Yobe’s Red Carpet Condolence By Lasisi Olagunju

Evil lovers destroy leaders who should be great. I think of this whenever I see sycophants around presidents who should be heroes. Sometimes they mix sycophancy with cynicism and call the brew loyalty. Evil advisers and disciples always gut kings of all goodness. There was the red carpet reception in Yobe for our mourning leader. Red carpet represents power, glitz and glamour. But it has a history of blood and betrayal. That is why leaders need to be careful where they put their feet. When you are in power, every palm massages your ego. Some do it with subtlety. Some don’t care if they are called sycophants. Then it is always very difficult to know who truly loves you.

President Muhammadu Buhari was in Dapchi, Yobe State on Wednesday where 110 schoolgirls are missing. Because it was a condolence visit, critics wailed as a photograph showed Buhari stepping sure-footedly on the red carpet there. Smiling, adjusting his babanriga on the red canvass, the old man’s swag would make aliens mistake the event for a mass wedding of 110 girls. Why did he do that? But he didn’t lay the carpet for himself. Some persons did. Were those persons not supposed to know that mourning is never a red carpet event? And that busybodies would make huge politics out of that crimson love for the ascetic president? Was that carpet laid by a friend or by an enemy? Rose, sometimes may not have anything to do with an expression of love. Sometimes, it is a signal for alert, an alarm.

The first red carpet event is recorded in Greek literature. It ended in fatal betrayal. King Agamemnon went to the Trojan war and came back victorious. An elaborate reception showed his wife laying a red carpet for him as a befitting canvass for a gallant husband. The victorious king knew his limits as a mortal. Only the gods walk on gracious grounds. He would not have anything to do with the red cloth before him. That was a treatment befitting only the gods: “Such state becomes the gods,” he tells his wife, “and none beside. I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendors without fear thrown in my path.” But his wife taunted him with a rebuke of cowardice: “Come on, step on it,” she tells him. “If your opponent had won, he would have walked on purple.” Then the strong king melted. He stepped on the carpet, fearfully praying that: “no god’s eyes of hatred strike me from afar.” His prayer soon failed. His death, that very day, did not come from afar. It came from that same dear wife who gave him the red carpet reception. Throne-seeking Elephant in folklore sat on one. He ended up in the bowel of Tortoise’s craftiness. So, why won’t all who are in power beware of all carpets – red, green, black, whatever?

Bucks get easily passed here. One day we may hear that the president warned against a red carpet treatment in that Yobe village of mourning. If he did, who then disobeyed him? Where I come from, the one called Hawk has no excuse for not depriving the hen of its chicks. A king must never be heard complaining that his word is not law. It is like the president saying in Benue he didn’t know his police boss trashed his orders to take charge personally in that state. So, why would a president ask a police chief to go somewhere and the man would send himself a different errand? We hear of a query for the police chief. We also read the police charging back that there was no query. We read police spokesperson saying: “Anyone that said the IGP was queried by the president should bring the copy of the query, let us display it.” Then we should ask what is happening here? The Yoruba word for president is Aare. If he sends for you, it is needless and useless consulting the oracle. He is the master-oracle. In Yoruba history, no Aare ever allowed a woman look his leopard eyeball to eyeball without consequences. It was either the insolent takes his exit or the leader bows out. It happened to Aare Latoosa in Kiriji one bloody afternoon in 1885.

What happened? Any leader who rewards personal loyalty with indulgence will soon come to sorrow. Latoosa indulged his children. He indulged even his slaves. They had licences to misbehave. And they did to the discomfiture of all war chiefs around the big boss. A top war chief, Seriki, longed for food from his mother’s kitchen. He then sent a messenger home in Ibadan asking his mother to send him his favourite meal. The old woman put extra efforts into preparing the food for his son who may die soon at the war front. The delicacy left Ibadan but did not get to the Seriki at the war camp. A spoilt slave of Aare Latoosa waylaid the messenger a few kilometers to the war camp and did the unthinkable.

The audacious slave seized and ate this General’s meal. ‘Fear God, fear General’ is a popular warning in contemporary military barracks. If this slave feared any General, it was only his master, the Aare. Any other General could go eat his dog’s excreta while he took his meal. But such an impudence must have consequences. And it did. Samuel Johnson reports what followed: “Unfortunately the Aare took the matter lightly: instead of dealing out sharp punishment to the slave, he left him to dispute the matter with the Seriki. He even attempted to shield him, before the culprit was forcibly brought forward. The Seriki then asked him, “Did not the messenger tell you the things were mine?” He answered, “Yes, he did, but how am I to know that he was speaking the truth when he said, ‘It is the Seriki’s’? I thought he was deceiving me.” There was no apology made, his master looked on amused. The Seriki thereupon arose, unsheathed his sword, and with one sweep severed the slave’s head from his shoulders in the very presence of his master! All the war chiefs present neither moved nor said a word.”

That was a reaction from a General who would not brook insolence from any quarter. And again, what was the reaction of the Aare, master of the beheaded slave? He saw the action as what it really was: an affront? Not really, but a declaration of war. It was a direct challenge to his position and power; he read it correctly. He had options: he could move against that chief who killed his servant in his very presence. He did not take that option because he could not. He could lament and whine that his appointee dared him. Some lesser others could whine but he was the Aare. He didn’t do that. The Aare was the Commander-in-Chief who must not lose any battle, including in his very homestead. There were personal consequences for a General losing any fight. What did Aare Latosa do? He decided it was time to become an ancestor who could not be challenged again. Samuel Johnson captures that last moment: “Just before the end, he sent for Sanusi, his eldest son, and gave him his last charge. Sanusi left him smoking his pipe, his courtiers sitting all around him. He was heard to cough gently as if suffocated by the fumes of his pipe, and putting down the pipe he lay quietly on his mat and adjusted his cloth over himself – and thus passed away gently. Those sitting about him and looking on scarcely believed he was dead!”

That was a reaction from a General. And it was clear: a king must never be heard bemoaning his impotence. Impotence is not a palace affliction. Or maybe I should say that a feeble king can shout his loss of command; when he does that, the town tells him he can’t make his title trending again. And he won’t ever be allowed to make his failure contagious. Failure becomes deregulated when we hear of killings in Benue today; abductions tomorrow in Yobe. And camps spring up everywhere for the displaced in their own country. And the Commander-in-Chief blames fellows he hired. When impotence becomes as contagious as polio, the land loses its stability. It gets crippled.

President Buhari Mourns Late Senator Wakili

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday described the death of Senator Ali Wakil from Bauchi State as “an incalculable loss to Nigeria’s democracy.”

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President noted that the late federal lawmaker’s dedication to duty was remarkable and worthy of emulation.

He said Wakil’s death came as a great shock to him.

He added that his dedication to duty would remain one of the greatest virtues for which the deceased would be remembered.

“The passion for duty was one of the finest qualities of late Senator Wakil,” Buhari said.

He urged other democratically elected leaders to borrow a leaf from the deceased’s record of dedication.

The President, while praying to Allah to bless the soul of the departed senator, also extended his condolences to his family, his colleagues in the National Assembly, as well as the government and people of Bauchi State over this great loss to the country.

Buhari Should Go Against Killer Herdsmen – Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Thursday spoke on what is expected of President Muhammadu Buhari over unjust killings by herdsmen the country.

Soyinka said he does not expect Buhari to be shedding “unjust tears” but wants him to go against the “bloodthirsty terrorists”.

Speaking in Lagos, he said, “I get impatient when I hear things like Buhari has failed to go and sympathise with the people of Benue, with the people of Nassarawa, with the people of Dapchi or wherever.

“Who needs sympathy? Is it sympathy that will reorder their broken lives? Is sympathy the issue? We are speaking here of one commodity that is fundamentally human deserving, justice.

“There should an internal measure to avoid repeat. We are speaking here of a president that will respond with massive action and not showing up at the arena of human desecration to shed any unjust tears, but give orders that the bloodthirsty terrorists are brought to book.”

Nigeria’s Public Debt Hits N21.7tr And Other Newspaper Headlines Today

The Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, has revealed to the Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts that the nation’s total debt had risen to N17.36 trillion. This is coming at a time he said the nation’s economic woes had not got to the point of seeking debt forgiveness. According to DAILY SUN Nwankwo told the lawmakers that Nigeria’s total debt profile, which was N2.03 trillion ($10.32billion) as at the end of June 2015, a month after the President Muhammadu Buhari administration assumed office, had risen to N17.36trillion or $57.39 billion as at December 31, 2016. According to the DMO DG, the total debt profile of the country, comprising local and foreign debts, has been on the increase since July 2015, due to prevailing economic challenges. He said while the Federal Government’s domestic debt stock, as at December 31, 2015, was N8.84 trillion, it rose to N11.06 trillion in December 2016.

The abduction of the Dapchi school girl heads the VANGUARD, THE NNATION and PUNCH. The newspapers reveal the ongoing war between former president Goodluck Jonathan and President Buhari  as President Buhari states that his response when the girls were taken was better than Jonathan’s response when the Chibok girls were kidnapped.  Buhari on Wednesday said that while the Federal Government under his watch swung into action immediately after the abduction, the last administration looked the other way when schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok in 2014.

THE GUARDIAN, DAILY INDEPENDENT and NIGERIAN TRIBUNE exposes that National Assembly’s vow to override Buhari’s veto and the court’s decision to stop the passing of the electoral bill. Buhari’s veto of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill might not have long to fly, as Senate steps up moves to override it. Buhari  on Tuesday withheld assent to the controversial bill passed by the lawmakers of February 14, 2018. The bill ordered the sequence of next year’s general election, making the National Assembly first and the presidential last.

NEW TELEGRAM takes a different turn as they inform readers that battle against Oyegun, NWC rages in Lagos and Abuja courts. The battle to nullify the tenure extension granted the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other national officers by the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) raged in Lagos and Abuja courts yesterday. The APC’s NEC had at its February 27 meeting, extended the four-year tension of the National Working Committee (NWC) due to expire on June 30, 2018, by one year.

Finally on BUSINESS DAY, yield to fall as Nigeria cuts back on local debts issuance heads the news. Nigeria’s change of tack over domestic borrowing is leaving debt-hungry investors with too little to feed on, stocking pressure on bond and Treasury bill yields. Debt issuance guidance published this week show the government’s domestic debt appetite has warned significantly, which hardly is a surprise given that Abuja disclosed plans, last year to trim domestic borrowing to manage ballooning debt service costs and free up capital to the private sector.



President Buhari Does Not Condone Incompetence, Says Adesina

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is a leader who gives no room for incompetence.

Adesina, as a guest on Channels Television’s Programme, Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, said contrary to some reports that the President was slow to action, seeks justice diligently and doesn’t allow innocent people be sacrificed unjustly.

“If you know the President, you will know that he is a man that is loyal to those who are loyal to him.

“He does not excuse incompetence. If a man is incompetent, he is incompetent. But a man does not have to be sacrificed unjustly that is what the President is saying. If it is proven that the man is incompetent, and he has failed, then there is no reason to keep that person.”

The Presidential aide also confirmed that the action of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on the order given him by the President to relocate to Benue State came as ‘news.’

President Buhari during his condolence visit to Benue State on Monday said he is surprised to hear that the IGP allegedly relocated to Nasarawa State after he was ordered to relocate to Benue State to prevent the herdsmen-farmers crisis in the state from escalating.

“The allegation came up at the meeting yesterday (Monday) that he stayed only one day in Benue and moved to Nasarawa. It was news to the President, what follows, we have to just wait (for the police to react),” Adesina said.


He explained further that the President as the Commander-in-Chief can relate with anybody he wants directly but the report that the IGP spent a day in Benue is in the ‘realm of allegations.

Reacting to questions on if the President does not monitor daily events in the country, Adesina said Buhari receives media highlights daily and also read the newspapers ‘religiously.’

‘Don’t Struggle If You Are Raped’ By Lasisi Olagunju

“We are not here to kill but to take your land.” That coming from marauders is enough sense for any weak victim who wants to live. You don’t struggle with the powerful who is forcing himself on you.7

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State last week scheduled a mass burial for 26 victims of herders violence. On Friday, he cancelled the burial and scurried to his unfurled blanket for some conjugal warmth. The living should bury their dead. On Saturday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo visited Benue with a bouquet of condolences. Governor Ortom was at the airport to receive him. President Muhammadu Buhari will be in that state today. He is also clutching some roses for the dead. Ortom will be available to receive him with flutes and drumbeats. For politicians, disasters such as we see in Benue are manure for growing personal ambitions.

The president was in Taraba. He was in Plateau too. Both have slabs bloodied by the failures of a nation. The president was there to mourn. Then he inaugurated projects and praised his own three years of prosperity. He did same in Nasarawa. The president shouldn’t have mixed project inspection and inauguration with delivery of condolences. There is time for dance and time to wail with the bereaved. When you give gun salutes at weddings, what would you display at the burial of the powerful?

There is an Island in Benue called Mbatoho. It has just been depopulated and repopulated. I watched hundreds of inhabitants of that place on television last week — displaced. Some privileged people asked them to vacate their ancestral land for them. They needed the space for their cattle business. “We’re not here to kill but to take your land,” they told them with magnanimity. The hosts did not bother to struggle with their guests. Because they were wise, home owners quietly left their bed chambers for the new lords of the land. The displaced are still out there – they cannot understand why they are outsiders in their own country. President Buhari may use this visit to inaugurate their shocked, lost, marooned presence in the state capital.

A Cable News Network (CNN) journalist in a recent report posed as a willing victim of human trafficking to Europe. She was shocked that the Nigerian trafficker asked her not to struggle if she was to be raped in Libya. She was shocked because she is not from here. Here, nothing shocks, riles or irritates the Nigerian. He lives with filth in public and private spaces. His hearth has embers of burning dirt; and his highways are gilded with refuse of greasy graft. Nigerians are long married to endurance. They stopped fighting when they realized there is profit in doing joint patrols with the devil. And that was a long time ago. Nothing is worth fighting against again. We stopped struggling against evil when we realized that every messiah is an aspiring Satan. We embraced acquiescence and the country became a miserable, wounded rape victim. The kind of live horror films Nigeria has been exposed to is enough to last till the end of time. The country and its inhabitants no longer feel pain. We accommodate and fete the enemy and his designs. Benue and that conquered Island are fitting metaphors for a nation lost.

Benue is the food basket of the nation — Or it used to be Nigeria’s food basket. There were tubers in their heaps, grains in their silos. They had yam in their barns. Now, from hiding, the Benue farmer watches his neighbours open his heaps and ridges and barns for their cattle. Nigeria failed the Benue farmer, laughed and took him for a land tiller without sense. The murdered villager in Zamfara, in the plateaus of the Middle Belt and Taraba, we failed him too. We were indifferent; like Nero, we fiddled and allowed the Romes of these helpless persons to burn. We stepped forward and made ten thousand heaps – watered with tears of injustice and iniquity. In our heaps we planted heads of the innocent in Taraba, in Benue, in Plateau, in Zamfara. So, why are we moving round, dancing, digging field to field? What smiles; what salute; what town hall briefings and meetings are we holding? Yam seeds must yield yam to feed the hungry; we complain of lack of fruity harvest. Skulls planted with swords won’t sprout and yield tubers of peace and prosperity and victory.  We watch our neighbours harvest yields of goodness. We harvest eerie fruits of years of unwellness.

Nigeria has become too impossible, too extreme to handle. It is diseased so much it can’t remember what good seasons mean. It is too wet during the rains; too dry in dry season. Before today’s visit to Benue, our president and lawmakers were in Ghana to celebrate that country’s 61st independence anniversary. At home, we stopped celebrating our own freedom years ago. Shame died long ago with our pride. With our own itchy fingers we made our giant become an ant. The freedom of 1960 has gone rancid. It expired in our dusty shelf and we know it. We say it is no longer safe to rejoice, march and sing our anthem on October 1. The celebrations we hold are sobbing reminders of paradise lost; and, yet, we promised security, peace, and prosperity. We promised change from loss to gains.

Every promise is an oath. An oath is a solemn promise. It often comes with an invocation of a divine witness to our actions or behaviours going forward. Here, electoral promises are vehicles of rape. Every president, every governor, every lawmaker inveigles the people for easy entry. He gets in and remembers that he lost his memory with the rigors of election. He no longer remembers the solemn promise to serve with all his strength, and to uphold the honour and glory of the nation. He forgets that he asked God to help him do good and justice to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill will. All he remembers are the security and wellbeing of his riches, of his harem of wives, of his children and of his concubines.

What is the name for that person who breaks promises as he makes them? An oath invokes a divine presence. That person who takes an oath and sneers at it as soon as he is done, do we call him godly? An oath that is broken at will, should we call that an oath? Can our lords in the legislature recast our oath of office if the problem is in the wording? Irresponsibility in leadership was a rarity before our baptism to the white man’s world. Leadership is a supply and demand balance sheet. It is privilege and luxury matched with responsibility and responsiveness. You can’t enjoy the supplies of privilege and repudiate the demands of morality. The oaths of the past were swords over the heads of the sovereign. Today’s oath is a mere set of lines recited without attention. We cannot take our leaders back to the past of thunder and lightning. They are now pious Muslims and Christians (who can’t spell piety). Can we then decaffeinate the fine brews of the past to enjoy our present in peace? Let’s have a mix of lightning, thunder and today’s faiths. Or we can simply supply divine curses in their subliminal form. The Anglican Church has a template for a willing tomorrow: “I promise and swear that by the grace of God, I will strive to be a good example to the people of God that I am appointed to serve. I swear that if I accept any teaching or doctrine contrary to the ones set forth by the Bishop or priest, after warning, I should be removed from this exalted position and my office given to another person.”

Privileged people fear losing their horses. Nigeria should have a secular version of that ecclesiastical oath. Every monster in leadership should have his place taken by a saner soul.

Anti-Buhari Comment: Pastor Bakare Is Becoming A Nuisance

By Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH, Monday, March 12, 2018)

God loves constituted authority. Clearly, He said so in Romans 13, chapters: 1-2, “All of you must obey those who rule over you. There are no authorities except the ones God has chosen. Those who now rule have been chosen by God. So, whoever opposes the authorities, opposes leaders whom God has appointed. Those who do that will be judged.”

Does Pastor Tunde Bakare still read his bible? His ungodly attack over President Muhammadu Buhari’s attendance of the talk-of-the-town wedding in Kano leaves so much in doubt about the sincerity of his criticism of the General of Daura. Has the lawyer-pastor, whom himself had a grand marriage for one of his children, forgotten the exhortation in Romans 12:15, saying, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn?” As a true Muslim, I’m sure President Buhari attended the watershed wedding in Kano bearing in mind the words of the great Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alaehi Wasala). In chapter 31:14 and chapter 47:16 of the Holy Quran, the prophet enjoined Muslims to rejoice with those rejoicing. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also said in the Hadith, “Eito alda’awata eza dueitom. Eza dueya ahadokom ela al-walimata falyateha.” So, what’s wrong in President Buhari leading a formidable brood of estranged bedfellows to Kano to strategize, backslap and unwind ahead of the battle in 2019? With his level of education, I expect Pastor Bakare to know that stress is a leading killer in any gerontocracy.

Even if the posh Kano marriage was a statement by the All Progressives Congress to show that Buhari has the North in his grip, what’s wrong with that? Are the lives of a mere 110 unknown girls worthier than the lives of 180m Nigerians which stand at grave risk should the rascal Peoples Democracy Party snatch power in 2019? Nigerians can see the lofty reasons for the political convention disguised as a marriage ceremony in Kano. If Pastor Bakare still has a bible, he should open it to Matthew 26:41; it says, “Watch and pray…” The Kano wedding was a good opportunity to watch and prey!

As a former running mate of Baba Yusuf with unhindered access to Ass-o-Rock, I wonder why the Ogun State-born cleric is crying more than the parents and guardians of the schoolgirls who were kidnapped about four weeks ago in Dapchi, Yobe State. Why Baba Bunmi decided to showboat on a serious national issue such as terrorism in front of the members of his church beats me hollow. Was that the first time Boko Haram terrorists would kidnap schoolchildren in Nigeria? Will that be the last? If my namesake thinks the weight of state duty is keeping President Buhari so busy that he couldn’t get his attention, why didn’t he seek audience with his fellow pastor and Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo? The more I think of Bakare’s heresy against Buhari, the more I think of the word ‘retroactive’, Decree 20 of 1984, Bartholomew Owoh (26), Lawal Ojuolape (30) and Bernard Ogedengbe (29). Please, tell me, with what can this Bakare hate speech be punished other than death? Pastor Bakare mistakenly craves excellence in man, forgetting that only God is excellent. I’ve heard him sing a number of times the melodious Christian song, “The Most Excellency is Jesus, Shout Haleluya, Amen.” Why was he then seeking excellence among leaders who turned the blind eye when herdsmen and terrorists sowed sorrow, tears and blood across the land?

Why should Bakare commit religious hara-kiri when there has been no outrage from Nigerians? He should grab his bible and read Matthew 11:12, which says ‘…the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and it is the violent that takes it by force’. Are Nigerians ready to fight for their rights? Pastor Lagbaja, has anything changed after your outburst?

Baba Segun, what’s wrong in President Buhari leading the Jagaban of Borgu, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu himself; Senate President and Medical Doctor Bukola Saraki; 22 All Progressives Congress governors; National Assembly members, ministers, state legislators, ambassadors, chief executives of government agencies, chairmen of councils, Army, Navy, Air Force, Police chiefs, contractors, concubines, marabouts, herdsmen, etc to the wedding between the daughter of Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, and the son of Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, a few days after 110 schoolgirls were swept away into captivity? Pastor Know-all, doesn’t your bible say, ‘let the dead bury the dead’? I certainly don’t have an answer to why you and other eminent people from Ogun State are the problems of this country. Fela would abuse everybody. Awo would be propounding political theories. MKO won’t relinquish a common mandate. Tai Solarin would be wearing khaki like Castro. Soyinka would be blowing big, big grammar while Obasanjo would be doing as if he owns Nigeria. Haba! Kilode? And you would be jumping up and down the pulpit, preaching about justice. If you know that you want to fight for justice, why did you abandon law? I’m not sure you won’t join the PDP before 2019, but I bet you; the rain that is coming would be too strong for a perforated umbrella.

Let me tell you something, Mr pastor. God is never ambiguous. He made an unmistakable point about the centrality of marriage to the existence and sustenance of the society by directing his son, Jesus Christ, to perform his very first miracle at a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Why then do you begrudge our president for attending the Kano of Galilee wedding? Like Cana, like Kano? In Cana, Jesus rose to the occasion of wine scarcity, providing the masses with finest wine. Unheeding the unending national outcry of fuel scarcity, President Buhari, in Kano, rose to the call of the elite Pharisees and Sadducees, who shouted ‘Rankadede! Hosanna! Sai Baba!’, despite the killing of innocent citizens in Benue, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Plateau, Taraba, etc. The miracle at the Cana wedding was to call man to redemption. The Kano of Galilee wedding was a roll call of powers and principalities seeking to protect their fiefdoms. The Cana wedding was a demonstration of sacrifice. The Kano of Galilee wedding was a glorification of insensitivity.

By the way, your name, Bakare, suggests you converted to Christianity from Islam, the religion of your forebears. I’ve seen enough to know that religious converts are as dangerous as Boko Haram and herdsmen. Nigerians are funny people; they’re telling the president to go and visit Dapchi, of all places. Don’t they know that the president last wore the Army uniform on August 27, 1985? Frail, fatigued, fragile, faulty and failure are a strong alliteration.

Your attitude made me remember the biblical Apostle Paul when he stood trial before Roman Emperor Festus, who thundered in Act 26:24, “Paul, you’re insane. Too much study has made you crazy.” Pastor Babatunde Gbolahan Bakare, too much turenchi is disturbing you! Instead of teaching your flock about salvation, you seek approval from man by playing to the gallery. Do you still have any fire in you?

Talking about fire; well, man has learnt to deal with fire from time immemorial. From the earliest archeological accounts, the discovery and control of fire by man laid the foundation of an enduring cultural perspective in human evolution as fire provided warmth, protection and improved hunting. Remarkably, the ability to control fire provided man with the opportunity to eat cooked food as opposed to the consumption of fruits, which was his lot millions of years before. With the consumption of cooked food, especially meat, primatologists believe that man began to develop larger and more convoluted brains, and with that came the ability to master the environment and engender discoveries.

Like the Early Man, many of those that thronged the Kano of Galilee wedding went in search of meat to further develop their brains towards finding lasting solutions to Boko Haram, herdsmen’s ascendency, fuel scarcity, insecurity, rising inflation and hopelessness, I believe.

PDP Asks Buhari To Learn From Ghana

The Peoples Democratic Party has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to use the benefit of his state visit to Ghana to draw lessons from his Ghanaian counterpart, President Nana Akufo-Addo on how to run a peaceful, united and economically vibrant nation.

The party also criticised the President for offering to assist Ghana in her war against corruption, when his own administration allegedly “reeks heavily with corruption as evinced by the Transparency International report which exposed the fact that corruption has worsened in Nigeria under your watch.”

The party, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Wednesday, said the President and his handlers should have been embarrassed that while the President of Ghana paraded credentials of a robust economy and a peaceful nation, Nigeria, under the Buhari Presidency was plagued with economic recession and an upsurge of violence and daily bloodletting.

He said, “When President Buhari was reeling out President Akufo-Addo achievements in his one year in office; his ingenious approach to job creation; the farming-for-job initiative, the senior high school free education, one district-one factory project and one village-one dam initiative among others.

“We hope our dear President reflected on the fact that back home, his inept government had instead, wrecked our once robust economy, the reason he had nothing to present to the world at the ceremony.

“We hope President Buhari recollected that unlike his Ghanaian counterpart, his administration had nothing to show in its first year in office.

“Our President recalls that under his own watch, over eight million Nigerians have lost their jobs, 16 million remained unemployed, 18 million more are underemployed while another 27.44 million refused to work for various reasons related to frustrations occasioned by the negative policies of his government.”

In the same vein, Ologbondiyan said that he hoped that President Buhari noted that unlike his Ghanian counterpart, who initiated development projects and opened factories, in Nigeria under his watch, many factories had shut down and infrastructures collapsing.

He also alleged that inflation had soared, fuel price moved from N86.50 to N250-N300 per litre in various parts of the country, while the nation’s debt profile had continued to escalate.

He added, “Today, the world knows that what obtains in Nigeria is the direct persecution of opposition members under the guise of a fight against corruption, which has been aided by intimidation of the judiciary and incessant harassment of journalists.

“The PDP therefore urges President Buhari’s handlers to stop embarrassing the nation, especially at the international stage.

“We know that the Presidency sought to use the Ghana visit to curry international endorsement for their 2019 re-election bid, unfortunately, they reaped a harvest of international embarrassment and ridicule.”

The PDP urged the President to be wary of turning Nigeria into a joke in the international arena, “especially when the world knows what is obtainable in his government.”

Insecurity: Buhari To Visit Affected States

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, under fire because of mounting security threats, including Boko Haram, is to tour states worst-hit by the violence, his office said on Monday.

“From today, March 5, he will visit Taraba, and subsequently Benue, Yobe, Zamfara and Rivers states,” the presidency said in an emailed statement.

Yobe, in northeast Nigeria, is where Boko Haram abducted 110 schoolgirls in the town of Dapchi on February 19, nearly four years after a similar abduction caused global outrage.

Then, more than 200 girls were seized from their boarding school in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, bringing world-wide attention on the insurgency.

The then-president, Goodluck Jonathan, was heavily criticised for his slow response to the kidnapping.

Last weekend, Buhari, who has called the abduction from Dapchi a “national disaster”, was criticised for attending a society wedding in the northern city of Kano. His political opponents have said he should have visited Dapchi instead.

It was not immediately clear whether Buhari’s Yobe itinerary included a trip to the town. The 75-year-old Buhari was elected in 2015 on a pledge to defeat Boko Haram. But the Dapchi attack and others have raised questions about the extent of repeated government claims to have virtually defeated the Islamist militants. Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said he would be making an “on-the-spot assessment” of “recent terrorist attacks, criminal activities and communal clashes” on his visits.

He would also “meet and console the communities affected”. The central state of Benue and Zamfara in the northwest have both been hit by renewed clashes between farmers and nomadic herdsmen over access to resources.

Last month, extra troops were sent to try to quell violence in Benue, as well as neighbouring Taraba and Nasarawa. Buhari, who also doubles up as oil minister, has yet to visit the strategic southern state of Rivers, which is the hub of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

The state has long been hit by political violence. Adesina sought to play down allegations that Buhari is out of touch with the security situation, saying he had received daily briefings and been “in constant touch” with governors.


President Buhari Visits Ghana In Honour Of Their 61st Independence Day

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to visit Ghana to attend the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary holding at the Independence Square on Tuesday.

This was revealed by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.

According to the statement, President Buhari is the only foreign leader invited to the historic event as the Special Guest of Honour.

“Similarly, other than his host, President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Nigerian leader is the only foreign guest scheduled to address the august gathering,’’ it added.

It said that President Buhari would use the unique opportunity to reaffirm the long-standing warm relations between the people and governments of both brotherly nations.

The President would also underscore Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening the bilateral ties in furtherance of democracy, good governance and overall development not only in the West African sub-region, but also the African continent.

The statement said the President, who would be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, will return to Abuja after the celebrations on Tuesday.


Buhari Reappoints Olusegun Awolowo As Executive Director Of NEPC

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Olusegun Awolowo as the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

This was revealed through a statement by the President’s Special Advicer on Media and Publicity Mr Femi Adesina,in Abuja Today.

Adesina quoted a letter signed by Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as saying that the re-appointment of Awolowo was for another four years.

Awolowo, a lawyer and grandson of the late chief Obafemi Awolowo, was first appointed to the NEPC position in 2013.