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Obanikoro Terrorises Osun while Anarchy Reigns in Chibok By Olusegun Dada

Our dear country, Nigeria, is definitely witnessing distressingly interesting times. While the populace lives in agony of terrorism, it is disappointing to see the lunatic gusto for power being exhibited by federal government officials elected or appointed to protect the interest of the distraught masses.

In the past few days, the Minister for State Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, has abandoned his office and abdicated his responsibilities of superintending over the protection and defence of hapless Nigerians whose daily lives are at the devastating mercy of the boko haram goons. While many lives are being mercilessly snuffed out in their prime by all manners of blood-thirsty elements in different parts of Nigeria, the Minister of Defence moonlights in Osogbo, Osun State, addressing press conferences and commandeering stern looking army officers to unleash naked terror on the harmless citizens who intend to participate in the governorship election already slated to hold on the 9th day of August 2014.

In saner climes, it is unimaginable that a Minister with such a serious portfolio as defence would evacuate army officers from States where emergencies have been declared only to deploy them to a State where hitherto there had been peace and harmony and a free and fair election is supposed to be civilly organised. It is rather unfortunate that the Minister of Defence has not considered important the safety and rescue of more than two hundred innocent girls whose lives have been halted, whose future has been truncated and whose psyche has been pulverized by the rudderless terrorist organization which has reduced the country to a theatre of bloodletting.

What moral justification could be provided for the unjust and unwarranted harassment, intimidation and vilification of law-abiding voters whose only offence is exercising their constitutional right to vote against the preferred candidate of the federal government in the governorship election in Osun. What moral justification exists for deploying the military in a purely civic duty of voting in the State of Osun. If this is how to be a Minister of Defence in Nigeria, definitely no one needs this kind of defence provided by Obanikoro and since he has decided to abandon his duties to become Iyiola Omisore’s public relations officer, it is better to demand his resignation and a refund of innocent taxpayers’ money being wasted in this gallivanting adventure.

We implore all right-thinking persons, men of conscience and lovers of democracy and human rights to call Musiliu Obanikoro to order. If the bunch of power grabbers see nothing civil in democratic process of electioneering one wonders how they would perceive war in the face of their failure to tackle the boko haram menace which has made the country a laughing stock  internationally.

We equally must end by warning the federal government and its agents to desist from its determination to rig the Osun governorship election in favour of the PDP candidate. Failure to heed this simple warning may precipitate the commencement of a predictable revolt the end of which is beyond human clairvoyance. A word is enough for the wise.

Segun tweets @dolusegun

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Obanikoro Planning to Assassinate 2 APC Members – Aregbesola

Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Wednesday evening accused Nigeria’s minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, of planning to assassinate two members of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The governor said this during the launch of the students’ smart identity card at Salvation Army Middle School in Alekuwodo that Obanikoro and the Police Affairs Minister, Jelil Adesiyan have instructed security personnel to shoot and kill two of APC members.

Aregbesola warned that should anything happen to any member of the APC in Osun ahead of the 9 August election, Obanikoro should be held responsible.

He called on security agents to play by the rules, saying with what happened at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park Wednesday morning, where people who were supposed to campaign for APC were turned back by security agents while same security agents allowed People’s Democratic Party (PDP) campaign in Alekuwodo in Osogbo, should not repeat itself.

Aregbesola wondered why Obanikoro was in Osun and warned that although memnbers of APC have been told to be law-abiding, if pushed to the wall, they will react.

“How could a party like the PDP be this desperate, Obanikoro with Jelili Adesiyan told the security agents that by the time two members of the APC are shot at and killed by the police, other members will learn from it, and with that the stiff resistance of APC will be destroyed.

“We want to use this medium to appeal to our security agencies not to allow themselves to be used by these PDP candidate and the two ministers whose party before this administration had been terrorising the good people of our state.?

“I am using this medium to tell the security operatives that Osun people are law-abiding people, they have always been contributing to the payment of your salaries and you are not supposed to harass them with the guns which were bought for you with tax money,” Aregbesola said.
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?On the smart Identity card for students, the governor said that information Communication Technology is among other promising paths his administration has chosen to deliver in the march towards realising the state’s development dream.?

With the launch of this smart identity card, Osun becomes the first state in Nigeria to provide it’s students with a card that contains all information that may be required on the student.

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Ms. Chika Amalaha You Don’t Need The Drugs To Win By Raymond Inkabi

When I learnt that 16 year old weightlifter Ms. Chika Amalaha had won gold in the women’s 53kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games  in Glasgow, I was happy, I was proud. That at least someone out there’s making our country proud. That some teen girl has risen up to redeem our image. And this is absolutely worth more than a thousand Washington based PR. I was glad that once more, someone’s now flying the green, white, green high on the world stage for good. Hahahaha! Where them world Press at? Hehehehe! Where them party holding? A little of #Chibok and a little of #Ebola. However, in no  time, and a very short one indeed, I was proved wrong. And I felt real sad.

Now in as much as there is that burning desire to win a competition, the use of performance enhancers is a very bad idea. I would like to point out here, that one can only be proud to have participated in a tournament and not have had that opportunity to mount the podium, than having being recalled back and stripped of medals won. You’re are young Ms. Chika, very very young and this is definitely one bad start. The affiliation to banned substances: Steroids, Amphetamines Stimulants, Peptide Hormones, Human growth Hormone, and Insulin is a serious and difficult issue in sports,  it puts an athlete’s health at risk, and most disheartening of all it threatens the integrity of clean athletes who would want to compete clean and adversely gives  you an unfair advantage over them in the process; tainting the reputation of sports for what it is altogether.

To be consequently suspended and stripped of your title and gold medal after your ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples revealed traces of diuretics, masking agents, and prohibited substances, from results of a lab test in London, is a testament of the fact that these substances can only succeed in ruining one’s career, life and self esteem. But I need to truly understand what led you to dope. Was it your choice? This, which carries severe significant moral considerations. Who permitted you to make this choice? Is your coach culpable? Are your parents in the know? Can it be love for country? Is this your first? Maybe, we shouldn’t ban performance enhancing drugs in sporting competitions? But methinks drugs and other performance enhancers do not reflect the forms of human excellence which sports are tended to honour for centuries.

Sports has for long been a unifying element in a divided world. And a relief balm in a hostile planet. Therefore it is integral to the nature of sport itself that we the spectators and you the participants can be very confident and rest assured that any such competition is clean and free from dope, peddlers and dopers. It’s no fault of Amalaha, when modern sports competitions place little emphasis on the means of accomplishing any feat but with eyes widely open on the end of a bout – win, no matter how. Marion Jones, former American Olympic track and field champion readily comes to mind. After Sydney 2000, she was tested positive to performance enhancers and forfeited all titles and medals won. She ended up putting in some time at a federal prison. In 1991, former world star and Argentine super footballer Diego Maradona was busted in a drug test, and received a 15-month ban, which ended his days in the Italian league. He also never returned to play for Napoli. Ever heard of Lance Armstrong? Try doing a Google search and see what comes up. The jerk here is that, don’t do drugs, and they won’t strip you. No matter how long it takes, you will definitely be pulled up one day. And that will be a hell of a sad moment for you and everyone who’s not told you the truth. Because  If a teenager starts out cheating at this young age they will never be able to stop because of the addictiveness the drug will have on them.

This is a very pathetic situation one can be in, and also a critical moment toward for all forms of sport. Doping affects all levels of athletes and for women the side effects for a start are a gradual hair loss (baldness – I noticed you’re very hairy), hypertrophy of the clitoris, increased sex drive, irregularities of the menstrual cycle, development of masculine facial traits, increased coarseness of the skin, and premature closure of the epiphysis. And just in case, you might have a brother who’s into sports or probably weightlifting, banned performance enhancers can have negative side effects too. For beginners, they are acne, impaired liver function, impotency, breast formation (gynecomastia) increase in estrogen, erectile dysfunction, increased sex drive, loss of hair (baldness) and lots more.

To protect the integrity of sporting events,  and to maintain it’s popular appeal, the health of athletes, and young aspiring sports people world over, we need a targeted, articulated, well-tailored and comprehensive approach, to the fight against the use of banned performance enhancers and substances.  It’s worthy of note to know that young sportsmen and women continue to push the boundaries of excellence in performances – breaking new world records, straining self and achieving unfathomed feats. Toward this end, are more certified and justified training methods and technologies to help out determined individuals. For never have sportsmen and women had more training and competition aids at their disposal than now. An example is the goal-line technology introduced for the first time at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. And as efforts are being constantly made to ensure that sports can once again be played with the “true sportsmanship spirit”.

It is now a collective task for countries and participants to help the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as it promotes, coordinates and monitors the fight against doping. And hence, sincere help is also needed  in jointly maintaining the pride of participation and competition. A very strong deterrent will be set if funds, research and cooperation, governments and corporations contribute together with positive incentives for a drug-free world of sports. The different levels of pressure placed on athletes to perform better. The fierce competitive nature of the modern sports’ world, in combination with society’s demand for excellence, has caused them to seek alternative means to enhance their performance. However, competitors are known to face an increasingly difficult choice: to dope to enhance performance or to accept what could amount to a competitive suicide. One choice, which of course, our 16 year old weightlifter, Ms. Amalaha just made.

The writer, Raymond Inkabi holds a B.Tech (Hons) in Geography from the Federal University of Technology, Yola. He tweets via @alykka on twitter.

Raymond Inkabi

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The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation: A Beckon of Altruistic Philanthropy By Raheem Oluwafunminiyi

It was Muhamed Abdel Moneim Al-Fayed who was once quoted to have said: I will continue to distribute blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothing and food on a regular basis; in the hope that my modest efforts will give some comfort to those people we are able help. Not a few would in all modesty commit themselves to such gestures especially in this part of the world where wealth accumulation is an exception rather than the norm. Muhamed AL-Fayed is the Egyptian business magnate who as at 2013 was worth US$1.4 billion, making him the 1,031st richest individual in the world for the year 2013. His AlFayed Charitable Foundation (ACF) for almost 25 years has been working assiduously to ensuring that the lives of children who are traumatised, impoverished and sick are bettered. Apart from other wide ranging charity supports, the ACF provides specialist medical equipment, living essentials and importantly engages in raising awareness and support for many children’s hospices among others. For a man whose worth is in the billions, it is not surprising why he has made it a first point of duty to commit himself to series of charitable works and philanthropic actions and made that heart-warming remark whose objective is simply to help humanity.

It is an undisputable fact that a number of significant wealthy billionaires bestride our contemporary Nigerian socio-political space like a colossus. Interestingly, the wealthiest black man in the world is a Nigerian. To make the discourse the more startling, the wealthiest black woman in the world is also a Nigerian while several others who we do not know or hear of top the billionaire list. Many of these Nigerian billionaires have been known for their wealth and nothing else. In fact, most people across a wide section of our polity usually know a particular wealthy individual by his or her wealth but never by any meaningful impact he or she has made or had on the society. Not surprising though, many of our wealthy personalities flaunt their wealth on a range of trivial things and in manners that does not augur well for the society. Most are known for using their wealth to massage the ego of political stalwarts and friends, promote schisms among ethnic, religious or political groups and even go as far as to intimidate people who depend on them for survival. Some are known for their taste for expensive and state-of-the-art flashy cars while others enjoy erecting castles in Aso-Rock and elsewhere. As if that is not enough, few go on to marry new wives as an addition to the already saturated number of legitimate harems in their household. While this writer is not in any way opposed to how wealthy individuals should spend or use their wealth, they in fact should in whatever way they deem appropriate, yet it is imperative to state categorically that our wealth, just like life, is transient and so should of necessity be spent in ways that would impact the society we live.

At a time when our world is becoming even more than a global village, quite a number of individuals have emerged, taking advantage of the global capitalist economy and enabling environment, to develop ideas that eventually sell. The individuals behind Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and a host of others in other sectors of our respective economies are pointers to the new wave of young and emergent entrepreneurs and how fast globally competitive our world has become for those who have the temerity to turn simple ideas into money making machines. These individuals, turned billionaires overnight, are fast realising the power of modest giving and so have decided to channel part of their wealth into charitable organisations or philanthropic gestures to help find solutions to human challenges.

These individuals are today part of a growing movement lifting the banner of social justice and open distribution of wealth which has ultimately sparked a golden age of philanthropy unseen since the days of Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan. A recent study conducted at Boston College discovered that 0.22 per cent of families with incomes of $1 million or more contributed about 13 per cent of charitable giving in the United States. Accordingly, the number of grant-giving foundations since the early 1980s doubled from a paltry 22,000 to some 65,000 today. This should not be a surprise to many as our contemporary international political system have inadvertently been transformed with the power many states wield supplanted by powerful and emergent non-state actors who use their clout and influence in ways beneficial to mankind. These actors have today come to see the many challenges faced by humanity as theirs and as such have made it a point of duty to pull resources together to make our world a better place. Among these actors are wealthy individuals who through business sense, entrepreneurship and capitalism have emerged as leading philanthropists, using their wealth to address challenges that otherwise are largely unaddressed by the State.

A typical example is Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who helped pioneer ‘catalytic philanthropy’, an idea whose aim was not just to give money but fuel ideas that work, discarding those that don’t and expecting a tangible return on investment measured in social impact. This systematic problem-solving initiative have not only transformed the paradigm of non-profit work but also heralded social change and helped produce public policy tools on a scale never seen before.

Bill Gates is one of the biggest philanthropists in the world and just in 2010; the Gates Foundation launched alongside Warren Buffet the Giving Pledge which served as a commitment among the wealthiest in the world to pull a bulk of their wealth into philanthropy. Happily and since 2010 when the initiative was launched, over 125 individuals and families have bought into the idea. This is simply to help fight a number of causes around the world among which is Polio eradication and control amongst others.

Back home in Nigeria, a number of wealthy individuals are known to have decided to join the growing philanthropic movement and observed to have played prominent roles in partnering with other charities in managing or solving some of the teething challenges we face as a nation today. Having carefully conducted a simple research recently, this writer discovered the existence of a significant number of foundations set up and owned by our wealthy class in Nigeria whose objective can indubitably be deemed commendable. Top on the list include Tony Elumelu, Toyin Saraki, Aliko Dangote, TY Danjuma, Sir Emeka Offor Foundations to mention a few. Each of these foundations or charitable organisations was set up primarily to address one challenge or the other even the government of the day do not yet have answers to.

For the sake of clarity, one interesting personality that has raised the banner of philanthropy in recent times is Gen. T.Y Danjuma (rtd), a onetime Minister of Defense, who is believed to be Nigeria’s biggest philanthropist. His foundation, The T.Y Danjuma Foundation arguably one of Africa’s largest charities, was set up with a $100 million endowment to “champion and promote causes in Education, free healthcare, policy advocacy and poverty alleviation” among others. The foundation’s endowment have provided scholarships to indigent students, partnered with government and international agencies in fighting diseases like River Blindness and made giant strides in many other aspects of human endeavour. For Tony Elumelu on the other hand, he is widely termed as one of Africa’s top philanthropists. Apart from pledging $2.5 billion to President Barack Obama’s Power Africa programme few years back, the Nigerian economist, banker and investor is said to have donated a staggering $6.3 million in 2012 to help flood victims in Nigeria. His foundation among other objectives “strives to deploy its resources to generate solutions to challenges that inhibit the growth of the African private sector”. The foundation has aided the private sector in ways unimaginable since our return to democracy in 1999 and given them right platform to grow in a highly challenging society like ours. Aliko Dangote’s name cannot but be mentioned as he too is in the business of philanthropy and has made useful contributions totalling $35 million to a number of causes. Apart from being the biggest employer of labour within the private sector, he has contributed heavily to flood relief, an NGO developing lo-cost housing and universities in Nigeria. He also donated $US 500,000 for victims of munitions blast in Brazzaville, Congo in 2012.

Another interesting Nigerian billionaire worthy of mention here and who recently has been in the news for his massive philanthropic donations is Sir Emeka Offor, the Executive Vice Chairman of Chrome Group. Through the Sir Emeka Foundation, one of the earliest foundations in Nigeria which has been in the business of philanthropy for close to 20 years, Sir Emeka has provided millions of dollars to support an impressive number of initiatives. One surprising angle to his foundation is that it is not limited to Nigeria alone but the world at large. This is largely true if one considers the foundation’s initiatives in partnering with international organisations like Rotary International to fight Polio in the three endemic regions of the world which include Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Also, the foundation has been in a long and fruitful partnership with the Carter Centre, Atlanta, US where the fight against River Blindness endemic in most parts of Eastern Nigeria and elsewhere has been a priority.

In July 2013, to boost the global efforts in polio eradication, the foundation donated a total of $1million to Rotary International and another $1million this year to speed up the fight against and eradication of Polio in the three remaining endemic countries of Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Such singular contribution has earned the foundation’s founder the title ‘First Polio Ambassador in Nigeria’. Sir Emeka Offor strongly speaks out in favour of polio eradication in Nigeria and the world and believes every child should have a “right to health”, esteeming the mantra of noble global humanitarian body like World Health Organization (WHO).

The foundation’s philanthropic commitments are not limited to cash donations alone as several sources note the involvment among others in massive educational initiatives like the Book For Africa project which helps to supply books to countries around the world through generous funding from individuals. The foundation is known as the largest donor in the history of Books For Africa, and the largest private sector donor in the history of the program. The foundation has benefitted the following 19 African countries through book and computer donations: Nigeria, the Gambia, Somalia, Liberia, Tanzania, Namibia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Botswana, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Egypt, South Sudan, Chad, Uganda and Niger. It is not uncommon for African philanthropists to support education and literacy projects in their own countries. It is unprecedented; however, that an African business leader like Sir Emeka Offor and his foundation would financially support projects of this size and scope across Africa. Projects of this scale are more often conceived and executed by government entities such as USAID, DFID, the EU, and various United Nations offices, but never by a single individual or foundation.

Undoubtedly, the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation does not only provide support to fight the eradication of Polio but also assist Polio survivors to make living more meaningful for themselves. It is therefore not a surprise when not too long ago, a whooping sum of N2.6 million was donated to the Nigerian delegation that will be taking part in the 10th edition of the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports (IWAS) Federation Games coming up in Stoke Mandeville, UK. It would be recalled that in the last Paralympics Games, Nigerian athletes won six (6) out of the twenty (20) gold medals up for grabs. Going by records, majority of the participants from Nigeria are Polio survivors. These individuals have been trained in various sports and have been chosen to participate at the upcoming IWAS World Junior Games 2014 but due to lack of funds their hopes of being part of the Games appeared dim. The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation determined to put smiles on the faces of these athletes who are Polio survivors and ensure the fulfilment of their dreams, quickly intervened to support the Nigerian Paralympic athletes to the Games.

Mostly, it is known that not all entrepreneurs move out of their comfort zones to feel the pulse of the people. There is no doubt that there is a huge disconnect between the wealthy and not so wealth among the people of the world today. This stark reality is perhaps one of the major reasons behind many of the social unrests witnessed around the world in recent times. In Nigeria, for example, the widening gap between the haves and have-nots has brought huge challenges for the country, most especially in the area of unemployment and lack of social welfare. Hinged on the principle that the very poor and needy can become active and productive members of society, The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation has taken the bold initiative and stepped in in its own little way in stemming these challenges. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Bill Gates and humbly learning from the succinct words of Bertrand Russell that: “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind,” the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation continue to strongly dedicate its endowments to helping people in need become independent and self-sufficient by reaching out to lift them up. Apart from being a platform and model for development efforts in Nigeria and beyond, the foundation hopes to set an example for the next generation of successful Nigerian businessmen who will have it at the back of their minds that they too can make money while also making a difference.

One could go on and on however, there is a reality today that philanthropy is meeting the needs that the government and private sector have not. These individuals have not only led a movement capable of bringing much succour to the world but also played a critical role in advancing human progress. Today, the world’s billionaires feel their wealth is immaterial if it cannot be channelled towards charitable ventures. There are a number of challenges we face as a people in Nigeria currently yet it is a truism that government cannot solve them all alone. It is the duty of these individuals who have more than enough to fill the yearning gap. If there are as much Tony Elumelus, Toyin Sarakis, Aliko Dangotes, T.Y Danjumas, Sir Emeka Offors among others in Nigeria who have a growing interest in key aspects of our daily lives, we may possibly be seeing an end to those very problems that today have become monstrous for us to solve.

Our wealthy class owe it a duty to understand that the culture of ‘me’ and ‘thyself’ alone cannot bring fulfilled happiness and lifelong comfort. The reason we are faced with myriads of challenges in Nigeria today is because of the lack of love and it is until we all go back to our traditional culture of giving even when we have little, we may continue to run afoul of what is required of us as good neighbours. Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881), the Scottish historian and essayist could not have been wrong when he observed that “No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men”. History has never forgotten those who took pain to change the course of humanity for good and with the Tony Elumelus, Aliko Dangotes and Sir Emeka Offors of this world, it is not hard to say that on the sands of time, their names have already been written.

Raheem Oluwafunminiyi wrote via creativitysells@gmail.com

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What is wrong with Islam? By Raheem Oluwafunminiyi

What is wrong with Islam? Lest anyone think the question meaningless or superfluous, this piece, without prejudice to any one religious institution or belief, comes at a time when the eyes of the world is currently on the religion and most importantly the millions who profess the faith. The apparent question put forward above may not only sound cynical for some but also appear appalling for others, especially for those who see Islam as an all embodying religion worthy of emulation. There is no doubt that Islam is a religion of peace and a total way of life. Each time the question “what is Islam?” is posed to adherents of the faith, the first response thrown at one, without mincing words, is that Islam is a religion of peace. Certainly, when one looks deeply into the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith of the Prophet, a number of significant verses and narrations highlight the very essence of peace which Islam preaches. For example, Qur’an 60 verses 8 and 9; 17 verses 53 and 54; 21 verses 107 to 109 among others respectively are some of the retinue of verses which serve as pointers of peace and peaceful conduct in Islam. If peace therefore, is one of the resounding virtues of this historic religion, what then could be wrong with Islam?

From the outset of Islam, stories of how the founder of the faith lived a life that today millions look up to for emulation continue to be told. Even in time of great persecution, the Prophet Muhammed was said to have treated his adversaries with love and affection such that many of them would eventually embrace Islam simply because of this singular moral character and virtue. The prophet would only act in defence of the new faith and was known to treat those who didn’t accept Islam with compassion. There was no compulsion or force to accept Islam and so those of other faith did not have to worry about any form of religious persecution and as such lived side by side with new Muslim converts in peace and tranquillity, so long they acted within the ambit of the law. One would have thought this form of religious tolerance would continue to stand the test of time in our contemporary time but evidently, this is not so. What then could be wrong with Islam?

It was that great philosopher and thinker, Karl Marx who was once famously quoted to have tagged religion as the opium of the people. Marx’s objective yet scientific perspective to religion is legendary and believed perhaps to be one of the most famous and critical quotes on religion used by atheist and non-atheist alike. Even as most who quote the word do not understand the underlying message, it is pertinent to state that Marx had a firm grasp of what religion was and its effects on people, hence such unpretentious quote. Marx was of the notion that religion is an expression of material realities and economic injustice and as such serves as a veritable platform by oppressors to make people feel less worried about the problems they encounter as a result of being poor or exploited. Despite the brief analysis of Marx’s view on religion above, one fact that is certain is that they are much more intricate than the way many assume it to be. What then could be wrong with Islam?

The idea of religion is firmly entrenched in our private conversation with whatever being we worship and just as Marx wrote: “the religious world is but a reflex of the real world”, so must it be seen as such. Anything beyond this is pure hypocrisy. Religion is a system which encapsulates the very essence of our lives. As human, we have been created to see ourselves not as the finisher of our destiny and so must necessarily look up to a higher or super being either for guidance, protection or any form of humanly needs. Every human at some point is bound to face one challenge or the other and so when the chips are down, it is the faith one professes through religion that brings one closer to his being to help surmount the challenge. It is here those who Marx identify as ‘oppressors’ quickly come in to exploit the situation. They form themselves into bands of religious groups and institutions and even gang-up with the state to form religious doctrines, ideologies, make new laws and edicts so as to bring the mass of the poor under their grip. This characteristic phenomenon for years had for long been in practice but assumed a frightening dimension recently where individuals or groups of people who claim to know God more than even the Pope assume the role of deciding what kind of religion one must practice through wrongful interpretation of God’s laws and arrogate so much powers to themselves for the sole purpose of meting out unfair, unjust and stiff punishments to erring ones. This particular experience is not only common in specific parts of the world but has taken a startling turn also in most parts of Muslim Africa. What then could be wrong with Islam?

If we have to go by the Quranic injunctions and Hadith which highlights issues pertaining to perfection of the faith, one would not but agree that Islam is a complete religion and a way of life bound by impartial laws, just like every religion, which its followers must adhere strictly to. It has however been discovered that a few elements, in order to satisfy their whims, lend new variations into these original and ‘perfected’ laws, using such indiscriminately, unjustly and unfairly in the most preposterous manner unbecoming of God’s natural laws to commit vice against the basic rights of man. Just as the state has imbibed this unholy attitude so are a number of its followers. Today in this part of the world, many see religion as a private property bequeathed on them by God and in essence, anyone who chooses to toe the other path is either ostracised, dehumanised or is made to face precarious situations. Some even lose their life in the process. What then could be wrong with Islam?

This particular scenario has become a common feature in some parts of the Muslim world and most especially in Nigeria where religious tolerance is fast waning. There are abounding examples to support the above presumption. The case of Mubarak Bala, a Chemical Engineer is quite interesting here. Bala not too long ago renounced Islam preferring to take to atheism. His action was greeted with a rude shock by Bala’s family members who thought he was mentally unstable and so forced him to a mental hospital. It would take the swift intervention of his online friends to get him out of the quagmire. Despite his release, Bala lives in hiding after receiving death threats. In Uganda, the case of a 17-year old girl beaten to death by her father sometime in April simply because she converted to Christianity is to say the least shocking while in Ibadan, Oyo State, 19-year old Kaosara Isiaka was knifed to death in a church for the same reason. Her father has been linked to the murder. As if that was not enough, in the same Uganda, one Wenene Nuru, a 23-year old lady was hospitalised after her Sheikh father tried to kill her for becoming a Christian. Not too long ago, the world was inundated with the shocking story of one Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman born to a Muslim father but raised by her Christian mother, who married a Christian man from South Sudan. Meriam’s family, to save themselves any embarrassment, quickly reported her to the authorities who in turn charged her for apostasy. The Islamic court in Khartoum was quick to sentence her to death by hanging and would only take an international outcry for her to regain freedom from the ordeal. In all of these, what then could be wrong with Islam?

There are hundreds of likely cases as the above which are not reported yet occur on a daily basis and within our respective societies. A writer once opined that leaving Islam is like passing a death sentence on oneself. This opinion cannot be far from the truth if the examples highlighted above are anything to go by. Islam is a religion of peace and so takes peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance, irrespective of faith, seriously. The fact that one of the Quranic verses openly identifies no compulsion in religion should have been an ample evidence for those who only seek to make mockery of Islam. Interestingly, there is no doubt in the mind of this writer and among millions of Muslims around the world that the Boko Haram sect which claims to be fighting for Islam are doing so for the most wrongful reasons. Islam represents peace and tolerance and therefore, anything contrary to those is pure extremism and extremism has no place in the belief system of the Muslims. What then could be wrong with Islam?

From all indications, it is best to aver that Islam is not only a religion of peace and tolerance but one that demands total submission to the will of God; therefore the simple answer that for the title of this piece is that there is simply nothing wrong with Islam. The reason for this apt answer is not far-fetched. Religion today is being manipulated by a segment of the populace not only to prevent worshippers from having a grasp of the many personal challenges they face but also confuse them into understanding how to solve them. In the end, most resolve to place their faith and fate on religious opportunists who further compound the problem of the people. Our total lack of understanding of what religion truly entails is why some feel others must practice their religion with force without which they are subjected to inhumanly treatments. The case of Meriam, Bala and many others across the world who face one form of humiliation or the other because of their choice of faith and belief despite the principles of Islam frowning against coercing one to accept Islam does not only paint Islam in the wrong light but causes disaffection and hate among an already religiously polarised state. It is an act that does not augur well for our collective existence. As the month of Ramadan ends, we must begin to have a change of heart before our condition is changed. There is however simply nothing wrong with Islam, its followers are!
Raheem Oluwafunminiyi wrote via creativitysells@gmail.com

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As Boko Haram takes Over The North: What Northern Leadership? By Peregrino Brimah

People usually carelessly refer to a “northern leadership,” like such body exists. A certain spook body that sets itself up and positions itself to procure certain advantage for its people. A so-called northern leadership that ensured northerners led Nigeria for about 60% of its life-span; and that this leadership hold was for their advantage, in the north that is.

Today as Boko Haram again seizes a huge chunk of the north and displaces thousands more farmers, the north’s only source of income, I am tempted to ask – what northern leadership? Boko Haram has been comfortably sitting on Damboa and territories surrounding, and today they came out again with Nigerian army tanks, APC’s and hilux trucks and took over Gwoza, killing or otherwise disappearing the emir as the nation’s military men-on-show, stepped back and withdrew to their advance.

We have not heard a sound from that northern leadership as a deadly menacing army is being empowered and enabled to soon conquer their north. Northern leadership? Boko Haram killed the former emir of Gwoza. Where was that so-called northern leadership to ensure his killers were brought to justice? We didn’t hear a sound.

Now, my expectations of a northern leadership may not be clear to you. Let’s take a look at what the leadership of APC said today in reference to anticipated rigging in Osun state. The leadership said as regards that act of sabotage, that if it so happened, they will establish a parallel government in Osun. Yes, this was a brazen, spine-full, deliberate promise of serious action in the event of the electoral undermining of the people of Osun. This was a statement that if the people of Osun are terrorized by the government, the APC will not mind going to whatever cost to secure the rights and protection of the people. That was a leadership statement from a people concerned about an issue. So where do we see the similar leadership statements and reactions from that “northern leadership” in answer to the arming with arsenal, APC’s and tanks from the Nigerian military, of Boko Haram to displace millions of their northern citizens (4 million farmers in latest counts) and the killing of almost 100,000?

Where is the northern elders urgent summit on the terror situation affecting the north and the deliberate resolutions to take over the security of their dying people and territory? Are the so-called northern leaders waiting and looking for dancing-Jonathan who has done nothing toward safe-guarding the life of their citizens in 5 years so-far, except systematically transfer ammunitions and vehicles of the Nigerian army to the terrorists; to suddenly turn a new leaf and help them address the crisis in their ward?

The instance ISIS began its reign of terror in Iraq, within the first week, the religious leadership in Iraq called for the arming of civilians, to volunteer to fight. 1.5 million Civilians answered the call, and these men have been the critical resistance that prevented a globally armed and trained anti-Syria ISIS militia from conquering the entire Iraq. Where is such a call from the so-called northern leadership? What have they done and decided must be done in the reality of the worst terror situation in the world today at home in their region in Nigeria?

I see a vacuum in the north. Some young, dynamic Northern or north-based men need to step-up and fill this vacuum, because if not, Boko Haram will continue gleefully occupying it.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: drbrimah@ends.ng Twitter: @EveryNiger

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Boko Haram Sacks Military Formation in Gwoza, Takes Over Town After Killing Over 100

Members of the Boko Haram insurgents group on Wednesday dislodged the military formations in Gwoza local government and took over control of the town.

Gwoza, one of the most populated local government areas in Borno State have been under siege by the Boko Haram terrorists.

They had earlier blew off the bridge linking Gwoza-Maiduguri and Gwoza Madagali, a situation which prompted the late Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrisa Tima to call on the Federal Government for urgent intervention.

The Emir was later killed by the terrorists on his way to Gombe.

According to a resident of the area, the Boko Haram terrorists, who came in Hilux vehicles with armoured tanks, sent away military operatives stationed in the town and took over the town.

He said “the insurgents started shooting sporadically, setting houses, shops and government buildings ablaze.

“The situation forced us to flee the town and climb hills and mountains; as I speak to you, I am on the hill top”.

“They attacked the policemen at the Gwoza Divisional Police Headquarters by throwing explosives and using other dangerous weapons, but I don’t have the details whether the police station was destroyed or not”. He added.

According to residents, more than one hundred people have been Killed by the sect members after they seized the town in the early hours of Wednesday.

This is the second time the Boko Haram had seized a major town from Nigerian troops.

It would be recalled that several weeks ago, they massacred many residents of Damboa and dislodged Nigerian troops stationed to secure the town.

“The soldiers guarding us just went away as the militants advanced against our town”, a resident of the besieged town said.

He added that the Islamist militants killed residents freely, noting that the casualties included the elderly, women, and children.

“If this continues, then all of us will soon be without a place to call our home”, said a resident of Gwoza, adding that he and most residents who escaped the militants’ attack were now refugees.

A top security source, who did not want his name mentioned confirmed the Gwoza incident.

He said that the Boko Haram diverted attention of the soldiers to Damboa, where they are busy fighting, but suddenly attacked Gwoza.

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PDP to APC: “You Poach, We Impeach” By Ismaeel Ahmed

In 2013 when the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) went on a ferocious drive of recruitment , the country was amazed at the simple and common manner in which the behemoth of the ruling party was disintegrating. There was a wild jubilation from the public and a cautious optimism from other people. The APC became the new bride in town. The media, the public and the international community were in love with the promise of an alternative in a democracy. And so the attention of the members of the PDP who have had enough from a president they consider a political neophyte and a party chairman hell bent on sinking the ship was drawn to this new darling. The APC was slowly gaining momentum: It had public opinion on its side, media narrative that was positive and a potential power bloc from the youth and women.

In other words, the APC was beginning to look like the messiah many had been yearning for, in a country that has been severely dented with unsavory political parties and leaders.

Poaching was the word. The defections, cross-carpetings, decamping and all became trend shortly after. In the beginning, 7 PDP Governors had a public falling out with the president and a notorious convention walk out was staged. The heat was on and the drama started to unfold. A faction was created within the PDP, primarily to build a premise for an eventual defection. A clear and a clever strategy. The constitution did not stipulate any penalty for a defecting executive like a Governor or a president as the case may be, but it has made clear provisions against the defection of a legislator at whatever level save where there is a faction, division or a merger within the defecting party’s political party. By creating a faction within the PDP, the ball was rolled and the Governors paved way for their lawmakers to come on board with the requisite provision of the law being satisfied. We witnessed massive defection of close to 40 members of the House of Representatives from the PDP to the APC and almost a dozen senators, a move so astronomical that it almost tilted the structure of the House Leadership.

The PDP cried foul and accused the APC of poaching its members, it tried to stir the public against it by mentioning that there is no difference between them, then they sued the lawmakers that defected, then they fired their Chairman who they thought was the problem, then the president claimed he never said he was going to run or not to douse the tension, then they started going after the defected Governors, their political allies or children just to remind them on the protection they would be losing if they leave the party. Then they went after the lawmakers by instituting an action against them in court, but by law it must be proved that at the time of the defection none of the above constitutional exceptions exist I.e division or faction. The verdict on that is still out.

After suffering such massive hemorrhage the PDP knew it had its work cut out for it with so many forces against it; an angry and frustrated electorate, a disgruntled party members, a cynical media, a disturbed and worried international community, a stoic national chairman and a giant opposition breathing down its neck and picking its best fruits from the few healthy branches left. Something had to be done.

And so the PDP recalibrate and decided to turn on the offensive. It realized that it had wasted too much time criticizing those who had left and pursuing them or make them lose their seats. The strategy changed. You poached? We will also poach and cajole. So they went after the disgruntled “progressives”. Money was promised, positions were shared, tickets were promised and some were given structures in their states. For those elected officials, impeachment was the answer.

It started with Adamawa. A Governor already unpopular with the political elites of his state was an easy target especially since he has written a public letter of reproach against the style and substance of the President and with a state assembly made up of the PDP, the Governor became a sitting duck at a shooting range. They impeached him with throwing caution and even constitutional legality to the wind. A procedure that was to take months, took hours, a CJ that was supposed to be impartial became impatient, lawmakers became legally reckless. Every provision and procedure of the constitution was breached in order to achieve that aim. And so he was removed.

The guillotine was then moved to Nasarawa State. Another APC governor with a PDP Assembly, an ambitious loquacious minister, a defected Deputy Governor and a determined PDP. The noose was arranged and the PDP went to work. The APC cried foul that this wasn’t a poached Governor, but the PDP replied we know, but he will be an impeached one. The masses stood up for their Governor and the media poked holes in the arrangement. The CJ was fair and principled and alas, the charges were dismissed. And now we hear the impeachment train will also visit Edo and Imo on its way. While that is happening, the PDP has claimed Ekiti against a very prominent and admired Governor and plans to do the same in Osun against a phenomenally popular Governor.

The Nasarawa State Governor has survived his impeachment, Osun will likely be won by APC and Oyinlola, a former PDP National Secretary was once again poached. The game is repeating itself less than 7 months to elections…there will be more interesting scenarios ahead.

Bottom Line: there is a clear unconstitutionality and immorality in many ways adopted by the parties to gain political and structural advantages, but then the drafters of the constitution presumed that the operators will be “honorable and reasonable” people, how wrong they were.

You poach, we impeach will continue until the system reaches an equilibrium status where none of the above phrases will be necessary.
————————–
Barr. Ismaeel Ahmed holds a Law Degree (LL.B) from University of Abuja, a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America.
Ahmed also holds a Masters of Law (LLM) from the University of Chicago, USA. He is a lawyer and a politician. He is currently the chairman of the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF), a Youth body under the APC.

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APC to INEC: Circulate Voters Identification Numbers of all Unclaimed PVCs to Ensure Credible Election in Osun

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked INEC to urgently circulate to all political parties the Voters Identification Numbers (VINs) of all unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and publicly declare that anyone in possession of any PVC with any of such numbers is an impostor who must be arrested if he or she tries to use it.

In a communique issued after the emergency meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) in Osogbo on Wednesday, the party said in addition to circulating the VINs of the unclaimed PVCs, INEC must publicly declare invalid for the purpose of the August 9, Osun governorship election all the PVCs with the circulated VINs.

It said the circulation of the VINs of the unclaimed PVCs and the INEC’s declaration as invalid of all PVCs bearing the VINs for the Saturday election is the irreducible minimal condition for the Aug. 9th Governorship Election to be free, fair, credible and transparent.

APC strongly warns against the plan by the PDP-led Federal Government to rig the Osun election through financial inducements and also by using the security agents who have been deployed to Osun State in their thousands, especially soldiers and State Security Service (SSS) officials, to arrest key leaders of the party.

”The party has received information that at a meeting held overnight in Osogbo involving top officials of the PDP and the Federal Government as well as INEC officials, a huge sum of money was earmarked for payment to key electoral officials to rig Saturday’s election in favour of the PDP.

”At the same meeting it was resolved that APC leaders like Senator Jide Omoworare, Hon. Rotimi Makinde and others will immediately be putunder house arrest and their movements severely restricted as soon as they cast their votes. Any arrest, harassment and intimidation of our leaders, as was massively done in Ekiti, will be totally unacceptable and deemed as orchestrated to rig the election,” the party said.

It also said that based on credible information, the rural farm settlements around Ile-Ife and Ilesha, among others, have been identified as areas where the 500,000 cloned cards and other PVCs illegally obtained will be used mostly on Saturday.

APC condemns the rumored plan by the. security not to allow party agents within 5 metres of the polling booths to be used for Saturday’s election, calling it a ploy to make it impossible for all accredited agents to perform their statutory duty of verifying the identity of those coming to be accredited to vote.

”Accreditation is the bedrock of a free and fair election and once the security, whether military or otherwise, succeeds in preventing accredited party agents from performing their statutory role, then the basis for a free and fair election is gone. The only reason why the military will not allow party agents to do their work is to aid those who are not authorized to vote to do so. This is the only way 500,000 unclaimed PVCs and others illegally obtained can be used to rig the elections.

”We are therefore calling on INEC to prevail on the security agencies to allow the party agents to do their work unhindered on Saturday. We also want to remind INEC to note that soldiers, by law, have no business at polling booths, not to talk of the irony of the same soldiers now preventing party agents from discharging their statutory roles

”Even more brazen and bizarre is the information reaching us that the majority of the 500,000 PVCs and others illegally obtained may have been given to uniformed men, both official and unofficial, who in the absence of prying eyes will cast multiple votes and rig the election in favour of the PDP.

”We also have very credible information that when all fails directives might be given to the EOs to allow anyone with a Permanent voters card to cast his or her vote even when their names are not on the voters register. These are frightening and sinister scenarios which we want INEC to take note of and prevent from happening,” the party said.

It condemned the glaring partisanship of the security agencies that have been deployed to Osun for the election, against the background that the Department of State Service (DSS) today prevented the solidarity rally of the NLC in support of Gov. Aregbesola at the Freedom Park Osogbo from taking place on the grounds that there is a division within the NLC!

”Also, we are uncomfortable with the tale being peddled to the rank and file of the police in Osun state that the acting IGP has directed that Osun election must be won by the PDP as a condition for his confirmation.

”The APC is aware of the desperation of the PDP to win Saturday’s election at all cost, even when everything, including an opinion poll carried out by a globally-acknowledged firm, RMS-TNS, points to the fact that the APC candidate, Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, is the runaway leader among all the candidates for the election.

”Our party especially notes the circulation of the result of an opinion poll purportedly carried out by USAID showing the PDP candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, as the leading candidate.
Thankfully, USAID has publicly dissociated itself from such poll, saying it never carried out any opinion poll on Osun State. There is no clearer evidence of desperation than this.

”We must however not fail to warn that Osun Election will determine the fate of democracy in Nigeria, and therefore call on all stakeholders to provide a level playing field for all ” APC said.

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APC Has Captured A Lost Generation By Eta Uso Jr

I feel it necessary to bring forward that the Digital Age seems to have done a little more harm than good. Well, at least more harm than good to the lazy mindsets of this generation.

How? It is simple. The wealth of information our generation gets exposed to in real-time is so alarming that it has resulted in poverty of attention.

Politically however, this poverty of attention has resulted in a chunk of the Nigerian masses not being able to determine or pinpoint what really matters most.

Nonetheless, irrespective of the poverty of attention ravaging our youths of today, one certain trait that seems to have remained constant is the desire to be popular on social media, or at most, follow what’s seemingly popular. This can be buttressed with the splurge of politically correct statements that seem to be everywhere these days, thus consuming the ‘lazy minds’ of this digital generation into thinking that what is ‘politically correct’ is actually Correct.

Digressing a little, one should not forget the impressive display of ‘good spirit’ by The Nation Newspaper under the authority of APC Chieftain, Bola Tinubu. The Nation Newspapers under ‘good guidance’ found it ethical to cut off the picture of a serving Minister in its print publication simply because the Minister in question appears not to be in good terms with the man who dictates the tune based on his privileged position as owner of the media outfit (The Nation Newspapers).

Pondering here is that, many ‘Nigerians’ (the kinds defined in the previous paragraphs) say they do not want the PDP anymore. All good. Taking them to task, when asked their preferred alternative, their chorused responses are often ‘APC’. Pushing further, when they are asked; why APC? They respond, they want Change and anything but PDP is ‘Change’.

From the immediate paragraph above, doesn’t this reveal clearly that these set of Nigerians truly do not know what they want? Such that they will settle for another party spelt as ‘APC’, simply because it is not spelt with these words ‘PDP’.

One wonders if these ‘Nigerians’ have pondered about how a man without power, yet could as much as cut off the picture of his perceived enemy against all media ethics in a Newspaper he controls. One should imagine or at least ponder what such a man and the party he controls will do to their perceived enemies, should they hold the power at the centre of Governance.

So help us GOD.

Eta.
@royaltyuso on Twitter.

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Ebola: To Africa’s Shame By Peregrino Brimah

They say the colonialist conquered Africa by the means of gunpowder from Arabia/Asia and germs. Hygiene was not a virtue in Europe. The Queen of England is famed to have said she only had a bathe once a month, “whether she needed it or not.” King James’ custom was to have his bathe only once a year. [Ref] So it was in Europe.

A bathroom was not a natural property of a home and till date, we find in England that bathrooms are recent extensions of many homes, being added later. The relevance of this is the relationship between moral hygiene and disease. Europe had the worst plagues in recent human history. The Bubonic plagues… the plagues in the dark eras. These plagues wiped out much of the population of Europe, most especially its men; indeed it was plagues and wars that led to the feminist culture and women in the work environment, because with the death of so many workers, women were forced to work to assist the European economy. The plagues were directly related to filth in Europe. The colonialist picked up soap and bathing habits from his exploits to Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Fast-forward to 2014. Africa is plagued by HIV and plagued today by Ebola. Africa has become the bastion of sorry health problems in addition to other inabilities. What is the commonly attributed source of Ebola (if we deny any biological warfare intentional dissemination), it is from bush meat. In Africa many of us love to eat these wild animals. Baboons, Gorilla’s, snakes and what have you. Nothing will stop us from biting in to the juicy strands of these animals, spicily roasted. And these animals remain the reservoir of Ebola.

When we study HIV, we see similar simple cultural behaviors that can diminish HIV rates in Africa. Circumcision which is not only a monotheistic habit in Judea-Christianity and Islam but dates back to Kemetic practices of ancient Nubian Egypt; this simple practice of cutting off the foreskin of the male penis reduces the risk of HIV infection by as much as 60% from scientific studies. The cheapest methods of eliminating health problems is prevention. And much invaluable prevention is in religious and cultural doctrine.

In the western world today, they have invested in perfecting expensive methods of curtailing outbreaks and treating diseases. To Africa’s shame, our leaders have been hopeless; hopelessly embezzling all the capital that African states should have used to advance its health-care system; and while they have spent time dancing and swallowing billions of dollars for the state, diseases, crime, terror and other crises have not waited but have advanced as much as modern innovation has permitted. While African leaders today do elaborate opening ceremonies when they build ordinary roads and establish train networks, the world has advanced in leaps and bounds in disease management and also in type of deadly germs.

Ebola has plagued Africa for 4 decades. Africa has no hope of dealing with it and waits for the west to look into our problem for us. Our leaders invest nothing into directing the proper healthcare preventive measures which are cheap to establish or in investing in and sponsoring appropriate research into more complex levels of disease management. We embrace the cultural dangers and advanced risk habits from Europe, but are denied the associated health and social wealth checks they have. African leaders and government cabal ‘business’ tycoons have the most private jets in the world, but the people have the least health-care expenditure per capita, per person – less than $100/year/person in Africa compared to more than $8000 in the US.

We call to Europe to help. We run to France, to America to set up regional collaborations among us to tackle terror; we run to them to decide how we must manage Ebola.

It is to our shame in Africa; and it’s not just our leaders whose heads should be in the ground, but us all.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: drbrimah@ends.ng Twitter: @EveryNigerian

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Atiku Drums Support for Aregbesola…Urges His Osun in-Laws Not to Let APC Down

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has appealed to the electorate in Osun State to vote wisely on Saturday by returning the incumbent governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for another four-year term.

A statement from Atiku Media Office, quoted the Turaki Adamawa and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), whose first wife, Hajiya Titi Atiku Abubakar hails from Ilesa in Osun State, as calling on his in-laws to trounce the PDP at the governorship election slated for this Saturday.

According to the statement, Atiku gave the advice to a section of Osun leaders who paid him a courtesy call shortly after his arrival from a trip abroad.

“I am one of you by marriage. In fact, I am a son of the soil who shares your revered ideals and tradition of honesty, modesty, dedication to duty, steadfastness, integrity and communal responsibility. We do have a common bond of a lifetime. So I am urging you to team up with the progressives in your state and Nigeria to put in place good governments that would benefit all and sundry. Please, don’t let me down. Vote Aregbesola and APC,” the former Vice President said.

Aside matrimonial ties, Atiku has political tentacles that stretch the length and breadth of Nigeria and beyond. Hence, his relationship with Governor Aregbesola dates back to many years.

“Ogbeni is a people’s politician, a great policy maker and implementer. He is humane, simple and humble. He has the fear of God and respect for men and women. He is a steward of high repute and his numerous works and high performance ratings would see him win a second term massively,” added.

Atiku, whose solidarity flight to Ibadan en route Osogbo was cancelled yesterday due to bad weather condition.

Meanwhile, it would be recalled that Hajiya Titi Atiku Abubakar holds some of the highest traditional titles ever bestowed on any woman in Yorubaland and Osun State respectively. Amongst them are the ‘Yeye Adimula’ of the Source (Mother and Pillar of Support for Yorubaland, Ile Ife); the ‘Yeye Odo’ of Osun State (Mother of Osun Youths) and the ‘Yeye Atayase’ of Ijesaland (Mother of Improvement).

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