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18 Dec 2017

Woman Robbed At Gunpoint After Withdrawing Huge Money From Bank

A woman has ended up being followed by armed men after withdrawing a huge amount of money in a Lagos State community.
File photo

No less than four dare-devil armed robbers on motorcycles at the weekend struck and robbed an unidentified woman of huge amount of money she had withdrawn from a bank and escaped.

According to P.M. Express, the incident happened at Ikotun/Idimu Road in Ikotun area of Lagos where the bank was located very close to a police station.

However, the police at Ikotun Division led by CSP Tarzan Tsav pursued the robbers and eventually arrested one of the suspects. The three other suspects escaped with the bag containing the money and were still at large.

P.M. Express reports that the police also recovered one of the guns the robbers used in the operation and a motorcycle which were kept at the police station as exhibits.

Eye witness account told P.M.Express that the victim went to the bank, withdrew the money and kept it inside her bag. As she was going, unknown to her the robbers who were probably monitoring her right from the bank, accosted her, pointed their gun to her face, collected the money, jumped onto their bikes and escaped.

It was gathered that the victim raised alarm which attracted the police who pursued the robbers while escaping with their bikes and eventually confronted them at Abaranje in Ikotun area.

P. M. Express reports that the three other suspects escaped but the police succeeded in arresting one of them and detained him at the police station with the exhibits.

When the Ikotun Police Division was visited by reporters, the suspect was seen detained inside the cell and was said to have confessed to the crime.

The DPO was not around to comment on the matter but a source at the police station confirmed the incident.

The source also said that the suspect had given useful information that will assist the police to arrest the other suspects and recover the stolen money.

Meanwhile, following the incident, the Area Commander, Area M Command, Idimu, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Augustines Akika has given directives to all the DPOs to tighten up security around the banks in the area to quell such attacks especially during this festive period.

It was gathered that Akika gave the directives to ensure that the safety of those who may want to go to banks to make withdrawals were protected. It was confirmed that security has been beefed up  around the banks with police presence on surveillance.

Israeli Jets Bomb Palestinian Territory After Alleged Hamas Rocket Attack

In retaliation for an earlier rocket strike from Gaza, the Israel Defense Force has attacked two Hamas military posts in Gaza Strip.
Israeli air raid in Gaza
Israeli war jets used air-to-surface missiles to strike two Hamas military posts in the northern Gaza Strip early Monday in retaliation for an earlier rocket strike from Gaza, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) said.

The air strikes in the costal enclave were in response to rocket attacks on Sunday night that were launched from Gaza into southern Israel, the IDF said via its offical Twitter.

“The IDF holds the Hamas terror organization accountable for this hostile act originating from Gaza,” the IDF tweeted.

The missiles hit their targets and caused severe damage, security sources said, but there were no injuries, according to medical sources. Heavy explosions were heard across the territory, as well as the buzzing of drones and war planes were heard as well, Gaza City residents told dpa.

The Times of Israel reported severe damage but no injuries after rockets thought to have been launched from Gaza hit two Israeli houses in southern Israel. No-one has claimed responsiblity for the attacks.

Tensions have been high between Israel and the Palestinian Territories since President Donald Trump announced that the United States will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Eight Palestinians have been killed and more than 2,000 injured in a wave of violence since Trump’s announcement on December 6.

-dpa/NAN

The Church, The Tithe, And Daddy Freeze

According to Paul Eri, Daddy Freeze has stirred the hornet nest, he is like the young Samuel sent to deliver a very difficult message to the old prophet Eli, a man with the highest religious position in the land.
Daddy Freeze
I have followed with certain bated interest the ongoing controversies in the public domain in the Nigerian landscape about tithing in the church. I have waited with anticipation, hoping that one of our so-called exalted “Men of God” for the love of Christ and all that is holy and true will stand and declare the truth as the scriptures made it clear as it pertains to the new testament church. The stand of many of these General Overseers is that, Daddy Freeze whose declaration wants to take away a huge chunk of the church revenue and pour sand into “our gari” lack the spiritual platform and accreditation to speak as an oracle of God.

Assuming Freeze lacks the credential to speak as an oracle of God, my question is: why is it that those who do are not coming out with scriptural arsenal needed to dispute his claim rather than advancing sentimental counter-punch and psychological manipulation to discredit him and further confuse the sheep? It is my fervent belief and unshakeable conviction that this issue would have not even become the focus of many of these men of God if it was not about money.

Over the years, especially in recent times, every modern church has found a way to make the issue of tithe a major doctrinal teaching, particularly among the Pentecostal movement. This is so because of this simple fact if the church must have the financial resources it needs, financial giving must cease to be a thing of personal choice, but something of a compulsion. And one of the ways in which churches compel members to give is the unending preaching of tithing based on Malachi 3:8-11 and its accompanying pronouncement of woes and curses for non-compliance.

But if the truth be told, this scriptural basis for tithing in the New Testament church, which is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, is a wrong application of the scripture. Giving of tithe, or tithe payment as some will like to code it, is not applicable to the church. Abraham, the first man to practise tithing in the Bible gave tithe out of his plunders of war (Genesis 14). And the commandment of tithing as a requirement of the law is something done to support the Levites and it was specified to be given in agricultural produce (Numbers 18:25-27, Deut 14:22-23). Christ spoke about tithe to rebuke the Pharisees and the Scribes for their hypocritical behaviors as seen in Matthew 23:23 (without no reference to money) and not as teaching on something that is required of His followers. The Apostles and the early church never emphasized the payment of tithe because it was a requirement of the law and Christ who mentored and taught them for three and a half years never made it part of what is required under the dispensation of grace. This is very instructive considering the fact that Peter declared before the council in Jerusalem this famous words, “ for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). So I believe if it is something required as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, Peter would have taught it to the church in his days.

So if Christ the Chief Cornerstone of the church, the Apostles and the early church fathers whose teachings formed the doctrinal foundation of the church never emphasized the doctrine of tithing, why has it become the most important focus of most churches today? The answers lie in 1 Timothy 6:10 which says “for the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”. The love of money has so become the main focus of the Pentecostal fold in Nigeria and in most part of the world today that salvation of souls which is our primary assignment has taken the backseat while tithing and financial giving has taken the center stage, so any teaching of the Bible that can be used to extort money from the people of God is being exploited to the fullest. This has become so bad that many pastors are now preaching tithing as a form of stipulated requirement for the salvation of your soul. Yes, the Bible talks about tithing, but not in the context in which the church is preaching about it today. Neither is tithing a requirement for believers in Christ. Giving, on the other hand, is what we are counseled to do and to do it joyfully either with your one, ten or hundred percent, do it with joy, not as a matter of compulsion or manipulative gimmicks of any pastor.

The desire for “filthy lucre” by most pastors in today’s churches has blinded them to the reality of the damage this manipulative teaching of tithing and giving is doing to the true gospel of salvation that we have been called to preach as believers and the attendant moral and spiritual decay it brings. It is for this reason that the church in Nigeria, that should normally be a place of honesty, morally principled individuals and people of integrity has become a den of robbers, winebibbers and whore mongers. On top of this is the myriads of false prophecies of miracle breakthroughs and prosperity from year to year which never materialize. The quest for wealth and materialism has become so bad in the church that practically every church has become an extension of the corrupt political class who uses the church for their selfish political gain. The lie that Satan could not sell to Jesus on worldly enrichment is what many of these so-called oracles of God have accepted without a second thought. It is like the Nigerian common man can not catch a break, for, between the political leaders who are never concerned with their daily struggles and the religious leaders whose mindset is all about fleecing the sheep, the average Nigerian is like the Israelites of the time of Moses who found themselves between Pharaoh and the Red Sea.

The church has become so corrupt in Nigeria that the idea is that go and make money in whatever way you can (either legal or illegal), in a godly way or by sinful means, it does not matter, as long as you bring your ten percent, God will bless you. I have always said with no iota of reservation and not minding whose horse is gored, that the malady of corruption, greed and selfishness which afflict the political class of Nigeria has become an integral part of the Nigerian churches. The church is as much the problem of the poor masses in Nigeria as well as the political leadership. The church that is supposed to be a place of compassion, love and upholder of godly truth has become a place of darkness, lust and greed, where the anointing of God is readily available for sale as long as you can pay the price. The church has seriously departed from that path of straight and narrow to follow that broad and wide way.

The Nigerian “church-scape” has become a place where our General Overseers are more concerned with the number of private jets they could acquire than the number of people in their congregation who could feed their families or comfortably take care of their household needs. The competition to see who can buy the fastest and latest jet is more important to them than the emasculating and crushing poverty of their teeming members. And for those who will be quick to defend the lavish and opulent lifestyle of these “Men of God”, my question to you is this: was there no golden chariot in the days of Jesus, why then did He entered Jerusalem on an ass? Paul despite his numerous missionary journeys never owned a single seafaring ship, rather he worked to support himself rather than become a burden on those he ministered the gospel to. Our General Overseers have become so wise and more important in their own eyes than Jesus our perfect example who lived a modest life, or the Apostles and the early church fathers who did not sought earthly riches and wealth, but sold all they had to feed the poor and meet the needs of those who lack within the church.

Things are like this because the church has replaced the standard of God with the standard of man (Isa 55:8-9). The church has replaced the biblical standard of value system and success with the standard of the world which bare no relevance whatsoever with the things of God. Things are like this because of the departure of the church from the teaching of the wholesome truth of Christ to the flaky prosperity gospel which is focused majorly on material riches and wealth. This dangerous teaching unshackles many church leaders from any form of restraint and moderation on their desire for recognition, the pursuit of wealth and replaces it with greed, lust and lack of any sense of accountability whatsoever.

And the sad truth is that most Nigerian Pentecostal ministries are run on the premise of lack of accountability. There is little or no accountability whatsoever, the leaders of such churches are all in all and they can get away with anything. This lack of accountability is what has given birth to present uproar on the issue of tithing that Daddy Freeze has raised. So instead of our General Overseers seeing the issues that Freeze has raised on tithing as an attack on their personalities and lifestyle, they should embrace it as a way the Lord wants to use to call them to order and correct them.

The idea that if you do not tithe you will be under a curse based on Malachi 3 is a manipulative teaching that do not live up to scriptural sound teaching when examined in the light of the balanced word of God. According to Romans 8:1-2, “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death”. In the same token Galatians 3:13 says “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us...” So how can those who live under the law of grace by the power of the Holy Spirit still be under the curse of a Mosaic law that Christ had died and redeemed us from? If anyone is under any curse it is those who still give tithe in accordance with Galatians 3:10. Do not get me wrong, give your ten percent if you feel like, but give it as a free will offering as a believer in Christ (that is what I have been doing for over a decade now), not as a man observing the Mosaic laws. The Bible says that we should study to show ourselves approved, is it that those eminent pastors of ours who are defending their churches manipulative teaching on tithing are biblically ignorant or they just refuse to teach the truth that Christ declared can make us free.

In the year of the Lord 2017, when most Nigerians are living their own version of hell on earth, when our young men and women are being auctioned off in modern slavery in Libya, when many are dying in the desert and on the high seas of North Africa in an effort to cross to Europe with the hope for a better life, all our GOs could find time to defend and argue about is the issue of monetary giving to the church which someone is undermining. I am sorry to say this, but I will say it anyway, the truth is that the focus of many Nigerian pastors and church leaders have since ceased from being a model of Christ love and compassion, rather they have become more focused on representing their own interest. The unfortunate thing is that many of them feel they are beyond correction from those who lack the public visibility they have or the elongated years of ministry experience they have. But let me remind them of the story of Eli and Samuel in the Bible.

Daddy Freeze has stirred the hornet nest, he is like the young Samuel sent to deliver a very difficult message to the old prophet Eli, a man with the highest religious position in the land. Whether these “men of God” will hear and change is a different story. But let me say this, it is better these men of God change now, and return to their first love because this is still a family affair, after all, Daddy Freeze is a Christian like us. The historical viewpoint of the Bible has established one fact: when the people of God refuse correction from in-house, God uses the Gentiles to bring about the needed correction and repentance.

The Christ-like mind and character of compassion, mercy and love is gradually dying in the lives of many of our so-called “men of God”. The erudite scholar and Nigerian literary legend Wole Soyinka said, “the man died in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny”, in the same token  the  mind of Christ is dying in you as a pastor, bishop, or GO if you are more concerned with building personal mansions in all the major cities of the world while the majority of your members cannot pay their monthly house rent. Christ mindset is dying in you if as a minister of the gospel you are focused on increasing your fleet of private jets and luxurious cars while most of your members can not even buy a bicycle. Christ mind is dying in you as a GO, while you and your family eat sumptuous food, while those you are leading like Lazarus are scavenging for crumbs from your rich table to get a meal a day. Christ is dying in you, if you send your own children to the best schools in the world while your members could not even afford the school fees of the schools you build with their tithe and offering. Christ character and mindset is dying in you if while you as a minister outfit yourself in custom made designer suits while your members walk around in second-hand rags. The indictment of Matthew 25:41-46 is definitely upon most of the churches dotting the landscape of Nigeria and their leaders.

If you disagree with this remember the admonitions of 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 4:1-5 and 1 John 2:18-19. I will counsel you to be like the Berean Christians who do not just believe what Paul was saying at face value, but decided to search the scriptures for themselves to establish the truth of his word. For the unfortunate truth is that, most Nigerian Christians have in a kind of way turn their pastors to their God, for when it comes to believing the Bible and what the pastor is saying, nine out of ten will rather believe their pastors. There is a form of dogmatic inebriation that has clouded the mind of many that is making it very hard for them to truly sift the truth from personal revelations and psychological manipulations. But let me make something clear to you, no Pastor, Bishop, Archbishop or General Overseer died for anybody. We are all bought and redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ and to Him and His word alone should we be faithful and obedient.  But for those “men of God”, remember, “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God”…( 1 Peter 4:17), and I am sure it will definitely start from the pulpit.

Shalom!

***
Written by Paul Eri

News in Pictures: Arsenal Legend, Thierry Henry Cooks and Enjoys Plate of Nigerian Jollof Rice

Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry has been treated to a popular Nigerian delicacy which he helped cook.
Thierry Henry tasting the food during his visit in Nigeria
Superstar footballer, Thierry Henry who was in Nigeria for a series of programmes organised by Guinness Fanzone on Sunday partook in the cooking of popular Nigerian dish jollof rice.

He cooked, Nigerian jollof rice under the guidance of chef Obubu and ate the delicious meal. The former Arsenal and French forward was very delighted to be in Nigeria as he couldn't hide his joy.

At the event, Henry also met many fans and supporters who came out to snap photos with him.







Dancehall Singer, Burna Boy Finally Arrested, to Be Arraigned In Court Today

Nigerian musician, Burna Boy who was arrested last Friday will be arraigned in court today by the police.
Mr 2kay and Burna Boy
Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy, is to be arraigned in court today, December 18th over his alleged involvement in the robbery attack of Mr 2Kay, at the Eko Hotel in October after he was arrested on Friday.

According to Lagos State spokesperson, SP Chike Oti, Burna boy was arrested on Friday after he submitted himself to the Lagos State Police Command. He was also "interrogated and detained and is expected to be charged to court on Monday alongside four of members of the gang earlier arrested.”

This comes weeks after he refused to honour police invitation.

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal, after the interrogation, said the State Police Command has zero tolerance for all forms of crime and would not hesitate to prosecute anyone found culpable in any criminal offence perpetrated in the State.

“There would be no sacred cows. This Command is poised to ensure that every resident can feel safe wherever they are and carry out their businesses without fear or favour. Anyone, therefore, found to be involved in this case would be made to face the law to clear his or her name or face prosecution,” the statement quoted Imohimi as saying.

In November, the Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, declared Burna Boy ‘wanted’ after his manager, Joe Kantiock, and two of the robbery suspects, confessed that the singer had paid money for the attack to be carried out.

Tunmise Omotore, gang leader of the suspected robbers, had confessed on how they disguised as room service to rob Mr. 2kay at Eko Hotel and Suites on the instruction of Burba Boy’s Road Manager, Joel Kantiock.

2019 Election: Catholic Priest, Fr. Mbaka Blows Hot on Alleged Link with Atiku, Invokes God's Wrath

Ahead of the 2019 presidential election, Fr. Ejike Mbaka, has addressed the online publication which alleged that the Catholic priest declared support for Atiku's presidential bid.
Fr. Ejike Mbaka
While speaking in a statement signed by the Media and Legal Adviser of Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria, Ike Maximus Ugwuoke, the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, at the weekend, said he had no link with former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

According to The Sun, Mbaka expressed bitterness over an online publication which had claimed that the Catholic priest had declared support for Atiku’s presidential ambition for 2019.

The influencial cleric, Mbaka said God has not spoken to him about Atiku, and warned that those who fabricated the lies would incur the wrath of God if they fail to apologise within seven days.

“I read the report about my support for Atiku with bitterness in my heart as I can see how wicked and evil some media people could be.

“Those who are impersonating my name wickedly and politically must be careful. People must fear God and respect His anointed. Whoever is trying to use my name to support or promote Atiku’s political exploits is attracting God’s wrath to himself or herself.

“For now, I have never spoken neither for nor against Atiku. God has shown me nothing about him. Neither in the public nor in the secret have I said what the reporter claimed. When, where, with whom and under what platform did the mendacious and wicked reporter hear or see me talk about Atiku?

“I give the reporter seven days to recant the report or apologise, or I will take action against such vulturous and satanic character assassins who have been working hard to destroy my reputation or make me a false prophet.

“I am busy with the work of God, and I am now in a deeper contemplative encounter with the awesome God. My concerns now are the healing, deliverance, blessing and breakthrough, etc of my people.
"I don’t talk carelessly. I speak when God has given me a word. For now, God has not revealed anything about Atiku Abubakar.”

According to Ugwuoke, Fr Mbaka has been committed to the ongoing 2017 crusade of Awesome Miracles from the Awesome God in the ministry which started last Wednesday.

“He has not been seen or heard in any other public or private forum where he could have made such declarations as claimed by the reporter.

“He is such a courageous man of God whose messages are always dubbed in video CDs for all who care to watch and listen, no matter whose ox is gored.

“None of those declarations in the said media report was Fr Mbaka’s. We challenge the fabricator of that report to produce the proof or evidence to back up the claim or recant the publication, forthwith, else, he should brace up to face the consequence of impersonation and mendacious report,” Ugwuoke warned.

Former Brazil Midfielder Kaka Retires From Professional Football

Former AC Milan player and Ballon D'or winner, Ricardo Kaka has finally called it quits with football after years of meritorious service.
Ricardo Kaka
Football legend, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, commonly known as Kaká has announced his retirement from professional football.

He confirmed his retirement on his official social media pages.

The former Brazil international has, along with Sao Paulo, been linked with a return to AC Milan, where he won the Champions League, Serie A and the Ballon d’Or during the peak of his career.

Speaking to Globo on Sunday, he described his decision to call it quits.

''I needed time to think and take a very calm decision, very calm and very aware of what I will want for my professional life. Then I asked some people very close to me— my parents, my brother, my girlfriend and my brother’s wife, there are five people— I asked them to pray''.

''And studying, seeing what happened in this moment, proposals. I went to Europe to watch some games, to feel the emotion of the game there, where football really has its highest point. And very aware, I came to a conclusion that it’s time to end my career as a professional footballer.''

"A new stage of preparation comes. Now I will prepare myself to continue in football and to have another role, but it will not be as a professional player, athlete. I would like to take part in a club in a form more… a manager, a sporting director, someone that stays between the pitch and the club.

"I prepared myself a lot to be a professional footballer and I want to prepare myself for this new role, I want to see and observe a little from afar.
"The fact that I’ve had successes as a professional footballer doesn’t mean that I will be a good director or not. So I want to prepare myself for this from now on, to study, to follow, to be closer to some clubs, principally those at which I played."

How a Private Jet Operated by Vistajet was Robbed by Lagos Airport Bandits on the Runway

A Vista Jet aircraft while taxing on the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos, was reportedly robbed as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has called in the Nigerian Police to assist in the investigations.
Vista Jet 9H-VFA
The security apparatus at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos was on Tuesday once again called to question as a private jet owned by Vistajet was attacked on the runway of the airport.

Information gathered by SaharaReporters revealed that the jet with the registration number 9H-VFA operated by EAN on December 12 2017 was attacked on the runway18R of the airport by unknown bandits when taxiing to the hangar of Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) Ltd.

The jet was arriving from Istanbul between 2110-2130hrs after landing in Lagos.

A source close to EAN confided in our correspondent that the pilot of the jet Captain Emma Heering discovered that the rear door of the aircraft was opened while taxiing to the hangar of EAN.

After an investigation, it was discovered that a big black bag belonging to the air hostess, Francesca Louis was missing from the jet.

The source told a correspondent that it was not the first time such an incident would be happening at the airport.

Earlier in the year, some bandits allegedly opened the door of a small aircraft from the rear that was taxiing on the runway and escaped with some belongings of some of the occupants.

The investigation further revealed that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) responsible for airport security has only one operational vehicle escorting aircraft that lands on the runway, but at times, there might not be any operational vehicle on the ground to monitor aircraft that is taxiing to the apron for arriving aircrafts.

It was reported that this particular jet with call sign VT584 was not escorted by any operational vehicle as at the time of the incident due to lack of any operational vehicles at the airside of the airport, a situation, which made the criminal act to be perpetrated with ease on the said day.

An airline source speaking anonymously with SaharaReporters said: “What actually happened was that when the aircraft was taxiing to the hangar of EAN, the cabin crew discovered that the rear door was opened.

"So, when the jet taxied to the hangar, it was discovered that one big black bag belonging to their air hostesses was missing. An alarm was raised, but no one could trace the bandit who had forced the door open while taxiing. Lagos Airport

“It is bad that this is happening in an airport, which was recently certified by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has scaling security and safety hurdle.
"The government should look at the incident and several others that have been happening in the airside because this is not the first time such a thing would be happening at the airport and several others across the country.”

Besides, a similar incident had occurred on Med-View Airline when a stowaway passenger scaled the fence of the airport to enter the wheel well of the Boeing 777 aircraft of the airline to London.

The stowaway told security agencies that he had scaled the fence of the airport and spent days waiting to board the aircraft ostensibly with the aid of unscrupulous airport officials.

The stowaway could not, however, disembark from the plane in London and had to be brought back to Lagos before he was discovered by one of the security personnel at the airport.

Till date, FAAN could not explain how the stowaway successfully gained entrance into the aircraft.

It would be recalled that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos was certified in September this year by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority of Nigeria (NCAA) after 38 years of opening the airport.

The safety and security certification awarded the airport by NCAA had however received some scepticisms from stakeholders and security experts in the sector.

Security analysts have repeatedly stated that the airport may not have met all the safety requirements to ensure its certification especially in the area of insurance cover and security.

Experts had said that for any airport to be certified, according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) minimal standard, such an airport must have adequate maintenance and security programmes in place.

The security expert insisted that airport certification was not about the terminal building, but the facilities installed at such airport, including navigational aids provided by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

With the Tuesday incident, the certification of the airport by NCAA has further raised questions about its authenticity

What Happened the Day I Got an Erect1on at the Hospital - Singer, Yinka Ayefele Shares Story

Veteran singer, Yinka Ayefele, who marked 20 years of the accident that left him crippled, has spoken out in a new interview and recounted all that happened after the accident.

Yinka Ayefele
Yinka Ayefele has spoken out on the controversy concerning his sexual life after he survived a spinal cord accident that almost ended his life on December 12, 1997.

The veteran singer revealed that the first day he had an erection while on sick bed, everyone was excited because the doctors had concluded that he would never be able to perform sexually again.

Speaking on one of the highlights of the incident which was him getting an erection, he told Sunday Scoop; "After the accident, everyone jubilated when I had an erection one afternoon.

"I was wondering why they were rejoicing and they told me the doctors said I would not be able to have an erection again. They had reached the conclusion without my knowledge.”

On his girlfriend then who later became his wife, Ayefele said; “She didn’t leave me when I was hospitalised, so why would she leave me afterwards? When things were bad, she was with me all through. We got married after the accident and we are blessed with four boys.”

He continued; “I can still remember my response to a journalist who wanted to be sure I could impregnate a woman. I told him to bring his sister if he wanted a confirmation.

"It used to be embarrassing when people questioned my s*xual ability.Even if I am unable to make love to a woman, should that make them happy? Even if my wife and I opted for IVF, is it something they should gloat about?”

Recalling the circumstances that confined him to the wheelchair, he said, “I was on my way to Abeokuta, but I lost control of the car because it rained heavily that day.

"The car fell into a deep pit. I was taken to a nearby hospital, but they couldn’t handle my case because I was vomiting blood. I was taken to another hospital where it was discovered that I had a spinal cord injury.

"I was then transferred to the University College Hospital, Ibadan, where I stayed for almost a year before I was discharged. Much later, I raised funds and travelled to the United Kingdom, for specialised treatment.

“I am still feeling pains; I am always in pain every day. Pills cannot even stop the pains and I am conscious of what I take in, but I thank God I have been able to cope. I give thanks to God for sparing my life. I personally thought I would die, but my parents and loved ones encouraged me to stay alive.

"They felt bad, but they didn’t want to lose me. My father was alive then, but I lost him two years ago. He was so supportive all through the trying times,” he said.

2019: Former Governor, Segun Osoba Doubts APC's Victory in Presidential Election

Chief Segun Osoba is unsure of the chances of the All Progressives Congress in the 2019 general election following some setbacks.
Segun Osoba


A former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba, has expressed doubt over chances of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), winning the upcoming 2019 Presidential Election.

He said that  noted that if APC fails to do its homework, many of its leaders will join former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Meanwhile he also said that South West leaders of the APC need to sit with President Buhari and re-negotiate their alliance.

He said, "I have told you that I am holding a delicate and important position within the APC in the South West. I have access at every level to express my views at the age of 78.

I will be honest with you. The health challenges that our President faced, was a serious challenge to the party itself, that created some problems for us.

I am happy that the President himself is back and immediately called a major national caucus meeting on October 30, followed by NEC meeting and we took certain decisions there. I hope those decisions will be implemented.

I don't want to talk publicly about it. I still believe in what I said there that we need serious rethinking. Take for example, party membership, with the situation in PDP now, we need to open our doors and really do serious recruitment of members at the grassroots."

News in Pictures: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Buys World's Most Expensive House Worth $300 Million in France

Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has been named as the buyer of a French chateau worth $300 million.

Salman is also preaching financial austerity as he attempts to move the kingdom away from dependency on oil as part of a reform project dubbed Vision 2030

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who is cracking down on corruption has been revealed as the buyer of a French chateau that became the world's most expensive property when it sold for $300million in 2015, according to a report by Dailymail.

The Prince identified as Mohammed bin Salman is said to be the owner of the palace - which features a wine cellar, home theatre and moat filled with koi carp - was kept hidden at the time behind a series of shell companies based in France and Luxembourg.

An investigation by the New York Times revealed that the companies are all owned by Eight Investment Company, a Saudi firm managed by the head of the prince's personal foundation.

Advisers to the Saudi royal family confirmed to the Times that the palace ultimately belongs to Salman.

The prince was also behind the recent purchase of Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi which became the most expensive artwork ever sold when it swapped hands for $450million earlier this month, the Times believes.

At the time Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, another lesser-known Saudi prince, was named as the buyer of the painting.

But those close to the sale and American intelligence services say he was actually acting on behalf of Salman.

Eight Investment Company was also used to buy the prince's spectacular $400million superyacht Pegasus VIII from a Russian vodka tycoon in 2015.

The company recently purchased another 620-acre French property which is now being refurbished and fitted with a hunting lodge. It is not clear if this property belongs to Salman, since the firm manages wealth for several prominent Saudi royals.

Salman was revealed as the estate's buyer at a time when he is cracking down on what he says is corruption among the country's elite.

Hundreds of the kingdom's most prominent and wealthiest individuals have been detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh, with many saying they have been told to cough up huge sums of money in return for freedom.

Salman has said he hopes to raise $100billion from seizing what he claims are ill-gotten gains.












Paul Okoye of Psquare Breaks Silence on Why They Are Selling their Lagos Mansion [See video]

It was reported recently that Paul Okoye and Jude Okoye had put up their Squareville mansion located in Omole Estate for sale.

Paul of the defunct P’Square group, has finally opened up on why himself and his brother put up the mansion for sale.

According to Dailypost, back in September, the brothers had put the mansion up for sale and the agent is aiming to sell the building which has a swimming pool, basement and other exotic features for 320 Million Naira.

Speaking with STV, Paul listed why they were selling off the house.

He said, “It is a normal thing. I and Jude own squareville, so we decided to sell it. We had already fixed it up as our office and studio and one side for our signed artist.

“When we moved into Ikoyi, going down to Omole became too stressful. Before now, we were ok with the house on the mainland because we had no kids nor family then.

“Now we have our families and going through the third mainland everyday was stressful.

“So, we just decided to sell it while we are making plans to buy somewhere on the Island, preferrably Lekki which is close to us, not the one that the house is on the mainland and when we have to go there, we would be checking the traffic situation.


Commotion As Fresh Communal Clash Leaves Four People Dead In Otukpo

A fresh communal clash that broke out in Otukpo town, Benue State, has reportedly left as many as four persons dead in the area.
Men of the Nigeria Police Force
Four persons were feared dead weekend in a fresh outbreak of bloody communal clash in Ogobia town, Ugboju community of Otukpo Local Government Area.

Vanguard recalls that the crisis which was allegedly sparked off last August following political disagreements between two brothers, Ijachi Udeh and Benjamin Udeh, claimed the lives of many including that of retired Major Lawrence Ugbo.

Findings revealed that the fight for supremacy between  Ijachi Udeh, who is an All Progressives Congress, APC, stalwart, and his brother Benjamin, who belongs to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP led to the deaths and destruction of property in the area. It was also learnt they both have a strong support base in the community.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent, ASP, Moses Yamu confirmed that the crisis which erupted Saturday night spilt over to yesterday.

“Yes, there was a clash that claimed the lives of 3 persons Saturday night and another that got injured gave up today  (yesterday) leading to the death of four people.

“However,  normalcy has been restored as more patrol teams have been sent to the area to support the ones that were there after the August mayhem.

“It is likely that the yesterday’s clash and killing are connected to what happened in the area recently but we have commenced full investigations to bring the killers to book.

“Though we are yet to establish the motive for the crisis, we urge the public to provide security agencies useful information that could lead to the arrest of the masterminds of the crisis and killings,” Yamu said.

Explain Decision to Spend $1bn on Boko Haram War - SERAP to Buhari

The President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government who decided to withdraw the sum of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to fight Boko Haram insurgency, has been tackled by SERAP in new statement.

President Buhari


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently explain why he decided to withdraw $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

The money was approved by the governors during a meeting last Friday of the National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

In a statement yesterday by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, the organisation said: “Nigerians should have some sense of what the government is doing in our name, especially against the background of the declaration by the authorities that the anti-insurgency war has ended and the Boko Haram terror group defeated, as well as the unresolved questions on how over $2 billion was spent by former Jonathan administration to fight Boko Haram. The government also ought to tell Nigerians whether and how the legal requirements for approving the extra-budgetary allocations were met.”

The organisation said as a government presumably pursuing a change-agenda, Buhari should do things differently from the former Jonathan administration.

“Nigerians do not have sufficient information at hand to evaluate, much less influence, the government’s policies, strategies and funding to end Boko Haram insurgency. Nigerians need to know the level of success that has been recorded against Boko Haram, and the security situation in the North East, as well as the amount of public funds that have been invested to combat terrorism,” SERAP said.

It said the success of Nigerian constitutional democracy ultimately depends upon an informed citizenry and urged the President Buhari to emphasise transparency over secrecy on the spending on Boko Haram.

“Buhari should keep Nigerians up-to-date about what he’s doing to end Boko Haram, including why $1billion is needed at this time to fight the insurgency.

“Indeed, the health of our democracy depends upon the government’s willingness to ensure that the policies and programs it pursues, in the interest of national security, are truly relevant and effective in keeping us safe,” the statement read.

The group said citizens need to know about government’s policies in order to exercise their checking power, including at the polls stressing that the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power may lie in an enlightened citizenry.

“Transparency in the spending on Boko Haram would also have an indirect effect on other branches in the sense of setting an example and changing the background tone of government. Such disclosure helps to ensure government’s adherence to the rule of law, and promote confidence in the lawfulness of governmental action.”

SERAP regretted that since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency, the country’s defence and security budgets have increased significantly, “yet, there has been no resolution of the conflict; and troops in the front line have reportedly complained of lack of military equipment and resources to fight Boko Haram insurgents and restore full security. For instance, in 2014, about N340 billion ($1.7 billion) was allocated to the military. Funds allocated to the military was the largest in Nigeria’s federal budget in 2014.

“In October 2014, the National Assembly approved a request to borrow $1 billion as an additional amount for purchase of military equipment. In 2015, about N375 billion ($1.8 billion) was allocated to the military in the federal budget.

"In 2015, an interim report of the presidential investigations committee on arms procurement under the Jonathan administration revealed an extra-budgetary spending to the tune of N643.8 billion and an additional spending of about $2.1 billion under the Jonathan administration.

“The investigation indicated that about $2.1 billion was inexplicably disbursed into the office of the National Security Adviser in procurement of arms to fight Boko Haram insurgency, but was not spent for the purpose for which the money was disbursed.”

The group said lack of transparency and accountability in military spending, during the administration of former president Jonathan, has led to the inability of the military to adequately protect people against the violation of their rights by Boko Haram in the northeast.

“Some persons alleged to have embezzled funds meant for the fight against Boko Haram insurgents are currently being prosecuted, while other people are being investigated.”

“It is important for the government to accelerate this process by ensuring that the investigation and prosecution of all persons alleged to have embezzled our commonwealth is not delayed. A speedy prosecution will serve as a deterrent and ensure that Nigerians, particularly those in the Northeast, whose human rights have been violated, are not denied justice and reparation.”

"The government should provide all investigating and prosecuting agencies with adequate funding and manpower required for speedy investigation and prosecution of corruption linked to the fight against Boko Haram,” SERAP said.

Girl Holding Placard Begs Otedola, Tony Elumelu, Linda Ikeji To Help Her Father

A little girl whose family appears to be facing hardship has cried out to some privileged Nigerians to come to their aid in a viral social media photo.
The unnamed girl in question
A random girl was seen a in photo holding a placard pleading with three Nigerian business tycoons - Femi Otedola, Linda Ikeji and Tony Elumelu to help her father with a job.

The placard which the father's number is written boldly is found above.

Poverty has been rife in Nigeria millions of people losing their jobs under President Muhammadu Buhari.

News in Pictures: Davido Apologizes to Dele Momodu As They Reconcile

Nigerian publisher and journalist, Dele Momodu has announced a reconciliation between him and Davido after about 2 years of cold war.


The beef between media mogul, Dele Momodu and singer, Davido has finally come to an end.

It all started when Davido's family were trying to take his daughter out of the country against the wish of his baby mama who is Dele Momodu's relative.

All parties including the Ovation Magazine boss got involved in a heated argument at the airport which led to him getting disrespected by Davido, and even in a song.

Well, they have finally decided to put all of that behind them as the singer is seen apologizing to Dele Momodu on stage.

The pictures were shared by the Ovation boss who wrote:

"True reconciliation, great joy... God bless DAVIDO... God bless DR ADEDEJI ADELEKE for his uncommon maturity... God bless the MOMODU family for that simple heart... We are a family... Pix by @sampixels"

See more photos:













Story of My Life - President Buhari Talks on Civil War Experiences, 1966 Coup Relationship with IBB & More

As President Muhamamdu Buhari celebrates his 75th birthday at the Aso Rock in Abuja, here is a throwback interview where he talked on his civil war experiences, 1966 coup, relationship with IBB and other issues.
President Buhari
Five years ago, when he was 70, President Muhammadu Buhari spoke with The Sun Publishing Limited Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Eric Osagie, in company of a correspondent, wherein he talked about his growing up days, experiences in the Army, his emergence as head of state when he never participated in any coup, the 1966 coup and the counter-coup, the General Ibrahim Babangida coup that swept him out of office, the execution of cocaine traffickers, Decree 4 and the controversial ‘53 suitcases’ that allegedly came into the country during his government.

He also spoke about his relationship with General Babangida, who he said he had forgiven, although he would not forget what he did to him and his plan for the 2015 elections, among others.

As Buhari marks his 75th birthday, we hereby republish the interview, as the issues discussed are still relevant.

What kind of childhood did you have?

Well, from my father’s side, we are Fulanis. You know the Fulanis are really divided into two. There are nomads, the ones that if you drive from Maiduguri and many parts of the North you will find. They are even in parts of Delta now. And there are those who settled. They are cousins and the same people actually. From my mother’s side and on her father’s side, we are Kanuris from Kukawa.

Where’s Kukawa?

Kukawa is in Borno State. We are Kanuris. On her mother’s side, we are Hausas. So, you can see I am Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri combined (he laughs). I am the 23rd child of my father. Twenty-third and the 13th on my mother side. There are only two of us remaining now; my sister and I. I went to school, primary school, in Daura and Kaduna, also a primary school, in Kachia. I also attended Kaduna Provincial Secondary School, now Government College. I didn’t work for a day. I joined the military in 1962.

You mean as a boy soldier?

No, after school certificate. There was an officer cadet school from here in Kaduna, called Nigeria Military Training College then. In April 1962, I went to the United Kingdom (UK), Mons Officers Cadet School.

You mean the famous Mons Officers…?

Yes. And when I was commissioned, I came back and I was posted to 2nd Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta. That was my first posting. The battalion was in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I went there. When I came back from there, I was first in Lagos, as Transport Officer. That was where I was till the January coup. I was posted back to my battalion and we were posted to Kaduna here. And then, there was a counter coup, civil war, coup and counter-coup. We participated. I too was overthrown and detained for more than three years. And having had that major political setback when I was made a head of state and then, ended up in detention, I went out and eventually, I decided to join party politics, participated three times and lost as presidential candidate and I am still in and fighting.

You have never given up?

Even though I said at some stage that I wouldn’t present myself for candidature again, I said I remain in party politics as long as I have breath in me.

Your Excellency, why did you join the Army?

The interest was built while I was in secondary school. The emirs of Katsina, from Dukko, were known to be interested in the military. They always have members of the military or police in their family right from World War 11. One of the emirs of Kaduna-Dikko died in Burma. And of course, everybody in the country knows General Hassan, the son of the Emir of Katsina. He was grandson of Emir Dukko. So, when General Hassan was in Sandhurst, we were in secondary school in Kaduna. His father, the Emir of Katsina, Usman Nagogo, used to ask him to go and talk to the senior students who were in form four to six, to get them interested in the military. And we were told that he deliberately wanted a military cadet unit in Kaduna Secondary School. Then, it was limited to Federal Government Colleges or Government Colleges and we had a military cadet unit, which I joined.

That was the transition?

That was where the interest started.

Did your parents object to it?

No. Well, I didn’t know my father really.

Oh! How old were you when he died?

I think I was about three, four years? I couldn’t remember his face. The only thing I could recall about my father was the horse because it threw me down. We were on the horse with one of my half brothers going to water it and then, it tripped and I fell. It stepped on me. So, that is the only impression I have of him. That is the only thing I could recall.

What of your mother?

Oh! my mother died in 1988 when I was in detention.

Ok, I remember then the controversy of allowing you to go and see her buried. Did they eventually allow you?
No.

Then it was quite an issue …

Yeah, it became an issue; so I was immediately released after she was buried.

You didn’t see her buried?

No.

It was after you were released you then went to her grave and all that?

Exactly!

What kind of childhood did you then have?

Well, you know communities then were living communal life. Clearly, I could recall I reared cattle. We had cattle; we had sheep and then, there was good neighbourhood. Not many children had the opportunity to go to school, but I went to school. I left home at the age of 10 or 11 and went to school, like I said. And I was in the boarding school for nine years. In primary school and secondary school, I was in the boarding house and from there, I went straight into the Army.

So, you have always been on your own?

In those days, there were not many schools and the teachers then were professionals. They were working teachers and were committed. And teachers then treated the children as if they were their own students. You were made to work and if you don’t, they never spared the cane really. So, I was lucky to be in the boarding school for my impressionable years, nine years. I was very lucky.

Did you play any pranks as a young person?

Oh, certainly!

What where the things you did?

(Laughs) I wouldn’t like to mention them.

Tell us some of them…

We used to raid the emir’s orchard for mangoes mainly. Of course, unfortunately we were caught and punished.

When people talk of Buhari today, they are looking at a disciplined man. Was it the boarding house that put you through that or the military? Was the boarding house part of where you got your Spartan, disciplined life?

Both did. As I told you, the teachers then treated their students as if they were their own children. So, we got the best of attention from teachers. And as I told you, they never spared the cane. You were meant to do your homework; you were meant to do the sports and clean up the environment, the compound and the area of the school and so on. And from that type of life, I moved into the military, the military of that time.

Would you say going into the military was the best thing that ever happened to you?

I think so, because from primary to secondary school and in the military, it will continue, both the academic and the physical one. I think it was so tough, but then, once it was inbuilt, it has to be sustained because you don’t contemplate failure.

You just succeed? Does it mean failure was not an option?

No. It was not.

Was it also the Fulani training of perseverance? Because when you have reared cattle, for those who have been doing it, they said it toughens you…

It did.

The sun is there, the rain and you are there with your cattle…

The period was remarkable, in the sense that those who are brought up in the city have limited space. If you are in a confined school, you learn from the school and what you see immediately. But the nomad life exposes you to nature. You will never learn enough of plants, of trees, of insects and of animals. Everyday you are learning something.

You have seen them and everyday you are learning. You will never know all of them. So, it is so vast that it takes a lot of whatever you can think of. And then, the difference again in the environment. In the Savannah, in the Sahel, after harvest, you can always see as high as your eyes can go. And then, at night when there is moon, it is fantastic. So, I enjoyed those days and they made a lasting impression in me.

What are the remarkable things you can think of during your military trainings?

Initially, from here in Kaduna, at the end of your training, the height of the field exercise was then conducted in two places. Here in southern Kaduna and somewhere in Kachia area. There was a thick belt in that forest. You go for field firing and so on. And then you go to Jos for map reading and endurance.
That was why mathematics at that level, the secondary school level, geometry and algebra, were absolutely necessary. It had always been, because to be a competent officer, you may be deployed to be in charge of artillery; physics, where you help find your position. Wherever you are from, you work it on the ground in degrees and so on. You have to do some mathematics.

We were in Jos. Again, I was made a leader of a small unit. We were given a map, a compass and you dare not cheat. If you are found out, you are taken 10 miles back. So, you have to go across the country. You find your way from the map; you go to certain points and on those points, mostly hills, you climb them and you will get a box. The weather there is cold. You put your own coat and you cover it over the hills and at the end of the exercise, part of your scorecards, are those marks you won or you lost. We arrived with one compass, which led us to a certain bushy hill.

In Jos?

Yes, in Jos. And it was night, dark and it was raining lightly and definitely, our compass led us to that hill, which means there was a point there. And there were five of us: myself, one Sierra Leonean or Ghanaian, one from Sokoto, and one other. I think the other person is Katsina Alu, the former Chief Justice.

You mean he was in the military?

He was. He did the training but he was never commissioned. He went to university and did Law. I went up to the hill. I picked the box. I copied the code, and I said if I were forced to join the Army, I would have left the following day because that place, a viper or a snake or something or hyena or lion could have finished me. But I said if I run away the following day, people would say well we knew you couldn’t make it, we knew you would be lazy. But because
I voluntarily joined the Army, I said I have to be there. That is one point. The second one was when I was in training in the UK. I came there and we were drilled so much and at night again, we were on an exercise. We were putting our formation. In anyway position was created, and they fired at us. We went down automatically that day and by the time the commander asked us to move, I fell asleep. It must be few seconds, not up to a minute. That was how exhausted I was.

Was it really the cold or what?

It was cold. It was 1962. It was cold and it was rainy again just like in Plateau. Just between the time we went down and to move and climb the mountain, I fell asleep. So, those two moments, I would never forget them.

Who were your classmates in the military and in the officers’ training in the UK?

Well, the late Gen. Yar’Adua. I was together with him throughout the nine years primary, secondary school and in the military.

So, you have always been colleagues…?

We were together from childhood.

Ok, that is interesting. Who else?

Well, not the ones that are here. In the military, most of them did not reach the position I reached; myself, and Yar’Adua. They couldn’t make it.

Why did you choose the infantry and not the other arms? What was the attraction?

Maybe it was the training of the cadet unit in secondary school. I found the infantry much more challenging and when we were doing the training, the Federal Government decided that we were going to have the Air Force. So, I was invited. A team came from the Ministry of Defence to interview cadets that wanted to be fighter pilots in the Air Force. I was the first to be called in our group. I appeared before them and they told me that those who could pass the interview would be recommended to go to the Air Force training either in the UK, some went to Ethiopia or United States or Germany.

So, they asked me whether I wanted to be a fighter pilot and I said no. They asked why, and I said I wasn’t interested. We were given three choices. Number one, maybe you went to infantry; number two, you went to reconnaissance then before they became armour and later, maybe artillery. So, all my three choices, I could recall vividly, I put infantry, infantry. So, they said why? I said because I liked infantry. And they asked if I wouldn’t like to be a fighter pilot. I said no, I didn’t want to join them. They said why. I said I hadn’t done physics.

Normally, I did some mathematics but to be a fighter pilot, you must do some physics. They said no, that it was no problem, that I could have an additional one academic year. So, since I had some mathematics background, it was just one year purely to do physics and I would reach the grade required to be a pilot. I said no, I didn’t want it. They again asked why. I told them I chose infantry. The reason is: when I am fighting and I was shot at, if I was not hit, I can go down, turn back and take off by foot. They laughed and sent me out. So, I remained infantry officer.

Where were you during the coups and counter-coups? And what rank were you in the military then?

I was in Lagos, in the barracks, as transport officer. I was only a second lieutenant.

That was during the January 15, 1966 coup?

Yes, January 15, 1966.

The coup met you in Lagos?

Yes. I think that was my saddest day in the military because I happened to know some of the senior officers that were killed. In the transport company, after the 2nd Battalion and we came back, I was posted to Lagos to be a transport officer and in my platoon, we had staff cars and Landrovers. So, I knew the Army officers, from Ironsi, Maimalari, because I detailed vehicles for them every working day. So, I knew senior officers.

So, you were in contact with them?

I was in contact with them somehow because I was in charge of transportation.

Where were you that night of January 15 coup?

I was in Lagos.

Can you recall the circumstance, how you got to know?

The way I got to know was, my routine then was as early as about six in the morning, I used to drive to the garage to make sure that all vehicles for officers, from the General Officer Commanding (GOC), who was then General Ironsi, were roadworthy and the drivers would drive off. And then, I would go back to the Officers Mess in Yaba, where I would wash, have my breakfast and come back to the office. And around the railway crossing in Yaba, coming out from the barracks, we saw a wounded soldier.

I stopped because I was in a Landrover. I picked him and asked what happened. He said he was in the late Maimalari’s house and they were having a party the previous night and the place was attacked. So, I took the soldier to the military hospital in Yaba and I asked after the commander. Maimalari, I think, was commander of 2 Brigade in Apapa. He was the 2 Brigade Commander. They said he was shot and killed.

Then, you didn’t know it was a coup?

Well, that became a coup. That was the time I really learnt it was a coup.

And then there was a counter-coup of July?

Yes, July.

Where were you at this time also?

I was in Lagos again. I was still in Lagos then at Apapa at 2 Brigade Transport Company.

And then, there was ethnic colouration and all that. And at a point, they asked some of you to go back to the North. Am I correct?
Yes, because I was posted back then to the battalion. That was in Abeokuta. It was first to Ikeja Cantonment, but after the counter-coup, we were taken to Lagos by train, the whole battalion.

Did you play any role in the counter-coup?

No! Not that I will tell you.

You know at 70, you are reminiscing. You are saying it the way it is, you don’t give a damn anymore…
Well, there was a coup. That is all I can tell you. I was a unit commander and certainly, there was a breakdown of law and order. So, I was posted to a combatant unit, although 2 Brigade Transport Company was a combatant unit. You know there were administrative and combatant units and the service unit, like health, education. Even transport, there are administrative ones, but there are combatant ones also.

The question I asked was, did you play any specific role?

No. I was too junior to play any specific role. I was just a lieutenant then. In 1966, January, I was a Second Lieutenant, but I was promoted, I think, around April, May, or June to Lieutenant.

And what were your impressions of that period?

You see, senior military officers had been killed and politicians, like Sardauna, Akintola, Okotie Eboh. They were killed. And then in the military, Maimalari, Yakubu Pam, Legima, Shodeinde, and Ademolegun; so really, it had a tribal tinge.

The first one?

Yes. And then, there was a counter.

One mistake gave birth to another one?

Certainly, certainly.

And then long years of military came?

Oh yes.

From 1967-75, it was Gowon. At that point in time, where were you?

When Gowon came into power, I wonder whether I would recall where I was. It was July 1967 that Gowon came in. That was when I was in Lagos. I was again in Lagos, then in the transport company.

Then he took over?

Yeah, Gowon took over or Gowon was installed.

Well, more like you…

(Laughs) Yes.

And then in 1967?

Civil war.

So, you have to give me that part because there are some books I have read, that featured your name. So, what were your experiences during the civil war?

Well, I told you that we were parked into the rail to Kaduna from Ikeja, 2nd Infantry Battalion and when states were created by General Gowon, police action was ordered; we were moved to the border in the East. We were not in Nsukka, but in Ogoja. We started from Ogoja.

And you took active part?

Yeah. Well, I was a junior officer.

Who was your GOC then?

My GOC was the late General Shuwa.

How did you feel during that period of the civil war? Did you think that when the first coup started, that civil war would just come?

No. I never felt so and I never hoped for it. Literally, you are trained to fight a war but you are not trained to fight a war within your own country. We would rather have enemies from outside your country to defend your country, but not to fight among yourselves.

Some of those officers you were fighting were your comrades…

They were.

You knew some of them.

Some of them were even my course mates. We were facing each other, like when we were in Awka sector. The person facing me was called Bob Akonobi. We were mates here.

Robert Akonobi?

Robert Akonobi.

Who later became a governor?

Yes. He was my course mate here in Kaduna.

And there you were…

Facing each other.
It was really crazy.
It was. It was unfortunate, but it is part of our national development.

And the way we are going, you think it is a possibility again?

I don’t think so. No, I don’t think so.

After Gowon, Murtala came.

Yes.

By the time you were no longer a small officer…

No. I was just, I think, a colonel? Was it a lieutenant colonel or major? I think I was a lieutenant colonel.

But during the Obasanjo administration, you had become a minister, as it were.

No. I first became a governor when Murtala came, in North-East.

This same North East that is giving problem now.

Yes. I was there and there were six states then: Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba.

And they were all under your control or command?

North East went up to Chad; anyway, they are on the same latitude with Lagos. The bottom before you start going on the Plateau, Mambilla Plateau, if you look here on the map, the same latitude was in Lagos and then, up to Chad. That was the extent of the whole North East.

Now, some of them can’t govern even one state…

They are now six states.

I know, but you governed six states and now, some of them have problems with one state…
Yes.

What were the challenges you faced governing the North East as a military governor?

Actually, at that time, because of competent civil service… I was a military man but once you get to the rank of a lieutenant-colonel, after major, you are being taught some management courses. It needs a few weeks for somebody who has gone through the military management training, you have junior staff college, senior staff college; by that time, you will have enough experience for most administrative jobs because you must have had enough of the combat ones. I think I didn’t have much problem. And then, the competent civil servants. Civil servants then were very professional.

And not political as we have them now?

No. They were really professionals and they can disagree with you on record, on issues.

They were not afraid to make recommendations to the military governor or administrator?

No, they were never. People like the late Liman Ciroma, Waziri Fika, who was eventually Secretary to the Government of Babangida. And the late Abubakar Umar, who was Secretary to the Government of Bauchi State; and the late Moguno. They were real professionals, committed technocrats.

So, you didn’t really have much challenges?

No, not much challenges.

There was no insecurity then, like we have in the North East today?

No, the police then, with their Criminal Investigation Department (CID), were very, very competent. They interacted closely with the people. So, criminals in the locality were easily identified and put under severe surveillance. And really, there was relative peace in the country.

What were your major achievements in the North East as governor?

I think the way the state was divided into three; if you remember, it became Borno, Bauchi and Gongola. So, the way we divided the assets, including the civil service and so on, I think it was one of our achievements because it was so peaceful then. We had a committee on civil service.

And eventually you became minister of petroleum under Obasanjo?

Yes.

That was the only ministry you held under Obasanjo?

Yes.

During your time as petroleum minister, what were you doing differently that they are not doing now that has made the sector totally rotten?

Well, I was lucky again. When I was made a minister, I met an experienced man, a person of great personal integrity, the late Sunday Awoniyi. He was the permanent secretary then before the Supreme Military Council approved the merger of the Nigerian National Oil Corporation (NNOC) and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and made Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Sunday Awoniyi was then the permanent secretary of the ministry.

That was when I was sworn in eventually, I think in 1977, it became NNPC when the ministry and the NNOC were merged. He retired from the civil service. Another competent technocrat, Morinho, he became the Director of Petroleum Resources and he had a very competent team of Nigerian engineers, petroleum engineers and chemical engineers. And as minister of petroleum, I signed the contract for Warri Refinery, for Kaduna Refinery, for more than 20 depots all over the country, for laying of pipelines, more than 3200 kilometers and I couldn’t recall Nigeria borrowing a kobo for those projects.

And then, by the time I became head of state, because I went to War College in the United States before the military handed over to the Second Republic and came back in 1980 and then, there was coup at the end of 1983. And that time, you can verify from Professor Tam David-West who was Minister of Petroleum Resources. We were exporting 100,000 barrels per day of refined products.

Exporting from the country?

Yes, refined one.

Refined one, not the raw one they are taking to import to…?

No

Click to read the full interview on The Sun.

What Nigeria Must Do to Stop Libya Migration - Atiku Reveals

People's Democratic Party chief, Atiku Abubakar has advised the Federal Government on how to go about the problem of slavery in Libya.

Atiku Abubakar
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has advised governments at all levels to create the enabling environment that would attract and sustain investments that would create jobs for the army of unemployed in Nigeria.

A statement by Atiku Media Organisation on Sunday in Abuja reported Mr. Abubakar as making the recommendation to mark the United Nations International Migrants Day holding on Monday.

He said that creation of jobs and opportunities with inclusive government that did not engender crisis would help to stem the ill-fated migration of Nigerians.

Thousands of Nigerians seeking greener pastures are stranded in Libya despite over 3,000 being flown back home. Mr. Abubakar said that the major driver of migration, which at times were ill fated like in the case of Libya, was the search of a better life and opportunity.

He said that the current situation in the country where three million jobs, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, had been lost annually in the last two years, had rendered millions jobless.

He added that no prospects of opportunities were compelled to take the suicidal flight.

“The chances of a young person with a job and opportunity at home taking a suicidal flight in search of a better life will become an exception and not the rule”, he said.

He also attributed the cause of migration to poverty and insecurity in the original countries of the migrants.

Mr. Abubakar noted that it was imperative for governments in Africa, Nigeria inclusive, to govern in such a way as to create an environment conducive for economic progress and employment generation.

He added that a fair and inclusive government would spread available opportunities to all citizens. This, according to him, will also encourage those with entrepreneurial inclination to start businesses and factories to absorb the teeming population of the unemployed, thus making unbridled migration unnecessary.

The former Vice President stated that citizens did not choose to be migrants but unpleasant social, economic and political conditions in many countries forced them into migrants, seeking new homes, security, employment and a better future.

He opined that all hands needed to be on deck to deal squarely, and in a humane manner, with the challenges thrown up by the reality of migration in the contemporary World.

He said that one of the worst forms of maltreatment, which a migrant could experience, was the large scale enslavement of young and helpless Nigerian and African migrants in Libya which recently drew global attention.

“To prevent the recurrence of unbridled migration as we have today among Nigerian youths, the authorities at federal and state levels should endeavour to discourage potential migrants.

“This should be done through public enlightenment and information about the down sides of poorly conceived overseas travels.”

He urged the international community to ensure that the international code of treatment of migrants was strictly adhered to.
 
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