February 1, 2014
Nigeria clinched the bronze medal at the 2014 African Nations Championship after a hard-fought 1-0 win over the 10-men of Zimbabwe in Cape Town, South Africa. Chinonso Obiozor scored the only goal of the third-place playoff in the final five minutes as the Super Eagles laboured past their stubborn opponents. Zimbabwe were dealt an early blow when midfielder, Masimba Mambare was shown a deserved red card for a high boot challenge on Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim and the Warriors had to play 72 minutes with 10 men. Goal-scoring chances were few and far between, but the better ones fell to Nigeria with Simba Sithole’s shot straight at Agbim the only effort on target for Zimbabwe in the game. Obiozor, playing his first match of the competition, looked a constant threat with his pace and power and having come close on a number of occasions, finally got his reward at the 85th minute. Ejike Uzoenyi’s cross from the right was beautifully headed home by Obiozor. Nigeria’s advantage was never seriously threatened after that and they were able to hold on for the bronze medal to go with the gold they won at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa a year ago. Congrats, brothers, na person no carry anything, but you can do better.
This was the evaluation of Chief Richard Akinjide about Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, vis-a-vis his performance so far. “I would give him average. I know the governor very well but he is not first-class. I wish he could do better.” Sure, your horse can only be 2 feet tall in the presence of your enemy. Anyway, he said his party, the People’s Democratic Party would have done far better if given an opportunity. Asked if there won’t be problems in Oyo State PDP because of the many candidates already making their intentions known to run for the governorship election. “It is too early to talk about a candidate for the party. Let those candidates begin to announce themselves. As for the posters, it’s part of noise-making.” He however noted that they are working extremely hard to make sure everything is unified. “Before long, they will be unified and PDP will remain solid,” he said.
February 2, 2014
The Federal Government sealed a $350m financing deal with a global power and infrastructure giant, General Electric, to support the construction of small-scale power projects across Nigeria. The firm would make available the sum for the construction of mini power plants, which will, in turn help economic activities in the country. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Global Chairman, GE, Mr. Jeff Immelt, and the Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria, Mrs. Sola David-Borha, signed on behalf of their organisations. The fund will be managed by Stanbic IBTC. Aganga spoke with the media shortly after leading Immelt and other partners on a courtesy visit to Vice-President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa. He said each of the mini power plants would be producing between one and 20 megawatts of electricity. “You need captive power in a place like Kano, for example, where you have a lot of people in the textile sector, who today rely on liquefied petroleum fuel oil or LPFO. The cost of production is quite high because of lack of gas and power. They can have dedicated captive power for that sector in industrial zones. That is what it (financing deal) is for, financing mini power plants for our industrial zones. They (GE) are taking money from the bank to support our power project.” Aganga said the new initiative was in furtherance of the ‘country-to-company’ partnership between Nigeria and the GE in the area of attracting investments into critical sectors of the economy.
February 3, 2014
The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, raised a fresh alarm that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had yet to repatriate to the Federation Account, a sum of $20bn out of the $67bn crude it sold on behalf of the Federal Government. Sanusi, who stated this before the Senate Committee on Finance which was currently investigating the alleged $49bn missing fund from the Federation Account, also explained that he had submitted a 20-page written document backed up with another 30-page appendix to prove his point. The CBN boss told the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led committee that certain level of reconciliation had been achieved between the apex bank, the NNPC and other relevant agencies since the alleged missing fund became a public issue. This seems like serious matter o.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State were among members of the National Council of State who were absent at the council’s meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting started at about 10.50am. Three former military leaders, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.) and Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar (retd.), as well as former President Sheu Shagari and Chief Ernest Shonekan, however attended the meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. President of the Senate, David Mark; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, and four former chief justices of the federation were in attendance. The council which has Vice President Namadi Sambo as the deputy chairman had all former presidents and heads of government, all former chief justices of Nigeria; president of the senate; speaker of the House of Representatives; all the 36 state governors and the attorney-general of the Federation as members. If you see the absentees, ask them genuinely why they were absent.
February 4, 2014
There was confusion in Osun state as pupils wore religious regalia and sang different religious songs on the assembly ground. At Baptist High School, Iwo, Osun State, some pupils shunned their uniforms and wore choir gowns, white garments, Islamic apparels and other unconventional dresses to the school. Although no group or individual was identified as the mastermind of the bizarre dress code by the pupils, there were, however, conflicting reasons for the behaviour. While some people said the unconventional dresses were a way of registering dislike for the same uniform introduced by the government for all schools in the state, others said some Christians who were opposed to wearing of hijab in schools founded by Christian missionaries orchestrated the drama. The suit instituted on the issue of hijab wearing to school was still pending before an Osun State High Court. But confusion reportedly became more pronounced at the assembly ground as the pupils could not listen to their teachers because they were busy lining up themselves along religious lines. A female pupil, who was dressed in a purple gown usually worn by the choir in the Baptist church, was said to have led Christian students in gospel praises, while her Muslim counterpart dressed in hijab was seen hollering “Allau Akbar” and singing praises to Allah from the same platform simultaneously. It was learnt that although many other pupils appeared in the government-approved uniform, the few ones who are neither Christians nor Muslims wore clothes with the insignia of their religious beliefs, making the atmosphere in the school chaotic. The confusion was said to have continued in the classrooms as pupils sang discordant tunes. The teachers were said to be helpless in controlling the pupils due to the sensitivity of the issue. Aregbe, the Lord is your muscle o, because laye Olugbon, ko baje…
The National Sports Commission stepped up effort to raise money for the Super Eagles camping ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The move for alternative source of funds was meant to solve the expected problem of late approval of the 2014 budget by the National Assembly. The Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said they had already put in place measures to raise what was within the budget for the World Cup campaign. He said, “Funding should not be much of the problem as we have started work on that area long ago. We’ve gone far in raising cash from other sources to take care of the early stages just in case there’s delay with the budget. What we are very mindful of is to work within the limit captured in the budget. We would have loved to have the budget ready on the first day of January and then get the actual release thereafter but we know national budget goes through a process which is not new. As managers, approved alternatives have to be worked out so that the camping programme, which is the most important, is not affected adversely.” Ose, Bolaji to ni foresight.
February 5, 2014
The State Security Service released the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, after six hours of interrogation. The former warlord was cautioned and allowed to go home. Asari, who arrived the headquarters of the SSS in Abuja at 9.45am was quizzed for hours and released around 4pm. Dressed in a striped blue and white short-sleeve attire, Asari was accompanied by a lawyer from Festus Keyamo chambers, a former chairman of Asari Toru Council of River State, Chief Aroloyetemi Brown, some chiefs from the Niger Delta and some members of NDPVF. Asari was allowed into the security agency’s premises with his lawyer and Brown. The ex-militant was invited by the SSS, following his alleged inflammatory statements in connection to the 2015 elections, in which he stressed in unequivocal terms that there will be bloodshed, if President Goodluck Jonathan was not re-elected. Go and say jargons no more but we are watching anyway.
February 6, 2014
Yoruba elders under the aegis of Yoruba Unity Forum accused President Goodluck Jonathan of favouring other sections of the country to the detriment of the South-West geo-political zone in the appointment of top government officials. The YUF said this at a press conference it addressed in Ibadan. According to the elders, the marginalisation of the South-West zone in the distribution of political positions is an attempt to excise the zone out of the federation. At the conference were Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, Senator Bode Olajumoke, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Tokunbo Ajasin, Chief Olu Falae, and Chief Biola Ogundokun, among others. The elders alleged that the President’s pattern of appointments with no consideration for the Yoruba suggested that Jonathan did not appreciate the contribution the Yoruba people made to his emergence as the president in the 2011 general elections. What an accusation. Falae, who spoke for the group, said the Yoruba were sidetracked in the appointment and control of the apex political offices. He listed the topmost positions in the country as that of the President, Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Justice of the Federation, Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, acting President, Court of Appeal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff to the President, Office of the National Security Adviser, and Head of Service of the Federation. Falae said none of these offices was occupied by a Yoruba, submitting that the absence of Yoruba in the power hierarchy had adversely affected the zone. The elders also made reference to the sacking of eight general managers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, six of whom were Yoruba, by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, in October 2012. It appeared like they mean business with the compilation of facts and data. Further, the forum stated, “All attempts to meet the President and discuss the issue at a roundtable were fruitless as he made several unfulfilled promises to address the issue to date.” What are they insinuating? “In the days of the late President Umar Yar’Adua administration when he was incapacitated by illness and there was reluctance to make Jonathan acting President, it was predominantly Yoruba activists who led the march on the National Assembly to force our lawmakers to pronounce Jonathan acting President.” Hmmnn…To whom much was given, much is expected…Yoruba! “When he chose to run for the presidency, he got the enthusiastic endorsement of many Yoruba progressives, especially the leadership of Yoruba Unity Forum.” As if there was a better candidate at that time. “When Jonathan made a gaffe at a campaign rally in Ibadan, referring to some South-West governors as rascals, he sent a placatory delegation to Ikenne and the Yoruba leadership rose to his defence in a non-partisan manner.” At the expense of their own governor sons. The group thus called on the President to rise to the demands of his office as the President of all Nigerians rather than President of the PDP or a particular ethnic group. “We had tried very hard in the past two years. There are always positions to be filled. There are going to be vacant positions to be filled in the future and the South-West should be given consideration,” Falae said. Jonathan, hear the words of elders, this sun can still dry cloth o…
February 7, 2014
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said it never received any presidential order to stop subsidy payment on kerosene during the late President Umaru Yar’Adua administration. The acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, said in Abuja that the corporation should not be blamed for not implementing the directive on kerosene subsidy because the NNPC did not get any instruction to end subsidy payments on kerosene. He said, “The point of contention is about kerosene subsidy. We do not doubt that there could be a directive. But what the NNPC is saying is that it is one thing for the President to give a directive, it is another thing for the directive to be communicated down to the various agencies of government. The communication line in matters like this is between the President and the minister. And the minister will direct subsidiaries or parastatals working under the ministry. So, in a situation where a directive was given by the President to a minister, then for reasons that are best known to the minister or the ministry, that information was not communicated to the parastatals, then you can’t hold us responsible for not implementing the directive. As far as we are concerned, we have not received the directive.” He argued that the NNPC was a structured organisation and would not take decisions based on “hearsay.” Asked to comment on the allegedly missing $20bn, Ibrahim said the corporation would be able to reconcile its account before the end of the week. According to him, the NNPC would brief the Senate on its findings soon, stressing that “A large chunk of this amount is what we are reconciling now and we believe that by the end of the week, we should be able to give our report to the Senate.” We hear you.
February 8, 2014
These Osun politicians won’t stop thrilling us. Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola and Senator Iyiola Omisore this day stormed a popular prayer mountain at Otan Ayegbaju, Boluwaduro Local Government Area of the state to make another request from God. The governor is a devout Muslim while Omisore is a Catholic. Both of them went to the prayer mountain, known as Oke Maria, for the annual pilgrimage and to pray to God to grant their desires. Whose desires God will now grant, I can’t tell. Omisore attended the vigil after he had declared his governorship ambition at a well-attended ceremony in Osogbo, where he levelled allegations of financial impropriety against Aregbesola. Senator Babajide Omoworare, who is a Catholic faithful, was also in attendance at the vigil. Omoworare was the first to arrive at the service, he came around 10.45pm, while Omisore got there around 1.45am on Sunday. Aregbesola, an alfa came about an hour later. The three politicians sat on the same seat at the front row but with different mind sets and the Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Rev. Leke Abegunrin, prayed for the trio and urged other politicians to learn a lesson from how the three politicians worshipped before God and saw themselves as one. If I hear…as if the reverend saw their mind.
February 9, 2014
In an attempt to stop the increasing popularity of the All Progressives Congress in the South-West, North-East and North-West, President Goodluck Jonathan and his allies in the Peoples Democratic Party held a strategic meeting. Sources said that the meeting reviewed how Nigerians across the six geo-political zones might vote in 2015 and concluded that the elections, especially the Presidential poll, would be keenly contested. The source added that Jonathan and the strategists agreed that the APC had a firm grip on the South-West and therefore resolved that concrete measures should be adopted to woo the zone. Na today? One of the measures, according to him, is to allocate the position of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria or the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, to the South-West. Who fools who? What will happen after the elections? It was learnt that those at the meeting were in unison that giving either of the two positions would go a long way in countering the allegation of marginalisation being levelled against the Jonathan’s administration by the people of the zone. The source said, “We knew that many people voted for the PDP during the presidential election in 2011 because of the President’s popularity and not because of the party he represented. This was the reason why the President won in four out of the six states in the South-West,” I agree. “With the alignment of the forces against the PDP and the President across the country, especially in the zone (South-West) now, we need to work hard to gain their confidence. A former Minister of Transport and Aviation, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, however, said it was wrong to blame the alleged marginalisation of the South-West on the Jonathan government. Babatope said, “We the elders of the zone are not resting and I know that very soon, the President would do something about it. The position of CBN governor is still open and that of the CG of Customs is there,” Stale news, Baba, we already know the game plan. “However, we must blame the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for colluding with some members of the PDP in the House of Representatives to deny the South-West of the position of the Speaker,” his reason. Babatope also accused the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido, of trying to incite the public, especially the opposition, against the PDP and Jonathan, through his statements on the alleged missing money at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. He alleged that within a week, Sanusi had quoted different figures of between $49 and $20bn as the amount involved. The former minister said that if not that Sanusi would be leaving office in few months, it would not be out of order to press for his removal for portraying himself as somebody unfit to hold such a sensitive office. You won’t change, sir…
February 10, 2014
There was controversy in Abuja as President Goodluck Jonathan’s Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe suddenly resigned. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, told State House correspondents that Oghiadomhe left to pursue his political ambition. But other sources revealed that Jonathan directed him to do so. Investigations in Abuja also showed that the President ordered Oghiadomhe to resign to create a safe landing for him. It was learnt that the directive was handed over to the former CoS shortly after he attended a meeting of the planning committee of the nation’s centenary celebration inside the Presidential Villa alongside some other top government officials. Sources in the Villa linked Oghiadomhe’s exit to a breach of protocol reportedly observed in the President’s visit to Sokoto State. Jonathan was in Sokoto to receive a former governor of the state, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party from the All Progressives Congress. One of the sources said instead of intimating Governor Aliyu Wammako of the President’s visit to the state, Oghiadomhe chose to write his deputy, Alhaji Muktar Shagari. Oghiadomhe’s decision must have been taken based on the fact that Wammako had last year defected to the APC alongside four other erstwhile PDP governors. His deputy however, opted to remain in the PDP. The source said, “Governor Wammako was not happy with the fact that the President visited his state without informing him. “The issue was brought to the knowledge of the President and he was angry when he confirmed that the Chief of Staff did not write the governor. “You will recall that Governor Murtala Nyako personally received the President when he visited Yola, Adamawa State recently despite the fact that he had also left the PDP. Although this latest development cannot be taken in isolation of some other lapses that have been recorded against him, you will agree that it was not a good thing for a President, who is still looking at ways of wooing the defected governors back into the PDP.”