Full Report: Yoruba, the Origin of Lies in Nigeria; Lies the Only Contribution of Yorubas to Nigeria
In this interview granted Sahara TV and uploaded to YouTube, writer, poet and social critic, Odia Ofeimun, speaks about the late Nelson Mandela’s criticism of Nigeria and why he believes the late Premier of the old Western Region, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was greater than the anti-apartheid leader. Here are excerpts of the interview…
Stella Oduah, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation who is embroiled in a scandal of towering proportions in the ministry, faces new integrity questions as her Masters’ degree has been challenged by the United States school which supposedly awarded it.Her resume, which she presented to the Senate as a ministerial nominee in 2011, indicated she obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from St. Paul’s College Lawrenceville, Virginia, United States.But SaharaReporters has learned from the President of the college that it has never in its 125-year history had a graduate school or graduate program.The Provost Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Vice President of Institutional Development said in response to our inquiries, “We don’t offer any graduate programs here.”Similarly, the school’s website states: “Saint Paul’s College is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate [bachelor’s] degrees.” There is no mention of graduate degrees.The Minister’s documentation shows she received an undergraduate degree in accounting from the college in 1982, but Dr. Claud Flythe, St. Paul’s current president, could neither confirm nor deny this during a phone conversation with SaharaReporters. Further verification with the Office of Alumni Affairs is also currently impossible, the school said, because the college has been closed since June 2013 to loss of its accreditation.“[Oduah] realized very early in life the indispensability of a sound education in her growth plans in life and therefore pursued her education with all diligence and sense of purpose,” her documents claimed, adding that a determination “to have the best education at the highest level” prompted her stay at the Virginia college in 1983 for the MBA programme.As her public relations machinery marched on, in December 2012 The Sun newspaper published an article headlined “Stella Oduah: An Amazon of transformation,” which lauded her “MBA from St Paul’s College, Lawrenceville Virginia USA.” The story also praised her for being an official who brought her “rich educational background to bear on the aviation sector by automating revenue centers in all the agencies and parastatals to boost their revenue profile and enhance transparency and accountability in the system.”In October, SaharaReporters broke the story that Mrs. Oduah, a former campaign manager for President Goodluck Jonathan, purchased two bulletproof BMW cars worth $ 1.6 Million (N255m) through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, for her own use.Following an investigation, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation dismissed the Minister’s pleas of innocence and all her rebuttals during her testimony. The committee’s report, which was subsequently adopted by the House, declared that no budgetary appropriation had been made for the purchase of the cars, and that the NCAA proposal for their purchase was rejected.President Jonathan also set up a three-member administrative panel to investigate the matter, but he immediately travelled out of the country with Mrs. Oduah and Colonel Dasuki, the National Security Adviser who was to serve as a member of the panel. Not only did the panel submit its report much later than the two weeks it was given for the assignment, Mr. Jonathan has refused to release its report.Mrs. Oduah’s new certificate questions are certain to feed into national concern about her credibility as an elected official, but also about Mr. Jonathan’s credibility, and about the nation’s security apparatus which verifies official documents offered to the Senate for official nominations.
THE political crisis in Rivers State took a new turn on Monday as two High Court Divisions in Ahoada East and Okehi in Etche Local Government Areas were hit by bomb explosion and fire respectively.The two incidents are coming on the heels of a similar explosion that occurred at the premises of the Ahoada High Court under Justice Charles Wali on December18, 2013.In Ahoada, eyewitnesses said the impact of the explosion, which occurred at about 2am on Monday, destroyed the office of the Nigerian Bar Association with in the court complex.The Ahoada High Court was expected to hear arguments on the vacation of an order restraining a member of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Evan Bipi, from parading himself as the Speaker of the Assembly.Sources said the court registrar had noticed two strange objects when he resumed duty at about 8am and alerted the police.“One of the bombs exploded near the Nigerian Bar Association block before the anti bomb squad arrived the scene around noon. The building was badly damaged,” an eyewitness added. There were suspicions on Monday that the explosion and fire outbreak might not be unconnected with the involvement of the two courts in handling matters relating to the political crisis rocking the state. It was learnt that an anti-bomb squad had stormed the premises of the High Court, defused and evacuated two explosives. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ahmad Mohammad, said the command received a report of an explosive that was sighted at the premises of the Ahaoda High Court.Mohammad said, “We received a report that an object suspected to be an explosive was sighted at the premises of the High Court in Ahoada. Our team of anti-bomb squad was dispatched to make it safe.“Their findings reveal, through its technical operation, one unexploded improvised explosive device was recovered and rendered safe while traces of an unexploded IED were identified.“At the end of the operation, it was established that two IEDs were thrown into the premises from outside. The two were initiated, but one went off while the other failed to go off due to technical error.“The exploded IED caused minor damage to the court building. Neither injury nor death was recorded. Considering the strength of the materials used in making the devices, the devices are very weak and cannot cause severe harm, but will make noise and not pull down the building or cause death.”On the fire incident at Okehi High Court, the state police spokesman said, “It was a mere fire incident.”He, however, said that investigation into the incident had commenced with a view to apprehend the perpetrators of the crime.Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has accused supporters of the Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike; and the leader of the anti-Rotimi Amaechi lawmakers, Mr. Evans Bipi, of being responsible for the explosion in Ahoada High Court and the fire incident in Okehi High Court.
APC’s spokesman has said that APC , which has its members across the country, cannot afford to imagine any singular religious affiliation.Speaking in a telephone yesterday, Moh ammed explained that of the 25 Interim National Executive Committee membership, 18 are Muslims; 17 are Christians.He warned religious bigots and their official sponsors against setting the country on fire through sponsored religious disharmony.The APC spokesman said no party in Nigeria can survive on religion, adding that it is stupid to tar the APC with a religious paint when the party has not conducted its national convention.“The APC is just six months old after the merger. Our party is a broad-based party from all religions,” Mohammed said.He accused the Presidency of sponsoring Yusuf Mamman to denigrate the APC, stressing that “anybody that knows Yusuf Mamman’s history will not be surprised at whatever he says.”Cautioning President Goodluck Jonathan not to set Nigeria on fire with religion, Mohammed noted that his (Jonathan’s) association with Mamman was an evidence of the President’s desperation.Mohammed said the APC would reflect the nation’s religious diversity during its national convention.He promised that during its convention, APC would reflect religious tolerance. CKN InvestigationMuslim National Officers of APC1. Party Leader – North: Gen Muhammadu Buhari (Muslim).2. Party Leader – South: Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Muslim).3. National Chairman: Abdulkareem Bisi A…kande (Muslim).4. Deputy National Chairman: Aminu Bello Masari (Muslim)5. National Secretary: Tijjani Musa Tumsah (Muslim).6. Deputy National Secretary: Nasir El-Rufai (Muslim).7. National Publicity Secretary: Lai Muhammad (Muslim). 8. National Treasurer: Sadiya Umar Faruq (Muslim)9. National Financial Secretary: Alhaji Shaibu Musa (Muslim). 10. National Youth Leader: Abubakar Lado (Muslim). 11. National Legal Adviser: Muiz Banire (Muslim).12. National Deputy Auditor: Bala Jibrin (Muslim).13. National Women Leader: Sharia Ikeazor (Muslim convert).14. EX-officio Member: Muniru Muse (Muslim).15. EX-officio Member: Alhaji Yemi Sanusi (Muslim) Christian National Officers of APC 1. Otunba Niyi Adebayo, ACN, Ekiti State, APC National Vice Chairman (South-West).2. Chief (Knight) Tom Ikimi, ACN, Edo State,APC National Vice Chairman, South/South3. Mr. Uzo Igbonwa, ACN, Anambra Sta…te , APC Deputy National Youth Leader4. Chief Kenneth Kobani, ACN, Rivers State, APC National Ex-Officio (South/South)5. Mr. Antibass El-Nathan, ACN, Taraba State, APC National Ex-Officio (North-East)6. Emma Eneuku , ANPP, Enugu State, APC National Welfare Secretary7. Nelson Alapa, ANPP, Benue State, APC National EX-Officio (North Central)8. James Ocholi (SAN), CPC, Kogi State, APC National Deputy Legal Adviser9. Sharon Ikeazor, CPC, Anambra State, APC National Women Leader10. Pastor BD Lawal, CPC Adamawa State, APC National Ex-Officio (North-East)11. Senator Annie Okonkwo, APGA, Anambra State, APC National Deputy Chairman12. Senator Ositsa Izunaso, APGA, Imo State, APC National Organizing Secretary
Former Nigerian footballer and Mohammedan SC coach Emeka Ezeugo announced that he has embraced Islam after being inspired by the life of Prophet Mohammad.Emeka went to a Muslim cleric last week along with Mohammedan manager Amirul Islam, his former team-mate Kaiser Hamid, Zaker party leader Amir Faisal and club official Abu Hasan Prince to convert to Islam.The former footballer, who represented Nigeria in the 1994 World Cup after playing for Mohammedan Sporting Club for nearly a decade, said he feels honoured to be a follower of the great prophet who he thinks is the greatest among all messengers of god.‘I am always a curious person and studied different religions when I found the life of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) very inspiring,’ Emeka told New Age on Monday.Emeka, who now has taken a new name Mustafa Mohammed, claimed that his family has accepted his decision, though they all are members of Roman Catholic Church.‘I am a grown up man brother. I am free to make my own decisions. None of my family members protested the decision,’ said Emeka.Emeka, however, said that the large number of friends he made in Bangladesh is like his family and they gave him good support in making the decision.‘Bangladesh is my second home and I have some friends here who are like my brothers. They helped me in making the decision,’ Emeka said.Emeka, 44, said he could not express his feeling about becoming a Muslim and felt like a Bangladeshi and it became stronger after converting to Islam. His life has become more disciplined as he has to offer prayers more now and follow some other rituals of the religion.‘I have just planted a seed and now I have to nourish it into a tree. I know that I will discover many good sides of this decision with time but at this moment I can say the religion has made my life more disciplined,’ said Emeka.He added that he will apply for a new passport with his new name once he returns to his home in Nigeria.
A major crisis of confidence has hit the planned National Conference, following yesterday’s insistence of Igbo leaders on a new constitution. Unless the Prof. Ben Nwabueze-led Igbo leaders of thought are persuaded, a credibility crisis is imminent for the conference, which is likely to begin before the end of March. The Igbo leaders of thought, after yesterday’s meeting in Enugu, rejected the proposal of the Presidential Advisory Committee, led by Senator Femi Okuroumu, which recommended the amendment of the constitution. They are also opposed to the proposed selection of delegates on the basis of senatorial zones or federal constituencies. The Igbo leaders, at the end of their third meeting, also gave an indication that they had initiated an action aimed at reconciling the various factions in the pan-Igbo
PASSENGERS going back to their various working places from the Eastern part of the country are stranded in different loading parks in South East states, following a sharp increase in transportation fares. The over 100 percent increase in transport fares forced some of the passengers returning to their various working places after the Christmas and New year break to return to their homes as they could not afford the new fares. Investigation revealed that those mostly affected were passengers in Owerri, Imo State, heading for Lagos, Abuja, and other cities in the North. It was gathered that before the Christmas break, motorists paid between N3,000 and N3,500 but the fare was increased to N6,500 excluding charges on luggage no matter how light the luggage is.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, controlled House of Representatives has set stiff hurdles for the passage of the 2014 Federal Government budget including a comprehensive answer to the 50 questions on the economy presented to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Elements in the emerging new leadership of the House who disclosed this yesterday also said that the 2014 budget must be scrutinised to ensure that it meets the felt needs of Nigerians.The lawmakers who spoke to Vanguard ahead of next week’s resumption of the House of Representatives ruled out early passage of the N4.6 trillion budget presented to the House by Okonjo-Iweala last December. Among those who spoke are the presumptive Majority Leader in the emerging new leadership, Femi Gbajagbiamila, spokesman of the House,Zakari Mohammed