[ Masterweb Reports ] - The South East Governors' Forum has felicitated with the Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who attained 90 years on Wednesday. In a statement by the Forum's Chairman, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, the governors of the. South East described Alhaji Shehu Shagari as a true democrat who has over the years worked tirelessly for peace and unity of Nigeria.
"The Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, is a true democrat. He is a detribalised Nigerian and a role model to many Nigerians. The former President has remained consistent in his advocacy for a peaceful and united Nigeria.
"We thank God as he clocked 90 years still looking radiant and healthy. May God Almighty continue to bless and give him more fruitful years."
*Photo Caption - Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Nigeria Second Republic President
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has congratulated the first Executive President of the country, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari on his 90th birthday celebration.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, the Governor thanked God for the longevity and gift of good health granted the Second Republic president.
According to him, the elderstatesman has remained a unifying force in the country, adding that his wealth of experience and invaluable advice has continued to strengthen upcoming politicians and leaders in the country.
He noted that the Sokoto-born politician who distinguished himself as the leader of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) between 1979-1983 during which time he served as Nigeria’s president, has maintained his humility and comportment thus being a source of inspiration for the new generation of leaders.
Governor Orji prayed God to grant the erstwhile Nigerian leader more years so that Nigerians can continue to tap from his wisdom and experience.
*Photo Caption - Governor, Chief Theodore Orji
[ Masterweb Reports: Obienyem Valentine reports ] - Those that answer Valentine dread the month of February like a plague. Besides close friends who always demand that you celebrate your name in grand style, most confront you with all manner of questions bordering on the concept that your name is supposed to embody. Thus, you are asked whether you were born on the 14th of February or whether you were a by-product of love affair that took place in the month of February. One fact I have come to discover over the years is that people take those that bear the name of Valentine as experts in all known techniques of love, starting with its fundaments to its metaphysics.
Despite much research, we cannot tell unarguably the exact date the feast started, nor the route by which it entered into history. Perhaps it is connected to the life of a certain St. Valentine who was said to have suffered martyrdom in Rome as the Church hagiography would want us to believe. Perhaps, as the legend of the saint’s heroic faith says, it grew out of the love shown to prisoners by the saintly Valentine. Perhaps it has to do with the period in the year when birds of the earth look for mates. Perhaps it is another case of substitution of a pagan feast by Christian feast as a subtle way of blighting paganism at the bud. We do not know. Valentine’s Day is part of history whose beginning has been forgotten, and whose end we shall never reach.
The popularity of Valentine’s Day could be linked to the nature of the theme it celebrates – love. Writing about love, Archbishop Fulton Sheen called it “the most used, and the most misunderstood word.” The misunderstanding inherent in the nature of love often provokes people to ask questions such as: How much of what we claim as love is love indeed? Does love have different levels and spheres? Is it possible to love our neighbour as ourselves, as the Holy writ prescribes? What is love? These are the questions with which the most comprehensive theories, treatises, and analyses of love find it necessary to begin.
To the Greeks, love could be Eros, Philia, and agape. Plato’s ladder of love in the Symposium has different loves for its rungs, up to what we commonly call “Platonic Love”. St Thomas Aquinas distinguishes between love in the sphere of the passion and love as an act of will. The former he assigns to what he calls the “concupiscible faculty” of the sensitive appetite; the latter, to the rational or “intellectual appetite”. Sometimes, people talk about metaphysical, contemplative, material and acquisitive love, etc.
Whatever form love takes, it implies a complex psychical experience of strong attraction to, intense desire for, vivid appreciation of, a profound interest in, ones object of love. The object of love could be a fellow being, institution, cause or even nature. It involves tender affection, sympathetic understanding, admiration and loyalty, with reference to its object.
But apart from a few people who recognize the fact of plurality of love in their analyses, most of us, especially the youth, talk abundantly of love, commonly in the sense of amorous appetite. These are people who confess their loving the object of their love more than their own mothers. Recall the “sugar in my tea” and similar stuff. Our elders consider this form of love to be a form of “possession” or “madness”, and would frown at anyone who would propose it as a fit guide in the choice of marriage mate. They do this, knowing that once the erotic side of love diminishes or fades away altogether, the disinterested element fades too; interest in the other’s happiness evaporates, all tender feeling is eroded, and the one desire is to get away. This is what Lucretius called “erotic befuddlement”. What Dedriot deridedly described as “the voluptuous loss of a few drops of liquid.” It is a spark thrown off by the contact or nearness of two opposite bodies.
In pursuit of this type of love there is nothing that human beings have not done, or are not capable of doing. The love portion that some ladies brew for men they suspect of unrequited love has no platonic aim. It is not out of generosity, rather to get the object of their longing, that men spend lots of money in wooing women. Women themselves do as much. To attract men, they dress in manners to arouse precipitate passion. Eyelashes are darkened with gum ammonia. Checks and lips are painted with sticks of minium or alkanet roots. Adjustable eyebrows are used and often pencilled with lampblack or pulverized or sulphuret of antimony, sometimes it is thinned to diverse shapes or shaved off entirely and painted “crescent moons” or other forms. Eyelids are shaded with kohl. All sort of things are rubbed on the face, in the hope that it will make them look beautiful. Some in the villages still wrap their fingernails over night with henna leaves to make them purple. Padded brassieres are used to make the breast look poised and … Breast enhancement has since become part of beauty regimen. There is no part of the woman’s body, in pursuit of men, that has not been perfected, decorated, refined, stretched and squeezed, bleached, reformed, compacted and shortened.
Higher than the afore-described love is what is often called genuine friendship. In this type of love, there is often the predominance of altruistic motives. It springs from mutual admiration. Here, love is thought to precede desire and to determine its wishes. Marriages built upon this type of love are often successful. Mature lovers discover that marriage transcends the act of multiplication of the species or the fantasy of sexual acts. There are some men who think that all a woman appreciates in a man is when he brandishes the erectile organ to her satisfaction. No. Marriage is more than that. It demands deep understanding and maturity from both partners.
All the foregoing classifications and distinctions, inexhaustible though, belong to the theory of human love. But the fact of love’s diversity extends to the Christian theory of love. Christianity brought about a basic shift in man’s thinking about love. Christianity sees love not in the emotion or passion, but from the infinite perfection and creativity of God. Writing to the Corinthians (2 Cor 13: 6) St Paul said that “love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth...”God Himself is love (I John 4: 4). “Love ye one another”. In this profound sentence, God summarized all the commandments. Love rules the world and was, perhaps, as Parmenides thought, “the very first thing created by the gods to rule the world”.
The key to peace in the world is for men to embrace the ethics of Christ – love. Confucius taught a version of it in his rule of reciprocity (golden rule). Immanuel Kant espoused it in his book, The Metaphysics of Morals in what he called the “Maxims of Categorical Imperative”. All great religions teach it. Until we start to imbibe this golden rule (love), the battle to re-make the world can as well be labelled a utopia.
The sooner we use the day of Valentine to promote this type of love, the better the world will become. Here we are again celebrating another Valentine. How do we make it serve the purpose of making the world a better place? Is it for us just a day to buy expensive Valentine’s gifts and flowers and caress one another in the happy ignorance of the true meaning of love? These are the central questions.
Obienyem Valentine reports.
*Photo Caption - Love symbol
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The former Governor of Anambra State and the Deputy Director General of the PDP National Campaign Council, Mr. Peter Obi has advised
Nigerians in the diaspora to take a critical look at Nigeria and those seeking to be elected in the forth-coming election in the country. Obi said this yesterday while speaking separately to Nigerian communities in Holland and UK.
Insisting that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan remained the best option, Obi said that going by his Transformation Agenda and focused leadership, that he deserved another 4 years to consolidate myriad of reforms he had started in the country. "When you look at all sectors critically, you will see overwhelming evidence of a President who is focused on bringing back the lost glory of the country. Under him, rail transport that stopped over 30 years ago is back. Besides rehabilitating old, narrow gauges, many standard gauges are under construction in accordance with the 25 years Strategic Railway Plan. Today, the Aviation sector has changed a great deal, with 22 remodeled airports as well as 5 new International Terminals bring constructed simultaneously in Abuja, Kano, Portharcourt , Lagos and Enugu. In the area of corruption, the President is focussed on building institutions that will stop the menace by not exposing people to the temptation of corruption. With what he has done in fertilizer procurement and distribution, it is working. Going by his strategic agricultural programme, in the next three years, Nigeria will be self-sufficient in rice production and that is even the reason while some countries are against him- the fear that his aggressive agricultural programme if allowed will affect our import of rice Sent
from my iPad
Speaking further Obi appealed to Nigerians in Holland and London not to be carried away by the clamour for change, which he described as a mere sloganeering by the opposition without convincing anybody on the dynamics of that change. Obi says: "The opposition is playing on the psyche of our people by shouting the need for a change. Let me ask you, were there not changes in Libya, Egypt, Iraq and other places? I am sure Nigerians do not deserve such a change. The change we want in Nigeria and the change taking place in all parts of the country cannot come from a 73 year old elder statesman, however morally upright he is acknowledged to be. What people of that age do everywhere is to offer
advice to the younger ones that have the capacity and energy to drive the change we clamour for or sustain the change already begun, as is the case with Nigeria. The other day, Gov. Fashola said that Lagos needed a younger person to govern because of the stress and strain attendant with governance. If Lagos needed a younger person, what of Nigeria as a country that has the stress and strains of Lagos many times magnified? Even in the Western World, many of their leaders are under 60 years. The USA, for example, has never been governed by a President over 70 years at the start of his tenure.
Speaking on the security situation in some parts of the country, Obi said that the world as a whole was witnessing security challenges, but assured Nigerians that President Goodluck Jonathan is working round the clock to bring the situation under control. He said the measures he had taken, including massive procurement of arms and ammunition for the military were necessary steps as there are no miracles to that as some people would want Nigerians to believe.
Obi who said that the decision to interact with Nigerians in the Diaspora was to explain to them the real issues involved in the coming election as a basis for their interaction with Nigerians everywhere, especially with the people at home.
Commenting on the change of dates for the election by INEC, Obi said that the PDP accepted it because it believed the reasons that informed that were genuine. He said that a situation where most States had not achieved 70% in the distribution of Permanent Voters' Cards should worry everybody and expressed optimism that the shift will enable more Nigerians to collect their PVCs.
The sessions witnessed many questions that where answered by Mr. Obi, who concluded by calling on Nigerians to support the candidacy of President Goodluck Jonathan since, according to him, 8 years will assure the South-South that Nigerians have regard and respect for them as the zone that lays the country's golden egg. "I call on elders of the country to come together for the good and progress of the country and forge a common front in the support for Jonathan. 4 more years in the life of a country is not eternity. Moreover, we are talking of four more years that will sustain peace in the country.
*Photo Caption - Mr. Peter Obi
[ Masterweb Reports: Uchendu Precious Onuoha (Masterweb Special Correspondent-Spain) reports ] - The emergence of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as the PDP flag bearer for the government house of Abia state has a divine conotation. Most great leaders of the Bible time and in the world have always passed through the low ebb of their society as a preparatory ground, and emerged from the rubbles and dust to glory.
The likes of Jesus, Moses, Joseph, and in the modern time, Mandela and Obama went through the rungs as a preparatory ground to acquiante them with the suffering and needs of the people and the down trodden masses they would lead. According to the lyrics of the song by Bette Mider, from a distance the world looks blue and green and the snow capped mountains white.
*Photo Caption - Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu
[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] - The richest oil blocks in Nigeria is owned by a few hundreds of persons while half of 160 million Nigerians live below S1 dollar daily. This injustice and wickedness must be corrected by whosoever wins the elections - whether Buhari, Jonathan, Interim Government, Boko Haram or civilian revolution. When I wrote the report titled ‘How Babangida, Abacha, Abdulsalami, Obasanjo Shared Nigeria’s Oil Blocks’ in April 2012, which was later rephrased as ‘20 Owners of Richest Oil Blocks in Nigeria ’ I had thought that the uproar and public condemnation that followed the report both nationally and internationally will precipitate an administrative correction of the criminality from President Jonathan. Nigeria needs to collect their collective commonwealth from persons who fraudulently took it. It is unfortunate that President Jonathan failed to revoke these illegal licenses to few criminals during his first tenure. Instead some more blocks and contracts were given to few other criminals under his watch. Had he taken such actions, the fear of defeat in the pols would have been non-existent because Nigerians from all tribes and faith enslaved by this bondage would have risen in his defense. It is not yet late for Jonathan, Buhari, Interim Government or even Boko Haram which soever succeeds in May 29th to revisit the disturbing sharing of Nigeria’s Oil Blocks to a few persons without recourse to transparency and those found to have transparently obtained theirs should not be victimized.
Below again are the 30 Facts about the Fraudulent Sharing of Nigeria’s Oil Blocks and those involved.
(1)The process of sharing Nigeria’s oil block national cake is as fraudulent now as when Ibrahim Babangida started the process of discretionary allocation of oil blocks to indigenous firms. Discretionary allocation of oil blocks entails that a president can reward a mistress who performs wonderfully with an oil block with capacity for cumulative yield of over $20 billion dollars without recourse to any process outside of manhood attachments. Babangida, Abacha, Abdulsalami and Obasanjo awarded discretionary oil blocks to friends, associates, family members, party chieftains, security chiefs and all categories of bootlickers, spokespersons and cult members without any laid down procedures.
(2)The recipients of such oil blocks will get funds from ever willing offshore financiers and partners to graciously settle the benefactors, the awarders, facilitators and the Commander-in-Chief through fronts. These settlements mostly paid into foreign accounts runs into hundreds of millions of dollars according to the potential yield of the block. Sometimes, the awarder (sharer of national cake and direct intermediaries) demand additional stakes in the bidding company. The awarder sends fronts as part of the directorship and management of the bidding firms without leaving a link to them. That is how the oil block national cake is distributed to a few Nigerians.
(3) Signature bonuses which are paid when an investor successfully bids, wins and signs agreement with the petroleum ministry, running into tens of millions and sometimes hundreds of millions of naira ,is often waived off. There is actually no waiver; rather a diversion of what would have been paid to government coffers is paid into private purse as appreciation gifts. That is why those in the Petroleum Ministry dread retirement as though it signifies going to hell fire. No matter how little your influence, something substantial must enter your hands especially in hard currency. The nation loses billions of dollars in diverted revenue whenever any round of auction occurs.
Some of these oil field has the capacity of between 300,000 -500,000 barrels of oil daily.
(4) OML 110 OBE given by Sanni Abacha in 1996 to Alhaji Mai Daribe under Cavendish Petroleum had estimated over 500 million barrels of oil. In layman’s language and using average benchmark of $100 dollars per barrel, translates to $50 billion dollars’ worth of oil reserve. This means that $20billion dollars’ worth of oil in the hands of a family or $170 million dollars’ worth of oil daily.
(5) OPL 246 was awarded to SAPETRO, a company owned by General Theophilus Danjuma, by Sanni Abacha in 1998. Akpo condensate exports about 300,000 barrels of crude daily.
(6) OML 112 and OML 117 were awarded to AMNI International Petroleum Development Company owned by Colonel Sanni Bello in 1999. Sanni Bello is an in-law to Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Head of State of Nigeria.
(7) OML 115, OLDWOK Field and EBOK field was awarded to Alhaji Mohammed Indimi from Niger State. Indimi is an inlaw to former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.
(8) OML 215 is operated by Nor East Petroleum Limited owned by Alhaji Saleh Mohammed Gambo.
(9) OML 108 is operated by Express Petroleum Company Limited is owned by Alhaji Aminu Dantata. Obasanjo , with the help of Andy Uba, awarded OPL 2008 to Tenoil Petroleum & Oil Services owned by Tony Elumelu and Jim Ovia
(10) OPL 2009 and 2010 were awarded to Global Energy Group owned by Chief Suleiman Onabiyi and Joseph Obiago . That is why a lot of major players in the oil industry owes Obasanjo and Andy Uba a lot.
(11) OML II3 allocated to Yinka Folawiyo Pet Ltd is owned by Alhaji W.I. folawiyo. Asuopku/Umuntu ( Egbema marginal oil fields) was awarded to Platform Petroleum in 2003 by Obasanjo.
(12) In 2010 Platform Petroleum (owned by Edmund Daukoru,a Bayelsa prince and Lulu Briggs among others) and Seplat ( owned by Prince Nasiru Ado Bayero, cousin to the Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi) teamed up in landmark partnership to manage the venture.
(13) Intel owned by Atiku, Yar’adua and Ado Bayero has substantial stakes in Nigeria’s oil exploration industry both in Nigeria and Principe and Sao Tome. AMNI owns two oil blocks OML 112 and OML 117 which it runs Afren plc and Vitol has substantial stakes in oil blocks.
(14) OML 112 is estimated to have 130 million barrels of oil valued with the current price of $100 dollars per barrel at S13 billion dollars with 25 year lease.
(15) Afren plc is operating EBOK oil fields in OML 67. Vitol lifts 300,000 barrels of Nigerian oil daily. Rilwanu Lukman, former OPEC Chairman has stakes in all these named three companies.
(16) OPL 245 was awarded to Malabu Oil& Gas Company by Sanni Abacha. Dan Etete, Abacha’s oil minister owns Malabu Oil. In 2000, Vice President Atiku Abubakar convinced Obasanjo to revoke OPL 245 given to Malabu Oil. Etete had earlier rejected Atiku’s demand for substantial stakes in the high yield.
(17) OPL 245 and it attracted the venom of Ota Majesty who revoked the licence. However, in 2006, Obasanjo had mercy on Dan Etete and gave him back his oil block worth over $20billion dollars.
(18) OPL 289 and OPL 233 was awarded during Obasanjo era to Peter Odili fronts, Cleanwater Consortium, consisting of Clenwater Refinery and RivGas Petroleum and Gas Company. Odili’s brother in law, Okey Ezenwa manages the consortium as Vice Chairman.
(19) OPL 286 is managed by Focus Energy in partnership with BG Group, a British oil concern. Andy Uba has stakes in Focus Energy and his modus operandi is such that you can never see his name in any listings yet he controls OPL and OML through proxies.
(20) OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited, owned by Emeka Offor by Obasanjo . Immediately after the award, Starcrest sold the oil block to Addax Petroleum Development Company Limited (ADDAX) Addax paid Sir Emeka Offor a farming fee of $35million dollars and still paid the signature bonus to the government. Emeka Offor still retains stake in ADDAX operations in Nigeria. Mike Adenuga’s Conoil is the oldest indigenous oil exploration industry in Nigeria. Conoil has six oil blocks and exports above 200,000 barrels of crude daily.
(21) The oil block national cake sharing fiesta could take twists according to the mood of the Commander-in “Chief at the particular time. In 2006, Obasanjo revoked OPL 246 which Abacha gave to Danjuma because he refused to support the tenure elongation bid of the Ota Majesty.
(22) In 2000, Obasanjo had earlier revoked OPL 241 given to Dan Etete under the advice Atiku. However, when the Obasanjo-Atiku faceoff started, the Ota Majesty made a u-turn and handed back the oil block to Etete.
(23) During the time of Late President Yar’adua , a panel headed by Olusegun Ogunjana was set up to investigate the level of transparency in the award of oil blocks. The panel recommended that 25 oil blocks awarded by the Obasanjo be revoked because the manner they were obtained failed to meet the best practices in the industry. Sadiq Mahmood, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum endorsed the report to then president with all its recommendations. As a result of the report YarÃ¡dua revoked eleven oil blocks.
(24) In April 2011 Mike Adenuga attempted to buy Shell’s OML 30 for $1.2 billion dollars. The Minister for Petroleum and Nigeria’s most powerful woman refused the sale of the OML30 to Adenuga citing national interest. This block was sold to Heritage Oil for $800 million dollars eleven months later.
(25) This oil block business is so lucrative that Danjuma’s Sapetro divested of its investment in Akpo condensate for $1billion dollars.
(26) This business is second to none in Nigeria. That is why any attempt to investigate the activities in this sector will always be futile. The money is so much that they give bribes in millions of dollars. A birthday gift or child naming gift from an oil block owner to a government official could be as paltry as $2million dollars, and if the official’s father died, the condolence gift could reach mere $3 million dollars. When they want to bribe legislators, it is in millions of dollars and any ongoing investigation ends within weeks. They are so confident that with excess money they can buy up Nigeria and they are succeeding.
(27) In the name of competitive bidding, which Obasanjo introduced in 2005, officials bring companies overnight and through processes best described as secretive and voodooist, awards blocks to party faithful, fronts and phoney companies. They collect gratifications running into hundreds of millions of dollars which is paid into offshore account and the nation loses billions of dollars of revenue to private pockets.
(28) During the third term agenda, Obasanjo was deceived that the allocation of oil block to party faithfuls is to fund the third term agenda. With the failure of the third term, the beneficiaries went home with their fortunes and thanked God or Allah for buttering their bread. Senator Andy Uba coordinated the award of the last rounds of oil blocks by Obasanjo in 2005 and 2007. The then minister of petroleum, Edwin Daukoru was a mere errand boy who took instructions from the presidential aide.
(29) The regime of President Goodluck is not showing any signs of changing the status quo. Controversies have trailed the activities of the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Madueke and many players in the Industry accuse her of demanding stakes from every oil deal. Diezani Madueke had also soiled herself in different oil deals and also awarded oil contracts to fictitious companies.
(30) It is hoped that President Goodluck Jonathan will remember his transformational promise to Nigerians and endeavor to face the hawks in the oil industry. The angst in the air is so much that if this monster of illegal allocation of oil block is not addressed, the much touted revolution could begin all of a sudden and all who condoned this illegality at the expense of hungry Nigerians may have nowhere to hide.
The religious leaders should tell these oil block beneficiaries, awarders, fronts, brokers and all involved in short changing the Nigerian people to find means or returning all these back to the Nigerian people, through massive development projects. They should curtail their constant visits to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem for prayers and attend to the poverty they spread in the land. They should build affordable secondary schools, universities, specialist hospitals, roads, silos, etc for the Nigerian people. They should fund talent development programmes and sponsor activities capable of alleviating poverty. The voice of impoverished Nigerians is crying daily and if care is not taken the God who delivered Nigeria from Abacha dark days will visit them with calamities untold.
With the rot in this oil block awarding system and other loot all over the Nigerian nation, something worse than revolution may happen. (This article was first published in April 2012)
Obinna Akukwe is the Director General, Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC)
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports: Jojo Kwebena reports ] - A shocking video has emerged of Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Assembly openly admitting that he refused to sign a resignation letter that would have seen him hand over his vice presidential position had General Buhari been successful in his presidential campaign in 2011.
In an interview with Kadaria Ahmed aired in July 2013, the firebrand pastor cum politician was queried as to whether his refusal to step down contributed to the breakdown of the proposed merger between CPC and ACN prior to the 2011 elections.
“It was not stepping down that was the issue,” Bakare responded. “It was resigning on paper with my signature, to sign as Vice President of Nigeria. I said, ‘No, I can’t do that. I can resign as Tunde Bakare, a candidate, but I cannot resign as Vice President, an office I have not occupied.’ That is illegal.”
“Are you saying they were willing to allow your name to go forward in the polls and then they expected that once you’d won the election, you would resign as Vice President?” queried Ahmed in the pilot edition of her show ‘Straight Talk With Kadaria’ currently airing on Channels Television.
“That is what they were asking for,” Bakare admitted. “But I was not ready to commit perjury, to sign an office I have not occupied.”
Clearly perplexed, Kadaria questioned as to why Bakare still chose to support a party that intentionally instructed him to be involved in perjury, adding that his position as a pastor puts him on an even higher moral pedestal in the eyes of the public.
“My moral code is simple – I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world,” Bakare retorted. “Light does not run away from darkness and salt does not run away from corruption. What you do is contact without contamination.”
The user who uploaded a short snippet of the interview on YouTube today opined that a similar agreement had been forged with current Vice presidential candidate, Pastor Yemi Osinbajo of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) led by Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
“This is the same agreement their stooge, Pastor Yemi Osibanjo, has signed for Tinubu that will ensure APC's dream for a Muslim/Muslim Ticket if Buhari wins,” the video description controversially reads.
- FULL INTERVIEW:
[ Masterweb Reports: Odozi Nwodozi reports ] - From days immemorial, the office of the priest has been viewed with much respect, reverence, and to a reasonable extent, feared. They are seen as the link between the spirit realm which is often regarded as immortal and the material plane where the mortals exist. In Igbo and Judeo-Christian circles, priests are seen not just as the link between the two prevailing planes but as persons with dual personalities who simultaneously inhabit the planes, hence the Igbo adage which states “Okala mmadu okala mmuo”; half” human, half spirit.” They also have the exclusive preserve of accessing the “Holy of Holies” and even eat the gifts brought to the beings they represent, hence the appellation “Oli ife aja”
In the catholic church, priesthood is a highly respected office and those who occupy it are well prepared in many areas of human endeavour, with a training that spans over fourteen years, a catholic priest is thoroughly groom in the order of Melchezedek. Trained in chastity, envowed unto a life of poverty and separated from the rest of humanity in celibacy, engrafted in the spirit of God through revelations and prophecies; media through which God relates clearly with those who He call His’.
Priests are truly in all ramifications “fathers of the faith”. Although well versed in the polity of their immediate societies and the world at large, priest prefer to most times steer clear from active participation in politics except where they are enjoined to participate due prevailing socio-political circumstances as in the cases of Rev. Fr Jean-Betrand Arisitide of Haiti and Rev. Fr Moses Adasu of Benue State. We have also seen critics from the pulpit in the order of Elijah like His Eminence Anthony Cardinal Okogie of the Lagos Metropolitan Church and John Cardinal Onaiyekan of the Arch Diocese of Abuja. While the Pentecostal enclave have the flamboyant musician-turned preacher cum politician Rev. Chris Okotie and former Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Pastor Tunde Bakare as their modest contribution to the pack.
In country faced with enormous challenges, and a populace that believes so much that their lives are controlled by supernatural forces who determines their fate through the deposition of their faith in them and the their ability to adhere unquestionably to the dictates of their intermediaries (Priests), religious gatherings are often filled with people who flock there for miracles, signs, wonders, divine blessings, declarations and prophecies.
So it was little wonder when a certain Fr. Ejike Camillus Mbaka sprang up in the sleepy town of Enugu in the dying days of the twentieth century , precisely on the foot-ball field of the Government Technical College (GTC) Enugu for what Enugu residents then dubbed “Adoration” a programme that held every Wednesday. According to adherents, the man was a bulldozer to the gates of hell, and a present day Apostle Paul in the manner he wrath miracles, as he has the power to cure any type of disease that was brought to him; some even claimed he had the ability to raise the dead. However if i may remember, a former neighbour of mine named Ambrose (surname withheld) went to Mbaka’s Adoration, but did not receive his healing as he died shortly after.
With the popularity of his Ministry growing, Mbaka assumed influence. His weekly programmes became a key factor in determining the cost of transportation in cities in the East as most transporters prefer plying that route on Wednesdays in order to partake of the blessings of the multitude gravitating towards Enugu to seek the face of God. With the influx of followers seeking for solutions to their diverse problems, the Ituku-born catholic clergy began to court the envy of his ecclesiastical peers and a pocket of his superiors. Calls were made for the stopping of the weekly activities as it was becoming a threat to the congregants of the Mother church within the Ecclesiastical Province and beyond, but for the liberality of the then Bishop of Enugu Diocese His Lordship Bishop Anthony Okonkwo Gbuji who insisted that the young charismatic priest should be allowed to go on especially in an era when the catholic church is losing members to the rampaging Pentecostal movement.
As the congregation grew so also the economic base of the ministry, as the ministry delved into commercial activities that were laced with pinning of spiritual persuasions; such items like AQUA RAPHA: “the healing water” and its sister product RAPHA YOUGHORT chased other competitors out of the market due to the hype of their healing abilities. The Adoration Ministries Enugu Nigeria (AMEN) musical label also flooded the society with songs which had Fr. Mbaka as the lead vocalist.
With these surge in his popularity Mbaka ventured into the murky waters of politics with the then Enugu state governor Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani as his main punching-bag. The pulpit at Christ the King Parish G.R.A Enugu and the GTC adoration ground became the launching pad of verbal attacks on the Chimaroke led government house, the peak of it all being the sermon titled “Wicked Generation” that was used by the governor’s opponents during the 2003 elections.
With a populace that was religiously charged, soaked in the opium of unquestioned loyalty to their spiritual lords and psychologically tuned to seeing the government of Enugu state as an evil regime, it was easy for the catholic father to mobilise a huge crowd for a Eucharistic march round Enugu symbolical to the Israelites march around Jericho calling on the heaven to ensure the fall of Dr. Nnamani in the elections of 2003. Fr. Camillus Ejike Mbakaeven tried playing God by saying that if Chimaroke wins the elections; he will pull off his cassock. Well... Chimaroke won the election, was sworn-in for the second time and capped it up with a four-year sojourn in Nigeria’s National Assembly as a Senator. Yet Mbaka has not thrown away his priestly cassock.
With an antecedents that has been laced with partisan postulations, it was little wonder to those on the know the prophetic summersaults of Fr. Mbaka when he busted out in tirade against the government and person of President Goodluck Jonathan during the New Year service of his Adoration Ministry. The “man of God” who had less than one month ago prayed and prophesied for the President while calling the opposition APC “Boko Haram” confused his followers, while confirming the position of his critics that he is a prophet in the class of Balam whose prophesies can be bought with inducements (Numbers 22, Numbers 31:7, 8, 16; Deuteronomy 23:4, 5; Joshua 24:9, 10; Nehemiah 13:2; Micah 6:5; 2 Peter 2:15, 16; Jude 11 and Revelation 2:14).Many are of the opinion that Mbaka went berserk because the Presidency was slow in fulfilling a promise made to him. Thinking that his out-pour will spur the government into action; while another version has it that the multi-talented preacher has been gratified by reactionary elements, for him to speak from both sides of his mouth. Whichever way the public views it that Rev. Fr Ejike Camillus Mbaka has derailed from his prophetic calling since 2003 when he crossed the thin line between politics and religion.
In a country which is politically charged ahead of the 2015 general elections, peopled by strange-bedded ethnic cleavages, and engrafted in the vagaries of religious unquestionability Mbaka over-stepped his bounds when he hid under the banner of ecclesiastical immunity to insult the President of the most populous black nation, and reversing himself on statements earlier made and prophecies earlier delivered. While his voice sounded frustrated, his choice of word at that infamous sermon were rather pitiable, he once again exposed himself as a man of God who has lost the GOD in him and is left with emptiness of the frailty in humanity.
For the bloodshed in the North-East of the country, Mbaka poured vituperations on a leader whose regime has not witnessed any political killing for the six years he has been on the saddle, nor accused of victimising anyone as a result of their political affiliation. A leader who has exhibited unparallel humility and pacifism in handling the issue of the Boko Haram insurgency; an alien phenomenon which all and sundry know was initially an internal political machine created by local politician for the purposes of electoral victory, but which presently has been cornered by reactionary political elements who are using same to destabilise the that part of the country and consequently showcase the leadership as a weak one.
Without doubt the Nigerian military, under President Jonathan has been professionally repositioned both in morale and provision of modern combatant equipments backed with adequate training. Haaba Mbaka! You should have known better. Rather than blaming the current administration for the deterioration of our military, he should check the books to find out when last the time the military bought equipments, and those who were on the saddle when these decay started. Mbaka should exist beyond the pedestrianism he exhibited on the 1st of January 2015.
On corruption the entrepreneurial priest accused the President of running the most corrupt government in the history of Nigeria. What he failed to tell his congregation was that the current administration has changed the medication for the societal plague called corruption from curative to preventive. Today, free money is not in circulation among corrupt persons because systemic machineries have been put in place for the prevention of embezzlement and over inflation of government expenditures. For those who are caught in the web of corruption, the laws of the land have specifications for the procedures with which they will be tried and possibly jailed. Though it is a good system, it is slow in bringing the culprits to book, however the President should not be blamed, as he is not the one who made the laws. Nigerians are on the know that without much media hype or make-believe corruption trials, this President has dealt severely with those under him who has soiled their hands in the common wealth of our great nation.
To many Mbaka sang his Swan song with his tirade at the dawn of January 2015, while for others he has lost his taste in calling. As In the words admonition handed down to us, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ stated “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matt 5:13. For sure, the salt in Mbaka has lost its taste.
Odozi Nwodozi ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka
[Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Fellow patriots;
Nigeria’s leadership crisis is a frustrating detail. The country has seen unprecedented revenue in recent years from the oil sector. The country has also become the largest economy in Africa, with overnight billionaires everywhere. Yet, the ordinary man or woman has waited in vain to feel the welcome breeze of the fortune. Nigeria finds herself in this predicament mainly because many politicians are allowed to loot public treasuries without qualms. They are also allowed to freely collude with contractors to steal the billions allocated for basic amenities and the general welfare of the masses. Given that there are no serious consequences for bad behavior for our leaders, things are only getting worse day-by-day.
The most vulnerable are the masses who continue to wallow in abject poverty and despair. Very sadly, there is a mass exodus of innocent youths and erudite professionals to both richer and poorer countries. To capture a better picture of this irony, some of these fleeing Nigerians seem to have no other choice than to embrace the harsh conditions in immigration jails in the foreign lands as more hopeful than the free life in our native land. A good number of others who do not have the means of leaving the country have resorted to all sorts of crimes—from terrorism, armed robbery, kidnapping, internet fraud, pick-pockets, motor-park touts, and what have you.
Under normal circumstances, people turn to their faith in times of crises but the Nigerian situation is far from normal: The same corrupt politicians have unleashed the sense of impunity into the religious community. They would pose as benign philanthropists, donating huge sums of money or erecting mega churches and mosques. In the process, they dictate the content, character, and manner of many places of worship. Perhaps to continue to enumerate the Nigerian dilemma here does nothing but further ridicule the notion of common sense. The point is that there are crises in most places, just about everywhere—in the East, in the North, West, and South.
Worst of all, the elected officials no longer seem to care or worry.
But biko, truly speaking, why should they care or worry? Why should our leaders worry when most of them have huge bank accounts overseas, can engage in foreign medical treatment, and place their children in the best schools around the world? Please, how and why are they supposed to worry when they can acquire bullet-proof cars, erect huge mansions, polish them with the posh generators, and avoid bad highways by flying in helicopters and private jets? Think of it, should they really worry when they can deploy the police and the army to guard their families or fly them abroad in times of crises? Should these leaders really worry when it never dawns on them that ‘what goes up must come down’—that they or their loved ones can also be exposed to the same poor amenities on the way to their safe heavens in the villages and while around those villages? Why?
The answer to the above questions is quite simple: Our leaders think the masses are fools. Even though elections are supposed to serve as a day for reckoning for people in positions of power, these leaders believe they can always manipulate the voters by exploiting the miserable condition on the ground. They do so by parting a small portion of the illegitimate wealth to buy their way back to power. They do so by preying on the helpless, the elderly and the poor, who yawn for token needs, such as rice and salt, etc—items that only last till the votes are counted. Yet, the most disheartening are the restless youths who are being enslaved and brainwashed in the process. Not only do these politicians rent the youths as crowds, body guards, thugs, and pimps; they energize the scheme by enticing them with bogus promises and other exigent necessities that serve no purpose than to place the poor boys and girls in perpetual bondage. Today, some of our youths have only grown to emulate the bad behaviors of their corrupt masters while others have become so afraid to express their opinions talkless of criticizing at all. To rub salt in the wound, these political merchants go wholesale, by paying off a clique of barefaced tribal and religious leaders, who claim to represent the interest of all.
Here is a very good witness: The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. This new year, January 16th, to be exact, the president was kind enough to admit in his own words that Nigerian leaders from national independence till today, his humble self included, “have been buying and selling votes, and the country is drifting backward.” True!
Also true is that these politicians still think the 2015 elections will be like the others in the past. In fact, the various candidates running for office in the different parties—from the position of the president down to the State House of Assembly—have already amassed tons of money to buy over our votes so as to remain in power or gain power. For example, even though the Electoral Act of 2010 pegs presidential campaign expenditure at no more than N1 billion, the two major presidential candidates seem to be reading the law upside down. At the time of this memo, President Jonathan has opened the floor with over ₦21 billion, rained by billionaires and his serving PDP governors, with many more queued up. His closest challenger, Muhammadu Buhari of APC, is far behind but not entirely left out. The APC candidate has counted over ₦118 million from small sprayers but still hoping for additional N5 billion by selling 5 million yams donated by farmers.
But we have a very bad news for them—this time: Regardless of our differences in tribe, religion or party affiliations; regardless of whatever they bring your way, most of which is our common wealth anyway; this time must appeal to our conscience. True democracy demands checks and balances, transparency, and consequences for bad behavior. Accordingly, the Nigerian situation calls for strong leaders who can provide security for our country and hold people accountable for their actions. The Nigerian situation calls for leaders who will not loot the funds meant for amenities and welfare of the masses. The Nigerian voters are not fools. We need men and women who can lead by example and are serious about curbing the endemic corruption and indiscipline in our society. We need honest men and women who can provide permanent jobs for our youths—not handouts. Now is that time for you to vote for principled leaders who can keep promises. The vote is secret! Now is that time for you to vote your conscience and defend democracy.
Please start by sharing this message!
May God Bless Nigeria!!
Dr. SKC Ogbonnia
Patriots United for Transparency and Accountability in Nigeria (PUTAN)*
*Photo Caption - Map & Flag of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports: Nosa Osazuwa reports ] - A video has surfaced of Pastor T.B. Joshua speaking briefly about the upcoming Nigerian elections, insisting that pastors should not take sides. During Joshua’s ministration in his church last month, a lady, whom he had prophesied to regarding a marital challenge, stated that her husband was supposed to be a governorship flag bearer for Nigeria’s ruling party in the upcoming elections.
“Madam, you are bringing the issue of politics to the church,” Joshua immediately interjected. “There is nothing bad about politics but we should not allow it to infiltrate Christianity,” he continued, drawing applause from the crowd.
The cleric then publicly addressed the current political imbroglio affecting many pastors. “My members – whatever political party you belong – let it from your heart,” he counselled. “I should not allow it to infiltrate the ministry. I pray for all of you. I love all of you. Are you PDP? Are you APC? Are you Labour? You are my people.”
He continued, “The nature of our job does not permit us to take sides; we should pray for everyone and let God be the final. After you have done the job, God will still mark it; you should allow God to mark it.”
Joshua’s statement stands in contrast to the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) as recent reports suggest they have chosen to endorse ruling President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term.
Nosa Osazuwa ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - T. B. Joshua