Gov. Ayodele Fayose inaugurates Grazing Enforcement Marshalls In Ekiti State. 

Gov. Ayodele Fayose


Today, we have taken another bold step aimed at safeguarding the lives and properties of the people and residents of Ekiti State by inaugurating the Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshalls (EGEM) and equipping them adequately. 
Recall that I signed the Prohibition of Cattle and other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti State Bill, 2016 into law on August 29, 2016, after the bill was duly passed by the State House of Assembly.

The law provides amongst others that; “No person shall cause or permit any cattle or other ruminants belonging to him or under his control to graze on any land in which the Governor has not designated as ranches, no cattle or other ruminants shall by any means move or graze at night and that cattle movement and grazing are restricted to the hours between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm.

The law also prescribed punishments for offenders, such as charging of any herdsmen found in possession of firearms and other offensive weapons with terrorism, payment for property or farm products destroyed by the cattle by the herdsmen and keeping of confiscated of cattle at Government cattle ranches. 
In doing this, we opined that lives of 5,000 cows cannot be equated with those of human beings that are being killed daily by herdsmen across the country and it takes very timid and compromised leaders to allow their people to be killed while they fold their arms on the altar of politics. 

Supporters and beneficiaries of open grazing have argued that cows, like human beings have rights to move freely in any part of Nigeria and one question I have always ask is; what happens if poultry farmers, pig farmers, ostrich farmers or even snake farmers decide to exercise this same rights to freedom of movement of their animals? 
Imagine a situation where snake farmers also release their snakes to the streets and other people’s farmlands to look for what to eat as being done by cattle farmers.

 The reality we must all face is that cattle farming is not different from fish farming, snake farming, poultry farming, snail farming, etc. Therefore, if fish farmers are providing their own ponds and poultry farmers building their own pens, while also buying feed for their animals, there is no reason cattle farmers should not also provide their own ranch and feed their cows without encroaching on other people’s farmlands.

Isn’t it even shameful that in this age that people celebrate their city centre, we now adorn our own with cows and their dung, such that cows are even competing space with human beings in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other cities in the country? 
Therefore, here in Ekiti, if you must practice cattle farming, you do so at designated locations.

We have taken it upon ourselves to champion this course of grazing control because no responsible leader will sit back and watch when his people are being killed, their wives and daughters being raped and their sources of livelihood being destroyed under the guise of cattle rearing. 

In line with the law, any cow found destroying people’s farmlands will be confiscated and sold with proceeds handed to people whose farmlands were destroyed while herdsmen found with arms will face terrorism charge.
The police and other security agencies have the duty to enforce the Prohibition of Cattle and other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti State Law, 2016 as well as other laws duly made by the State, by seeing to it that offenders are arrested and prosecuted accordingly. 

To complement the police and other security agencies, we have set up the Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshalls (EGEM), trained them and have them well equipped. I therefore inaugurate them today and urge them to perform their duties in the overall interest of Ekiti State and its people.

Members of the public also have a duty to join in the crusade to free our State from the menace of herdsmen by offering information to the Grazing Enforcement Marshalls. In this regard, telephone numbers will be made available to the public.

Once again, I thank you for your support at all times and as your governor, it is my duty to protect your lives and properties and no matter the situation, I will never shy away from this responsibility.

Thank you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Full Transcripts Of Aisha Buhari’s Interview With BBC News Hausa. 

Mrs. Aisha Buhari

BBC: Almost two years after President Muhammadu Buhari was elected into this government; it appears as if things are not going well, the people are complaining; where do you think the problem is?

Aisha Buhari: From my own observation, being a housewife, I think security wise; we have relatively achieved more than 100 percent. Being someone that comes from the North east, I knew when almost nobody sleeps in his or her house. But now, people sleep with their two eyes closed.

The hardship that people are going through now was anticipated, knowing what we inherited. It is not going to be a smooth journey; but I think so far so good. The only thing that almost everybody is not happy with, including myself, is on those that really suffered for this journey and now people who do not even have registration cards are guiding us, which is so unfair and unfortunate for the journey that we started more than 13 years ago.

BBC: But some will say whenever you are elected into government, you have to bring in professionals, experts who know how to do the job and not just politicians?

Aisha Buhari: Yeah; but if you look at the journey that we had; after the merger, we didn’t call it merger or APC again, we called it a movement because it was a collective effort of millions of people, only for us to find out that the government is being operated by a few people. Very few, in the sense that we have may be four to six people that really started the journey with us in the system.

Unfortunately, the people that are occupying the seats, I don’t think they have any expertise that our supporters in APC do not have. We have supporters all over the world. Those who really supported APC and felt that enough is enough, let us have sanity in the society; it was a real collective effort.

Nobody will say that ‘it was as a result of my hard work that I brought this government’; it was a real team work and we wish that the team work should continue.

Everybody knows what my husband wants to achieve in four years. But having new set of people on board that were not part of us, they don’t really know what we promised Nigerians and that is the thing we are facing now.

BBC: Who are these 4 to 5 people you are talking about?

Aisha Buhari: People like Ogbonnaya Onu, Amaechi, Fashola, after the merger it was a huge group that came together and started the struggle again. It is sad that very few are in the system now. Though I heard that they are about to announce like 3000 names as Board members; we feel that those that have started the struggle should not be limited to Board members; they should be in positions like heading agencies that will impact positively on the lives of Nigerians.

Knowing what we have campaigned for, only for us to bring people that are busy telling people that they are not politicians but they are occupying seats that were brought in by politicians. This is a huge disrespect for politicians. Knowing that we are just starting, we have not got to 2017, talk less of 2018 and then 2019 for us to go back to the polls; you understand what I mean?

BBC: Who are these very few people as you said surrounding President Muhammadu Buhari, and have you spoken to him about this?

Aisha Buhari: Yeah. Not only me in person, because after receiving complaints upon complaints, I decided to tell him. But all the same, a lot of people have been coming on their own and also collectively to tell him that things are not going the way it should when it comes to putting people in certain positions.

Because most of those that are occupying positions in agencies, nobody knows them and they themselves don’t know our party manifesto; what we campaigned for; they were not part of us completely. People were sitting down in their houses, folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position. They don’t have a mission or vision of our APC, you understand what I mean?

BBC: Whose fault is this?

Aisha Buhari: It’s the fault of 15.429 million people because they are the ones that brought in the government. It’s their fault!

BBC: But theirs is just to elect APC and President Muhammadu Buhari and he is the one that is supposed to be in charge; is he not?

Aisha Buhari: Because they elected him; that’s why he is here. If they can stand firm and strengthen the party and tell everybody that ‘No! We can’t take this; we can’t take you because you are not a card carrying member, you don’t know what we want to achieve within so and so time’. Fifteen point something million people is a huge number that can control a country.

BBC: Somebody listening to this will feel like President Muhammadu Buhari is not in charge of this government?

Aisha Buhari: It is left for the people to decide whether he is in charge or he is not in charge. People actually accepted his ideology and decided to follow him for the past 13 years. That is what brought him to this current position.

BBC: As his wife, what will be your advice to him going forward?

Aisha Buhari: My advice is to the whole people that voted for him. They should strengthen the party and whoever is not part of the party should not have control over fifteen point something million people. We are in a democracy and not military era, so we have to play it well and leave a legacy.

BBC: What you are saying is that if things continue like this, you will not leave any legacy?

Aisha Buhari: As a person, I have my right to say how I feel about something. If it continues like this, me I am not going to be part of any movement again, because I need to work with the people that we started the journey with collectively so that we can achieve what we want to achieve, so that he would leave a legacy.

BBC: Have you told your husband all this?

Aisha Buhari: Yeah! He knows! At my own level, I have done it personally. I have also listened to people’s complaints and I tried to tell him what they are coming to tell me so that if there is anything to be corrected; it can be corrected.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Buhari’s kitchen Wife, Spirits In Aso Rock and Curse and Pain Of Power by Femi Fani-Kayode. 

Femi Fani-Kayode

I read Reuben Abati’s excellent write-up titled “The Spiritual Side Of Aso Villa” and I concur with his submissions.

I worked in the Villa for three years as President Olusegun Obasanjo’s spokesman on public affairs and a lot of gery strange things happened there.

Amongst them is the fact that the two people that served as Senior Special Assistant to President Obasanjo on Media and Publicity one after the other, namely the much-loved Mr. Tunji Oseni and then later Mrs. Remi Oyo, both contracted a terrible terminal illness whilst in office and died a few years later.

Apart from that many other aides that worked in the Villa at that time were also afflicted with strange dieseases and a suddem and tragic end.

Amongst them were Col. Solomon Giwa Amu, Obasanjo’s hard-working and good-looking ADC and Mr. Stanely Macebuh, his brilliant and cerebal Senior Special Assistant on Public Communications.

I was so moved by Abati’s piece that I decided to share the following thoughts about the spiritual challenges that those in power have faced.

When our President can get up and tell the whole world all the way from distant Germany that his wife “belongs to the kitchen, the living room and the other room” simply because she dared to speak her mind to the BBC then you know that he is in the grip of something evil and that demons are speaking through him.

It is all part of the spiritual dimension of living in the Villa that Abati was referring to in his essay. The President’s mind has become twisted and he is now posessed by strange and powerful entities. He needs a lot of prayer.

Yet the problem is much bigger and wider than that. When one studies the history of our country critically and takes the time to do the appropriate research, one thing becomes very clear- that, in Nigeria, politics and the power game is a dangerous calling and terrible business which, more often than not, comes with a heavy price tag.

That price tag includes pain, anguish, betrayal, humiliation, persecution, misfortune, hardship, loss, death, strange ailments and tragedy for those who reach the top and their loved ones.

It is rather like playing Russian roulette- there is one live bullet in the six empty chambers of the pistol and one doesn’t quite know when that bullet will go off when the trigger is pulled.

The gamble and risks taken are not only compulsive but they are also addictive and at the same time utterly deadly.

Sadly the result is as follows- virtually every single one of our national leaders and those that have ever ruled this country has suffered immeasurably at some point or the other in their lives, whether it be before, during or after they came to power.

They too have shed tears in the loneliness of their closets and have eaten portions of what the Bible describes as the ”bread of sorrows”. Yes, even the rich and powerful cry and even they suffer loss and tragedy.

This is the case for leaders all over the world but in Nigeria it is far more pronounced and common than anywhere else.

Here the angel of death, misfortune and sorrow seem to stalk those that find power and, like an ugly old crow plucks out the pink feathers and precious eyes of a beautiful flamingo, she cuts short and plucks away their lives or the lives of their loved ones.

Like a light bulb attracts a moth and leads it to a sudden end, so power attracts those who seek it with equally tragic consequences. As painful as it is, let us look at the facts.

In the early 60′s Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first Premier of the Western Region, lost his first son and years later his second son and second daughter were cut short in the prime of their lives.

Chief S.L. Akintola, his bitter political rival and the second Premier of the Western Region also lost his first daughter in the early 60′s and a few years later lost his third and youngest son. His second son was also cut short in his prime a number of years later.

My father, Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode, the Deputy Premier of the Western Region, who was a close ally and second in command to S.L. Akintola, lost his second son.

Sir Adesoji Aderemi, who was the Ooni of Ife, a close ally of Awolowo and the first ceremonial Governor of the old Western Region, lost his first son. Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Premier of the old Eastern Region and Nigeria’s first and only ceremonial President, lost his first wife.

President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s second democratically-elected President lost four wives and one son many years ago whilst Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the Northern Region, lost two sons and one daughter. Awolowo and Obasanjo went to jail for three years each whilst Ahmadu Bello went to jail for three months.

S.L. Akintola was killed in the prime of his life just as were Ahmadu Bello and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first democratically-elected leader and Prime Minister.

As a matter of fact they were all killed on the same night- the night of January 15th 1966. President Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s second democratically-elected leader and first executive President lost four children whilst he was in power and was locked up for over two years after he was toppled.

Chief MKO Abiola, the winner of the June 12th 1993 Presidential election, lost two wives, was locked up for 4 years and was eventually killed.

Chief Bola Ige, the first democratically-elected Governor of Oyo state and the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation lost his first son and he himself was later murdered.

Chief Bisi Onabanjo, the first democratically-elected Governor of Ogun state lost his first son. Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the first democratically elected Governor of Lagos state, lost his first daughter.

Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, the second democratically-elected Governor of Oyo state lost his son. Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, the first Minister of Finance of Nigeria was killed.

Chief Alfred Rewane, one of the founding members of the Action Group and a leading figure in NADECO, was killed. The list is endless and I could go on and on.

Alhaji Musa Yar’adua was Minister of Lagos Affairs in the First Republic. He was blessed with a long and peaceful life. However two of his sons were not so lucky.

His first son, General Shehu Musa Yar’adua, who was number two to General Obasanjo when he was military Head of State and who for many decades was one of the most powerful men in the country, was murdered whilst he was in prison.

His second son, President Umaru Yar’adua, was cut short in his prime by a strange and inexplicable ailment after he had been President for only three years.

He was succeeded by his number two, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan lost his brother and his mother-in-law one year after the other after he became President.

Worse still those that he had been deputy to throughout his political life, either as Deputy Governor or Vice President, always suffered one form of misfortune or the other, whether it be death, shame, incarceration or impeachment, and he would end up stepping into their shoes and taking their place.

When it comes to our military rulers the story of consistent tragedy is no different- General Aguiyi-Ironsi, our first military Head of State was killed. General Yakubu Gowon, our second military Head of State, was toppled from power, exiled and lost his brother.

General Murtala Mohammed, our third military Head of State, was killed and lost both his son and son-in-law.

General Olusegun Obasanjo was our fourth military Head of State and we touched on his misfortunes earlier.

General Muhammadu Buhari, our fifth military Head of State, was toppled from power, locked up for a number of years, lost his mother whilst he was in detention and was not allowed to attend her burial, lost his first wife, lost his daughter and now he has publicly described his second wife as nothing more than a “kitchen, living room and ‘other room’ wife”.

His number two, General Tunde idiagbon, was cut short under very strange and suspicious cirumstances.

General Ibrahim Babangida, our sixth military Head of State, was eased out of power and compelled to ”step aside” amidst massive controversy and turmoil and later lost his wife.

His number two, Rear Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, lost his first son, Chief Ernest Shonekan, our first and only Interim Civilian Head of State, was badly humiliated and toppled from power.

General Sani Abacha, our seventh military Head of State, lost his first son, was removed from power and was killed.

General Abdulsalami Abubakar, our eigth military Head of State, as far as I am aware is the only exception and appears to have escaped any misfortune.

Yet the picture is very depressing. This is indeed a catalogue of tragic events. Sorrow and pain just appears to be following sorrow and pain. It is a vicious circle of misfortune and calamity.

Yet the most curious phenomenon and bizarre series of events of all is the fact that every single Head of State or President that has ruled our country from the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja for three years or more has either ended up dying whilst there or has lost a spouse before leaving office.

President Jonathan stayed there as President for four years in a stretch but the travails of his wife and her series of illnesses and medical complications which suddenly and miraculously ceased and abated after he conceeded the 2015 election indicates that had he continued in office after 2015 he may have lost her and the demons of Aso Rock Villa would have come for their prey. Thankfully he left before they could lay claim to it and before the curse was activated.

Babangida did not stay in the Villa in Abuja for up to three years so he and his wife escaped what has come to be known as the ”Villa curse”.

It was the same for Chief Ernest Shonekan who, wisely, never stayed at the Villa at all but who chose to preside over the affairs of the nation from Aguda house next door and who remained in power for barely six months. General Abdulsalami Abubakar stayed at the Villa but he remained there for less than a year.

However Abacha, Obasanjo and Yar’adua were not so lucky- each of them stayed at the Villa for three years or more and before the end of their tenure they either lost their own life or the life of their spouse whilst there.

The story is that once the three year mark is passed the curse sets in and the clock begins to tick. At the end of the day only one of the two spouses comes out alive.

When one considers all these facts and series of misfortunes that have trailed our leaders in the last 56 years of our existence as an independent nation one cannot but conclude that there has indeed been a harvest of hardship, pain and death attached to the highest, most powerful and most prominent offices in the land and to those that are close to or have occupied it.

The truth is that power comes at a terrible price and those that wield it have, more often than not, experienced terrible pain and anguish in their lives.

That is the price that virtually every single one of them has had to pay. What a tragedy. Yet at the end of the day I wonder whether it is all worth it.

For as the bible says, it is nothing but ”vanity upon vanity- all is vanity”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Good Lady In The Presidential Villa By Dele Momodu. 

Dele Momodu

​“He who finds a wife finds a good thing…” – PROVERBS 18: 22

Fellow Nigerians, please forget the shakara of all men who try to act macho, most men are ultimately controlled by their wives, and sometimes girlfriends. Right from the Biblical Genesis, women had always known their enormous power and they’ve mastered how to use it. It does not matter if you are a king or a President, your wife is always your boss. You may be as big as an elephant outside but you are only a small rat at home. I always say this to my wife “how come a man can never be a superstar at home?” I am yet to find an answer to that conundrum.

Your wife is the one who knows you inside out. She has seen you in good times, when you were soaring like an eagle, and in bad times, when you were down and flat out. She’s witnessed when the ruthless hands of fate has dealt you some fatal blows and you are feeling less than a man. No matter who or what you become in life never matters again because she holds the copyright to your authentic story. She is the author of life who has seen you in your totality.

Women are generally intuitive and sometimes possess the gift of clairvoyance. As men we tend to ignore or dismiss the advice of our wives sometimes but they turn out to be right most times much to our chagrin and often, regret. That has been my personal experience with mine. I have learnt to accept her as my mum on earth since the departure of my biological mum in 2007. Whenever she tells me she doesn’t like a particular friend of mine, I may argue and struggle to defend my friend but something always happens to show she was right and I was wrong in my assessment.

I believe this is the situation our President, Muhammadu Buhari, and his beautiful wife, Aisha, have found themselves now. A lot of water must have passed under the bridge before the wife of a President would burst out openly and publicly on a global platform like the BBC, even if it is the Hausa version. It is a fact that Mrs Aisha Buhari brought elegance and panache to the campaign of her husband. She worked tirelessly and I believe she must have endured a lot during those days of her husband’s horrendous tribulations. I particularly love the way she has brought up their children as very responsible young people. We must always give credit to our wives because they are always the ones taking care of our kids when we have gone our different ways trying to make a living and bring bread to the table. The little I have seen of President Buhari’s children suggests a close-knit family and a well-educated one at that. This should make our President very proud and happy and grateful to Allah and his wife of nearly three agonizing decades.

If such a lady has chosen to speak out loud and clear about her frustration with the direction her husband’s government is going, President Buhari should please listen to her message and ignore the messenger. God has a way of reaching out and ministering unto people. Aisha is the guardian angel sent to our President in order to avert a cataclysmic fall a second time. History has an uncanny way of repeating itself and I’m sure Lady Aisha can see a lot of striking similarities between now and the past. In law this would be called similar facts. They do not bear repeating in full but it does not seem such a huge coincidence of history that President Buhari came to power on the last day of 1983 in a military putsch, on the back of what was a seemingly corrupt and inept government on an anti-corruption and war on indiscipline platform. Eerily in 2015, the same conditions appear to have thrust the President back into power in what was a democratic coup that swept an inept and corrupt government away on the mantra of anti-corruption and change. Less than 18 months after the President came to power as a military dictator there was great disenchantment with his administration such that people were jubilant after his fall. Now the position appears to be the same less than 18 months after assuming power. The President is now being seen as a maximum ruler who has lost the tremendous goodwill that greeted his ascension to power for a second stint at governing this unruly country.

Indeed, it was with trepidation and shock that I first read about the brave outburst of the Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari as to the dangerous state of things in so far as the President’s inner circle and his party, APC, are concerned.

I could not believe my eyes when I read that she had said the following in no particular order on a BBC Hausa Service interview:

“Whether he knows or he doesn’t know, those who voted for him know. There is nothing I will tell him.” ( With reference to those in his Government causing difficulties for the President).

“He can see. Among all the people he selected, if he is asked among 50 people, he doesn’t know 45. I don’t know them despite staying with him for 27 years.”

“This worries us a lot now. Because they believe they are the ones who suffered, but are nowhere today. Those who didn’t do anything who don’t even have voter’s card are the ones in position, doing everything.”

I’m almost certain she would have tried to communicate with her husband and the following could have happened. (a) She never got the audience required; (b) She got the audience she sought but was told to mind her own business or (c) she got her few minutes and was heard but was even insulted for daring to put her mouth in matters of state. She probably reached out to some members of the new mafia who she believes have virtually hypnotized and hijacked her husband and she met a brick-wall there too.

If truth must be told, there is nothing new or strange about what she has said in this apparently explosive interview. The only difference this time is that this is coming from the wife of the President. Even outsiders like us had raised these observations in the last few months; that it seems some people are misleading Buhari; that his team needs to be energized; that the ruling party has set fire on its own roof by engaging in a war of attrition and alienating their core members who fought tooth and nail to make a Buhari Presidency possible after so many attempts; that a cabal has ostensibly manifested itself in the Buhari administration; and so on.

Although Mrs Buhari categorically stated that her husband had not told her whether he he would contest the 2019 elections or not she may have unwittingly let the cat out of the bag and inadvertently exposed the plot of this cabal by saying she is not likely to campaign for her husband in 2019 thus suggesting that the idea of a bid for the Presidency in 2019 is already being contemplated. Tellingly she stated:

“He is yet to tell me but I have decided as his wife, that if things continue like this up to 2019, I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again.”

Of all the imagined sins of Mrs Buhari in relation to this interview this may be the most injurious to the Cabal’s camp than the issue of poor or sluggish governance. It is a grave indictment when your wife who was such an avid and strong campaigner for you a few years earlier says earnestly that she is fed up and regrets her decision. This is obviously a view that Mrs Buhari believes resonates with a lot of people as she went further to say that “what I am afraid of is the rebellion of 15 million people” in apparent reference to those who elected the President into power this time around.

It is clear that the President must have been taken totally aback by the acidic and acerbic criticism of his administration by the person who should be his number one supporter. His attempt at a jocular sidestep of a tsunamic eruption from his wife has only served to ignite the debate and has somehow managed to portray the President as a person ruling past his time. Women continue to make great strides as world leaders, cue Angela Merkel of Germany, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Cristina De Kirchner of Argentina, Sheikh Hasina Wajed of Bangladesh, Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania, Park Geun-hye of South Korea, Erna Solberg of Norway, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Marie-Louise Preca of Malta, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of Croatia, Theresa May of Great Britain and hopefully Hillary Clinton of the US, in the not too distant future. Closer to home, there have recently been appointed as Prime Minister and President respectively, Aminata Toure of Senegal and Catherine Samba-Panza of the Central African Republic although their terms have ended. It is therefore unfortunate that the President dismissed his wife as perfunctorily as he did. The President said “I don’t know what party she belongs to, but she belongs to my Kitchen and my living room and the other room.” In my view, the President lost a good opportunity to shore up his feminist credentials and deal with those of his critics who would say he was talking like a typical Islamic fundamentalist, which I believe the President is most assuredly not.

The President appears to be suggesting that there is even greater discord in his home by saying that he does not know what party his wife belongs to. It demonstrates a degree of paranoia reminiscent of the internet trolls and acolytes who support the President and who consider every critic, whether constructive or otherwise, as being anti-corruption or a member of the opposition.

But we must thank God for giving Nigeria such a good lady in our Presidential palace. It is sad that rather than being appreciated for her candour and uncommon courage, critics have unleashed a social media war on her. This is most unfortunate. One, she is a Nigerian. Two, she is the wife of our President. Three, rather she has done Nigeria a great service by screaming before it is too late. No matter what happens, I personally wish there are more of such visionary leaders around who do not see power as an end in itself. Now that her husband has come out to diss her before the whole world by saying she belongs in the kitchen and his “other” room, she deserves our prayers and support.

The President did not stop at the one attack on his wife. He effectively lumbered her with the tag of being part of the opposition when he said “So I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition, because in the end, I have succeeded. It is not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties or to participate in the government”. The import of that statement is that President Buhari believes in the course he is pursuing and he thinks everything is on point. History will be his judge in this respect but I hasten to add that right now a lot of Nigerians would share his wife’s views about the state of the nation and not those of the President.

I pray Baba would hearken to the voice of reason that his wife represents and act in the best interest of Nigeria and by implication himself.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rituals, Blood and Death: The Spiritual Side Of Aso Villa By Reuben Abati. 

People tend to be alarmed when the Nigerian Presidency takes certain decisions. They don’t think the decision makes sense. Sometimes, they wonder if something has not gone wrong with the thinking process at that highest level of the country. I have heard people insist that there is some form of witchcraft at work in the country’s seat of government. I am ordinarily not a superstitious person, but working in the Villa, I eventually became convinced that there must be something supernatural about power and closeness to it. I’ll start with a personal testimony. I was given an apartment to live in inside the Villa. It was furnished and equipped. But when my son, Michael arrived, one of my brothers came with a pastor who was supposed to stay in the apartment. But the man refused claiming that the Villa was full of evil spirits and that there would soon be a fire accident in the apartment. He complained about too much human sacrifice around the Villa and advised that my family must never sleep overnight inside the Villa.

I thought the man was talking nonsense and he wanted the luxury of a hotel accommodation. But he turned out to be right. The day I hosted family friends in that apartment and they slept overnight, there was indeed a fire accident. The guests escaped and they were so thankful. Not long after, the President’s physician living two compounds away had a fire accident in his home. He and his children could have died. He escaped with bruises. Around the Villa while I was there, someone always died or their relations died. I can confirm that every principal officer suffered one tragedy or the other; it was as if you needed to sacrifice something to remain on duty inside that environment. Even some of the women became merchants of dildo because they had suffered a special kind of death in their homes (I am sorry to reveal this) and many of the men complained about something that had died below their waists too. The ones who did not have such misfortune had one ailment or the other that they had to nurse. From cancer to brain and prostate surgery and whatever, the Villa was a hospital full of agonizing patients.

I recall the example of one particular man, an asset to the Jonathan Presidency who practically ran away from the Villa. He said he needed to save his life. He was quite certain that if he continued to hang around, he would die. I can’t talk about colleagues who lost daughters and sons, brothers and uncles, mothers and fathers, and the many obituaries that we issued. Even the President was multiply bereaved. His wife, Mama Peace was in and out of hospital at a point, undergoing many surgeries. You may have forgotten but after her husband lost the election and he conceded victory, all her ailments vanished, all scheduled surgeries were found to be no longer necessary and since then she has been hale and hearty. By the same token, all those our colleagues who used to come to work to complain about a certain death beneath their waists and who relied on videos and other instruments to entertain wives (take it easy boys, I don’t mean nay harm, I am writing!), have all experienced a re-awakening.

Everyone who went under the blade has received miraculous healing, and we are happy to be out of that place. But others were not so lucky. They died. There were days when convoys ran into ditches and lives were lost. In Norway, our helicopter almost crashed into a mountain. That was the first time I saw the President panicking. The weather was all so hazy and he just kept saying it would not be nice for the President of a country to die in a helicopter crash due to pilot miscalculations. The President went into a prayer mode. We survived. In Kenya once, we had a bird strike. The plane had to be recalled and we were already airborne with the plane acting like it would crash. During the 2015 election campaigns, our aircraft refused to start on more than one occasion. The aircraft just went dead. On some other occasions, we were stoned and directly targeted for evil. I really don’t envy the people who work in Aso Villa, the seat of Nigeria’s Presidency. For about six months, I couldn’t even breathe properly. For another two months, I was on crutches. But I considered myself far luckier than the others who were either nursing a terminal disease or who could not get it up.

When Presidents make mistakes, they are probably victims of a force higher than what we can imagine. Every student of Aso Villa politics would readily admit that when people get in there, they actually become something else. They act like they are under a spell. When you issue a well- crafted statement, the public accepts it wrongly. When the President makes a speech and he truly means well, the speech is interpreted wrongly by the public. When a policy is introduced, somehow, something just goes wrong. In our days, a lot of people used to complain that the APC people were fighting us spiritually and that there was a witchcraft dimension to the governance process in Nigeria. But the APC folks now in power are dealing with the same demons. Since Buhari government assumed office, it has been one mistake after another. Those mistakes don’t look normal, the same way they didn’t look normal under President Jonathan. I am therefore convinced that there is an evil spell enveloping this country. We need to rescue Nigeria from the forces of darkness. Aso Villa should be converted into a spiritual museum, and abandoned.

Should I become President of Nigeria tomorrow, I will build a new Presidential Villa: a Villa that will be dedicated to the all-conquering Almighty, and where powers and principalities cannot hold sway. But it is not about buildings and space, not so? It is about the people who go to the highest levels in Nigeria. I really don’t quite believe in superstitions, but I am tempted to suggest that this is indeed a country in need of prayers. We should pray before people pack their things into Aso Villa. We should ask God to guide us before we appoint ministers. We should, to put it in technocratic language, advise that the people should be very vigilant. We have all failed so far, that crucial test of vigilance. We should have a Presidential Villa where a President can afford to be human and free. In the White House, in the United States, Presidents live like normal human beings. In Aso Villa, that is impossible. They’d have to surround themselves with cooks from their villages, bodyguards from their mother’s clans and friends they can trust. It should be possible to be President of Nigeria without having to look behind one’s shoulders. But we are not yet there. So, how do we run a Presidency where the man in the saddle can only drink water served by his kinsman? No. How can we possibly run a Presidency where every President proclaims faith in Nigeria but they are better off in the company of relatives and kinsmen. No. We need as Presidents men and women who are willing to be Nigerians. No Nigerian President should be in spiritual bondage because he belongs to all of us and to nobody.

Now let me go back to the spiritual dimension. A colleague once told me that I was the most naïve person around the place. I thought I was a bright, smart, professional doing my bit and enjoying the President’s confidence. I spelled it out. But what I got in response was that I was coming to the villa using Lux soap, but that most people around the place always bathed in the morning with blood. Goat blood. Ram blood. Whatever animal blood. I argued. He said there were persons in the Villa walking upside down, head to the ground. I screamed. Everybody looked normal to me. But I soon began to suspect that I was in a strange environment indeed. Every position change was an opportunity for warfare. Civil servants are very nice people; they obey orders, but they are not very nice when they fight over personal interests.

The President is most affected by the atmosphere around him. He can make wrong decisions based on the cloud of evil around him. Even when he means well and he has taken time to address all possible outcomes, he could get on the wrong side of the public. A colleague called me one day and told me a story about how a decision had been taken in the spiritual realm about the Nigerian government. He talked about the spirit of error, and how every step taken by the administration would appear to the public like an error. He didn’t resign on that basis but his words proved prophetic. I see the same story being re-enacted. Aso Villa is in urgent need of redemption. I never slept in the apartment they gave me in that Villa for an hour.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aisha Belongs To My Kitchen and My Bedroom, President Buhari Responds To Aisha Buhari. 

President Buhari and his wife, Aisha Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to comments made by his wife, Aisha, that she may not support him if he seeks reelection in 2019. She further said the president no longer has control over the Nation and his political party. 
“I will not go out and campaign again and ask any woman to vote like I did before. I will never do it again,” Mrs Buhari said in an interview with BBC Hausa’s Naziru Mikailu.

But President Buhari has laughed off his wife’s comment while talking to reporters in Germany where he is meeting with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

“I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room,” said President Buhari, Associated Press reported.

Mrs Buhari claimed that her husband is surrounded by people he does not know and suggested that the government might have been hijacked from him, a sentiment shared by the president of the Nigerian senate, Bukola Saraki.

Saraki had on June 27, 2016, claimed that there was a cabal in the Federal Government that had taken over the rein of government from President Buhari.

But the president has discounted Mrs Buhari’s sentiments. “So I claim superior knowledge over her and the rest of the opposition because in the end I have succeeded,” he said.

“It’s not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties or to participate in the government.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Position Of The National Judicial Council On The Recent Invasion Of The Residences And Arrest Of Judicial Officers By The Department Of State Services (DSS). 

​At its last Emergency Meeting which was held on  October 11th 2016, Council decided among other matters, as follows:

That the National Judicial Council is a creation, by virtue of Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, with its powers specified in Paragraph 21 of Part One of the Third Schedule whereof.
That by virtue of Section 160 of the 1999 Constitution, Council fashioned out:
Judicial Discipline Regulations;

ii)      Revised NJC Guidelines and Procedural Rules for the   Appointment of Judicial Officers of all Superior Courts of Record;

iii)      Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and

   iv)    National Judicial Policy
to inter-alia, regulate its own procedure while exercising its Constitutional Powers.

3.      That Section 158 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, has unequivocally provided for the independence of the National Judicial Council vis-à-vis directing or controlling it by any authority or person while exercising its powers.
4.      Reiterated its absolute confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari Administration and its unwavering determination to uphold the Principles of Democracy, Separation of Powers and the Rule of Law enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and the United Nations Charter, which Nigeria is a Member.
5.      That it shall continue to support the President Buhari Administration in its fight against corruption in all its ramifications in the Federation; and in cleansing the Judiciary of corrupt Judicial Officers.
6.      However, expresses its grave concern on the recent invasion of the Residences and arrest of some serving and suspended Judicial Officers by the Department of State Services (“DSS”); and condemned the action in its entirety.
7.      Viewed the action as a threat to the Independence of the Judiciary, which portends great danger to our democracy; and also considered the action as a clear attempt by the DSS to humiliate, intimidate, denigrate and cow the Judiciary. 


         The Public is aware that Hon. Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, was arrested after his House was invaded by heavily armed and masked operatives of the Department of States Security on Friday 7th October,2016. The operatives did not leave his house until 12.00 noon of the followingday, when he was whisked away to the (“DSS”) office.

The Residence of Hon. Justice Inyang Okoro, a Justice of Supreme Court of Nigeria, was raided in the same manner and was arrested by the same operatives of the DSS.
         Contrary to the claim by the DSS and as published in the electronic and print media, Council has never received any petition against the aforesaid Judicial Officers: Hon. Justices Ngwuta and Okoro of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, by the DSS.
At its Meeting which was held on 29thSeptember, 2016, Council had found His Lordship culpable of professional misconduct contrary to Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the provisions of Section 292 of 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria. Accordingly, he was recommended to Mr President for compulsory retirement from office following the petition written by one MrNnamdi Iro Oji for demanding the sum of N200,000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) bribe.  It is to be stressed that from the evidence before the Council, Hon. Justice Ladan Tsamiya did not receive N200m bribe.  The Petitioner adduced evidence to support his allegation that Hon. Justice Tsamiya only demanded forthe money.
 In the exercise of its power, Council had suspended Justice Tsamiya from office, pending when the President will act on the recommendation. And Mr. President has approved the recommendation of the Council and compulsorily retired His Lordship from office yesterday, the 12th day of October, 2016.

         Hon. Justice I. A. Umezulike, OFR, Chief Judge, Enugu State, was recommended for compulsory retirement from office to Enugu State Governor for gross misconduct, pursuant to the petition written against him by Mr. Peter Eze.
         In the meantime, National Judicial Council has suspended His Lordship from office pending when the Governor of Enugu State will act on its recommendation.
        Hon. Justice A. F. A. Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division has been petitioned by Hon. Jenkins Duviegiane Gwebe on allegations bordering on corrupt practices.

         Currently, a Committee of the Council is investigating the allegations.

         There is no other petition against Hon. Justice Ademola from DSS pending at the National Judicial Council.
         Hon. Justice Kabiru Auta was investigated by Council based on allegations of corrupt practices levelledagainst him in a petition forwarded to Council by one Alhaji Kabiru Yakassai. His Lordship was recommended to the Governor of Kano State for removal from office by dismissal.  Council wrote separately to the AIG Kano Zone 1, for Police to prosecute Hon. Justice Auta.
Council has suspended His Lordship from office pending when the Governor will act on its recommendation.
The DSS petitioned the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council alleging corrupt practices against Hon. Justice Pindiga, inter-alia:-
“i)     That the Hon. Judge in a bid to illegally enrich himself, perfected plans through third party proxies/conduits, with a view to influencing the outcome of the Election Tribunal in the governorship polls in favour of the incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike.
 ii)    That further ongoing discreet investigation, Justice Pindiga is observed to have illegally enriched himself through corrupt means. Part of the illegitimate proceeds suspected to have accrued to Pindiga includes the underlisted:
a)      Two (2) completed blocks of six (6) units 2 bedroom flats in Federal Low CostEstate in Gombe metropolis;
b)      Four (4) units of bungalow in another part of the Estate;
c)      An uncompleted property at GRA in Gombe Metropolis;
d)      a Mercedes Benz C300 car in the name of MUBAJJAL;
e)      A Toyota Venza-Model SUV.
iii)   From all indications, it is apparent that Pindiga, who is a very Senior Justice in Gombe State, is highly corrupt. His continuous stay as a Justice in any capacity would likely embarrass the current administration and pervert the cause of justice. In view of the foregoing, it is strongly advised that immediate necessary administrative and judicial measures be taken on him, including appropriate sanctions and trial to set a precedent to others of his like”.
The complaint containing the allegations of corrupt practices against the Hon. Judgewere conveyed in a letter Ref No. DGSS71/3161 and dated 26th February,2016, written by the DSS to the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council.  The petition was not supported by a verifying affidavit deposed to by the DSS, as required by the National Judicial Council Discipline Regulations 2014. The Petition should have been disregarded for non-compliance with the National Judicial Council Regulations, but by letter Ref. No. NJC/S.15/HC.GM/5/1/128 dated 19th April,2016, the DSS was notified and requested to comply and to depose to a verifying affidavit in support of the allegations of corrupt practices levelled against the Hon. Judge.
By letter Ref No. LSD.232/4/68 dated 6thMay, 2016, to the Council, the DSS deposed to a verifying affidavit in respect of the allegations against Justice Pindiga.
On the directive of the Council, Hon. Justice Mu’azu Pindiga responded to the allegations against him by DSS.  Thereafter, a Committee comprising Members of the Council investigated the allegations of corrupt practices.
Both Parties – The DSS and Hon. Justice Mu’azu Pindiga, together with their witnesses and counsel appeared before the Panel set up by Council in compliance with the National Judicial Discipline Regulations and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, on the Right to Fair Hearing.
The DSS was represented by a Director, S. U. Gambo, Esq. who is also a Legal Practitioner in the Department and Hon Justice Pindiga was represented by Joe Agi, SAN.
At the end of the investigation, the DSS could not substantiate any of the allegations of corrupt practices either by documentary or oral evidence against the Hon. Justice Pindiga.
Consequently, at its Meeting of 15th July,2016, Council decided to exonerate Hon. Justice Pindiga of the allegations of corrupt practices levelled against him by DSS.
The Council’s decision was conveyed to Hon. Justice Pindiga in a letter Ref. No. NJC/HC.GM/5/1/132 of 9th August, 2016 and copied the DSS.
Council is aware that DSS had written a complaint alleging corrupt practices and professional misconduct against Hon. Justice Dimgba by a letter Ref. No. LSD.158/2/31 dated 5th August, 2016.
At its Meeting of 29th September, 2016, Council constituted a Fact Finding Committee comprising its Members to investigate the allegation.
During the last Emergency Meeting of the Council, it received a Report from Hon. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba that his Residence was also raided and ransacked; and in the process, his nephew and driver were man-handled, using a wrong search warrant which was not meant for the search of his house.
The Committee has commenced the process of investigating the allegations before the recent unfortunate raid and search of Hon.  Justice Dimgba’s Residence.
9.      Council meticulously considered the entire unfolding events that led to the arrest of the Judicial Officers and the misinformation and disinformation making rounds in both Electronic and Print Media that the DSS acted thus because the National Judicial Council was shielding the Judicial Officers from investigation and prosecution for corrupt practices and professional misconduct.
10.    Council noted particularly, that from the available records, the DSS forwarded only two(2 no.) separate complaints containing allegations of Corrupt Practices against Hon. Justice Pindiga; and corrupt practices and professional misconduct against Hon. Justice Dimgba.
11.    The impression created and widely circulated before the public, that the DSS forwarded a number of petitions containing various allegations of corrupt practices and professional misconduct against some Judicial Officers to the Council, and they were not investigated, is not correct.  The Council urges the DSS to make public the particulars of such petitions to put the records straight. 
12.    Given the above background facts, on behalf of the Judiciary, Council is constrained to inform the general public that all petitions and complaints forwarded against Judicial Officers bordering on corrupt practices and professional misconduct, have been attended to and investigated, where applicable, by Council since year 2000 to date, within the powers conferred on it by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
13.    Therefore, any Judicial Officer that was reprimanded by Council or recommended for removal from office by compulsory retirement or dismissal to the President or Governor, was done in compliance with the Constitutional power, Rule of Law and Due Process.
14.    From year 2000, when the National Judicial Council held its inaugural Meeting to 2016, 1808 petitions and complaints against Judicial Officers, including Chief Justices of Nigeria, Justices of Supreme Court and Court of Appeal were received by the respective Honourable, the Chief Justices of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council.  Eighty-two (82 No.) of the Judicial Officers were reprimanded (suspension, caution or warning), by Council, in the exercise of its exclusive Constitutional Disciplinary power over Judicial Officers. Thirty-eight (38 No.) of the Judicial Officers were recommended to the President or Governor where applicable, for compulsory retirement from office; while twelve (12 No.) were recommended to the President or Governor as the case may be, for dismissal from office.
In conclusion, Council wishes to state as follows:-
That it maintains its earlier decision that no Judicial Officer shall be invited by any Institution including the DSS, without complying with the Rule of Law and Due Process.  That explains why when the DSS wrote to the Council by letter Ref. No. LSC.960/4 dated 14th September, 2016, to direct Hon. Justice Mu’azu Pindiga to appear before it, The Hon. The Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council directed the Hon. Chief Judge of Gombe State to ask Hon. Justice Mu’azu Pindiga to report to DSS, which His Lordship did.
That the National Judicial Council has never shielded nor will it shield any Judicial Officer who has committed any misconduct.

3)      That the Department of State Services is an Agency in the Presidency and its functions as specified in the statute establishing it, is primarily concerned with the internal security of the Country.
4)      That the action of the DSS is a denigration of the entire Judiciary, as an institution.
5)      That by the act of the DSS, Judicial Officers are now being subjected to insecurity, as criminals might take advantage of the recent incidents to invade their residences under the guise of being security agents.
6)      The Council vehemently denounces a situation whereby the Psyche of Judicial Officers in the Federation is subjected to a level where they would be afraid to discharge their Constitutional judicial functions, without fear or favour, intimidation, victimization or suppression.
7)      The Council will not compromise the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary.
8)      The Council wishes to reassure the public that any person who has a genuine complaint against any Judicial Officer is at liberty to bring it up to the Council for consideration, after following due process vide its Judicial Discipline Regulations.
9)      At the end of the Meeting, Council unanimously agreed to recommend Hon. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, CFR, as the most senior, suitable and competent Justice of the Supreme Court to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for appointment as the next Chief Justice of Nigeria to succeed Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed GCON who retires from office on 10th November, 2016.

Soji Oye, Esq
Ag. Director (Information)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment