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Friday, 20 January 2017

See who the popular Carter Bridge was named after (PHOTO)

Carter bridge prior to Independence

Ever wonder how the popular Carter Bridge linking the Ebute Metta area of mainland to Lagos Island got his name?

Built in 1901, the bridge is one of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other two being the Third Mainland and Eko bridges.

Originally constructed by the British colonial government, prior to Nigerian independence, it was the only bridge linking the mainland and Lagos Island at the time of its construction. The bridge starts from Iddo on the mainland and ends at the Idumota.

Back to our original question: Who was Carter Bridge named after? Certainly, the name ‘Carter’ was foreign.

The bridge was named after Sir Gilbert Thomas Carter (1848-1927) who was appointed governor and commander-in-chief of Lagos Colony on February 3, 1891.

Carter, it was, who ordered an attack on the Ijebus in 1892. An administrative officer in the Royal Navy and a colonial officer for the British Empire, Carter in the company of soldiers travelled to various parts of Yoruba Land in an attempt to demonstrate the might of the British.

Initially, Carter was not well received in Oyo, and the Egba chiefs advised him not to interfere with slavery, while the Ibadan chiefs said they were afraid that their slaves would “assert their freedom by running to the Resident” – and hence they refused to sign a treaty with Carter. However, in January 1893 the Egba chiefs signed a Treaty of Independence with the British government. It was agreed that freedom of trade between the Egba nation and Lagos was to be guaranteed by the British government, in return for which no road would be closed without the approval of the governor. They further agreed that complete protection and “every assistance and encouragement” would be afforded to all Christian ministers”.

The British agreed that “no annexation on any portion of Egba Nation shall be made by her Majesty’s Government without the consent of the lawful authorities of the nation, no aggressive action shall be taken against the said nation and its independence shall be fully recognised.” He was promoted Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG) on June 3, 1893, “in recognition of his services in conducting a mission to the Yoruba country which resulted in the negotiation of important treaties and brought to an end a long-standing war”.

Carter was given Ife works of art in 1896 by the old Ooni, Oba Adelekan Sijuade, in the hope that a decision in his favour would be made about the resettlement of Modakeke residents outside Ife city. These works (including three known as the Ife marbles), were sent by Carter to Europe.


Governor Carter made a British expedition in Ijebu between 1892 and 1893. He forced the Ibadans and the Ekitis to sign a treaty. He trekked to Igbaji and Oke-Imesi, where a treaty was signed between the Ibadans and Ekitis. On September 4, 1894, Governor Carter signed a treaty with the Owa of Idanre, Oba Towurojoye Adegboye, Arubuefin I, during which Idanre was ceded to be part of the British territory. A copy of the treaty is still with the present Owa of Idanre, Oba Frederick Gbolagunte Adegunle Aroloye, Arubuefin IV.

After his tenure in Nigeria, he was transferred to Barbados as governor and he built the Governors’ Residence there in 1904. The house was named by Governor Carter as Ilaro Court on Tweedside road, St. Michael in Barbados. He named the house in remembrance of Ilaro, a town in Nigeria, where the Governor was stationed when he was an officer.


He died there on 18 January, 1927.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Nnamdi Kanu Was Into Yahoo-Yahoo Before I Appointed Him in 2009 – Nwazuruike

L-R: Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader and Chief Ralph Nwazuruike

Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, founder, Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and leader of the Biafra Independent Movement has launched a scathing attack on the personality of embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, describing him as a fraudster with ignoble pedigree.

While reacting to the insinuation levelled against him by members of IPOB that he is one of the assigned masked witnesses selected to testify in the treason case against Nnamdi Kanu, Uwazuruike described the statement as ‘idiotic.’

Addressing journalists in Owerri yesterday, Uwazuruike labelled Kanu and his IPOB members as fraudsters who were out to deceive people, adding that if he wished to give evidence against the Director of Radio Biafra, he would have done so in the open court, rather than request to be masked.

Hear him:

 “I was the one who discovered Nnamdi Kanu in 2009, 10 years after I had started MASSOB when I travelled to London. I gave the money to establish Radio Biafra, rented a house for him and bought him a car because he was jobless and into Yahoo-Yahoo. He was not in school and had no degree.

 “When I appointed him as the Director of Radio Biafra, Benjamin and others refused to work under him because they said he was a fraudster. So, he is nobody and I can’t travel to Abuja to give evidence against him and worst of all to wear a mask to do that.

“I sacked him because he wanted MASSOB to employ violence; today where is Onwuka who wanted to use violence?” he said.

Uwazuruike said MASSOB did not need violence to achieve the independent Biafra state as was being canvassed by the detained Director of Radio Biafra.

“The insinuation by IPOB is not only idiotic, stupid but laughable because I am still the leader of the Biafra struggle.”

According to the MASSOB helmsman, at the end of the Civil War in 1970, there was no Igbo man that was courageous enough to talk of Biafra until he started the movement in 1999.

 “When I started MASSOB in 1999, nobody gave me the chance to succeed because after the Civil War in 1970, nobody was courageous enough to speak of Biafra; the  Federal  Government then had made an offer of an oil block to me so as not to resuscitate the ghost of Biafra but I had rejected the offer. I was jailed and when my mother died I was released from jail and given 90 days for the burial but I used only 70 days for the burial after which I returned to jail but the government asked me to go.”

 Saying that real freedom fighters were not afraid of going to jail for the cause they believed in, Uwazuruike wondered why the IPOB leader was afraid of going to jail.

“I have faced treason charges before the same Justice Binta Nyako and no true freedom fighter is afraid to go to jail for the cause they believe in; and so, why is Nnamdi afraid to face trial?

It would be recalled that Emma Powerful, director of media, IPOB, had in a recent statement issued in Owerri, alleged that the MASSOB/BIM leader, Uwazuruike, and one Mr. Chijioke Mbaneri, from Enugu State and some others had agreed with the DSS to hide under a screen to give evidence during the ongoing treason trial of Kanu before Justice Binta Nyako in Abuja.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Origin of Osapa London: A Swampy Hunting Village Turns Real Estate Goldmine


History is replete with stories of how lands and kingdoms are discovered accidentally or built through painstaking efforts of an individual or collective effort of a group of people. From the great rise of Roman Empire to the fall of Constantinople, there is always a great fable or myth behind preceding landmark.

This perhaps explains why Osapa London, a 254.558-hectare in highbrow Lekki area, has become one of the most sought-after properties in West Africa.

Osapa London is a 200-year old town. Prior to its modern name, the parcel of land used to be called Osapa Village. However owing to the rapid development springing up back then, the name ‘Osapa Village’ metamorphosed into Osapa London. The name Osapa (Osapa Lolo in full) means “The Lagoon Is Calm.”

The story, however, would have been incomplete without making reference to the tussle over ownership of the land which was eventually awarded in favour of Late Chief Gbadamosi Eletu-Odibo clan as against the Ojomo Chieftaincy Family.

It is said that one of the main reasons the Eletu Odibo family annually celebrates Osapa Day, aside being the date they won their land case that consequently turned the entire family into overnight billionaires, is that it is a subtle signal indicating that they deserve to have a king that would rule over them. Originally, the annual festival should have been christened “Ojude Oba” as been done in the Ijebu Ode, but they have no crowned king yet.

According to Prince Kazeem Eletu-Odibo, a scion of the Odibo clan, his grandfather used to stay in Itele in Ota.  Unfortunately, he had problem with child bearing. It is said that they used to die before they grow up. So one day, he was motivated to consult the oracle, where he was told to go and settle close to a big Lagoon.

“That was how he left Itele for Osapa. When he eventually berthed here (Osapa), he met a hunter and his daughter who were the original settlers in Osapa village, a parcel of land given to them by the Ojomu royal family for subsistence farming.

Long story short, the hunter accepted him when he explained what led him to Osapa. As time went by, my grandfather fell in love and got married to the hunter’s daughter. Fortunately enough, they started having children. After several years, my grandfather took a second wife.

Interestingly, when my father was growing up, he took after his father and became a renowned herbalist”.


Thursday, 29 December 2016

Awujale Reveals How Obasanjo Tried To Use Globacom Boss To Implicate Atiku, IBB

L-R: Abubakar Atiku, Ex president Olusegun Obasanjo and Otunba Mike Adenuga

The EFCC in Lagos had come calling brusquely on Mike Adenuga (Jnr), Chairman Globacom on 9 July 2006. They broke his gate, swarmed into his house and kept him under ‘arrest’. When I heard about the arrest, I called the legal firms, of Ayanlaja SAN & Adesanya SAN as well as Professor Biodun Adesanya SAN to take up the matter and secure Mike’s release. They swung into action and gave indication that they would take the matter to court.

By evening, it was no longer necessary to go to court as Mike, following his statement to EFCC, had been released with instructions to report regularly to the EFCC headquarters in Abuja. Mike proceeded to Abuja, accompanied by his lawyer, Prof. Biodun Adesanya SAN. Indirectly related to this case, the EFCC had quizzed and released Mohammed Babangida, Ibrahim Babangida’s son. The EFCC purportedly were on the trail of some money belonging to the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF), but there was really more beneath the veneer.

While Mike was in Abuja, he was counseled to see Obasanjo to extricate himself. For four days, he made attempts to see Obasanjo but was unsuccessful. After a few days in Abuja with no case pressed against him by EFCC, he returned to Lagos. Not long afterward, and in the heat of this mess, Obasanjo did two things that puzzled me. He called Mike to meet him at a social event in Lagos –Engr. Olapade’s birthday celebration. Mike and Obasanjo were both captured by press photographers in the newspapers at the event. Following the celebration, Obasanjo asked Mike to accompany him to Ota. It was in Ota that he solicited for the construction of the Administration Block of his university, Bells University in Ota. Mike agreed, and Carchez Turnkey Projects Ltd handled the project for him. It appeared the whole matter, the EFCC hunt, simmered and Mike continued about his business. On a trip to Ghana, he ran through his Nigerian daily newspapers and discovered that the situation was unfolding in a more revealing version. The EFCC had arrested Mohammed Babangida. Mike read between the lines and proceeded to the UK on exile. When I visited the UK, Mike came to see me and wanted me to facilitate a meeting with Obasanjo so that he could present his side of the case. The allegations against him were as follows:

a. That Abubakar Atiku, the Vice-President, gave Mike Adenuga money from the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) which were invested in Mike’s bank, Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB), and that the funds were used in paying for the Globacom license.

b. That as a result of the connection in (a) Atiku was a major shareholder in Globacom. And Atiku used his clout to ensure that PTDF money got into ETB.

c. That General Ibrahim Babangida, the former Head of State, was also a major shareholder in Globacom.

Former head of states, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida


It was not enough for Mike to merely present his case to EFCC, for it seemed the EFCC was under some remote control. The Presidency was after Atiku. Atiku at some point was the Chairman of the PTDF; an attempt was being made to indict him for alleged illegal and unauthorized channeling of PTDF money into Globacom. All sorts of rumors were flying around, and the Presidency wanted to pin down the case against Atiku. If Ibrahim Babangida also fell into the trap, so much the better.

A wide opening presented itself, and EFCC seized it.

G.Subair is Mike’s second cousin. His father died young, and he grew up, just as I did in my early life, living with Mike’s mother. He worked for Mike and was seconded, amongst other things, to open the Kaduna office for Globacom. In need of accommodation or office space, he leased, on behalf of Globacom, a house, at 2-3 Dawaki Road in Kaduna belonging to Mohammed Badamasi Babangida and used that address in official correspondence and memoranda. Mohammed is the first son of President Ibrahim Babangida. This was Babangida connection to which EFCC hung on when they were rummaging through Globacom documents. This was, according to them, irrefutable evidence that Babangida was a major shareholder in Globacom and that his son, Mohammed Babangida, or G.Subair or Mike was fronting for Babangida in this venture.

Mike told me how he had raised money through the BNP Paribas Bank in France and how he paid to New York for the Globacom licensing fees. All the money involved could be traced with supporting documents to France and New York in the form of a huge loan. The Bank BNP Paribas on its part had a letter stating clearly their involvement in the transaction and Mike wanted to present this among other documents to President Obasanjo. I called Obasanjo and relayed the facts as I had them from Mike to him. I requested for his fax number so that I could fax Mike’s letter explaining all the transactions and the Bank of Paribas letter to him. As soon as he gave me the fax number, I faxed the documents to him. Still, Obasanjo was not satisfied. It seemed that it was all a ruse because they were really after Atiku and Babangida and wanted Mike to implicate them. Mike refused to cooperate. If he were not going to cooperate, they thought, harassment would do it. On 19 August 2006, I made a statement to the press asking Obasanjo to caution Nuhu Ribadu, the head of the EFCC, about his mode of operations. I denounced the harassment of citizens by EFCC and urged them to go to court if they had anything concrete against anyone.

While Mike was in exile, we shared a moment of relaxation together. We took a holiday together in the south of France with some members of our families. I had with me my wife Olori Kemi, my daughter, Ronke and Oba Adekoya, the Dagburewe of Idowa. Mike came along with his two daughters and his niece.

While on this holiday, the President of France, Jacques Chirac, was going to be holding a conference with African Heads of State in Nice. Coincidentally, we got to know that Obasanjo was booked to stay in the same hotel where we were staying. Later, we learned he had changed his mind and would not be attending the conference. Then not long afterward, we were told he had decided to attend after all. By the time he finally decided to attend, all the rooms in the hotel were fully booked, and he was now booked into another, Embassy Hotel, which was a stone’s throw from when we were. I got to know that he would check in at 8.00am on the day of the conference. At 8.330am, I went to his hotel and took Mike along with me. From the reception, I spoke to him on the phone. When he asked from where I was speaking, I told him I was downstairs in the lobby of his hotel! He said he would send someone down immediately to lead me up to his suite, and he did so. I left Mike behind in the hotel lobby. When I got to his suite, there were already a number of people in the corridor, in his living room and the dining room waiting to see him. His ADC took me straight to see him in his bedroom. I had hardly settled down when he started talking to me about his deputy, Abubakar Atiku. He was at daggers drawn with Atiku. When he exhausted all he had to say about Atiku, he jumped on Theophilus Danjuma, his estranged friend. They fell out after Danjuma had served him as Minister of Defence. I sat there just listening. He needed to get a lot off his chest. He told me how would leave the Chirac conference immediately after the opening because he wanted to attend a PDP campaign in Gombe at 5.00pm that same day. He was a lead campaigner for the PDP and Umaru Yar’adua for President.

He reeled off a number of events where he was going to be engaged in the coming months, including the opening of the Obajana Cement Factory. Wait a minute! Something struck me at the mention of Obajana Cement Factory.I told him that I had heard that he and Aliko Dangote jointly owned the cement factory. I told him that I heard Dangote was fronting for him in the venture. His reply was to query whether I believed what I heard. I countered by saying whether I believed it or not was irrelevant to the question that I had asked him. He said nothing further on this. Before we left his room, I pointed out to him that now that he was approaching the end of his term in office, there were some people to whom he owed apologies: Chief S.O. Bakare (Oluwalogbon) was one. Chief Bakare gave everything to support Obasanjo when he was down. In spite of Obasanjo’s condemnation by the populace, Bakare still stood by him. I had forewarned Bakare that Obasanjo would eventually dump him. Notwithstanding, he stood by Obasanjo. In the end Obasanjo walked away. A few months in office they separated as friends.

I told Obasanjo that Mike Adenuga was in Cannes and that I had brought him with me. He was waiting in the foyer downstairs. I told him that the reason I brought Mike along was that it was not unlikely that Obasanjo would hear that Mike was in Cannes while he was in town and would deem it discourteous if Mike did not show up to pay his respect. Now that I had told him, that Mike was downstairs, it was now up to him, if he wanted to see Mike, to send someone to bring him up. Obasanjo objected to Mike coming to see him in his suite. Instead, he said he would see Mike downstairs on his way to the conference. At this point, I volunteered to go downstairs and wait with Mike. Obasanjo again objected, insisting that he and I should go down together. Soon after, his ADC came into the room to remind him about the time. He went into his bathroom, got ready, and we went to the lift with his Foreign Minister.

When we got down, Mike came forward to greet him. ‘I have nothing against you, it is a matter of principle’ Obasanjo told Mike. Mike, in turn, said, ‘Your Excellency, I understand. Thank you.’ That was all the exchange they had.

When Obasanjo left office in 2007, we met at the 90th birthday ceremony for Chief T.O.S Benson in Lagos on 23 July 2007. As a matter of fact, we sat side by side. In the course of our conversation, I told him I was going to be in Abeokuta the following day. He said he would be in Ota when I was there, but that he would specifically come to Abeokuta to host me for lunch. He kept his word. So much so that he called me on the phone when lunch was ready! I assured him that I would not miss lunch and I would be with him as soon as I was through with my meeting.

I went as promised for lunch with Oba Adekoya, the Dagburewa of Idowa. When we got there, Obasanjo also had Alhaji Ola Yusuf from Owu, Abeokuta, who had come to see him and he too joined us for lunch. We were four at the table. It was sumptuous lunch, and I had never been treated to anything like it in our long relationship.

Mike Adenuga was still in exile abroad, and Obasanjo steered the lunch talk in his direction. He asked me to ask my son meaning Mike Adenuga, to return home. I requested that he should leave the matter until after lunch and it would be tackled on a one-to-one basis between us. He agreed.

After lunch, we went into his private sitting room. I declared that what Nuhu Ribadu, Chairman of EFCC, was doing in respect of Mike Adenuga was wrong and he was doing it at Obasanjo’s behest. I told him that I refrained from interfering because I wanted to see how the law would pan out on the issue. The kernel of the matter really, as I told him, was his disagreement with Abubakar Atiku, his deputy, and they had taken the matter almost life-and –death level. Mike Adenuga was a pawn in the crisis, and he should be given the right to defend himself.

I reminded Obasanjo that he was no longer in office and he should back off in his pursuit of Mike. I went further to let him know that if Nuhu Ribadu did not desist from molesting Mike, I would go into the ring with them. Here I made clear that I would take him and Ribadu to unnecessarily and unjustifiably pursue Mike. Obasanjo promised to see Ribadu and to ask him to back off. He further promised to give me feedback on this.

When I did not get his feedback, I called him a number of times, but the phone would ring and not be answered. Eventually, I called his aide, Bodunde Adeyanju, who on picking my call passed the phone to Obasanjo to speak to me. Obasanjo told me Ribadu was out of the country and he would get back again to me on Ribadu’s return. I told Obasanjo how difficult it had been to reach him on the phone. I offered a solution. I would ask Mike to send him a phone which he would give his aide, Bodunde, as an intermediary. This way, all I had to do was call that number, and Bodunde would pass it to him if he wanted to speak to me. He agreed, and Mike sent the phone down the next day. But still, Obasanjo did not come back to me on the issue.

Mike remained in exile in London, and nothing much was heard again or raised by the EFCC about him. Later in 2007, I called Mike in London and told him I wanted to know why he had refused to return home. Since he had no skeleton in his cupboard, then he should return home. I explained to him that the purpose of the wealth with which he had been divinely endowed was to care for his needs, and his interests. It was also for use to defend his honor and integrity. For these reasons, I urged him to return home.

Thereafter, Mike returned home. Nobody touched him, and no institution has prosecuted him because there was no genuine reason from the onset for anybody to touch him. However, the construction project at Bells University slowed considerably while Mike was in exile and a few solicitous calls from Obasanjo to Mike while he was in exile did not change the pace of work. On his return from exile, the school Bells University had the temerity to write to him seeking for a meeting to discuss the continuation of the project. When I got to know, I offered to be in attendance at the meeting and sent word round that I would be in attendance. I had the intention to lambast all of them. They must have sensed it because up till now, the meeting has not been held!

All the enormous goodwill which Obasanjo carried into office was squandered with a performance that left him with a second term short of tangible achievements. Eight years in office was ample time to put electricity on a very strong footing. Eight years was enough to put down a strong foot against corruption and make a clear difference. Eight years was adequate for orderliness and the rule of law to triumph in every facet of our society. These were the basis upon which I gave him my support for the office. Some new State Governors have shown how much good can be achieved in a shorter time.



Report compiled by Sahara Reporter from ‘Awujale: The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba S.K Adetona, Ogbagba II’

Friday, 16 December 2016

Mavrodians Need Not Panic, MMM Still On Course – Chuddy Ugorji Reacts

 Chuddy Ugorji

Chuddy Ugorji, a top guider otherwise known as the nation’s number one Mavrodian, has called on subscribers of Mavro Mundial Moneybox (MMM) to remain calm in the face of scathing media and social media bashing.

Ugorji whose lavish wedding to his long time heartthrob, Chiamaka Ugorji, went viral last month took to his Facebook page to correct some misconceptions about the scheme, adding that every true Mavrodian knows that freezing of Mavros is a normal activity.

Below is the excerpt:

“This week has not been easy for all of us due to the news update on our Personal Offices.

As we all know, the media has been a tool used by anti-MMMites and pessimists to fight against the growth of MMM Nigeria. Unfortunately some ignorant Nigerians who don't understand what MMM is all about have been brainwashed by the information broadcasted by the media and social networks

Regarding the frozen Mavro

It is clearly stated on the news section on the website

Confirmed Mavro will be frozen for A MONTH .

The reason for this measure is evident. The system needs to prevent any problems that might arise during this festive season and this measure will be cancelled once the festive season comes to an end

Frozen of mavros does not mean MMM has stopped operations or crashed rather the system has adopted this measure to avoid any mishaps. The support systems are working on issues to enhance the effectiveness of the community.

Also let's note that contrary to what has been published by cheap bloggers, Am not the Admin of MMM but one of the top guiders of this great community. And non of us has access to the site, I woke up on Tuesday and saw the News on my PO like every other person,

The MMM website is been managed in Russia by their control and supervisory team .They are responsible for every decision made,like pairing of participants to provide help and get help,resolving issues on the platform etc.

I have always been passionate about tutoring members and guiders about the ideology of MMM , the rules and the risk; I have encouraged members to provide help only with their SPARE MONEY and also get help at the end of 30 days. The reason members have to continue in this pattern of provide help and get help process is to ensure the sustainability of the system, because the platform is a peer to peer system ,members knows that they own the system and pay only to themselves, There is no CENTRAL ACCOUNT.

Regarding getting help,every guider in the MMM community has a limit to withdrawal and I have never made withdrawals above my limit ,rather have always helped to ensure the growth of MMM Nigeria community.

Instead I have given more to the community through charity works and teaching of the ideology of MMM.

Bloggers who get paid for promoting rumour, when ignorant Nigerians click on their blogs, Google Ad sense pays them per click. Hence they seized this opportunity to enrich themselves even when most of them are participants and have taken more from the community, many of them are involved in uploading Fake Pop's and multiple accounts all in the bid to frustrate the programme of the community and that is part of what is been looked into and it would be stop so that we have a healthy and stronger MMM NIGERIA in 2017.

MMM founder is a Russian Sergey Mavrodi not a Philippine. I have never been to Philippine, the stories about going to the Philippines are untrue.

I stand for the true ideology of MMM which is anchored on providing and getting help willingly.

Let's hope the best and STOP the PANIC! We shall overcome by God's grace."


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Did Tafawa Balewa Die Of Asthma Or Gun Shot?

First prime minister of Nigeria, Sir Tafawa Balewa

To some, circumstances surrounding the death of premier prime minister of Nigeria still remain a mystery. What further fuelled such assumption was the the fact that his body was discovered at a roadside near Lagos six days after his ouster from office during the bloody counter-coup of July 1966. 

However Brian Oliver, a former editor of the Observer throws more highlights on this mystery. This is how he puts it in his book, The Commonwealth Games: Extraordinary Stories Behind The Medals, published by Bloomsbury.

"The coup, codenamed Leopard, was planned in secret meetings. Major Emmauel Ifeajuna led a small group in Lagos, whose main targets were the prime minister, the army’s commander-in-chief, and a brigadier, who was Ifeajuna’s first victim. 

According to the official police report, part of which has never been made public, Ifeajuna and a few of his men broke into the prime minister’s home, kicked down his bedroom door and led out Balewa in his white robe. They allowed him to say his prayers and drove him away in Ifeajuna’s car. On the road to Abeokuta they stopped, Ifeajuna ordered the prime minister out of the car, shot him, and left his body in the bush. Others say the Prime Minister was not shot, nor was the intention ever to kill him: Balewa died of an asthma attack or a heart attack brought on by fear. There has never been conclusive evidence either way.

Ifeajuna drove on to Enugu, where it became apparent that the coup had failed, mainly because one of the key officers in Ifeajuna’s Lagos operation had “turned traitor” and had failed to arrive as planned with armoured cars. Major-General Ironsi, the main military target, was still at large and he soon took control of the military government. Ifeajuna was now a wanted man. He hid in a chemist’s shop, disguised himself as a woman, and was driven over the border by his friend Christopher Okigboa poet of great renown. Then he travelled on to Ghana, where he was welcomed.

Ifeajuna eventually agreed to return to Lagos, where he was held pending trial. Ojukwu, by now a senior officer, ensured his safety by having him transferred, in April, to a jail in the east. The Igbo people who lived in the north of Nigeria were attacked. In weeks of violent bloodshed, tens of thousands died. As the death toll increased, the outcome was a Civil War

In another account, Dr. Mathew Taiwo Mbu, Nigeria's first High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and one of only three surviving members of the first Federal cabinet, pictured the death of the prime minister in this light:

"Prime Minister Balewa died as a result of an asthmatic attack while he was being driven to Calabar by soldiers under the command of Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna who arrested him.

Most on-site acccounts to date, only reported that the body of the late Prime Minister was found in a seating position by a tree, in a plantation, on the road to Abeokuta, near Ifo, some 35 kilometres from his Ikoyi residence where he was arrested by soldiers on the night of January 15, 1966. The Prime Minister's body was found beside the bullet-riddled body of Chief Okotie-Eboh, Nigeria's first Minister of Finance.

No report of the macabre events of January 15, 1966, has been categorical that the Prime Minister was shot death; and no autopsies were carried out on the bodies discovered several days after the two had been reported kidnapped from their official residences by soldiers.

But Dr. Mbu, who was a close confidant of the late Prime Minister, recounted a momentous encounter 44 years ago, with the late poet Christopher Okigbo, one of the last people to see the late Prime Minister alive before he was arrested by the coup plotters.

He said Christopher Okigbo, who was also a close friend of Major Ifeajuna, who led the coupists in Lagos, recounted the arrest of the Prime Minister to him first hand. Okigbo and Ifeajuna themselves were killed in action during the Nigerian civil war.
Mbu, who many also regarded as Tafawa Balewa's de-facto foreign minister, was ironically sent out to India for a State funeral by the Prime Minister, only hours before the coup. He had warned the late Prime Minister of an impending coup just days earlier.

He said he was reliably informed that Prime Minister Balewa had been accosted by the soldiers who first gave him the salute due to a Commander-in-Chief before informing him that they were effecting a change of government. They allowed him to say his Islamic prayers before taking him in a car.

The plans of the putschists according to Mbu's account, did not include killing the Prime Minister. He was to be taken to Calabar and forced to release and handover power to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, then in prison for treasonable felony.


Balewa unfortunately did not make it out of Lagos. He reportedly suffered an asthmatic attack and died in the car. The announcement by the Army chief, General Aguiyi Ironsi of a failed coup, led to the dumping of the late Prime Minister's body in the forest off the road to Abeokuta. 

This much was also corroborated by Chief Olusegun Osoba, who was then a young reporter with Daily Times. This is how he reported his version of Balewa's death:

"I would not say Tafawa Balewa died of asthma for the fact that I am not a medical doctor. But as an eye witness, the body (of Balewa) that I saw was a fresh body. The first cliche they teach in journalism is facts are sacred. The first thing my editor told me about the story as I got to the office that day was, 'don’t embellish your report, don’t be flamboyant ,just be factual,’and the facts I stated in my story have never ever been denied, debunked, controverted in 44 years. Why now?"


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Monday, 31 October 2016

LEVERAGING ON RELATIONSHIP – My Experience In Ebute Metta Health Centre

Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis with Pharm. Olatunji Koolchap, 
ex national secretary, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN)

I spent the entire Sunday night appeasing Francisca, my four-year-old daughter, who was battling with Whitlow (come to think of it, I grew up calling it ‘Wiklo’ like any average Nigerian). Her finger was sore with painful swelling and pus. That I was able to make it to Monday morning without breaking down emotionally was a miracle.

Rather than rush all the way to Mt Sinai Hospital, the infirmary I pitched my health insurance with, I headed for the Ebute Metta Public Health Centre being closer to my residence in Yaba.

Guess what I discovered?

The admission card is pro bono, consultation and diagnoses are absolutely free!

Wow!

“Why then do people still patronise ‘Opa Eyin’ and ‘Agbo Iba’ vendors?” I pondered.

Anyway, I am not here to hold brief for ‘Itesiwaju Eko.’ Back to the issue at hand.

After due consultation with one of the young brilliant doctors on duty, I took the prescription to the pharmacy to procure the drugs.

As I tried explaining my mission to the pharmacist, a familiar face surfaced and whispered something into the ear of the lady pharmacist.

On his way out, he smiled and waved at me saying ‘How is work, Sir?’ It was more of rhetoric as he didn’t even wait for my reply.

‘Who is this man?’ I kept asking myself.

Fifteen minutes later, the lady pharmacist was back with my drugs – Ceftriaxone (injection with syringe for a 3 day-treatment), Amoxicillin, Vit C suspension and Paracetamol suspension.

As she handed me the receipt, I winced at the total cost. N8,650 in this economic recession? Isn’t the idea of using another hospital outside my health insurance a big mistake?

Long story short, when I dipped my hand in my pocket fishing for my ATM card, the lady gave me a quizzical look.

“If what you are looking for is money, don’t bother. The chief pharmacist has settled your bill!” she said.’

What? 

I stared hard at her. No way, I am not going to allow anybody do a ‘Ruben Abati’ for me. There is no way I will receive a Greek Gift from strangers, more so in a government parastatal.

“Sorry o, who is the chief pharmacist you mentioned?” I quipped.

“You mean you don’t the man who greeted you earlier?” she looked surprised.

It was then my mind went to work. I demanded to see him, at least, to thank him.

Five minutes later, we shook hands and hugged each other.

He was among the 30 chief pharmacists of public health centres, general hospitals and federal medical centres honoured at Micro Nova Annual 2015 Awards Nite held at Protea Hotel in Ikeja sometime in February this year. As expected, I was invited along with other journalists to cover the event.

At the end of the programme, the chief pharmacist made an usual request. He wants me to send him every picture of him from sitting posture to collection of award. ‘I am not a commercial photographer, Sir!’ I tried to evade him.

But he came after me begging persistently, ‘I know you are not. I was just hoping you could help by sending them to my email. I will be grateful if you can,’ he said extending a business card to me. I took another look at him and collected it.

The next day, I forwarded them to him and he acknowledged by saying he is grateful.
Fast-forward 8 months after, here I am leveraging on such relationship. The same man I probably thought I wouldn’t see again settling a debt of N8,650 on my behalf.

Wow! 

It couldn’t get any better than this. Perhaps my coming to the health centre wasn’t a mistake after all. It appears to be providence-driven.


As I picked my kid to leave the premises, I turned to take another look at the clinic. 

Apparently, I have just added a new ally to my friendship list.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Factors To Consider Before Starting A Sports Newspaper In Nigeria


"I am a young entrepreneur who is looking to carve a niche in production of regular Sports Newspaper in Nigeria. I have done my own little research and realise there is a huge market out there. But sincerely, I don’t know how or where to start. 
Please help me"
- Emeka Edward




Dear Emeka, 
It is interesting to note the increasing number of sports (or specifically football-related) papers donning every news stand in the country today. To say Nigerians are die-hard soccer lovers will amount to an understatement. 

About nine years ago, the situation was not the same. In the past, we used to have the likes of Complete Sports, City Sports (a City Pulse publication)Sporting Life and Soccer Star. Sadly, only Complete Sports was able to weather the storm successfully. Many attributed the sudden demise of some of the sports paper to mismanagement. 

On the other hand, it is also understandable that the high cost of printing materials has probably forced the rest out of the competition. More so, the absence of serious competitors gave Complete Sports the monopoly the country has never experienced before. 

However the influx of the new school such as Arsenal Focus, Chelsea Plus, True Blues, Madrid Focus and other niche soccer papers has changed the game. Many critics expected them to fizzle out quickly just like earlier sports publications before them. 


Alas! It was obvious that the innovations and business acumen of these creative young publishers have come to stay. The interesting thing about it is that unlike the average newspaper, sports paper publishing is a big industry and quite profitable.

The usual question many crave to ask thus is: How did these young dudes do it?

Simple!

They studied the market as you did, add up the numbers, did the necessary paper works and took their chances by launching out.

Whether you plan to go into entertainment or sports journalism, every intending publisher must possess virtually all the following:

     1.     Passion for writing
2.     Contacts of celebrities or relevant personalities
3.     Registration for ISSN
4.     Logistics on daily, weekly or monthly basis 
     5.     Registration with each region’s Newspapers Vendors Association
6.     Needed capital7.     Computer / Laptop
8.     High-speed Internet
9.     Digital camera
10.                        Cell phone
11.                        Reliable car or means of transportation
12.                        News Sources
13.                        Advert canvassing
14.                        Strict Deadline Observation 
     15.                        Decide on page plan package to use
16.                        Paper specification (10 x 14.5, Bond or newsprint)
17.                        Advantage of web press / Kord machine
18.                        Circulation / Distribution of newspapers nationwide
19.                        Appraisal & monitoring of paper progress
     20.                        Preparation for new edition


Culled from "How To Publish NEWSPAPER/ MAGAZINE / TABLOID On A Small Budget" by Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis 



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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Portugal's Euro 2016 Hero: From Club Rejection, Father’s Incarceration, Failed Suicide Attempt To Glory

Eder with compatriot Ronaldo after the final match of EURO 2016

The fairy-tale run of Eder Lopes, Portugal football hero at the final of Euro 2016 tournament, is one that readily reduces one to a state of tears.

Rejection by his English club, Swansea City for failing to score in 15 appearances; biological father serving life sentence for allegedly killing his step mother were few of those trying moments that compelled the star striker to contemplate suicide before fortune eventually smiled on him.

In a recent interview conducted by Daily Mail, Éderzão António Macedo Lopes also known as Eder disclosed that he was born in the Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau in December 1987, before moving to Portugal when he was three.

Moving forward, Eder further threw more highlights on his father’s past, relives his upbringing in an orphanage and explains why, just two years ago, he came very close to ending his own life.

Eder's father, Antonio Lopes with Domingas Olivais in 2002

His father, Filomeno Antonio Lopes, has been in an English prison since 2003, serving a life sentence for the murder of Eder’s stepmother, Domingas Olivais.

At age 8, when it was obvious that the family couldn’t make ends meet, Eder was taken into an orphanage.

“I can’t lie, it was very hard,” he says, explaining how he played soccer with bare feet on a playground littered with broken glass.

“Yeah — very difficult. I was in an orphanage without my parents. Things can go badly in those places. I look at where some of my friends are now and... yeah, they’re not very well. I had two or three mentors but it was not the same as your mum and dad. I had little contact with my parents. I was resentful.

'As I grew older, my mum and I increased contact, but it was an irregular one. We don’t have a normal relationship because we lost those big moments together when I was growing up. Now, my mum and I are reunited and back in contact. She moved to England and my sister lives in Wolverhampton. And then there’s my father...’

It would be recalled that in 2003, a jury at Norwich Crown Court heard that Eder’s father had murdered his partner.  According to witnesses report, he picked her up from work, struck her with a steering wheel lock, strangled her and dumped her body into the River Bure by Great Yarmouth.

Antonio Lopes is still serving jail term in England

However the man’s alibi was that he went to McDonald’s after dropping Ms Olivais back at a hotel. Unfortunately, the CCTV footage did not vouch for him.

Furthermore, local reports add that his father had sought asylum in England by claiming that he was fleeing civil war in his homeland but there are also claims that he was the subject of an extradition order by Portuguese authorities in connection with three armed robberies.

“I was just 12 and in an orphanage,” Eder says, puffing his cheeks out. ‘My stepmother died, they accused my father and he is in prison.

'I wasn’t there and obviously I can’t say for certain what happened. But my dad says he is innocent. Then, it becomes a question that requires a lot of soul-searching. He is my dad and I believe him. I am not stating that the court did anything wrong but he is my father. He is still in jail in England. I had visited him. I started to visit him when I was 22 and when I have time, I see him.’

After he had developed a passion for football at the orphanage, young Eder would escape to a nearby cafe to watch Premier League matches.

However, he moved out at the age of 18 and teamed up with Portuguese second-tier club Tourizense on a monthly wage of £330. He moved on to Academica and Braga, where he played Champions League football and got his international call-up in 2012.

Eder

After the 2014 World Cup, where Portugal failed to progress from the group stage, he was ridiculed by the press. On social media, he was compared to a traffic cone. Self-doubts emerged.

In the darkest moments, this charming young man contemplated ending his own life. ‘Yeah...’ he said, steadying himself.

‘My mind went to some very bad places. I went through a very low phase. I had suffered some bad injuries and went to the World Cup and things didn’t go well. It was hard. I struggled to believe in things and dream again. It was a really horrible period for me and you wonder whether you can escape it.

‘My turning point came after one game in Braga. I went to kick a ball about with a little girl who was wearing our colours. Her mum, Susana Torres, asked if she could have a picture. We began to exchange emails. Before the World Cup, she sent me a Facebook message saying her daughter wanted to go. I missed it and I didn’t respond.

‘After a year, I saw the message and apologised. I gave a jersey with her daughter’s name. Then she said that if my friends needed a psychological coach, then I should let them know about her. I worked hard on my mentality and began to dream again. Susana was the catalyst. She helped a lot.

‘I think footballers are still a bit funny about this kind of thing. Some think that they can seem weaker. But it’s changing,’ he said.

Eder now believes he is over his psychological problems but he continues to work closely with Susana. Indeed, they are planning to write a book.

In Portugal, all has been forgiven and a website has been launched called DisculpaEder.com (Sorry Eder), where fans have sent messages apologising for all that has gone on before.

He is a bright man, a fluent speaker of four languages — English, French, Spanish and Portuguese — and with a sharp interest in world issues.

On why he failed at Swansea City in England, this is how he puts it:

‘It was hard at Swansea. I started just two Premier League games and if you look at the statistics, you will see that I mostly had 10 or 20 minutes. I came to Lille because I wanted to make the Euros. There was something poetic about the goal. It was the tournament of the underdog.

Eder being applauded as he lifts the EURO 2016 Cup

'Unexpected teams did very well and then I scored my goal. Wales did it. Iceland did it. I did it. People have to dream and believe. Sport can never lose that.

Garry Monk, who signed me, sent me the loveliest text after the final saying it was an incredible goal and that he was thrilled.

At 28, this, remarkably, was Eder’s first competitive goal for Portugal.

‘I received it on the half-turn,’ he grins, shifting his salt away from Laurent Koscielny’s pepper.

‘I jinked away from Koscielny and found some space to shoot. Then I just let fly. And how it flew! I hit it so hard and when the ball smashed into the net I was so happy. It was huge for me, huge for us, huge for the country.’

The day Eder visited the orphanage after his great goal, he broke down and cried during the visiting.

God has rewarded him for all his pain!!!!

Amazing story, isn’t it?




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