His ebony skin stood out in sharp contrast to the white crowd pressing to get a better view.
The young African boy bared his teeth at the men and women staring at him through the bars. They were sharpened into dagger-like points, making him appear all the more barbaric to the ignorant hordes.
Above the cage hung a sign proclaiming: 'The Missing Link.' A baby chimp sat disconsolately at the bottom of the enclosure, a single companion to the boy.
Exploited: Pygmy Ota Benga on display with monkeys at Bronx Zoo in 1906
The year was 1906. This was a pygmy, brought to America as a novelty to be put on display in the monkey house.
The New York Times reported: 'There were 40,000 visitors to the park on Sunday. Nearly every man, woman and child of this crowd made for the monkey house to see the star attraction in the park - the wild man from Africa.
'They chased him about the grounds all day, howling, jeering, and yelling. Some of them poked him in the ribs, others tripped him up, all laughed at him.'
Suddenly, the boy turned. Taking the bow and arrow given to him as an ethnic accessory, he shot at the gawpers. His arrow did no harm, but he did scare the life out of the onlookers.
This was Ota Benga, a pygmy, brought from the Congo and put on display in a zoo as an example of what scientists at the time proclaimed to be an evolutionary inferior race.
His story would divide a nation, and is now told for the first time in a new documentary, The Human Zoo.
The programme lifts the lid on a dark period in history, where 'natives' were paraded as exhibits, fuelling the spread of white supremacism and even contributing to the rise of Nazism.
Tragically, Benga became the victim of one of the most awful acts of exploitation ever seen and died a shadow of the proud young tribesman who arrived in America.
So just who was he, and how did this grotesque experiment help shape the 20th century view of race?
A hundred years ago, before television and mass tourism, a handful of enterprising adventurers, anthropologists and businessman decided to bring the far-flung glories of the world to life in one place.
Huge fairs were held in Paris, London and America, exhibiting everything from Italian gondolas to African elephants.
Having promised the world, there was pressure to deliver: people were the next quarry.
In 1904, the showman anthropologist William McGee conceived the idea of a human zoo, to be held in St Louis in the U.S. state of Missouri.
It was designed to be one of the largest scientific experiments ever undertaken and would be spectacular public entertainment.
McGee wanted the tallest people in the world, veritable giants from Patagonia, at the tip of South America. He wanted the Ainu, who lived on an island north of Japan and were supposedly the hairiest humans. He placed an order for 300 Filipinos - there is no record of why he wanted so many.
His grandson, Phillips Verner Bradford, says: 'If you told him that a place was dangerous, he'd say: "I want to go there!" He was that sort of guy.'
Verner took a boat from New York to London, down the European coast and around Africa to the Congo River.
Bradford says: 'He made his way up the Congo River with steamers as far as they would go. Once he arrived at the great waterfalls, he had to hire a crew of natives.'
They encountered crocodiles and hippopotamuses, and deadly whirlpools that could sink a boat.
Eventually, Verner made it into the jungle. He blithely walked into a village of cannibals, and found that they had captured a rival tribe who were being held in cages, ready to be eaten.
The final proof? Memoirs that may show Hitler DID order the 'final solution' to be published after his right-hand man dies
To his delight, the prisoners were pygmies, or Mbuti - just what he was looking for. He began negotiating. Talking to the pygmies in their native Chiluba, he established that they would rather be taken to America than eaten. He bought six pygmies from their captors for a roll of brass wire and some salt.
One pygmy stood out. He was Ota. Photos of him taken in the Congo show a playful, chubby young man, a broad smile revealing his sharpened teeth, which were filed in his youth.
He looks healthy, spirited and full of life, standing around 4ft 8in tall.
He had never seen a white man before. Verner realised that he had a hugely marketable proposition on his hands, and made the return trip across the Atlantic with his human treasure.
For their part, the pygmies were intrigued by everything they saw and were full of questions: how did the boat work? Was there a cage of hippopotamuses down beneath pedalling it along? Verner showed them how the steam engine functioned.
Docking at New Orleans in June 1904, the Africans caught their first glimpse of America. They were stunned by the tall buildings and wide streets.
The six pygmies were sent to St Louis by rail. There, they became McGee's most important exhibits, the centerpiece of the St Louis World Fair, feted by society and academics alike.
Adverts proclaimed: 'They live in forests, they are extremely shy. They eat the flesh of wild animals killed with poisoned arrows. They are cruel, finding delight in torturing animals.
'They have long heads, long narrow faces and little red eyes, set close together like those of ferrets. Their bodies are exceptionally hairy.
'A pygmy has been known to eat 60 bananas at one meal, in addition to other food, and then ask for more.
'They seem to be controlled by an impulse that makes them delight in wickedness. If caught young, they are said to make excellent servants.'
Scientific racism: Ota Benga's Bronx Zoo captors had an admirer in Hitler
He wanted what he considered the most primitive American Indian tribe, the Cocopah in Mexico. He asked for Eskimos.
But most of all, he wanted the smallest people in the world. He needed pygmies. He had heard that they were very short and very black, and he had to have one.
Explorer Samuel Phillips Verner was dispatched by McGee to the Belgian Congo with a shopping list.
It read: 'One pygmy patriarch or chief. One adult woman, preferably his wife. One adult man, preferably his son. One adult woman, the wife of the last or daughter of the first. One female youth unmarried. Two infants. A priestess and a priest, or medicine doctors, preferably old. All of the above to be pygmies.'
Duly detailed, Verner set off for deepest Africa. He knew that this operation could be the making of him, putting him in the same league as Henry Stanley and Dr David Livingstone.
As the sales pitch shows, the human zoo played into the hands of white supremacists, teaching the public that there was a hierarchy of races, with the white man at the top and all others beneath.
McGee himself, in his book The Trend Of Human Progress, published in 1899, wrote: 'Those who know the races realise that the average white man is stronger of limb, fleeter of foot, clearer of eye, than the average yellow or red or black.'
Bastardising Darwin's theory of evolution, McGee saw each race as a stage in human evolution - with pygmies the least evolved of the species. With his rudimentary Victorian understanding of science, he believed they were the living missing link between apes and humans.
The human zoo was a fantastic success - and widely copied. Dr Sadiah Qureshi, a historian at the University of Cambridge, says: 'Millions of people went to see these shows at their peak. Originally you would get a show in a local theatre. By the late 19th century you would see hundreds, if not a couple of thousand people living on site, eating and on constant display.'
Indeed, some years later, in 1924, King George V and Queen Mary inspected the live exhibits at the British Empire Exhibition, at Wembley. Some Europeans' curiosity knew no bounds, however.
Qureshi says: 'The 1899 exhibition Savage South Africa held at Earl's Court in London caused quite a stir. At one point women were banned from going inside because they had supposedly been touching the natives.' For almost
a year, Ota and the other pygmies lived in America as human exhibits. They were made to build native houses, perform traditional dance ceremonies, live partially naked and cook authentic food.
Ota was described in the press as 'a dwarfy, black specimen of sad-eyed humanity'. With his filed tribal teeth, he was the most celebrated pygmy and dubbed 'Lord of the savage world'. He posed for photographs for 25 cents.
In 1905, after they had been viewed by a total of 20 million people, Verner took the pygmies home to the Congo.
Ota had planned to rejoin his tribe - but discovered that they had been entirely wiped out by Belgian soldiers. He married a girl from the nearby Batwa tribe, and appeared to settle back into life in Africa.
Then his wife was bitten by a poisonous snake and died. The Batwa rejected him, believing he was cursed and responsible for the young woman's death. Ota was cast adrift, a stranger in his own land.
He begged his friend Verner to take him back to America. Verner was reluctant, but eventually acquiesced, taking him to New York.
The pair shared the 3,000-mile sea voyage with crates of live animals, parrots, monkeys, snakes and other exotic booty, which Verner planned to sell in America. On the ship, Ota discovered cigarettes and drink.
Arriving in New York, Verner - who had business to do - bade him farewell, arranging accommodation in a spare room - this time he was not on show - at the American Museum of Natural History. There, he thought Ota would be safe.
Soon, however, he came to the attention of William Hornaday, a conservationist and director of the Bronx Zoo.
Collaborating with one of America's most notorious racists, Madison Grant, he conceived a plan.
Grant wanted to promote 'scientific racism', talking in terms of 'purity of type', and the survival of the white master race.
In 1930, after his work The Passing Of The Great Race was translated into German, Grant received a letter from an aspiring politician, saying 'your book is my bible'.
The man was Adolf Hitler. He would indeed use 'scientific racism' as the foundation for the Third Reich, giving academic grounding to the Holocaust.
Together, Hornaday and Grant offered to take charge of Ota Benga, who initially believed he would be looking after the Bronx Zoo's elephants.
In fact, he was going to be put on public display as a living example of 'racial inferiority'. Immediately, the exhibition prompted criticism. The New York Times reported on September 9, 1906: 'The exhibition was that of a human being in a monkey cage. A human being. In a monkey cage.
'The human being happened to be a Bushman, one of a race that scientists do not rate high in the human scale, but to the average nonscientific person in the crowd of sightseers there was something about the display that was unpleasant.
'It is probably a good thing that Benga doesn't think very deeply. If he did it isn't likely that he was very proud of himself when he woke in the morning and found himself under the same roof with the orang-utans and monkeys, for that is where he really is.'
The exhibition was a sensation. On a single day, 40,000 people arrived to see Ota and his chimp. The show lasted only two weeks, however, due to a public outcry, and human zoos as a phenomenon died out by the Forties.
So what became of Ota Benga? After he was removed from the Bronx Zoo, there was great debate regarding his fate. African-American church ministers insisted he be released - not for his comfort, but because they wanted to convert the pygmy to Christianity.
He was eventually placed in an orphanage for black children, the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum, to be 'civilised'. He was dressed in Western clothes and taught how to eat, talk and behave like an American.
He had his pointed teeth capped and attended a Baptist seminary, where he started to study English.
He was kept out of the public eye for four years. Eventually, he moved from New York to the backwater town of Lynchburg, Virginia, where he became a local curiosity and was known as Otto Bingo.
Forevermore haunted by his time in the monkey cage, he would repeatedly slap his chest, declaring: 'I am a man. I am a man.'
He began to save money to return to the Congo, working in a tobacco factory. With the outbreak of World War I, this became impossible and Ota sunk into depression.
He never did make it home. One evening, he went into a barn behind the village general store. He chipped off the caps hiding his teeth, restoring them to their filed-down glory, lit a small ceremonial campfire, and shot himself in the head, dying ten years after being put on display at the Bronx zoo. He was 32 years old.
His story now bears testament to the ignorance of those who believed themselves superior to him.
He was buried in an unmarked grave, but he left his mark on the world, exposing as moral pygmies the lesser men who would cage a human.
Nigeria defeats Argentina 2-1, wins Group A, advances to Second RoundAfter going a goal down early against Argentina in their final Group A game in Bauchi, hosts and holders Nigeria stormed back to win 2-1 and book their place in the knockout stages as section winners. Argentina, who went into the game already assured of qualification, will have to settle for second place.Omo Ojabu (r) celebrates with his team mates after scoring team's first goal during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Group A match against Argentina in Bauchi on October 30, 2009.(Photo by Joem Polles - FIFA)advertisementNigeria's first game away from the capital began at a torrid pace. Barely had two minutes ticked off the clock than the Argentine guests - already assured of a place in the knockout rounds and with many changes in the squad - offered their hosts no favours by scoring the opener. After quite a nice build-up, Esteban Orfano took control of the ball, burst into the area and slammed a left-footer home to stunned silence from the home crowd.The Bauchi faithful didn't have long to wait for their beloved Golden Eaglets to draw level when, in the fifth minute, a corner kick was flicked on expertly at the near post by Kenneth Omeruo, for Omoh Ojabu to push home from six yards out.The game began to calm down a bit after the madcap start, with both sides settling into their rhythm. The hosts were hampered when scorer Ojabu injured his knee and needed to be replaced in the in the 31st minute, Sani Emmanuel replacing him. The new man missed a golden chance to score just two minutes after coming on. Damian Martinez spilled a shot from distance, but Emmanuel somehow conspired to chip his rebound from six yards over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Shortly after, the Argentine keeper was at work again when he pushed Ramon Azeez's dangerous snap shot from 30 yards around the post.The Nigerians began the second half hunting a winner and putting Argentina on the back foot. Finally, after multiple waves of attack, they got the breakthrough they needed when Federico Rasmussen hauled down Olarenwaju Kayode in the penalty area. Substitute Emmanuel, of all people, stepped up bravely to make amends for his profligate earlier miss to hammer home a perfect penalty and make it 2-1 for the hosts.With seven points from their three Group A games, Nigeria are through to the knockout stages as first-place in the section. Argentina finish second with six points, while Germany, who beat Honduras in their game in Abuja, will have to wait and see if their four points are enough to see them through as one of the top third-place finishers.
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has sealed off a popular fast food outfit, Sweet Sensation Confectioneries, for operating under a condition considered inimical to the health of the public Director General of the agency, Dr. Paul Orhii, who revealed this at a press conference yesterday, said the eatery located at 14, Town Planning way, Ilupeju, Lagos, was operating under very unhygienic conditions.
Speaking on how the closure was carried out, Orhii said a team of NAFDAC inspectors met with officials of the company who conducted them round the entire premises ‘’it was shocking for the inspectors to discover that the source of water of the eatery was a borehole located close to an underground concrete sewage without proper treatment”.
“Not only that, the storage condition of the ready food for eating was inadequate, while the company uses a ceramic bath tub for mixing dough for their pastries.
He also added that the company’s kitchen windows and doors were not netted to protect the premises from pests such as rats, cockroaches and flies.
The general sanitation of the premises was said to be appealing, as plates were said to be stored close to the open drains and exposed to microbial contamination, which could lead to food poisoning leading to stomach-ache, diarrhea and vomiting.
The agency warns that the inspection of food joints in the country continues and any company found wanting would be penalized accordingly.
resurrected by Tony Award winning director, Bill T. Jones in a manner that makes the legend more accessible to Western audiences. For those who are unacquainted with his music or reputation for being a thorn in the flesh of military rulers and despots in Africa and around the world, this production does a lot to educate while entertaining with memorable beats and the signatory blare of the saxophone.Fela! takes the audience into the legendary nightclub “African Shrine” where the musical icon and political activist played for several years, perfecting his music and criticism of the military junta in his homeland. A biography ensues as Fela takes the crowd through his life story, his relationship with his mother, his rebellion against zombie soldiers and the origin of his style of music, Afro-beat. The performance is quite interactive with the hip-gyrating dancers filing through the theatre and Fela’s insistence of crowd participation. Brooklyn-based Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, who has been performing Fela’s music since his death in 1997, also does not disappoint.Fela! is an explosive, awe-inspiring show and perhaps the best and most original part of the production is when it explores the relationship between the musician and his accomplished mother with a backdrop of African rituals and egungun spirits. It is not too often that a musical depicting an African character makes it to Broadway and Anikulapo-Kuti comes across as a champion for the rights of his people, music as his weapon, fighting till the very end.-- Osahon Akpata (Monday, Oct. 19, 2009)Fela!, Contains spirituality and brief smoking. In English, Pidgin English and Yoruba with subtitles. At the Eugene O’Neil Theatre in previews with the official opening date set for November 23rd, 2009.
The Sudanese government has apologised to Nigerians and the Senate President, David Mark, for shutting its airport in Khartoum against him and his entourage on Monday.
The United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) have also apologised to the Nigerian government over the incident.
In separate apologies, the Sudanese government and the two international unions said investigation has begun into the circumstances that led to the “mishap.” Ghazi Salahudin Atabani, the majority leader of the Sudanese parliament and the representative of the Sudanese president said: “We apologize for this mishap; the Sudanese government is embarrassed because it was not intended.” The Presidential aircraft conveying Mr. Mark and other senators who were going to visit Nigerian troops on peace mission in the war ravaged Sudan were refused landing at the Khartoum Airport on Monday, forcing the pilot to return to Abuja.
According to Mr. Atabani, “The incident was caused by communication gap, because for some time now, the Khartoum airport runway has been undergoing repairs between 8:00am and 3:00pm. However, the incident is regrettable.”
Mr. Mark, however, said the incident “is totally unacceptable to Nigeria. We feel extremely disappointed over the incident because it was a scheduled visit.” Ibrahim Idah (PDP Katsina State) and chairman senate committee on defence and a member of the delegation said that back, the Sudanese government closed the airport to international flights, with the full knowledge of their visit.
He added that the Sudanese government contacted the presidential pilot conveying the Nigerian envoy through the Chadian airport authorities that they will not be able to land in Khartoum.
“The delegation already entered the Sudanese airspace then.” Mr. Idah explained.
He added that efforts made to reach the Sudanese authorities to clarify their position failed, as the airport authorities bluffed their calls and that even the Nigerian ambassador in Sudan was unaware of the repairs at the airport.
The head of the Joint African Union and the United Nations Hybrid Operations in Darfur, Henry Abyidoho, was also part of the fence mending envoy seeking to pacify the Senate president.
However, Mark told him, “I have noted your apology and hoped that the incident will be looked into. We have reported the matter to our Foreign Affairs Ministry. We believe that without peace, there can be no democracy in Africa. We hope that the incident will not mar the relationship between both countries,” the Senate president added.
The Sudanese president Omar B ashir was originally scheduled to visit Nigeria on Thursday before local and international calls for his arrest forced him to cancel the trip. Mr Bashir is wanted by the Inter national Criminal Court for his role in the ge nocide at the Darfur region of Sudan.
Nigeria's Kachi Ozumba has been named as the winner of the Africa regional prize of the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. His story, "The One-armed Thief", was adjudged as the best from the region in the yearly competition. Three other Nigerians were named in the "Highly Commended" category. They are Ayobami Adebayo for his story "Dreams"; Akinwumi Akinwale for "LIFO" and Mbofung Carlang for "The Father's blessings".
The overall prize was won by Jennifer Moore from the United Kindom. The Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, the organiser of the competition, describes her winning story "Table Talk" as "a witty and poignant conversation about life and death". Moore's winning story was the best story from the Canada and Europe region before winning the overall prize.
The winners were chosen from about 4000 entries sent in from all Commonwealth countries.
Since its establishment in 1996, the Commonwealth Short Story competition is open to writers from Commonwealth member-countries and continues to promote new voices in creative writing.
Posted by Politics X on October 30, 2009 at 6:46am
Oil major, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said it is cutting 5,000 jobs to deal with the harsh economic environment.The cut is part of a larger "Transition 2009" restructuring programme. It envisages that 10 per cent of the company's 102,500 global workforce will be affected."We continue to focus on improving our competitive cost position, simplifying Shell, and increasing personal accountabilities. The Transition 2009 programme, which I announced earlier this year, is progressing well, and will be completed by the end of 2009. Some 5,000 employees are leaving Shell as a result of these changes. This represents around 10 per cent reduction in employees in the redesigned divisions and corporate functions," Peter Voser, Shell's new chief executive said in a statement on the company's website.Peter Voser Shell's new CEOImpact on Nigerian personnelBut it still remains unclear how much the job cuts will affect Shell Nigeria operations. Shell spokesperson in the country was yet to respond to enquiries about the impact of this on the local workforce as at press time.More than a thousand Shell workers in Nigeria have lost their jobs since the violence orchestrated by militants against the oil industry escalated in 2006. The company is worst hit by the militants' assault. The oil giant's onshore output currently stands at 120,000 barrels per day, down from about 300,000 barrels per day before the violence increased in the Niger Delta.Global operationsThe Anglo-Dutch oil giant reported that its quarterly profit fell sharply, and warns that the outlook remains "very uncertain".The company said profit for the three months to September, fell 73 per cent to $3 billion compared to $8.45 billion in the same period of last year.Shell said its oil and gas production for the third quarter was 2.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, similar to the same quarter last year.Excluding one-off and non-cash items, the result was $2.62 billion, slightly ahead of an average forecast of $2.55 billion according a Reuters poll of eight analysts."We see some indications that energy demand and pricing are improving, but the outlook remains very uncertain, and we are not expecting a quick recovery," Mr. Voser said on Thursday, in a statement.The results and pessimistic outlook contrast with third quarter earnings from London-based international oil company, BP Plc, which smashed forecasts by 50 per cent, lifting sector shares on Tuesday, on hopes the industry would weather the economic slump better than expected.They also follow renewed fears the global economic recovery may be more protracted than some had thought, a factor which weighed on crude prices on Thursday.Shell's London-listed A shares traded down 3.0 per cent at 1,853 pence early Thursday, while Eni's shares dropped 3.1 per cent to 17.02 Euros against a 1.0 per cent drop in the DJ Stoxx European oil and gas sector index.The same for EniItalian oil giant, Eni, also warned of a slow recovery, highlighting weak energy demand and operational challenges, as their profits slumped.The Milan-based Eni predicted European demand for natural gas and fuels will continue to shrink, and said it is cutting its production target for the year.Eni's third-quarter adjusted net profit, which also strips out inventory gains and non-operating items, fell 60.5 per cent to 1.15 billion Euros.
"It is vey pathetic that law makers would call for robbers to cease operations whilst the under 17 world cup is going on in Nigeria so that foreigners don't have a bad impression of Nigeria, how ludicrous. People like the Hon member Edward Ayo Odugbesan , represent the decay that is in our nation and has permeated all sphere of socio-political and economic fabric. What utter rubbish. what about the lives of thousands of Nigerians that are lost every year because of armed robbery and a very ineffective government that cannot provide security for its citizen. To even have the temerity to suggest they can continue after is enough grounds for him to lose his seat. What hope is there for our nation if people like this seat as law makers over us ?"
The Ogun State House of Assembly on Wednesday appealed to armed robbers operating in the state and neighbouring ones to suspend their activities in the light of the junior World Cup going on in the country.
The Assembly reminded the robbers that any of their operations during the period of the tournament will give the country a bad name, as several foreign visitors are in the country now. Ogun is one of the states hosting teams in the competition.
The lawmakers agreed to beg the bandits during deliberations on the floor of the House, at their Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta complex. A member, Edward Ayo Odugbesan had raised an alarm that the Isheri bridge, which links Ogun with Lagos State, has become a den of bandits.
Mr. Odugbesan said there is a need for the men of the underworld to suspend their operations in the interim, because of the on-going mundial. The Ijebu-Ode International Stadium is one of the centres being used for the competition.
"I want to appeal to the men of the underworld to suspend their actions and operations in the interim because of our foreign visitors currently in the state," he said. "Then they can resume thereafter, because there is nowhere in the world where robbers and robberies could be stopped from their work." He then called on his colleagues to support his call on the armed bandits to soft-pedal because the situation is becoming worrisome. "If foreigners witness the robbers' attacks at this point, it would send a bad signal to other nations," he said.
Police wake up
Reacting to Mr. Odugbesan's call, the Speaker, Tunji Egbetokun, called on the police leadership to intensify efforts in ensuring that security is maintained in the state. "I want to use the opportunity to call on the police to intensify efforts in checkmating criminals. They should please not relent in the efforts," he said. In a related development, the Assembly ordered the head of the Local Government Administration of Obafemi-Owode to appear before it next Wednesday for clarification on the budget and expenditure of the council.
The local government official was said to have dodged previous invitations over the past three months - a development which the Assembly faulted at its session yesterday. The lawmakers, therefore, directed the Clerk of the House, Demola Badejo, to write the official on the matter and direct him to report before it.
We regret that as at press Time The Chairman of The Robbers Association of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter could not be reached for comments .
O What a Gun filled State ! O GUN !
Are we Dreaming or is Bode George Really in Prison in Naija ? Well, All Mustapha (who is still there for Kudirats' Alleged Assasination !) welcomed him to his domain .....Boy George's Newest wife was there to offer him some breakfast comfort with her cronies ..Now the Cat is out of the house , the "mouse" wants to make sure where he is ... READ ON !
* Shuns prison food
* Gets appeal documents
* Visitors barred from seeing him
LAGOS — FORMER Chief Security officer to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, was one of the high-profile inmates of the Kirikiri Maximum-Security Prison who welcomed Chief Bode George, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the prison on his arrival, Monday, Vanguard can authoritatively reveal.
Vanguard also gathered that Chief George, who was sentenced to 28 years jail term by Justice Joseph Oyewole of the Lagos High Court, but to spend two-and-a-half years, has not eaten Prison food since Monday night, neither has he applied for food to be brought to him from his home.
Meantime, security at the Kirikiri prison was tightened yesterday as Chief George and five members of the board of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, which he chaired, spent their first day in the prison after being jailed, Monday.
Others jailed alongside George were former Managing Director of the NPA, Architect Aminu Dabo; Captain Olusegun Abidoye, Alhaji Zanna Maideribe and Alhai Sule Aliyu.
Reports say they were allocated beds in the ‘Important Personalities’ block of the prison yard.
But it could not be ascertained whether Chief George is sharing his cell with some of those convicted with him.
Vanguard, however, gathered that between two and three inmates are allowed to stay together in VIP cells.
According to the source, prison authorities do not allow a single person in a cell whether VIP or ordinary cell, for security reasons.
Besides, two of his personal assistants, counsel, family members, friends, relations and political associates who thronged the prison were not allowed to see him as fierce-looking prison warders restricted movement in and around the premises of the prison.
Vanguard investigation revealed that visitors are not allowed to see convicts on Tuesdays.
“There are specific days of visit for convicted persons and today (Tuesday) is not one of those visiting days”, said Mr. Ope Fatinikun, the Lagos Prisons Command’s Public Relations Officer.
Inside prison sources said the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stalwart was unusually calm as he was ushered into the Prison yard Monday to a rousing welcome by inmates.
The source said Chief George occasionally stared into space and shook his head in disbelief.
Al-Mustapha, who is standing trial for the murder of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late Chief M.K.O Abiola and attempted murder of the Publisher of The Guardian newspapers, Alex Ibru, before Justices M.O Dada and Mufutau Olokooba respectively, exchanged pleasantries with Chief George and they had a brief discussion during a free period.
Bode George shuns prison food
Vanguard was reliably told that Chief George had not eaten since his arrival at the prison Monday, even as he was not accorded a VIP treatment contrary to expectation.
It was not too clear whether he is on hunger strike but sources said he had not officially applied for food from home neither had he eaten prison’s food.
This was confirmed by Prison sources who said although he was not locked up with other ordinary criminals, he was not given preferential treatment.
Asked whether food was brought for him by his family or friends, the state command’s PRO, said he had not applied for food to be brought from outside.
According to him, “he has the right to apply for food but he has not done so since he arrived yesterday (Monday).”
According to Vanguard investigation, among those who attempted to see him yesterday were the immediate past Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA Dr Adegboyega Dosumu, some PDP Chieftains in Lagos and other prominent Nigerians who were said to have arrived the prison gate as early as 6:30am in exotic cars some with Federal Government licenced plates.
Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that final touches are being put to their appeal against their conviction as their lawyers were sighted on the prison’s premises believed to be part of efforts to get the convicts sign the notice of appeal drafted as well as the Motion for Appeal.
One of the lawyers who spoke with Vanguard on phone said, “we have concluded the typing of the process and ready for filing at the Registry. Unfortunately, we were unable to meet up by the time we got to the Registry of the High Court. Definitely, the process will be concluded first thing tomorrow (today),”
Day 1 in Kirikiri: ‘He’s an ordinary prisoner’
Kirikiri, where one of Nigeria’s maximum prisons is located in Lagos, is noted for receiving high-profile inmates over the years – convicted fraudster Fred Ajudua being one, for instance – but nobody of the stature of Bode George, former National Deputy Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in recent times.
Not surprisingly, hundreds thronged the prison yesterday to pay homage to the former chairman of the board of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).
When THISDAY visited the prison yesterday, it was discovered that prison officials who had anticipated a breakdown of law and order in premises as a result of the upsurge in the number of unexpected visitors, had drafted prison guards to contain the crowd.
They were said to have been mandated to scrutinise the identities of those who claimed to be visitors to George before they were allowed to enter the prison yard.
The relations of the PDP?chieftain and his fellow convicts were seen with assorted food flasks, gold plates and table water, such as Eva and Ragolis.
A prison source told THISDAY that some of the relations of George included a young woman identified as his new wife along with some of her friends who were seen at about 11.30 am in front of the prison gate making frantic efforts to smuggle in his breakfast with the knowledge of the prison authorities. One of them claimed that she had already received permission of some prison guards after identifying herself.
Attempts by THISDAY to seek audience with some of the politicians and relations of the influential inmates met a brick wall as they refused to either identify themselves or make any comments.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State command of the Nigeria Prisons Service, Mr. Ope Fatinikun, said that as far as the prison authorities were concerned, there was no “big man” within the prison custody no matter their status in the larger society before they were convicted.
“Bode George and others are Nigerians like any other inmates who are ordinary Nigerians, whom nobody has bothered to ask questions about their welfare within the prison walls across the country,” he added.
A female member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Niger state, has been reportedly strangulated to death by her male colleague . Nigerian Tribune learnt that the deceased and her assailant were both from the South Eastern part of the country.
During the on-going service year, according to the Nigerian Tribune findings, the two corps members developed interest in each other with a promise that they would end up before the alter to consummate their love in marriage.
However, according to findings, the female corps member later found another lover who was able to find her accommodation within the Army Barracks in Minna, the state capital.
It was learnt that anytime the male colleague called on a visit, he was always embarrassed to find other men in her apartment and he did not hide his dislike for the attitude of his proposed wife.
It was gathered that last Thursday, when the male corps member visited his colleague, he decided to “act” since the lady did not refrain from being in company of other men.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that late in the night, the male corps member used a pillow to gag his proposed wife and strangulated her to death before escaping.
this is coming after a female corper was recently raped to death
Female corper raped to death
National Youth Corps members serving in Borno State have been thrown into mourning following the gruesome killing of their colleague, Miss Grace Adie Ushang by unknown persons. Adie was allegedly raped to death last weekend and her body dumped beside a river at the Customs Area, Maiduguri.
read full story here
It was a show of shame on Sunday when a woman who lied to her husband that she was going for a night vigil died in a popular hotel (names withheld) during a sex romp with her lover.
The mother of seven identified as Modinat Alabi, 45, of Ereko Street, Fadeyi, Lagos, had lied to her husband a devout muslim that she was going for a night vigil but ended up lodging in a hotel with one Hezekiah Ladipo, 62, who also lives in the same street with the deceased. The duo, Daily Sun learnt, lodged in the hotel as husband and wife.
Daily Sun also gathered that the suspect, Ladipo also is married with three children. It was gathered that on the fateful day, the two lovers had lodged in the hotel, at about 2.45 am. Hezekiah reportedly rushed to the reception, where he complained that his wife collapsed and was gasping for breath during sex romp.
It was further gathered that when the receptionist rushed to the guest room, the woman who was naked had already given up the ghost.
Daily Sun learnt that when it dawned on Hezekiah that the woman was dead, he attempted to run away. The hotel management who suspected foul play arrested him and called in the police.
A police source told Daily Sun that it was during investigation that the suspect confessed that the woman he initially claimed as his wife was actually another man’s wife.
When the deceased’s husband was contacted, he was shocked, as he expected the wife to be at the night vigil.
However, the state police spokesman, Mr. Frank Mba, who confirmed the story told Daily Sun that the suspect was being investigated to know if there was ulterior motive rather than sex romp before the woman died. He described the act as shameful.
He said the corpse has been deposited at a public mortuary for autopsy while investigation is going on.
The Golden Eaglets improved their chances of making it to the knockout rounds of the FIFA U-17 World Cup when they defeated Honduras 1-0 last night at the National Stadium in Abuja. And with Germany losing to Argentina, all the Nigerians now need to advance to the last-16 is a draw against the Argentines on Friday at the Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi.
The game’s only goal arrived after 53 minutes, courtesy of Abdul Ajagun, whose curling effort proved more than a handful for Honduran goalkeeper, Harold Fonseca.
The Golden Eaglets could, however, have shot into the lead much earlier in the 16th minute through Edafe Egbedi but the forward opted for power over precision and shot straight at Fonseca when he had so much space to aim at.
The Eaglets continued to dictate the pace of the game but Eugenio Umanzor’s side remained resolute in the defence, but they had Fonseca to thank for keeping the score line even, especially in the 41st minute when he was well placed to stop a rasping drive from Eaglets captain, Fortune Chukwudi.
After the half-time break, the Hondurans took the game to the Nigerians and could have gone ahead in the 50th minute but for the outstretched arm of Eaglets goalkeeper, Dami Paul, which kept out the goal-bound shot of Antony Lozano.
But two minutes later, Stanley Okoro, who was booked a minute earlier for simulation, failed to get his header on target with only the goalkeeper to beat. His miss was soon forgotten though as Ajagun, seconds later, shot the Eaglets into the lead from the edge of the box.
Honduran captain, Lozano, kept proving more than a handful for the Eaglets’ backline with his close control and sublime skills but in the end it wasn’t enough to salvage any point for the Central Americans who could still finish a respectable third in Group A if they can get a win over Germany on Friday.
Earlier in the day, a pair of goals after many minutes saw Argentina storm back from a goal down to beat Germany also at the National Stadium in Abuja; a result that guarantees the South Americans a place in the round of 16 even before Friday’s match against the Flying Eagles.
The Germans, just as they did in their opening match against the Flying Eagles, shot into the lead after only eight minutes through Mario Goetze, who nodded the ball past Argentina’s goalkeeper, Damian Martinez, from a free kick for his second goal in many games.
And it could have been worse for the South Americans in the first half had Shkodran Mustafi, who scored in the game against Nigeria, not made a mess of a free header from an inch-perfect corner kick.
Argentina, however, started the second half with renewed strength and, in the 56th minute, Mustafi hauled down Daniel Villalva in the box. From the resultant penalty kick, captain Esteban Espindola stepped up to equalise. Then straight from the kick-off, a horrid German pass back allowed Sergio Araujo to steal in and give Argentina the lead.
The father of the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and PDP governorship candidate in Anambra State, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, has been kidnapped.
The old man was kidnapped around 7pm yesterday at his Isuofia home in Aguata local government area of Anambra State. The kidnappers were said to have "stormed" his house in a Peugeot 406 car, according to sources close to his family.
At the time of the kidnap, Mr. Soludo, was in Abuja working with his lawyers seeking to vacate a Federal Abuja High Court order which gave the directive to INEC to remove his name from the list of candidates contesting the Anambra State governorship elections.
There has been no reaction from Mr. Soludo to the abduction, although sources said he is working on a public statement.
However, the aspirant's media aide, C. Don Adinuba, revealed that no ransom had been demanded, causing political observers to begin to link this development to the recent controversy within the party over Mr. Soludo's candidacy.
Golden Effects & DJAMEDIA in conjunction with
Africa At The Pictures
My first encounter with Mr Kunle Afolayan‘s work was during the build up to his debut as a Producer/Director with the movie “Irapada”. I attended the premiere and managed to sit all the way through the movie without getting up for extra pop corn refills or toilet breaks. To me this was the first sign that something about the talent behind the movie caught the attention of many. The indications that the director was on his way to higher ground was clearly visible.
I had heard things in the wind about this new project that Mr Afolayan was working on and had great anticipation to see the movie. This anticipation gave me fear; we all know that high expectation most times could lead to immense disappointment. The question that rang through in my head was would he be able to maintain the quality he had introduced the Nigerian movie industry to? or would he be a one hit wonder and fade into the back ground like many producers today.
Finally on Wed 23 Sept 09, I had the privilege to attend a private media screening of the movie
“THE FIGURINE - ARAROMIRE”.
The screening was held at the Odeon cinema in Greenwich London and was attended by a few members of the cast and crew including Mr Afolayan himself and members of the UK / Nigerian media such as DJ Abass (DJA Media), Mr Femi Okutubo (Trumpet Newspaper), Mr Olu (Gbedu Magazine), Myself (Vivacity PR), (Masino Magazine), DJ Ali, Tokunbo Tejuoso, Damola, Tunde Ayodele, Olamide Ayodele, Sola Ayodele, Tutu Atekoja, Shola Bee, Roberta Mayasi, Lola Maja (The Fantastic Make Up Artiste For The Movie) and many more.
Kunle describes the movie itself as multicultural and contemporary highlighting essence and efficacy of tradition, friendship, betrayal and love; that transcends both the ancient and modern day.
The synopsis of Figurine (Araromire) shows that it is a story of two buddies and a girl…all down on their luck have their lives changed when one of them discovers 'Araromire' a mysterious figurine in an abandoned shrine which, according to legend bestows seven years of good luck. But no one told them about the next seven years.
Stars in the movie include Ramsey Nouah Jnr, Kunle Afolayan, Omoni Oboli, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi in lead roles, with Wale Adebayo (Sango), Chief Muraina Oyelami, Jide Kosoko in supporting lead roles.
According to Kunle “it is a story I have been working on for over four years now; even before we shot “Irapada” and I think it’s high time we started showing better movies. For me, “Irapada” was an experiment and we thank God it was well received at home and abroad but now “The Figurine” is a better story and it’s a much bigger, better project in terms of picture, budget, storyline, and everything”.
The Figurine is the English name of the statue-like object that he uses to represent the goddess he portrays in the film. Araromire is the indigenous name of the goddess and the town from which she hailed. Kunle took his time to explain that the film is a fictional story, with no town in existence being called “ARAROMIRE” and as such, nobody can say we are telling a wrong story about his or her heritage.
Another part I loved about this film was the rhythmic traditional soundtrack. Although I found myself singing along by a quarter way through the movie, due to the catchy hook. I was eventually informed that as “ARAROMIRE” was fictional, so was the language in which the soundtrack was sung. So I was singing......?
It is a film that tries to highlight the fact that we are the cause of our own situation without ascribing too much to the gods or God, like we always do. It is a film that deals with the human belief, the human nature and it is going to generate a lot of debate. At the end, it is either you are on one side of the divide or the other.”
Despite the difficulty in getting financial assistance for the kind of project, Kunle brought commendable dynamism into it by collaborating with corporate organisations and individuals to realise his goals. He further adds “There is a way you work around such collaborations”.
The total cost of the movie lies in the realm of 50 million naira and is targeted to be part of about three major film festivals.
When he was asked how good his equipments are, although it is an open secret in the media and movie circles that he owns the best shooting/movie device in town, he said:
“The film was shot using 35mm not celluloid but digital, HD using 35mm adaptors and film prime lenses. All these together give you the same feel, same look of celluloid.
The Figurine has cost a fortune; millions but it will definitely pay because it is not going to be released on DVD/VCD until it has gone to the cinemas all around the world.”
Just as he harbours no doubt in his mind about the fact that the film will definitely sell out, primarily because it is a better story with better input, so does he believe that what the film is all about and its thematic preoccupation represents a deviation from the norm.
Since coming to limelight through “Saworo Ide” in 1998 and eventually quitting his banking job in 2005 to concentrate on where his heart lies, the handsome young man has broken records in Nollywood.
He is the son of the late Ade Love, one of the pioneers of movie production in Nigeria. Kunle is obsessed with the art of filmmaking. With Saworoide, Kunle steadily and steeply climbed to become a recognisable acting spirit. He later confirmed his status with an appearance in the sequel 'Agogo Eewo' and in other critically acclaimed works like 'Dark Days' featuring Zack Orji. Kunle was also a major part of one of the episodes of the popular Super Story series on Television. That episode was titled 'For the love of you' and Kunle lived delightfully the role of Tony Jnr.
An actor who has somewhat remained in the consciousness of most movie lovers, Kunle hops from one location to another and his major artistic contribution entitled 'Irapada' was voted the best indigenous language film in the 2008 edition of the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA).
I wonder what awards “THE FIGURINE - ARAROMIRE” has in store for Kunle.
The Movie premieres in the UK @ Odeon cinema Greenwich London on 31st OCt 2009.
RSVP to the event here.... http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=138595888731&ref=mf
EVENT: The UK ‘Red Carpet’ Movie Premiere Of ‘THE FIGURINE’ (Araromire)
DATE: Saturday, 31, October, 2009
VENUE: ODEON, (Greenwich)
Bugsby's Way, Greenwich, London, SE10 0QJ
(Next to Holiday Inn Express)
MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpxH15DTejo&feature=related
CONFIRMED INVITED GUESTS
Kunle Afolayan, Ramsey Nouah, Funlola Awofiyebi – Raimi, Lola Maja
+ UK based celebrities from the Film & Music industry
+ Media personalities from TV, Magazines & Newspapers.
Doors open 9pm, Red Carpet & Photo Ops 9.30pm,
Premiere starts 10.30pm prompt
TICKETS: Standard £10, Premier £15.
TICKET OUTLETS: Available from October 13th.
E: Tomi’s Kitchen 020 89866226 (Hackney)
E: Bronze Bar 020 7511 4252 (Barking rd, Canning Town)
SE: Tomi's Kitchen 020 8694 9352 (Deptford),
SE: Presidential 020 7708 4491 (Old Kent rd),
SE: Tasty's 020 8854 2171 (Woolwich),
W: Mama Calabar 020 8902 2277 (Wembley Park)
NW: D'Den 020 8830 5000 (Cricklewood)
24HR TICKET HOTLINES: 07956374473, 07859926100, 07932424175.
Follows immediately @ PLANET NOLLYWOOD with DJ ABASS. TIME: 10pm – 4.30am
With cast & crew and all invited celebs on 2 Floors of Music..
DJ’s: Shola-B, Whateva & Mc Data
HITV (Sky 204)
Nollywood Movies (Sky 329)
Check Out Magazine
THE FIGURINE (Araromire) - PRODUCTION CREW
Producer/Director: Kunle Afolayan.
Story Concept: Jovi Babs
Art Director: Pat Nebo.
Special FX/Make Up: Lola Maja
Director of Photography: Yinka Edward. Costumes/Wardrope: Obieje Eru
Editor: Steve Sodiya & Kayode Adeleke.
Production Manager: Bose Oshin
Screenplay / Treatment: Kemi Adesoye
Graphics & Web: James ‘Abinibi’ Alabi.
Grading & Colour Correction: Soji Ogunaike
Even though divorce is common, it’s worse than death of a spouse .It does a terrible devastation. If your partner dies, you face many losses, but he or she didn’t chose to leave you(except in the case of suicide).He never slam the door in your face, nor scream at you, or quietly live a double life of lies. People come over to express their sympathy come to you. Insurance settlements are quickly paid. Others come with cookies and goodies just to condole you. And, a dead spouse ghost doesn’t fight with you about who get the kids on the weekends. You never have to drop your kids off the cemetery.But divorce is traumatic, where death ends-divorce starts there. It has a steady stream of rejection, pain and loss of emotional feelings. It can be compared to a war that goes on in which the parties walk out with emotional scar. There are constant feelings of rejection, frustrations mixes with anger, hurt and deep longing caused by divorce. In fact, the entire family is poisoned; the victims can’t maintain good friendships with the former relatives.People avoid you and getting the regular child support from your ex-spouse is a threat. You no longer socialize like before. You don’t receive Mother’s Day presents, or the flowers during birthdays. You can’t fit in again in church activities. You miss the play mates who visit your home because of your ex-spouse. Even though both of you understand how much you miss each other; you can’t still help the situation.Children also have their own portion of devastation during divorce. It’s common for children of all ages to act out their pain during divorce. But, adolescent are likely to do so in more dangerous ways like, delinquency, alcohol abuse and drug abuse. Not all adolescents whose parents divorce are doomed to misbehave. But, it’s daydreaming to think that divorce will be better for the children.They also have to deal more with parent who’s not tolerance than before. More volatile issues like financial support or child custody are capable of causing hatred, pain and emotional feelings anytime there’s misunderstanding. The problems that caused the divorce still remain unsolved and increase bitter feelings towards each other.Younger spouse who’re victim of divorce assume there’s still plenty of time to find the right partner. While the older ones aren’t so sure. They sometime feel desperate and hopeless.To really prevent the traumatic experience caused by divorce. Couple shouldn’t rush to divorce as an option and assume that their marital problems are incurable. Marriage is just like human beings, a creature of habit. Any change in their accustomed environment will have a profound effect upon its. Even forces it to some kind of adaptation which in most cases can’t adapt.For those who have traumatic feelings caused by divorce. To get emotional stabilization and heal the broken heart, they shouldn’t wallow in self-pity or losses. Rather take stock of those losses and know exactly the source of their bitter feelings. Because knowing the cause of a disease is half cure. Having done that, share it with your trusted friends, competence marriage counselor or a pastor. You’ll definitely be relieved!FROM http://luvisgrate.blogspot.comRead more…
A Nigerian and his Indian (Punjabi) wife were arrested with more than four-gram smack at a naka in Mundi Kharar on Tuesday. The Nigerian has been residing in Mohali since eight years after coming here on a study visa. The car in which they were travelling has been impounded. After registering a case under various sections of the NDPS Act, both were produced in a local court which sent them in judicial remand,Times of India reported.
The Nigerian has been identified as Baba Andrew John of Kano state in Nigeria and his wife as Manjeet Kaur, a resident of Sirhind, Punjab. They have been residing in Mata Gujri Enclave, Mundi Kharar.
Kharar DSP Simratpal Singh Dhindsa said on the directions of SSP, Mohali, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar a naka was laid at Mundi Kharar. The naka team was led by Kharar city police post incharge Tarlochan Singh. A white car was signalled to stop and during checking, four gram and 180 milligram smack was found from the possession of the couple sitting in the vehicle, he added.
Tarlochan Singh said Baba Andrew John had come to Mohali in 2001 on study visa and since then, he has been staying here and extending his visa. As his passport was expiring on November 1, he has applied for its renewal at Nigerian embassy, he added.
He said the Nigerian and his wife were into the illegal trade of narcotics and brought the consignment from Haryana and other places to sell it locally. This is not the first time that a Nigerian has been arrested with contraband. In July, Mohali police had held four Nigeria nationals with 500 grams of heroin. While two are students of a private institute in Mohali, the others claimed to be in India for business.
It is a strange world we live, where friends snatch their friends' husband Our writer today needs your advice to go on with her life after her husband left her for her best friend. Please, read and advise her. Thanks,
My name is Funmi. I met my husband in Ondo State after my NCE programme. We were friends for sometime but later things started getting serious between us. Dare was very understanding and caring and, moreover, we are from the same town. This earned him my family's love.
Dare was not educated; he dropped out of school because of financial constraint. I didn’t see that as a problem because I believe Dare would go back to school when things get better for him.
In the interim, he learnt tailoring somewhere in town. The love I had for him then did not allow me to see anything wrong in what he was doing.
I got transferred to Ibadan to teach in a primary school and, after, I persuaded Dare to join me so that we could continue our relationship. He did not agree at first, but after so much persuasion, he agreed. We started living together.
For about three years, Dare could not lay his hands on anything; he was always complaining that there were no customers. When things did not get better, he said he wanted to be a cab driver, I agreed with him and we saved some money and bought him a Mistibushi car.
After some months, I discovered that I was pregnant and well, Dare did not deny this and he was ready to marry me. My parents were not happy with me because I got pregnant before marriage, but because Dare was ready to have my hand in marriage they had no choice, they conceeded. The wedding day was fixed and we started preparing.
I called my childhood friend, Funke, to inform her of my intentions and also to ask her to be my chief bride’s maid. Funke had been in Ibadan before I relocated there. She and I went for shopping in preparation for the wedding.
Funke was very supportive even after the wedding, she was a shoulder to lean on. Our friendship took another dimension after; we got closer.
I forgot to tell you that she was a fashion designer too and things were quite okay with her, so I advised her to try and get a man to settle down with and to this, we started praying for a God-sent man who would be her husband.
In due time, God answered our prayers; a brother to one of her customers showed interest in her and after some months, they did introduction and started living together; this was when I had my first baby, a girl.
Just like a true friend, Funke played a prominent role during the naming ceremony; it was as if it was her child and after some months, she also became pregnant, and my advice to her as a friend was that she should formalise the wedding so that she would not have the baby out of wedlock. She took my advice and got married.
After some years, my husband started behaving funny; he started keeping late nights. He neglected his responsibilities at home and stopped caring for the children.
I became worried over this and raised the issue with him, but all to no avail; he wouldn't bulge.
I was itching so much to pour out my mind to someone but I couldn't since Funke rarely came visiting like before and I was also very busy with my work. However, I went to our home town to report Dare to his people; I didn't know I was digging the grave for my marriage. By the time I got home, Dare had completely abandoned the children and went away.
The children later told me that he came the night I left for Ondo, asked after me and went ahead to pack some of his clothes and went out that night. I was perplexed when I heard this. Where could he have gone to?
Nobody knew his whereabouts. I tried to look for him, but to no avail. On a fateful day, Lekan, one of my children, said he saw him around Funke’s place at night. My heart beat with hope and I thought I had found my man. But the boy reported that when Dare saw him, he didn’t say anything but went in quietly into Funke’s apartment.
I was shocked and confused and wondered what he could be doing in Funke’s flat at that time of the night. When Lekan sensed I was very worried he let the cat out of the bag. He said one of Funke's sons in his school had told him secretly that Dare had been in their house all these while.
I was so confused at that piece of information that I almost ran crazy. I cried myself to sleep that night. The following morning, I decided to see Funke to confirm what Lekan had told me. To my surprise, I saw Funke with a bulging tummy! Of course, she couldn’t have been impregnated by her husband who had been in London.
She was shocked when she saw me but she summoned courage and confronted me when I asked about Dare. To my utmost shock, Funke ordered me out of her house and warned me not to come there again. She shouted on me and called me all sorts of names.
I was dumbfounded even as passersby were asking me what happened, I couldn’t say anything. I couldn't believe Dare and my best friend could connive to do this to me. I accepted my fate and pulled myself together.
I knew I needed the strength to bring up my children and to continue with my life. I got closer to God. However, I later learnt that Dare and Funke had packed out of the house to live in a street, not quite far from ours.
Funke gave birth some months after and had a baby boy. I learnt that some people in our street attended the naming ceremony. I didn't allow that to bother me as I was ready to go on with my life without him.
It wasn't long after this, that I heard the rumour that Dare was sick and was admitted to a hospital. I pitied him and wanted to go and see him, but I didn't want Funke to see me and start calling me names. Things, however, did not get better for him because he died after some weeks.
I felt terrible and cried bitterly. As if this was not enough, some weeks after, Funke also died mysteriously. Taiwo, this was the last straw that broke the camel's back. People on the street believed I did something; they accused me and called me a witch, alleging that I was the brain behind their deaths.
This was enough pain for me and my children. How could I have done a thing like that, after all he left me and my children and met his end. How am I to be blamed? Please, advise me on what to do.
I'm sorry if you think I'm crazy, but this is in response to a question that SHE asked me in the previous post, and I totally went off point and began to ramble about Igbos and Yorubas having boots long before the Europeans showed up.
Anyway, I promised I would find a picture because I had come across a pair of Yoruba boots in an obscure African museum once and I found it!!!!
Below are two very very rare sets of Igbo riding boots that according to the museum may have been made to wear with horses purchased from Hausa traders (bloody trypanosomiasis means some parts of Igbo land are a death trap for our four-legged friends).
Note the split toes. These things are crazy cute!!!!!!
Behold the ancestor of the jumpsuit that is currently flooding the catwalks of Fashion Week
And according to the IMA Museum, this Igbo Agbogho masquerade costume is worn with boots, which totally makes sense because I've seen the Agbogho Mmuo and the whole thing looks like a playsuit so I guess they wear the matching boots to create that effect.
Now tremble at the awesomeness of Nigerian Cultures!!!
adapted from sugabelly2.0blogspot
Posted by SULE BELLO on October 26, 2009 at 11:59am
Bankole to Niger Delta: your leaders failed youHouse of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole yesterday hit Niger Delta leaders hard, saying they should carry the can for the crisis in the region, which he said they failed to develop inspite of the huge funds they got in the last 10 years.He spoke at a national summit on Post Amnesty Confidence Building in Kaduna.To Bankole, it is true that Nigerians were not fair to the Niger Delta before the advent of the current democratic dispensation, but events in the last 10 years have changed the course of action in the region."If we are to be honest with ourselves, we have not been fair to the Niger Delta. We have been unfair to the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta has been producing the funds with which we’ve been running this country for so many years."The funds we used to build Abuja where I came from this morning, those lovely roads and bridges and offices came from the funds from the Niger Delta. I have not seen such bridges and roads in the Niger Delta. I haven’t. Until those roads and infrastructure come to the Niger Delta, well, we’ll continue to put the request on the front burner of Nigerian politics," he said.But, the Speaker argued that state governments in the Niger Delta collect much more from the Federation Account than all the northern states put together, pointing out that Bayelsa State, for example, collects almost 10 times more than Lagos State. Development in Lagos State has shown that good governance pays after all, said the Speaker.He said the past neglect of the Niger Delta was changing for good, adding: "In the last 10 years, there has been tremendous improvement in the governance, financing of the Niger Delta. In the last 10 years, indigenes of the Niger Delta have been operating at the top level of governance in Nigeria."Today, the Vice President is of Niger Delta origin. Today, the head of service that is the engine room of the government is from the Niger Delta. Should I go on? The Chief of Defence Staff is also from the Niger Delta. I should carry on? Until a few months ago, even the Inspector General of Police was from the Niger Delta. Even when it comes to economic, security and politics, Niger Delta is at the top."For some of you who have been to Lagos in the past one year, I’m sure you’ll notice the difference. And I’m not shy to appreciate that there is a difference in Lagos. It’s good governance."Like I said, there are differences in Nigerian government today. But I’ll tell you, His Excellency, the governor of Bayelsa State collects 9.2 times more money than Lagos State from the Federal Allocation. That’s a recent development. Don’t compare it with 20 years ago."I know that Rivers State collects more money than the entire North Eastern part of Nigeria, today. I know that Akwa Ibom State collects more money than the entire North Western part of Nigeria today. I know that Bayelsa State collets more money than the entire North Central states of Nigeria…"Nigeria’s budget for this year was around N3trillion. However, by the time you add the budget of the Niger Delta states alone, it is over N1.5trillion. There are may be over 140 to 150milion people in Nigeria. Niger Delta as about 17million; the remaining 130million is outside the Niger Delta."Those are the facts that 10 to 20 years from now, people are going to ask me, people are going to ask the governor of Bayelsa, people are going to ask all of us here that what did we do when these facts were being put on the table..."Bankole, who said that the Niger Delta people should begin to ask their leaders how the resources accruing to them are being spent, added: "When they start abusing me on the headlines tomorrow, just remember what I said here. Now, we have an opportunity. With these funds, there must be a difference because the people of the Niger Delta would begin to ask questions of their leaders on how these monies were spent."We may have excuses in the past that we were unfair to the Niger Delta. But those are no longer excuses today. Because we will ask you. When they ask me, I’ll say ‘go and ask them’. What did they do with that money?"Nobody’s going to come from Abeokuta to tell you what you do with your money in the creeks. If anybody is telling you that, he’s lying. You should ask yourselves about how your money was spent."And when they ask those questions, we better have answers for them. Not only have we been unfair to the Niger Delta, we have been unfair to the North East; we have been unfair to the North West; we’ve been unfair to the North Central, we have been unfair to the South East. We have been unfair to Anambra."Bankole’s view is that what is happening in the Niger Delta is not different from what is happening in the other parts of the country, "except that when the young people of the Niger Delta feel the thing directly, they react.""It didn’t just start today, they have been reacting gradually for so many years," he added.To the Speaker, there is no solution to the Nigerian issue, Niger Delta or otherwise, in oil.His words: "Oil will not produce the solution. It’s very simple. The technology involved in the development of oil cannot employ Nigerians. If it cannot employ Nigerians, it cannot solve the Nigerian problem."
Nigeria’s bane is absence of strong institutions
I have always said that Nigeria needs strong institutions. But we must come together first as a country to have strong institutions that will make us produce a system that can work. As long as we don’t have strong institutions, we cannot produce a system that will work.
Hardware and software democracy
The first three institutions that I will like strengthened are the police, INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) and the security apparatus as a whole because, you see, many people see democracy only in the hardware. When I say hardware of democracy, I’m talking about roads, electricity, etc. But I see more democratic software. The software of democracy is more important to me than the hardware because if we have justice, freedom of speech, human rights, FOI Bill, etc then the society will be ready to take off. The other part of democracy will easily come because we have strong institutions backing them.
National Assembly should pass FOI Bill
After almost ten years, the National Assembly should pass the Freedom of Information Bill into law quickly. Let them not allow what happened in Romania happen to them. The Romanian government was chased out by the people. Whenever you try to stop freedom, to stop the people, the next thing you should expect is violence. There are other 140 million people out there who are against two million card-carrying members of political parties. So, let them know that these people are part of this country. They would one day say enough is enough and they would revolt.
It’s really sad. The lawmakers want immunity, they want second term, they want automatic ticket, and because they are lawmakers, they know they will get it. They will just pass the bill. If they pass it, they pass it in PDP not in PPA.
So Nigerians should come together on election day and say enough is enough. They can’t kill all Nigerians and can’t jail all Nigerians as well. So, Nigerians should stand and speak for justice.
What I’m talking about is not the military-type of bloodshed, but it’s a revolution. There might be some bloodshed but not like military war.
There is no strike or demonstration that doesn’t consume human beings. Blood is blood. You see on CNN what happens in China, in Thailand and some other countries. Blood flows during demonstrations. So it’s the same thing. It could be my blood or other people’s blood. That’s why it is always good for leaders to collectively do the right thing against having this kind of revolution of the people. To me, military government is out of fashion and nobody should talk about it, no matter how bad democracy seems to be.
But we can get the Romanian or Kenyan type of revolution, which is a good scenario. Those are democratic processes. As long as you are doing something within the law and competence of democratic process, you are in tune with it.
Murtala Muhammed is my hero
I don’t believe in the CIA prediction that Nigeria will break-up in 2015 or 2013. No, I don’t think Nigeria will break up. I want to be president of a larger Nigeria. If it is possible, I want to encroach into some of these neighbouring countries. That’s why leaders like Murtala Mohammed should not be forgotten. He is my hero not because he was a military man but he shared my kind of ideas. A leader must be a bit forward and courageous. Nothing will break this country. Since it didn’t break up during military regime and during the Biafra civil war, nothing on earth will break up this country. I want to be president of a larger Nigeria. Look at the size of USA. I want to be a president from here to Senegal.
2011 presidency ambition
It’s a possibility I’ll contest the 2011 presidential election. It’s a high possibility that I’ll run.
I’m not like other politicians
As a politician, I’m bound to have meetings. I don’t pretend. I’m not like other politicians who pretend. I’m having meetings and it is a right to have meetings.
Opposition will outwit PDP in 2011
Watch out to see the strategy the progressives will use to beat PDP to the presidency in 2011. It’s a big strategy and it’s going to work. But I won’t disclose it to you even though you work with The Sun. I do business with people in the media but business is business, politics is politics, and pleasure is pleasure. The opposition are the other 140 million Nigerians.
As for the opposition parties, don’t worry. They will speak with one voice when we get there.
Mega party won’t work
Mega party won’t work; I can tell you that. There is nothing like mega party. What is going to guide us is our conscience. We will be driven by our conscience. When every Nigerian is tired, you will be tired. The army, the police and the SSS that are supporting them will be tired because they buy from the same market from you and me. And they will speak the truth. Today, they are here with us. You know sometimes you appoint people who have no idea what to work on.
Why I parted ways with Obasanjo
I supported (0President Olusegun) Obasanjo because of IBB (Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida). The relationship broke down in year 2000 because I told him some home truths. The truth is that IBB made me support Obasanjo and he has been begging me to stop attacking OBJ.
I invested on Obasanjo but he later fought me politically and economically
I invested so much money on the Obasanjo presidency project. I first gave him a cheque for N100 million. Then the exchange rate in 1998 was N24 to one dollar. So it was over one million dollars. To me, it was a big sacrifice because no politician apart from people like T.Y. Danjuma and other big people were able to muzzle that kind of money. So, it is a blessing that I was able to contribute to transit from military to civilian regime. I am very proud that I did that but I am not proud the way the man treated many people and me. He fought other people politically but he did not only fight me politically, he fought me economically and it is bad for somebody who is supposed to be your son, your helper when things were bad for him. In fact, Atiku must be number one among the people who helped that man very well and I should rank among the first ten in Nigeria who helped him very well when he came out of jail because of IBB. So, he just treated me like that because I told him the truth. I told him things nobody wanted to tell him. I said things he wouldn’t like to hear.
Stella Obasanjo warned me
I cannot tell you exactly what I told Obasanjo because I have never said it in public. But I am telling you things I never told anyone. I have told you that there was a problem. I never told anybody there was a problem. In 2000, we fell out. And (late) Madam Stella (Obasnjo) warned me. May her soul rest in peace. She said the way you are talking to this man, it might be the beginning of the end of this friendship.
Obasnjo reneged on one-term agreement
I think part of the problem was because he felt I wanted to run for the presidency. But, really I was so much in a hurry to tell him to do one term because he agreed on one term. Obasanjo agreed publicly, agreed with us inside the room that he will do only one tenure and go. If you are not doing well, you should be a one-term president or one term governor or senator. So, all this automatic ticket can’t work in a good democratic environment.
I recruited Mantu against Obasanjo
I considered Obasanjo as a statesman. We fell out simply because he started the third term process too early. I must also praise (Ibrahim) Mantu because he was sent to recruit me during the third term plot and I ended up recruiting him against third term. He is aware, if he can tell you. Mantu followed us to work against third term. I doff my heart to senators like Maccido (may his soul rest in peace), Chukwumerije, Ben Obi, Gandi, Danjuma, Kuta, Adighije, most of the senators that fought against OBJ’s third term plot. I was meeting with them and they were also meeting with Vice President Atiku (Abubakar). It was a struggle that nearly took our lives but I give glory to God that Obasanjo did not repeat what Mobutu Seseseko did in DRC, because there was no difference between the duo. He was just enjoying himself; he wasn’t ready for leadership. We gave him Nigeria to enjoy himself.
In the first four years, maybe you journalists have forgotten that all Obasanjo did was only to travel in and out of the country. He flew for four years without doing any work. Out of 365 days in a year, he was abroad for 320 days. So, I don’t know what anybody will think about that and people like me were calling his attention to say, no, you can’t do this. This was not what we promised the people. This was part of our quarrel.
I wanted Atiku to succeed Obasanjo
I didn’t tell Obasanjo I wanted to succeed him but I told him that Atiku should succeed him in 2003. I told him that he should give it to the North in 2003, and that was the day I parted ways with him.
Ah! You know him. He was fervently very angry with me. For me, I respect everybody. In my culture in Igbere, we respect elders but we will tell the elders the truth. When an elder is misbehaving, we call him into the room and tell him the truth. Obasanjo was angry with me for telling him the truth. On many occasions, he threatened to walk me out of the Council of State meetings and I said I would not go out. Many times he walked himself out and didn’t come back.
Obasanjo promised over 50 persons that they would succeed him
When Mantu came to recruit me for Obasanjo’s third term plot, I told him what he was supposed to hear. I told him this country is bigger than anybody. What makes you think Obasanjo is bigger than you? He agreed with me in my sitting room at T.Y. Danjuma Crescent. I told him that we can also recruit Obasanjo to make you president, because Obasanjo was deceiving them that he would make them president. He promised like 50 people. He promised Muazu, Makarfi, Mantu, in fact, he promised everybody. Senators, governors, he promised them. He did this just to break their ranks, and the man he gave it to, he didn’t tell him. But he wanted Yar’Adua to die. He thought Yar’ Adua would collapse during the campaign and Obasanjo would hang on to that to prolong his stay in power. He didn’t want him to survive.
Nigeria needs strong institutions not a strong man
You know, Obasanjo is a very strong character. So, he never wanted strong institutions. This is why this country doesn’t need a strong man but a strong system. If there were strong institutions, they could have checkmated him. I blame most of our colleagues and the other elements both in the PDP and in the political circle because they gave the man a free ride when we could have called him to order. That is the essence of civilian democracy.
But he was able to do what he did because he first of all ambushed the governors to tell them they were all corrupt. So, they were weakened in spirit and in person.
Nigerian politicians play betrayal politics
I was able to stand up to Obasanjo because I have a very strong private sector background and I know that what this man will do to me is limited. He didn’t create me, he is not my God and he is not feeding me. That was why I stood up to him. Many of our colleagues succumbed to him even when we had agreed on what to do. They sold out and most of them will pay dearly for it because the worst offence we can commit in life is betrayal. It is there in the Holy Bible, and our politicians are always playing politics of betrayal. The level of betrayal in our political system is about 991/2 . You are sitting with somebody, discussing with him, but he will sell everything you said to the next person to collect money.
When we were having governors’ meeting, some people will come to the meeting with a tape (recorder) and later they will go and play it back before Obasanjo. Personally, I know and whenever we were at the meeting, I spoke my mind. They would record it and give to Obasanjo. But I didn’t care because I have a covenant with God to speak the truth. That covenant can never be broken by anybody.
Obasanjo played tape of governors’ meetings
It wasn’t that somebody told me some people were recording our meeting. OBJ himself played the tape to me. He didn’t tell me who brought the tape to him but I said Baba, yes, these are the things I can tell you in your presence. I told him that there is no difference between what I said and what he heard.
Nothing personal between Obasanjo and I
Since I left office as governor I have not communicated with him. But the truth is that I hold nothing against him. It’s just that my ideas of governance and his own contradicted. So, there is nothing personal between me and Obasanjo. After all, he is a statesman and I’m not. The only contradiction we had then was his style of governance and his attitude to Nigerians.
Kidnapping started when they abducted Ngige
Nigeria is better now than we were when OBJ was there. What Yar’Adua is handling is rudimentary part of what we could have done, for instance, with regard to the Niger Delta, rule of law, and trying to put in place a system where people can go to court and get relief.
This was what I was telling you about the software and hardware of democracy. Yar’Adua might be slow and people may not be seeing what he is doing but I am sure he is doing the elementary part of governance, which ought to have been done since 10 years of civilian rule. I don’t totally agree that PDP government is doing very well in terms of infrastructure. But I must also say that the man is doing the elementary things.
This is why I divided democracy into hardware and software. The software is freedom of expression, freedom to go to court against the government, getting order to stop them from misrule and freedom of everything. If OBJ were in power, what is happening in Anambra State will not happen. So, Yar’Adua is very tolerant in governance. The judge that gave that order in Anambra State would be beaten up very well if OBJ were there. So, we are doing the elementary things that could have been done 10 years ago.
What Yar’Adua should do is to match these elementary things and absolute adherence to rule of law with development. In as much as he is doing the elementary things, he should also steam up development. I have just given you one example of the judge in Anambra.
If it was during Obasanjo era, by now they would have beaten him up and retired him or possibly they could have kidnapped Peter Obi again. When Obasanjo was there, his people kidnapped a sitting governor. So kidnapping started in Nigeria when they kidnapped Ngige.
Niger Delta problem
President Yar’Adua is trying but what he is doing is not the total solution. The solution is my own strategy, but you did not vote for me when I wanted you to vote for me as president. You voted for Yar’Adua, so I will not give you my strategy until you vote for me. When you vote for me, I will use a community programme process to solve the Niger Delta problem. Niger Delta is a problem the president, his cabinet, along with the Niger Delta people will solve.
I have not seen the hard copy of the amnesty programme and until I see it I can’t comment on it. I will also not want to comment on whether people have come out of the creeks or have surrendered arms. I don’t read newspapers quite often. I don’t have time to read, so I have not been able to comprehend very well what I have seen in the newspapers. I will be the last person to discuss that because people coming out of the creeks is not the solution.
What will solve the problem of the region is development, key partnership with the people and direct development. There should be partnership between the federal and state government to develop the Niger Delta. It’s a pity that the people who give this country so much are living in such abject poverty. It is a thing I cannot believe. When you go there, you cry because of their situation. So, when people begin to talk about Niger Delta, they need to take a trip to the place. They will sympathise with them. If it needs a president to relocate and make part of that place a Federal Capital Territory, if I am the president I will sign that place as the second part of the Federal Capital Territory to be able to develop the area.
Ribadu and el-Rufai saga
(Nuhu) Ribadu was a very good officer but you cannot compare him with Mrs (Farida) Waziri. Mrs Waziri is a mature woman, a lawyer like Ribadu, and she goes through the ethics of law. She will never allow herself to be used by anybody to punish anybody; and that was a pit Ribadu fell into. He became a politician instead of a corruption fighter.
That’s a problem. So, when you contradict yourself on these two issues, you will see that you have nowhere to go. I pity the way their passports were not renewed initially and it is unconstitutional; it is not acceptable. It’s good the president ordered that their passports be renewed. This is why I say Yar’Adua is doing elementary things because their passport should be renewed whether they are being looked for or sought for. In fact, I expected heads to roll in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is our country. Whether they are coming here or not, they are there and their passports should be renewed.
Between Waziri and Ribadu
It’s very clear that Mrs Waziri knows her job. I’m not praising her; I don’t need to but I’m saying this from my heart. Nigerians know I speak my mind. Mrs Waziri seems to know her job. She does the investigation first - I want to investigate this man; I want to know who he is; I want to know what he has done. That is the process of law.
You don’t just go and bundle people like Ribadu did to me. It is unacceptable by international standard. I talked to a man called (Ibrahim) Lamorde that I am coming into Nigeria on British Airways at 4am and I will be in your office at 11am. But he came to wait for me at the airport at 4am. That’s not fair. And to make it news, they came with journalists. I mean, that is not fair. Ribadu, in his conscience, will also know that it was not fair to me. I heard you were looking for me and I was in the United States. I phoned Mr Lamorde, who said he was looking for me. He (Lamorde) is alive, he can speak.
I spoke to him telling him that I would be coming. I asked him which of the offices he wanted me to report to; is it Lagos or Abuja? Because of them, I re-routed my ticket to Abuja early in the morning only to be arrested at the airport at that hour of the day. That is unfair.
As a security man, he knew I was already in the country. So what he should have done was to trail me to know whether I would do what I said I would do. They could have sent their men to the airport and followed me from there to my house, keeping a tab on me to know if I would do what I promised.
I could have stayed back. But when I heard they were looking for me, I decided to return because I have not committed any offence for anybody to be looking for me. I called Lamorde and assured him that I will come to answer any question they wanted to ask me. I did not steal government’s money. He said, ‘okay, come as soon as you arrive.’ But what I saw were security men waiting for me at the airport at 4am. I know Mrs Waziri will not do a thing like that. No right-thinking Nigerian will do anything like that.
If you called me and I told you I am in Abia but you found out I wanted to travel out of the country, you have the right to stop me at the airport.
These were the kind of things Ribadu was doing. He went to the National Assembly and said 31 governors were corrupt. Where are they? When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you are not building strong institutions.
I challenge anybody to prove I’ve stolen govt money
Mrs Hillary Clinton’s comment that the anti-corruption war in Nigeria had gone to sleep is not correct. I spoke to Mrs Clinton in Washington and I told her that Mrs Waziri was doing the right thing. Her husband agreed with me. I told her that what she came to Nigeria to say was not proper because you must be able to convince the court beyond all reasonable doubt that somebody is a criminal.
This is because corruption charge is a criminal one. My conscience tells me I am not a thief and I cannot be one. My conscience tells me I have not done anything that will disturb my sleep. This is why all the time they were moving me from one place to the other, I remained happy. I know there are three courts – Federal High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and I will go through the three of them to get justice.
My conscience tells me that no commissioner or anybody I have worked with will say I took money from him or from the system. I challenge any civil servant in Abia State to come over and say I took money from him or her. So why should I bother myself? I leave that to the court of competent jurisdiction. So, this is why I blame Ribadu. He could have been a very good officer but he killed the opportunity.
Obasanjo is totally corrupt but Yar’Adua can’t arrest him
We need strong institutions not anti-corruption courts. There are designated courts by the judiciary that handle such matters. Special court is not a bad idea but they will need people of high integrity because it might create another Obasanjo where a ruling government might use that court to kill their political opponents.
When they enacted the EFCC Act, I shouted that Obasanjo had a hidden agenda.
He is a very intelligent man. He was pursuing corruption but was pursuing his enemies and leaving out his friends. For a man that came to government with N20,000; at least if I was better than anybody, it was OBJ before I came to government. He is a statesman but I mean in terms of our pockets, I was better off. So, how can you compare me with him? (MKO) Abiola told me when he was alive that the hand of the giver is always on top of the hand of the receiver. My hand will always be on top of Obasanjo’s own because he is the one that is totally corrupt although Yar’Adua is afraid of arresting him. I don’t know what he is afraid of. If I were President Yar’Adua, Obasanjo should be living in a cage, the bigger part of Kirikiri. That is the truth.
Nigeria needs another Putin
If because I make people uncomfortable with the way I talk and they won’t want me to be president, let them not want me but the Nigerian people will want me. Justice must prevail. Nigeria needs another (Vladimir) Putin here. We need a Putin to move forward. I don’t care about what I say. I will be president if God says I will be president. Do I need to please anybody? I want to please God and please the suffering masses out there.
Sanusi right on banks but…
Lamido Sanusi has done what many people will say is ethnic cleansing but I don’t think so. If he had allowed these banks, they would have collapsed. But the way he treated people also matters. I feel Sanusi did the right thing by going to rescue the banks because when I cried out last year in your paper that Nigeria was facing meltdown, the former CBN governor disagreed with me and his people attacked me that I wasn’t an economist. When I met Soludo in Abuja and told him that what I said was the truth, he said I wasn’t correct, that the indices do not show we have a meltdown.
I told him we have a serious meltdown and it is real, and that if it doesn’t come today it will tomorrow. What Sanusi has done is to inject funds (into the troubled banks) because some of them were at zero point. He is an industry man; he knows the job and rose through the ranks in banking.
People will always have divided opinion about what he is doing.
Some people will say he is doing a good job while others will say otherwise. But Sanusi should be cautious in what he is doing not to hurt the Southerners. This is not to say that the CBN’s action is against the South, but he should come out and address the issues if he is serious about what he is doing. It is necessary.
Having said that, addressing the issue of banks is a right thing to do but forcing people to pay their debts is not correct because there is obligation between the customers and the banks. I don’t subscribe to people borrowing money from the bank and not paying it back. So the CBN has done the right thing.
Sanusi deserves commendation
To me, it’s about rescuing the banks but I read every day that it’s an agenda to kill the South. Politicians and Nigerians should stop all this because what I know he has done is to rescue big banks and recapitalise them. It’s the right thing to do; after all 89 banks failed in the U.S., which is the largest economy in the world. Sanusi is a risk assessment expert, so he knows all the tricks, where you can hide bad credit, keep good credit or do anything. In a way, I think Sanusi should be commended for what he is doing, although he is hurting so many private sector operators. It might hurt our economy but we must rescue this economy.
What he is doing is the right thing, because these banks were gone. If one morning the whole thing had collapsed, depositors would have lost their money. Sanusi is a great banker. He knew where all the illegalities are hidden and that was what he punched. But whether he has a Southern or Northern agenda, I leave that to his conscience.