Baby Daddies are Better Fathers than many Husbands, Timaya

Hip hop star, Ebitimi Odom popularly known as Timaya, has said that baby daddies are usually better fathers than many husbands in Nigeria.

Speaking exclusively with Saturday Beats (PUNCH), the ‘Dem mama’ crooner fondly nicknamed Egberi Papa by his teeming fans, said that while many young men, who became fathers by impregnating their unmarried lovers show more care to babies produced through such copulations, many married men lacked the capacity to show love or affection to their children.

According to the musician, beyond what many people actually think, baby daddies, as men, who father children without having married the mothers are often referred to, have proven to be better than those that had consummated their unions.

“People fail to understand that a lot of baby daddies are better fathers than a lot of husbands. The kind of role I play in my children’s life, I don’t think some husbands do that.

“I have time for my children, I love my children but some married men don’t even have time for their kids. They don’t show their kids love, they don’t know what it means to be a father. It doesn’t have anything to do with money; it’s about love and attention.

“Even my daughter sometimes wonders why I make babies if I was not ready to get married yet but I tell her that if I don’t make babies then she won’t be born.

“My life is in stages, I don’t think I want to get married now. It is not something I would want to venture into for now,” he said.

While revealing the real reason he mostly wears bathrobes these days, the Bayelsa State-born artiste, told Saturday Beats the idea is just a new way he found to express himself without holding anything back.

“The bathrobe is not a fashion statement. A lot of people know I dress well and even appreciate my style and fashion sense.

“The bathrobe thing started one morning when I woke up. I told myself that I am not trying to impress anybody and that I needed to be me. I am a happy man, I am fulfilled, I can wear my bathrobe to anywhere. I was on bathrobe during the Headies Awards and I also travelled from Nigeria to Turkey wearing it too.

“As humans, we should attain certain heights in life before taking certain decisions. It’s not like Timaya does not have clothes and shoes to wear, it’s just a sign of fulfilment.

“Modern slavery is not about the white people and what they do to us, it is you imprisoning yourself by trying to impress people and bothering about what they would say about you.

“I don’t think any musician has the kind of clothes I have but I don’t have to prove anything to anybody. Young people try to impress others and that’s why their lives are filled with problems,” he said.

PUNCH

Fire Outbreak Consumes 6 Shops in Kano

No fewer than six shops were burnt at Kofar Wambai Jewelry Market (Kasuwar ‘Yan Yeri) in Kano on Friday night.

The Director of the State Fire Service, Alhaji Sagir Madaki, said on Saturday that the fire burnt six shops.

He said “we received a distress call from Kofar Wambai Police Division at about 8:57p.m that there was fire outbreak at the market.

”On receiving the information, we quickly sent some of our personnel and fire fighting vehicle to the scene of the incident at about 9:05p.m to quench the fire.”

Madaki said that with the quick intervention of fire service personnel it took 55 minutes to put it under control so as not to spread to other shops.

The director said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

He advised traders at the market and other residents to be more careful and desist from using instruments capable of triggering fire as a way of guarding against future occurence.

The director also advised the people to keep fire bucket, fire blanket and fire extinguisher that would enablethem to curtail the spread of fire before calling on the fire service.

Ekiti Election: Results may be Announced Earlier than Expected

Impressive turn-out of voters on Saturday was the hallmark of the governorship election in Ekiti state on Saturday and results may be announced earlier than expected as voting has been seamless in many polling units.

Many voters turned out at most polling centres across the 16 Local Governments and 177 Electoral wards in the state, despite initial apprehension few days to the poll. There were only a few hiccups with the card reader.

The elements also favoured the polls as there was no sign of rain in the towns and villages.

In every place visited, the voters formed long queues as security agents stood by, monitoring the exercise.

There was no complaint about late arrival of voting materials.

Some foreign observers during the poll
NAN reports that the only problem was controlling the crowd of voters who kept trooping to various voting venues.

However, there were incidents of altercations over open inducement of voters.

But none of the 35 participating parties owned up to the inducement allegation, as the parties traded blames.

NAN learnt that highest money doled out as inducement in some instances was N5,000, while the lowest was N3,000.

At Iyin-Ekiti, hometown of former Gov. Niyi Adebayo who is a newly elected Deputy National Deputy Chairman, (South) of APC, elections went on smoothly in the two wards in the town.

Voting was was peaceful also at Ise-Ekiti, hometown of a former Works Minister and a former gubernatorial aspirant under PDP, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye. Scores of eligible voters that trooped conducted themselves peacefully.

NAN reports tat Adeyeye, who came out to vote at about 9:30am, commended the voters, security agents and INEC.

Adeyeye switched to the All Progressives Congress after the PDP primary, accusing the incumbent PDP governor of hijacking the exercise.

NAN

Ekiti Election: Card Reader Rejects Fayemi’s Wife PVC

Dr Kayode Fayemi, the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in the Ekiti election cast his ballot in his Unit 009, Ogilolo Ward 11, Isan-Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area, at about 10.28 a.m on Saturday.

But his wife, Bisi, who accompanied him to the polling station, could not vote as the Card Reader could not accredit her.

Although the electoral officials found her name on the voter register, the card reader did not recognise her voter card.

Nevertheless, Fayemi commended the electorate in Ekiti for their impressive turnout and conduct.

Assessing the electoral process, Fayemi said, “This is the day the Lord has made and we are glad in it. I have just voted in my Unit.

“The voting process is relatively smooth; my card was recognized. I was accredited and I went to cast my ballot.

“You can see the turn out in my community, it is huge. This is not a big community, but almost everyone is out to cast his vote.

“They ensure that they conduct themselves in a proper manner and not being disenfranchised.”

He, however, said that reports he got from his representatives revealed that though the exercise was peaceful in most places, there were also reports of skirmishes in some places, and Card Reader issues.

“I have had reports across the state from my agents, from our leaders; we have skirmishes, Card Reader issues, but also there has been relative calm in most places.

“It is too early to judge now; it is too early to give a final and full verdict on how the process on the ground out there in state is.

“I will plead with you, the media, to allow me some time to get more reports from the field before I give you a definitive statement about the process,” he added.

World Cup 2018: Southgate Determines to Earn a Medal as Consolation

England manager Gareth Southgate says the Three Lions’ 2-1 World Cup semifinal loss to Croatia will stay with him forever, but his side are determined to earn a medal in Russia as consolation.

After taking an early lead, a valiant England were ultimately beaten by a Mario Mandzukic winner in extra time, putting an end to their first trip to the last four since 1990.

“In terms of mentality, it’s obviously been a really difficult couple of days,” Southgate told reporters on Friday. “I was watching the game at four o’clock this morning. That is going to live with me forever.

“We were 20 minutes from a World Cup final and then, in extra time, 10 minutes from a shootout to get to a World Cup final. That is going to live with me forever, there is no doubt about that. The reason for us being here was to achieve that big goal.

World Cup 2018: England makes 5 Changes for Third Place Play-off

England captain Harry Kane kept his place as Gareth Southgate made five changes for Saturday’s World Cup third place play-off against Belgium in Saint Petersburg.

The Tottenham striker is the tournament’s leading scorer on six goals, two clear of Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, with England attempting to secure their best finish at a World Cup since winning it in 1966.

Phil Jones, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all come into the side beaten 2-1 by Croatia after extra-time in the semi-finals.

Thomas Meunier returns for Belgium after he was suspended for the 1-0 defeat by France in the last four, while Youri Tielemans is also handed a start as Roberto Martinez makes just two changes.

England and Belgium, who won the group stage encounter between the sides in Kaliningrad 1-0, are the first teams to meet twice at same World Cup since Brazil and Turkey in 2002.

Belgium are hoping to achieve their best World Cup finish, having come fourth at the 1986 finals.

Starting line-ups for the World Cup third place playoff between Belgium and England in Saint Petersburg on Saturday:

Belgium (3-4-3)

Thibaut Courtois; Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen; Thomas Meunier, Axel Witsel, Youri Tielemans, Nacer Chadli; Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard (capt)

Coach: Roberto Martinez (ESP)

England (3-5-2)

Jordan Pickford; Phil Jones, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Rose; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane (capt)

Coach: Gareth Southgate (ENG)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRI)

World Cup 2018: Croatian Fans Predict 1-0 against France

Croatian soccer fans streaming into Moscow for Sunday’s World Cup final between Croatia and France are hoping their team can settle an old score with the French dating back to the 1998 tournament.

That year, Croatia’s World Cup dreams were cut short as France clawed back from a goal down in the semi-final to beat Croatia 2-1, going on to win the tournament.

“They owe us and they will pay us back,” said Drazen Karakasic, a 47-year-old banker from Zagreb, who was wearing his team’s jersey in Moscow.

A day ahead of the final, Croatians in red-and-white chequered hats waved national flags and chanted on a pedestrian street that has become popular with football fans in Moscow.

“They are fighting all the time,” Croatian fan Nikola Kresic said of his country’s soccer team.

“Maybe we don’t have the best team but they’ve got the biggest heart for sure.”

The success of Croatia, a country of 4.2 million, has come as a surprise even to some Croatians who have been scrambling to secure tickets for the final and flights to Russia. It has been a reunion of sorts for Croatians living in Moscow.

For Nicolas Grbac, who has not lived in his native Croatia since he left as a child in 1989 ahead of the violent break-up of Yugoslavia, the influx of fans from his homeland has made him feel at home.

“It’s really great for me because of all the people from my country, even from my hometown,” said Grbac, who works on the street most popular with fans. “It’s a big football party.”

There were fewer French fans visible in central Moscow on Saturday, though those present included dedicated supporters such as Akim Snouci from Paris who has been in Russia since the beginning of the tournament.

“I don’t think it will be a huge win (for France),” he said. “There are no small teams. I’ll be pleased if we win 1-0.”

Snouci said he had one regret: his presence at the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday means that he will not make it to the wild street celebrations that will erupt in Paris if France win.

“I won’t be at the gathering on the Champs-Elysees,” he said. “You can’t cut yourself in half.”

Ekiti Election: No Security at Polling Centres

Thirty-four candidates from various political parties will on Saturday (today) contest for the Ekiti State governorship election.

There had been tension and apprehension during the electioneering, especially with the deployment of more than 30,000 security men by the police and other security agencies in the state for the poll.

According to records by the Independent National Electoral Commission, in the 16 council areas of the state, there are 177 registration areas; 2,195 polling units; and 256 polling points, with 913,334 registered voters.

However, out of the figure, 667,270 are accredited to vote, representing 73 per cent of the registered voting population.

Among those contesting to succeed Governor Ayodele Fayose are the Accord Party candidate, Jacob Aluko, 69; the All Progressives Congress candidate, Kayode Fayemi, 53; the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Kolapo Olusola, 49; and 43-year-old Aiyegbusi Oladele of the Socialist Democratic Party.

Also in the race are the Labour Party candidate, Sikiru Lawal, 59; Amuda Kazeem of KOWA Party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate, Ayodeji Ayodele, 62; and the Alliance for Democracy candidate, Ben Agboola, 49.

Meanwhile, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti State, Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, has allayed fears that armed policemen drafted by the Inspector General of Police to the state for the election would harass the electorate.

More than 30,000 security personnel, as well as two helicopters, 250 patrol vehicles and five Armoured Personnel Carriers, had earlier been deployed in the state.

Expressing worries over the development, some voters said the heavy presence of armed policemen could scare them away from coming out to vote.

They said the state was rather too small for such a high number of policemen to have been deployed by the IGP, stating that it gave the impression that there was going to be war during the election.

However, Raji said there was no need to panic, warning those who have no Permanent Voter Cards to stay away from the polling units during the election. He noted that the Rapid Response Squad of the police would be stationed at strategic points in the state.

He also said the INEC gave enough time for registered voters to collect their PVCs and lodge complaints before the process was stopped on Wednesday.

He said, “INEC in Ekiti State is prepared for the election. We have 913,334 voters registered, out of which 667,270 have collected their permanent voter cards. This means that 667,270 will vote in Saturday’s (today) election.

“The Inspector General of Police has made public the number of security personnel drafted to the state. They are not harassing anyone. For each vehicle that went out to distribute election materials, we have a minimum of 15 armed policemen accompanying it.

“But on the day of the election (today), there will be no armed security men at the polling units. Election is a civil process, so no one will be intimidated.”

In preparation for the election, the REC said necessary measures had been put in place to ensure that there would be no delay in the commencement of the exercise.

He said, “All ad hoc staff and supervisors moved to all the registration area centres on Friday.

“By 5am on Saturday (today), the materials and ad hoc staff will start movement to the polling units. By 8am, we will start election.”

PDP chieftains go into hiding ahead of election

Meanwhile, some chieftains of the PDP in Ikere-Ekiti have gone into hiding as fear heightened among them that the police might clamp down on them in order to put their members in disarray ahead of the election.

One of our correspondents gathered that some of the party leaders in the town had however devised various means to evade the alleged planned arrest.

A former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had relocated to a hotel and would not go back home until after the election because the police were planning to arrest the chieftains of the party, including him.

When contacted on the telephone on Friday, the Public Relations Officer of the PDP in Ekiti State, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, told Saturday PUNCH that the planned arrest of the party chieftains on the instruction of the APC-led Federal Government had already started.

He said, “They arrested the deputy governorship candidate, they arrested Dr. (Samuel) Omotosho. They have arrested four persons now, but some have been released.

“They arrested some of our members last night (Thursday) and went in search of some this morning (Friday). They vandalised the houses of those they did not see. The security personnel shattered the house of Taye Fasuba. Those security men behaved like thugs.”

Calls put through to the APC spokesperson in the state, Mr. Taiwo Olatubosun, to seek the party’s reaction to the allegations were not answered.

However, an APC chieftain in Ilawe-Ekiti, Mr. Shina Awelewa, debunked the allegation.

Awelewa, a former Chairman of the Ekiti State Broadcasting Corporation, said the PDP leaders were making noise because they knew that security agencies had foiled their (PDP) plans to disrupt the election.

“The security agents are not arresting PDP chieftains. But, they are after the known PDP thugs who Fayose wants to use to cause violence during the election,” he said.

Denying the allegations by the PDP, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Caleb Okechukwu, said the police did not arrest anyone in connection with the election.

Ikere residents resist arrest of PDP candidate’s relatives

Meanwhile, a major crisis was reportedly prevented in Ikere-Ekiti on Friday evening when residents of the town prevented policemen from arresting Olusola’s relatives.

Armed policemen were said to have stormed the relatives’ house located at the back of a petrol station along Ado-Ikere Road, but found only those who were cooking.

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Some residents, who were suspicious of the movement of the policemen, were said to have mobilised others who resisted the planned arrest.

The confrontation with the police was said to have forced the security personnel to shoot into the air and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, who refused to move.

Some of the people were reportedly arrested and taken to the Area Command along the College of Education Road.

The angry residents reportedly followed the arrested persons, while some of them were said to have been released after Olusola intervened in the matter.

Four out of those arrested were said to have been found with Indian hemp and held by the police.

However, Okechukwu said the police did not arrest any of the PDP candidate’s relatives.

Banks, govt secretariat, schools shut as workers shun offices, schools

As residents prepare for today’s election, banking operations in most commercial banks in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, came to a close as early as 12pm of Friday.

When one of our correspondents visited the banks on Adeyinka Adebayo Way, popularly known as Bank Road, there were notices pasted at the entrance of most of the banks, telling customers that they had closed, except for one which stated it would close by 2pm.

They however advised customers to make use of alternative channels such as the Automated Teller Machine points, mobile and internet banking.

One of our correspondents noticed as some of the bank customers were shocked on seeing the notices. As some lamented, others went to join the queues at the ATMs.

The notice by one of the banks read, “Dear esteemed customers, due to the governorship election taking place on Saturday, July 14, 2018, in the state, we shall close for business by 12pm today (Friday), July 13, 2018.

“Kindly visit our alternative channels. These are the ATM, POS, mobile banking and internet banking. Thanks for your usual cooperation.”

Similarly, some schools, including public and private, were shut throughout the day. A visit by one of our correspondents to some schools in the state showed that they didn’t open on Friday as their gates were closed.

Also at the state secretariat, a tour round the premises by one of our correspondents showed that many offices were shut while the expansive car park that used to be full of vehicles was largely empty.

A security man at the entrance of one of the buildings told one of our correspondents that most of the workers didn’t come to work on Friday while some came and left shortly after.

Even though there was no official declaration of public holiday by the state government, Saturday PUNCH learnt that the workers stayed away in order to travel to the towns where they registered to vote.

One of our correspondents approached one of the workers closing for work at the secretariat around 11:30am.

“I have to leave early so I can travel to my hometown in Otun-Ekiti and participate in the election,” she said.

Residents storm filling stations, ATM points, markets for last-minute shopping

In the meantime, Saturday PUNCH observed on Friday as scores of residents rushed to filling stations and markets in the state to make last-minute shopping ahead of today’s election.

There were long queues at filling stations as well as shopping malls.

One of our correspondents who visited Iworoko town and some other towns in the North Senatorial District of the state on Friday observed as many residents were in a hurry to shop.

One of the traders in Iworoko, who simply identified herself as Mama Dammy, told Saturday PUNCH that the market day in the town was supposed to be on Sunday (tomorrow), but because of the election and the uncertainty surrounding it, the market was opened on Friday.

Due to the early closure of the banks, Saturday PUNCH observed as scores of residents trooped to the ATM points to withdraw money as movement would be restricted on Saturday (today).

A resident, Mr. Remi Laoye, who came into the state from Ibadan for the election, said, “I exhausted the cash I brought from Ibadan and I need to withdraw some cash in case of anything. This is Nigeria, but I pray there will be no crisis.”

Population swells ahead of election

As residents vote for a new governor, several Ekiti State indigenes living outside the state have started returning to participate in the governorship election.

They said that they had to leave their bases to come home in order to participate in an exercise that would produce the next governor of their state.

One of them, Sir Michael Omodara, who resides in Ibadan, Oyo State, said his sons who reside in Ilorin, Kwara State, had also returned home to vote in the election.

One of our correspondents, who travelled from the state capital to Ishan-Ekiti early on Friday observed that there was a significant increase in traffic from the state capital to the North Senatorial District of the state.

At the New Garage, a central commercial motor park in the state capital, drivers confirmed that they had been experiencing an upsurge in the number of passengers entering the state from other states.

One of the drivers, simply identified as Kazeem, said, “We have a lot of people coming in from other states, especially from Lagos. We have been having more trips from Lagos and other states.”

PUNCH

World Cup 2018: Belgium, England Battle for Third Place

Belgium and England will meet in the World Cup playoff for third place today (Saturday) with opposing strikers Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane vying for the tournament’s Golden Boot.

Just as Belgium and England’s dead-rubber game in the group stage carried a sense of unimportance, so third-place playoffs can be sterile affairs, with both teams still coming down from having missed out on a place in the final.

But England’s Kane is favoured to take home the Golden Boot prize for the top scorer in Russia after scoring six goals so far.

Belgium’s Lukaku has four goals, with French pair Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, who play in tomorrow night’s final, on three.

Benue Records Highest Registrants in the ongoing CVR

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed it is awaiting formal communication on the current vacancies in the National Assembly (NASS).

He revealed this during an interaction with the political editors of media organisations on Saturday in Lagos.

Mahmood Yakubu said that the commission had five bye-elections to conduct, to fill the existing vacancies, but it was still awaiting official communication from the National Assembly to declare the seats vacant.

He said while the law compelled INEC to conduct bye-elections within stipulated time, it was the presiding officers of the National Assembly or State House of Assemblies that could declare any seat vacant.

“We don’t have any power to declare the seat of any lawmaker vacant.

“The moment the returning officers make announcement declaring a candidate winner, only the court of law can reverse it.

“We cannot declare vacancy and conduct bye-election unless there is a formal communication from the presiding officers of that Assembly.

“So this is not a matter under the control of the commission.’’

Yakubu also disclosed that the commission had slightly redesigned its voter register to take care of incidence where the smart card readers could not read the fingerprints of the owner.

Answering a question on the challenge of insecurity and registration of voters, Yakubu said despite the security situation, the commission had high number of registered voters in some states with security challenge including Benue and Borno.

He said that was possible as it was easier to register people in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps than to register people who go individually to various registration units.

“Most interesting for me is that Benue has also recorded one of the highest numbers of registrants in the ongoing CVR.

“What I find most reassuring in Benue is that in spite of the security challenge people are still interested in voting.’’

Speaking on INEC preparation for Ekiti governorship election scheduled for the July 14, Yakubu said that the commission was working with security agencies to have peaceful election.

Yakubu also disclosed that a new design of voter register with a provision for a column to take care of cases where the smart card reads could not read finger prints of the owner would be deployed for the election.

This according the Yakubu would speed up the voting process, compared to old system where people have to queue to fill a form, thereby delaying the process.

The chairman pledged that he would do whatever it takes to improve on the electoral process of the country to protect his name and reputation.

“If there is anything I am going to leave INEC with, it’s my reputation. I am going back to my academic profession where I came from.

“So, whatever it takes to earn a good name for this country, for myself and my family, I will do so.

“The only thing we have is our values and we work very hard to ensure that we leave with our values intact.’’

Shekau is Healthy; Goni, Ex Boko Haram Commander Reveals to Military

A 32 year-old former Boko Haram Commander, Rawana Goni, has appealed to the Nigerian military authorities to allow him make a phone call to the elusive leader, Abubakar Shekau and at least 137 other terrorists to make them surrender.

Goni, who is undergoing rehabilitation at a military detention camp in Maiduguri, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The former Boko Haram commander is an indigene of Bama in Borno state. He surrendered to the military in Cameroon after escaping from Sambisa Forest eight months ago.

He claimed to have held several positions in ten different cells of Boko Haram in Sambisa. He said the last position he held was as the Chief officer of Dispute Resolution for the group. He explained that many militants came to him to settle problems ranging from family matters. He also reconciled Boko Haram factions.

“I rescued people sentenced to death and minimised punishment of those who committed crimes. I am one of the most influential persons in the group and they always listened and abided by what I said.

“I joined Boko Haram because of the condition I found myself in the last five years. When the insurgents invaded Bama town, I ran with my family to Cameroon thinking I was in a safe destination. But on reaching Cameroon, I was shocked to realise that I brought myself into another Boko Haram camp. By that time, I knew I would not survive without joining the group.

“Days after my induction, we opened a permanent camp at the Cameroon border and named the forest “Aluska”. It was in that camp that I learnt all types of trainings including handling weapons.

“After the training, we embarked on our first mission.We invaded a military formation in Cameroon, dislodged the soldiers and took many weapons from their armoury. We couldn’t take any vehicle because the area was surrounded by river.

“We took the weapons we recovered to our leader Abubakar Shekau and briefed him on our success. He was happy that five of us could dislodge a military formation. After congratulating us, he appointed me to lead the group and returned our weapons to us.

“Few days later, I recruited many fighters, because as a commander, you are expected to have no fewer than 250 fighting troops.

“With the new fighting force, we invaded Waza village, Damaga and Banki. We also invaded Bama which is my hometown.

“I was touched to see my people being tortured and killed, while many women and children were living in excruciating hardship. So I decided to pass a message to my fellow insurgents from Bama and we formed a group comprising of about 137 persons to help our people in prison to escape.

“I was able to rescue about 300 hostages at the prison facility in Bama. I usually lied to the guards at the prison that I was going to kill the inmates. But I would take them to a safe place in Konduga and ask them to run to a safer destination.

“Many of the prisoners were exposed to hard labour while some were used as guinea-pigs at shooting range by new arms handlers among Boko Haram,”he said.

On Abubakar Shekau’s health status, Goni told NAN that the insurgents’ leader was healthy as against a report that he was ill.

“Nothing happened to him. He broke his leg five years ago while riding on a horse. But he had since recovered. Any one saying Shekau is sick is only deceiving himself. We used to communicate through radiophone but not any more,”he said.

Goni who believed that the war was coming to an end, urged the military to let him tell Shekau and other insurgents that he is still alive.

“My 137 boys are on standby to hear I am still alive and I can assure you they will run out of Sambisa Forest and surrender to the military. I once told them to surrender and they said we shall all get killed.But I told them that I will surrender and they said if nothing happened to me, they will all come out,” he said.

Goni commended the military for the special treatment given to inmates who surrendered.

“They received us with joy and interact with us at all time. They feed us well and always want to know our problems. If other Boko Haram members knew how we are being treated, they will never want to remain where they are,”he said.

NAN