Closed eyes clasp the warm darkness,
Shutting out the silvery glow of the moon smile.
The cantata contest invade with its happiness,
Carrying all in the still air of the mating mile.
Oh how simple the peace of this revelry,
The mind and ears wonder the vastness of it all.
Clinging on sanity with man’s overt mystery,
Wishing all love melts into this dream so tall.
Daddy smiled and coughed light,
Understanding my explained plight.
Men are lonely and they know,
Yet they conspire not to let show.
These women are assisted all through
By their very own sex, unlike you.
Firstly by mothers or sisters, then peers.
All thrust, show or coax their shares.
Ladies understand the bodies world well
As they grow so guided, you can tell.
The boy discovers on his very own.
And thus, what he finds is his fun.
The patience of man
Had over many ages
Given to his own land
Births of many images.
It has made gods
Of so many symbols;
Earthly made rods,
Also celestial balls.
In his long wait
His patience creates
Answers that relate
Only to his state.
The clouds of reason
Cover his horizons;
Make a sky season,
Or mystic masons.
Sight is so deceptive
That it can tilt a view,
Halo any perspective
With inspired preview.
Man looks around
And sees such beauty,
Beyond any he found
Or his own humanity.
In his natural urge
He pays respects to
Visions and courage,
Where honour isnt due.
In his all human way,
He puts faith in those
He comprehendsll stay;
Idolizing his very nose.
You are only young once,
Blossomed to take your chance;
To scent the worlds spring
With the fruit kinds you bring.
Earth has been all angry again,
Man did upset hers again;
Like he does again and again.
His efforts in controlling has been
Fixed as to betray his weakness seen;
She’s polite, not rash as harsh in between.
But you wonder how long for,
This sea-saw ride will further go?
Calmly, then hard ends a crescendo.
Everything is chaos
that comes to a head.
Like life is not yours,
if it owns you instead.
The parent of logic
is simply knowledge.
What’s certainly tragic,
is all life is in bondage.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
All roads might lead to Rome but all dogs are heading for Katsina as the State Government is to expend N300 million on them to secure schools. Who is supplying the dogs? Certainly none of Ejike Mbaka’s “three contractors” nor Eedris Abdulkarim via Festus Keyamo! Anyway, this laudable proposal might however start off dog rustling because some Nigerians particularly from …, ……., ….. and …… would have already started calculating the cumulative length of “Telephone wire” that would be roasted, fried or pepper souped. If you decode the 3, 7, 5 and 6 dots na you sabi! Now that negotiating with bandits has obviously failed are dogs the best way forward?
While canines are wonderful as temporary early warning mechanism they cannot be a permanent preventive measure. Dogs are not bullet proof. Katsina people should rather implore their kinsman in Abuja to wake up on the job to identify and root out the immediate and remote causes of abductions – nationwide.
After all that is what he was voted into office to do! By the way who will feed and maintain N300 million worth of dogs? I ask because in Katsina “members” are said to be mainly concentrated at the Mammy Market of you know where. Chances are that each time there is salary delay or month far a government owned Bingo or two might end up there! If so it will be just a question of time before man’s best friend starts turning out to be other men’s 404!
This isn’t the story of our wives;
With each and all we share life,
Parting and bridging as we leave.
Each and all of us is this thief.
We lead with all emotions canal,
Lustily wanting all just temporal.
For we only tell from the external;
Wishing, hoping it is so internal.
Rolled in next is the nature,
The feelings growing to mature.
We regard or discard a culture
To marry dreams, make a future.
The investments yield their sanity,
Our character tests its immunity.
The lucky are in blissful humility,
Off springing, living, fostering humanity.
Measurement elude even more less,
For all other lust is meaningless.
Finally, love rules all the featureless,
Together we die till eternity endless.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint,
one excelled with dedicate grit.
Commenced without good hint
of who can stand through or sit.
To avoid being quite sorry,
it’s always prudent to worry.
Not just for the tiny bit thing,
but to also laugh, cry or sing.
Good are also ugly and bad;
and can turn fair moods sad.
Most friends’re opportunistic,
indeed their needs are mystic.
Indeed one lie feeds off another;
birthed as a circumstantial primary
and waltz to formidable secondary.
Like tiny bites follow one another,
simple lies reduce sources worth;
deminish their integrity to nought.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ. ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ ᴍᴀɴʏ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ᴀғʀᴀɪᴅ ᴏғ ʜᴀᴠɪɴɢ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛs ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ʀᴇsᴘᴇᴄᴛ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴇᴀsʏ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ɪᴛ ɪs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ ᴛᴏ ɢᴇᴛ ᴍᴀʀʀɪᴇᴅ ʙᴜᴛ ᴅɪᴠᴏʀᴄᴇ ɪs sᴏ ᴇᴀsʏ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴡᴇ ɢᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴡᴇ ᴀʀᴇ sᴛʀᴀɴɢᴇʀs ᴛᴏ ᴏᴜʀ ɴᴇɪɢʜʙᴏʀs.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴠɪʟʟᴀɢᴇʀs ᴡᴇʀᴇ ғʟᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄɪᴛʏ ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴊᴏʙs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛᴏᴡɴ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ғʟᴇᴇɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ CITY ᴛᴏ ғɪɴᴅ ᴘᴇᴀᴄᴇ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴡᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ғᴀᴛ ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴀᴘᴘʏ. ɴᴏᴡᴀᴅᴀʏs ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴅɪᴇᴛs ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ʜᴇᴀʟᴛʜʏ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ʀɪᴄʜ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʀ ᴀʀᴇ ᴘʀᴇᴛᴇɴᴅɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ʀɪᴄʜ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴏɴʟʏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ ᴡᴏʀᴋᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡʜᴏʟᴇ ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ. ɴᴏᴡ ᴀʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴡᴏʀᴋ ᴛᴏ sᴜᴘᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴏɴᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ.
40 ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɢᴏ
ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ sᴛᴜᴅʏ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ʙᴏᴏᴋs. ɴᴏᴡ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴜᴘᴅᴀᴛᴇ ғᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ & ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴡʜᴀᴛsᴀᴘᴘ ᴍᴇssᴀɢᴇs.
40 YEARS AGO WAS 1980,
WHICH SEEMS LIKE YESTERDAY!
Hard ғᴀᴄᴛs of ᴛᴏᴅᴀʏ’s ʟɪғᴇ.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
Don’t hate, observe and understudy instead
Devoid of sentiments, without sanctimonious grandstanding and negative profiling apart, tell me how the Indomie generation of Thank you Daddy can withstand this kid in future?
If truth be told, any kid that can command this kind of thunderous herd is way ahead in strategic thinking and tactical response of his peers. Shoes? He doesn’t need any. His stick is his keyboard and mouse for now.
Let us face it, dominating any environment is a mindset that must be cultivated early. This kid is not chauffeured to school. He is not on Social Media neither does he flip through DSTV channels. By the time he goes to school he doesn’t have to drop his CV anywhere.
Many Nigerians have so much modernized that we have abandoned the ethnic rites of passage for our young. The Fulani naturalis have not. They don’t abandon culture.
This kid doesn’t speak English but can effectively communicate with his herd. He can read their mind and decode their mood. He is already taking charge. His mates are still crying Mummy.
This kid might not be able to read and write but he is a natural GPS that can navigate without map reading. He can sniff rain days ahead and sense danger miles away. He doesn’t have to Google pasture. He is an ecological encyclopedia.
This kid’s swagger is earned.
Insult, deride and abuse his older ones. But you can never deny the potential, natural aptitude and work in progress in this kid.
How many conventional schools can package the unfinished greatness that is already apparent in him?
The Fulani. The Shuwa of the Lake Chad region. The Dinka of Sudan. The Masai of Kenya and Tanzania. The Tutsis of Rwanda and Burundi. Even the Bedouins of the Arab world and Cowboys of America. Including the Hebrews of old. Keenly observe and carefully understudy them. They have always dominated their environment because of their understanding of the umbilical link between animal husbandry and human psychology – He who knows you most masters you more – by any means necessary.
“Hate is the reaction that we feel towards something that is threatening us. Fear is what happens when we can’t do anything about it.”
Life is historically a game of chess. We are mere players and the environment is our ultimate chessboard; “where a man must have a temper of iron”
It is either you stay ahead of the game or keep on complaining.
By Dan Hicks 18th February was the 124-year anniversary of the sacking of Benin City by a British naval force.Walk into any European museum today and you will see the curated spoils of Empire.They sit behind plate glass: dignified, tastefully lit. Accompanying pieces of card offer a name, date and place of origin.They do not mention that the objects are all stolen.Few artefacts embody this history of rapacious and extractive colonialism better than the Benin Bronzes – a collection of thousands of brass plaques and carved ivory tusks depicting the history of the Royal Court of the Obas of Benin City, Nigeria.Pillaged during a British naval attack in 1897, the loot was passed on to Queen Victoria, the British Museum and countless private collections.The story of the Benin Bronzes sits at the heart of a heated debate about cultural restitution, repatriation and the decolonisation of museums.In The Brutish Museums, Dan Hicks makes a powerful case for the urgent return of such objects, as part of a wider project of addressing the outstanding debt of colonialism.
“Their trip back progressed quietly mostly and was rather quite uneventful until they came upon the scene of an accident that blocked the entire road, so they had to stop.
“Kengua had strolled over to the crash spot to have a closer look. He wished he hadn’t. There was a victim lying on the unpaved roadside being attended to by a number of over-enthusiastic people. These untrained first responders just kept fumbling with the man as he laid flat on his back on the dusty ground, face up and breathing unevenly heavy.
“He was foaming profusely in the mouth, with the dark part of his eyes sneaking upwards, into his upper eyelids, as if he was trying to see something overhead without trying to arc his neck backwards to look up.
“Soon his hands left his sides and started lifting upwards slightly, then falling back into place swiftly, with only his elbows bending at each time. Within the second minute, the victims legs joined in, his shoeless bare feet stabbed away from his body in a continuous stretching motion.
“Kengua was transfixed, too scared to keep looking but yet he kept his eyes on the obviously dying man, as if watching the poor chap death was an act of charity.
“Later on Kengua remembered thinking that maybe if the mans legs had found something vertically stationary to rest on, the agonized departing spirit of the dying man just might not leave when it did. Maybe it is because he didn’t strike at anything with his leg activity that his departure from the realm of the living was completed. Maybe people wouldnt die at such moments if they stood up defiantly.
“Though Kengua wasn’t alone there, he sort of felt he was the only spectator who could actually claim to have seen the man die, but he doubts if he really did see him die. He only saw a pained man briefly struggling to live on endlessly and then the same man, against all his desire to live on, became quite still and motionless. He didn’t see life leave the man. If that was ever humanly possible, the privilege wasn’t granted him that warm humid afternoon.
“So Kengua strangely romanticized that gross occurrence by curtly summarizing that the brevity of death is like an orgasm. That is if what he saw is indeed the moment of dying, which is arguably death.
“They recommenced their rudely paused journey an hour later. Kengua made a comparative analysis in his mind on what he had just witnessed and what he read some living sage wrote to win the world over into believing and accepting his listed five stages of death. Kengua was now certain that the writer has not seen these stages exhibited.
“The five stages were made easy to remember by sequencing them to DEATH as an acronym, as;
Denial, Enraged, Appropriating, Tension and Healing.
Or more aptly:
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
Kengua saw none of those that afternoon as he watched the man kick the air to his death. The least of all to be exhibited is Acceptance.
“Death simply damned the mans Desires, nullified his Energy, shrugged off his Activity, Terminated his life and Held him eternally Hostage. Kengua concluded that for want of a more suitable break down of the DEATH acronym;
Desired Energized Activity Terminated and Held Hostage
….would be a whole lot more befitting.”
*Copied from Manchester United Website
13 December 2020 15:30
There are moments in your life when people say things to you that spur you on.
They are saying things that they believe, and that they think will help you, but their words also stoke this desire in you where you want to prove them wrong.
I still remember the time my Mum picked me up from school and I told her about my best friend, Deena, being picked for England Under-18s. Deena was a ridiculously good footballer. She was one of those naturally talented types, and mum just said: “Yeah, she’s good at sports, but you’re good at academic studies. That’s just how it is.” At the time that is how it was. I was good at school and she was good at football. But at the same time, it set something off in me.
I wasn’t like Deena. I was never one of those kids with natural talent and gifts; the ones you can spot a mile off. I liked taking part in lots of different sports – I loved gymnastics and trampolining from the age of three or four – but I wasn’t outstanding in one field. When you don’t have those gifts, your mentality becomes key because you need that hard work, that determination to prove people wrong. I didn’t even really have any interest in football until I was 10. My Dad and brothers kept going off to play, so I was jealous, I wanted to show I could play with them, so I joined in.
I loved it and played in all different outfield positions. I was in the girls’ football team at secondary school when my PE teacher, who also happened to be the England Women’s Rugby captain, took our team and entered us into a full-size, full-contact rugby tournament. None of us had ever played the sport before; we didn’t know what we were doing. She taught us the rules on the bus on the way there. We won the tournament without conceding any points. We were all quite athletic and coordinated, but I’m still not sure how we did it.
Siobhan Chamberlain says
“Her giving me that ultimatum really reinforced the desire to play football at the highest possible level.”Siobhan Chamberlain
After that rugby tournament, I remember my teacher asking me: “Would you rather play international level rugby or mediocre level football?” I remember thinking: international level football. There wasn’t the option of having a career in football at that time, but her giving me that ultimatum really reinforced the desire to play football at the highest possible level.
It was around that time that I volunteered to go in goal in my first ever hockey game (just because you got to wear all the cool padding), and that was that. Next time I played football, we were short of a goalkeeper and I volunteered. The rest is history. As a gymnast you’ve got to have an awareness of how your body moves through the air, you’ve got to have good flexibility and range of movement, all of which help you as a goalkeeper.
I was in year 12, first year of sixth form, when Fulham launched a professional women’s team. The Women’s League was a fully amateur league apart from Fulham. Deena signed professionally with them. I was already playing with Fulham and I don’t know if I would have been offered a contract, but I decided I wanted to finish my A-levels either way because that was important for me. I firmly believe that you should do your education regardless, even these days.
When I was 18 I was offered a scholarship at Stanford University over in America, but at the same time I’d just got into the England Under-18s setup and they wanted you to be visible and playing in England. I signed with Chelsea instead, and a centre opened at Loughborough University where you could combine full-time football training with your studies. That was perfect for me because I was able to do my degree in Sport and Exercise Science, do my Masters in Sports and Exercise Nutrition and I was able to do my football training there. I was at Loughborough for seven years in total. Everyone joked that I’d get married on the football pitches there, with the rubber crumb being thrown as confetti! Thankfully that wasn’t the case in the end.
During my studies, I changed clubs more than once. I left Chelsea for Fulham, moved on to Bristol Academy and ended up back at Chelsea, by which point I’d made my full England debut. That didn’t go as smoothly as I’d have liked – I ruptured the capsule around the top of my foot and had to come off at half-time – and then I wasn’t involved in the 2005 European Championships, which were held in England, but I went to our opening game against Sweden at the Etihad Stadium. We won 3-2 in injury-time and that was another moment when I just thought: Yeah, this is what I want.
After that tournament, I was in every single senior squad from the end of 2005 through to the end of 2017. I was second or third choice at times, and that was 15 years of your life committed to being away once a month and being part of a team without ever really playing. In 2007, after finally leaving Loughborough, I was picked for the second World Cup England had ever qualified for. It was huge. The finals were in China, and I never expected to play at that point. The first-choice goalkeeper, Rachel Brown, had been around forever. I was just there for the journey and to enjoy being at the World Cup.
The commitment you had to make as a female player, at that point when the game wasn’t fully professional, was huge. You’re working full-time, committing to training full-time, and you need a job that’ll let you take a week off once a month and have the flexibility to work around evening kick-offs, changed training schedules and so on. It’s very, very difficult.
I started teaching Sports Science in 2011 while I was in my second spell at Bristol and did a post-graduate course in that while also training, so it was a bit of a tight schedule. Some days I’d finish working at 4.30pm, do a goalkeeper training session for two hours and then immediately join in with a two-hour outfield session. I’d need a massive bag of Haribo between them to get me through. Teaching wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it fitted in and paid the bills.
On the pitch, things went really well. Bristol got to the FA Cup final, got to the Champions League and lost to a Russian team later caught up in the Russian doping scandal. On that note, I actually played for England against Russia a couple of days after the documentary Icarus came out, and I watched that on the day of the game. It left me asking a lot of questions in my head while I was lining up beforehand. That was a strange experience. We won 6-0 anyway, so if there were any drugs involved, they didn’t work!
Siobhan Chamberlain says
“United was, by a million miles, the best organised, best run and most integrated club I’ve played for.”Siobhan Chamberlain
I played every minute of every Bristol game for the first three years of the WSL, was named in the PFA team of the year and came third in the voting for the POTY. Then I left for a new challenge at Arsenal, where I became professional for the first time. The problem was, I barely played, so it wasn’t a great time for me. I played every game of the FA Cup run until I was replaced for the final. We won it for the first time in my career, having lost the final twice with Bristol – both to Arsenal – but I value those loser’s medals more than the winner’s medal because I felt we’d really achieved something by getting to the final with Bristol.
The following year was the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Again, I was on the bench. I went to the World Cup in 2007, Euros in 2009, World Cup in 2011, Euros in 2013 and I didn’t set foot on the pitch in any of them.
Then it happened. Finally.
We were playing Canada in the quarter-final. It was at BC Place in Vancouver. I’d played in Canada for a while a few years earlier, when the women’s league in England had been rescheduled and I went out there to get some playing time during the lull in fixtures. While I was there, I’d played in Vancouver with quite a few of the Canadian team, and now I was back. Karen Bardsley, our first-choice goalkeeper, came in at half-time with a puffy eye. She’d gotten some of the 3G crumb in her eye and it had reacted badly. She went back out for the second half but it quickly became clear she couldn’t see and, after 51 minutes, she had to come off.
There was no way I was going to rush. I sorted my hair out, put my shinpads on, my pre-wraps, my gloves, and by this time the Canadian fans were fuming. It was sold out. They were booing and I was enjoying that. The moment was in my hands. I wanted to be ready, perfectly set. I was getting booed by 55,000 fans for time-wasting, but as a goalkeeper you don’t have to rush. That’s the one position where they can’t start without you, so everyone’s there trying to rush my gloves on, but I was just like: “Don’t stress. It’s fine.”
Siobhan Chamberlain says
“I’m someone that constantly needs a challenge, and that’s certainly what I’ve got right now… being a professional footballer was the easy part!”Siobhan Chamberlain
I was the calmest person in the world as I walked on the pitch with the biggest smile on my face. Everyone at home said to me afterwards: “Were you not nervous? You looked like you were having the best day of your life!” I’d done all the preparation I needed. If I didn’t go out there, enjoy it and trust what I’d done previously, there was no point. It was 2-1 when I went on and it finished 2-1, so we qualified for our first ever semi-final of a World Cup. That was a huge moment in my career – the kind of moment that nobody had ever thought was possible when I was a kid – and it was a sweet experience. In that tournament every outfield member of the squad had already played some part, so it was nice to feel properly involved.
Also, throughout that tournament, every time I’d done media interviews it had been about my wedding, because I’d gone off to play football and left my now-husband Leigh at home to plan the wedding, so I was waiting for any chance to talk about football. Finally I could talk about something other than the wedding!
Two years later, at the European Championships, I was no.2 to Karen again. Playing France in the quarter-final, she went down injured with a broken leg, so I came on at the same stage of the tournament for the same player. It was 1-0 when I came on, it finished 1-0, we qualified for the semi-finals of the Euros and for that to happen two tournaments in succession, Karen must have wondered what I’d done to her!
By that time I’d signed for Liverpool, but when the opportunity came in 2018 to join United, it also gave me the chance to play for Casey Stoney, who had been my England room-mate for a decade. It was perfect timing for me because I needed that move. It couldn’t have gone better. United was, by a million miles, the best organised, best run and most integrated club I’ve played for. You feel like you’re part of the club, which is huge. It feels fully like one club.
It was an interesting season because as a person and footballer, I fell back in love with football at United. After my time at Arsenal and Liverpool, football was just football. I loved the international side of it but had lost my love for the club game. I was just doing my job, but being at United, being part of something new with a great bunch of players and staff, with Casey, I fell back in love with football.
I was by far the senior figure in the squad. I mean, by far. There were a lot of kids in that team, so it was quite nice to have that role of trying to lead and guide and help them. It was a hard season as a goalkeeper barely touching the ball because we were winning so heavily, but to be part of the first ever Manchester United Women’s team to win a trophy is something that nobody can ever take away from us. Personally, being the first ever professional no.1 in the club’s history has great historic value. It’s big. It’s not a record that can be beaten. It’s just a fact and I’m so proud of it.
Then, at the end of that first season, things changed. For most women who have kids, life changes drastically when they give birth. For me, it changed drastically when I announced that I was pregnant because my whole career changed in an instant. My football had always dictated where we moved, my husband had always based his company wherever he’s needed to. Suddenly I was no longer the priority. It wasn’t just about what I wanted. It became all about Emilia, who was born in January 2020.
I left United a few months later and announced my retirement not long afterwards, and it was by far the hardest decision I’d ever taken in my life. United are, like I say, brilliantly run and every single player will tell you that Casey is fantastic. She’s honest, she’s ruthless when she needs to be, but she’s a good manager of people, so the club is in very safe hands. For me, life has changed dramatically. I absolutely love being a mum. I also enjoy watching the team now, quite often as a co-commentator with MUTV, and it’s great to see them doing so well at the top of the league. Personally, for me, as well as media work with MUTV, I’m currently studying for a Masters in Sports Directorship. I’ve learnt and experienced so much within the game that I’d love to be able to give back and help the game grow in the right direction. I’m someone that constantly needs a challenge, and that’s certainly what I’ve got right now… being a professional footballer was the easy part!
That’s just me, it’s how I’ve always been – especially if someone tells me I can’t do something!
By Leke Alder
It’s virtually impossible to appreciate the full ramification of the New Testament without recourse to the legal construct undergirding it. The New Testament is resolutely mounted on a tripod of commercial law, criminal law and constitutional law.
There are other legal dimensions but those are the major three. Without those legal authorities the New Testament will not be efficacious in heaven, on earth or under the earth. It will just be history.
That’s not to say only lawyers can appreciate the New Testament. It’s the Holy Spirit that unveils the word. But there’s a way and manner a Paul would read the scriptures that Peter can’t.
Paul had formal training in Mosaic law. His dean was Gamaliel. Acts 22:3. Peter on the other hand was an ordinary fisherman, and you can see the difference in their writings.
It’s like those first few verses in the book of Genesis. A cosmologist or quantum physicist would salivate over them. He has a technical grasp of the issues.
When he reads, Let there be light, he’s thinking photons, we’re thinking light projection like in a dark movie theater. He’s probably thinking of the speed of light as well – 299,792 kilometers per second. We won’t.
Every major terminology in the New Testament is a legal terminology. Redemption is a clear example. Redemption is a commercial law principle. It speaks of the right to regain ownership of property by freeing it from a debt, charge or lien.
Colossians 2:14 says God “cancelled the record of debt that stood against us WITH ITS LEGAL DEMANDS, set it aside and nailed it to the cross.” That’s “the redemption of the purchased possession”. Ephesians 1:14. We were bought with a price. 1 Corinthians 6:20.
We were then sealed with the Holy Spirit as a first installment on God’s promises to us, a reminder we’ll get everything God planned for us. The Holy Spirit is thus a down payment on God’s promises. Ephesians 1:14 MSG. Salvation is a commercial law transaction.
There are two other legal fields at play in the New Testament. They are criminal law and constitutional law. The death of Jesus is largely based on criminal law whereas his resurrection, ascension and session in heaven are constitutional law matters.
He would devolve certain rights to us after his ascension. Those rights are inalienable, meaning they cannot be taken from us. We can’t surrender them even if we want to. It’s one of the reasons we can’t lose our salvation.
Indeed, the very phrase, “New Testament” is itself a legal term. There are two senses in which the Bible uses the phrase. In the first sense the New Testament is talking about a will. Jesus left us a will after his death.
A will is a legal instrument apportioning assets after death. It’s why the King James bible in Hebrews 9:16 uses the word, “testator.” That word is used to this day in the drafting of wills. A testator is the person who dies, leaving a will or testament.
It is this idea of will the book of Hebrews was elucidating on: “Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove the person who made it is dead. The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is alive, the will cannot be put into effect.” Hebrews 9:16-17 NLT. It says the proof of the death of Jesus is his blood, and because of that proof of death his will went into effect. It’s how we got our spiritual inheritance.
The death of Jesus “marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, cancelling the old obligations and its sins, and summoning the heirs to receive an inheritance that was promised them.” Hebrews 9:16-17 MSG. But then that passage says Jesus “brought together God and his people in this new way.” Hebrews 9:17 MSG.
That leads us to the second sense in which the phrase, New Testament is used. The second sense in which the phrase is used is constitutionally. It is a social compact. God made an agreement with mankind.
Nothing captures this better than the words of Jeremiah: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:33.
Referring to this passage, Hebrews 8:7 tells us that “if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”
The relationship between God and mankind under the old agreement was adversarial and very toxic to say the least; whereas under the new agreement the relationship is conciliatory. There’s rapprochement.
In 2 Corinthians 5:19 we’re told that God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s sins against them. It is for this reason angels announced goodwill towards ALL men at the birth of Jesus – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will toward humankind.” Luke 2:14. God was extending the olive branch.
The arduous nature of the relationship between God and humanity was why the provisions of the law of Moses were severe. It was an impossible situation. You could never please God by obeying the Ten Commandments. You still can’t.
“No one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.” Romans 3:20 NLT. The King James translation of that passage used the term “justified” – “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.” That word is a legal terminology.
In criminal law, justification means to be exempted from criminal liability. Charges are dropped. What the Bible is saying is, God has dropped all legal charges against us. God is not holding your sin against you. It’s either you believe that or not. But you better do because it’s liberating.
The death of Jesus is what lawyers refer to as vicarious liability. Vicarious liability means someone took on the legal liabilities of another person. Jesus paid the price for our sins. Sin is a criminal offence. It’s why Jesus was subjected to capital punishment. The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23.
It’s a lack of understanding of biblical jurisprudence that makes us imagine we can do good to get saved. That’s like a murderer saying he should be absolved of his crime just because he gave alms to the poor, or because he helped a widow. You can’t pay for a capital offence by fulfilling a civil obligation. Sin is not a tort. A tort is a civil wrong. It’s why Jesus couldn’t pay for our sins with all those good he did. Acts 10:38. Or they would have saved us. He did a lot of good.
But he had to go to that cross. He was crucified as a common criminal with two robbers. Those weren’t petty thieves, they were violent robbers. They had murdered. It’s why the thief on the right side told the thief on the left THEIR crucifixion was justified, but Jesus was an innocent man. Luke 23:41. The charge of treason against him was as bogus as they come. It was the only lie that could stick.
The accusation about wanting to destroy the temple and rebuilding it within three days fell under religious law. That’s outside the purview of Roman authority, so they accused him of insurrection against Caesar instead. The Bible says Satan is THE accuser of the brethren. Revelation 12:10. That’s not gossip mongering it’s talking about, it’s real prosecutorial stuff, like in a court of law. Or we wouldn’t need a defense attorney. Jesus is our advocate. 1 John 2:1.
His omnibus defense is justification – “Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God that justifies.” Romans 8:33. The modern equivalence of justification is acquittal. You’re acquitted because Jesus has been judged on your behalf. In criminal law you can be discharged but not acquitted. Which means you can be tried for the offence again. Acquittal on the other hand means nobody can prosecute you for the same offence again. That’s the rule of double jeopardy.
Because some Christians don’t know they’ve been acquitted they keep begging God for forgiveness for the same sin. They don’t believe God has forgiven them. They keep responding to the memory of the sin and their bad conscience. Some resort to penance and restitution but that’s an affront to the sacrifice of Jesus. Once you’ve asked God for forgiveness your sin is forgiven, and forgotten. The blood of Jesus cleanses you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7.
Because of guilty conscience some can’t claim their healing from God. They believe their sickness is a punishment from God. But if Jesus went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, why would the same Jesus be doing the rounds putting sickness on people? Is he schizophrenic? Doesn’t make sense. Acts 10:38.
And talking about righteousness, contrary to popular teaching it is NOT right standing with God. Right standing with God is the RESULT of righteousness FOR SINNERS. The contradiction comes when the definition is applied to God. God is righteous. He cannot be in right standing with himself. He’s not a sinner. He wasn’t alienated from himself.
Righteousness is in fact a constitutional principle. As enunciated in scriptures it is the totality of the sovereign rights of God, his essence, as well as his brand. Everything God does is righteous, just because he’s God and nothing else. You can’t judge what he does. What standard will you use? You can’t question God. Isaiah 45:11.
In the exercise of his sovereignty he chose to save the descendants of Abraham & not those fallen angels. Hebrews 2:16. Both species were fallen but he chose to save humans. And then he did something extraordinary – he devolved his rights to us having designated us his heirs.49. We became not only like him, we actually became him. He is in us, we are in him. Total identification. As he is so are we. 1 John 4:17, 2 Corinthians 5:21. We don’t have righteousness therefore, we ARE righteous. Our righteousness is existential. We can’t become unrighteous.50. Unlike in the Old Testament where they did righteousness to earn God’s approval, in the New Testament righteousness is a gift of grace.
You don’t do anything to become righteous in the New Testament. You’re made righteous. Because of this righteousness we can boldly approach the throne of grace. Hebrews 4:16. So, stop being timid. Stop all the I’m unworthy religious stuff. 1 John 3:1. Sorosoke.
Exercise your constitutional rights. 2 Timothy 1:7. You are the righteousness of God in Christ. This has been a crash course in biblical jurisprudence. I want you to give your life to Jesus. Please pray this prayer: “Father I come to you in the name of Jesus. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead. I am saved. Amen.”
To read On Faith Part 6: Legal Matters go here
To understand the Christian walk from a contemporary perspective, read my book, Conversations of a 21st Century Saint. Order at:
© Leke Alder |
By Dr Spencer Johnson
This a review of “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr Spencer Johnson
The forewords by Dr Kenneth Blanchard reads:
It’s…An AMazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Work And In Your Life Who Moved My Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths about
change. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a ‘Maze’ and look for ‘Cheese’ to nourish them and make them happy.
Two are mice named Sniff and Scurry. And two are little people’ – beings the size of mice who look and act a lot like people. Their names are Hem and Haw.
‘Cheese’ is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it’s a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, good health, or spiritual peace of mind. And ‘The Maze’ is where you look for what you want – the organization
you work in, or the family or community you live in.
In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change. Eventually, one of them deals with it successfully, and writes what he has learned from his
experience on the maze walls.
When you come to see ‘The Handwriting on the Wal ‘, you can discover for yourself how to deal with change, so that you can enjoy less stress and more
success (however you define it) in your work and in your life.
Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights can last for a lifetime.
The four imaginary characters
depicted in this story
– The mice: “Sniff” & “Scurry;’
– Little people: “Hem” & “Haw”
It is a simple yet, complex book.
It is an exposé on all of us & indeed, “Parts of All of Us!” –
The Simple and The Complex
They’re intended to represent the simple and the complex parts of ourselves, regardless of our age, gender, race or nationality.
Sometimes we may act like
SNIFF out change early
SCURRY into action
HEM ourselves in, deny & resist change as we fears it will lead to something worse
HAW in paused hesitation to study, learn to adapt in time when we see changing can lead to something better!
Whatever parts of us we choose to use, we all share something in common: a need to find our way in the Maze and succeed in changing times.
In the Gathering, old school classmates eating together after a reunion all realized that although they had gone off in different directions—from working at home to managing companies they were
experiencing the similar thing. Everyone was trying to cope with the unexpected changes that were happening to them in recent years. And most admitted that they did not know a good way to handle them.
Micheal, One of the gathering then told them how he learned to cope, with lessons from this story.
I must say here:
THIS A STORY BEST READ IN FULL. IT IS QUITE SHORT & TAKES LESS THAN AN HOUR TO READ!
Sniff & Scurry; the mice, run around in a labyrinth of maze chasing for cheese to eat daily.
Hem & Haw; the little people, did the same daily.
Both pairs put on their running shoes & do the same thing everyday.
They return daily with helpings of cheese for the day’s meal.
Then they hit Cheese Station C. It had large storage of cheese.
Hem & Haw moved their home closer to Station C & decorated their cozy home’s walls to enjoy a simple life of plenty.
Sniff & Scurry however didn’t change much. They hung their running shoes around their necks & simply came from further off like before to enjoy the moment while it lasted.
Then the cheese finished suddenly one day.
White Hem & Haw in their arrogance, which they had developed, blamed the system for the abruptness of the loss of their cheese paradise, Sniff & Scurry on the other hand simply took it in their strides, put on their running shoes once more & hit the road, running through the nooks of the maze in search for more cheese.
Hem & Haw kept returning daily to their now empty paradise, in the hope for a miracle but it remained empty of cheese & they were the worse off for it.
Sniff & Scurry hit the jackpot soon enough with their discovery of Station N, which has the largest storage of cheese they have ever seen.
Hem kept asking the air “WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?” as Haw started having doubts if their complex approach of rationalizing & analysing will pay any dividend for they remained hungry still.
Soon enough, Haw got tired of trying to persuade Hem to leave Station C & come away in search of food rather than sit around complaining.
Haw left some inspirational quotes on the wall & left Hem to his misery too.
Haw finds tiny bits of a new type of cheese in the maze, which he brings back to Hem, but Hem refuses to eat it because he only wants the old type of cheese. He has grown accustomed to what he’s used to.
Haw keeps exploring since these tiny bits aren’t enough to sustain him. As he journeys to new areas of the maze, he pushes past his fears and learns many life lessons.
He writes a few lessons on the wall from time to time to encourage himself to move forward and for Hem if he ever decides to follow him.
Haw finally finds a new place deep in the maze that has a ton of cheese, including all sorts of new types.
Haw meets Sniff and Scurry again, who arrived here long before he did.
Haw writes all the lessons he wrote earlier on a big wall, the lessons are:
1. Change Happens. They Keep Moving The Cheese.
2. Anticipate Change Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
3. Monitor Change Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
4. Adapt To Change Quickly The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese
5. Change Move With The Cheese
6. Enjoy Change! Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!
7. Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again.
They Keep Moving The Cheese.
Haw now regularly explores new parts of the maze and monitors the cheese supply so the same thing doesn’t happen again.
He decides it’s best to let Hem find his own way to him; he realizes Hem has to change on his own.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
Nigeria’s collective national security and military establishment started in 1863. It was well financed by the Royal Niger Company. The gradual separation came with the Niger River Constabulary in 1888 at Lokoja. Then came the Niger Coast Constabulary in 1894 at Calabar and eventually the Lagos Police in 1896.
Sir John Hawley Glover was an officer under the command of Dr. William Balfour Baikie both of the Royal Navy. Glover was the Lagos governor from 1863 to 1874 and Baikie the British consul of what became the colonial contours of what eventually became Nigeria under Lord Lugard from 1857 to 1859;
“Glover formed the nucleus of present-day Nigerian Army and Police with 10 Hausa runaway slaves on 1 June 1863. The group was known as Glover’s Hausas or ‘Glover’s Forty Thieves’. Glover went to great lengths to develop bonds of personal loyalty with the Armed Hausas. He personally trained, commanded, and chose his successors, ensuring their loyalty. In return for their loyalty, Glover rewarded his troops with land and dwellings. He raised their pay and provided them with smart uniforms that broadcast their status of free men and agents of the British colonial government.”
Dr. Baikie introduced the use of Quinine for the treatment of Malaria in our clime, authored; Observations on the Hausa and Fuifuide Languages printed in 1861 and previously in 1856; Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the Rivers Kwora and Binue. He collected vocabularies of nearly fifty languages, and translated portions of the Holy Bible and prayer-book into Hausa and Arabic. His translation of the Psalms into Hausa was published by the Bible Society in 1881. More importantly he established Lokoja;
“After purchasing the site, and concluding a treaty with the Fula emir of Nupe, he proceeded to clear the ground, build houses, form enclosures and pave the way for a future city. In less than five years he had opened up the navigation of the Niger, made roads, and established a market to which the native produce was brought for sale and barter. His settlement grew to include representatives of almost all the tribes of West-Central Africa, and more than 2,000 traders visited the town in its first three years.”
Lest we forget as Ghanaian authorities harass and intimidate Nigerian traders;
“Glover was employed to repel incursions of the Ashantis. When the Third Anglo-Ashanti War broke out in September 1873 he landed at Cape Coast, and, after forming a small trustworthy force of Hausa, marched to Accra. His influence sufficed to gather a numerous native force.
In January 1874 Captain Glover was able to render some assistance in the taking of Kumasi, but it was at the head of a Hausa force.”
The Nigerian Police Force has always been segmented along regional lines each headed by a Commissioner reporting to an Inspector-General in Lagos. Chief Louis Orok Edet (1914-1979) became the first Nigerian IGP between 1964 and 1966. Back then every Commissioner had a network of Native Authority Police formations. The Nigerian Immigration Service, Correctional Services, Federal Road Safety Corps and Civil Defense were all carved out of police duties.
By 1966, onwards the Police became more centralized at the federal level. Under IBB it became Nigerian Police when Force was removed. The reason was obvious. If IGP Sunday Adewusi had had his way under President Shehu Shagari the military coup of December 31, 1983 would not have taken place. The rest as they say is now history as the Nigeria Police became systematically underfunded. During the era of President Shagari the monthly pay of a Constable was increased to N400 and personnel strength reached 152, 000. Now it is 375,000 with a huge chunk outsourced to VIPs, financial institutions, government assets, private company premises, traditional rulers and even celebrities.
The Glover’s Hausas were at the vanguard of dismantling slavery and the notorious slave trade across Nigeria particularly in defeating the Sokoto caliphate. It consisted of martial oriented tribes from all nooks and crannies of what later became Nigeria including from parts of present day Niger, Tchad, Cameroon to as far as the Darfur region of Sudan. Hausa therefore in Glover’s context was not an ethnicity but a Lingua Franca that is why an Ibadan Signals officer like Raji Rasaki would more than a hundred years later with ease ask in Lagos; “Who build dis gada?”
For the Nigerian Police to become more effective it has to be more decentralized and modernized. With a population of over 200 million our police apparatus has to be increasingly technological based. Crime prevention and solving value added with forensic and IT capacities. Patrols have to include drones. Increased CCTV coverage is also imperative. All these are capital intensive. This means the cost of governance must drastically reduce in Nigeria. The Nigerian political class have become a major burden on the rest of the polity at expense of our collective security.
Warts and all, the police is your friend. If not call a thug when next you are in trouble! Every society gets the kind of police it deserves. If we want better policing we must better ourselves first!
Does General Gowon look like somebody who moved to London with half of Nigeria’s Central Bank?
We, the undersigned call upon Hon. Member of Parliament representing Tonbridge and Malling of the United Kingdom, Ted Tugendhat to withdraw his recent statement at Westminster;
“Some people would remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half of the central bank, or so it was said, and moved to London,”
Mr. Tugendhat, had spoken when E-petition 554150 was being considered at the British Parliament on Monday, November 23, 2020 over a petition seeking sanction against the Nigerian government for alleged human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests.
We are not unmindful that the MP had added “so it was said” to his presumptuous claim. That notwithstanding, Mr. Tugendhat would have availed himself with some basic historical overview on the exact circumstances of how General Gowon ended up dining at the student cafeteria at Warwick University after his overthrow on July 29, 1975 while in Kampala attending a summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU now African Union)
Even after 45 years, General Gowon’s statement thereafter remains instructive;
“From all indications a new government had been established in Nigeria. I wish to state that I, on my part, have also accepted the change and pledged my full loyalty to my nation, my country and the new government. Therefore, in the overall interest of the nation and our beloved country, I appeal to all concerned to cooperate fully with the new government and ensure the preservation of peace, unity and stability of our dear motherland.
As a Nigerian, I am prepared to serve my country in any capacity, which my country may consider appropriate. I am a professional soldier and I can do any duty that I am called upon to do.
May I take this opportunity to thank all the people of Nigeria and friends of Nigeria for the support and cooperation that you all gave me during my tenure of office and call upon all of you to give the new government of our nation the same support and cooperation in the interest of our beloved country.
Long live one united, happy and prosperous Nigeria. Long live the Organisation of African Unity.”
The attached images are of General Gowon after he had enrolled as a student at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Where eventually his Ph.D Thesis focused on The Economic Community of West African States: A study in Political and Economic integration.
It would be recalled after his overthrow from government several investigations were made into corrupt enrichment. The General was neither found complicit nor indicted in any. More ever;
“Many offers of residence came to him in Kampala from various African countries. He notified the new regime in Lagos that he would leave Kampala for Lome in Togo. Since he was financially broke, teary-eyed members of the Nigerian delegation along with staffers at the Nigerian High Commission in Kampala donated 3000 pounds sterling to enable him begin a new life. He was flown to Lome – via Garoua in Cameroon – aboard President Idi Amin’s executive jet.
Part of the flight passed through Nigerian airspace and Gowon took the opportunity to transmit a radio message reaffirming loyalty to and support for Brigadier Muhammed’s new regime. Although offered permanent domicile in Togo he chose to join his family in the United Kingdom. He received an additional 10,000 pounds sterling donation from General Eyadema. Following a telephone call to Brigadier Muhammed, during which he made requests for elementary federal assistance, he left for London.”
“When he got to London, he was offered official accommodation by the Nigerian government which he, however, turned down for a variety of reasons. After some weeks at the Portman Hotel, he moved into the house of an old friend – Mr. Emmanuel Otti – at 472 Finchley Road, London. The delay was to enable the house to be redecorated by Mr. and Mrs. Otti and Brigadier Sam Ogbemudia (who had been in the UK when the coup took place in Nigeria). Other friends came to the assistance of the family. It was not until September 1975 that he began to get his pension and gratuities as a retired Four-Star General. In the nine years he had been Nigeria’s ruler he had not built himself a single house, inside or outside the country, nor did he expropriate one kobo of government money.
Unlike some of those who served under him, his TOTAL savings throughout his service years as well as his years as Nigeria’s leader was N75,000 – all of which was inside Nigeria. In time to come this would stand in stark contrast to the conduct of and personal fortunes of most of those who conspired to remove him from office – or benefited from it.
Once settled in with his family, the General, who was offered several Masters Degree programs, signed up for undergraduate studies in Political Science at Warwick University. Newspapers in Nigeria later carried news items and photographs depicting the former Nigerian leader carrying trays in a student cafeteria in the UK.
The Muhammed regime was embarrassed and therefore dispatched Brigadier TY Danjuma (who, took Kano born Col. Wali along) to ask Gowon adopt a supposedly more dignified stance. Gowon rejected the overture and reassured his “embarrassed sympathizers” that he was comfortable with his situation. (Conceivably nothing could have been more embarrassing than to be overthrown while attending an OAU summit). He made friends among the Nigerian students at Warwick, including a family friend of mine, Desmond Guobadia, now a legal practitioner in Lagos. Meanwhile his spouse, the former First Lady, Mrs. Victoria Gowon (who was a nurse) registered as a catering student at a University College in London.”
See details in; Military Rebellion of July 29, 1975 – Epilogue: From Kampala to Lome to London and back to Nigeria by Nowa Omoigui
Therefore, we the undersigned call upon all Nigerians of goodwill and indeed the members of the international community at large to ignore the insinuations of Mr. Tugendhat. In turn, by this signed clarification we call upon the MP to be appropriately corrected and to do the needful by withdrawing his statement on General Gowon.
Ahmed Yahaya Joe.
By Arthur Ashe.
Arthur Ashe was the legendary Wimbledon Tennis Player who was dying of AIDS, which he got due to Infected Blood he received during a Heart Surgery in 1983!
As he lay sick, he received letters from his fans, one of which asked:
“Why did God have to select you for such a bad disease?”
To this Arthur Ashe replied:
50 Million children started playing Tennis,
5 Million learnt to play Tennis,
500 000 learnt Professional Tennis,
50 Thousand came to Circuit,
5 Thousand reached Grand Slam,
50 reached Wimbledon,
4 reached the Semifinals,
2 reached the Finals and
when, I , was holding the winner’s cup in my hand, I never asked God
So now that I’m in pain how can I ask God
Happiness keeps you Sweet!
Trials keep you Strong!
Sorrows keep you Human!
Failure keeps you Humble!
Success keeps you Glowing!
But only, Faith keeps you Going!
Sometimes you are not satisfied with your life, while many people in this world are dreaming of living your life.
A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead dreams of flying. but, a pilot on the plane sees the farmhouse & dreams of returning home.
Enjoy yours… If wealth is the secret to happiness, then the rich should be dancing on the streets.
But only poor kids do that.
If power ensures security, then VIPs should walk unguarded.
But those who live simply, sleep soundly.
If beauty and fame bring ideal relationships, then celebrities should have the best marriages.
Live simply, be happy! Walk humbly before God and men, and love genuinely, for God our father is LOVE!
A Beautiful Message not just to read and forward to others, but to apply practically in our personal lives.
Good day, folks!
Please take time to share the pieces above.
“The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership………..
“One of the commonest manifestations of under-development is a tendency among the ruling elite to live in a world of make-believe and unrealistic expectations. This is the cargo cult mentality that anthropologists sometimes speak about – a belief by backward people that someday, without any exertion whatsoever on their own part, a fairy ship will dock in their harbour laden with every goody they have always dreamed of possessing………
“In spite of conventional opinion Nigeria has been less than fortunate in its leadership. A basic element of this misfortune is the seminal absence of intellectual rigour in the political thought of our founding fathers – a tendency to pious materialistic woolliness and self-centred pedestrianism…………..
“But whereas tribalism might win enough votes to install a reactionary jingoist in a tribal ghetto, the cult of mediocrity will bring the wheels of modernization grinding to a halt throughout the land.
Unlucky is the country where indiscipline is seen by ordinary people as the prerogative of the high and might. For, by the same token, discipline will be seen as a penalty which the rank and file must pay for their powerlessness………
“My frank and honest opinion is that anybody who can say that corruption in Nigeria has not yet become alarming is either a fool, a crook or else does not live in this country”
– Chinua Acbebe (1983)
Culled from Ahmed Yahaya Joe on Facebook
BBC’s Martin Patience is leaving Nigeria after 2 years. I listened to a recap of his lessons learned in a version of the ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ yesterday. Below is a transcribed excerpt of his version.
”Nigeria is truly the maddest place I have ever had the pleasure of living in. It’s a country that constantly feels on the brink but never quite goes over the edge.
“It feels like you are living in a giant soap opera with all the joy and tragedy that goes with it. It is a nation blessed or burdened with extraordinary cast of characters.
“It can make you want to cry with laughter or with tears. ‘’where else?’’ said a friend.
“That you have to bribe the attendant in a lift just to be allowed out of it; or you will be hassled in a church for a donation or where you will go to a lost but found office only to be told that nothing has been handed in this entire year. What you may not have heard about is the sheer exuberance of this country.
“They should hand out ear plugs in Nigerian weddings because the noise is so intense! Millions truly believe that tomorrow could be the day they make it big. The language here is unbelievably colorful.
“A top official once described a former president as an honest fool, who held the horn while the others milk the cow.
“I have never ever lived anywhere like Nigeria! It’s exhausting and exhilarating but never is there a dull a day.
“I was recently sitting in a plane and we were taxiing out to the runway; a pilot piped up in an intercom, ‘’a passenger’’ he said, ‘’was rude to an air hostess’’. ‘’I ask you the passengers’’, he said, ‘’to intervene, because unless he apologizes, we will have to go back to the terminal and unload him’’.
“A queue of about a dozen people surrounding the man, shouting at him to apologize. He refused, so the pilot did indeed turn the plane back towards the boarding gate. And then finally, the man, realizing his number was up, said sorry.
“The pilot was back on the intercom, ‘’I will like to thank you all for intervening’’ he said with obvious delight, ‘’ we are now off to Lagos’’.
“For all the drama and frustrations, one friend summed up Nigerians’ best, ‘’they have remarkable patience’’ he argued. ‘’but for the wrong things.
“They put up with lack of clean water, poor access to health care, rotten schools and crumbling infrastructure.’’ Many Nigerians are fiercely independent. This is a nation of leaders and not followers.”
By Ahmed Yahaya JoeAccording to Winston Hubert McIntosh the founder of The Wailers; He sings :“Don’t care where you come from,🎵
As long as you’re a black man,🎶 You’re an African🎵
No mind your nationality,🎶
You have got the identity of an African” 🎵The Bush Doctor otherwise known as Stepping Razor but more popularly as Peter Tosh nailed it in his Equal Rights album of 1977The Siddis or Habshi are fellow Africans inhabiting India and Pakistan known as Afro-Asians; “They are descended from the Bantu peoples of the East African region. Some were merchants, sailors, indentured servants, slaves and mercenaries. The Siddi population is currently estimated at around 270,000–350,000 individuals, with Karnataka, Gujarat and Hyderabad in India and Makran and Karachi in Pakistan as the main population centres. Siddis are primarily Muslims, although some are Hindus and others are Christians”Similarly; “another term for Siddis – Habshi, is held to be derived from the common name for the captains of the Abyssinian ships that also first delivered Siddi slaves to the subcontinent. The first Siddis are thought to have arrived in India in 628 AD at the Bharuch port.”To escape discrimination and racial profiling many Siddis have inter – married to dilute their identity. However, the Siddis should not be mistaken for the dark skinned Indians known as Dalits that mostly inhabit Tamil Nadu. I have visited their capital Madras now called Chennai
The caste system in India is chiefly based on birth and color – The darker the lower. The Brahmins (the priestly people) are the highest then the Kshatriyas (also called Rajanyas, who were rulers, administrators and warriors), followed by the Vaishyas (artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers), and Shudras (the labourer class) of which the dark Dalits known as “Untouchables” are on the lowest rungs“What is Wrong With Being Black?” is the title of Matthew Ashimolowo’s well researched and extensively referenced 2007 book that traces the history of racial discrimination with the economic rise of Europe through the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade replicated in the Indian Ocean with Arabs.Truth is discrimination of whatever kind is a strategic weapon to gain undue advantage over others. That is why within the same race there is a caste system or class structure, within the same religion denominational differences and even within the same family siblings are positioned by age or gender and so on.Hierarchy is an entirely human creation. All men were created equal but nobody in history has ever had the capacity to enforce that inconvenient truth thereby validating the ancient axiom; “I, against my brothers. I and my brothers against my cousins. I and my brothers and my cousins against the world”It is against this background that identity politics was invented and conflict entrepreneurs arose. Since then we have all been sucked into an endless vortex of hitting each other with ethnicity, religion and other means we find necessary to take advantage over each other
“Don’t go looking for fights – but if you’re hit, deck the bastard” – Roger Ailes
IF YOU ARE ABOVE 40 YRS OF AGE OR APPROACHING THE MARK, HEALTH HINTS FOR YOU
A. Two things to check as often as you can:
(1) Your blood pressure
(2) Your blood sugar
B. Four things to reduce to the minimum on your foods:
(3) dairy products
(4) starchy products
C. Four things to increase in your foods:
D. Three things you need to forget:
(1) Your age
(2) your past
(3) your grievances
E. Four things you must have, no matter how weak or how strong you are:
(1) Friends who truly love you
(2) caring family
(3) positive thoughts
(4) a warm home.
F. Five things you need to do to stay healthy:
(2) smiling / laughing
(3) trek / exercise
(4) reduce your weight.
G. Six things you don’t have to do:
(1) Don’t wait till you are hungry to eat
(2) don’t wait till you are thirsty to drink
(3) don’t wait till you are sleepy to sleep
(4) don’t wait till you feel tired to rest
(5) don’t wait till you get sick to go for medical check-ups otherwise you will only regret later in life
(6) don’t wait till you have problem before you pray to your God.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF !!!
IQ , EQ , SQ , AQ
…..According to psychologists, there are four types of intelligence:
1) Intelligence Quotient 0(IQ)
2) Emotional Quotient (EQ)
3) Social Quotient (SQ)
4) Adversity Quotient (AQ)
1. Intelligence Quotient (IQ): This is the measure of your comprehension ability”, solve maths; memorize things and recall subject matters.
2. Emotional Quotient (EQ): This is the measure of your ability to maintain peace with others; keep to time; be responsible; be honest; respect boundaries; be humble, genuine and considerate.
3. Social Quotient (SQ):
This is the measure of your ability to build a network of friends and maintain it over a long period of time.
People that have higher EQ and SQ tend to go farther in life than those with high IQ but low EQ and SQ. Most schools capitalize in improving IQ level while EQ and SQ are played down.
A man of high IQ can end up being employed by a man of high EQ and SQ even though he has an average IQ.
Your EQ represents your character; your SQ represents your charisma. Give in to habits that will improve these three Qs but more especially your EQ and SQ.
EQ and SQ make one manage better than the other.
Pls don’t teach children only to have higher IQ , but also to have higher EQ and SQ.
Now there is a 4th one:
A new paradigm
4. The Adversity Quotient (AQ):
The measure of your ability to go through a rough patch in life and come out without losing your mind. AQ determines who will give up in face of troubles and may abandon their families.
Expose children to other areas of life than academic. They should adore manual work (never use work as a form of punishment), sport and art .
Develop their EQ, SQ and AQ. They should become multifaceted human beings able to do things independently of the parents.
Finally, do not prepare the road for the children. Prepare the children for the road.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
There is an overwhelming need to improve inter-communal harmony that has become so toxic in our dear nation. Religious hatred is a mainly product of ignorance and mischief. Both sides of the divide are very much guilty particularly against the background of political grandstanding. We currently live in tumultuous times. The ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic is no respecter for religious difference. Its economic fallout will not spare anyone while the political will be all encompassing irrespective. We therefore need a bird’s eye view on issues to pull through.
I asked the first Israeli I ever met, why the dickens Jews and Arabs in that highly combustible nation haven’t been able to work out an acceptable peace agreement between them for decades? She replied that the problem wasn’t actually religious as I had presumed but more about international power play, control and manipulation of spheres of influence as such it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to resolve the fundamental issues between them due to the various conflicting interests beyond their borders.
I still find my conversation with that secular Jewess in far away Singapore 31 years ago instructive as far as Nigeria is concerned Najran is the capital of the a southern administrative division of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the same name. Before 1902 there were 4 monarchical Sheikhs of 4 regions which Abdulaziz Al Saud of Nejd emerged superior and became overall King in 1932 up to 1953. All subsequent monarchs in Saudi Arabia to date are among his 36 sons that survived him based on seniority.
I first heard about the Pact of Najran through my good friend Ahmad Ramadan, a extremely brilliant legal mind who back in the mid 1990s was a practitioner at the chambers of Aliyu Umar Esq, later Aliyu Umar SAN now of blessed memory.
On the al-Masīḥiyyūn al-ʿArab in the historical Arabian Peninsula the background narrative is; “The visit of the Christians of Najran to the city of Medina in 631 is perhaps the most important noted interfaith interaction between Christians and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). At this time Muhammad (pbuh) had sent letters to different communities and their leaders, encouraging them to embrace Islam. In the case of the Najran, who lived near Yemen, about 450 miles south of Medina, the Prophet sent Khaled ibn al-Walid and Ali ibn Abi Talib to deliver the letter.
At the time of this diplomatic endeavor, Najran Christians had a highly organized religious system. As such, after considering Muhammad’s (pbuh) letter, it is unsurprising that few Christians embraced Islam. In reaction to this “failed attempt” of conversion, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sent another representative to Najran, Mughira Ibn Shu’ba, who was meant to elaborate on this new religion called Islam. Intrigued by Ibn Shu’ba’s message, the Najran Christians sent a delegation of sixty people to visit the Prophet in Medina. The delegation consisted of about forty-five scholars and fifteen assistants.
When the Christians of Najran arrived to Medina, Muhammad allowed them to pray in Nabawi mosque where the Muslims also prayed. This invitation was not only the first example of Christian-Muslim dialogue, but it was the first time that Christians prayed in a mosque. While Prophet Muhammad and the Najrans were not able to reach common ground on all theological issues, he nonetheless gave them a place to stay near his home, and even ordered Muslims to pitch their tent.
Upon leaving Medina, the Najran Christian leaders told Muhammad (pbuh):
“O, Abu al-Qasim, we decided to leave you as you are and you leave us as we are”. But the Christians nevertheless left Medina with a pact (written guarantee) that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would protect their lives, property, and freedom to practice Christianity.”
No doubt the visit of Najran Christians to Medina is an example of religious pluralism. If so why are Al – Mu’minin (Muslims) and Ahl – al – Kitab (Christians) so historically daggers drawn? There is need to highlight the Pact of Najran;
“I hereby declare that my horsemen, my foot-soldiers, my armies, my resources, and my Muslim partisans will protect the Christians as far away as they may be located, whether they inhabit the lands which border my state, in any region, close or far, in times of peace as much as in times of war. I commit myself to support them, to place their persons under my protection, as well as their churches, chapels, oratories, the monasteries of their monks, the residences of their anchorites wherever they are found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, caves or inhabited regions, in the plains or in the desert.
I will protect their religion and their Church wherever they are found, be it on earth or at sea, in the West or in the East, with utmost vigilance on my part, the People of my House, and the Muslims as a whole.
I place them under my protection. I make a pact with them. I commit myself to protect them from any harm or damage; to exempt them for any requisitions or any onerous obligations and to protect them myself, by means of my assistants, my followers and my nation against every enemy who targets me and them”
Agreed there is controversy over the applicability of the he Pact of Najran beyond that specific Christian community the treaty was sealed with. Understandably, through the eras of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Safavids, and so on Ottomans right down to the Maliki revival of Sheikh Othman Dan Fodio a lot of water has passed under the bridge, lest I forget the intervening Crusades that spanned 175 years from 1096 – 1271.
We however have a monumental reference point in our own clime in the groundbreaking letter written by Shehu al- Hajj Muhammad al – Amin al – Kanemi (1776 -1837) on the 23rd day of Rabee-ul-thani, 1238 AH to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Bello (1781 – 1837) who was Amir al – Mu’minin, Commander of the Faithful from 1814 -1836. After the usual polite and often flowering greetings, felicitations and best wishes the Shehu of Borno that was born in Murzuk, in present day Libya stated;
“Hence, the cause of writing this letter and the purpose of its lines, is to acquaint you that the bearers are English travelers; whose nation, out of all the other Christians, has maintained with the Mooslemeen uninterrupted treaties of religious amity and friendship, established since ancient periods, which they inherited from their forefathers and ancestors; and on this account, they penetrate into Mooslemeen countries whenever they please, and traverse all provinces and lands in confidence and trust, without fear. They came to our country, sent to us by our virtuous and accomplished friend, the Lord Yousuf Pasha, master of Tripoli, to see and delight themselves with the wonders of the Land of Soodan, and to become acquainted with its rarities, as lakes, rivers, and forests (or gardens) ; equal to which are seldom seen in other countries.”
The accomplished cleric and sovereign of the Borno empire that was of Kanembu ancestry of present day Tchad who upstaged the Sefuwa dynasty with its former capital in today’s Yobe state, ruled from Kukawa which he founded in 1814. Maiduguri was later established around Yerwa by the Ngadda River in 1907 after a treaty with the Germans, French and British.
“You are well aware of what is stated in Alcoraanic sayings upon the subject of the observance of honour, dictated by our Lord, the Apostle of God; and that the true Mooslemeen have always avoided shedding the blood of Christians, and assisted and protected them with their honour. Be then attentive to these travelers, and cast them not into the corners of neglect; let no one hurt them, either by words or deeds, nor interrupt them with any injurious behavior: but let them return to us, safe, and may the high God bestow upon you the best reward for your treatment to them, and insure to us and to you the path of righteousness for conduct in this life.”
For me this iconic attestation that accompanied the English explorers Major Dixon Denham and Royal Navy Commander Hugh Clapperton from Kukawa to Sokoto in January, 1824 is sufficient proof of the historical covenant between Muslims and Christians before even Nigeria was crafted into being a nation. It is on that foundation laid 196 years ago we must build a new Nigeria!
In any case the conclusion of the Pact of Najran emphasized;
“Christians must not be subjected to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent. If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”
In conclusion; You don’t have to be Hindu to enjoy Indian films or an Inca to watch Telenovelas or indeed worship Shinto to drive a Honda or Toyota neither have no religion to patronize any Chinese product nor be a Korean Buddhist to use any Samsung or be an agnostic to admire Nelson Mandela. Must you own an iPhone or any Apple product if like Steve Jobs that produced them you don’t subscribe to any particular religion?
Less 48 hours or so ago America despite its present health pandemic and economic woes launched a space mission called Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover; “That will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance the quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars” – yet here we are in Nigeria still dividing ourselves over religion!
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
The construction of Hagia Sophia church with its characteristic pendative dome was completed in the year 537. The project started in the year 360. Hagia Sophia which means – Holy Wisdom in Greek was the Constantinople seat of Byzantine Orthodoxy which had severed relationship with Roman Catholicism. When the ancient city where Hagia Sophia is located was captured by the Papacy during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 the church was converted to Rome.
In 1261, the Byzantines recaptured their city and church. Constantinople was named after Constantine the Great (227-337 AD) the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. However by 1453 the city became Istanbul and Hagia Sophia, a mosque under the Ottoman Turk, Mehmed the Conqueror. That was when its minarets were added and the crosses, icons removed with the images within plastered over with various Arabesque features.
In 1923, the historic edifice was converted into a secular museum by the founder of modern Turkey, General Kemal Atatürk. Most of its original imagery were then restored. The United Nations would eventually declare it as a World Heritage Site.
By July 24, 2020, Hagia Sophia would revert back to a mosque again. The Turkish presidential order has already been signed. Many in Christendom are worried, others concerned. I am neither for 2 main reasons. First,
I totally subscribe to the Solomonic axiom – “The race is not for the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to the men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all” Second, I remain an acolyte of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who told the story n 1989; “of a drunk who crossed the street and accosted a pedestrian, asking him, “I shay, which ish the other shide of the shtreet?” The pedestrian, somewhat nonplussed, replied, “That side, of course!” The drunk said, “Shtrange. When I wash on that shide, they shaid it wash thish shide.”
His Grace Tutu went on; “Where the other side of the street is depends on where we are. Our perspective differs with our context, the things that have helped to form us; and religion is one of the most potent of these formative influences, helping to determine how and what we apprehend of reality and how we operate in our own specific context.” The Nobel laureate eventually rested his argument; “My first point seems overwhelmingly simple: that the accidents of birth and geography determine to a very large extent to what faith we belong. The chances are very great that if you were born in Pakistan you are a Muslim, or a Hindu if you happened to be born in India, or a Shintoist if it is Japan, and a Christian if you were born in Italy. I don’t know what significant fact can be drawn from this — perhaps that we should not succumb too easily to the temptation to exclusiveness and dogmatic claims to a monopoly of the truth of our particular faith. You could so easily have been an adherent of the faith that you are now denigrating, but for the fact that you were born here rather than there.
My second point is this: not to insult the adherents of other faiths by suggesting, as sometimes has happened, that for instance when you are a Christian the adherents of other faiths are really Christians without knowing it. We must acknowledge them for who they are in all their integrity, with their conscientiously held beliefs; we must welcome them and respect them as who they are and walk reverently on what is their holy ground, taking off our shoes, metaphorically and literally. We must hold to our particular and peculiar beliefs tenaciously, not pretending that all religions are the same, for they are patently not the same. We must be ready to learn from one another, not claiming that we alone possess all truth and that somehow we have a corner on God.”
Tutu concluded; “God is not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu…: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us”
In the 1567 year history of the existence of Hagia Sophia it has withstood massive earthquakes in years 553, 558, 869 and 1344. This UN World Heritage Site has outlived wars, famines, plagues and indeed dictators, emperors and kings including presidents. It has been a constantly recurring decimal in the politicization of religion in Constantinople, now Istanbul at that crucial junction in modern-day Turkey where Europe meets the Middle East. Simply put the issue is beyond religion, it is another chess game in the “Clash of Civilizations”
Hagia Sophia will therefore outlive President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and return to its origin status as a church one day. Whether or not it happens during our lifetime is beside the point. So why bother? As the ancients wisely put it; “Only 3 things cannot remain hidden for long, the Sun, the Moon and the Truth”
Tick, tock, tick, tock…………
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
Nigeria: A Nation of 75% Idiots, 20% Tribespeople and only 5% Citizens?
Against the backdrop of the trial of Hushpuppi on multiple counts of internet fraud and other related charges on various aspects of criminality in the United States another Nigerian “Lieutenant Victor Agunbiade was awarded the Navy and Marine Corp Development Medal for his exemplary accountability. According to the US Navy, Agunbiade effectively managed its largest cash disbursing office handling $45 million which is approximately N17 billion.
The money accounted for approximately 70% of its overseas disbursing volume.
According to the award citation, Agunbiade earned the honor while serving as cash disbursing Officer at the navy’s Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, between October, 2019 to July this year.
“Additionally, he managed 100 per cent accountability of 23 million dollars (N8.7 billion) across six rigorous inspections and independent audits with zero discrepancies. By his unswerving determination, wise judgment and complete dedication to duty, Agunbiade reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States naval service” the citation read.
Agunbiade enlisted in the US Navy as a storekeeper in 2008 and was commissioned as a supply corps officer in 2013.
He has always displayed a high level of professionalism while discharging his duties. In 2018, Agunbiade was named the Navy’s 2018 Officer Recruiter of the Year, alongside 17 others and honored at the annual Recruiter of the Year ceremony in Washington D.C.”
The same Naija but different persons: what is the explanation?
“According to the ancient Greeks, the founders of modern civilization, there are three kinds of people in any society; The first kind of people in any society are the idiots, not necessarily mentally deficient, but rather one who is a totally private person; totally selfish and totally self-centered (sometimes donning expensive suits, uniform or agbada).
The idiot is always out for his personal gain and his personal interest. He does not have a public philosophy, he has no character, no knowledge and no skills to live by and to be able to contribute in a flourishing society or community. He is all out for his personal pleasures and his personal treasures. The Greeks said the idiot is just an upgraded barbarian – you see them every day in society. They are the ones who form tadpole queues and drive against traffic. They toss litter freely out of their cars and appropriate our commonwealth for their personal use; The Greeks refer to these are the IDIOTS.
The Greek also said there is a second kind of person in any society called the tribespeople. Tribespeople does not necessarily mean belonging to a certain tribe; which is not bad in itself, but when the Greeks used the word tribespeople, they meant a tribal and a tribalistic mentality. The Greeks said the tribespeople are those not able to think beyond their small tribes and their small social groups.
For the tribespeople, the primary, only and ultimate allegiance is to their tribe. Their tribe is their god and their religion is tribalism. Tribespeople are always afraid of things that are different or are a little alien to them. They are always suspicious and fearful, and they always deal with different people and difficult situations with intimidation, force and with violence. The Greeks also said the ideal person for tribespeople is the warrior, because tribespeople are a war making people.
But it was not so for the Greeks, for them, there was another kind of person, and that for them was the ideal person, and they called this ideal person the citizen. When we use the word citizen we are not talking about legal status or political status or the accident of birth; those are outcomes. We are talking about the idea and ideal of citizenship – which is a choice.
Who then is the citizen you might wonder? the citizen according to the Greeks is someone who has the skills and the knowledge to live a public life, and able to live a life of civility. The citizen recognizes that he or she is a member of a commonwealth and thus strives for the common good.
The citizen knows his right in a society but also knows his responsibility to society. The citizen can fight for his right but always with an awareness of, and with the respect for the rights and interest of others; of their neighbors, of the smallest minority and of their worst enemies.
It is citizens, the Greeks said that make up a civilized society, because citizens settle their differences with civility, they produce a civilized society, a society that truly lives up to the meaning of the name society. Society literally means friendship and friendliness.
This is the threefold distinction that the Greeks have given of people in a society. That is the choice that each and every individual, whoever he or she may be, has to make in a society.
Indeed, no sovereign can make any significant advancement when the number idiots and tribesmen far outnumber the number of citizens. When we conducted random surveys on the various cohorts of Delegates at the Ausso Leadership Academy, the perception is that; about 75% of Nigerians behave as idiots, 20% as tribespeople and only 5% as citizens. Do the results shock you enough to want to do something about it?
Nigeria is her people; If we want to see change, we have to start by being citizens of our country. According to Maria Robinson “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
The foregoing was nailed by Austin Okere, the Founder of CWG Plc, the largest ICT Company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange & Entrepreneur in Residence at CBS, New York. Austin also serves on the Advisory Board of the Global Business School Network, and on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Austin now runs the Ausso Leadership Academy focused on Business and Entrepreneurial Mentorship.
By Carolyn Forster on Facebook
Everything in life is taken in perspective…
Imagine you were born in 1900.
When you’re 14, World War I begins and ends when you’re 18 with 22 million dead.
Soon after a global pandemic, the Spanish Flu, appears, killing 50 million people. And you’re alive and 20 years old.
When you’re 29 you survive the global economic crisis that started with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange, causing inflation, unemployment and famine.
When you’re 33 years old the nazis come to power.
When you’re 39, World War II begins and ends when you’re 45 years old with a 60 million dead.
In the Holocaust 6 million Jews die.
When you’re 52, the Korean War begins.
When you’re 64, the Vietnam War begins and ends when you’re 75.
A child born in 1985 thinks his grandparents have no idea how difficult life is, but they have survived several wars and catastrophes.
Today we have all the comforts in a new world, amid a new pandemic.
But we complain because we need to wear masks.
We complain because we must stay confined to our homes where we have food, electricity, running water, wifi, even Netflix!
None of that existed back in the day.
But humanity survived those circumstances and never lost their joy of living.
A small change in our perspective can generate miracles.
We should be thankful that we are alive.
We should do everything we need to do to protect and help each other.
Now that really puts all we are going through into perspective.
Remember today and everyday…
2 Love – 2 Dream – 2 Serve
About Nigeria’s Genuine Mai-Gaskiya (The Sincere one), the Real McCoy. An Exemplary Paragon of Integrity and Epitome of Humility and A Man for All Seasons condensed from Nowa Omoigui’s; From Kampala To Lome To London and Back To Nigeria
How and why General Gowon lost grip was multi-factorial. On July 29, 1975, nine years to the day a coup he did not plan brought him to power at Ikeja Barracks, elements within his ‘constituency’ “recalled” him. Former secessionist leader Emeka Ojukwu, who was still in exile in Ivory Coast, reacted to the news of the coup against Gowon – according to Frederick Forsythe – with a smile.
Nevertheless, General Gowon, far away in Kampala, had friends. Many offers of residence came to him in Kampala from various African countries. He notified the new regime in Lagos that he would leave Kampala for Lome in Togo. Since he was financially broke, teary-eyed members of the Nigerian delegation along with staffers at the Nigerian High Commission in Kampala donated 3000 pounds sterling to enable him begin a new life. He was flown to Lome – via Garoua in Cameroon – aboard President Idi Amin’s executive jet. Part of the flight passed through Nigerian airspace and Gowon took the opportunity to transmit a radio message reaffirming loyalty to and support for Brigadier Murtala Muhammed’s new regime. Although offered permanent domicile in Togo he chose to join his family in the United Kingdom. He received an additional 10,000 pounds sterling donation from General Eyadema.
Following a telephone call to Brigadier Murtala Muhammed (his Barewa College and Royal Military Academy junior) during which he made requests for elementary federal assistance, he left for London.
When he got to London, he was offered official accommodation by the Nigerian government which he, however, turned down for a variety of reasons. After some weeks at the Portman Hotel, he moved into the house of an old friend – Mr. Emmanuel Otti – at 472 Finchley Road, London. The delay was to enable the house to be redecorated by Mr. and Mrs. Otti and Brigadier Sam Ogbemudia (who had been in the UK when the coup took place in Nigeria). Other friends came to the assistance of the family. It was not until September 1975 that he began to get his pension and gratuities as a retired Four-Star General. In the nine years he had been Nigeria’s ruler he had not built himself a single house, inside or outside the country, nor did he expropriate one kobo of government money. Unlike some of those who served under him, his TOTAL savings throughout his service years as well as his years as Nigeria’s leader was N75,000 – all of which was inside Nigeria.
In time to come this would stand in stark contrast to the conduct of and personal fortunes of most of those who conspired to remove him from office – or benefited from it.
Once settled in with his family, the General, who was offered several Masters Degree programs, signed up for undergraduate studies in Political Science at Warwick University. Newspapers in Nigeria later carried news items and photographs depicting the former Nigerian leader carrying trays in a student cafeteria in the UK. The Muhammed regime was embarrassed and therefore dispatched Brigadier TY Danjuma (who, took Kano born Col. Wali along) to ask Gowon adopt a supposedly more dignified stance. Gowon rejected the overture and reassured his “embarrassed sympathizers” that he was comfortable with his situation. He made friends among the Nigerian students at Warwick, including a family friend of mine, Desmond Guobadia, now a legal practitioner in Lagos. Meanwhile his spouse, the former First Lady, Mrs. Victoria Gowon (who was a nurse) registered as a catering student at a University College in London.
Col. BS Dimka, an officer from the Angas ethnic group of Plateau State, announced the botched February 1976 coup bid. Tragically, General Muhammed was killed, along with Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo and a few others. Gowon vigorously denied the allegation of complicity. In an atmosphere of open press speculations, suspicion and outright condemnation, he was invited by Brigadier SM Yar’Adua, to appear before the investigating board in Lagos. In the meantime, all his privileges were suspended. Even his pension, which was his right – and not a privilege – was also illegally suspended. His brother, Air Force Major Moses Gowon, was detained (because he was his brother) – and later discharged from service. Another brother, Captain Isaiah Gowon, was jailed for 15 years – after a second court-martial – because of an innocuous visit to the School of Artillery in Kaduna on February 13.
Fearful of the press-hyped atmosphere and presumption of guilt prior to investigation and trial Gowon suggested a neutral country as the venue of his submissions to the investigating board. He also offered swearing to an affidavit and responding point by point to any questionnaire of the government’s choosing. The government, urged on by a mob-like mentality that pervaded the Press, refused. Instead, efforts were made to get the General to return to Nigeria by subterfuge.
Mistrustful of the intentions of the regime, Gowon wrote a lengthy and very detailed letter of explanation offering to assist the government to find a solution to “the endemic problem of coups and counter-coups in Nigeria.” One week later, a government announcement monitored over the Voice of America asserted that General Gowon had been stripped of his rank, honours and entitlements. However, no official letter was ever sent to that effect – in part because the government cannot forfeit the rank of an officer unless such an officer has actually been convicted of treason or other serious felony – which had not happened.
With no further income from his pensions, Gowon once again had to rely on old friends. Mr. Otti absolutely refused to collect rent from him. Gowon wrote a letter to some African leaders explaining his situation. None, except one, responded. This African leader – with whom Gowon had no prior personal relationship – gave him $50,000 to purchase a house. On another occasion then President Ahidjo of Cameroon – who did not respond to Gowon’s initial appeal – sent his children some pocket money during a visit to London. The school fees of his first son were paid for by an old Caucasian friend. Some members of his family in Nigeria sent money too from time to time. A wealthy international businessman from then Bendel State reportedly gave him a monthly stipend of 500 pounds sterling for 18 months while the Nigerian Ambassador to an unnamed European country offered him an old Volkswagen Passat. In the meantime, barely scraping a living, the General continued his undergraduate and, later, graduate studies at Warwick – including a PhD thesis on ECOWAS
On October 1st, 1981, after consultations with the National Council of States, President Shehu Shagari deftly rescinded the order published in Vol. 66; Official Gazette No. 3 dated January 18, 1979. Since Gowon was never convicted, there was no basis for a “pardon”.
The public reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Gowon, during a subsequent interview with the BBC, said he would return to Nigeria upon completion of his studies. He also added his voice to appeals for the government of Shehu Shagari to pardon his wartime opponent, Emeka Ojukwu – an event that later took place in 1982. It was also late in 1982 that traditional rulers from Plateau State launched a fundraiser to build a house in Jos for the former Nigerian leader.
It would be some years to come before his rank and privileges – wrongfully terminated without trial – would finally be fully officially re-acknowledged. General Yakubu Cinwa Gowon (rtd) is still alive and active as an elder statesman.
*Copied from Ahmed Yahaya Joe Facebook post
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
1. “Abraham Lincoln. Honest Abe Lincoln. Possibly the most successful politician in American history – abolished slavery, united the country after the Civil War to preserve the union, modernised the economy and put America on a path to greatness. But Lincoln was not always a raging success.
In 1831 at the age of 23, he owned a general store in New Salem, Illinois. The town was booming. However, his choice of business partners wasn’t great, and the business was run into the ground. Abe then ran for the Illinois General Assembly. He lost. Lincoln then bought a half a share in another General store. This store also went bust, his business partner died, and Abe – who borrowed money to invest – was broke. He spent several years paying off the debt.
Lincoln ran for US Senate in 1854, but was defeated. In 1858, he ran for the Senate again and won the popular vote. But through a quirk of the electoral process at that time, the Illinois State Legislature chose Lincoln’s rival anyway. This guy could not catch a break. However, he managed to come back from all this and was elected President in 1860. He is generally considered to be the greatest American president in history. He was perhaps, too good a president. His achievements inspired a wing-nut – who hated Lincoln for abolishing slavery – to shoot him in the back of the head while at the theatre. A tragic for America.”
2. “In a boxing match, you can lose the first 14 rounds. All you have to do is nail your opponent in the last 10 seconds of the 15th round and you’re the world’s heavyweight champion” – Ross Perot.
3. “At the start of the Munich Games in August 1972, Lasse Viren, a 23-year-old Finnish policeman from the small village of Myrskyla, was not widely known. Indeed, the heats of the 10,000 metres were his Olympic debut. But when he stumbled and fell just before the halfway mark in the final his chance of victory seemed to have gone.
The Tunisian Mohamed Gammoudi (who had won the 5,000 metres at the 1968 Olympics) tripped over Viren and gave up two laps later. But the Finnish runner calmly got to his feet and chased his way back into contention, overtaking Britain’s David Bedford, the long-time leader, to not only win the gold medal, but set a world record of 27min 38.4sec. Ten days later, he also won the 5,000m (in an Olympic record time) – a double that he repeated in Montreal in 1976”
1. PAN – permanent account number.
2. PDF – portable document format.
3. SIM – Subscriber Identity Module.
4. ATM – Automated Teller machine.
7. Wi-Fi – Wireless fidelity.
8. GOOGLE – Global Organization Of Oriented Group Language Of Earth.
9. YAHOO – Yet Another Hierarchical Officious
10. WINDOW – Wide Interactive Network Development for Office work Solution.
11. COMPUTER – Common Oriented Machine.
Particularly United and used under Technical and
12. VIRUS – Vital Information Resources Under Siege.
13. UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunications System.
14. AMOLED – Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode.
15. OLED – Organic light-emitting diode.
16. IMEI – International Mobile Equipment Identity.
17. ESN – Electronic Serial Number.
18. UPS – Uninterruptible power supply.
19. HDMI – High-Definition Multimedia Interface.
20. VPN – Virtual private network.
21. APN – Access Point Name.
22. LED – Light emitting diode.
23. DLNA – Digital Living Network Alliance.
24. RAM – Random access memory.
25. ROM – Read only memory.
26. VGA – Video Graphics Array.
27. QVGA – Quarter Video Graphics Array.
28. WVGA – Wide video graphics array.
29. WXGA – Widescreen Extended Graphics Array.
30. USB – Universal serial Bus.
31. WLAN – Wireless Local Area Network.
32. PPI – Pixels Per Inch.
33. LCD – Liquid Crystal Display.
34. HSDPA – High speed down-link packet access.
35. HSUPA – High-Speed Uplink Packet Access.
36. HSPA – High Speed Packet Access.
37. GPRS – General Packet Radio Service.
38. EDGE – Enhanced Data Rates for Globa Evolution.
39. NFC – Near field communication.
40. OTG – On-the-go.
41. S-LCD – Super Liquid Crystal Display.
42. O.S – Operating system.
43. SNS – Social network service.
44. H.S – HOTSPOT.
45. P.O.I – Point of interest.
46. GPS – Global Positioning System.
47. DVD – Digital Video Disk.
48. DTP – Desk top publishing.
49. DNSE – Digital natural sound engine.
50. OVI – Ohio Video Intranet.
51. CDMA – Code Division Multiple Access.
52. WCDMA – Wide-band Code Division Multiple Access.
53. GSM – Global System for Mobile Communications.
54. DIVX – Digital internet video access.
55. APK – Authenticated public key.
56. J2ME – Java 2 micro edition.
57. SIS – Installation source.
58. DELL – Digital electronic link library.
59. ACER – Acquisition Collaboration Experimentation Reflection.
60. RSS – Really simple syndication.
61. TFT – Thin film transistor.
62. AMR– Adaptive Multi-Rate.
63. MPEG – moving pictures experts group.
64. IVRS – Interactive Voice Response System.
65. HP – Hewlett Packard.
NOW IT GETS KIND OF WACKED
66. News paper = North East West South past and present events report.
67. Chess = Chariot, Horse, Elephant, Soldiers.
68. Cold = Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.
69. Joke = Joy of Kids Entertainment.
70. Aim = Ambition in Mind.
71. Date = Day and Time Evolution.
72. Eat = Energy and Taste.
73. Tea = Taste and Energy Admitted.
74. Pen = Power Enriched in Nib.
75. Smile = Sweet Memories in Lips Expression.
76. etc. = Et Cetera
77. OK = Objection Killed
78. Or = Orl Korect (Greek Word)
79. Bye = Be with you Everytime.
#COPIED FROM FACEBOOK
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
The best way to contextualize the growth and transformation of Lagos is by looking at the same southeastern view of the Marina towards the Lagos Yacht Club across the strait separating Lagos and Victoria Islands centuries apart up to Wilmot Point and beyond.
I am surprised and disappointed that Lagosians have also been caught up in the crossfire of identity politics in Nigeria. I have always assumed the “Center of Excellence” was immune to the kind of xenophobic indigenes-settler dichotomy that has bedeviled the rest of our nation, Nigeria. This post is therefore inspired by the recent intervention of Omo Eko Pataki, a forum for “Original Lagosians” entitled; Lagos – The Imperative of Cultural Renaissance. I thankfully became aware of it courtesy of the esteemed Taiwo Ogunbote of Center for Human Capital and Democratic Development, an old Gregorian of Obalende and former officer of the New York Police Department (NYPD).
Anybody who is familiar with the history of Lagos would admit that the entrepôt has always been a culmination of external factors revolving around trade and commerce from its obscure days as an Awori fishing settlement to its hostile takeover by the forces of Oba of Benin that named it Eko (which means war camp), which the Portuguese seafarer renamed Lago de Curamo in 1472.
However, it was not until Royal Navy officer, John Beecroft in 1849 who became the British consul to the Bights of Benin and Biafra based in what was now anglicanized to Lagos; which became a major hub for the present South West hinterland, which had to bombarded to military submission by Her Majesty’s warships in 1851.
For Lagos to stabilize itself amidst the incessant crisis between the Akitoye and Kosoko ruling houses and transform the strategically located “swamps and lakes” port to the Atlantic into a commercial hub order had to be restored and a semblance of authority must be established. Simply put the Union Jack had to be hoisted. To pull that off 2 persons were crucial – Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who took up the matter at the British parliament through his fellow Anglican bishops and abolitionists at the House of Lords and Madam Tinubu who impressed upon the local elite the need to transit from slave trading to a more lucrative and less hazardous legitimate trade.
Bishop Crowther was from Osoogun in present-day Oyo state and Madam Tinubu actually Efunporoye Osuntinubu, an Egba of Owu ancestry from Ojokodo in present-day Ogun state. Arguably, without their intervention we probably wouldn’t know Lagos as it is today.
What has also been perhaps deliberately neglected in the history of the evolution of Lagos is the role of the amalgam of Hausa speaking people. The Male Revolt was a slave rebellion that took place in January 1835 during Ramadan in the city of Salvador da Bahia in Brazil. In Bahia, the Hausas were primarily identified with practicing Islam because they adopted the religion before coming over to Brazil. Over time however, with the Nago slaves they united to revolt. Some of the key figures important in planning the uprising were: Ahuna, Pacífico, and Manoel Calafate.
“The word Nago derives from the word Anago, a term that the Fon-speaking people used to describe Yoruba-speaking people residing in the kingdom of Ketu now in the present-day Benin Republic.”
The aftermath of the Male Revolt led to emancipation of slaves in Brazil many of which opted to return to Africa. In 1851, a pioneer group of 60 freed slaves chartered a ship for the then equivalent of $4000 to return to Badagry. These returnees became known as Aguda which by the 1880s constituted almost 10% of the population of Lagos. Others eventually joined the return to Lagos; the Amaro from Cuba and Saro from the Caribbean via Sierra Leone.
“On 21 April 1863, John Hawley Glover was appointed administrator of the government of Lagos Colony, he remained there till 1872. Glover formed the nucleus of present-day Nigeria’s Army and Police with 10 Hausa runaway slaves on 1 June 1863. The group was known as Glover’s Hausas or ‘Glover’s Forty Thieves’. Glover went to great lengths to develop bonds of personal loyalty with the Armed Hausas. He personally trained, commanded, and chose his successors, ensuring their loyalty. In return for their loyalty, Glover rewarded his troops with land and dwellings. He raised their pay and provided them with smart uniforms that broadcast their status of free men and agents of the British colonial government.”
Who are then the original Lagosians?
The Aworis or Binis or even the descendants of Glover’s Hausas, Agudas, Amaros or even Saros?
How do we situate the millions of Igbos in Lagos that arguably constitute one third of the population of Lagos? What about the Ago Awusa that were located between Epe and Itokin from where Madam Tinubu’s fifth husband Momoh Bukar hailed from before that Hausa camp was resettled in Alausa in present-day Ikeja?
Anyway the main grouse of Omo Eko Pataki is that; “the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, and many top political office holders in the state are not natives of Lagos State”.
They further contend that ”the senators representing the state at the National Assembly – Oluremi Tinubu and Solomon Adeola; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folasade Jaji; and the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, are also not from the state” also that the “legendary accommodating openness” that Lagos State is known for was becoming a curse, noting however that they would no longer watch the state become “a no-man’s-land” The forum also claims “Lagosians are now reduced to almost “second-class citizens on their native soil”
For me the fundamental issue at stake is; The Tragedy of the Commons which is described by Garrett Hardin in 1968 as “All human relationships involve give and take, all such relationships breakdown when one or more parties do too much taking and not giving” Apologies to the Gbaygi of FCT.
“Isale Eko translates to ‘bottom of Eko’, was so named because of its location south of the area called ‘Eko’ (later called Lagos). Isale Eko started as the home of Aromire, a pepper farmer who was one of the sons of Olofin, an Awori settler, who was the chief of Iddo Island and the first Idejo (landowner) of Lagos Island. Aromire’s farm settlement, which was the first home of the inhabitants of Isale Eko, is today known as ‘Iga Idunganran’ (The Pepper Palace), the palace of the Oba of Lagos.” It was from this palatial surroundings the Oba of Lagos in 2015 threatened to sink the Igbo if they voted contrary to his political preference.
Unfortunately the joke is now on him as the Omo Eko Pataki under his royal nose are today poking their fingers at “the abberation which emerged since 1999”
In conclusion; Who build this Gada (Bridge)? This for me is a fitting metaphor for who built Lagos, a question asked by “Acksion Governor” Brigadier General Raji Alagbe Rasaki, the military administrator in Lagos 1988-1991 while inspecting a poorly constructed culvert over a flood channel. The Omo Eko Pataki needs to understand politics is a numbers game and must therefore skillfully negotiate their relevance even in their own domain by way of an issues based engagement. The 1999 Constitution is clear and unequivocal on the eligibility for public office and the right to residency anywhere in Nigeria. “Indigene-ship” is a colonial legacy for divide and rule.
Come October 1, it will be 60 years after national independence, so we shouldn’t be having this kind of conversation in our nation.
Eko o ni baje o!
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
“When the looting starts; the shooting starts”
This recent statement by US president Donald Trump were the exact words used in 1967 by the Miami police chief Walter Headley Jr. during the height of civil rights riots there.
Headley who had led that Florida city’s police department from 1948 until his death in 1968 declared to the Black people in Miami; “This is war” But as Carl von Clausewitz famously put it; “War is the continuation of politics by other means” If so what political message is Trump sending in an election year by repeating Bradley’s exact words 53 years later? The US leader is simply reminding White Supremacists, America’s largest voting block of his continued allegiance which begs the question of – is Trump racist or just being politically opportunistic?
Whatever the answer the angry African Americans have played into the hands of his political self aggrandizement at their very own expense. Their anger has unfortunately become an albatross instead of a strategic weapon.
A famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein; “Insanity is always doing the same thing but expecting different results” Each time there is a case of White police brutality against any Black person the American Negro community reacts exactly the same way – rioting, looting and arson. The recent fallout in Minneapolis is no different.
However in 1954; “Bernard Garrett wanted to get into real estate but encounters racism that prevents him from being a successful real estate investor.
After a chance encounter with wealthy club owner Joe Morris, he convinces Joe to be his co-investor. Together they convince Matt Steiner, a white man, to pose as the front of the company in meetings to facilitate the sales. Eventually, they become extremely successful in Los Angeles real estate, with the two teaching Matt the basics of real estate investing. The three secure a number of properties in L.A. and effectively integrate a number of previously segregated neighborhoods by selling and renting to Black families.
After this success, he sets his sights on the local bank in his Texas hometown to give loans to the Black residents. Racist bank practices had excluded Black people from receiving loans for small businesses and homeownership. Joe protests the idea at first but eventually relents and the three move to Texas.
Matt buys the bank, fronting for Bernard and Joe, but the local townspeople are extremely suspicious of this move. A bank executive tracks the records of the loans and discovers that they’re giving loans to black people, follows Matt and discovers that his partners are black, then threatens them with exposure which would cause “a run on the bank.” Matt persuades Joe and Bernard to purchase a second bank and put him in charge of it despite his inexperience. The racist bank executive calls in a federal investigator who checks the records of Matt’s bank and discovers numerous infractions attributable to Matt’s carelessness.
Matt, Bernard and Joe get arrested for violating federal banking laws. Facing a 50-year prison term, Matt takes a plea deal, falsely testifying that he was duped by Bernard and Joe. The next day, Bernard testifies passionately about black people being given the same opportunity for upward mobility as whites. He and Joe are convicted and serve time in prison; upon release, they go with Bernard’s wife Eunice to live in the Bahamas.”
This remarkable true story was captured in an excellent movie that was recently released during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have just downloaded and finished watching it. The moral in it is that by thinking outside the box any challenge can be surmounted. Barnet Garret and Joe Morris did not emotionally react to the racism confronting them back then in America, neither did they get angry nor bitter nor become exasperated by defeatism like the rioters recently in Minneapolis. The acted creatively by recruiting White persons to be the face of their company. They taught Matt Steiner golf, power dressing, restaurant table manners and business language and analysis to be their face in a White world.
That a duo of Black business men could skillfully pull off such a covert business strategy in an overtly racist America back in the heady days of the late 1950s and early 1960s was monumental. What Garret and Morris have also shown us is that mutual interest is stronger than any sentiment be it racial or indeed ethnic or religious in our context here in Nigeria and beyond.
The idea is to identify each man’s thumbscrew and turn it. It made no difference to Mr Steiner, a White that Messrs Garret and Morris were Black as long as the US dollar remained Green. The three of them embarked on consensus building for their overall benefit. Everything in life approached from a similar perspective is no different!
Reminding America’s biggest voting block that so to speak “We are all together” Trump has with “When the looting starts; the shooting starts” pulled another fast one at the expense of Black Americans (who are so regular and predictable in their usual response mechanism of rioting, looting and arson) Black people in America and indeed the rest of us elsewhere must learn to always effectively operate outside the box of conventional thinking. The genius in the approach of Garret and Morris was simply they succeeded by hiring white men to be the faces of their enterprise, appearing to run their operations while, in fact, Garrett and Morris were the owners and actual operators of the properties and banks.
They beat the enemy by simply changing the terrain of battle to their advantage exactly how Hannibal, an African inflicted the most devastating military defeat on the Roman army at the Battle of Cannae using just 26,000 men. In 1588, Queen Elizabeth will use 8 warships to crush the Spanish Armada that had 128. Similarly in January 1879, Shaka the Zulu defeated British guns and cannons using strategic envelopment with just spears, bows and arrows.
The effective use of strategic envelopment is all in t Greene he mind!
“People expect your behavior to conform to known patterns and convention. Your task as a strategist is to upset their expectations. Surprise them with chaos and unpredictability” – Robert Greene
Finally something practical and honest from the :
Head of the Infectious Disease Clinic, University of Maryland,
1. We may have to live with C19 for months or years. Let’s not deny it or panic. Let’s not make our lives useless. Let’s learn to live with this fact.
2. You can’t destroy C19 viruses that have penetrated cell walls, drinking gallons of hot water – you’ll just go to the bathroom more often.
3. Washing hands and maintaining a
two-metre physical distance is the best method for your protection.
4. If you don’t have a C19 patient at home, there’s no need to disinfect the surfaces at your house.
5. Packaged cargo, gas pumps, shopping carts and ATMs do not cause infection.
Wash your hands, live your life as usual.
6. C19 is not a food infection. It is associated with drops of infection like the ‘flu. There is no demonstrated risk that C19 is transmitted by ordering food.
7. You can lose your sense of smell with a lot of allergies and viral infections. This is only a non-specific symptom of C19.
8. Once at home, you don’t need to change your clothes urgently and go shower!
Purity is a virtue, paranoia is not!
9. The C19 virus doesn’t hang in the air. This is a respiratory droplet infection that requires close contact.
10. The air is clean, you can walk through the gardens (just keeping your physical protection distance), through parks.
11. It is sufficient to use normal soap against C19, not antibacterial soap. This is a virus, not a bacteria.
12. You don’t have to worry about your food orders. But you can heat it all up in the microwave, if you wish.
13. The chances of bringing C19 home with your shoes is like being struck by lightning twice in a day. I’ve been working against viruses for 20 years – drop infections don’t spread like that!
14. You can’t be protected from the virus by taking vinegar, sugarcane juice and ginger! These are for immunity not a cure.
15. Wearing a mask for long periods interferes with your breathing and oxygen levels. Wear it only in crowds.
16. Wearing gloves is also a bad idea; the virus can accumulate into the glove and be easily transmitted if you touch your face. Better just to wash your hands regularly.
17. Immunity is greatly weakened by always staying in a sterile environment. Even if you eat immunity boosting foods, please go out of your house regularly to any park/beach.
Immunity is increased by EXPOSURE TO PATHOGENS, not by sitting at home and consuming fried/spicy/sugary food and aerated drinks.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
The earliest handshake in recorded history is on an antique mural stored at the British Museum dated the 9th century BC. It depicts the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III sealing an agreement with a Babylonian monarch. Are handshakes really necessary? A firm one looking at the other party eyeball to eyeball conveys fidelity and even when necessary signifies apology. A handshake formalizes a relationship either business, casual or even political.
A handshake is a form of non verbal communication; that says this is whom I am.
“The handshake has existed in some form or another for thousands of years, but its origins are somewhat murky. One popular theory is that the gesture began as a way of conveying peaceful intentions. By extending their empty right hands, strangers could show that they were not holding weapons and bore no ill will toward one another.
Some even suggest that the up-and-down motion of the handshake was supposed to dislodge any knives or daggers that might be hidden up a sleeve. Yet another explanation is that the handshake was a symbol of good faith when making an oath or promise. When they clasped hands, people showed that their word was a sacred bond.”
In medieval Japan they didn’t shake hands. Rather they “pissed together” by simultaneously urinating into a bowl.
Meanwhile, Indians taught the world the type of gesture with which Donald Trump welcomed the Irish Prime Minister to the White House on March 12, 2020. Israel’s Netenyahu, Canada’s Trudeau and the Prince of Wales are also acolytes of that hand shake equivalent called Namatse “derived from the Sanskrit language, formed by joining two words – ‘Namas’ which means ‘bow’, ‘adorations’, ‘obeisance’ and ‘salutation’; and ‘te’ means ‘to you’. Therefore, meaning ‘bowing to you’.”
Did we shake hands before the coming of the European conquest? I have my doubts because the Arabs that arrived long before Oyibo through the Trans Saharan Trade, kiss on both cheeks as a form of greeting. The use of handshaking was made a religious ritual during the celebration of the Eucharist by the Roman Catholic Church known as the “exchange of peace”
Nigeria’s most famous handshake was between General Yakubu Gowon and the erstwhile Head of State of Biafra, Col Phillip Effiong that took place in the council chambers at Dodan Barracks on January 15, 1970. Their handshake ended a bitter 30 month unneccesary war between brothers which genuinely ended with “No victor, no vanquished” Little wonder the 70s were Nigeria’s most prosperous years. No Nigerian leader has replicated the unusual candor of the Gowonian days with the notable exemption of the architect of the Niger Delta Amnesty – Umar Musa Yar’adua of blessed memory.
I particularly find the handshake between Israeli leader Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat iconic. It was to formalize the Camp David agreement after 30 years of hostility between the Arab world and Jews which returned Egypt’s Suez region and part of the Golan Heights to Syria that took place at the Rose Garden of White House in 1977 during the adminstration of Jimmy Carter. Another unforgettable handshake was between Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk signifying the end of the atrocious era of Apartheid and the beginning of Black majority rule in South Africa.
Interestingly, in the traditional core North you don’t shake hands with your seniors or women. However, when Lt Col Hassan Usman Katsina became the military governor of the North (now 19 states) he embarked on a region wide tour. On getting to Katsina where his polo playing dad, Usman Nagogo MBE was emir he was compelled to shake hands as protocol dictated. Reportedly, the governor’s twin brother Hussein, then a ranking title holder went viral on the “sacrilege” During the IBB era, Margaret Thatcher touched down in Kano during her state visit before proceeding to Lagos. Her handshake with Emir Ado Bayero caused no small consternation back then.
To whom it may concern; with the Covid-19 pandemic please do not be offended if I refuse to shake hands with you when next we meet. No offence intended as I don’t carry any knife up my sleeve. Doing a Namatse doesn’t make you Hindu nor Buddhist. The world is now a global village. Besides keeping safe in a time of Covid-19 is paramount!
The space between your eyebrows is called a glabella
The way it smells after the rain is called petrichor.
The plastic or metallic coating at the end of your shoelaces is called an aglet.
The rumbling of stomach is actually called a wamble.
The cry of a new born baby is called a vagitus.
The prongs on a fork are called tines.
The sheen or light that you see when you close your eyes and press your hands on them is called phosphenes.
The tiny plastic table placed in the middle of a pizza box is called a box tent.
The day after tomorrow is called overmorrow.
Your tiny toe or finger is called minimus.
The wired cage that holds the cork in a bottle of champagne is called an agraffe.
The ‘na na na’ and ‘la la la’, which don’t really have any meaning in the lyrics of any song, are called vocables.
When you combine an exclamation mark with a question mark (like this ?!), it is referred to as an interrobang.
The space between your nostrils is called columella nasi
The armhole in clothes, where the sleeves are sewn, is called armscye.
The condition of finding it difficult to get out of the bed in the morning is called dysania.
Unreadable hand -writing is called griffonage.
The dot over an “i” or a “j” is called tittle.
That utterly sick feeling you get after eating or drinking too much is called crapulence.
The metallic device used to measure your feet at the shoe store is called Bannock device.
Many Nigerians; including this writer, embark on self medication because our health care delivery system is grossly inadequate and therefore not economically convenient. And since a generality of Nigerians are not covered by form of Health Insurance, water will always find its level with precarious alternative of Bush Doctors in neighborhood “chemists” and on commercial buses. Others parade markets and other public places some with loudspeakers hawking various concoctions.
The WHO considers 1 doctor per 1000 persons “insufficient” but in Nigeria it is 1 doctor per 4222 persons according to the National Population Commission.
I do not know which part of the moon Dr Chris Ngige lives on because according to him;
“We have more than enough doctors. You can quote me. We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send them back home here.”
This was the Labour minister’s response that was broadcast by Channels TV on April 24, 2019 when he was queried about the mass exodus of medical professionals from Nigeria. Ngige’s position clearly contradicts that of his erstwhile colleague on the Federal Executive Council, former Health minister, Prof Isaac Adewole who had previously in May 2018 declared at a conference of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) that they were 88,692 registered doctors in Nigeria out which only 45,000 were practicing in Nigeria – the rest abroad. This simply means in reality there is about 1 doctor per 8000 persons in Nigeria. I nevertheless humbly stand to be corrected.
According to the register of General Medical Council there were 5250 Nigerian doctors practicing in UK as at 2017. However, in 2018 the number had risen to 6289. An increase of more than 1000 in just one year! Interestingly, that represents a third of a total of 3230 doctors graduated by the 32 medical faculties in Nigeria out of a total of 174 NUC approved universities in Nigeria.
Nigerian doctors and other medical professionals understandably flee abroad for more renumeration and better working conditions. Let us not talk about lack of patriotism because we all know how impossible it is to get admission to either read medicine or pharmacy in Nigeria.
The topic of conversation should be why is our nation not investing in medical education. For instance, in the North West geopolitical zone only ABU, BUK and Sokoto have the capacity to produce 120,100 and 100 doctors respectively based on the approved quota for 2018 by the Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria. In the entire North East only UniMaid has the quota to produce 150 doctors. The highest quota in Nigeria of 180 is allocated to University of Ibadan. The lowest of 50 is allocated to the 5 partially accredited medical schools that include that of Benue State University headed by my good friend Prof Linus Saalu. In overall context out of the 32 medical faculties in Nigeria only 8 are in the North out of which 6 are federal owned (Unijos, Unilorin, Unimaid, UDUS, ABU, BUK) then that of Benue state as earlier mentioned and the ECWA owned Bingham University, Karu in Nasarawa state.
How has the preponderance of political appointments to the North alleviated health care delivery for the Talakawa in Nigeria’s must densely population region that produces only 15 dental surgeons annually out of a national turnout of 175?
What is the way forward? But before answering let us look at the number of pharmacists of which the following report speaks volumes;
“The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has expressed fear on the rising number of pharmacists who are emigrating from Nigeria to seek for a “better life abroad.”
Speaking with press men at the commencement ceremony of the Pharmacy Week 2019, Chairman of PSN, Oyo State chapter, Abiodun Ajibade, said: “Pharmacists population in Nigeria is very low, this is in spite of the great potentials for growth occasioned by continuous emigration of Pharmacists whom Nigeria has spent heavily to train as a result of poor practice environment.” According to Ajibade, “Out of less than 30,000 total population of practicing Pharmacists in Nigerian, over five thousand of them have gone outside the country.”
According to a post on Bloomberg.com entitled Trapped by Coronavirus, Nigerian Elite Faces Squalid Hospitals dated April 2, 2020 there are 180,709 registered nurses and 0.5% hospital beds per 1000 persons in Nigeria. But more disturbing than this is the report by Inspire Nurses Network Africa, an NGO, that “90 per cent of Nigerian Nurses lacked basic life support skills on emergency care.”
The way forward is obvious; the cost of running our democracy must be reduced starting with the National Assembly. As long as state governors and LG chair persons are not held accountable on “security votes” Nigerians will continue to be at the mercy of (Quacks) Bush Doctors!
The real pandemic starts the day lockdown ends. The coronavirus is a crisis of math. The coronavirus is an easy problem to solve…if we understood exponentials.
Unfortunately, the human mind is incapable of grasping exponentials. We cannot intuitively perceive how a small number can grow so large in such a small amount of time.
An Indian parable is relevant at this point.
A king wanted to reward the inventor of chess and asked him to name his prize. “I want you to fill up the entire chess board with wheat. One grain of wheat on the first square, 2 grains on the next square, double that on the next square for 4 grains, 8, 16, 32 and thus fill up the entire chess board,“ said the inventor.
At first, the king was offended, and thought his paltry request was a joke, but the inventor of chess was serious. So, the king told his servants to fill up the chess board.
The servants came back and told the king that it couldn’t be done. They had used up the entire wheat stock of the kingdom. There was no more left to continue to fill the chess board. Just the last square alone on the board would require 9 trillion grains of wheat.
Just like the king in this story, every world leader has been fooled by a small number of coronavirus cases and the power of exponential growth.
We are accusing China for hiding the exact number of cases. But the important aspect is that 80,000 cases in two months should have been enough for us to wake up to the scary reality of this exponential growth. Despite seeing the data, the world leaders did nothing.
Some basic math around the virus:
Starting from the first locally transmitted case in the US on February 26, 15 cases have grown to ~460,000 cases (April 9th) in only 6 weeks, in spite of lockdown measures being taken all over the country. On April 8, there were 31,000 new cases. Yesterday, there were 34,000 more new cases. And today, there will be even more.
There is no current indicator that the virus’s exponential growth will stop. Our current lockdown measures have slowed the rate of this exponential growth. But due to the nature of exponents, decreasing the rate of exponential growth still leaves you growing exponentially, and only marginally slower.
Exponential growth can only stop if there are no more people left for the virus to infect in its environment.
There is a ~1% mortality rate for the virus in the best circumstances. Assuming our health care system can handle the influx of new cases (flatten the curve), if every US citizen got coronavirus, ~3 million people would die. Stopping exponential growth without infecting the full population requires cutting off the supply of healthy individuals that can be infected.
The incubation period of the virus is ~14 days. If everyone is in complete isolation for 4–6 weeks, the virus will disappear. Complete isolation means no going out for any reason at all. No walks, no groceries, no “essential” businesses. This has been proven successful in China.
This is effective because those within a household where no one is infected will have no means of contracting the virus without outside contact. For an individual who may have the virus, they will only be able to pass it to those quarantined with them, with 4–6 weeks as enough time for the virus to pass through the whole household. Those who end up at the hospital would only return to their homes once they are cleared of the virus.
We have two choices:
Everyone in the world gets the virus, so that it can no longer spread. The body count would be horrific.
The whole world synchronously goes into a complete lockdown for 4–6 weeks. The effects on the global economy would be horrific.
Every nation is eagerly awaiting to lift its lockdown as soon as there are fewer cases. But when 15 cases become 460,000 in 6 weeks, how is it ok to lift a lockdown when we are down to, say, “only 100 new cases” in a given day? Once again, our human mind is incapable of thinking in exponentials. We will not have learned from history — a history that occurred just two months ago. The real pandemic will start the day we start lifting the lockdown.
Every country or state has announced a date at which lockdown will be lifted. They should instead declare that they will lift the lockdown the day the number of new cases has been zero for the past two weeks. Period.
We are setting ourselves up for a cycle of partial lockdown for weeks, followed by a lift, then a lock down again when the spread picks up — over and over again, for the better part of the year, at best. In the process, we will lose millions of lives, as well as our economies. If we take a hit of some percentage loss in the world GDP by locking down the entire world synchronously, we could save millions of lives. Or we do nothing and millions get killed with a loss in GDP anyway.
The reality is that we will lose lives as well as the economy — just because we didn’t bother to understand the math.
We have a choice to make:
Do we want to throw money at the problem?
Do we want to throw bodies at the problem?
By Remi Oyeyemi & Simon Kolawole
SPEAKING ILL OF THE DEAD
By Remi Oyeyemi
“The evil that men do live after them.” — William Shakespare
I am aware that this is breaking with the conventional wisdom. I am conscious that this is a rebuke of tradition. I am not oblivious to the fact that it is against the norm. I am not unaware that this is not in tune with the mainstream. I am aware some would loath me for it. Some would deride me. Others would call me names. Those who really never liked my guts, would have this reinforced it for them. But those who have the objective ability to see things the way they are and are able to call them as exactly as they should, would see some sense in this.
The idea of not speaking ill of the dead is not a good idea, especially if the dead person did nothing deserving of praise. The idea of praising the dead, regardless if the dead, during his or her life was mean spirited, greedy, selfish, inconsiderate, odiously acquisitive, ruthless and disdainful, is totally unacceptable. It is wrong and should be done away with. We should be able to say exactly what kind of person someone was during his or her life.
I have been reading in the media unbelievable eulogies about the late Chief of Staff to President Mohammadu Buhari, Mr. Abba Kyari. I have been reading some hypocritical praise – singing of this man who, to many Nigerians who celebrated his infliction a couple of weeks back, was no less a monster, because he has become the casualty of the Coronavirus 19. I have read from those who hated him saying embarrassingly ‘nice’ things about him. What a fraud. What a dishonesty.
It is a sad day when people cascade into casual casuistry with unbridled audacity. It is an act of deliberate undermining of the societal values to heap praises on someone whose remains ought to be used to cast away evils from the entire society. To project a mean – spirited public office holder as a saint when he is not, is a sin in itself.
I take serious objection to the rain of praise that has been raining down on the corpse of the late Abba Kyari. Though, this is a matter of choice to which we are all entitled depending on the way we see it. In my own view, Kyari is not deserving of any praise whatsoever. It is alright for President Buhari to cry himself hoarse. Kyari was his Chief of Staff and his relative. It is okay for his goons in Aso Rock, his partners in crime to weep without end. It is okay for those who are beneficiaries of his corrupt practices, his impunities to gnash their teeth to numb. It is their loss. His immediate and extended family members reserve the inalienable rights to mourn him infinitely and indefinitely.
I also believe that it is alright for the rest of us who are victims of the first family and their collaborators in Aso Rock, to acknowledge the loss of a soul, not because of any other reason other than the fact that we are all human beings. And this is where it ought to end. No more, no less.
For those who are Buhari’s sycophants and who still hope to benefit from the misery he is visiting on Nigeria, it might be acceptable to them to shed their crocodile tears even if they really did not like the man when he was alive. They are welcome to do so.
Here is a man, who never got a single vote, whether rigged or not, from the Nigerian people, but who hijacked the executive powers of the Presidency. He held Nigeria and Nigerians to ransom since 2015. He rode roughshod over the people of this country. He appropriated all the appurtenances of power for his personal idiosyncrasies.
Abba Kyari never cared. He never gave a damn. Yes, he did not give a damn how many Nigerians died. He did not care how many Nigerians went hungry. He did not care how much injustice was perpetrated. He did not give a damn how many innocent Nigerians were murdered. He did not give a damn how many Nigerians were chased off their ancestral lands. He did not care how many of our daughters were raped. He did not give a damn how many were maimed by his tribesmen.
He was a perniciously greedy soul. He was remorseless in his ways. The 500 million naira bribe he took from the MTN was emblematic of his innate rapacity. It was emblematic of his bloated edacity. He appointed himself to the Board of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). It was the first time in the History of Nigeria for an incumbent Chief of Staff. It was against the norm of decency and restraint. It was impunity at its worst.
Kyari relentlessly harassed the Vice President, licentiously anchoring Professor Osinbajo’s deliberate disempowerment. He unabashedly intimidated the Ministers and prevented them from meaningful collaboration with the man who appointed them, or whom he helped appointed. With a mien akin to that of a dove, he was a heinous hawk, a vicious vulture that is egregious and atrocious in its debauchery and cupidity.
He was mindless and mean. He was cruel and cold. He was crude and callous. His greed was congenital. His insouciance encrypted his guiled mendacity. He was hung up on power hunkering. He had disdain for the rules. Like his principal, Buhari, he believed and acted above the law. His arrogance was horrifying. His condescension, sardonically sickening in the way and manner he exercised unmerited power.
Yes, the idea of not speaking ill of the dead is a VERY WRONG one, especially if that dead person never did anything to deserve it. If this practice was to continue, it means every criminal in our midst should look forward to being praised after he/she was dead regardless of the crimes committed. This would also mean a genuine disincentive for those who strive to do positive things and improve their communities.
It is very important to ensure that dead people’s memories be imbued with their acts of omissions and commissions when they were alive. It is an act of injustice to arrogate false achievements, fake qualities to monstrous figures more notorious for their kleptomania as they gallivant through the inner rooms of power.
Hopefully, when I die, people would have the unburnished courage to say exactly what they feel about me and not deodorize my omissions and imperfections. Hopefully, those who would feel the need to mourn me would not see the need to be hypocritical and dishonest in their elegies.
In all this, what became clearer is the vanity of vanity itself. It brought to the fore the cliché popularized by the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State in the early 1980s, “,,, vanity upon vanity, all is vanity.” It underscores the ephemeralness of not just power, but of all things that are human, except our deeds. This probably informed William Shakespeare’s ageless rumination captured in the phrase, ” The evil that men do live after them.”
We should not praise villains when they are dead. It is a great disincentive to those who laboured to be above board and did the right thing. You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to like me. Please, don’t like me, just respect the truth.
“The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service and love.” – Pope Francis
Lies never last, History never dies and the TRUTH is always constant.
Now for the other side of the divide….
____ ______ ______ ______
Now That Abba Kyari is Dead
By Simon Kolawole
April 19, 2020
On January 18, 2020, when I first read of the new coronavirus on the BBC website, my heart missed a beat because of what China means to the world. The headline was: “New virus in China ‘will have infected hundreds’.” And these were the opening paragraphs: “The number of people already infected by the mystery virus emerging in China is far greater than official figures suggest, scientists have told the BBC. There have been more than 60 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, but UK experts estimate a figure nearer 1,700. Two people are known to have died from the respiratory illness, which appeared in Wuhan city in December.” I feared for Nigeria in particular.
After reading the story, I immediately sent a link to Mallam Abba Kyari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, with the note: “Good afternoon Mallam. We need to watch it.” How on earth would I have known that exactly three months later, Kyari would be gone, consumed by the same virus? At the time, as the BBC reported, there were only two deaths from the coronavirus disease in the world — and both were in Wuhan. It had not been declared a pandemic by WHO. No other country had recorded any case. It looked so distant that I was even asking myself: “What do you want the chief of staff to do about it?” The whole experience now looks surreal to me.
We regularly exchanged chats and compared notes as the virus began to cause more concern across the world. Shortly after Nigeria recorded its index case — an Italian — on February 27, he finally began to express his worries to me. Let me reproduce his chat in whole: “How many intensive care units do we have ready to admit acute cases? How quickly can we increase the numbers if the virus spreads? How many nurses do we have to deploy immediately and how quickly can we increase the numbers? How many ventilators do we have and how many should we ideally have and how quickly can we increase the numbers?” He said these were his own concerns.
Along the line, Buhari directed Kyari to lead a government delegation to Germany to discuss with Siemens about power infrastructure in Nigeria. The discussions were on how to improve the national grid, which is one of the biggest problems of the power sector. They also discussed building additional plants to improve generation. After the discussions in Germany, he travelled back to Nigeria via the UK. On the weekend of March 21, he was involved in a series of meetings on measures to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.
He was said to have coughed frequently, leading to suggestions that he should run a test since he just returned from Europe.
For the record, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had not officially classified Germany and UK as red zones requiring self-isolation as at the time he returned to the country. He was in Germany and the UK from March 8 to 12, and arrived Abuja on March 13. NCDC designated Germany as “high risk” on March 16 and added the UK to the list on March 17. When the result of his test came out on Monday, March 23, he sent me a message that he had tested positive and was going on self-isolation immediately. I was shattered, shattered because I knew he had an underlying medical condition, but hopeful because his symptoms looked mild: just the cough.
While he was on self-isolation, we had regular phone calls. I normally would call him on WhatsApp voice but he would switch to video and I knew why: he wanted to prove to me that his life was not in danger. He knew I was really worried for him. Rumour was all over the internet that he was on a ventilator, that he was at Gwagwalada Hospital, that he had been flown to the UK or Cuba. Ironically, he was not bothered about the rumours. He did not sound bitter. He was even forwarding them to me and we would share a laugh. He said he was more interested in the goodwill messages he was getting. We still don’t know if he caught the virus in Germany, UK, on a flight or in Nigeria.
On March 29, something happened that got me worried again: he was not picking his calls. I later understood that the cough had worsened and he could not use the regular syrups because they contain sugar. That made his treatment more complicated. He later sent me a message that he was coming to Lagos for further checks and observation, and that the cough was not getting better. That was the last time we exchanged messages or made contact. As soon as he got to Lagos, all messages to his phone went unread. I had to rely on family members and friends to get updates and the impression I got was that he was getting better but the recovery was slow.
In the meantime, he was getting bashed all over the internet. His “death” or “removal” was regularly announced on Twitter or Instagram. But I was assured that, indeed, he was getting better with “encouraging signs”. As of 5pm on Friday, the message I got was that he was “much better” but the doctors were being “cautious”. A few hours later, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, tweeted that Kyari had passed away. It was most devastating. What began with mild to moderate symptoms had gone out of hand. I understand that COVID-19 kills many patients that way: when you think it is all over, like it’s one step away from the worst, there comes a sudden lethal blow.
Some people have been rejoicing since Kyari tested positive for the virus. The gloating has been massive. Some are not even satisfied that he is dead. They wish they could kill the dead body as well and desecrate his grave. They are all over the social media denigrating the dead. They have their reasons, I believe. I know for sure that the mortal hatred for Buhari was extended to him, so even in death they can’t leave him alone. They said he was Nigeria’s biggest problem. He was to blame for everything that was not going well in the country. Now that Kyari is dead, I am anxiously waiting for all Nigeria’s problems to be solved finally. It would be a thing of joy.
Some said they hated Kyari because he was the one responsible for the relegation of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in the power structure. Now that Kyari is dead, let us see what happens next. Some people told me Kyari is a “usurper” — that nobody voted for him yet he was the one “running” Nigeria. Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd), the national security adviser, wrote a stinging memo last year accusing Kyari of overriding presidential powers and preventing him from buying arms and ammunition for the military. Now that Kyari is dead, let us see what happens next. My understanding of power is that you can only be as powerful as the president wants you to be.
My biggest disappointment with Kyari is that he refused to tell his story. When he was accused of taking a bribe from MTN, he explained to me how he opposed the reduction of the $5.2 billion fine, how he was excluded from the resolution committee because of his stand, and how some people met in Dubai and drafted a position paper that formed 80 percent of the final settlement agreement. He said he didn’t know if anybody took bribe, but he was not part of it and his conscience was clear to God. So why not grant an interview to clear your name? His reply: “My boss knows I will never betray his trust. I don’t need to defend myself.” And there is no counter narrative till today.
Anytime a serious allegation, especially of corruption, was levelled against him, I would put him on the spot. He would explain every detail and tell me who was behind the allegation and why they were after him. I would say: “Okay, Mallam, can we publish?” In the most frustrating manner, he would reply: “No. I’m only explaining this for you to know the correct facts. I’m not asking you to defend me. But even if you want to defend me during arguments or discussions, I want you to do it on the basis of facts, not emotions.” I once told him in despair: “It is not about you alone, Mallam! I worry about the stigma your children will carry for life.” He could not be bothered.
Clearly, there was a well-oiled campaign against him basically because of the allegation that he “usurped” power. On his own, at times, he would forward links to the damaging stories to me. “Simon,” he would say, “don’t forget that I was once an editor. There is a difference between investigative journalism and planted stories. These are planted stories.” The narration of everything that went wrong in Buhari’s government was constructed to put the blame at Kyari’s doorstep. He was definitely not a saint but I know that when one person is being blamed for every wrong, there is certainly an orchestrated agenda at play. I have been a journalist for 27 years of my life.
I knew Kyari closely for 10 years. He was a simple man, deeply intellectual and not one to run away from enforcing the rules. We argued frequently, particularly on economic policy which was his major area of interest. He regularly bought me books on economics and sociology. He often invited me for lunch or dinner anytime he was in London and all we discussed was Nigeria and the development challenge. He was very passionate about infrastructure and industrialisation. But he always kept quiet on damaging media reports against him. Maybe that is what chiefs of staff do: take the bullets for their bosses and go to their graves with all the secrets. Adieu, Mallam.
© Simon Kolawole
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
Did Melinda Gates claim to see dead bodies all over Africa? Is Bill Gates the Antichrist? The Fact check to the first question is courtesy of Kabir Adejumo while Simon Kolawole tackles the second in 5G and other Tales by Moonlight. Enjoy;
1. The bogus claim attributed to Melinda Gates has gone viral but it started when Femi Fani-Kayode wrote on his Twitter handle @realFFK at 3.47pm on April 12, 2020;
“I see dead bodies all over Africa”- Melinda Gates.
Horrendous vision from a horrendous lady with a horrendous husband. We reject it and return it to sender! The agenda of satan for Africa shall not stand. Those that have dug a pit for us shall fall into that pit themselves”.
But what did Mrs. Gates actually say? In a recent interview with CNN where she spoke about Coronavirus pandemic, she said;
“It’s going to be horrible in the developing world. Part of the reasons you are seeing the case numbers still do not look very bad is because they don’t have access to many tests”
She disclosed that when she…
“saw what China had to do to isolate an enormous part of its population. My first thought was Africa. How in the world are they going to deal with this.
“Look at what is happening in Ecuador, they are putting bodies out on the streets, you are going to see that in countries in Africa. I have been in townships all over Africa and slums. When we talk about physical distancing and hand-washing. If you live in slums who can’t physically distance, you have to go out and get your meals. You don’t have clean water to wash your hands”
Truth is Mrs Gates never said she “saw dead bodies all over Africa” the way and manner it is currently being portrayed in the Nigerian social media space. Rather, she’s urging the world to act fast to save developing countries like Africa from disaster. Mr Fani-Kayode stripped the Mrs Gates’ comment of its context. The former minister is layering his presumed refutation of Melinda Gates’ argument on a “spiritual” principle which is an exaggeration of the philantropist’s comments.”
2. Now over to Simon Kolawole;
“In case you are just tuning in, let me keep you up to speed. They say the fifth generation of wireless communication technology, known as 5G, was launched in China in November 2019 to weaken our immune system and infect us with the coronavirus. They say Bill Gates, the Antichrist, will then plant chips in our bodies to vaccinate us against the virus. They say he would then start controlling humans — the whole seven billion of us — through the chips using 5G. They say the world is on lockdown so that the 5G can be installed. They say the pandemic is a hoax after all. They even say the lockdown in Lagos and Abuja was to lay 5G cables for the coming of the Antichrist.
Let us say I did not go to school but, as my grandmother (God rest her soul) would say, “I may be uneducated but I have a brain.” For one, South Korea launched 5G in April 2019 and did not record a coronavirus case until January 2020. Also, we don’t need any lockdown for 5G to be installed because it rides on fibre optic cable — which we have been laying across Nigeria for over 15 years! In fact, MTN and Globacom have laid nearly 20,000km of fibre optic cable all over Nigeria without any lockdown. Meanwhile, 5G is not a cable. You don’t lay it underground. You only upgrade to 5G by installing radios, antennas and nodes on existing masts — not by digging the ground, dummy!
True, Gates, in 2015, spoke about a possible pandemic, but isn’t that fairly predictable? It’s like saying there will be religious conflict in Kaduna state or flood in Lagos! Incidentally, President Barack Obama warned about a pandemic before Gates. Epidemics and pandemics are as old as the human race. The Plague of Justinian killed 25 million people as far back as AD 541-542. We have had the Black Death, the Asiatic Flu, the Spanish Flu (during which churches and mosques were closed down, as Pastor Sam Adeyemi has helped us dig out) and, recently, SARS. China has been the epicentre of epidemics since 1855. Any idiot can predict epidemics. You don’t have to be the Antichrist.
If people are genuinely worried that the 5G technology can cause health problems such as cancer, I can understand. We can begin to have an intelligent discussion around that. Fears have been raised, and are still raised, that the radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation that mobile phones or phone masts transmit can cause cancer. So far, no scientific study has backed this claim. All studies by reputable scientists have concluded that the radiation is non-ionising and does not have enough energy to damage DNA and cannot directly cause cancer. But to suggest that electromagnetic radiation can create a particle with genetic material is a completely different proposition altogether.
I accept that new technologies tend to get some people paranoid — and they begin to hallucinate.
This is common in Christendom. Any new thing has to be linked to the “end times”. For context, the Bible talks about a time when the entire world will unite economically and politically — one currency, one religion, etc — under the Antichrist. People will voluntarily align with the Antichrist and get the “666” code as pass to do business in his kingdom. People won’t be deceived into accepting the mark of the beast. The Bible says the Antichrist will eventually engage in a final war with Jesus Christ in the Battle of Armageddon and will be routed. That is the context.
Not surprisingly, Christians have invented several Antichrists to enforce the Apocalypse. Nero Caesar, the Roman Emperor from AD 54-68, was once named the Antichrist — based on the numerical interpretation that “666” is the equivalent of his name and title in Aramaic. In 1992, I read an article in the magazine of the Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship (NCCF) declaring the credit card as the universal transaction tool that the Antichrist would use to control the world. Christians were asked not to use the “evil” cards. When the World Wide Web (www) began to gain ground, eschatologists said the Apocalypse had finally arrived. The world was now electronically one!
With his Microsoft Windows operating system a monopoly on PCs, Gates was appointed as the new Antichrist. His name amounted to “666” in the computer code, they said, similar to what they said about Nero. It seems Gates did not perform well as the Antichrist. He soon fell out of favour. Pope John Paul II was also a nominee. The end-time experts said the pontiff was working hard to unite the entire world under the Roman Catholic Church, after which he would rule as the Antichrist and Jesus would come and finish him off. The Pope also failed to perform. Instead, he died. Other names have been touted, including Obama, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
Anytime an epidemic or war breaks out, the next thing we hear is that the world is about to come to an end “as predicted by the Bible”. Prophets have used the epidemics in centuries gone by — such as the bubonic plagues — to declare the end of the world. The Gulf War of 1990/91 was also supposed to end it all. But it seems we have finally found the answer. According to a popular pastor who said he took his inspiration from a 1984 movie rather than from the Spirit of God, 5G is the latest Antichrist tool in town.
Conspiracy theories are easy to propound: just join unrelated events together, adjust the facts and speak some clean English. You are set to go.
I must confess that I find the 5G technology astounding. It is said to be 20 times faster than the current 4G LTE. That means you can download a two-hour movie in three seconds! This would normally take six minutes on 4G and 26 hours on 3G. Some of these end-time pastors will soon start asking us to download their messages “in just one second” for $10 each using the 5G technology! Also with 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) will explode. It will enable smart homes and driverless cars. We are told that doctors can perform surgeries virtually. Videos won’t buffer. This is mind-boggling! But as a layman, I would rather seek more knowledge on it than mystify or demonise it!
With 5G and COVID-19 currently the hot topics, my brethren have gone back to the drawing board — or is it the cinema hall — and have come up with movie-inspired prophecies. The mantle of the Antichrist has been returned to Gates, who, they said, wants to give us digital identity chips under the pretext of vaccination against the coronavirus. We will then become zombies and he will begin to control us, using AI. So, we have been told to reject COVID-19 vaccines. This is the same way many northern children were stopped from taking the polio vaccine with the conspiracy theory that the US wanted to sterilise Muslims. Let us just say the “5G vaccine” is the Christian version.
When a pastor told me “vaccine digital ID” would eventually be a requirement to “buy and sell” under the Antichrist, I asked him: “Did you register for BVN?” He said yes. I said: “Then you already have a digital ID!” He screamed: “I’m finished!” The Antichrist has got him, poor soul! You cannot operate an account in Nigeria today without a BVN. If you ever gave your fingerprint to get a visa, be assured you already have a digital ID. If you have a mobile phone, you have technically received a “chip” that gives out your location per time. If you use an ATM or the autocorrect function on your phone, you are already under the influence of AI. Stop deceiving yourself!
Finally, let us now agree that these are the end-time signs. And so what? Why should any pastor be jittery, running scared and spreading panic? Pastors have been preaching that Jesus Christ is coming soon, so shouldn’t they be happy that their prophecies are about to be fulfilled? Are they afraid to go to heaven or what? What’s the point? Jesus said: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” He did not say panic or resist it. Even then, can any preacher stop the Antichrist? Does the Bible say the mark of the beast will be given to you under a pretext? Some pastors certainly have more trust in movies than the Bible.
I’m not really worried if these myths and old wives’ fables are being spread by internet layabouts. But pastors? Many Christians are so gullible that, no matter the level of their education or exposure, they are easily misled. Pastors need to be careful.
As Apostle James wrote,
“We who teach will be judged more strictly.”
When pastors, who are supposed to be led by the Spirit of God, are misleading the people, the only scripture that comes to mind is what Jesus said in Matthew 18:6:
“If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
By Prof. Shima Gyoh
I have never met Bill Gates in person, but I know he has devoted much of his time and wealth to survival programmes in poor countries. It is regrettable that someone who has done so much in support of child survival, reduction of maternal mortality, establishing water and sanitation programmes and many worthwhile facilities, should be accused of being a monster of grotesque dimensions.
I was President of the Nigerian Society for Family Health and Member of the Board of Management for the Washington based Population Services International for many years. It involved working with many British, American, European and private international donors funding many infrastructural programmes to improve the quality of life for people in poor countries, both in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Private donors like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are very actively involved.
There is a strong anti-vaccination, religion-driven movement in the developed world. In 1998, one of their members, Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a paper in the respected Lancet medical journal, claiming a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. When it was established to be based on fake claims, it was retracted and Wakefield expelled from the medical profession, but the movement never lost momentum. They have an active websites that manufactures conspiracy theories and plays on the superstitious proclivity of human nature to promote fear, using pseudo-scientific language to impress the uninitiated. There is in current circulation an impressive history, linking the very likeable philanthropist to a long line of bloodthirsty ancestry.
The former Minister of Health, Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti and I (then Director-General) did a lot, beginning with “immunisations days” to persuade the Nigerian public to accept childhood immunisation as part of our family culture. Even though we did not succeed to the extent we wanted, child and maternal survival were considerably improved. Bill Gates and other donors provide additional funds for crucial programmes, complementing the efforts of our governments. It pains me to see the achievements being threatened, and one of its chief funders being denounced purely on blind faith in superstition. This attack was started from advanced countries, and it has bothered many good Nigerians whether we are being conned.
Nigerians working with people like Bill Gates are not all dunces. As health professionals, we knew more medicine than Bill Gates, so there was no way he could hoodwink us on health matters even if he were that inclined. When you go to the extent of suspecting that the secret services of advanced countries conceal chemicals in the drugs they sell us to depress the fertility of black people, don’t forget we have independent quality testing abilities for all consumables we purchase. We would also notice adverse effects on our patients, who are not only our compatriots, but often include members of our families. What we cannot do is cure people of their persecution complexes.
Progress in understanding of disease has resulted in the science of immunisation that has greatly reduced child mortality, and eliminated such highly lethal diseases like small pox. The salvation of the world from COVID-19 may well lie in development of a vaccine. This is a wrong time for circulating vitriol against vaccination.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
I have just finished watching a BBC documentary that featured the attached family (L-R) Rizqy Setiawan, Iwan Setiawan and Sarah Setiawan flanking Ahmad Hassan (2nd from L) Iwan is the father of Rizqy and Sarah.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Hassan is on death row. He was one of the conspirators of a bomb attack that killed Iwan’s wife, the mother of Rizqy and Sarah. The program put together by the maverick BBC reporter Rebecca Henschke was such a profound experience for me. It is a poignant reminder that the best way to fight against evil is through forgiveness. As Abraham Lincoln famously asked;
“Do I not destroy my enemies by making them my friends?”
“Setiawan was on his motorbike, speeding past the Australian embassy in Jakarta. His mind was on his wife, whose arms were around his chest and whose pregnant belly he could feel pressing against his back. Their second child was due within weeks and they were on their way to hospital for a check-up. Suddenly there was this incredibly loud sound and we were thrown into the air,” he remembers. Iwan didn’t know till much later that it was a suicide bomb, planted by a militant group a responsible for a series of attacks in Indonesia, including the Bali bombing in 2002 that killed 202 people from around the world. “I saw blood. Lots of blood. Metal went flying into one of my eyes, destroying it. His wife was thrown from the bike, landing metres away. Both were rushed to hospital and, in a state of shock, a badly injured Halila Seroja Daulay went into labour.
She was rushed into the operating room after getting contractions. But praise be to Allah, somehow she was still able to give birth naturally,” Iwan says. That night Rizqy was born. His name means “blessing”
According to Setiawan “I lost my best friend, my soul mate, the person who completed me. It’s so painful to talk about it,”. At first, he was filled with a desire for revenge. “I wanted the arrested conspirators to die, but I didn’t want them to die quickly,” he says. “I wanted them to be tortured first. I wanted their skin to be cut and salt put in the wounds so that they had some idea of the pain their bombing caused, both physically and mentally. My children and I have struggled so incredibly hard just to keep living.”
The car bomb attack that killed Mrs Setiawan went off at 10.30 am Jakarta time on September 9, 2004. It killed the suicide bomber that triggered it, 8 others, injured 150 and destroyed not just the Australian embassy but that of Greece and China shattering glass windows up to half a kilometer away. 6 persons were eventually arrested and sentenced to death. They are currently cooling off their heels in a maximum security prison on a jungle covered island that the surviving Setiawan family members met Ahmad Hassan including the mastermind of the bomb attack Darmawan Munto Rois. Setiawan senior had all previously met them before bringing his children along. Who by way of introduction started;
“I have invited my children to meet you, I want them to understand too why you did the bombing that killed their mother and caused me to lose one of my eyes. They have to know because they lost their mother when they were so young” Ahmad Hassan nods solemnly and replies;
“I never wanted to hurt your father, he just happened to be passing by, and my friend who was carrying the bomb blew it up at that time. I hope that you, the children of Iwan, can forgive me.” His voice starts to break.
“I am a flawed human. I have made many mistakes. My friends and I were given the wrong education and learning. I wish that we hadn’t acted before we had really gained knowledge and understood what we were doing,” he continued.
Sarah summons up courage and says; “I would always ask my dad when I was little, ‘Where is my mum?’ and he told me she was at Allah’s house. I asked where that was, and he said it was the mosque. So I ran away to the mosque. My grandmother was looking for me, and when she found me I told her that I was waiting for my mum. I was waiting for my mum to come home. But she has never come home.”
“Hassan closes his eyes and opens his hands in prayer. Over and over he mumbles a prayer seeking forgiveness from Allah. “Allah wanted me to have to meet you and be forced to try and explain,” he finally manages to say. “But I can’t explain to you my child, I am sorry. “I can’t hold back my tears. I take Sarah as my own child. Please, please forgive me. It’s in your hands.” Everyone in this tiny room is crying – except the mastermind and financier of the bomb attack who on his part stated; “I have a child, too. I haven’t seen my wife or child for years. I really miss them. I am even worse off than you. You’re still with your children. My child doesn’t even know me.” Darmawan continued “I didn’t do what they said I did. Why did I admit to it? Maybe when you are older you will understand” he said directly to the Setiawan children but added
“All humans have made mistakes. If I have wronged you in any way I apologise. I feel pain. I really do”
The entire meeting is part of a De-radicalisation program by the Indonesian government that brings captured terrorists and their victims face to face many of which have found healing and moved on with their lives without bitterness. Quite a number of the terrorists have also recanted because they are kept in isolation. Without their death sentences carried out and group solidarity they break down. Can the same template be applied in Nigeria? Will one day Shekau pose for a photograph holding hands with the Sharibu family? Are terrorists not actually pawns on a chessboard they neither understand nor have real control over? Truth is the real terrorist grandmasters never blow up themselves or get in any harms way.
They always pose as good guys because terrorism is the continuation of politics by other means. That not withstanding there is power in forgiveness.
The various aftermaths of the Nigerian Civil War during the Oil Boom 70s, the emergence of a Rainbow Nation after dismantling of Apartheid in South Africa and the current soaring of Rwanda after the Hutu genocide against Tutsis are all examples of that awesome power.
Must read very useful:
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By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
Mohammed Tawhidi is a rabble rouser whose middle name is controversy. That the third generation Iranian-born Australian cleric is fighting a political proxy war against President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is obvious. The million Naira question is on whose behalf is Mr. Tawhidi granstanding? It is politically significant that less than 24 hours after the launch of Tawhidi’s Social Media offensive Mr. President appeared in a series of photographs as a counter narrative to one of the Imam’s claims that Nigerians do not know where their leader is.
The Imam raised many other pertinent issues that are moot, but I shall endeavor returning to the one over President Buhari’s leadership capacity in my conclusion. That notwithstanding I feel the Imam has a personal axe to grind as his own words betray. Hear him; “Nigerians should know that I’ve actually had contact with (President Buhari’s) office before” Tawhidi continued “I was about to come to Nigeria for negotiations and help achieve peace between sects” As he rambled on Tawhidi even took a swipe at the Shia leader Ibrahim El Zakzaky on whose behalf he had sought to come to Nigeria in the first place.
How did a fringe cleric become a hero for the political Far Right in Australia, Europe and even the US? The Imam is no doubt a smooth operator that is media savvy. Interestingly, he is a fierce critic of not just the Shia theocracy in Iran but the Sunni mainstream. Is he an international political mercenary for hire?
I take exception to a foreigner deriding the Office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The fundamental issue is not really the person occupying that exalted office at any given time; but the office itself. Unfortunately, the ruling APC is chiefly responsible for creating an enabling environment that the highest office in our nation is under a Social Media siege from abroad. I will limit myself to 3 instances when APC was in opposition. First, on January 21, 22 and 29 2015, the presidential convoy of Goodluck Jonathan was pelted with stones in Katsina, Bauchi and Yola respectively.
This “single minded recklessness” was known to the nation’s security apparatus prior to when they variously happened. Stopping the treasonable incidences would have sparked off a chain of events that would have had deadly consequences – the exact intention of the planners now in government. Second, the Chibok abductions of April 14, 2014 was a puzzling chain of events that started when the Borno state government turned down WAEC’s call for the relocation of that vulnerable center to Maiduguri. Anyway, the #BringBackOurGirls immediately became a well orchestrated political movement fueled by the then opposition to reduce the esteem of the Office of the President to the extent that at the second term inauguration of Jacob Zuma the matter was dredged up as an aspect of Nigerian bashing engineered by opposition even abroad.
“On October 16, 2014, Chief Audu Ogbeh a chieftain of APC, who later became a minister, had said on camera at an APC rally at the Eagle Square Abuja, “I want to thank members of the #BBOG which is being led by members of our party” Third, former president Jonathan was openly accused of being variously a drunk while carrying out state functions. He was also openingly accused of being a sponsor of the Boko Haram insurgency to deliberately decimate the North’s population.
The preceeding narratives were among others engineered by the then opposition including another viral quote attributed to General Sani Abacha that “Any insecurity that lasts more than 48 hours has the government’s hand in it” All the foregoing were examples of hunger for power without due consideration of the consequences of diminishing the office that symbolizes that power. It is against the background of these instances that the recent tweets of “Imam for Peace” bashing President Buhari is collectively tantamount to poetic justice – not withstanding Mr. President cannot be proved to have been privy to these machinations when he was an opposition figure. He nevertheless became a beneficiary of the same information warfare he is now paradoxically a victim of from the Imam of Peace.
In conclusion, I return to the issue raised by Imam Mohammed Tawhidi on President Buhari’s availability and capacity to lead Nigeria. That Mr. President has not being medically evacuated to “Cuba” as wicked rumor had it has already been debunked by the photographs circulated by the Presidency less than 24 hours after Tawhidi had gone viral. My take on the photographs are beyond the scope of this post. I must however question in passing what meaningful meeting can take place at such seating distance with 2 members in attendance wearing surgical masks that will muffle their voices? The photographs nevertheless underscore the need for adequate information to dispel wild speculation and conspiracy theories while still asking why Mr. President did not also wear a mask? Did Mohammed Tawhidi before his viral tweets watch the Kadaria Ahmed hosted “The Candidates” which featured Mr. President and VP Yemi Osinbajo? Because as the town hall meeting broadcast live nationwide established; it is one thing to be in power and yet another to be in control takeless of having the presence of mind to actually be in power.
The beauty of a joint ticket however was epitomized by Mr. Osinbajo during the broadcast hosted by Kadaria in January 2019. “The VP provided the much-needed fillip to make the session worth the efforts and investment. And when it appeared the President had difficulty in hearing (or processing) the questions from the moderator and members of the audience, Osinbajo was always on hand to repeat them to him. The VP also, on many occasions, guided his boss in supplying what he felt were appropriate answers for tough questions” At one stage I recall Ms Ahmed had to restrain Osinbajo from interjecting on behalf of his obviously overwhelmed boss. As far as I am concerned there was nothing wrong with the VP’s actions on air. If so why has Osinbajo been now consigned to a political Siberia of sorts? The answer is obvious and lies in Law 1 of 48 Laws of Power – “Never outshine the master”
I have noticed how Mark Pence defers to Donald Trump on issues. The US leader came into office with the deficit of never holding any prior public office. Pence complemented his boss having been Indiana state governor and for 12 years a member of the US Congress. The same could be said on the Buhari-Osinbajo ticket as the VP makes up for Mr. President’s intellectual lack. It is therefore the clear absence of a leadership synergy at the Aso Rock Villa that created the political vacuum Imam Mohammed Tawhidi
The million Naira question remains: on whose behalf is Mr. Tawhidi deconstructing President Buhari?
By Evon Benson Idahosa
I remember falling asleep at a Tuesday evening church service as a 9 year old child. I had a tambourine on my lap and as I fell to the floor, it reverberated thunderously throughout the hall, drawing the attention of everyone who had been attentively listening to the dynamic preacher-man.
I awakened to piercing stares and side eyes- particularly from my father- whose message I had disrupted. Every Nigerian child knows that stare, that glare that silently speaks a thousand words, cloaks you in debilitating fear and assures your quivering being that there will be consequences.
Needless to say, it was a quiet ride home and for the rest of the revival week, I was ushered to the front row where I forced my eyes open, humming tunes to myself to stay awake.
Saying that I literally grew up in church would be an understatement. Week long revival services, such as the one I reference above, were customary. I was also in the choir, went to Sunday school before church services on Sunday, Agape Force Children’s meetings on Saturdays, mid-week services and the occasional 6:30 am morning prayer services, followed by our home bible study with Auntie B. And because my father was Archbishop Benson Idahosa, there were no negotiations. It just was.
At the age of 10, shortly after the infamous “tambourine experience,” the truth of those messages became real and I earnestly became a follower of The Way. And so, as news began to sweep the globe of the novel Corona virus and its import, I found myself immediately turning to my faith as a source of comfort and peace. I also called my mother, who now heads CGMI, the global ministry my father left when he passed away 22 years ago. Her words of encouragement and the tone of her voice assured me that, as we like to say in Nigeria, ‘it is well.’ And it will be!
But for now, the pandemic continues to rage, as thousands succumb to its will. First China. Then South Korea. Japan. An epidemic. Then Italy, the UK, the US. Thousands upon thousands of cases were being reported and every day brought the reality closer to home. Then it became a global pandemic and as it stands, the WHO estimates that there are 719,700 confirmed cases globally, with almost 34,000 deaths.
On February 28th, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, confirmed its index case of the Corona virus which arrived the country via an Italian businessman.
As I write, Nigeria’s centre for Disease Control is reporting a total of 135 confirmed cases and two deaths, having conducted just several hundred tests, even though thousands of passengers have arrived from varying countries since the index. Self isolation has been deemed an advisory, not mandatory.
Nigeria has taken what some would consider drastic, yet in this writer’s opinion, insufficient and strikingly Western style measures to address what is likely to come in the absence of a miracle. In addition to finally closing her borders from international travelers, including Nigerians, schools have been shut down, civil servants are being asked to work from home, “social distancing” policies are being enacted and several states, including my home state of Edo, have prohibited religious, social and public gatherings of more than 20 persons.
In a country where over 90% of her citizens profess to be religious, most Nigerians are accustomed to turning to their faith in times of crisis. The corona virus pandemic is no exception. Many who had strayed from God are now repenting of their sins and brandishing the sign of the cross as they leave their homes. Others are praying for a “Passover,” as CNN and other news outlets flood us with “end of the world,” doomsday messaging. As a result, many of us are yearning to collectively gather to pray.
Whether the desire to collectively gather is buttressed by denial (“coronavirus is not here” — “the spirit of corona virus is dead in Nigeria”) or stems from a deep seeded longing for God to show mercy to a healthcare system that is wholly unprepared to handle the worst case scenario, the fact remains that Nigeria’s religious faithfuls are unaccustomed to missing gatherings for anything. Services are considered sacred times to commune with God and to be encouraged by the brethren. Others hang on to every word of their clerics who, in some cases, insist on serving as a religious crutch- intermediaries between their congregants and God.
Many believers who engage with God on a transactional basis come bearing tithes and/or offerings in the hopes that God will hear their prayers. (He hears them regardless).
As such, the prohibition on religious gatherings of more than 20 (which essentially translates to a prohibition of services in general) has resulted in many Nigerian believers losing their ‘religion,’ i.e., left bewildered as to how to make the adjustment to a God who potentially exists outside the four walls of their churches; to a God who speaks directly to them in God’s long forgotten voice. Who, precisely, are Nigerian believers without our religions and religious houses of worship?
Could it be that for the first time in a long time, Nigerian believers are being presented with a church-less opportunity to develop even more meaningful personal relationships with their God; to ‘lay hands’ on themselves and speak words of healing into their children from a God who has always heard them? Could this pandemic serve as an opportunity for believers to be what Murray Bowen describes as a ‘non-anxious presence’ to those who may be paralyzed by fear?
To this end, some larger churches are offering their services online. However, for the working poor who faithfully make up the backbone of most Nigerian churches, internet connectivity and/or live streaming of an entire service make that option impractical and/or unaffordable. They are the ones, who because they live day to day, cannot afford to practice social distancing, “stay at home” and for some, even “wash your hands,” because soap becomes a luxury when one’s ‘daily bread’ is devoid of the ‘daily.’ If our government does not step up to courageously seek support that is tailored to our unique realities and then provide that support to those on the margins, the import of the corona virus in our beloved Nigeria could be felt by generations to come.
As such, could this pandemic present an opportunity for churches to fill the glaring gaps and practically serve the last and the least in a manner that reveals who we profess to be as followers of The Way? Might this be an opportunity for the church to put our egos aside and creatively heed Jesus’ instructions to ‘feed my sheep’, to apply the Balm of Gilead, by serving those who will be most physically, mentally and economically impacted?
Practically speaking, could we convert our sanctuaries to temporary hospitals or food pantries where those in need can obtain essentials? Can we use the funds of those who have faithfully donated over the years to buy ventilators and personal protective gear for our hospitals and health workers on the front lines? Can we purchase hygiene products and distribute them to those who may be confined to their homes? This, I believe, is our mandate.
At the end of the day, my faith in God runs deep. It has guided my life since I was 10 and I prayerfully trust that we will get through this. But as the Nigerian Church temporarily loses her ‘religion’ and her faith is unveiled in the face of COVID-19, she is presented with an opportunity to reverberate thunderously and rise up to be who she professes for such a novel time as this. After all, in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘the church is the church only when it exists for others…not dominating, but helping and serving’.
Courtesy Ahmed Yahaya Joe
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe (edited)
My thoughts start with the notion that the western world’s first day of the week (Sunday) is always the most segregated in Nigeria due to the number of ethnic and tribal association meetings that take place. No nation is built that way.
The attached picture is that of Morgan Freeman the host of The Story of God, a documentary of unforgetable 15 episodes asking very tough questions across the religious divide. Mr. Freeman also engages those that argue that there is no God. One thing that is obvious from that program is that there is a direct link between religious intolerance and ignorance.
Secularism, is defined as “indifference to, or rejection or exclusion of, religion and religious considerations” It also the “desire to exclude religion from social activities or civic affairs, banishment of religious symbols from the public sphere, state neutrality toward religion and the separation of religion from state”
According to a 2016 report in the National Geographical “The religiously unaffiliated, called “nones,” are growing significantly. They’re the second largest religious group in North America and most of Europe. In the United States, nones make up almost a quarter of the population. In the past decade, U.S. nones have overtaken Catholics, mainline protestants, and all followers of non-Christian faiths.”
So why are the numbers of those subscribing to no religion increasing by the day? It is chiefly due to increased economic prosperity, advances in medical sciences, improved standard of living and a man known as Christopher Hitchens that wrote a 2007 book entitled God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.
In it Mr. Hitchens argues that organized religion is “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children” A review of the book puts it that Hitchens “supports his position with a mixture of personal stories, documented historical anecdotes and critical analysis of religious texts. His commentary focuses mainly on the Abrahamic religions, although it also touches on other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism.”
It is significant to note that the increase in the number of those that subscribe to no religion is in the US, Canada and Europe. While China remains majority atheist parts of Asia, Middle East and Africa are still very religious. The case of Nigeria is toxic. We breathe religion like oxygen yet every aspect of our national life is characterized by corrupt practices from top to bottom.
In his book Hitchens addresses a hypothetical question: if he were alone in an unfamiliar city at night, and a group of strangers began to approach him, would he feel safer, or less safe, knowing that these men had just come from a prayer meeting? Hitchens answers:
“Just to stay within the letter ‘B’, I have actually had that experience in Belfast, Beirut, Bombay, Belgrade, Bethlehem and Baghdad. In each case … I would feel immediately threatened if I thought that the group of men approaching me in the dusk were coming from a religious observance”
He gives detailed descriptions of the tense social and political situations within these cities, which he personally experienced and attributes to religion.
Will no religion reach Nigeria? It is inevitable due to the way and manner we distort and manipulate religion for our personal agenda, economic gain and political purposes besides one day economic prosperity and improved standard of living will finally arrive in Nigeria!
It is obvious this ‘No Religion’ talk will deeply worry some of my close friends and even relatives who took time to personally reach out to me with their concerns. I thank you all. Like I emphasized during your various visits, I am still on course but nevertheless entrenched in Thomas Jefferson’s dictum of:
“Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.”
Against that background may you find the following excerpts written by Festus Adedayo further instructive on my position. Have a great week ahead!
In Kano State, a highly populated & politically influential historical region in Northern Nigeria, the Umar Ganduje government announced a ban on street begging by Almajiris. Spokesperson to Ganduje, said:
“If Almijiri teacher thinks he cannot accept the new policy, he has to leave the state. When Almijiri are caught begging, it is not only that beggar (who) is caught, but his parents or guardians. Such parents or guardians would be taken to court to face the wrath of the law.”
However, in flagrant disdain of these emerging Northern mindsets against centuries of decadence in the North, the Kano State Council of Ulama deplored this move. Similar to this warped thinking was that of Lagos beggars. They were reported to have stormed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s office in ten buses and seven tricycles. Reports also had it that they barricaded the entrance to the State House of Assembly, demanding audience with the Governor. One would have thought the best persons to barricade their offices and homes were the hundreds of Northern leaders since independence who had abetted that decadent system of begging.
The above puts Madame Aminata Fall Sow, a Senegalese novelist’s The Beggars’ Strike at the centre of consideration. Like the beggars’ issue, which has been engaging the minds of perceptive northerners in recent time, issues like begging, polygamy, inordinate political ambition, superstition and strength in unity also engaged Sow Fall while writing the book, originally published in French, in Dakar in 1979, with the title, La Greve des Battu. Aminata, with her gripping, fast-paced satire, tells the story of the hypocrisy of society.
A variant of the imprisonment of the Northern Ulamas’ minds and indeed, their hypocrisy, can be found in Southern Nigerian rigidity to a divorce between it and unscientific reasoning. Recently, a 22-year-old female student of the Lagos State University, Favour Seun Daley-Oladele, was killed and dismembered somewhere in Ikire, Osun State by her boyfriend, Owolabi and her body parts made into pepper soup by a Cherubim and Seraphim prophet, Segun Philips Adeeko. The boyfriend was said to have contracted one Prophet Adeeko to do this, so that he and his mother could get rich quick. Similar methodology to this today in Southern Nigeria is how churches and mosques are besieged by aimless young men and women who believe that inside those places lie their monetary and indeed, existential redemption.
What links the Northern Ulamas’ and their Southern accomplices’ minds is an unscientific reasoning. Born in 544 BC, Heraclitus had been quoted to have said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” In the same vein, some precepts in the the Holy Bible, written for a people alien to Africa centuries ago, have to bow to a modern age if we are serious of being players in modernity’s roulette game. Or else, we will continue to encounter contradictions like our youth believing that if they sacrifice human parts, they would become millionaires or that if they stew in churches/mosques, God would make them rich like Mike Adenuga.
The truth is that, money-making is more of science than metaphysics. It is a deceivable opinion to believe that anything apart from mental exertion and careful planning, with a dosage of prayer, can bring wealth. The richest people in the world can articulate how they make their money scientifically. American business magazine, Forbes compiles world billionaires’ names periodically and I cannot see anyone of them who arrived at being wealthiest billionaires in the globe on account of their being embroiled in human rituals. I cannot see among those wealthiest people anyone who sleeps in church or mosques. Even Aliko Dangote or Mike Adenuga’s religious colour is at best opaque.
In 2018, 2,208 people made the Forbes list and that included 259 newcomers. Most of them were from China and the US. Sixty-three of them were under 40, with a record number of 256 women. The average net worth of the people on that list was said to be US $4.1 billion, up US$350 million from 2017. The 2018 wealthiest human alive, Jeff Bezos, with an estimated wealth of $131 billion, and his billionaire ilk, are not reported to sleep in any mosque or church or fiddling with human entrails to make money. The un-science mind infiltrates virtually every aspect of our lives. This is why we are under-developed.”
By Mohammed Babafari (on Facebook)
It’s exactly 6 years since Muammar Gadaffi was assassinated!
Muamar Gaddafi’s Prophecies:
“I will not go into exile to any foreign country. I was born here in Libya, and I will die here. This country was a dessert, and I turned it into a forest, where everything can grow.
“No one Love this land more more than its citizens. If Europe and America tells you that they love you, be careful. They love the wealth of your land. The oil and not the people. They are helping you to fight against me but, it will be more wise for you to fight against them because they are fighting against your future and progress.
“My message to you the people of Libya is, they are helping you to kill me but you will pay the price because you will suffer. And my message to you America and Europe is, you will kill me, but be ready to fight a never ending TERRORISM.
“Before you realise your ignorance, terrorists will be hitting you at your doorstep.”
COL. GADDAFI’S IMPACT IN LIBYA:
1. There is no electricity bill in Libya, electricity is free for all its citizens.
2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens are at a 0% interest by law.
3. Home is considered a human right in Libya. Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home.
4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinars (US$50,000) from the government to buy their first apartment.
5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi, only 25% of Libyans were literates. Today, the figure stands at 83%.
6. Libyans taking up farming as a career, they received farm land, a farming house, equipment, seeds and livestock to kick- start their farms – all for free.
7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they needed in Libya, the government funded them to go abroad for it.
8. In Gaddafi’s Libya, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.
9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0. 14 per liter.
10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – now frozen globally.
11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation, the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
13. A mother who gave birth to a child under Gaddafi, received US $5,000 as child benefit upfront.
14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15
15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree
16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man- Made River Project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
If this is called “Dictatorship”, I wonder what type of Leadership Democrats have!!