General Gowon: Too Humbled to be Bundled

Does General Gowon look like somebody who moved to London with half of Nigeria’s Central Bank?

We, the undersigned call upon Hon. Member of Parliament representing Tonbridge and Malling of the United Kingdom, Ted Tugendhat to withdraw his recent statement at Westminster;

“Some people would remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half of the central bank, or so it was said, and moved to London,”

Mr. Tugendhat, had spoken when E-petition 554150 was being considered at the British Parliament on Monday, November 23, 2020 over a petition seeking sanction against the Nigerian government for alleged human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests.

We are not unmindful that the MP had added “so it was said” to his presumptuous claim. That notwithstanding, Mr. Tugendhat would have availed himself with some basic historical overview on the exact circumstances of how General Gowon ended up dining at the student cafeteria at Warwick University after his overthrow on July 29, 1975 while in Kampala attending a summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU now African Union)
Even after 45 years, General Gowon’s statement thereafter remains instructive;

“From all indications a new government had been established in Nigeria. I wish to state that I, on my part, have also accepted the change and pledged my full loyalty to my nation, my country and the new government. Therefore, in the overall interest of the nation and our beloved country, I appeal to all concerned to cooperate fully with the new government and ensure the preservation of peace, unity and stability of our dear motherland.

As a Nigerian, I am prepared to serve my country in any capacity, which my country may consider appropriate. I am a professional soldier and I can do any duty that I am called upon to do.
May I take this opportunity to thank all the people of Nigeria and friends of Nigeria for the support and cooperation that you all gave me during my tenure of office and call upon all of you to give the new government of our nation the same support and cooperation in the interest of our beloved country.
Long live one united, happy and prosperous Nigeria. Long live the Organisation of African Unity.”

The attached images are of General Gowon after he had enrolled as a student at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Where eventually his Ph.D Thesis focused on The Economic Community of West African States: A study in Political and Economic integration.

It would be recalled after his overthrow from government several investigations were made into corrupt enrichment. The General was neither found complicit nor indicted in any. More ever;

“Many offers of residence came to him in Kampala from various African countries. He notified the new regime in Lagos that he would leave Kampala for Lome in Togo. Since he was financially broke, teary-eyed members of the Nigerian delegation along with staffers at the Nigerian High Commission in Kampala donated 3000 pounds sterling to enable him begin a new life. He was flown to Lome – via Garoua in Cameroon – aboard President Idi Amin’s executive jet.

Part of the flight passed through Nigerian airspace and Gowon took the opportunity to transmit a radio message reaffirming loyalty to and support for Brigadier Muhammed’s new regime. Although offered permanent domicile in Togo he chose to join his family in the United Kingdom. He received an additional 10,000 pounds sterling donation from General Eyadema. Following a telephone call to Brigadier Muhammed, during which he made requests for elementary federal assistance, he left for London.”

Furthermore;
“When he got to London, he was offered official accommodation by the Nigerian government which he, however, turned down for a variety of reasons. After some weeks at the Portman Hotel, he moved into the house of an old friend – Mr. Emmanuel Otti – at 472 Finchley Road, London. The delay was to enable the house to be redecorated by Mr. and Mrs. Otti and Brigadier Sam Ogbemudia (who had been in the UK when the coup took place in Nigeria). Other friends came to the assistance of the family. It was not until September 1975 that he began to get his pension and gratuities as a retired Four-Star General. In the nine years he had been Nigeria’s ruler he had not built himself a single house, inside or outside the country, nor did he expropriate one kobo of government money.

Unlike some of those who served under him, his TOTAL savings throughout his service years as well as his years as Nigeria’s leader was N75,000 – all of which was inside Nigeria. In time to come this would stand in stark contrast to the conduct of and personal fortunes of most of those who conspired to remove him from office – or benefited from it.

Once settled in with his family, the General, who was offered several Masters Degree programs, signed up for undergraduate studies in Political Science at Warwick University. Newspapers in Nigeria later carried news items and photographs depicting the former Nigerian leader carrying trays in a student cafeteria in the UK.
The Muhammed regime was embarrassed and therefore dispatched Brigadier TY Danjuma (who, took Kano born Col. Wali along) to ask Gowon adopt a supposedly more dignified stance. Gowon rejected the overture and reassured his “embarrassed sympathizers” that he was comfortable with his situation. (Conceivably nothing could have been more embarrassing than to be overthrown while attending an OAU summit). He made friends among the Nigerian students at Warwick, including a family friend of mine, Desmond Guobadia, now a legal practitioner in Lagos. Meanwhile his spouse, the former First Lady, Mrs. Victoria Gowon (who was a nurse) registered as a catering student at a University College in London.”
See details in; Military Rebellion of July 29, 1975 – Epilogue: From Kampala to Lome to London and back to Nigeria by Nowa Omoigui

Therefore, we the undersigned call upon all Nigerians of goodwill and indeed the members of the international community at large to ignore the insinuations of Mr. Tugendhat. In turn, by this signed clarification we call upon the MP to be appropriately corrected and to do the needful by withdrawing his statement on General Gowon.

Signed;

Abdallah Baikie.

Ahmed Yahaya Joe.

ENGLISH VS PIGIN

English: If Theo walk at night, Theo might get lost.
Pidgin: If Theo waka for night, THEOPHILUS.

English: It will take a while before Dan arrives.
Pidgin: Dangote

English: Jason started it..
Pidgin: Na JASON STATHAM

English : It’s Ramsey that knows her.
Pidgin: Na Ramsey Noah

ENGLISH: Are u Videoing it.
PIGIN: U DAVIDO am.

ENGLISH: Olamide is Bad.
PIGIN: Olamide Baddoo.

ENGLISH: How did u know.
PIGIN: How u Tekno.

ENGLISH: He Might Know.
PIGIN: He Phyno.

ENGLISH: I thought he is a girl, but he is a boy.
PIGIN: I think say na Girl, Burna Boy.

ENGLISH: The Song Belongs to Sam.
PIGIN: Na SamSung.

ENGLISH: It’s David that Baked it.
PIGIN: Na David Beckham.

ENGLISH: Selena will fart.
PIGIN: Selena Gomez.

ENGLISH: Their Belly.
PIGIN: Dembele.

ENGLISH: John is Weak.
PIGIN: John Wick.

ENGLISH: Roberto’s Car got lost.
PIGIN: Roberto Carlos.

ENGLISH: He went to see Linda.
PIGIN: He go Cylinder.

ENGLISH: It wasn’t Me, It was Ruth.
PIGIN: No be Me, Naruto.

ENGLISH: I don’t Care.
PIGIN: I Nokia.

ENGLISH: How did u know that I told him to knock your Head??.

PIGIN: How u Tecno say Itel am make Im Nokia head?

Nigerians will always be innovative.

#Copied

#EndSARS: THE FALLEN UNARMED PEACEFUL NIGERIAN PROTESTER

By Taiwo Sanni

Tell my mother I was unarmed.

Tell my father I had the flag in my hands when I was shot.

Tell the unborn Generation that I died singing the national anthem.

Tell the cowards who shot me that my spirit lives on in the life of every good Nigerian youth.

Tell the government that they shot my body but not my spirit.

Tell the world I died for freedom like many good people before me.

I regret nothing, for I have done what my father’s, mother’s, uncle’s and aunt’s couldn’t do out of fear. Let God judge me, I am only sorry for the pain of leaving you this early.

My prints will forever remain in the sands of history for I have done my time based on the path I chose freely & willingly.

Now that my torment in Nigeria is over, please lay me to rest on mother earth where you all will join me in due time, take my voice and hand it over to the next good youth whom I hope by Gods Almighty grace will benefit a better Nation.

For I know that freedom is coming, yes freedom will come tomorrow.

Good bye…

NIGERIA: Nation of leaders, not followers

BBC’s Martin Patience is leaving Nigeria after 2 years. I listened to a recap of his lessons learned in a version of the ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ yesterday. Below is a transcribed excerpt of his version.
________________________________

”Nigeria is truly the maddest place I have ever had the pleasure of living in. It’s a country that constantly feels on the brink but never quite goes over the edge.

“It feels like you are living in a giant soap opera with all the joy and tragedy that goes with it. It is a nation blessed or burdened with extraordinary cast of characters.

“It can make you want to cry with laughter or with tears. ‘’where else?’’ said a friend.

“That you have to bribe the attendant in a lift just to be allowed out of it; or you will be hassled in a church for a donation or where you will go to a lost but found office only to be told that nothing has been handed in this entire year. What you may not have heard about is the sheer exuberance of this country.

“They should hand out ear plugs in Nigerian weddings because the noise is so intense! Millions truly believe that tomorrow could be the day they make it big. The language here is unbelievably colorful.

“A top official once described a former president as an honest fool, who held the horn while the others milk the cow.

“I have never ever lived anywhere like Nigeria! It’s exhausting and exhilarating but never is there a dull a day.

“I was recently sitting in a plane and we were taxiing out to the runway; a pilot piped up in an intercom, ‘’a passenger’’ he said, ‘’was rude to an air hostess’’. ‘’I ask you the passengers’’, he said, ‘’to intervene, because unless he apologizes, we will have to go back to the terminal and unload him’’.

“A queue of about a dozen people surrounding the man, shouting at him to apologize. He refused, so the pilot did indeed turn the plane back towards the boarding gate. And then finally, the man, realizing his number was up, said sorry.

“The pilot was back on the intercom, ‘’I will like to thank you all for intervening’’ he said with obvious delight, ‘’ we are now off to Lagos’’.

“For all the drama and frustrations, one friend summed up Nigerians’ best, ‘’they have remarkable patience’’ he argued. ‘’but for the wrong things.

“They put up with lack of clean water, poor access to health care, rotten schools and crumbling infrastructure.’’ Many Nigerians are fiercely independent. This is a nation of leaders and not followers.”

#copied

When You’re 40

IF YOU ARE ABOVE 40 YRS OF AGE OR APPROACHING THE MARK, HEALTH HINTS FOR YOU

A. Two things to check as often as you can:
(1) Your blood pressure
(2) Your blood sugar

B. Four things to reduce to the minimum on your foods:
(1) Salt
(2) sugar
(3) dairy products
(4) starchy products

C. Four things to increase in your foods:
(1) Greens/vegetables
(2) beans
(3) fruits
(4) nuts

D. Three things you need to forget:
(1) Your age
(2) your past
(3) your grievances

E. Four things you must have, no matter how weak or how strong you are:
(1) Friends who truly love you
(2) caring family
(3) positive thoughts
(4) a warm home.

F. Five things you need to do to stay healthy:
(1) fasting
(2) smiling / laughing
(3) trek / exercise
(4) reduce your weight.

G. Six things you don’t have to do:
(1) Don’t wait till you are hungry to eat
(2) don’t wait till you are thirsty to drink
(3) don’t wait till you are sleepy to sleep
(4) don’t wait till you feel tired to rest
(5) don’t wait till you get sick to go for medical check-ups otherwise you will only regret later in life
(6) don’t wait till you have problem before you pray to your God.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF !!!

*Copied

Let’s do some Acronyms

1. PAN – permanent account number.

2. PDF – portable document format.

3. SIM – Subscriber Identity Module.

4. ATM – Automated Teller machine.

7. Wi-Fi – Wireless fidelity.

8. GOOGLE – Global Organization Of Oriented Group Language Of Earth.

9. YAHOO – Yet Another Hierarchical Officious
Oracle.

10. WINDOW – Wide Interactive Network Development for Office work Solution.

11. COMPUTER – Common Oriented Machine.
Particularly United and used under Technical and
Educational Research.

12. VIRUS – Vital Information Resources Under Siege.

13. UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunications System.

14. AMOLED – Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode.

15. OLED – Organic light-emitting diode.

16. IMEI – International Mobile Equipment Identity.

17. ESN – Electronic Serial Number.

18. UPS – Uninterruptible power supply.

19. HDMI – High-Definition Multimedia Interface.

20. VPN – Virtual private network.

21. APN – Access Point Name.

22. LED – Light emitting diode.

23. DLNA – Digital Living Network Alliance.

24. RAM – Random access memory.

25. ROM – Read only memory.

26. VGA – Video Graphics Array.

27. QVGA – Quarter Video Graphics Array.

28. WVGA – Wide video graphics array.

29. WXGA – Widescreen Extended Graphics Array.

30. USB – Universal serial Bus.

31. WLAN – Wireless Local Area Network.

32. PPI – Pixels Per Inch.

33. LCD – Liquid Crystal Display.

34. HSDPA – High speed down-link packet access.

35. HSUPA – High-Speed Uplink Packet Access.

36. HSPA – High Speed Packet Access.

37. GPRS – General Packet Radio Service.

38. EDGE – Enhanced Data Rates for Globa Evolution.

39. NFC – Near field communication.

40. OTG – On-the-go.

41. S-LCD – Super Liquid Crystal Display.

42. O.S – Operating system.

43. SNS – Social network service.

44. H.S – HOTSPOT.

45. P.O.I – Point of interest.

46. GPS – Global Positioning System.

47. DVD – Digital Video Disk.

48. DTP – Desk top publishing.

49. DNSE – Digital natural sound engine.

50. OVI – Ohio Video Intranet.

51. CDMA – Code Division Multiple Access.

52. WCDMA – Wide-band Code Division Multiple Access.

53. GSM – Global System for Mobile Communications.

54. DIVX – Digital internet video access.

55. APK – Authenticated public key.

56. J2ME – Java 2 micro edition.

57. SIS – Installation source.

58. DELL – Digital electronic link library.

59. ACER – Acquisition Collaboration Experimentation Reflection.

60. RSS – Really simple syndication.

61. TFT – Thin film transistor.

62. AMR– Adaptive Multi-Rate.

63. MPEG – moving pictures experts group.

64. IVRS – Interactive Voice Response System.

65. HP – Hewlett Packard.

NOW IT GETS KIND OF WACKED

66. News paper = North East West South past and present events report.

67. Chess = Chariot, Horse, Elephant, Soldiers.

68. Cold = Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.

69. Joke = Joy of Kids Entertainment.

70. Aim = Ambition in Mind.

71. Date = Day and Time Evolution.

72. Eat = Energy and Taste.

73. Tea = Taste and Energy Admitted.

74. Pen = Power Enriched in Nib.

75. Smile = Sweet Memories in Lips Expression.

76. etc. = Et Cetera

77. OK = Objection Killed

78. Or = Orl Korect (Greek Word)

79. Bye = Be with you Everytime.

#COPIED FROM FACEBOOK

The Mouse lives still

You probably have heard or read this story before. I just saw it again recently & it suddenly had a whole new meaning under the present circumstances.

Bear with me a while & read it fully yet again, so you can appreciate my cute Covid19 ending.

Enjoy!!

“A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer & his wife open a package. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

“”The chicken clucked, scratched & said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is of grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered.”

“The mouse turned to the goat and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The goat sympathized, but said, “I am sorry Mr. Mouse, there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”

“The mouse turned to the cow & said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s none of my concern.” So, the mouse returned to the house dejectedly to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.

“That same night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.

“The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital & she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you aid a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his knife to the farm house for the soup’s main ingredient.

“But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends & neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the goat.

“Finally, the farmer’s wife died.
So many people came for her funeral & the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

“The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.”

The morale of the story;

Next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

The characters;

Mouse: Common Citizen

Crack in the wall: Ghetto

Farmer: China

Package: Wuhan

Darkness: Covidiots

Snake: Police

Farmer’s wife: Expatriates

Chicken: Hospitals

Goat: Chloroquine

Cow: Celebrities

Knife: Government

Neighbors: Social Media

Friends: Press

Chicken soup: Lemon

Funeral: Anarchy

Farm house: Quarantine

Mouse trap: Covid19

IN CONCLUSION

What’s remarkable about this story is how anyone can make their own completely different list of appropriate characters.

My wife, daughter in-law & niece had their own very scary list…

Trust women! 🤦‍♂️

Check out their own choice of characters;

Mouse: Life

Crack in the wall: Hospital

Farmer: Virus

Package: Covid19

Darkness: Conspiracy theories

Snake: Unprepared Authorities

Farmer’s wife: Wuhan

Chicken: Asia

Goat: Europe & America

Cow: Africa

Knife: Death

Neighbors: Social Media

Friends: Sports

Chicken soup: Chloroquine

Funeral: New world order

Farm house: Social Gatherings

Mouse trap: lockdown

😂😂😂😂
There is hidden mockery in their “Friends – for Sports” choice, it’s directed at me & my son.

They actually enjoy that there is no football now & like the troubled are always asked “Where are your friends now?” They mean actually mean, “Where is your sports now?”

Their ‘Cow – Africa’ scare the shit out of me.

We’ve had our serious laugh, now it’s your turn to make others laugh, ponder & wonder.

This pandemic is everybody’s battle!

Let’s work together and defeat this virus.

#StayHome
#StaySafe.

Both Sides of Abba Kyari

By Remi Oyeyemi & Simon Kolawole

SPEAKING ILL OF THE DEAD

By Remi Oyeyemi

“The evil that men do live after them.” — William Shakespare

I am aware that this is breaking with the conventional wisdom. I am conscious that this is a rebuke of tradition. I am not oblivious to the fact that it is against the norm. I am not unaware that this is not in tune with the mainstream. I am aware some would loath me for it. Some would deride me. Others would call me names. Those who really never liked my guts, would have this reinforced it for them. But those who have the objective ability to see things the way they are and are able to call them as exactly as they should, would see some sense in this.

The idea of not speaking ill of the dead is not a good idea, especially if the dead person did nothing deserving of praise. The idea of praising the dead, regardless if the dead, during his or her life was mean spirited, greedy, selfish, inconsiderate, odiously acquisitive, ruthless and disdainful, is totally unacceptable. It is wrong and should be done away with. We should be able to say exactly what kind of person someone was during his or her life.

I have been reading in the media unbelievable eulogies about the late Chief of Staff to President Mohammadu Buhari, Mr. Abba Kyari. I have been reading some hypocritical praise – singing of this man who, to many Nigerians who celebrated his infliction a couple of weeks back, was no less a monster, because he has become the casualty of the Coronavirus 19. I have read from those who hated him saying embarrassingly ‘nice’ things about him. What a fraud. What a dishonesty.

It is a sad day when people cascade into casual casuistry with unbridled audacity. It is an act of deliberate undermining of the societal values to heap praises on someone whose remains ought to be used to cast away evils from the entire society. To project a mean – spirited public office holder as a saint when he is not, is a sin in itself.

I take serious objection to the rain of praise that has been raining down on the corpse of the late Abba Kyari. Though, this is a matter of choice to which we are all entitled depending on the way we see it. In my own view, Kyari is not deserving of any praise whatsoever. It is alright for President Buhari to cry himself hoarse. Kyari was his Chief of Staff and his relative. It is okay for his goons in Aso Rock, his partners in crime to weep without end. It is okay for those who are beneficiaries of his corrupt practices, his impunities to gnash their teeth to numb. It is their loss. His immediate and extended family members reserve the inalienable rights to mourn him infinitely and indefinitely.

I also believe that it is alright for the rest of us who are victims of the first family and their collaborators in Aso Rock, to acknowledge the loss of a soul, not because of any other reason other than the fact that we are all human beings. And this is where it ought to end. No more, no less.

For those who are Buhari’s sycophants and who still hope to benefit from the misery he is visiting on Nigeria, it might be acceptable to them to shed their crocodile tears even if they really did not like the man when he was alive. They are welcome to do so.

Here is a man, who never got a single vote, whether rigged or not, from the Nigerian people, but who hijacked the executive powers of the Presidency. He held Nigeria and Nigerians to ransom since 2015. He rode roughshod over the people of this country. He appropriated all the appurtenances of power for his personal idiosyncrasies.

Abba Kyari never cared. He never gave a damn. Yes, he did not give a damn how many Nigerians died. He did not care how many Nigerians went hungry. He did not care how much injustice was perpetrated. He did not give a damn how many innocent Nigerians were murdered. He did not give a damn how many Nigerians were chased off their ancestral lands. He did not care how many of our daughters were raped. He did not give a damn how many were maimed by his tribesmen.

He was a perniciously greedy soul. He was remorseless in his ways. The 500 million naira bribe he took from the MTN was emblematic of his innate rapacity. It was emblematic of his bloated edacity. He appointed himself to the Board of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). It was the first time in the History of Nigeria for an incumbent Chief of Staff. It was against the norm of decency and restraint. It was impunity at its worst.

Kyari relentlessly harassed the Vice President, licentiously anchoring Professor Osinbajo’s deliberate disempowerment. He unabashedly intimidated the Ministers and prevented them from meaningful collaboration with the man who appointed them, or whom he helped appointed. With a mien akin to that of a dove, he was a heinous hawk, a vicious vulture that is egregious and atrocious in its debauchery and cupidity.

He was mindless and mean. He was cruel and cold. He was crude and callous. His greed was congenital. His insouciance encrypted his guiled mendacity. He was hung up on power hunkering. He had disdain for the rules. Like his principal, Buhari, he believed and acted above the law. His arrogance was horrifying. His condescension, sardonically sickening in the way and manner he exercised unmerited power.

Yes, the idea of not speaking ill of the dead is a VERY WRONG one, especially if that dead person never did anything to deserve it. If this practice was to continue, it means every criminal in our midst should look forward to being praised after he/she was dead regardless of the crimes committed. This would also mean a genuine disincentive for those who strive to do positive things and improve their communities.

It is very important to ensure that dead people’s memories be imbued with their acts of omissions and commissions when they were alive. It is an act of injustice to arrogate false achievements, fake qualities to monstrous figures more notorious for their kleptomania as they gallivant through the inner rooms of power.

Hopefully, when I die, people would have the unburnished courage to say exactly what they feel about me and not deodorize my omissions and imperfections. Hopefully, those who would feel the need to mourn me would not see the need to be hypocritical and dishonest in their elegies.

In all this, what became clearer is the vanity of vanity itself. It brought to the fore the cliché popularized by the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State in the early 1980s, “,,, vanity upon vanity, all is vanity.” It underscores the ephemeralness of not just power, but of all things that are human, except our deeds. This probably informed William Shakespeare’s ageless rumination captured in the phrase, ” The evil that men do live after them.”

We should not praise villains when they are dead. It is a great disincentive to those who laboured to be above board and did the right thing. You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to like me. Please, don’t like me, just respect the truth.

“The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service and love.” – Pope Francis

Lies never last, History never dies and the TRUTH is always constant.

©Remi Oyeyemi

Now for the other side of the divide….

____ ______ ______ ______

Now That Abba Kyari is Dead

By Simon Kolawole

April 19, 2020

On January 18, 2020, when I first read of the new coronavirus on the BBC website, my heart missed a beat because of what China means to the world. The headline was: “New virus in China ‘will have infected hundreds’.” And these were the opening paragraphs: “The number of people already infected by the mystery virus emerging in China is far greater than official figures suggest, scientists have told the BBC. There have been more than 60 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, but UK experts estimate a figure nearer 1,700. Two people are known to have died from the respiratory illness, which appeared in Wuhan city in December.” I feared for Nigeria in particular.

After reading the story, I immediately sent a link to Mallam Abba Kyari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, with the note: “Good afternoon Mallam. We need to watch it.” How on earth would I have known that exactly three months later, Kyari would be gone, consumed by the same virus? At the time, as the BBC reported, there were only two deaths from the coronavirus disease in the world — and both were in Wuhan. It had not been declared a pandemic by WHO. No other country had recorded any case. It looked so distant that I was even asking myself: “What do you want the chief of staff to do about it?” The whole experience now looks surreal to me.

We regularly exchanged chats and compared notes as the virus began to cause more concern across the world. Shortly after Nigeria recorded its index case — an Italian — on February 27, he finally began to express his worries to me. Let me reproduce his chat in whole: “How many intensive care units do we have ready to admit acute cases? How quickly can we increase the numbers if the virus spreads? How many nurses do we have to deploy immediately and how quickly can we increase the numbers? How many ventilators do we have and how many should we ideally have and how quickly can we increase the numbers?” He said these were his own concerns.

Along the line, Buhari directed Kyari to lead a government delegation to Germany to discuss with Siemens about power infrastructure in Nigeria. The discussions were on how to improve the national grid, which is one of the biggest problems of the power sector. They also discussed building additional plants to improve generation. After the discussions in Germany, he travelled back to Nigeria via the UK. On the weekend of March 21, he was involved in a series of meetings on measures to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.

He was said to have coughed frequently, leading to suggestions that he should run a test since he just returned from Europe.
For the record, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had not officially classified Germany and UK as red zones requiring self-isolation as at the time he returned to the country. He was in Germany and the UK from March 8 to 12, and arrived Abuja on March 13. NCDC designated Germany as “high risk” on March 16 and added the UK to the list on March 17. When the result of his test came out on Monday, March 23, he sent me a message that he had tested positive and was going on self-isolation immediately. I was shattered, shattered because I knew he had an underlying medical condition, but hopeful because his symptoms looked mild: just the cough.

While he was on self-isolation, we had regular phone calls. I normally would call him on WhatsApp voice but he would switch to video and I knew why: he wanted to prove to me that his life was not in danger. He knew I was really worried for him. Rumour was all over the internet that he was on a ventilator, that he was at Gwagwalada Hospital, that he had been flown to the UK or Cuba. Ironically, he was not bothered about the rumours. He did not sound bitter. He was even forwarding them to me and we would share a laugh. He said he was more interested in the goodwill messages he was getting. We still don’t know if he caught the virus in Germany, UK, on a flight or in Nigeria.

On March 29, something happened that got me worried again: he was not picking his calls. I later understood that the cough had worsened and he could not use the regular syrups because they contain sugar. That made his treatment more complicated. He later sent me a message that he was coming to Lagos for further checks and observation, and that the cough was not getting better. That was the last time we exchanged messages or made contact. As soon as he got to Lagos, all messages to his phone went unread. I had to rely on family members and friends to get updates and the impression I got was that he was getting better but the recovery was slow.

In the meantime, he was getting bashed all over the internet. His “death” or “removal” was regularly announced on Twitter or Instagram. But I was assured that, indeed, he was getting better with “encouraging signs”. As of 5pm on Friday, the message I got was that he was “much better” but the doctors were being “cautious”. A few hours later, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, tweeted that Kyari had passed away. It was most devastating. What began with mild to moderate symptoms had gone out of hand. I understand that COVID-19 kills many patients that way: when you think it is all over, like it’s one step away from the worst, there comes a sudden lethal blow.

Some people have been rejoicing since Kyari tested positive for the virus. The gloating has been massive. Some are not even satisfied that he is dead. They wish they could kill the dead body as well and desecrate his grave. They are all over the social media denigrating the dead. They have their reasons, I believe. I know for sure that the mortal hatred for Buhari was extended to him, so even in death they can’t leave him alone. They said he was Nigeria’s biggest problem. He was to blame for everything that was not going well in the country. Now that Kyari is dead, I am anxiously waiting for all Nigeria’s problems to be solved finally. It would be a thing of joy.

Some said they hated Kyari because he was the one responsible for the relegation of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in the power structure. Now that Kyari is dead, let us see what happens next. Some people told me Kyari is a “usurper” — that nobody voted for him yet he was the one “running” Nigeria. Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd), the national security adviser, wrote a stinging memo last year accusing Kyari of overriding presidential powers and preventing him from buying arms and ammunition for the military. Now that Kyari is dead, let us see what happens next. My understanding of power is that you can only be as powerful as the president wants you to be.

My biggest disappointment with Kyari is that he refused to tell his story. When he was accused of taking a bribe from MTN, he explained to me how he opposed the reduction of the $5.2 billion fine, how he was excluded from the resolution committee because of his stand, and how some people met in Dubai and drafted a position paper that formed 80 percent of the final settlement agreement. He said he didn’t know if anybody took bribe, but he was not part of it and his conscience was clear to God. So why not grant an interview to clear your name? His reply: “My boss knows I will never betray his trust. I don’t need to defend myself.” And there is no counter narrative till today.

Anytime a serious allegation, especially of corruption, was levelled against him, I would put him on the spot. He would explain every detail and tell me who was behind the allegation and why they were after him. I would say: “Okay, Mallam, can we publish?” In the most frustrating manner, he would reply: “No. I’m only explaining this for you to know the correct facts. I’m not asking you to defend me. But even if you want to defend me during arguments or discussions, I want you to do it on the basis of facts, not emotions.” I once told him in despair: “It is not about you alone, Mallam! I worry about the stigma your children will carry for life.” He could not be bothered.

Clearly, there was a well-oiled campaign against him basically because of the allegation that he “usurped” power. On his own, at times, he would forward links to the damaging stories to me. “Simon,” he would say, “don’t forget that I was once an editor. There is a difference between investigative journalism and planted stories. These are planted stories.” The narration of everything that went wrong in Buhari’s government was constructed to put the blame at Kyari’s doorstep. He was definitely not a saint but I know that when one person is being blamed for every wrong, there is certainly an orchestrated agenda at play. I have been a journalist for 27 years of my life.

I knew Kyari closely for 10 years. He was a simple man, deeply intellectual and not one to run away from enforcing the rules. We argued frequently, particularly on economic policy which was his major area of interest. He regularly bought me books on economics and sociology. He often invited me for lunch or dinner anytime he was in London and all we discussed was Nigeria and the development challenge. He was very passionate about infrastructure and industrialisation. But he always kept quiet on damaging media reports against him. Maybe that is what chiefs of staff do: take the bullets for their bosses and go to their graves with all the secrets. Adieu, Mallam.

© Simon Kolawole

CONVID 19: Nigerian Earthly Gods are not to be blamed.

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe


Or are the Wailers are not to Blamed instead?

I am glad that the Presidency has decided to reject the call by the National Assembly for a national broadcast on Covid-19. Can you imagine; have they forgotten they are a rubber stamp parliament?

Hmm…somebody should remind them that, “Until the rotten tooth is pulled out, the mouth should chew with caution.” Besides didn’t the “National Leader” of our great Kutuje party recently claim the issue is actually 2023 virus? Anyway Malam Garba Shehu sorry; Alaka, has rightly replied those enemies of progress by emphasizing, “These are not the times for populism and cheap politics.”

Nigerians must learn to respect Baba Fakunle’s privacy so that he can cool his “hotness of a gorilla” in the other room. Anybody that needs to be addressed should tune to CNN and watch Donald Trump. Those calling on Mr. President to address the nation should not forget that; “A chicken eats corn, drinks water, swallows pebbles, yet she complains of having no teeth. If she had teeth, would she eat gold? Let her ask the cow who has teeth yet eats grass!”
This is Nigeria where our leaders should address us only during political campaigns. The Next Level is about peace and quiet before Adetusa’s retirement. Our government is not to be disturbed by you disobedient Gbonkas with petty matters as we are currently focused on repairing the PDP damage of 16 years which shall be carrying out indefinitely. After all we have already achieved national sufficiency in local rice production; what else do you ingrates of Ikolu want again?
With a price reduction of N20 from every liter of PMS it is Danfo drivers and luxurious bus operators that you Ijekun people should compel to reduce transport fares not us. We have done our best under the circumstances for you people that are beginning to behave like Aderopo. If you think because you voted for us you want to make noise don’t forget there is nothing independent about INEC. “Is it not ignorance that makes the rat attack the cat?” Any petrol dealer in spite of old stock bought at the former price must now sell at the new price. That is the defination of patriotism. This government is ever ready to close the shop so that we can chase treasury looters. You think e easy with corruption fighting back? “Because the farm-owner is slow to catch the thief, the thief calls the farm-owner thief!” Therefore any Odewale that feels too strongly about Covid-19 should send in photographs of suspected cases for perusal like the Lagos governor did with the aftermath of the recent pipeline explosion at Abule Ado. Does the Aso Rock Villa look like NAFDAC office or Center for Disease Control? If anybody coughs simply tell the person – Bless you! Or sacrifice rams to the gods. Sacrifice did you say? Perhaps to “Soponna the god the poxes or even Sango the god of thunder and rainfall” So shut up and “boil lemongrass, tea bush and some limeskins including dogonyaro leaves” then isolate yourselves – “when rain falls on the leopard does it wash off its spots?”

If body scratch you eat local rice! So please you Haters should carry your Coronavirus talk far away from us or we quarantine you with Ogundele the hunter. We have urgent matters of state to attend to like making sure the esteemed chairman of our party, Comrade Akilapa with diamond buttons on his safari is not humiliated out of office by saboteurs from where 3 footpaths meet – nearer to Ede than to Ilorin. So no national broadcast on Covid-19 for you. “Let no one stop us and no one come with us or we shall curse them…..When the wood-insect gathers sticks on its own head it carries them” Is it because there is power you want to see broadcast?

Wait till we return DISCO to power holding then your eye will clear. If you vex go and vote for Atiku in 2023. This is not a play!



FINAL WORD

Prudence in the Jungle

One of the most prudent things you should do for yourself in Nigeria today is keeping out of trouble. One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to be sent to jail in Nigeria.

Jail in Nigeria is halfway house to hell. Maryam Sanda will probably never be executed, most Governor’s do not sign the death warrant anymore. Orji Kalu Uzor will probably never serve full-time.

But still Nigerian prisons are like Nazi concentration camps. The food is calamitous, healthcare is none existent.

I have seen a prisoner holding his eye ball in his hand, it was still attached to his eye socket by a tendril. Someone used a spoon to scoop out his eye ball in a fight. The nurse was off duty. Nobody cared, he died.

I had a client once who was remanded in prison. He was HIV positive and did not tell me. Maybe that would have been further grounds for bail. He could not take his drugs and he relapsed. Before I could try to get him out it was too late, he died.

The food given to prisoners is not fit for human consumption, even animals should not be made to eat such rubbish. Meanwhile, huge sums of money has been budgeted for feeding prisoners.

Avoid trouble, infact, flee from trouble. Anything that will involve police charging you to court is trouble. If you can kill a matter in the police station, by all means do it. Stop shouting,

“I know my right!”

This is Nigeria. Your right and left can change anytime.

Police will definitely ask for big money, if you have it and you suspect your case is not very solid kill the matter there. Even if you think you have a good case, this is Nigeria.

If your lawyer is shouting,

“we will meet in court!” in Police station tell him to calm down.

It is your case, not his. The use of “we,” is merely figurative. He will not stand in the accused box with you.

Remember, it is not what you know that matters in court, it is what you can prove. Besides, this is Nigeria. Ihedioha can testify.

I was attacked once by a pedestrian in Lagos. The car I was inside brushed him slightly. I was not the one driving. I just told him to be more careful.

That is how the guy attacked me. He threw 4 punches, I blocked two and dodged two.

I had the opportunity to counter punch but I did not. I am not Anthony Joshua. A police man eventually stopped him. I quickly removed myself from the scene.

I was happy enough I was not going home with a broken jaw, neither was I being charged for assault. Sometimes it is better to let some things go.

I do not mean that you should turn to everyone’s foot mat, but if you are going to take up an issue, ensure you are blameless, or almost blameless.

Avoid wahala. If people are beating up a thief do not join, or even stand and watch, even if it is your property that was stolen.

If someone hits your car don’t start fighting because of that.

Do not lend people money. It hardly ends well.

Do not surety people you don’t absolutely trust.

Avoid too much night movement, and partying and clubbing.

Avoid people who cannot control their alcohol, they always start brawls.

Realize that a bad situation can always get worse, or better, depending on how you handle it.

Avoid people who talk too much.

Be wary with your speech. Do not talk about people behind their backs.

Always assume that someone is recording your speech and videoing your actions.

Even if someone comes with negative gossip about another person, do not say anything. If you talk, it is what you said that will somehow find its way to the person’s ear.

Stop saying things like,

” Do you know who I am?”

“I no dey fear anybody!”

“My yes is my yes and my no is my no!”

Finally, remember to keep your anger and ego in check, the world does not revolve around you, it revolves around the sun 🌞. Copied.