoghurt brand is driven

used to help others.

With your good heart of service,

youths would like somebody like

you in leadership ...

Well, there are different kinds of

leadership; political leadership,

economic leadership, family

leadership, mentorship leadership

etc. Leadership in any position is not

a problem, but the most important

thing is to be a leader that would

impact positively on people around

you. I also tell people that one must

not get into politics before he can

assist in his little way. Whether in

politics, business world, cause a

positive change in the life of people

around you. Then if opportunity calls

for political position and the people

decide for you, good. I don’t need to

wait till I acquire political power

before I know that my neighbour

needs a shirt to wear; or friends I

grew up with are still struggling or

suffering before I help them. If I can’t

remember them now, even when I

get into politics I can’t still remember

them.

You have empowered several

youths, what is your advice to other

by the passion to consistently

innovate for success. These points

were key considerations in my

accepting this partnership”.

Speaking on the partnership, CHI

Limited Marketing Director, Mrs.

Toyin Nnodi, expressed delight on the

new strategic relationship with

Zainab as the new brand

ambassador. “We are thrilled to have

Zainab Balogun-Nwachukwu as our

Hollandia Yoghurt ambassador. As

an accomplished actress and TV

personality, she is known for her high

level of creativity, confidence, and

professionalism, thereby making her

a suitable fit for what the Hollandia

Yoghurt brand represents.

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021—27

high placed Nigerians?

I uses to tell friends and business

colleagues that without the society

you can’t make any business to

happen. You cannot be successful

without the people. It means that

anybody you raise today can

raise others tomorrow, and

by so doing, we are building

a successful and a safer

society. Without helping

people around you

especially youths, business

environment is not safe.

Business thrives in a safer

environment. You can

never see any business

person who wants to

invest in an environment

that is not safe or in crisis. I tell

people that whatever the Lord has

given to you is not for your

consumption alone, use it to impact

positively on people around you. So

if we create that mindset to help

others, our society will be a better

place to live. This mindset has

helped me become a mentor to a

lot of youths and I tell them that

whatever thing you gain from me,

cash or kind share with others.

Personally, I think this is a way we

can make the world a better place.

Today, there are social vices as a

result of high rate of unemployment

in our society. Highly placed people

in the society can do something to

reduce unemployment especially

among the youths. I also encourage

people, don’t sit tight waiting for

jobs, find something to do; who

knows if you are the one that would

create the job people are looking

for to help the society. I believe it’s a

high time we began to think outside

the box. Many of us today started

with little but today our business

have grown beyond the boundaries

of this country without involving

into crime. You can learn from us.

Successful people are not from

heavens. Start with a process and

that process will help you become

a responsible citizen. You don’t have

to reject yourself when you are

rejected. If government is not

providing what is needful, you don’t

fold your arms. You need to work

hard and be part of those that would

contribute to a better society. After

all you don’t need to wait for what

the country will do for us, but think

what we can do for the country.

9mobile commences NIN registration

at select experience centres

N

Dr. Ifeanyi

Chukwuma Odii

igeria’s customer champion,

9mobile, has commenced

the National Identification

Number (NIN) registration

exercise in select Experience

Centres in Lagos and Abuja. The

development follows the Federal

Government’s approval granting

telecoms the license for NIN

enrollment to ease the pressure of

large crowd turnout at the various

enrollment centers of the Nigeria

Identity Management

Commission (NIMC).

Speaking on the development,

the Chief Commercial Officer,

9mobile, Stjepan Udovicic stated

that, “as Nigeria’s customer

champion in this industry, 9mobile

always seeks opportunities to

collaborate with regulators and

other stakeholders on initiatives

that will enable Nigerians to

achieve their full potential. We

pride ourselves as a responsible

corporate citizen, and we are

always ready to go the extra mile

for our esteemed customers and all

With your support to Ohanaeze

Ndigbo Lagos under the

supervision of Chief Ogbonna, how

do you assess his leadership?

Chief Solomon Ogbonna is

someone who is talented and gifted.

When it comes to leadership, he

knows how to bring his people

together. For me I have always

believed and supported where there

is peace. That is why I have been

supporting Ohanaeze Ndigbo

Lagos.

With some of your business in

Lagos, how is your relationship

with the state government?

Well, I have a cordial relationship

with Lagos state government. I’m a

businessman in Nigeria, and as a

Nigerian doing my business in

Lagos, I create good relationship

with the environment.

As a philantrophist and a patron

to LASU, which area would you

want government to focus in terms

of nation building?

Leadership is very challenging and

complex. You can’t satisfy everybody.

In Lagos, the governor I believe is

doing his best. We should also

understand that when there is a new

administration, it takes sometime

to put many things in place. For the

governor of Lagos state who I see as

a youth, most of his programmes

are youth oriented.

How did Covid-19 affect your

business?

As a business man, I was trained

to see challenges as an opportunity.

So anywhere we see challenges, we

go back to the drawing board and

study the situation to see if there is

opportunity around it. I was trained

not to complain rather to see

challenges as opportunity. What I’m

trying to say is that Covid-19 will go

and the world will move on. This is

not the first time we’re facing

pandemic.

As a young man, what makes you

happy in life?

I’m always happy when I put smile

on the faces of people, especially the

less privileged ones in the society.

Again, when people I don’t know

come to me and said you helped me

even without knowing me. Many

had met me and said, you paid my

school fees; you paid my rent when

I was stranded. You sponsored my

education. These are services to

humanity and I’m happy doing it.

Challenges during your growingup...

Major challenge during growingup

is poverty. I experienced and

witnessed it. Life was tough then. But

I made up my mind to be hard

working. I decided to remain focus

and didn’t allow poverty to ruin my

vision and future, believing that

things can change for better, and I

would tell a better story of my life.

However, we should have this

understanding that in life, nothing

good comes easily. I went through

hardship and as well a process. Life

is all about process. What you are

seeing of me today didn’t just

happen. There were days I had no

foods to eat but I was confident that

one day I will find enough food to

eat and give people too because this

is part of my calling. The same thing

I’m encouraging our youths to work

hard, remain focus even when you

are not having enough today,

tomorrow there may be opportunity

to make it in life and you would have

enough to eat and give to others.

Nigerians in general. That is why

we are pleased to announce the

commencement of NIN enrollment

at select 9mobile Experience

Centers duly approved by NIMC to

help expand registration access to

Nigerians ahead of the new

deadline set by the Government for

the exercise.”

According to Udovicic, 9mobile

Experience Centres offering NIN

registration is in different location

of the country, Lagos and Abuja. He

urged customers and intending

enrollees to observe all

recommended guidelines for

limiting the spread of Covid-19,

including wearing of face masks

and maintaining social/physical

distancing, stressing that strict

observance will be fully enforced at

the experience centers.

The 9mobile CCO assured that

9mobile was working on expanding

the NIN registration centers to

make them accessible to even more

Nigerians very soon.


28 — SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021


SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021 — 29

Tributes in a

season of death

In the past one month, 4 former

international football players, a

former Chairman of the Nigeria

Football Association and a fine

sports journalist have all passed on.

It has been a very painful period

for those of us in the football

fraternity, a reminder of the fragility

of life and of our mortality.

When a number of journalists

called me a few days ago to pay

tribute to Yisa Sofoluwe, I turned it

down simply because it felt like I

was almost sounding like a broken

record. Never has there been a

period such as this - 4 colleagues in

a month? May the Creator of the

Universe, who sees and knows all,

who knows the why and the how,

intervene in the uncertainties of our

present times.

When I look at what the most

advanced countries are doing to

stop the rampage of the

Coronavirus and the slow successes

being recorded, and compare those

with the nonchalance and the lack

of seriousness of our immediate

environment where people are going

on with life as if we belong to another

planet, I realise that we are all sitting

ducks.

In 2021, I have lost 4 cousins, and

3 close friends to the Coronavirus.

With the number of persons privately

admitting to having survived it, a

truly scary picture of the state of

affairs in being painted. Meanwhile,

I must pay my tributes to our football

heroes, whose deaths may not have

been from Coronavirus, but are

definitely collateral during this

season of death.

Defense minister - Yisa

Sofoluwe

A few days ago, Yisa Sofoluwe

died in a hospital in Lagos. At 53,

his death is extremely painful. Yisa

was a great football artist, one of

the most elegant defenders to watch

on the football field. He was always

cool, calm, and calculative. He

never did the unnessary thing, like

dive into dangerous tackles,

or kick an opponent. He always

saved his tackle for when it mattered

the most.

Smallish in stature, fragile

looking, this right-footed player

could play on both defensive flanks.

•Neymar

Neymar out of

Barca re-union

Neymar has lashed out

at his critics after

suffering an injury which will

keep him out of Paris Saint-

Germain’s Champions

League clash with his former

club Barcelona next week.

The Brazilian has been ruled

out for approximately four

weeks, leaving him racing to

be fit for the second leg on

March 10.

In an Instagram post on

Thursday, Neymar wrote:

I always saw him as a player that

was born to play in defense, yet he

had the ability to glide down the

flanks and join attacks with lovely

passes and crosses that were

delivered with some delicacy and

precision. Yisa was a beauty to watch

during matches.

He was given the nickname

‘Defense Minister’ by late Ernest

Okonkwo, the iconic sports radio

commentator, because of his

mastery of the art of defending. Yisa

made it look easy, effortless and

beautiful. Not for him the crunchy,

bone- breaking tackles that most

identify with defenders. Yet,

underneath his simple style lies a

steeliness, a ‘poison’ that only those

who ever played against him can

confess to. He was a difficult player

to play against, a nuisance to

opposing wingers, and hard to beat

with a dribble or speed, because of

the level of his intelligent play.

Outside of his football career, like

the rest of us, he was a struggler, on

the move all the time to find a way

to survive and live well. He was a

nomadic coach, going from one

small club, or academy, to another

in my reading of him every time we

met.

Football in Nigeria was never

built on a solid foundation, or on

fertile ground to cater for its

exponents when their playing

careers are over. I am now sounding

like the refrain of a song.

So, I ran into Yisa from time to

time on the struggling circuit, and I

was never pleased with his fragile

looks even though he always assured

me he was doing fine. He was a

humble pilgrim, kind and gentle, a

constant smile on his face,

unassuming with his harmless,

ageless and fragile frame. When you

met him, you wanted to hug him.

At 53 years of age, he died too

young.

His place in the unofficial

(because there is none officially till

now) Hall of Fame of Nigerian

football is secure. In a recent

unofficial polling game that I

created on social media, he was listed

amongst the greatest full backs in

Nigeria’s history. That, surely,

speaks volumes.

Rest in perfect peace, Yisa.

“The sadness is great, the

pain is immense and

the crying is constant.

“Once again, I will

stop for a while

doing what I love the

most in life, which is

playing football.

Sometimes I feel

uncomfortable because of my

style of play, because I dribble

and they constantly hit me.

“I don’t know if the problem

is me or what I do on the field.

It saddens me a lot. It saddens

me a lot to hear from a player,

coach, commentator or

whoever the hell it is, that ‘you

really have to hit him’, ‘he

falls’, ‘he cries’, ‘a child’,

‘spoiled’ etc.

“It honestly saddens me and

I don’t even know how much

I can bear it. I just want to be

happy playing football.

NOTHING ELSE.”

•Sofoluwe

Sam Ikedi

I knew Sam, but not enough to do

justice to his place in the annals of

Nigerian football. He was too far

from the circuit after his career in

football. Amongst other things, he

was a former Bendel Insurance FC

player who also played briefly for

the national team. Except one was

around in the early 1970s, one is

unlikely to know a lot about him.

He played briefly but very well. His

very light skin stood him out and

shone brilliantly wherever he played

in those days.

Sam was slightly ahead of me in

the generation of Nigerian

footballers, but we played against

each other a few times. I don’t recall

much about his football, but we

became friends outside the game.

I did not follow his career after he

retired, but from what I now have

gathered from the tributes by those

that knew him better, he was also a

struggler like the rest of us.

May he rest peacefully also with

our Lord.

Joseph Erico - NEPA One!

Joe Erico was my friend.

I met him in the national team.

He was one of the reasons I was

invited to the national team. I scored

a beautiful goal against him with

him in goal in the opening match of

the 1973 National Sports Festival

when he kept for Lagos State and I

was a striker for Western State. I was

immediately, thereafter, invited to

the Green Eagles in December of

1974.

He was the goalkeeper for NEPA

FC, and that’s why I personally

nicknamed him ‘NEPA One’ when

we met again in the national team

in 1976 and became friends.

Everyone else called him ‘Jogo

Bonito’, which in Portuguese

language translates to ‘beautiful

play’, an apt description of the kind

of football Joe Erico taught all the

teams he coached when he

converted from player to coach. His

teams played like Brazilians, a

football philosophy he adopted

when we returned from our

Brazilian trip in 1979 preparatory

Chairman of CAF

Confederation cup

campaigners Enyimba FC

Felix Anyansi-Agu has stated

that his side’s CAF

Confederation Cup play-off

round tie against fellow NPFL

side Rivers united over the

course of two legs isn’t a do or

die affair. Anyansi speaking in

a chat with brila.net ahead of

the first leg meeting tomorrow

said the game will be

approached in a normal way

and like every other fixture

against any opposition.

He stressed that there were no

guarantees in football but that the

People’s Elephant will give their

best to emerge victorious.

“It’s normal, it’s no do or die

affair, we’re just going to take it

easy and approach it like every

•Erico

to the 1980 African Cup

of Nations.

Joe Erico occupies a

very special place in Nigerian

sports. He was an athlete and an

on-field football striker. He excelled

in both. Until his injury on the

football field that gave him a

knocked-knee and a limp, he was

good enough for both the national

athletics and football teams. Then

the accident.

He gave up high-jumping,

converted to goalkeeping and

became one of Nigeria’s first choice

national goalkeepers, sharing the

limelight with Emmanuel Okala.

He kept goal for most of the 1976

AFCON in Dire Dawn, Ethiopia,

where Nigeria won her first Bronze

medal.

When he could not make the 1980

squad, he became a coach, went to

Brazil along with Chief Adegboye

Onigbinde, Jossy Lad, Amodu

Shaibu, John Zendai, and a few

others to be trained in the Brazilian

philosophy of football. He came

back and became the greatest

teacher of ‘Jogo Bonito’.

Joe and I worked in my sports

academy for MTN for a few years

during the period of the MTN

Scholar/Athlete Soccer program.

Under him, many young footballers

ended up in American colleges.

He did very well as a businessman,

coach, and father of very gifted

children who are all US-based,

playing professional sport and

doing extremely well.

In terms of life after our football

careers, Joe Erico made a great

success of his. He was one of the few

very successful ones. He travelled

widely with the support of his wife

who worked then with Nigeria

Airways, and was a strong pillar. He

worked all over the United States

during several summers, coaching

kids in clinics organised by Sam

Okpodu, for several years.

He was a keep-fit fanatic, a daily

face in the gym of the National

Institute of Sports, NIS, inside the

National Stadium, Lagos, for his

workouts.

As he returns home to our Father

in heaven, I wish him a peaceful

journey.

Goodnight, NEPA One!

Nwabueze Nwankwo

- Dan Vadis Nwa

I had not fully

absorbed the shock

of Joe’s death when

the ‘messenger’

came calling again

to tick off yet

another Nigerian

football hero.

This time it

went Eastwards

to Abakaliki,

where my friend,

the one I called

Dan Vadis, after

the popular

American war-film

actor, had settled to

struggle for his

own survival in the

evening of his life.

Nwabueze was the ultimate

‘warrior’ in the Rangers

International FC of Enugu when the

team emerged from the Civil War

in 1970 and started to play like

wounded soldiers.

The main ‘destroyer’ of teams and

a terror to opposing players stood

in the heart of the Rangers FC

midfield like a Trojan, reminding all

that to enter the Rangers defense,

opposing players needed steelplated

armour. Nwabueze was

‘wicked’ on the field and a terror to

several teams. He looked, walked

and played menacingly,

encapsulating in his play on the

field, the fighting, die-hard spirit and

reputation of the Biafran Soldier,

which he was during the Civil War

and acquired a fearsome

reputation.

At the height of the era of the great

Rangers International of Enugu in

Nigerian football, he was one of 10

Rangers players that eventually

wore the national Green and White

Jersey of Nigeria’s Green Eagles.

Nwabueze became my friend

many years later, and together we

championed the cause of the welfare

of retired Nigerian players. He

moved to Lagos for this cause and

became a very close disciple of

Prophet TB Joshua.

He went back to the East about 15

years or so ago, to be a part of

developing grassroots football in

Ebonyi State. For many years we

still worked together on the Shell

Cup programme for secondary

schools in Nigeria, with him as my

‘eye’ in the East of Nigeria.

We lost touch a few years ago.

Recently, I was harassing Okala to

get me his number so I could

reconnect with him, when about two

weeks later, the same Okala called

me after Erico’s death to announce

Nwabueze’s own passage, and

apologised that he kept forgetting

to send me his number until the man

died.

Dan Vadis may have been a terror

on the football field but he was a

completely harmless gentleman

outside it. He loved football with a

passion and took to improving the

welfare of retired Nigerian

footballers as his calling on earth.

Journey well, my friend, and rest

in perfect peace with our Father in

Heaven.

CAF CC: Tie against Rivers Utd not do or

die affair — Enyimba Chairman

other game.

“There are no guarantees in

football, sometimes when you’re

full of confidence, that’s when you

Striker Junior Ajayi was

the hero as African

Champions Al Ahly won third

place at the 2021 FIFA Club

World Cup on Thursday.

Ajayi came off the bench to

score the winning penalty

against South American

champions Palmeiras FC, after

the game ended goalless in

regulation time.

The Attacker, who missed Al

Ahly’s two previous matches

are open for a shocker.

We believe they are coming, we

will put in all our efforts to get it

done,” Anyansi-Agu.

FIFA Club W/Cup: Ajayi’s penalty

clinches bronze for Al Ahly

in the tournament took the

place of Walter Bwalya on the

pitch in the 58th minute.

He settled down quickly into

the game and scored a goal

for Al Ahly, but the strike was

ruled out for offside.

During the shootout,

Palmeiras missed three kicks

while Al Ahly scored three to

leave the Education City

Stadium in Qatar with the

third place medal.


30— SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

Yisa Sofoluwe:

...advice for Rohr

…His recipe for football development is Nigeria

By Jacob Ajom

NIGERIANS woke up to a rude shock

Wednesday morning, when news of the passing of one of

the country’s most gifted football players of his time, Yisa

Sofoluwe broke out. He died Tuesday evening at the age of 53.

As a defender, the late Sofoluwe was a striker’s nightmare.

When he led the lines, the Green Eagles defence was impregnable.

His reputation bellied his smallish stature as he was so good

that late ace sportscaster, Ernest Okonkwo nicknamed him,

Defence Minister. His ability to read strikers movements in the

vital area and timely tackles, separated him from the rest. Yisa

was a delight to watch as he made defending looked easy. He

gave his all at both club and national levels.

Yet, Yisa was grossly under appreciated, under valued and

unrewarded. By dint of luck, Yisa Sofoluwe came at the wrong

time in the nation’s football history. Unlike their successors who

won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and went ahead to

represent Nigeria at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Yisa’s group

remained largely unsung, despite their sterling record in Africa.

Two consecutive AFCON final appearances and two silver

medals in 1984 and ’88 are still not considered good enough by

an unappreciative nation, to give them their due honour. This

awkward but prevailing situation has made it look like

administrators of the game in the country are making deliberate

efforts at obliterating one of the finest chapters in Nigeria’s

football history.

Despite not having been appreciated, Sofoluwe bore no grudge

against any individual or state as he remained ever grateful to

his fatherland for providing him the platform with which he rose

to stardom.. “No matter what, I still thank God and Nigeria for

making me who I am today. I am a happy man because from

nowhere, I became a national and international figure, with lots

of fans. I am happy,” he told Sports Vanguard in an interview

soon after the two friendly games involving Nigeria, Algeria

and Tunisia, Sports Vanguard spoke with the former Nigeria star

and this was what he told us.

His impression after Nigeria lost 0-1 to Algeria and drew

1-1 with Tunisia in the international friendly matches played

last year:

Looking at the current national team, Sofoluwe said the

problem with today’s Eagles was the continuous changes in

the team. “Too many changes to the team and this can cause a

problem, especially, in the defence. I don’t think the

whiteman(Rohr) knows these players much. Maybe by

changing the team frequently, he believes he might one day get

it right. I did not enjoy the match they played against Algeria.

But I think the Tunisia match was better.

“My fear is in the World Cup qualifiers. We don’t have time

for too many changes in the team. He can start working with

the players he has already identified. All other teams are looking

at us, Everybody wants to beat Nigeria. That is why we have to

be very careful.”

Before the double-header against Sierra Leone, Sofoluwe

warned against underrating opponents in the qualifying

group:

Aware of the threat posed by Lesotho, The Republic of Benin

and Sierra Leone in the impending AFCON Qualifiers, the

former defender warned that there were no longer minnows in

world football. “Those teams are very strong,” he said. “To

avoid disgrace, we must tighten our belts very well”

On grassroots football development

He, however, expressed concern over the quality of players

available for national team selectors. Sofoluwe said, “It is what

Late Chief MKO Abiola and late

Yisa Sofoluwe at his wedding

we have that we are using now. We need to go back to

grassroots football. That is what football playing

nations are doing at the moment. In England, Holland,

Germany and other nations with football cultures that

is what they are doing; developmental football. They

train their youths to become good footballers. That is

the only way we can help our football.”

In as much as he frowned at Gernot Rohr’s penchant

for over dependence on foreign-based players,

particularly, players from the diaspora, Sofoluwe

sympathized with the German tactician because, in

his words, the domestic league which should be

producing players for the national team was not

functioning. He reasoned, “I believe Rohr is using the

best Nigeria can offer for now. The league is not okay.

No coach would invite a player who has not kicked a

ball for more than six months to the national team. It

is not done. It will be very difficult for players in the

domestic league to feature in the national team

because there is no football here at home.”

Humble beginning and the role of SWAN

He recalled his humble beginning. “I started

playing football at St Jude’s Primary School, Lagos

Mainland. After my primary school, I went to UTC

Training School where we were taught different trades

like painting, internal decoration and the like. I was

detected by scouts from ITT Football Club of Lagos. I

played there for two years,1981 and ’82.”

Yisa’s lot rose in bounds when he was identified by

sports writers as a player with a lot of potential.”I was

recommended by members of SWAN (Sports Writers

Association of Nigeria, Lagos chapter) to coaches of

the U-20 national team. They were playing qualifiers

for Mexico ’83 FIFA U20 World Cup.”

He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and

when he reported to camp, the team had Ivory Coast

as the last hurdle to the World Cup. He impressed

the coaches so much that he made the team that

travelled to Abidjan for the first leg.

“We held them to a 2-2 draw and when they came

for the return leg, we beat them 2-1 at the Nnamdi

Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu. With that victory, we did

not only emerge as African champions but we also

qualified for the Mexico ’83 tournament.”

At Mexico the Flying Eagles, under the guidance

of late Coach Chris Udemezue, and parading the likes

of Ali Jeje, Paul Okoku, Amechi Otti, Patrick Udoh,

Wilfred Agbonivbare, Benson Edema, Tarila

Okorowanta, among others could not get past the

group stage. They lost 0-3 to Brazil, drew 0-0 with the

Netherlands and defeated USSR 1-0.

With that encouraging outing, some of the players,

including Yisa Sofoluwe were promoted to the senior

national team.

He recalled, “When we came back from Mexico, six

of us, including me, were invited to join the senior

team, the Green Eagles who were preparing for the

1984 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.” Coach

Adegboye Onigbinde was in charge and was assisted

by coach James Peters

“In Ivory Coast, we played to the final but we were

beaten 3-1 by Cameroon. We were a young, promising

but inexperienced side. Basically, we lost to a more

experienced Cameroon team.”

Breakthrough

On their return from the tournament, Yisa was

snapped up by one of the glamourous clubs in the

country at the time, Abiola Babes Football Club of

Abeokuta, owned by billionaire business mogul, late

Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. At the

club, Sofoluwe said he enjoyed his best football as it

marked the high point of his career. “We were playing

both the Challenge Cup and the League

simultaneously. We won the Challenge Cup twice and

were runners-up on two other occasions. We lost the

FA Cup in 1984, won it in ’85 after beating IICC 2-1 in

Kaduna in the semi final. I scored the opening goal,

they equalised and Rashidi Yekini scored the winning

goal. Chief Segun Odegbami was the Team Manager

of IICC, while late Best Ogedegbe was Team Manager

of Abiola Babes. In 1986 we lost the final to Leventis

United and won the FA Cup again in ’87.”

He said the defunct Leventis United were the only

club that gave Abiola Babes the toughest competition.

“Only Leventis United gave us a tough time. They

defeated us in the 1986 FA Cup final at the national

stadium Lagos and the following weekend we

defeated them in Ibadan in a league game. It was a

tough match. We beat them 2-1. They were other teams

though, but Leventis United were the team to beat,”

he said.

Nineteen-Eighty-Eight was another AFCON year

and Nigeria qualified for the tournament with

Sofoluwe being a prominent member of the squad. With a squad

that was largely comprised of players that prosecuted the ’84

tournament, Nigeria entered the competition as one of the

favourites. The Eagles did not disappoint as they clawed their

way to the final. Again Cameroon stood between them and their

second AFCON trophy. It was a match most Nigerians would

hate to remember. “We played out our hearts in the final and

scored what we thought was a good goal but the centre referee

disallowed it. We lost 0-1 and everyone in the team felt we were


His fears for EaglesSATURDAY

robbed.”

Denied a spot in Olympic team

After that tournament, Yisa Sofoluwe was again called for yet another

international duty, this time, qualifiers for Seoul ’88 Olympics. In the

final qualifier, the Eagles lost 0-1 to Algeria at away and won the second

leg 2-0 in Enugu to bag the ticket for the Olympics. After qualification,

Sofoluwe and a number of other players who participated in the

qualifiers were dropped by the new coach, Manfred Hoener. Sofoluwe

said, “at Seoul, the Eagles did not do well because Hoener scattered

the team. A number of us, including me, were dropped. I am sure that

was why they didn’t do well.”

And that marked the unceremonious retirement of Sofoluwe from

the national team.

Despite the sudden manner he left the national team, Sofoluwe still

held fun memories of the Maroc ’88 final. “That remains my most

memorable match in Nigeria colours,” he recalled. “Even as we lost

that match, it still doesn’t matter to me today because one of three

things manifests at the end of each game; a win, a draw or a loss.

Whatever happens after that day is forgotten after some time. That is

football.”

How it felt losing two consecutive AFCON finals to the same team,

Cameroon?

“I believe in 1984 we were inexperienced. Cameroon used experience

to outplay us. In ’88, it was a different ball game. We were robbed, and

everybody saw it. During the medal presentation, the Prince of Morocco

told us that it was not possible that we lost that game. He blamed the

referee for our loss. But the deed had been done.”

We sought to know who, among the senior players gave him

confidence in camp?

Sofoluwe said, while in the national team, he had no special

attachment with any particular teammate. “For me, I didn’t believe in

any guardian in the national camp. You play your game and I play

mine. All I require of you is respect. You give me respect, I give you

respect in return. I had no problem with anybody. Once I play my game,

I go my own way. Keshi was my captain as we started football together,

we used to talk very well. I didn’t have a problem with anybody.”

Sofoluwe’s sojourn abroad did not give him the desired breakthrough.

His dream of making it big in Europe was truncated by the dubious

manipulations of a greedy manager. From Abiola Babes, Sofoluwe went

to Belgium to join Genk. But that was never to be. He told us his story:

“The manager who took me to Belgium disappointed me because of

the money he envisaged he could make out me. When we got there,

Genk had already travelled for their pre-season. The manager then

took me to another club, Diest Football club, owned by his friend. I

stayed with the club for one year and after that one year, he wanted me

to remain with that club but I refused. At the end, I had a problem with

the club. I had to go on radio and television to talk about it. I left the

club but couldn’t secure another one because when a new club wanted

to sign me on, the manager would give them negative information about

me and that discouraged them from signing me on. He did everything

to frustrate me.”

You attended a coaching course at NIS?

He cuts in: I also went with NFF to England for capacity building

course. Then, the NFF promised to make us back room staff of national

teams. This they are yet to do.

But you once worked with the national team?

Yes under coach Alphonsus Dike U-17. It was when we lost in Benin

that they asked us to go. They did not give us the chance to make any

amends. But I know I am a good coach, because all the places I have

worked, Gateway, Nath Boys, etc they know I am a good coach. I still

thank God that I still see programmes like the GTBank Principals Cup,

Coca Cola Cup, like this one now with Chevron football team for the

Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games where we have qualified for the

final.

What is your immediate plan for the future?

I want to also coach any of the national teams and after that I can

become a team manager or somewhere in management where I can do

something good for the team.

Do you feel like taking up a coaching job with a club, may be outside

Lagos?

No. I don’t like all the problems associated with working for Nigerian

clubs. Managements are overbearing and they owe a lot. Even as we

speak, Gateway are still owing me so many months salary. I have been

trying to get my money but to no avail. I am not alone in this. They are

owing many of us. On my part I have done my best. I have the state

and I have served the country.

Relationship with late Chief MKO Abiola

Sofoluwe also recounted the personal relationship he enjoyed with

proprietor of the defunct Abiola Babes, late Chief Abiola. “He was my

second daddy. He was always inviting me to his home and he even

attended my engagement with my wife. The moment I told him about

the occasion, he immediately informed his first wife, Alhaja Simbiat

Abiola of blessed memory, that ‘look..look, Yisa said he will be doing

his engagement on Saturday. We have to be there.’ And on that day,

even though he had planned to go for one event earlier, he sent his

wife to the other event and made sure he came to my event first, before

going to meet her at the other event.”

After his sojourn to Belgium, Sofoluwe returned to Nigeria and signed

for Gateway Football club of Abeokuta. He ended up as a coach with

the team. He left Gateway after the entire team and the technical crew

were sacked. He was then engaged by IGI, an insurance company that

ran a football club in Lagos. “It was IGI that sent me to NIS for my

coaching course. I was also into sports marketing with Gbenga Moses.

I have also handled youth teams. I led a Nigerian youth team to win the

Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021 — 31

Tough finals draw FA Cup for quarter-

Ndidi,

Pan-African Copa Coca Cola Cup in South Africa and

as head coach of NATS Boys, we won the Lagos Junior

League. I do consultancy and hold clinics for various

groups and organisations.”

Despite his fluctuating fortunes, Sofoluwe said he is a

happy man. “I am happy that I am still alive today,

telling my story. Some of my contemporaries have since

left this world. I thank God for what he has done for

me. I remain grateful to the Almighty.”

Mike Tyson is right on Joshua — Oboh

•says Fury is dangerous

LAST week, we reported a statement credited to

former World heavyweight boxing champion Mike

Tyson when he advised the WBO, WBA and IBO champion

Anthony Joshua to fix some technical flaws before he

meets fellow Briton and WBC heavyweight

champion,Tyson Fury in the blockbuster unification fight

billed for later this year.

Mike Tyson was asked for his opinions on the fight

itself and who he felt had the advantage.

“It’s very interesting, Joshua is a masterful puncher,”

said Tyson, quickly adding,”but you can see his punches

coming, he telegraphs his

punches.

“And that’s just a recipe for

disaster if you’re fighting

Tyson Fury and you’re

telegraphing your punches –

to a guy whose 6ft 7in, come

on.”

Reacting to Mike Tyson’s

advice for Joshua, former

British and Commonwealth

Light heavyweight

champion Peter Oboh agreed

with the former world

champion. He said, “I agree

with Iron Mike Tyson that

Joshua must fix that flaw of

• Oboh

telegraphing his punches. He should be more tactical in

his approach, lest Fury will send him packing.”

Oboh said. Joshua, unlike Tyson, was a “better packaged,

well polished puncher and a trained text book fighter. But

if he wants to take his textbook style against a crafty boxer

like Tyson Fury and he is not careful he could be knocked

out..”

He believes Fury’s advantage is his ruggedness. “Fury

is more of a street fighter, more naturally dangerous,

unpredictably comical than Joshua.”

He said the two combatants could be compared to Lionel

Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two legendary

footballers whose rivalry has set some friends apart as to

who was better between them.

•Joshua

Iheanacho, Iwobi

The duo of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi

Iheanacho will have their hands full when

Leicester City take on Manchester United in the

quarter-finals of the English FA Cup.

Leicester City will host the premier league

challengers at the King Power stadium for a place

in the last four.

The Foxes reached the last eight after knocking

out Brighton at the King Power Stadium on

Wednesday, courtesy Iheanacho’s injury time

header.

Meanwhile, Alex Iwobi’s club Everton will also

take on Manchester City at the Goodison Park in

another quarter final

match up.

Everton progressed to

the quarter-final after a

nine-goal thriller

against Tottenham

Hotspur on Wednesday,

with Brazilian star

Bernard’s extra-time

winner giving them a 5-

4 victory over Jose

Mourinho’s side.

Both quarter-final

matches have been

scheduled for March.

Real Madrid on revenge

mission against t Valencia

•Osimhen, Ronaldo clash in Italy

Amazing La Liga and Serie A action scheduled

for this weekend will be aired on DStv and GOtv.

Viewers get to see the legendary La Liga, where the

pick of matches for this round sees Real Madrid

welcome Valencia to Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano

tomorrow at 4pm

This match will be a revenge mission for Los Blancos,

who were humbled 4-1 by Los Che when the teams

met at Estadio de Mestalla in November.

A Rapahael Varane own goal added to a hat-trick

of penalties for Valencia’s Carlos Soler as they

claimed a famous win over Real, though that was a

rare bright spot in what has otherwise been a

struggling season for Los Che.

Elsewhere in Spain this weekend, Barcelona will

look to claim a home win over Deportivo Alaves on

today. The Catalan giants are still stinging from their

Super Cup defeat to Athletic Bilbao, though manager

Ronald Koeman insists they have shrugged off the

disappointment. Atletico Madrid face a tricky trip to

Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes to face a Granada side

with European ambitions. Sevilla will back themselves

to overcome Huesca in a home clash on Saturday, as

they continue to push for a return to the UEFA

Champions League next season.

The headline fixture from Serie A this weekend sees

Napoli welcome Juventus to Stadio Diego Armando

Maradona. This clash will have plenty of spice – not

only have these two teams been title rivals in recent

seasons, they also met in the recent Italian Super Cup

and had a league clash earlier this season

controversially postponed.

Napoli felt they were unable to travel to Turin for an

October fixture due to Covid-19 travel restrictions,

but the match should have gone ahead and was

awarded to Juve. However, the Neapolitans

successfully appealed and the clash has been

rescheduled for later this year.

The weekend features another major clash when

Internazionale host Lazio at the San Siro on Sunday,

The Nerazzurri are right in the hunt for the title and

cannot afford to drop points against Le Aquile – as

was the case when the teams met back in October and

played out a 1-1 draw in Rome.

Real Madrid to sign Mbappe or Haaland in summer

REAL Madrid will reportedly either sign Erling

Haaland or Kylian Mbappe this summer as

Florentino Perez sets his sights on bringing a new

Galactico to the Bernabeu.

Haaland broke onto the scene last season at Red Bull

Salzburg before Borussia Dortmund beat Manchester

United to his signature in a cut-price £18million move

last January.

His breakthrough in 2020 saw him deservedly claim the

Golden Boy award after he netted a remarkable 44 goals

in all competitions during 2019/20, with 28 scored for

Salzburg in the first half of the season and then 16 in 18

matches for Dortmund.

Mbappe, meanwhile, has scored a remarkable 107

goals in just 149 appearances for the French champions

and is also one of football’s hottest properties.

Having won everything in France and with a World Cup

medal to his name at just 22 years old, the prolific forward

has been tipped to become the next biggest name in

football once Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo hang

•Mbappe

•Halaand

up their boots.


C

M

Y

K

SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 13, 2021

CROSS WORD PUZZLE

SOLUTION ON PAGE 2

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