March 26, 2009

Yar’Adua unveils logo, slogan on re-branding Nigeria

Nigeria has unveiled a new logo and slogan for its national rebranding campaign which the Information and Communications Minister, Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Akunyili says signals the march towards national re-birth. The slogan selected was Good People, Great Nation while the logo is simply the word – Nigeria but creatively interpreted.

At the unveiling ceremony on Tuesday, March 17th 2009 at the International Conference Centre - Abuja, several prominent Nigerians and members of the civil society, organized labour, private sector and students took turns in expressing their hope for a better Nigeria and their desire for a corrupt-free Nigeria and one that guarantees individual rights and liberties.
Nigerian President, Umar Yar’Adua was represented at the occasion by the Vice President Dr. Jonathan Goodluck and he urged Nigerians to support the campaign through value re-orientation pointing out that nation rebranding should not be seen as just a one-event affair. He decried the situation where the activities of a few Nigerians have come to taint the world’s perception of Nigerians and Nigeria.

General Yakubu Gowon, ex-Head of State and Chairman of the Occasion praised the Pete Edochie led- National Rebranding Committee for their choice of logo and slogan selected from thousands of entries sent in by Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information, Senator Ayogu Eze who represented Senate President Senator David Mark at the occasion said that the National Assembly will support the Ministry of Information and Communications in the re-branding project asking that all Nigerians should be carried along in the process.

His House of Representatives counterpart, Honourable Dino Malaye represented the Speaker Dimeji Bankole and he delivered a well received speech that had the whole house applauding him every step. In a firebrand but frank tone, he advised that Re-branding should start from the top, from the President and then cascading down to the Vice President and top Public officials who have a moral duty to uphold the rule of law at all times. He spoke on the need for genuine electoral reforms and care for citizen’s welfare. In a lighter mood, he advised that those entrusted with the re-branding campaign should not use the opportunity to rebrand their pockets promising that the National Assembly will be watching on behalf of Nigerians. Prof. (Mrs.) Akunyili had earlier in her speech promised that her ministry will publish twice yearly a statement of account of the re-branding project.

With this, it is hoped that Nigerians will begin to reject the negative labels and adjectives used to describe and qualify both country and citizens by the western media and even by Nigerians themselves, and strive to do good, to think of nation first and stand proud and tall amongst other citizens of the world. As the slogan suggests, Nigeria is a great nation of good people.

March 10, 2009

9ice to perform in Ghana

Multiple-award winning singer, 9ice, is scheduled to perform in Accra for the very first time at the Accra International Conference Center, Accra, Ghana on the 28th March, 2009.The show will also feature Yes Record's flagship artistes, G-Xploit, whose hit track 'Bolu Molu Merete' has reached No.8 on MTV Base World Charts. In addition, rave-making Shank and fellow Yes! Record signee Steel will also be on the bill.SO,lets go there!!!!!!!!!!!!

Inter-banks’ lending rates hits 20.25%

Inter-banks’ lending rates has risen to 20.25 per cent from 16.91 per cent last week as banks could not get enough naira to finance their operations.

According to agency reports, lack of cash inflow caused banks to scramble for the few cash around thus giving indication for a possible rise again above 20.25 per cent next week.

The agency further noted that most of the funds that came in through budgetary allocations to government agencies two weeks ago, have dried up, and many banks could not access the central bank’s repo window as they had no treasury bills to serve as collateral.

Also, it said, payment for foreign exchange purchased at the central bank’s bi-weekly auctions had also drained liquidity from the system as the CBN sold $849 million last week.
However, the liquidity crunch was worsened by the fact that there were no repayments in matured treasury bills in the week as none was due.

AC asks Alao-Akala to explain source of daughter’s stolen money

The Action Congress in Oyo State, on Monday, asked Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala to explain the source of the $56,000 allegedly stolen from his daughter, Mrs. Olamide Alabi.

The said $56,000 was reportedly stolen when armed robbers attacked and took away Olamide’s Honda Accord 2008 Model car on February 13 in Ibadan.

The Secretary of the AC in the state, Mr. Dele Akinleye, told journalists during an interview that the amount allegedly stolen from the governor’s daughter as reported by a national daily (not The Punch) was too much for the lady to have in her possession.

Though the lady did not deny the robbery incident, she explained in a statement in Ibadan on Monday that no such amount was found in her car.

But Akinleye expressed surprise at the development and described it as unfortunate, especially at a time ‘when teachers and pupils of public schools were currently languishing at home over government’s failure to pay the Teachers Salary Structure.’

He insisted that Alao-Akala should explain the source of the money said to have been found with his daughter at this period of global economic meltdown.

He said, “I wonder how she (Akala’s daughter) could be taking such amount to a social event. That means she took more than that to the party because the report in the daily said she was robbed on her way back home.

“She must explain to us where she got the money because she is just a graduate of about two years from the Bowen University, Iwo. One wonders from where she got that type of money. That is the question we are asking Governor Alao-Akala to answer.”

Akinleye wondered why the governor claimed that he could not pay the TSS, yet his daughter was allegedly going about with huge sums of foreign currencies.

The story of Alao-Akala’s daughter’s robbery incident was broken on Sunday when the state police command paraded the hoodlums who had been the terrorising residents of some highbrow areas in the city, within the last two months.

The Deputy Commissioner Oyo State Command, Mr. Ralph Ibeazor, while briefing journalists, said luck ran out of the robbers on Sunday morning when they raided two hotels and some residential homes and were fleeing.

Ibeazor had said that his men gave them a good chase and caught them at Oluwo-Nla area of new Bodija, killing three of them while the other two were seriously wounded during a gun duel with the police.

He had said that two policemen also lost their lives in the process.

“These robbers had been terrorising residents of Ashi, Ikolaba, and Oluyole areas of Ibadan. it had been very difficult to get them. We are happy that we got them at last. This is one of our biggest catches this year. We will continue to get them.” The police chief had said.

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer in charge of the state command, Miss. Olabiisi Okuwobi, said on Monday that the command would soon track down a four-member armed robbery gang who are still at large.

Okuwobi also said that two of the suspects wounded by the police on Sunday had started responding to treatment at the hospital. She said adding that they had given useful information that could help the command in its investigations.

Electoral Reforms: Buhari raises alarm …they want to kill Uwais report

Former Military Head of State and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Presidential candidate during the April, 2007 general election, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) has expressed doubt over the Federal Government’s sincerity as regards the much expected electoral reforms, saying the way the report of the exercise was being treated, right now, has shown that the whole efforts might, at the end of the day, become an exercise in futility.

Buhari, spoke in Lagos on Monday at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), where a book; Who really is General Muhammadu Buhari written on him by the former Petroleum Minister, Professor Tam David-West was launched.

He expressed apprehension that the way the white paper on the report was being tossed around, the government was set to reject the committee’s report and that Nigeria might return to status quo ante, regretting that the cynics might be proved right at the end of the day about the insincerity of the government.

The former Head of State, who, though lamented that the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Law were violated with reckless abandon during the 2007 elections, however, saw no need for any reform of the country’s law when the laws had not been properly tested and practised, insisting that it was the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and the people in government that needed to be reformed.

Speaking further, Buhari berated the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) intolerance of opposition with their “crush the opposition” attitude, saying, “PDP leadership are ignorant of the tenets of democracy.”
“It is not a crime to be in opposition, but it is a crime to threaten the opposition,” he pointed out, just as he charged the people that, “we have a duty to preserve peace and work for democracy,” saying, “if we cannot build on the legacies of our past leaders, we should be able to preserve them.”

And to make democracy work in Nigeria, Buhari said, “INEC must be independent and impartial, the Armed Forces/Police should be neutral, while the Judiciary should shun corruption and professional misconduct.”
Speaking in the same vein earlier, the chairman on the occasion and the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole advised the President to set up a committee of representatives of all the political parties that would chart a new electoral path for the country. He said it should not be the agenda of the President alone.

According to him, the reform should be the type that, “all of us can buy into, take it over and drive it,” stating that, “in 2011, people expect that elections would be finalised at the ballot box.”
“This is the time for action,” Oshiomhole charged Nigerians, while describing Buhari as, “an epitome of discipline, a patriot, accomplished soldier and complete gentleman.” “If Buhari was allowed to continue the crusade of cleansing Nigeria in 1985, the country would have been better for it because under Buhari, all Nigeria’s refineries were working,” he stressed.

According to Oshiomhole, something must be done to those who give government advice on which unworkable policies are made, warning that, if nothing is done to them, Nigeria would continue to be in crisis.
Former governor of Abia State and the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Progresssive Peoples Alliance, (PPA), Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, described both the author and the subject of the book as people of strong character, regretting that Buhari was a misunderstood personality simply because he wanted things to be done the right way.

While commending Buhari for resorting to the judicial settlement of the last election, he warned that, “when justice fails, what happen after that is violence,” just as he sermonised that, “What the nation requires now is collective oneness.”

Former minister of sports, Chief Alex Akinyele in his own comments assured Buhari that his admirers abound, saying he should not be discouraged by his critics.
Akinyele therefore seized the opportunity to regret that the war against corruption had not been won because everybody was guilty, saying until everybody agreed to change for the better the monster would continue to be with us.

While former River State military governor, General Zamani Lekwot urged writers to bring out people like Buhari to be recorded to serve as role model to other people, the publisher of the book, Mr. Agbo Areo advised the National Assembly to quickly pass the Freedom Of Information Bill if they had nothing to hide, saying it would minimize the tendency to write speculative stories by newsmen.

The overwhelmed author, Professor Tam David-West thanked those who made the occasion a huge success.
At the well attended event were former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111. Amanayanabo of Grand Bonny Kingdom and of Opobo, Kings Edward Asimin William Dappa Pepple 111 and Dandeson Douglas Jaja respectively, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Dr. Lateef Adegbite, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and representatives of both serving and past states governors as well as representatives of the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mrs Farida Waziri among others.

March 5, 2009

M.I at silverbird

DATE: Thursday, March 5th, 2009
WHERE: Silverbird Concourse
WHAT: MI performing alongside those that collaborated with him on his album TALK ABOUT
MI Lyric Tee Shirts with fans favorite Lyrics on them
MI autograph signing session
TIME: 7pm-10pm
You all need to be there

Ferguson: Newcastle Win Proves United Not Feeling Pressure Sir Alex Ferguson was in relaxed mood after victory at St James' Park.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was pleased to see his side beat Newcastle United and insisted his side had not felt any pressure before the game despite seeing title rivals Chelsea and Liverpool win yesterday.

The Red Devils had to come from a goal behind to claim all three points at St James’ Park, a victory that restores their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points.

Peter Lovenkrands opened the scoring for the Magpies before Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov handed the champions a 11th straight victory.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Ferguson insisted that victories for Chelsea and Liverpool yesterday had not affected his team’s performance.

“The team that plays first and then get a result, then the team that plays next will always says there’s pressure on them,” said the Scot.

“We’ve had that for years it’s never going to make much difference to us really whether we play before or after.

“We rely and trust the players to show their patience and show their experience and they’ve been through this time and time again it’s not like it's something new to them.”

Despite only winning by a solitary goal, Ferguson said he believed his side had fully deserved their win despite a strong display by the Tynesiders.

“We’ve come to Newcastle and it’s not an easy place and I think we’ve got quite an emphatic victory in the sense of coming back from one nil down and controlling the second half,” explained the United boss.

“I think tonight that we faced a different type of challenge.

“A Newcastle team pumped up, very aggressive, tackled everywhere, they really put a lot of work into their game.

“You’ve got to give them credit for that and we’ve withstood it and managed to get a result.”

The reigning champions are now seven points clear at the top of the Premier League, having played a game less than second-placed Chelsea.

EFCC arrests ex-gov Agagu over N25bn fraud

Barely a week after he was thrown out as governor of Ondo State by Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, is back again in the news, as he was nabbed by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday. He was picked up at about 8:00am in Abuja.

As at press time, he was still being held at EFCC facilities in the nation’s capital.

According to Daily Sun investigation, the deposed governor who was at the helm of affairs in the south-west state for nearly six years and some of his commissioners were being investigated by the anti-graft agency for allegedly misappropriating a princely sum of N25 billion belonging to the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) when the operatives got information that Agagu was planning to escape from Nigeria to Austrialia via London where some of his aides were said to be waiting to assist him with relocation.

“Agagu and some of his commissioners had been under the EFCC scrutiny over allegations that he misappropriated N25 billion naira belonging to OSOPADEC. Then, the operatives got wind of plans by Agagu to flee the country tomorrow (today) and then, promptly nabbed him,” a source said.
He is said to be co-operating with the EFCC officials.
When contacted on phone, EFCC spokesman, Mr. Femi Babafemi confirmed Agagu’s arrest, but declined further comments.

An observer told Daily Sun shortly after the news of the arrest broke out that it did not come as a surprise. According to the source, but for the “bogus immunity cover which he has been enjoying, he should have been in jail long before now.”
Meanwhile, apart from the N25billion OSOPADEC fund, Agagu, former minister for power and steel under president Olusegun Obasanjo, according to sources close to EFCC, is also being investigated over several other cases bordering on corruption.

For instance, Agagu had earlier been indicted by the House Committee of on Power which investigated how $16billion was sunk into electricity power project without concrete result during his tenure as Obasanjo’s minister of power and steel.
When Agagu appeared before the House panel, he said the $16bn that the House had claimed was spent was no big deal.
It was, however, gathered that the EFCC, which had earlier interrogated Agagu while he was still governor, was not satisfied with his testimony as he was said to have answered only the questions that he liked and parried others.

Also, the EFCC had a cause to stop N14 billion cheques issued in respect of some contracts allegedly awarded hurriedly in the dying days of his occupation of Ondo State Government House.
The government was alleged to have awarded a contract to SCC Nigeria Limited for Owena Water Transmission Project for about N14.4bn.
According to the commission, out of the total amount, the Ondo State Ministry of Works paid N3.8bn as mobilisation fees to the contractor.

Similarly, the anti-graft agency had on Wednesday January 14, 2009 raised the alarm on the plan of the Agagu administration to spend about N8bn from the state’s treasury through the award of contracts.
Earlier in 2007, Governor Agagu’s Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Chief Tayo Alasoadura was invited by the EFCC for interrogation over N4 billion placed on fixed deposit account at the moribund Gulf Bank. The money was trapped at the bank while the interest of the money was claimed to have been collected by the former governor.

EFCC also invited the commissioner early last year over illegal deduction from all the 18 local government councils in the state since the assumption of office in 2003 amounting to N18billion. The anti graft commission also invited Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and other key officers of the ministry for questioning.
The commission and its sister anti-graft agency, ICPC also invited the Commissioner for Finance in 2007 over illegal diversion of fund meant to execute projects at the riverine areas of the state by OSOPADEC.

The commission’s chairman, Adewale Omojua was also invited to Lagos office of EFCC for interrogations
The EFCC also invited the state Accountant-General Mrs Funke Ogundojutimi over cars loans and other fictitious allowances approved by Agagu for all his Special Assistants, Personal Assistants and other aides running to several million of naria shortly after the state election Petitions tribunal led by Justice Garba Nabaruma nullified Agagu election. The commission eventually stopped the payment.

Also, the EFCC arrested the contractor and some bank chiefs in the state over N14 billion Owena project hurriedly awarded by Agagu government in November last year for which he paid 56 percent to the contractor as mobilization fee. The EFCC invited Agagu’s Commissioner for Works, Olaitan Ayeni and other key officers of ministries of works and finance. The EFCC was able to stop the payment through a stay-of-execution order obtained from a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Shortly after he was declared Governor of Ondo State by the Appeal Court, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko had told the world that he was going to probe the six-year government of Agagu, even as ordered the freezing of the accounts of the State.

March 4, 2009

How Could Rihanna Take Back Chris Brown?

while Rihanna and Chris Brown's reconciliation after an alleged abuse incident has shocked family and friends, domestic violence experts say it's all too common for a woman to return – often repeatedly.

In fact, experts say, it's unrealistic to expect women not to go back to their abusers, be they husbands or boyfriends, as the victims grapple with feelings of guilt, fear, isolation – even love.

"It never surprises me," says Violent Partners author Linda Mills, who believes therapists and people close to couples in abusive relationships must accept this seemingly fact. "If you start with 'You shouldn't go back,' you very often lose the person [you are trying to help]. They won't talk to you."

Rihanna, 21, and Brown, 19, reunited last week in Miami about three weeks after he allegedly battered the singer early the morning of Feb. 8 in Los Angeles.

No Charges Yet Filed
Police continue to investigate the case and no formal charges have yet been filed against Brown, who was booked on a felony criminal threat charge. Brown has no known criminal background, and though people close to the pair say they've had a tumultuous relationship at times, there had never been any indication of violence until now.

After the arrest, Brown and Rihanna spent time apart. Brown released a statement at the time, saying, "Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired" and noted that he was "seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones."

According to experts, there was nothing surprising in the reunion between Brown and Rihanna, who after spending time in Miami both returned to Los Angeles on the same plane Monday morning.

Reconciliation Period
According to psychologist and author Lenore Walker, the average battered woman endures three to five violent incidents, from having her arm grabbed to an all-out beating, before she gives up on the relationship.

The reconciliation usually happens during what experts call the honeymoon phase in the cycle of violence, that cooling-down period after the attack when the abusive partner often expresses remorse and begs for forgiveness.

"The man is saying he's sorry, he didn't mean it, that it'll never happen again," says Walker. "It's the loving behavior that reinforces a woman to stay, because they believe the violent act isn't a true reflection of their man."

If anything, the victim will often blame herself – and the attacker will agree with her. "The abuser also tries very hard to convince the victim that the attack was their fault," says Dr. Elizabeth Miller, a Sacramento, Calif., pediatrician and domestic violence expert. "It's common to say, 'Honey, if you hadn't upset me, this would've never happened.' "

In many cases, financial pressures draw a woman back, particularly if she has children and doesn't work outside the home. But even among those with money, there's still "psychological warfare," says Jeffrey Gardere, a clinical psychologist. "[An abuser says:] I'm going to isolate you. I'm going to put you completely under my thumb, under my power so if you leave me, then you are going to be in big, big trouble because you won't be able to take care of the kids or yourself."

Isolation and Love
But it's love, in all its complexities, that can often be the most powerful force for reconciliation for a battered woman. "They have insight into somebody in a way that none of us do," says Mills, who runs a program in Arizona that brings together couples with family members and a volunteer from the community to talk over what actually happened in a domestic-violence event. The process usually goes on for months.

"The ideal might be that we can separate people who are in a violent relationship, but the problem is that that's not the reality," Mills says. "I address the reality, which is that people go back, and they're looking for avenues for the possibility of working through this issue like any other rupture in a relationship, working through this issue to the point where the violence could stop."

Rihanna's Relatives Not Happy About Reconciliation

Rihanna may have spent the weekend in Miami with Chris Brown, but her family isn't quite ready for the tumultuous couple to reunite.

"Everyone wants them to take a break, to cool off," a relative of Rihanna tells PEOPLE after the pair returned to Los Angeles together early Monday morning. "No one wants them back together."

Family thought that the relationship was over after Brown allegedly battered Rihanna on Feb. 8. The couple went their own ways for awhile – he went home, while she recuperated in Barbados and Mexico – but the separation was short-lived.

The pair reunited in Miami last weekend, spending time at the Star Island mansion of Sean "Diddy" Combs. A source close to the couple told PEOPLE that the couple was "definitely together" and working on a reconciliation.

"I'm concerned," continues the relative. "I don't want her to make a mistake, and I don't want her to ever go through this again."

But the entire trip wasn't devoted to the relationship. While in Miami, Brown did some recording at a studio designed by Lenny Kravitz located in the Setai hotel. "He was here to record," a source told PEOPLE. He also spent some time Jet skiing at the beach.

The couple left Miami early Monday morning on the same plane, arriving in Southern California.

How IBB robbed Nigeria of nationhood –Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has painted a vivid scenario of how the former President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida robbed Nigeria the golden opportunity to attain nationhood through the annulment of the presidential election of June 12, 1993 won by the late M. K. O. Abiola.

Soyinka, who was delivering a lecture, entitled, “Between Nationhood and Nation Space,” as part of the late Obafemi Awolowo Centenary activities at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi, Lagos on Tuesday regretted that one of the ways a country could attain the much-needed nationhood was allowed to slip away.
His words: “Sometimes there are events, even of a fortuitous nature,

such as a concerted resistance to external aggression and domination, that can forge such organic bonds of common identity, survival and internal consolidation, that the nation space becomes, virtually overnight, a nation.
“An election, in very special circumstance, can prove such a catalyzing agent. On June 12, 1993, this nation space did have a chance to claim the beginnings of nation-being. Would we have emerged effectively as a nation? I am no prophet and have no interest in hindsight. I insist, however, that the nation claim did stand a chance of embarking on the route to affirmation.

“A democratic election, let me repeat again and again, is only one of the several means – as witnessed in the very special case of post-apartheid South Africa. Most nations we know of on this continent cannot even boast of one defining moment, a moment when the possibility of nation actualization was handed to them. Our chance came to us on June 12 1993, and we blew it,” Soyinka lamented.
While exonerating other Nigerians from the sad episode that has caused the country undeserved setback, the concerned Nobel Laureate put the blame squarely on the door steps of Babangida and some of his co-travellers, saying he did not believe in undeserved guilt.

Hear him: “No. I do not believe in undeserved guilt. The insincerity, indeed hypocritical, double-talk and matching conduct of a handful of individuals, their abuse of the trust of the people, scattered the hopes of that moment of nation-becoming!”
Going down the memory lane, Soyinka recalled how a winner emerged after an election that was universally adjudged the freest in the annal of Nigeria and how somebody annulled it under a flimsy and unacceptable excuse.

“A candidate – may I please remind you? – won a mandate across the national landscape, unambiguously defeating his opponent. That contest was universally adjudged to be impeccably fair.
“The aspirant to the mantle of state subdued his opponent even in that opponent’s most intimate constituency – his local ward. Now let anyone tell me that this did not resound like the starting-pistol of a nation race, a marathon of course, not a sprint, but a leap forward from the starting-block after so many false starts, several of them deliberately planned and cynically executed.

“The overseer of that debacle, General Ibrahim Babangida, then embodiment of the state, has finally opened up and conceded the undeniable – that election was true, and a victor emerged. History has taken note of his confessions and History sits in judgment, no matter what excuses are invoked by him. (But) None is acceptable, least of all the totally incongruous plea that, as the then Head of State, he feared that, that nation enterprise would be aborted by a military coup. I find that plea an afterthought, and unconscionable.

His loss of nerve - if that is what it was indeed – constituted a gross act of governance dereliction at a crucial moment. There were consequences. There were casualties. Homes and businesses were destroyed. (And) Nigerians perished.”
To Soyinka, other leaders, who came after Babangida also did not help matters just as he also blamed religion for making attainment of nationhood a mirage.

He spoke further: “Given recent events, I cannot end without mentioning, albeit briefly, the increasing reactionary role of the religious factor. Religion is one enemy of anyone who aspires to dictatorship in secular matters, we can call ourselves a nation. A theocratic order is anathema to nation-being, since it implicates exclusion, not inclusion.

“Only the secular order embraces all. To Religion all its deserving – spaces of privacy, protection, and cultural identity. Any religious following can evoke parallel but opposing sets of protocols, citing the authority of some unseen and unknowable god in realms that have no perceptible contact with the actual.

“Religion must therefore submit to community, to nation, otherwise co-existence becomes impossible and the human entity reverts to a state of brutishness.”
The Nobel Laureate, therefore concluded thus: “And thus, finally, the question: is Nigeria a nation today? My answer is - Not yet. Is Nigeria aspiring to be a nation? The answer - Unsure. Can it? Possibly. Should it? My answer to that is absolutely non-sentimental, purely technical and subjective.
“I prefer not to have to apply for yet another visa when I need to travel to Enugu or Borno.

If it is any consolation – let us simply remember – we are not alone in this predicament. So, for now, we may continue to sleep, dream, open our eyes at dawn on the recurring vision of nationhood on the horizon, hopefully not receding, indeed, almost close to touch, requiring only the complete surrender of hegemonic dreams, the ethos of inclusivity, the recognition of religious privacy, community primacy, and the manifested will of the authentic landowners of – a designated nation space.”

exchange of blows in ogun state house of assembly

It was a riotous session on Tuesday in the Ogun State House of Assembly as members disagreed on the suspension of two of its members leading to exchange of blows. The suspension came even as the Clerk of the House, Barrister Demola Badejo said that a State High Court had given an injunction that no member of the House should be suspended.

The 26-House members resumed plenary session after a one-month recess.Trouble started when the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Remi Hassan from the Odogbolu State Constituency moved the motion that Hon. Omosanya Solaja from the Ikenne Constituency should be suspended.

Solaja was alleged to have granted an interview in a television programme during which he allegedly cast aspersion on the leadership of the House, thereby running foul of certain Orders of the Legislative House.

Another member, Hon. Titi Oseni who was said to have instituted a legal action against the leadership of the House was also booked for suspension under the General Order 38 of the House.
This motion which was allowed by the Speaker, Hon. Egbetokun to be debated by members of the House did not particularly go down well with the G.11 members who saw the moves by the G.15 as victimization of its members.

For about 45 minutes, the House was literally a “Fuji House of Commotion,” with members of the G.11 led by the former Speaker, Hon. Titi Oseni and Hon. Oluseyi Moses shouting on top of their voices at the Speaker. Other membersand security agents which included the police and the operatives of the SSS watched helplessly as the verbal assault raged.
The charged atmosphere soon degenerated into members throwing missiles at one another. Some members of the G.11 and their counterparts in G.15 were seen pursuing themselves within the supposed hallowed chambers ostensibly to exchange blows.

At about 11.53 a.m. the official symbol of the House, the Mace which was about to be snatched by members of the G.11 was hurriedly removed from its original position (in front of the Clerk of the House) and put under the table of the Speaker. Still perceiving that the Mace was not secured enough under his table, the Speaker gave it to one of his aides who held on to the Mace firmly for about 45 minutes.
Attempts by the Speaker to bring the House to order failed with members of the G.11 rebuffing his pleas to return to their respective seats after holding the House to ransom with uncomplimentary remarks about the persons of the Speaker and his leadership.

At about 12.25 p.m. after several unsuccessful attempts by the Speaker to cool the frayed nerves of members of the G.11, the Mace was hurriedly placed in front of the Speaker who invoked Order 38 asking members who supported the suspension of the two members to say ‘yes’.

Although members of the G.15 supported the motion, the dissenting shouts of “No. No. No. from the G.11 rent the hallowed chambers. They described the suspension as illegal because the subject matter had not been thoroughly discussed on the floor of the House. They shouted at the Speaker asking him to suspend all of them (G.11)
Former Speaker, Hon. Titi Oseni while addressing the press confirmed that it was a rowdy session in the House. “It was a rowdy session today at the House. It is quite unfortunate. We have never witnessed this kind of thing in this House.”

Another member of the G.11, Hon. Ayo Odugbesan said the suspension could not hold because the House did not discuss the suspension. Citing various sections of the Orders of the House, he described the action as wrong and unconstitutional for the Speaker to announce the suspension when actually he did not follow the rules and orders of the House.

But Speaker Egbetokun while addressing the press at the Committee Room said the rules and regulations of the House were followed in the indefinite suspension of the two erring members.
His words: “The rules and regulations were not breached. The G.11 wanted to hold us to ransom, but we succeeded in placing the Mace and we succeeded in suspending two of our members indefinitely.”
Egbetokun who noted that the House had not known peace since his predecessor, Hon. Oseni was suspended last May 15 said “the crisis in the House is about oversight function and nothing more.”
Security within and around the House was tight with the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Dipo Ayeni personally leading his men to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order while the operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) were also effectively in charge.

The Speaker and his deputy were not spared in the search by the security officials who wore stern looks.
Journalists, were thoroughly frisked down to their pants before SSS officials allowed them into the hallowed chamber.

One of the suspended members, Hon. Solaja before his suspension condemned the manner the search was done which he likened to what happened at the defunct Western Region House between 1965 and 1965.
Armoured Tank, with number plate NPF 2360 AC and several other security vehicles were stationed around the Assembly complex with a detachment of both the regular and anti-riot policemen taking strategic positions.