Cemetery rejects corpse of man killed by lightning

Cemetery rejects corpse of man killed by lightning
The management of llorin Muslim Cemetery yesterday rejected the corpse of a 47-year-old civil servant who was killed by lightening in Oro, lrepodun Local Government Area, Kwara State.

Dr. Abubakar Aliagan, the Coordinator of the cemetery, said the rejection Mr. Salami Adekunle’s corpse followed an instruction that it should not undergo the normal Islamic prayers and bath.

Aliagan said while the deceased was described as a practising Muslim in his life time, the Muslims in his neighbourhood refused to accept that his death was an act of God.

He said the performance of traditional rituals on Adekunle’s corpse after his death was unacceptable to the management of the cemetery, adding that the burial of the deceased in the cemetery must also be in line with Islamic tenets.

“If the late Salami will sleep in our Muslim cemetery, we have to do it in line with lslamic rites,” Aliagan said.

Adekunle was on Thursday struck dead by lightening during a downpour.

The deceased, who hailed from lnisa in Osun State, was until his death an official of the Registry Department at Kwara State College of Education, Oro.

The Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr. Adesola Adewoye, said the family of the deceased would meet to decide on the next line of action.


Rare survival story: How I cope with rape, HIV infection, single motherhood 

The Ogechi Stella Njoku story: Raped twice, living with HIV and standing tall against all odds

By Esther Ijewere

Ogechi  was raped twice at the age of 16 on different occasions while hawking. The mother of  four and graduate of Economics from the University of Ibadan  is also living with HIV, a discovery that almost shattered her dreams and made her give up on life. The only child of her mother and staff of the Nigerian Society of Engineers was all over the internet last week when she opened up about her status and also shared her story and deepest pain. Though Ogechi runs her own company while still being gainfully employed , she is determined to use her story to touch lives and also change the perception of the society about  HIV and  stigmatisation.

My background and story
Yes, my childhood experience was characterized with hard work, which propelled me into becoming an independent woman. It gave me the sense of understanding that no one owes me anything, it made me understood that I am responsible for either my success or my failure. I was born into the family of Eight Children, and I was the last born but unfortunately, I lost Seven of my Senior Siblings, making me an only child. I lost my father too, as a child, hence I was singlehandedly trained by my mother.My mother was a petty trader who hawked on different seasonal fruits, ranging from oranges, avocado peers, banana, etc. And when in, out of season, she trades on kola nuts. While growing up, I watch my mother cried every night, her pains was greater than I could imagine, I couldn’t proffer solution, all I could say then whenever she cried was “Aunty ndo kwanu” (Aunty sorry) yes, I call my mother Aunty till date.

The pains of losing her Seven Children one after the other to the cold hands of death was excruciatingly great to her heart, to a point she almost lost hope that she had me. At any little experience, she would wish she wasn’t living, she often makes reference to them. I assured her and reassured her each time she cried that “I WILL BE TO HER, WHAT THE SEVEN DEAD CHILDREN WOULD HAVE BEEN TO HER”.

Raped twice while hawking
My growing up was like hell, I would hawk from 6am-9am before going home to prepare for school, immediately after school, I would hit the street again to hawk, that was our only source of livelihood, the proceeds were used for our feeding and my school fees and books, during holidays, my effort triples. My Hawking experience became bitter when I was deflowered by rape at 16, in 1996, I lost my virginity. Nothing could be done to the guy who did it because his father was the chairman of one of the local government in IMO state then, so my mother dare not raise such accusations against the high and mighty. My experience became more bitter when I was raped for the second time by gangs of men in pretense of trying to buy my market, they successfully cornered me and over powered me at Ekeonunwa market Owerri. I hated hawking, my passion for education grew, my dream to become someone influential and rich grew, my vision for life became my burning desire. I was determined by quest to take care of my mother and make her proud, hence I wasn’t ready to allow any challenges deter it. I kept pushing on.

Journey to Lagos
After my secondary education in 1997, I journeyed to Lagos in 1998, life was hell, at a point, I lived in an uncompleted building for over a year without anyone knowing that someone lives in there, because I would leave there as early as 4 am to go to where I worked as sales girl with a salary of 3,000 and would come home very late, the supermarket I worked for, used to close by 10pm, before I would get home, it would be 11pm.
When I had a change of work, I worked for Linar Pharmacy at Salvation road Opebi, Ikeja. Seeing my boss children who were schooling at University of Lagos, my enthusiasm for education and good life intensifies the more. I reassured myself of my dreams of becoming a graduate. Then I knew I won’t just sit down and dream, hence I changed my job of a sales girl to a cleaner, so that I could attend my computer school.While in computer school at Allen avenue, Ikeja, I became very close to one of my course mate “Late Akpa Elina Odachi” (may her soul Rest in Peace) whose father was a Soldier and mother was a mobile Police Officer, they were living in Sam Ethan Air Force Base, Ikeja. She noticed that I was living in an uncompleted building, and sought to know why, I explained, she highlighted the dangers of me staying in there, should area boys become aware. So, she suggested to take me to her parents in the barracks, that was how my how my journey to the barracks started.

The beginning of my ordeal
Life in the barracks was sweet till I started dating a Soldier, pregnancy came, children came, no marriage, the sweetness of my soul was taken away, I was abused both by the father of my kids and his relatives. I was abandoned, in fact the soldier worked his posting out, that was how I started hawking again, joined cleaning work to it, to sustain myself and kids, in 2005 I decided to become a soldier through recruit, I bought the Air Force form, took my kids home to my mother. It was in the course of medical screening, they found out that I was pregnant again for my soldier boyfriend again, hence I was dropped. All hope to good life were lost. My soldier friend still insisted that there will be no marriage.

My suffering increased, the sisters of the father of my kids would mock me, each time they saw me hawking oranges in the street of Oshodi, Lagos or they saw me sweeping the blocks of barracks, they concluded that I wanted to entangle their younger brother with pregnancy to gain marriage, they were all graduates, I was just a WAEC holder, cum an orange seller and a cleaner. The disparities between us were much, the gap was too much, they saw nothing good in me, Their constant mockery was a reminder to my ambitions.

The need to double up for survival
In 2007, I doubled my cleaning work alongside my hawking business with the view of saving more money to go to school even if it is on part time bases. I swept the barracks and washed the gutters from 4am – 5:30 am, moved straight to Oshodi market to buy my oranges before 6:30am, then prepared before 7:30 am to Pacific Access Limited, to clean their office, by 9am I am through with all cleaning work, I would go home, rest till 12pm, then wash my oranges, and hit the streets for my hawking business. Some days, I would make sales ranges from 3,000-5,000 per day, then get monthly salary of 5,000 for cleaning the barracks, also 5,000 from cleaning Pacific Access limited. In a month I  have savings from incomes ranging from 30,0000-40,000. My hope for school started rising.

The “Plot Twist” moment
On August 29, 2007, I came to clean office as usual, I found a Wednesday Punch Newspaper on my boss table, dated August 28, 2007, 1 flipped through the pages, I saw job advertisement for junior staff with minimum of Diploma and must be computer literate. I checked out for its location and organisation, it was Abuja, the Nigerian Society of Engineers, National Headquarters, National Engineering Center. My instinct told me to apply, I came home and told everyone, they all discouraged me, except one officer, Warrant Officer Ogumuyiwa who encouraged me to try my luck. I did, passed the aptitude test and interview and was given the job. I assumed office on 16th November, 2007, that was beginning of my breakthrough. My dreams became true. I found favour among my colleagues, Management Staff and the entire organisation favoured and blessed me. In 2009, I gained admission to study Financial Accounting at Fidie Polytechnic Gboko, Benue state, I got my National Diploma in 2011, in 2012, I gained admission to study B. Sc. in Economics at University of Ibadan, Oyo state through Direct Entry. My dreams to become a graduate and take care of my mother came true against all odds, against all my failures and challenges, I conquered my fears and dismay.

I became a mother at age 22, a single mother of four children at age 28, started higher institution at age 29, owned a car at age 31, became an Oracle Database Certified Expert at 32, a landlady in Abuja at age 33, a graduate of Economics 2015/2016 at 36, established BDMG Resources Limited on 5th April, 2017, before my 37th Birthday. Currently writing my ICAN and ACCA Professional Certification Exams. Above all, I am still gainfully employed with the Nigerian Society of Engineers, “the engine room of my breakthrough”.

My Motivation
God is my all in all, His grace, favour and mercy found me was sufficient unto me and  became my enabler, my mother is my Rock, my children are my motivators, The Nigerian Society of Engineers (The best Organization) was my strength, and MY VISION WAS MY DRIVE.

Heartbreaking moment I found out my HIV status
My only regret was becoming HIV positive, but I thank God that all my children are NEGATIVE and their father is also NEGATIVE. Surviving the reality of living with HIV became my greatest challenge, my worst nightmare, the thought was killing, the pains was excruciatingly great, better imagine than experiencing.

HIV is a management disease, and not a killer disease, it is the fear of stigmatization and discrimination that leads to living in self-pity/denials which leads to AIDS, which is the killer. I conquered the FEARS . I became adherent to my ARV, today I am gladly living positively healthy with my viral load undetectable and high CD4 count.

Initial reaction
I felt terribly bad, for months I lived in denial, I found it difficult to accept, I felt disappointed in myself, I thought I had become a failure, I was at the verge of giving up, but the thought of how my kids and my aged mother would survive without me changed my mind, hence I came to reality with my new-found status. I decided that I will live and I will conquer every fear associated with being HIV Positive, I braced up and started making website research to understand if truly victims of HIV can live a normal live. When I found out that it was possible to have an undetectable viral load and high CD4 count even with the presence of HIV in the blood stream, then I decided that I would be an example of such. Today I am happily living that fulfilled life.

Why I opened  up about my status
Smiles…My inspiration was drawn from the knowledge I gained while studying what HIV entails. Applying the things, I learnt from the HIV health counsellors while being counseled and my personal research from World Health Organization (WHO) and USAIDS websites proved to me beyond every reasonable doubt that HIV is not a killer disease, if only victims adheres to their ARV drugs. Hence my passion to see people live above their fears of HIV grew. My enthusiasm to change the Myths people held about HIV grew. I knew that I needed to lend a voice, I understood that such long held Myth about HIV can only be changed true a healthy life of a testimony from a victim of HIV.

Becoming a single mum at 28 and balancing it all
Yes, I became a single mother of four children at age 28, prior to that, I had already been gainfully employed, hence I had inflow of cash. Nevertheless, I was able to balance motherhood, job and academic career with the assistance of my mother. I stopped my mother from hawking to enable her live with me. She was saddled with the responsibilities of taking care of my children after they returned from school on the daily basis while I concentrated on my job and the pursuit of my academic career.

The Joy of being my own boss and still gainfully employed
My driving force was my vision of becoming influential and rich. Having tested poverty, I told myself that I will plan my life very well to escape poverty. Living a life of poverty is liken unto living in hell, hence I never wanted my children to experience what I encountered, hence the need to plan for better stream of income became my driving force.

Other Projects
I am a networker, indulging into divers networking marketing. I believe that wealth is not gotten through one stream of income but through multiple channels of activities that yields money. I am also a freelance writer, with www.upwork.com.

My most ever regarded reward was the award of “THE MOST IMPROVED STAFF OF THE YEAR 2010” by The Nigerian Society of Engineers, National eadquarters.

Nigerians not well sensitized on how to respond and relate to HIV victims
No, Nigeria and Nigerians needs more sensitization on HIV and its management. Records has proven that we are still holding firm to the Myths we believe about HIV. Nigerians still believe that the virus can only and strictly be gotten through sex. Some are of the opinion that it is an airborne or a highly contagious disease, hence their attitude of stigmatization and discrimination is unavoidably evident to victims of HIV. Some see it as a spiritual attack, hence resorted to seeking prayers and miracles against seeking for medical attention, they Christianized it to a belief of an act of witches and wizards. Very ironic.

If you had the opportunity to proffer a solution to HIV victims, what would it be
1. I will first help them to conquer their fears by understanding that nothing is capable of killing your soul except what you yielded to.  2. I will teach them boldness to accept their new status, no one can make you worse off, without your consent, hence they need to understand how to kill the greatest enemy of their boldness which is SELF PITY.  Above all, I will help them to delete the concept of seeing HIV as a spiritual attack

I am a woman of Rubies
My Braveness and heart of determination distinguishes me as a woman of Rubies
Final word for women who are passing through Challenges and living with HIV
Trust in God, the author and finisher of our faith and never give up on yourself.

Source : The Guardian 

How sacked LASU lecturer delayed our results for seven years because we didn’t pay him N50,000

For six years, sacked LASU lecturer delayed our results for not paying N50,000 bribe –Alabi, Ex-student

Tunde Ajaja

Like a season movie that is yet to climax, the last seems not to have been heard of the sacking of 15 lecturers, two non-academic staff and the demotion of two others by the Governing Council of the Lagos State University, as more facts have continued to emerge about the issue.

One of the sacked lecturers, Dr. Isaac Oyewunmi, who was the branch chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities in LASU, said recently that the allegations against him were mere victimisation and that it was “shameful” that LASU relied on “ghost petition” to sack him.

He had said, “If you can even prove that I demanded some amount of money from those students, nothing more than that, and some people actually collected money, it is politics of activism and we are used to it. But it is actually shameful.

“When you have incidents of a ghost petition and then you use the evidence of a third party to rubbish the career of another – well, it’s interesting; we are enjoying it honestly.”

But, as it turns out, the person who wrote the petition against Oyewunmi has come out to state his side of the story. In an exclusive interview with our correspondent earlier in the week, the petitioner, Mr. Alabi Abiodun, an ex-student of LASU, revealed how the sacked lecturer allegedly delayed the processing of the result of seven students of the (2007) set for six years because they refused to pay the N50,000 bribes he allegedly demanded from each of them.

In the course of the delay, Alabi said he lost two job offers because his result was not ready and that it took the intervention of the former governor of the state, Babatunde Fashola, to get their results.

In a narrative that turned out to be very interesting, Alabi said he gained admission into LASU in 2003 to study Political Science under the sandwich programme. It was a three-year course, but due to strike actions along the line, he graduated in 2007, instead of 2006. He noted that his experience while the programme lasted was sweet and productive.

But after graduation, that sweet experience was soon replaced with frustration, Alabi said.

He continued, “At the end of the programme in 2007, we were made to know that Dr. Isaac Oyewunmi would be the one to coordinate and process our result for onward submission, as he performed that responsibility for the entire department. We were optimistic that in no time, our results would be ready, more so that we were just seven in the class.”

Alabi noted that most of them sponsored themselves to school and so they could not wait to lay their hands on their result to start looking for job and earn better living. But throughout that year, there was no update about the result.

“By 2008, we discovered that nothing was happening as regards our result, so we approached Dr. Oyewunmi again. He said yes, he wanted to help us but that he had been using his money to make photocopies of the result, which had been delaying the work.

“On hearing that, I told my colleagues to let us motivate him and speed things up. We contributed among ourselves and gave him N10,000, even though he didn’t ask for it. We just wanted to facilitate the process and maybe that was our undoing. When we gave him the money, we then assumed that things would be faster. But sadly, that was the beginning of a torturous journey.”

Throughout 2008, 2009 and 2010; making three years after graduation, there was no update about their result. Even though they kept meeting Oyewunmi to know the update about their result, Alabi said he kept promising them he would do it and at the graduation every year, Alabi said he would always dress up like one of the graduates but would always come back deflated.

Apart from holding them to ransom, Alabi said the delay cost him two job opportunities. “In 2009, I got a job offer from the Federal Government but I lost it because I didn’t have a result to present; same thing in 2010 when I got another offer from the Lagos State government and I lost it because of no result,” he added.

When the delay became costly to bear, Alabi  said himself and his colleagues went to meet the lecturer to know what was happening and that to their greatest dismay, Oyewunmi said he could not lay his hands on the result.

He said, “There was a heavy rain that period; such that it rained for about 16 hours in Lagos. Dr. Oyewunmi told us that after the rain, he could not find our result.

“On the day we agreed to meet him, before I got there, he called the two people that first got there and took them to the tree beside the three-in-one building very close to sandwich building. He told them the rain swept away our results but that he would help us out. He said each of us should pay N50,000 if we really wanted to get our result.

“When I got there and I was told, I went to his office to ask if what they said was true and he told me that each of us should pay N50,000 before we could get our result. I’m not the type to buy result, so I told my colleagues we won’t do that and we all agreed because even in our four years, I never paid any lecturer.”

Alabi, who was sponsoring himself, explained that even if he was to raise the N50,000, he would have to work for three months without eating. “We agreed not to pay,” he added.

Dazed by the delay and the unfolding drama, Alabi said he ran to one of his lecturers named Dr. Muda, who expressed shock over the report. He said the lecturer took him to the Acting Director of Sandwich Programme, Dr. MOB Mohammed, who was equally shocked by the report.

“That day, I cried because the trouble was becoming too much and then felt suddenly helpless. Why did I go to school if I had nothing to show for it. We all know the rate of unemployment in Nigeria, so when you lose two job offers, you can imagine how it feels.”

Based on the promise by the acting director that something would be done about the result, during the next convocation in 2010, Alabi said he was prepared for the programme as one of the graduands but on getting to school, he found out his name and those of his colleagues were not included. Thus, he went back home deflated.

In fact, instead of doing the needful, Alabi alleged that Oyewunmi started using an agent in the person of one of the students in the department, known as Alhaji, who gained admission the same year Alabi graduated. “Alhaji was the one encouraging us to pay the money, in accordance with what Dr. Oyewunmi had said,” he said.

In 2011, four years after graduation, Alabi took the bull by the horn when he attended the convocation of that year and found that their names were not in the programme.

He said, “Former governor Babatunde Fashola was the visitor to the school, so I got a bulletin where his name and number was. At that point, I couldn’t bear it again. After the programme, I sent a ‘SOS’ message to the governor and I titled the text message ‘LASU result only worth N50,000’. I appealed to him to save us from Dr. Isaac Oyewunmi, through his agent, Alhaji, so that they could release our result.

“As it turned out, when Fashola received that message, he forwarded it to the then VC, Prof. Obafunwa, who couldn’t hesitate, given where the message came from. The VC called the Director of External Programmes, Dr. Abanikonda, who also called Dr. Muda, whom I had reported to earlier.

“That was how investigation into the matter began. At a point, the VC (Obafunwa) called me into his office and asked if I could repeat the allegations in front of the lecturers and I told him I was ready. I didn’t have any reason to lie, not to even talk of destroying another man’s career. I wouldn’t do that. I learnt the VC ordered that our results should be retrieved from him and released as soon as possible. But the damage had been done.”

Asked why he didn’t take other steps to put pressure on the lecturer, as six years appears a long time, Alabi said they never knew it could take that long, as they renewed their hope of graduating every year. “Initially, we didn’t see the need to petition the authorities until it dawned on us and I had to involve the governor,” he said.

Overall, Alabi said he and his colleagues spent 10 years to get their first degree, as their result was eventually released in 2013 when all the joy of being a graduate had already faded out. But that didn’t seem to be the end to the drama. Alabi said in 2015, he started receiving threats as some unknown persons were visiting where he was living, telling people to warn him to desist from trying to report or implicate their boss/lecturer.

He said, “When it got to a level, I wrote LASU, notifying the authorities of the threat. And I also told them that it was because nothing was done about it that was why people could still be threatening me on his behalf. I asked the management that if someone sat on my result for six years, should threats be the next line of action?

“They acknowledged the receipt of the letter and they set up a panel. They invited me and I went there to state my side of the story. I appeared before the panel about five times, and each of those times, I used to sit beside Dr. Oyewunmi in front of the panel.

“With the things going on in LASU now, I know they would be going about, making concocted report of what did not happen and that is why I like to talk about it. I decided to say my own story for the entire world to hear and put things in perspective, without bias.

“I’m not judging him, but what he did was a violation of our rights for him as the coordinator of our results to make a demand. It is also against the teaching etiquette for a teacher to give the result of other students to somebody else to prepare, especially when the person is also a student of the same institution.”

While there have been accusations that Oyewunmi was sacked based on his union activities as ASUU chairman in LASU, given the reported disagreement between the management and the union, Alabi, while thanking the management, his “wonderful lecturers” and his colleagues for their cooperation, stressed that people should separate the individual from the union.

He said, “Was LASU branch of ASUU on trial? No. Was it LASU branch of ASUU that delayed our result? No; it was Dr. Oyewunmi. If the authorities of the school, in their own wisdom, feel that dismissing him is the best judgment for him, so be it. Whoever that wants to be the sympathiser of Oyewunmi should separate ASUU from his person. Let us judge the matter on the basis of merit, not with bias.”

Specifically, ASUU, Lagos Zone, had claimed that the exercise by the management of LASU was to implicate the leadership of the union in the school, but Alabi insisted that anyone with conscience should put his children in their shoes.

“They should imagine that a child whose fees they are paying should finish school and would not get result for six years, not to talk of people who sponsored themselves. I sponsored myself. My parents are very rich, on the other side; likewise some of us. So, you can understand our pain,” he added.

Quoting Revelation 22 to stress that Oyewunmi would get the reward of what he did to them, Alabi added that if he had got those jobs he was offered, his life would have been better than what it is at the moment.

But, while responding to the allegations, Oyewunmi said there was no substance in the allegations that he asked for money to process results. He accused the school management of paying an agent to dent his image, being the arrowhead of ASUU in the school.

Oyewunmi, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Friday, said, “The gentleman said he was admitted in 2003 when I was not even a member of staff.

“I joined LASU in 2004. If he was admitted in 2003, he was supposed to graduate in 2007, whereas I became the subject coordinator for the political science education students in 2011. And 2007 to 2011 would give us about four years, yet, I was the one who delayed his graduation all this while.

“The point is that there is this systemic problem in LASU and not until we come to stand up to our shortcomings collectively and not use anybody as a scapegoat, we won’t be moving forward.

“There is no substance in all of these and if the school finds it difficult to reverse itself, the court of law in some days from now would look at it and we are very sure we would be victorious.”

On September 8, 2017, the institution had said that the sacking of the staff members was due to different acts of misconduct and that there was thorough investigation of specific documented allegations of misconduct levelled against them.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, had also said at a press briefing on Monday that the decision was part of efforts to sanitise the system and that it was not in any way politically motivated.

Source : The Punch 

Ambode to swear-in Oke as acting Lagos CJ Monday

Ambode to swear-in Oke as acting Lagos CJ Monday

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State will,on Monday,   swear-in Justice Opeyemi Oke as the Acting Chief Judge of the State.

Justice Oke, who is the most senior judge of the State Judiciary, is taking over in an acting capacity following the retirement of Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade who will attain the statutory retirement age tomorrow, September 24, 2017.

Justice Atilade on Monday paid a visit to the Governor at Lagos House to officially announce her retirement from the State’s judiciary.

Receiving the outgoing CJ, Governor Ambode pledged his administration’s determination to prioritize the welfare of serving and retired judges in the State to enable them continue to give their very best to the economic prosperity of the State.

He said that over the last two years, concerted efforts have been put in place geared towards reforms in the judiciary to improve on their service delivery, noting that the Lagos State Judiciary had become a reference point of how the judiciary should run.

“Reforms in the judiciary is a continuous thing and in areas, in which we have not done utmost well as you so much envisioned, we would improve on them and we would also ensure that we make life comfortable for our retired judges as you move into that club. I am very particular about the welfare of judges, that is a very sacred institution that we must continue to ensure that even in retirement there is so much for them to look back for the efforts they have made,” Governor Ambode said.

​The dangerous pied piper in Igbo land

The dangerous pied piper in Igbo land

By Dan Agbese

At last the governors of the Southeast woke up to the dangers posed by Nnamdi Kanu to the interests of their geo-political zone and the corporate existence of the Nigerian state. He is not just the newest irritating boil on the nose of the Nigerian state, but also a dangerous pied piper in Igbo land.
The governors knew this all long. But until their meeting in Enugu on September 15, they had been individually mealy-mouthed about the activities of Kanu who sees himself as the only Igbo man capable of doing what Ojukwu could not do – dismember our dear country.
The decision by the governors to ban IPOB was taken in desperation. They knew the ban would not put at end to IPOB and Kanu for two good reasons, namely, (a) their pronouncement does not have the force of law and (b) it is, therefore, patently unenforceable.
The governors, individually or collectively cannot enforce the ban. In effect, the ban amounts to nothing more than a calculated attempt by them to feebly reassure the rest of us that Kanu is on his own and does not represent the political interests of Ndi Igbo. I am afraid, it blows in the wind. It is weak, it is deceptive and it is even dishonest.
The governors are the chief security officers of their various states. IPOB activities are carried out in all the five Igbo states that make up the South-East geopolitical zone. I have seen no evidence of any by the governors taking determined steps to stamp out these activities, even when they can clearly see that they threaten peace in their political kingdoms.
Kanu does not need them or their approval to do what he is doing. Their disowning him cannot stop him. The painful fact is that the governors are fully aware that Kanu is not alone in his diabolical plans against the Nigerian state. He enjoys the tacit support and encouragement of well-placed and responsible Igbo men who believe that he is fighting the cause or causes of all Igbo people, whatever the cause or causes might be.
Ohaneze, the umbrella Igbo organisation, blows cold over the activities of Kanu. It supports him and defends him at every opportunity and drags across the path of our reasoning the tattered argument about the right of people guaranteed by our constitution to pursue their legitimate interests. Kanu is not pursuing the legitimate interests of Ndi Igbo, and therefore, what he is doing cannot be defended on that sacred ground.
Kanu was released on bail. Every bail granted by the courts has conditions attached to it. Kanu accepted the conditions attached to his bail. But he has violated every single one of them. And now he argues, and Ohaneze and other Igbo leaders agree with him, that there should have been no conditions attached to his bail. In violating the bail conditions, he treats our law and our court with absolute contempt. Yet the men who ought to appreciate this choose to make him untouchable. This encouraged him to magisterially say that if he is re-arrested, Nigeria would cease to exist. Such arrogance.
Kanu is funded by rich Igbo men who believe that their fate lies in his hands. He could do what Ojukwu could not do – and the Igbo would have their sweet revenge against the Nigerian state with a resurrected Biafra.
Kanu has hundreds of young Igbo men in uniform. What we do not see so far are the arms. But there is nothing secret about the fact that he has visited the U.S. and other Western nations for purposes of procuring arms. He has calculated that an armed conflict with the Nigerian state is inevitable in the pursuit of his cause or causes. Would the governors pretend that this is news to them?
Kanu is deified by young Igbo men who flock to worship him. They kiss his feet and he dresses like a respectable Eastern potentate. A Moses has arisen in Igbo land.
We are actually back in the dark days of Biafra propaganda. Kanu is following the same path and with crass tendentiousness, he is sensitising the rest of the world to the cause of IPOB. Last week I watched a video clip of an interview President Muhammadu Buhari had with a reporter from Al-Jazeera. The woman told the president of IPOB claims that allocation to the Southeast had been cut down by 50 per cent. This propaganda is to suggest that that zone is denied its legitimate share of the national cake and, therefore, it is a clear evidence that the Nigerian state thinks poorly of the rights of the Igbo.
Can anything be further from the truth? The sharing formula of the monthly allocation to the three tiers of government is governed by law. Under that law, it is not possible to marginalise a state or a group of states. But lies are sweet and the Western media are prepared to lap up whatever Kanu dishes out to them. Thanks to IPOB propaganda, the Western media are beginning to see and treat Kanu and his people as the under dogs taking on the behemoth called the Nigerian state. It was so with Biafra propaganda. The Nigerian state had no answer then; it has no answer now.
IPOB grew out of MASSOB championed by Uwazuruike. Neither Uwazuruike nor Kanu has articulated the grievances of the Igbo. But this has not stopped them from being seen as the new and authentic champions of the cause or causes of the Igbo people. The governors know this too well.
The two groups are exploiting two emotional feelings of the Igbo as a people. These are (a) a sense of entitlement and (b) a sense of injury. The first led to the January 15, 1966 coup that has forever changed the architecture of our national politics; the second led to the secessionist bid by Ojukwu. And this has scarred our national psyche for which we have for ever been in search of, a salve with endless political experiments and constitutional provisions to achieve an airy something called a sense of belonging.
Biafra was wiped off the map of the world in January 1970. But it has stuck in the throat of the Nigerian state like a fish bone. It can’t swallow it and it can’t spit it out. It is an effective weapon of dastardly blackmail against the Nigerian state. I do not see it as a passing phase. If MASSOB and IPOB get off the radar, another blip will be seen on the same radar. The sense of entitlement and the sense of injury among the Igbo would always be available for exploitation by ethnic champions and jingoists.
I just hope that Buhari would not make the same mistake that General Yakubu Gowon made with Ojukwu. He thought there was nothing to Ojukwu’s boast; and that was why his response to the secession was a police rather than a military action to quash it. He woke up to how prepared Ojukwu was only when his forces took over the Mid-West and threatened Lagos.


FG to reveal account details of IPOB sponsors

FG to reveal account details of IPOB sponsors

Olusola Fabiyi and Eniola Akinkuotu
The Federal Government will be giving the French Government account details of the sponsors of terrorist group, Indigenous People of Biafra, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
The Nigerian Government had through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that France was the headquarters of IPOB’s funding. But the European country on Thursday said it had no knowledge of IPOB’s presence in France.
But a very senior government official said the Federal Government had reached out to France, explaining that it did not accuse the country of being the sponsors of Biafra but that a large transfer of funds were made regularly from France to IPOB in Nigeria.
It was learnt that the Federal Government had asked the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and the Central Bank of Nigeria to compile the needed information on the sponsors and it hand it over to the French government.
The government will also write the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, which is tasked with the mandate of supervising, monitoring and regulating Designated Non-Financial Institutions as regards compliance to Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism.
The source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised by the government to speak on the issue yet, said, “The French Government has reached out to us over the IPOB matter. It said we should give it account details and any other evidence showing that France was where the majority of the money was coming from.
“So, the government has accepted that challenge and we will be instructing the NFIU, SCUML and the CBN to hand over all the details of IPOB’s funding to us in one comprehensive report which will be submitted to the French Government.
“Since IPOB has been declared a terrorist organisation by a court in Nigeria, the French Government, which claims to be against Nigeria’s break-up, is expected to give us maximum cooperation.”
According to the government other countries from which IPOB also received huge cash inflows include: Turkey, Senegal, Malaysia, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the United States.

The operative said reports would also be given to the aforementioned countries.

He added, “Before his arrest, Nnamdi Kanu had appealed to people of Igbo extraction in some of these countries to provide him with funds which would be used in buying weapons and bringing down the Nigerian Government.

“In a video, which has even gone viral on Youtube, Kanu said he needed guns. This is not hearsay.

“We will also be writing these countries informing them of the need to ensure that IPOB’s source of funding is traced and blocked.”

In a related development, the Federal Government has said that sponsors of the proscribed IPOB are now afraid.

It also said it had evidence that those sponsoring the organisation were those undergoing investigation or those that were politically disgruntled, but that it would not give out their names.

Mohammed stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Friday.

He said that discerning Nigerians would know those behind the funding of the organisation.

The minister had earlier accused corrupt and disgruntled politicians of being behind IPOB, adding that the plan of the sponsors was to return to power in 2019 with the intention to continue with the looting of the treasury.

However, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, replied the minister and asked the government to name the sponsors.

But Mohammed said the claim by the PDP was not true, adding that only the guilty were afraid.

He said, “Only the guilty are afraid. We have said it. You don’t need rocket science to know that those who are facing investigations are those who don’t want the government to succeed.

“They hold on to any platform to derail the Federal Government. It is not when we release their names. We know those who are sponsoring IPOB belong to these two groups. These are those who are politically disgruntled and those who are treasury looters. So, it is not when we start mentioning names.”

The minister added that the government was already handling the issues surrounding the allegations he made against France and the United Kingdom.

While he alleged that France was the headquarters of IPOB and where its sponsors were based, he said that Radio Biafra was located in the United Kingdom.

Both countries have however denied the minister’s claim. Mohammed said that Nigeria was already handling the issue at the diplomatic level.

“It is a diplomatic matter and we are handling it at that level,” he said.

Source: The Punch

Policemen convicted for killing two, ordered to pay N50m to family

Court orders 5 policemen to pay N50m for killing two

By Emmanuel Masha

A Rivers State High Court has declared five policemen guilty of extra judicial killing of two men, fining them the sum of N50 million. 

Justice Adolphus Enebeli of the High Court in Port Harcourt, who passed the judgement in the enforcement of fundamental human rights suit before him, noted that a five-man team of the Special Anti Robbery Sqaud (SARS)- led by one ASP Samuel Chigbu, unlawfully killed Michael Akor and Michael Igwe, at Oyigbo Local Government Area.

Twenty eight-year-old Akor and Igwe were killed in a bush at Oyigbo on June 23, 2009. 

The judge declared that Chigbu and his men undoubtedly and intentionally killed the two young men, hence they violated sections of the constitution on extra-judicial executions. 

The judge noted that SARS had established that there were extra-judicial killings destroying the image of the state police command.

The court awarded the sum of N50 million to the families of the deceased as compensation. 

He said the Police did not carry out any investigation before killing the young graduates based on a careful consideration of all the evidences before him, pointing out that the SARS operatives ought to have investigated the matter before making any move that is in accordace with the law.

Source: New Telegraph