JSS 1 pupil, others arrested during cult initiation

JSS 1 pupil, others arrested during cult initiation

…Suspected killers of Lagos neighbourhood watch official paraded

Afeez Hanafi

A 15-year-old pupil, Idris, has been arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly belonging to the Aiye Confraternity.

Idris, a Junior Secondary School one pupil at a private school in the Orile area of the state, was paraded along with 56 other suspected cult members at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters in Ikeja on Monday.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects were rounded up on Thursday at Elemoro, in the Ajah area by the police and members of a vigilance group in the community.

The cult had gone inside a bush some distance away from Eleko Beach, Ajah, to perform initiation rites for new members, including Idris, who had tattoos on his chest and hand.

They were about to complete the rites when the operatives swooped on them around 4am.

Two locally-made cut-to-size guns, three live cartridges and 22 expended cartridges were reportedly recovered from them.

Idris, a resident of Arowoyabuna Street, Orile, told our correspondent that an unnamed neighbour had approached him on Wednesday and taken him to a bar to drink.

He said, “A man in my community bought a drink for me. After we finished drinking, he asked me to follow him to Eleko Beach for a party. When we got there, they covered my face and took me inside a bush. They used an object to pierce my thumb and collected some blood.

“As we were about to leave around 4am on Thuursday, I heard gunshots and the police arrested us. I have not been told the name of the cult.”

He said the inscription, ‘Baba Bose,’ tattooed on his chest, was an expression of love for his girlfriend, identified as Bose.

Another suspect, 23-year-old Eze Michael, explained that his friend, one Kelechukwu, lured him into the bush on the pretext that they were going for an event.

The Ebonyi State indigene said, “Kelechukwu invited me to an event at Eleko Beach. When we got there, he said we would have to wait till late evening. When it was 10pm, he took me inside a bush. I met so many people there. They beat us. They told us to lie down and raise our hands.

“They threatened to shoot us if we did not cooperate. Immediately they cut my thumb, I heard gunshots from the police and everybody started running helter-skelter.

“Some OPC members beat us up. Kelechukwu did not explain anything to me before we got to the bush. But I learnt the group is Aiye Confraternity.”

Adedayo Obabiyi, 25, from Ogun State, said he and his siblings had attended a birthday party at the beach and were returning home when some hoodlums attacked them.

“They collected our phones and ATM cards and blindfolded us. They took us to an unknown place. When we got there, I heard a lot of voices. They pierced our thumbs,” he added.

The state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, lamented increasing involvement of youths in cultism.

He, however, said the command had initiated a clampdown on cult members, adding that those arrested would be prosecuted.

The CP said, “Based on credible intelligence that members of the dreaded Aiye Confraternity were performing their initiation rites at a shrine in a thick forest in Abule Egbanu, in the Elemoro, Aja area of Lagos, the Divisional Police Officer, SP Mohammed Limawa, mobilised his men. The DPO received support from the undercover operatives of the Area J, Elemoro, and the men of the Anti-Cultism Unit of the command. Together, they stormed the area and arrested 57 members of the notorious Aiye Confraternity.

“Some of them were not in their right senses at the time of the arrest due to drug overdose. Items recovered from the suspects include two Suzuki mini buses with number plates, LND 893 XV and EPE 189 XV, respectively, one Volkswagen bus, one Mitsubishi space wagon marked, SMK 455 AL, and two Toyota Camry cars with number plates, BD 760 DH and LSD 506 EC.”

Imohimi also paraded three suspected members of a cult that allegedly killed an official of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, Monsuru Bolaji, on Wednesday in the Aguda, Surulere area of the state.

He said the suspects, Muyideen Bello, Wasiu Adio and Nurudeen Odofin, had confessed to participating in the murder of the father of two children, noting that an axe and a knife with bloodstains reportedly recovered from them had been sent to a forensic unit for analysis.

“It is interesting to note that one of the suspects, Wasiu Adio, aka Trouble, further confessed that he was a senior member of Eiye Confraternity and that he and members of his group killed one Timothy in Aguda, Surulere, sometime in October 2017. Investigation into the case is in progress and further findings will be made public. The suspects will surely have their day in court at the end of investigations,” Imohimi added.

But the suspects denied involvement in cult activities and in the murder of the LNSC official.

Bello claimed that Bolaji was his friend and that he took him to a hospital for treatment after he was attacked on that day.

He said, “After he died, I took him to the Aguda Police Station from the hospital. He (Bolaji) was my childhood friend; we went to the same primary school.”
Odofin, 39, said he was the chairman of commercial motorcycle riders in Aguda, while Bolaji was the secretary, aside from being a security official.

He stated that some cult members had been on their trail since December 2017 for allegedly giving the police information about cult activities in the area.

He said, “After I observed Ishai (Islamic 8pm prayers) that day, I was relaxing in front of my house when I heard gunshots. A boy came to tell me that some cult members were running after somebody on the street. After about 15 minutes, I heard that somebody had been killed.

“I ran to the scene and discovered that Monsuru (Bolaji) was the victim. It was Gafar, Adura and their gang members who killed him. In October 2017, they also killed one boy called Timothy. That was when the problem started because the boy’s father was related to me. They started chasing Monsuru and me. We reported at the Aguda Police Station and the LNSC office.

“They said anytime we saw those boys we should report them. We didn’t see them until that evening when Monsuru was killed.”

The third suspect, Adio, said he was a family friend of the deceased, adding that he was at home when some LNSC officials arrested him for Bolaji’s death.
Source : The  Punch 

Nnamdi Kanu, wife spotted in Ghana

EXCLUSIVE: Nnamdi Kanu, wife spotted in Ghana

Nnamdi Kanu

By Chidi Chima

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been spotted by security agents in Ghana, TheCable understands.

There has been controversy over the whereabouts of the IPOB leader who was last seen in public in September 2017 before the military launched Operation Python Dance II — apparently to quell the agitation for the breakaway of south-eastern Nigeria.

Since the military raided his home in Aba, Abia state, there has been speculation that he was arrested and might have been killed.

At some point, Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state, said Kanu was in London.

His court trial for treason has stalled and Enyinnaya Abaribe, the senator who served as Kanu’s surety when he was granted bail after spending 18 months in detention, has sought to be discharged from the obligation after his disappearance.

However, security sources have informed TheCable that Kanu was ferried to the Niger Delta creeks by militants at the height of Python Dance II, from where he found his way to Ghana by sea.

He is regularly seen at Kenzo Bar and IBG saloon in Accra, disguised in face cap and usually in company with his wife, Uchechi.

Kanu is said to live at an area called Cantonment, also in Accra, at an estate called “Arabella”.

He regularly patronises suya joints in remote parts of the city, according to the sources.

If confirmed, this will lay to rest speculations on the fate of the IPOB leader.

His brother once asked the military to release his “dead body” if he had been killed.

Source: The Cable

New minimum wage to be ready in third quarter 

New Minimum Wage Ready In Q3 – FG


The federal government yesterday assured workers in the country that the new minimum wage would be announced before the end of the third quarter of 2018.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, made this known in Abuja during the first series of public lectures to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).

This is just as the NLC warned those seeking to slowdown or frustrate the process of review of the minimum wage, saying they will be resisted.

It said it was time to re-strategise and change its tactics during engagements with government and employers.

In his address, Ngige said that the minimum wage is not something that the workers should be grumbling about because the wage will be ready not later than the third quarter.

He said, “In furtherance to the determination of the federal government to attain the Decent Work Agenda which involves opportunities for work that are productive and deliver a fair income, security in the work place and social protection for families, there have been overtime, three minimum wage reviews and currently the tripartite committee on national minimum wage is set to review the current minimum wage.

“Memoranda are being reviewed for relevant bodies and persons to enable the determination of a new minimum wage for the nation. Better late than never because some state governors are still owing and cannot pay the current N18,000 minimum wage to workers.

“That is why we are ensuring we bring all stakeholders along and announce the new minimum wage at the appropriate time. But I can assure you that the third quarter is the maximum time the new minimum wage will be announced.”

Ngige however warned workers to show respect to rights of employers during confrontation.

He said, “It is pertinent to point out a misnomer that exists amongst trade unions in their pursuits of their relative happiness in terms of industrial relations. Most often I get trade dispute declarations on issues of appointment, discipline and promotion.

“On these issues, the workers often have genuine cases and they are handled accordingly, with all intent to eliminate any unfair labour practices.

“However, often the workers through their respective trade unions do over step by dictating to the employer who to appoint or otherwise. This is not right. Workers cannot dictate to the employer how to run his business; also the employer has no business interfering with trade union affairs.

“There is need for mutual respect in the nation’s industrial relation system to create an amicable industrial relations environment that will create wealth, sustainable development and growth for the good of all citizens.”

The minister further noted that over the years the efforts of the federal government to ensure a sound industrial relations system by maintaining good employment relationship with labour had resulted in the establishment of a viable legal framework for labour administration.

He said, “I must use this opportunity to implore the NLC to be mindful of trade disputes of interest. Although such disputes of interest may invariably transmute to disputes of rights, the NLC must always bear in mind that social dialogue remains the critical tool in pursuing disputes of interest in order to fully realise the intent of declaring the dispute in the first instance.”

On his part, NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, said at 40, the NLC is still relevant today, as it has ever been, adding that it cannot be wished away.

According to Wabba, the NLC is today seen as a formidable force to be reckoned with by social partners and the entire society, stressing that increasingly, citizens look up to the NLC to resist anti-people policies that adversely affect them.

He stated that the NLC defend the people when their rights are violated and play key roles in influencing and shaping public policy to the advantage of citizens.

He said, “Today, we are still engaged in numerous contestations to protect our members and Nigerians as a whole. We are indeed clear that the architecture of the battlefield has changed from the militaristic control of politics and governance to an environment where democratic institutions such as the legislature, the executive, political parties and the judiciary are in existence.

“This scenario presents a golden opportunity for us to engage these institutions and we will continue to do so with the aim of securing concessions for our members and defend the rights of the general public. Our strategies and tactics may slightly change, but we will never deviate from our goals.”

Wabba said having attempted to outline the desirability and the inevitability of reviewing the national minimum wage in the country, the legitimate demand for the review of the current N18, 000 minimum wage is borne out of the current reality of higher cost of living, free fall of the naira, and high cost of goods and services.

He assured that NLC will continue to work with governments at all levels to find ways and means to upscale and maintain social protection regimes that can effectively contribute to walking millions out of poverty.

He continued: “Nevertheless, we will continue to resist casualization and the new forms of work that undermine decent work and threaten jobs.

“We are prepared to deal with employers, especially governors who deny workers and pensioners their salaries and pensions. Workers, pensioners and their families will not give them any further political support, especially their votes.

Era of carrying placards over – Oshiomhole

Meanwhile, former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has urged the NLC to go beyond carrying placards or embarking on strike to acquire political powers if it hopes to continue to remain relevant and bring about the changes it is canvassing for.

Oshiomhole, a former NLC president, said placards can moderate and force employers to go back and restrategise, but placards and the most potent strike will not change their value system.

He said, “So, I came to the conclusion that those who are in power will never govern according to your role values. The position they take on or the policy choices they make are not the result of errors of your judgement. They are the conscious decision taken in order to ensure that a particular class gets more. And the more a particular class gets the less that is available for the rest of the masses.

“So, government and governance is value driven; it is a basic act to decide who gets what and who pays for it.

Placards can moderate and force them to go back and restrategise. But placards and the most potent strike will not change their value system. Rather, they go back and strategise on how best to continue to dominate and use the instrument of state to enrich those they wish and pauperise those they so wish to.

“Placards, persuasion and negotiation cannot make some certain changes that workers actually need. So, the NLC need to acquire some political powers. It needs to reposition itself and use it powers to effect those changes it desires. And the union needs not to doubt whether it has that kind of capacity.”

Also, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, assured that the House of Representatives will support ongoing effort to secure a living wage for the Nigerian worker and ensure that in retirement, workers are sufficiently taken care of.

The Speaker said the NLC has lived up to expectation in discharging its role of protecting the interests and welfare of the Nigerian worker.

Dogara acknowledged the struggle of former leaders of labour for their leadership and sacrifices that ensured the continued existence of one united and robust labour organisation in Nigeria.

In a statement signed by his special adviser on media and public affairs, Turaki Hassan, on the commemoration of 40th anniversary of the NLC, Dogara acknowledged the brave and courageous moves taken by the congress when necessary to ensure that better rights and privileges are conveyed on the Nigerian worker.

He said, “Indeed, the NLC has come of age. It has played a pivotal role in the struggle for better rights and privileges for the Nigerian worker. The NLC since its founding by a military decree has lived up to its responsibilities of articulating and pursing the enlightened interests of the working man and woman. It has sometimes confronted the authorities by using the mechanism of strikes and in some instances the mere threat of action has enough to bring relevant authorities to the negotiating table.

“We must use this occasion to salute the former leaders of Labour for their leadership and sacrifices that ensured the continued existence of one united and robust labour organisation in Nigeria. The present leadership must ensure that this legacy bequeathed to them is maintained and even surpassed”.

He continued: “The NLC must remain strong, united and progressive. It must work in concert with both government and the private sector to enthrone a viable and strong economy for Nigeria, which is the only sustainable way to ensure better working conditions for the Nigerian worker.

“The major challenge facing Labour today is to negotiate a meaningful National Minimum Wage for Nigerian workers. I wish to lend the support of the House of Representatives to the ongoing effort to secure not only a living wage for the Nigerian worker but to ensure that in retirement workers are sufficiently taken care of. The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain.”

Also, former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Mega, said Nigerian workers deserve better than what has been offered to them so far by the present political class.

Delivering a lecture titled, ‘Labour, Politics and Governance in Nigeria’ at the opening event to mark the NLC 40th anniversary in Abuja yesterday, Jega who was the guest lecturer said workers must mobilise to engage in policy and legislative advocacy.

Jega also charged the current leadership of NLC to retrace its steps and rekindle the spirit and strength the NLC of old used during the military era, saying Nigerian workers need a more serious, effective and organised Labour union now than ever”.

​News Headlines Feb 27, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers 

​News Headlines Feb 27, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers 

Compiled by Demola Adefajo 

The Punch

Presidential election will hold first, INEC insists
Army admits withdrawing troops before girls’ abduction
I used part of NIMASA fund to build hotel – Calistus Obi
JSS 1 pupil, others arrested during cult initiation
Five feared dead, worship centres torch in Kaduna attack
EFCC arraigns banker for diverting N700m from customers’ accounts
Ortom laments influx of herdsmen, cows in Benue
World’ll pay dearly if Lake Chad goes into extinction –Buhari
Patience sought Lamorde’s advice on $15.5m gift –Dudafa
Gunmen abduct APC campaigner in Bayelsa
Shagaya in legal battle with EFCC over frozen N1.9bn
Cameroonian soldier kills fisherman in Cross River
Pastor remanded for killing pregnant girlfriend, two others
Police arrest eight robbery suspects in Ondo
JSS 1 pupil, others arrested during cult initiation
Pay our salaries, contract lecturers beg Wike
Prepare for 2019 elections, Buhari tells APC leaders
Nigerian student wins award in UK
We are investigating River driver’s murder by cop – Police
 Rainstorm destroys 200 houses in Ekiti
Why many Nigerians are in Chinese Prisons – Envoy
Despite military presence, over a million cows have flooded Benue, Ortom laments
2019: Buhari warns APC against imposition of candidates
South, M’Belt meet, demand probe of voter register
APC won’t exist in South-East beyond 2019 – PDP
Buhari’s re-election will spell doom for Nigeria –Secondus
FG confirms 110 Dapchi schoolgirls missing, helicopters, jets join search
  Aregbesola, PDP trade words over nation’s woes
Kaduna APC crisis redeemable, says Oni
China sets stage for president to stay in office indefinitely
Publish your tax agenda, FIRS tells political parties
FG seeks Chinese bank’s support for infrastructure funding
UBA, Access Bank join NSE premium board, equities appreciate
BPE visits SAHCOL over failure to list on NSE
New minimum wage implementation begins third quarter – FG
NAMA begins upgrade of airspace communications system
I deserve more respect for my record – Lukaku
Obuh gets three matches to save Kwara job
Emmanuel to open Akwa Ibom youth festival
Champions Shield will be a success – Lagos
Amusan, George, Ajayi for World Indoor
ITF plans 18-nation World Cup
Workers stop mock UTME at OAU
Stay away from UTME centres, JAMB warns parents
Teaching not for dropouts — Provost
Okopoly suspends chief librarian
Nigerian student wins award in UK
TK @ 70: The screen salutes mentor of mentors
#BBNaija: How Tobi won Head of House
Bollywood superstar Sridevi Kapoor drowned in bathtub, Dubai police say
How to manage anal fissure
E-Cigarettes as dangerous as regular cigarettes – Expert
Samsung, Apple top smartphone sales globally
Nigeria in search of suitable model for e-commerce
Grant tax waivers to tech sector, Ekeh tells FG
How to protect deleted data from hackers
Editorial: Contributory Pension: Callous indifference of FG, states
Attorney General’s crude choice of office over honour
Buhari and the integrity question
Why state police without restructuring is dangerous
Yoruba paints Luo: The portrait of an American president
Fearing stigma, single women borrow grooms, guests for fake wedding


President Buhari Asks APC Leaders to Commence Preparations for Congresses
• Oyegun backs Tinubu c’ttee, Saraki misses caucus meeting • State chairmen pass vote of confidence on Oyegun, seek tenure extension for selves, NWC
Unconfirmed Number of Persons Killed in Kaduna Muslim-Christian Clash
Yusuf Buhari Returns to Country After Further Treatment Overseas
Military, Police in Blame Game over Dapchi Girls’ Abduction
INEC: Until Electoral Act Decides Otherwise, Our Arrangement for Elections Stands
Military, Police in Blame Game over Dapchi Girls’ Abduction
AGF Dares Senate, Asks Ojukwu to Assume Office as NHRC Boss Without Confirmation
Presidency: No Plan to Reintroduce Onshore-Offshore Dichotomy
Moghalu: Nigeria Needs Healing, War against Poverty
Ambode Signs 2018 Budget into Law, Targets N897bn IGR
Rights Groups Name Buhari’s Govt Most Unpopular in South-east
Biafra War Veteran, Joseph ‘Hannibal’ Achuzia Dies at 90
FG Cancels FEC Meeting This Week
Auditor-General Blames Amendment of 1979 Constitution for Under-remittance by Revenue Agencies
Minister Orders Demolition of Shanties on Abuja Light Rail Corridor
Leadership is Not Age-related, Says Ibori
C’River APC Crisis: Faction Seeks Tinubu’s Help
General Agwai Becomes New Council Chairman of Bingham Varsity
Senate President Challenges International Community to End Human Trafficking
PDP Urges National Assembly to Investigate Dapchi Abduction
Nigerian Fisherman Killed by Cameroonain Soldiers in Cross River
Jega, Oshiomhole Challenge NLC to Deepen Participation in Politics, Governance
Lagos to Conduct Structural Integrity Test on Buildings Above Five Years
Oyo Passes Vote of No Confidence on PDP S’West Zonal Chairman
Police Arrest Five Alleged Killers of LNSC Official, 67 Others for Cultism
Anambra Central: Umeh, APGA Join in Okonkwo’s Appeal
Dogara Restates House Commitment to Safeguard Vulnerable Nigerians, Wage Increase
DSS, Bayelsa Govt Meet Stakeholders, Avert Protest over Electricity Blackout
Police Parade Eight Robbery Suspects in Ondo
Lagos Appeals for Cooperation as Land Use Charge Implementation Begins
Niger to Reactivate Grazing Reserves
Alleged NIMASA Fraud: Accused Eeeps as Court Revokes Bail over Lateness
Guber Poll : We Won’t Allow Underage Voters in Ekiti , INEC Assures
Nasarawa Slates LG Elections for May 26
Kogi Political Leaders Plot Governor Bello’s Impeachment
FG Urged to Replicate NLNG Model to Increase Gas Sector Opportunities
Fajemirokun: At Dangote, Our Adherence to Local Content Law is 100%
NCS Seme Command Generates N546.83m in One Month
Lumos Partners All -On to Provide Solar Power to Communities
How Judiciary Undermines the Anti-corruption War
APC National Caucus Meets Today over Oyegun, Others’ Tenure
Take a Bow and Return Home, Fayose, Afegbua Tell Buhari
Dickson’s New Bayelsa
Super Falcons Pull out of Invitational Tourney in Turkey
Obaseki Leads Aisien, Amun, Odemwingie, Others to Bendel Insurance Relaunch
Badiru, Dantata Are Future of Nigeria Polo, Says LPC President.
Badminton Federation to Conduct Written Exams for 33 Coaching Applicants
Ebewele Joins Okpekpe Race Technical Cast
Governor Udom Kicks off 2nd Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival
Dapchi 110: The Tragedy of a Nation

The Nation

Army, police in big row over 110 girls abduction
‘We lost hope’
EFCC grills Oduah over N9.4b contract
Anti-Buhari Senators, Reps should leave APC, says Adamu
Buhari seeks unity of APC ahead 2019 polls
Dudafa: Ex-EFCC chair advised Jonathan’s wife on funds
Elections sequence crisis: Any end in sight?
The burden of change
Electorate not ripe for e-voting, says don
Alaafin’s wife delivered of male twins
Ex-Biafran hero Col. Joe ‘Hannibal’ Achuzia dies
‘Why we ’re investigating Patience Jonathan’
‘PDP will reconcile before 2019’
Early detection of cancer in children treatable
Okorocha joins Imo West senatorial race
Dantata donates N100m to FUD female hostel project
We have developed herbal anti-diabetic, anti-cancer drugs – FUD VC
Neymar shows off heavily-strapped ankle
Ambode to spend N1.046tr on four new stadia, others
Aguero and son party over Carabao Cup
Top 16 Cup: Africa T/tennis stars storm Kenya
England Squad: Neville gives Eni Aluko condition
All registered voters will get PVCs before 2019 – INEC
Nasarawa LG polls to hold May 26 – NASIEC
SADE: Filmmaker unveils exciting plans for animation film
Juliet Ibrahim plans autobiography
Between Black Panther and Royal Hibiscus Hotel
Five held for Neighbourhood Corps official’s death
Court dissolves 25 years marriage
Couple ‘batters’ nine-year-old housemaid
Three shot dead as FSARS operatives
#MCM: BBNaija’s Tobi Bakare
Chinese girl rides bicycle from Morocco to Lagos
Oracle expands service level agreements
Gulfstream G500 Jet makes its debut
‘Flights into Kano will deepen intra-country connectivity’
Dana Air, Asky sign interline agreement

The Guardian 

 Ojudu unveils plans for Ekiti
Thierry Henry eyes Arsenal job
INEC insists on own timetable
 APC NEC extends Odigie-Oyegun led NWC’s tenure
Top Burkina Faso generals on trial over failed 2015 coup
Arsenal must part ways with Wenger, says club great Wright
 Boeing says it has Trump deal on Air Force One planes
Dapchi girls: Reps warn FG against further abduction, insecurity in North-East
Do not ‘weaponise’ rights, Philippines warns UN
APC has stabilised Nigeria, Buhari says
Kim Jong Nam believed life in danger before hit, court told
CCT fixes March 8 for FG, Saraki to adopt addresses
Pouille calls revamp death sentence of the Davis Cup
Neymar could still face Real, no operation planned: Emery
Goalkeeping legend Buffon ready to play again for Italy
Zidane to rest Ronaldo to keep him fresh for PSG
Bolt to face Williams in Unicef charity football match
Neymar suffers fractured metatarsal, serious doubt to face Real Madrid
 Tokyo stocks open higher
Bank stocks depreciate on panic over CBN’s dividend rule
NIWA issues 14-day quit notice to Addo/Badore dredgers
Adesina urges America to support African agriculture as a business
Transparency International and the bigger picture
Lessons from KFC’s brilliant crisis management
Editorial: Zuma’s fall, Africa rising
 Ahiara Diocese: The end is peace
What is the Kernel of all US policy today?
Further notes on people’s manifesto
Mystery snake and a nation’s comedy of errors
Reflections of Femi Kuti
When council poll postponement raises dust on the plateau
Lagos PDP passes vote of confidence in Salvador
Ways To Workout Throughout The Day
Nigerians Set Twitter Buzzing As Parents Pay For British Accent For Children
Shakira Pays 20 Million Euros To Spain Taxman: Report
Ajebutter Features Maleek Berry In “Lifestyle”
Expert promotes ethical values in arbitration
Judiciary should be in first line charge for better access to funds, performance’
Solanke charges senior lawyers on pupillage
Institute partners Thomson Reuters on law e-books
Search to prevent next human pandemic
Beetroot juice supplements may help certain heart failure patients
How too much TV could kill you
Older fathers may mean shorter lifespan for offspring, study shows

The Sun

How I killed 3 of my church members -Pastor
•Remanded in custody
DSS negotiates with Boko Har
•How talks with 2 factions led to release of UNIMAID lecturers, women •Why rescue took long –Buhari
Presidency makes U-turn on Boko Haram defeat
Dapchi attack: Military, police trade blames
FG inaugurates FRSC, NACA, NCNC boards, 5 others
Alleged N9.4bn ‘fraud’: EFCC grills ex-aviation minister, Stella Oduah
7 killed, houses razed as Christian, Muslim youths clash in Kaduna
IBB destroyed Labour movement –Jega
2019: We stand by our elections timetable, INEC tells National Assembly
•Commission acting within existing laws –Senate
Civil war veteran, Achuzia, is dead
• How my father died –Son • South East, South South leaders, others mourn  
Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy
PDP squandered $500bn oil earnings in 16 years –Buhari
Nigeria, 3 nations threatened by Lake Chad shrinking –Buhari
Ondo: Akeredolu has done well –Adebanjo
Gov, Boroffice’s face-off may cost party –Group
600 Nigerians in Chinese prisons –Envoy
Plans to extend Chinese President Xi’s rule sparks social media outrage
Trump’s bid to halt young immigrants’ visa suffers setback
. . . As Supreme Court declines to hear administration’s appeal
2019: I’ll be disappointed if Buhari uses public funds to campaign -Ndume
‘Ikpeazu has done enough to deserve second term’
2019: President Nigeria needs
ANLCA partners govt agencies on trade facilitation 
Presidency denies plans to reintroduce onshore/offshore oil dichotomy 
Nigeria yet to benefit from AGOA, ETLS, says FG
Russia 2018: Think less of Argies, Okpala tells Rohr
FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers: Bank on D’ Tigers for qualification in June
Obaseki leads Aisien, Odemwengie,others to Bendel Insurance relaunch
Oil threat: SPE urges more investment in renewable energy
EDITORIAL: Checking underage voting
I don’t believe in gender equality –Obiakalusi, marriage counsellor
Award-winning first class graduate can’t find a job years after graduation Bauchi school road disaster: My students, teachers died seeking knowledge, says principal
Serpentine conversation
A government’s unending blame game


Delta Youths Mix Methylated Spirit, Soft Drink To “Get High”
Why Many Nigerians Are In Chinese Prisons — Envoy
Stop Attacking Amaechi, Others, Abe Warns Loyalists
Ogoni Splits Again Over Oil Exploration
Iheanacho Keen To Make Impact At Russia World Cup
We’re Not Interested In Presidency Without Restructuring—Igbo Leaders
GOV POLL: Ekiti Has 215,000 Unclaimed PVCs, INEC Raises Alarm
APC MEMBERSHIP: Ondo Youths Fault Akeredolu’s Comments On Boroffice
ATTACKS: Declare Amnesty For Armed Herders, Others, Afenifere Tells FG
How Ekwueme Helped In Creating More States (2)
Herdsmen Attacks: Police’ve Lost Fire Power —Ex-DIG Ekpoudom
Banks’ Lending To Private Sector To Rise By 6.3%
It’s Not About Buhari’s Age, Nigeria Needs Courage, Vision —Ibori
Oshiomhole’s Performance As Edo Gov Credit To Labour Leaders —Jega
KIP, Model For Okowa’s Industrialisation Of Delta —Otuaro
Omoku Killings: Court Asks Obuah To Appear For Police Questioning
Mai Ruka Bulldozer (El-Rufai) And This Demoncrazy
Yobe Girls: We weren’t part of meeting at Govt House – Parents of abducted girls

EFCC quizzes Senator Oduah for ten hours over N9.4b airport security contract

Houses set ablaze, many injured as Muslim, Christians clash in Kaduna

Alleged Demolition Of Abuja Property: Patience Jonathan lied, EFCC tells Court

Why rescue of abductees too long – Buhari

Dapchi attack evokes memories of ‘conspiracy theories’ over Chibok’ — Gov Shettima

Nigeria sitting on keg of gunpowder with youth unemployment, Ooni warns
Breaking: Saraki absent at APC caucus meeting

Investigate Dapchi girls’ abduction now, PDP tasks National Assembly

S.Africa’s Ramaphosa set to announce reshuffle

APC State Chairmen back Oyegun, seek 2-Year tenure extension for self, NWC

I will continue to defend Buhari – Abdullahi Adamu
Iheanacho keen to make impact at Russia World Cup

U-20 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers: F/Eagles draw bye

Governor Udom kicks off 2nd Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival

Obaseki leads Aisien, Amun, Odemwengie, others to Bendel Insurance relaunch

Atletico confirm Carrasco, Gaitan departures to China
Efe Prime drops ‘Blessed Be the Name’

Olamide out with ‘Science Student’ video

Bobrisky underrates BBNaija, ready for BBA

Shatta Wale, Maja Spencer, Eedris Abdulkareem,Winning Jah, others set for Obaland Royal Awards

BBNaija: Tobi is 3rd-time Head of House
Banks’ lending to private sector to rise by 6.3%
‘Inter-house sports platform to groom younger ones’
Wikimaster; The New Art Of Learning.
National Hospital Abuja gets 2nd radiotherapy machine
My experiences in the Oil and Gas and Mining Business

New Telegraph

Buhari lauds Dangote, private sectors’ role on economy
2019: APC must unite for challenges ahead – Buhari
Again, herdsmen kill 60 farmers in Benue –Ortom
7 killed, 15 injured in Kaduna, as Christian, Muslim youths clash over girlfriends
BB Naija: Bambam, Teddy A caught having sex, Nigerians react
BREAKING: Crisis rocks Kaduna suburb, houses burnt
Buhari cancels this week’s FEC meetingBBNaija 2018: Why condoms are missing in Big brother house – Miracle 2019: No going back on election timetable –INEC
How Bola Shagaya laundered N3.3bn for Jonathan –EFCC
FG to workers: Expect minimum wage by Q3
Antibiotics raise risk of heart problems
JAMB: 211, 000 candidates sit for UTME mock
139 more winners emerge in Sterling Bank’s 1dament promo
Enugu is up-to-date in workers’ salaries – NLC
4,000 dump APC, join PDP in Ebonyi
Moghalu: Effectiveness, key to good governance
Human trafficking: Saraki, Obaseki, EU, others move to tackle scourge

2019: No going back on election timetable –INECNEWS1 hour agoHow Bola Shagaya laundered N3.3bn for Jonathan –EFCC
We didn’t kill LNSC official, say suspects
Biafran veteran, Achuzia, dies at 90Gunmen attack psychiatric hospital, shoot policeman
Gunmen abduct Bayelsa APC chieftain
Support Kalu, organisers tell medical outreach’s beneficiaries
Benson-Awoyinka: Opposition lacks presence in Lagos
Adamu: Caught in the web of power play
Kaduna APC: The politics of demolition APC crisis: Oyegun, others know fate as party’s NEC meets
APC chairmen endorse tenure elongation for NWC
Oyo: The scramble for Ajimobi’s seat NHFP: CBN pegs maximum mortgage loan at N50m for self-employed
FG to local firms: Beat NIPCO’s acquisition record
Nig vs Poland: Uzoho to man post as Eagles’ list out this week
World Cup group tie: Argentines bank on Messi’s impact
IAAF World Indoor Championships: Amusan leads Nigeria’s medal chase
Why Falcons pulled out of Turkey tourney, by NFF
Eagles will tame Lewandowski –ShehuPresidency hosts silver-winning CHAN Eagles Wednesday
  EDITORIAL: Dapchi girls’ abduction, a national disgrace
Reps okay council for widows, orphans
Army, police trade blame over abduction of 110 girls
Ambode signs Lagos’ N1.046trn budget
N331m fraud: I diverted NIMASA fund to build hotel –Ex-DG
Delta community, PDP leaders debunk no confidence vote on lawmaker
2019: Okorocha declares for Senate
Tribunal awards damages to capital market 

​News Headlines Feb 26, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers 

​News Headlines Feb 26, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers 
​Compiled by Demola Adefajo 

The Punch

Man kills four children, maid, self over wife’s infidelity
FG, W’Bank in discussion for $1bn power loan
FG confirms 110 Dapchi schoolgirls missing, helicopters, jets join search
Frozen accounts: Patience Jonathan asks court to jail bank chiefs
Pregnant robbery victim gives birth, dies after C-section
Woman drowns in church’s well, pastor arrested
Police keep mum over River’s driver murdered by cop
Man jailed seven years for keeping human head
S’Court orders reinstatement of sacked A’Court’s chief registrar
Thunderbolt kills two in Niger
LASG seizes 200 carts, arrests 27
Malabu: AGF’s advice won’t stop Jonathan, Adoke’s probe, Reps insist
Corruption rating: SERAP backs TI, says Buhari hasn’t done enough
Two die as prison officials, hoodlums clash in Sokoto
Buhari’s re-election will spell doom for Nigeria –Secondus
American arrested as police find severed head in suitcase
Doctors express worry as people inject themselves with poo…
BBC pays me less because I’m not posh, presenter…
Shun corrupt practices, Kumuyi tells Nigerians
China sets stage for president to stay in office indefinitely
Kaduna APC crisis: Oni-led committee begins fact-finding mission
Retail is future of banking, says Diamond Bank CEO
Six things children should know about banking
No sacred cows under VAIDS, says Fowler
AshakaCem to complete N11bn power plant in 2019
Do you still carry wads of bank notes around?
Impressive D’Tigers beat Mali in W’Cup qualifier
Lukaku inspires Man United win over Chelsea
C’wealth Games: Sports ministry to pay protesting wrestlers
NIMASA staff wins t’tennis championship
Lagos squash classics: Egyptians dominate men’s event
Kane rescues Spurs against Palace
My son’s poor health has put my life on hold –Stella Monye
Why I signed mother of two – Harrysong
I didn’t stop music because I was frustrated –Kas
As a child, I behaved like a clown –Wofaifada
I wasn’t treated like a celebrity in NYSC camp –Owolabi Ajasa
Doctors express worry as people inject themselves with poo at home
Editorial: Safeguarding human rights ahead of 2019
Dapchi and the failure to learn
Advantages of a stronger naira
Re: Dear Senator Tinubu, Buhari has thrashed us all
Fake news as threat to humanity

The Nation

Air Force steps up search for 110 kidnapped girls
$2.1b deals: Ex-Army chief Minimah refunds N1.7b
Jonathan’s wife, banks trade blame over funds trapped in 10 accounts
Don’t mix politics with security, says Shettima
Suspected Boko Haram member remanded for killing policeman
‘Herdsmen still destroying our crops and houses’
Man kills children, self in Anambra
SON Act yielding product seizures, says DG
Coalition backs technocrat for House of Reps
Oni will fulfil promises, says aide
Supreme Court reverses sack of Appeal Court’s Chief Registrar
Ekiti radio, TV get knocks for campaign funds’ source
Osun training 800 Grade II teachers
Air Force begins medical outreach for IDPs
2019: Cleric urges Buhari to beware of sycophants
Shell Nigeria are NOGIG 2018 Champions
Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea: ‘We beat a very good side’, says Mourinho
Boxing Show: Benjamin shines in Hall Of Fame
Oliseh turns attention to hobby, hails Black Panther
A new dawn in democratic representation
Akeredolu getting down to business, one year after
11 injured in building collapse
Waste: PSP Operators fault aggrieved members
MDAs to implement ‘no cash payment’
Abduction: Rescued woman dies after giving birth
Lagos ex-workers’ families get N85m death benefits
Navgas rewards drivers
Coscharis ends Valentine promo on BMW
Kia wins three-design awards

The Sun

No sacred cows under VAIDS –Fowler
… As Adeosun, El-Rufai, meet taxpayers March 1
‘Our People First’, says Rep. Namdas
Murder-Suicide in Onitsha: Father stabs 4 children, housemaid, kills self
“Blood splashed everywhere” Father dies later after drinking raw acid  
Buhari, Osinbajo not focused on 2019 – Presidency
Missing Dapchi Schoolgirls: Federal delegation returns to Yobe
Meets victims’ families, security agencies 
Group seeks solution to exorbitant port charges
NIPCO bags NIPS award over Mobil Oil acquisition
Financial inclusion: Diamond Y’ello Account generated 9m accounts –Dozie
Reactions trail MTN’s planned $500m listing on NSE
Endless strike turns Ekiti varsity into ghost town
•Fayose should pay our lecturers’ salaries, frustrated students plead
NUCFRLANMPE tasks FG on indiscriminate importation
…Says it’s killing business in the sector China’s president may serve indefinite term if new law passes
Corruption: African leaders should learn from Zuma’s exit
 ERGP: Global investors leverage petroleum summit to unlock Nigeria’s potential
Port Notel’ll bring reliability, efficiency to port terminal operations –Akpanika, Port Notel MD
Dangote to invest in vapoured milk plantD’Tigers out-dunk Rwanda
Kachikwu, others to speak at Sub-Saharan oil, gas summit
Investment opportunities in mini-lubes blending plant
Why Nigerian manufacturers should invest in renewable energy
Farmers, herdsmen clashes: To hell with cattle colony, stakeholders tell Ogbe
Seme Command generates N546m in January

C’River APC Crisis Deepens as Zonal Vice Chairman Rejects Congress
Dogara: Non Completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company a National Shame
Return Administrative Office to Delta, SPDC Urged
Grant Exceptional Tax Concessions to Save Tech Sector, FG Told

Asaba Electricity Consumers Battle BEDC, Petition Okowa over Disconnection
Emefiele Reiterates CBN’s Commitment to Economic Growth
FirstBank, Stanbic Support Social Media Week
Afreximbank Targets $1.5bn Financing for Trade, Infrastructure
Adeosun, Fowler to Lead FG Delegation to Kaduna Tax Symposium
Prayers Key to Unity and Stability of Nigeria, Gowon says
The Uncomfortable Truth

Combating Cultism the Lagos Way
Home Sick IDPs in Benue
Again, The SUN Crowns Pinnick as Sports Personality of the Year
Kano Pillars Moves to the Summit of NPFL
D’Tigers Beat Mali to Stay on Course for World Cup Ticket 
NWFL Moves Secretariat to Lagos ahead Maiden Champions Shield
Man City Hammers Arsenal 3-0 to Lift League Cup
Nasri May Get Six-month Ban Today
Zuma: At Last, The Statue Falls


We Don’t Owe Workers’ Salaries —A-Ibom Govt
No Nation In The World Has Grown Outside Its Culture— Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni Of Ife
JTF Destroys 30 Illegal Refineries Delta
Ebuehi Shines In ADO Den Haag Draw With Ajax
Delta Lawmaker Leads Team To Herdsmen’s Enclave
Nigeria Sitting On Keg Of Gunpowder With Youth Unemployment, Ooni Warns
Pensioners Are Treated With Dignity During PTAD Verification — Onokpise
Jonathan Didn’t Want To Be Yar’Adua’s Running Mate — Ahmadu Ali
Zenith/Delta Principals’ Cup: Warri Stadium Hosts Semifinal Today
Steer Clear Of OML11, Ogonis Warn RoboMichael, SPDC
Conference On African Origins Heralds New Beginning
Advantages Of A Stronger Naira
Awoniyi Scores In Eight-Goal Thriller
‘I Killed My Wife Because She Was Sleeping Around’
Dapchi Attack Evokes Memories Of ‘Conspiracy Theories’ Over Chibok’ — Gov Shettima
Royal Exchange Group MD Wins Award
Paternity trouble: Man goes berserk, kills his 4 children, sister-in-law, self
CBN to expand ABP with N42bn Greenfield egg plant
Yobe school attack: Lai Mohammed confirms 110 girls unaccounted
Withdrawal of troops caused Dapchi girls abduction – Governor
2019: Buhari by God’s grace will declare his intention for re-election – Sen Kurfi
Presidential Villa roundup for Feb. 18 to Feb. 24, 2018
Dapchi girls : Your tears not enough, PDP tells FG, APC
Obaseki, Oyegun, others laud Akeredolu’s performance
PDP rejects INEC’s 8-man committee on underage voters
Ebuehi shines in ADO Den Haag draw with Ajax
Zenith/Delta Principals’ Cup: Warri Stadium hosts Semifinal today
Awoniyi scores in eight-goal thriller
Guardiola defends Catalonia political symbol
WAFU Women Cup of Nations: S/Falcons pick bronze
Mama J never die yet ooo, says Tiwa Savage
‘Black Panther’ again slays North American box office
Bollywood superstar Sridevi dies aged 54
Many popular young Nigerian musicians have sold their souls to Satan – Skid Ikemefuna
Why I can’t marry Rita Dominic — Jim Iyke
Samsung launches new S9 phone with augmented reality features
1,400 from free cataract surgery, courtesy Rotary Club

Rise in kidney disease

The Uptick in Kidney Disease

The number of Nigerians suffering from kidney disease remains on the rise and has been worsened by inadequate facilities and the high cost of treatment, writes Martins Ifijeh
With recent details from the Global Report on Care Delivery and Kidney Disease, at least 700 million persons around the world have one form of kidney problem or the other, representing about one in every 10 people globally.
And although the prevalence is said to be higher in high-income countries like the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, many of such countries have considered chronic kidney disease as one of their healthcare priorities, as compared to most low income countries, who despite having an increased prevalence of the issue, do not consider it one of the diseases they must prioritise solving.
One of such low and middle income countries not taking the issue of kidney disease seriously is Nigeria despite having over 36.8 million of its citizens suffering from one form of kidney disease or the other, representing about 23 per cent of the country’s population, according to available statistics.
This figure, which shows one in every seven Nigerians is a sufferer from some form of kidney disorder, has therefore prompted experts to raise alarm that Nigeria was sitting on a keg of gun powder waiting to explode if nothing was done to quell the rising prevalence of the menace in the country.
They believe stakeholders, as well as the government have not zeroed into tackling the issue head on, as the country has failed to put facilities in place to match the rising problems occasioned by the disease in the country. They are also of the opinion that Nigerians must be educated on what to do to prevent the disease as well as how to manage it.
A Nephrologist, Dr. Benson Ariye, explained that over 50,000 Nigerians should presently be on dialysis, but that only about 1,000 persons are presently undergoing dialysis in the country, which was one of the reasons a lot of Nigerians were dying from the disease daily.
He explained that it was rare surviving kidney failure without undergoing dialysis or kidney transplant, adding that if government must protect its citizens from dying from preventable illnesses like Kidney failures or other forms of diseases, then it must put facilities in place to combat the issue.
According to him, the bulk of those suffering from the disease in the country were poor or low income earners who may be unable to afford treatments in India, Canada or the United States. “The only institution they can rely on for support is our government. There should be availability of facilities to treat the various forms of kidney disorder in the country.
“Only a handful of hospitals in the country presently have these dialysis machines, which ideally should be spread across the country to tackle issues of kidney failure.”
He said one of the reasons why proactive measures must be taken was because the peak prevalence period for chronic kidney disease was between 30 and 50 years, representing the manpower shortage and economic waste, adding that “Nigeria cannot afford to lose its active citizens because of inability to provide facilities to combat the health issue.
While lamenting the burden of the disease, he said estimated 15,000 new patients were being diagnosed every year in the country, making the number of persons needing treatments to increase markedly annually.
Ariye also called for the subsidisation of kidney treatments in the country as most sufferers were unable to afford the treatments. “An average Nigerian would most likely not be able to undergo adequate treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) which is on the rise.
Despite the thousands of Nigerians who present their cases to the hospital, Ariye believed this represents just a tip of the iceberg of the entire burden of CKD, because majority of those suffering from end stage renal failure or other forms of kidney disorder often do not present their health issue to the hospital on time due to lack of awareness, prohibitive cost of healthcare services or use alternative treatment like spiritual healing and traditional methods.
He said awareness on early presentation was also key to reducing the disease in the country.
The World Health report in 2002 and Global Burden of Disease Project reports show that kidney disease represents the 12th cause of death and 17th cause of disability in the world. The report also believed this may be an underrepresentation of the contribution of Chronic Kidney Disease to global burden of disease.
Some experts however believed this figure may best suit that of developed countries as kidney disease is reportedly becoming a very high cause of death among people living in underdeveloped and developing countries, including Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, the situation is such that chronic kidney disease represents about eight to 10 per cent of hospital admission even though we know more than 50 per cent of people with the disease do not present their case to the hospital,” says a Resident Doctor with Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Dr. Kenneth Ifidon.
He said this goes to show that the prevalence of the disease is increasing in the country even though kidney care facilities do not match the numbers of people presenting their cases to the hospital.
He said it was important people understood the causes of kidney diseases so they could prevent it. “Some identified causes of kidney diseases include hypertension, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, among others,” he added.
According to him, hypertension was the leading cause of kidney failure in Nigeria, adding that it often presents no symptoms until it is at the advanced stage. “This is another reason why people should not just assume that since they are walking and not feeling any health issue, then there is no need for checkups. If you want to prevent many forms of health issues, it is imperative that you constantly go for checkups. When one does checkups for hypertension at early stage, the truth is, as you are taking measures to preventing it, you are also indirectly taking measures to preventing kidney disease. So the role of medical checkups cannot be overemphasised if we must stay healthy always.”
He said diabetes has been established to be the leading cause of kidney failure in the country, hence the need for people to prevent things that predisposes them to diabetes. Adding that, “diabetes occurs when the blood glucose levels are excessively high. “Tiny amounts of proteins in urine are an early sign of kidney damage in patients with diabetes.”
On HIV/AIDS, he said it increases the loads on the kidneys and may lead eventually to its failure, hence the need for people to be cautious about habits that predisposes them to risks of contracting HIV/AIDS.
He said people must understand that the kidney was one of the most important organs of the body because of its enormous responsibilities and that attention should be paid to the kidney, while living a healthy lifestyle.
According to him, “while taking measures to preventing hypertension, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, direct healthy lifestyle will also go a long way in keeping the kidney healthy.”
He said avoiding caffeine addiction was one of the best ways of keeping the kidneys in check. “People who drink multiple cups of caffeine beverages each day are often at risk of forcing the kidney to work harder in pumping out the toxins in the caffeine, which overtime makes the kidney weak.
“If you find that you are urinating several times a day more than you used to, try cutting back on caffeine products to see if that helps. Too much caffeine isn’t good for your body in many ways, and kidney stress is one of them”
He also explained that drinking of water was very vital to the health of the kidney. “People who drink plenty of water daily are less likely to have kidney disease because even though the kidney acts more as a filter than a reservoir, toxins can build up if there is not enough water pressure to push them through to the urinary tract for excretion.
“We know there are people who do not like drinking water except extremely necessary, but it shouldn’t be so. If you want to keep your body healthy, drink enough water,” adding that eating of fruits like water melon also goes a long way in keeping the kidney healthy.
He said it was worrisome that treatment of kidney failure in the country has not been subsidised by the government, as poor patients continue to find it difficult accessing treatment.
According to him, a patient with kidney failure has a 3 to 5 hour dialysis treatment; three times per week while this treatment would only replace about 10 to 15 per cent of the function of healthy kidneys.
“Undergoing a session of dialysis in the country costs about N25,000.00, which means in a week the patient would have spent N75,000.00. This perhaps will continue for a long time. How do we expect the poor Nigerians to pay for this treatment?” He queried.
He said an outright kidney transplant cost an average of N4.5m outside the provision of a donor. “Though most donations are free because they come from relations and family members, but the determination of whether their organ is suitable for surgery or not are often investigated most times abroad thereby compounding the cost. After surgeries, patients must live on drugs to keep the foreign organ in check and these drugs are taken throughout a lifetime and they are expensive,” he added.
He stressed that a government that puts its citizens first must design ways of making this treatment available and affordable for the ordinary citizens and people who also live in rural areas where there are hardly healthcare facilities.

Source: ThisDay

Rome was Not Destroyed in a Day

Rome was Not Destroyed in a Day

By Simon Kolawole

Sadiq Daba, the actor, ran into some serious health issues recently. He cried out for financial help to undergo foreign treatment. Pronto, Nigerians reacted overwhelmingly. But wait. I did not hear anybody talk about Daba’s religion or ethnic group. The people who tweeted and retweeted his appeal for help, and those who contributed money, were certainly not from his village. I was so so so so so happy. It confirmed, yet again, my pet theory about Nigeria — that we do not hate each other. We are just victims of the unending political manipulation of ethnic and religious identities for selfish gain. Evidently, ordinary Nigerians have the “Nigerian spirit” in their DNA.

My grandmother, God rest her sweet soul, shaped my worldview when I was a little boy growing under her care. She had this amazing ability to be so proud of her Yoruba heritage and at the same time celebrating the best in people of other tongues. In the days of Operation Feed the Nation, launched by the military government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in the late 1970s, we planted tomato, maize and spinach in our garden. One day, when the tomatoes were ripe, Mama told me: “Have you noticed that when the tomato in the north is out of season, our own is due for harvest? That shows you God wants us to live together, to complement each other.”

I did not understand much of modernised agricultural practices then — I would have argued with her that you could have both tomato species all-season! But, forget my mischief, she was so broadminded. It must have rubbed off on her offspring. When my father’s younger sister wanted to marry a Muslim, she maybe thought Mama would not like it. As I was told, my aunty introduced her fiancé as “Moses”. It was only when their children (that is, my cousins) were being named Hakeem, Sherifat and Ibrahim that the family realised “Moses” was actually “Mustapha”! Mama, I was told, laughed off the trick with a rhetorical question: “Were we not all created by the same God?”

Indeed. I have met extremists and chauvinists from across religions and races. I am yet to hear anyone declare that we were not created by the same God. One of the most astonishing things about life, to me, is the fact that although we can choose to be Muslims or Christians, and so on, nobody can choose to be Hausa, Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba or whatever. We just woke up one day to find ourselves as members of one ethnic group or the other. It was not our making. So why should you discriminate against me, and hate me, on the basis of an ethnic identity that is beyond my control? Is it my fault that I was born into a family that was clearly not my choice?

In this “mindsets” series, my goal is to challenge the way we think about Nigeria. I am fully persuaded that since we have been doing things the same way for ages and we have been getting essentially the same results, the time has come for us to challenge our fundamental assumptions and thinking — and begin to consciously do things differently. As many commentators, analysts and public speakers have been pointing out over time, we need to reform our mindsets. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. A mind moulded with hate, prejudice, greed and inordinate ambition will produce nothing but hate, prejudice, greed and inordinate ambition.

In the first part of this series, I wrote on “The President Nigeria Badly Needs” (January 7, 2018). I challenged our obsession with seasonal political calculations and permutations. We build our hopes on false dawns and heat-of-the-moment excitements every four years — and end up with more of the same. Something has to change. In the second instalment, “The Spirit of Lagos That Nigeria Needs” (January 28, 2018), I revisited the now rested “Spirit of Lagos”, a reorientation campaign by the TBWA Consortium, in partnership with the Lagos state government. I said Nigerian leaders and the citizens need to cultivate new mindsets to be able to build a new Nigeria.

Today, I am going a little bit practical on how we can renew our minds. There is a saying that Rome was not built in a day, a proverb originated by the 19th century English playwright, John Heywood, who also gave us immortal expressions such as “out of sight out of mind”, “better late than never”, and “the more the merrier”. He said Rome wasn’t built in a day “but they were laying bricks every hour”. This, in some sense, tells us the value of consistent hard work, perseverance and conscious efforts at construction. If Nigeria is going to change, therefore, we must alienate those who see themselves, first and foremost, as ethno-religious champions. It all starts in the mind.

But, pardon me, Rome was not destroyed in a day either. It took ages to build the city but took a much shorter time to destroy it. Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410 AD. In three days, they looted, burnt and wrecked the beautiful city. That hastened the collapse of the Roman Empire. Same thing applies here: the destruction of Nigeria by ethnic champions and religious bigots will not happen in one day — it is a gradual, steady process. That is why we the people must guard our hearts jealously before we are recruited into the hate brigade under different guises. Those already recruited can decide to desert straightaway. We need to build, not destroy.

My suggestions. To start with, do not participate in the sharing of messages and materials that are clearly intended to preach hate and prejudice. Saying “shared as received” is pure hypocrisy. You can be critical of leadership without attacking or disparaging their religions and ethnic origins. As a matter of principle, I do not share messages that are clearly meant to spread hate. It is a duty I owe my conscience. We all have terrible things to say about other people. If we do not allow love to guard our hearts, we will keep adding fuel to fire. Therefore, before you press the “send” or “forward” button, ask yourself: what is my motive? Unto thyself, be honest.

Also, do not feed your children with hate and prejudice. Fill their hearts with edifying things. A senior colleague of mine, a Muslim, married a Christian, who then converted to Islam. He told me he once engaged the services of a cleric to teach his children the Qur’an every Sunday. One day, he overheard the cleric telling the children not to drink from the same cup or eat from the same plate with their aunts, who were living with them, because they were “infidels”. My colleague fired the “afa” on the spot. He remains a devout Muslim, sure, but he saw danger and immediately quenched it. This kind of hate messaging certainly fuelled the mindset that birthed Boko Haram.

This is how hate works: it focuses on what divides us rather than what unites us. If there are Qur’anic verses that say Muslims should love and care for Christians, the hate merchants will focus on where Christians are called “infidels”. If there are verses in the Bible that say “love your neighbour as yourself”, the messengers of hate will focus on “what fellowship does light have with darkness?” There is nothing you want to justify with the scriptures that you won’t find. If you truly have love in your heart, you will focus on the verses of love. The God that forbade eating four-footed creatures is the same God that ordered Apostle Peter, in a trance, to kill and eat! To the pure all things are pure.

And this is how prejudice works: because Chief Obafami Awolowo did not declare Oduduwa Republic in solidarity with Biafra in 1967, every Yoruba is a traitor — including the one that was born early this morning. Because an Igbo chap was arrested for 419, every Igbo person — dead, living or unborn — is a fraudster. Because Barkin Zuwo struggled with speaking English, every northerner is an illiterate; in fact, no northerner has a brain. Because of the insane activities of ISIS and Boko Haram, every Muslim is a terrorist, including your friend. Tragically, there are people that the only thing they can see in you is your language or religion, not the content of your character.

Let me quickly say this before I shut down my laptop and take a stroll: it is very difficult to resist the message of hate and prejudice in a society already polluted by manipulative politicians, their overpaid sidekicks and our inept leaders. I know. When everybody is saying there is casting down, it is very difficult to go against the grain and say there is lifting up. You just go with the flow. But maybe the “casting down” gang is not as big as the “lifting up” brigade — just that the latter has been intimidated into silence. They must begin to speak out. Rome was not destroyed in a day. Those working to destroy Nigeria neither sleep nor slumber.

As for me and my house, we resolved long ago that we would never feed our children with hate, prejudices and biases. These things are usually passed on from generation to generation. I resolved to follow the example of my grandmother by celebrating the best in others rather than focusing on their worst. I would rather talk about the dignity in labour you find among the Hausa, the creativity among the Igbo and the industry among the Yoruba. Accuse me of living in denial and I will accuse you of living in bitterness. Accuse me of being politically correct and I will accuse you of being self-righteous. Accuse me of being naïve and I will accuse you of being jaundiced. It’s all in the mind.



Talking about hate speech, I was presented with a perfect example on a platter of gold on Saturday. Punch quoted Professor Umar Labdo of Maitama Sule University, Kano (formerly Kano State University), as saying the Fulani are destined to lead Nigeria for a long time. He even as much as said that we should be grateful the jihadists did not annihilate local people after the conquest. To help douse the tension caused by the Fulani herdsmen crisis, which has claimed hundreds of lives, he said Benue belongs to the Fulani. I hope by the time all these professors turn Nigeria to Somalia with their reckless and insensitive utterances, they will be very proud of themselves. Tactless.

The Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) is finally here to “rescue Nigeria” from APC. In October 2005, the Movement for the Defence of Democracy (MDD) was launched by ex-PDP bigwigs such as Chief Audu Ogbeh and Chief Tom Ikimi, along with opposition figures, to “rescue Nigeria”. MDD gave birth to ACD, later AC, later ACN and today’s APC that “rescued” Nigeria from PDP in 2015. In 2010, there was the PDP Reform Group, made up of Chief Ken Nnamani, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari and Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, et al, to “rescue Nigeria”. Today, the CNM, led by Brig-Gen. Olagunsoye Oyinlola (rtd), is all set to “rescue Nigeria” from APC in 2019. Again.

Former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme has been buried in his hometown, Oko, Anambra state. Someone pointed out on social media that “in one week Oko has street lights everywhere, in one week the bad road from Ekwulobia to Oko has been reconstructed”. Great thoughts. My theory remains that if Nigerian leaders resolve to develop Nigeria today, you will see a marked difference within four years. If they decide that all hospitals will become world-class and there will be uninterrupted power supply and all major roads will be in good shape, you will see the results in no time. One day, we will come to the consensus that our real problem is poor leadership. Truth.

Stephanie Otobo, the Canada-based stripper, last year accused Apostle Johnson Suleiman of things. She went into lurid details, giving dates and timelines. Charged to court in Nigeria over alleged blackmail, she sued Suleiman in Canada, claiming $5 million in damages resulting from “breach of trust, breach of fiduciary relations, breach of contract, negligence, defamation and poisoning”. She even found time to record a gospel song. She has now done a U-turn, claiming she was politically induced to blackmail the pastor. Was she pressured to recant? In a sane society, she should be facing criminal charges, including perjury and blackmail, by now. But is it not Nigeria? Theatre.
Source: ThisDay