Pendulum: Another Appeal to President Buhari and His Supporters

By Dele Momodu
Fellow Nigerians, please permit me to say happy new year to you all. May God almighty make this a peaceful year for our dear beloved country. There is nothing greater to ask for than peace in an election year. And this is the main crux of my message to you on this page today.
The tension in the land is so hot and suffocating because of the general elections coming up from next month. In case you are wondering why I’m specifically appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari and not to his main rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the deluge of other aspirants, let me explain quickly. I’m a social media addict and through this, I’m able to gauge the mood in public domain. I have been active in politics since 1982. The first crazy election I witnessed was in 1983 when the ruling party, NPN, declared itself winner in several unlikely places. The result was fatally cataclysmic as people in those areas reacted spontaneously and violently. Some parts of Yorubaland went up in flames and human beings were roasted like barbecue meat. About three months later, the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari collapsed like a pack of cards.
The military coup that came capitalised on the recklessness and profligacy of the Shagari regime as a veritable excuse to torpedo that government. Politicians were promptly arrested, detained, prosecuted and jailed and given horrendous prison terms that made a mockery of the justice system in Nigeria. There were too many examples of double standards which portrayed the government as vengeful or outrightly neurotic. Laws were made and backdated. Journalists were tried by decrees and jailed by fiat, God’s case, no appeal. Before long, the Nigerian economy took a nosedive and and plunged into a bottomless pit of misery. The situation was so chaotic that Nigerians queued for mere commodities like victims of war or famine. It never recovered until the Buhari government itself was sacked and banished to the dustbin of history. The full story is for another day.
The next election, thereafter, was that of June 12, 1993, which turned out to be the best conducted and the least controversial until the military government of President Ibrahim Babangida decided to intervene and aborted a full grown baby just before it was born. Since then, Nigeria has known no real peace, possibly, as punishment for this pre-meditated murder of an innocent political baby. Instead of learning our lessons and apologising to Nigerians for this unfortunate saga, government after government, like the ostrich, buried its cocky head in the sand, pretending that there was nothing special about the election and that life can move on as normal.  
From 1993 to 1999, Nigeria, once more, came under the jackboots of the military after the short-lived Interim Government, headed by Chief Ernest Adegunle Shonekan. General Sani Abacha led junta ruled with iron fists from November 1993 to June 1998, when he suddenly took ill, mysteriously, and died, and General Abdulsalami Abubakar took over and handed over to a former military ruler, General Olusegun Obasanjo, who led a new civilian administration from May 1999 to May 2007.
Interestingly, for a man that many had clearly forgotten about, General Muhammadu Buhari resurfaced from nowhere, around 2003, and promptly announced his interest in the Presidential race. It was like a script out of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “we have scorched the snake, not killed it…” Buhari was well and alive. While many laughed, scornfully, at him, there were those who admired his guts. Poverty was already growing in the land and politicians had returned to their days of psychedelic existence. Thus many Nigerians longed for those days when Buhari took over power and punished the politicians mercilessly. The only thing they forgot was that Buhari would no longer be a military dictator with all the appurtenances of State coercion. And he would no longer have the collaboration of his second in command, Babatunde Idiagbon. But Buhari was very smart, or better put, his packagers. He had transfigured into a friend of the poor and champion of Northern interests. He returned triumphantly from the throes of disgrace and incarceration after the Babangida coup. He contested serially, and stubbornly, on three occasions, against Presidents Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan and lost monumentally, but he garnered millions of votes from his catchment areas, especially in the North.
By 2011, Buhari had become battle weary and it seemed it was over for him. He was quoted to have said he would no longer contest. But one thing led to another and Buhari’s interest was re-awakened, and re-activated, by certain interest groups looking for a way to scatter the ruling party to the winds. PDP was becoming too comfortable and very self-conceited. It was also engaged in a silly war of attrition that led to the exit of some key members of the party. Perhaps, if PDP had not mismanaged its internal wrangling, the end would not have come at the time it did, and the manner it happened. Lord have mercy, the grand conspiracy against the incumbent President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, would ultimately go into the history books as one of the most lethal. Anyway, Buhari returned to the race and contested in 2015, and won resoundingly.
Buhari’s victory was a popular mandate from all over the country. We were all very happy and excited and many friends of Nigeria from everywhere in the world rejoiced with us. The goodwill Buhari commanded was almost unprecedented. But no sooner than he took over power that things began to fall apart. I will spare you the horror of how Buhari frittered away that massive equity, as we watched helplessly, with our arms akimbo. A few that warned him about the sad turn of events were soon labelled enemies of Buhari, friends of looters, corrupt people, who are no longer making and enjoying free money in the system. It didn’t take long before the economy collapsed, as scare-mongering crept in on the country again.
As he did in 1983-85, Buhari renewed his war against corruption but, this time, without military power to enforce anything. Again, like it happened to his predecessors, he was accused of witch-hunt because most of those under siege were members of the opposition. The blame game also became over-amplified. Every failure, and frustration, of government was explained away as the stultification of governance that was brought about by Jonathan and his crew. Buhari and his acolytes have never stopped groaning and complaining about Jonathan, PDP, or both. According to the APC, PDP was responsible for all the bad things that happened in Nigeria. That’s fine. But the real enemy is time.
Now, suddenly, reality has dawned on the Federal Government that it has spent nearly four years in power. Yes, time truly flies. And the next cycle of election has come. The pressure is usually on the ruling government. This is the reason for my long preamble. The Federal Government and its ardent supporters would want members of the public believe they have performed wonders, and that President Buhari is the 21st century wonder, but this is far from the truth. Many APC chieftains would normally confess privately, and confidentially, that they have fumbled, big time, but we should, please, give, or just dash, them another term, with promises to do much better.
Personally, I believe it is up to Nigerians to vote for any candidate of their choice, or fancy. As for me, I’m convinced that Buhari has already exhausted the capacity to govern a country as complicated, and convoluted, as Nigeria. I may be wrong. My support in 2015 was based on certain misplaced hopes and permutations. 1. That, after 30 years in retirement, he has had enough time to reflect on his past mistakes and he is ready to make amends. 2. That he would hit the ground running and pursue the onerous task of nation-building with assistance from some of the brightest people it has pleased God to bless Nigeria with. 3. That he would give more power to his highly cerebral and cosmopolitan Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. 4. That he would abhor nepotism, unite our divided country and treat all Nigerians as free citizens of this great nation. 5. That he would build stronger institutions and not tougher dictatorship. 6. That he would empower our anti-corruption agencies and embolden them to operate without fear or favour. 7. That he would make the welfare and well-being of our security forces his top priority in this season of unprecedented anomy, as a retired General himself. 8. That he would reduce waste in government to barest minimum based on the promises he made, before God and man, during his campaigns. I can go on, ad infinitum. But, to my chagrin, Buhari’s government failed on most of these counts.
Please, note that I did not even mention issues of the economy, infrastructure, youth employment and empowerment. I’m aware they have been distributing ten thousand naira in market places but I’m not sure how far this can go in a country where over 80 percent of the population live in abject poverty. Of course, President Buhari is blessed with some fanatical supporters who see him as the only saint in Nigeria who will help them deal ruthlessly with the enemies who have impoverished them. Buhari appeals to this young Nigerians and they don’t mind if Nigeria is engulfed in mass poverty. Their attitude is since they are already poor, Buhari should tear down the whole system and make the rich poor. The sad part is the fact that they can’t distinguish between those who worked hard and the so-called looters. Herein lies the danger to society at large.
I have spent the past weeks engaging with these guys on social media. Many of them are loose cannons who have become totally obsessed with the fake mantra that whoever is not with Buhari is a thief. This may work in favour of Buhari in the short run but may hurt Nigeria and Nigerians, irredeemably, in the long run. I foresee them turning into an uncontrollable army if Buhari does not win the Presidential election next month. Our usually taciturn President must not keep quiet on this danger waiting to explode. At 76, officially, God has been very kind to him. There is nothing in democracy that guarantees two terms for a President, so it should never be a matter of life and death. If you win, you win, and if you lose, you lose. Every effort must be made to make sure the precedence bequeathed by President Jonathan is maintained, even if not improved upon.
I was privileged to accompany the former President of Ghana, Dr John Dramani Mahama, to The Gambia during the imbroglio that engulfed that tourist destination after President Yahya Jammeh refused to hand over power despite the obvious fact that he lost election in 2017. I saw the great efforts of President Buhari, Eileen Johnson Sirleaf, Mahama, Mackey Sall and others. It would be a monumental disgrace for the world to start begging our own President, in the same manner, to hand over power if he does not win.
My appeal is to President Buhari to prepare the minds and souls of his supporters for any eventuality in the next couple of weeks. If he wins, fair and square, the whole world will celebrate him. I will join them, as an avowed democrat. But if he does not win, he should do us the favour of going in peace, and not leave our dear country in pieces.
God bless Nigeria.       
Bashorun Dele Momodu OVATION International +234 805 506 9220

What Is The Logo Of Your Benz? By ‘Fisayo Soyombo

Those who believe in God know that there are times He uses the unworthy vessel to work wonders. One was Moses the stammerer, who considered himself unqualified but was nevertheless picked to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. Another was Saul, the man who went about arresting believers of Jesus but then not only turned one himself but also spent his time seeking converts.

Please ignore the opening paragraph if you’re an atheist or your religious leaning isn’t Christianity. Here’s the summary: sometimes the wrong person preaches the right message. Sometimes, too, and without waiting to be called, the wrong person preaches the wrong message, but in a way that serves as an unintended wakeup call for the people — if they are smart enough — to seize the initiative and seek out the right.

As it happened last week, musical artistes Olamide and Lil Kesh propagated a message that just doesn’t stop at being wrong but calls for renewed national introspection. The duo — each popular among secular music lovers despite their notoriety for releasing songs low in content but high on lurid lyrics, obscene videos and danceable beats — combined to release what will go down as the most repulsive song of the year, titled ‘Logo Benz’. Without listening to the song, a mere look at the cover says it all: the round insignia of global automobile marque, Mercedes-Benz, strapped together on three ends by a G-string. The song preaches riches by hook or crook. “I pray to Jesus, I pray to Allah, to make money,” reads a loose Pidgin-English translation of the song. “But if money doesn’t come, I’ll do ‘blood money.’” In other parts, it urges ladies to let go of their pants to guys in need of them for Benz-buying rituals.

Expectedly, the public reaction has been largely critical. But why is anyone shocked about a song applauding the use of ladies’ pants for quick-money-making rituals? Olamide/Lil Kesh’s ‘Logo Benz’ is the story of our society — one so ‘dangerously’ lacking in values, depth, substance, conscience and perseverance.

Here in Nigeria, the biggest way to command respect is to have money, regardless of how you made it. Just open your mouth and speak gibberish; as long as you have money, there’s an audience waiting to clap you. While I do not think money should attract automatic condemnation, one basic qualifier for me is that it must be ‘honestly made’.

Not too many people care, though; dishonestly-made money is money all the same, and it rules. You’ll find young men who date ladies/women SOLELY because of money, and vice versa; people who take jobs SOLELY because of money; people whose choices of their life partners are SOLELY motivated by money; people who dispense respect ONLY according to the pocket of the next fellow; people who class themselves aside and wouldn’t mix with others simply because, as Wizkid said, ‘my money and your money no be mate’.

We can’t succeed as a nation if we do not rein in the extent to which people go to make money. The scale of greed pervading the public governance space is already well-documented, but the private sector — even though under considerably lesser scrutiny —¬ is not any holier. Too many CEOs and top executives have skeletons in their cupboards; we’ve seen this in the past with the supposed management staff who mismanaged Intercontinental Bank and Oceanic Bank. There are numerous anti-corruption and pro-accountability non-governmental and civil society organisations that are nothing more than money-making ventures — organisations calling for openness in the National Assembly and the oil and gas sector yet the heavens would fall were their CEOs or accountants or admin heads to be probed. This doesn’t mean honest men no longer exist; only the shining lights among us have been overcrowded by too many people around trying to outsmart the system as part of the maddening desperation to get rich.

We are largely a value-impoverished society, and this is first and foremost because the family is shirking its responsibilities as the first societal unit. To digress a bit, from time to time, I come across people with certain character flaws that are strictly down to deficient upbringing. Not that anyone, not least the writer, is perfect. But there are certain values that, if not picked up as part of family training, are hardly retrievable later in life. The unfortunate thing is that people with character flaws of this nature do not even realise they have a problem, that they need help.

There is a lot of work to be done if we must address the gaping value deficit afflicting us. The family is the first basis. Parents need to realise they’re raising not just their kids but the country’s ambassadors. We must address the ephemerality that has come to define marriages; if homes keep breaking up children will bear the brunt. Something is usually missing when a father or mother is absent in the formative years of a child, due to single parenthood or divorce. There usually are gaps with children raised by grandparents such as a retired teacher or an ‘old soldier’; it’s just not the same. Religious institutions must play their part. Enough of hero-worshipping moneybags; enough of presenting the church as dumping ground for ill-gotten wealth. Subjects that teach honesty, integrity and incorruptibility should be introduced to the curriculum, from primary school till tertiary level. And the National Orientation Agency (NOA) should get involved as well. This is a national emergency; if the depravity of now is left to continue growing at its current pace, it would be irreversible in probably a few decades — that is if it still is.

Until we fix the family especially and the general values upon which our lives are woven, musical artistes of the ilk of Olamide and Lil Kesh will continue to occasionally propagate evil in the name of money-making. I hope someone sings it loud into Olamide’s ears: money is good; very important, in fact. But it is NOT the most important thing in life. For everyone who comes to us with a Benz, we must not celebrate until we have first asked: “What is the logo of your Benz?” Pants, blood, corruption, crime? Or sweat, hard work, ingenuity, creativity? And ill-gotten wealth should NEVER be celebrated — because the dishonestly wealthy man is poorer at heart than the poorest but honest man alive.

Soyombo, former Editor of the TheCable and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), tweets @fisayosoyombo

Lagos Lawyer, Seye Fasoranti Makes Bold Statement With JoshEsther Olive Hotel

Situated in the heart of Ikeja, precisely on number 11, Samuel Awoniyi Street, off the busy Salvation Bus stop, Opebi, Ikeja, is that sprawling edifice that is an embodiment of splendour, grace, beauty and pleasure – all encapsulated in one phrase – JoshEsther Olive Hotel.

Comprising 21 special rooms for 21 special people and families, JoshEsther Olive Hotel, which derives its name from three wonderful children – Joshua, Esther and Olive, is a home away from home. A home made for only people who admire and cherish class and pampering.

With the state of the art facilities fully present, a catalogue of dutiful staff and local and continental dishes like no other, a prospective lodger may have reached the last bus stop of relaxation, friendliness and pleasure.

Located on a spot very easy to access from every corner of Lagos, especially the International Airport, JoshEsther Olive Hotel, managed by the indefatigable Oluseye Fashanranti, a man of many parts, is just the right place to be. The ambience is out of this world, and so is the lighting, which boasts of many colours.

From the entrance through to the gold plaited automatic elevator, and on to the VIP Lounge, only kingly reception awaits the customer. The Conference room is spacious enough with inbuilt projector for board presentation as well as carefully sourced furniture for convenience and comfort.

The same pampering is replicated in the restaurant and bar where well trained staff are on standby to treat one’s request with honour. The rooms are something else – class and glamour are not enough for description. Only a taste can fill the vacuum.

And most interesting part of JoshEsther Olive Hotel is the affordability of all facilities. Honestly, a simple try will thoroughly convince YOU.

Visit JoshEsther Olive Hotel today, and you will be happy you did. See you there!

Playing Victim: My Take On Linda Ikeji Baby Mama Drama, By Ena Ofugara

A 38 year old female chooses a very handsome rich dude, gets pregnant, beats biological clock, now has a handsome “billionaire son” to love and cherish for the rest of her life and is somehow a victim?

38 years old beautiful and intelligent female aware of abstinence, condom, and postinol “fell pregnant”

38 years old female preaching abstinence and no premarital sex (now denied) drives through two hours traffic to collect PENIS and even took her work computer to be close to the penis for more inspirational work

38 years old rich female that boasted she could BUY any man discovers that she cannot buy every man.

38 years old tall beauty queen does what every street girl does; tries to trap a man with pregnancy and hopes he marries her. Plot falls flat. Man accepts kid. Man will not be coaxed into marriage. Girl takes to social media. What is new? Nothing. Just another baby mama bringing drama. Old and stale.

38 years old entrepreneur knows the sexual partner hates publicity. She agrees to collect SECRET PENIS for 3 years. It never made her blog then. She gets pregnant and still keeps the secret in the hope of…..????

And when hope becomes hopeless, she drags him to social media, the one thing he abhors. Such a good considerate woman right?

Not that he denied the pregnancy.

She talks about personal stuff and how he chased her and how he became suddenly cruel after not letting her rest (even though she agrees she could find no one else) yet a man that had someone else and can find so many others is the one not letting her go. Okay.

Gentleman agrees to speak with your father when you get pregnant is niceness on his part not love. It is to cover your shame. If he wants to marry you, bride price is nothing for a billionaire Sholaye Jeremi. He was just being nice or pressured by you or what do you think?

The very one thing Linda says made Sholaye Jeremi not want to be with her is that publicity is bad for his business. And what does Linda Ikeji do??? She drags him to social media and do the very one thing he avoids. How very charitable of her.

And Linda knows he has a woman and baby in his life.

Surely she knows he has been a billionaire for years and that three bedroom he was taking her to was his guest house for “runs and okware and orukuruku” and such. She does not believe that is his real house does she? Come on! His other baby mama was at that house and he bought a new one from the guest house. He has been a billionaire for over ten years. Linda did not contribute to his life. She must stop making it sound like she met him poor or poorer. That’s his guest house for future baby mamas like Linda Ikeji.

38 years old beautiful Linda has a beautiful bouncing baby boy whose father is rich enough and will cater for him. Should that not be enough?

38 And those saying Linda is doing this to drive traffic to her page overestimate Linda Ikeji. She is human. This is just another woman scorned using her channel and resources to try to tarnish the image of her PENISer who refuses to keep PENISing or to take the PENISing to the NEXT LEVEL like Nigeria is refusing to follow Buhari to NEXT LEVEL. She is trying to be the rose and he the thorn

Luckily for this beautiful rich 38 years old woman, Sholaye Jeremi is too refined to do the drama with her. Or perhaps unluckily for her as she seems to want the drama.

Moral lesson: A woman, no matter how rich, beautiful and successful will always try to trap a man with pregnancy. Never believe her statements of “I will take care of the child. I do not need you”. It is a lie. If she is keeping the baby, there is a deep desire in her heart to keep the man too, even if she denies it.

38 years old Linda Ikeji is no victim. She plotted this and got half of her dream, a baby but not the man along

And YES. A private man can be with a popular woman and not compromise his privacy. Omotola Jelaide’s husband, Dolly Parton’s husband and many millionaires dating celebrities in Hollywood. Just because a man is PENISing a blogger does not mean the bloger should drag him to that blog. There is private life and public life. Owner of Enquirer never makes the Enquirer.

38 years old beautiful blogger is not the victim in this story.

Driving two hours through traffic to collect penis is well planned

Nobody “falls pregnant”, even though we know people slip and fall on BANANA peels and on peeled BANANA.

Wedding Without The Bride: 20 Years Later…

On 19th December 1998, exactly 20 years ago today, I was among 20 grooms facing the congregation at the then headquarters of the Living Faith Church otherwise known as Winners Chapel, in Ipaja, Lagos. It did not escape the attention of church members that while 19 men had their brides by their side, I was standing alone. Meanwhile, the service had long started with the scriptural readings and we were at the point of taking the marriage vows.

As each of the 19 couples exchanged their rings and were pronounced husbands and wives to thunderous applause from the congregation, I wasall alone and in a state of utter confusion. When the sermon was about to begin, I rushed out of the church. My Best Man and former Edo State Commissioner for Information, Louis Odion ran after me. We were soon joined by the late Chief Mrs Elizabeth Funmilayo Adebayo, who deployed all her training as holder of a Masters degree in Guidance and Counselling and the instincts of a mother, to calm me down with the assurance that my bride would come.

I was not consoled as I pondered several questions. If Tosin changed her mind, why did she have to wait till the wedding day to disgrace me?For a brief moment, I reflected on the possibility that something might have happened, either to her or to somebody in her house. I used that to console myself that perhaps it was a situation beyond her control. But then, I also surmised, whatever it was, why didn’t someone send a message rather than make a fool of me in front of a huge church congregation?

This was pre-GSM era when telephones were beyond the reach of the average Nigerian. There was no way of contacting Tosin or anyone in their family to ascertain what was going on. At some point, my cousin, Wale Banmore, hopped into a vehicle to go in search of my wife-to-be. Wale did not return. When it appeared as if I was bent on leaving the church premises, Louis moved from being my best man to a bouncer as he insisted I could not leave.

To be sure, Louis had the authority of his position in the matter at hand. Not only because he is my close friend but also because the two of us planned the entire wedding together,in the newsroom of Sunday Concord. Even the way we got the money to buy the wedding suits, delivered only the previous night, is a Nollywood story on its own. I am sure Mr Tunji Bello (to whom I was deputy at the time) will chuckle at this because he facilitated the writing assignment from which we earned the money. And the honeymoon at Sam Health Resort had been paid for through a barter arrangement with Concord Press.

In a way,the wedding was a newsroom community affair. From Mr Yomi Idowu to Bourgeois-Comrade Kayode Komolafe and Alhaji Waheed Odusile and even Mr Sam Omatseye, in faraway America, everyone had designated Tosin as my wife right from the first moment they met her. But it was on 1st January 1998 that the plot was taken to an incredible level. I got to the office that day to be told the Chair of Concord Editorial Board, Mr Segun Babatope wanted to see me. On getting to his office, Mr Babatope said, “Segun, I did something crazy today. I am just coming from Tosin’s house where I went to meet her dad. I said he should allow his daughter to marry you, my son.”

I was stunned. While Mr Babatope brought me to journalism and had always treated me with much affection, I did not send him on the mission he undertook. Yes, I recall that a week before, he was in my office where he met Tosin and asked, “When are you two getting married?” I replied that Tosin’s father did not even know I existed. He turned to Tosin and said, “Give me your house address. I am coming to meet your dad to tell him you should get ready to marry Segun.” I laughed. Although Tosin gave him the address, I considered it a joke because I never imagined anybody would do that.

At that period, Tosin hadn’t the courage to tell her father (now late) that she was dating anyone and we had not started official courtship. Besides, she has an elder sister who at that time had no marriage plan. When I asked Mr Babatope how Tosin’s father reacted to his request, he replied: “Of course, he was dazed and dumbfounded. After a while, he said he and his daughter are very close and she had not told him she wanted to marry anybody.” Mr Babatope shook his head and then added: “It was when I left the man that I also realised the gravity of what I did; especially since today is January 1, the first day of the year!”

Well, as it turned out, following that visit by Mr Babatope, Tosin’s father sent for me and that started the process for our wedding. But on 19thDecember 1998, as the church service was going on without my bride or any representative from their family, everything came back to me. Perhaps it was all a joke, afterall. To compound my problem, I could not see any member of my church either. As I would later learn, they were all trapped in one of the worst traffic jams ever experienced in the Lekki axis of Lagos. My wedding coincided with the weekend of the first Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) tagged ‘Lekki 98’!

I must state of course that my friends, Oti and Ireno Yoweren, who were also at ‘Lekki 98’, still took the trouble to show up that day. I will never forget that.

But back to the wedding. Louis eventually managed to drag me back inside the church where I resigned myself to fate. With the service over, the presiding cleric was about to pronounce the final blessing when the whole church stood up with applause. The noise roused me to consciousness as I saw Tosin running inside the church to join me at the altar. The standing ovation did not end until the pastor turned to Tosin and said what I will also never forget: “You are almost late. But you are not late.”

Despite the fact that it was a mass wedding, the drama of the late appearance of the bride had turned us into a star attraction such that after the service, people milled around to congratulate us. Of course, many were also curious to know why the bride came late. It was a period of acute fuel scarcity in the country when vehicles normally queue for days for what was not available. But on that particular day, about three fuel stations on the LASU-Ipaja expressway had fuel and the uncontrolled queues of desperate motorists generated as a result created a serious traffic jam along the way. Tosin was caught in the traffic gridlock.

Although I felt relieved that the fear of being abandoned on my wedding day was misplaced, I was also worried about what had just transpired, wondering whether it was an ominous sign. Even though I had never been superstitious, I kept asking myself that day whether the marriage contracted under such a dramatic fashion would last. But 20 years after that drama, on a day such as this, I can affirm that it has been an amazing journey with the additional blessing of three wonderful children.

As I stated when my wife clocked 40 in April 2014, the good virtues that other people saw in her have been a blessing for me. In good and bad times, my wife and I have together taken leaps of faith but in most instances, I just coasted along, ever trusting in her love, wisdom and strength of character. And on a day such as this, as I reflect on how the journey started 20 years ago, I cannot but thank God for sending my way all the good people who voted for Oluwatosin, even without the card reader!

You can follow me on my Twitter handle, @Olusegunverdictand on

Peter Obi, A Pregnant Virgin In PDP’s Maternity Ward

A Love Letter By Churchill Okonkwo


Dear Peter Obi, on February 23rd, 1927, physicist Werner Heisenberg first described his Uncertainty Principle which states that the more precisely we can determine a particle’s momentum, the less information we have about its position, and vice versa. On December 8th, 2018, the PDP stated precisely that your account was frozen by the EFCC to slow down your momentum. Days after EFCC denied freezing your account; no one knows anything about your position. Virgin Peter, I understand that you are in labor in the PDP’s maternity ward, but I will still ask, did EFCC freeze your account?

Because you, Peter allowed the familiar PDP lies on account freezing to live, you went to the Vice-Presidential debate and ended up distorting facts; presenting alternative facts and lying with a straight face. Lies matter, Peter. Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it is equally outraged by silence. This is because all truths that are kept silent become poisonous. So, for the very last time, virgin Peter, tell Nigerians, did EFCC freeze your account?

Peter, Albert Einstein told us that one who is out to describe the truth should leave elegance to the tailor. Leaving elegance to the tailor, permit me, Peter, to state that contrary to the false impression economic transformation of Anambra state that you presented at the debate, your administration in Anambra was anchored around yourself (alone) and the churches (church-schism). You, virgin Peter Obi, re-engineered the churches to lay down the cross and pick up the sword and fight for money from the government. Is that what you will with the churches and mosques in Abuja?

Nwanne m Peter, you are like that dog that said he should be praised for having good teeth because he does not use a chewing-stick. You want Nigerians to give you credit for not corruptly enriching the political class in APGA, but you dangerously corrupted the Catholic and Anglican priests in Anambra State. You see, virgin Peter, virginity is the poetry, not the reality, of life. The reality of life is that the stench from your fart in Anambra is still fresh.

You, Peter, have been playing selfishly in your political career that everything has turned against you. When President Goodluck Jonathan wanted to make you a minister, the southeast PDP ganged up in opposition and presented Osita Chidoka. When the PDP gave you, Peter Obi, the mandate to select their governorship candidate in the last Anambra election, all the PDP stalwarts in Anambra and Southeast abandoned you and your hand-picked candidate finished a distant third.

It was not thus surprising to those of us following your checkered political life that your VP candidacy was also stiffly opposed by PDP leaders in the east. Their reason is simple; if they are to send a representative to dine with the wolves, Atiku and Saraki in Abuja, it should not be someone that is selfish and “stingy” (credit to Fr. Mbaka).

What the stakeholders of PDP are saying to you is that security is like virginity: you’re either a virgin or you’re not. They are telling you, Peter, that it is superstitions for you to have imagined that virginity while pregnant could be a virtue in PDP’s maternity ward with Atiku as the Chief Gynecologist ably assisted by Dr. Saraki. If a deceitful person buries himself, one of his arms will stick out. The PDP stakeholders in southeast know that one of your arms is sticking out and that it is a terrible disservice to Ndigbo to send you to Abuja.

You, Obi, is the only pregnant political virgin with a history of abortions and attempted abortions. You betrayed Ikemba Nnewi on whose back he rode to power in the first place; aborted the stillborn APGA; attempted to abort governor Obiano and attempted to abort Senator Victor Umeh. Since then, the perception of Ndi Anambra about your virginity changed.

I have heard that to set fire to a church is not so bad as to speak ill of a virgin. But I will rather speak evil to a fake virgin in PDP’s maternity ward than set fire to the church. One of the smartest covert political operations in Nigeria was executed by you, Peter, when you, through corrupt enrichment bought over the Anglican and Catholic churches. Thus, the churches in Anambra State that are meant to manifest the kingdom of the cross are now manifesting the kingdom of the sword. For destroying the heart and soul of the church, you, Peter has thus, lost your virginity.

Per Albert Einstein, any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. While the crooks in PDP lied using your name, you lied with sincerity in the debate to hype your performance as the governor of Anambra. The reality is that there is no safe driving for you, Saint Peter Obi through the murky political waters in Nigeria while seriously kissing the crooks in the PDP’s maternity ward.

Peter, I wrote this love letter to remind you that the greatest enemy of truth per John F. Kennedy is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. At the VP debate, you Peter Obi, the acclaimed professor of economic presented a myth, imagined (in your head) of the transformation of Nigeria like China and Indonesia. But as the governor of Anambra State, it was all about you and the corruption of the church.

Virgin Peter, your eight years of governance was never about job creation; it was not about human capital development; it was not about re-engineering government institutions; it was not about the state economy or improving revenue generation; it was not even about restructuring through local government autonomy you and your boss Atiku are promising; it was not about transparency as you were the alpha and omega that indiscriminately awarded contracts without bids.

How will run the federal government Economic Management Team? Through the bishops and imams? Poor Atiku picked you, a virgin, to heal his aching heart and cover his corrupt acts. Unfortunately, he never knew you were politically pregnant. Peter, your claim to “get Nigeria working again” with Atiku and Saraki is analogous to movement without acceleration.

Finally, I have heard that the police and your girlfriend are the only two people in your life that you should tell a lie. So, Peter, stop lying to Nigerians.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance, Peter.

From Churchill, with Love.

To All The Linda-type Ladies, Yet Life Happens, By Ruona J. Meyer

The reason why you should not (no matter how much hype Nigerians or your fame/money gives you) make statements like “every woman’s dream is to have a husband and a baby” is because when life happens, you will likely find yourself having to explain your own life choices and the consequences you could not control.

It is because you chose to post a bare finger and said I must have a ring on it by next year, that you will have to come and try to explain why the ring never came. 

Because you chose to pontificate on things that are non-linear, you will need to keep rationalising what is plain ol’ life. 

It is why an adult will unfortunately go as far as saying a child was good in pregnancy as though he knew his dad did not treat his mum right. 

A child will now grow up to read the living arrangement of his parents on the Internet, and see his dad’s body part called an “eggplant” because one parent chose a life of publicly generalising on shit that is no one’s business in the first place, and then having to backtrack when happened. 

If you pick the wrong things to soapbox on, that is when you will contradict yourself. It is why Linda cannot sadly see the irony of saying she drove hours to see a man, carried her laptop to his house to spend all day there, yet turn around paragraphs later to say women are strong and can be like men. How about uncle driving to see her? Sigh.  

Abeg, too many examples, from Amara giving advice, yet life happened….life and love is like stretchmarks – to each his own. Face your front or you risk getting into the need to explain.

If you are the Linda-type, realise that you can encourage women to be CEOs, without linking yours or their lives to a man, a child or any such thing that is often out of the power of human beings.

It may shock y’all, but there are self-proclaimed sluts who are, and went on to become, and remain CEOs. Ask Cardi B selling records without standard airplay and Amber Rose inking fashion deals like a tattoo artist at a convention. None of the sex you have or not, or the kids/man you have or not, are the sum of your existence. Receive sense.  

Y’all stop this uniform hashtag goals and shit. When Linda said everyone’s goal was to marry and birth kids, some came on my wall to justify that claptrap. No.

Some women? Their goal in life is to be cancer-free. Is to be sickle cell-free. Is to have their child off the autism spectrum. Is to be able to afford an education. Not be a CEO alone, or wife alone for goodness’ bloody sake. 

 Linda and co, do you. Speak for yourself, fuck as often or not as you like, date who you like, but JUUUUST realise that none of that has anything to do with your Boss Lady quotient and it is nobody’s business, so keep it moving!

And I only bothered to write this thesis because I know a young lady who went into such deep depression because of this fixation on marriage and children that it contributed to her death!

So those of you blindly following advice from one person’s different circumstances you better wake up.


*adjusts throw-pillow*


Haba… Why Can’t They Leave Ambode Alone?

Having read a specious write up by an author who is not bold enough to come out with his identity making sundry allegations against Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode to the effect that he is secretly funding the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Jimi Agbaje, against that of his party – All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, I thought as a lawyer and a close watcher of politics in Lagos State, it is necessary to puncture such fallacious and baseless accusation with facts and figures.

In the drivel put up by the said faceless author, it was alleged that Governor Ambode gave a whooping N1billion as first trench to Agbaje without giving Sanwo-Olu a ‘single kobo’ and that the Governor was even in Dubai recently hobnobbing with opposition elements to the detriment of APC.

The author went on to further make other laughable and insidious insinuations that Governor Ambode had been working against the interest of the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, among others without any infinitesimal evidence to back up such idiotic claims.

It is a well-established fact that Governor Ambode has shown grace (in the words of Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu) ever since the events culminating in the emergence of Sanwo-Olu as the APC candidate for next year’s governorship election in Lagos State.

First, Governor Ambode publicly congratulated Sanwo-Olu in a statewide broadcast and immediately took steps to unite members of the party, especially those who felt aggrieved with the way he was treated at the primaries.

To show that the said author is confused, in one breath he said Governor Ambode is yet to give a ‘single kobo’ to Sanwo-Olu, but in another breath, he admitted that Governor Ambode donated 76 cars to the APC governorship candidate. That is inconsistent and only shows that the author is on a paid job and a misadventure that is not in sync with reality.

Aside from the 76 cars rightly and shamelessly admitted by the author, Governor Ambode has taken other steps to galvanize the people and his supporters to vote for the APC, including collapsing his campaign structure into that of Sanwo-Olu and the APC.

Aside preaching the message of unity and hope and campaigning for Sanwo-Olu publicly at the slightest opportunity, Governor Ambode has also been involved in the peace and reconciliation efforts of the APC to pacify aggrieved members of the party over the fallout of primaries in the Southwest.

In Abuja recently at the National Consultative Forum of the National Committee of Buhari Support Group, Governor Ambode was seen reminding Nigerians of the havoc wreck on the country by the PDP, and the need to re-elect President Muhammadu Buhari and all APC candidates across all levels to consolidate on the transformation embarked upon in the last three and half years.

It is appropriate to remind jobbers like this author that the Governor’s action has earned him accolades from the President who asked other aspirants to emulate his selfless act of not abandoning the party because he was aggrieved with the outcome of the primaries.

After the resignation of Mr. Wale Oluwo from the State Executive Council and his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Ambode immediately summoned a meeting of all APC leaders in the Epe division, where he made it clear that he had submitted fully to the decision of the party, and that they should escalate the message to the people that APC is his party. What do people want this gentleman to do again?

Aside from the President who has commended the Governor for showing true sportsmanship, Borno State Governor and Chairman of the APC Peace and Reconciliation Committee for the Southwest, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has equally commended Governor Ambode.

In his words, Shettima said: “Governor Ambode is my own politician of the year and the ultimate peacemaker. We are here essentially to build bridges of understanding, to reconcile with our aggrieved members and seek ways to make appropriate recommendations to the NWC (National Working Committee) of the party for us to make progress as a family and to make amends where necessary.

“We have a lot to learn from Governor Ambode; he demonstrated courage, he demonstrated unparalleled generosity of spirit that has never been shown by any Nigerian politician. Many people were spoiling for a fight. I believe that power is from God and believe me, the kind of respect that his actions have generated for him across the nation is much more than spending 18 years in power,” end of quote.

Even the Deputy Governorship candidate to Sanwo-Olu, Dr Obafemi Hamzat publicly commended Governor Ambode for being a man with a large and great heart, and so one can understand the stupidity of a faceless author who is just trying to create a friction where actually there is none.

Perhaps this author resides in another planet not to have noticed the accolades that the governor has received in the past few weeks.

Governor Ambode has demonstrated uncommon courage and character and the only thing left is to admonish fifth columnists around town to appreciate him, and not denigrate him with needless and distractive write-ups.

Abeg make una allow this man finish his term gracefully now, at least he told the whole world that he has moved on. Haba…kilode!

By Babatunde Ogunjinmi, a lawyer, resides in Egbeda, Idimu.

Mocking The Old and People With Disabilities; The Babangida Example

By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju

The question on the lips of those who are well bred, always is; how did we get here? I found the answer earlier this year. We got here because many stopped training their children. We got here because our cherished values were not transferred to the next generation. We got here because many parents reared their children like goats; leading them to food, clothing and shelter. Nothing more. Any kind of teaching and training were left to teachers while they engage in relentless pursuit of the “I beta pass  my neighbor” strategy.

While growing up in rural Southwest, I was taught never to mock the disabled, or men and women ravaged by old age. The fable was that the disability would be transfered immediately! I believed it then. Many of us children believed it. We believed it so much we never laughed nor imitate any disability. Some rascally ones who did were often chastised and reported. Our nightly folkloric tales were full of such anecdotes. We revered the aged because they were the custodians of our traditions. Our history was engraved in their brains. They were the custodians of our songs, events, culture, tradition, mores, and ethos. Their legs may be ravaged by arthritis, face misshapen by stroke, back bent from back breaking work of their youth. We loved them as they were. We loved aging so much that we celebrate age grade festivals every seven years as we moved up. Moving into adulthood was a big deal because we were not Àbíkú or Emèrè. Moving into the last Cadre of septuagenarians and older, was and still is a special event because many must have died before that age. We know getting old is a privilege. I recall that small stuff like Guinea worm (now eradicated) crippled and eventually made some people succumb to death.

As television gained ground, I started seeing caricatures of the disabled being peddled in theater productions and movies. Self-styled comics took it further by shaming people with Down’s syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, calling them imbeciles.

The pictures of General Ibrahim Babangida below has been going round in the last few days. So many people were having a mockery feast of him. I was appalled and again it validated the systemic nature of Nigeria’s rot. Babangida is 77, many who are mocking him will never be seventy. Actually, many of them will be lost to Tramadol, Rohypnol or Crystal Meth before 40. Babangida was president at 44, many who are mocking him are only using social media as an escape from their worries and torments. Many won’t be anything of note at 44. Babangida was president. Only a few will have that honor in their lifetime.

Be it arthritis, sciatica, or stroke, the pictures below is the picture of decline and anatomical changes due to aging. After the age of youth, mankind will gradually waste away until death comes. It is natural. It is a fact that some are blessed more than others in every sphere of life. That fact applies to aging as well. After 40, the bell begins to toll. Those who are mocking Babangida will receive sense after that age that is if they are lucky to attain that age. Babangida is lucky. He bucked the trend in a country where life expectancy is 54.

I don’t take kindly to this kind of pathological thoroughfare. If I see any of my friends engaged in this kind of mockery or if they curse people out or insult them on their timelines, I unfriend them before they bring their pathology to my wall.

Do not tell me Babangida is one of those who brought us into this predicament. That is not the topic.

Aisha Buhari: Flippant Activist Or Frustrated First Lady? By Festus Adedayo


Weird, unusual and a clear contradiction of the mannerisms of the class she belongs, events are fast proving that the persona of Nigeria’s First Lady, Aishat Buhari and the driving force of her clear departure from the norm, certainly need looking into. Weird, no doubt, Aishat isn’t the first queer First Lady in the world. Is she a destructive female, bent on destroying her husband, what the French call the femme fatale? The femme fatale is an archetype of literature and art referring to a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms and deploying of her feminine wiles ensnare the collective in dangerous and deadly situations, all geared towards achieving hidden purposes. The femme fatale may also be a victim who is trapped in a deadly situation that is beyond her, example being the 1947 film entitled The Lady from Shanghai.

Mrs. Buhari’s weirdness finds fitting similarity in Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of American lawyer and politician who later became the 16th President of the United States of America, in 1861, until his assassination in April 1865. Todd was what is called a proto-feminist and religious radical. Her views were weird, even for America of her age, curried with a manifest protest politics stance which smelled of deep scents of occultism.

Her acts as First Lady made very seismic impact on the American nation.

A few months after arriving the White House in March, 1861 as President and First Lady, the Lincolns’ first nightmare which many mid-century parents equally encountered, became the lot of the First Family. Willie, their 11-year-old son, had become afflicted by a serious fever. Willie was on record to be very sensitive and “precociously religious” and was the couple’s favourite. Not minding the weeks of vigils and trauma of the family, Willie gave up the ghost one afternoon in February, 1862. Todd as a person was acutely traumatised. This made her, like the troubled biblical King Saul, to turn to the spiritualism of trance mediums which she began to frequent, desperately believing that they could help her set up spiritual contact with her child. True to her expectation, one day, according to her biographer, Carl Sandburg, Todd rushed to the room of her half-sister and exclaimed, “He lives, Emilie! He comes to me every night and stands at the foot of my bed, with the same sweet, adorable smile he always had.”

Todd’s spiritual consultation of mediums became so embarrassing that in 1875, her only surviving son, Robert, got her locked up in a sanitarium. Three years earlier, and exactly seven years after Lincoln, her husband, was assassinated, specifically in February 1872, both the New York Times and the Boston Herald subjected her to intense incendiary articles which claimed that this widow obliquely sought services of Margaret Fox, an American notorious medium and was squandering her inherited estate on the spiritualist. On July 16, 1882, the earthly toil ended for Todd Lincoln. She died dejected by the betrayal of an American nation which killed her husband, a son who committed her to a psychiatric hospital and an American press which labeled her as deranged.

Neither could Aisha be weirder than Dolly Madison, wife of James Madison, President of the United States between 1809 and 1817. Dolly turned the White House to shindigs every week, inviting everyone: celebrities, politicians and shoemakers on the streets. She also capped this up by dressing provocatively. She was recorded to have made a departure from the norm by inviting her husband’s political rivals to these shindigs, thereby uniting the political parties.

Two statements underneath, one from a fictitious character in a book of literature and the other made by Aishat herself, share some similarities in the advocacies behind their outbursts. They should provoke an in-depth study of the reasoning behind them. The statements both query the masculinity of the male gender and the potency of his manhood in righting wrongs. The first was, “Lord, you call yourselves men, you poltroons! You let a small ruffian insult you. Fancy, he grabs at a girl in front of you – might be your daughter – this thing with the manner of a pig! If there were real men here, they’d pull his pants off and give him such a leathering he’d never sit down for a week. But, no, you let him do this here; tonight you’ll let him do it in your homes. And all you do is whimper.” The second was, “Where are the men of Nigeria? Where are the Nigerian men? What are you doing? Instead of them to come together and fight them, they kept visiting them one after the other, licking their shoes. I am sorry to use that word.”

While the first was an unnamed woman in a South African train incensed by a tout attempting to assault a young girl and by so doing, debasing her “womanity”, the second was made by Mrs. Buhari last week at a national leadership summit for women organised by a political group, Project 4+4 for Buhari & Osinbajo 2019. The two outbursts are however united by an uncommon activism that is geared towards righting wrongs. While the unnamed woman, cited in a South African book of short stories, like a typical African woman, was riled by contemporary disregard by a male-dominated society for the person of the female gender, Mrs. Buhari was provoked by what she perceives as an unfair power equation which has tilted power away from the people of Nigeria.

There is however a deeper need for an examination of the persona of the character called Aishat, wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Since arriving Aso Villa with her husband the President, Mrs. Buhari has carved a renown for herself for her fiery public rebukes of her husband’s government. At the most recent event, she had said that although over 15 million Nigerians voted for Buhari in 2015, two persons have taken over the reins of that government. “Our votes were over 15 million in the last election, and after that, only for us to be dominated by two people. That hinders collective team work that we started, which is totally unacceptable,” she had said, and continuing, exploded: “If 15.4 million people can bring in a government, and only for the government to be dominated by two people; where are the men of Nigeria?” She also critiqued the slow start of the government, pillorying achievements of the Buhari government at this last minute of the administration.

On Monday, October 9, 2017, Mrs. Buhari had tongue-lashed the presidency for its sparse commitment to the healthcare of the people, basing this on the management of Aso Rock clinic. The clinic, she had said, lacked facilities to treat patients and claimed that, after she found that the clinic’s x-ray machine was not working, she had to resort to the services of a private clinic.

Barely two years after the life of the administration, the First Lady again shocked Nigerians when she announced on the BBC Hausa Service that she might not support her husband’s reelection bid unless some characters in his government were relieved of their posts. Apparently a rejoinder to these vociferous critiques, in faraway Germany, while standing beside the most powerful woman in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Buhari had committed the faux pas of saying, “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room,” a statement which must have disgusted and lowly rate Buhari in the presence of Merkel and feminists throughout the world. Also recently, Mrs. Buhari had taken the Chairman of the APC to the cleaners for what she described as acts capable of destroying the party.

So what makes Aishat Buhari tick? What is the reason for these polemics in the Villa? Is she merely a flippant and unguarded woman who likes to hear her own voice, an activist whose advocacies for the common man is not bound by the locales of power, a frustrated woman who feels that “strangers” are usurping her roles as First Lady or a bemused woman who suddenly finds a strange and effeminate man in her bedroom different from the man she married?

There is no doubting the fact that Aishat Buhari’s hue is alien to the Nigerian First Lady commune, even from the time of Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi, Nigeria’s first publicly advertised First Lady. Born to the renowned family of Ribadu and descendants of the Ankali family, a renowned farmers family. Her grandfather was Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu, Nigeria’s first Minister of Defence, while her father was a civil engineer. Nigerian First Ladies have followed in tow, from Victoria Gowon, Ajoke Mohammed, Stella Obasanjo, Maryam Babangida, Maryam Abacha, Fati Lami Abdulsalam, Turai Yar’Adua and Patience Jonathan, but none has been as evocatively against-method as Aishat.

Questions have been asked on the appropriateness of Aishat’s public critiques of her husband’s government. Are they a mirror of estrangement of the First Family? This question becomes needful because, if both husband and wife sleep under same roof or see each other like normal spouses do, public ventilation of personal grouses would have been unnecessary. Are they symptoms of a familial decay that the world is not yet privy to? Are they a confirmation of the touted cynicism of her husband, which manifests in claims of a body double? Specifically, are they manifestations of Aishat’s public disavowal with a strange man she cannot understand and possibly cannot penetrate in her bedroom? This last interrogation may not be true because, even before her husband’s illness, she had taken to the microphone to announce her displeasure with the political maltreatment of Bola Ahmed Tinubu by a cabal in government in the early period of the government, claiming that Tinubu was the one her family saw at the nocturnes of their political odyssey, pre-presidency. Or are those manifestations simply in synchrony with the persona of a firebrand, no-holds-barred woman who is displeased with a sliding system? This is a challenge to writers, journalists and biographers to fish out the correct reading of the weird amazon at the Aso Rock Villa.