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Politics / Exclusive: Nnamdi Kanu Using IPOB As Platform To Become A Political Godfather by Chizgold: 9:53am On Jun 17, 2017
Reports say that the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu is using the call for Biafra, and the popularity it is giving him, to build a formidable “king making platform”.

This was revealed by a source close to the man, as politicians and those keen on getting power at different levels in Igboland have begun to troop to him, in order to key into the massive support many Igbo people have given to the man.

Nnamdi Kanu, who is now revered by a lot of people in Igboland, thus strategically became a force that can determine the outcome of elections.

According to our source, Mr. Kanu, intends to leverage on that popularity, to determine who gets political power in Igboland;

“He knows that a lot of Igbo people will do anything he asks them to do, so he is looking to start by offering his blessings to politicians” our source said.

“Haven’t you noticed the number of office holders and those intent on holding office who have gone to felicitate with him since he returned?

“They are aware that if they get his support, they can get the support of a sizeable number of people, so they are trooping to him, to kiss his legs.”

Our source stated that Kanu is fully aware of this, and has decided that he will use the power IPOB has given him to become a political godfather.

“He is intent on using the platform to wield that power. Buhari actually helped him by giving him legitimacy, so people are seeing him as a selfless leader who only has the interest of his people at heart.

“So he is thinking, ‘what better way to get my people quality leadership?'”

Kanu, who hails from Afaraukwu, in Umuahia, Abia State, has been the newest and loudest voice in the call for an independent nation of Biafra.


Romance / Diary Of A Pastor’s Wife (part 1) by Chizgold: 3:17am On Jun 17, 2017
That morning, my husband David came to pick me at the airport. He was dry-faced and tensed, very unusual.

Other times, David would be so excited to come pick me, he would kiss me and hug me passionately. But now, everything became different.

“You kept me waiting for hours in there,” I said, gazing angrily at him. “Don’t tell me it’s traffic honey, today is Saturday.”

“I am sorry, I had to pick the kids from summer lessons, and then rush to church to counsel a few couples,” he said soothingly.

“You now prepare the kids for school? What happened to Ifeoma? She is the kids’ nanny.”

“And you are the kids’ mom!” he screamed suddenly. “You’ve been away from your family for 5 months Ekom, the kids don’t even talk about you anymore.” David deliberately slowed his breathing in a bid to calm himself down.

I was silent for a while. My lips quivered, but David ignored that he saw tears glistening in my eyes.

Catching his eyes as he tried to look at me, I sensed a shiver of unease go through him.

He was right, I was away from my family for four months or more. I had women’s conference and hundreds of women to mentor in Houston. It was a moment I didn’t want to miss.

Then I broke the silence;

“What of Ifeoma?”

David looked uncertain.

“She fell ill, so I asked her to go see Doctor Dennis.”

We were both quiet until we got home.

I sat on my bed, I slipped off my slippers and sank my feet into the rug and decided to keep them sunk in there so that my toes would feel cushioned. Just so a part of me would feel safe.

“Mummy!” my daughter screamed, breathing deeply, and ran to me. She snuggled into my arms and I grabbed her tight to myself.

“Where is your sister?” I whispered into her ears.

“She is sleeping.”

Not long after, I heard tiny foots running along the corridor that led to my room;

“Mummy, mummy…” She jumped on me and kissed me on my cheeks, leaving me in the sweet comfort of motherhood.

They looked so healthy and chubby.

“What has aunty Ifeoma and Daddy been feeding you with?”

“Golden morn and banana porridge!” they chorused shrilly.

“Mummy, church people said that you are no longer daddy’s wife.” My first daughter Teye said, her eyes becoming sad–deep and sad.

“Aunty Ifeoma now sleeps in daddy’s room.” Mfon the youngest said.

My heart jumped, I knew at that moment, that there were stories in their eyes that I was yet to know.


Politics / Osita Chidoka And The Ositaites: From Ike Obosi To Ike Anambra by Chizgold: 9:56am On Jun 15, 2017
Today, my good friend, Chief Osita Chidoka, takes the first major step in his journey to Awka as the next governor of Anambra state. Ossy is as PDP as PDP comes. He had served in successive PDP administrations since the return of democratic governance in Nigeria in 1999. As a transportation scholar, trained in one of America’s finest universities, George Mason, Chidoka’s appointment to head the Federal Road Safety Commission as Corp Marshal by the then president, Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, on the recommendation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, is, arguably, one of the best decisions taken in Nigeria in the past couple of decades. Simply stated, Chidoka revolutionized the FRSC. The FRSC moved from just another ragtag team of uniformed extortioners, with an irritating nuisance and caricature value comparable only to the Nigerian police, to a modern professional federal agency. Having secured the roads as the chief road marshal, it was only fitting that former President Jonathan would elevate Chidoka to a first order ministerial position to secure the air as the Aviation minister, a position he held until change of government in May of 2015.

Chidoka has also been known to have tried to infuse intellectual life into his cherished PDP. He has given lectures; he has presented papers; he has engaged in debates; he has spoken in workshops and seminars – all geared toward salvaging a dying, visionless, and intellectually bankrupt party. His latest effort was his keynote paper in late May at the Obasanjo Global Lecture.

So, Chidoka is as PDP as PDP, in its finest form, goes. He is one of the few good and principled ones. But as the saying goes, you can only ride the horse to the stream, but you cannot force it to drink water. PDP is foundationally, fundamentally, and functionally broken. Rebuilding the PDP would require tearing it down, deconstructing it, de-blooding it; re-blooding it through goal and ideological transfusion, and putting it back together one brick at a time. It is one arduous challenge! It is one daunting task that Chidoka was willing, able, and determined to undertake. But it is also one challenge that the PDP status quo is not ready to meet. Rebuilding the PDP also means cleansing it through a thorough process of de-corruption, and entrenching transparency, merit, and accountability. That would turn out to be completely antithetical to the unwritten but openly secret interest of the PDP establishment. In that effort lies the exposure of far too many corrupt underbellies and intellectually empty nitwits who are in politics for self enrichment. Rather than surrender the PDP to the surgical scalpel, the cabal members would jump ship and swim across the street to the ruling APC. This is the context that fully explains Chidoka’s today’s registration with the United Progressive Party.

I am happy. I am happy because I was beginning to lose faith in Nigeria, especially the Nigerian youth, of which Ossy is one. For over a year, I had been trying to persuade Osita Chidoka out of the PDP. As recently as last two weeks, I had made it very clear to Chidoka that his star in Nigeria’s political firmament would suffer a major eclipse if it continued to reside in the PDP orbit. With Chidoka, I didn’t think I needed to mince my words. He is a friend.

Ossy and I go back to the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. We were next room neighbors in the same dorm, the popular IJ – Kenneth Dike Hall. We were members of the Kenneth Dike Council of Elders where he rose to become the Igwe and Dike of Kenneth Dike Hall – Ogbunechendo. We also served at the same time in UNEC House of Assembly. We were allies in the House. So, even before the wider Nigerian community knew him through his works at the FRSC and the Aviation ministry, I had known him as a principled, disciplined, dedicated, and sound young man. He is articulate; he is kindhearted; he can be curiously idealistic; he sees the possibilities in difficulties; he loves to lead; and he loves his Anambra state. Ossy is also as insightful as he is deliberative. He takes his time to weigh every angle that an issue presents. His decisions have the benefit of careful and thorough thought. I should have known that when I thought that my counsel to him to dump the PDP had fallen on deaf ears. And to assure Nigerians that he is a different kind of politician and leader, with nothing to hide or be afraid of, Chidoka has not joined the ruling APC where other PDP stalwarts go for prosecutorial sheltering. He is the real deal!

So, from Obosi to Agulu, Nnewi to Awka, let the army and ranks of Ositaites grow and let the celebrations begin. Anambra state is about to rewitness a transformational leadership. This is a Peter Obi redux. A young, energetic visionary is what Anambra state needs in Awka. Osita Chidoka should be elected the next governor of the great Anambra State. Ndi Anambra, old and young, men and women and everybody in between, should get to work and move Chief Osita Chidoka from IKE OBOSI to IKE ANAMBRA.

Anambra, Ositadimma!
Vitus Ozoke, PhD
Maryland, USA
14 June, 2017


Politics / The Kaduna Parade And Charade Of Charlatans: The Case For Collective Security by Chizgold: 1:44pm On Jun 12, 2017
History can be one cruel recycler. June 12, 1993, exactly 24 years ago today, Nigerians accomplished what should have been a historic watershed moment in its political development as a nation. It was, to date, the freest and fairest election in Nigeria’s history. It was also a most unconventional election, one that contradicted longstanding wacky theory and practice of religious balance on presidential tickets. In that epic election, Nigerians, from north to south, east to west, massively voted a Muslim-Muslim ticket. Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola and Babagana Kingibe, both Muslims, were elected president and vice president, respectively.

But it was a great moment that would not be. General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida would go on to annul an election that was widely and globally adjudged a free and fair exercise. Reason for the annulment does not need a crystal ball. The Northern establishment wasn’t just ready to let power shift south yet. Any other revisionist excuse is just a moonlight tale. So, after wasting billions of dollars – both spent and stolen – on an obvious ruse, IBB and the northern oligarchs annulled the elections and plunged the nation into the worst human crisis since the civil war. There was mass hysteria; the country was burning; confusion everywhere; ‘everybody scatter-scatter’; dead bodies in the streets; and shops and businesses looted by opportunistic hoodlums. In the frenzy of the looming war, the Igbo up north and in other parts of the country, were on the run for dear life. Oso Abiola, they erroneously tagged it, for it should have been Oso Babangida. Hundreds of Igbo lives were lost in that madness. Entire families were wiped out in road accidents on the run back east.

Determined to actualize his legitimately won mandate, MKO pledged his life, if that was what it would take to effectuate the desires of millions of Nigerians who had had it with the Northern military oligarchy. As the heat got too much, and with the international community paying closer and concerted attention, the Minna coward ‘stepped aside’ for his Kanuri brother, General Sani Abacha. The expectation was that Abacha would do the right thing and hand over power to MKO. But it would turn out to be a hopeless pipedream. Rather than relinquish power, Abacha locked MKO up and engaged in a massive and unprecedented looting of the commonwealth.

Abacha gave MKO one condition for his freedom: surrender his legitimately acquired mandate. Lawyers would argue that MKO was an equitable president because equity regards as done what ought to be done. By that maxim, when individuals are required, by law or their agreement, to perform some act of legal significance, equity will treat that act as having been done as it ought to have been done, even before it has actually happened. The act of legal significance that ought to have been done by IBB and, later, Abacha, was to swear MKO in as the duly elected president of the Republic. By requiring a president in Equity to surrender his mandate and go home, Sani Abacha was issuing an illegal quit notice on MKO. Well, as fate would have it, and because God hates ugly, Abacha would quit before MKO in that macabre season of obsequies.

Since the June 6 charade of charlatans, otherwise widely referred to as the Kaduna Declaration by Arewa Youth Forum, I had been struggling with what an appropriate reaction would be for me. And by appropriate reaction is meant, first and foremost, whether the nuisance effect of such nonsense was even worth a response. Does one respond to the mundane tomfooleries of every attention-seeking bastards? If one does, then one would have to make it a fulltime job, seeing as Nigeria, in its unusualness, churns out a ton of such deplorable behaviors as a matter of routine.

So I wasn’t going to pen a response just because a band of bandits engaged in an everyday Nigerian behavior, as painful as that sounds. Not even the silly threat of illegal dispossession of Igbo landed properties in the North was going to move me; after all, that would not be the first time the Igbo would be dispossessed of their property. In the 1970 post civil war, the Igbo returned to Port Harcourt only to be told by their Rivers brothers that their properties were deemed abandoned, and therefore, forfeited. So I didn’t deem the antics of the so-called Arewa Youth Forum worthy of the time any person would waste in response.

But one thing would jolt me and pull me out of my shell. And that is the statement in the Saturday Sun, credited to one Senator Femi Okurounmu, a chieftain of the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organization, the Afenifere. Reportedly, Okurounmu attended a meeting of the Afenifere group where the decision contained in his statement was presumably reached. Here is Senator Okurounmu:

“This quit notice by the Northern youths should not be seen by any wise Southerner as being meant for only people from the South-East or that it is an empty threat. These Northern youths meant business, and not only that, they have the backing of the Northern elders, who have not only expressed their support for the youths, but have also affirmed their backing for the quit notice given to the South-Easterners. These Northerners should not be underrated, and one of the major reasons we are insisting that all Southerners should start coming back to the South now is that when these attacks on them begin, the Northerners will attack all Southerners. How are they going to separate a Yoruba from Igbo? It is going to be difficult. Southerners shouldn’t be gullible. They should start coming home now. They should not wait until the end of the ultimatum. We don’t want a repeat of [the] 1966-1967 pogrom, when hundreds of people of Southern origin, especially those from the South-East were massacred in the North…”

That, right there, is the major reason Nigeria has remained the big fat joke it is today. If one presumes that Senator Okurounmu spoke for the Afenifere, being a chieftain of the group, and having attended the meeting where the decision was reached, then one can equally presume that Okurounmu’s statement is the Yoruba response to the Igbo quit notice issued by a gang of daylight bandits up north. And what I take from Senator Okurounmu’s statement (the Afenifere position) is that Yorubas should also leave northern Nigeria because the Hausa-Fulani Arewa youth will “attack all Southerners”. They will do so because they will find it difficult to separate the Yoruba from the Igbo when the massacre begins. In other words, if it were not difficult for the northern bandits to separate the Yoruba from the Igbo, so as to kill the Igbo and spare the Yoruba, Senator Okurounmu and the Afenifere would not have asked the Yorubas to leave the North. Again, that, right there, is the very core of Nigeria’s social and existential challenge.

Now, let’s be very clear. The Afenifere response falls on both sides of the normative ledger. It is a good, indeed perfect, response if Afenifere’s founding and only mission is to serve as the protectors and custodians of the Yoruba nation. As parochial as that mission might seem, Afenifere’s response, spoken through Senator Okurounmu, meets that mission. But, if Afenifere was chartered with the greater, nobler, and more nationalistic goal of preserving the national center, then, its response is at best, unfortunate, and at worst, downright shameful. Either way, it betrays a fundamental problem with the Nigerian experiment. It proves once again that Nigeria is more contraptious than it is organic. It is a colonial contrivance hatched in the darkest chambers of British monarchy with little to no attention to long-term.

Nigeria lacks an organic center; it is not an organic family. We are neither brothers nor step-sisters; we are a bunch of foster siblings adopted by a selfish, non-related welfare Queen (of England) who did not love or care for us any more than she loved or cared for the resources she stole from under our feet. In the absence of an organic centric relationship, each sibling in the Nigerian foster system exists in silos. We exist in independent compartments. Except for electoral political expediency, we are unable to forge internal alliances, at least since the end of the civil war. When one sibling is attacked, or threatened to be attacked, by another, the remaining siblings play spectators. There is no sense of “the rest of us”. Hausa-Fulani have attacked the Igbo up north; Yorubas have attacked the Igbo in Lagos; Yorubas have clashed with the Hausa-Fulani in Lagos; and the Igbo have attacked Hausa-Fulani in Onitsha. And whenever these two-party skirmishes occur, the unaffected ethnic nationalities play spectators and go about their normal lives. Senator Okurounmu and the Afenifere are doing just that – playing spectators as the Arewa bandits threaten the Igbo up north.

If we are serious about building Nigeria, then, we can no longer afford to play spectators as one group heedlessly attacks another. It is time we adopted the principle of collective security. Better still, it is time we adopted a hybrid of collective security and collective defense. In national collective security system, federating nationalities covenant to desist from using force against other members of the collective, except insofar as force is needed as they band together against any member who attacks another within the group. It is a compact among groups to refrain from attacking one another and to unite in attacking any member of the group who attacks another member of the group. Collective security alone would have been a sufficient adoptive principle for Nigeria, but there are two reasons for bringing in some elements of collective defense as well. First, at the heart of collective defense treaty, such as NATO’s Article 5, is the solidarity slogan of “All for One, and One for All”. In collective defense, parties to the treaty agree to come to the defense of any member who has been attacked by a nonmember state. Second, given the fragile internal dynamics in Nigeria, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a federating ethnic nationality that routinely engages in acts of violent aggression against another federating nationality would gleefully play spectator as another federating nationality is attacked by a foreign force.

Until a threat by a gang of hoodlums up north is treated, not just as a threat against the Igbo, but a threat against the “rest of us”, Nigeria will continue to exist in fragility. Until Senator Okurounmu and the Afenifere refrain from the silly direct-threat-target calculation and see an illegal quit ultimatum to the Igbo by a despicable gang of northern terrorists as a threat to the “rest of us”, Nigeria will continue as a foster experiment. Until we embrace collective security and collective defense as national ethos, the pathos of disunity will continue to dog us. The declared criminality of the Arewa Youth Forum should not be an Igbo fight. It should be a national fight. From Ijaw to Ibibio, Egba to Etsako, war drums, in the spirit of collective security solidarity, should be thundering with reverberations across the land. The brigands in Kaduna must get the message that a senseless attack on one is an attack on us all.

Ideally, that is what should happen – Nigerians coming together in the spirit and solidarity of collective security. All for one, and one for all. That is the ideal. But I am as much an idealist as I am a realist. And the reality as it exists today is that the Igbo will fight their own war and meet the Arewa threat. And they will do that bravely and gallantly. Ndi Igbo are no collective tenants in Nigeria; therefore, they are not liable to a collective quit notice from any part of Nigeria – be it Kaduna, be it Lagos. Period! If anything, ndi Igbo are landlords. Therefore, ndi Igbo are not going anywhere. A combined reading of sections 41 and 43 of the Nigerian Constitution puts that beyond doubt. Section 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution reads: “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereby or exit therefrom.” And Section 43 reads: “Every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.”

I have read statements issued by Igbo governors’ forum and Igbo lawmakers, urging ndi Igbo to ignore the Arewa ultimatum and go about their lawful businesses. The problem with that is that it sounds all too cliché. To ignore the Arewa threat as an idle threat would have made sense if evidence existed of concrete steps taken by both local and federal law enforcement authorities to keep the peace. Such evidence does not exist. Instead, the Inspector General of Police is known to have declared that there was no credible evidence of steps toward the actualization of a videoed, televised, and published threat that would warrant an arrest. Are you kidding me? What further evidence does the IGP need, a slaughter field and a mass grave?

Since when do sedition and seditious conspiracy cease being outlawed conducts under Nigerian criminal and penal jurisprudence? Has Ibrahim Kpotum looked at Chapter 7 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act (Chapter 77 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1999)? Has the IGP looked at Chapter 27 of the Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act? The pronouncements of the Arewa Youth Forum meet all the definitional elements of sedition and seditious conspiracy. An overt conduct, such as speech and organization, which tends toward insurrection against the established order is seditious. The Arewa pronouncement is a clear subversion of sections 41 and 43 of the Nigerian Constitution, and an obvious incitement of discontent and resistance to lawful authority. Why were Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB members arrested and detained again? What is the difference between their offence and the Kaduna Declaration by the Arewa Youth Forum? I will tell you. The IPOB want to be left alone to peacefully go their separate way. The Arewa Youth Forum want to violently force the Igbo out of the north, and illegally and forcibly dispossess them of their immovable property.

Look, if there is anything history has taught us, it is that some of our foster siblings up north have no aversion for violence. Therefore, their threat must be treated with the seriousness it deserves. A strategy must be developed to meet their typical intransigence. Urging the Igbo to stay put up north and to go about their normal businesses is not a strategy. Ndi Igbo will not quit the north; ndi Igbo will queue into the north. Ndi Igbo will not run from the north; ndi Igbo will make a run for the north. Unless Igbo governors have received sufficient security assurances, they must strategize and send reinforcement up major northern cities and towns. Enough of this nonsense already! Ndi Igbo lost over a million lives in the....

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/the-kaduna-parade-and-charade-of-charlatans-the-case-for-collective-security/

Politics / Taraba State Governor Killing Workers And Pensioners–apc Chieftain by Chizgold: 5:26am On Jun 05, 2017
Alhaji Hassan Ardo Jika is the immediate past chairman of the major opposition party in Taraba State, the All Progressive Congress. As a man who spent majority of his life serving Taraba as a civil servant, he knows a lot about the state and its leaders.

In this exclusive interview with Ikenga Chronicles, Alhaji Jika explosively lays bare his assessment of the administration of Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku.


Ikenga: Please give us your sectoral assessment of this administration in the past two years.

Alhaji Hassan Ardo Jika: Let me start by way of introduction. I am an indigene of Taraba State, born and brought up here. After my school days, I joined the civil service and served for over 20 years across the length and breadth of Taraba State. I can confidently say I am very conversant with issues in Taraba State. Having worked in key offices such as Ministry of Finance, Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Office of the Head of Service of the state and Ministry of Information, I think I should know much about Taraba State than any politician around. Having been a career civil servant, I can give you a vivid assessment of what Taraba State has been from inception in 1991 when it was carved out of the defunct Gongola State. I know what it was because it all started with us. We served under military and civilian governors.

If you go round Taraba State today, the entire government infrastructure you will see, without mincing words I will tell you who did what and when. Despite the fact that a lot of accusations were made against the past military governors/administrators and their civilian counterparts, in my view if you go round you will agree with me that the worst administration ever is Governor Darius Ishaku’s administration. Why am I saying so? We have a lot of justification for this assessment.

To start with, over the years, I have served in different administrations. We have never had a history of accumulated salaries, pension and gratuities amounting to over N15bn until Arc. Darius Ishaku assumed office as governor two years ago. Past administrations made frantic efforts to pay gratuities, pensions, salaries, and promotion allowances; but today a substantial number of retired civil servants die prematurely because they have nothing to live on. After 35 years of meritorious service and expending the better part of their lives, these retirees end up as beggars. This is because their meager pension is not forthcoming, their gratuities are not paid and many of them are now lying on their beds critically ill. Their children and grandchildren cannot even access their benefits. It is the most disheartening thing that could ever happen to any retired civil servant.

The consequential impact on the integrity, morale and character of those still in service can better be imagined than explained. What I am simply saying here is that when those in service see the experiences of the retirees, they are obviously tempted to deep their hands into public funds. I mean they will always steal at every given opportunity. Therefore, this is one of the major reasons for all forms of corruption in the civil service.

Now on infrastructure, as I speak to you, I can take you round the state capital. There is no single project; just a single project constructed by this administration to a completion level. In fact, I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that there is no single ongoing project. I have heard a lot of comments in the media by the governor and his aides and the cabal around him saying Governor Darius has a slogan which says “Give me peace and I will give you development”. It is really unfortunate that we cannot see any. Let me tell you something, notwithstanding the crises across the state during the tenures of past administrations, there was development. But now as I speak to you, there is no single project that is going on.

On your way to Sunkani from the state capital, between Taraba State University and College of Agriculture, you will see one small project going on there called the Green House. Unfortunately, in the whole of this country, there is no state that has come up with this idea of Green House project because even in the United States where it started, it is no more in vogue. For me, it is simply a white elephant project. I think for somebody to start looking for soup, there must be food to complement the soup. Information reaching us so far shows that the state government has spent N2.2bn on that project.

It is unbelievable that such a huge amount will be spent on such project. I am asking a simple question: how can a government that has focus spend N2.2bn on a greenhouse project? What is the time frame within which the government can recoup its investment? We are not saying the money should be recouped, but how long will it take government and Tarabans to derive the needed benefit and feel the impact of the project within the next two years? It is really unfortunate!

Now to rural water supply. I have been in government, I know the secret. The records are there, you can go and verify. I have heard the governor claiming the water projects going on were initiated by him. And we got information that he had contracted a water project to the tune of N6bn. Please go and verify. This project is a World Bank project and the counterpart funding was paid by the former governor Danbaba Suntai. Danbaba paid the counterpart fund during his time. So, for someone to start taking credit for another person’s project, I think it is the highest level of corruption in this country.

Going through Taraba State budget of 2016 and 2017, you will shed tears. Last year (2016), there was no single bag of fertilizer given to our farmers but I heard someone saying last year they had a bumper harvest. Find out for yourself from the farmers in the state. There was no single bag of fertilizer, even a molecule of an atom which is the smallest indivisible particle of an element, given to any farmer last year. I came across a write-up that they had a bumper harvest last year. Who gave farmers fertilizers? Go to the Ministry of Agriculture and check their records; go to as many individual farmers you can, to find out from them if there was a single bag of fertilizer given to them. There was none.

This year I expected that any serious minded government, for example Taraba State being an agrarian state, will assist farmers by subsidizing the cost of fertilizer especially at this period of economic recession. That, for example, if fertilizer in the market sells for N6,000 or N7,000, government should subsidize it to N4,000 by making it affordable to farmers. But that is not the case. Rather than doing this, the governor and his allies are using fertilizer for their campaign against 2019 telling farmers that they are going to provide them with fertilizers; but they won’t be able to pay for it. Let me give you a little example. The Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly is distributing fertilizer in Gembu. The Speaker is selling a form for the purchase of fertilizer at the cost of N2, 500

Form for what?

For those that want to get fertilizer from him at subsidized rate. The form is N2, 500. After you buy the form for N2, 500 then you pay N10, 000 and then he gives you two bags of fertilizer. What is the cost of a bag of fertilizer in the market? Add the N2, 500 to N10, 000; it will amount to N12, 500. If the two bags of fertilizer amount to N14, 000, it means he has given you N1, 500. Someone came here and said that at the open market, fertilizer is sold between N5, 500 and N6, 500. In fact, from Kasuwan Yelwa somebody brought his purchase receipt to show me that he bought a bag for N4, 500. If the Speaker is saying that he is subsidizing fertilizer to farmers by buying one and giving them two, what is the cost of the one bag? When you critically evaluate what he is doing, he has not helped you. Rather, he is making profit from you.

Taraba State has the highest concentration of cattle in the country. My local government happens to be one – the Mambilla Plateau; because of the serene environment it is free of tse-tse fly and good for animal husbandry. Go and check last year’s budget. There is no provision for livestock and veterinary drugs. No dime was allocated for livestock and veterinary drugs when you have about five million cattle in Taraba State. It is the highest in the country. You then begin to wonder if livestock is not part of agriculture and when you look at this issue critically, it is only through the livestock that government earns substantial revenue. At all points in time, cattle pay taxes. There is what we call cattle tax that is always paid, N50 and above. When you sell a cow, you pay N200, when you slaughter a cow, you pay a specific amount. When you are moving cattle from the Plateau to the East or West, we pay for each of the cows. Just imagine the colossal amount of revenue government generates; yet you cannot make at least one million naira provision for veterinary drugs?

If you go round the state to inspect and take inventory of projects, you will not see any major project done by this administration in spite of the N60bn allocation received (from the federation account) in the last two years. For instance, the multi-billion naira Jolly Nyame Stadium was conceived and fully executed by former governor Nyame. The roads and bridges we have were constructed by former governor Danbaba; the ministries and secretariat were constructed by former military administrators and governor Jolly Nyame. What has Governor Darius Ishaku done in the past two years except claiming credit for projects not executed by him?

Ikenga: The Commissioner for Works told us that this administration constructed two bridges between Bali, Serti and Gashaka to replace the colonial ones. But you say Governor Ishaku has no single project ongoing…

Alhaji Hassan Ardo Jika: My dear brother, I think there is no reason why I should tell lies. The road from Bali to Gembu was awarded to PW Nigeria Ltd by the administration of UTC and not Governor Darius Ishaku. And he (UTC) paid them.

Ikenga: What was the amount UTC paid PW Nigeria for the project?

I don’t have the figure handy now, but we have the figure. However, during UTC’s time, every month he allocated between N300m and N700m to PW Nigeria for the project. Immediately Governor Darius Ishaku assumed office, he stopped the payment and that was why the project stopped. If he says he constructed two bridges, for a governor that has collected over N60billion from the federation account apart from other allocations and the bailout to pay outstanding salaries, what are we talking about? He spent the money on other things that cannot be visibly seen by any Taraban.

Now, let me be specific and I want you to go to government and say it is from me. I said that Governor Darius Ishaku received N9.4bn as bailout purposely to settle outstanding salaries for teachers, local government staff, pension and gratuities. This money was collected sometime in April 2016; within that time Governor Darius Ishaku collected N10bn loan from Zenith bank. In that same month, the total allocation from the federation account for Taraba was N3.5bn. Add it up. What did he do with the money?

Ikenga: You mean he collected a loan of N10bn in addition to the N3.5bn allocation in the same April 2016?

Alhaji Hassan Ardo Jika: Yes, a loan of N10bn from Zenith bank. Here we go. The same governor, of recent I attacked him on non-payment of teachers’ salaries. You saw the protest staged by the teachers. They have pocketed the NUT, they can’t talk. Other organizations have been pocketed. That is why they are always interested in getting the leadership of those organizations, they can’t talk. When teachers are protesting, the children are not learning. Just of recent they held a protest. I addressed them outside here. Nine teachers or headmasters were suspended. Then, why are we talking about child’s rights in Nigeria?

Ikenga: Why were the nine teachers suspended?

Alhaji Hassan Ardo Jika: Because they allowed the children to go out for protest. But the children also have the right to protest and that is why we talk about child rights. That they have rights to education, that is what the law says. And you don’t expect somebody to continue teaching for free. That is his only means of livelihood and he has been teaching the children. If the teacher decides not to continue, then the child has every right also to protest since he has a right to education.

Ikenga: You talked about the administration not executing any project, but the Works Commissioner said the Ishaku administration constructed the Palace Road, Market Road, Post Office Road, Magami Road, Kona Road and other projects. Who do we believe?

You see, it is unfortunate, I would not like to sound so hard or rude to leaders, but the truth must be told. These roads that you mentioned, the last road constructed was by Sani Abubakar Danladi. It was him that constructed Market Road. Which one is Post Office road? It is the same road! Market Road is the same as Post Office Road. You are talking about Magami, it was since Sani Abubakar Danladi. I heard the talk about Donga Road. Donga Road was constructed at the time of Danbaba. Why should they go about telling lies and claiming other people’s projects? You can see the roundabout by the Ministry of Works. This man went and painted it and is now claiming to be the one who constructed it. All of you are living witnesses, Governor Darius Ishaku does not know Taraba State. He does not know the people of Taraba State. He does not know the needs of Tarabans and he was not prepared for governance.

Ikenga: But he is governor…(cuts in)

Alhaji Hassan Ardo Jika: By error of commission or omission he became the governor. We cannot deny the fact that he is the governor today but there is no governance

Ikenga: How did he become governor then?

It is a long story. But the Supreme Court has affirmed that. We cannot say no. We have a government but there is no governance. My dear brother, go to the Specialist Hospital in Jalingo, one of the best and the most equipped hospitals in the state today. Look at the condition of the hospital and go round the 16 local government areas. Tell me one functional hospital that we have today in Taraba State. The schools that you see were built by ETF, ITF, and TETFUND. That is, the funds came from those organizations. On your way to Lau, around Garin Dogo, just stop and see how our pupils take lessons under trees.

Ikenga: Is it a public school?

Yes, a public school. You see it is the same governor who, when he went on tour, told Tarabans “sorry”. That he could not do anything in the last two years because he was engaged in court cases here and there. Is the governor telling us that all the money allocated to Taraba State was used for court cases or what? I never saw him in court; it was the lawyers that went to court. We want to know if all the money allocated to Taraba was used for court cases so that we can go after the judges and the lawyers. Magu (the acting head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC) is there and we would get him involved.

Ikenga: It was really nice getting your views on Governor Ishaku

Alhaji Hassan Ardo Jika: It is my pleasure.


Politics / Buhari’s Cabal And The Plot Against Osinbajo by Chizgold: 10:21pm On Jun 02, 2017
Of all the things President Muhammadu Buhari said at his inaugural speech on 29th May in 2015, what most Nigerians took to heart and still comes to mind readily is his famous statement “I belong to nobody and I belong to everybody“.

This was a statement of assurance that the nightmare of ‘Cabalism‘ would not be allowed a place in his government. Coming at a time the memories of the last days of former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua and the role of the cabal in destabilising the system were still fresh, Nigerians received this assurance with cheerful hearts and great delight.

To the greatest chagrin of most however, it became crystal clear that the administration is more enmeshed in cabalism than any previous administration in the country.

After barely a year in government, wife of the President Aisha Buhari was quoted to have alleged that the government was hijacked by some powerful forces who were not allowing her husband to perform optimally. At the time, the President waved it away with his infamous “my wife belongs to the kitchen and the other room“.

But as events unfold, especially with his health deteriorating very fast, the cabal is becoming more obvious and her fears crystal clear to everyone.

While the cabal has allegedly been locked in a supremacy battle over who controls the President since inception, it is only recently that the battles became obvious to the ordinary Nigerian.

The fighting between the two major cabals so far has cost the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal his seat and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) his confirmation as substantive chairman, among others.

What is now most frightening however, is the move by the cabal to make sure that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo does not make it as the President in the event that President Buhari is not able to make it back alive.

While Nigerians are praying fervently for their president to recover and return home soon, this group of people are focused on scheming how to oust the acting president and install one of theirs as the president of Nigeria, and show no genuine care about the President.

When the president traveled out earlier this year for medical attention, the plot became so tensed that the Senate President Bukola Saraki had to come out and deny knowledge of any plot to oust the acting president. Most Nigerians had their reservations but things moved on. But it did not end there.

When the SGF was suspended, he asked a fundamental question, which most analyst agree pointed to the fact that President Buhari may not be in charge of the president but is controlled by some cabal operating behind the scene.

His suspension was also alleged to have been a move by the cabal to put in place their men in strategic places to be able to perfect their scheme in the unfortunate event of the President’s demise.

Most recently, it was alleged that the cabal wanted to orchestrate a coup d’etat to take over power. Though the Chief of Army Staff General Burutai came out to deny plans by the military to take over power and to warn any military officer with such plans to discard it immediately, the threat it presents is obvious and the possibilities are glaring.

The question most Nigerians are asking is why the cabal is so desperate to ensure that the acting president never takes over as a president should circumstances call for that.

The cabal are top beneficiaries of systemic confusion and would do whatever it takes to remain politically very relevant. Comprising of some governors, security leaders and some northern elders, the cabal is said to determine major policies of the administration including who gets what appointment and who gets sacked or suspended from the government.

But beyond these–which most people consider as just a smokescreen–the cabal is said to be unraveling an Islamic agenda that the acting president would never subscribe to and would definitely frustrate should he become the substantive president.

This, according to reliable sources explained why there were no single herdsmen attacks on any part of the country throughout the period that the president was away on medical leave and the vice president Osinbajo took over in acting capacity.

While the allegations are weighty and most Nigerians would wish they were not true, some of the events in recent past give more credit to the rumors than disparage them.

It is therefore imperative that the security apparatuses step up their game to ensure that the cabal is cut to size and not allowed to throw the country into another era of total confusion and conflict for their own selfish interests.

As it stands, Nigeria is enjoying an uneasy calm with nerves quite frayed and could easily explode if triggered.

Nigerians would certainly continue to pray for the President to recover and return home soonest, but in the unfortunate, unwanted, and un-prayed-for event that this is not tenable, the constitution must be allowed to take its cause for the good and sustainability of the country.


Politics / Walking On The Graves Of Chibok Girls by Chizgold: 1:15pm On May 31, 2017
The Federal government recently announced the release of additional 82 of the abducted Chibok school girls and the news was received, expectedly, with great joy.

This has become a trend since the inception of this administration as time and again, the Nigerian government came up with claims of recueing some of the abducted Chibok school girls.

Coming at a time when the government claims that the Sambisa forest has been cleared, one begins to imagine where the children in such numbers were sprung out from, and the intelligence community were not any the wiser. The very possibility that the girls are still housed at one place after the fall of Sambisa forest as implied by these “rescues” is at best outrageously ridiculous.

The timing of the release to coincide with widespread criticism of government policies, especially at the heat of growing concerns over the President’s health status and ahead of widespread criticism of the administration midterm makes it look like a distraction from government failures.

Could it be just a measure to dethrone the previous government and now empower some people who so graciously helped this administration to make it to power, considering the royal treatment given to one of the abductors who was arrested with his bride.

Some people have argued reasonably that the Chibok girls were never kidnapped at all. The argument, according to this school of thought is that, Chibok girls who have been in the hands of their captors for about three years could not be looking so healthy, considering that the Boko Haram insurgents were repeatedly said to have run out of supply and time and again had to raid some communities to scavenge for food.

However, one could not help but notice– with great joy– how healthy these girls looked. The fact that the kidnapped girls also had a steady change of clothes other than their school wears as one would have expected is also a cause for worry.

Perhaps most worrisome is the implied possibility that all the girls are still kept in the same place in their numbers where almost a hundred of them could be randomly picked by the insurgents and released to the Nigerian government. If the Sambisa forest had offered a safe haven for the insurgents to house the girls, now that the place has been cleared, where else could such number of people be housed without the securities being any the wiser.

And one begins to wonder if the entire Chibok girls scam is just a well orchestrated plan to oust the previous administration from government and secure the release of some captured terrorists in the name of exchanging them for the girls.

More so, one would expect the security apparatus to have gleaned out sensitive information from the released girls to help them pin-point the location where the rest of the girls are being housed.

And if in the end, it is established that this was just a hoax in the first place, will the leaders be courageous enough to let heads roll as should?

It is becoming increasingly clear that there are more questions surrounding the kidnapping and continued detention of these girls than there has been answers. Most of the questions point towards the increasing possibility that some political interests are....

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/walking-on-the-graves-of-chibok-girls/

Politics / Happy Corpsocracy Day by Chizgold: 9:04am On May 29, 2017
May 29th of every year is known as Democracy Day in Nigeria.This was birthed in 1999, following the successful transfer of power from the military to the President Olusegun Obasanjo-led civilian government. Since that fateful 29th May, 1999, May 29th of every year was set aside as a day to celebrate Nigeria's democracy.

Packed with events,one of the highlights has always been the president of the country addressing the nation, and gracing several other Democracy Day celebrations.That has been the order of the day, until of course today, May 29th,2017, when it has become obvious that the president of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari will be out of the country, lying in a hospital bed in London, probably oblivious of whatever celebrations/activities that would be going on today.

It is not like Buhari suddenly left the country to attend to a medical emergency that suddenly came up, the man has literally not been able to carry out his duties as president, since January of this year, due to sickness.That he has been allowed to continue to occupy the seat, is what a lot of people find hard to understand. Clearly, that a man has been too sick to carry out his duties since January eloquently says that he is now incapacitated and therefore should have since relinquished his position in the interest of the country he and his promoters say he loves so much. However for some reasons, this "great" love he has for Nigeria has made it impossible for him to let Nigeria move forward, by recusing himself.

Buhari and his promoters' hold on Nigeria is asphyxiating, and it does appear that the plan is to choke the country to death. Nothing else is acceptable to them.

So today, as Nigerians wake up to May 29th, it is clear that today will not be Democracy Day again.There is no democracy when the tenets of democracy are impudently flouted.This country cannot claim to be a democracy when a few men have foisted ...well...an absentee president on them. It was probably Femi Fani-Kayode who so aptly called what Nigeria practises, Corpsocracy.

In the spirit of the current government being practised in Nigeria today then, it is only right that its citizen are wished "Happy Corpsocracy Day", in commemoration of the new form of government that they have so sheepishly accepted.....


Politics / The Man Who Jailed Fela Anikulapo Kuti! by Chizgold: 8:40am On May 29, 2017
Fela was jailed in 1984 for having in his possession the sum of ‘£1,600 pounds meant for the entire band of 26 persons, at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, on their way to Europe for a scheduled concert.

He was tried by a judge, Okoro-Idogwu and sentenced to prison for a period of 5 years under Major General Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari’s draconian law then states that no Nigerian should be in possession of more than £500, but exemption of course was given to military personnel and to those who have earned the foreign exchange legitimately.
So, if all the 26 member band were to hold £500 each, they sure would have had £13,000 legitimate money.
Fela was at the Airport with his manager, an European, Rikki Stein, who also had in his possession papers to show, Fela earned the said money legitimately from a previous overseas tour.

Yet, despite all these glaring evidences, Fela was prevented from going for that scheduled trip, his son Femi and the rest of the band however made the trip and it was a great success.

The government of Major General Muhammadu Buhari in the meantime had other ideas, namely this –
Fela, their vocal critic must be sent to jail.

Quickly and Sharply arraigned in court, the judge promptly sentenced Fela to a 10 year jail term on 2 counts, but to serve the terms, concurrently for a 5 year jail sentence.

That was September of 1984!

Fela was to be adequately punished and transferred to Maiduguri prisons.

It was on an auspicious day in August of 1985 … Nigerians woke up to the broadcast of General Dogonyaro in which this historic words were uttered:

“Fellow Nigerians….

The Nigerian public has been made to believe that the slow pace of action of the Federal Government headed by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari was due to the enormity of the problems left by the last civilian administration.

Although it is true that a lot of problems were left behind by the last civilian government, the real reason, however, for the very slow pace of action is due to lack of unanimity of purpose among the ruling body; subsequently, the business of governance has gradually been subjected to ill-motivated power play considerations. The ruling body, the Supreme Military Council, has, therefore, progressively been made redundant by the actions of a select few members charged with the day-to-day implementation of the SMC’s policies and decision.

The concept of collective leadership has been substituted by stubborn and ill advised unilateral actions, thereby destroying the principles upon which the government came to power. Any effort made to advise the leadership, met with stubborn resistance and was viewed as a challenge to authority or disloyalty.

Thus, the scene was being set for systematic elimination of what, was termed oppositions. All the energies of the rulership were directed at this imaginary opposition rather than to effective leadership.

The result of this misdirected effort is now very evident in the country as a whole. The government has started to drift. The economy does not seem to be getting any better as we witness daily increased inflation.

The nation’s meager resources are once again being wasted on unproductive ventures. Government has distanced itself from the people and the yearnings and aspirations of the people as constantly reflected in the media have been ignored.

This is because a few people have arrogated to themselves the right to make the decisions for the larger part of the ruling body.

~Brigadier Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro, in the Coup Speech that overthrew Buhari On August 27, 1985”

And shortly after Buhari took over, same Judge, Justice Okoro-Idogwu that sentenced Fela, found his way to a hospital in Maiduguri, where Fela had been admitted due to the harsh realities of prison sentence in the harshest environment.

Either by acts of commission or omission, covert or consciousness, conscience or overt, justice Okoro-Idogwu made straight for Fela’s bed where he tendered an apology to Fela, and according to Fela, “the judge don beg o”!
As we were all made to believe, the judge confessed that the government of Major General Muhammadu Buhari prevailed on him to jail Fela at all costs…
Fela did nothing wrong but his hands were proverbially, tied!

With this Revelation and the relief that the people felt from being liberated from the tyrannical rule of Muhammadu Buhari, the new ruler, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, promptly ordered Fela brought to the Benin prisons and a few weeks later had him released to the joys of the Good people of the federal Republic of Nigeria….

The aftermath of this inglorious episode in the history of this country was the release of one of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s most endearing and profoundly soulful songs, a critical as well as a mega commercial success that earned Fela a Grammy Award nomination –
Beast Of No Nation!...


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Politics / African Slaves Were The 1st To Celebrate Ramadan In America by Chizgold: 9:29pm On May 28, 2017
This past weekend marked the beginning of Ramadan. Nearly one-fourth of the world will observe the annual fast and 8 million Muslims in America will abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during the holy month. A grueling task at any time of the year, Ramadan this year will be especially daunting during the long and hot summer days.

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the nation, and the second-most-practiced faith in 20 of these united states. And these demographic shifts prompted a prominent Los Angeles-based imam to comment recently that “Ramadan is a new American tradition.” The cleric’s forward-looking pronouncement marks Islam’s recent arrival in the U.S. But this statement reveals a pathology afflicting a lot of Muslim Americans today—an inability to look back and embrace the opening chapters of Muslim-American history, one that was written by enslaved African Muslims.

Social scientists estimate that 15 to 30 percent, or “as many as 600,000 to 1.2 million,” slaves in antebellum America were Muslims. Forty-six percent of the slaves in the antebellum South were kidnapped from Africa’s western regions, which boasted “significant numbers of Muslims.”

These enslaved Muslims strove to meet the demands of their faith, most notably the Ramadan fast, prayers and community meals, in the face of comprehensive slave codes that linked religious activity to insubordination and rebellion. Marking Ramadan as a “new American tradition” not only overlooks the holy month observed by enslaved Muslims many years ago but also perpetuates their erasure from Muslim-American history.

Between Sunna and Slave Codes

Although the Quran “allows a believer to abstain from fasting if he or she is far from home or involved in strenuous work,” many enslaved Muslims demonstrated transcendent piety by choosing to fast while in bondage. In addition to abstaining from food and drink, enslaved Muslims held holy-month prayers in slave quarters and put together iftars—meals at sundown to break the fast—that brought observing Muslims together. These prayers and iftars violated slave codes restricting assembly of any kind.

For instance, the Virginia Slave Code of 1723 considered the assembly of five slaves an “unlawful and tumultuous meeting,” convened to plot rebellion attempts. Every state in the South codified similar laws barring slave assemblages, which disparately impacted enslaved African Muslims observing the holy month.

Practicing Islam, therefore, and observing Ramadan and its fundamental rituals, for enslaved Muslims in antebellum America, necessitated the violation of slave codes. This exposed them to barbaric punishment, injury and, oftentimes, even death. However, the courage to observe the holy month while bonded, and in the face of grave risk, highlights the supreme piety of many enslaved Muslims.

Ramadan was widely observed by enslaved Muslims. Yet this history is largely ignored by Muslim-American leaders and laypeople alike—and erased from the modern Muslim-American narrative.

Rewriting the History of Ramadan in the U.S.

Muslim America was almost entirely black during the antebellum era. Today it stands as the most diverse Muslim community in the world. Today African Americans make up a significant part of the community, along with Muslims of South Asian and Arab descent. Latin Americans are a rapidly growing demographic in the community, ensuring that Muslims in America are a microcosm of their home nation’s overall multiculturalism.

In the U.S. today, Ramadan dinner tables are sure to include staple Arab or Pakistani dishes. Yet many Muslim Americans will break the fast with tortas and tamales, halal meat loaf and greens. Muslim diversity in this country has reshaped Ramadan into a multicultural American tradition. The breadth of Muslim America’s racial and cultural diversity today is unprecedented, making this year’s Ramadan—and the Ramadans to follow—new in terms of how transcultural and multiracial the tradition has become.

This Muslim-American multiculturalism comes with many challenges: Namely, intraracism, Arab supremacy and anti-black racism prevent cohesion inside and outside American mosques. These deplorable trends perpetuate the erasure of the Muslim slave narrative. Integrating this history will not only mitigate racism and facilitate Muslim-American cohesion but also reveal the deep-rootedness of the faith, and its holiest month, on American soil.

This Ramadan, honoring the memory of the first Muslim Americans and their struggle for freedom—and sharing their story with loved ones at the iftar table—seems an ideal step toward rewriting this missing chapter of Muslim-American history into our collective consciousness....


Politics / Be Patient With Buhari Until 2019-atiku Urges Nigerians by Chizgold: 7:33pm On May 28, 2017
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has advised Nigerians to stop agitating for break-up, but rather allow President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his tenure in 2019 before making alternative choice in the next general election.

Abubakar, who gave the call in his Democracy Day message, however, appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with those in government until they complete their tenures.

The Turakin Adamawa also appealed to Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery and the safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari so that he can continue his work of entrenching democracy and development.

The statement by his media office read reads in full:

“Former vice-president and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar congratulates Nigerians of all political persuasions on the occasion of this years’ Democracy Day, which coincides with the second anniversary of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The Turakin Adamawa says that Nigerians should be proud of themselves for doing away with military governments in 1999, in favour of democracy, which the world over, gives voice and a sense of belonging to more people in society.

“He counsels all those who may be contemplating alternatives to perish such thoughts as the worst form of democratic rule has been adjudged far better than the best form of military dictatorship.

“Among the virtues of democracy, aside public discussion, is the culture of patience with the leadership which informs that once an election has taken place, and a leader is elected, the populace has to be patient with the leader until he completes his tenure. The implication of this, says the Turaki, is that a democratic system imbues the people with political wisdom, to improve on their mode of selection of leaders with each election that takes place.

“The best guarantee for the peace, progress and development of plural societies like Nigeria, and even homogeneous entities, is democracy because popular political participation and inclusiveness in government helps to develop patriotism in the citizenry and this galvanises the best endeavours of the people for the development of the society.

“Noting that the beauty of democracy is the opportunity it gives to the people to elect their leaders, the former Vice President acknowledges the improvements in the electoral processes over the years since 1999 and calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission not to rest on its oars in making credible and transparent elections possible in the country.

“While wishing the government and people the best of this period, which coincides with the second anniversary of this administration, and the days ahead, the former vice president and recipient of the ‘Hero of Nigeria Democracy’ award, urges Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery and safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari to continue with the work of entrenching democracy and development in the country.”


Politics / Economic Recession: A Blessing In Disguise To Nigeria- Ishaku by Chizgold: 6:56pm On May 28, 2017
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba has described the current economic recession in the country as a blessing in disguise.

Ishaku who spoke at the interdenominational service organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN Taraba state on Sunday to mark his second anniversary in office, said the recession is a wake up call and is bringing out the best in Nigerians.

Ishaku said that the situation has made most Nigerians to return to their farms thereby boosting food production while people are becoming more prudent with resources and governments are thinking of how best to cut cost and make governance less expensive.

“We are all crying over the current economic situation in the country but it is one of the best things that has happened to this country in recent times. It is a wake up call to all of us.

“Nigerian farmers now have value for their produce and more people are taking to farming, thereby making that sector of the economy viable and ensuring food security. Leaders are now looking for ways of blocking leakages in government expenditures and cutting unnecessary cost. We can only boast of these become we are breaking the jinx of total dependence on oil, courtesy of economic recession”, he said.

Ishaku who said he had to pass through the needle’s eye and fire to become the governor of the state promised to do whatever it takes to ensure that he leaves a better Taraba than he met it and called on the people to give him peace so that there would be development in the state.

He further said that Nigerians were living dangerously, like children who feast on the candy in their fathers shop until all the proceed is used in treating them of diahrearr.

“Because of the economic recession, we have been able to shift from total dependence on Federal government allocation and to revive over twenty five companies in the state in two years that were characterized with frivolous court cases and senseless killings of our people by heartless men”.

Earlier, the Guest speaker at the occasion Rev Philip Mullip charged the governor to focus on projects that would have direct impact on the people, since, like the Biblical Darius, he has been called to rescue the people and not just the political bigwigs....


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Education / Re: Brilliant Delta Girl Who Scored 321 In JAMB To Miss Going To The University by Chizgold: 6:44pm On May 26, 2017
Education / Brilliant Delta Girl Who Scored 321 In JAMB To Miss Going To The University by Chizgold: 6:14pm On May 26, 2017
A sad report has just reached Ikenga Chronicles about a brilliant 14-year old girl who scored 321 in the just concluded Joint Admissions And Matriculation Board’s UTME. The girl, Ikenga Chronicles gathered, may not pursue her dreams due to lack of money.

The girl, whose first name is Ifunanya, hails from Ika North-East in Delta State, and dreams of being a medical doctor. Unfortunately, despite her status as a genius, Ifunanya may lose out on being a doctor even though it is most likely that she will be offered admission. She fears that her mother, who is a petty trader will not be able to sponsor her through school to study Medicine and Surgery, and this has been a major source of concern for this young and brilliant Nigerian.

Everyday of Ifunanya’s life since she saw her JAMB result has been filled with tears as she wishes her dead father was alive to see her JAMB score.

Ifunanya, aged 14, now has her future up in the balance through no fault of hers.

Ikenga Chronicles would therefore wants to use this medium to call on the Delta State Government, the Niger Delta Development Commission, National Assembly members from Delta state, and other well meaning Nigerians to step in and aid this brilliant girl. This girl is a perfect example of...

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/brilliant-delta-girl-who-scored-321-in-jamb-to-miss-going-to-the-university/

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Politics / Justice For Paul Chukwuma Arisa by Chizgold: 3:35pm On May 26, 2017
We could have allowed the sleeping dog to lie since Paul Arisa didn’t finally make it but since his uncle has refused to be fair for once to this poor boy even in death, we the privileged friends of Paul Arisa as his new family have decided to make public the little we know about Paul Arisa and his supposed guardian and uncle. I am going to tell this story in the words of Paul Arisa himself.

NB; the burial of Paul Arisa is on the 10th of June 2017 in Aba, Abia State. Please don’t just read this post, also share it let everyone know what is happening.

In the words of Paul Arisa:

“Most times when you see me crying, I dont cry because I am sick with cancer but I cry because I have always wished I could ask God why always me? I lived the early stage of my life like a prince as the only child of my very wealthy parents after several miscarriages.I had maids taking care of me until the worst happened when my mother died.

My dad died when I was 4yrs and my mother when I was 8yrs, my mother taught me how to sign a signature when I was 8yrs before she died and when she died and my Uncle took me in, he called me one day in a meeting of about 8 men and asked me if I can still remember how to sign my signature and I said yes, he brought out about 7 papers or more and asked me to sign the signature which I happily did and he told me to climb upstairs.

Little did I know that then was the moment when I signed out or sold out some of the properties my late mother left for me. I don’t even want to talk about how I was being treated at home nor how I managed to go to both primary and secondary school after the death of my mother, it was another hell on earth, I even once sold pure water on the streets to feed but God knows best.

I can still remember few of the addresses I visited with my mother as the landlady then, you can still go and make your findings, ask for the original owners of these properties; No 1 Medical Drive Ogborhill, the current Presbyterian Church in Ehere, there is another place that looked like an Estate with several buildings in it though it was still under construction as at the last time I visited the place with my mum, I wish I can remember the address or the exact location of the buildings, around Ogborhill where we lived.

The worst I ever heard was when I discovered the address of the Doctor who was treating my mother before she died, I visited him in the quest to know more about my parents, the man was so scared to talk to me because of what my guardian my uncle did to him. The doctor said that when my mother was critically down, he called and asked my mother’s blood brother to source for money for my mother’s treatment, it was not as if my mum didn’t have money but she couldn’t sign her signature for money to be withdrawn from her account.

The doctor in his bid to help my mum to live went to my mum’s bank and told them about my mother’s health, the bank after visiting her on her sick bed released money for her treatment. Do you know that my uncle sued my mum’s doctor for defrauding my mum his own sister even before my mum died? This was a man who refused bringing money for my mother’s treatment.

All this while that I have been sick, he rarely called to check on me let alone to contribute a dime to this cause only for him to appear immediately he heard that money has been raised from the Internet for my treatment. He came to take me which I bluntly refused and made him to understand that I am of age to decide for myself. I keep wondering what I have done wrong to my uncle”.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF PAUL ARISA, this same uncle has appeared again, threatening and asking the foster parents of Paul Arisa to account for how they spent the money contributed for his son’s treatment before anyone should start talking about his burial.

Did he say his son? The same son that his Uncle denied his inheritance and made him live like a slave? The foster parents were the people who took Paul in after secondary school,who saw him through the university; took care of him with their personal funds till the public stepped in during his health crisis till his death.

We are going to share the contacts of his uncle below so that we all can jointly call or text him asking him WHAT WRONG THE POOR BOY DID TO HIM THAT HE WANTS TO FRUSTRATE HIM EVEN IN DEATH. We are also going to...


Politics / Acting President Osinbajo Takes Stand On Biafra by Chizgold: 1:46am On May 26, 2017
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo SAN, has underscored the need for Nigerian leaders to give the younger generation the vision on a pathway to unity in diversity. This he believes is the solution to the issues with Nigeria’s diversity, and not division.

Prof. Osinbajo made the statement today in Abuja at the colloquium on “Biafra: 50 years after’’ organized by the Yar’ Adua Foundation at the Shehu Musa Yar’ adua Centre, Abuja, where he spoke to a cross section of political leaders which included former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. John Nwodo, leader of Ohaneze, the Pan-Igbo socio-cultural organization and Alhaji Ahmed Joda amongst other dignitaries that graced the occasion.

Below is the full text of the Speech:

The conveners of this event, the Yar’ Adua Memorial Centre, the Ford foundation and the Open Society initiative West Africa, have done us an enormous favour by offering us the platform for this profoundly important conversation. They deserve our deep gratitude for this opportunity for individual and collective introspection.

Introspection is probably what separates us from beasts. That ability to learn from history is perhaps the greatest defense from the avoidable pain of learning from experience, when history is a much gentler and kinder teacher. Indeed, the saying experience is the best teacher, is incomplete, the full statement of that Welsh adage is that experience is the best teacher for a fool. History is a kinder and gentler teacher.

I was ten years old when my friend in primary school then, Emeka, left school one afternoon. He said his parents said they had to go back to East, war was about to start. I never saw Emeka again. My aunty Bunmi was married to a gentleman from Enugu, I cannot recall his name. But I recall the evening when my parents tried to persuade her and her husband not to leave for the East. She did, we never saw her again.

I recall distinctly how in 1967, passing in front of my home on Ikorodu road almost every hour were trucks carrying passengers and furniture in an endless stream heading east. Many Ibos who left various parts of Nigeria, left friends, families and businesses, schools and jobs. Like my friend and aunty some never returned! But many died. The reasons for this tragic separation of brothers and sisters were deep and profound. So much has been said and written already about the “why’s and wherefores’’ and that analyses will probably never end.

This is why I would rather not spend this few minutes on whether there was or was not sufficient justification for secession and the war that followed. The issue is whether the terrible suffering, massive loss of lives, of hopes and fortunes of so many can ever be justified.

As we reflect on this event today, we must ask ourselves the same question that many who have fought or been victims in civil wars, wars between brothers and sisters ask in moments of reflection….“what if we had spent all the resources, time and sacrifice we put into the war, into trying to forge unity? What if we had decided not to seek to avenge a wrong done to us? What if we had chosen to overcome evil with good?’’

The truth is that the spilling of blood in dispute is hardly ever worth the losses. Of the fallouts of bitter wars is the anger that can so easily be rekindled by those who for good or ill want to resuscitate the fire. Today some are suggesting that we must go back to the ethnic nationalities from which Nigeria was formed. They say that secession is the answer to the charges of marginalization. They argue that separation from the Nigerian State will ultimately result in successful smaller States. They argue eloquently, I might add that Nigeria is a colonial contraption that cannot endure.

This is also the sum and substance of the agitation for Biafra. The campaign is often bitter and vitriolic, and has sometimes degenerated to fatal violence. Brothers and sisters permit me to differ and to suggest that we’re greater together than apart.

No country is perfect; around the world we have seen and continue to see expressions of intra-national discontent. Indeed, not many Nigerians seem to know that the oft-quoted line about Nigeria being a “mere geographical expression” originally applied to Italy. It was the German statesman Klemens von Metternich who dismissively summed up Italy as a mere geographical expression exactly a century before Nigeria came into being as a country. From Spain to Belgium to the United Kingdom and even the United States of America, you will find many today who will venture to make similar arguments about their countries. But they have remained together.

The truth is that many, if not most nations of the world are made up of different peoples and cultures and beliefs and religions, who find themselves thrown together by circumstance. Nations are indeed made up of many nations. The most successful of the nations of the world are those who do not fall into the lure of secession. But who through thick and thin forge unity in diversity.

Nigeria is no different; we are, not three, but more like three hundred or so ethnic groups within the same geographical space, presented with a great opportunity to combine all our strengths into a nation that is truly, to borrow an expression, more than the sum of its parts.

Let me say that there is a solid body of research that shows that groups that score high on diversity turn out to be more innovative than less diverse ones. There’s also research showing that companies that place a premium on creating diverse workplaces do better financially than those who do not. This applies to countries just as much as it does to companies. The United States is a great example, bringing together an impressively diverse cast of people together to consistently accomplish world-conquering economic, military and scientific feats.

It is possible in Nigeria as well. Instead of trying to flee into the lazy comfort of homogeneity every time we’re faced with the frustrations of living together as countrymen and women, the more beneficial way for us individually and collectively is actually to apply the effort and the patience to understand one another and to progressively aspire to create one nation bound in freedom, in peace and in unity.

That, in a sense, should be the Nigerian Dream – the enthusiasm to create a country that provides reasons for its citizens to believe in it, a country that does not discriminate, or marginalize in any way. We are not there yet, but I believe we have a strong chance to advance in that direction. But that will not happen if we allow our frustrations and grievances to transmute into hatred. It will not happen if we see the media – television and radio and print and especially social media – as platforms for the propagation of hateful and divisive rhetoric. No one stands to benefit from a stance like that; we will all emerge as losers.

Clearly our strength is in our diversity, that we are greater together than apart. Imagine for a moment that an enterprising young man from Aba had to apply for a visa to travel to Kano to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams, or that a young woman from Abeokuta had to fill immigration forms and await a verdict in order to attend her best friend’s wedding in Umuahia. Nigeria would be a much less colourful, much less interesting space, were that the case. Our frustrations with some who speak a different dialect or belong to a different religion must not drive us to forget many of the same tribe and faith of our adversaries who have shown true affection for us.

My God-son is Somkele Awa Kalu, his father Awa Kalu SAN, and I taught at the University of Lagos. My first book was dedicated to Somkele and my two other God-children. Chief Emmanuel Dimike is almost 80, he was my father’s friend and business associate in his sawmills in Lagos. Chief has been like a father. I see him most Sundays, he worships with me at the chapel.

The individual affections and friendships we forge some even deeper than family ties, must remind us that unity is possible, that brotherhood across tribes and faiths is possible.

Let me make it clear that I fully believe that Nigerians should exercise to the fullest extent the right to discuss or debate the terms of our existence. Debate and disagreement are fundamental aspects of democracy. We recognize and acknowledge that necessity. And today’s event is along those lines – an opportunity not merely to commemorate the past, but also to dissect and debate it. Let’s ask ourselves tough questions about the path that has led us here, and how we might transform yesterday’s actions into tomorrow’s wisdom.

Indeed our argument is not and will never be that we should ‘forget the past’, or ‘let bygones be bygones’, as some have suggested. Chinua Achebe repeatedly reminded us of the Igbo saying that a man who cannot tell where the rain began to beat him cannot know where he dried his body. If we lose the past, we will inevitably lose the opportunity to make the best of the present and the future.

In an interview years ago, the late Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, explaining why he didn’t think a second Biafran War should happen, said: “We should have learnt from that first one, otherwise the deaths would have been to no avail; it would all have been in vain.”

We should also be careful that we do not focus exclusively on the narratives of division, at the expense of the uplifting and inspiring ones. The same social media that has come under much censure for its propensity to propagate division, has also allowed multitudes of young Nigerians to see more of the sights and sounds of their country than ever before.

And for every young Nigerian who sees the Internet as an avenue for spewing ethnic hatred, there is another young Nigerian who is falling in love or doing business across ethnic and cultural lines; a young Nigerian who looks back on his or her NYSC year in unfamiliar territory as one of the valued highlights of their lifetime. These stories need to be told as well. They are the stories that remind us that the journey to nationhood is not an event but a process, filled as with life itself with experiences some bitter, some sweet. The most remarkable attribute of that process is that a succeeding generation does not need to bear the prejudices and failures of the past.

Every new generation can take a different and more ennobling route than its predecessors. But the greatest responsibility today lies on the leadership of our country. Especially but not only political leadership.

The promise of our constitution which we have sworn to uphold is that we would ensure a secure, and safe environment for our people to live, and work in peace, that we would provide just and fair institutions of justice. That we would not permit or encourage discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, beliefs or other parochial considerations. That we would build a nation where no one is oppressed and none is left behind.

These are the standards to which we must hold our leadership. We must not permit our leaders the easy but dangerous rhetoric of blaming our social and economic conditions on our coming together. It is their duty to give us a vision a pathway to make our unity in diversity even more perfect.


Politics / Fani Kayode’s Naked Dance by Chizgold: 1:09am On May 25, 2017
Under normal circumstances, I would never react to anything written by the former Minister of Aviation and so-called Media Coordinator for the doomed re-election campaign of Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. His antecedents and serial flip-flops in politics foreclosed that.

His notion of public commentary, for which he always seemed to enjoy lavish space in the social and mainstream media, not only tended to be tainted with unimaginable abuse and disgraceful bigotry, they invariably lacked depth, coherence or even decency.

Like his soulmate, the Osun state Governor Ayodele Fayose, conventional wisdom dictated that they be allowed to swim in their own vomit unhindered

Even so, I simply could not resist reacting to the most recent onslaught from Fani-Kayode published in last weekend’s edition of the Vanguard newspaper, excerpts from which I have quoted above. I happen to hail from the North-central part of Nigeria and proudly so!

It is the same region mercenary or emergency politicians like Fani-Kayode routinely refer to as the ‘Middle-Belt’ of Nigeria at different times, even though they cannot tell where its exact boundaries begin or end. That explains the frequent interchange of the various descriptive terms foisted on the region at different times since our independence. The so-called ‘Middle Belt’ has been more of an enigma to its suitors and predators alike, largely on account of its composition and complexity.

To political journeymen like Fani-Kayode, the so-called Middle Belt is restricted to only the Christian minorities in Plateau, Nassarawa, Kaduna and Benue States despite the best efforts of the likes of Professor Jerry Gana. Blinded by decades of prejudice and incurable ignorance, they hardly contend with the other Christian populations in Niger, Kebbi, Kano, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states except during election cycles. And the later four are states in the Northwest and North-eastern parts of Nigeria!

The seeming confusion over the identity of the region, in the eyes of politicians especially those south of the Niger, is often predicated on political expediency, itself the manifestation of a conscious, or unconscious primitive impulse. The same factor masked some, or even all, of the mishaps those who deliberately planned to exploit the region for political capital have experienced since our independence in 1960. Fani-Kayode’s idol Goodluck Jonathan, only happened to be the latest casualty. I shall return to this point in due course.

In the meantime, I have taken special notice of the fact that that he did not list the southern minority groups who have also spoken in the language of slaves for generations using the same standard he established in his incoherent tirade. There is, of course, a reason for that and it is quite instructive.

To include the southern ethnic minorities among his imaginary slaves would have oblitrated the key hypotheses in his pedestrian narrative. His hero, the former President Goodluck Jonathan, is a minority among one of the biggest minority groups in the South – the Ijaw! It is a club the former president shares with the other imaginary slave, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa who hailed from the Gere ethnic group of Bauchi state. I have deliberately chosen to limit my examples to only the Nigerian leaders who were the products of democratic elections no matter how imperfect the processes that produced them may have been.

I will therefore not bother to list Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha, and, of course, Abdulsalami Abubakar; all of who hailed from the so-called Middle-Belt, or Northern minority groups. It is not even necessary. From the single example of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello the revered former Premiere of the Northern region, we are able to discern a fundamental lesson on political sophistication and sagacity which are sorely lacking in the armoury of almost all Nigerian politicians today regardless of their ancestry.

In a landmark decision which should make Fani-Kayode hide his face in shame, the presumed slave-master – Sir Ahmadu Bello the grandson of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio, the founder of the Fulani or Sokoto caliphate – declined to become the nation’s Prime Minister as the leader of the victorious Northern People Congress (NPC). He voluntarily passed the position onto his ‘slave’ Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, a northern minority.

Since 1960, the Nigerian political system has been delicately balanced. None of the big three major ethnic groups is capable of winning elections at the centre without the consummation of alliances between either two of the major groups, and the minorities north or south of the Niger. While the frequent calls for fiscal federalism has its merits, it was also obvious that the frequent calls for the restructuring of the nation was to radically alter the dynamics of the nation’s political terrain which is rightly or wrongly perceived to be in favour of the north.

But even if the nation is eventually restructured for whatever reason, some politicians in the country will still require bridging their skill deficits for as long as democracy is defined by the numbers game. That, of course, will require the deep knowledge and understanding of the unique and distinguishing attributes of the various ethnic and religious groups that make up the nation’s political milieu from the north to the south. Political victories are not like products that can be purchased off the shelf. It requires a measure of political sophistication and mobilization.

The recent book by Olusegun Adeniyi on how the last general election was lost exposed the inherent weaknesses of many Nigerian politicians.

I disagree with former senate president David Mark’s view that a northern conspiracy contributed to Jonathan’s defeat in the election. In case the former Army Signals man did not know it, his open romance with the former president was an aberration in presidential system expected to be defined by the principle of separation of powers and checks and balances. But that was not the only problem.

The campaign strategy of the Jonathan camp was like an open book. They believed they had the votes from the south east and the south-south in the bank. They expected the infusion of illicit funds to swing the pendulum in their favour in the southwest regardless of the efforts Bola Tinubu and the APC. They felt the election could be bought regardless of the introduction of card readers. They openly cultivated the Christian vote in the Middle-Belt without fully understanding the dynamics of its demographic constitution.

But the abduction of the Chibok girls who were still yet to be rescued at the time of the elections Jonathan’s subsequent procrastination in mobilizing resources to rescue them in the mistaken belief that it (the abductions) was a northern – read Muslim – conspiracy against his presidency actually exposed the inherent hypocracy in Fani-Kayode’s on the northern minorities. The greater majority of the girls came from Christian families whose votes Jonathan desperately solicited for in churches and even in the process of making policy pronouncements which impacted on the entire nation.

The abduction of the Chibok girls was a wonderful opportunity for the then president to have demonstrated his avowed love for northern Christian minorities but he failed the test woefully. Instead, we saw a deliberate attempt to milk the tragedy for political capital.

In an astonishing display of inhumanity, the local chapter of the Christian association of Nigeria (CAN) was made to publish the full list of the Christian abductees among the victims. The list ignored the remaining girls presumed to be Muslims or even animists.

I have taken all this trouble to reflect on the last election only because it appears Fani-Kayode is yet to recover from the crushing defeat suffered by his principal and is unwilling to learn useful lessons from the reversal. Far from the northern minorities, it is Fani-Kayode who actually needs to be...

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/fani-kayodes-naked-dance/

Politics / Port Harcourt Man Sets Fiancee On Fire by Chizgold: 6:15pm On May 24, 2017
A Port Harcourt man (name withheld as requested by the Civil Society Organisation handling the case) has been taken to court, for pouring kerosene on his fiancee and setting her on fire.The case was heard at the Port Harcourt Magistrate court on the 22nd of May, 2017.

According to representatives of the Women in Peace and Security Network (WPSN), Rivers State, who made this information available to Ikenga Chronicles, the survivor, a graduate of Natural and Applied Chemistry was set ablaze by her fiance about a year ago.

After carrying out the horrendous act, the culprit lied to the survivor’s parents that she was working in a remote village, and hid her. Her situation was later brought to the attention of the Nigerian Police, who then reached out to WPSN.

The survivor is currently soliciting for financial assistance, in order to undergo the recommended surgery, to amputate her arms, which are said to be “congealed”.

Recall that a few weeks ago, the news of a South African young woman, Karabo Mokoena, who was murdered and burnt by her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe, broke.

This current case confirms an emerging and....

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/graphic-images-port-harcourt-man-sets-fiancee-on-fire/

Politics / 2019: Saraki’s Destiny With The Presidency by Chizgold: 6:53am On May 20, 2017
As the race for 2019 gathers momentum, with ailing President, Muhammadu Buhari, technically out of contention, Nigeria demands and deserves a vibrant, charismatic, and realistic leader; one who would be with the people, unbiased to religion, ethnicity, or political affiliations. We need a fearless and dogged leader, whose primary focus will be the people; a man with a strong force, undaunted by whatever forces, powers, or challenges. A man that will be able to cage the Bola Tinubus of this world.

That man is the current number 3-man in Nigeria, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. Dr. Saraki has served as the Special Assistant to former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Budget, from 2000 to 2003; governed the great Kwara State for eight years, before being elected into the Nigerian Senate, in 2011.

Saraki continues to advocate for Legislation that will strengthen our institutions, so as to eradicate corruption, misuse of power, and abuse of office.

He is the first Senator in the history Nigeria, to post weekly activities, so Nigerians at large can see, follow, and contribute to what their representatives are doing, both at the Legislative and Constituency levels. Recently, he broke the eight-year budget secrecy in the National Assembly, by opening the budget of the National Assembly, for public scrutiny.

Since the inception of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic in 1999, compared to other Assemblies, the 8th Senate stands heads and shoulders above others in many regards, and that is testimony to Dr. Saraki’s leadership.

Saraki, well known for understanding the need to engage the electorate and young people in general via social media, has spread the fever across the Senate, infecting his colleagues.Using various social media platforms judiciously, Saraki has encouraged and achieved a robust Legislature-citizenry interaction, and has consequently, driven the roots of Nigeria’s democracy even deeper.

When Saraki took office on June 9, 2015, he pledged to reform the Senate, and make its processes more transparent, inclusive, and visible. Since then, he tasked the Committee on Rules and Business, to develop an e-Parliamentary system that can be employed at Senate Plenary sessions.

I can recall, that the arrival of the then much anticipated Ministerial list sent by Buhari, was first announced on the Senate’s official social media platform, a move that would have been frowned at in the last dispensation, which treated the media in any form, like a disease.

Before the conclusion of Ministerial screening, the Senate President through his Special Assistant on New Media, Bamikole Omisore, in a statement on October 11, 2015, offered a warm hand of friendship, not just to the media, but even to the citizens. Omisore, announced that Bloggers and news organizations who were interested in live blogging or live tweeting the Ministerial screening, should contact the New Media Office of the Senate President, for entry passes to the National Assembly, and the Senate gallery. Anyone familiar with the National Assembly of old, would know that this is one of the most difficult aspect of doing business there.

“This screening will create an avenue for Nigerians from all works of life to partake in governance, as the bridge between representatives and constituents will be bridged; with Senators asking questions sourced from Nigerians on Social Media.

“Additionally, the submitted resumes of candidates will be made available in the public space, for Nigerians to examine”, Saraki had said.

Nigerians were not left in the dark, as Saraki allowed more participation from Nigerians, by taking questions from the public, via the official Twitter handle of the Senate, @NGRsenate.

During the screening, the National Assembly TV station, which previously had been left to gather dust, was the source of information for different media platforms, which tapped into the feed from the TV station. The Senate’s social media accounts, also gave real time updates that served as good material for many Media houses.

The résumés of the nominees were presented to the public before the screening, to enable those that knew the nominees, raise relevant objections. There was a balance of working to get the President’s nominees passed, and at the same time making sure the Senate was not a rubber stamp body.

A novel innovation was the provision of a sign language interpreter throughout the plenary sessions while Nigerians were able to know virtually all the names of their Ministers, and were able to make contributions on social media.

Before Saraki, operations of the National Assembly were shrouded in secrecy.The Senate’s official Twitter handle was abandoned, the Facebook page moribund, and the citizenry knew nothing about Legislative activities.

Saraki, also “flung the Legislative doors open”, introducing social media networks for citizens participation, in the ongoing formulation of the 8th Senate’s Legislative agenda.

He encouraged individuals, civil societies, and non-governmental agencies, to send in their recommendations, in order to achieve what he described as “a robust and citizens driven Legislative agenda.”He called for input before the final draft of the Legislative Agenda was completed, adding that, citizens’ submissions would guide the affairs of the Senate, throughout his tenure.

Saraki’s open door policy, stands in clear contrast to his predecessor, David Mark, who called for social media censorship, in 2012.

“Social media has become a threat to the ethics of media practice and good governance, because of its accessibility and absolute freedom. Every freedom carries a responsibility. Even in the advanced democracies, where we all agree that good governance is practiced, there is no absolute freedom”, Mark had said.

Continuing, Mark expressed the belief that, “there must be a measure to check the negative tendencies of the social media in our country.

“In the social media, a faceless character can post any information that is absolutely false and misleading, but will never retract it. At the end of the day, one is bombarded with questions over...

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/2019-sarakis-destiny-with-the-presidency/

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Politics / Governor Ikpeazu Writes Uche Ogah by Chizgold: 4:35pm On May 19, 2017
As the governorship tussle in Abia state finally comes to conclusion, following the Supreme Court verdict in favour of the governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the governor has responded to the congratulatory message sent to him by his opponent, Dr. Uche Ogah.

Recall that after the Supreme Court verdict, Dr. Uche Ogah had congratulated Dr. Ikpeazu. Dr. Ikpeazu has now reciprocated that peaceful gesture by writing to Dr. Ogah. Below is a copy of the letter:

May 19, 2017.

Dr. Sampson Uche Ogah, OON.

My dear brother,


I write to personally acknowledge the message of congratulations sent to us by your goodself following the final judicial imprimatur given to my mandate by the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday, May 12, 2017 as the lawfully nominated and duly elected Governor of Abia State.

First, I wish to draw your attention to the fact that in my administration, the title HIS EXCELLENCY, as used in your letter is not applicable. This is a policy statement that has been in place since my inauguration, please.

As was widely reported in the media, as soon as the Supreme Court delivered that judgment, I immediately issued a statement wherein I urged all parties to sheath their swords and put the interest of our dear fledgling state above narrow and personal political interests.

I also made it clear that I have, in the interest of...

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/governor-ikpeazu-writes-uche-ogah/

Politics / My Village Is For Sale For N3M by Chizgold: 9:00am On May 19, 2017
My village is for sale for N3million, and it is actually available to anybody who can pay N150,000 a year for twenty-three years. I mean, if you have N150,000 now, my village people would have sold the entire village’s farmland of over 600 hectares to you! That is how much we love giving away our commonwealth.

Well, that was until some people with their stupid intelligence decided that those interested in buying the village were trying to rip us off. Imagine, N150,000 per year for 20years (with three years for free), and those people have the audacity to complain? I mean, a whole N150,000 per year for a meagre 600 hectares of land, and those people had the right to come and throw spanners in the works.

The deal was almost closed sef. A group of very “intelligent” men (even though over 75% of them did not finish Primary six), who were acting as the leaders of the community had found a way to confuse people and even threaten others into signing a concocted agreement, handing over the land to a hurriedly put together and unregistered company. Where it got very interesting is that the so-called “intelligent” leaders of the community were actually Directors in the concocted company! So it was a case of the left hand, handing over what belongs to the entire body to the right hand. To make it clearer, it is like Donald Trump, buying America for Trump Ventures! And you say that going to school is the mark of intelligence? I mean, most of these men did not even finish Primary school, and they were that smart! Chai! My village oo!

I nearly forgot! Did I explain that throughout the process of getting the so called agreement signed, that prominent people within the community repeatedly called, asking for a copy of the agreement, but the “intelligent” people orchestrating the evil plan made sure that anybody who could discern the plans they had never saw the so called agreement? So in a very smart hush hush way, they nearly stole the entire village for themselves for N150,000 a year!

N150,000 a year was a bargain for my village people, you know. We are taking about a community of “blind” and “stupid” people, right? Never mind that her sons occupy some of the most strategic positions in the country. One is even in the House of Representatives, another was a Presidential aspirant in the 2015 elections in the Nigeria. But forget all of that, and remember that N150,000 a year was a gift to the poor village, or so the “intelligent” people thought.

Well, the “stupid” people in my village finally woke up sha, and in a move that would have been called them smart, swept away the “intelligent” muppets called leaders, and installed a new one. The new ones then found a way to terminate the so called agreement, which in the first place was littered with falsehood and evil schemes. So now, my village was not sold for N3,000,000 again! What a wawu! If these people had not stopped them, maybe, I would have gotten stuck in Texas, since I will not have a village to go back to!

I heard though that the evil leaders, who misled a group of young men from my village, to attempt to buy the village for N3million have not stopped. They are busy scheming on how to continue, and I am here wishing my hands can get long enough so that I can wrap it around somebody’s neck!

But, I am seated in this Pub now, digesting this, and wondering, what if these evil people were not stopped? How could a set of people who are also from this same village habour such evil for their own people? Then it occurred to me that these people are not really from...

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/my-village-is-for-sale-for-n3m-chinonso-nnabuike/

Crime / Herdsmen Gun Down 12 In Taraba Communities by Chizgold: 4:25pm On May 16, 2017
Residents of communities in Bali local government area of Taraba have confirmed that at least 12 persons were killed in a recent wave of attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen on the communities.

The Chief of Tiv in Bali and Chairman, Council of Tiv traditional leaders in Taraba, Zaki David Gbaa (Ter Bali II) said 11 of his people were killed by Fulani herdsmen, while a one week old baby died in the course of fleeing the crisis.

Confirming the development, the spokesman for the Taraba state police command ASP David Missal said 3 persons were killed by yet to be identified gunmen in series of attacks on some communities in the area.

Zaki David Gbaa who condemned the incessant attacks on farmers in the area raised suspension on why some communities in the area had never come under attack, urging Governor Ishaku to hold the local chiefs in the area accountable for the crisis.

The traditional leader who blamed the crisis on the deliberate ploy by some people to dispossess them of their ancestral lands appealed to the State House of Assembly to investigate the crisis with a view to bringing a permanent solution to the incessant attacks on the people.

He commended governor Darius Ishaku for the steps taken to restore peace in the state but called for urgent deployment of security in the area and relief materials for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are swelling the camps in Bali for safety.

At the Tiv Council Hall in Bali, leader of the camp Mr. Matthew Baki in an interview enumerated the challenges facing the people in camps to include, water, shelter, food and exposure to all forms of diseases.

“Just yesterday, two women delivered here without access to medical facility and one of the children died hours after delivery.

“As you can see, we are all sleeping outside in this open field and it’s been raining since we came in here on Friday. We are exposed to all forms of diseases. We want government to end the crisis to enable us return to our homes and farms,” he said.

The Lamdo Bakundi, Alh. Misa Gidado in whose domain the crisis broke up told journalists that he has been holding series of meetings with stakeholders to ensure a quick end to the crisis and appealed to both the Fulani herders and farmers to embrace peace.

At the time of filing this report 1,765 people were camping at the Tiv Council Hall, St. Paul Catholic Church and NKST Church all in Bali town, even as more and more people were coming into the camps for safety.

Suspected herdsmen had at the weekend reportedly launched attacks on Gazabu, Kungana, Tukun Ruwa, Utsua Daa and Kpenkpen villages among others leaving at least 11 people dead and scores injured.


Politics / Can We Talk About The Chibok Girls? by Chizgold: 7:11pm On May 15, 2017
The 15th of April 2014 will never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria. It was the day Nigeria, and indeed the world were hit with the story of the abduction of about 270 school girls from Chibok, in Northern Nigeria, by Islamist terrorists, Boko Haram. If there was any proof that solidarity finds a common ground in pains, the abduction of the school girls proved it, as people all over the world were galvanized into action as many called for the return of the abducted girls.

But if the world jumped into action immediately after the news broke, the Federal Government of Nigeria, then headed by Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a Southerner, was slow to react. The Federal Government’s late response to the abduction has since been explained away as being informed by what the government of the day perceived as the “irregularities” with the abduction, which led it to belief that it was a political move. It was an oversight, which ultimately cost Goodluck Jonathan the Presidency.

A little over a year after the current President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in, a negotiated release of 21 of the missing Chibok girls was effected. This was followed by another 82 being released earlier this month, just at the point where the country was almost boiling over with the demand to be assured that the president was truly hale and hearty, and able to perform his duties effectively and efficiently.

Yet despite the return of about 105 of the girls, Nigerians are still inundated with questions concerning the abduction of the girls. For instance, following the return of the girls, what immediately caught the attention of a lot of people was how healthy, and well taken care of they were. Pictures of them and those of other women in IDP camps in the same Borno were juxtaposed to show that the ones who were in captivity appear to be very well taken care of. This, and many other issues,(like the fact that the girls’ release come at points when the Federal Government is under pressure to prove it is doing well)have made a lot of people ask that discussions around the issue of the abduction should be freely held.

In fact, a few days ago, a journalist came out on Twitter to reveal that immediately after the abduction, she and her team visited Chibok. According to her, what they were able to gather points to a conspiracy. Her story says that the abduction of the girls was staged by a “political Boko Haram”, different from the terrorist Boko Haram, but with both working together, to attain a certain agenda. If that is true, then it would explain how particularly well taken care of the girls are. It will also explain why since the release of the girls, they have been kept away from the media, and almost held “hostage” by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government on its part is not making things easy and transparent. For whatever reasons, they have warned the girls not to “discuss their experiences with their parents”! Which makes one wonder what the girls have to say that must be kept secret by all means. The story of the abduction is something that should be recounted so that others may learn of the terrorists’ modus operandi, and be able to avoid such circumstances. It would be nice to know how they were able to move such a large number of girls without being detected, so that people may learn and be security conscious. Why are the people being denied this very important story that can potentially save lives?

There may be no conspiracy, but the government is certainly making it look like there is one. When the journalist who made the Political Boko Haram assertion did that, people as high as the President’s staff, Tolu Ogunlesi came after her hard, with the aim of discrediting her. Problem is, this can easily be resolved if the girls are allowed to share individually their different experiences. Why the hush hush?

The abduction of the Chibok school girls, like the Nigeria Civil war is a key moment in Nigeria’s history. Is it possible to avoid the mistakes made by not discussion the Civil war, by giving people the

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/can-we-talk-about-the-chibok-girls/

Politics / 2019: I Will Declare My Ambition At The Right Time – El Rufai by Chizgold: 5:52am On May 15, 2017
The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El Rufai has dissociated himself from statement credited to his chief of Staff, where the latter stated that Mallam El Rufai will not seek a second term in office but hand over to somebody below the age of 50 years.

In a statement personally signed by El Rufai, the governor stated that when the time comes for him to declare for second term or decline to contest, he would make the decision known to the public himself and not through surrogates.

“In 2014, when I complied with the directive of our leader President Muhammadu Buhari to run for the office of Governor of Kaduna State, I made the announcement in person. I did not employ surrogates to engage the public on this important decision. What I did not do as an aspirant for office, I will not do as incumbent Governor. I will not communicate my decision to run for a second term in 2019 through surrogates, but directly to the people of Kaduna State” he said.

According to Mallam El Rufai, the statement credited to his chief of staff were his personal opinion that do not represent El Rufai’s views.

The statement reads: “My attention has been drawn to statements credited to our Chief of Staff which clearly misrepresented his good intentions aimed at encouraging youths in politics and governance of our dear state. What was reported was that I had no plans to run for another term of office, and will be succeeded by someone below the age of 50. Both statements are misrepresentations of my position and the government. It has become imperative that these wrong impressions thereby created be corrected.

“In 2014, when I complied with the directive of our leader President Muhammadu Buhari to run for the office of Governor of Kaduna State, I made the announcement in person. I did not employ surrogates to engage the public on this important decision. What I did not do as an aspirant for office, I will not do as incumbent Governor. I will not communicate my decision to run for a second term in 2019 through surrogates, but directly to the people of Kaduna State.

“Regarding the views ascribed to the Chief of Staff, they are perhaps his personal opinion. I do not wish to be associated with such sentiments. I am of the firm opinion that nobody, no matter the position they hold, can dictate to other citizens what they can or cannot aspire to. No individual can introduce into the electoral process conditions that are not embedded in the laws of our country and the norms of electoral competition.

“The Constitution of Nigeria, the Electoral Act and the APC constitution have no provisions imposing maximum age limits for those aspiring to elective office. I am a strict law-abiding citizen and loyal party member, and will not countenance anyone even hinting at circumscribing constitutional rights. While our administration believes strongly in encouraging youths, evidenced by the number of young people we have appointed into key government positions, we believe that it is the combination of the wisdom of the elderly and the energy of the youth that leads to societal progress.

“While our government will continue to train these young persons in leadership responsibilities, and prepare them for the future, we do not believe that decreeing a generational shift is either lawful or pragmatic. Choice is the prerogative of the voting public which decides at each moment who and what platform they believe best represents their needs.

“Any artificial intrusion into this process can only yield unwanted distortions. And we have already suffered that distortion in Nigeria. When a military government decided to elevate those it called newbreed politicians by curtailing the rights of experienced politicians who were banned from seeking office, it did not improve the quality of our politics. Rather, it monetized the electoral process and left our polity without regard for issue-based platforms.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the choice of who governs Kaduna will depend,not on the age of the person, but his or her acceptability by the leaders of our party first, and ultimately the voters of Kaduna State. At the right time, these choices will be made and not earlier.

“The mid-point of an administration is not the time for politics. We were elected to work for four years. And that is what every appointee of this government must do. I have therefore directed all government appointees aspiring to future political or elective positions to stop putting up posters and billboards in violation of the Electoral Act. KASUPDA is further directed to take down all these as...


Politics / Buhari’s Abuse Of Red Carpets by Chizgold: 4:47am On May 15, 2017
What is this obsession with red carpet? Does President Buhari have to walk on a red carpet always? Does it not matter what the occasion is? What is worth celebrating (with a red carpet) in a president who is leaving his country for another country to go see foreign doctors in a foreign hospital?

Are we now giving President Buhari a red carpet treatment for the country’s failure to build and equip a local hospital? If red carpets are rolled out for dignitaries, where is the dignity in a president that dredges a slim and bleeding national purse to go pay his erstwhile colonial masters for medical treatment 57 years after independence?

When will Buhari learn media management? Some optics are horrible? A picture of the president leaving the country for medical treatment abroad is bad enough. But a picture of the president doing so on a red carpet is sickening. If the red carpet is permanently laid on that walkway, do either of two things: 1) take another walkway, and/or 2) avoid cameras. There is no honor, certainly no dignity, in walking the red carpet, with a briefcase full of British pound sterling, to go spend on foreign doctors and hospitals when your own...


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Politics / Ortom Behind Suswam’s Arrest And Detention – Group by Chizgold: 5:23am On May 03, 2017
Benue state governor Samuel Ortom has being accused of being behind the arrest and detention of the former Benue state governor Gabriel Suswam.

The coalition of Civil society Group (CCSG) who blamed Ortom for Suswam continuous incarceration, said Ortom has reneged his primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties of the citizens rather he focus on fighting Suswam.

According to a statement made available to our correspondent and signed by the Secretary General of the Group comrade Abubakar Ibrahim said the state under Ortom has witness the highest level of crime and killings. “the obvious fact that scores of Benue State indegines have been killed, maimed and displace from their ancestral homes since the emergence of Ortom as governor is a testimony of his incapacity and lack of will to carryout the most important responsibility of any government to her citizens” He wondered why the governor has abandoned his duties and hide under the guise of a single individual as a security threats is not only preposterous but also a brazen display of gross incompetence.

The statement however blame Ortom over the complicity role he is playing in ensuring the continuous incarceration of former governor of the state Gabriel Suswam.

He called the attention of relevant stakeholders, members of the International community and the generality of Nigerians to the continuous incarceration of Suswam, adding that it did not only violates his fundamental human right but show how much lips service Nigeria pay to the concept of the rule of law.

“While we do not celebrate crime in any guise, the flagrant disregard for extant laws in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of perceived lawbreakers will only lead to a circle of lawlessness

“He called on the DSS to disregard the malicious and selfish claim of the governor that Suswam is a security threats in the state.

“That the governor of Benue State should rather than continue in his clueless learn the act of protecting lives and property from Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state and...


Politics / Grass-cutting Contract: More Trouble For Suspended SGF by Chizgold: 4:34am On May 03, 2017
Nigerian Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the
North-East,on Tuesday , laid its final report, which indicted suspended
Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, David Babachir Lawal.

The 45-page report, which will be discussed by senators Wednesday, was
submitted by the committee chairman, Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna

The committee specifically recommended that the banks’ transactions of
Rholavision Engineering Limited and the confirmation of Central Bank of
Nigeria indicated that Babachir Lawal was still the signatory to
Rholavision Engineering Limited accounts and 13 other accounts, some with
different names.

It noted that Lawal contravened the provision of Part 1 of the Fifth
Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended); Public Procurement Act 2007
and breached the Oaths of Office as Secretary to the Government of the
Federation and should be prosecuted by the relevant authorities.

In the report, the committee also linked fresh suspicious payment to the
tune of N500 million and recommended further investigation by relevant
agencies of government on why contract benefitting companies paid over N500
million into Rholavision Engineering Limited, a company Lawal had interest

The recommendations read in part: “That since it was observed that there
was no bill of quantities on the contracts awarded by PINE under emergency
situation, the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, should undertake a
revaluation of all such contracts to recover any proceeds from
over-inflated contracts;

“That the relevant agencies should ensure that contracts partially
executed but fully paid for must be completed by the concerned contractors,
or asked to refund the equivalent money of outstanding jobs to government

“That all resources that have been misapplied or stolen by public
officials should be retrieved and anybody found culpable of contravening
any of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and the Federal
Government Financial Rules and Regulations pertaining to the award of these
contracts, should be duly prosecuted by the relevant authorities;

“That the committee also recommends further investigation by relevant
agencies of government on why contract benefitting companies paid over N500
million into Rholavision Engineering Limited, a company Engr. Babachir
David Lawal has interest.”

The 45-page report was signed by seven of the nine members, including the
chairman, Senator Shehu Sani; Senator Ben Murray Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa East);
Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central); Senator Ali Wakil (APC, Bauchi
South); Senator Theodore Orji (PDP, Abia); Senator Tayo Alasoadura (APC,
Ondo Central) and Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi), as well as the
Clerk, Lawal Barau Bungudu.

Of the nine members, only Senators Mohammed Hassan (PDP, Yobe South) and
Adeola Olamilekan (APC, Lagos West) did not sign the report.....


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Politics / A Ghost In Aso Rock by Chizgold: 3:02am On May 02, 2017
From the moment of her “birth” in 1914, Nigeria has always had to bend to the wishes of a tiny clique. First, Britons, in their omniscient way (or maybe in their greedy pursuit of profit) felt that the best thing to do for a completely disparate people was to force them into an alliance (an alliance that gave birth to Nigeria’s most crushing problem, tribe worship). Then Lord Lugard, maybe as a gift to his paramour after a night of fierce lovemaking, asked Miss Flora Shaw to christen the child, and she gleefully named her “Nigeria”. Thus began a process of a tiny group of people making life and death decision for millions of people.

First, some Britons, aware of the need to maintain a firm hold on the newly independent Nigeria thought it pertinent that Northerners should hold the reigns of affairs in the country. To do that, they convinced them that the North was made to always lead. This mindset implanted in Northerners has continued to play out negatively on the country. But that is not all. From the first military coup, where a group of people again deviated from the core values of the mission, and went on personal vendetta, to the civil war where ego ruined the chances of an early amicable resolution of the conflict, Nigeria has always paid a stiff price for the choices of a few people.

Today, the same scenario is playing out again. A group of people hell-bent on foisting a particular man on the nation,in order to maintain their selfish stranglehold on power, has now held the country hostage by ensuring that a ghost continues to hide in Aso Rock as the country’s president.

The alarms rang out very loudly early in the year when the president, out for a few days for medical check up, ended up spending about 50 days away, with Nigerians denied easy access to their president. With the President away, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo became the acting president. But Osinbajo’s popularity began to grow tremendously and that apparently threatened the few men who must continue to exact the utmost influence in the country’s affairs. So they spirited in President Buhari, despite his apparent incapability to rule. And since then, one can count off his fingers, how many times the President has been seen openly in Aso Rock (he has not left the villa since his return, for any official function).

Recently though, even the usual Friday prayers and Federal Executive Council meetings that President Buhari had managed to attend before, have become impossible for him to attend. Yet there has been no official update from the Presidency bare a statement that the President will now be “working” from home.

So once again, Nigeria is being held hostage by a few people, who insist that the country must be ruled by a ghost now. So many questions besiege Nigerians; is their president okay? Can they see him or hear directly from him? Is he too incapacitated to rule? These are questions that need answers.

But who will answer the questions? The ghost in Aso Rock?


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Politics / Buhari’s Health: A Conspiracy Of Silence by Chizgold: 6:32pm On Apr 30, 2017
For two consecutive weeks now, President Muhammadu Buhari failed to attend the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting. His conspicuous absence at the Juma’at prayers last Friday raised serious concern over the health status of Mr President.

The Minister of Information and Culture Mr Lai Muhammad was earlier quoted to have said the President would henceforth be working from home, and the excuse given by the Presidential spokesperson over his absence at the prayers is at best flimsy.

While no one in his right mind would wish the president sick, or worst still want to play cheap politics with his health, the rather obvious conspiracy of silence surrounding the issue, and orchestrated by those around him has raised a number of questions begging for answers.

In the first place, Mr president has spent most of his youthful days in hard combat as a soldier, fighting for the unity and continuity of this country. It is therefore natural that at his age, the enormous burden of presiding over a nation as vast and dynamic as Nigeria would be overwhelming, especially now that the country is undaunted with political, economic, security, and a myriad of other challenges.

Besides, sickness is a natural phenomenal that one has very little or no control over. The only control is perhaps to the extent that one can manage it with proper medication and rest.

Armed with these, the idea of shrouding the health status of the president in secrecy only lend credence to the theory that the President is controlled by a cabal who is only concerned with retaining him as the figure head while they call the shots surreptitiously, invariably for their own interest and not the Nigerian interest.

The role been played by the presidential spokespersons and Mr Lai Muhammad in trivializing the issue only helps in complicating things.

Nigerians are, indeed, in support of the President in his war against corruption and would willingly pray for his quick recovery.

There is also no doubt that Nigerians would support their President going to receive adequate medical attention elsewhere as they did the last times that he was out for the same purpose.

But these has to be when they are properly informed about his health conditions. Anything short of this would only precipitate more speculation and subsequently, agitation.

What is totally unacceptable is the continued perpetuation of this conspiracy of silence and circle of lies that ingloriously remain within the vicinity of classifying the Nigerian populace as been incapable of common sense.

What is also totally unacceptable is a situation a group of people would hold the President hostage and would mortgage his health and put his life at stake just to make sure that they remain politically powerful and relevant.

If the president were as well as Nigerians are made to believe by the trio of Mr Lai Muhammad, Femi Adesina, and Garba Shehu, then he has no reason to reduce the FEC meeting to what he attends or stay away from at his discretion.

In the same vein, huge sums of tax payers money was used to put in place the offices of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and made as comfortable and befitting of a President. The President should therefore have no reason to even suggest that he would be working from home.

If however, the president and or his medical team feel that the task of continuing as the President would be too much on him considering his age and health conditions, he should be bold enough to tender his resignation from the office and the law allowed to...

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/buharis-health-a-conspiracy-of-silence/

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Culture / The Ooni Of Ife Vs Oba Of Lagos Saga: Misplaced Priorities Of The Nigeria People by Chizgold: 9:19pm On Apr 28, 2017
I’m writing this piece without prejudice, to highlight the way we; the people address crucial matters in Nigeria. I have no issues with those who feel the Oba of Lagos crossed the “hierarchical line” when he snubbed the Ooni of Ife. In fact, I was disappointed; not because of what many are pointing to; in terms of their positions in the “realm of the Oba’s of Yoruba land (which I fully understand) but because it is just unacceptable to snub another dignitary in public no matter the circumstance. That includes normal day to day people as well. Everyone deserves respect.

It was rather shocking with the way the Nigerian people went straight for the Oba of Lagos’ throat as soon as the clip was released and rightly so. Social media went berserk with “insults and abuses” to show their discontent. Maybe such an outrage was justified, I cannot say. For me some comments were over the top but as you know “Naija no dey carry last” when matters like this arises. It was a “free for all buffet” and the Oba of Lagos was the main menu.

However, I will say this; if the Nigerian people cared for one another and fought for their peers, known and unknown, like they did with this issue; I believe Nigeria would be a much better place. I was actually fascinated by the passion this matter induced. It was an actual revolution! Then I thought to myself, Nigerians can be passionate oh; if they want to but sadly most of the time, priorities are grossly misplaced.

The truth is, the Oba matter does not affect anyone of us directly. The day will not turn to night because the Ooni was snubbed. It does not diminish him in anyway or form. The Ooni himself has acknowledged that the King of Lagos is his elder and as such will never disrespect him in return. So tan??

When crucial matters that are affecting the lives of those with no voice within our society are posted on social media, we hardly give it a thought. Maybe it is because it does not affect us directly? But neither does this matter of the Oba’s! They belong to a different class of individuals and trust me; before you know it, they would have sorted themselves out! The Ooni does not need anyone to fight his battles. He is capable of doing that himself.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that the outage was justified to “some extent” The “unconvincing excuse” of the Oba of Lagos says it all! I would really like to see a similar unrelenting outrage when the Nigerian people take on their governments et al from all possible angles and refuse to back down until they...

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/the-ooni-of-ife-vs-oba-of-lagos-saga-misplaced-priorities-of-the-nigeria-people/

Politics / Fajuyi, Nnamdi Kalu, And The Virtue Of Loyalty by Chizgold: 1:12pm On Apr 27, 2017
I have refrained from commenting on the tangled politics of Biafra and the merchandising of a people’s tragedy. Biafra has caused millions of people untold pain and misery but also put millions of naira into the pockets of some people. On the Biafran question, the empty grandstanding by a few loudmouths is as nauseating as the servile betrayals by some Efulefus of Igbo extraction. Amidst this drama in the marketplace of ideas, it is often difficult to make rational arguments on matters concerning Biafra.

Nigeria is like a bus in which the driver, conductor, and the passengers are violently quarreling among themselves as they struggle for the ignition key and are undecided about their destination. The bus moves an inch forward and 4 inches backward. The occupants scream and yell at one another. Nigeria is a bedlam.

The foundations of the country, be it the Constitution, style of politics, vision or lack thereof, constituent parts, et cetera are simply inarticulate, faulty, and dubious. The 1999 Constitution, drafted by Gen. Abdul Salaam Abubakar, is an obvious lie. Its opening statement “We the People” is a big lie. We should know that. And that partly explains why the country is not a nation.

And so I come to Nnamdi Kalu, a blowhard transformed into a hero in these parts! Wonderful. I have always held the view that the arrest and continued detention of Nnamdi Kalu is unnecessary, heavy-handed, and a tragic mistake. There is nothing Nnamdi Kalu has said which others haven’t said in several fora. Locking him up adds unwanted tension in a country already on the edge of the precipice.

Inasmuch as I disagree with Nnamdi Kalu’s proposition for an exit of Biafra from Nigeria, I defend his right to say his mind. Like every Nigerian, Nnamdi Kalu has a right to say wise or even foolish things. Personally, I think that the argument for the exit of Biafra from Nigeria is intellectually misconceived, practically foolish, and economically suicidal for the Igbos.

I must however doff my hat for Nmamdi Kalu’s loyalty to his loyalists and co-travelers in detention. To reject his bail conditions on the ground that the same conditions were not extended to his co-accused and allies is charming and worthy of commendation. He has refused to sell his followers down the river. More power to him. Loyalty is a virtue.

And this brings me to Col. Fajuyi, a brave man and a loyal soul who paid the supreme price in loyalty to his guest and boss, General Ironsi. Col. Fajuyi preferred to...

READ MORE: http://ikengachronicles.com/fajuyi-nnamdi-kalu-and-the-virtue-of-loyalty/

Politics / Who Is The Presidency? –Reuben Abati by Chizgold: 2:20am On Apr 25, 2017
When last week, President Muhammadu Buhari decided to suspend the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and the Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke in order to allow unfettered investigations of both public officers, the most striking immediate reaction was the SGF asking: who is the Presidency? State House correspondents had accosted the then SGF as he left a meeting with the Vice President. It is standard practice at the State House for correspondents to lay ambush. Babachir Lawal obviously did not know that he had been suspended from office.

If the Vice President knew, he did not tell him. Again, that is how the Nigerian Presidency works. Once you fall out of line or favour due courtesies may not be extended to you. I was instructed on many occasions to wait until certain persons left the Villa, before issuing their sack statements. I once announced the disengagement of an important public official from the Presidential wing of the airport, as our aircraft taxied on the runway en route France.

In Babachir Lawal’s case, he was asked to react to something he knew nothing about. When he sought clarifications, the correspondents told him that the Presidency had suspended him from office. Anybody in his shoes would have been just as shocked as he was. He was right there in the Villa, and nobody told him there was a knife at his back. Besides, he occupies a very strategic office. The SGF’s office is the engine room of the Presidency.

The Chief of Staff may be the political, administrative head of the State House, but the engine of the Presidency is in the office of the SGF. He is in charge of Council meetings, the Ministers must interface with him, the civil service also, and he is directly in charge of more than 30 government agencies and parastatals. No key government event or appointment can take place without that office. Presidential power is delegated and distributed. The office of the SGF arguably has a larger share, in other words, in real terms, that office is probably more influential than every other office in the Executive arm of government.

The problem with privileged people in government, holding political appointments, however, is that they often get carried away. They forget that they are mere agents, exercising delegated authority. The illusion of power and the delusion of agents constitute one of the major threats in the corridors of power. But the delusion of relatives, associates and wayfarers is even worse. I have seen ordinary relatives of the President threatening to be powerful, and mere acquaintances claiming to be in charge of the Presidency. It got so interesting at a point that a colleague, who had a First Class and whose only dream was to get a Ph.D in his lifetime, kept insisting that he would devote his doctoral thesis to a study of the impact of informal agents on Presidential powers and authority. If waka-pass characters in the corridors of power can lay so much claim to power, there can be no doubt that privileged persons with big egos would be worse.

At that moment therefore when Babachir Lawal asked the question: who is the Presidency?, he must have thought of all the powers and influence in his custody and imagined himself as being indeed the main engine of the Presidency. His response to the correspondents was actually a retort: “who will dare take such a decision behind my back? I am the Presidency and I have just held a meeting with the VP. You reporters don’t know anything. You are telling the Presidency that the Presidency has suspended him from office?” By now, a week later, Babachir Lawal must have learnt one basic lesson about power.

The lesson is simply that it is power that gives power, when power withdraws power, what is left is powerlessness. For example, another person has since taken Babachir Lawal’s place in acting capacity and there is nothing he can do about that. Some other politicians are also already being positioned to take over that office eventually, so far three names have been mentioned- Ogbonnnaya Onu, Adams Oshiomhole and Olorunnimbe Mamora and it looks like there is a serious hustle for that office. Nobody is likely to reject the job if Babachir Lawal loses it. Meanwhile, the Presidency continues to move on while Babachir Lawal is under interrogation. In the last week alone, the suspended SGF should also have learnt a few more lessons about human beings. He may no longer ask that question: who is the Presidency? He is more likely to be asking: who is Babachir Lawal?

But that is a private question. No matter how concerned we may be, we can’t answer it for him. It is a kind of question, manifesting in form of a cross which every person must carry at certain critical moments in their lives. When he asked that other question however: who is the Presidency?, Babachir Lawal, beyond his egoistic slip, threw up something anagnoristic, which is of significant public interest. I offer to attempt an answer to the question.

The simple answer is that the President is the Presidency – office, power and system unified in one person. Under the type of Presidential system that we run, the President of Nigeria is more or less a unilateral person. He is Head of State, Head of Government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. His powers are derived from the Constitution, under which he is elected and which he swears to uphold and defend, and it is also subject to it, that he is expected to exercise his powers. The idea of our American-styled Presidential system is further hinged on the doctrine of the separation of powers.

This makes the President the custodian of Executive powers and provides constitutional checks and balances on those powers through the legislature and the judiciary. The Constitution requires the President for example to seek the National Assembly’s approval for appropriation and certain appointments, and grants the legislature the powers to impeach the President or pass a vote of no confidence, although this oversight power is hardly exercised. The Judiciary is constitutionally independent, and whereas the Executive approves the appointment of judges, it is not granted the powers to dictate to the judiciary. There are also certain independent bodies like the Electoral Commission, the Federal Civil Service Commission, the National Judicial Council and the Code of Conduct Bureau, which in the eyes of the law are required to be free from partisan control. The President also cannot take certain decisions without consultation. He consults such bodies as the Nigeria Police Council, the National Defence Council, and the Council of State, even if their advice is not binding on him. In making appointments he is also required to respect the Federal Character principle as stated in Sections 14(3) and 147(3).

The sum effect of the constitutional powers of the President under the 1999 Constitution in addition to the residual and implied powers of that office is that what we have in Nigeria at the moment is an imperial Presidency, far more imperial than the imperialism of the American Presidency contemplated and analysed in Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr’s book of the same title. Sections 5, 11, 157, 158, 215, 216, 218, 231, 305, and 315 of the 1999 Constitution grant the President of Nigeria enough powers to compromise the authority and impact of the other two tiers of government.

The exercise of so-called residual and implied powers makes the situation worse. The President can hire and fire, enter into covenants on behalf of the country, send police men onto the streets, send troops to war and seek legislative approval later, he can give national honours, grant pardon, spend money and seek approval within a time-frame, insist on the declaration of an emergency, and act as he may wish in the national interest.

This imperialism is a throwback to the monarchical nature of primeval societies. It is sustained sadly by contemporary myths, the thinking that the President is a mythical repository, a superhero- the man who has all the answers and who can do all things. Other players within the system at all levels, be it the legislature or the judiciary, the private sector or the civil society, also actively promote this myth and concede to it. The result is that power becomes centripetal. The people unwittingly submit their sovereignty. The idea of the President as a savior is a sad re-imagining of our democracy, which in full flight over-extends the symbolism and powers of the Presidency and threatens to make the legislature and the judiciary irrelevant and thus displaces the people from being partners into consumers of government propaganda and tyranny.

By regarding their Presidents or Heads of states as super-heroes, Nigerians place them above democracy and short-change themselves. This has been our dilemma since 1960. Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first and only Prime Minister was the super hero who received the instruments of independence from the British colonialists, but by 1966, he had led the country into trouble. Yakubu Gowon, a soldier, took over. He was the super hero who led the country through a civil war and held it together, but he was soon shoved aside by another super hero, Murtala Muhammad, also a soldier. From Muhammad to Obasanjo, the military held sway until 1979 when the military returned power to a civilian “super hero”, Shehu Shagari. Shagari’s task was to prove that civilians could take charge of their own affairs, but the civilians messed up and the soldiers returned: Buhari, Babangida, Abacha, Abdusalami Abubakar, all super heroes who deployed power in different ways. Fast-forward to 1999 and the return to civilian rule since then.

What seems clear is that the extent to which every Head of State and Head of Government exercises Executive powers is a function of personality and the surrounding myths and circumstances. President Olusegun Obasanjo was such a total embodiment of Presidential powers every knee bowed before him. Those who resisted him regretted doing so in one form or the other. If he had actually insisted on a Third term in office, he could have possibly gotten away with it. He understood the full extent of his powers as President and he was not afraid to put those powers to test. He was succeeded by Umaru Yar’Adua who became President primarily because some powerful persons didn’t want some other people in that office and merely to pacify certain interests but eventually illness and death truncated President Yar’Adua’s potential.

President Goodluck Jonathan became acting President and later President also as a superhero. Nigerians used him to remind the North that in a Federation, no single region is “born to rule,” and that all Nigerians have full rights under the Constitution. The North never forgave Jonathan. In his case, he seemed to have played into the hands of his opponents by refusing to use Presidential powers to their fullest extent. He publicly declared on more than one occasion that power should not be wielded like a whip. He conceded a lot, some say too much to God, and to the opposition, and for this reason, many courtesans of power in Nigeria have also not forgiven him especially for being humble and for allowing power and office to go in the opposite direction.

His successor is a war-hero, a former soldier, who is not shy about being a Nigerian super-hero. He is wielding power and using it. The only problem is that a fully imperial Presidency creates its own contradictions, most of which the subject teaches us, is internal and therefore far more damaging to the system and democracy itself. Under no circumstance should an elected leader appear more powerful than the people, and the checking and balancing systems so vulnerable. The note-taking on this and the long-term dangers in the context of Nigeria’s democratic process and experience is, for now, a work in progress… Babachir Lawal, I hope I have answered your question. I hope you now know who and what the Presidency is.


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