Thursday, 20 October 2016

Patience Jonathan explains How She Made $15m In 15 Years


 There have  ruining battle between wife of former Nigerian President, Patience Jonathan and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, over the  $15million in several bank accounts linked to her. Mrs Jonathan who had earlier the anti craft agency for unlawfully freezing accounts,  has explained how she accumulated in 15 years $15million in several bank accounts linked to her.
“The funds in question were legitimate gifts from her friends and well-wishers over the last 15 years which she had been saving in order to utilize to upgrade family businesses and concerns which had been somewhat dormant by reason of the long period of her husband service as a public officer in Nigeria.

“The gifts were given in small contributions by several persons some of whom she cannot even now recall over this period of 15 years sometimes in as small a gift as N250,000 Naira.
In order to preserve the value of these funds which she did not require for any purpose at the time she changed them into foreign exchange and kept them as cash for a long period in her home safe in Port Harcourt and Abuja.
 It was when the family home in Otuoke was burnt down by hoodlums under the instigation of political adversaries in 2010 that she began to think about banking these gifts which had now grown to large sums in United States Dollars.
In 2010 she therefore summoned one of her husband’s domestic aides, Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa to assist her in opening bank accounts into which the funds could be deposited.”
“Unknown to her the said Dudafa in a bid to be discreet about the owner of the funds decided to bank the funds in the names of companies owned by him. When she discovered this she was constrained to continue with the names of the companies when she was advised that it did not make any difference as to the ownership of the funds since the director of the company would appoint her as sole signatory to the accounts in question.”

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Buhari's Failed Promises- By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Image result for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a novelist, nonfiction writer and short story writer. A MacArthur Genius Grant recipient. Read her article publish  on the New York Times:

 I was 7 years old the first time I recognized political fear. My parents and their friends were talking about the government, in our living room, in our relatively big house, set on relatively wide grounds at a southeastern Nigerian university, with doors shut and no strangers present. Yet they spoke in whispers. So ingrained was their apprehension that they whispered even when they did not need to. It was 1984 and Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was the military head of state.
He had an opportunity to make real reforms early on, to boldly reshape Nigeria’s path. He wasted it.
Perhaps the first clue was the unusually long time it took him to appoint his ministers. After an ostensible search for the very best, he presented many recycled figures with whom Nigerians were disenchanted. But the real test of his presidency came with the continued fall in oil prices, which had begun the year before his inauguration.
Nigeria’s economy is unwholesomely dependent on oil, and while the plunge in prices was bound to be catastrophic, Mr. Buhari’s actions made it even more so.
He adopted a policy of “defending” the naira, Nigeria’s currency. The official exchange rate was kept artificially low. On the black market, the exchange rate ballooned. Prices for everything rose: rice, bread, cooking oil. Fruit sellers and car sellers blamed “the price of dollars.” Complaints of hardship cut across class. Some businesses fired employees; others folded.
The government decided who would have access to the central bank’s now-reduced foreign currency reserves, and drew up an arbitrary list of worthy and unworthy goods — importers of toothpicks cannot, for example, but importers of oil can. Predictably, this policy spawned corruption: The exclusive few who were able to buy dollars at official rates could sell them on the black market and earn large, riskless profits — transactions that contribute nothing to the economy.
Mr. Buhari has spoken of his “good reasons” for ignoring the many economists who warned about the danger of his policies. He believes, rightly, that Nigeria needs to produce more of what it consumes, and he wants to spur local production. But local production cannot be willed into existence if the supporting infrastructure is absent, and banning goods has historically led not to local production but to a thriving shadow market. His intentions, good as they well might be, are rooted in an outdated economic model and an infantile view of Nigerians. For him, it seems, patriotism is not a voluntary and flexible thing, with room for dissent, but a martial enterprise: to obey without questioning. Nationalism is not negotiated, but enforced.
The president seems comfortable with conditions that make an economy uncomfortable — uncertainty and disillusion. But the economy is not the only reason for Nigerians’ declining hope.
A few months ago, a young woman, Chidera, came to work as a nanny in my Lagos home. A week into her job, I found her in tears in her room. She needed to go back to her ancestral home in the southeast, she said, because Fulani herdsmen had just murdered her grandfather on his farm. She showed me a gruesome cellphone photo of his corpse, desecrated by bullets, an old man crumpled on the farm he owned.
Chidera’s grandfather is only one of the hundreds of people who have been murdered by Fulani herdsmen — cattle herders from northern Nigeria who, until recently, were benign figures in the southern imagination, walking across the country with their grazing cattle.
Since Mr. Buhari came to power, villages in the middle-belt and southern regions have been raided, the inhabitants killed, their farmlands sacked. Those attacked believe the Fulani herdsmen want to forcibly take over their lands for cattle grazing.
It would be unfair to blame Mr. Buhari for these killings, which are in part a result of complex interactions between climate change and land use. But leadership is as much about perception as it is about action, and Mr. Buhari has appeared disengaged. It took him months, and much criticism from civil society, to finally issue a statement “condemning” the killings. His aloofness feels, at worst, like a tacit enabling of murder and, at best, an absence of sensitive leadership.
Most important, his behavior suggests he is tone-deaf to the widely held belief among southern Nigerians that he promotes a northern Sunni Muslim agenda. He was no less opaque when the Nigerian Army murdered hundreds of members of a Shiite Muslim group in December, burying them in hastily dug graves. Or when soldiers killed members of the small secessionist pro-Biafran movement who were protesting the arrest of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, a little-known figure whose continued incarceration has elevated him to a minor martyr.
Nigerians who expected a fair and sweeping cleanup of corruption have been disappointed. Arrests have tended to be selective, targeting mostly those opposed to Mr. Buhari’s government. The anti-corruption agencies are perceived not only as partisan but as brazenly flouting the rule of law: The Department of State Security recently barged into the homes of various judges at midnight, harassing and threatening them and arresting a number of them, because the judges’ lifestyles “suggested” that they were corrupt.
There is an ad hoc air to the government that does not inspire that vital ingredient for a stable economy: confidence. There is, at all levels of government, a relentless blaming of previous administrations and a refusal to acknowledge mistakes. And there are eerie signs of the past’s repeating itself — Mr. Buhari’s tone and demeanor are reminiscent of 1984, and his military-era War Against Indiscipline program is being reintroduced.
There are no easy answers to Nigeria’s malaise, but the government’s intervention could be more salutary — by prioritizing infrastructure, creating a business-friendly environment and communicating to a populace mired in disappointment.
In a country enamored of dark humor, a common greeting among the middle class now is “Happy recession!”

A hater of women, a president from dark ages - By Femi Fani Kayode

Femi Fani-Kayode
An Article from Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani Kayode.

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”- Psalm 23.
I recited this scripture three times and waited on the Lord quietly and calmly when I heard that my wife and son had been unlawfully apprehended and detained in a bank in far away Ado Ekiti on the orders of the EFCC whilst I was in Lagos.
Somebody should tell Mumu Buhari to stop sending his goons to abduct other peoples wives and 8 month old infant babies and to stop trying to traumatise them, lock them up and destroy their lives simply because they are married to or fathered by opposition politicians and those he hates.
He should leave my wife Precious Chikwendu, my 8 month old son Aragorn and other members of my family alone, face me directly and be a man. Even in war the wives and children of the enemy are out of bounds.
The truth is that Buhari is nothing more than a coward and a bully and he will suffer the consequences of his actions because God will punish him.
I give thanks to the Living God, the fearless lion that is known as Governor Ayo Fayose and the good people of Ado Ekiti for saving the lives of my loved ones and protecting them from the barbaric and illegal actions and tyranny of the fascists of the EFCC.
I have nothing but contempt for these people. They are the scum of the earth and by the time this is all over they will know that I serve a mighty God.
Despite the threats, persecution, violence and intimidation that my family and I have been subjected to over the last one year my opposition to the Buhari government remains implacable and unrelenting and I refuse to be silenced.
I said that Buhari was an evil man right from the outset and that he would prove to be an incompetent and disasterous President if elected into office and I have been proved right.
If he and his security forces are not killing Shiite Muslims, marginalising Christians, silencing and intimidating critics, locking up members of the opposition, storming the homes of judges or threatening bloggers and journalists they are sponsoring Fulani militants and herdsmen to commit acts of barbarity and terror against their fellow Nigerians.
If they are not impoverishing Nigerians, decimating the economy or freezing the bank accounts of innocent men and women and their family members they are tormenting, abducting and locking up the wives, infants and babies of opposition figures.
If they are not intimidating and charging leaders of the Senate and other senior legislators to court on trumped up charges, murdering IPOB youths, butchering Niger Deltans, humiliating and cheating their own party leaders or discrediting and jailing dissenters they are denigrating women and confining them to the kitchen and bedroom.
Buhari has divided our country along ethnic, religious and regional lines as never before and he has subjected the Nigerian people to levels of starvation, deprivation, poverty and suffering that were hitherto unkown.
And it is not just southerners and Christians that are feeling the pinch and suffering the pain and affliction. Millions of northern Muslims are feeling it as well. If anyone doubts that I challenge Buhari to walk the streets of Kano today and see what happens.
One wonders how things got so bad? One wonders what engendered this terrible affliction and what attracted this deep-rooted curse of a government?
One wonders how a country of 180 million resilient, hard-working, educated, enterprising, adventurous, courageous, cheerful, charitable, forgiving, kind, God-loving, God-fearing and strong-willed people ended up with a President from the dark ages like this?
Even members of the President’s own constituency in the core north, his leading party members from all over the country, his greatest allies and erstwhile friends and now his beautiful young wife are complaining bitterly and openly. They are all wailing as loudly and as frantically as the traditional wailers of the wailing opposition.
The response of the President is to dismiss their concerns with contempt and to describe his young wife as nothing more than something akin to a kitchen maid, a glorified cook and a slavish bed wench before a shocked German audience and an utterly dumbfounded world.
His media aides and apologists tried to spin the whole thing by suggesting that he was just joking but this did not go down well with Mumu Buhari.
The very next day he told yet another group of foreign journalists that he meant every word of what he had said earlier and that as far as he was concerned “women had no place in politics” and they belonged to the “kitchen and the bedroom”.
Now the question is this? How can any sane man describe his wife as only being fit for the kitchen and the bedroom let alone the President of the largest and most densly populated black nation on earth?
What does that tell the world about us as a people? How is that supposed to make our women feel? Does the President know the damage he has done to us by that single statement which he made in distant Germany at the very heart of the European Union?
One of his media aides has already told us that he cannot read newspapers and that he can only manage to comprehend the cartoon section of any paper but even at that his latest comments go beyond the pale.
By his shameful and ignorant asserions about women in Germany Buhari has confirmed the fact that he has no respect for himself, for his people, for his continent, for his women or even for his host, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is a woman and her German people. Not only did he say those shameful things about his wife and women but he also said it in Merkel’s prescence and on German soil.
No wonder there was deep outrage in Germany and indeed throughout Europe and the civilised world and no wonder leading feminist and human rights organisations and respected members of the German community were demanding for his expulsion from that country.
It is only in Nigeria that some ignorant, sorry and hapless opportunists and hungry government apologists, freeloaders and beggars tried to play the whole thing down by claiming that the President was “just joking”. Shameless are those who say so.
The bitter truth is as follows: Nigeria is being run by a small cabal of hardened, violent, merciless, paranoid, incompetent, relentless, cow-loving religious bigots who are also closet paedophiles, chronic misogynists and ravenous sodomites.
Such people are happy to marry nine-year old brides and to confine their wives to the kitchen and bedroom for the rest of their lives.
Such people hate criticism or opposition in any shape or form because they believe that being in power confers some degree of divinity and deification upon them.
Such people believe that to to challenge their authority is to challenge God and they see themselves not as elected servants of the people but as divinely ordained representatives of God on earth.
Such people believe in crushing, destroying, humiliating, killing and jailing their perceived enemies and political adversaries for no just cause the moment they feel threatened or intimidated.
Yet the truth is as follows: no matter how many Sambo Dasukis, Nnamdi Kanus, El Zak Zakys, Olisa Metuhs, Justice Niyi Ademolas, Warimpo Dudafas, Patience Jonathans, Ayo Fayoses, Nyesome Wikes, Seriake Dicksons, Iyiola Omisores, Segun Mimikos, Robert Azibolas, Bukola Sarakis, Bola Tinubus, Ike Ekweremadus, Femi Fani-Kayodes, Goodluck Jonathans, Cletus Ibetos, Ayo Adeseuns, Precious Chikwendus, Bintu Dasukis, Patrick Akpobolokemis, Kime Engozus or any of the thousands of others that you constantly malign, harass, falsely accuse, lock up, terrorise, intimidate, charge, traumatise, demonise, malign, misrepresent, beat, spit upon, insult or humiliate, your time is running out and you cannot escape God’s wrath and judgement.
No matter how many of their families members you seek to shame, humiliate, traumatise, pauperise, break and bring to their knees it changes nothing and it cannot slow down the ticking of the clock or stop the disaster that is coming your way.
The truth is that the fear has gone and no-one is intimidated by you, your goons, your henchmen and your security agencies any longer.
The worse you can do is to kill us all in order to remain in power and even if you do that others will rise up against you in our stead.
As the great American freedom fighter, founding father and patriot Thomas Jefferson said, “the tree of liberty is watered by the blood of patriots and tyrants”. Again as another great American patriot by the name of Patrick Henry
once said “give me liberty or give me death”.
Yet the clock is ticking and your time is almost up. I pray that you repent before it is too late. I say this not out of malice or in an attempt to seek revenge but with love and compassion from the bottom of my heart.
I say it by the leading of the Holy Spirit of the Living God. If you do not repent and desist I assure you that the very pit that you are digging for others may well be your final resting place.
No man is greater than the Living God and no government can successfully and indefinately resist the will of the people. In your attempt to silence me, God will silence you.
It is just a matter of time before the good Lord strikes back and pulls you down. Why? Because your wickedness knows no bounds and because you take pleasure and delight in it.
Why? Because there is a God in Heaven who rules in the affairs of men. Why? Because you have touched the annointed of the Lord and you have troubled His beloved people.
Why? Because He is the father of the fatherless, the defender of the weak, the provider of the needy and the husband of the widow.
Why? Because the Nigerian people are praying morning, night and day that your cancerous evil and reckless insensitivity and brutality must be brought to an end.
This is a wake up call and your final warning. Desist from troubling the Nigerian people Mr. President and stop trying to destroy the lives of innocent men and women.
If you do not God will not only bring you to your knees and humiliate you to a point of ridicule and contempt but he will also sweep away your government, remove all your clothes and strip you naked before the entire world.
In your desperate attempt to silence me, the Lord of Hosts and the Ancient of Days will silence you. Thus sayest the Spirit of the Most High God and His zeal shall surely perform it.
Sooner than later He will deliver us from this evil and wicked President who hails from the Darrk Ages.
Sooner than later He will rescue us from the cruel and unrelenting claws of the Dark Angel that presides over the affairs of our land. Blessed be His name forever.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Akwa Ibom state governor sacks all his serving commissioners

The executive governor of Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has approved the sacking of all the members of the State Executive Council, comprises of all the commissioners of the state. This is according to  a statement released my the Secretary of the State government, Etekamba Umoren. The Governor in the statement, expresses his deep and profound appreciation for the contributions of the EXCO members to the development of the state, and wishes them success in their future endeavours. He however, advised  the outgoing commissioners to hand over to the Permanent Secretaries in the respective ministries pending the reconstitution of a new Executive Council.

No reason has been given for the sack so far, but it has been  alleged that most of the outgoing commissioners are stooges from his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio who were selected for political compensation.

Picture of the statement below:

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Aisha Buhari And That BBC Interview - By Reuben Abati

 The article was written by Reuben ABati. Please read on: 
Public communication is one of the most delicate challenges that people in public life face, either in the corporate or the public sector. Many people suddenly find themselves in high places, and they become a source of news, a potential interview subject, and they get chased around by journalists and other media figures who want a story, in fact, not just a story, but a scoop. I used to explain in communication coaching classes and to the bosses whose media I managed, at one point or the other that they should never feel obliged to say things they do not want to say. No matter how aggressive the journalist may be, they should be careful what they say.
A journalist would make you feel at home, he or she may even reassure you that whatever you don’t want published could be edited out, and that if you don’t feel comfortable with a question, you should feel free to keep quiet. But a good journalist knows how to push you into a corner and get you, through follow up questions, to say things you may not ordinarily want to say. By the time the tape starts rolling, and you are encouraged to feel like a star, and your own tongue starts rolling, you’d be surprised the kind of emphasis, what you consider an innocent remark, would receive when it is published. Point is: journalists, while on duty, are not working for politicians or big men and women; they are working for organizations that need stories that can sell. They want scoops that can make the headlines. That is what makes them journalists: getting the good story, the good comments, the good shots.
After reading the interview granted by First Lady Aisha Buhari on BBC Hausa Service, I was tempted to conclude that this is what may have happened. She could have said the same things in a more delicately phrased manner. I have always held the view that anybody at all in a public position should be sent for media training (including how to deliver speeches, poise, pronunciation skills, even basic grammar lessons) before they are unleashed on a Nigerian public that has learnt to subject the lives of public officials to utmost scrutiny. The Aisha Buhari interview also fell short in this regard. She just gave the BBC Hausa service a scoop, which in my view has done more damage to her husband’s politics than good.
Given the enormous effect that the interview has had on the public, I would have expected that by now, she would perhaps have tactically disowned it, put a spin on it somehow, and make it clear that it is not intended in any way to discredit, or criticize her husband’s administration. But nothing of such has happened. And what does that mean? That the interview was deliberate and that she is standing by every word she said. She has been called the “good lady in the Villa.” She has been praised for being a modern wife who can speak up, and exercise her right to free speech. She has been called fearless and assertive. The only thing I have not heard from some of the hypocritical commentators is that she would be a good Presidential candidate for 2019.
I have also been told that she must have spoken out of frustration and that her public outburst about the existence of a cabal in the Villa, which determines who gets what appointment, to the disadvantage of members of the All Progressives Congress is making APC members who feel left out of the power-sharing process, very unhappy. But her outburst is nothing but a poor understanding of power politics. There will always be cabals around the seat of power. Power is so potent the people around the corridor will never leave it alone to the President.
And if it is true that this cabal or the President has recruited non-APC members into the government, then that is a positive thing, it is also a positive thing that the President does not know many of the people he has appointed. He doesn’t need to know them personally as long as they come from all parts of Nigeria and they are competent men who can get the job done. The First Lady seems to assume that only card-carrying members of the APC should work for the Buhari administration. On a positive note, however, she doesn’t want anybody to hijack her husband’s Presidency and she believes those who are trying to do so do not mean well. But what does that say about her husband?
The First Lady is also of the view that if the present trend continues, she cannot campaign for her husband in 2019 should he decide to seek re-election. She sounded pleased with what is being done to ensure security in the North East, but she gave the impression that she doesn’t think her husband has done enough to merit a second term in 2019. Hear her: “What I fear is the uprising of 15.4 million people”. And consider this: “…Nobody thought it is going to be like this. But now that it is so…Sometimes when one is doing something wrong without him knowing, but when people talk to them, they should listen”. Who is that person doing something wrong and who does not listen?
Altogether, Mrs Aisha Buhari has passed the equivalent of a vote of no confidence in her husband, and the people around him. This is a kind of “home trouble” brought to the public. The biggest challenge a man can face is to have his own wife “fight” him in public. And what has happened is both unprecedented and significant considering that a Hausa-Fulani couple is involved. It is probably the first time a lady in this position would publicly upbraid her husband and his team. Is she furious because she has been scorned, ignored, rendered powerless?
Well, even if we were not privy to other details, she was publicly scorned when her husband sent a volcanic message from Germany that she should go back to her place in the “kitchen, the living room and the other room.” Feminists and critics of misogyny have protested over this, quite rightly too, at a time when women are leading countries and corporations, it is incorrect and insensitive to say that the best place for a First Lady is to be a cook, a living-room-soap opera-watching detainee and a bedroom object. But given the cultural circumstances involved, this may well be the future Aso Villa fate of First Lady Aisha Buhari. She could be marked out as an ambitious woman who wants to share power with her husband, and as a threat to her husband’s politics.
See how much damage has been caused already by the President’s counter-response: The German Chancellor glared at our President when she heard that comment about “the kitchen, the living room and the other room.” She quickly ended their press conference. Angela Merkel is married, and she is Chancellor, but I don’t think her husband would dare tell her she is best fit for the kitchen and the other room. And imagine if Theresa May, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Oby Ezekwesili, Grace Alele-Williams, Omobola Johnson, Chimamanda Adichie, Joke Jacobs… had all been chained down in the “other room”. No wonder, President Buhari’s local opponents are already making big political capital out of his un-Presidential comments, and the German public is shocked that any world leader could be so politically incorrect. The number of jokes and memes that have been designed around this husband-wife exchange are thoroughly amusing. Mrs Buhari has also handed over to critics of this administration, speaking points that would be exploited all the way till 2019, and she may well end up not as a powerful force in the Villa but as a strong voice for women’s rights.
It is possible she may be advised soon to recruit spin-doctors to do damage control, but she may have left that rather late already. On the other hand, there is no amount of damage control that the President’s spin-doctors can sell to anyone. Whatever happens, she is cultivating a reputation as a different kind of First Lady. Since independence, every Nigerian Head of State or President has enjoyed the support of his wife while in office: strong, fanatical support. Mrs Maryam Abacha was so supportive of her husband, while everybody condemned him, and long after his death, she has continued to celebrate his memory. Before her, Mrs Maryam Babangida brought greater colour and celebrity status to the Office of the First Lady and added much value to her husband’s tenure.
Mrs Fati Abubakar was a dignified presence behind her husband, the same with Mrs Margaret Shonekan. President Olusegun Obasanjo had as First Lady, the very elegant and beautiful Stella Obasanjo who mobilized support and goodwill for her husband. Turai Yar’Adua, wife of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was also so devoted to her husband’s cause, she was declared the head of the Aso Rock cabal. No one doubted her determination to protect her husband’s interest during those critical moments. You all know Mrs Patience Jonathan. She was as First Lady, her husband’s most vocal supporter. This brought her at loggerheads with some sections of the public who objected to her prominence and controversial statements, but not once did she or the other First Ladies before her, criticize their husbands in public.
Elsewhere, First Ladies also support their husbands. With all the reported cases of dalliance and cuckoldry during the Bill Clinton Presidency, Hillary Clinton stood by her husband. Michelle Obama has also proven to be a very good role model in this regard. Certain positions require careful grooming. Any form of tension in the home could distract a political leader and make him seem vulnerable in the eyes of the public. Mrs Aisha Buhari may have spoken her mind, but she should not make a habit of assuming the role of a radical, in-house critic, throwing her husband under the wheels. She ought to be thoroughly embarrassed by all the fun being poked at her husband because of that BBC Hausa interview she granted. How this matter is resolved between their kitchen and “the other room” is a family affair into which we cannot dabble.

Reuben Abati's 'spiritual side of the Villa', Buhari's 'Kitchen wife' and the curse and pain of Power- Femi Fani Kayode

This is a subjoined article to Reuben  Abati's earlier piece 'spiritual side of the Villa', written by Femi Fani Kayode.  
I read Reuben Abati's excellent write-up titled "The Spiritual Side Of Aso Villa" and I concur with his submissions. I worked in the Villa for three years as President Olusegun Obasanjo's spokesman on public affairs and a lot of very strange things happened there.
Amongst them is the fact that the two people that served as Senior Special Assistant to President Obasanjo on Media and Publicity one after the other, namely the much-loved Mr. Tunji Oseni and then later Mrs. Remi Oyo, both contracted a terrible terminal illness whilst in office and died a few years later. 
Apart from that many other aides that worked in the Villa at that time were also afflicted with strange diseases and a sudden and tragic end. 
Amongst them were Col. Solomon Giwa Amu, Obasanjo's hard-working and good-looking ADC and Mr. Stanely Macebuh, his brilliant and cerebral Senior Special Assistant on Public Communications. 
I was so moved by Abati's piece that I decided to share the following thoughts about the spiritual challenges that those in power have faced. 
When our President can get up and tell the whole world all the way from distant Germany that his wife "belongs to the kitchen, the living room and the other room" simply because she dared to speak her mind to the BBC then you know that he is in the grip of something evil and that demons are speaking through him.
It is all part of the spiritual dimension of living in the Villa that Abati was referring to in his essay. The President's mind has become twisted and he is now possessed by strange and powerful entities. He needs a lot of prayer. 
Yet the problem is much bigger and wider than that. When one studies the history of our country critically and takes the time to do the appropriate research, one thing becomes very clear- that, in Nigeria, politics and the power game is a dangerous calling and terrible business which, more often than not, comes with a heavy price tag.
That price tag includes pain, anguish, betrayal, humiliation, persecution, misfortune, hardship, loss, death, strange ailments and tragedy for those who reach the top and their loved ones. 
It is rather like playing Russian roulette- there is one live bullet in the six empty chambers of the pistol and one doesn’t quite know when that bullet will go off when the trigger is pulled. 
The gamble and risks taken are not only compulsive but they are also addictive and at the same time utterly deadly. 
Sadly the result is as follows- virtually every single one of our national leaders and those that have ever ruled this country has suffered immeasurably at some point or the other in their lives, whether it be before, during or after they came to power. 
They too have shed tears in the loneliness of their closets and have eaten portions of what the Bible describes as the ”bread of sorrows”. Yes, even the rich and powerful cry and even they suffer loss and tragedy.
This is the case for leaders all over the world but in Nigeria it is far more pronounced and common than anywhere else.
Here the angel of death, misfortune and sorrow seem to stalk those that find power and, like an ugly old crow plucks out the pink feathers and precious eyes of a beautiful flamingo, she cuts short and plucks away their lives or the lives of their loved ones. 
Like a light bulb attracts a moth and leads it to a sudden end, so power attracts those who seek it with equally tragic consequences. As painful as it is, let us look at the facts.
In the early  60′s Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first Premier of the Western Region, lost his first son and years later his second son and second daughter were cut short in the prime of their lives. 
Chief S.L. Akintola, his bitter political rival and the second Premier of the Western Region also lost his first daughter in the early 60′s and a few years later lost his third and youngest son.  His second son was also cut short in his prime a number of years later. 
My father, Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode, the Deputy Premier of the Western Region, who was a close ally and second in command to S.L. Akintola, lost his second son. 
Sir Adesoji Aderemi, who was the Ooni of Ife, a close ally of Awolowo  and the first ceremonial Governor of the old Western Region, lost his first son. Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Premier of the old Eastern Region and Nigeria’s first and only ceremonial President, lost his first wife. 
President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s second democratically-elected President lost four wives and one son many years ago whilst Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of the Northern Region, lost two sons and one daughter. Awolowo and Obasanjo went to jail for three years each whilst Ahmadu Bello went to jail for three months.
S.L. Akintola was killed in the prime of his life just as were Ahmadu Bello and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first democratically-elected leader and Prime Minister. 
As a matter of fact they were all killed on the same night- the night of January 15th 1966. President Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s second democratically-elected leader and first executive President lost four children whilst he was in power and was locked up for over two years after he was toppled. 
Chief MKO Abiola, the winner of the June 12th 1993 Presidential election, lost two wives, was locked up for 4 years and was eventually killed.
Chief Bola Ige, the first democratically-elected Governor of Oyo state and the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation lost his first son and he himself was later murdered. 
Chief Bisi Onabanjo, the first democratically-elected Governor of Ogun state lost his first son. Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the first democratically elected Governor of Lagos state, lost his first daughter. 
Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, the second democratically-elected Governor of Oyo state lost his son. Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, the first Minister of Finance of Nigeria was killed. 
Chief Alfred Rewane, one of the founding members of the Action Group and a leading figure in NADECO, was killed. The list is endless and I could go on and on.
Alhaji Musa Yar’adua was Minister of Lagos Affairs in the First Republic. He was blessed with a long and peaceful life. However two of his sons were not so lucky. 
His first son, General Shehu Musa Yar’adua, who was number two to General Obasanjo when he was military Head of State and who for many decades was one of the most powerful men in the country, was murdered whilst he was in prison. 
His second son, President Umaru Yar’adua, was cut short in his prime by a strange and inexplicable ailment after he had been President for only three years.
He was succeeded by his number two, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan lost his brother and his mother-in-law one year after the other after he became President. 
Worse still those that he had been deputy to throughout his political life, either as Deputy Governor or Vice President, always suffered one form of misfortune or the other, whether it be death, shame, incarceration or impeachment, and he would end up stepping into their shoes and taking their place.
When it comes to our military rulers the story of consistent tragedy is no different- General Aguiyi-Ironsi, our first military Head of State was killed. General Yakubu Gowon, our second military Head of State, was toppled from power, exiled and lost his brother. 
General Murtala Mohammed, our third military Head of State, was killed and lost both his son and son-in-law. 
General Olusegun Obasanjo was our fourth military Head of State and we touched on his misfortunes earlier. 
General Muhammadu Buhari, our fifth military Head of State, was toppled from power, locked up for a number of years, lost his mother whilst he was in detention and was not allowed to attend her burial, lost his first wife, lost his daughter and now he has publicly described his second wife as nothing more than a "kitchen, living room and 'other room' wife". 
His number two, General Tunde idiagbon, was cut short under very strange and suspicious circumstances.  General Ibrahim Babangida, our sixth military Head of State, was eased out of power and compelled to ”step aside” amidst massive controversy and turmoil and later lost his wife.
His number two, Rear Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, lost his first son, Chief Ernest Shonekan, our first and only Interim Civilian Head of State, was badly humiliated and toppled from power. 
General Sani Abacha, our seventh military Head of State, lost his first son, was removed from power and was killed. 
General Abdulsalami Abubakar, our eight military Head of State, as far as I am aware is the only exception and appears to have escaped any misfortune.
Yet the picture is very depressing. This is indeed a catalogue of tragic events. Sorrow and pain just appears to be following sorrow and pain. It is a vicious circle of misfortune and calamity. 
Yet the most curious phenomenon and bizarre series of events of all is the fact that every single Head of State or President that has ruled our country from the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja for three years or more has either ended up dying whilst there or has lost a spouse before leaving office. 
President Jonathan stayed there as President for four years in a stretch but the travails of his wife and her series of illnesses and medical complications which suddenly and miraculously ceased and abated after he conceeded the 2015 election indicates that had he continued in office after 2015 he may have lost her and the demons of Aso Rock Villa would have come for their prey. Thankfully he left before they could lay claim to it and before the curse was activated. 
Babangida did not stay in the Villa in Abuja for up to three years so he and his wife escaped what has come to be known as the ”Villa curse”. 
It was the same for Chief Ernest Shonekan who, wisely, never stayed at the Villa at all but who chose to preside over the affairs of the nation from Aguda house next door and who remained in power for barely six months. General Abdulsalami Abubakar stayed at the Villa but he remained there for less than a year. 
However Abacha, Obasanjo and Yar’adua were not so lucky- each of them stayed at the Villa for three years or more and before the end of their tenure they either lost their own life or the life of their spouse whilst there. 
The story is that once the three year mark is passed the curse sets in and the clock begins to tick. At the end of the day only one of the two spouses comes out alive. 
When one considers all these facts and series of misfortunes that have trailed our leaders in the last 56 years of our existence as an independent nation one cannot but conclude that there has indeed been a harvest of hardship, pain and death attached to the highest, most powerful and most prominent offices in the land and to those that are close to or have occupied it.
The truth is that power comes at a terrible price and those that wield it have, more often than not, experienced terrible pain and anguish in their lives. 
That is the price that virtually every single one of them has had to pay. What a tragedy. Yet at the end of the day I wonder whether it is all worth it. 
For as the bible says, it is nothing but ”vanity upon vanity- all is vanity”.

The Spiritual side of Aso Villa- By Reuben Abati

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  This is yet another comical, yet revealing piece from the former presidential media  aid to Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Rueben Abati

People tend to be alarmed when the Nigerian Presidency takes certain decisions. They don’t think the decision makes sense. Sometimes, they wonder if something has not gone wrong with the thinking process at that highest level of the country. I have heard people insist that there is some form of witchcraft at work in the country’s seat of government. I am ordinarily not a superstitious person, but working in the Villa, I eventually became convinced that there must be something supernatural about power and closeness to it. I’ll start with a personal testimony. I was given an apartment to live in inside the Villa. It was furnished and equipped. But when my son, Michael arrived, one of my brothers came with a pastor who was supposed to stay in the apartment. But the man refused claiming that the Villa was full of evil spirits and that there would soon be a fire accident in the apartment. He complained about too much human sacrifice around the Villa and advised that my family must never sleep overnight inside the Villa.
I thought the man was talking nonsense and he wanted the luxury of a hotel accommodation. But he turned out to be right. The day I hosted family friends in that apartment and they slept overnight, there was indeed a fire accident. The guests escaped and they were so thankful. Not long after, the President’s physician living two compounds away had a fire accident in his home. He and his children could have died. He escaped with bruises. Around the Villa while I was there, someone always died or their relations died. I can confirm that every principal officer suffered one tragedy or the other; it was as if you needed to sacrifice something to remain on duty inside that environment. Even some of the women became merchants of dildo because they had suffered a special kind of death in their homes (I am sorry to reveal this) and many of the men complained about something that had died below their waists too. The ones who did not have such misfortune had one ailment or the other that they had to nurse. From cancer to brain and prostate surgery and whatever, the Villa was a hospital full of agonizing patients.
I recall the example of one particular man, an asset to the Jonathan Presidency who practically ran away from the Villa. He said he needed to save his life. He was quite certain that if he continued to hang around, he would die. I can’t talk about colleagues who lost daughters and sons, brothers and uncles, mothers and fathers, and the many obituaries that we issued. Even the President was multiply bereaved. His wife, Mama Peace was in and out of hospital at a point , undergoing many surgeries. You may have forgotten but after her husband lost the election and he conceded victory, all her ailments vanished, all scheduled surgeries were found to be no longer necessary and since then she has been hale and hearty. By the same token, all those our colleagues who used to come to work to complain about a certain death beneath their waists and who relied on videos and other instruments to entertain wives (take it easy boys, I don’t mean nay harm, I am writing!), have all experienced a re-awakening.
Every one who went under the blade has received miraculous healing, and we are happy to be out of that place. But others were not so lucky. They died. There were days when convoys ran into ditches and lives were lost. In Norway, our helicopter almost crashed into a mountain. That was the first time I saw the President panicking, The weather was all so hazy and he just kept saying it would not be nice for the President of a country to die in a helicopter crash due to pilot miscalculations. The President went into a prayer mode. We survived. In Kenya once, we had a bird strike. The plane had to be recalled and we were already airborne with the plane acting like it would crash. During the 2015 election campaigns, our aircraft refused to start on more than one occasion. The aircraft just went dead. On some other occasions, we were stoned and directly targeted for evil. I really don’t envy the people who work in Aso Villa, the seat of Nigeria’s Presidency. For about six months, I couldn’t even breathe properly. For another two months, I was on crutches. But I considered myself far luckier than the others who were either nursing a terminal disease or who could not get it up.
When Presidents make mistakes, they are probably victims of a force higher than what we can imagine. Every student of Aso Villa politics would readily admit that when people get in there, they actually become something else. They act like they are under a spell. When you issue a well- crafted statement, the public accepts it wrongly. When the President makes a speech and he truly means well, the speech is interpreted wrongly by the public. When a policy is introduced, somehow, something just goes wrong. In our days, a lot of people used to complain that the APC people were fighting us spiritually and that there was a witchcraft dimension to the governance process in Nigeria. But the APC folks now in power are dealing with the same demons. Since Buhari government assumed office, it has been one mistake after another. Those mistakes don’t look normal, the same way they didn’t look normal under President Jonathan. I am therefore convinced that there is an evil spell enveloping this country. We need to rescue Nigeria from the forces of darkness. Aso Villa should be converted into a spiritual museum, and abandoned.
Should I become President of Nigeria tomorrow, I will build a new Presidential Villa: a Villa that will be dedicated to the all-conquering Almighty, and where powers and principalities cannot hold sway. But it is not about buildings and space, not so?. It is about the people who go to the highest levels in Nigeria. I really don’t quite believe in superstitions, but I am tempted to suggest that this is indeed a country in need of prayers, We should pray before people pack their things into Aso Villa. We should ask God to guide us before we appoint Ministers. We should, to put it in technocratic language, advise that the people should be very vigilant. We have all failed so far, that crucial test of vigilance. We should have a Presidential Villa where a President can afford to be human and free. In the White House, in the United States, Presidents live like normal human beings. In Aso Villa, that is impossible. They’d have to surround themselves with cooks from their villages, bodyguards from their mother’s clans and friends they can trust. It should be possible to be President of Nigeria without having to look behind one’s shoulders. But we are not yet there. So, how do we run a Presidency where the man in the saddle can only drink water served by his kinsman? No. How can we possibly run a Presidency where every President proclaims faith in Nigeria but they are better off in the company of relatives and kinsmen. No. We need as Presidents men and women who are wiling to be Nigerians. No Nigerian President should be in spiritual bondage because he belongs to all of us and to nobody.
Now let me go back to the spiritual dimension. A colleague once told me that I was the most naïve person around the place. I thought I was a bright, smart, professional doing my bit and enjoying the President’s confidence. I spelled it out. But what I got in response was that I was coming to the villa using Lux soap, but that most people around the place always bathed in the morning with blood. Goat blood. Ram blood. Whatever animal blood. I argued. He said there were persons in the Villa walking upside down, head to the ground. I screamed. Everybody looked normal to me. But I soon began to suspect that I was in a strange environment indeed. Every position change was an opportunity for warfare. Civil servants are very nice people; they obey orders, but they are not very nice when they fight over personal interests.
The President is most affected by the atmosphere around him. He can make wrong decisions based on the cloud of evil around him. Even when he means well and he has taken time to address all possible outcomes, he could get on the wrong side of the public. A colleague called me one day and told me a story about how a decision had been taken in the spiritual realm about the Nigerian government. He talked about the spirit of error, and how every step taken by the administration would appear to the public like an error. He didn’t resign on that basis but his words proved prophetic. I see the same story being re-enacted. Aso Villa is in urgent need of redemption. I never slept in the apartment they gave me in that Villa for an hour.

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