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Don’t judge a book by its cover



Sometime ago, something happened in neighboring Abuja that was an eye opener. In one of the busiest areas of Wuse Market, a young lady was employed to sell recharge cards, assorted drinks and snacks. Ijay’s goods were selling like hot cakes. She was a smart lady who had always been referred to as multitasking. Alone she had been carrying on for months successfully, with no problems.
On one of the days, at the hour when Ijay’s business was at its peak (that is around 11:00 am to 1:00pm), Ijay had an unexpected visitor. It was a young girl of about 12 years, in the midst of “please give me N100 recharge card”; “let me have one Maltina, cold one with meat pie”. “I want N1000,00 MTN and N500 Etisalat, and others asking for their change, Ijay heard a small girl’s voice calling her attention. “Auntie!!! She called out gently, almost afraid to come very close.
“Yes?” Ijay spared the innocent voice a look. “Can I help you?” Ijay asked politely.
“Please auntie, the little girl curtsied in respect, “my auntie over there,” she pointed at a woman busy buying thing, “is busy buying a lot of things. I just want a place where I can sit and wait for her until she finishes.”
“It is okay,” Ijay assented then went back to business. Ijay had a waist purse where she kept all the money for her transaction and the recharge cards, this is usually securely strapped around her waist. However, in the heat of business when she needed to sell a certain recharge card, she removed her waist purse to locate it easily.
Business was very good that day and Ijay was in high spirits poking fun at her regular customers. She had even forgotten the little girl in her stall until she heard her childish voice saying: “Thank you ma. My auntie just motioned to me to come,” the little girl curtsied and hurriedly left.
Shortly after that, a customer wanted a recharge card. Ijay’s hands automatically went to where she had kept it. But it wasn’t there. She looked under tables, it was not there. She overturned the shop. It was not there.
By this time, Ijay was sweating. The last person on her mind was that little girl. Volunteers ran around the market looking for the girl but she had disappeared into thin air.
It was at this point that other traders that were once bitten, shared similar stories. But it was too late for Ijay to remedy the situation. She has been robbed by the cradle. It amounted to N79,000 in cash and over N25,000 recharge cards. Ijay lost her job but had to pay her madam (nicknamed Shylock) for every dime.
Well-wishers in the market and some passers-by raised over N50,000,00 which Shylock collected grumbling. It was only after Ijay wrote an undertaking that she would pay the balance in 3 months that she was released by the police. Today, Ijay is wary of innocents.
In a similar situation on one full day when business appeared to be slow running for more than a week, a car seller learned not to judge a book by its cover, an expensive Mercedes Benz drove to this car stand in Jos and 2 of the occupants went for the most expensive car on display. It was a jeep.
Overjoyed, the owners proudly marketed their goods. The prospective buyers asked if they could test run it and see how it worked. The sellers were enthusiastic about it. Why not, they thought; since Oga (the one the two men obviously worked for) was in their car and their car was expensive too.
However, about ten minutes after they left, Oga, who had been busy eating a mountain of suya with massa (roasted meat seasoned with groundnut cake with rice snack) started exhibiting some kind of attitude. First, he ate even the paper the suya was wrapped in; then started behaving as if he was dancing Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance steps- the one that entailed dancing with the shoulder. The car sellers were laughing until his cap fell off.
What they saw almost gave them a heart attack. Oga’s hair was dreadlocks, thick with filth. There was no question that it was home of lice because from every indication, the last time it enjoyed the luxury of being washed must have been several years back.
Oga started making animal sounds, tore the well designed babanriga he was wearing, the caftan, then trousers, exposing very filthy tattered clothes. Next, he damaged the door of the car and made to run. The car sellers used all their might to hold him down until security men were called.
 In the end, they could not hold on to him-Oga- he was a mad man who was ignorantly used in committing crime. And of course, their jeep never came back and they could not hold on to the Mercedes Benz the thieves came in because the police discovered it was also a stolen car.
So many people are in unhappy marriages because they judged a book by its cover. Nigerians are suffering because they reposed their confidence in the wrong politicians. They come looking for you with a smile pasted on their faces when campaigning for positions. But after using you as ladder to climb up there; they start looking at you with their noses; they become inaccessible. They go to the extent of changing their numbers and their circle of friends. They forget that without people, they are nothing; In fact, they are as good as dead.
The electorate know more than ever, the power in their votes. To sell our votes is to mortgage our future. It is high treason. And to be influenced by sentiments is to remain under bondage with no hope.




















































Conspiracy of silence over men battery

WHO would have believed that the popular American actor, Johnny Depp had allegedly been in an abusive relationship with his wife, Heard. They got married in 2015 but began a legal tussle shortly after, on the issue of physical abuse.

Unfortunately, the rumours making the rounds were that the Pirates of the Caribbean main actor was the one perpetrating the physical abuse against his wife. It was not until the testimony of Dr Shannon Curry portrayed Depp’s wife as the perpetrator rather than the victim, which was easier to believe because she is a woman and much younger than Depp.

There is no society in the world that thinks a wife beating her husband is normal. It is something that is frowned at globally because of the general belief that men are stronger than women physically. Or that a woman should be under a man. Our traditions promote that and so do our various religions which give a man the upper arm in all ramifications.

Sometime ago, there was a short video trending on the social media platforms. It was about a man and woman who must have swerved their positions. In the video, the woman who was without doubt in- charge, was instructing her husband who had before him a mortar and held a pestle ready to pound pounded yam, that anywhere he sees yam, he should pound. Everything was okay until she threw yam into her mouth. Her servant husband aimed for her mouth with all his strength with the pestle. Use your imagination to guess what ensued after that.

One has seen men who fear their wives so much that they can’t be natural in their company. One in particular can flow in conversations as long as his wife was not present. But the moment his wife was around, he was tongue tied.

A friend said her friend has turned her husband into a stooge. He does the house, cooks, goes to market. She claims that the Bible says he who does not work does  not eat. His sin is that he depends on his wife for everything. He was unlucky to be among the few people retrenched from his office for no reason. And since he has no guts to go into business, his business minded wife has switched position with him.

While growing up, we had a neighbour who used to shout at her husband as if he was a fool. In fact, there were a few times she even asked him in our presence if he was a fool. The man was so embarrassed that he walked away silently. The wife became the boss ever since her husband retired. The moment his relations noticed that, they all found their way out of the house. In their place, the wife’s relations filled everywhere. And he became less and less important.

Another man who silently endured torture by his wife said, his undoing was empowering her to do business. The moment the business started moving well, and she was financially buoyant and even independent, her attitude towards her husband changed. His voice in his house became nothing. His wife automatically switched places with him.

His case became so bad because he became a stranger in his home. None of his relatives could come and visit, they got the message and stayed away. He made sure he was relevant as far as their financial needs were concerned. But even with that, they began forgetting to keep his meals for him or feed him anytime he came back home from work.

These and much more pushed him to the arms of another woman who began to do everything his wife was not doing at home. That was the time his wife came down from her high horse and began accusing him of infidelity. He said he didn’t deny but told her that she pushed him to the arms of another woman. It took divine intervention to separate him from his girlfriend. It was only possible because his wife changed for the better too.

The cases where men were or are being abused in their relationship or marriage are numerous but not as many as that of women suffering abuse or battery in their marriage. It is not only when the woman is richer than the man. Or when the man depends on his wife for everything. There are isolated cases where the man is the one who pays the piper but the woman dictates the tune. In this case, her husband is a pawn in her hand and does as she says no matter what people say. She controls his wealth and channels it towards her selfish needs. He can do nothing on his own but will often run to her to pat him like a dog.

Cases also abound where women use sex as a weapon to give only when they are happy with their husband. And withhold when unhappy. Many marriages have headed for the rocks because of this attitude. It has also sent faithful men to the arms of strange women whose stock in trade is to destroy homes.

The book of Esther in the Bible is the book every woman should read before getting married. The first chapters tell us how Queen Vashti lost her position as a queen because of insubordination to her king. All that the king asked of her was to come so that he could show off her beauty to his nobles. But she refused him that simple request. As a consequence, she was dethroned.

Nowadays, the attitude of insubordination by wives abounds. The moment a woman thinks she is well rooted, it begins to manifest. The man becomes a rubber stamp except he stamps his feet. The clergy needs to intervene with more spiritual education on this aspect to nip the trend in the bud.


Professionalism versus quackery

Human capital abounds in Nigeria. The only bother is the quality. There’s no problem with the quantity because every year our tertiary institutions churn them out in millions for professionals trained in school. Unfortunately, it would seem, some went through school but school didn’t go through them.
One Business and Finance diploma graduate was honest enough to tell me that he graduated with very good grades. The problem is that he can’t defend his certificate. He said money did the magic for him.
From the first day he was admitted into University of Jos, Centre for Continuing Education, located at Gangare, he never lifted a finger to write an assignment or test. He was referred to one young man who gladly wrote everything, including his examinations for a good price.
Today he is employed and earning good money with the certificate. What quality job would come out from such a person who admitted that he cannot even define banking and finance? Sadly, a job was waiting for him immediately after his National Youth Service Corps year.
Rebecca’s encounter with quack made her to lose confidence in Nigeria’s young doctors. She was ill and needed immediate attention. It so happened that public hospitals were on strike, so she and her sister entered the first hospital that they saw.
 In their haste, they didn’t notice that in spite of the fact that public hospitals were on strike, the hospital was still empty. She was immediately ushered in to see the doctor. The doctor could not hide his excitement when he noticed that Rebecca was visibly pregnant. But his hopes were dashed when she told him that she had been treated with chloroquine for malaria and the aftermath was worse than the malaria. She was there, she told him, for an alternative treatment.
The doctor excused himself for about 20 minutes. Uncomfortable with his silence, Rebecca went after him and found him hidden in a room in the rear of the hospital, engrossed in reading  a medical book. Embarrassed, he apologised that he would be with her shortly. Rebecca said she ran for her life, after getting the message that the doctor was reading his book to come and treat her sickness.
It was after they ran out and were taking a break at a shop in the vicinity that she found out that the clinic is notorious for abortion and nothing else. Unbelievable that someone will go through medical school and come out and specialise in destroying life. It does not make sense. People like this have decided to work contrary to the vows they took before they began practicing their profession.
This brings to mind the recent case of the Jos fake doctor that was harvesting people’s organs. Unfortunately, he was only discovered after decades of practice, harvesting his patients’ vital organs. He was living a life of opulence, a respected member of the society. Even the eagle eyes of the white men could not pick him out. It was said he used to travel outside the country. Thank God, the long arm of the law has caught up with him.
Sadly, there are many examples of quacks in the medical field. A lady described how she went for malaria treatment but was asked to undress except for her pants. She said she almost slept on the examination bed when she felt the old doctor’s mouth on her breast. Fortunately for him, her eyes were closed due to embarrassment that she was almost naked before her father’s friend. However, it took the grace of God, not the doctor’s pleading for her not to call her father’s attention. He was waiting patiently in the waiting room.
The lady above said since that experience, she developed an aversion to hospitals. She became guilty of self medication until recently.
Another lady said she almost lost her life after giving birth. She discovered that the area where she was torn up after her private part would not stop itching her. It became worse when it began to stink, followed instantly by pus dripping from the area. This forced the hospital to book her for a surgery. What they discovered made heads roll. Whoever cleaned her up after the baby was removed, forgot to remove the pad and cotton wool. I leave the rest to your imagination.
The above lady suffered avoidable pain. She was placed on very strong antibiotics because of the infection that had set in. What she went through was not only painful, or a waste of resources, expensive but life threatening. She suffered and so did her baby. It was a very trying time for her whole family. All of this because of somebody’s carelessness.
My family would have been roasted due to the activities of a quack electrician. We had to pack into our house in a hurry even though it was uncompleted due to insecurity. Plateau State was embroiled in crises and we were living in an area that was unfriendly to our religion. That meant fixing electricity in a hurry. One of our masons introduced someone to us, whose job can only be described as ‘trial and error. Power came everywhere and we were happy. What we didn’t know was that the connection inside the roof was something else.
One day we noticed that smoke was coming from inside the roof. And one by one, different light switches were refusing to turn on. Thankfully, when we got in touch with the electrician, he was busy. We were forced to get a professional. This man exclaimed in shock when he saw the terrible job done by the first electrician. He found several fuses burnt. And explained that our whole house could have gone up in flames if things were left as they were. That was how bad it was.
One of the issues that contribute to quacks in the system is students not  allowed to read what they are passionate about. This could be influenced by parents or tertiary institutions giving admissions to those who can pay them for it, while others make do with whatever they are given.
Our systems need to be restructured for us to get it right. Certificate is not enough, that can be bought. We need to plead with each other’s conscience. Be your brothers ‘ keeper.
Drunk and down
One of the commonest questions often asked by Christians is: Is taking alcoholic drink a sin? Yes and no. If it is taken in moderation or used for medicinal purposes, it is not a sin. Or if one takes it in moderation and goes to bed without misbehaving, it is okay.
It becomes a sin if the alcoholic drink takes over one’s senses and one becomes as good as a puppet under its control. In this regard, he becomes violent and speaks in a senseless manner, wobbling around like a log of wood on a turbulent sea. In this condition, he can be violent and very stupid or foolish and can do the most humiliating things one can think of.
I have an aunt who in her younger days used to do the most humiliating things anytime she was drunk. Thank God, there was no social media. We were then kids. She would expose her nakedness and with her legs wide open, she would begin to plait her pubic hair. Very horrifying.
A gentleman once had an unforgettable night through morning. He had gotten so drunk and instead of heading home, he took a wrong turn and was boldly strolling into ITF office, Bukuru. He said the bright light that lead into the premises deceived him into thinking he was at Steel Rolling Quarters, Bukuru.
At the gate, the guards gave him a hard chase. In his stupor, he must have found solace in a narrow path and he slept his drunkenness away. At the break of dawn when darkness was giving way to light, in his subconscious mind, he could hear people whispering around about a dead body in a gutter. At first the voices were few but within minutes, the voices were increasing and they were disturbing his sleep.
This man began to wonder where the voices were coming from and why he was so  cold.  Slowly, he half  opened his eyes  and shut it almost immediately. He discovered that he  has been the subject of discussion. Someone was informing the crowd that had gathered that the police were coming. Mr Drunkard almost leapt up. Thank God for the semi darkness. He half opened one of his eyes, quickly looked for the weakest point and took off. The crowd scattered but nobody chased after Mr Drunkard.
A respectable housewife almost lost her senses when she was lured into taking alcoholic drink. In her own case, the intoxication took effect slowly. Her neighbours and those living in the same compound with her saw her walk pass their house at a very fast pace around 7:00 pm. They asked her where she was going to but she looked through them and moved on.
Around  9:00 pm, her husband who had been worried sick, received a call that his wife had been involved in an accident around Vom. She was walking on the main road and an approaching car hit her and fractured her leg. This lady’s experiment cost her about 2 months in hospital not to talk of the resources expended.
A close relation lost her self respect and much more after getting herself drunk at a night party in Shendam. She woke up the next morning in the bed of a stranger in a face me and I face you compound. She felt like she would vomit when she saw the local illiterate that must have had carnal knowledge of her through the night.
My relation was a beauty, a sophisticated lady who turned heads around anywhere she entered. She had carved her niche as a woman of class who was doing very well and only men with confidence approached her in Kaduna where she was residing and Jos where her guardian lived. But of all places, Shendam—a local champion had her because she was drunk.
Before it was light, she sneaked out. She said, she would not give the local champion the luxury of showing her off to his friends as one of his conquests. That very day, she left Shendam.
In all the cases recounted above, the drunks all lost their self respect, esteem, and lived to regret their actions. If you won’t drink responsibly, please don’t drink at all. And until you are 18, please don’t dare. Remember that the word of God says: If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better to make it to heaven with one eye than enter hell fire with 2 eyes.
































































By their fruit, we know them

WE have been inundated by claims and counter claims that they have done their best to the best of their ability. Yet, everyone is in the business of ensuring their backs are covered. They say they want the best successor. And only those at the helm of affairs seem to know who is best.

Pride begets a fall. We have prayed for the best leaders and for hitch-free general elections. But a negligible number have decided to play God. Their flesh led the way in the choice of a successor. It has to be their way or no other.

We are repeating our past mistakes. Ethnicity, nepotism, religion rule the day. It is not the best hand we want but one who is our own. One who will favour us. One who will bring us closer to the national cake to partake in the feast.

It is not only the leaders who are guilty. The followership is not left out too. Recently, I engaged a colleague in a political discourse. I was shocked to realise that his choice of gubernatorial candidate was defined by his selfish interests. He said he can not be swayed to vote for another party because he knows what he stands to gain if his candidate wins election. It didn’t bother him that his candidate is the acclaimed last in the ranking of popularity or integrity.

My neighbour who is of Ngas extraction came to sell her candidate to me. Her main concern is that the last time anyone from the Central zone ruled was 45 years ago. It was during JD Gomwalk as the governor of the defunct Benue-Plateau. As far as this woman is concerned, that qualifies him to be voted. Pulling her legs, I asked if he was the best candidate and she gave me a thousand reasons why he should be given a chance.

Stomach infrastructure rules the day. One has seen people who used to hate a particular party, suddenly make a U-turn because there is promise for some position or favour ‘ if we win’. One wonders when Nigeria will take centre stage. When will we start thinking of the bigger picture instead of our selfish interests.

People from Mangu LGC are also saying it is their turn to govern Plateau State because they have never been given the opportunity. No wonder, so many of them offered themselves for service at different party platforms. Unfortunately, primaries didn’t favour them. Even the governorship flag bearer of Labour Party, Dr Patrick Dakum, was a victim. He only became victorious in Labour Party.

Come to think of it, why are there so many allegations of people dabbling into the affairs of choosing their successor? Except you have some skeletons in your closet. Except there is the fear of the unknown. President Buhari deserves a pat on the back for not dabbling in APC Presidential primaries. Democracy should reflect the popular choice, the people’s choice.

We have all seen their antecedents. Some didn’t do any project that have bearing on the citizens life. Hospitals are in a dilapidated state, poor health delivery, poor sanitation. On top of it, social amenities are non existent. A handful are not up to date in the payment of salaries. We have heard of dictators that frustrated their rival parties rallies or even stopped such rallies from holding.

By their fruits we shall know them. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, we are easily swayed. There are many Esaus who will sell their votes for a plate of porridge. So many youths are in that category. ‘What have we to lose? ‘they ask rhetorically.

I will tell you what you will lose. You will mortgage our collective future. This may cost you your life or if alive, deprive you of a meaningful life. Instead, you may end up with a life of strife that knows no peace which means no development.

Wickedness in high placed

One of the best steps President Buhari has taken is change of currency. It was revealed by the Central Bank that more than 50 percent of Nigeria’ cash was in the hands of a negligible number of wealthy Nigerians. They won’t deposit it in the bank to be used up for loan and better our economy. The money has been stashed away, probably in anticipation of the election, to influence votes or buy them out rightly.

We have heard of those who hid cash in septic tanks. There are those who hid so much money in damp area for a long period of time that it developed mildew and stuck together. The owner was forced to bring out the money when he heard about the new directive that everyone has till January 2023 to change his currency. And any large amount being changed at once will attract EFCC at one’s tail.

Like magic, after the FG’s directive, we have seen a marked improvement. There is more money in circulation than and the situation is improving by the day. But trust Nigerians, they must always look for a way out.

There has been a lot of traffic to village markets on their market days. Since the announcement co-incided with the harvest period, the wicked cabal have decided to use the cash they have stashed away to buy grains which are being hoarded. The unfortunate thing is that instead of the normal fashion that harvested grains used to go down, the prices have skyrocketed instead.

Chatting with a villager, she said, the prices had to go up because the stinky rich who have stashed away I’ll gotten wealth have enticed the simple farmers into selling them as much farm produce as they wanted by paying more for them. That is why the prices of the new corn, beans, millet, rice, guinea corn etc are competing with the old price which used to be much higher.

The middlemen whose stock in trade was buying grains harvested from farmers to hoard and sell when the prices have tripled or doubled in price, are in a delimma. Tori don baje! It is not business as usual.

As usual, consumer protection mechanism is silent. The common man is left to navigate his way out of the woods. The government cares less as far as they are untouched. Can you believe that the price of unprocessed rice is #30, 000 from the farm?, Something that used to go for seven thousand Naira. Where are we heading to?

In the past, no matter how bad thing got, our local foods were untouched. Currently, the reverse is the case. The situation has gone from bad to worse.

Who would have thought any governor would owe civil servants salary in this dispensation. But from every indication, civil servants have not seen the end of it. This is injury time.

Some months ago, my sisters in company of my maternal uncle went to an exclusive bar in Abuja. The drinks in that place was ten times the price in a normal bar. My sisters said they felt terrible taking a simple drink in a wine glass dressed complete with cucumber at the tip, at the cost of fifteen thousand Naira. Next to them, some young stars sat down and without much ado, began ordering for champaign. Each order came with candle lightening that sparkles and illuminates the place which attracts attention. It looked childish until my sisters noticed the amount charged for each order:#250, 000 and they ordered it 5 times.

The young boy footing the bills won’t be more than 18 years. My sisters said all the while, he was shaking his head sideways to the music  steadily moving his hands to the rhythm like nothing matters. You could say son of a rich man or woman spending his parents money ( most likely, I’ll gotten wealth).

By the time my sisters left, it was one million and two hundred and fifty. One of my sisters said she could not boast of two hundred and fifty thousand in her account and yet a child came and ordered for himself and cronies drinks worth for N250, 000 each five times amounting to one million, two hundred and fifty thousand. How unfair.

In this country, such wicked acts are not surprising. Remember the Mainagate, the pension fund saga where an individual would damn all consequences and divert funds meant for a specific purpose to his pocket. In the case of Dadukigate, funds meant for equipping our security operatives were diverted to private pockets. And due to that insensitivity and wickedness, most of Nigeria’s vibrant security operatives perished at the warfront.

Such wickedness abound in Nigeria. Among the common people, the people who take the trophy in wickedness are those who make fake or counterfeit drugs. Their actions have killed so many people, including babies, children directly or indirectly.

Second in line are people who sell harmful substances. Sellers of goskolo, hard drugs etc don’t deserve to live among decent people. Their business is a death sentence on the lives of their customers, the leaders of our tomorrow.

Thirdly, are people whose profession has earned them the trust of the people but turn around to use the same profession to haunt the public, innocent souls. These include bad eggs among security operatives, journalists, medical staff, those in the legal profession.

Whatever we do, let’s remember that we will give account of all our actions on the last day. As 2023 approaches, may God help us to choose the right leaders.

























































Bauchi Za’ar Day: An event worth celebrating

It have been a tradition that in every first (1st) Saturday of November each year, all Za’ar (Sayawa) sons and daughters across the world do come back home to celebrate our one of a kind cultural event. Looking down memory lane, the reasons for the yearly celebration was to commemorate and usher in a New Year and also to show their gratitude to the gods for a bumper harvest. That is how it has being right from the time of our ancestors and this tradition has been kept alive till date. WULUMBA ILIYA JATAU writes

IN this modern times, rationale behind the Za’ar day has been modified to incorporate the showcasing  of our rich cultural heritage to the outside world, to reaffirm our collective resolve as one people and an avenue to socialize and make merry. I always feel at home whenever I happen to be there even though of recent, a seed of discord have been attempted to be sown amongst the Za’ar people. Gradually, the once loving, peaceful and interesting traditional event is turning out to become an avenue for show of force between the various decides Lhmb Za’ar is becoming a socio-political gathering where people in power and authority will come in all their grandeur to reaffirm their dominance over others.

Former Chairman, Bogoro Local Government, Hon. Iliya Habila with President, Za’ar Development Association (ZDA) Engr. Isuwa Gallah at the event.

Those present at this year’s occasion will bear witness to the high present of security (military personnel) with Armor Carrier vehicle, Gun trucks, Machine guns and the constant sporadic unnecessary shooting of live ammunitions into the air in the presence of our revered traditional leaders, the very custodians of our culture without remorse. Despite all these challenges, it is believed that the Za’ar nation will make amends and heal its festered wounds.

That is why the Za’ar day with its intents is needed now, more than ever for it is an avenue for Za’ar people to come together and discuss as one people with a view to having a common ground. Prof Chinua Achebe rightly say and I quote, “A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to redeem them from starving. They all have food in their own houses. When we gather in the moonlight at village ground, it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so. Therefore let us continue with the team spirit and enjoy the power of togetherness. Let’s smile not because we don’t have problems but because we are stronger than the problems”.

Alone I can smile but together we can also laugh. Alone I can enjoy but together we can celebrate. Alone I can talk but together we can speak. Let us promote things that unite us than things that cause disunity. Unity is our Greatest Strength.

On the 19th of November 2022, barely two (2) weeks after the celebration, Za’ar residents under (ZDA) Bauchi under the able leadership of Comrade Ishaya T Audu in conjunction with various traditional Za’ar groups and unions also organized a day for Za’ar resident in Bauchi or converge at Harmony high school, Yelwa, Bauchi State to have another experience of the recently concluded Lhmb Za’ar back home. The event started well with Za’ar stakeholders. Notable among the dignitaries in attendance was Engr. Isuwa Galla, the ZDA president worldwide among many others.

There was cultural display, Za’ar dance, and many more events in the program that is interesting. What took the center stage was the brilliant and eloquent speech by the keynote speaker, the immediate past Chairman of Bogoro Local Government, Hon. Iliya Habila, (Matawallen Bogoro), (JP).

Here is an excerpt culled from the substance-rich and intelligent speech. He spoke on the title “THE IMPERATIVES OF UNITY AND PEACE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ZAARLAND”. He posit that “Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding “. – Ralph Waldo Emerson. He added that, cultural days are days set aside by respective peoples to mark thanksgiving to God for his protection, blessings and mercies in the past year. Over the years, following the centralization of Za’ar Cultural festival popularly known as Lhmb Za’ar, the organized Za’ar communities outside Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Local Governments, the traditional areas of the Za’ar Ethnic Nationalities have also come to institutionalize the celebration of Za’ar Day as a way of bringing together all Za’ar sons and daughters to make merriment, exchange ideas and views and brainstorm on contemporary issues within and outside the Za’ar Land.

He applauded the Bauchi, especially the present crop of Leaders of the association for sustaining this historic and epoch making event.   He added that, this year’s theme which is “The Imperatives of Peace and Unity to the Development of Za’ar Land” is both timely and apt, considering the present socio-political developments in Za’ar Land.He draws the attention of the public to the fact that culture is the holistic way of life of a people- interrelationships, dressing, food, worship, education, marriage and all other components of social interactions of a people. He elaborated that, since time immemorial, the Za’ar nation is known for its rich culture and values of peace, unity, hard work honesty, faithfulness in service, among others. These virtues have made the Za’ar man and woman to stand out in all spheres of life which is very true. In fact, these virtues have also continued to be the strengths of the Za’ar in its existence right from the dark days through the period of modernization and in our contemporary days where we are battling with the encroachment of alien cultures into the Za’ar culture. As has been stipulated by sociologists, the only thing permanent in life is change. However, if change does not yield positive results, then that change is not desirable. That is why despite embracing modernity and civilization, those aspects of culture that are good are still retained by the people.

He added that, In Za’ar Land, the culture of peace and unity have been the strong pillars of our progress and development.In fact, in all climes, no development can be achieved in the absence of these two important ingredients. Even where development has been achieved, peace and unity must be sustained. Otherwise, the development achieved would be reversed as can be seen in Nations that engaged in conflicts and wars. Yet peace and unity do not exist in vacuum-there must be deliberate and conscious efforts to have them and sustain them. He also suggested that for peace, unity and development to take place, certain vital things must be achieved:

Law and Order: No society can achieve peace, unity and development while its citizens are lawless and in disorder. Whether developed or developing, what keeps all societies together is law and order. Laws are supposed to check the excessive tendencies of individuals, both leaders and the led.

Respect for Leaders and Elders: As societies develop, elders and leaders are those who are supposed to transmit Cultural values to the young generations and even generations yet unborn. This is a natural phenomenon because the old gather experiences which are transmitted to the young generations. So, it is the laws of nature that elders and leaders are to provide the path to progress and development while the led and younger ones are majorly required to follow while their inputs are also respected.

Respect for Authorities and Government: Respect for government and other authorities is necessary if development of any society will be attained.  Government has the responsibility of enacting laws, channeling the path for development as well as maintaining law and order.  Though the mandate of governance is always given by the people in democratic regimes, the people are duty-bound to obey the government.

BPA’s consistent prayers, community health promotion in Ayahland

HE benefits of community health promotion for better sustainable living cannot overemphasized in our contemporary society today. Knowing quite well that health is wealth, any community, state and or nation that leaves its health sector in total shambles and or in an unpalatable depreciating jeopardy is definitely without mincing words doing so at its peril. Regrettably today, most health facilities in our rural areas are not in a very good shape when it comes to our pragmatic anticipations of favorably competing with other developing nations of the world. As it is; the present unending predicaments bedeviling the nation’s health sector particularly at the rural areas have consequently left much to be desired. Most facilities are not facilitated in accordance with best practices around the globe.

For more than two decades now, the humongous problematic disposition of the health fabric of our rural areas have continued to have its toll on the venerable communities of these poverty stricken areas in the nooks and crannies of the nation. Many of such facilities have become an eye sore. This negative and sad development is not a palatable experience one will wish to pray for in any of our communities in this modern day Nigeria.

Though concerted efforts have been made to reinvigorate what is left of our dilapidated infrastructural amenities, much is still left to be done towards restoring the lost glory of our rural health status in the country. In some cases, both the public and private sector collaborations have been able to galvanize more pragmatic support which is desired to effect a great change in the sector.

In other communities, citizens and or natives of these areas always take it upon themselves to ensure that their vulnerable members are not left aloft to continue to suffer in silence. Interestingly, such efforts have paid-off well by restoring hope to hopeless, giving strength to the weak and strengthening our prospects for a better tomorrow.

In the past few years, the national body of the Boi Progressive Association in Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State has continued to employ more  effective and efficient strategies towards ensuring that their community experience good healthy living. Indeed, this synergy with medical personnel from the area has continued to domesticate their unflinching quest towards changing the narrative.

No doubt, the coming on board of the incumbent National President of Boi Progressive Association, Chief PhilimonKichime has seen the consolidation of more proficient mechanism intended to sensitize his community on tenets of healthy living. Beyond this, he has also achieved a lot in the quest of informing Ayah sons and daughters to understand and key into the lucrative ideologue of supporting such laudable projects for the benefit of the indigenous population.

Thus, various mind-blowing and lucrative programmes have also been held so as to better the lot of Ayah people. As is annually held, the association equally prepared well for the hosting of its prayer summit.

Each year, the prayer session is intended to seek the face of Almighty God towards redefining and enhancing the rising profile of Ayah nation. Though the popular adage encourages us not to put our eggs in one basket, when it comes to the issue of sustaining our relationship with God, this distinctive ethnic nationality has learnt to put all eggs in one basket. Perhaps, this has been the basic reason why many significant positive changes have been recorded by the community in most recent years.

To the glory of God, many sons and daughters of the area are today being celebrated in all facades of human endeavors. These young enterprising teenagers of the area have today taken the world by storm and are practically doing well and representing the ethnic group thus far very well too.

A few days ago, the national leadership of BPA in collaboration with its indigenous medical personnel after proficient deliberations arrived at a concrete consensus on the need to provide free medical care to all vulnerable Ayah native population back home. Despite the huge financial implications involved, appeals were made to spirited individuals including all and sundry to contribute their widows might towards the successfully hosting of this all important event. Inspite the harsh economic realities in the country, many generosity contributed and the programme was a huge success in each and every ramifications as anticipated.

Speaking during the event, the National President of Boi Progressive Association, (BPA) Chief Kichime explained that Ayah nation will not also take the existence of other tribes on the land for granted.

The president revealed that the National Prayer Convention was initiated in 1966 led by the late Catechist Simon Hakuri as the leader at that time with the sole aim uniting all for the development of the entire Ayahl and.

He expressed gratitude and appreciation to the representatives of the Za’ar, Ngas and Igbo communities for participating in this year’s convention urging them to get involved in the development of the area.

He also assured them that their existence in Boi would not be taken for granted and appealed to them to avoid all forms of tribalism and other social vices capable of undermining peaceful coexistence.

“God has done are great things for the people .We gathered here to thank God for giving us life and sparing our lives throughout the year. It is a thing of joy for everyone alive today to go through difficulties of all kinds. That’s why every November; we as people of Boi come together to give thanks to God”. He added.

According to him, “The national prayer convention comes with two day free medical outreach to assist our people who cannot afford to pay for medical bills. Our brother is a medical Consultant, Dr. Vinishe Sabo who contributed drugs towards the success of the medical outreach. Our appreciation goes to Rev. Hakuri T. Gaya for donating 170 books written by him to be distributed to everyone for free.”

The national president disclosed that seven people will undergo surgical operations while hundreds will receive treatments from various kind of illness. He thanked all those who attended the prayer programme and enjoyed all to continue to pray for peace in the country.

In a sermon, Rev. Iko Monde titled ‘What Can You See’, reiterated that God is capable of changing our situation whatever it may be for the better adding that ‘ it is time to begin to see the future with focus. Let us shift our attention from what we can see physically and move on to seeing the future spiritually. And I pray God to touch us today.’

Rev. Monde prayed God to continue to bless Boi village with both human and natural resources for the development of the people and the land. All said and done, it is today no record that the Ayah people are doing everything possible to transform themselves and become self-reliant. The efforts so far displayed by their sons and daughters in diaspora have also consolidated in the national body’s quest for fruitful collaboration with them for greater prospects. Certainly, in the coming years, more of suchinterventionprogrammes if successfully held will help integrate the entire community with other already established communities across the nation.

















































































Plateau FRSC: For accident free ember months

THE entire world is always gripped with unpalatable anxiety each time Ember months herald closing the chapter of a year. Though these concluding months are regarded as the most joyous jiffies of the year, several people throw caution to the wind while celebrating these festivities. If for nothing else, the rush hours and or periods usually witnessed while preparing for Christmas holidays keep many people on the edge. Though the present harsh economic realities is affecting many households negativity, some still find it quite necessary to hit the road to keep both the soul and body together, find the whereabouts of long time no see friends. For others, after many months and or years of not seeing their loved ones, friends and well-wishers, it would certainly be out of place if they don’t travel to see them during these holidays.

Therefore, such periods do come with great hazards particularly as many people travel from one destination to another hurrying to meet up with skintight lined-up schedules. In most cases, while trying to catch up with some of these overwhelming tight schedules, mistakes are bound to happen while driving which can end up in road crashes.

Here in Nigeria, the obvious statistics of road traffic accidents has continued to raise fundamental concerns and become a source of great worry and grief for both the officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission, (FRSC) and other stakeholders in the country. In most cases, these avoidable accidents are basically as a result of human errors which includes carelessness, overloading and drugs abuse or drunkenness.

For instance, many Nigerians have continuously lost their lives as a result of obvious carelessness and acts of drug abuse and drunkenness. According to the statistics released by the National Bureau for Statistics, no fewer than 6,205 persons died in road accidents in 2021. It further reveals that on a quarter basis, road accidents killed a total of 1,668 in the first quarterly, 1, 453 persons in the second quarter, 1,432 persons in the third quarter and 1,652 persons in the fourth quarter.

“In each of the quarters per review, serious cases of road crashes stood top, compared to fatal and minor cases observed, this calls for strengthening of our road safety agencies and medical response team.”

By zonal distributions, the North Central recorded the highest cases of road accidents during the year at 4, 056 followed by the South West region at 3,451. Joining its other colleagues across the country in sensitizing the citizens of Plateau State on the menace of road traffic accidents, the FRSC in the state was compelled to organize an enlightenment programme. With the theme, “Avoid Speeding, Overloading and Unsafe Tyres to Arrive Alive”, the event witnessed several stakeholders who turned out in their number for the programme. It turned out to be one of the best events to be appreciated in most recent history.

Speaking during the Ember months Flag-off campaign held at the Mararaba Jama’a Motor Park, the Sector Commander RS41 Plateau State, Corps Commander Alphonsus Haliru Godwin explained that the FRSC has been and is still doing its very best to achieve its goal of accomplishing 15 percent reduction in road traffic crash fatality, enhance road safety partnership for innovative intervention and consolidation on the road traffic data system for improved road safety policy formulation through intense public enlightenment programmes of churches, mosques, motor parks and eve markets.

According to him, “the periods of Ember months are known for intense vehicular movements even as people rush to meet up with family and other demands while drivers see the period as a season to maximize profits thereby stretching themselves to unreasonable limits. This season has therefore always been associated with road traffic crashes leading to loss of lives and properties.”

“RSA 14Bukuru Unit Command covers three local government areas within our operational jurisdiction namely, Jos South, Barkin Ladi and Bokkos. It also has Zebra 11 Mararaba Jama’a for prompt rescue services to the community and Nigeria at large. It has driver’s license center for capturing drivers’ licenses.” He added.

Said he,” I call on everyone present here today to take responsibility in our various corners. You may be a transport owner, a driver or a passenger, whatever your statuses in the transport sector, we all have responsibilities we must be awaken to. The road is not for competition and the road does not forgive. Let’s avoid over speeding, overloading and all forms of distraction while driving.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Unit Commander of Bukuru Unit, Assistant Corps Commander, Calvin N. Akaagerger noted that FRSC was and is still concerned over the increasing number of road transport accidents in the country.

Akaagerger explained that the motive of the event was to educate the general public on the dangers of not observing traffic regulations which is very devastating to humanity and encouraged road users to be careful and observant during this Ember months.

In his contribution, NEMA North Central Coordinator, Eugene Nyelong also commended the FRSC for putting up such an event which would go a long way towards reducing road accidents in the country adding that his organization and FRSC have over the years synergize towards reducing road traffic accidents. He appealed to the citizens of this nation to value their lives by not becoming careless while driving their vehicles.

In their respective remarks, DSP D Basil who represented the DPO Bukuru Division and Ishaku Yohanna Gopep who represented the NSCDC Commandant, Plateau State both commended the FRSC for a job well done.

































































Plateau women in politics (II)

We continue on the biographies of great women in Plateau politics.

Hannatu Chollom: A Political Amazon Gone Home, Fri. 13, Nov 2015, 19:59:54 GMT.

In her last moments on the hospital bed where she layed for 12 days, Ngo Yop Hannatu Chollom was still breathing social justice. She still spewed fire against corruption in leadership and spoke much about the balance between leaders and the led, her eldest daughter said.

“She likened the delicate balance to a seesaw, with the people on one end, and the leader at the other. The leader is on the top because the people have held down their own end of the teeterboard. When they decide to rise, the leader goes down,” Mrs. Fauziya Yankat Bala, the daughter told Daily Trust during a visit to the residence of one of Northern Nigeria’s leading political figures, philanthropist, and an elder states woman, who died on the eve of Independence Day – September 29, 2015.

“She talked much, kicking against bullying. She said the people are the ladder and must not be bullied by the leader by way of stealing their resources. She insisted the people must be pampered with good leadership because they have held down themselves to raise the leader,” Mrs. Bala added. Hannatu, a tough talking anti-corruption crusader and advocate of social justice died at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) at the age of 72, after a prolonged battle with kidney failure.

The daughter, who was one of the peoples with her in her last moments, said the leading Plateau women leader died peacefully, after days of speaking for the people. No 1, Hannatu Chollom Road, Rayfield, the Jos residence of the deceased was still filled to capacity on the fourth day of her death. Sympathisers trooped in from across the country, to condole with the family.

Daily Trust went through the condolence register, to stumble on big names. Governor Simon Bako Lalong was there with the opening of the register. His wife, Mrs. Regina visited later. The state deputy governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden and his wife were there, as former governors, and now senators, Jonah Jang, and Joshua Dariye, as well as Jerry Useni were early to condole with the family. No. 1 Hannatu Chollom Road became a melting point for politicians, including those on different paths.

A young lady – not too long from the classroom – the late Hannatu made a courageous foray into politics in 1977, only a year after Nigerian women got the franchise to vote in an election. Two years later, with the lifting of the ban on political campaigns in what would later emerge as Nigeria’s Second Republic; Hannatu picked the nomination form for House of Representatives and went on to campaign as an aspirant on the platform of the defunct Nigerian People’s Party (NPP).

That she did not make it to the general elections in 1979 did not hold her back; she went fully into the national convention of the NPP, to emerge as the party’s national deputy chairman, same election year. Later, Hannatu went into the contest, to win the position of national women leader of the then main opposition party which produced the government in the old Plateau state. She was on that seat between 1979 and December 31, 1983 when the Second Republic was truncated by the military.

Her great political exploits led her into the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) governorship primary election in 1991, with the return of politics during the regime of military president General Ibrahim Babangida.

She was candidate, senatorial primary elections, Plateau-North on the platform of the NRC in 1992, candidate, senatorial primary elections, Plateau-North, United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1998, aspirant, senatorial primary elections, Plateau-North, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999, aspirant, senatorial primary elections, Plateau-North, Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD)/Action Congress (AC) in 2007, assistant organising secretary (North-Central Zone), PDP in 2001.

She left footprints especially in the areas of women mobilisation. Additionally, she was a member of the Arewa Elders Forum and was one of the few politicians who famously challenged ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo on his alleged third term bid.

Born on November 11, 1943 in the small village of Du in Jos South local government area of Plateau State, Hannatu was one of five children in a value-based family of Chollom Tikas, who worked as a miner with the Amalgamated Tin Mining of Nigeria (ATMN) in Jos.

Young Yop, as she was fondly called then, was a staunch believer in achievements in life, which she demonstrated early in her life when she went beyond secondary school education in a place where women of her time had limits.

She attended the Native Authority School Du, 1946 to 1953; post-primary education at Gindiri Girls Boarding School, 1954 to 1955; Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Ilorin, 1955 to 1959 and later Federal Training Centre Kaduna, 1965 to 1966.

Young Yop believed that the best one could achieve in life would necessarily come through sound education. Thus, in her pursuit of educational excellence, she sojourned abroad in France where she attended a Bi-lingual secondary school at the Ecole Remington, Paris, from 1973 to 1976. She also attended the World Conference, Nairobi-Kenya (1985) and the Beijing-China World Conference on Women (1995); to mention but a few of the very many national and international training courses, seminars and conferences which this indefatigable educationist, frontline politician and industrialist had meritoriously attended.

The untiring efforts and contributions of Ngu Hannatu Chollom to her state of origin in particular and national development were amply recognised when she was awarded in 1999, the honorary Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Business Administration by the Pacific Christian University, Glendale-California, USA.

Young Yop began her working career with Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) as personal assistant to the company’s general manager from 1967 to 1970. Thereafter, she was the acting area manager of West Africa Provincial Insurance (1971-1972) before she proceeded (naturally for greener pasture) to the Premier Tin Mining Company in Nigeria then known as ATMN, where she worked as personal assistant to the firm’s chairman from 1976 to 1979.

In recognition of the sterling qualities and industriousness of Ngo Yop Hannatu Chollom, a titan of a woman in Nigeria; the Plateau State government appointed her to the esteemed positions of chairman, Plateau Hotels, Jos (1980-1981), chairman, Plateau State Water Board (1981-1983), and chairman, Plateau State Express Services Ltd, 2006-2007.

In a message of condolence, the House of Representatives member for Riyom/Barkin Ladi, Mr. Istifanus Gyang, recalled Hannatu’s days: “We are comforted that Ngo left an enviable legacy of a dogged fighter for social justice, with immense capacity for  political sagacity and bridge building, compassion for the less privileged and passionate service to humanity.”

He added that: “I recall that she was appointed by ex-president Jonathan to serve as a member of the Presidential Committee on Jos crisis which was headed by the late elder statesman Chief S.D. Lar with my humble self, as the secretary.”

The federal lawmaker added that: “I join Nigerians in paying special tribute to our beloved Ngo Hannatu as one that had the courage to express and stand by her convictions, an outspoken woman politician who exuded boldness and confidence in an era that women were to be seen and not heard. As she has transitioned into eternity, her bravery, activism and pragmatic leadership style qualify her for a place in

Her Excellency, Dame Pauline Kedem Tallen hails from Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State, Nigeria. She is a devout Christian and happily married with children. She studied at the University of Jos where she bagged a Bachelor of Science in Sociology in 1982 and later headed to Harvard University USA for a Programme in Strategic Public Sector Negotiations. She also attended John F. N. Kennedy School of Government, among others.

Dame Pauline has enjoyed a fulfilled life and career with a barrage of sterling achievements in various parlances of her interest, including but not limited to education, politics, administration, peace and development. From 1994 to 1996, Dame Pauline served as Commissioner in the Ministry of Social Development, Youth, Sports and Culture, and Commissioner in the Ministry of Health all in her state of Plateau. In 1996, she was a member of the Plateau state Executive Council, and in 1999, a member of the Presidential Inauguration Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Owing to her demonstration of clear and impactful vision that increased her relevance in the national political and development space, Dame Pauline served faithfully as Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1999 to 2003, and in 2005, she served as Chairman Governing Board, Raw Materials Research and Development (RMRDC). In same year, 2005, she was decorated with the award of National Honors of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), by His Excellency, President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR as an official national recognition of her invaluable contribution to national development.

Dame Pauline’s political career continued to soar on wings of tremendous achievements, leading her to very deservingly serve as Deputy Governor of her state of Plateau from 2007 to 2011, after which she became the National Adviser of The National Campaign Women Council APC under the Chairperson of Mrs. Aisha Buhari, as well as Member Board of Trustees of the All Progressive Congress (APC), all in 2015. Dame Pauline is the CHAIRMAN (Governing Board) National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA), a position she has innovatively and successfully manned from 2017 till date. She is the Proprietress of the First Private Nursery/Primary School Shendam, a school she established since 1982 in contribution to the response to the need for quality education. Dame Pauline has served in these positions amidst several other positions and community service works across different fields and works of life in immense contribution to the national and community developments with peculiar passion and excellence

Her Excellency, Dame Pauline Tallen has attended various Seminars and Conferences both at National and International levels in the fields of Education, Health, Politics, Science and Technology and Business Administration, across countries of Britain, Canada, Singapore, Italy, U.S.A., Indonesia, Rome, Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia, France, Ethiopia, South Africa, Israel, Japan,  China, South Korea, Mozambique and Egypt. She has been a World Ambassador of Peace, Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace, since 2000. She has received very many awards and honours in different fields and works of life. Some of these awards are listed below:

Merit Award by the National body of the National Council of Women Societies Abuja, for Outstanding contribution to the Development of Women in Nigeria – 1996

Merit Award by the National Association of Plateau State Students Bauchi Federal Polytechnic for contributions towards the development of Education and Health Care in the State – 1996

National Merit Award Honours in Science and Technology by the Executive Council of the Nigerian Engineering Scientific Forum – 1st July 2002.

Merit Award in recognition on contributions to the development of womanhood in our great Nation, Nigeria and also in appreciation of her support for the sustenance of NCWS activities nationwide – 14th July 2001

Plateau State Youth Council Merit Award in recognition of contribution to the growth and development of Youths in Plateau State Nigeria – 8th December 2002.

Intra-Continental Media Network, ECOWAS DISTINGUISHED CORPORATE AWARD achievers Gold Award for unparalleled and imperishable contributions to the overall development of Nigeria and the Sub-region in both areas of economy and business. Having left an indelible legacy worthy of emulation by all and sundry.

Award as Ambassador of National Assignment by the National Unity, Peace and Patriotic Ambassadors Foundation (NUPPAF).

Award by the Nigerian Community in the U.S.A. for her Tremendous contribution towards the development of Science and Technology in Nigeria – May 2002

NBRRI Award in appreciation and recognition of service rendered towards the growth and development of Science and Technology in general and Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute in particular- 24 March 2004.

Award of Excellence by the National Association of Zumunta USA Inc. Washington D.C – January 2000.

Award as Model of Peace – Presented by Maryann Music Word Ministries Jos -2007.

Crime Fighter Award 2006/2007-The People Police Award of The Nigerian Police Force.

Award of Excellence as Pride of Mothers by Catholic Women of Nigeria, Abuja- 23rd August, 2014.

African Icon of Our Generation Award 2015 (Woman of the Year Award) Presented by International Center for Comparative Leadership for Africans and Blacks in Diaspora and Accolade Communications Limited.

Being the International Human Rights Day. Award of Ambassador of “My Body, My Right” (Cervical Cancer Campaign) (NCWS) Nigeria in Collaboration with (1 Ykow Global Foundation) Certificate of Merit National Award of Excellence on Service to Humanity. 22nd November 2016.

20th of January 2017 by Nigerian Role Models (A Compendium of distinguished Nigeria) Merit Award. The Most Valuable Quintessential Ambassador of the Year Award in our 9th African Leader Par Excellence Award 2016, which was held on the 15th of December 2016 at Excellence Hotel, Ogba Lagos.

By Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) Feb. 2017. Nelson Mendela’s Africa Patriots Award, as African Patriotic Leader.

Some of her hobbies are mobilizing people for self-help projects, especially women, Politics, gardening, meeting people, discussing on rural development, singing, football and volleyball.

The forgoing are excerpts. We salute our mothers, and we hope to learn and work in their footsteps and those of other women of greatness on the Plateau by studying them in their biographies and through their mentorship. Other women we can learn from are H.E Margeret Thatcher, H.E Ellen Jonhson Sirleaf, Senator Ita Giwa, Her Royal Highness Queen Amina of Zazzau and Senator Nancy Pelosi. The list is endless..

























































































Plateau women in politics (I)

THE primaries have come and gone, and we are waiting for the main event. How many women are political candidates on the Plateau? Very few. They are not up to ten in number. That is a worrisome development in view of the fact that women clamour very loudly for participation in leadership through politics.

Women give many reasons for not contesting for political positions. One of such reasons is that the men would not give us the opportunity to do so. There are questions that we need to ask ourselves and answer to honestly give. What are we doing wrong? What can we do to be “allowed” to contest for political positions?

Women, do we ask ourselves what we actually have to offer to our party and our society by way of service? Have we made our mark in our profession and our community? Having money is not enough these days. Being an active member of any political party does not make us leaders. Leadership is a process. Most of us do not take the time to understand it or learn it on a personal level. If you desire to go into politics as a woman then you must come to terms with the fact that the expectations are high, and the bar is even higher for you as a woman. This is the reality we are faced with. You have the duty of distinguishing yourself through your profession and your leadership skills because no one is going to hand it to you because you are a woman. You must study and learn leadership skills.

Furthermore, you have to ask yourself this question: “what and how is my value system? We live in a society where the woman is expected to be a saint. If you want to go into politics, you must live above board because when it is time for politics, the mud slinging will start. Society does not forgive the woman easily. It will remember your past, if you have a bad one, and use it against you. If society forgives you, you are lucky. There is a certain standard of behaviour and carriage that this society expects from you if you aspire to be a politician.

As a married woman, your political career should start from your home. Your character should speak for you in your home and your community. You should start building your support structure from your home. If your husband believes that you can render service to humanity from his home without becoming recalcitrant, he will be your chief campaign officer. If your husband is the one blowing your trumpet, the men will look up and pay attention. If you are not married or if you are divorced, you can excel in the area of your profession and gain the confidence of the men you work with. They will blow your trumpet. We have very powerful women running big ministries, corporations and conglomerates successfully. Transiting into politics will not be hard for such women because they have proven their mantle in gainful leadership.

Your community is your base.What grassroot activities do you carry out in your immediate community to help in developing it? How do you contribute to the betterment of the lives around you especially when you have the means? It is by making your mark as an individual that the party can consider you when considering their options. When they are seeking for those who will bear their flag and stand for elections, your individual achievements count.

The forgoing is to say that your reputation counts in politics. So also does your personal achievements in the area of local politics or in the area of business or any other profession. When parties pick their candidates, they do so based on the strength of their believe in the politician’s ability to deliver. It is often a combination of personal achievements and wealth. Money plays a role like buying you a ticket, but politics in Nigeria today, demands much more than money. Working very hard and building from scratch is very critical to any political ambition. Do not go into politics from the party platform. Start from yourself and your community so that when you get to the party level, you already have a pedigree. You have people who can and will confidently vouch for you because you are tried and tested. They will run the race with you because they do not see your gender, they see your capabilities and abilities.

Some of us believe in the concept of equality without being contextual in our application of that concept. Is it actually applicable in our society and in our politics? The men are in the majority on the political platforms and since politics is numbers, we must acknowledge the fact that we are outnumbered. When you equate yourself to a man, he treats you like a man.  Since they outnumber us, we do not stand a chance if we operate on the basis of equality. The contradiction here is that after putting our foot down and announcing our equality to men, we still turn to them to give us  special concessions by breaking the rules for us. That is a contradiction. If we are equal, we should be able to get what we want without passing through them. This contradiction says we are not sure of ourselves. We cannot eat our cake and have it. It is either we are equal, or we are not. This means that we must draw up strategies for winning in politics without drumming up our gender all the time.

You cannot succeed in a domain that is dominated by men if you do not know a man’s psychology within your cultural and religious context. We know already that you must turn on your masculine energy without becoming a man. How do you do that? by not forgetting your culture or religion. Men respect a woman who is respectful to them and is self-respecting. Your approach will depend on your understanding. On the Plateau, what is the psyche of the average man towards women? How do they perceive women in politics? How can you convince them of your ability to lead? I said earlier, that politics starts with self, family and community. It is the testimonies of people around you that will introduce you to the men folk. How have you distinguished yourself from other women and men? Why should anybody choose you to lead? How have you proven that you can be a good leader?  How do you go about garnering support? Do you know anything about marketing yourself as a political brand? What positive impact have you made on your community?

When men contest for political positions, do they put their gender before everything else? When a woman is an achiever, she has a lot to use in marketing herself based on her achievements in her community or her profession. Most men will give a woman her place if she earns it. Others may do so grudgingly, but they will not deny that you qualify if you do not forget your value system. These Socio-cultural factors are hurdles that women have to overcome in politics.

Talking about the psyche and psychology of the average Plateau man. You need to study that if you want to become a politician and win at it. Men are very supportive of each other. Their conflict resolution and negotiation skills are better than ours. They understand the political terrain better than we do because they have been around longer than us. They have a code that keeps them together. On the contrary, women are different. Half the time, we do not like each other, we are jealous of each other, we gossip, and back bite and we have very poor conflict resolution skills unless we consciously learn these. This is why it is very easy for the men to break our political ranks and to divide and rule us. Women need to learn a lot from men and copy them because it is their disposition that keeps them above us politically.

Women must learn how to succeed together. After working as individuals, we need to work as a group. Since the party primaries have come and gone, we cannot turn back the hands of the clock, but we can plan for the future. For starters, women most learn to stop being petty. Jealousy and envy within a group can only divide it. it means that if we want to win, we should start behaving like men politically.

Politics requires money. Are women ready to contribute money towards running their campaigns? Are we ready to cross political lines and vote for female candidates not considering party affiliations? Are we ready to field candidates based on credibility and capabilities? Are we ready to vote only women and only women who are tried and tested?

All the women’s group on the Plateau are relevant in this journey. The message of oneness and love should be spread. It is only when women recognize that we are underrepresented that we can work together. Secondly, if every women association decides that every member will cast her vote for the women candidates only,come next year, and in future, political affiliations notwithstanding, then we will see more political wins for women. Some of us will say that it is all about money. No matter how much money a female candidate has, she will not be able to buy her way through. Society will always call up her qualifications for the position that she is contesting for.

Furthermore, learning from those who have succeeded in politics is very critical. Women should make it a duty to have female as well as male political mentors. However, having a female political mentor who is an achiever is critical because she will teach you the ropes and show you how to navigate within and outside the political terrain as a woman in a man’s world. Secondly, reading the biographies of women who have succeeded locally and globally, in politics will go a long way in the political learning process.

The women in politics on the Plateau can also offer coaching and mentorship to young women who have leadership skills and political potentials. Last week we spoke about skills in the area of governance. This is invaluable for any aspiring female politician. The depth of your knowledge in this area will determine the quality of your leadership.

Women today, must understand that politics in Nigeria is evolving. The electorate is beginning to place more emphasis on good political representation and leadership skills than the gender. The journey is becoming easier. This means that the chances of winning elections for women on the Plateau is getting bigger. If you qualify, they will vote you. It is now up to you to be teachable and to learn. Young aspiring female politicians on the Plateau can seek to learn from great women such as Dame Kedem Pauline Tallen and walk in the shoes of Ngwo Hanatu Chollom and Ngwo Naomi Jugu by reading their biography and philosophy of life and walking in their footsteps. The following are excerpt for inspiring young female Plateau politicians not to give up but to strive towards learning and winning:

Apex News  Exclusive, June 30th 2022, by Anthony Maliki:

Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has expressed sadness over the demise of stateswoman and frontline politician Ngwo Naomi Jugu who was called to glory on Tuesday at the age of 82. Lalong described the death of Ngwo Naomi Jugu as a huge loss to her immediate family, Berom Nation, Plateau State and Nigeria at large considering her enormous contributions to the socio-political development of the country. This was contained in a statement by Dr. Makut Simon Macham, Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State to Apex News Exclusive. He recalled her impact as a politician, women mobilizer, philanthropist, business woman and advocate for justice and human rights where she canvassed for the improvement of the lives of ordinary citizens. Lalong said apart from serving in various Governments in Plateau State and Nigeria, Nggwo Naomi Jugu was very active in the socio-cultural activities of the Berom people which earned her the title of “Delo-Berom”.The Governor said the State and Nigeria will miss her wisdom and counsel that have been highly valuable particularly during trying moments. While sympathizing with her family, the Governor asked them to be consoled by her achievements which touched the lives of many and enabled them break barriers to progress.

We will continue nest week

Rethinking tourism

Every September 27th, the United Nations (UN), celebrates World Tourism Day. This year’s theme for the celebration is “Rethinking Tourism” and the event held yesterday, Tuesday September 27, 2022, was hosted by Indonesia to celebrate the many opportunities that can be found in the tourism sector and rethink how humanity can do tourism in a sustainable, inclusive and resilient manner. This event was also aimed at showcasing the potentials of tourism in creating jobs for all and bringing communities together.

The event which in the past had been colourfully celebrated on the Plateau has since 2001, when Ladi Dako held sway at the Plateau Tourism Corporation been consigned to the dustbin of history. This is in spite of the many natural endowments nature has blessed the state with. In the good old days, prior to the day, a lot of hyping was done to herald the event. Apart from talks on various radio platforms, there usually was a road show to inform the people about the event and in course of traversing the streets of the state capital, flyers were distributed informing the populace of all of the planned event. This, not only attracted tourists to he state on a yearly basis but boosted the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Hotels profited, souvenir makers had their wares purchased and employment was provided for the youths albeit on a temporary basis.

But since Ladi Dako left the Corporation, things have not been the same again. Yes, there were series of crises which came to be associated with Plateau and Jos, the state capital in particular. But the argument is, should we allow the misfortune that befell our state define us as a people? I do not think so. So far, there have been concerted efforts by governments in the state to bring under control the various conflagrations that have happened and threaten the peace in the state. This has culminated in the present administration establishing the Plateau Peace Agency, (PBA) which model has been copied by other states to help provide roadmaps for peaceful coexistence in the states.

To compliment this effort, therefore, events such as the World Tourism Day should be given prominence as a confidence building mechanism. Tourism is capital intensive but it has the potential to turn things around for any state that can creatively engage and attract stakeholders involved in the sector. Investors can only throng to the state if they are aware of the existence of the endowments that can be found in the locality. This can be brought to their attention by holding enlightenment events and a lot of noise made to attract their attention. If we are to package an attractive and a successful tourism plan, the media has to be adequately used to the maximum.

On the part of government, it needs to put in place basic infrastructure to attract investors. This could be in terms of laying roads not only to the sites that would be attractive to investors but all other roads within the state. Also, other attractions could be the provision of water, electricity, security and a patronage that would serve as motivation and ensure return on investment. That apart, the Peace Building Agency, PBA, must be adequately funded to enable it reach out and spread its message of peace to the various communities. The people must also make deliberate efforts at ensuring they live in peace with one another.

And our politicians whose specialty is causing disaffection amongst the citizenry must jettison their divide and rule tactics. They cannot continue to appeal to base sentiments when their popularity begins to wane. They must realize that the people are becoming wiser and know that what matters is development and the betterment of their living conditions. The era when tribe and religion were the selling points are over and no politician worth his salt should resort to using these mundane sentiments to deceive the people. We must all rise to the occasion by accommodating our brothers. After all, our holy books are very clear about how to treat our brothers. In both religions, the message of love and accommodation takes centre stage and this should not be toyed with.

To concretise on all of these, governments must, therefore, ensure that justice must be served to all no matter how lowly or highly placed. The standard used to judge one should be that used for all. It is only a just society that can give its citizenry the confidence to do their best and thrive knowing they are protected by the law and would never be looked down upon as second class citizens. And, for this to be possible the government at both the centre and at the states must be fair and just in dealing with all manner of people. Some should not assume that they are more Nigerian than others. We must therefore, all see ourselves first as humans then Nigerians before any other sentiment. That way, we can change a lot of the narratives that have come to be associated with us.





































































Rethinking tourism

Every September 27th, the United Nations (UN), celebrates World Tourism Day. This year’s theme for the celebration is “Rethinking Tourism” and the event held yesterday, Tuesday September 27, 2022, was hosted by Indonesia to celebrate the many opportunities that can be found in the tourism sector and rethink how humanity can do tourism in a sustainable, inclusive and resilient manner. This event was also aimed at showcasing the potentials of tourism in creating jobs for all and bringing communities together.

The event which in the past had been colourfully celebrated on the Plateau has since 2001, when Ladi Dako held sway at the Plateau Tourism Corporation been consigned to the dustbin of history. This is in spite of the many natural endowments nature has blessed the state with. In the good old days, prior to the day, a lot of hyping was done to herald the event. Apart from talks on various radio platforms, there usually was a road show to inform the people about the event and in course of traversing the streets of the state capital, flyers were distributed informing the populace of all of the planned event. This, not only attracted tourists to he state on a yearly basis but boosted the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Hotels profited, souvenir makers had their wares purchased and employment was provided for the youths albeit on a temporary basis.

But since Ladi Dako left the Corporation, things have not been the same again. Yes, there were series of crises which came to be associated with Plateau and Jos, the state capital in particular. But the argument is, should we allow the misfortune that befell our state define us as a people? I do not think so. So far, there have been concerted efforts by governments in the state to bring under control the various conflagrations that have happened and threaten the peace in the state. This has culminated in the present administration establishing the Plateau Peace Agency, (PBA) which model has been copied by other states to help provide roadmaps for peaceful coexistence in the states.

To compliment this effort, therefore, events such as the World Tourism Day should be given prominence as a confidence building mechanism. Tourism is capital intensive but it has the potential to turn things around for any state that can creatively engage and attract stakeholders involved in the sector. Investors can only throng to the state if they are aware of the existence of the endowments that can be found in the locality. This can be brought to their attention by holding enlightenment events and a lot of noise made to attract their attention. If we are to package an attractive and a successful tourism plan, the media has to be adequately used to the maximum.

On the part of government, it needs to put in place basic infrastructure to attract investors. This could be in terms of laying roads not only to the sites that would be attractive to investors but all other roads within the state. Also, other attractions could be the provision of water, electricity, security and a patronage that would serve as motivation and ensure return on investment. That apart, the Peace Building Agency, PBA, must be adequately funded to enable it reach out and spread its message of peace to the various communities. The people must also make deliberate efforts at ensuring they live in peace with one another.

And our politicians whose specialty is causing disaffection amongst the citizenry must jettison their divide and rule tactics. They cannot continue to appeal to base sentiments when their popularity begins to wane. They must realize that the people are becoming wiser and know that what matters is development and the betterment of their living conditions. The era when tribe and religion were the selling points are over and no politician worth his salt should resort to using these mundane sentiments to deceive the people. We must all rise to the occasion by accommodating our brothers. After all, our holy books are very clear about how to treat our brothers. In both religions, the message of love and accommodation takes centre stage and this should not be toyed with.

To concretise on all of these, governments must, therefore, ensure that justice must be served to all no matter how lowly or highly placed. The standard used to judge one should be that used for all. It is only a just society that can give its citizenry the confidence to do their best and thrive knowing they are protected by the law and would never be looked down upon as second class citizens. And, for this to be possible the government at both the centre and at the states must be fair and just in dealing with all manner of people. Some should not assume that they are more Nigerian than others. We must therefore, all see ourselves first as humans then Nigerians before any other sentiment. That way, we can change a lot of the narratives that have come to be associated with us.


In support of this awareness


Something is about to happen in the country. A new Nigeria is about to happen. Youthful energy and drive are being galvanized and a silent revolution is surely about to take place. Just two Sundays ago, I went to some part of the Jos city to sympathize with a relation who had been involved in an accident. While returning home, it began to rain. As the heavens opened up, I had thought that those struggling to register for their PVC would scamper for shelter so they are not soaked by the rains. To my utter amazement however, no one left the queue nor made for shelter. All of those on the queue remained where they were determined to get registered.

As I was ruminating over the uncommon patriotic zeal, it became obvious that things were about to happen. Considering the age of those who withstood the elements to get registered,  it was obvious that change had come. What for example, was responsible for the sudden change in attitude from a segment that had hitherto been nonchalant and uninterested about elections in our country?

Are our political fault lines beginning to close? Are these young and vibrant sector beginning to realise the need to get involved in the running of their country in view of the massive and unfortunate failure of leadership in our clime? Questions which answers are held in the bowels of time. The silent revolution was echoed by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki when he lamented and cautioned that the political elites need to look again at themselves and the way they play politics. He clearly has seen the handwriting and is cautioning his peers on the need to change gear so that the elites would not be swept away by the political tsunami that is raging on and threatening to explode.

But the signs are ominous even to the blind. So much is at stake for the politics of the country to be left to those who obviously have run out of ideas. Young and vibrant people need to take over the political space just like in other climes. They need to bring in fresh perspectives. They need to adopt technology in achieving their goals and targets which are the in thing now. You can not succeed in a fast moving economy when you are armed with 18th century tools. This is the era of the digital citizens and the digital aliens need to be retired.

It is obvious that nobody gives up power without a fight. But even in fighting, the political elites seem not to have the tools to prosecute the war. The pace at which change is happening is so breathtaking that they are not capable of keeping pace with. Truth be told my generation and those before me have failed those behind us. We have been so selfish that we are eating the tomorrow of our children. We need to tread with caution and tact. Otherwise we risk being forced into retirement. It has started happening and unless we manage the transition well, we would be the losers.

What we lack, the young generation has garnered. They are skilled. They are world citizens. They are aware of what is happening elsewhere. They have technology at their beck and call. Not only that, they are ambitious and willing to try out new things. There is nothing we can do to hold them back but we can manage the transition if we want. We can deliberately put in place measures which would help open new vistas for them. We can make them a part of the efforts at resolving the problems that are threatening to eat up our society and which we have not been able to solve.

ASUU has been on strike and nothing has been done about it in the last six months. Government and stakeholders have failed to find ways of navigating around the problem. In spite of this, new private universities are daily coming on stream in obvious disregard for the children of the poor. These are the kinds of policies that are exposing the elites and are making them vulnerable, yet they seem so stoned headed that they do not see the ominous signs in the horizon.

We must work together to resolve, restore and grow our society together. The world is changing and our elites can not continue to push citizens to the wall like they are doing. What just happened in Sri Lanka is a signpost for others to tow the path of caution. It is often said that if your neighbours house is on fire, you must take measures to contain the fire so that it does not consume your own property.



























































Fear not, trust God (23)

LAST week, we ended by saying, if you do not take charge of your thinking and allow the word of God to rule your mind, you will never be able to defeat the spirit of fear. Today I want to add that you must learn to deal with wrong thoughts, ideas and suggestions that always paint negative pictures of the future and seek to fill you with terror and strip you of your confidence concerning your ability to enjoy the blessing of God.

The moment you learn to do this, you will shut down the devil’s power to operate in your life any further. Secondly, you must substitute negative thoughts with those that increase your confidence in God’s word. The truth of God’s word must rule over your mind so that you will give God the authority to begin to move by his power in your life.

When we understand how deadly the spirit of fear is and how literarily Satan cannot perform his wicked will in our lives outside of the spirit of fear, we will understand how important it is to stop its operations. When fear is subdued, Satan is powerless.

So the two things that will help you enjoy the blessing of God in any circumstance of your life is first, you must refuse to be afraid of any negative outcome that the devil suggests to your minds concerning any situation you are confronted with. Secondly, you must choose to trust God; which is what will open the door for the power of God and His great blessings to flow in your life.

Now, you must understand that if the word of God tells you not to fear, that means you are empowered not to fear. The Bible tells you to trust God, therefore you have the capability if you are a child of God, if you are in Christ, to trust God. Trusting God is trusting in His word. Trusting God is listening to Him and what He has to say about the circumstance; no matter how life threatening it might be. God’s power is more than a match for any circumstance.

2Cor. 2:14 says; Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. God has an answer for every difficulty or question of life. Our response should be to refuse to be afraid and to trust God.

Now we have said that fear manifests itself through thoughts, ideas, imaginations and suggestions and when we learn to confront and to subdue them, we shut down Satan’s operations in our lives. This might sounds simple but it is profound. Once you get the revelation that Satan’s power is shutdown the moment the operation of the spirit of fear is shutdown, you rise up in power. When you expose the spirit of fear to the truth of God’s word, Satan’s power is neutralized and every evil and negative thing you see him manifesting will lose its power, fade away and becomes nothing.

How do we checkmate our thoughts? According to the word of God, the way we deal with thoughts is not by thinking other thoughts. We deal with thoughts by speaking words. According to the scripture, words spoken out of your mouth take thoughts captive. It is not possible for you to be thinking one thing and speaking a different thing out of your mouth and the same time. Our thoughts are controlled by our words.

When you open your mouth to speak, your ears listen to the words that come to them and your mind is forced to think in line with what your mouth is saying. Right now you can try this very simple experiment: Start counting from 0 to 10 in your mind and at some point, open your mouth and say another word, you will interrupt your counting. Your mind will go off the counting and go on to what you are trying to say.

When you introduce words that are different from what you are thinking on, you interrupt your pattern of thoughts and force your mind to align or think on what you are saying. Jesus taught us this important principle in Matthew 6:31. He said; therefore, take no anxious thought by saying, what shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? The Bible is telling us that the way we take or embrace a thought is by saying.

What you are saying is what you are holding and that is the direction your life will take. Remember, Proverbs 23:7 says for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. If you want to deal with fear, you must understand that the source of fear is found in your thoughts, ideas, imaginations and suggestions.

When thoughts that produce fear for your future come into your mind and you find you are no longer able to see God’s ability to take care of and provide for you and your loved ones, at that point you must open your mouth and speak the word. Speak boldly and interrupt negative thoughts by using the word of God to displace everything that seeks to contradict what is God’s will for your life. Open your mouth and introduce a new pattern of thinking; introduce new thoughts.

The Bible says in Proverbs 12:18b that the tongue of the wise is health. As you speak words, you force your mind to think on what you are saying. Romans 8:6 say, for to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

To be spiritually minded is simply to think in line with God’s word. Jesus said in John 6:63; it is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. In other words, when you think thoughts in line with God’s word, they will produce life in you and open the door for God to operate.

Today, start thinking thoughts like 1John 4:4; ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. Or thoughts like Isaiah 54:17 which says, No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against me in judgment I shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Think also on Philippians 4:19, which says, But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. When you begin to think these thoughts and allow them the abide in you, you will see yourself preserved in the midst of disaster. You will see yourself provided for in the midst of scarcity and you will see God able to take care of you.

It is the truth of God’s word that displaces the lies of the devil; therefore open your mouth and speak it to your own hearing that you may interrupt those negative thoughts patterns. By so doing, you will disperse the feelings and the fear those thoughts produce. The more you speak God’s word, the more you let His words abide in your mind, you will find that the more your faith rises to where you literarily you authorize God to function in your circumstances.

In fact, as you speak God’s word, you authorize angels to work on your behalf. You shut down the spirit of fear and effectively shut down Satan’s operation in your life. The benefits of speaking God’s word out loud are immeasurable and inexhaustible. Just act upon the word of God today. Put to practice these simple words shared to you today. The spirit of God will come upon you and you will start seeing God do the impossible in your life in Jesus name.










































































Alarming backlog of workers’ salaries

There is clear evidence that several state governments in Nigeria are now struggling to meet up with monthly payment of workers’ salaries which, in the midst of the present economic realities, is adding an excruciating pain to families who rely solely on their breadwinners to put bread on the table. KENNETH DARENG examines the situation and its impact on the civil servants.


ACCORDING to a recent survey conducted in 36 states of the federation including the FCT, by BudgIT, a civic-tech organization leading the advocacy for transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s public finance, listed Abia, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Ondo, and Taraba as states with the worst cases of owing up to 3 years’ arrears of salaries.

SUNDAY STANDARD sources also revealed that, states like Kogi, Nassarawa, Benue, Niger, Osun, Plateau and Edo, have joined the league of states with huge salary arrears ranging from three months and above respectively.

Although some states not listed have been up to date in the monthly payment, yet delays and gaps are in most cases witnessed. BudgIT in its statement following the survey result expressed its disapproval over some state governments’ refusal to pay monthly salaries accruable to their civil service workers as at when due.

It said the survey was conducted to spotlight and identify state governments that have consistently failed to meet the requirement of governance and employee compensation, thereby subjecting their workers to unpaid wages of labour and exposing them to harsh living conditions.

And while the findings from the survey favoured some states that are not in arrears, it was however alarmed that states like Abia, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Ondo, and Taraba owe three years or less in payments.

The survey also further revealed that at least 12 states out of the 36 states in the country are owing civil servants not less than one-month salary as at July 2022 with some owing up to six months while some are yet to receive their salary for over three years.

In a chat with SUNDAY STANDARD, a senior citizen and a retired civil servant in Plateau State, elder Moses Muhanang, decried the present ordeal of the Nigerian workers saying; ”During our days in the civil service, the government saw a delay in payment as an aberration not to talk of going into arrears. Then every state government tried to compete in early monthly wages. By the 15th of every month, our salary slips were ready and by the following week, everyone received his salary. Unfortunately, the civil service is now dead.

”Look at corruption and incompetence everywhere. Those in leadership positions have crippled the system and have succeeded in killing the morale of an average worker with this kind of situation. I wonder what the situation will be in the next 10 years to come. By then the civil service would have been completely dead and buried. God forbid!” Muhanang said.

A Plateau State civil servant working in one of the government parastatals who spoke to SUNDAY STANDARD under anonymity said; ” I have a family of seven including my wife and five children apart from my old parents and other relatives in the village who depend on me for feeding or other needs. My salary is just N80,000 per month, and for the past 3 months, I have not been paid. Just imagine the stress of going to work and the cost of transportation alone is taking almost a quarter of my earnings. We are just hanging our faith in God as I have all of a sudden become a debtor.

”I am in default of paying my children’s school fees as well as my rent and these days, our stable food in the house is mostly garri or kunu because we cannot afford buying food stuff due to lack of payment of salary,” he noted.

Another civil servant in one of Plateau State local government areas, also laments the delay and lack of payment of salaries which he disclosed; ‘‘from May and now in the month of August, we are in the fourth month now and no salaries and worse, no one is coming out to tell us what is responsible. I am highly disappointed that our Labour Union seem to be looking the other way while government is denying us our legitimate wages.

”Sometimes I wonder how some of our leaders go to sleep without examining their conscience as to how workers fend for themselves at this challenging times where the cost of living is far beyond the reach of every ordinary Nigerian. And in a situation where one is not paid, that means if one is not careful, the temptation of going into crime may just be the only option. If not for the strong religious faith in me, I might have gone astray and of course, many others cannot be patient enough.”

According to Mr Ishaya Timkur, a public commentator in Jos, ” The situation might be worse in the coming months judging from the fact that most state governments have collected so much loans from many financial institutions and have smartly tied the repayments to Irrevocable Payment Order, [IPO], which is deducted from source by the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN], from the monthly allocation accruable to each state.

”Now tell me if a particular state had signed such order and does not have fluidity in its internal revenue collection, what magic can such a state perform to pay salaries and also meet up with other commitments of governance?

”Mind you, no bank is going to take the risk of giving any fresh loan at this time, knowing fully well that most of these governors are finishing their terms in office this year or next. Secondly, most of these funds have already been expended on political projects such as primary elections, conventions and of course preparation towards the 2023 general elections.

”So, as it has always been during all election circles, so shall it be with this one. Unless the governors can leverage on the fact that the APC led Federal Government in its quest to get the votes of workers in the various states might go for a bail out in order to remedy the situation at hand in those salary owing states,” Timkur further noted.

However, the precarious situation in some states at the moment suggest that civil servants may just have to wait a little longer while trying to find answers to addressing the issue of bag log arrears and subsequent monthly payments which by all indications is not likely to happen any time soon.

Concerned with the development, Mr. Tobi Best, a provision store owner in Jos frowned at the Government for not paying the state workers their dues. Noting, ”this is more or less a civil service environment where if workers are not paid as at when due, the spiral effect gets to us as business people. We suffer the pain too because we don’t even see customers to buy our goods.”

As at today, there are still some states that are paying half salary. States like Nassarawa and Kogi had adopted payment on percentage methods while some are still in the habit of engaging casual staff in order to cut down expenses on their recurrent expenditures.

Although some of the state governors inherited an over bloated civil service with a heavy debt burden including that of salary arrears, they tried to avoid public back lash and the trap of going for the retrenchment option by maintaining the status quo.

For example, Abia State which is ranked among states with many months of arrears, owes its state tertiary institution workers not less than six months’ salary. While Ebonyi has not paid its pensioners in the last six months. In Taraba, state secretariat staff complained of irregular payments for up to six months.

While in Ondo State, lecturers at the state tertiary institutions and midwives in the state-owned hospital have not been paid in the past four months. Quoting BudgIT sources, in Abia, the state government has not paid salaries in the last ten months which SUNDAY STANDARD gathered was last paid in 2021 with only the basic salary while other allowances where excluded.

Speaking about the current realities of affected workers, Iniobong Usen, BudgIT Head of Research and Policy Advisory, noted that civil servants’ remuneration whether at the state or federal level- as at when due is a necessary part of the employer/ employee relationship. ” This affects the smooth working of the government and this is not only because the survival and livelihood of civil servants depend on timely salary payment, but also because the governments’ refusal to pay smacks of the disregard for the legal obligation to pay.

”Nigerian civil servants are unfortunately no strangers to delays and gaps in monthly salary payments. Despite belonging to the executive implementing arm of government, they have been left without payments in many instances with many states guilty of this nonpayment where civil servants are always at wits end at the end of the month.”

Analysts have described the ugly trend as one caused by lack of adequate planning and financial discipline. This has resulted in faulty policy implementation by the leadership across board which has caused the delay in payment of civil servants in Nigeria, a syndrome that has remained a recurring decimal for many years now. BudgIT observed that the situation is made worse as these days the delays are evident at the national and sub- national levels which have been confirmed to constitute a breach of the basic contractual provisions that exist between an employer and the employee rights at all levels. And despite the hue and cry from pressure groups, there are indications that several states are still struggling with the salary issue right from the implementation of the minimum wage which moved from N18,000 to N30,000. Some states are said to be left behind in its implementation.

And as the Nigerian Labour Congress [NLC] submits its request to the federal Government for a 50 percent upward salary review, it remains to be seen how those states currently owing salaries would brace up with the challenges of the present with that of the future.
























































The faulty foundation

A fortnight ago, the government of Plateau State announced that all private schools in the state were to go to the Ministry of Education and register their schools. Any school that failed to that would have itself to blame as it won’t be captured as a school in the state, which automatically disqualifies it.

Using the above data, the government intends to pay a visit to each school and judge for themselves if the school is up to standard.

This is a welcome development for some of us who have been hammering on government to direct its searchlight on private schools. The cry has been loudest recently, to rid the state of mushroom schools.

Located in one part of Hwolshe, is a school which looks more like an uncompleted building. It is made up of about 3 rooms, in a very tight surrounding. From every indication, the owner of the building built those 3 rooms as an after thought after selling his/her land and seeing a small portion left.

The initial plan was for one room accommodation for polytechnic students. The residents were meant to share toilet, bathroom and kitchen. But it was too open as it faces a busy road. In the alternative, someone decided to use it for a school. And it turned out to be a good business venture because it drew a lot of children.

The problem is not the fact that it has limited space, or no playing ground, talk more of space for games. A few yards from the unfenced school is a shallow stream.

The owner of the school mission and vision is to make money. In that state of mind, the owner may overlook this danger or see it as nature’s endowment. But not the supervisors.

Hidden among houses in the city of Jos is a school where the pupils in different classes were only separated by the form of their teachers backing each other.  The voices of the teachers were always trying to outdo each other. This used to confuse the pupils. One wonders how the teachers used to know their pupils. Did any learning take place? I think the pupils were going to school for the sake of going to school. Nothing more!

Have you ever wondered why some parents patronise low standard schools within their neighbourhood? Some have cited paucity of funds as their reason. The women that plait my hair said they have to make do with what is within their means. They enrolled their wards in a very affordable private school because they want them to speak good English.

As far as the above women were concerned, the private school gave their children class. And their boast was seen in the fact that their children loved speaking in English, even though they have challenge with their tenses. They are not to be blamed because the fee determines the quality of teacher and quantity of students per teacher.

It will not be out of place to suggest that Plateau State borrows a leaf from Kaduna. We need quality teachers. But everything should be done with a human face. Tell the teachers what is expected of them so that they will prepare. That way, we will not throw the baby with the bathing water. Everybody deserves a second chance.

Unfortunately, there are some exceptions. I once paid a visit to a primary school teacher here in the heart of Jos. It has ever remained fresh in my memory. The first thing I noticed was the children celebrating nature right in class. There was only one desk. Everyone except for 3 pupils were sitting on boulders. The floor of the classroom had potholes covering more portions than the cemented floor. Every pupil comfortably put a boulder in a pothole to balance their sitting position.

The teacher had just finished marking their class work. As one watched, she started distributing their books. She would call the name and if the owner wasted time coming for his/ her book, she would fling it like trash after hissing. Most of the pupils had to scramble for their books on the brown floor.

As they came forward, one by one, one took note of their uniform. Most of them were very faded and or torn on the buttocks or knee part. The shoes were strapless and old. Or faded and strapless. They wore them without socks or with torn, white socks turned brownish or slacked.

Shortly after that, the bell rang for break and a particular boy caught my attention. He was one of the unlucky ones whose book was torn as a result of how hard the teacher threw it. He calmly brought out a transparent Santana leather, tore it open and helped himself to some sweet potatoes.

That visit was an eye opener to why these pupils feel inferior, and seem to learn little even though they have the most qualified teachers. Throwing down a pupil’s book in private school can traumatise the pupil. It can even cost the teacher his/her job.

Teachers should bear it in mind that the job is a vocation that requires love, patience and resilience. If you don’t love the job, please give way to those equipped for the job. Please, don’t be a stumbling block to education.































































NUJ PPC chapel gets new EXCO

IN information dissemination, it is a fact that journalism profession entails a high degree of public interest when it comes to dishing out information to the public whether good or sad.

In order to maintain the profession, it is imperative for every member of the pen profession to as a matter of fact observe the highest professional and ethical standard, since truth remains its cornerstone.

With this, every member of the profession should strive diligently while carrying out his or her professional assignment in order to always acertain the truth of or happenings in reportage, since journalists are saddled with the responsibilities of keeping people inform or abreast base on the happenings in the society at all times.

The members of the pen profession on their part should know that the public also have rights to know factual, accurate, balanced and fair reportage which remains the ultimate objectives of good journalism and of course the basis of earning public trust and confidence.

It is also on this note that every member of the pen profession must imbibe the culture of staying away from publishing or airing inaccurate and misleading information that can tear the people apart.

To sustain the tenet of this profession, every journalist should neither solicit nor accept bribe, gratification to suppress publishing any information.

It equally behooves on journalists to strive to employ open and honest means, particularly in gathering of information, exceptional methods may perhaps be employed only when the public’s interest is at stake. Be that as it may, journalists should also inculcate the spirit of promoting universal principles of human rights, democracy, justice, equity, peace and international understanding for the betterment of the society.

However, it may interest you to know that, it was not a misplacement of vision or priority by late J.D Gomwalk to have established THE NIGERIA STANDARD newspapers in 1972 whose aim was to amplify the voice of the Middle Belt. The organization since it’s establishment has trained many veteran journalists who are scattered across Nigeria.

Interestingly, this reputable organization is still adjudged as a training ground or centre of journalism profession practice and other directorates despite some of the challenges faced, particularly in the area of working tools. With such challenges, the entire workforce of the organization is still doing its best in keeping the newspaper alive.

Again, the organization did not stop at training good hands in journalism profession, but it has also produced sound Executive Council (EXCO) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) at state and National levels.

Indeed, records have proven or shown that, all those that have served at both levels have left important legacies that their members would live to remember them for based on their various outstanding performances both serving and former while in office.

In this regard, one would not forget about the likes of Mr. Katdapba Gobum Jatau former and council chairmen Jennifer Yarima,

Lucy Chindaba national secretary of NAWOJ; Mr. Ibrahim Lot and Mr. Andre Bisyit former and present SWAN state chairmen among others.

In fact, if PPC chapel has gone that far to produce and is still hatching more of such wonderful leaders, then what else can one say? The only thing for people to say is “don’t mine the building but mine the staff who in turn are engine room of the organization”.

It was in view of this that newly elected Executive Council (EXCO), Nigeria Union of Journalists ((NUJ), Plateau Publishing Corporation (PPC) chapel, Publishers of THE NIGERIA STANDARD and SUNDAY STANDARD Jos, have been charged to take the responsibility bestowed on them with seriousness while discharging their duties.

Chairman NUJ Plateau State council, Mr. Paul Jatau who was represented by the council’s Assistant Secretary, Mr. Jabbe Wudetawo gave the charge shortly after the inauguration of the new EXCO of the chapel, held at the corporation’s Newsroom, recently.

Mr. Jatau congratulated the exco and urged them to support the leadership of the state council so as to move the council to greater height. He said that journalists remain the watch dog and agenda setters of the society.

He also told the exco that as far as leadership is concerned, they have a lot of work to do for the chapel. The Assistant Secretary also advised the exco to always keep record of whatever programmes they will do at all times.

Mr. Jatau, the state council chairman while also speaking as a member of PPC Chapel encouraged the chapel members to always frequent the council’s secretariat to interact with others. He emphasized that they are praying and also hoping that the uncompleted work at the council’s secretariat will soon be completed and put to use for its members.

In her goodwill message, Political Editor of THE NIGERIA STANDARD, Mrs. Lucy Chindaba told the new exco that any position of responsibility given needs to be taken with serious commitment. She urged the exco to come up with some new ideas particularly, progressive ideas for the chapel.

Earlier in his remarks, Electoral Committee Chairman (ELCOM), Mr. Fwengji Go’ar told the congress that the candidates were all returned unopposed but were affirmed by the congress before the oath of office was administered to them by Barrister Mrs. Nenrot Thomas.

Mr. Go’ar emphasized the need for all hands to be on deck. He also appreciated all members of the chapel for the support and cooperation accorded them before and during the election which was conducted peacefully.

In his acceptance speech, the new chairman of the NUJ, PPC Chapel, Mr. Israel N. Lar expressed delight and thanked its members for finding them worthy to serve in various capacities, assuring them of their readiness to carry everybody along during their tenure for the next 3 years.


reports that other Exco members elected and sworn-in, include, Celestine Attsar, Vice Chairman; Kenneth Dareng, Secretary; Hosea Nyamlong, Assistant Secretary; Lois Daduut, Financial Secretary and Namu Sanusi, Treasurer.

Giving the vote of thanks, chapel secretary, Kenneth Dareng appreciated all members for the confidence reposed on them and promised to make transparency and accountability their watch word.

Mr. Dareng while thanking the General Manager, Gwotbit and his team for the support given them to conduct the election also promised to have good working relationship with the management as well as the leadership of the state council.






















































































De loh Berom, beacon of hope goes home

CHRISTIANITY as a religion, clearly stated that there is time to be born and time to die. However, such times cannot be argued by anyone as we all know that we will not remain in this world forever. This therefore, remains the true reality of our life.

Since dead is inevitable to all mortals, it was indeed received and announced with shock the recent passing on to glory of late Ngo Dr. Naomi Vou Jugu who went to be with the Lord on June 28,2022. She will be greatly missed by all who have come in contact with her and of course, her family and friends.

Although, the Holy Bible has made it clear  that the death of a believer is like sleep awaiting Christ’s coming and the resurrection of all who died in him.

In this regard, it was indeed a very bright, beautiful and of course joyous day on October 1st, 1940, when late Dr. Ngo Na’omi Jugu was welcomed to the world in the native town of Madu, Du District in Jos South Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State.

Dr. Ngo Na’omi Jugu’s educational journey began thus: She enrolled her education at all levels at a very tender age, which further endeared her to the community. It was in this light that the Church elders’ council of the church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) Madu after considering her commitments in church programmes and Girls’ Brigade (GB) which they unanimously appointed her as the first captain of GB COCIN Madu.

What late Ngo Na’omi Jugu left behind are good legacies that she is going to be remembered for. In fact, she was fondly called Deloh Berom. This was because she exhibited early personae to cater the needs of her siblings and community.

This was a hallmark attribute which was displayed right from her childhood and it was perhaps acknowledged by the entire world and anyone who knew her, till her call to glory on June 28, 2022 at the age of 82 years.

The charismatic and adorable “Deloh Berom Ngo Na’omi” was dogged in all ramifications and has truly exhibited that in her endeavors and sojourn through life by breaking so many records.

With this records breaking, late Ngo, Na’omi Jugu was the first woman to be installed and revered with the title of the “Deloh Berom-mother of Berom” in Berom land and also the first Plateau Woman to be honored with the title: “Otun yeye Oba-the right hand woman of the Oba of Osun”

The deceased was the first to initiate the popular dance association; the Berom women cultural and traditional dance group,” and became its first” leader, who led the group to win their first trophy at the Kaduna State National Culture and Art festival in 1977.

She was indeed subsequently recognized and honored by the then military Administrator of the Benue Plateau State, Late Joseph D. Gomwalk of blessed memory. This feat further endeared her to the Berom and cultural Association, and was again recognized by the then late Gbong Gwom Jos, “Da David Fom Bot” of blessed memory.

Also in line with her love for the Berom land, the deceased was the initiator and the first pioneer president of the then Berom Women Association (BWA) now called Berom Women Development Association (BEWDA). She was equally the first and pioneer president of the Plateau State political women Forum.

Mama, as she was fondly called by many people was indeed again the first woman to be awarded with an honorary Doctorate Degree by the Jos ECWA Theological Seminary (JETS) for her outstanding achievements and accomplishments in mentoring young girls across board. In a similar vein, she was honored with an award of “Beacon of Hope” by the national Union of Berom Students (UBES), University of Jos Chapter.

In fact, some of the positions held during her life time include; Deputy National President, Widowhood in Nigeria Network, lifetime Ambassador of the ECWA Bishara 2 Jos, member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Reconciliatory and Discipline committee and chairman Board of Directors, VARNIC Nigeria limited among others.

Some condolence messages and tributes have adjudged late Dr. Ngo Na’omi Jugu as a rare gem, pillar, bridge builder, and also an advocate for justice and human rights.

The deceased had a legacy of hard work, compassion for the less privileged, a solid commitment to her family and a devotion to God as best as she could, and a profound commitment to church.

It was against this background that  Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State, Political associates, organizations, groups, friends and well wishers  described the exit of the deceased as a colossal and irreversible lost considering her immense contribution to the development of Plateau State and beyond.

THE NIGERIA STARDARD  reports that the various groups of sympathizers disclosed this when they converged at  the ECWA Unity Church Rayfield Jos to pay their last respects to late Ngo Na’omi Jugu during her funeral service, held at the above mentioned Church, recently.

They also described the deceased as a heroine, mentor and role model in different facets of life. In their different ways, they said they were going to miss her for all those good attributes that she was known for in the state.

Chairman, Plateau State Council of Chiefs and Emirs, Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba said that late Ngo Dr. Na’omi Jugu has been an activist of amazonic proportion always outspoken on issues that were dear to her and the people in any fora. He added that she had also contributed a lot to socio-cultural development of the Berom land which the entire Berom nation would live to remember her for at all times.

In his sermon during the funereal service, ECWA Bukuru, DCC chairman Rev. Ayuba  Ashishe who took his reading from the book of Revelation, admonished Christian faithful to always live  upright life while on earth.

Rev. Ashishe said that everyone is going to be judged based on his or her deeds. He pointed out that anyone whose name will not be found in the book of life will be thrown into the Lake of hell fire.

In this regard, he urged believers to equally always amend their ways whenever they have gone wrong, so that their sin can be forgiven.

Chairman, Barkin Ladi Local Government Council (LGC), Hon Jock Alamba who spoke on behalf of other chairmen condoled the family and asked them to take heart, saying that death is inevitable for all mortals on earth.

Hon. Alamba maintained that late Ngo Na’omi Jugu was a mother who did not discriminate against others in whatever she did. He called on her children to follow her foot prints.

Giving the vote of thanks, DSP Bulus Jugu appreciated those that have contributed to the success of the burial of their late mother.

Our correspondent reports that the remains of the deceased was later committed to mother earth at the family compound at Rayfield, Jos.































































CSO’s visit to Little Rayfield

ON Thursday, 14th July 2022, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) in Plateau State were special guests to the Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong.

Led by their Chairman, Gad Shamaki, the group had representatives of international and domestic   CSO’s operating in the State.

The Governor suggested self-introductions by the team in case anyone with a title among them is mistakenly not accorded his or her right title, and they gave a hearty laugh.

He said his meeting with them had been long overdue, and said he has always looked at CSO’s as partners of government for development that was why during his tenure as the Speaker, Plateau House of Assembly, he had established a CSO desk which is in operation till date, despite being warned that they are activists who may bring him down.

“I decided to bring them closer to work with them. I said criticism doesn’t destroy you but keeps you on guard”. He said his administration has gained immensely from constructive criticism from CSO’s.

He recalled how he got an award from UNICEF for being the first Speaker in the North to domesticate the Child Rights Act when he was the Speaker, and head of Conference of Nigerian Speakers after he left office.

Lalong also recalled how CSO’s were very vocal in support of him when some members of the House were conducting impeachment of the sitting Governor under stress and hotels. “It was the CSO’s that were there to help us by writing against such actions to the Federal Government and other bodies to condemn the acts of injustice” he said.

The Governor appreciated the work of the CSO’s in complimenting Government’s work in different areas recalling how he created the disability Commission, the first in the country making other states and the Federal Government to follow suit and how the impact of the disability commission and laws is being felt in the country.

Stating their mission Shamaki, expressed excitement over the meeting which he said is a thank you visit to appreciate the Governor for recently passing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill into law. He commended the Governor as a progressive governor for establishment of Plateau Peace Building Agency which is also the first, in the country, making other states to follow suit, and putting Plateau on the spotlight of firsts. He said by passing the VAPP laws protecting women and vulnerable Groups, and for recently bagging a World Bank award in Open Governance Partnership (OGP), the governor needs an applause from the CSO’s.

The CSO’s spokesperson however called on the Governor to set up a Gender Commission before exiting office in 2023 to enable the Gender and Equal Opportunities (GEO) Laws, VAPP laws and Child Rights Law function adequately for the good of the citizens and vulnerable even as he gave an assurance that they are in existence to compliment and partner with government to bring development to the people.

After hearing their requests, the Governor promised to address the issues. Afterwards, the group took photographs and had personal interactions with the Governor before calling it a day.


























NASS, electoral reform and 2023 elections

IT is saddening that after over two decades of democracy in Nigeria, there are still aspects of our electoral process begging for reviews and reforms. More saddening is the fact that come February 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will be conducting another general elections with no legal framework to govern the conduct of the polls. It is pertinent to state that this legal framework is supposed to dictate and determine certain technicalities that would be used in determining a free and fair election, which has always been the yearnings of most Nigerians.

Equally worrisome is the fact that our lawmakers at the National Assembly do not seem to envisage this step as vital and crucial in redefining our political process to ensure that every vote counts. No doubt, if this is taken with every sense of seriousness, it will encourage potential voters who have hitherto lost confidence in the system to have a change of heart and come out to vote during the 2023 elections. In addition, it is hoped that through some of these reforms, Nigerians will have the assurance that they will not be disenfranchised especially given the cumbersome process of acquiring the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) which we have seen come into play over the years.

Accordingly, political analysts are of the opinion that a proper amendment of the Electoral Act 2010 can guarantee a positive outcome. For the Head of the electoral umpire INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the delay and nonchalant attitude of the legislators in putting their act together to urgently come up with an amended Electoral Act 2010 is exasperating. It will interest you to know that the report of  amendment after over two months is still lying before the House of Representatives and yet to be considered. This to many is unbecoming of the country’s lawmakers who should have viewed it as a priority.

You may recall that the bill for an Act to Repeal the Electoral Act and enact the Independent National Electoral Commission Bill, 2020 scaled through the second reading stage as it was passed by the House of Representatives in November, 2020. But the problem is that up till now, it is yet to see the light of day. The bill sponsored by Aishatu Dukku, member from Gombe State seeks to basically reform the electoral process. It also amongst other things seeks to ensure provisions for the restriction and qualification for elective office to the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. It will also according to the sponsor, provide specific timeline for the submission of lists of candidates.

Over the years, the issue of funds or amount of money expended during campaign has always been a source of concern. It has often been a big problem with the disclosure of funds contributed to political parties. During the last elections for instance, we saw how huge amount of monies were donated to the two major political parties, that is the APC and PDP. It was aledged that they were sponsored and bankrolled by two persons, a former vice president and a top politician party leader. By implication, it has become a norm that it is only those who have the financial muscle that can participate which has prompted calls that the money or amount required to pick forms and contest for election be reduced to make room for everyone to participate.

The bill in a nutshell, seeks to address many loopholes in our electoral system by way of amending over three hundred (300) clauses; including new provisions of the Electoral Act 2020. Another issue to be addressed is on Section (3)2 (a) of the existing Act which provides for a definite timeline for the release of funds to INEC for the discharge of its statutory duties. According to Dukku, the amendment is an insertion which states that the funds for general elections shall be released to the electoral umpire not later than one hundred and eighty (180) days to the date appointed for the elections. We have seen cases where INEC due to late releases of funds was unable to deliver election materials to polling units on time.

However, this is not the first attempt at getting the bill assented to by the present administration. You will recall that efforts to get the bill signed into law by the eight national assembly under the leadership of Senator Bukola Saraki did not succeed, as President Muhammadu Buhari declined his assent for three consecutive times. His first rejection was in March 2018, where he said that the proposed law would usurp the constitutional powers of INEC to decide on election matters. In September of same year, Buhari turned down the bill for the second time, asking for some clauses to be revised. Yet again, the bill was rejected in December for the third time as the President said that signing it into law could create uncertainty and confusion in the 2019 elections.

It is gratifying to say that there may be a ray of hope as just recently, the House of Representatives Chairman of the Committee on Electoral Matters who also happens to be the bill’s sponsor,  Aishatu Dukku literarily begged the leaders of the House to formally receive and consider the report of the committee dealing with repealing the Electoral Act 2010 and to enact the Electoral Act 2021. Incidentally too, the Senate President Ahmad Lawan promised to assiduously work on the bill before an onward transmission to the President for his assent, hoping that it would be passed by the end of June. It is the prayers of Nigerians that the leadership of the National Assembly would keep to their words and consider the electoral reform a vital task and do the needful.

Nevertheless, we all know that the art of making laws and legislations is a rather long process. There are still some hurdles to cross before the Electoral Act 2021 gets to its final stage. In its characteristic manner, a bill usually has to pass through not less than five stages or steps. The end point is the assent by the President, then it becomes an Act. As much as it is gladdening that the Senate has promised that these stages could be scaled through within the shortest possible time, which is less than two weeks from now however, there are definitely concerns on whether it is attainable.

For a fact, elections in Nigeria have always been characterised by violence, intimidations, vote buying, vote selling, ballot box snatching etc. This is because elections for the presidential, governoship, local governments, and every other elections are now considered ‘a do or die affair’. In every four years, the country spends billions of naira to conduct elections with little or no improvement in the system. For instance,  it was reported that the sum of one hundred and thirty nine billion naira was spent in 2011 on elections; one hundred and sixteen billion in 2015 and one hundred and eighty nine billion in 2019. Despite all these monies budgeted, the polls recorded several irregularities.

One of the striking provisions of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is in Section 9 which mandates INEC to embrace the use of technology, such as keeping an electronic register of voters in addition to the hard copies. This unarguably makes it easier to collate and disaggregate data on voting patterns of different categories of electorate which will be useful when planning elections. This has brought to the fore the need for smart card readers. Section 48(2) mandates a presiding officer to use the smart card reader or any other technological device prescribed by INEC for accreditation, verification and authentication of registered voters. In view of this, incorporating technological use in the process will checkmate certain issues that have risen in the past.

Since the smart card reader is not recognised under the current act, but only provided for under INEC’s guidelines, many say that amending the electoral amendment act will no doubt give a legislative and statutory backing to the use of smart card reader and of course for electronic collation and transmission of results. This they also say will go a long way in reducing incidences of fraud, human influence through the interference and manipulation of the electoral process.

From all indication, the card reader can significantly improve elections in Nigeria and it is only wise that it be given the necessary legal backing. Doing this will make it mandatory for INEC to comply with the use of smart card reader. It is quite disheartening that in this digital age, Nigeria is still stuck with the Electoral Act 2010 that does not allow for the legality of card reader use, not to talk of electronic voting system. So the question is, why is the National Assembly dragging its feet on this important law? It is high time our lawmakers sat up and live up to their billing by ensuring the amendment of the Electoral Act 2010.




































































Thanks be unto God for His exceeding grace

GOD’S greatest gifts to us are not physical but eternal: they are spiritual. I understand that we live in a physical world and many times we need to see spiritual things manifested in this physical realm but we must remember that God’s greatest gifts to us are not material but spiritual. These spiritual gifts come in one package and His name is Jesus.

I love the tradition of the Christmas tree and the wrapped gift boxes that accompany it. This is a good tradition because Christmas is a time when we see the giving nature of God manifested in giving His Son for us. Hopefully we also are learning this giving nature and transferring it to other people.

Let me say this: be a blessing to somebody this season; just think about somebody this season. Do not just pray for them but do something tangible also. You may not be able to do everything for everybody but do something for somebody. I have this philosophy that says, instead of distributing a few gifts to so many people in such a way that may not make significant impact, I rather distribute to a few in a way that will make impact. The ones I cannot do for God will sort them out.

Greatness lies in our ability to touch somebody else’s life. God demonstrated this to us in John 3:16 which I am sure we all know very well: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

So Jesus is God’s gift; He is the gift of all gifts as inside Him lies all the other gifts that pertain unto life and godliness. The first gift I see which Jesus brings to us is the forgiveness of sin: the burden of sin rolled away. All my sins placed upon Christ Jesus on that tree and because of that I am no longer a performer but a receiver of God’s grace.

Jesus said to those people wanting to stone the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11 (and I am paraphrasing now) I agree with you guys that indeed the law of Moses said we should stone such; so hold your stones very well but let me just ask you one question sirs: He that is without sin among you let him throw the first stone at the woman. The Bible records that one by one from the highest person in the hierarchy of the Sanhedrin to the lowest, they all with style disappeared from the scene.

Then Jesus turned around and looked and said to the woman, woman where are your accusers? She said Lord they are nowhere to be found. Jesus answered her neither do I condemn you.

Now this is what people do not understand about the grace of God. The grace of God does not just forgive sin but also empowers you to sin no more. Jesus said to the woman neither do I condemn you, now go in this grace and sin no more. Glory to the name of the Lord.

Friends, no man can overcome sin without grace. A man cannot overcome sinning by commandment. You cannot make a man stop sinning by sternly commanding him to stop sinning. He will not stop sinning because it is not in the man’s power to do so. However, there is a saviour that kills your taste for sin. If you follow Him, you might struggle for a while but eventually your taste for sin will die. I love what one man of God said. He said Christianity is an impossible life to live that is why only Jesus can live it through you.

In fact, the more you try to stop sinning in your own strength the more you come into bondage because you will be confessing and repenting everyday all day. So stop trying to stop sinning and start receiving God’s grace. Find out who you are; the seed of God is in you: believe that; meditate upon that and then cut away from influences that seek to move you to sin.

If you have friends that are moving you in a way that will lead to sin you must cut away from them. This one is not by revelation but by decision. Jesus said in Matt. 5:30 if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. This is saying anything in your life that will get you sinning cut it off.

So the first gift in Jesus is no condemnation; the forgiveness of sin. Romans 8:1 there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Ephesians 1:7 in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

How precious is the forgiveness of sin? My God! Do you know that no human being can operate at their best in condemnation? You get people out of where they are into where God wants them to be by affirmation and not condemnation. You affirm the good that is in them.

Even the Bible talks about the love of God saying it does not count on wrongs. One translation says the love of God looks for the potential of good even in the worst of characters. This is why if you are operating in the love of God and you give it enough time with faith, you will find that there is nobody that cannot change.

And when we say God is love we are saying God does not give up on people. If you see anybody giving up, know that they gave up on themselves; God did not give up on them. Again Eph. 1:7 in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

Furthermore, the Bible says in Psalms 130:3&4 if thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Feared not because of His power but because of His forgiveness. Only God can forgive sin and in Christ your sins are forgiven. No more struggle because in Christ you know that heaven is your home. Glory to God forevermore.

Another gift of grace that is in Jesus is salvation. Ephesians 2:9&9 for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Many of us have been so long in the school of walking with God so much so that we subconsciously trivialise salvation. Many times when we are giving God thanks for things, we mostly start with the things that are tangible forgetting the intangible things like salvation that power the tangible things. I myself fall guilty to this and have to always renew my mind.

If we will thank God for the things that are most precious to Him, the power of God will come to change the things that are precious to us. Hallelujah! for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man.

To be continued…















Four hindrances to receiving from God (28)

IN the past couple of weeks we have been discussing on Unbelief and how it hinders the believer from receiving from God. Last week we left of discussing from Psalms 78 where we read about the account of the unbelief of the children of Israel. In Psalm 78:19 & 20 the people murmured and …they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?

The truth is that the problem most people have with their faith is never a question on the ability of God but on His nature. The question is never about God’s ability or His competence but rather a question about His goodness. Most people’s faith does not work because they are unsure about God’s nature: they are unsure if God is good, kind, loving etc towards them. Not knowing the nature of God is a huge source of unbelief for all people, I dear to say.

This is why I keep teaching people to say over and over, the Lord is good and his mercy endures forever; because I know that when this revelation penetrates the heart, faith will begin to work. The competence of God is not in question, instead it is the willingness and the goodness of God that Satan seeks to question. A man cannot be a giant of faith without being established in the goodness of God.

Look at this, verses 19 and 20 again, notice what the true question was: “I know he did all that, but will he do this if I ask him? Will he do it for us? To that I say to you: “Yes, He will!” Not just this one, but as long as you live and as long as your children and your children’s children live, He will! He will! He will! Glory to God!

He will clear that debt! He will pay that bill! He will meet that need! He will give you another opportunity! He will bring your stuff to you! He will deliver your children! He will heal your body! He will! He will! He will! That is His covenant to you and your generations.

You know, a man can walk with God to the extent that bequeaths the benefits of that covenant to his generations after him. An example is when God said to Solomon: You would have destroyed this thing, had it not been for David your father. I have sworn by holy oath to my servant David that he will not lack a man to sit on his throne because of what David did and how he touched me. In spite of all of David’s mistakes, God swore that Christ must come from his loins.

Psalms 78:21 & 22  Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;  Why? because they believed not in God and trusted not in his salvation. So, we see here clearly that the true problem was unbelief borne of a lack of trust in God’s goodness. Their unbelief made their hearts callus and hardened and so they became disobedient towards God.

One way to treat such a heart is by thanksgiving and praise for God’s past works. Simply making a decision to constantly count God’s goodness in your life will keep your heart tender, so that you do not fall into the deception of unbelief.

Unbelief is what will make a man question God even after seeing Him come through over and over again. Unbelief is what made the children of Israel say, ‘Yes, I know it is true that God did all these miracles in the past, but how about now? I am facing a problem now, are you sure that the God that did the miracle in the past will do it again this time?

And to that God responded, ‘You know my ability, the issue now is that you are questioning My nature. You are saying that I am an evil man. You are saying that I am not good. Or else, why would you think that I will not come through for you? I tell you God is good and you can count on Him every time. This is what we are to anchor ourselves to.

Psalms 78:23-25 says, Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.

Although the Lord had caused all these things to happen for them, yet, as the Bible says in verse 40 and 41 of Psalm 78:40 & 41 how oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

Now you may ask, how did they limit God? Verse 42 tells us: They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. The answer is they did not remember! By not remembering, they allowed their hearts to fall into callousness and hence unbelief was inevitable.

They did not keep the memory of God’s past deliverances fresh in their minds. If they had, they would have had faith to believe God continually. Psalm 78:42 goes on to say they remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy…how he wrought his signs in Egypt, his wonders in the field of Zoan.

While studying these things out, the Spirit of God told me this from Isaiah 43:18 ‘Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing…now it will spring forth. Shall yon not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. So I asked “Remember not?”

Then again He took me to Isaiah 46:9 ‘Remember the former things of old…’ so I asked again, which is it Lord? In Chapter 43, you told me not to remember, now in chapter 49 you are telling me to remember. I am confused Lord, what are you saying? The verse reads ‘Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is none else. I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, from ancient things to things that are not yet done saying my counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure.’

I came to understand that if you are going to stay in a place of faith, there are some things you should remember and there are some things you should not. So you should have a sieve. What you should not remember about the past is the effect of any of the injurious parts of your past; the parts of your past that would hinder and rob you from walking in faith today. Forget the mistakes and mess-ups of your past. The Bible says you’re not to remember them as far as their ability to hinder you is concerned.

As far as God is concerned, if you have repented of them and have truly turned away from them, then they are washed away by the blood. But I have also come to discover this – that it is not totally true for you to say that you should forget your past mistakes! There is something about your past mistakes that you should not forget: do not forget the lessons they have taught you. Forget their ability to hinder you, but do not forget the lessons. If you forget the lessons of your past mistakes, you will be a fool.

So I have learnt that there are things you need to remember. So the Lord taught me saying, ‘remember not some things’ but now ‘remember some things’. There are some things that you should remember about your past; you should remember God’s past faithfulness and you should count and rehearse them. Do not forget yesterday’s miracle less you stand the risk of not having faith to believe for todays. You must keep counting and rehearsing God’s past faithfulness.

To be continued…















As we fight scarcity

SOMETIMES one wonders whether Nigerians harbour any sense of pride and patriotism for their country at all. From whatever perspective one views it, we do not love ourselves nor place value on humanity. We often eulogise the past saying all manner of beautiful things about our country in the past and how the leadership sacrificed to ensure good things were provided for the enjoyment of all and sundry. Yet we fail to make even the minutest effort to work at making life easy for our fellow beings.

At the slightest opportunity we visit pain on ourselves. We punish our country men and women for no fault of their own. It is only in Nigeria that prices of goods and services go up and never come down. It is only in our clime that nobody listens to those in authority because they themselves take advantage of the people at every opportunity. They do not do what is expected of them so that they can make some pecuniary gains out of the ignorance of the people and grow their personal wealth at the expense of the society.

Currently, the motoring public is at a crossroads. Fuel scarcity is not only looming but has reared its head and is threatening to unleash hardship on an already distressed and weather beaten society. This is in spite of the repeated calls by the NNPC that it has a stock of reserve that is enough to cater for the needs of Nigerians through to the new year. Yet marketers of the product have decided that it was time to squeeze whatever profit there is from the gullible public without bothering about its ripple effects on the generality of the people.

But those saddled with the responsibility of acting on behalf of the society too have failed woefully because they have not been able to activate the needed response to nip the shenanigans of the marketers in the bud. They too have been compromised all because they have soiled their hands in the course of the performance of their responsibilities. So, the people are left to their fate and stoically face up to their pains without support even when we have established institutions that should stand in the gap.

Can we ever get it right in this country? Maybe. Maybe not. So far there seems to be no resolve to deliberately provide succour for the suffering majority. What is obvious is the haphazard and half hearted efforts at trying to provide the needs of the people. That has not helped in any way. We make beautiful propositions yet we seem to lack the capacity and strength of character to push our propositions to work for us.

We have all the institutions that should make life bearable for the people. Sadly we have not allowed them to run at their optimal level. Governmental interferences and meddling are common place. Institutions serve the people in power and not the society. That needs to change.

One can not imagine a resource rich country like Nigeria being a living hell for its people. Yes, Nigerians are practically living from hand to mouth because of the failure of the system that should protect them. Or how else can we explain the myriad of challenges the society is faced with?  We have so much petroleum resources but we are on daily basis being dehumanized because of systemic failures. Petrol to run our vehicles, in a society that bothers less about developing its infrastructure is near unavailable. Cooking gas that is being flared as waste is practically beyond the reach of the ordinary person. And, we have not paused to ask ourselves where we are headed?

The time to begin to do an introspection is now if we are to arrest the slide the country is faced with. We can not afford to have people’s patience running out to the extent that they start fighting back. Already, things are extremely difficult. It should not be allowed to get worse. The agitations that are being witnessed across the country is a pointer to the time bomb the country is sitting on. Both leaders and the led need to look again at their activities and decide to make a change.

No country goes through civil war twice and survives it. We must start right away to encourage and build on what binds us as a people rather than what divides us. We have a lot to be thankful for and need to start harnessing our strengths rather than harping on our weaknesses and failures. But we must not ignore incompetence on whatever basis. We must and should look out for the best not minding the sentiments that have become our moral codes.

When we are able to grow above these sentiments that have held us perpetually and consigned us to the dustbin of underdevelopment, then we would be able to make some progress and move on as a society. We have no reason to waste man hours looking for fuel to run our cars when that time could be used for adding value to our society.













































Haba Adesina, you abandoned church for Buhari’?

WONDERS people say will never end in as much as we remain amongst the living on this mother earth. In as much as one interacts with his fellow human beings on daily basis, there will always be isolated instances or cases where and or when we are  marveled as to whether some individuals do think straight before making some commends in public space not considering the implications of such.

A few days ago, a presidential aide of Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina informed the world that he was forced to abandon a branch of his church, the Deeper Christian Life Ministry in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city due to his former pastor’s persistent attack on the  President, his boss. Fortunately and or unfortunately, the presidential aide was quoted to have said that ” I used to attend a church in Abuja from 2015 to 2018 till the pastor began to see himself as someone who must bring Buhari’s government down. Sunday after Sunday, it was all sorts of criticism from the pulpit. But I endured, since it was a branch of a church I attended for over 30 years. Till one day he overdid it.’

Ventilating further, Adesina extended his vicious attacked to other men of God who are not on the same page with him noting that, ” Irrespective of the titles they bear, I hear Bishops, Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists cursing government and issuing doomsday notices. One even said publicly that the Buhari administration was over before the 2019 elections. But the man won handsomely and that preacher still struts and frets on the pulpit every week not repenting in sackcloth and ashes.”

First and foremost,  it should be put on record that I hold in high esteem and with  tremendous regard the office and  critical prolife of the presidential aide when it comes  to his  vital thoughts while  analyzing contemporary issues  for our nation’s growth. No doubt, Adesina is a writer who has earned an unspeakable space in the conglomeration of other authors of such write-ups who have over the years distinguished themselves in the annals of our nation’s history.

Despite these accolades however, yours sincerely was taken aback following the presidential aide’s uncomplimentary remarks issued against men of God who are representatives of the Lord Almighty here on earth. Even though as a Nigerian, the presidential aide has every right to respond to any remarks seemingly affecting his boss, it is unimaginable for him to attack these men of God who are only but speaking on behalf of most if not all citizens of this country who are presently traumatized by recent ugly developments of definitive governmental misrule.

Permit me to therefore submit before reacting to Adesina’s comments that it was quite realistic that when President Mohammadu Buhari was campaigning for his election in 2015, the nation was almost at a crippling point of its historical existence as a nation. Indeed, at that time, the then President Goodluck Jonathan had almost lost control of the country to the point of pointing accusing fingers to some of his shadow-less cabinet members who were suspiciously adding to insecurity problems bedeviling the country.

During his campaign, President Buhari was emphatic that if given the opportunity, he would within six months address some of these issues squarely. Beyond this, the incumbent president while campaigning also reassured Nigerians that dissatisfied with the socio-economic and political status of the nation which had nose-dived into oblivion, he would do everything within his power to reserve the trend in collective interest of the citizens.

Though with all sense of responsibility, one cannot dump all the problems and challenges facing our country on our incumbent President, but as the Commander-in-Chief of the nation, we cannot shy away from the obvious that all the blames must end up on his table. It is quite significantly interesting that our President ought to be held responsible over all the wrong goings in the country.

Mr. Adesina, whether you like it or not, and whether you care to listen or not, it is not well with Nigeria today. Take for instance, the issue of the unabated killings of innocent citizens of this country even in the midst of several reassurances that the Federal Government was and is still on top of the situation.

Aside these ugly developments in the northeast where several communities have been held hostage by the dreaded Boko Haram fanatical set, certainly no part of this country has not experienced one form of banditry attacks and or the other making life unbearable for citizens. Even as we cannot ascertain the categorical number of lives cut short by these criminal elements, it is quite obvious that the government had no done enough to mitigate this unpleasant development.

Sad enough, we are experiencing high sense of insecurity beyond possible imagination today because many of such culprits who have perpetrated these horrible acts in the past are still walking on our streets with impunity. Mr. Adesina, there is great hunger and famine on the land.

Thus, by virtue of the fact that you reside in Aso Rock and may not comprehend that which ordinary Nigerians are going through does not erase the reality on ground. We equally know without being told that hunger fears no religion and starvation is an excruciating pain to any vulnerable nation. If you care to check the nation’s human development index and or leave your comfort zone at Aso Rock in the Presidential Villa and take a trip to even your village, you will perhaps come to terms with the reality of what a typical citizen of this country is going through in the hands of your master who is our president.

Therefore, what is wrong in speaking to power about the unspeakable situation the masses of this country are going through for God’s sake if I may ask? What is wrong if the men of God who are God representatives do not renege from their divine obligations repeatedly speaking to power that more pragmatic steps must be taken urgently to save this nation from eminent collapse and or disintegration.

Mr. Adesina, it is becoming more obvious that this administration is not always comfortable should any man of God attempt to draw the attention of the government on the nature of this inherent calamity which has befallen Nigerians as a result of some unpalatable degree of administrative ingenuity in high places. At least, we are all witnesses to the sophisticated venom unleash on the likes of the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Fr. Mathew Hassan Kukah and Prophet El Buba of the EBOMI Ministry, thus we are not surprise that you have decided to abandon a church where such truth is spoken.













Discipline is key in the jungle

GULDER Ultimate Search, the Nigerian Reality Television Series, has recorded its first eviction last week. Thereafter two warriors were also evicted. These ended the journey of 3 warriors in the jungle . FRANCISCA ADIDI writes.

OLAYINKA Gabriel Omoya becomes the first contestant to be evicted from the 2021 Gulder Ultimate Search season 12 Age of Craftsmanship. Sad to see him leave right? But someone must be evicted.

Just as everyone was thinking about the first eviction, another one came gbam! Mfon was evicted based on his argument with a contestant, Esitima.

Unarguably, Mfon was one of the brave and loved contestants in the 2021 Gulder Ultimate Search reality game. Mfon who was also one of the strongest amongst his clan mates while in the jungle but his journey in the race was cut short over a controversy between him and one of the female contestants, Esitima Edem.

According to narration, Esitima accused Mfon of threatening her life following a disagreement which led to his eviction last Sunday.

Less than 24 hours the warrior was sent out of the jungle, he had finally spoken and had revealed what to expect soon.

Mfon who took to his Instagram account to react to his ugly encounter at The Place of Talking Drum last week who claimed that the allegation leveled against him were not real but lies.

He further appreciated and apologised to his fans who he believes have been brainwashed to hate him over what ensued between him and Esitima. He therefore vowed to unveil the full story. “The lies, the gang ups. Just one day, I will be vindicated. My sincere apologies to my fans who have been brainwashed to hate me. I will drop the full story later” he wrote.

These two are from Akwa Ibom State participating in the Gulder Ultimate Search season 12. Mikel (Mfon) was evicted for threatening Esitima during a quarrel. Shamefully not even brotherhood could stop these two from a face off. Very sad that Mikel lost his calm but more sad that Esitima has proven to be a much loosed talker. But Mikel went too far by threatening to kill her…even after the show. No one knows what that one means.

Last week was a very emotional moment for all contestants especially members of the Iroko Clan and Irin Clan. This was because Gerald was evicted.

The Task Master Remi involved the warriors in a Focal Point Task, where at the end, they will form a three word puzzle. It was a team work and team work always makes dreams work. At the end of the task, the Iroko clan came last.

At the talking drum ground, Gerald, the pillar of the Iroko Clan was evicted. And Mikel, the critical thinker of Irin Clan both ended their journey in the jungle.

Gerald becomes the third contestant to exit the 2021 Gulder Ultimate Search. He was tipped as a top contender even by his fellow contestants. But, GUS is unpredictable. His eviction was a surprised to many people, including his fellow contestants who saw him as a competitor.

Many people reacted that he does not deserve eviction. Such method of eviction was quite ridiculous. But it is a game. There must be a looser and a winner.

In the jungle you have to observe, listen and apply. Also, the place of the talking drum is always pregnant, it is a place where anything negative or positive can come out from. What the council of elders decide will be delivered to the warriors at the place of the talking drum.

Discipline is the key in the jungle. The warriors are always reminded that there are rules to survival in the jungle. And the ability to coexist with others is for the survival.

Watch out for another titbits on how the contestants are fairing in the show in the next Edition of the Sunday Standard.





Igede Agba new yam festival

THE Igede people are a sub-Saharan people found in Oju, Obi, parts of Gwer Local Government Areas of Benue State and Cross River State of Nigeria. The Igedes whose major pre-occupation is farming and hunting are a minority tribe in the Benue belt, traditionally ruled by the “ADUTU”.

The Igedes had their own traditions before the advent of Colonialism and Christianity which has greatly influenced their way of life, with 90 percent practicing the Christian faith while 10 percent practice their traditional religion.

Amidst eroding cultures and traditions, the Igede of Benue State have maintained some aspects of their culture, one which is the annual Igede-Agba (new Yam festival) which is celebrated during the harvest of yams to mark the beginning of the harvest season.

Igede-Agba (new Yam festival) is a yearly cultural occasion that is celebrated among the Igede people at home and in Diaspora. It is a cyclic festival that comes up on every first Ihigile market day in the month of September. According to the Igede Calendar, September is her seventh “Moon” a very special number at that. The activities of Igede-Agba include, eating of pounded yam, cultural music dancing and other forms of cultural displays. The occasion also usually witnesses the drinking of locally brewed drinks from millet and guinea corn called Apio, Ogbete, Oburukutu, Ogene and others with different alcoholic content.

The history of Igede-Agba (new yam festival) dates back to the arrival of the Igede at their present place of abode. The Igede origin according to oral tradition can be traced to a great ancestral father called Agba, the progenitor of all Igede people. It is after this man that the Igede New yam festival is named.

According to the paramount ruler of Ora, HRH Chief Mathew Elijagong Imuna, the Ohain I, Oje of Orah land, Agba is the ancestral father of the Igede people, Agba and his descendants are of the royal throne of the popular Benin Kingdom, and that Agba was a renowned native doctor who travelled widely. Agba was also said to be fond of a musical instrument called “Ogede” from there the name Igede probably came from.

The Igede people are believed to have been led by one Irumanyi as they traveled east ward until they came to the bank of Oyongo River with seven tributaries. The river parted ways for the people to cross after they crossed to the other side othe river called “Utukenge”. Where the Igabu, Opirikwu, Anyogbe and Ikwuro people of the present Ogoja in cross River State, who were part of this migration parted from their Igede Kith. The Igede continued their journey to Ipinu Igede, their present abode from where each clan moved to its present location. The reawakening of this age log tradition is attributed to the formation of the group Igede Youths Assoation (IYA).

This group introduced the Igede Day to celebrate the goodness of God for a good harvest and the beginning of the planting season. This is because the major preoccupation of the Igede people is the cultivation of food crops such as yams, cassava, rice and cereals. The size of an Igede man’s yam farm is a manifestation of  his wealth and a widely acclaimed farmer in Igede is called an Ogreji.

Igede Agba festival is a special period for praising God; it celebrates hard work and dignity of Labour. Moral values such as honesty, goodness, social justice as well as respect for the culture of the people are celebrated.

Yam, the kind of all farm produce, is used to mark the occasion of harvest and the new planting season. Every Igede man is expected to celebrate the festival with yams from his farm, not bought from the market. There is nothing fetish in the celebration of Igede Agba. The Akpang deity in Igede ensures the suppression of the activities of witches and wizards. It is deity that keeps people away from harvesting their yams prematurely, however, it is not considered as the god of yams.

During and immediately after Igede Agba. Families are expected to eat only pounded yam but not the usual fermented cassava, popularly called Akpu (Fufu).

Igede Agba period, communal development projects are usually planned for execution. This is also the period households address all pending cases of misunderstandings and such are amicably resolved. Plans for next planting season are concluded, especially the arrangement for the head of the household to organize for communal planting of his yam heaps. By this all the mature male children would go to the farm on a given day. This is traditionally how an Igede man is able to plant many hectares of yam. The Igede Agbato an Igede man is an all-important festival whose relevance cannot be over emphasized. For instance, the coming together of a family brings about unification. It also mobilizes the people towards purposeful development.

Disputes that would have lingered are addressed as a family and not in proxy as everybody is present. There is no room to harbor grievances.

Secondly, the idea of washing hands together in one basin by the family members sometimes, including extended families, is an unwritten covenant. This covenant is an agreement to remain united, and not to harbor any bad feelings against each other. After Igede Agba, families unite and farm for the elders in a group one after the other. All the male children do this happily.

During the celebration, awards and honours are bestowed on the farmers who have cultivated the largest farm or have the biggest yams in the most number of yams in their barns.

This is a very open, free and fair competition and it helps to stimulate hard work and development.

Igede Agba is considered a time of peace, reconciliation and sharing. No one eats alone on Igede Agba day. You must have a friend to visit or one to visit you. Hence as part of the preparation, it is mandatory you clear the foot path between you and your neighbor’s house. This is saying “you are welcome to visit or stop over to eat.

Exchange of gifts and food is done with enthusiasm and joy. The Igede man is truly at his best during the Igede Agba period. As children come home for the celebration, parents sit them down and evaluate the progress made by the children in the cities over the year(s) and recall home those who are on the decline in terms of productivity and character.

Since the celebration comes up before schools re-open, it also serves as a forum to recognize siblings who have gained admission into tertiary institutions and those whose have graduated from such school.












Kilba people,  burial rites and tradition

THE Kilba people are an ethnic group in Hong Long Local Government Area of Adamawa State. They are a mixture of many ethnic groups like the Burra, Babbir, Chibok and the Marghi. These ethnic groups have integrated into original stock called Huba (Kilba). The name Kilba came as a mispronunciation of the name Kolba by the Fulani and the British Colonialists, the name thus became the official name of the people, but up till today, the people call themselves Huba.

The people are found in the northern part of Adamawa State. They occupy the whole area betweensong Local Government area in the South and Uba in the North stretching from Mubi in the East to Gombe in the West. The land is situated between the Kilanyi River, a tributary of River Benue and the Hawul River, a tributary of the Gongola River. The land is mountainous with an average area of about two thousand square kilometers, through which the road from Yola to Mubi passes, dividing the land into two equal halves, the North and the South.

Su in kilba language means send while Dufa means food. Su Dufa therefore means send food. Su Dufa is a traditional ceremony of the Kilba tribe which is performed as the final burial rite. Su Dufa is performed immediately after Tiwi. Tiwi however, is a traditional burial ceremony of the Kilba people organized for an elderly man or woman who is married and a traditionalist from the age of sixty and above. Announcement for the date of the Su Dufa is made at the end of the tiwi ceremony by the elders of the deceased family or close relations. Su Dufa starts by the relations of the deceased converging at the deceased’s house for a meeting to plan for the ceremony. After planning, they will invite friends, well-wishers, harp players “Nijir tsa Zimbol” and guitarist (Nijir tsa gulum).

The relations will prepare beer ‘Mbalda’, soft drink ‘Mbrai’ and food ‘Dufa’; they will also buy he-goat or he-goats which they will use some to prepare food and some for sacrifice. On the appointed day, all the invitees will assemble at the house of the deceased. They will be served with beer ‘mbalda’, soft drink mbrai’ and food ‘dufa’. Everyone will eat and drink to his or her satisfaction.

The Zimbul and Gulum players will take turns to entertain the audience with different kinds of music and songs. Example of one of the songs and music to be played goes like this: ‘Ah kwana amakola ada, (the gulum will sound Nujmnjum), Ana tukol wi ziwar kudaku, (the gulum will sound Njumnjum um Njum um, njum um nju um, njum njum)”…….

The song means hey woman what do you take me for, look at your buttocks like the root of a sweet potato.

Similarly, one of the popular songs and music played by the Zunbul player goes like this: “ ama mala ta Kurtunyamo (the Zumbul will sound nding nding tikinding nding ting), amah ya amatanyi, (the Zumbul will sound nding nding tikinding nding nding nding)”

The elder from the family of the deceased will request the people to proceed to the grave of the deceased if the grave is nearby, but if it is far, the elder will instruct for the construction of an earth near the house of the deceased to look like a grave which will be used for performing the sacrificial rite.

The procession of those to perform the rites will carry he-goat at least one and not more than ten depending on the popularity, status and number of male children of the deceased. The procession will also carry along beer ‘,balda’, soft drinks ‘mbrai’ and food ‘dufa’. The he-goat brought for the sacrifice will be placed one after the other on the grave, the beer and soft drink will also be poured on the grave while the food will be put in a calabash and be placed on the grave.

The Huba tribe believes that by performing the su dufa ceremony, they have sent the last food and drinks to the spirit of the deceased to appease it. The procession will return to the house and continue to carouse through the night. In the morning, one of the elders will hold water in a white calabash and call on debtors and creditors to the deceased three times if there be any. At this time, it is expected of anyone who owes the deceased or whom the deceased owes to indicate so that the relatives of the deceased can settle the debt. If there was found no debtor or creditor to the deceased or if all the debts are fully settled. After this, the elder will thank all those who contributed to the success of the occasion and wish them safe journey to their various destinations. After which everyone is dismissed and that brings the ceremony to an end.

Joshua is a staff of the National Museum, Jos.











































Difference between culture and heritge

“Culture is the totality of the ways of life of a people, this means that everything that a particular society or people share and do in common constitute their culture. writes GUKUT CHRISTIANA SIMON.”


THE languages(s) the speak the god or gods that they worship, the kinds of music they make, the kinds of food they eat and how they prepare such foods, that occupations and trade they pursue, the dresses they wear etc. Culture also includes the guiding interactions at both personal and institutional levels, the taboos that must be obeyed,  what constitutes excellence of character  and what does not, how they name  their children and bury their dead and whether they believe in life after or not, how they sit and eat etc, all these and many constitute their culture. All of them are passed down from generation to generation that is, they are the contents of the education of that society from childhood to old age and death and these contents are passed down from one generation to another.

Culture, therefore is constituted of the “values, practices, symbols, institutions and human relationship” that a society has, culture is about the intellectual, religious, artistic and material productions the means by  which they are produced and the modes, by which they are produce, disseminated and consumed. The social organization and the political system a society has are all a part of their culture. For example, the Obaship in Yoruba society was basically a political institution but an Oba was also a cultural Icon as well as a custodian of culture-an Oba who was a great dancer was admired, the one who did not was laughed at. Another example of how culture and politics connet from a very modern democracy in the USA, if Barrack Obama, the American president visits Nigeria and a gift of let’s say “Baban riga” is given to him to wear, he must  in turn give it out when he gets back home  ie  America. That “must” does not come from lack of power, but from the ethical values attached to that power. A society’s economy is also part of its culture, for the means of production, which produces them and how the products are distributed, impact very much on the cultures. By means of production here, it means the technological implements available.

Thus, some societies have only hoes and cutlasses for farming while others have advanced to tractors and combined harvesters. In other words, contrary to what we think here, technology is part of culture in two ways, contrary to what we think here, technology is part of culture in two ways; it is a product of culture and it is in turn a producer or part producer of culture; in this instance, the Yoruba people just think of two things, first is the prominent place of Ogun in their traditional religion. Ogun is the god of iron and the active parts used in their farmlands are cutlasses and holes which are made of iron. So it can be seen that there is a direct connection between Ogun and those who earn their economic livelihood from using implements made of iron. Another example is the use of computer which are used to design and produce wedding and funeral invitation cards. Some people don’t even take the trouble to print and sent invitation cards anymore; they simply sent bulk texts on their moble phones. In other words, computer and handset which are normally not considered part of our culture but are having a great impact on two activities that we consider cultural; funerals and weddings. These things have indeed become part of these activities and therefore part of our contemporary culture.

Heritage is the traditions and qualities that a country or a society has had for many years and considered part of its character. These characters (ie materials or immaterial) are transmitted from one generation to the other for the benefits of future generation in that society. It is the dynamic interface between actions in the past and those in the present;  a process which continues to affect our changing lives. Heritage constitutes man’s point of reference and the representation of human society.

There are different classed of heritage to be considered Natural Heritage; These are inheritance of Fauna and Flora, landscapes and land forms and other natural resources e.g  rocks and rock formation found in a particular society. Historical Heritage; These are historic building, books, documents, work of arts, machines, clothing and other arts/crafts that are considered worthy of preservation in a particular society eg the city walls in Zaria city and many other monument sites that have  been discovered. Educational Heritage: This is heritage from learning out comes. Heritage of education cannot be overemphasized; it it evident around us and the whole world. Everything you hand on to your children is a heritage; be it farming, cattle rearing, tailoring, engineering, teaching, artifacts and monuments and so many others.  And has to be learned. Cultural Heritage: These are traditions and customs of a people (eg language, food, clothing songs and dances, art and crafts, spiritual beliefs etc). Cultural heritage the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. Cultural heritage is not limited to material manifestation alone, it also encompasses living expressions and the traditions that countless groups and communities have inherited from their ancestors and transit to their descendants. In other words, cultural heritage are seen in two different aspects i.e. tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Tangible cultural Heritage is that part of heritage that can be touched physically or stored like  monuments, building and sites which are worthy of preservation for future generations.

Intangible Cultural Heritage is that part of heritage that cannot be torched physically like rituals, songs, legends, myths, beliefs, dances, festival, languages etc that preserved and passed down from generation to generation, intangible cultural heritage are the practices representation, expression, knowledge, skills as well as instruments, and cultural spaces associated with that society, in some cases, individual recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history which provides them with a sense identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.





































Private sector education as a boost


IT is an established fact that, an educational institution is no doubt a place where training and learning, especially to impact knowledge and develop the skills in people’s takes place at different levels of our education both in public and private intuitions, writes JIDAUNA DARING

THE significance of education which remains the bedrock of the society cannot be under measured, since it aims at providing the basic knowledge and development amongst the people.

However, the contribution of the private sector in education is a boost to the system, which needs to be supported by government at all levels.

The proprietors of the private schools should ensure that such intuitions are not turn into a profits making business but should be first seen as knowledge impacting institutions.

It therefore also behooves on the proprietors to as a matter of fact, set a standard that will always promote excellent performance from the students who should be graduating with a result that, they can defend in their future study, to prove that they are the ones that pass through the system, not the system passing through them.

In this regard, that the establishment of the St. Luke’s Anglican College Jos to further make educatio

n accessible for the young people in Plateau State and beyond by the Anglican Diocese of Jos is a huge welcome initiative and development to the education sector in the state.

What is worthy of note, is the vision statement that established the college by the Anglican Diocese of Jos, is to saturate the Diocese of Jos with the gospel of truth, love, righteousness, peace and justice, through education, media, agriculture, health and sports.

Equally too, the mission statement of the college is seeking to fulfill  the biblical mandate  of the church and to accomplish the vision of the church of Nigeria, we by desiring to be a centre for world missions and a place for authentic bible learning and teaching.

It is against this background that the St. Luke’s Anglican College Jos organized her 12 graduation Speech and Prize presentation for 2021 graduating set.

This unique day will perhaps forever remain indelible or fresh in  the minds of the graduants who have been waiting to celebrate with parents, guardians, friends, relations and well wishers in lives after six years of studying.

In view of this,  the need for parents  to always inculcate Godly values and virtues in their children has been stressed, since their training starts from the home.

THE NIGERIA STANDARD reports that a lecturer with the Department of Religion and Philosophy, University of Jos, Rev. Dr. Philip AsuraNggada stated this in his capacity as a Guest Speaker at the speech and prize giving day of St. Lukes Anglican College, Kufang Jos,  Plateau State.

Rev. Dr. Nggada who presented a paper Titled: “The making of an Eagle”, said that, the eagle has been described as a symbol of strength, brevery, zeal and courage.

He remarked that, it is much easier when the child receives formidable training at home, adding that once that breaking the fallow ground is done, teachers can easily mold and impact the basic knowledge to the child at the rightful time.

The Guest Speaker noted that, the school activities are designed in good faith in order to help the children grow and develop skills mentally, socially emotionally, psychologically, physically, academically and spiritually, saying that, all these contribute to making the ward have a great sense of maturity, responsibility and independency.

According to him, the quality of spirited life is the foundation for every lasting success, which remains the spring board for successful learning.

He told the graduants that, they have been equipped to face the outside world, saying that, their teachers have molded them spiritually and academically, urging them not to forget the training they have received while in school.

Rev. Dr. Nggada also challenged the graduants to make use of the knowledge imparted in them in a way that it would profit them and their immediate environment.

He further encouraged the graduants to be an agent of change, transformation, good ambassadors of peace, good, moral, honesty , faithful, humane and conscience with character in their new world, adding that, the quality of their spiritual life is the energy that takes them beyond their local environment.

Rev. Dr. Nggada called on people to all return to God to drive the biblical basis and principles of living that is formative, educative and transformative that would be able to change the world of art, technology, education, social sciences, and religion and politics.

“The child should not be left alone in studying, but should be encourage by the parents and guardians to always read hard and also do his or her assignment promptly he opined.

He noted that, parents and teachers do not give much attention to this side of the training. If the child is trained only on the academic, he cannot succeed to the fullness of life. He will be like the Ephraim cake with one side baked with the other side unbaked.

Speaking separately Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Emmanuel Mangset and the school Parents Teachers Association (PTA), Mr. Alex Sati Bako both showered accolades on the entire staff of the college for their commitments to work and urged them to sustain such tempo for the betterment of the education sector.

The duo advised the graduants to always have faith in God over dark moments in lives, and also encouraged the students of the college to continue working hard, so as to maintain the good standard that the school is known for in its performance.

Earlier, in her welcome remarks, acting Principal of the college, OjoOlufunke expressed delight with the large turnout of people at the occasion and appreciated the school manager, Board of Advisory Committee, PTA Exco and all parents for their various support and cooperation.

Olufunke thanked the staff both teaching and non teaching for their hard work and efforts in making sure that the students turn out to be the best.

She added that, graduation ceremony has always been a special occasion, saying that, it was a moment of celebrating God’s faithfulness for the years of hard work, actualization of goals attained and the journey that started with tentative steps.

Olufunke said that, their role as a school was not only to pursue academic excellence but to also motivate and empower their students to be productive members of an ever changing global world by preparing them to face challenges that the future holds.

The acting Principal maintained that, St. Luke’s Anglican College provides an atmosphere for their students for multifaceted development where they are encouraged to channel their potentials in the pursuit of excellence, saying that, academic excellence is their major thrust, as the school was also devoted to grooming the students.

Olufunke added that, the staffs are opened to any form of cogent and inspiring inquiry from the students to promote intellectual growth and creativity.

The out gone Head Boy, Stephen Garba who spoke on behalf of the graduants expressed joy and thanked the teachers for impacting the needed knowledge to them and also promised the school that the graduants would continue to be of good behavior wherever they find themselves, especially now that they have been send out to the wider society.

Our correspondent reports that, the newly sworn-in prefects of the college where all advised not to express the younger ones in the course of performing their duties.

THE NIGERIA STANDARD gathered that, the occasion also featured school choir presentation, chorography, swearing in of new prefects and academic award presentations among others.
























‘My constituents are my biggest motivation’


Hon. Daniel Nanbol Listick is the member representing Langtang North Central constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly (PLHA), and also the Chairman House Committee on Health. In this interview, he speaks on very salient issues surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the vaccine, what his motivations are and some of the Plateau State House of Assembly’s agenda for 2021. Excerpts:

THE past year was full of so many challenges to us as a nation and as individuals, how would you describe the year 2020?

The past year was really challenging and the challenges came majorly due to the Covid- 19 pandemic. Apart from that, there were other challenges that had to do with our individual lives generally. It wasn’t funny but God saw us through. Our sincere prayer is that 2021 will be better than 2020. What we faced, especially those of us that have found ourselves in the position we are wasn’t easy. We were asked a lot of questions and had to provide answers. Most of the people that ran small businesses could not do it because of the lockdown and rules regarding the Covid-19 which affected their businesses. Nobody found it easy, we pray God to help us this year.

You had quite an interesting and outstanding performance despite the challenges, that is in terms of motions, bills etc. What would you say motivated and kept you going?

It is true that we were able to work on a lot of policies. We got a lot of resolutions through the motions moved, we sponsored bills. It is our constitutional responsibility to do this work. Just as it is enshrined, we are to conduct oversight, we are to make laws and we are to represent our people.

What motivated and still motivates me to do this work? Well, my constituents are my biggest motivation. Secondly, the NEEDS general assessment conducted and public opinions all spurred us into churning out people oriented motions, bills and good representation. Yes, it wasn’t easy for us last year but we had to just do our work. Space will not allow me list all of these motions and bills. You are one of us because you have captured some of them in your previous write ups and carried our stories through your medium. The motions are just too many. The bills are up to eight (8). Our representations have been done, we visit our constituents and share in their pains. We also rejoice with them in their celebrations. I also really appreciate my wife for her contributions, which is a motivation for me. She sometimes edit my work, making the home and legislative front easy for me.

Despite the fact that the PLHA Ninth Assembly legislative year will commence in June, we are celebrating the new year and the beginning of 2021, what should we expect from you?

Our 2021 agenda include campaigning more and vigorously against the Covid-19 scourge and addressing the conspiracy theory surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine. We will continue to promote peace, unity and justice that is geared towards securing our various communities, continue the fight against illicit substances and very importantly, sensitize our people on the need to do birth registration, PVC registration and NIN registration. The citizens need to be educated on the importance of paying their taxes and what the IGR entails. All these we intend to do by the grace of God.

We shall also continue to promote good political processes, the youths need to be educated and enlightened on the need to be involved in the political process and choose whatever party they want. We promise to do our best in providing quality leadership and governance to the people. We are concerned about the promotion of skills acquisition, our youths must begin to pay attention and engage themselves in skills acquisition and small businesses so as to be self reliant. The role of technical, science including all aspects of education can certainly not be overemphasized. Emphasis will be on improving the quality of our education. Last but not the least, we shall continue to sponsor bills, move motions and provide quality representation to our people.

Sadly Sir, we have entered the second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic and people are still not adhering to the protocols, what do you think is wrong? Is it because they do not believe that the pandemic is real? I have severally heard some people say so.

Covid-19 is real. The attitude of our people is the main problem. You go to the rural areas they say Covid-19 is the rich man’s sickness and that we should battle with the disease. There are so many myths going around and it is believed that it is those of us who live in the cities like Jos and Abuja that have the disease. Government has done its part, including making publications using different platforms,  those of you in the media have also done your best. The executive arm of government did its best, the legislature and the Judiciary have contributed their quota.

You know another thing is that behavioural change is a gradual process. Orientation has been conducted, we will still intensify on the sensitization aspect. Yes, some people will tell you that they don’t believe in the Covid-19 pandemic and that they do not care. What I just want to let people know is that this thing is real. There was a day somebody challenged me and the simple answer I gave him was for him to discuss with his family and if they agree, he should take the risk of making himself available for the virus to be put inside him. I was privileged to have worked in NVRI and this would not be a problem, so that he will know if it is real or not. He there and then refused and I cautioned him against misleading others if he does not believe that the disease is real.

I am aware that you have carried out quite a lot of sensitization and enlightenment programmes on the pandemic in your constituency, how would you rate the level of compliance?

Well, recall that sometimes last year say from May till October, Mr. Speaker will say that when you finish your legislative work, go back to your constituents and talk to them regarding the Covid-19. He directed all of us and did his own too in Jos East, I think I participated in one. We did the campaign and talked with the people, including involving traditional, religious, women, youth and community leaders. We also took the campaigns to schools, markets, motor parks etc. Everyone was carried along and we did a lot of things like jingles, playing it from street to street and district to district at all the constituencies.

My rating of the level of compliance is far below average. But all of a sudden, something happened. Let’s not hide it. By last December,  whether directly or indirectly, we lost relations and friends. What happened? Is it not the second wave of the pandemic? The records captured are there, those we couldn’t capture are more than those captured. Time and space will not permit me to share the exact statistics. We do not intend to cause fear amongst the citizens but this scourge has brought down so many people on the Plateau. We pray that God will help us. Let us try and follow all protocols and observe personal hygiene and if we do so, it will reduce the rate of transmission.

The Minister of Health has come out to say that the Covid 19 vaccines would be ready in the country by March. My question to you is that will you take the vaccine?

On the issue of whether I will take the vaccine or not, I want to say that I am also an expert when it comes to vaccine research, development and production. I was in the Viral Production Division of the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) Vom. I contributed my quota when it came to vaccine development and production. Yes, I will take the vaccine if quality assurance is conducted by experts in Nigeria and they tell us that the vaccine is safe and effective. We in Nigeria need to conduct our own quality assurance too.

As a health and medical practitioner, can you tell us a little about the vaccine?

Generally, vaccines are biological substances that when introduced into humans or animals have the ability to trigger responses that when similar foreign bodies, that is antigenes are introduced into the human or animal, the antibodies that are developed, will fight against that foreign body. So that is what vaccines are, whether viral or bacterial.  Simply put in  a layman’s language, the Covid-19 vaccine which has been developed to be introduced into humans is to just trigger that response that will develop antibodies or soldiers that when you have the corona infection, your body system will fight against it. Another thing to note is that for this vaccine, one dose is not enough to boost your immunity. You have to take up to two or three doses within a period of three weeks.

I am of the opinion that we should promote the development of our own local vaccine. I know that the work and process will be very hectic, I have seen it in NVRI but we need to promote our own local vaccine production in Nigeria to clear some of these doubts. So if the quality assurance is done and our experts publish it that the efficacy, safety and everything is fine, why not? But if they bring the vaccine and do not want the experts to conduct the quality assurance, some of us will fight against it. I will personally make a lot of press conferences because I am an expert in the field. So let’s ensure that the right thing is done.

Many Nigerians have expressed fear and the believe that the vaccines may contain some sort of microchip. What is your take on that?

The conspiracy theory is also affecting this coronavirus vaccine. Let me just go this way, if you open up a new business or company and you’re doing production, let’s say for example bread. After your first production, customers may come and tell you that there is too much sugar etc, and spread unnecessary rumours. This same applies to this case. Our fear is that if you produce a vaccine, the safety and efficacy of this vaccine must show that you have done your clinical trials, since you are dealing with lives. During the production, when you are doing your candidate vaccine trial, you must have used animals that have the same anatomy and physiology as humans let’s say a guinea pig for example. There may be problems here and there but this issue of microchips is just a conspiracy theory.

Lastly Sir, can you please give one or two advise to the citizens of Plateau State?

To the good people of Plateau State, I will say this again, Covid-19 is real and taking the lives of many. Ensure you stay safe by doing the needful. Do not take the laws into your hands, you have the right to protests, you have the right to express whatever you have to say, but there are ways to do it. Let’s work hard and pray hard. Let’s unite in peace and pray for the government, developing a team spirit and am sure that God will help us.


















The reckoning time of paying school fees



THE two letter words; ‘’School fees’’ usually comes to parents and guardians with mixed feelings depending on who can afford and at what costs.

The month of each September reminds the benefactor of the ritual of meeting the obligation of settling bills of their wards who are expected to go back to school. This is a time when some parents and guardians groan considering the hash economic down turn in the country coupled with the fact that apart from the school fees there are other responsibilities that go with such. i.e pocket money, new sets of shoes,  clothes, toiletries, bevarages, uniforms  including  new text books and hostel or rent in the case of those in tertiary institutions.

It is also a time in some cases where family peace is threatened when parents tend to disagree over certain responsibilities which could arise as a result of who will compliment which aspect of the school budget and how.  Obviously, most parents are caught by the bug of lack of early preparation or the challenges of the hard times which cuts across all strata of the Nigerian society.

However, the prevailing reality for the average Nigerian that shoulders the responsibility of paying school fees of children of school age can be tormenting with an exasperating pain in meeting  such demands of the time. For instance, a parent who is a civil servant on  less than one hundred thousand naira a month with a child in a private tertiary institution paying tripple more than his income  means paying school fees through the nostrils with other challenging home demands such as; feeding which is now difficult for most families in Nigeria. What about the costs of paying utility bills, health care, transportation and other social activities. All these are enough to knock the brain of any parent or benefactor especially where in some cases even the wages and salaries are not forthcoming as and when due.

A clear example is that of a typical employee in a local government system where staff are sometimes   owed salaries for months. What about the retired workers or those who have lost bread winners, and where lays the fate of someone who is just a peasant citizen whose source of daily livelihood depends on well wishers. In essence, the reality is that we are living in a society where the existence of a middle class has been eliminated thereby ushering us to a present day Nigeria where one is either extremely rich or extremely poor.

The implication for all these is that, for an average and hard working individual to send a child to school and meet with those obligations of the educational sector nowadays, portents the fact that most people may end up as borrowers to pay school fees, or alternatively engage in stealing money from any source or partake in other criminal acts just to see their wards go to school.

No wonder, the rate of corruption among Nigerians has continued to surge due to the common fact that some people have given up hope on the system that is supposed to cater for their needs and wellbeing as citizens and have now found respite in cutting corners in order to make ends meet.

In those good old days in Nigeria before the advent of private schools, there were public and mission schools and government provided free education at all levels and even provided subsidy to the mission schools which made it reasonably affordable. That was also the era of Scholarship Boards which provided soccour to students. Perhaps, that was the beginning of our tale of woes in the country which has now thrown the country’s citadels of learning to mere shadows of themselves and with a heavy deficit of academic excellence. Worst of all, either by commission or omission, previous governments had watched before their own eyes how public schools were strangled to the kind of dearth they are today and left the education sector in the very hands of some opportunistic individuals coupled with lack of vision for the future generations.

Unfortunately, in our today’s Nigeria ,there is a dichotomy among those who can afford to pay school fees and those who cannot which also implies that some of the wards may  likely  drop out of school simply because of lack of funds for that purpose.

However, parents and guardians should bear in mind that, providing education now is a more complex and serious business that requires meticulous financial planning which is expected to begin early by exploring avenues of savings before it dents the purse of the family.

On its part, the Plateau state Government should reinvigorate the state scholarships Board with sufficient funds in order to intervene by providing scholarship and bursary to deserving indigenes of the state while encouraging well meaning individuals, Corporate and humanitarian organisations to follow suit in other to ease the pains of parents that are finding it difficult to meet up with their ward’s school fees.


Plateau and need for LG election



THE local government in Nigeria is the third tier of government that is closer to the people at the grassroot. Local governments are therefore created by law for smooth operation within a small area with their elected representatives for a fixed tenure of office.

Plateau State government is set to conduct its local government elections in the 17 local government areas of the state by October 9, 2021.

The intention of the state government to conduct the local government elections was made public through the Chairman of the Plateau State independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), Fabian Ari Ntung, recently in Jos at the headquarters of the commission’s.

At a press briefing by the Chairman, he assured citizens of Plateau State of the Commission’s readiness to conduct the local government elections in the 17 local government areas of the state.

He expressed optimism that PLASIEC would deliver credible and transparent elections to the people of Plateau State, hence PLASIEC is saddled with the responsibility to conduct free and fair council elections in the Plateau.

The last local government council’s elections were conducted on October 10, 2018 with the exclusion of four local governments-Jos North,  Jos South, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom. This was because of the security challenges that bedeviled the local government areas.

Election still remains one of the basic elements that define participation in any democracy,  that is  fair and free which allows the people to choose those who should manage their affairs for a given period.

In a democratic setting, elections are used as a means to gauge the will of the people regarding their choice of political leaders. Therefore, elections at the local government level in Nigeria has been relegated to the background whereby, it’s the process to conduct a free and fair elections  which is often at the mercy of the state governments and the ruling political party.

Nonetheless, for an election to live up to its democratic standard and merit, it must satisfy the requirement of openness, transparency, fairness and credibility on the ground that an election can be judged.

Yet in situation where only one political party wins the entire local government’s chairmanship and councillorship elections which were contested by other political parties posed a danger about the relationship between the state governments and the electoral umpire that conducts the local government council’s elections.

Needless to say, the Plateau State government through its electoral umpire PLASIEC, should ensure that a level playing environment is provided for both the aspirants and the electorates which will further reflect the will of the people in choosing their candidates that would deliver the dividends of democracy to them.

The candidates that would finally emerge as winners of the forth-coming local government council’s elections should know that they would be responsible and accountable to the people that have elected them into the offices to manage the affairs of the councils.

It has been revealed that, some of the elected chairmen of  local government councils are in the habit of relocating from the local government headquarters to the urban cities where they would rule run their offices.

Before the 1976 local government reforms, Plateau State has a long history conducting election in the local government councils.

Today, Plateau state is 45 years old after its creation and the state would not want to operate anything outside of the tenet of democracy therefore, it is an important obligation as it largely pertains local governments because that is the grassroots. Because its constitute the cornerstone of democracy  in the system we presently practice. It is expected that the 325 electoral wards in the state are ready to participate fully in the forthcoming local government councils.

Citizens of Plateau State need an enabling environment under which they would exercise their civil rights to vote their local government leaders come October 9, this can be achievable when the electorates fully participate in the elections by coming out to vote in a free and fair atmosphere.













A legislator’s impact in his constituency

IN Alan Ehrenhalt’s writing on the topic ‘In search of the ideal legislature’, the writer notes that it is not too difficult defining the qualities of an outstanding legislator. To him, a true legislator is someone who understands the heartbeat of his constituents basically because he or she listens, and by so doing understands their problems, while proffering solutions to them in the little way he or she can.

There is no doubt that of the three tiers of government, that is the legislature, judiciary and executive, the legislature practically reflects what democracy truly stands for. The legislature is said to be the essential ingredient for measuring the dividends of democracy because it is the closest to the people. By dividends, it simply means the basic necessities of live such as water, education, healthcare and so on, making sure that they get to the people especially those at the grassroots.

As a true representative, he or she is expected to fight for government’s attention in favour of their respective constituencies in the area of infrastructural development, provision of healthcare, education, poverty reduction through creating life enhancement programmes aimed at uplifting the living standards of the people etc. Achieving this feat may not be as easy as it seems. It entails going all out, including making a whole lot of sacrifices with the intention of touching lives and providing succour to the people who chose them as their representatives.

We all know that in Nigeria today, people seek political offices for different reasons. Some do so for their personal and selfish interest while others do so with the intent to serve. However, serving the people and delivering the dividends of democracy is a matter of choice and also a matter of one’s conscience. For Hon. Daniel Nanbol Listick who is the member representing Langtang North Central constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, his desire to serve stems from his good heart. As a first timer, his tenacity and resolve coupled with the polical will exhibited in the last two years calls for admiration.

The lawmaker who many describe as having a heart of gold did it again recently,  when all road led to his constituency of Langtang North Central as the creme de la creme of the society converged to witness the second phase of the unveiling and commissioning of his 2021 intervention projects. It will interest you to know that the first phase took place last year (2020). Langtang North constituency is made up of nine wards out of the fourteen wards in Langtang North Local Government Area.

To set the ball rolling and in line with Section 14 (2b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with alterations 2011, which  states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”,  the lawmaker in the quest to further ensure the safety of lives and property took the right step by constructing a Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps qutpost in Pil-Gani, under Pil Ward of Gani district. The completed building described as first of its kind in the community because nothing like that has ever been done by any government, individual or organisation and was commissioned by Amb. Nanpon D. Sheni, a former Permanent Secretary with the Ministry of Defence.

It is a known fact that the importance of healthcare in any community cannot be overemphasized. This is why in a bid to contribute to Section 17(3d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with alterations 2011 stating that “there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons”, the lawmaker single handedly built a primary healthcare clinic in Reak, under Reak Ward in Bwarat district which was commissioned by Prince Alfred Dapal, the Manager Upstream Business Agip Oil, Abuja. Listick also renovated another primary healthcare clinic in Shi Lur, under Pishe-Yashi ward of Gani district that will all ensure that the people  enjoyed quality and accessible healthcare services.

With education said to be the bedrock of any progressive society, the need to place it on higher pedestal became a burden for the Hon. Member. Little wonder Section 18(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with alterations 2011 makes it clear that “Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels”. To add value to this section, a two classroom and office block at LEA primary school Wangwang, initiated and constructed by Listick was commissioned. Also commissioned at LEA Primary School Pagwam- Kwanpe is another two classroom and office block.

In order to boost the quality of education in his constituency, particularly in the area of science technology and cultural education which he believes will unarguably help meet future challenges in the competitive labour market, the legislator made a donation of some science equipment to support Government Secondary School Kumkwam, under Jat ward of Bwarat district. He also commissioned a handpump borehole at International College of Education Langtang. This singular gesture is to ensure that students were provided with clean and potable water. Interestingly, the borehole dug at the shool premises also provides water for residents of the community.

Hon. Nanbol Listick’s accomplishment for his constituents will not be complete without mentioning his interest in economic empowerment. While Section 16(2a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with alterations 2011  talks about “the promotion of a planned and balanced economic development”, Listick has undertaken numerous initiatives towards empowering selected members of his constituency in the area of small businesses and dry farming. He equally provided and distributed to them items that would help in starting these businesses and they include deep freezers, water pumping machines, welding machines, generator sets, sewing machines etc.

It is equally imperative to state here that in his magnanimity, he has been involved in the payment of school fees of ten orphans in primary schools, twenty five in secondary schools and thirty students in various tertiary institutions. These pupils and students cut across Langtang North Central constituency. The lawmaker is said to have also sponsored three students on international scholarships to enable them obtain a first degree in different fields of endeavour. Note that he has been of immense support to NYSC members deployed to Langtang North Local Government Area in executing some of their community development projects.






Irresponsible animal owners, endangering our lives


THERE is no gainsaying that the harsh economic realities in the country has further made  feeding in Nigeria very poor. Stable foods like rice, beans and ingredients for cooking like palm oil and groundnut oil are beyond the reach of the common man. The common saying these days is: We live each day as it comes.

Foods like sweet potatoes, cocoa yam, gotai (with roughly ground maize) which were unpopular in the past are now common foods in most average homes in Plateau State. Talk about na condition dey make crayfish bend. Even garri is beyond the reach of the common man.

This makes one wonder how dog owners are managing, knowing that dogs either eat left- overs or one buys their feed which is expensive. Alternatively,one could prepare the meal by getting the following according to specification: maize, soya beans, dry bones or fish meal, slightly roasted groundnut, mix them and take them to the millers to grind. This could be very tasking.

However, considering the peculiarities of the times, how many people can afford to keep a dog and feed it as desired? Of recent, one has noticed an increased number of stray dogs roaming the streets or rummaging through garbage dumps. The consequences of this cannot be over-emphasized.

Studies have shown that one of the ways dogs get rabies is by eating what bats have leftover which is mostly found in refuse dumps. As dangerous as this condition is, once a dog in an area gets it, all other dogs in that area would be in danger of getting infected.

A worst-case scenario is the danger to humans especially children. A dog infected with rabies does not need to be provoked to attack. It silently goes after any moving object and bites it.

More than a decade ago, two sisters met their death as a result of being bitten by a rabies infected dog.They were from a humble background, and as such, the parents could not afford the treatment. The owner of the dog refused to be responsible for the treatment. Going back and forth like that, the little girls(age between 6 and 9) exhibited all the signs of rabies, including barking like a dog before finally giving up their ghost.

It was heart rendering. The parents and the owner of the dog under-estimated the ravages of rabies and lived to regret it. The death of these girls was avoidable but negligence was the order of the day. If they were administered anti-rabies in 24 hours of the bite, they would have survived it. But the issue of money came in because the anti-rabies injection is expensive but not as expensive as the life which can’t be bought.

Similar to the issue of stray dogs are stray domestic animals like sheep, goats, pigs, cows, monkeys, cats. My mother’s first accident was caused by stray sheep. She had just bought her car and wanted to drop me in school. Among some trees just before my school- Holy Cross School, Pankshin, were some sheep grazing. Just as we came upon them, mother warned them by honking. That seemed to be her undoing. They started running to and fro before the incoming car. And to avoid them, mother ramped into a tree and dented her new car.

That was the day I learnt that it would have been better to run the sheep down than for one to damage one’s car- that was what the small crowd that gathered told mother. For one thing, they pointed, they were stray animals.

A friend to my younger sister almost kicked the bucket when a stray pig ran into her car around Akwanga, on her way to Jos from Abuja. It was as if she ran into a brick wall. She somersaulted a few times but luckily, she survived.

Three months ago,my sister and other passengers in a commercial vehicle almost became history when a dog out of nowhere decided to cross the road as they took a bend around Akwanga. Instead of running into the dog, the driver swerved off the road and entered the bush until a tree stopped it. Thank God, nobody was hurt but the car will be off the road for some time.

The cases are endless.The government needs to be proactive in addressing the issue of stray animals for the safety of the citizenry. What obtains in other climes? I know for certain that strays are often taken off the streets. And if you are the owner, you pay direly to retrieve your animal. In most occasions, one has to weigh if the animal is worth the trouble.

This could be another way to generate revenue for the state and bring sanity to the system. People need to know that owning an animal means responsibility which involves spending money.

People need to be sensitive to know that one has no business keeping an animal, if one can not feed the animal or be responsible enough to care for it the best way possible. This includes keeping it off the streets and in a safe place.

The importance of information in society


Information plays a major role in the development of every nation. Information is the act of learning, enlightening or knowledge obtained from investigation.

Information can also  be acquired through other means of communication by listening to radio, watching television, research and other digital  and cable network platforms that provide information for the vast majority of the population.

It should be noted that, information covers every aspect of human endeavour both civil and military. The military and other security agencies needs information to defeat any act of terrorism or any criminally minded persons in our society today.

The effectiveness of the internal security, like the police and other sister agencies needs accurate and timely information that would help them to prevent and checkmate the activities of the criminals in our country.

In addition, other fields of human endeavours also need information like medical profession, journalists, civil servants, business men and women, artisan etc.

Beyond this, it is the duty of the present leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to inform and educate the citizens, with the relevant information that would unify its citizenry to greatness and as well as mobilized resources for sustainable development.

On this note, leaders must first be communicators of information that would enhance development through heads of ministries, departments and agencies Proper information dissemination periodically on the government achievement so far is necessary.

Information should also be in a language that would be understood by the citizenry.

Leaders should put in more effort to protect its citizenry from fake news. Often times fake news has caused havoc in the way information are being passed through other means of communication to the vast majority of the people that mostly turns out to be very catastrophic to the wellbeing of the nation.

Therefore, some of this information is not factual but misleading which concurrently results in violence because of the misinformation carried out which are mostly rumours.

Nevertheless, the press plays a vital role in a democracy because it is the principal means by which the people learn about the actions and policies of the government. Democracy rest on the consent of the governed, but in order to give their consent in any meaningful way, the governed must be informed.

To a great extend, the world as become a global electronic village. what is happening in Europe and other continents wuld be known within a short time, because of the platforms considered to disseminate infrmation to the vast majority of the people.

Security experts are of the views that fake news become a threat to national security, mischief makers used it to hitch conspiracy to cause crisis among people and the government. Government need to be tough when handling such information from mischief makers.

Government need to embark on concerted sensitization and enlightenment for the  general public on the dangers of fake news carried out by other media platforms without  verification or clarification whenever they are in doubt.

It would be good for citizens to be well informed, because when they are informed, they are transformed, when they are not informed, they are deformed, which gives room for fake news to thrive and  spread by ignorant citizens Government should note that, a well packaged information system would help to curtailed the effect of fake news among.

A well informed society help to reduce the level of illiteracy in individuals which help them to become literate so that they can participate positively in the nation building process. Information is important that promotes economic progress as well social development.



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