Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Rivers Police Disperses Newly-Hired Teachers, Prevents Them from Collecting Job Letters

Thirteen thousand newly hired teachers by the Rivers State Government were dispersed from at the Liberation Stadium in the state capital city of Port Harcourt. The teachers have been gathering in the morning of September 25, 2013, Wednesday, to collect their appointment letters.
Dr. Richard Ofuru, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, said the Ministry was compelled by the heavy presence of the Police to ask the teachers to go home to avoid stampede and confrontation with the Police.
Dr. Ofuru noted that gathering teachers was an administrative process therefore the Ministry did not have to apply for a Police Permit.
“It is like saying we must invite the Police each time we have an inter-House Sport Competition. It is purely a school affair. There have been radio and Television announcements inviting the newly recruited teachers to come out and collect their letters. The Police PPRO should have informed us so that we do not allow 13,000 teachers to travel from all parts of the state only to be dispersed,” the Permanent Secretary added.
He however gave the assurance that the disruption by the Police would not deter the Ministry from issuing the employment letters to the 13,000 employed teachers who are supposed to resume teaching in the new schools built by the Governor Amaechi’s administration.
Many teachers expressed anger and disaapointment over the action of the Police.
The Rivers State Police Command was not ready to give an official statement on the reasons for dispersing the teachers at the time of preparing the present article.
However, Kelechi Wogu, one of the five anti-Governor Chibuike Amaechi lawmakers on behalf of the others issued a press statement that the Rivers State government was gathering people at the stadium to protest against President Goodluck Jonathan.
It would be recalled that last week the Police stopped an attempt by the Rivers State Government to take youths under the auspices of Rotary International on a guided tour of new Health Centres executed the state Government.

About two weeks ago, on the orders of CP Mbu, Governor Amaechi and about 70 former Speakers of 36 State houses of Assembly were prevented from having access to Government House through another gate. 

School Guard Rapes Student Inside Classroom

A civil engineering graduate from Delta State University, Abraka in Delta State, southsouth Nigeria, who lost his job and was newly employed as a security guard in a private school at Ijegun area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, has been remanded in prison custody for allegedly raping a student of the school inside the school premises.
It was alleged that the 30-year old security guard, Emeka  Nwabunwane, lured the 18-year old student (name withheld)  to a classroom in the school and raped her when she went to the school to attend a tutorial class in preparation for her Joint Admissions And Matriculation Board, JAMB, examination.
The girl told Our Source how she was raped by the Delta-State born suspect; an incident which she claimed has affected her physical and mental wellbeing.
She said when she entered the school premises on the day of the incident, Nwabunwane called her and she went to meet him in the classroom because she knew him as one of the security guards in the school and thought he wanted to discuss an issue with her.
She alleged that immediately she entered the classroom, he locked the door and pulled off his trousers and started to beat her into submission.
She said when she tried to resist him, he tore her pants, threw her on the floor and started to rape her.
She said in the process, the suspect tore her private part and she started bleeding profusely.
The victim said she raised an alarm inside the classroom, but nobody came to rescue her.
The girl said it was after he had raped her and she ran outside naked and started scraeming for help that the residents of the area came to her rescue.
The girl said by then she was bleeding profusely and when some of the residents saw the blood, they immediately caught Nwabunwane and handed him over to the police at Isheri Oshun Division.
The victim said she was still in shock and always gets frightened whenever she remembers how she was raped by the suspect.
She said since the incident happened, she has been having severe pains in her private part and going to hospital for treatment.
Nwabnwane admitted that he took the girl to the classroom and attempted to have sex with her but stopped when he discovered that she was menstruating.
The suspect claimed that it was when he left the girl that she ran out and started shouting for help and claiming that he raped her.
The security guard who was reportedly working in a private company before he was sacked and got the security job at the school, explained that when the incident happened, he made several attempts to settle the matter with the family of the victim.
The suspect said before they could finalise the settlement, he was brought to court.
He said he has learnt his lesson and was praying that the matter will be settled amicably.
When the suspect was arraigned in court, he pleaded not guilty.
The prosecutor, Mr Adeleye Adeleke, objected to his bail on the ground that the offence he committed was a serious offence that attracts life imprisonment.
He therefore argued that the suspect may likely jump bail to escape justice.
However, the presiding Magistrate, Mr. P. E. Nwaka granted the suspect bail in the sum of N150,000 with three sureties in like sum.
The court also ordered that the sureties must have evidence of  tax payment for three years.
The matter was adjourned till 21 October while the suspect was remanded in prison custody pending when he will fulfill his bail conditions.

FEC okays N29.7bn for road, water projects

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved water and road projects valued at N29.7bn, including a contract for the construction of a dual carriage way linking Abuja to Kaduna State at the cost of N28bn.
The other project approved by FEC was a contract for the provision of water facilities in the Asokoro Extension of the Federal Capital Territory in the sum of N1.7bn.
Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, said this while addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
The minister explained that the contract for the Abuja-Kaduna road, which is part of the Lower Usman Dam Project Part 11, had a completion period of 24 months.

Onolememem said the project would have a “salutary effect on the city.”

Two brothers torture, rape housemaid

A 23-year-old housemaid, Comfort Ashati, has told the Ebute Meta Magistrate’s Court how two brothers overpowered, tortured and raped her at their house in Isheri area of Lagos State.
 Ashati said the brothers, Tony and Emmanuel, who are in their 30s, lived in the same building with their father, Mr. Williams Ibiaji, who employed her shortly after the death of their mother.
 She said the men barged into her room, assaulted, and tore her panties before raping her in May 2012.
She said, “I started working for Mr. Williams (Ibiaji) through an agent who took me to their house when I was looking for a job. He needed a housemaid because he had just lost his wife.
 “However, his sons – Tony and Emmanuel- did not like me. They said I should leave the house, but their father told me to ignore them since he was the one that employed me.
 “I had been staying there for almost two years when the incident happened. On that day, the two of them entered my room and began to beat me. They also tore my clothes. I could not fight them off because they were too big. That was how I was beaten up and raped by the two of them.”
  Ashati told the court that she later managed to run into the room of a couple who gave her clothes.
 She said, “They also came into the house. The man begged them to leave me, but because one of them had a knife, they entered and continued beating me. I later escaped by jumping a fence to another building.”
The victim also alleged that the men later went to her room, where they stole her N84,000.
  However, while being cross-examined, the defendant’s lawyer, Mr. Loius Nwaugbala, said the housemaid made up the story.
 Nwagbala said, “I put it to you, that nobody raped, beat, or messed you up. All these are mere fabrications by you.”
  The Investigating Police Officer, Sergeant Bakare Murtala, from the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba, told the court that he was informed that Ashati had been invited to a peace meeting by the Ibiaji family to resolve the matter. She was said to have demanded N500,000 as compensation.
 He said he did not visit the scene of the crime but took the statements of all parties.
 The prosecutor, Mr. Richard Odige, told the court that three more witnesses were still on the standby, including a medical practitioner, who would give evidence on the alleged rape.

The magistrate, Ms S.O Solabo, adjourned the case till September 11

Okada man, housewife caught making love in bush in Orlu, Imo State: "settlement fee" caused the problem-Rapist

  OWERRI-A mild drama played out in Orlu, Imo State, when a commercial motorcyclist, a father of two (names withheld), was caught pants down making love to a married woman in a lonely bush.
While the 45-year-old housewife was making a case of rape against the randy motorcyclist, the 30-year-old man insisted that the woman was his concubine.
Giving account of what transpired to the police, the woman said she engaged the motorcyclist at Orlu to take her to her matrimonial home at Obibi-Ochasi.
She said when they got to a solitary area along the route, the man stopped ostensibly to ease himself.
She further told the police that while she was waiting for him to finish easing himself, the man emerged and started asking that they sleep together, adding that when she refused the amorous advance, the man grabbed her and forcefully lifted her into the bush.
The woman equally claimed that the rapist tore her inner wears to shreds, over-powered and raped her.
In his defence, the man claimed that the woman had been his concubine for years, adding that he had previously had fun with her at different times and places, including the spot where they were caught in the act.
He also claimed that he called the woman on her mobile line and asked her to meet him at the agreed spot in Orlu.
The man also claimed that when they got to the bush, the woman stripped herself naked, spread her wrapper on the ground and laid down before he started the act.
The randy motorcyclist, however, agreed that along the line there was a minor misunderstanding on the amount he should pay after they had satisfied themselves.
While the man claimed that the woman was asking for N500 for the service, he offered N200, which he said was the only money on him at the time.
Our Source gathered that plan was in top gear to arraign the alleged rapist in court to face trial.   

Saturday, 21 September 2013


The Bamanga Tukur-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Abubakar Baraje-led faction against provocative and unguarded utterances in the raging crisis within the ruling party.
Tukur admonished the faction not to see the crisis as a fight to the finish, saying that ongoing peace efforts by prominent elders and leaders of the party should be given a chance.

At a briefing by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Friday, the party appealed to the faction to thread carefully so as not to jeopardise the peace process.
Metuh said: “The party has taken a critical look at the implications of cascading developments arising from the challenges posed by the actions and utterances of our estranged brothers in our membership.
“We have seriously taken into account steps taken as well as the gravity of utterances credited to our brothers, especially in the wake of our last reconciliation meeting.
“We therefore wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that the fact that our leaders are wisely decided on the path of caution and decorum, does not in any way suggest that we are afraid of the consequences of doing otherwise.
“We have only applied a common African wisdom that yes, we have the strength of a lion but better when not applied needlessly.”
The party expressed the hope that the crisis would be amicably resolved and that the challenges would be surmounted if both parties exercise discretion.
According to the PDP, the party’s constitution has adequate procedures for dispute resolution among members, stressing that it is unnecessary to make a public theatre of the crisis.
“To leaders among them, we say once more, this macabre dance is unnecessary. This grotesque dance in the manner of an avant-garde Nollywood actor will surely satisfy emotions but will incredibly lead to loss of faith and throw up anti-heroes instead of heroes,” the party spokesman said.
He reminded the factional members that most of them have at one time or the other benefitted from the platform of the PDP, adding that they also should allow the party the benefit of their commitment.
Regretting the fracas that ensued during the visit of the G7 governors and the factional leaders to the National Assembly on Tuesday, Metuh said the leadership of the party had decided not to react to the ugly incident in the interest of peace.
“The provisions of the constitution of our great party must therefore be held sacrosanct by all members. We the leaders, even have a greater responsibility to show worthy examples,” he quipped.
Metuh admonished the estranged members to spare some respect for President Goodluck Jonathan, the party chairman, the Board of Trustees chair and other leaders of the party by refraining from provocative actions and utterances.
He ruled out the option of removing Tukur as chairman of the party as one of the conditions for peace, saying that the entire National Working Committee of the party reposed absolute confidence in him.
The Baraje faction is demanding, among others, the removal of Tukur, lifting of the suspension order on Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, return of party structures in the states to the governors and rescission of Jonathan’s 2015 re-election bid.
“The differences for now remain challenges of intepretation of process, procedures and trust. It must neither be blown out of proportion nor be allowed to obstruct the cause and course of good governance.

“We must bear in mind that what makes or mars our strength is our ultimate performance as a ruling party,” he stated.


In the past, part-time prostitution, popularly called runs, and a degree or certificate were not synonymous; but not anymore. It is a part-time job for some female undergraduates. These commercial sex workers popularly known as ‘Olosho’ among female undergraduates are the big girls. Their pastime has become even more compelling on campus due to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

They are involved in numerous runs just to earn a living, which they call Home service, Short time, Body for ground, cash for hand and Sex for money, among others. There are various categories of university sex hawkers; it all depends on the packaging and ‘swag’ (panache) which determines the type of men they service.

It is not so difficult to identify them on campus during the day because most of their outfits are obviously expensive and sometimes indecent. Many times, their attires do not suit an academic environment, but their body language attracts their customers,  investigation has revealed..

The ASUU strike which has left the universities almost empty since 1 July, has allowed these girls to ply their trade full-time, especially in private hostels and private accommodations within the university axis. Hostels on university campuses are empty and hardly will one find up to three roommates in a room. But activities peak on Thursdays through weekends when men (Aristos) come in with exotic cars to pick them up.

Even some of the sex hawkers sleep with the hostel porters so they would always have the freedom to leave the hostels and come in at will. In the University of Lagos female hostels, Moremi happens to be the hottest on campus, Fagunwa Hall and Madam Tinubu Hall (MTH) are the second and the third in the rating of the sex spots. Some girls are also agents, who organize girls for men at a fee in hotels around the university and even outside the state.

It is very easy to get a UNILAG sex hawker with just a blackberry phone, if you own a car and have cash to spend for them.

A 300 Level runs girl in the Psychology Department, told reporters : “I no fit go runs, if motor no dey, na the client go organize how dey go carry us. Sometimes if I go clubbing, from there I fit follow man go for overnight runz and I know how much I go carry commot.”

Another runs girl said: “For me parole no dey like that before, it’s just roadside. I try stopping vehicles and any interested man will pick me. At the end of the groove, I come back with something like N10,000 or N20,000 depending on the consumer” .

Some are lucky enough to get a gift of a laptop, phone, and a set of jewellery, depending on how generous the male client is.

The fact still remains that most of the runs girls prefer private hostels due to constraints or harassment by porters and their classmates. Some of their clients pay for the private hostels, most of which are off-campus accommodation for students.

Meanwhile, many female students in the hostels prefer to sell their bed space in the university and add money to get an accommodation in a private hostel. Some rent apartments with the money they get from their runs.

During the day, they spend most of the time making their hair, fixing nails and eyelashes and in the evening, around 5:30 to 6p.m. they come out for their business. Before they hit the road, they drink alcohol heavily to bolster themselves and erase any trace of shyness while negotiating with the male clients.

Debbie, 24, (not real name) who claims to be in 100 level in the English Department told reporters: “The truth is that there’s nobody to take care of us and I have a daughter to cater for. It is part of this money I use to send her to school. At times, I leave Lagos to Abeokuta, Sagamu, Ibadan, Edo, depending on the pay. I’m doing all this just to raise money for her upkeep”.

A 200 level student in English Education Deparment said: “I risk my life to travel as far as Jos and Abuja, and I spend at least two weeks, depending on the agreement I strike with my client. Most of the time, I follow my client around over there under the pretence that I am his personal assistant.”

Another runs girl said: “I have to hang around hostels and bars just to get customers for the night.”

The price varies depending on the girl’s negotiating skills and desperation for cash. Some female students leave their phone numbers with hotel attendants and will ‘settle’ them after the home service transaction.

Lecturers are not left out. The female sex workers go to bed with lecturers to get higher marks. A particular female student, who does not want to be named, said having sex once with a lecturer earns one a ‘D’ twice is ‘C’, thrice is ‘B’ or ‘A’. It all depends on your bargaining power. One lecturer connects them to other interested lecturers.

The sex-for-marks girls are organised, work and move together. They hardly attend lectures but make fantastic results at the end of the day. A cab man on the campus said: “I do take some lecturers to meet students in their houses in Iwaya, Bariga and Makoko and I also go and pick them up around 5.00 a.m. in their house sthe next morning. Female students even pay the lecturers after having sex with them.”

One of the security guards at one of the private female hostels said “most nights, when I see those girls going out, I do wonder what is going on. The next morning at about 3.00 am, they start coming back. No one will even know they went out.”

Some girls do the runs to meet the financial demands of the lecturers instead of having sex with them.

Sometimes it is sex-for-marks; they don’t have business with lecturers’ assignments and they will be the ones that go to the hotel and pay the bills, order the food, organise transportation and invite the lecturer.

When politicians and government officials have social gatherings, the girls link up each other. The use social media platforms such as facebook, badoo, and smart phones to solicit for wealthy prospective male clients they call Aristos on campus.

Some of these so-called Aristos are old enough to be their fathers or even grandfathers, but the girls don’t give a damn. All they are interested in is the money.

They also go through so much pain. Sometimes, they are either beaten up by clients or not paid.

Investigation also revealed that some students still get involved in runs after graduating if job opportunities don’t come on time. They buy bed space like students and stay with the ones they have trained on campus. They really find it difficult to quit completely. Most of the experienced sex workers never think of getting married; instead they turn into ‘sugar mummy’.


Chief Bode George, former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party – South and convicted chairman of Nigeria Port Authority, tells GBENRO ADEOYE why he will keep on fighting until he shakes off the ex-convict tag

Are you a thief?

I can refer you to the judgment because it’s already in the public view. At least, the judge was honest enough to say ‘no kobo was missing’. It was the greatest convoluted conspiracy that I have ever seen in my life. But you know, as a Christian, if you have belief in God and your faith is very strong, you don’t get shaken.

First of all, if we split contract, it would be for whose benefit? I’m not a contractor; the company did not belong to anybody on the board, so in whose interest? Two, nobody brought a contractor, whether they executed the job, whether they were paid the money, we just finished and the rest was left to the management. Whether they even awarded the contract, I didn’t know. I’ve been keeping quiet but the public must know this and those that have been writing ex-convict think they are abusing me, but they are raining curses on themselves and their families and it will happen. In the name Jesus, all who are convolutedly involved, it will happen to them.

People think that Bode George stole money; whoever is putting it down is raining curses on himself, anytime he writes that. Let him go and find out exactly what happened.

The debt portfolio of Lagos is unimaginable. God will not forgive these people. While Lagos is getting broke, Bola Tinubu is getting richer. I went to his village in Iragbiji where he hailed from, he said he went to Children’s Home School and Government College Ibadan, I asked my junior friends who went to GCI, Ibadan, none of them knew him. What’s his real name? Is his name Bola? What is his family name? The chief of staff to (Rauf) Aregbesola is his blood brother. He also has an older brother who retired from the Federal Ministry of Foreign affairs.

When his real mother died, he didn’t go to Osun. I went to the Oba of Iragbiji, I said we were going to ship him back home. That was at the peak of the campaign. They told me the primary school he attended, no secondary school, no-nothing. Suddenly he came back and said he had a CPA, that’s the equivalent of ACCA. He didn’t even have an APC, he’s a jiver.

Is your state pardon justifiable?

I haven’t been given any pardon, we served the term and we’re still in court. I’m still an ex-convict, but we will fight it. My family has decided we will fight it. Justice Salami was involved when we thought we would get justice. We went to the Court of Appeal in Lagos, they presented the case. During the course of discussion, Keyamo was saying we should have raised the issue of fiat before and they gave a ruling during that trial that you can raise the fiat issue even at the Supreme court. But when it got to the final judgment, they reversed themselves.

How do you feel when people refer to you as an ex-convict?

Laughable, when God gives somebody talents and you exhibit that talent with humility in the belief that you’re doing His work- not your work- no matter all the firing from sidewalks, it won’t affect you.

Why are you still in politics despite the stain on your reputation in the public eye?

There is no law that forbids me from exercising my voice and my rights, and vox populi, vox dei- the voice of the people is the voice of God. Throughout the 18 months I was in Kirikiri (prison), the whole place turned into a Mecca because the people knew that it was a convoluted conspiracy. Everywhere I went in the South West, people would say, ‘oga come and do this, come and do that.’ Should I fold my hands? I believe in the awesomeness of the Almighty God, He never told us that we would not have problems and failures but when you crumble and don’t stand up, then you have failed. Any man who has achieved greatness in life and says that his way was a freeway all the way, is a liar.

I was reading the latest book of Mandela- ‘Conversations with Myself.’ The opening paragraph states that the prison cell is the best place for you to discover yourself, because there, no distractions. You will see yourself in true perspective, what you have done, what you haven’t done, where you have been fair, where you were not, where you have deceived yourself, you will see yourself in totality, and then the choice is yours. Even if you committed an offence and beg for forgiveness, he’s always there.

And the day I left, that can never be wiped away from my memory. The night before, all the security agencies in Lagos- Director of SSS, Commissioner of Police came and said they wanted me. Mustapha was there and he said ‘oga, don’t follow them, remember this was how they bundled me one night here’, because the whole place was dark.

They came to my room and said I could go home, I said ‘in this night, so that they would say Bode was escaping and I would be shot in the back.’ It was around 9 in the night; I said ‘no’, I would wait till tomorrow morning. And at the cathedral, the provost had to stop the service for some time because people kept coming in. We thought it would be a one hour service but it went on for about four hours.

Who arranged for the church service?

I asked for it from the prison, I was going straight to the church.

Why was that?

If you remember those who served prison terms that were political, many of them didn’t come out. I never went for any medical treatment throughout the period; I never went outside that gate. The day they let me out was the first day I set my foot outside the prison gate since I got in. You say I shouldn’t be thankful to God. My wife was shot. They shot at her car while I was in the prison. She didn’t do anything throughout that period. Every blessed day, including Saturday and Sunday, she was there. And my friends, they were there everyday, the bullet went through the door and got stuck because the person was on a motorcycle, so he couldn’t aim well. The car is still there.

For you to survive the place, having been at the level which you came and survived, where else would you go, to go and socialise? What are you socialising? My church was coming to give me communion in the prison. You must have God on your side to survive it, because before you know it, the devil will swing your mind and you would set yourself into depression. As a general, you just work out your programme quickly and adapt.

How did you feel when the pastor said ‘go and sin no more’?

That young boy that said it, he had leanings with the opposition. He was in Form Four when I was Governor of Ondo State. I was livid but I was in church. This young man would not derail my thanksgiving to God Almighty; the crowd was unprecedented. Sin against who? I went the following morning to challenge the provost; they said ‘no, that’s not what he meant.’ I said ‘you don’t know this boy, he is an apologist to Bola Tinubu and co.’ another bishop came to church and said he was shocked when he watched it. He said that man should go on the altar and ask for forgiveness from God because he does not know who Bode George was. When I came, they invited me into the vestry, and asked ‘why did you decide to come to church?’ I said where else do you think I would go? Go to Okija shrine? I was healthy, even those who saw me thought I didn’t go to prison.’ So when this young man was talking garbage there, you know, you can’t respond there. I went to the provost; this was an anomaly, a misnomer, absolute rubbish, I didn’t come here for this boy, of course, nemesis caught up with him too. They’ve taken him out to a smaller church, that’s where he deserves and the bishop that came said he watched the programme on the TV and was very angry.

Was he transferred because of what he said or for something else he did?

I don’t know but it must not be unconnected. Aje ke lana, omo ku leni tani o mo pe aje to ke lana lo pa omo to ku leni? (The witch cried yesterday and the child dies today, who does not know that the witch that cried yesterday killed the child today). Let me just stop it there. It wasn’t our archbishop but another that came and said you don’t know who Chief Bode George is, for you to say what you said.

Did you have a hand in his demotion?

No, one thing I don’t do is get involved in church politics. The one we do outside is already there. Why would I be? Everybody saw it live when he was talking the garbage.

Do you think that the fanfare that greeted your release from prison was worth it?

It was spontaneous. Who could have asked those people to come, who could have organised it? I was shell-shocked myself. From 5am, people came from all over this country. Even deputy governors were struggling with the people outside there. If I had organised all that from inside prison, then I must be so popular. I remember when former President Olusegun Obasanjo himself came; he couldn’t even get to the church with his car. He got out of his car and trekked to the church. My aged mother came because my sister said I was going to come back. From where? She didn’t know.

You said you were not guilty, so how did you take the comment by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when he described the fanfare as a celebration of criminality?

That’s true, Baba (Obasanjo) said that we were celebrating criminality and I was shocked. I was really very shocked. How could I have organised rally from prison to the church, to gain what? I was the director-general of the national campaign that brought late President Yar’Adua and Jonathan on board, would I now say that I wanted to test my popularity? The popularity started from the very day we were convicted. From the first day, people were trooping in there. So on that final day, people came to rejoice, to say thank God, you’re alive, you haven’t lost your memory, you haven’t had a stroke.

Some people said you bought the aso ebi that your supporters wore to court during proceedings?

One, they brought Bode George to the enemy’s court, it’s like grabbing an Arab and taking him to an Israeli court – he’s dead on arrival. That was what they did but they forgot that this is my state. They created the political scenario. My wife too is a politician and there are some other women who would come. They had their natural dresses. If they claimed people wore ankara, so what? I would now go and organise it?

When the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo appeared in court, on the day of judgment, as young people, we trooped there. We wanted to see our Baba. It has been and it would always be. Didn’t you see Mandela trial? Would they ever be watching a political trial and believe that everybody would just stay home? So what was their headache? If the women were wearing ankara, did the ankara disturb the court proceedings? Is solidarity support now an offence? I don’t see the relationship.

Did you enjoy special privileges in prison?

What privileges? There are different blocks and I still feel sorry for those boys, the overcrowding. Those who are awaiting trial are more than the inmates. If they are able to hasten all these court processes, that will help all the boys. I commend the current Chief Judge of Lagos , the first thing she did when she was appointed was to decongest the prison because it’s inhuman. Where you should not have more than 30 persons, you have about 500. So, what are the privileges? Of course, the food there is very bad, they allow your family to bring food for you, but whoever brings the food will taste it. So what privileges?

What about prison uniform, did you wear one?

Prison uniform? Who wears them these days? At least there was code of ethics; you are not going to wear your Sunday dress there.

They have to clear all those cases awaiting trial; they are more- like 70 per cent. The prisons are filled with persons awaiting trial. Why? What is the gain? There is capacity for everything. If you’re overcrowded, there is problem, you start living like rats. Rather than a deliberate punishment, they can reform them. That is what prisons are supposed to be.

How did you explain your troubles to your family while it lasted?

My fear first of all was my mum and my sister did a marvellous job. Thank God my father is late; I don’t know how he would have taken it. But my mother is pretty old, about 90 years. I was always travelling so they told her that I had travelled, until the day before I was released, when they told her that I was coming back. Until she got to church and saw me; that was when my sister now told her. And you see, it’s not new in the family, she came from the Herbert Macaulay stock, and Papa Macaulay went to jail several times fighting for Nigeria. So she knew that once you’re in politics, these were the fallouts and so she understood. Then, she heard on the radio one day and the people were now quoting Baba (Obasanjo) to say we were celebrating criminality. And you know, when they translate that in Yoruba, it could be weightier. She called me and asked, is it true he said you’re a criminal? But I said no, Mummy, it’s not true. I asked her, am I a criminal? I heard that one journalist asked Baba about the fallout between me and him, they said Baba just lost his anger on him.

Whatever it is, I am here and I am home. And I pray that God will give me more good health and I’m going to put all my thoughts in my memoirs. This is for one major reason, that the up and coming Nigerians would read them and learn from the experience of the old people. I’m going to be 70 in another one and a half years. My mission now, having had this experience, having seen our people, is to mould them together, to forget about personal ambition. Let our nation be united for the cause of our people.

All this pettiness, in-fighting are absolutely unnecessary. If there had been no struggle or fight between Baba Awolowo and (Ladoke) Akintola, the South West would have gone far ahead today economically. That fight tore us to the ground. The petty fighting is gradually raging now in the South West PDP. The general one is not a problem.

Are you friends with Obasanjo now?

How can you say I and somebody older than me are friends? Baba will always be my Baba. Of course, I was angry and I’d tell you. I worked with him like a soldier should work with his boss; your loyalty should be more than 100 in minimum. I never asked for anything, never. That is the soldier in me, let it come from your boss, Baba is still alive, you can ask him. Just do your work.

And on the day when the zoning thing had been concluded and that it was going to the South East, we thought the zoning for the chairmanship of the party would come to the South West. When Baba said Bode was not going, that the chairmanship of the party was going to the South East, so be it, I said ‘as your lord pleases sir.’ I still went ahead and fought for Baba, defended him when people were going against him. When we were having the Board of Trustees Chairmanship thing, I was still the deputy national chairman, I stood my ground there that day, I said ‘no’, so what was it? But rumours, but I didn’t believe any rumours. Yes, we disagreed on certain things but it was not a fundamental thing. I knew Baba because Stella (his late wife) and I grew up together in Lagos , we were age group. My first wife, Feyi, at that time, we were very friendly with Baba. It was a reporter that came and said that Baba said this. We were planning to have a thank-you visit with 20 local government chairmen from Oni of Ife’s palace, greeting people and ending up in Baba’s house. When I heard it, I said, no, it’s not true. The reporter said he was waiting for my reaction. He brought a press statement. It hit me like a bullet. I turned my chair around, but I said you know, I don’t believe that Baba said it and if he said it, I’ve left him to God and his conscience. That was all I said. It wasn’t a fundamental thing, it was like, from my experience and age, I was abandoned. That’s how I felt, because I did not commit any crime.

So how is your relationship with Obasanjo now?

No problem. Like I said, in the interest of this nation, in the larger interest of the Yoruba people and in the interest of our party, I have swallowed my anger and my pride. Who am I? Yes you can be annoyed but no matter the annoyance, it must not last more than 24 hours. So I thought what was I angry for? Here I am; they pulled me up in spite of the efforts of those who wanted to sink me. The more gold spends time in the heat, the better the experience. All I know is, I will not steal government money because no matter how long, nemesis will catch up. If it doesn’t catch up now, it will catch up with your children. God will revisit it. I’m not a poor man and I’m not a rich man. I’m not a contractor and I don’t have the patience to go and sit in front of someone’s office waiting for contract. Amassing wealth, building mansions, go round Ikoyi here, all those tall buildings, nobody is inside. If they had set up businesses to employ or give scholarships to people to encourage them, those generations will continue to bless them.

How do you hope to rebuild your reputation?

I don’t believe I lost anything. The convoluted conspirators played their role but they didn’t hit me one second. From my background and my family background, it didn’t make a damn difference to me, I must tell you that. If you fall, get up and go and God said you will have obstacles. These jokers cannot pull me down.

I told you, when I came out, what they wanted to do was bury me alive. But the people said ‘no.’ They say ex-convict, fine, they say that. Anywhere you will invite men to come and talk, I will say my own and that they can’t take away from me. Even that is an added value because as a person who has gone to prison and come back, out there, you are on a higher pedestal. I see life better. The one who has seen the top of the mountain and been to the bottom of the valley is wiser. People seek you for support because they see you as a leader.

Would you compare Obasanjo’s government with that of President Jonathan?

Well, I didn’t serve in government, I was in the party and I can talk on both. At the time Baba came, the international community was getting tired of military administration, so Baba was a midwife to see this country is back on democratic tenets. We should be able to do this and achieve that and he was able to do that. They wrote for the forgiveness of our debt, that’s why we had enough money to do so many things. Nobody, no individual can finish every job. No nation finishes the job. The roads were bad, education, health, everywhere was bad, etc, where were we? Obasanjo came up and said look, we have to get back. By the end of 2002 to 2003 for the second term, this same crisis started. Because Baba said he would face the management of the polity and the international communities to bring it up because of his international connection and that Atiku should face the politicians, then 22 governors came up and looked Baba in the eye and said, baba you’re not marketable. I’m not joking, I was there. I looked at them and thought, what,this is an insult. That was the beginning of the crisis. That was worse than this. Time that should have been spent to make the system work was spent on the struggle.

He tried his best, particularly in telecommunications. He did all he could. Of course, eight years was more than enough by law, he should go and he left. We tried to stabilise the PDP. Then, Umaru Yar’Adua came, very intelligent and committed. I worked closely with him but because he wasn’t feeling too good, some hawks went into him and took charge and almost derailed all the things he wanted to do. President Goodluck Jonathan came, a selfless man. His humility is beyond my comprehension and people are taking that for granted. His government has done so much. For the first time, the Federal Government bond is being listed on the New York Stock Exchange and we say we are not moving. I’m not saying we are there but it’s a positive beginning.

An average man on the street still complains of suffering everyday?

When will people never suffer? It’s not Jonathan who is responsible; this is the crux of the matter. I am ready for this debate with anybody from any other party. Every 30 days, the Federal Government distributes money from the treasury for state and local government allocation, and no local government gets less than N100m a month. Now, what’s their input? The closest government to the people is the local government but what are they doing? What have they brought to the people? It’s a three-tier government, what is the local government man doing? They have their role by constitution.

Did PDP have a hand in Bola Ige’s death?

PDP? Why would PDP want to kill Bola Ige? He was working for us in our government. He thought that the Afenifere people would automatically give him a ticket as presidential candidate for AD, he was disappointed. Baba pulled him back and said ‘come and work for this country’, and he accepted. He wasn’t a threat to PDP. I was the vice chairman of the South West then, they had the Yoruba Council of Elders and I related with them. I went to his house for advice many times in Ibadan . And the Osun crisis, I wasn’t part of any Osun thing. I was there the day we went to Oni’s palace, I was there live.

We were there, some boys just came and the security fired some rounds to scare the boys away and one of them had grabbed Chief Bola Ige’s cap. We looked for him, but first of all, what we did was to secure him and get him inside. Then one fellow was killed thereafter in Ife . I called Baba up and he said he was coming by the weekend. By the time he came, they had killed Bola Ige. It was more of an Osun crisis. The same thing happened here, Funsho Williams was murdered. The police bungled the investigation. They even arrested the boy who had Funsho’s cell phone, but what happened? But his blood is still raging. I saw his body in his house, why? They think it’s over, why? What did he do to them?

What do you think about the PDP crisis?

For the umpteenth time, big man, big problem in the local parlance.

PDP is the only party from the swampy forest of the south to the savannah region in the north. I’ve campaigned snaking through this country and there is no hamlet you don’t find PDP. When it was established, conservatives, liberals came together as individuals and not as tribes. It was Chief Bola Ige who wrote our constitution and also designed our flag. He sat and worked with Ekwueme, Ciroma and others at the time, progressives working together that established PDP.

I see Nigeria in our meetings, we will have this kind of crisis, they are not fundamental crises, because it is when they become fundamental that they are irretrievable. Politics is the management of the resources of a nation for the betterment of the people. Politricks is the management of the resources for the individual pockets. It’s normal and natural to be ambitious but the corporate interest of Nigeria is more important than anyone.

How do you feel losing election intermittently in your ward since 1999?

I don’t know where you got that from but I wasn’t the one campaigning, I don’t live there. Only on election, I just go back to help the people who are campaigning. Even if they win or lose,that is not a measure of your political worth. The kind of politics I have played, I’m not the one actually contesting. If I was the one contesting, it would have been a different thing.


Niger state governor and member of the G7 governors, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has said that Bamanga Tukur led Peoples Democratic Party would be shocked to know that the Kawu Baraje-led fraction has more than the identified seven governors.

He said other governors have deliberately chosen to silently support the nPDP.

Speaking in Minna while receiving the Executive Director of the Sir. Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, Aliyu who refused to disclosed the identity of the ‘silent members’, said, “there are many members of the G7 who intends to remain silent. They are silent members.”

He explained that people only identify the G7 because they (the G7 governors) are the ones most visible explaining that there are some other governors who are in support of them.

The governor enjoined the Sarduana Foundation to ensure that they carry on the good work and promote unity in the north.

He urged the foundation to work in collaboration with other bodies to harness income and improve the lot of northern Nigeria.

He assured the foundation that he would plead with other state governors who have not redeemed their pledges to the foundation.

Earlier, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Dr. Shettima Ajayi disclosed that the foundation has trained 350 women and youths in vocational and entrepreneurship programs adding that most of the trainees have started their own businesses.

He said the foundation has reached out to some northern states affected with insecurity and has been able to give some form of compensation to them.

Ajayi further expressed his appreciation to the Niger state governor for his support to the foundation as the foundation has been able to make impact to the people of the north in all its programmes.


John Obi Mikel’s first ever goal in the Premier League helped ease the pressure on Jose Mourinho as Chelsea beat Fulham 2-0 in a drab encounter at Stamford Bridge.

The midfield anchor picked up his first strike in 258 matches for the Blues as he beautifully struck an acrobatic finish with minutes remaining.

The goal masked a game of two halves for Chelsea, who struggled to gain a foothold initially. Despite having much of the ball they found opportunities hard to come by, raising further questions about the bizarre omission of creative spark Juan Mata from the matchday squad.

Instead it was the Cottagers’ Darren Bent who had the first real sight of goal but the England striker wasted his opportunity. Pajtim Kasami picked him out but with all the time in the world he tamely put his effort straight at Petr Cech.

The Blues were frustrated to only a few efforts none of which troubled keeper David Stockdale and the match appeared to be heading for a low scoring affair early into proceedings.

At half-time the boos rang out to little surprise with Chelsea fans demanding an improvement in tempo.

A frankly dreadful encounter was always going to require a mistake or moment of genius to open it up and so it proved with Oscar being the benefactor of the former.

Stockdale, who had little to do during the first half, suddenly looked like he had been dozing when he inexplicably spilled a ball into Samuel Eto’o’s path.

The Cameroonian could not finish but Oscar made no mistake as he simply stroked the ball home from the resulting goalmouth scramble.

Minutes later and Steve Sidwell should have had Fulham level but the former Blues midfielder was taken by surprise as he headed over from just yards out.

Chelsea’s goal and near miss from Sidwell finally woke the sleeping giant as they began to find each other with passes and were unfortunate to not be awarded a penalty when Ramires was tripped.

Substitute Fernando Torres served Mourinho a reminder of his talents when he escaped his marker and engineered a brilliant header but he found Stockdale to be his match.

It would matter little though as Mikel picked up his late goal to send the Blues top, even if it does prove to be temporary, and send the Chelsea fans home happy.