The Lies About President Jonathan Being A Christian President

The Lies About President Jonathan Being A Christian President


Politicians’ desperate appeal to religion as a resort of last line of hope when confronted with firm failure is at once ubiquitous in nature and repetitive historically. Ordinarily, politicians ought not to be thugs and rogues; they ought to be leaders chosen by the larger society to administer the land on behalf of all members of the given society. The constitution and other extant laws of the land make that otherwise difficult administrative job a very easy one. Unfortunately, as events have revealed over the years, particularly in our nation Nigeria, politicians, because of their materialism and acquisitiveness, are more of problem-creators than problem-solvers.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and others pray for President Goodluck Jonathan during a pilgrimage to Isreal in 2013
State House Photo
They fail again and again where they should have succeeded; they steal where they should not have stolen; they lie where simple truth should have been told; and they deceive where acting in a straightforward manner would have sufficed. This is the tragic situation of our shameless and dishonourable politicians in Nigeria. Then, when it becomes certain that the failed leader is about to be thrown out of office, having incurred the justifiable anger of the electorates, he suddenly begins to appeal to religion. He claims that he is a Christian or Muslim; he openly identifies with some religious leaders of his proclaimed faith, and in turn, expects all adherents of the faith he bogusly lays claim to, to support him. And this just for political benefit.

This is President Goodluck Jonathan’s situation at the moment as he faces a more than cloudy presidential election in 2015. It is clear that Nigeria, a not so fortunate country with regard to qualitative leadership, is terribly divided along politically created religious fracture lines. The fact remains that no President, in the history of this nation, has succeeded, through complicit actions and inactions, in polarising the nation as much as President Goodluck Jonathan. This fact is already in the public domain. My concern however, is to expose the underbelly motivation of Mr. President’s handlers’ religious hoodwinking of Christians in Nigeria. Christians need to know that they need not rush to give support to just any leader who mouths Christianity, without carrying out diagnostic examination of such a leader. The Bible enjoins us to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

To begin with, there’s nothing wrong with Christians in Nigeria giving wholehearted support to another Christian who aspires to any political office in the land, provided that the said Christian is a Christian indeed, and that he possesses leadership qualities to move the nation in the right direction. As a matter of fact, in our pluralistic nation, just anyone who, irrespective of religious affiliation and inclination, has character, wit, insight, generous spirit, self-control, resolve, honesty and a clear picture of where the nation ought to be, as well as the understanding of how to get there, can aspire to be anything in the country and get the support of the electorates.

In President Jonathan’s case, the undeclared reason for his appeal to religion is simply to take advantage of the numerical strength of Christians among the Nigerian electorates. This is sad. The rush and push currently going on in certain quarters within Christian circles in Nigeria today is totally political and shameful; and all is being done to give undue support to a non-performing president because he is supposedly a Christian. This is not the Bible. The God of the Bible, in actual sense, hounours only responsible people. He demands that leaders be accountable and faithful (1Cor.4:2).  Therefore, Christian leaders ought to help Mr. President become more accountable, and rescue him from terribly political pettiness being displayed at the moment.

Let’s consider this important question: should we even consider President Jonathan a President with Christian character? I think not! But wait a minute; am I in a position to determine whether or not an individual is a Christian? Scripturally speaking, the simple answer is yes. In Matthew 7:21, the Lord Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”. The implication of this passage is that open declaration of one’s religious standing, church membership, hobnobbing with credible and influential Christian leaders, as well as financial donations to churches does not confer Christianity on anyone. In fact, the above is totally useless without the heart and attributes of Christianity. To know who a Christian is, the Bible recommends that you look at what he does, and how he does it; check his character.

And then, the Holy Scripture also tells us that we know people – genuine Christians, fake Christians, genuine leaders, not-so-genuine leaders, totally corrupt leaders etc. – by their fruits. The Lord Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:18 & 20). The Lord Jesus simply said, just look critically at people, see what they do, how they do it, check the fruits they produce, and you will easily understand where they belong. They may claim they are God’s, but when you check the fruits of their lives, you will understand to whom they belong.

The word of God then explains how a Christian – and this, all the more, applies to a leader – should conduct himself. The first of these points to be considered here is that a Christian is expected to keep his word. His word should be his bound. He should keep his promises and not be given to frivolities. This is how the Bible puts it: “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12). This is God’s standard. Do what you say or promise with your own mouth. Now does Mr. President keep his word? I’m sure he does not! I’ll give some examples shortly. But before the examples, please understand that he can still be supported by those who still wish to support him; however, that support should not be based on the fact that he says he is a Christian. Not at all! This is so because he’s not a man who keeps his word, and Christians, real Christians, do keep their words.

In 2011, while going around begging for votes, these were the words of Mr. President: “I do not make empty promises in my campaign because whatever I promise to do, I had already carried out adequate study to make sure I can accomplish it in the next four years.” This was on the 27th of February in Onitsha, Anambra State. But the truth, as available to us all, is that he did promise, but then he failed to fulfill his promises.

On the 12th of March, 2011 in Abeokuta, he promised to revive ailing oil refineries and build new ones. The available fact, as at today, is that Mr. President merely deceived people into voting for him with that empty promise, because as we all know, no ailing oil refinery has been revived, not to talk of building new ones. I know his supporters can come up with a million and one reasons why he didn’t fulfill that promise; but the fact still remains that he did not fulfill his promise. Then on the 31st of March, the same year in Abuja, he promised to expand and develop the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry to provide about one million jobs. Today, we are still waiting for these jobs in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

Earlier, in Awka on February 26, he said he would construct all the major roads which link Anambra with its neighbors; complete the ongoing aero-dynamic survey of gas in the Anambra River basin; complete the second Niger Bridge; and complete the Onitsha Inland Port. Nigerians would not be talking about generators by the time his four years in office would have ended, he guaranteed. It is about four years since these promises were made; however, if a Nigerian today does not have his own generator, it is because he is financially incapable to procure one. The promises were largely unfulfilled. Did Mr. President lack anything he needed in fulfilling these promises? Did he lack money, hands, time or occasion? None that I know. He just won’t do what he said he would do.

The above are few of the many unfulfilled promises, pledges and vows of Mr. President. I want to say that no Christian in Nigeria should be deceived into voting for Mr. President in 2015 because he lays claim to Christianity; he should simply be judged by his performance in office. He should be seen as a person – the current President of the country, who made several promises in 2011 while campaigning, and who failed to fulfill those promises – and be treated as such. This is the foundation upon which his re-election or rejection in 2015 should be based, not some useless religious mawkishness.

But then, there are other two important points we need to consider in this discourse: integrity and skillfulness. As far as God is concerned, these two qualities are central to leadership, and without them, no one in any leadership position, in the eyes of the Almighty God, could be considered successful. Hear the Bible: “He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: from following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands” (Psalm 78:70-72).

That’s the Bible talking about David. In this passage, David’s background as well as his emergence to leadership was examined. God took David from following animals and made him a King. He named him His servant and empowered him for just a reason: to feed His (God’s) people, the Israelites. Now this is one important purpose of leadership: feeding, supporting, sustaining, nourishing, nurturing, encouraging, maintaining, strengthening and bolstering the led. Can we say this is what is currently obtainable in the nation under President Goodluck Jonathan?  I think not. With the very basic requirement for meaningful living in the 21st century – electricity – almost totally missing in most homes, it is clear that the major focus of this administration is not to feed the poor, but to feed on the poor.

King David, having understood his assignment, settled down to lead his people, employing two important qualities in the process. First, he led his country with the integrity of his heart. He was a man in possession of very firm principles; wholly dedicated to his business, and displayed uncommon veracity in his dealings with his followers. Integrity requires that a leader be open and truthful. Integrity drives a worthy leader to eschew corruption and fight it. It equally demands that the leader be true to the laws of the land and not try to circumvent any aspect of it. A leader with integrity has nothing to hide from his followers, and he constantly fights and punishes, according the laws of the land, those engaged in sleaze. Can we say this is the situation in our nation under President Jonathan? Again, I think not.

Nigerians have not forgotten the recent stinking revelation of how the current Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, squandered 10 billion naira while junketing around. In the revelation, which the House of Representatives later passed a resolution to probe, it was alleged that the minister spent the amount to charter and maintain a jet for her personal use. As shocking as the embarrassing news was, the President has not found any reason to reprimand the minister for spending 130 million naira per month to maintain the aircraft in just two years. Were we blessed with a President who understands integrity and deals with us in the integrity of his heart, this reckless act would have been thoroughly dealt with. There won’t be any reason to bother you with other well-known corruption issues and cases around this government. But what is plain and obvious to all is that this is one administration that lacks integrity.

Now if President Jonathan willingly and consciously flouts important scriptural requirements and recommendations; if he chooses to scoff at the divine principle of integrity, should I then blindly follow him, simply because he claims he is a Christian just like me? This is my point. No Christian anywhere in the nation should allow himself to be sold a dummy. We should not be herded into wrongdoing simply because we have a “professing”, but in actual sense, a scripture-breaking Christian as our president. However, if an individual Christian, given his own conviction of the president’s performance and integrity, decides to vote for him next year, fine. The issue being that the Christian is voting, not because he is glad that the aspiring leader is a “Christian” and not a Muslim, but because the would-be leader is worthy and owns integrity.

The second virtue employed by David in his leadership adventure was skillfulness. Political and administrative skillfulness is possessing competence, adeptness, dexterity and proficiency in handling issues and situations in a way that avoids sloppiness, clumsiness and wastage. It is the hallmark of very capable leaders. It is a virtue that a nation like Nigeria needs in her leaders because of the inherent ability of this singular virtue to clean up built-up political muddle and clutter. Where unfortunately this quality is lacking in a leadership endeavour, as is currently the case with President Jonathan, disorder, disarray and chaos ensue. It is lack of skillfulness that causes a president to confer unconstitutional powers on ex-militants, freeing them to move around in convoys with security men, while reputable men are being hounded for saying their mind.

Imagine the one big ball of mess the nation has suddenly become, all because political and administrative skillfulness in missing. The way political issues and other sundry happenings in Nigeria have been handle by this administration really puts mud on the faces of Nigerians. It is the case of continual falling into one scandal after another, with the most recent one usually being more potent than the previous. Consider the latest in the series of misadventures of an administration void of political dexterity and steeped in error – the invasion of the National Assembly by security men.

While this act has been roundly condemned by people of wit and imagination in the country, the President is yet to see anything wrong with that assault and insult. And why would he? The unfortunate blitz obviously serves hisF purpose. It makes one to wonder whether the President have people who advise him at all. After all, even when a president is not particularly skillful, he still can tap into the skillfulness of brilliant and able souls within the country. With the way things stand at the moment, it is clear that the nation is being ruled by someone with shortage of political and administrative skillfulness, and Christians need to be reminded that God demands skillfulness in leaders that must deliver.

As a function of the above, the important question all Christians, indeed all Nigerians, need to ask before being goaded into voting based on religious or political sentiment is whether we are ready to withstand and stomach another four years of unproductive, completely messy political space dominated by shoddiness, corruption, unresponsiveness and a sense of despair never known to Nigerians since the end of the civil war. The crucial question is whether we are willing to endure President Goodluck Jonathan till 2019!

That idea, that thought alone, for me, is frightening! A president who doesn’t keep his own words, fights dirty, institutes and promotes ethnic racketeering, unable to manage rather commonplace and uncomplicated situations is, undoubtedly, not the person Nigerians need for the next four years of our national life.

Source: Sahara Reporters

Pastor Gabriel Olalekan Popoola, a former University of Port Harcourt Students’ Union Leader, worships with Living Faith Church and can be reached at

Kano Mosque Bomb Blast: Victims in Dire Need of Blood and Consumables

Kano bomb blast victims ‘in dire need of blood’

by Taiwo George

The federal government has promised to supply hospitals in Kano with blood to help save the lives of victims of Friday’s bomb blast that rocked the city.

Many victims of the attack are currently being treated at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Nassarawa Hospital, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Dala Orthopedic Hospital and various hospitals in the state.

Musa Ilallah, the north-west coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the ministry of health had directed its officials to supply blood from its blood bank in Katsina.

“We went round the hospitals to assess the conditions of those who are receiving treatment and we were informed that what they needed most is blood and consumables,” he said.

“I spoke with officials of the federal ministry of health and they have assured me that they will mobilise blood bank in Katsina to supply blood to the hospitals.”

He added that the ministry had also promised to supply drugs and other needed consumables from Abuja.

Ilallah commended the Kano state government for providing needed materials for the treatment of injured persons in the hospitals.

On his part, Kabir Maso-Kano, executive secretary of the Kano state hospitals management board, said lack of consumables was hindering the treatment of the victims.

He however commended Kano residents for visiting hospitals to donate blood for the victims.

On Saturday, Muhammad Sanusi, the emir of Kano, condemned the attack, saying the aim of the perpetrators was to prevent people from worshipping at the mosque but he vowed that they would not succeed.

“We will never be intimidated into abandoning our religion, which is the intention of the attackers,” he said.

More than 100 people were killed on Friday when suicide bombers attacked the Ado Bayero central mosque in Kano, during Juma’at service.

Source: The Cable

Presidential Grades and Gaffes Written by Sonala Olumhense

Presidential Grades and Gaffes

Written by Sonala Olumhense

“Most of the Ministers and Special Assistants/Advisers in that government were mini-tyrants; they saw every criticism of government policy as an act of affront, the more deluded and disoriented ones among them, with their arrogance helped to make more unnecessary enemies for government. It was also a style of governance that encouraged sycophancy. The point was often made that Ministers went to the Federal Cabinet meeting only to massage the President’s ego…”

Those words were penned on May 26, 2007, just days before Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan took office, part of a newspaper columnist’s postmortem of the Olusegun Obasanjo years.
“The General ran a government in which he was the wisest man in the entire country. Nobody was expected to contradict him, and those who did were punished for their insubordination. Governors struggled to be in Baba’s good books. The President was called Baba: he was the father of everyone whose words could not be questioned since this is the dictate of age-old culture and tradition…”

Of the centrality of sycophancy in that administration, the author said, “When on one occasion all the Ministers in a show of solidarity with the President rose in unison against the Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who had become Obasanjo’s adversary, it was clear at last that we had a civilian dictatorship on our hands.”
The article was “Obasanjo’s Legacy (4),” by Reuben Abati, who was the Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian (Nigeria).

Four years after those words, Abati took office as Special Adviser for Media and Publicity to President Jonathan.  In that capacity, he has blossomed in the past three years as some kind of Director of Denials: when there is something for Mr. Jonathan to deny, he calls upon the man who so well understands tyranny—mini and maxi—delusion,
disorientation, sycophancy, and presidential ego massage.  
However, if there is someone who takes presidential ego massage more seriously than Abati, it is far and away his colleague, Senior Special Adviser Doyin Okupe.  

 If Abati is the Doctor/Director of Denials, Okupe is without question the most dangerous man in the presidency.  He is the quintessential mini-tyrant described in Abati’s article, gifted with the easy ability to accumulate enemies for the president.
Okupe courts the mainstream media, but he is also heavy on social media, with particular loudness on Twitter.  That is not difficult to understand: Twitter is easy: 140 characters by which to combine praise and worship, 24 hours a day.  Okupe is the propaganda champion.  

But he is also a chameleon.  Recently, as he praised Mr. Jonathan’s so-called Transformation Agenda, I asked him: Are Mr. Jonathan 2011 electoral promises part of the TA?  

I also asked: Were Mr. Jonathan’s post inauguration vows also part of the TA?  His response has been deep silence.
But this same man, a medical doctor brought into the presidency not to heal the sick but to injure the healthy and deceive the hopeful, leads the charge to portray Mr. Jonathan as special.

Last week, citing “facts on the ground, he declared, “…In terms of performance and achievements, no administration since 1960 when Nigeria gained independence from Britain, has done as much as that of President Jonathan.”

He immediately reminded me of another man who once observed, accurately, how the more deluded and disoriented among Nigeria’s Ministers and Special Advisers “with their arrogance helped to make more unnecessary enemies for government…a style of governance that encouraged sycophancy…”

Sycophancy is a difficult word to spell, but even Mr. Jonathan, by now, understands that some of the people close to him are sycophants.  Were Mrs. Jonathan to ask him for an example of sycophants, I have no doubt he would point one finger at Okupe.
No administration…has done as much as that of President Jonathan?   You can almost see Mr. Jonathan, turning to Mrs. Jonathan, pointing at Okupe.

You thought, for a moment, that perhaps Mr. Jonathan did something unique, something exemplary, or something profound.
You thought perhaps he read a book…perhaps to a child, or took his Ph.D dissertation in his hands to a department of agriculture to share his ideas.
Perhaps he declared his assets publicly—determined to enthrone example and presidential transparency—thereby launching an unprecedented era of accountability?
Perhaps he inherited 36 States from his predecessor, and 36 months later, still had all of them within his control?
Did he implement one of the presidential reports submitted to, and applauded, by him?
Perhaps Mr. Jonathan, upon assuming office, was stunned to discover the presidency had an embarrassing pool of jets and expensive automobiles, and swiftly proceeded to rationalise the needs of the office and sell-off the excess capacity to make the funds available for drinking water for elementary schools?
Did he walk through a shopping mall in Abuja, encouraging small businesses to broaden employment?
Did he achieve a ceasefire with Boko Haram, or end the militant group as he has promised over and over?
Perhaps some kidnappers were stupid enough to seize hundreds of schoolgirls from a school somewhere within the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and he, outraged, ensured they were swiftly returned to their parents and schools unharmed?
Perhaps he demonstrated courage, literally under fire, by visiting and sleeping in one of the states under emergency rule?  Did he go to Chibok and break bread with the families whose children were spirited away under his watch?
Perhaps, unknown to us, the President wrote up a cheque, representing 50 per cent of the vast, private wealth he knows he will never need and used it to develop libraries or to offer scholarships to indigent students?
Perhaps he made his wife return her bogus earnings as Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa?
Did he give his country electricity, or did he explain why Aso Rock must buy new generators every year?
Did he persuade the people of South Africa or of Kenya that Nigeria’s presidential jets and other government toys are not used for extensive money-laundering?
Did he finally kill Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau?  Did he transform the people of Chibok, or just the citizenry of Aso Rock?
These are a few of the questions that Okupe ought to be answering in prosecuting the mission to sell the 2015 Jonathan candidature.  
Obasanjo, who rated the Jonathan presidency as “average,” was actually offering unearned credibility.  Jonathan’s administration is the very definition of a tragedy.  How can anyone define as an achievement the epochal equivalent of arson and looting?  
The bigger tragedy is that it is to Obasanjo that Nigeria owes the Jonathan administration. Seven years ago, the PDP certainly had men of presidential potential, but Obasanjo permitted them no electoral opportunity.
I have written elsewhere that if the former president must be taken seriously concerning his criticism of Jonathan, he must first apologise for inflicting him on Nigeria. In 2006, Jonathan was minding his business trying not to attract attention when Obasanjo offered him the buffet.  

As Nigeria slips from unworkable into unmanageable, we are paying for that colossal crime, driven on by ruthless sycophants who have no regard for truth or for the corporate interest.  Nigerians must respond by speaking loudly and courageously for themselves.

Defiant Sanusi Leads Prayers at Bombed Kano Mosque as Conttroversy Trails Death Figure

Defiant Sanusi Leads Prayers at Site of Bombed Kano Mosque

Outrage as death toll rises beyond 130     
Sultan, Mark condemn attack
By Omololu Ogunmade and Kasim Sumaina in Abuja, Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

In a symbolic act of defiance, following Friday’s terrorist bombing of the Kano central mosque, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, cut short his lesser hajj trip to Saudi Arabia and returned to Kano on Friday to lead the Maghrib evening prayers on Saturday at the bombed mosque.

The emir, who had on Friday visited the scene of the bomb blast and the hospitals where victims were being treated, ordered an immediate clean-up and rehabilitation of the affected areas of the mosque. Sanusi, who was in the company of the members of his emirate council, shunned all attempts to make them speak to the press.

He had in an earlier statement said Nigerian Muslims will not be intimidated into abandoning Islam following the coordinated bomb and gun attacks on the Kano central mosque that left at least 130 people dead.

“We will never be intimidated into abandoning our religion, which is the intention of the attackers,” the emir was quoted to have said during a 20-minute-visit to the mosque, which adjoins his palace.  This was shortly after his return to the country.

Statements by officials of both the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital and Muhammadu Abdullahi Wase Hospital mortuary in Kano indicated that over 130 people died in Friday’s Kano Central Mosque bomb blast.

An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to THISDAY, said: “I was asked to count those deposited [in the morgue] and I counted over 102 bodies before I was asked to stop, as the figures kept rising on Friday after the blast.”

Another official, who also would not be identified, said “this casualty [figure] is only for Murtala Hospital and my colleague at the Abdullahi Wase Hospital, also known as Nassarawa Hospital, told me that they can’t precisely state the number of the dead, because bodies were brought into the hospital in large numbers with no one bothering to count them.”

According to him, the bloodstains on the floor were an eloquent testimony of the fatality figures. “There is also shortage of blood to those sustained injuries. There had been radio announcements calling on people to come and donate blood.”

Indeed, there had been calls to donate blood to the victims of the Kano central mosque  blast  most of whom are currently being treated at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Nassarawa Hospital, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Dala Orthopedic Hospital in Kano.

The head of the State Hospital Management Board, Dr Kabiru Maso Kano, also declined to reveal the number of causalities to journalists yesterday, saying: “I don’t know exactly the number of causalities.”
A medical doctor, Dr Bashir Usman, said “most of those receiving treatment in the four hospitals of the state are in dire need of blood and we are appealing to people to come and donate their blood to rescue the victims.”

However, some eyewitness accounts indicate more alarming fatality figures. One of the eyewitnesses, Malam Musbahu Sheik Nasir Kabara, told THISDAY: “Immediately after the start of the prayers, we heard a deafening sound of an explosion followed by sporadic gunshots. The whole place was filled with smoke.

“It was a terrible situation because so many people, comprising old people, kids and women were killed. Others were burnt beyond recognition. I spoke with somebody who was at rescue operation and he told me that he saw and counted over 200 dead bodies.”

Another eyewitness, Alhaji Isyaku Tudun Wazirci, who burst into tears, said: “I was at the mosque when I heard heavy sound of explosion three times and I passed out through corpses lying down inside this mosque. I did not have any wound in my body, but I lost so many brothers who we went to the mosque together.”
The latest casualty figures are much higher than the ones released by the state’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Sanusi Lemu , which had put the number of the dead at 35 people and the injured at 150.

Lemu had also revealed that “three suspected bombers were apprehended and mobbed by the youths and three AK 47 rifles were recovered at the scene after the blast.”

Also, security around the scene of the bomb attack has been beefed up, as some of the residents were seen assisting to control vehicular traffic.

More reactions have meanwhile continued to pour in in condemnation of the blast. Senate President David Mark yesterday, decrying the gruesome massacre of worshippers at the Kano Central Mosque, described perpetrators as insane minds who have lost their human senses.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark called on right thinking members of the society to rise up against the activities of terrorists, which he said “was putting asunder the peace and unity of Nigeria.”

He urged security operatives not to be deterred by recalcitrant attitude of insurgents but encourage them to rather be strengthened and committed to protecting and defending the territorial integrity of the nation.

Also, the Sultan of Sokoto and Leader of Muslims in Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar Sa’ad III, yesterday condemned the Friday suicide bomb blast at the mosque which left scores dead and wounded.
He was speaking at the Post 2014 Hajj Conference, organised by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), held at the National Mosque in Abuja. “I do not believe that those perpetrating these acts are Muslims and if they are, they are not professing what Islam teaches,” he said.

He lamented and condemned the dastardly act in strong terms, saying that it was time for all stakeholders and, particularly, the federal government to rise up to its responsibility and bring to an end insurgency in the country. “The world over, it is the duty and responsibility of government to provide security for its citizenry. This is time for the various Muslim sects in the country to come together with a purposeful effort to rally round one another and bring insurgency to an end.

“We call on stakeholders to join hands and end the problem of Boko Haram in the country.”

In his reaction, the Secretary General, Jama’ Atu Nasril Islam, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said there should be a purposeful effort on the part of the government who has the constitutional mandate to look after the security and welfare of the people.

Source: ThisDay

News Headlines Nov 30. Headlines from Nigeria’s major newspaper

News Headlines Nov 30. Headlines from Nigeria’s major newspaper. Compiled by Demola Adefajo for

The Punch
Egypt court drops murder charges against Mubarak
Boko Haram: America not Nigeria’s friend, says Gowon
Ashiru, ex-Foreign Affairs minister, dies in S’Africa
My style is elegant, classy —Iretiola Doyle
Olaniwun, Kokori caution IG against partisanship
Our inclusion in impeachment list, a scam –PDP Reps
APC lauds Ajimobi over new road projects
Sultan asks Muslims to unite against Boko Haram
Human flesh, blood litter Kano mosque
S’East govs say assault on worshippers senseless
Mosque bombing, attack on all Nigerians – CAN
Austerity measures will increase crime rate, depression —Economist
GSK announces success on Ebola trial vaccine
Ondo PDP factions hold parallel Assembly primaries
… Thugs assault Channels crew in Kwara
Where has the Fed Cup glamour gone?
Wenger ignores fans’ banner
Local insurers seek foreign support for terrorism insurance
Oil plunge, sign of weakness in global economy
Storm over for Ebele Obiano?
Abdulmumin Jibrin shuts down Argungun
Jonathan has not committed any impeachable offence –Itulah
Jonathan committed impeachable offences —Ahmad
I wrote songs for Haruna Ishola, others – 93-yr-old engineer
Fourth Republic: Knocks for opposition parties
Nigeria should crush Boko Haram like Biafra –Prof. Ogbonnaya
Building your own business by leveraging on technology
For music, Yungskillsz woos Fine Lady
Ilesa welcomes poets to House Party
Counting cost of strike in unity schools
Adults are not immune to measles – Expert
Why aren’t we getting our act together?
Strangers to their mother tongues: Home-bred Nigerians who don’t speak their native languages
Dad didn’t give us any special privileges — Biodun Shobanjo’s son
I recommend entrepreneurship for women – Afodeso
I help my wife cook — Elvis Obi
Ogba Zoo: Nature in city’s heart
Iron deficiency
Never live apart
Heavy telephone users should pay tax – RMAFC Chairman
It was painful missing the World Cup due to injury –Echiejile
Banks’ biometric verifications: What you should know and do (2)
I can’t do without silver bracelet – Austin Aimankhu
Nigerians react: Austerity measures to cushion oil slump
Nigeria does not celebrate talents – Savage Ayodeji
I love to be sexy – Myah J
Obasanjo v Jonathan: Nigerians give verdicts on performance debate

The Vanguard

Why irritating comments from America should stop, by Prof Akinyemi
Terror should never compel concession of power — AKIN OSUNTOKUN
Adeboye storms Vanguard again
63 escape death as plane crash lands in Ilorin
11 feared killed in Rivers gun attack
Kano Blasts: ‘We saw hell in the house of God’
This House of Disrepute
Invasion of NASS: IGP turns interpreter of the law
Rage in the Senate over police invasion of National Assembly
Gov. Suswan moves to sack Senator Gemade!
Insurgency in North-east could have been worse —Hon. Gujbawu
Unveiling Nigeria’s Top 100 Companies
Nigeria on The Brink of Economic Doom? A catastrophe foretold!
‘The structure of the economy must change’
I believe in the leadership of Aremo Olusegun Osoba – Bukky Wright
CBN Gov’s golf tourney tees off
How to save Rovers from extinction —Etta Egbe
Keshi should take a walk — Prince Odua
Johnson rescues Liverpool
Van Persie ends barren run as United breeze past Hull
Welbeck wins it for Arsenal
2015: Buhari will tame corruption — Moses Iloh
Chime’s peace with cudgel in hand
Ogoni divided over emergence of Dakuku Peterside as APC guber candidate
Worries as ’10 girls are raped in Plateau’

Defiant Sanusi Leads Prayers at Site of Bombed Kano Mosque
Nigeria’s Economy Challenged as US Oil Exports Dry Up
Controversy Trails PDP Houses of Assembly Primary
Lamorde: Oil Price Crash Will Discipline Nigeria
Jonathan Restates Commitment to Agreement with Varsities
NAFDAC Destroys N100m Substandard Products in Enugu
National Health Bill: Stakeholders Advocate Urgent Presidential Assent
Terrorists ‘ll Be Held Accountable, Says Jonathan
Insurgency: National Task Force Calls for Synergy among Military
Major New Prize for African Literature Announced
CAN Condemns Kano Bombings, Calls for Vigilance
Boko Haram Menace’ll Soon End, Jonathan Insists
Former Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru Dies in S’Africa
NPS: There Was No Attempted Jail-break in Yola Prison
Plane Veers off Runway
CAN Condemns Kano Bombings
Enugu Crisis: PDP SWC Members Disown Ajah
Buhari: Nigeria’s Future Depends on Routing of PDP in 2015
Ex-Minister Defects from PDP to APC
Nasko: Nigeria Needs Young, Transparent, Accountable Leaders
A Call for Diligent Prosecution of Terror Cases
A Heart-warming Report on Polio
Battle for the Soul of Bayelsa
Olasupo Shasore: A Gubernatorial Ambition Hinged on Record
2015: Chime, Elechi Battle for Survival
As Adamawa PDP Stakeholders Reject Caretaker Committee
Ogbonnaya Onu: It’s Still Possible to Have a Consensus Presidential Candidate in APC
Idagbo: Attacks on Imoke UnFair
Evangelist Princewill: President Jonathan Needs to Discover His Divine Mission in Power
Elliot Uko: Mindset That Created Boko Haram Must Be Addressed for a Lasting Solution to the Menace
Babatunde Ipaye: I’m in the Race as a Change Agent
‘Governor Yari’s Focus on Infrastructure is in Line with Popular Aspiration’
Battle of the Amazons in Anambra North
Taking Opposition Too Far
Between Abia PDP and Kalu’s Special Waiver
The Bipartisan Imperative: Leading From the Future
Which Way Nigeria?
Customs Records N900m Revenue in 11 Months in Sokoto
Overland Flight in Near-crash after Landing in Ilorin
‘Nigeria’s GSM Tariff Cheapest in the World’
Severance Package for 47,913 Ex-PHCN Workers Gulps N500bn
Dwindling Crude Oil Fortunes Offer Nigeria Homeward Look at Solid Minerals
Falling Oil Prices: Analysts Weigh Implications of CBN’s Policy Measures
For Alison-Madueke, It’s Another First
Godwin, Benita Odumah in Marital Bliss
Let the Party Continue, Monday Can Wait
Glimpses of Eden at Abdulmumin Jibrin and Maryam Augie’s Wedding
Veentage Band Boss, Wife Tie the Knot in Sapele
Man City Test for Southampton’s Top-four Credentials
Pele Responding Well to Treatment
You’re Not a Muslim. You’re a Terrorist’

National Mirror
2015: PDP may vote out Nigeria, if… –Buhari
No plan to impeach Jonathan –Senate
…as South-South group issues threat •‘Frustrated lawmakers behind rumours’
63 escape death as plane crashlands in Ilorin
Gunmen invade Rivers community, kill 7- • JTF arrest 2 over PVC distribution
UNIJOS probes students protest
There’ll be problem if democracy is not taken to grassroots- Gov. Aliyu
Again, Boko Haram strikes in Borno, scores feared dead
Physically challenged, others win PDP primaries in Plateau
2015: Ladoja as Oyo’s beautiful bride
Why I declared for second term –Al-Makura

Leadership News
IBB Golf Captain, Gadzama Laud CBN Governor Cup
Enyimba Dominates 2014 LBA Shortlists
OPEC And The Nigerian Economy
Symptoms Of A Collapsing Economy
Adamawa: Military Holds Sway Despite Non-extension Of Emergency Rule
Violence Against Women: Not Yet Uhuru for Nigerian Women Originality Brings About Longevity – J Martins
Dangers Inherent In Open Defecation
How I Stopped The Sale Of Edo House – Orbih
Devaluation Of The Naira: Nigerians Are In For A Hard Time

The Sun
Before governors strangle the judiciary
Which way Nigeria?
Who is the leader of PDP?
: Tension in Lagos community, 8 months after invasion by hoodlums
■ Several residents wounded, women raped ■ Property carted away, money and animals stolen
Gunmen kill 5 in Rivers
AFCON 2015 ticket loss: Keshi lost Eagles’ dressing room – Lawal  
Siasia drops 10 players over age discrepancies
Ameobi hits fourth goal for Turkish club
Mourinho rewards Chelsea players with xmas party

Former Foreign Minister, Ashiru dies at 66

Ashiru, former foreign minister, dies at 66

Olugbenga Ashiru, former minister of foreign affairs, has died in a South African hospital after a long battle with illness.

The career diplomat, credited with re-energising Nigeria’s presence in international diplomacy in the post-Olusegun Obasanjo era, died on Saturday.

Family sources told TheCable that he had been battling with brain tumour for a while and had been hospitalised for over three months.

Ashiru played a key role in the diplomatic face-off between Nigeria and South Africa in 2012 over the deportation of 125 Nigerians for not possessing valid yellow fever vaccination certificates.

Nigeria retaliated and the stand-off was eventually resolved.

Ashiru, appointed minister by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, was removed in 2013 in a cabinet reshuffle.

He had been one of the most respected ministers but he was said to have been nominated into the cabinet by Obasanjo who had publicly fallen out with Jonathan.

Ashiru, while handing over, said he had succeeded in securing 22 key international appointments for Nigerians.

Some of the positions included the commissioner for political affairs in African Union and commissioner for peace and security at the ECOWAS commission.

“I am leaving foreign ministry as a fulfilled man considering my achievements in just two years,” he said.

He was born on August 27, 1948 in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state.

The product of University of Lagos, was Third Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1972, and served as ambassador to the South Korea in 1991.

He was Nigeria’s high commissioner to South Africa, with concurrent accreditation to Lesotho and Swaziland, in 2005
Source: The Cable

‘You are not a Muslim. You are a terrorist’

‘You’re Not a Muslim. You’re a Terrorist’

By Simon Kolawole

This quotable quote, more than anything else, captures my position on the Boko Haram maniacs. It is taken from Season 3 of the American political thriller, Homeland. Nicholas Brody, a retired US Marine sergeant ─ who had turned against his country, converted to Islam and become a terrorist while fighting in Iraq ─ was on the run. He was a suspect in the bombing of CIA headquarters. A bounty of $25 million was placed on his head. On self-exile in Venezuela, he escaped from his overbearing “protectors”, moved into a mosque and introduced himself as a Muslim to the Imam, who gladly received and housed him.

But not long after that, the Imam discovered Brody was a fugitive ─ declared wanted in America for terrorist activities. The Imam immediately confronted Brody, telling him to leave his mosque and shouting: “You are NOT a Muslim. You ARE a terrorist!”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the missing jigsaw in our attitude to Boko Haram in Nigeria. We continue to view these thugs through Christian and Muslim lenses rather than see them for what they truly are: bloody-sucking terrorists from the pit of hell. No genuine Muslim should be proud of the activities of these demons. No genuine Christian should rejoice at the unending slaughter of the innocent. No true Nigerian should be happy that a section of this country has been turned to killing fields by deranged fanatics, who murder children and women with brainless fervour, who haul bombs into crowded churches and mosques.

For too long, we have failed to isolate these retarded adults and treat them as a different bunch of gangsters who are a threat to all of us ─ Muslims, Christians, Northerners, Southerners, PDP, APC, Jonathan, Buhari, etc etc. When this whole madness began to unfold on a large scale, we chose to treat it as a religious or political problem. To many Muslims, it was a problem for Christians ─ until Boko Haram went past churches and started attacking emirs and mosques. To many Christians, it is “these Muslims who hate us” ─ but we can now see that even “these Muslims” hate fellow Muslims. The attack on the Central Mosque in Kano last Friday is as barbaric as the one on St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, on Christmas day in 2011.

To many Southerners, terrorism is a problem for Northerners. “Let them keep bombing themselves” is their terrible attitude. But they forget that the victims in Abuja, Nyanyan, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Kano and elsewhere are full-blooded Nigerians from different tongues. “Let us divide Nigeria” is a chart-buster among some Southerners ─ as if having blood-drinking terrorists next door is going to be a tea party. Ask Kenya about the al-Shabab menace in neighbouring Somalia.  Ask Turkey about the hazard of ISIS in Iraq. Ask Mali about the fall-outs from the fall of Muammar Ghaddafi in Libya. It is pure ignorance to think that leaving innocent Northerners at the mercy of these lunatics is a great idea ─ when they will eventually share border with you if your dream of breaking up Nigeria comes true.

The politicisation of Boko Haram is absolutely odious and horrendous. On the one hand, the All Progressives Congress (APC) sees it as a publicity tool to win votes by highlighting how clueless the PDP-led government is. A party chieftain once said APC would end Boko Haram within three months if voted into power. That easy? On the other hand, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been trying to demonise APC as the sponsors of Boko Haram ─ all because of 2015. And I keep saying: if PDP is sure APC is behind terrorism, is it not the job of government to arrest and prosecute the suspects? Does the PDP government have a game plan to defeat terror? Is the game plan working? That should be their preoccupation rather than demarketing APC.

For too long, we have had a wrong attitude towards Boko Haram. We underestimated the problem. We played politics with it. We have been pointing fingers back and forth. We have been propounding all sorts of senseless theories. The only theory that I understand, and I will continue to say this, is that Boko Haram is a committee of vampires. They display their insanity by hiding behind religion, but they easily lose the case when even Muslims become their prey. What point are they making by killing worshippers at a Jummat service? What God do they believe in that takes pleasure even in the death of Muslims like them? The only sensible conclusion is that these hooligans are not Muslims. They are terrorists.

What exactly do these guys want? I have been monitoring and analysing Boko Haram’s pronouncements since the emergence of Abubakar Shekau as their leader in 2009. He has never suggested ceasefire or complained about poverty or lack of infrastructure. He has been incredibly consistence with his mission statement: to establish an Islamic caliphate and get rid of the infidels. Infidels, in this case, are not just Christians ─ who, in any case, are their natural targets ─ but Muslims who do not share their bestial brain. From the very beginning, he said he had a divine mandate to kill human beings “like chickens”. He said the Nigerian system is anti-Islam and he had a divine call to cleanse the land. He has said this again and again and again.

If we are wise enough, it should be clear to all by now that we are not dealing with a religious problem, even if it has a religious content. We are not dealing with a political problem, even though they have a political message. We are not dealing with a regional problem, even if the North-East happens to be their base. We are dealing with a security problem. A national security problem. A problem that spares no one. We saw this problem start in the backyard of Maiduguri. It became a Borno problem. It became a regional problem. They started with swords and daggers. Now they are using bombs. They started with hit-and-run. Now they are in command of towns and villages.

If we are to learn from the pattern of insurgency around the world, what we are seeing is just an introduction. Nobody knows the next frontier. Nobody knows their next strategy. And nobody is safe. Nowhere is safe. That is why it hurts me to my bones when we play politics with this insurgency. It hurts me to my soul that we cannot see beyond our nose. It hurts me deep when we introduce 2015 and regionalism and bigotry into this unambiguous national security tragedy. What we have in our hands is, evidently, a copycat of Al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS, name them ─ funded, equipped and motivated by forces who have a global terror agenda, headlined by Osama bin Laden in the last decade.

Fellow Nigerians, I am convinced beyond reasonable ─ and unreasonable ─ doubt that this Boko Haram lunacy can only be tackled when we take away the religious and political veil from our face. We need the buy-in of every Nigerian to confront this insanity. We need the political class across the divides. We need Nigerians of all religious persuasions. We need a national consensus to cast out these devils. They are not Muslims. They are terrorists.



So crude oil prices have fallen, demand for forex is on the rise and the CBN has finally devalued the naira (or, to quote economists, allowed the naira to depreciate)? We saw all these coming one day, didn’t we? We were warned, weren’t we? Yet we kept on spending like there would be no tomorrow. We were piling up travelling allowances, buying jets, building state-of-the-art (they call it “befitting”) governors’ lodges, padding up allowances, embarking on white elephant projects, looting the treasury and holding sex parties in Dubai. Who cares? Who cares about the future? Who cares? Heartlessness.


He sure has his critics, but you are not going to get many public administrators who understand the basics of rebuilding the society like Babatunde Fashola. The governor of Lagos has just handed over the rebuilt Area C headquarters of Nigeria police, which was set ablaze by “unknown soldiers” in 2006. It is what a modern police station should be, complete with CCTV, forensic room, finger print room, interrogation room with cameras, cameras office, communication equipment, gym, befitting male and female cells. I dare say it is the most modern police building in Nigeria today. God bless Fashola. Amen.


Was it some joke? The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has fined Coca-Cola and Nigerian Bottling Company N100million because of a defective product. That is, two half-filled cans of Sprite. Now, I don’t have anything against imposing fines and sanctions on all these big companies who have gone virtually unpunished over the years. For all I care, CPC can fine them N1billion. However, what amazes me is the justification of the hefty fine by CPC. According to them, they spent N60million to investigate the case. N60million! I mean N60million! What exactly were they investigating? How many countries did they visit? Scandalous.


Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, last week made history as the first female president of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It may escape many of us but this is truly historic: a woman heading an organisation where the all-powerful Arabs call the shots. A women at the top of such an organisation is novel indeed. Having been the first Nigerian female executive director at Shell and first female petroleum minister of Nigeria, Alison-Madueke has hit an interesting milestone. She must use this position to raise Nigeria’s profile and clout in the cartel. Very important. Congratulations!

Tales of disappointment and frustration as INEC shambolic distribution of PVC enters day two

INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega. Picture Courtesy PM News

INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega. Picture Courtesy PM News

Tales of disappointment and frustration as INEC shambolic distribution of PVC enters day two

It is a tale of woes and disappointment as the distribution of permanent voter card (PVC) entered day two in Alimoso and 8 other local government areas in Lagos State on Saturday.

Most residents approached the exercise with expectation as they trooped to the various polling units to collect their PVC. Many left their work place early to fulfil their civic duties. Some business people even closed shop in order to be able to beat the anticipated long queue.

They were however, disappointed as there was nobody to attend to them.

As at 4 pm on Saturday, none of the respondents we spoke to has collected the card. Here are the views of some of them.

Mrs Fatokun

“Although am resident at Ifako -Ijaye but I was formerly residing at Alimoso in Gowon Estate 52 Road where I registered in 2011. I was there to collect the PVC to enable me change to my new address and not to duplicate the registration.
However, there were no INEC officials there. We only wrote our names down but we didn’t see anybody to attend to us”, she said while regretting the fact that she had to leave so many things to collect the card

Mrs Ogidan-Balogun another resident

Am yet to register but my husband who has registered couldn’t get his as there were no official to attend to him and others as at Saturday.

The story was not different for Mrs Chinwe Durugo
I was there today (Saturday) but nobody to attend to us

Mr Adewale Ojo
“We have not seen them at Cash Street”, he said while expressing suspicion that INEC was deliberately disenfranchising the people..

Mrs Salahudeen K
“I am at Ile epo Alhaji ,Egbeda. We have not seen any INEC officer at the unit on Solomon Okonkwo Street, off Awori street, Egbeda.

Mr Oyeola
“I am at Alimoso, but since yesterday (Friday) we have been going to our unit at Abesan Estate Primary School complex. We have about 10 polling units there but only three are available since yesterday, but around 2:30pm today some voter lists were pasted, but nobody was attended to. The INEC official was not even on ground except the Lagos state voters helpers that we saw pasting the list, asking everybody to come back by 10 am tomorrow. How then can they finish the exercise in one day? Even the three polling units that have started since yesterday can not finish it by tomorrow talk less of those that want to use a day which is tomorrow, knowing fully that tomorrow is Sunday. People would like to go to church. INEC is a failure, am not expecting anything good come 2015 election.”
Mr Oyeola wondered why INEC is just distributing cards now that election is barely two months away while voters registered almost four years ago.

Mr Adebola Adefajo

I live in Alimosho and I was at the polling unit at Akinogun, Baale’s square, No INEC Official was present.
Same thing applies to PU 03/02/041, that’s on Ponle Street in Alimosho

Alhaja Amina Akanni

I registered at Alimoso, precisely Shagari Estate. The list was pasted on Friday. We expected that distribution would commence on Saturday. But today nothing has happened. The INEC officials are nowhere to be found.

Mr Olufemi Olasoji
The INEC officials are nowhere to be found in Alimoso

These are just samples of people across Alimoso. It is obvious that majority of the people would be disenfranchised as a result of the shoddy performance of INEC.
Many are already losing hope in INEC. The feeling is fast gaining ground that INEC is engaging in scientific rigging by ensuring that people don’t have the requisite requirement to exercise their civil rights.

Aloysius Atuegbu toiled for Eagles and Rangers but was abandoned at his time of need- Widow

Alloysius Atuegbu. Picture credit ThisDay

Alloysius Atuegbu. Picture credit ThisDay

Gloria Atuegbu: ‘My Husband (Atuegbu) was a Huge Success on the Field But He Died a Poor Man’

The success story of Enugu Rangers in the ’70s and early ’80s will not be complete without mentioning Aloysious Ikem Atuegbu. In the national team, he also held firm control of the midfield of the Green Eagles, as the national team was then called. Atuegbu crowned his effort by being part of the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations winning team, which Nigeria won for the first time. In spite of his popularity and achievements on the field of play, it did not reflect on him financially. In an interview with Kunle Adewale, wife of the late midfielder, Gloria, alleged that the Nigeria Football Association and the management Enugu Rangers, a club her husband laboured so much for, abandoned him when he was in hospital. She also talked about the failed promises of the former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi and why she did not allow his children to dedicate their lives to sports and other revealing issues

Aloysious Atuegbu might not really have enjoyed media mention like some of his colleagues in both the national team and Enugu Rangers but his contribution to these two teams cannot be wished away. He was so lethal with his shot that the late renowned commentator, Ernest Okonkwo, nicknamed him, ‘Blockbuster’. He was part of the Rangers International team that dominated the local scene in the 1970’s and ’80s. Indeed, the last time the Flying Antelopes tasted success-1983 Challenge Cup final and the National League of 1984, Atuegbu was the captain of the club. A knee injury he sustained at the later stage of his playing days put paid to his football career.
Last Sunday, during the finals of the Federation Cup, Lagos State government honoured some former players that made the competition thick and Atuegbu was one of those players honoured posthumously. He was represented by his wife.
Gloria said she was happy and grateful to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola for his kind gesture. “I’m the happiest human being on earth today and I will always be grateful to Fashola. Since our arrival in Lagos, we’ve been very comfortable and I wish it last forever,” she said.
Going down memory lane, Gloria said she sometimes watched her husband’s matches during his playing days. “He (Atuegbu) will just call me to say they would be playing close and that I should come to the stadium to watch his performance. I use to be very happy whenever I watch him play either live at the stadium or on television.”
However, she said in spite of his husband’s contribution to the growth development of football in the country, it never translated into financial gains even while he was actively playing. “We were always hoping on God that things will get better. His popularity on the field of play did not reflect financially at home. We were just praying that God would turn things around for us,” a not too happy Gloria said.
When the Green Eagles won the Nations Cup for the first time in 1980, Atuegbu was one of the beneficiaries of houses given to the team in Festac and a Peugeot 504 salon car.

Asked if the house and the car were enough gratification for his husband’s service and commitment to the game, she said: “I really thank God for giving us a house and the car.”
But since the Atuegbu’s does not live in Lagos, the house was rented out, but lamented that the tenants have been terrible. “Even when my husband was alive, the tenants were giving us problem because we were not staying in Lagos. They were not paying. But now that my eyes are opened, I have handed the property to the services of a lawyer,” she said.
Though the husband came from a great football family in which he and his three elder brothers together played for Mighty Jets of Jos, Gloria did not encourage her children to take to sports, but rather concentrate on education because of their father’s experience.
“The boy among them played a little bit of volley ball, but not to the highest level of the game. His father tried to encourage him to take to football but I never really wanted it based on what Alloy went through after giving his all to the country. When my husband suffered a knee injury, I know how we suffered before he could be flown to Germany for treatment. The government was not there for him. His club (Enugu Rangers) was not there for him. It was through some of his fans that appreciate his effort that contributed money for his treatment in Germany which eventually ended his football career. His club and the Nigeria Football Association dumped him in his time of need. He was crying for help when he was at the orthopedic hospital, before his money could be completed to go to Germany, where he stayed with his cousin during his treatment,” she lamented.

In spite of her lamentation on the treatment meted to Atuegbu, Gloria said she had no regret being the wife of the ‘Blockbuster’.
“Who am I to regret. It was God that chose Alloy for me. I love him; he performed very well in his chosen career and made a name not only for himself but left a legacy for the family. But it’s a pity that Nigeria as a nation has forgotten that Alloy was once a footballer. If not for somebody like Fashola, my children and I have all this while been striving to survive,” she said
She is however sad that she had been neglected since her husband’s death in 2008, saying that life had been tough and rough for the family.
“Life has been tough for me; there were times I had to sell some of my belongings. I also sell groundnuts and biscuits to be able to feed my family. It was so bad at a time that one of my children had at various times missed semesters in the university due to lack of finance,” the mother of three said.
Continuing she said: “During the burial of my late husband, Peter Obi promised during the church service that his government would assist my family and give my children scholarship so that we will not feel his absence, but up till he left office, I did not receive anything from his office. I’ve been to the Government House thrice to remind them and even I submitted letters to the governor. I wrote the first one on March 10, 2009, the second on April 8, 2009 and the last on September 30, 2009. But all to no avail. But since they say government is continum I am appealing to the present governor to come to our rescue.”
Gloria, who arrived Lagos for the award with her three children- two daughters and a son- Obiageli, Chidera and Chioma said all of them were now graduates but yet to secure jobs.
“The two girls are staying at home doing nothing, while the boy is staying with somebody in Lagos, unemployed. I will therefore be happy if the State government can provide them employment. It will go a long way to reducing our suffering,” the widow noted.
Ozigizaga, as his Green Eagles teammates fondly called him, until his death was an employee of Nasarawa United Football Club, which Gloria alleged was owing her late husband N2.2 million until his death, but managed to pay N1 million to the wife and efforts at getting the balance had not been fruitful.

“I had embarked on several journeys to Nasarawa in an attempt to get the balance but to no avail. Even during one of my journeys to Nasarawa for the money I got involved in an accident that almost claimed my life and disfigured my left hand. That was how I stopped traveling in pursuit of the money since 2009. But I’m pleading with the Nasarawa State Government to please be magnanimous to pay me the balance. It is Aloy’s labour; they should pay me so that I can use it complete the training of my children.”
Atuegbu was born on April 29, 1953 in Jos, Plateau State. He was the youngest member of the famous Atuegbu brothers-Mathew, Nocholas, Andrew and himself, all of whom had illustrious careers as footballers. As a young man, his exploits with the Mighty Jets of Jos earned him national attention. He was a regular member of the Green Eagles even before he joined Rangers International of Enugu in July 1976. He was a member of the Enugu Rangers team that won the African Cup Winners championship in 1977 and he helped the Green Eagles to win the coveted Africa Cup of Nations for the first time for Nigeria in 1980, for which he became a proud recipient of the National Honours Award of Member of the Order of the Niger – MON. He also led Rangers to Challenge Cup glory in 1983 and to the league title in 1984. Having made football his sole career, when his playing days were over he took several coaching courses in Nigeria and West Germany. He coached several teams in Enugu, Anambra and Nassarawa states, and brought his experience to bear on the U-17 and U-23 national teams. For a brief period he was also board member/team manager of Rangers.
Until his death on May 25, 2008 he made 60 appearances for the Green Eagles.
Source: ThisDay



Fellow Nigerians, there is no doubt that Lagos is the most important State in our dearly beloved country. Once upon a time, it was our Federal capital before Abuja was carved out in what was supposed to be the centre of Nigeria. The idea for Abuja was not entirely new or original. I was told during a visit to Australia about six years ago, that the master-plan emanated from Canberra, the seat of government in that country. I used to think Sydney was the Capital, or even Melbourne. But I was kindly educated by the then Nigerian High Commissioner to Australia, Professor Olu Agbi, a Diplomatic Historian, who made sure I visited Canberra. I truly saw some similarities between Abuja and Canberra except that Abuja remains a chaotic ersatz, a shambolic attempt at emulating a masterpiece.

Despite the migration of the Federal capital from Lagos to Abuja, Lagos has continued being the nerve-centre of Nigeria, our own veritable New York.  Every Nigerian is a stakeholder in Lagos because practically everyone has one link or the other to what is probably the most exciting city on the African continent. This is why Lagos has become a microcosm of Nigeria by representing every culture, tradition, religion, socio-political belief of the nation. Lagos reflects the American dream that anyone can aspire, whether stranger or not, due to its assimilative spirit.
For this reason, Lagos has become the toast and target of most politicians. Whosoever controls Lagos has Nigeria by the neck. This is probably the only State that can snub the notorious Federal Allocation and still survive. This was tested in those days of acrimony between President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Bola Tinubu when the statutory allocation to Lagos was stopped by Presidential fiat. The Governor of Lagos is as good as a mini-President. Amongst Governors he is clearly primus inter pares.  Who wouldn’t want to be in that position? This is why the battle for the soul of Lagos is going to be a Third World War, without any shade of doubt.

Let’s now come down to brass tacks and open up the anatomy of Lagos politics. Since 1999, only a particular Party metamorphosing into different parties has held sway in Lagos. Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu rode on the crest of the pro-June 12 struggles and advocacy to become the Governor. He governed the State for two terms spanning eight years and was able to pass the baton effortlessly to his former Chief of Staff, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). By next year, Governor Fashola would also have served two terms of four years each and it would be time to hand over power. In theory, the ruling party in Lagos is supposed and expected to retain its stranglehold without any major challenge from the opposition PDP. But let me say categorically that it is not going to be that simple. Permit me to deliver my permutations.
The APC looks good on paper but it has gargantuan challenges ahead. The party is currently a house divided against itself and may collapse if care is not taken. The main actors are the former Governor Tinubu and his political godson and current Governor Fashola. Tinubu believes that he’s the biggest investor and shareholder in the Lagos conglomerate and as such should have the final say in who takes over from Fashola. For now, he has already picked his choice in a former Accountant-General of Lagos, Mr Akin Ambode, but this decision has produced unprecedented sour grapes and overt dissension within the rank and file of the party.
On the other hand, Fashola feels that as the occupier of the exalted seat, he should be entitled to the privilege Tinubu enjoyed at the expiration of his tenure by also picking his own successor. Unfortunately, his former boss does not agree. As a matter of fact, Tinubu had grudgingly agreed to a second term for Fashola when it became obvious that his protégé’s rising profile was too massive to be toyed with. Never mind their public comportment, their relationship has been frosty, a cat and mouse affair, and it is doubtful that they would ever agree to a consensus candidate. Governor Fashola wants his former Attorney-General, Mr Supo Shasore to succeed him but Asiwaju Tinubu won’t permit any such heresy. If it was just a mere race between Ambode and Shasore, the latter would have been a surer bet because Fashola would have thrown anything and everything to the fire. But his boss has blatantly disregarded such opportunity.

The problem does not end there. It is further compounded by the motley crowd of other distinguished aspirants who want true Democracy in their party. The hard-core politicians amongst them are raising dust, railing, screaming and kicking against the imposition of someone they consider at the very best a bystander, if not an outsider, who wants to reap where he did not sow. The Tinubu/Ambode camp is responding by saying Fashola himself was a product and beneficiary of imposition. The brickbats continue.
As at the last count, about ten or more other aspirants have picked up nomination forms. This unwieldy number should be ominous to APC and Tinubu in particular.  Tinubu has, till now, failed to get them to drop their collective aspirations for Ambode. Many friends of Tinubu are worried stiff about the possible demystification of Tinubu as the ultimate powerhouse in Lagos if he continues to stubbornly support Ambode and maintain that his choice must prevail. It is sad that most people tell him what they know he wants to hear and say ugly things behind his back. They make reference to how Tinubu’s fabled war chest could not save Ondo and Ekiti States and his former kingdom is shrinking by the day because of his obstinate disposition.

There are never-before-seen frontal attacks against Tinubu. While it seems the Governor has chosen not to fight his mentor publicly, his proxies have picked up the gauntlet. Most of the former cabinet members have decided to back one of their own Mr Supo Shasore, born on January 22, 1964, with everything necessary. This has provided him with veritable political platforms across the State which he lacks as he is only a consummate lawyer and seasoned technocrat. It would be difficult if not impossible to win an election in any part of Nigeria without grassroots support and mobilisation. It is believed that Tinubu has become a third party spender and may not have the singular financial muscle of Fashola & Friends when the time comes to fight this battle.
The biggest threat to Ambode comes from one of Tinubu’s core-loyalists, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the only Speaker who has served three terms in a House of Assembly in Nigeria. He’s believed to be Tinubu’s secret weapon if politicians reject Ambode outright as things stand at the moment. Ikuforiji has a wealth of experience as he’s served under both Tinubu and Fashola and must have been privy to most of the government activities in Lagos.
There is a major hitch in Tinubu’s Ambode project which was anchored on the blind loyalty of the 57 Local Government Chairmen whose tenure, unfortunately, expired in October, and they have not been reappointed as Executive Secretaries, which was the practice in the past. Inevitably, the war of the Titans in Lagos may not only emasculate the ambitions of any APC candidate it may also badly jeopardise the chances of any APC Presidential candidate next February. The open secret fear in APC circles is that Tinubu by trade with President Jonathan if he fails to get his iron grip on APC as was the case in ACN where his word was Law. He’s being resisted and frustrated over Ambode and also failing to field his choice as Vice Presidential candidate.
The APC National Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Banire has boldly come out to warn about the danger this issue of imposition poses to the good health of the party. Banire was only echoing the loud whispers from behind the scene. The intractable squabble in Lagos is fast becoming an embarrassment to members and sympathisers of the party who find the conflict resolution apparatus of the party most appalling. Everyone is asking why at this late hour a party promoting change does not have a list of elected delegates that can be given to aspirants for verification and authentication. The party elders are expected to intervene speedily or watch the party haemorrhage to death on the altar of vaunting ambitions.

The APC Lagos should watch out for the PDP candidate which should be a straight fight between Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and Mr Jimi Agbaje. I foresee Obanikoro picking the ticket for many reasons. Mr Jimi Agbaje was the 2007 gubernatorial candidate of the Democratic People’s Alliance (DPA), who defected to PDP. It is unnatural for politicians who have bonded together for so long to “dash” their ticket to a newcomer, as they see Agbaje. Besides, many believe Agbaje is too gentle to face the APC onslaught in Lagos.
Obanikoro has no rival in today’s PDP. He’s the most prepared politician who has gone the full gamut over the years. Born in 1957, Obanikoro joined politics as soon as he returned from his studies in the United States where he bagged a B.Sc in Public Affairs and Master’s in Public Administration. He cut his teeth as Chairman Caretaker Committee of Surulere Local Government. He won election as State Deputy Chairman of the National Republican Convention. The Miracle Governor, Sir Michael Otedola appointed him Director, Lagos State Bulk Purchasing Corporation as well as member Lagos State Football Association. He has been a delegate at all levels from Local Government Congress to State Congress and ultimately, National Convention. He was elected State Secretary of the influential Justice Forum and Chairman of the powerful Lagos Island Local Government.
Obanikoro became Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture in 1999 and was extremely close to Tinubu. He won his Senatorial election in 2003 and fought an epic electoral battle against Tinubu’s candidate, Fashola in 2007. It is not for fun that he earned the sobriquet of KORO IBO (the vote poacher). He has since been a very successful High Commissioner to The Republic of Ghana and was until recently the Minister of State for Defence.
I’m surprised that APC is about to underrate such a man by fighting a needless war of attrition when PDP is virtually ready with a candidate who knows their tactics too well. If Tinubu succeeds in picking his avowed candidate, Ambode, as APC flagbearer, anything can happen in Lagos.

Many politicians have sworn to teach Tinubu a lesson. The historians point not only to the Sir Otedola debacle of the Second Republic but the more recent events which led to the ouster of Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala in Oyo State.  As I told Ambode when he invited me to a meeting, his biggest strength is also his greatest weakness. He is a fantastic gentleman with intimidating credentials but I wonder how he’s going to pacify those who see him as a mere stooge of Bola Tinubu. That is the crux of the matter.
For APC, it is morning yet on creation day.

These are interesting times in Nigeria and I’m very excited. Gone are the days when we mostly left politics in the hands of political jobbers but it gladdens my heart that accomplished Nigerians have now seen the need for public service.
This is the reason I seriously welcome the entry of my dear friend, Mr Risqua Murtala-Muhammed, into the gubernatorial race in Kano State. A graduate of Finance & Banking, University of Lagos, with Post Graduate Diploma in Business Admin from Cardiff Business School and Diploma in Computer Application from Oxford House College, London, Risqua was born in 1969. He was under seven years old, when his father, Nigeria’s Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed , was assassinated in Lagos.
He has served in both the public and private sectors in Nigeria. He was appointed Special Assistant on International Relations and also Privatisation to President Olusegun Obasanjo. He’s currently the Group Chief Executive Officer of AMG Petroenergy Limited.
I had wanted Risqua as my Vice Presidential candidate in 2011 but the arrangement fell through. It is my fervent wish that other hardworking Nigerians would show more interest in how our country is governed so that we can have competent, diligent people to support regardless of political affiliations. We desperately need good leaders at all levels.
Best wishes, Risqua.

One of my best friends and a very passionate reader of this column is Nana Ama, the cerebral daughter of former Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufior, who turns 50 today. I know this short tribute will come to you as a surprise but it is only a token of my appreciation for your humility and kindness. I’m greatly inspired by your simplicity, knowledge and brilliance.
The great Nana, I wish you and your family a most joyous occasion today, even if we all accept your wish not to have a lavish celebration. A toast is still in order…

Source: ThisDay