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By Tunde Odesola

Matthew Aremu Okikiola Olusegun Obasanjo – one man, one name, one destiny; complicated personality.

For the Yoruba, names hold special meanings and are categorised into five, namely: Oruko Amutorunwa (predestined names), Oruko Abiso (acquired names), Oruko Oriki (panegyrics), Oruko Abiku (abiku’s names) and Oruko Inagije (aliases). Obasanjo isn’t an abiku for he came, he saw and he stayed.

Matthew and Okikiola are acquired names. Matthew means ‘Gift of Yahweh,’ Okikiola means ‘Gloriously Famous’. Aremu, a panegyric name, means ‘Prince Charming’ just as Olusegun means ‘Conqueror’ and Obasanjo means (the king rewards). Powerful names for an all-powerful man.

In Yoruba mythology, the ‘egbere’ is the malevolent nocturnal gnome that inhabits the woods, weeps inconsolably and unrelentlessly clutches a mat. Obasanjo isn’t an ‘egbere’, though you appear to clutch a mat on your journey to earth. Obasanjo is the Ebora Owu.

Today, the demeaning, mat-clutching imagery of the ‘egbere’ resonates only in the metaphysical past. Nowadays, mat-clutching is chic and synonymous with sustainability, longevity and tenacity. When the youths of today strive to stay long on an enterprise or in a relationship, they would say, ‘Mo gb’eni wa ni o’, meaning, I brought a mat along with me.

I don’t believe in the Zodiac because it belongs in the realm of obsolete knowledge. Humans are no plants or rocks to be viewed in crystal balls and compartmentalised as a body of astrological knowledge perpetuating hollow horoscopes and surreal confusion.

Born on March 5, 1937, Baba is 83 years old. He’s also a piscean. Pisces is a water sign symbolised by two fishes swimming in opposite directions. Doesn’t this suggest confusion? Well, I don’t believe in the zodiac.

According to astrology, “Pisceans are charitable, compassionate and will promptly place the needs of others before their own. Pisceans are extremely faithful, loving and caring of their mates. Pisceans are never judgemental and always forgiving. Pisceans are (the) most tolerant and kind of all other zodiac signs.” I told you, I don’t believe in the zodiac.

But I admire you, Baba, because you don’t sit on the fence; you pull fences down along with bridges and sit over their rubble, dust and all.

When the going was good between you and the late senator Buruji Kashamu, you prayed for the fugitive businessman at a rally, saying, “We know the enormity of the support you gave (the PDP) in the past. May God reward you for the support you gave in the past. All that makes you happy, God won’t take them away from you.”

Baba, you’ve come under heavy artillery bombardment since you criticised Kashamu who fell to coronavirus, scornfully saying the US-wanted businessman couldn’t escape the icy hands of death, though he evaded justice when he lived.

Speaking a few days ago, however, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, accused you of dripping hypocrisy, saying the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, under your watch, gave favourable evidence which cleared Kashamu of drug charges and stalled the US request for his extradition and prosecution in America, in 2003. Falana said Kashamu, who had served five years in a British jail, had to be released on the grounds of the uncertain identity evidence given by the NDLEA to Britain, which subsequently turned down the extradition request of the US. Thus, Kashamu returned home, joined the Peoples Democratic Party and took sides with you to subdue then Ogun State governor, Gbenga Daniel.

Falana believes it was wrong of you, Baba Obasanjo, to turn a praise singer when Kashamu was spending billions in entrenching the PDP in Ogun, only to pounce much later when Esho Jinadu decided to support the 2015 presidential ambition of Goodluck Jonathan. Falana said, “It’s against African culture to aid and abet a criminal suspect in his lifetime only to turn round to attack him in his grave.”

By opening up Kashamu’s underbelly, you corroborate Mark Antony, who philosophises in Julius Caesar, saying, “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.” Humans are forgetful and ungrateful. The arrow you shot at Kashamu smashed the pot of hypocrisy and blew ashes the way of the archer. “Eni da eeru, ni eeru ntan.”

But you don’t give a hoot and I stand with you on this, Baba. You roar, “Let people say whatever they like when I transit. Now that I am alive, am I not being abused? Whenever I transit, let people say whatever they know or think about me… What my maker thinks of me is what matters most.”

Without playing the devil’s advocate, I’m certain many would open their dirty mouths in abuse after your glorious exit, but, thank God you’ve told them you don’t care, ‘ipako o gbo suu ti, ori elegan baje’.

Daddy, I stand with you and I pray you live above 100, a wish you expressed in Abeokuta last Tuesday during the first coronation anniversary of the Agura of Gbagura, Oba Sabur Bakare. By the time you live well beyond the century mark, time probably would’ve tempered the bellicosity of the former Ekiti governor, Ayo Fayose, against you, I believe.

Surely, a multitude will gloat over your death. But Olusegun is neither Jesus, though he’s permanently on the cross; nor is Aremu Satan, though stones are hurled at him ceaselessly.

But, what would your condolence writers say other than the toxic allegations already in the public domain sef?

For instance, Fayose, who menacingly threatened you in Okuku, Osun State, in 2010, had repeatedly accused you of seeking a third term as president and corralling elected politicians to use public funds to build you a personal library.

I know your traducers would remember the multi-billion dollar Halliburton scandal that rocked your administration; the controversial killing of a serving Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Bola Ige; the seizure of Lagos federal allocations despite Supreme Court ruling; your non-recognition of MKO Abiola, a fellow Egba citizen, during your eight-year presidency; $214m National ID scam; multibillion-dollar electricity darkness; removal of governors and Senate presidents, among others. But you don’t care.

If I outlive OBJ, I’ll stand with him when vindictive condolence writers turn their poisonous pens against him as he did against Kashamu. Even if all the ‘sins’ of Okikiola are sordid and uncountable – and all the perfumes of Arabia can’t overcome their rancidity, I’ll still stand with OBJ, a born-again Christian, for mowing Odi down and calling Plateau State CAN chairman, Rev Yakubu Pam, “an idiot.” Total annihilation is what a town like Odi in Bayelsa gets when some of her youths kill security agents, and your response, ‘CAN my foot!’ is the appropriate reply to Pam’s call for Christians to defend themselves in the face of killings on the plateau.

I know how unforgiving some Nigerians could be, Sir. In their condolences, many are likely to go down filial lane and scribble, “The President whom his son publicly accused of having sexual affairs with his wife!”

Baba, just like you did to Kashamu, after you live for more than 100 years and go to your grave, many Nigerians will intern your good deeds and only remember the everlasting bile in your firstborn’s letter to you in 2013.

General Obasanjo, I foresee some Nigerians rereading Iyabo’s harrowing letter before penning their condolences. I’m sure they’ll quote Iyabo’s exact words which described you as “a manipulator, hypocrite, narcissist, greedy, third-term seeker, megalomaniac, intolerant, two-faced and an uncaring father and husband”. But you would be too far gone to hear their babble, I know.

Freely, I’ll defend you over your political ‘sins’ but I’ll decline my support against the verdict of your family because nobody can know you more than your family, sir.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom, whispers Thomas Jefferson, from the grave.

  • PunchNg

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Domestic violence is a violence or other abuse in a marriage.
Domestic violence could involve any body but I’m looking at it in a family setting between a man and his wife.

Domestic violence includes

  • Physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religion reproductive and sexual abuse.

Many people are going through a lot in marriages today, some Christan homes inclusive. This has caused a lot of harms in homes, churches and the society at large. So many women have lost their lives in the process,men inclusive but women are mostly at the receiving end. And they endure mostly even to the point of loosing their lives. This they do because of:

  1. The love they have for their spouse
  2. Because of their children
  3. What the society will say about them
  4. Because of their faith and religion.

Please when beating and sexual molestation becomes the case in your home, there’s need for separation.

Now in as much as the Bible frowns at divorce, I don’t think it’ll be reasonable for one to remain in an abusive marriage where his/her life is a stake. The same children you think about will still be maltreated, neglected and will be forced to face horrible situations the moment you are gone. The same society you are thinking of what they will say will still blame you for not speaking out on time. Your making heaven is even very slim because I don’t think your heart is clean in that condition. Your bad thoughts, unforgiveness and bitterness is enough to send you to hell. And instead of you to commit murder, I think you should separate if that’s the only option left.

Many women are going through alot. When a domestic violence involves life threatening abuses, there’s need for you to seek for help.

Many women have died in this process. Pls being born again doesn’t mean your brain should be suspended. Yes divorce is a sin but you shouldn’t die either because you are married. You are being asked to keep praying often times, yes but you could do that also while away. Many women are dying silently. Women please speak out in such conditions, don’t keep quiet. Make sure the problem is not from you. Make sure you are not the cause of it.

I have seen a woman beating blue black by her husband. Not once not twice. Infact the man always use cane,belt etc on her. And she’s asked to keep praying. What if she die one day? What if she couldn’t take it any longer and tries to defend herself and kill her partner in the process, what will be her lot?

Women should take the necessary steps the moment they see that things are getting out of hand.

Try to see how you could save the situation by involving your spiritual leaders, your both families,the people your partner respects so much and if there’s no changes please take a break while you pray and take the necessary steps to save your marriage.

Pls note that your being away is for the mean time. Even while away you are to remain and keep your body. It’s not a time to go about messing up. If you do that you are commenting sin. You are to maintain sexual purity. Even when your partner is doing otherwise. The only time remarriage is possible is when one partner is dead. See Romans 7:2,1cor.7:39.

Neighbors should as well look out for their fellow women/men. Please speak out for them. Some of them are in a tight corner and can’t help themselves.

Stay tuned for the next post on this same topic!

Say no to domestic violence.

What’s your take on this? Share your opinion.
Will you allow your daughter, sister, brother,son go through domestic violence?
What will you have them do;the abused?

By Chika Helen Nwabueze’

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By Oladimeji Ramon

A group, the Federal Social Democrats, says the credibility and integrity of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have been diminished by the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20.

According to the group, the Lekki incident has eroded the admiration that Sanwo-Olu won with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group, in statement on Sunday signed on its behalf by Olutola Mobolurin, also condemned the harassment of #EndSARS protest leaders through the freezing of their bank accounts and stopping them from travelling outside the country.

The FSD’s statement was titled, ‘Statement by the Federal Social Democrats On the #EndSARS Movement and Violence in the Wake of Lekki Shootings.’

The group said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu, who before now has been credited with responsible and energetic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has by this one act lost his credibility and integrity for many. He has a big task in regaining the confidence of the public and youths; his credibility gap surrounding what happened at the Lekki Toll Plaza is not helped by the insensitive bluster of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the governor’s residence stating that those who were injured and presumably those who died had questions to answer.”

Though the group condemned the destruction of public assets and looting that trailed the shootings at the Lekki tollgate, it said the mayhem pointed to the alienation of a large number of youths from society by government.

It said, “The so-called hoodlums are the youths that have been denied any stake in society by the self-dealing and state capture that have characterised governance over the last 30 years. Millions of our youths have been uneducated, unemployable and with no meaningful social safety net. Even for the millions who are educated and skilled, long-term unemployment has been their experience in the Nigerian prebendal political economy that serves primarily the interests of public office holders and their cronies.

“Some of the ‘hoodlums’ responsible for the trashing of Lagos are the youths and ‘the toughies’ that many politicians have over the years employed to subvert the democratic process through intimidation of voters and perpetration of violence during elections.”

The group said the organisers of the #EndSARS protests deserved commendation for the resourcefulness, transparency and accountability which they demonstrated.

The group condemned “the growing reports of compilation of names of the assumed leaders and facilitators of the protests for government reprisals.”

It said, “Those that are being targeted are reportedly being prevented from travelling outside Nigeria while accounts of some have been frozen. This is hardly the hallmark of a democratic government that is interested in dialoguing with the youths or learning positive lessons from the #EndSARS protests. It is also a violation of the spirit of government’s acceptance of the 5 for 5 agenda. The President should stop all these acts of witch-hunt.”

The FSD solicited support for the Lagos State Government to rebuild and replace the vandalised public assets.

  • PunchNg

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• Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had been expected to be confirmed as leader on Monday

By Richard Partington

The race to find a new leader of the World Trade Organization has been thrown into renewed uncertainty after the cancellation of a key appointment meeting following the US presidential election.

The Geneva-based WTO, which acts as an international arbiter for trading disputes, said it had put off a meeting scheduled for Monday that had been called to appoint Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its next director general.

Donald Trump’s administration opposed her selection in one of its final acts before the US election, despite the former Nigerian finance minister securing the overwhelming backing of the WTO’s 164 members.

The special meeting of the trade body’s general council had been convened to take a formal decision on the appointment. Officials had been set to put forward Dr Okonjo-Iweala as the candidate most likely to attract a majority, after most countries expressed a preference for her over South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

Okonjo-Iweala had moved a step closer to becoming the first woman and the first African to be director of the global trade watchdog after securing backing from the EU, China, Japan and Australia. Liam Fox, the leading Brexiter and former international trade secretary, had run as the UK government’s preferred candidate but failed to win enough support from other countries to reach the last two in the process.

Trade experts said Joe Biden defeating Trump in last week’s election may have led to countries calling for a delay in the WTO leadership race, with the aim of securing the Biden White House’s backing for Okonjo-Iweala after he takes charge in January.

The delay in selecting a new WTO director general comes at a fragile moment for the world economy amid the second wave of Covid-19, and after years of criticism of the WTO and calls for reform from Trump.

The WTO said the meeting would be postponed until further notice, during which time the organisation would continue undertaking consultations with delegations from countries around the world to pick a new leader.

It said in a statement: “For reasons including the health situation and current events, delegations will not be in a position to take a formal decision on 9 November.”

  • TheGuardian

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

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