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
The occasion of the 100th anniversary of Frederick Lugard’s amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates of Nigeria has reopened discussions about whether that action was a monumental error – one which has led to the entrapment within the same country of ethnicities that would otherwise never have been in union with one another. There is no question that the amalgamation of 1914 was intended to benefit the British. Its goal was solely to reduce colonial administration costs by consolidating the two civil service operations of the Northern and Southern protectorates into one. Frederick Lugard, the architect of the amalgamation was an unapologetic advocate of colonial grandeur and a fervent believer in British Imperialism. Lugard served as a colonial administrator in Nigeria, Hong Kong, and Uganda – spreading his imperialist ideas and dutifully serving his Queen wherever he went. Like most of the Colonial actors of that period, Lugard was insultingly paternalistic. In his book the “The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa,” Lugard likened the “virtues and defects of this race-type (Africans)” to those of “attractive Children.”
FORMER Minister of Information and Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, on Monday, described former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as “a mischief maker and egomaniac, who always want to play to the gallery.”ADVERTISEMENT The Ijaw leader also carpetted Obasanjo, describing him as “an unrepentant trouble maker,” adding that he had, in the past, embarassed former heads of state through what he called “unsavoury comments.” Clark, in a letter on Monday, entitled: “Let the truth be told before it is too late,” excoriated the former president over his 18-page letter to President Goodluck Jonathan. Obasanjo, it will be recalled, wrote a letter, entitled “Before it is too late,” to President Jonathan on December 2, triggering a political wave yet to unsettle. The Ijaw leader, favourably disposed to Jonathan-led presidency, condemned Obasanjo for writing what he alleged a treasonable letter, adding that Nigeria did not
ANOTHER tragedy struck in Plateau State on Monday when about thirty people were killed and forty houses
Nigerian poet/writer Odia Ofeimun has made a startling statement that Nigerians are buzzing about. It involves late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and late South African human rights activist Nelson Mandela.In an interview with Sahara TV which was recently uploaded on Youtube, the Edo-state born social critic rated that the late Nigerian politician above the South African legend; stating that although “Mandela was good for the liberation” of his people, Awolowo made more impact in the lives of many Nigerians.He described the processes of leading to independence in both countries by the leaders followed the exact same pattern.Read Odia Ofeimun’s statement; “I am too much of an Awolowo man not to see that the process of moving into independence in South Africa and in Nigeria followed exactly the same pattern. It was based on a negotiated settlement. The liberation struggle did not create the end of apartheid. It was a negotiation and Nigerians negotiated exactly the way Mandela negotiated. You can hype it if you like, but the pattern was exactly the same. You move from one meeting to the other, discussing politics and economics, and they successfully convinced Mandela to buy the pig in a poke of an economy and they also successfully succeeded in convincing Nigerians to buy the pig in a poke of an economy. The only man in Nigeria, who stood up against it, was (Obafemi) Awolowo. He was quickly jailed and all his men scattered across the prisons in Nigeria. Some driven abroad and the educational system that he had put in place was smashed.”
Evacuate Corpses of MASSOB Members Abandoned in Mortuaries Since 2003- Igbo Youths Warn Uwazurike, Petitions Ohanaeze
By Obinna AkukweThe fight between the Association of Igbo Youths (AIYO) and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) had taken a new twist with the Igbo Youths giving ultimatum to Uwazurike to evacuate and bury the corpses of slain MASSOB members abandoned in mortuaries between 2003 and 2013.In a petition sent to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and copied to the Secretary General of Ohanaeze and all the Governors and ex-Governors of the South East, the Igbo Youths asked the leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazurike to use the millions he collects from MASSOB members monthly and billions of naira he collects from politicians to give the slain MASSOB and AIYO members befitting burial.An excerpt of the message sent to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and copied to prominent Igbo leaders reads thus;“To The PG Ohanaeze Ndigbo“His Excellency Sir,“In order to restore peace , sustain nascent unity of Ndi-Igbo, as Chairman of Imeobi Ohanaeze, pls Sir, direct Uwazurike, MASSOB leader to go to mortuaries in Igboland, particularly in Onitsha and collect the corpses of MASSOB members, members of AIYO killed in 2003, 2006, 2012, and 2013 while carrying out MASSOB acts.”“We, Aiyo, Ndi Otu Jesus Christ Ji Ofo Na Ogu Alu OLu maka Odimma Ndi Igbo, hereby give Uwazurike & MASSOB ultimatum to use the millions that MASSOB members contributes monthly and the billions he receives allegedly from governments and politicians to give these dead members of MASSOB and AIYO Befitting Burial Now.”“Despite appeals from Okpalaukwu, the leader for Peace, AIYO can no longer keep calm while MASOB abuse Ndigbo and kill us”The message was sent by the National Co-ordinator of Association of Igbo Youths, Mazi Chukwuemeka James Ugah who claimed to be an ex-MASSOB General and Commander of MASSOB Security.During the period Ohanaeze leaders met with President Jonathan at Abuja, the leaders of AIYO and MASSOB met with the President General and Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo , Chief Gary Igariwey and Dr Joe Nwaorgu respectively and other top Igbo leaders and they promised to look into the matter. They also participated in the presidential parley with Ohanaeze Chieftains but soon after the presidential visit, hostilities resumed.
President Goodluck Jonathan, on Sunday, declared that no individual, group or persons or terrorist organisation could hold the nation to ransom.Jonathan spoke at the first Sunday service in 2014 which he attended at the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Garki, Abuja.He vowed to end insecurity and spate of killings in some parts of the North being perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect.The president, who described the terrorist’s onslaught as ephemeral, assured that the country would soon be liberated from it.Jonathan reiterated his administration’s commitment to working harder to ensure that “nobody or group of persons will be able to hold Nigeria to ransom’’.The president said his administration was working hard to build a country that the future generation would be proud of.“Boko Haram is temporary, Boko Haram will surely go. We will do all our best to end it.“A number of countries have faced similar challenges and they have been able to overcome them. We will surely overcome Boko Haram.“Life in the North must change, development must go to all parts of this country and nobody or group of people can hold this country to ransom.“We will collectively liberate this country from the hands of any evil person that is trying to set us backward.“We will do our best and build a country that our children and our grandchildren will be proud of,’’ he said.Jonathan said his administration would work hard to improve the standard of living of Nigerians.The president, who likened nation building to the planting of crops or the process of building a house, said that such development would not come overnight but through a process.“Let me reassure you that we will continue to work harder and harder to improve the quality of lives of Nigerians.“You cannot achieve this overnight. I always say that and sometimes I am always misquoted when I say we cannot achieve this overnight.“Even if you go and plant a crop, it takes a period before you start seeing the fruits.“I always tell people that if you have all the money in this world today to build a house and you want to build a simple two-storey building, it must still take some time to build,” he said.The president noted that the heated political environment being experienced in the country in recent times was neither unusual not peculiar to Nigeria.He said the USA, which is generally regarded as a great country, had same experience recently to a point of near shutting down.Jonathan assured Nigerians that the perceived confusion notwithstanding, only the will of God would be done in the country.