CAF Player Of The Year: Time For Nigeria To Look Inward By Oluwashina Okeleji

Perhaps the best way to begin this column is to heartily congratulate African Player of the Year, Mohamed Salah. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed what everyone knew: in 2017, there was no African better.

He edged out Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, both superb forwards in their own right, to become the first Egyptian in 34 years to win the award.

The point of curiosity, given the final three, was the clamour for Nigeria international Victor Moses as more deserving. This claim was entirely hinged on a season wherein Chelsea took the English Premier League by surprise, storming to the title after an initial wobble forced a change in team shape. While Moses is an intrepid, roving playmaker by international window, necessity dictated that when Antonio Conte needed a wing-back, he was tapped for the specialist role.

Perhaps the fact that Chelsea’s upturn in performances coincided with Moses playing more regularly led most to credit his influence directly, rather than that of a system that made a previously undisciplined winger into a disciplined defender.

Whatever the case, the argument seems to be that, having won a league title – more than could be said for any of the players in the final three – he should win by default. The fact that he did not has now come to be seen as the furtherance of some ancient agenda against Nigerian footballers. Not since Nwankwo Kanu won the second of his two awards in 1999 has a Nigerian been crowned Africa’s best. That’s a long time, but there is a danger of looking at it from the simple point of demographics.

Nigeria is by far Africa’s most populous nation, and football is by far its most popular sport. Just as science has proven, the human brain can struggle to grasp probability: we tend to think that, just because there are more of us, one of us should at least have won once on the last 19 years.

As such, it is convenient for the average Nigerian football fan to invent another reason for the dry spell. While Issa Hayatou was in power, and perhaps mindful of the (perceived) injustices of years gone by (Exhibit A: 1988/2000 Africa Cup of Nations finals against Cameroon), the narrative was that CAF was partial to Francophone nations.

So we hear that Mustapha Hadji won in 1998 on the back of one bicycle kick. Never mind that he scored at the World Cup as Morocco were hugely unfortunate to be eliminated, and that while he was scoring the bicycle kick in question, his closest challenger Jay-Jay Okocha was missing out on the Cup of Nations thanks to a CAF ban on Nigeria.

Look beyond the self-pitying narrative, and it is clear that, in the timeframe, there have been no viable candidates anyway. The aforementioned Okocha came closest, but was unfortunate to mature at a time when Samuel Eto’o was growing into one of Europe’s most devastating strikers. Should he have won in 2003 anyway? Maybe. But even allowing for that, it was still 15 years ago.

There is also the obvious question: why would CAF, or any footballing association for that matter, devalue its top award by being biased? To do that would amount to sabotage.
The simplest explanation is often the right one, but in this case, it is a rather uncomfortable one: our players simply are not good enough. To acknowledge this is to take responsibility, so you can understand why it’s not an easy pill to swallow.

A lack of ambition is at the core of the problem. The average Nigerian footballer sees football as a means to elevate his social and financial status. While there’s nothing wrong with that at all, it is the enemy of that extra push to true stardom.

It is also antithetical to discipline (once comfort is secured), another area in which our footballers fall down. The ability to delay gratification is a cornerstone of the drive for growth. When did you ever hear a Nigerian male footballer say he seeks to be the best player in Africa?

Yet, when Salah stood on the podium in Accra, he spoke plainly of his long-standing desire for the gong, and his intention to win many more. It is the lack of precisely that sort of ambitious thinking, focus and discipline, that has seen, and will continue to see our footballers come up short among their peers.

Herdsmen Kill Farmer in Ogun State

A farmer in his 60s, Adetona Owolabi, has reportedly been killed by suspected herdsmen who inflicted various machete cuts on him in Afon, Imeko-Afon Local Government area of Ogun State.

The farmer was said to have been working on his farmland located few metres away to the newly constructed bridge at Afon, along Owode/Abeokuta road when he was attacked by the herdsmen for challenging them when their cattle was grazing and destroying his farm produce such as cassava, yam and vegetables.

Ironically, the incident occurred few hours after the State Government held a meeting with security chiefs and representatives of various stakeholders such as leaders of the Fulani, Hausa communities and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigera in order to prevent clashes between herdsmen and farmers and also to ensure safety of lives and property.

Ali Modu Sherif Group In Edo Dumps PDP or F

Edo PDP governorship candidate in the 2016 governorship elections, Matthew Iduoriyekenmwen, the member representing Ikpoba Okha/Egor in the House of Representatives, Johnson Agbonayinma, former member of the State House of Assembly, Blessing Agbebaku have led several others have defected to the APC, saying they left PDP for its impunity.

Iduoriyekenmwen who commended former governor Adams Oshiomole of the APC said “You all know that I resigned from the PDP since September 2017 and I decided to watch and see. I wanted to be governor of the state and if you have somebody that is doing what will do and even doing it better, you have to join him. We believe that our children must have education, government must make life meaningful for the people, I see sincerity in this government, I see sincerity in Governor Obaseki, I see that he doesn’t need distraction, we think that all we can do is to join him ion developing the state. Those of us that will have opposed him, we said we will join him to make the state better so whether you like it or not, Edo state is now a one party state, I want to thank Oshiomhole for providing the leadership”.

The serving Governor Godwin Obaseki welcomed them, “We don’t have new joiners; they are part of us; no difference no demarcation, new comer, everybody is the same.”

Nigeria Develops Ebola, Malaria Herbal Drugs

The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) says it has successfully researched and developed six traditional herbal products for the treatment of Ebola, Malaria and other diseases.

The NIPRD Director-General, Prof. Karniyus Gamaniel, said this while presenting the score card of his eight-year tenure (2009 to 2017) in Abuja on Friday.

The programme, organised by NIPRD, aimed to present the products researched and developed by the institute and present staff service awards to deserving worker.

He said that ‘NIPRIBOL’, a fixed dose combination drug was developed by the institute for the treatment of Ebola Virus Disease, adding that the institute had completed the Phase I study of the drug.

Gamaniel said that the institute had also developed ‘NIPRIMAL’, an anti-malaria for treatment of uncomplicated malaria, stating that the drug was also safe for use by pregnant women.

Others are: ‘NIPRIMUNE’ an immunostimulant which can also be used to manage HIV in Nigeria and ‘NIPRIFAN’ for the treatment of fungal skin infection.

He said that another product developed by the institute, ‘NIPRD Oil’, could be used as a nasal decongestant, insect repellant, air freshner and an anti-inflammatory agent.

He however noted that excessive use of this oil could cause irritation.

He said that “the institute has also developed ‘NIPRISAN’ for the management of sickle cell anaemia.

“We are currently concluding plans to carry out commercial production and distribution of this product.

“We have developed and implemented various institutional policies for effective governance, this include the scheme and condition of service, intellectual policy and quality management system.

“We have also ensured the introduction of traditional herbal medicine into the national health system and established partnerships with local and international organisations.

“The core competence of NIPRD is in the development of phytomedicines from indigenous plants and products, clinical trials, among others; we are a quality assured institute,” Gamaniel said.

He said that presenting a report was necessary as it would serve as a baseline for the new leadership and provide an opportunity for new strategies to be introduced.

The institute presented awards to over 150 staff for their hard work and dedication to the growth of the institute, and the research and development of traditional herbal products.


Why I Stand With Buhari By Femi Adesina

These are very difficult times in our country. Sad, mournful and dolorous times, as the New Year opened with killings in Rivers, Kaduna, Taraba, and Benue states, among others. Of course, there had been gruesome carnage on the Mambilla plateau mid last year, and bloodletting in Numan, Adamawa State, as well as in other places. Hell suddenly seemed to have enlarged itself against Nigeria. Sincere condolences to those who are grieving and mourning the loss of loved ones.

But instead of finding solutions, and joining to chart the way forward, some people are making political capital out of the killings. They are trying to use the orgy of bloodshed to advance their political interests, wanting to make it appear that it is a failure of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Faults are thick where love is thin. There is prejudice in Nigeria. Plenty. There is insularity, in prodigious quantity. There is animus, antipathy against anyone that is not of your ethnic or religious stock, or that belongs to a different political orientation or persuasion. If you meet him, kill him, if you can’t catch him, poison his footsteps, seems to be the singsong among some people. And as the build up to general elections next year gathers momentum, matters are made worse. Everything must be politicized, including wanton killings. There must be spurious handshakes across the Niger, and across the Benue, all for political gains.

But I stand with Buhari, and will always do. Why won’t you? Your snout is in the honeypot, licking the nectars of office, some cynics would say. Really? My bank balances do not indicate so. It is not just about money. It is about conviction. It is about believing in a man who can bring enduring change to our country, if we allow God to have His way through him.
Standing with Buhari through thick and thin is not about money, or the spoils of office, which are not even available in these lean times. In or out of my present position, I stand with Buhari. Sir Walter Scott wrote: “Other people’s resolutions may fluctuate on the wild and changeful billows of human opinion. Ours, now and forever, are anchored on the Rock of Ages.” In or out of government, I stand with Buhari. Why? You will get to know shortly.

There is strident attempt to defame, demean and de-market the Buhari government today. Who are those behind it? The crooks, thieves, freeloaders, who want business as usual. They hate probity. Their souls abhor accountability. They prefer the plunder of the past years, and can’t wait to see that epoch return. They engage in all sorts of misinformation and disinformation. Hate speeches. Fake news. Under us, you had leeks, onions and garlic to eat. You were fed manna till you wanted no more. When you were tired of the fluffy stuff, we gave you meat, you gorged yourself so much, till meat began to come out of your noses. They wouldn’t tell you about what William Shakespeare calls “the goodly apple, but rotten at the cheek.”

They won’t tell you about humongous amounts of money made from oil, which stood at over $100 dollars per barrel for about six years, and which they looted to the last cent. Foreign reserves; depleted. Excess Crude Account; looted. Federation Account; plundered. They turned the country to a wasteland, leaving an economy primed for recession. But deftly and sure-footed, the Buhari administration is building a new foundation for the economy, erecting an edifice that will stand the test of time, not a bubble that collapses with just a pinprick, not a will-o-the-wisp that vanishes in the midday sun.

That is why I stand with Buhari, and have stood with him since he was a military leader in the 1980s. I can trust this President. I can go to bed, knowing that my leader is not striking deals to fleece the country in the dead of night. I can trust that every money that comes into the coffers of Nigeria, will be used for the good of Nigerians. Am I saying it is a perfect administration? Such has not been forged from the smithy of the divine powers.

Every human enterprise will have its shortcomings, but on Buhari I still stand. I stand with him, and by him, any day.

Some people ask themselves: can we afford to be outside government for another four years from 2019? We would be dead! No access to the public treasury, which we know how well to abuse and plunder? To ravage and savage. They have spat into the sky, and collected the spittle with their faces. Rather than let Buhari be, we would employ all the tricks in the books. Defame, demean, de-market him. Is he not Fulani? He is supporting herdsmen causing murder and mayhem round the country. Trumpet it from the rooftops, even without a scintilla of evidence. He is sectional, and bent on Islamizing the country. He is fighting a one sided anti-corruption war. His war against insurgency is a fluke, not winnable.

They refuse to see massive investments in infrastructure, which would burst into full bloom in another year or two. Roads, rail, power. They refuse to see the rebounding economy, strides in agriculture and mining, all with good auguries for the future. They refuse to acknowledge the stock market, which recently recorded N15.78 trillion, the highest in the history of the country. What of N1.3 trillion spent on capital projects in 2016? And almost the same amount for 2017? No, they rather imagine how much of that amount they would have pocketed if they were in power, living in obscene luxury, while the rest of the country went to hell, if it wanted. They refuse to see the good things happening to the country. And none is as blind as those who deliberately refuse to see. All these and more are the reasons I stand with Buhari, and will always do. So that Nigeria can have a future and a hope. Our own Canaan, flowing with milk and honey.

After primitive fury was unleashed in Benue, and about 73 people were left dead, a sitting President eyeing reelection could also play politics with it, visiting and muttering the right words to impress the people. Nothing wrong. But for President Buhari, action speaks louder than words. Action stations, he told the security agencies. The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations was first despatched, then the Minister of Interior, the Inspector General of Police himself, and then the Nigerian Army. Consultations were held with the governor of the state, with Benue elders, and now, a committee headed by the Vice President, made up of nine governors, has been set up to proffer solutions to farmers/herdsmen clashes. Action truly speaks louder than words.

President Buhari has not thrown his hat officially into the ring for a second term in office. But they are in mortal fear of him running. Therefore, they do all they can to dissuade him. Malign him, paint him black, devalue him before the electorate. But they don’t know that there are many devices in the hearts of men, but only the counsel of God shall stand. If God has ordained President Buhari to be in power beyond 2019, human effort to stop it can only end in futility.

I stand with Buhari, because it is solid ground for Nigeria. All other ground I see, at least for now, is sinking sand. For us, for our children, for generations yet unborn, Buhari is engendering a new country, whose builder and maker is God. Let the wailers wail; endlessly. Let the heathens rage; till they render themselves hoarse. Let them throw even the kitchen sink at him, they did worse in the build up to 2015. I stand with Buhari. I know his heart for Nigeria, and for Nigerians. Let people shed their prejudices. Let them eschew hate, and purge themselves of all malice. The future can only then be written in gold.

Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

Kim Kardashian Opens Up On Surrogacy Journey

The reality TV star has finally reveled that their surrogate was not used in the traditional sense.

Kim explained in an article on her website that while throughout the pregnancy she repeatedly referred to the woman carrying her child as “her surrogate” what she actually had was a “gestational carrier” meaning her newborn daughter is biologically both hers and West’s.

“Since we implanted my fertilized egg in our gestational carrier, our baby is biologically mine and Kanye’s. You can either choose someone that you know or you can go through an agency, like Kanye and I did” she wrote.

The mother-of-three also shared that while she didn’t carry her second daughter herself, the process was in no way “an easy way out.”

“People assume it’s better because you don’t have to deal with the physical changes, pain or complications with delivery, but for me it was so hard to not carry my own child, especially after I carried North and Saint. It’s not for everyone, but I absolutely love my gestational carrier and this was the best experience I’ve ever had. Our gestational carrier gave us the greatest gift one could give. The connection with our baby came instantly and it’s as if she was with us the whole time. Having a gestational carrier was so special for us and she made our dreams of expanding our family come true” she said.

“Finding someone you really trust is really more difficult than you can imagine… it was maybe a year before we finalized our current situation. She’s such a nice person. Like, she’s so easy to talk to. We are so excited to finally welcome home our baby girl.” she added.


My Son Was Murdered Two Semesters To Graduation – Father Told Court

Sonibare Oladiran, the father of a 400-Level student of the Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Timileyin Sonibare who was murdered and mutilated for ritual purpose has told an Osun State High Court that his son was murdered when he was just less than two semesters away from graduation.

He spoke while giving evidence during the trial of the five suspects in the matter, AbdulRafiu Zakariyau, Yusuf Kareem, Ayuba Ibraheem, Ishaq Yusuf and AbdulKareem Adeoti which resumed before Justice Kudirat Akano on Monday.

Timileyin was murdered last year June, 2017 around Oke Baale area of Osogbo.

The deceased father, in an emotion laden voice told the court that the death of his son was a great loss, as the life of his son was cut short at a time his family was expecting to celebrate his success in the university.

During the hearing, the court had to first determine whether the first accused, 22 years-old AbdulRafiu Zakariyau who had pleaded guilty to murder should be summarily tried or tried alongside other accused who pleaded not guilty.

Having held that the first accused should also face proper trial, the prosecution, led by the Attorney-General of the state, Ajibola Bashiru opened its case by calling four witnesses.

The first witness, Segun Akinloye, who is the victim’s cousin told the court how Timileyin went missing on the 26th of June, 2017 and how a number found on his mobile phone led them to AbdulRafiu Zakariyau, who later told the police that himself and one Yaya  Toyin killed and cut off the head and wrist of the victim for ritual purpose.

A police officer, Sergeant Adelakun Najeem told the court that apart from admitting the crime, the first accused also led them to an uncompleted building near his house where the decomposing body of Timileyin was found.

A pestle, live tortoise and a clay pot, where the burnt head of the victim was kept were tendered and admitted in court as exhibits.

More prosecution witnesses and exhibits are expected in court on the next hearing date, January 29 when the case has been adjourned to.

Akande, A Foremost Nationalist – Osun Assembly

By Damilola Olujide

Osun state House of Assembly under the leadership of the Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salam has described Chief Adebisi Akande as a foremost nationalist with keen interest for a better Nigeria.

The House congratulated the former Governor of the State, who clocks 79. The house also disclosed that he is a figure worthy of emulation by the younger generation especially for his prudent nature in governance.

According to a statement issued by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye on Tuesday, the House expressed its delight to join other friends, family and associates of Akande to celebrate him.

The parliament added that Baba Omo Keekeke as he is fondly called is no doubt a  politician with impact and indeed a man of many parts who has occupied strategic positions like being the National Chairman of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as well as being the first and only Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Akande was the Secretary to the State Government, Deputy Governor both in the old Oyo State and also the Executive Governor of Osun and gave the state a solid foundation.

While wishing him long life and prosperity, the House also wished Chief Akande good health, noting that he has positively touched lives and added values to Osun and Nigeria at large.

Adult Education Helps To Solve Problems

Adult education and development have been extremely very useful for developing countries.

The concept of adult education which has wide acceptability is a process whereby persons who no longer attend school on a full time basis undertake sequential and organized activities with the conscious intention of bringing changes to their activities interms of knowledge for the purpose of identifying and solving personal problems.

Its wide acceptability to countries globally is greatly appreciated. Adult education is a vital and veritable organ in education, as it helps to improve development both at the National, state and rural communities.

Adult education and development has contributed to the development of various countries especially the under developed countries in various areas, just as the adult education-based journals have been of immense value to researchers.

Students of Adults education are making use of the journals in writing their projects. This is because the journals touch all aspects of adult education progamme.

As an individual and an ardent reader of adult education and development journals, I will rather admonish that both the government and private organizations should do more in encouraging adult education, which would in turn, automatically assist in solving some major national problems.


Police Arraigns Man For Fraud

By Damilola Olujide

The Osun State Police Command has arraigned a 35 years-old Jimoh Nurudeen before an Osogbo Magisterate Court over fraud and unlawful entry into a parcel of land.

The accused person allegedly committed the offence in May, 2016 at Osunlepo compound, Kajola area Osogbo.

The charge sheet disclosed that the accused person obtained a sum of N430,000 from one Muritala Adedotun under the pretence to secure him a plot of land at Osunlepo family land, Owode, Ilesa road, Osogbo and to erect a four bedroom flat foundation on the said land which he failed to do, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 419, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2003.

The charge sheet further disclosed that the accused person converted to his own use, the sum of N430,000 obtained from Adedotun to secure him a plot of land at Osunlepo family land, Owode, Ilesa road Osogbo and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 390(9) Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2003.

The accused person pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge leveled against him.

The defence counsel, O.F Adetona prayed the court to grant his client bail in the most liberal terms

The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Olayiwola Rasaq did not oppose the application for bail.

The Presiding Magistrate, Fatima Sodamade admitted the accused person to bail in the sum of #400,000 with one surety and adjourned the case till 15th February, 2018.

Teen Remanded For Attempt To Burn Residential Building

A 19-year-old boy, Salami Tunde, was on Tuesday remanded in Ilesa prison custody by an Osogbo Magistrates Court, over alleged attempt to set ablaze a residential building .

Tunde is facing a one-count charge bothering on an attempt to set ablaze a residential building.

The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Olaiwola Rasaki, told the court that the accused committed the offence on November 20, 2017 at about 3:00pm at Fiwasaye area, Osogbo.

Rasaki said the defendant who happened to be an occupant in the same building with one Shittu Muyibat, attempted to set ablaze her building due to a rancor between them.

He said the situation left Muyibat with severe injuries on her body before the intervention of the Police.

The prosecutor said the offense contravened section 335 of the criminal code cap 34 Vol. 11 laws of Osun, 2003.

The defendant who had no legal representation pleaded guilty to the count charge against him.

The Magistrate, Mr Ashiru Ayeni, ordered that the accused be kept in prison custody, pending when the facts of the case are presented by the prosecution on the next date of adjournment.

He then adjourned the matter till February 16 2018 for ruling.