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BREAKING: Obasanjo Laments State Of The Nation In New Open Letter To Buhari, Raise Concern On Four Avoidable Calamities [READ]

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Former President, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, wrote another open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He lamented the state of the nation while calling for urgent actions to tackle Nigeria’s challenges.

The letter released by Kehinde Akinyemi, his Special Assistant on Media, reads:

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT, GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI

I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right-thinking Nigerians and those residents in Nigeria. Since the issue is of momentous concern to all well-meaning and all right-thinking Nigerians, it must be of great concern to you, and collective thinking and dialoguing is the best way of finding an appropriate and adequate solution to the problem. The contents of this letter, therefore, should be available to all those who can help in proffering effective solutions for the problem of insecurity in the land.

One of the spinoffs and accelerants is the misinformation and disinformation through the use of fake news. A number of articles, in recent days, have been attributed to me by some people who I believe may be seeking added credence and an attentive audience for their opinions and viewpoints. As you know very well, I will always boldly own what I say and disown what is put into my mouth. But the issue I am addressing here is very serious; it is the issue of life and death for all of us and for our dear country, Nigeria. This issue can no longer be ignored, treated with nonchalance, swept under the carpet or treated with cuddling glove. The issue is hitting at the foundation of our existence as Nigerians and fast eroding the root of our Nigerian community. I am very much worried and afraid that we are on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay. Without being immodest, as a Nigerian who still bears the scar of the Nigerian civil war on my body and with a son who bears the scar of fighting Boko Haram on his body, you can understand, I hope, why I am so concerned. When people are desperate and feel that they cannot have confidence in the ability of government to provide security for their lives and properties, they will take recourse to anything and everything that can guarantee their security individually and collectively.

For over ten years, for four of which you have been the captain of the ship, Boko Haram has menacingly ravaged the land and in spite of government’s claim of victory over Boko Haram, the potency and the activities of Boko Haram, where they are active, remain undiminished, putting lie to government’s claim. The recent explanation of the Chief of Army Staff for non-victory due to lack of commitment and lack of motivation on the part of troops bordering on sabotage speaks for itself. Say what you will, Boko Haram is still a daily issue of insecurity for those who are victimized, killed, maimed, kidnapped, raped, sold into slavery and forced into marriage and for children forcibly recruited into carrying bombs on them to detonate among crowds of people to cause maximum destructions and damage. And Boko Haram will not go away on the basis of sticks alone, carrots must overweigh sticks. How else do you deal with issues such as only about 50% literacy in North-East with over 70% unemployment?

Herdsmen/farmers crises and menace started with the government treating the issue with cuddling glove instead of a hammer. It has festered and spread. Today, it has developed into banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over the country. The unfortunate situation is that the criminality is being perceived as a ‘Fulani’ menace unleashed by Fulani elite in the different parts of the country for a number of reasons but even more, unfortunately, many Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are friends of Nigeria attach vicarious responsibility to you as a Fulani elite and the current captain of the Nigeria ship. Perception may be as potent as reality at times. Whatever may be the grievances of Fulanis, if any, they need to be put out in the open and their grievances, if legitimate, be addressed; and if other ethnic groups have grievances, let them also be brought out in the open and addressed through debate and dialogue.

The main issue, if I may dare say, is poor management or mismanagement of diversity which, on the other hand, is one of our greatest and most important assets. As a result, very onerous cloud is gathering. And rain of destruction, violence, disaster and disunity can only be the outcome. Nothing should be taken for granted, the clock is ticking with the cacophony of dissatisfaction and disaffection everywhere in and outside the country. The Presidency and the Congress in the US have signalled to us to put our house in order. The House of Lords in the UK had debated the Nigerian security situation. We must understand and appreciate the significance, implication and likely consequences of such concerns and deliberations.

No one can stop hate speech, violent agitation and smouldering violent agitation if he fans the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence. It will continue to snowball until it is out of control. A stitch in time saves nine, goes the old wise saying.

With the death of Funke, Chief Fasoranti’s daughter, some sympathetic Nigerian groups are saying “enough is enough”. Prof. Anya, a distinguished Nigerian merit Laureate, has this to say “We can no longer say with certainty that we have a nation”. Niger-Delta leaders, South-Eastern leaders, Middle-Belt leaders and Northern Elders Forum have not remained quiet. Different ordinary Nigerians at home and abroad are calling for different measures to address or ameliorate the situation. All the calls and cries can only continue to be ignored at the expense of Nigerian unity, if not its continued existence.

To be explicit and without equivocation, Mr. President and General, I am deeply worried about four avoidable calamities:

  1. abandoning Nigeria into the hands of criminals who are all being suspected, rightly or wrongly, as Fulanis and terrorists of Boko Haram type;
  2. spontaneous or planned reprisal attacks against Fulanis which may inadvertently or advertently mushroom into pogrom or Rwanda-type genocide that we did not believe could happen and yet it happened.
  3. similar attacks against any other tribe or ethnic group anywhere in the country initiated by rumours, fears, intimidation and revenge capable of leading to pogrom;
  4. violent uprising beginning from one section of the country and spreading quickly to other areas and leading to dismemberment of the country.

It happened to Yugoslavia not too long ago. If we do not act now, one or all of these scenarios may happen. We must pray and take effective actions at the same time. The initiative is in the hands of the President of the nation, but he cannot do it alone. In my part of the world, if you are sharpening your cutlass and a mad man comes from behind to take the cutlass from you, you need other people’s assistance to have your cutlass back without being harmed. The mad men with serious criminal intent and terrorism as core value have taken cutlass of security. The need for assistance to regain control is obviously compelling and must be embraced now.

A couple of weeks ago at a public lecture, I had said, among other things, that:

“In all these issues of mobilisation for national unity, stability, security, cooperation, development, growth and progress, there is no consensus. Like in the issue of security, government should open up discussion, debate and dialogue as part of consultation at different levels and the outcome of such deliberations should be collated to form inputs into a national conference to come up with the solution that will effectively deal with the issues and lead to rapid development, growth and progress which will give us a wholesome society and enhanced living standard and livelihood in an inclusive and shared society. It will be a national programme. We need unity of purpose and nationally accepted strategic roadmap that will not change with whims and caprices of any government. It must be owned by the citizens, people’s policy and strategy implemented by the government no matter its colour and leaning.

Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are: traditional rulers, past heads of service (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of para-military organisations, private sector, civil society, community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of State, past intelligence chiefs, past Heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of opposition and any groups that may be deemed relevant.”

The President must be seen to be addressing this issue with utmost seriousness and with maximum dispatch and getting all hands on deck to help. If there is failure, the principal responsibility will be that of the President and no one else. We need cohesion and concentration of effort and maximum force – political, economic, social, psychological and military – to deal successfully with the menace of criminality and terrorism separately and together. Blame game among own forces must be avoided. It is debilitating and only helpful to our adversary. We cannot dither anymore. It is time to confront this threat headlong and in a manner that is holistic, inclusive and purposeful.

For the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians, I pray that God may grant you, as our President, the wisdom, the understanding, the political will and the courage to do what is right when it is right and without fear or favour. May God save, secure, protect and bless Nigeria. May He open to us a window of opportunity that we can still use to prevent the worst happening. As we say in my village, “May God forbid bad thing”.

OLUSEGUN OBASANJO
July 15, 2019

BIG STORY

Policemen In Alagbon FCID Assaulted Me, Collected N90,000 From Me As Bail —– Businesswoman

Gbemileke Ajayi

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An industrialist, Damilola Babalola, who sued two Police officers, Inspector Lateef Adekunle and Sergeant Shedrack Nwadike, has explained that she took the action to free herself from constant harassment.

The 33-year-old businesswoman had sued the officers at the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja for allegedly assaulting and extorting money from her.

Other respondents are the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, one Pastor Olukayode Johnson, and Mr. Sunday Enyiukwu.

According to PUNCH Metro, the Ogun State indigene had a business transaction with Enyiukwu that went south, which led to the latter reporting her at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Annex, Alagbon, Lagos.

It was gathered that Enyiukwu sold a 150 KVA generator to Babalola for N3.2m, while the latter made an initial payment of N1.3m.

According to Babalola, the generator was delivered to her factory but it did not work, while all efforts to make Enyiukwu replace it or return her money proved abortive.

Our Correspondent gathered that Enyiukwu, instead, filed a petition against Babalola at the FCID, Alagbon.

Babalola, who noted that she went to the FCID to respond to the petition, said her ordeal in the hands of the officers was unsavoury.

She said, “In November 2018, I got an invitation from the FCID, Alagbon, to respond to a petition and I felt that I should go there to explain my own side of the story, but when I got there on November 7, 2018, I was shocked by what I saw.

“I was accused of stealing a generator and threatening the seller, and I asked them where all that came from and they said Enyiukwu said that I leased the generator for N50,000 per day and that the money I paid him expired within 26 days and I didn’t want to release his generator.

“They asked for my receipt and I told them that he did not give me one because whenever I asked him, he was always giving one excuse or the other, and the officers said that meant that the generator was leased out and I said if that was the case, he should provide the lease agreement; but instead, I was harassed; the Police recorded a video of me and locked me up.

“I was asked if I was going to pay the balance and when I realised that if I did not agree to pay the balance, they would not let me go, I had to agree to a payment plan and pledged that whatever I was able to come up with in December, I would bring it; but before I was released, N70,000 was collected from me as bail from the N200,000 they asked for.

“I was unable to raise any money in December and I called Inspector Adekunle to tell him that I was unable to come up with any money, but he harassed me and threatened that I was going to spend Christmas in detention if I didn’t transfer money to him, so I had to look for N20,000 and send to him.

“On January 22, 2019, I was able to come up with N200,000 and I took it to their office and when I got there, the money was counted in my and Enyiukwu’s presence and I was given a piece of paper to write down how I was going to pay the balance and my phone was collected from me and they said since I would be paying in tranches, they had decided that the generator should be collected from me.”

She stated that she took the policemen to her colleague’s factory on Acme Road, Ogba, Lagos, for her to serve as a witness.

She added, “I led them to Alausa because I felt that I would see someone that I could explain my predicament to, but when they realised that I was leading them to Alausa, they said we should turn back.

“Sergeant Nwadike, who was in my colleague’s car, opened the door and came down; but before I knew what was going on, he had started beating me and tried to drag me into the Police vehicle, but I kept shouting and the officers called for back-up from Alausa and I was taken back to Alagbon and they locked me up.

“The following day, my sister and mum came to bail me and the officers said they were not going to release me until payment was made again and my sister had to drop a cheque for N300,000 and post-dated it for the end of January, because her account was not funded at that time.”

When our Correspondent contacted Enyiukwu, he refused to comment on the matter, insisting that it was in court.

Babalola had filed a motion on notice numbered ID/8016MFHR/19 before Justice Yetunde Pinheiro that the officers made her pay for bail before she could regain her freedom.

She is praying the court to declare her arrest on November 8, 2018 and January 22, 2019, as illegal, unlawful and violation of her personal liberty as guaranteed and preserved by sections 33, 34 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The matter has been adjourned till October 4.

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Ukrainian Lady Stabs Nigerian Doctor Lover To Death But Released From Detention Because ‘She Has Two Kids To Cater For’

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The lady in this picture above had stabbed her Nigerian medical doctor lover to death in Ukraine. But ironically and sadly, she had been released from detention because ‘she has two kids to cater for’.

It was gathered from Daily Focus’ report that the couple had an argument at the woman’s residence and it degenerated into the woman stabbing the doctor twice in the abdomen.

As if the stabbing was not enough, the lady’s father hit the Nigerian victim on the head with a hammer after realizing that he had not died from the stabbing incident.

According to the report, Dr Gbolade Ibukun Ejemai was in a relationship with Ukrainian mother of two, Victoria Popravko but they had a disagreement and the woman called for a discussion at her residence to settle the matter.

It was not the first time Ejemai was visiting Victoria at her residence hence nobody raised suspected anything sinister at the invitation.

Narrating how Gbolade was stabbed to death, Dr. Ajayi, a friend of the deceased, said: “Victoria Popravko invited Gbolade Ejemai over to her house on Friday, August 8, 2019, to talk things over in the morning.

“They’ve had some prior discussions which nobody really knew for sure as they were in a relationship. He went over to hers, it wasn’t his first time visiting her but turned out to be his last.

“They got into some arguments and one thing led to another, she stabbed him in his abdomen, twice, puncturing a couple of organs and landing him in a coma. He lost about 40% of his blood volume and that led him to a very critical condition.

“He was taken in for the first surgery on the same day and we waited almost 24 hours for him to get conscious. On Sunday, he opened his eyes and was able to recognize people.

“Then he told his side of the story about how Victoria’s father realized that he wasn’t dead after the stab wound and went ahead to hit him with a hammer on his head.

“We didn’t know about the hammer and its impact until Gbolade himself woke up and spoke up. We were hoping for a miracle and praying he got better until Monday when he developed a complication and had to be operated on the second time.

“He was taken in for the second surgery and it went well. He didn’t come conscious though. By Tuesday afternoon, he gave up the ghost.”

Victoria was arrested at the scene of the incident but has now been released on bail less than 24 hours later because “she had two kids to cater for” and they couldn’t keep her until the investigation was done and over with.

Lamenting the injustice, Dr. Ajayi said: “This is unfair judgement because she was caught at a murder scene.

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JUST IN: FIFA Bans Samson Siasia For Life Over Bribe, Manipulations; Gets $50,000 Fine

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World football governing body, FIFA has banned former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, for life.

Siasia was banned from all football-related activities by FIFA after being found guilty over bribery and attempt to manipulate matches at the international level.

A statement from FIFA reads: “The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Mr. Samson Siasia, a former official of the Nigeria Football Federation, guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

“The formal ethics proceedings against Mr. Siasia were initiated on 11 February 2019 and stem from an extensive investigation into matches that Mr. Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes.

“This large-scale investigation was conducted by FIFA via its competent departments and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities.

“In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr. Siasia had breached art. 11 (Bribery) of the 2009 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and banned him for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.

“In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 50,000 has been imposed on Mr. Siasia. The decision was notified to Mr. Siasia today, the date on which the ban comes into force.”

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