The Osinbajo Example: Bridging The Gap As A Pastor And Politician, By Bernard Okri

On 8 January 2018, Vanguard Newspaper published a story titled, “Fuel Scarcity: Nigerians commend Osinbajo for selfless leadership” it was one of many headlines that commended the number two citizen of Nigeria for his service to the people as a politician.

Osinbajo is a man who has a track record for his dedication, perseverance, courage and for achieving excellence in his work as a public servant, in the church as a pastor or at home as a husband and father. He is a man that knows how to find a balance despite the responsibilities on his shoulders.

Not many believe that a you can succeed as a pastor and public servant at the same time but Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo is redefining the thought of many Nigerians.

Despite his busy schedule as Vice President, he has never forsaken the gathering of the brethren even while helping to attract successes to efforts by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to re-invent Nigeria on many grounds.

In addition to assisting in putting the national economy on track for fast recovery as head of the Economic Team, Osinbajo has won the heart of the Nigerian youths for the government through a well-designed Social Intervention Programme (SIP) comprising the N-Power, GEEP Market Moni, Home Grown School Feeding initiative and the Conditional Cash Transfer for the unemployed in the country. He has been the bridge through which the south-south zone of the federation re-connected with the Buhari’s government, a development, which assisted in mitigating tension on the zone.

The latest exploits by the Vice President in bringing the good agenda of the Buhari’s government to fulfillment came through his unrelenting efforts to expose corruption allegedly perpetrated under the past government of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Osinbajo has been doing that because the war against corruption is one of the major planks of the policy trust by the present government to re-invent Nigeria.

His background as an established Pastor in the Redeemed Christians Church of God (RCCG) offers an insight on why he seems to be neck deep in the task by the Cabinet to fight corruption. As a pastor, he is ordained to stay of any acts corruption, set examples on how not to be corrupt, speak against corruption and its incubus as well as expose corruption even when on an embryonic stage. Vice President Osinbajo, when honking on acts of corruption, dwells on facts and figures available to the Cabinet. He is committed to assist Nigeria stave off the possible return of the menace with every successive government. For effectively bridging the role of a pastor and a politician, Osinbajo deserves applause.

A week ago, the Vice President stepped on toes when he featured in the last episode of the The Platform, organised by the Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, alleging that three persons stole $3 billion (N1 trillion) in the Jonathan administration.

Not too long ago, he had alleged that the Jonathan administration shared the sum of N150 billion just two weeks to the 2015 elections, whereas, the same government spent just a paltry N14 billion on agriculture in 2014; N15 billion on transportation and only N153 billion on infrastructure in three years. Osinbajo, perhaps, has more privileged information on monumental kind of mindless corruption which the Jonathan government allowed in its six years reign.

Even though Nigerians are aware that the government ran by Jonathan knew nothing about frugality and parsimony on financial matters, with evidence of alleged infamies against his government on corruption still in the pubic domain, Jonathan, who had before now remained taciturn and a recluse, swallowing all guilt about his failure, is now finding the courage to make feeble kicks.

Last week, Jonathan, likely prodded by jobless aides who still leech on him, resolved to take his brittle grievance to the RCCG Shepard, Pastor Eunuch Adejare Adeboye, asking him to call the Vice President to order for “Lying” against him. Incredible! The question is; will Jonathan, whose government symbolizes corruption ever accused anyone of lying against him when, indeed, evidence of the mindless looting of treasury perpetrated by his government is in the public glare, all flying on the streets?

From observation, Jonathan who had from day long owned up to some grave mistakes while his regime lasted, would never have dreamt of approaching Pastor Adeboye to call the Vice President to order for telling the truth against him. The truth is; Jonathan’s former Social Media aide, Reno Omokri, prodded his latest move to approach the RCCG for succour. The tweets by Omokri on the issue are enough evidence to prove that he, indeed, prodded the reaction by Jonathan.

Before now, Reno Omokri has been crying more than the bereaved since Jonathan fell from grace to grass, after rejection by Nigerian voters in the 2015 Presidential election. Reno Omokri since then has never seen anything good in the succeeding administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. He had whipped sentiments sufficient to rebrand and remold Jonathan out of power and had consistently failed. Remo Omokri acts as if a grand plan was afoot for Jonathan to return to power in 2019, failing to come to terms that his principal remains a rejected quantity on account of corruption and “buffoonery”, the type Nigerians will never tolerate again under any guise.

Jonathan and his gang of looters are lucky that they are Nigerians. In other climes, Presidents and prime Ministers who merely accepted bribes and kickbacks are either in the dock today or behind bars.

This year alone, the world has witnessed how Presidents and Prime Ministers of different countries were arraigned in court on allegation of corruption not bothering on looting the Nigerian style, but on account of carelessness in handling bribery cases.

The south-African former President, Jacob Zuma and Mauritius President, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, are classical examples of how matured democracies abhors corruption. South-Africa and Mauritius never allowed the leaders breathing spaces until they eased them out of power, parading them in courts, all the same.

The same scenarios are playing out in Brazil where two successive leaders, Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor, Luiz Lula da Silva are currently in court answering charges on corruption over alleged 400 million euro bribe.

In Isreal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing charges filed against him by the Police, which recommended his prosecution on two count charges of corruption and breach of trust.

Nigerian too can fall in line with countries that reserves great abhorrence for corruption, showing sincerity of purpose and the will power to just fight the menace at all levels. The best way to achieve this is to enlist in efforts by leaders like President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo, first in condemning acts of corruption which have destroyed every fabrics of the Nigerian nation and begin to push for prosecution of those found culpable of corruption crimes that has pegged Nigeria down this much. Those due for prosecution include former President Jonathan and his gang of treasury looters.

Bernard Okri, writer and public affairs analysts wrote in from Asaba,
Delta State.

OPL 245: The Most Popular Oil Block, By Reuben Abati

The Petroleum Act 1969 (as amended) grants powers to the Ministry of Petroleum, acting through the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to administer the licensing of oil blocks in the country. These include Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL), Oil Mining Licence (OML) and Oil Exploration Licence (OEL), which allow the awardees, local and foreign, to explore for and develop oil and gas resources within the country.

So far, there are 65 OPLs and 99 OMLs. The last round of licensing bids was conducted in 2007. Of the existing awarded oil blocks and marginal fields, the most controversial and the best known is OPL 245, which owes its fame specifically to the allegation of a missing $1.3 billion due to the Federal Government in what is known as the Malabu oil deal.

The main actors in the Settlement Agreement involving OPL 245 continue to insist that no Federal Government money is missing, and that indeed they deserve praise for civic patriotism, for saving the Nigerian Government from embarrassment and imminent loss of money and face, due to its mismanagement of the award process in the first place. Allegations of missing money are often translated into naked truth, in this season, without due reflection, and regard for the facts of the case.

This is so, in this instance, because of reports of corruption involving and surrounding the OPL 245 transactions and foreign investors – Shell and ENI, into which the courts in the home jurisdictions of those companies are inquiring. Whereas this has dominated the narrative, it is important that we go beyond the politics of name-calling, victimization, blackmail and harassment that has developed around OPL 245 and focus on the big picture.

The oil and gas industry in Nigeria is opaque; it is one of the most difficult areas of our national life. The award of exploitation and exploration licenses raises questions of transparency and accountability. Section 2 of the Petroleum Act relies on the approval of the Minister of Petroleum for a license to be awarded, and under the military, this was more or less an exclusive prerogative of the Minister of Petroleum.

This is in fact why Presidents and Heads of State (Obasanjo, Buhari) hold on to the Petroleum Ministerial portfolio, and when they do not do so, they ensure that whoever is appointed to that position either as Minister or Special Adviser, or by any title whatsoever is directly answerable to them.  The oil and gas sector is Nigeria’s honey pot. Whoever is awarded an oil block or marginal field is instantly a multi-billionaire, and that is why the struggle for an oil block is the most desperate struggle among Nigeria’s aspirational elite.

With the introduction of an Indigenous Exploration Policy in the 1990s, meant to ensure  indigenous participation in this most strategic sector, Nigeria’s military rulers, awarded oil blocks to themselves, their friends, girlfriends and cronies. It was like another season of the oil boom and every one wanted a part of the national cake. Many of those who were given oil blocks could not even identify a Christmas tree if they ever saw one. Petty traders, hawkers, errand boys and girls and those with access to the corridors of power only needed to ask for help and that could come in the form of the gift of an oil block.

Nigerians who got lucky and got such oil blocks only needed to have a foreign technical partner. This indigenization policy may have indeed been well-meaning but it created a special class of rent-collectors who lived off Nigeria. There were complaints about the ethnic extraction of those who enjoyed such privilege.

In 2002, President Olusegun Obasanjo, to moderate concerns about ethnic favouritism, and lack of transparency, introduced an open bidding and competitive process. His government also established the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), an oversight and audit agency, but despite the best intentions, oil and gas transactions remained opaque and the Obasanjo government eventually violated its own principles by resorting to discretionary awards during the 2002/2003 licensing rounds, and the adoption of a problematic policy called “forced marriages”. Forced marriages in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria have often ended in bitter divorces with collateral damages.

Thus, consistently, the Nigerian government has been the author of various distortions in the oil and gas sector due to inefficiency, the politicization and personalization of national resources, and the abuse of due process.

The Malabu case provides a good illustration. Malabu, an indigenous oil and gas company, was allocated Block 245 in 1998, other local companies were also similarly allocated oil blocks, which under the Guidelines, they were required to develop in partnership with international Technical Partners. Malabu paid $2m out of the stipulated $20m at the time, and entered into a joint operation agreement with Shell Ultra Deep Limited (SNUD).

The company received its operating license in April 2001 but the same license was revoked in July 2001. The Federal Government then curiously invited Exxon Mobil and Shell, Malabu’s technical partner, to bid for the same OPL 245 as contractors in partnership with the NNPC.

Shell won the bid and proceeded to begin work on the oil block. Malabu cried out that its former technical partner, Shell, had acted in bad faith, by conniving with the government to grab OPL 245 for itself.  The company then petitioned the House of Representatives which directed the Federal Government to re-award Block 245 to Malabu. Malabu also went to the Federal High Court, Abuja to seek redress. The suit was struck out. Malabu headed for the Court of Appeal. While this was going on, the then Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Edmund Daukoru asked for settlement out of court on behalf of the Federal Government. OPL 245 had become a cause celebre.

Its association with Dan Etete, Abacha’s Minister of Petroleum, and the Federal Government’s argument that Etete awarded the oil block to himself while in office, had resulted in agitations among the people of the Niger Delta who began to ask for an audit of all oil blocks and full disclosure of the ethnic identity of their owners.

The people of Odi, Etete’s home-town also protested that President Obasanjo was against the people of Odi. In 1999, President Obasanjo had been accused of ordering a military invasion of Odi following increased protest in the Niger Delta over indigenous rights to the ownership of oil resources. The people of the Niger Delta could not understand why an oil block associated with an Ijaw suddenly became the target of harassment. The delicate politics of oil block allocation was gradually being unveiled.

The Obasanjo government back-tracked and re-awarded Block 245 to Malabu but on the condition that the company would pay the new signature bonus of $210 million less the $2m it paid in 1998. Malabu paid the sum, and withdrew its case from court. But this created another problem. Shell went to arbitration at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington DC, and also filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

SNUD, having entered into a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the NNPC in 2002, had paid $1 million out of the $210 million signature bonus for OPL 245, and kept the balance of $209 million in an Escrow Account with J.P Morgan pending the resolution of the dispute over OPL 245. Shell wanted compensation and damages in excess of US$2 billion. The company further claimed that it had incurred costs de-risking the oil block.

This was yet another problem: the Federal Government received payment from two companies for the same oil block! In addition, whoever gave the approval for the de-risking of OPL 245 despite an on-going litigation that should have provided a basis for lis pendens, further complicated the situation. Every attempt to resolve the matter one way or the other failed. The possession of an oil block is a serious matter.  Shell was offered another oil block; it refused. Block 245 has a total estimated value of about 9 billion barrels of crude. The Obasanjo government toyed with the idea of settlement negotiations among the feuding parties, but no concrete resolution was reached, although a Terms of Settlement Framework was eventually adopted in 2006.

This was the situation until 2010 when President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office. Malabu again petitioned the Federal Government. While taking into consideration the cost to the Federal Government of entering into litigation with Shell on one hand, and Malabu on the other, the Jonathan government resolved to enter into a Resolution Agreement with both parties, and resolve all issues amicably.

Under this agreement dated April 29, 2011, Malabu resolved that it would waive all claims to OPL 245, after due compensation by the Federal Government. Shell also agreed to withdraw all suits against the Federal Government and to pay, through the Federal Government, the sum of $1.092 billion as full and final settlement of Malabu in relation to its claims on Block 245. Automatically, Block 245 would in that case revert to Shell and the Italian oil company, ENI, Shell’s new partner.  In June 2013, the matter was amicably resolved on these terms. Presidential approval was then given to the effect that Malabu Oil and Gas should be paid the sum of $1.092 billion from the Federal Government’s Escrow Account with J.P. Morgan.

In every instance in this case, the Federal Government under President Jonathan acted solely as a mediator – trust between Malabu and Shell having broken down- and as an obligor seeking to resolve the crisis arising from the collection of money by a previous government from two parties for the same oil block.

It is important to note that the said $1.092 billion has not even been paid in full to Malabu Oil and Gas, for whereas the Federal Government of Nigeria had given approval that the money be paid, other parties suddenly showed up to make claims on the money: Energy Venture Partners Limited (a British Virgin Island Company), International Legal Consulting (a Russian Company), Pecos Energy Limited and Mohammed Sani. In the event of these developments, Malabu ended up getting a sum of US$801.540 million and an additional US$75 million while a sum of $215 million is retained with the High Court of England pending the determination of proceedings against Malabu in the UK.

The Malabu/Shell crisis has spanned the lives of four administrations: Abacha, Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan. The Jonathan administration helped to resolve a lingering crisis and saved the Federal Government of Nigeria from the risk of liability. If the allocation of oil blocks had not been politicized and personalized in the first place, the crisis would not have occurred. This year, the Buhari government is said to be proposing another round of oil blocks licensing; this should provide an opportunity for a rigorous review of the licensing process.

No company should be pre-qualified or favoured; the process must be truly open and competitive. Companies that are unknown to the oil and gas industry and with doubtful capacity should be barred from the process. No license that has been held for up to 20 years should be renewed and no person must be allowed to have multiple licenses either as principal partner or investor. All allocated blocks that have been left unexplored should be withdrawn and re-awarded. The Department of Petroleum Resources should publish a full list of all blocks awarded so far- offshore, deep water, shallow waters and onshore- indicating who owns them- local or foreign.

The people have a right to know and all things taken together, the power to allocate oil exploration should licences should not be vested in a person.

This far-reaching reform is important again because it may be contradictory to promote indigenous participation and local content in the oil and gas sector, and at the same time, persecute select beneficiaries on the grounds that a previous government granted them an undue advantage whereas this seems to be the general pattern. Moral questions may be raised about abuse of office or undue influence, but the government that does so must be seen to be fair, just and equitable in doing so, otherwise it would project itself as selective and vindictive. We need to create a template for fairness.

Where the Federal Government can prove cases of bribery, it is up to it to prove its case, and the onus is further on it to prove if indeed the Federal Government has in any way lost any penny belonging to it in the Malabu case. But other OPLs and OMLs must also be investigated. If there are concrete, irrefutable facts, the state should make them available in the public interest. As James Comey argues forcefully in his 2018 memoir: A Higher Loyalty – Truth, Lies and Leadership, the greatest form of corruption, dishonesty and assault on democracy is when a government and its officials resort to truth-avoidance and the politics of expediency.  In such a strategic sector as oil and gas, this would be rather too costly in the long run.

Osun Security: Another First In Rating Indices, By Abiodun Komolafe

State of Osun is Nigeria’s most peaceful state. This impressive feat, according to a report on Nigeria Peace Index (NPI), couldn’t have come at a more auspicious time than now in the sense that Nigeria is bogged down by serious internal security challenge on all fronts: provable Boko Haram and ‘ISIS in West Africa’ terrorism in the North East; violent herdsmen/farmers clashes in the North West and North Central; armed banditry and kidnappings and in the South East, militancy and piracy in the South South; and violent crimes and ethno-religious upheavals in parts of the South West geo-political zones of the country.

Gratifyingly, the ranking, based on the research findings of the Foundation for Peace Professionals (FPP), came less than a month after the Joint Tax Board (JTB) commended the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration for spearheading a process that has consistently led to a year-on-year improvement in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and tax remittances to the state, the latest being the N11.9 billion generated as actual full year IGR for 2017, representing more than 30% increase over the previous year’s N8,884,756,040.35.

The award could also be described as a soothing balm for a country that has just been treated one of the cruelest forms of armed robbery attacks in its recent history. The incident, which took place in Offa in a neighboring state, left no fewer than 17 persons dead and a large amount of money carted away by the bandits.

Yes! This is not the first time the state will be so honoured! Remember: Osun ranked Nigeria’s13th crime-free state in 2016, a height attained “through various interventions by the government in beefing up the security of the state.” It is even more than that! Osun is, as we speak, Nigeria’s 2nd richest state. Currently, it is 2nd on the Human Capital Index and has maintained the 2nd position in four years in a roll in the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). In Agriculture and Food Security, dear state is now 2nd only to Oyo State in broiler production and its forestry sub-sector ranks 5th in the country.

Osun is now Nigeria’s 5th largest economy with its GDP growing at 7.3% per annum. Its position (between 1st and 3rd, since 2013) in the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) matriculable students in Nigeria has not only rubbished the premise that “WAEC rankings” of states should be the only yardstick for measuring states’ performance in education, it has also gone a long way in demonstrating that government’s transformational investments in the education sector have not been in vain. In Sports, the state also came 9th in the recently-concluded National Youth Games, a feat that has for a long while eluded the state.

For the sake of clarity so as not to be left in the ambience of ambiguity, this government is reputed to be the first in the country to have led a new understanding in parliamentary Local Government administration in Nigeria. It is also the first in the country to replace books with computer tablets called ‘Tablet of Knowledge’ aka ‘Opon Imo’ to further stimulate the interest of students to learning as well as completely turn learning into play in schools.

While other states were wallowing in the cesspool of salary conundrum, courtesy of the national economic dislocation, Aregbesola’s government became the first in the country to creatively adopt a robustly-designed salary apportionment model which “makes workers from grade level 08 and above collect between 75 and 50 per cent of their salaries.”

However, while its ranking as the state with the highest prevalence of female genital mutilation in Nigeria, courtesy of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), demands the attention of all, facts are that Aregbesola’s parliamentary gift to Osun will in no small way help in expanding the potentials for accountability, transparency and societal capacity building.

Though by no means a great feat, Aregbesola’s administration’s latest cap did not come as a surprise. Certainly, it is one of the expected results of his administration’s renewed efforts at fostering, especially, a secured, virtuous state. Prior to his assumption of office on November 27, 2010, Osun was home to all kinds of security challenges which no doubt compromised the people’s lives and diminished their influence. Though sitting on a sea of possibilities, the state was broke, with its IGR at the time standing at a paltry N300 million monthly average. Put in strict terms, Aregbesola took over the reins of power when the state was in an economic dilemma as a result of structural deficiency, gross misrule and mismanagement of resources.

Aregbesola became governor and the narrative changed! Without being sycophantic, Ogbeni’s commitment to security of lives and property remains unimpeachable as he has consistently maintained that no state, not even country, can reach its full potentials in an atmosphere of violence and insecurity. It was against this backdrop that government set up the Swift Action Squad (SAS) as a dedicated a crime response team to compliment the efforts of the regular police in securing the state.

It also procured and distributed 125 security patrol vehicles and 25 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), in addition to provision of other logistics, to security agencies in the state for the purpose of ensuring peace and communal harmony in the state. Vigilance and neighborhood watch groups were also encouraged to provide support for the regular security agencies.

Another area that demands commendation was the administration’s fostering a “co-existence blueprint” in resolving herders/farmers crises in Osun, a situation the Sale Bayari-led Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) said has been responsible for a “silent and peaceful” state.

Talking about Aregbesola’s administration in the eye of history, this, again, is why Nigeria’s tribe of Pharisees who always hunger for the wrong reason needs to wake up from its hatred-infused slumber. Rather than engage in needless spleen-venting or muscle-flexing wiles that take nobody nowhere, present challenges should unite actors in the Osun political landscape to look beyond political sentiments and needless emotions in the choice of Aregbesola’s successor.

Jokes apart, one pathetic paradox of what Kingsley Moghalu referred to as ‘politics of vested interests’ in this clime is that, in spite of all that Nigeria has been blessed with as a country, she’s still rated as the poverty capital of the world, with more than 80 million Nigerians now live below poverty level and over-3.7 million currently faced with food insecurity which, if care is not taken, may increase to 5.2 million by August 2018. Nigeria, interestingly, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, is now world’s 125th poorest country. The sad side of it is that, of the world’s poorest countries, 18 of them are in Africa; and, Mauritius, which currently serves as Africa’s best, is world’s 45th.

Less than 3 years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, Nigeria’s external debt, already considered as the biggest in all of sub-Saharan Africa, now stands at over-$18.91 billion (over-N5.787 trillion). And, as if difficulties are gender-sensitive, Nigeria currently ranks worst in women’s participation in politics, courtesy of Nigeria’s unhealthy political environment. On the World Happiness Index, she is 91st. In Industrial Gross Domestic Product (GDP), she has the lowest on the continent, beaten by less-endowed countries like Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Cameroon and Ghana. In

Budget transparency, she is world’s 90th; and 23rd in Africa behind Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Liberia. Even, the best university in Nigeria can only fit into 1099th position globally. To make a bad situation worse, Nigerians, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF), are now poorer than they were three years ago!

Without being immodest, Nigeria is in troubled times and Osun as an integral part of the country is not immune from her many predicaments. According to information, 34 states can’t pay workers’ salaries without running, cap-in-hand, to Abuja for monthly handouts. The trials being faced by Nigeria’s crude oil in the international market are yet to abate even as dear country is yet to smart out of its mono-economy status.

It’s in the midst of these threats that the incoming governor will be expected consolidate on Aregbesola’s achievements, win the confidence of his people, improve on the payment of workers’ salaries and perform wonders along the line of infrastructure development.

Looking at Nigeria’s current political and socio-economic dynamics therefore, those who truly love Osun will have to do more than debating, counter-debating and panting with polluted affinity on the colour or size of the next governor’s ethno-religious garb. In my considered opinion, Aregbesola’s successor must be a personality who has all along been partaking of the many surgical operations aimed at healing the wounds created by the enormity of its challenges. Failure to incorporate this into the DNA of our choice process may be likened to deliberately preparing dear state for doom. God forbid!

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in the State of Osun!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria (ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk)

 

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

O20, Okenisa Street,

PO Box 153,

Ijebu-Jesa, State of Osun.

How Gov Tambuwal’s Administration Is Tackling Water Shortage In Sokoto, By Zubair Sada

The importance of increasing access to clean water is emphasised in the need for economic development which will lead to the reduction of poverty, it forms key strategy for improving the living standards and health condition of the population. It’s undisputable that Sokoto state has enjoyed the abundance of clean water, thanks to the Goronyo dam which provides 70% of the supply link while the Sokoto River and boreholes constitute the remaining percentage.

Early this year, there was uproar by the public concerning the depleting status of the Goronyo dam which supplies Sokoto and Kebbi states, putting four million lives at risk.  It was gathered then that dam might have devastating impact as it decreases each day, as the sudden depletion would not only affect onion, garlic, tomatoes, water melon and sugar cane production in Sokoto state, but will also heighten chances of hunger in both Sokoto and Kebbi state.

In March 2018 when Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal paid an inspection visit to the depleting dam, he raised an alarm saying ‘’the reservoir of Goronyo Dam was constructed to hold one billion cubic meters of water but as we have seen today, the water in it is about 100million cubic meters. This has resulted in inadequate supply of water to the people, our farmers are also suffering because output from this year’s dry season will invariably be affected’’

The Sokoto government under the administration of his Excellency, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as a matter of urgency approved and awarded a N246 million contract for the rehabilitation of 40 exisiting boreholes, as well as the construction of a new one at the Assare Water Scheme under the supervision of the Sokoto state water board. All the borehole project works have been completed, within the Sokoto metropolis, the completed boreholes are located at Abuja road, Kontgora road, Yauri/Kalambaina, Gwiwa Low cost area, Super quarters road and Haliru model primary school.

The governor also approved another contract for the construction of 250 solar powered water schemes to be sited in rural areas across the state. The project comprises of solar pumping system, control room, distribution system, borehole, 10,000 litres capacity tank and security fencing.

The breakdown of the placement include; 14 solar powered boreholes for Dange Shuni, Gada and Sokoto North Local Government in different locations, Wurno council will have 12 while 11 different locations will benefit from the scheme in Illela council. The remaining 17 local government councils will each get 10 of the schemes in their localities

While Goronyo dam awaits intervention from the federal government, the state government has set up an advisory committee on water supply headed by the Secretary to the state government Professor Bashir Garba and has Commissioner of works, Ahmad Aliyu who also doubles as deputy governor of Sokoto state, Permanent secretary of works, past and present general managers including the deputy general manager of Sokoto water board as members. They were instructed to come up with an interim report on how to confront the depleting status of the dam.

In the interim, the committee has met with the Managing Director of Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority, SRRDA, and Engineer Buhari Bature and requested him to double the ration of water supply from the Sokoto River to the water installations and new extensions which are situated along the river. The major pump of the installation along the river which has been faulty, many months ago have been revived and operational. Supply of water is at 60% and keeps improving every day, there lays the ray of hope in result delivery. If the delivery keeps steady, it might shoot up to 75%.

Finally, the interim report of the water supply advisory committee is much awaited, and to be approved by the Sokoto state government. The report will go a long way in providing long term solution to water shortage in Sokoto state.

Police Brutality And Impunity In Nigeria, By Adedamola Adejobi

Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary (Reinhold Niebuhr)

The latest events in the country is not one that gives the assurance of a country edging towards the strengthening and stability of its democratic system nor one that adheres to principles of fairness and justice. The recent show of shame between the Nigerian Police, Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West and the Nigerian Senate is nothing to be proud of as a country that prides itself as the leading democracy in sub Saharan Africa.

Ordinary Nigerians suffer brutality in the hands of the Nigerian Police whom it swore to protect and serve but are for most of the time rude, crude, abusive, dishonest and barbaric thereby making life unbearable for the common man on the street. While on the other hand serve as errand boy for political officers or influential citizens. The Nigerian Police is perceived by most Nigerians as a dreaded militia with state backing. A tool in the hand of the political class for witch-hunting of its perceived opponents.

The case of Senator Dino Melaye has brought to the fore again one of the daily horrors of being a common civilian in Nigeria. The flagrant misuse of state authority in the cause of discharge of duties is grossly unprofessional and negates international human rights.

A simple research of the Nigerian newspapers reports an average of 2 to 3 police brutalities in a week in various part of the country, not to even talk of extortion experienced by motorist on major highways. All this doesn’t get to shake the nation nor become major headlines as long it’s a common man who is the victim, but when the case is reverse that an influential figure is the victim, of which at most times as case of political witch hunting by someone superior who can use the Police to achieve its objectives.

The brutality suffered by Dino Melaye in the hands of the Nigerian Police is one that clearly shows that the common man on the street means nothing to the Police. I am not writing to defend Dino Melaye nor holding brief for anyone who may have been accused of one crime or the other, but my charge is that it must be done with respect for human dignity and rights.

More shameful is the recent move by the Nigerian Senate who invited the Inspector General of Police to come before it to give justifications for the prosecution or persecution of Dino Melaye, whichever suits the fancy, but got snubbed twice by the IGP. The legislative arm of government in any democracy should be able to oversight on the executive arm of government and other arms of government without interference into its independence and effective discharge of its duties in an unbiased way.

The case of the call for the appearance of the IGP before the senate is one that looks biased because one of its own is the victim, while the snub by the IGP is one that portrays culture of impunity and disrespect to the institution. Section 88(1, 2a) of the Constitution and 89(c), empowered the Senate to summon anybody before it. It is quite unfortunate this section of the constitution doesn’t come into force when the rights of the common man are trampled upon by the Nigerian Police and other public institution that is expected to serve the masses.

The growing culture of impunity by different public institutions towards another should be addressed as a matter of national importance if the sustenance of our democracy means anything to us. I think its very appropriate for the IGP to respect the call of the upper legislative chamber and address it on the issue of unnecessary killings going on in some part of the country and same for the Presidency to honour the invitation of the lower legislative chamber who summoned it to appear and give explanation on the state of security of the country.

Nobody should be above the law and no institution should abuse its powers as well in witch hunting the other. The principle of justice and fairness should be upheld by all and sundry who cares about the growth of our democracy.

 

 

Dear Nigerians: Whose English? By Ganiu Bamgbose

On the ground of its wide geographical dispersion as the world’s most prestigious and documented language, the English Language had been domesticated, nativised, indigenised and adapted in many countries of the world where it serves as a foreign or second language. This domestication notwithstanding, many of the second language Englishes are yet to develop their own norms in the crucial working areas of the language ranging from grammar, to vocabulary, spelling and idiomatic expressions.
However, the two leading varieties of English which are the British and American varieties have well mapped out their linguistic boundaries in all of these crucial areas. These two varieties have therefore been the repertoire for the growing varieties. Until other varieties, especially the second language varieties, will duly develop their dialects of the English language, there is a need to adhere strictly to the linguistic patterns of any of the chosen variety (between British and American) especially in writing. It is essential to state that it is not compulsory to use the British English in Nigeria even in school settings and examination situations. What is important however is a total adherence to the peculiarities of any of the varieties so preferred. It is therefore pertinent for second language users of English in Nigeria and other parts of the world to know the basic ways the two leading varieties differ in grammar, vocabulary, spelling and idiomatic expressions. This is briefly discussed below.
Grammar: British or American construction?
Grammar means the rules that guide how
 words are assembled into sentences. The two leading varieties of English differ in some ways in how they combine words to form sentences. Few of the differences are presented below.
1. Got is the past and past participle of get in British English while Americans use gotten.
I’ve got some relevant materials for this course (British).
 I’ve gotten some relevant materials for this course (American).
2. British English favours the use of present perfect tense for a recent action while American English uses the simple past.
I’ve just eaten (British).
I just ate (American).
3. British speakers of English, especially those using the Received Pronunciation (RP), have a strong tendency towards the irregular forms of verbs while Americans preferably use the regular forms.
Irregular: learn-learnt, spoil-spoilt, light-lit
Regular: learn-learned, spoil-spoiled, light-lighted.
The candle has been lit since morning (British).
The candle has been lighted since morning (American).
VOCABULARY: “big big” English?
Many think vocabulary explains any word they do not understand. Well, vocabulary simply means the words in a particular language or all the words a person knows in a language and can use. So I can say a person’s vocabulary in Yoruba is wider than mine and I can also say English is richer in vocabulary than all other world languages.
Dialects of the same language differ in vocabulary. For instance, the Yoruba speakers in Lagos will say “amala” while those in Ibadan/Oyo may prefer to say “oka”. In the same way, the choice of words differs in English depending on whether one is using the British or American variety of the language. Below are some of the differences in vocabulary:
Peace (British)  Shalom (American)
Flat (British)  Apartment (American)
Parrafin (British) Kerosene (American)
Graduate (British)  Alumnus (American)
Barrister (British)  Attorney (American)
(Motor) car (British)  Automobile (American)
Pram (British)  Baby-carriage (American)
Pub (British)  Bar (American)
Hoarding (British)  Billboard (American)
Wallet (British)  Billfold (American)
Taxi (British)  Cab (American)
Tin (British)  Can (American)
Sweets (British)  Candy (American)
Cupboard (British)  Closet (American)
Biscuit (British)  Cookie (American)
Maize (British) Corn (American)
Mad (British)  Crazy (American)
Lift (British)  Elevator (American)
Ground floor (Br.) First floor (Am.)
Touch (British) Flash light (American)
Main road (Br.) Highway (Am.)
Post (British) Mail (American)
Maths (British)  Math (American)
The cinema (Br.) The movies (Am.)
Flyover (British)  Overpass (American)
Road surface (Br.)  Pavement (Am.)
Cooker (British)  Stove (American)
Mean (British)  Stingy (American)
Holiday(s) (British) Vacation (American)
Zip (British)  Zipper (American)
Though the use of a British word will be acceptable in American English (and vice versa), most listeners will understand the word as coming from the other form of English. Second language users, such as Nigerians, can use any of the varieties. However, consistency is important.
There is a need to also be consistent in our spellings.
Programme (British)  Program (America)
Colour (British) Color (America)
Realise (British) Realize (America)
Sceptical (British) Skeptical (American)
Centre (British) Center (America)
Modelling (British) Modeling (American)
Defence (British) Defense (America)
Manoeuvre (British) Maneuver (American)
Analogue (British)  Analog (American)
Whose idiom: British or American?
Idioms (idiomatic expressions) are fixed expressions that have figurative or literal meanings. Most times, we cannot arrive at their meanings by considering the individual words in the expressions. However, despite the fixity of idioms, British and American Englishes still, sometimes, slightly differ in their forms of idioms. The following are some examples.
Skeleton in the cupboard (British).
Skeleton in the closet (American).
A home from home (British).
A home away from home (American).
Blow one’s trumpet (British).
Blow (or toot) one’s horn (American).
A drop in the ocean (British).
A drop in the bucket (American).
Storm in a teacup (British).
Tempest in a teapot (American).
Flogging a dead horse (British).
Beating a dead horse (American).
Haven’t a clue (British)
Have no clue (American)
A new lease of life (British)
A new lease on life (American).
In some cases, the American variant is also used in BrE, or vice versa.
The choice is ours to make; consistency is all that matters.
(c) 2018 Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose (GAB)
Doctoral student of English, University of Ibadan

Dino Melaye: The Return Of ‘Shina Rambo’ By Phrank Shaibu

When I wrote last month about Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, I was accused in certain quarters of nursing a king size grudge against the Okun born politician.
Some people suggested that the write up smirked of belicosity if not out right hyperbolism. Indeed, the effluents imbued in that piece, according to one of his rabid supporters, was laced with evidence that I was paid by the Kogi State Government, to do a dirty job on the embattled Senator.
The article, entitled, “At Last, Dino Melaye Meets His Nemesis” has turned out to be prophetic. I could as well be called a marabout with uncommon gift of clairvoyance. Indeed, events of the last one or two weeks have confirmed that I was spot on in my description and prediction of the man.
No, I don’t want anyone to surmise that this follow-up piece is about gloating over the misfortunes of Dino, as the senator is better known. On the contrary, this is about reminding us that I saw the events of the past one or two weeks coming and tried, albeit failingly, to warn that he could meet his waterloo if he did not check his excesses and the predilection of always seeking to play to the gallery.
Unfortunately, Dino, like a dog destined for abyss failed to hearken to the hunter’s whistle and suddenly found himself encircled in a trajectory beyond his wildest imagination.
Today, he is fighting the battle of his life, caged like a common rat. He suddenly finds that the law is no respecter of persons and that once you have become a fugitive on the run, you put yourself up to be treated like a common criminal.
Definitely, I am not one of those in sympathy with the Kogi West Senator for what has become his lot. After all, when a man decides to stand in front of a moving train, you can only imagine that he would eventually be crushed. Likewise, a man who dips his fingers in a pond of snakes should not be surprised that the poisonous venom of the reptile would soon takeover the blood in his veins.
Truth is, I never believed that the embattled Senator would try to play “Rambo” by allegedly jumping out of a moving police pickup van. Neither could anyone have convinced me that he would employ alleged thugs to help shield him from the police. But that’s what the man reportedly did to the consternation of all.
Thrice, he was reportedly accosted by security agencies and on all accounts, he had hirelings who blocked his arrest. I stand to be corrected if it was just a coincidence that the thugs did what they did without being induced to do so. Neither would anyone convince me that it was the first time Dino was employing them to do a dirty job. But that is a debate for another day.
Ordinarily I would have questioned the propriety of his trial in a magistrate court while on a stretcher by the police instead of waiting for him to get well but I am constrained because, Dino was NEVER ill at the time of his invitation by the police. Even after he was declared wanted by the police, he repeatedly ?refused to turn himself in for prosecution, on the ground that it was a plot to kill him, resulting in last weekends face off with men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
My pain is that, Dino Melaye as a lawmaker ought to have known that he was fugitive before the law. He ought to also have known that Lokoja, is the city where the alleged crimes or charges against him were pending. The only way to clear his name was to challenge the prosecution in the court in Lokoja like younger activists like Austine Okai and Johnson Musa.
Infact, the former Governor, His Excellency Prince Abubakar Audu, arguably one of the fathers of Kogi State turned himself in for prosecution in 2009 when the EFCC charged him to court. Although the case was still pending when he died, it is remarkable that he respected the law until his death. Dino Melaye is not bigger than Abubakar Audu.
As for his trial on a stretcher , his lawyers and other public commentators should be patient enough to answer these salient questions: Did Dino jump from a moving police van ? If the answer is in the affirmative, then does that action amount to an offense in the eyes of the law?
Isn’t the reported action of ‘jumping from a moving police van’ suicidal? If the answer is also in the affirmative,then I ask again if ‘attempted suicide’ is an offense? Then the viral video where Dino Melaye openly threatened to kill himself and put the Police in trouble. ..so, who will treat a Rambo with kids gloves ?
Anyway, while he cools his head on the hospital bed and or police custody or the prison , he may use this moment to reflect on what has become of the life of a Senator; a youth? who was supposed to be a role model, now a fugitive from the law. He should reminisce on how high he has tried to climb on the political ladder of Nigeria only to use his hand to pull down the lever.
Irrespective of whether the recall process initiated by his so called constituents or ‘sponsors’ succeeded or not, Dino by now should be thinking of the puppeteer behind the high wire intrigue surrounding the entire process.
Most definitely, his thoughts must also revolve round how he became a fugitive, with policemen guarding him round the clock even on the hospital bed. Could this be real or a virtual fantasy created by a puppet master trained to conjure world class tragi-comedies?
But, as I pointed out in the earlier article, the Okun politician brought the many troubles on himself.? After all, if a man goes to the market and buys faeces, he can only expect flies to perch. Dino has directly or indirectly bought trouble on many fronts and he should live with the consequences.
Above, he must tell himself some hard truths about lifestyle change. Because he must know by now that living like a thug does not pay. And that every small alec has his day, just like the medicine man who finds out to his chagrin that sometimes, charms against gunshot fails.
But, a chameleon does not change its spots. A thug will always be a thug. Likewise, Dino will always be Dino. So, I do not expect any significant change. Instead, Nigerians should be prepared to see a more brash and brazen personality.
When he fought and his clothes were torn in the House of Representatives, did he learn anything? Did he become a better person? Compare that with jumping from a moving police van to evade arrest. Which is worse?
That is why as I wake up every morning, I thank God that the embattled Senator does not represent me in the upper legislative chamber, notwithstanding that we are both from Kogi State and I have a sleeping Senator from my own constituency.
A man with no sense of decency,has no scruples fighting in public, who abuses? his elders without any remorse, who can jump from a moving van like a tout on the streets of Egbe cannot be my representative. The Senate is not made for brigands. And the earlier we exorcise such characters from our body politic, the saner our society, nay, Kogi State would be.
A stich in time saves nine.
*Phrank Shaibu ,a Public Communication Expert writes from Abuja .

The Nigerian Media Is On A Nation-Wrecking Mission, By Caxton Fatanmi

In the Press Conference at The White House reception for the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, this is one of the statements made by his host, Mr Donald J. Trump, the US President, to wit,

Quote :

“ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENTS IN NIGERIA, LOCAL,DISTRICT,NATIONAL, MUST WORK TOGETHER TO STOP THE KILLINGS OF CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS…..”
Donald J. Trump…

End of quote.

Read the newspaper headlines in Nigeria today….

– THE PUNCH : ” KILLING OF CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA MUST STOP”

– TRIBUNE : “PROTECT NIGERIANS AGAINST SPATE OF KILLINGS”

– VANGUARD: “KILLING OF CHRISTIANS UNACCEPTABLE”

– THE GUARDIAN: “KILLING OF CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA IS UNACCEPTABLE”

Question :

What informed these newspapers from mis-representing a straight-forward statement by President Trump, rending it divisive, emotionally-charged and inflammatory as they did ?

Apart from perhaps The Tribune, all these papers spinned the story to their mischief-making ends.

Both Vanguard and The Guardian literally used the same language.

Are they owned by the same stable or led by the same Editorial Board ???

For a long time, I have held to the thought that the so-called menace of “Fulani Herdsmen” on the rampage was an invention of the media…

These criminals are likely offshoots of Boko Haram, now expressing their enterprise of terror in other ways; or some sponsors are behind these unwarranted and criminal killings in some parts of Nigeria.

I do not see professionalism in the behavior of these media outfits.

Rwanda started like this, before the pogrom..

Every democracy needs a fair, honest and uncorrupted media.

The Nigerian media is losing it, please….

Corruption is not only material, you are also corrupt when you twist the truth to serve a nefarious end.
This is what these Nigerian newspapers just did.

The Christian Association Of Nigeria, Donald Trump, Media And Islamophobia, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His Servant and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The discussions between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Donald Trump during the Nigerian President’s official visit to the U.S. on Monday, the U.S. President Donald Trump’s offer on killings in Nigeria would further divide Nigeria by saying the “killing of Christians in Nigeria was unacceptable” to the American Government.

President Trump on Monday said, “we have had very serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed in Nigeria. We are going to be working on that problem… because we can’t allow that to happen.”

As usual, Mr Donald Trump has missed the road again. His statement put to shame and leaves Presidential norms in the dust. It is prejudiced, parochial and uncivilised. Mr Trump’s statement makes a mockery of democracy. And it is sheer interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

Mr Trump’s comment is one-sided and uncomplimentary and signalled his hatred for Muslims and Islam in Nigeria. The offer shows that he is myopic and uncivilized. To make the claim about a nation where innocent souls are wasted without recourse to their tribe, race, religion, region or political affiliations is a call to separatism. And the call for separatism when the world is advocating for collectivism is not a healthy offer. Such offer at this point in time is divisive and insincere.

I wonder if President Trump is not aware or deliberately ignored the murder of several Muslims in a Mosque at the University of Maiduguri, or those killed in Mosques in Yobe, Adamawa, Borno, Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara; and many other parts of the country.

Mr. Donald Trump’s comment on killings in Nigeria implies that he would prefer that if it is Muslims alone who are being killed.

President Muhammadu Buhari should have defended us there by telling Mr Trump that his claim was wrong; but he allowed the international bully to intimidate him and the country with his naive and skewed characterisation of falsehood.

We call on all the respected world leaders to ignore insinuations that Muslims are not against terrorism. Let me reiterate that as Muslims we condemn and reject all forms of terrorism, insurgency, banditry, rebellion, and oppression in whatever name being perpetrated.

Also unfortunately, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, called on its members across the country to hold demonstrations and protests after church services over the killings across the country. As a result of this call, Christians in many part of Nigeria held protests on Sunday, April 29, 2018.

But what we actually want any right-thinking person to understand is that, Christians have not been the only victims of the killings around Nigeria. Muslims are losing hundreds of faithfuls on a daily/monthly basis in the North-East as Boko Haram Terrorists unleashes terror on the predominantly Muslim populace.

Many Muslims are being killed in Zamfara, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Kaduna, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue and Plateau States on a daily/monthly basis.

We condemn in the strongest term the public protests against what Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) falsely describe as “killing of Christians in the country.”

What does the CAN aimed at achieving with these protests? Are they saying they are the most affected by the recent killings in the country or what? Do they want to use the killings to score cheap political goals? Are the CAN claiming to be more passionate than any other religious group on recent issues as it affects our nation or are they planning for 2019 general elections? Are the CAN sympathising with the victims of the recent killings in the country or are they articulating the voice of some politicians who want to bring chaos and confusion in the country?

We are truly saddened that the CAN leadership are protesting on the false claim that “only Christians are being killed” under the regime of Muslim President!

My people! Let’s be patient. It’s just Islamophobia. The fear for the development and progress of Islam and Muslims, which gave birth to their hatred against Islam and Muslims!

Dear Servants of Allah! A phobia has been defined as a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous, or it’s a strong fear, dislike, or aversion. When checking the various kinds of phobia some people suffer from it’ll amaze you that they range from being afraid of water, mirrors or even working.

Islam is the religion sent to all of the Messengers in the general meaning, but more specifically as given to Muhammad. It refers to the belief that five pillars are obligatory; the testimony of absolutely ONE deity worthy of worship and that’s Allah, His final Messenger is Muhammad (Peace be upon him), to establish the Prayers, to fast in the month of Ramadan, to pay the Zakah, and to travel to Hajj. Islam has six tenets of faith; Muslims believe in Allah as Lord, His Angels, the scriptures sent to the Prophets, accept all of the Messengers, believe in Angels, recognize there is a Judgment Day, and testify that there is fate; which we must accept either good or bad.

That is Islam is in the least amount of words; hence attaching phobia to it has to be defined as a person afraid its tenets, or any person who accepts and believes in them.

The media-driven fear, racial hatred, and some non-Muslims hostility toward Islam and the Muslims were created by a standard image of linking Muslims and their religion to all acts of terrorism today. This has resulted in discrimination and the bias profiling of Muslims in social and civic life. This form of stereotyping existed in the three continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa during the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Many conclusions were drawn from his message and teachings from people of propaganda.

Allah sent Muhammad with the message of Islam as a mercy to everything created. He said:

“And We have sent you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) not but as a mercy for the Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).”

The state of the people during the time Islam appeared is similar to what we witness today. People in Persia were Zoroastrians, while in some other regions Christianity and Judaica were more prevalent, except in Makkah where paganism was dominant. In China and Japan Buddhism was the religion of the state.

The fact that Prophet Muhammad appeared on the scene inviting people to worship One God only represented the reality that they needed to change their belief and behaviours; which are among two of the most difficult things to change in a human being. By nature, people tend to feel troubled when it comes to change. People go through two crucial cycles that require a caller to have patience. The first is denial, and then anger and resistance. The feeling of people who reject Islam are connected to their status and threat of the things they did to get where they are incorrect, and thus would require change; so they create a phobia for themselves.

Take Fir’awn (Pharaoh), for example, Allah the Almighty said:

“Fir’awn (Pharaoh) said: “Leave me to kill Musa (Moses), and let him call his Lord (to stop me from killing him)! I fear that he may change your religion, or that he may cause mischief to appear in the land!” [Surah Ghafir: 24]

Fir’awn (Pharaoh) was afraid people would realize he wasn’t the great Almighty with the entire power.

Also ponder over the fear of Queen of Sheba. Allah said:

“She said: “Verily! Kings, when they enter a town (country), they despoil it, and make the most honourable amongst its people low. And thus they do.. “But verily! I am going to send him a present, and see with what (answer) the messengers return.”So when (the messengers with the present) came to Sulaiman (Solomon), he said: “Will you help me in wealth? What Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay, you rejoice in your gift!”[Then Sulaiman (Solomon) said to the chief of her messengers who brought the present]: “Go back to them. We verily shall come to them with hosts that they cannot resist, and we shall drive them out from there in disgrace, and they will be abased.” [Surah An-Naml:34-37]

She was afraid of losing her might is Suleiman was to conquer her land.

Take the actions of the Pagans in Ahqaf into consideration. Allah the  Most High said:

“They said: “Have you come to turn us away from our aliha (gods)? Then bring us that with which you threaten us, if you are one of the truthful!” [Surah Al-Ahqaf: 22]

Plainly put, the ideology of Islamophobics isn’t anything new and goes back  to where it started with the Messenger Nuh (Noah) and up to the last Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions were patient in calling to Allah’s Religion with all of the abuse and torture they faced.

Imam Ibn Ishaq said:

“Every Arab tribe abused, imprisoned, and even cut off the Companion’s food and water supply.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Islamophobia during the time of the Prophet meant everyone who followed him were to be met with physical abuse until they left Islam or followed the status quo.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

“Allah protected the Prophet through his uncle, Abu Talib. However, there were Companions who faced the consequences of Islamophobia during their lives and among them were; Uthman Ibn Affan, Az-Zubair Ibn Al-Awam, Zinnirah, Mus’ab Ibn Umair, Bilal Ibn Rabah, Sa’id Ibn Zaid, An-Nahdiya, Al-Yasir, Abu Fukhaiha, Suhaib Ar-Rumi, Kabbab Ibn Ar-Ratt, Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas, Khalid Ibn Sa’id (RA).”

– Uthman Ibn Affan (RA)

Uthman Ibn Affan’s uncle used to tie him in the hot sun and say to him, “Are you abandoning the religion of your father for a newly invented religion?” By Allah, I won’t set you free until you leave Islam, but Uthman replied, “I swear by Allah I will never leave and when uncle saw that he was firm in his convictions, he set him free.

– Zubair Ibn Al-Awwam (RA)

Zubair Ibn  Al-Awwam’s uncle used to torture him by tying him to a mat then lighting a fire around it, saying, “ return to this disbelief.” Az-Zubair said: “Never.”

– Zinnirah (RA)

Zinnirah was a slave girl who Abu Bakr As-Sadiq (RA) freed. After she was freed she lost her sight and the Quraish used to say that Al-Lat and Al-Uzzah (their idols) caused her to go blind. She denied it and swore by Allah that this wasn’t the reason, and later on her sight was returned. Before being set free she used to be tormented severely.

– Mus’ab Ibn Umair (RA)

Mus’ab was a handosme young man in Makkah whom his parents both loved dearly. They use to spend money on him so that he could wear the finest clothes. Mus’ab was imprisoned until the 1st migration to Habasha (Ethiopia) happened and after returning to Makkah his appearance changed a bit and his mother distanced herself from him.

– Bilal Ibn Rabah (RA)

Bilal’s slave master, Umayyah Ibn Khalaf used to drag Bilal to the public square in the middle of the day and have lie flat on his back then order that a huge boulder be placed on his chest. Umayyah used to say to Bilal this is going to continue until you die or leave Islam and Bilal’s reply was, “There’s only one Allah, there’s only one Allah.

– Sa’id Ibn Zayd (RA)

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab before becoming a Muslim was responsible for the torture of Sa’id for the mere fact he was a Muslim.

– An-Nahdiya (RA)

An-Nahdiya and her daughter were both tortured and Abu Bakr As-Sadiq freed them both.

– Al-Yasir (RA)

Ammar Ibn Yasir, his mother and father were those who were weak, and oppressed, and tortured in Makkah, and ordered to apostate. Abu Jahl was responsible for bringing them to the town square in the middle of the day when it was the hottest for torture. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to pass by them saying, “Remain patient family of Yasir, as you are guaranteed Jannah.”

Ammar’s mother, Sumayyah (RA) is considered the first martyr in Islam at the hands of Abu Jahl. Ammar was burned, drowned and tortured until he couldn’t take it no more, so he cursed the Prophet, and praised the idols of the pagans. This wore heavy on his chest so he visited the Prophet (Peace be upon him) crying and informed him of what he did. The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) wiped the tears from his eyes and the verse was revealed.

“Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a great torment.” [Surah An-Nahl,106]

– Abu Fukhaiha (RA)

Bani Abduddar used to punish Abu Fukhaiha in the middle of the day by placing a hot rock on his back while he was chained up.

– Khalid Ibn Sa’ad Ibn Al-As (RA)

Khalid used to stay close to the messenger of Allah and pray in the valleys where no one could see him. Once this news reached Abu Uhaiha, he ordered that Khalid be brought up so that he could apostate. Khalid remained firm and said, “I’ll die as a Muslim and never leave Islam.”

Abu Uhaiha interests a hit Khalid with a pole until it cracked on his head. After this Khalid was imprisoned. While incarcerated they didn’t serve him water or food and this lasted for about 3 days until he saw an exit and broke free and migrated to Ethiopia.

– Suhaib Ar-Rumi (RA)

Suhaib Ibn Ar-Rumi was among the Companions of the Prophet who were tortured and oppressed in Makkah.

– Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas (RA)

Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas wasn’t actually tortured physically, but rather he went through a mental torture. His mother vowed to boycott him and starve herself to death unless he apostate from Islam. Sa’ad’s mother said you claim Allah advises you to treat your parents with kindness, then what about me, am I not your mother?! and I order you to leave Islam. Sa’ad said remain firm and the people in the streets say to him, “here’s the one who killed his mother.” After three days of her of hunger strike, Sa’ad went to his mother and said if you were given a 100 souls and did this to each soul, I would never leave Islam. When she saw he was adamant about his religion she ate and Allah revealed the verse:

“And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents, but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not.” [Surah Al-Ankabut: 8]

And the verse:

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents.” [Surah Luqman:15]

– Khabbab Ibn Ar-Ratt (RA)

Khabbab Ibn Ar-Ratt faced the most severe of punishment. He used to be punished by everyone who found out he was a Muslim in Makkah. He used to be placed in the fire and it would burn until it was said the fat of his body is what caused the fire to stop burning.

These are some of the heartfelt stories of the Companions who faced Islamophobia in their lives and remained patient. The solution to combat Islamophobia is found in the following verses:

Allah the Most High said:

“O you who believe! When you meet (an enemy) force, take a firm stand against them and remember the Name of Allah much (both with tongue and mind), so that you may be successful.”

 “And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).”

Allah ordered those striving in his path with five things and any group of people that carry these five things will be successful against their enemies; regardless of their size and might:

1. Take a firm stand.

2. Remember the Name of Allah much.

3. Obey Allah and His Messenger.

4. Do not dispute (with one another).

5. And be patient.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

“These five things are what build the dome of help. Whenever some of these things are non-existent then the help of Allah is weakened equivalently to what’s lacking. On the other hand, when all of these things exist the strength of them, aides, each other. Therefore he becomes a force to reckon with by Allah’s help. When the Companions lived they had all of these five things mentioned and no nation could stand up against them. They conquered the world and established Islam. The nations that came after them differed and became weak until the point of what we are witnessing today.” [See Al-Furusiyyah, page 326-327]

My respected people! This is islamophobia in brief. The fear of Muslim’s development and progress which gave birth to the hatred they have about Islam and Muslims. We ask Allah for his protection.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! As I’m writing this piece, the Nigerian police and Adamawa State Government have confirmed the killing of 27 Muslim worshippers inside a Mosque in a twin-explosion, in Mubi, Adamawa State, North-east Nigeria yesterday (Tuesday).

Were President Donald Trump outside America and hears of twenty-four Americans dead, he would hold a press conference immediately and return to U.S. within 24 hours. But Mr Buhari would say no word and would remain in U.S. or outside the country for as long as he deems fit.

Please read the following Newspaper headlines in Nigeria today, Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 in order to understand the consequences of Mr Trump’s statement:

1. THE PUNCH: “KILLING OF CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA MUST STOP.” ~ Trump

2. TRIBUNE: “PROTECT NIGERIANS AGAINST SPATE OF KILLINGS.” ~ Trump

3. VANGUARD: “KILLING OF CHRISTIANS UNACCEPTABLE.” ~ Trump

4. THE GUARDIAN: “KILLING OF CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA IS UNACCEPTABLE.” ~ Trump

I pray that May Allah continue to protect, guide and help our leaders and the lead. May Allah salvage our country from the evil of terrorists, bandits, and all kind of murderers, may Allah destroy their ranks and expose their sponsors. Ameen Ya Rabb!

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Your Brother,

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

To The Ideal Workers With Love, By Abdulyassar Abdulhamid

If we weep, gently, gently

 If we cry roughly to our torments

What heart will listen to our clamoring,

What ear to our sobbing hearts?

-Birago Diop’s Vanity

Today, 1 May, is International Workers’ Day. It is very special day reserved to celebrate enormous contribution labourers make to the process of nation-building. We should, as a means of paying back to those ideal workers, fly broad-winged kites and gigantic balloons through the endless sky with their names boldly written on them.

This is the little we can do to immortalize them. I am well aware whether we do this or not their labour will never be in vain. For one day when a worker is long gone, a passerby will come and say here lived one of the greatest gatemen, clerks, street-sweepers or carpenters. The time will come.

When I move from one common to another I see invisible pictures of workers that have constructed our bridges, streets and built our houses. Their traces are there in our places of worship. Somewhere in classrooms I see their vestiges. In hospitals I see their wide footprints. At our gate they are there working day and night. These workers pitiful they may be man our factories that produce the garments, shoes, whatnot, we use. Some of them have lost a limp or two in the process of rendering their services to the public.

At our police stations we have workers that feed others at our courts. Those at our courts channel it to those at our prisons. Is there any place where there are no workers? Tell me? How often do we spare even a thought for those perfect workers from whose sweats germinate the seeds we plant, from the seeds thereafter come up plants and fruits; and then to finished products in front of us. Have not they deserved some respect?

As an individual pinned down by his intentional predicates, since a man cannot be stripped off his society, history, orientation or belief, I will dedicate this special day for one section of this workers. I will wave their spacious flag not because I downplay the others’ efforts. No, they are equally important. I will always work harder if I have the chance.

I will today give golden medals to the ex-workers of Nigeria Airways once more. Although many of them are gone forever, I commend them in absentia as a token for the faithful services they rendered for this great nation. Many of them have used up their energies, exhausted their eye-sights and worn out their lungs in this noble service to their fatherland. They worked, worked and worked until they could work no more. They are the true nation builders.

The struggle today is twelve years down the lane. I watched different protests they staged. Guess who are the front-liners? You could hear the screeching sounds of their crutches. Some were wobbling. Rheumatism has eaten up their joint. The rows of these ex-workers converging to claim their pay-off are led by strong-hearted comrades. They push, push and push unrelentingly in search of justice. I could see, and still do, their flag-bearers waving colossal flags under the heavy rains and in sunny days.

Now and then sharp scythes of injustice come reaping the remnant mercilessly. The front-liners, in some cases, lose their lives. The scythes cut limbs after limbs but before the flag touches the ground the next person takes up the flag in soldiery attempt to defend a nation – a nation of workers upon whose back mighty international ties and massive hinges of international relations rest – and of a sudden an invisible gold-studded crown with comrade inscription cut on it places itself carefully on his head.

I at once go upon my knees to pay unwavering loyalty to these ideal workers. There are workers who worked risking whatever they got until work took to its heels. The torments are unimaginable and the cries so deafening; but nobody seems to care and no mercy in sight. Some live on crutches forgetting the pleasure of legs; and some have threw in the towels: they could no longer hold onto the rope of the living. The suffering is so grudgingly incarnating itself in their families. It set up high barriers between them and hospital due to its exorbitant medical bills, schools for its skyrocketing fees and exaggeratedly grain of any type. Hollowed eye sockets, famished body, callous hands and cracked feet, falling sights and age are their frequent visitors.

So strange a move medical doctors in Canadian province of Quebec have rejected a pay rise this year. I watch this with envy. They are luxurious and superior like statues. Are some workers better than other? By way of comparison, our workers here, especially the ex-workers of Nigeria Airways, are living dead.

My fear, my only fear, is when will these ex-workers be listened to?  When will someone from those estates of the realm wipe out their tears even with the back of his hand? When will someone so high weigh their torments and fill in the patches created by their tears? I wish I own that muscled pen to sign the papers that will unlock the safe wherein their pay-off has been stored. Alas, I am a common-man-of-the-street. Who can neither speed up their trial nor intervene.

Albeit all this, I will work harder, harder, for the pleasure in it – for the human race in general. Some days beads of sweat from my hard labour will inspire, motivate and excite me and others until we push work to the next level.

Abdulyassar Abdulhamid wrote in from Kano and can be reached at abdullahiyassar2013@gmail.com

 

Relationship With U.S. Crucial to Success for Africa’s Biggest Economy, By Muhammadu Buhari

My meeting with President Donald Trump today (Monday, April 30) at the White House will provide an opportunity for reflection on the important relationship that Nigeria and the United States have forged over the last five decades of Nigeria’s democracy.

The United States was one of the first countries I visited after I was sworn in as president in 2015. It was a necessary trip, aimed at rebuilding what was at the time a troubled relationship between the two countries. I am pleased to note the success of the rapprochement; nowhere has the impact of this been more visible than in the remarkable progress we have made, with American support, in the fight against Boko Haram.

Before my administration assumed office, the terrorist group controlled an area the size of Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut combined. Today, they are a substantially degraded force, with a capacity limited largely to cowardly attacks on soft targets. The Global Terrorism Index report for 2017 indicated that the number of terrorism-related deaths in Nigeria attributed to Boko Haram dropped by 80 percent in 2016.

An arms sales embargo imposed on Nigeria by the U.S. government during my predecessor’s time in office has since been lifted. When President Trump and I spoke by telephone in February 2017, he expressed full support for the sale of U.S.-built A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria, to boost the capacity of the Nigerian Air Force to respond decisively to the threat of terrorism and banditry. That deal has now been finalized. I expect that we will continue to enjoy similar levels of U.S. enthusiasm in our security cooperation.

Only two weeks ago, our two militaries collaborated to host the largest gathering of African Army chiefs to discuss cooperation aimed at improving security on the continent, in Abuja, Nigeria.

My administration came to office on the back of a three-pronged agenda: to secure the country, rebuild the economy, and to determinedly fight corruption—the biggest single threat to our development and the prosperity of our people.

In trade and investment, as in security, U.S. companies have been worthy and supportive investment partners over the last couple of years.

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In recent years, the Coca-Cola Company entered a strategic alliance—estimated at $400 million—with Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group to increase its footprint in Nigeria’s consumer foods sector for the long term. Similarly, Kellogg Company commissioned a $30 million cereal factory in Nigeria, in a joint venture with a Singaporean conglomerate, and both partners have disclosed plans to invest another $50 million on expanding the factory.

The future of U.S.-Nigeria collaboration in the technology sector is similarly bright. Andela, a startup backed by American venture capital and which trains young Africans as software engineers, has its biggest campus in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

The U.S. government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) also continues to support various private sector–led clean energy infrastructure projects through the Power Africa and the Blackstone-sponsored 540 MW power project in Nigeria.

In 2017, the U.S. and Nigerian governments established the “U.S.-Nigeria Commercial and Investment Dialogue,” to strengthen business and investment ties between both countries. The Dialogue, co-chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, has since agreed to focus its work on these five sectors: infrastructure; agriculture; digital economy; investment; and regulatory reform.

Extremely pleasing to us in Nigeria is the commitment of an international consortium initiated by General Electric (GE), Transnet, SinoHydro and APM Maersk, to giving Nigeria a modern and efficient rail network. A few days ago, in Washington, D.C., we signed the interim phase agreement that kick-starts the long-term concession agreement with the consortium. This initial deal will begin regular operations on the way to securing the full range of direct investments for the long overdue revamp of Nigeria’s 3,500-kilometer narrow-gauge rail network.

Few things, it must be said, have been more emblematic of the declining state of Nigeria’s national infrastructure than our national railway system. The network was built over 50 years ago, between 1916 and 1961. Yet, by the end of the 1990s it had completely collapsed. Not only did we become a country compelled to move most of our people and freight by road, generations of our young people also ended up missing out on what it means to travel around their country by train.

As a young officer in the Nigerian military decades ago, my work took me around Nigeria and made me familiar with the convenience of the railway network, as well as its unifying impact in a country as geographically large and culturally diverse—with more than 500 spoken languages—as ours.

In addition to the concession arrangement with the international consortium, we have completed a $900 million rail network linking Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to one of the key agriculture hubs in the north; commenced construction of a $1.2 billion Standard Gauge Line to facilitate trade and travel between the commercial capital of Lagos and two major cities in the south; and are set to commission West Africa’s first Intra-City light rail projects in Abuja.

In the last two years, we have committed over $1 billion to upgrading our road infrastructure, and recently we established a significant infrastructure initiative to modernize major national motorways and complete the development of a 3,050 MW hydroelectric power project.

In fact, very few major infrastructure projects were completed in Nigeria in the years leading to my inauguration as president, a period during which the country enjoyed its highest crude oil prices in recent history. The grand corruption of our recent past, that saw tens of billions of dollars frittered away on fraudulent oil deals and bogus military contracts, put paid to all opportunities for an infrastructure revolution.

Now we have seized the chance to do things better. We have cleaned up falsified civil service payrolls and commenced the prosecution of payroll impostors—saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

We set up a whistleblower policy aimed at deterring corrupt practices in government, and committed to the Open Government Partnership. In January this year, Nigeria was elected to the Partnership’s Steering Committee.

A lot of work still lies ahead, of course. We need to build on the gains we have made in fighting terrorism in the Northeast, and in attaining peace in the Niger Delta region.

Climate change, amplified by our rapidly growing population, is another challenge we are facing head-on. The depletion of grazing land and water, arising from intensifying desertification, is triggering often fatal tensions between crop farming communities and nomadic cattle farmers. To cite one example, Lake Chad, the marine mainstay of Northeastern Nigeria and the landlocked countries of Chad and Niger, has shrunk by more than 80 percent over the last five decades.

We are working hard to resolve these challenges—through improved law enforcement, peace-building efforts, and necessary reforms in the management of our land and water resources. Last December, Nigeria became the first African country to issue a Sovereign Domestic Green Bond, to raise financing for clean energy infrastructure.

Our commitment to restoring Nigeria to the path of growth and development is not in doubt. I am enormously confident that we can continue to count on the friendship and support of the American government, and people, as we work to fulfil our vision of a Nigeria—Africa’s largest economy and most populous country—that is secure, stable and prosperous.

Muhammadu Buhari is the President of Nigeria.

KPEROGI: When Coming To Equity, First Clean Your Hands, By Maiwada Dammallam

“See Tafawa Balewa during his annual leave in his hometown in 1963. The impostor in Aso Rock who calls himself a frugal, uncorrupt Mai Gaskiya goes to London to spend his annual leave at the cost of billions of naira amid biting poverty” – Farooq Kperogi

Above was a tweet by Farooq Kperogi. It was supported by a popular picture of late Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa on vacation with his two children in his farm house. The purpose of the tweet was to denigrate President Buhari and promote him as a self-serving, corrupt and unconcerned leader. To reduce himself to the level of desperation that the only way left for him to demarket President Buhari is by childish quixotic comparison of the President and Sir Tafawa Balewa despite the sharp contrast in their social-political make-ups and situational differences, to say the least, Kperogi is a danger to his students.

I was amazed by Kperogi’s comparison for so many reasons but more by one. How does a single picture of late Tafawa Balewa in a farm house tell the whole story of his life as an equivalent of President Buhari in the context of Nigeria’s leadership? Was Kperogi saying Nigeria did not incur expenditures maintaining late Tafawa Balewa or what? Kperogi should have told Nigerians who picked the bills for Balewa’s numerous trips abroad and, he should also tell Nigerians if Nigeria would have allowed Tafawa Balewa to be wasted had he been afflicted with an ailment that requires medical attention lacking in Nigeria in his time. This is utter balderdash that one should expect only from “roadside” public affair analysts. Perhaps, Kperogi’s romance with the social media is finally taking its toll.

I’m happy, though, that the ‘fiery’ Kperogi is exhausted and clearly out of steam. He has been shooting aimlessly for long and now that the battle is about to begin he’s out of bullets and have to make do with stones. Of all the sensible issues he could pick to make enough sense to confuse his gullible followers, he picked the one that even the stupidest among them could easily puncture. I’m sure even dumbest among them could deduce that there’s a huge difference between President Buhari’s official and personal expenditure.

A lot of Kperogi’s “mumufied” followers could understand that the office of the President come stocked with inescapable legitimate advantages for which Buhari stand free of guilt if he enjoys. That’s not saying the funny figures Kperogi quotes to prove reckless expenditure of PMB each time he is high on whatever it is he’s abusing were true.

For instance, if President Buhari is an “impostor” for going to U.K. to seek medical attention as averred by Kperogi, what is he for escaping the Nigeria that gave him everything to seek better life in USA and have enough time to tweet intercontinental nonsense? I can’t recall reading Kperogi’s tweet when Stella Obasanjo (wife of his mentor) died in a foreign hospital in what was said to be a cosmetic surgery gone wrong. Late Yar’adua went to a foreign hospital before his death and Nigeria didn’t burn because to Nigerians – at least, Nigerians that dwell in Nigeria, not escapees living in foreign countries struggling to adopt borrowed traditions to belong, kindness is genetic and their systems are yet to be twisted to see it any other way.

President Buhari only went to UK to take care of a life threatening ailment which was beyond local doctors and the poor hospitals left behind unattended by his predecessors. It’s kindness to approve for President Buhari the latitude to seek for medical attention according to professional recommendation of his doctors. And if seeking for medical attention outside by Nigerians is such a “crucify him” anomaly, Kperogi should tell Nigerians which hospital he’s attending in Nigeria or, even more important, why he left Nigeria to seek for better life in USA. Was it not because Nigeria was destroyed by President Buhari’s predecessors?

It is asking for too much from PMB to sacrifice his life for avoidable reasons after making a bigger sacrifice of staking his life to fight for the existence of Nigeria when he was young. But for the sacrifices of people like President Buhari who went into the trenches to fight for Nigeria’s survival, would there be a Nigeria for people like Kperogi to be tweeting nonsense about? Nobody sensible should demand from President Buhari an unnecessary and clearly unreasonable sacrifice of staying in Nigeria to “just die” because Nigerian hospitals are ill-equipped. President Buhari first have to be alive before he exercise the power of the President in a manner that could make Nigerian hospitals functional. This is commonsesnse 101 and “Professor” Farooq Kperogi or anybody not comfortable with it is free to rant until he/she blow his rooftop.

Farooq Kperogi is the least qualified Nigerian to preach “local content” patronage to President Buhari. Actually it’s the other way round. Had people like Kperogi listened to President Buhari’s call to stay in Nigeria and collectively salvage it together because “we have no other country” rather than escape to a greener pasture, Nigeria might have survive the assaults inflicted on it in succession. Many people would easily remember “Andrew”, the character caught at the airport “checking out” for a greener and “full option” country like Kperogi.

Kperogi have no moral right to berate PMB for seeking a dire medical attention abroad when he (Kperogi) could easily pack his bags and escape to USA to play second class citizen, toiling to make American Universities better when Nigerian universities that trained and equipped him are lacking lecturers. Leaving Nigeria for USA by Kperogi is nothing short of leaving a poor father who spent his little to train his child only for the child to abandon him and adopt a new rich father to live life to the fullest. And this fellow have the gumption and shamelessness to participate in debates concerning the welfare of Nigeria.

In any case, if Kperogi have to make comparisons to ascertain President Buhari’s cleanliness, shouldn’t he compare him with contemporaries that served in a Nigeria with similar situations. How about comparing President Buhari with Kperogi’s mentor, former President Obasanjo. Did President Buhari told anybody he had only N20,000 when he won Nigeria’s presidency and later found to be the owner of a multi-billion Naira farm? Did President Buhari muscled any state Governor, Bank Executive or business mogul to contribute to a dubious Presidential library? Where was Kperogi when Transcorp was floated by his mentor and through which Nigerians were duped? Where was Kperogi’s savviness and media prolificness when $16bn was said to have been spent to provide Nigerians with electricity yet, with nothing to show for the humongous amount?

With or without being a President, the sacrifices President Buhari made for Nigeria had earned him the best care Nigeria could afford. Most importantly, even if Buhari is an impostor, he is an impostor many are willing to buy. Be a local or American wailer, if you don’t like this, there are more than a thousand methods to commit suicide.

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