Tag Archives: Politics

Ignore Obasanjo’s letter to Buhari, Senator Waku asks Nigerians

Why Obasanjo is angry with Buhari – Waku

Senator Joseph Waku

Nigerians have been advised to ignore the letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari. Describing the letter as a thrash and full of mischief, former member of the National Assembly, Senator Joseph Waku lambasted Obasanjo whom he described as a serial blackmailer.

In this interview with TUNDE THOMAS, Waku also spoke on other national issues including the recent herdsmen killings, proposed cattle colonies by the Federal Government among others.

What’s your take on the letter written to President Muhammadu Buhari by former President Olusegun Obasanjo?

Obasanjo is an attention seeker who should be ignored. Obasanjo likes playing to the gallery. If Obasanjo is a mature man and a genuine patriot and elder statesman who he wants us to believe he is, that letter he wrote to Buhari is needless.

Why do I say the letter is needless? It is needless because Obasanjo has unfettered access to President Buhari and all those issues he raised in the letter he could have discussed with the President one-on-one, and if Obasanjo didn’t want that option, he could have requested that a meeting should be convened where he, President Buhari and other former presidents and heads of states in the country who are all members of the Council of States would have discussed the issues he raised. But Obasanjo I know very well can never change – Obasanjo is mischievous. He is a blackmailer. Through that letter, Obasanjo wanted to incite Nigerians against Buhari.

Obasanjo is very mischievous. He wrote that letter to Buhari out of mischief and not out of patriotism. If Obasanjo had sought an audience with Buhari or even invite Buhari, and he refused to honour his invitation or if he had been unable to get the Council of States to discuss the issues he raised, it would have been understandable, but Obasanjo had not exploited all these avenues before he wrote his satanic letter to Buhari. Obasanjo is a selfish individual who likes playing to the gallery.

You were saying that Obasanjo lacked the moral right to write the letter …

Yes. As the saying goes, those who live in a glass house should not throw stones. Obasanjo is throwing stones from inside the glass house he is living in, and he deserves to be stoned back.

Without trying to be a spokesman for Buhari, but now speaking the fact as a Nigerian, Buhari compared to Obasanjo is a saint. Obasanjo should keep quiet. Obasanjo was a terrible leader when he was President of Nigeria between 1999 — 2007. He was a dictator, brutal and very incompetent. Obasanjo’s evil deeds are many, but one can mention a few. He introduced political corruption into this country. Although he set up EFCC and ICPC, but he just used the anti-graft agencies to witch-hunt his political opponents. We all remember how Obasanjo used EFCC to persecute his political opponents. The then EFCC boss, Nuhu Ribadu became Obasanjo’s hunting dog – in connivance with Ribadu. Obasajo illegally impeached several state governors including Joshua Dariye in Plateau and Rasheed Ladoja in Oyo State.

Obasanjo also in a brazen act of corruption elevated Ribadu within a period of six months from Assistant Commissioner of Police to Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG.

Obasanjo also introduced the privatization programme through which his administration sold Nigeria’s primed assets to Obasanjo himself and his cronies.

What about the Obasanjo’s Presidential Library in Ota, a personal project of Obasanjo but in which Obasanjo ensured that he extorted billions of naira from state governors, business moguls and others to put up the monumental structure. Recently, one of the state governors then, Ayodele Fayose claimed that Obasanjo forced state governors to donate billions of naira to the project, and Fayose had asked Obasanjo to refund Ekiti State donation.

How do you now describe somebody involved in all these scam as a wise man, who is in a position to lecture others or accuse others of corruption? Obasanjo is the father of all corruption.

But some Nigerians are saying that the letter should not just be dismissed with a wave of the hands and that it contains some allegations and issues which, Buhari should address …

That’s why I said earlier that Buhari is not a saint, and that no human being is 100 percent perfect. But I’m still on Obasanjo, I have not finished with him. Obasanjo talking to Buhari about insecurity and killings – for Obasanjo himself, it was worse under his administration when he was the president. Remember Odi killings that took place under Obasanjo’s watch where innocent people were murdered and their properties destroyed based on the orders of Obasanjo to the security agents.

What about the killings in Zaki Biam, the village of the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Victor Malu. Even though Malu was a senior official in Obasanjo’s administration, yet Obasanjo betrayed him by destroying his village.

What about individuals that were assassinated during Obasanjo’s era. Bola Ige, the then number one judicial officer was killed and up till today, his killers are yet to be apprehended. What about Marshall Harry and others whose lives were wasted during Obasanjo’s years in office? We can go on and on. The list is endless and this is one of the reasons why I said Obasanjo lacks the moral stand to attack Buhari.

Obasanjo was a callous and vindictive man who hounded so many innocent Nigerians into jail during his time in office. At over 80 years, it is sad that Obasanjo is yet to mature. He can never change.

Obasanjo should stop playing to the gallery; he should bury his head in shame. He should stop trying to project himself as the oracle of the nation. Is this not the same Obasanjo that wanted to run for a third term but who was stopped in his track by some patriots. Obasanjo was a saboteur who wanted to subvert the constitution in order to run for a third term; he should keep quiet. Obasanjo is a hypocrite. He should be ignored. Here is Obasanjo who wanted to run for a third term not allowed by the Nigerian Constitution but he is now asking somebody who is constitutionally allowed to run for a second term not to do so. He is a hypocrite.

But in that letter, Obasanjo stated that he was advising Buhari not to go for a second term based on his performance, and his failing health …

What’s there to write about in Obasanjo’s eight years of failure as Nigeria’s leader. Monumental corruption took place under Obasanjo’s watch whereas Buhari is fighting corruption. Obasanjo should explain what happened to over N60 billion his government earmarked for electrification project, but instead of giving us light, Obasanjo gave us darkness. Buhari is trying his best. For instance, Buhari’s administration has built up Nigeria’s foreign reserve to $40 billion, whereas under the previous administration, our foreign reserve had been depleted to zero level. Where we need to give credit, we should not hesitate to do so, and where we want to condemn or criticize, we should also do so. To me, Buhari has not been a failure, and I believe that there is still room for improvement. Obasanjo has a lot of skeletons in his cupboard; he should keep quiet.

Do you have any words of advice for Obasanjo?

Obasanjo can never change. He is like a leopard who can never change from its dark spots. How do you advise a man that is over 80 years. Even if Obasanjo attain the age of Methuselah, that is, if he lives for over 900 years, he will still remain the same. Maturity has nothing to do with age. Obasanjo, since I know him, has never exhibited any sign of maturity. At times, he behaves childishly. He doesn’t have the traits of a genuine patriot, and qualities required of a statesman. On whether Buhari should seek reelection or not, the president has not come out to make a categorical statement on it. So what’s Obasanjo’s headache all about?

If Buhari decides to seek a second term, it is his constitutional right to do so. The problem with Obasanjo is that he is not happy or doesn’t want anybody to equal his own record. If Buhari decides to seek reelection, then it means he will be equaling Obasanjo’s record, and he is not happy about that. Again Obasanjo is bitter and angry with Buhari that Buhari has not been running to him for advice in Ota. Obasanjo is not happy that Buhari has not become a regular visitor to Ota; he is not happy that Buhari has not been coming to pay homage to him at his Ota farm. He wanted Buhari to be dancing to his own tunes, and all these Buhari has not done.

What’s your reaction to Obasanjo’s call for a coalition movement or a Third Force to wrest power from APC and PDP?

Don’t mind Obasanjo, he is trying in another way to realize what I will call Fourth Term, which he failed to realize while in office. What I mean by this is very simple – Obasanjo should never be trusted. Has he not publicly told Nigerians that he had quit active politics, if that is so, why is he floating another coalition, is that not another political party that he is floating? But yet Obasanjo is saying that he has quit politics. Obasanjo is deceiving Nigerians. Obasanjo double speaks; he is still actively involved in politics and his aims are two -to register that coalition as a political party, and then to get his own surrogate as the leader of the party. His ultimate aim is to get a leader he can manipulate, and who will be ready to dance to his tune anytime. Nigerians should be wary of Obasanjo and his new agenda.

PDP of recent has also been critical of Buhari’s administration, accusing the government of not living up to expectation, what’s your views on that?

What do you expect from PDP? Is PDP not an opposition party? You don’t expect PDP to sing the praise of APC. PDP was in power for 16 years and led Nigeria into economic recession, but with Buhari in the saddle just for two years plus, Nigeria is out of economic recession. The nation’s foreign reserve was seriously depleted under PDP’s government, but today, Buhari’s administration has built up Nigeria’s foreign reserve up to $40 billion, what about the reforms in the agricultural sector, especially in the area of rice production which has saved the nation the agony of rice importation which was to cost Nigeria lots of money.

What is your reaction to the recent killings by herdsmen in Benue, Taraba and other parts of the country?

From all the perspectives, political, social, economic and cultural, the unity of our country is becoming consistently threatened by the relentless attacks by these herdsmen. A large percentage of Nigerians are disenchanted and have lost confidence in the capacity of our security agencies to protect them.

What in your view is the solution to the problem?

Contrary to the cattle colonies idea being canvassed by the Federal Government, the permanent solution to the carnage by the herdsmen who to me are evil marauders is to establish Animal Fodder Farms in different zones, particularly in the northern parts of the country. Let me also state here that some foreign investors with the appropriate technological expertise have expressed their readiness and willingness to engage in beneficial partnership with the Federal Government in this regard, what is left is for the Federal Government to strike a deal with the foreign partners to start production. 5,000 hectares of cultivated land can produce sufficient fodder feeds which can conveniently feed one million cattle per year. We should not condemn Audu Ogbeh over the proposed Federal Government cattle colony’s proposal but we should all try to make useful recommendations that will help us to find ways out of any problem instead of being in the habit of criticizing, condemning or attacking any policy without proposing alternatives which will help us to chart ways forward. What should always be paramount in our mind is how to live together in harmony.

Culled from The Sun


Babangida asks Buhari to step down in 2019

IBB urges Buhari to step down in 2019 for digital leadership
…laments ceaseless flow of blood

Ibrahim Babangida

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor

Former President Ibrahim Babangida has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to step down in 2019 to allow a generational shift that should reinvent the wheel of leadership and spur healing in the land.
Babangida in a special statement issued on Sunday also lamented the failure of the All Progressives Congress, APC to advance its change mantra in several areas of the polity saying that the party failed to push ahead with the programme to restructure the country as canvassed to Nigerians.

Babangida in the statement issued on his behalf by his spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua particularly lamented the flow of blood in the country noting that the unity that himself and others sought to keep was daily being drawn to the seams by the killings across the land.

Babangida also lamented the herdsmen/farmers clashes as he called for the adoption of ranching as a way of stemming the crisis. He also fumed against the recycling of analogue leadership as he called for a more youthful and digital leadership to push the country in the comity of nations.

Babangida who governed Nigeria as military head of state between 1985 and 1993 while lamenting the recycling of analogue leadership said:

“In the past few months and weeks, I have played host to many concerned Nigerians who have continued to express legitimate and patriotic worry about the state of affairs in the country. Some of them have continued to agonize about the turn of events and expressly worried why we have not gotten our leadership compass right as a country with so much potential and opportunity for all. Some, out of frustration, have elected to interrogate the leadership question and wondered aloud why it has taken this long from independence till date to discover the right model on account of our peculiarities. At 57, we are still a nation in search of the right leadership to contend with the dynamics of a 21st century Nigeria.

Having been privileged to preside over this great country, interacted with all categories of persons, dissected all shades of opinions, understudied different ethnic groupings; I can rightfully conclude that our strength lies in our diversity. But exploring and exploiting that diversity as a huge potential has remained a hard nut to crack, not because we have not made efforts, but building a consensus on any national issue often has to go through the incinerator of those diverse ethnic configurations. Opinions in Nigeria are not limited to the borders of the political elite; in fact, every Nigerian no matter how young or old, has an opinion on any national issue. And it is the function of discerning leadership to understand these elemental undercurrents in the discharge of state responsibilities.


There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is at a major crossroads at this moment in its history; the choices we are going to make as a nation regarding the leadership question of this country and the vision for our political, economic and religious future will be largely determined by the nature or kind of change that we pursue, the kind of change that we need and the kind of change that we get. A lot depends on our roles both as followers and leaders in our political undertakings. As we proceed to find the right thesis that would resolve the leadership question, we must bear in mind a formula that could engender national development and the undiluted commitment of our leaders to a resurgence of the moral and ethical foundations that brought us to where we are as a pluralistic and multi-ethnic society.

Nigeria, before now, has been on the one hand our dear native land, where tribes and tongues may differ but in brotherhood we stand, and on the other hand a nation that continues to struggle with itself and in every way stumbling and willful in its quest to become a modern state, starting from the first republic till date. With our huge investments in the African emancipation movements and the various contributions that were made by our leadership to extricate South Africa from colonial grip, Nigeria became the giant of Africa during that period. But having gone through leadership failures, we no longer possess the sobriety to claim that status. And we all are guilty.

We have experimented with Parliamentary and Presidential systems of government amid military interregnum at various times of our national history. We have made some progress, but not good enough to situate us on the pedestal we so desirously crave for. It is little wonder therefore that we need to deliberately provoke systems and models that will put paid to this recycling leadership experimentation to embrace new generational leadership evolution with the essential attributes of responsive, responsible and proactive leadership configuration to confront the several challenges that we presently face.

In 2019 and beyond, we should come to a national consensus that we need new breed leadership with requisite capacity to manage our diversities and jump-start a process of launching the country on the super highway of technology-driven leadership in line with the dynamics of modern governance. It is short of saying enough of this analogue system. Let’s give way for digital leadership orientation with all the trappings of consultative, constructive, communicative, interactive and utility-driven approach where everyone has a role to play in the process of enthroning accountability and transparency in governance.

I am particularly enamored that Nigerians are becoming more and more conscious of their rights; and their ability to speak truth to power and interrogate those elected to represent them without fear of arrest and harassment. These are part of the ennobling principles of representative democracy. As citizens in a democracy, it is our civic responsibility to demand accountability and transparency. Our elected leaders owe us that simple but remarkable accountability creed. Whenever we criticize them, it is not that we do not like their guts; it is just that as stakeholders in the political economy of the country, we also carry certain responsibilities.

In the past few months also, I have taken time to reflect on a number of issues plaguing the country. I get frightened by their dimensions. I get worried by their colourations. I get perplexed by their gory themes. From Southern Kaduna to Taraba state, from Benue state to Rivers, from Edo state to Zamfara, it has been a theatre of blood with cake of crimson. In Dansadau in Zamfara state recently, North-West of Nigeria, over 200 souls were wasted for no justifiable reason. The pogrom in Benue state has left me wondering if truly this is the same country some of us fought to keep together. I am alarmed by the amount of blood-letting across the land. Nigeria is now being described as a land where blood flows like river, where tears have refused to dry up. Almost on a daily basis, we are both mourning and grieving, and often times left helpless by the sophistication of crimes. The Boko Haram challenge has remained unabated even though there has been commendable effort by government to maximally downgrade them. I will professionally advise that the battle be taken to the inner fortress of Sambisa Forest rather than responding to the insurgents’ ambushes from time to time.


In the fullness of our present realities, we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29th, 2019 and collectively prepare the way for new generation leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country. While offering this advice, I speak as a stakeholder, former president, concerned Nigerian and a patriot who desires to see new paradigms in our shared commitment to get this country running. While saying this also, I do not intend to deny President Buhari his inalienable right to vote and be voted for, but there comes a time in the life of a nation, when personal ambition should not override national interest. This is the time for us to reinvent the will and tap into the resourcefulness of the younger generation, stimulate their entrepreneurial initiatives and provoke a conduce environment to grow national economy both at the micro and macro levels.

Contemporary leadership has to be proactive and not reactive. It must factor in citizens’ participation. Its language of discourse must be persuasive not agitated and abusive. It must give room for confidence building. It must build consensus and form aggregate opinion on any issue to reflect the wishes of the people across the country. It must gauge the mood of the country at every point in time in order to send the right message. It must share in their aspirations and give them cause to have confidence in the system. Modern leadership is not just about “fighting” corruption, it is about plugging the leakages and building systems that will militate against corruption. Accountability in leadership should flow from copious examples. It goes beyond mere sloganeering. My support for a new breed leadership derives from the understanding that it will show a marked departure from recycled leadership to creating new paradigms that will breathe fresh air into our present polluted leadership actuality.

My intervention in the governance process of Nigeria wasn’t an accident of history. Even as a military government, we had a clear-cut policy agenda on what we needed to achieve. We recruited some of the best brains and introduced policies that remain some of the best in our effort to re-engineer our polity and nation. We saw the future of Nigeria but lack of continuity in government and of policies killed some of our intentions and initiatives. Even though we did not provide answers to all the developmental challenges that confronted us as at that time, we were not short of taking decisions whenever the need arose.


The unchecked activities of the herdsmen have continued to raise doubt on the capacity of this government to handle with dispatch, security concerns that continue to threaten our dear nation; suicide bombings, kidnappings, armed banditry, ethnic clashes and other divisive tendencies. We need to bring different actors to the roundtable. Government must generate platform to interact and dialogue on the issues with a view to finding permanent solutions to the crises. The festering nature of this crisis is an inelegant testimony to the sharp divisions and polarizations that exist across the country. For example, this is not the first time herdsmen engage in pastoral nomadism but the anger in the land is suggestive of the absence of mutual love and togetherness that once defined our nationality. We must collectively rise up to the occasion and do something urgently to arrest this drift. If left unchecked, it portends danger to our collective existence as one nation bound by common destiny; and may snowball into another internecine warfare that would not be good for nation-building.

We have to reorient the minds of the herdsmen or gun-men to embrace ranching as a new and modern way to herd cattle. We also need to expand the capacity of the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Army, the Navy and Air Force to provide the necessary security for all. We need to catch up with modern sophistication in crime detection and crime fighting. Due to the peculiarity of our country, we must begin community policing to close the gaps that presently exist in our policing system. We cannot continue to use old methods and expect new results. We just have to constructively engage the people from time to time through platforms that would help them ventilate their opinions and viewpoints.


When the ruling party campaigned with the change mantra, I had thought they would device new methods, provoke new initiatives and proffer new ways to addressing some of our developmental problems. By now, in line with her manifesto, one would have thought that the APC will give fillip to the idea of devolution of powers and tinker with processes that would strengthen and reform the various sectors of the economy. Like I did state in my previous statement late last year, devolution of power or restructuring is an idea whose time has come if we must be honest with ourselves. We need to critically address the issue and take informed positions based on the expectations of the people on how to make the union work better. Political parties should not exploit this as a decoy to woo voters because election time is here. We need to begin the process of restructuring both in the letter and spirit of it.

For example, I still cannot reconcile why my state government would not be allowed to fix the Minna-Suleja road, simply because it is called Federal Government road, or why state governments cannot run their own policing system to support the Federal Police. We are still experiencing huge infrastructural deficit across the country and one had thought the APC-led Federal Government would behave differently from their counterparts in previous administrations. I am hesitant to ask; where is the promised change?


At this point of our national history, we must take some rather useful decisions that would lead to real development and promote peaceful co-existence among all the nationalities. We must be unanimous in what we desire for our country; new generation leadership, result-driven leadership, sound political foundation, demonetization of our politics, enhanced internal democracy, elimination of impunity in our politics, inclusiveness in decision-making, and promotion of citizens’ participation in our democratic process. The search for that new breed leadership must start now as we prepare for 2019 election.

I get worried when politicians visit to inform me about their aspirations and what you hear in terms of budgetary allocations for electoral contest does not cover voters’ education but very ridiculous sub-heads. A typical aspirant in Nigeria draws up budget to cover INEC, Police, Army and men and officers of the Civil Defense, instead of talking of voters’ education, mobilization and sensitization. Even where benchmarks are set for electoral expenditure, monitoring and compliance are always difficult to adhere to. We truly need to reform the political system. And we must deliberately get fresh hands involved for improved participation.

We need new ways and new approaches in our political order. We need a national rebirth. We need a rebranded Nigeria and rebranded politics. It is not so much for the people, but for the institutions that are put in place to promote our political engagements. We must strengthen the one man one vote mantra. It is often ridiculous for me when people use smaller countries in our West Africa sub-region as handy references of how democracy should be. It beggars our giant of Africa status.

The next election in 2019 therefore presents us a unique opportunity to reinvent the will and provoke fresh leadership that would immediately begin the process of healing the wounds in the land and ensuring that the wishes and aspirations of the people are realized in building and sustaining national cohesion and consensus. I pray the Almighty Allah grant us the gift of good life to witness that glorious dawn in 2019. Amen. I have not written an open letter to the President, I have just shared my thoughts with fellow compatriots on the need to enthrone younger blood into the mainstream of our political leadership starting from 2019

Source: Vanguard

Not My Herdsmen, By Ose Oyamendan

Not My Herdsmen, By Ose Oyamendan

It’s confusing because the herdsmen of my childhood only carried long sticks and concealed knives. I’m told they now carry AK-47s, like warriors in some devastated countries in the Middle East. And, that makes me wonder – who are these herdsmen? They definitely are not my herdsmen, the herdsmen of my youth.

I’m reading tales of herdsmen, tales that feels like sermons from the devil’s altar. These are not your night time reading. With each gory picture and video, I feel like we’ve been temporarily transported to someone else’s hell.

The tales have left my jaws permanently slack like a punch-drunk boxer. I’m stunned because I know these herdsmen. We were friends who passed each other in the fields or waved at each other from the train on the way to school. As a high school kid, I always looked forward to seeing them the moment the train rolls out of the station in Ibadan on the long trek up North. Some people had the northern star, we had had the herdsmen. They were both constant, one in the skies, the other in the field.

In boarding house, we sometimes played truant during afternoon siesta. We will prop the bed with pillows and clothes and cover it with a bed sheet as if it’s a human at sleep. Then we will wander into the fields and savour our freedom for an hour or so. That was where I encountered my first herdsmen. It was around the Harmattan season, one of those lazy afternoons when the bitter night winds hover just behind the hills. That was when I met my first herdsmen up close and personal.

They were a mystery to me. They moved around in batches. In class, we had been told that they migrated all the way from the North in search of food for the cattle. Back then we thought the North started somewhere between Sokoto and Maiduguri. But a Youth Corper who taught in the school confided in us that when it comes to herdsmen, the North of Nigeria stretched far into Chad, Niger, Mali and most likely farther!

I loved the herdsmen. They had kids my age. I envied them because I would have loved a bit of a nomadic life but here I was trapped in a prison called boarding school, and just to confirm our state of imprisonment, we had assigned uniforms too.

They do not speak English and I do not speak Fulfude. But, we communicated. The older herdsman offered us a cheese delicacy that was a delight, in comparison to the drab pap and bean cake we had for breakfast earlier. For several weeks, we would go into the fields and watch group after group of herdsmen drift past.

I loved their nomadic life but I used to feel bad for the kids my age. The nomadic life could not have been an easy one. When we did the school mini marathons, my legs would be sore for a whole week. How could these kids my age walk thousands of miles, through different terrains, for several months a year? There has to be a better way.

I knew those boys would prefer to be home or near home, around people who understand their language, ate their food and shared a communal bond with them. I knew they would like to go to school. I knew they would like to sit at the feet of a cleric, learn the holy book, go back home to their mother’s cooking, then lay under the moonlight to count the stars. I was only 10 but I knew life had to be better. Now that I am much older, I know what that was – a failure of leadership. In all my travels outside Africa, I’ve never seen herdsmen walking for thousands of miles to graze. So, why in Nigeria, the self-styled leader of the black race?

But, back to my first meeting with herdsmen. They do not speak English and I do not speak Fulfude. But, we communicated. The older herdsman offered us a cheese delicacy that was a delight, in comparison to the drab pap and bean cake we had for breakfast earlier. For several weeks, we would go into the fields and watch group after group of herdsmen drift past. Sometimes we played with the cattle. We will slap their thighs and sign songs that they will be in our belly come the next Eid or Christmas.

I’m told that if I do that today I’d be shot. It’s confusing because the herdsmen of my childhood only carried long sticks and concealed knives. I’m told they now carry AK-47s, like warriors in some devastated countries in the Middle East. And, that makes me wonder – who are these herdsmen? They definitely are not my herdsmen, the herdsmen of my youth. What changed in the last thirty years that has turned the loving herdsmen in search of a living into plunderers and terrorists?

Whatever it is, the people need answers and not politics or inaction. The people are already suffering and dying from poverty, bad roads and poor administration. Why add the herdsmen’s menace to the list?

The kid herdsmen of my youth will be men now, most likely the elder herdsmen. I can’t seem to imagine them with Ak-47. You gotta ask, what turns an innocent boy into an adult terrorist? What went wrong and where? I have racked my brain for answers and I can’t find any. I would be hard on myself but then I remember the federal government with all its might doesn’t seem to have an answer either.

It’s 2018, politics is in the air. The elephants are stomping across the nation and the poor folks are suffering. The case of the people and the herdsmen just ups the ante. But, must Nigerian leaders always look at things from the all-empty or all-full glass of political calculations? Isn’t it time to really dig into what went wrong and how it can be fixed? If we can’t go forward, why not go back to a time of peace, a time when these same herdsmen will politely ask if they can drink water from your well?

Or. Maybe its time the government tells us what kinds of herdsmen go about carrying AK-47. Or, why in a country with laws and law enforcers, are ordinary citizens allowed to carry weapon around as if they live in a failed state? Are they fleeing Boko Haram militants or the Libyan militiamen who found themselves with too many weapons after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi?

Whatever it is, the people need answers and not politics or inaction. The people are already suffering and dying from poverty, bad roads and poor administration. Why add the herdsmen’s menace to the list?

Please follow me: @iam_ose

Culled from Premium Times. 


Army uncovers militias’ base in Benue, arrests native doctor

Army uncovers militias’ base in Benue, arrests native doctor

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday said it had discovered a base used by armed militias terrorising Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states at Tor-Dunga Town in the Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.

The army added that it also arrested a native doctor, Tordue Gber also known by an alias, Tiv Swem, who allegedly supplied charms to the militias.

Our correspondent learnt that the arrest was made by troops of the 707 Special Forces Brigade, Makurdi, on Monday, who raided the base.

The military, in a release signed by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Sani Usman, said the native doctor was arrested along with one of his accomplices, Atoo Francis.

Usman said Francis was however shot dead by the troops.

The army spokesman said, “Troops raided the shrine and arrested Gber, who acted as a spiritual adviser to the criminal militias. Gber is also an ally of the wanted notorious criminal, Akwazar Terwase (alias Gana). It will be recalled that he was declared wanted by the security agencies and has been at large since 2016.

“Preliminary investigation shows that the shrine serves as a hideout for wanted armed militias that operate in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states.

“The troops recovered a locally fabricated pistol, two Baretta Pistols, 11 rounds of 9mm ammunition, three motorcycles and assorted charms. Other items include warm clothing for concealing weapons, two mobile telephones and three power generators, amongst other items at the hideout.”

Source: The Punch


Iyabo Obasanjo denies writing fresh letter to dad, asks Buhari to withdraw from 2019 race

Iyabo Obasanjo speaks on her father’s ‘letter’ to Buhari

Iyabo Obasanjo

Samuel Ogundipe

A former Nigerian senator, Iyabo Obasanjo, on Saturday lambasted her detractors who are currently recirculating her 2013 letter to her father.
Some social media users had recirculated the former senator’s letter to her father in 2013 in which she criticised the former president.
Ms. Obasanjo’s letter was redistributed over the weekend allegedly by some supporters of the current administration, barely a few days after her father, former President Olusegun Obasanjo circulated a “special statement” about President Muhammadu Buhari, and his administration.
Mr. Obasanjo accused the Buhari administration of incompetence, nepotism, corruption and advised Mr. Buhari not to seek reelection in 2019.
The former president then proposed a new political movement that will herald economic and social development for the country.
In a statement she personally  sent to PREMIUM TIMES Saturday night, Ms. Obasanjo said the Buhari administration should focus on the content of her father’s letter and heed his counsel.
Ms. Obasanjo described her father as  “one of the most brilliant leaders to ever emerge in modern Africa”.
She accused the government of sponsoring the recirculation of her scathing letter to her father,  saying those who should “benefit from the advise and admonishment of one of the most brilliant leaders to ever emerge in modern Africa have resorted to a cheap tactic that further reiterates the message that they found abhorrent enough to start looking for unconnected issues to put together to make their point.”
She urged the president to yield to calls on him to step aside in 2019.

“The wise should listen wherever help and advice comes from,” she said.
“Those who re-published the old letter should have spent time to respond to the content of the said statement which called for President Buhari to retire in 2019,” Ms. Obasanjo said, adding that Mr. Buhari’s failing health condition should dissuade him from running in 2019.
Ms. Obasanjo, who served as senator for Ogun Central Senatorial District from 2007 to 2011, said Nigerians should be wary of any attempt to recirculate her 2013 letter and pass it off as recent and genuine.
She said she had no connection with this administration or the last one under Goodluck Jonathan.
“I agree with the open letter and I hope Africa will emerge from its current dwindling fortunes and become a leading nation in the world,” Ms. Obasanjo said.
“It is tiring to continue to be part of Nigerian conversation when there’s no positive impact to it.
“I really do not want to be part of it, as I’ve found over and over again that speech and words are wasted on people who have no understanding of responsibility on us as black people on this planet.”
Presidential spokespersons, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, did not immediately respond to PREMIUM TIMES requests seeking comments Saturday night.

Source: Premium Times


Fake men of God causing confusion with predictions – Abiara

Fake men of God causing havoc in Nigeria –Prophet Abiara

Prophet Abiara

Former General Evangelist of Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide, Prophet Samuel Kayode Abiara in this interview with Effects chides men of God who prophesy doom to the nation, talked about his retirement after 10 years as World Evangelist of the CAC, his late wife and others.

What message do you have for the nation this new year?

This year is a year of blessings, a year of grace, a year of happiness and a year that will enrich those who are poor; it is a year that they will have victory over what has been afflicting them.   It is a year of joy for those who move closer to God and the promise for those who move closer to God will be their lot this year. Secondly, this year is a terrible year for wicked people. I’m referring to hired killers, kidnappers, ritualists this year, God will deal with them thoroughly.  God will empower the security agencies to deal with them if they don’t change; armed robbers, wicked people in government in any society or organizations.  Also, the witches and wizards, God will deal with them this year if they don’t change. 

Thirdly, people must not listen to the prophecy of doom; such prophecies that heaven is going to fall, about earthquakes and all those calamities.  All these problems, and challenges are in the bible; what concerns us as servants of the most high is that when we  get such revelations, we must not allow the heart of the people  or the  government to be troubled. I want to advise all my colleagues, prophets, bishops, evangelists, pastors, that if they see anything terrible, they must put it in prayers and pray against it. They should not put fear and panic into any nation or people. There’s no prophesy you give to the nation which is not in the bible, Matthew 24 tells us that nations will rise against nations, there will be  war, problems and challenges.  So, why are we embarrassing governments and nations, that a country will collapse?  If they see something they must organize prayers.

You are retired but still on the field preaching, why?

I retired from the CAC as General Evangelist but in the service of God, I’m not tired. On 2nd September 1967, God called me; ‘my Son, Samuel Abiara today, 2/9/67, I appoint you a prophet and evangelist to the whole world.’ That was before the Authority of CAC called me in 2007 to be the General Evangelist of the mission. Now, I’m a prophet and evangelist to the whole world, not to any church but to all the churches. All churches all over the world have the authority to invite me if they want.  I don’t discriminate; I’m a prophet to churches all over the world. Any church that needs my service I will obey them and go there to minister. An office is different from service.   I retired from the service of CAC according to their constitution, once you clock 75 years, you retire and give way to another person.  The service and the work of God is for life. I’m free to attend any church all over the world now as a retiree.

At what point in your ministry did you become popular?

God called me in 1963 when I was a clerk with J.A. Agoro. My salary then was 150 kobo. That is 15 shillings per year. My boss was a good man. He took care of me as if I was his child, I attended church services with him.  As a young man, I registered my company to start my business but God said, ‘my son Kayode, you are not doing this business’; that  he wants me to be His Minister and preach His word.  Back then, it’s popular seeing Aladura ringing bell on the streets and looking scruffy.  Due to that, I said I’m not interested. But God said No, I will make you great, just obey me. I listened to that voice and today, God has made me what I am not worth. What you are seeing about me is by the grace of God.  It’s not by my fasting. People call me ‘Wooli Alagbon’ (Coconut prophet,) because I eat coconut whenever it’s time to break my fast.  Be it seven days, 21 days and 40 days fast but that was not the reason for my uncommon favour all over the world. Who am I? My education is nothing to write home about but today, I thank God Almighty. In my dream, an angel came down, spit on my tongue and said I release you to communicate all over the world. I thank God almighty for what God has done for me, I don’t deserve it at all. It’s not because of my holiness or fasting but God just decided to give me an uncommon favour.

 What lessons about life have you learnt?

To move closer to God; when you move closer to God, you will be great. When you move closer to God, you will see the blessings of God almighty, you will see wonders and the hand of God almighty. Just try it. When you move closer to God and obey him, things will go well with you.

So many fake prophets, pastors using that title as a cover-up. It’s in the bible, that in the last days there shall be fake prophets, fake pastors, etc. It’s all in the bible. Those who are seeking and going after prophets here and there, they must be very careful. They must find the true gospel church to attend. There are fake prophets, fake pastors, and fake bishops, they are all over. It’s in the bible, I’m not a judge. But the bible warned that we should be careful. So, readers of this interview should be careful of men of God who deceive people all over. They continue to tell lies.

At 75, you are still strong, what is the secret sir?

That is what I’m telling you, God gave me an uncommon favour. I eat the same food everyone eats but it’s the glory of God. People tell me I look younger and I reply it’s the glory of God. When someone keeps herself or himself and moves closer to God, you will see the glory of God. I move closer to God, I try to obey him, I’m not half as holy as God but God just favours me. When you have a son or daughter, you can never have the same love for all your children; there’s special love for one of them. Most men of God confess they were bad boys before their journey into ministry, they smoked, drank, womanized. I was not holy when God called me too. I just saw grace from God almighty. But when God called me, I heeded his call.

In your family, do you have other prophets before you?

No, we don’t have any man of God in my family, my father was a catholic and my mum was an Anglican. So we don’t have any pastor or any prophet in my family until God called me in 1963.

 How do you relax?

Since I lost my wife last year, I pray more, read my bible and I’m starting a program, Abiara Divine Foundation Outreach to help and empower people, give them scholarship, take the senior citizens, go to rural areas to empower them. That is what I want to do together with the evangelistic ministry.

What did you miss about your late wife?

I miss my wife so much, there’s no lady in this world that is more beautiful than my wife. I miss her. She knows my ways, she’s obedient, she takes care of me, and she knows what I want and what I don’t want. So, I miss her a lot. I thank God almighty for sustaining me since the day she passed on last year.

Most men of God remarry fast when they lose their wife, are we expecting another mummy soon?

Yes, by the grace of God. The bible did not put us in darkness. The bible says men and women are permitted to marry whosoever they want to marry when they lose their loving one. By the grace of God, when God gives me my choice, you will hear.

Source: The Sun


For the record: Federal Government’s response to Obasanjo 


We have read the press statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the State of the Nation.
For the record, Chief Obasanjo is a patriot, and he has proven this time and time again. We appreciate what he said concerning the Administration’s performance in two out of the three key issues that formed the plank of its campaign: Fighting corruption and tackling insurgency. Specifically, the former President said President Buhari must be given credit for his achievement so far in these two areas. We thank him for this.
Apparently, the former President believes that the Administration does not deserve a pass mark in the area of the economy, which is the third of our three-pronged campaign promises.
We have no doubt that in the face of massive challenges in this area, this Administration has availed itself creditably. We believe that Chief Obasanjo, because of his very busy schedule, may not have been fully availed of developments in the government’s efforts to revamp the economy, which was battered by the consequences of over-dependence on a commodity as well as unprecedented pillaging of the treasury.
Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking up. Permit me to say, however, that Nigeria would not have exited recession through a mere order or if the Administration had not made use of ”good Nigerians” who could help.
This Administration is making steady progress in its determined effort to revamp the economy, and the results are showing:
* Foreign Reserves have peaked at $40b, the highest level in about four years, and up from $24 billion just a year ago, even though when we came in, the price of oil had crashed woefully.
* According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC), headline inflation has fallen for 11 consecutive months, standing at 15.37% as at Dec. 2017. This is the lowest inflation rate since Jan 2017, and it has met and surpassed the target set for inflation in the Administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
* Our determined implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has stopped the hemorrhaging of the treasury. Some 108 billion Naira has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks, pre-TSA. The nation is being saved 24.7 billion Naira monthly with the full implementation of the TSA.
*  The elimination of ghost workers has saved the nation 120 billion Naira
*   At about 1.8 billion dollars, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first quarter.
*  In the wake of a stable Naira and increased investment inflows, Nigeria’s stock market emerged one of the best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40 percent.
*  Nigeria rose 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the world.
* According to Q3 2017 figures, agriculture export is up year-on-year by 25%, solid minerals exports are up year-on-year by 78%, raw materials exports are up 70% year-on-year and manufactured goods exports are up 22% year-on-year.
* Government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service are reporting highest-ever revenue collection, while JAMB, under the new management appointed by President Buhari in 2016, remitted N7.8 billion to the coffers of the federal government. The total amount remitted by JAMB between 2010 and 2016 was a paltry N51 million!
These positive indices may not have immediately impacted positively on Nigerians, but Nigerians will definitely get a new lease of life a short while from now. This is because the good news from the agricultural sector, which is recording a bumper harvest, will bring down the cost of foodstuffs, especially such staple as rice, and our massive Social Investment Programme will ease the pain of the most vulnerable in the society.
When we assumed office in 2015, some 6 million farmers were involved in rice production. Thanks to the Anchor Borrowers’ programme of this Administration, we have grown that number to over 12 million farmers. The result is that our rice import from Thailand alone has dropped from 644 metric tonnes to 22,000 MT in just two years. This is phenomenal.
Apart from rice, Nigeria is also doing well in other grains,

especially Millet, Sorghum and Maize. We are now the second largest producer of sorghum after the US, the third in millet after India and our breweries are now enjoying local sourcing of those commodities.
For maize, we are producing 10 million tons while we need about 13 million tons for both human and animal nutrition. Nigeria leads the world in the yam and cassava production. We account for 70% of the world’s yam production. In two years, we hope to be the world’s largest exporter of yam! Overall, our ambition is that agriculture should rise from 25% to 40% of GDP, so that we can banish poverty and overcome our economic anxiety.
Our Social Investment Programme is Nigeria’s most ambitious social welfare programme ever. Currently, 5.2 million primary school children in 28,249 schools in 19 states are being fed daily; 200,000 unemployed graduates have enlisted into the N-power Job Scheme, and a quarter of a million loans already distributed to artisans, traders, and farmers.
Finally, our investment in infrastructure is simply unprecedented. This is because infrastructure is key to faster economic growth and development.
Here is a synopsis of what we have done in this area:
* Power Generation at an all-time high of 7,000mw and all can be transmitted
* RAIL: Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge is on. Lagos-Ibadan sector ready 2019, Kano-Kaduna ready 2019; The entire stretch ready 2021; Negotiations on for Coastal Rail covering 15 cities from Lagos to Calabar.
* ROAD: 25 major highways being funded with the N100b Sukuk Bond, and all geo-political zones are benefitting equally
This Administration is not unaware of the enormity of the challenges facing the nation, but we are up to the task. We have taken the bull by the horns, and long-suffering Nigerians will begin to experience a new lease of life as our efforts yield fruits. We will not go into a state of funk for whatever reason.
On the Herders/Farmers’ clashes, this Administration is determined to end the crisis resulting from this once and for all, not minding the fact that the clashes predate us. we urge Nigerians to have faith in the Administration’s ability to resolve the crisis, and to watch out for concrete measures in this regard.
On whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should run for another term, it is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return. However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the President at this time. This is because Mr. President spends every waking hour tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his Administration by successive past Administrations. He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in 2015. And that’s where we are right now!
Finally, we have no reason to believe that former President Obasanjo has any motive beyond the well-being of the nation in issuing his Special Press Statement. We have also taken his admonition in good faith, and we thank him most sincerely for taking time off his busy schedule to pen such a long statement.