Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Thousands of ISIL Fighters Hit by Terrifying Flesh-Eating Disease 'Karma'

As global powers continue to debate the best way to deal with the threat of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the terrorist group appears to be suffering its own internal problems.
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Poor hygiene and pollution has led to the spread of a debilitating disease known as the Rose of Jericho.


As the Islamic State fights for control of large swaths of Syria of Iraq, the group has turned Raqqa into their self-proclaimed capital. But unsanitary living conditions have turned the city into a hotbed for leishmaniasis, also known as the Rose of Jericho.


Spread by female sandflies, the disease is caused by protozoan parasites which cause large, open wounds. Once bitten, red sores on the skin can erupt within weeks, and the virus can eventually attack the body’s vital organs. Other symptoms include fever, a low red blood cell count, and an enlarged spleen or liver.



According to the Mirror, over 100,000 cases have been reported, and leishmaniasis can be fatal if not treated. And most of the infected are, in fact, not being treated. Many fighters, for unspecified reasons, are refusing treatment. But even if they consented, there are few people left in the city capable of handling the outbreak. While doctors from Medecins Sans Frontieres were initially trying to treat the infected, most have fled Islamic State-controlled territory. Major medical centers have shut down, and the only people left to doctor the fighters are locals with relatively little experience.





Throughout history, the disease has gone by various names, including “white leprosy,”  “black fever,” and eventually, “Jericho buttons,” due to an outbreak near the city of Jericho in the early 20th century.

Mesothelioma Law Firm- Knowing what National Mesothelioma Law Firm is

In the event that you or the type that has an asbestos related issue such as for example mesothelioma and you wish to file a case against the organization that has been accountable for creating the condition because of their activities then you should think about choosing a national mesothelioma law firm to help you.


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Mesothelioma law firm Attorney


The task of any mesothelioma lawyer or attorney primarily is to ensure you and those you like get the most effective accessible legitimate assistance with minimal intrusion in your day-to-day life. A national mesothelioma law firm or organization might be better at getting that done for you.


Whenever a mesothelioma law firm is appointed to pursue litigation the company usually asks a financial prize from the judge which will look after medical costs, missing wages, suffering, enduring, and more.


Only after financial help is granted will the mesothelioma law firm company get their fee. They will receive a predetermined proportion of the money.  Because the plaintiff, you or your family member must choose which company should stand for you. You may pick possibly a nearby law firm or even a national mesothelioma law firm.  Do not be misled by advertising. It’s really simple for a law company to place a professional on tv that states it is just a national mesothelioma law firm – if it has offices through the entire states or not. So it will be really essential that you be sure that the law firm you employ has got an office  very close to you, in addition to in various crucial states.


Mesothelioma attorney and Mesothelioma law firm would be the answers to the suffering


To get the payment hence a victim or his next of keen must get resort to Mesothelioma law firm or avail mesothelioma attorneys. Mesothelioma lawyers may assist in benefiting from financial comfort by effectively claiming reward. Besides specific lawyers, there are several mesothelioma law firm which do exactly the same work in an institutional form.   The payment given to the victim after the law suit may possibly amount from several thousand pounds or dollars to also million buck, with regards to the advantage, decades of publicity, injury maintained by the victim and various related legitimate factors.


 


To locate such mesothelioma law firm or organization you can go to the known legislation firms in your locality otherwise a sort through net can help.  All of the legislation firms however handle mesothelioma instances as just an integral part of their organization having a couple of mesothelioma lawyers, but there are a few legislation firms which solely handle such cases.   Be it mesothelioma law firm or mesothelioma lawyers, the thing  the victim is interested in is the the total amount of payment likely to be given and the full  time needed to obtain the cheque, since the time of filling  the case.


 

Why the Russians cannot be defeated -

Writen By Muravei-s


Translated from Russian by J.Hawk


I was compelled to write this article by the following photograph:
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It’s a famous photo. Georgia, August 8, 2008. After the Georgian army’s defeat, its retreating forces regrouped and decided to return to Gori, but encountered a Russian checkpoint.


One can see on the photo how a Russian Army soldier, with a machine gun slung over his shoulder, stands in the path of Georgia’s motorized infantry, whose officers threatened the machine-gunner in order to force him to let them pass, only to hear “go f*** yourselves” in response. Members of the media accompanying the column also tried to reason with the machine-gunner, only to receive the same response. In the end the column turned around and return to whence it came from. Foreign journalists later published an article with the title “You don’t need 300, one is enough.”
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What was the soldier thinking? What did he feel at that moment? Was he not terrified? He probably was. Or maybe he was not hoping to have children and grandchildren, or to live a long happy life. Of course he hoped to.


Can you imagine a NATO soldier standing like that, with a machine-gun against an enemy column?


I can’t. They value their lives too much. So what makes us so? Why are we Russians different?


And why do foreigners consider us unpredictable madmen?


Photographs from other places visited by our soldiers flashed before my eyes. The Slatina airport, the famous forced march of our paratroopers into Pristina, to help our brothers, the Serbs.


200 Russian paratroops against NATO soldiers. What did they feel, standing face to face with superior opposing forces? I think they felt what our little soldier in Georgia did.


Donbass, Novorossia, 2014. Aleksandr Skriabin died as a hero, attacking a tank with grenades. He was 54 years old, he worked at the Talovsk coal mine as an equipment installer. He left behind a wife and two daughters.


Were his feelings really any different from those experienced by Aleksandr Matrosov, who covered the firing port of a German pillbox with his own body?


The core of the matter lies not in fearlessness, or indifference to what’s most valuable to us—our own lives. Then in what? I started to look for answers.


Is there another nation which loves life and everything related to it as desperately?


We live with open souls, with a hussar’s panache. We are the ones to invite Gypsies and bears to weddings. It is us who are able to spend the last of our money to throw a celebration, generously feed all the guests, and wake up the next morning without a penny to our names. We can live as if every day in our lives was the last. And there will be no tomorrow. There is only today.


All of our poems and songs are overflowing with love for life, but only we know how to listen to them and cry.


Only our people has sayings like: “If you want to fall in love, fall in love with a queen, if you want to steal, steal a million,” “who doesn’t risk, doesn’t drink Champagne.” It’s the desire to drink from the cup of life until it is empty, experience everything that can be experienced.


Then why do we, Russians, are able to part with life so easily when looking the enemy in the eye?


It’s laid down in our historical memory, starting with the time when the first aggressor set foot on our Russian soil. It has always been like that. Since the beginning of time.


Only the chainmail and the helmets are different, spears have been replaced by assault rifles. We have tanks and we have learned to fly. But the memory remains the same. And it is activated whenever someone wants to destroy or capture our home. The memory also bothers us when the weak are abused.


How does it work? Alarm bells inside of us start ringing, which only we can hear. The memory continues to ring until the uninvited guests are expelled from our land.


Then the most important thing happens. Inside each one of us a warrior awakens. Every one, from the meek to the powerful. This is what ties us with invisible threads. Foreigners will not understand it. You have to BE Russian, be BORN one.


When our land is in danger, or when somewhere on Earth someone is being harmed, be in in Angola, Vietnam, or Ossetia, our snipers become the most accurate and tankers—fireproof. Pilots become aces and recall such unlikely feats as ramming attacks and stall tactics. Our reconnaissance soldiers accomplish miracles, sailors become unsinkable, and infantry appears to be composed of stalwart lead soldiers.


And every Russian, without exception, becomes a defender. Even the oldest of men and the youngest of children. Recall the grandpa from Novorossia, who fed the enemy with a jar of honey filled with explosive. That’s a real story. We have a country full of such warriors.


Therefore anyone who expects to attack the Russians and to find them waiting on bent knees, welcoming the invaders with loaves of bread and flowers, will be sorely disappointed. They will see an entirely different picture. I don’t think they will like it.


They will see our grandfathers, fathers, husbands, and brothers. Behind them will be their mothers, wives, daughters. And behind them will be the heroes of Afghanistan and Chechnya, the soldiers of the Great Patriotic War and the First World War, the fighters from Kulikovo Field and the Battle on the Ice.


Because we are Russians…God is with us!


Respected aleksa_piter wrote the following remarkable words:


“Let’s look at Bubnov’s painting “The Morning on the Kulikovo Field.” Note the formation of the Russian regiments: the front rows consist of elders, behind them are the younger generations, the young, healthy, and strong warriors who represent the army’s main force. It’s an ancient, Scythian combat order, a brilliant conception from the psychological point of view. The first rows will be the first to perish when making contact with the enemy, one might say they are suicide warriors since they are wearing white shirts and have almost no armor. That’s where the saying “don’t get ahead of your dad on the way to hell” comes from.


The elders are supposed to die before the eyes of their grandsons, the fathers before the eyes of their sons, and their death will fill the hearts of the young with battle frenzy, adding the element of personal revenge. The word “revenge” [mest’] comes from the word “place” [mesto], it’s a purely military term describing the young warrior taking the place in the formation left vacant by the killed elder.”

Use dollars for local transactions, go to jail – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday raised concerns over the increasing use of foreign currencies as a medium of exchange in the country and warned that persons caught in the illegal act risked a six-month jail term upon conviction.
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The central bank said in a statement that some individuals and corporate bodies had been using foreign currencies, especially the United States dollar, to price some of their products and services, and were also using same as a medium of exchange.


The development, the bank said, was against the provisions of the CBN Act, 2007, and asked members of the public to report anyone caught transaction business in the country in foreign currencies to it or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.


The statement issued by the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Ibrahim Muazu, read, “The attention of the bank has been drawn to the increasing use of foreign currencies in the domestic economy as a medium of payment for goods and services by individuals and corporates.


“It has also been observed that some institutions price their goods and services in foreign currencies and demand payment in foreign currencies rather than the domestic currency (the naira), which is the legal tender in Nigeria.


“For the avoidance of doubt, the attention of the general public is hereby drawn to the provision of the CBN Act of 2007, which states inter-alia that ‘the currency notes issued by the bank shall be legal tender in Nigeria…for the payment of any amount.’”


It added, “Furthermore, the Act stipulates that any person(s) who contravenes this provision is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a prescribed fine or six months imprisonment.


“This prohibition, however, is without prejudice to foreigners, visitors and tourists who are encouraged to continue to use their cards for payments or exchange their foreign currencies for the local currency at any of the authorised dealers’ outposts.


“The general public is hereby advised to report any contravention of the provision of this Act to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the CBN for appropriate action.”


Meanwhile, the naira fell to 204 against the dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday as politicians were said to be engaged in massive purchase of the greenback ahead of the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections on Saturday. The naira had risen to 190 against the United States currency on Sunday following the peaceful conduct of the presidential election.


Foreign exchange dealers, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the naira tumbled on Tuesday after politicians mopped up dollars on the streets of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.


“The naira is falling because politicians are buying dollars massively on the street market to fund the campaigns ahead of the governorship and states’ Houses of Assembly elections on Saturday,” one of the dealers said.

Buhari, Obasanjo hold secret meeting in Lagos

The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday held a secret meeting in Lagos.


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Our correspondent learnt that the meeting which held at the Presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, lasted for almost an hour. The meeting, it was learnt, was the first meeting the two would have since Buhari was declared winner of the presidential election on April 1.


It was learnt that Buhari and other All Progressives Congress leaders had come to Lagos for a thank you visit and to campaign for the party’s governorship candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, but had a meeting with Obasanjo before setting out to campaign in the Orile area of the state.


A member of the President-elect’s entourage said,


“Gen. Buhari and former President Obasanjo were in the inner lounge of the presidential wing of the airport where they held a secret meeting for almost an hour.


“The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Senator Chris Ngige and many of us were made to stay at the main lounge throughout the meeting. We do not really know what was discussed but it must have been very sensitive.”


Meanwhile, the Northern Christian Leaders Eagle Eyes Forum, has said the group was not surprised that Buhari won the poll.


The group had before the election endorsed Buhari to the consternation of the Christian Association of Nigeria led by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.


The CAN condemned and distanced itself from the endorsement. Addressing journalists in Kaduna on Tuesday, Chairman of the Forum, Pastor Aminchi Habu, also said under Buhari, Nigeria would take its rightful position among the comity of nations.  Saying that they have confidence that the president-elect would steer the ship of the nation to greatness, the cleric noted that he and his other colleagues, believed that the Katsina-born-general deserved his electoral victory because he worked for it.


The chairman, specifically hailed the National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senator Bukola Saraki, governors Rotimi Amaechi, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Magatakarda Wamako and Ahmed Abdulfatai for working round the clock to ensure that Buhari won the election.


“These men are not only quintessential politicians but also political strategists in their own rights and so deserve special commendation as they worked tirelessly to ensure that Nigeria change for good,” he said.

Aondoakaa, Onoja dump PDP

Following the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly election that saw Benue State throwing its weight behind the All Progressives Congress against the Peoples Democratic Party, there has been high level cross-carpeting from PDP to APC, The PUNCH has learnt.


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The governorship candidate of the APC Samuel Ortom has so far received over 8,000 PDP supporters, notable among them are Maj.General Lawrence Onoja (retd), Matthias Oyigeiya, a former governorship candidate and John Tion a former House of Repsentative candidate.


Ortom in a telephone interview with our correspondent maintained that the PDP should expect more surprises as several others are expected to join him before the Saturday election


A former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Chief Mike Aondoakaa (SAN) and Prof Tony Ijohor (SAN) who is also Governor Gabriel Suswan’s lawyer has resigned their membership of the PDP.


The duo said that they are resigning from partisan politics to pursue their law research and private businesses.


With Gemade’s victory the APC now has two Senators in him and George Akume while PDP has only David Mark. The House of Reps now stands at six for APC against five for PDP.

APC bags 214 House of Reps’ seats

The All Progressives Congress will immovably be in control of the eighth House of Representatives as the majority part with more than 214 individuals.
house

There are an aggregate of 360 seats in the second council of the National Assembly. Figures rising up out of the result of the March 28 National Assembly poll, demonstrate that APC members are presently 214, against the Peoples Democratic Party, which has 125 officials. The measurements gives a gap of 89 between the APC and the PDP for the former.

Film executive Ifeanyi Ikpoenyi apologizes to movie director, Kunle Afolayan.

At the beginning of today, film executive Ifeanyi Ikpoenyi lambasted movie director Kunle Afolayan for remarks he made about Ibos & theft. This night, he’s apologized to Kunle for those remarks.


Ifeanyi-Ikpoenyi_and_kunle_afolayan

Read below



To my colleague Kunle Afolayan, I think I over reacted. My reaction was born out of shock and anger over what you said about my tribe (Igbo). Please I am deeply sorry for all I said about you. Two wrongs can never make a right. Once more, I am sorry.



Ifeanyi Ikpoenyi (Mr Hollywood)

Heavily pregnant Tiwa Savage pictured with Don Jazzy in the studio!



Cool !

Pics: Ibo market leaders in Lagos meet with Ambode, assures him of their full support

Pioneers of Igbo Town Unions and markets in Lagos State met with APC governorship hopeful, Akinwunmi Ambode today April seventh where they consoled him and APC of their backing in the forthcoming decision.


More photographs bellow.


DSS warns on inciting & unguarded statements

The Department of State Service (DSS) today April 7th released a statement signed by its Deputy Director, Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar, warning against inciting and unguarded statements by some Nigerians.
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“Its attention has been drawn to certain unguarded, inciting and divisive statements by some persons. We want to warn those stoking these embers of violence and disunity to desist, as this will not be tolerated. We should all strive to strengthen our nascent democracy as we work towards building a better Nigeria.


We want to also seize this opportunity to thank all Nigerians for their peaceful conduct during the Presidential election and urge them to shun all forms of violence before, during and after the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly election which will take place this weekend 11th April, 2015” Ms Ogar said.


DSS also said Nigerians should go out and vote this Saturday without fear as adequate security has been put in place.

Dollar crashes as hoarders release currency after presidential poll

Bureau De Change operators in Abuja have attributed the fall in the dollar to release of the foreign currency by hoarders who had stored it pending the outcome of the nation’s general elections.
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A cross section of the operators, on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the dollar sold as low as N185 to a dollar as against N220 in the parallel market before and during the Easter holidays.


Ibrahim Adamu, one of operators in Wuse Zone 4, Abuja, said there was sudden influx of dollar by people to sell in the market.


“I think what happened last week in the market was simply because a lot of people, who were buying dollars and hoarding them thinking that the country will go on fire, brought them out,” he said. “We got what we usually get from the Central Bank every week; there was no difference but we had enough to meet the demands of the market.


“And you know that since there was no problem in the country after the presidential election, some of them felt that there was no need keeping the money again.


“I also want to thank Mr. President for conceding to defeat and (that) made peace to reign in the country and that is what the currency is equally experiencing.”


Abdullahi Idris, another operator, also noted that elections and the long Easter break made the currency to fall as low as N185.


“Today, the first working day after Easter, we sell at N202 and buy at N190,” he said. “The market will still pick up; what happened last week was a case of sudden change in the system.


“Again, now they (politicians) have stopped campaigning for election; the demand for the foreign currency has dropped too and during the long break, market closes, it always affects the market.”


Mr. Idris said it was good to have the currency strengthened and urged the CBN to increase the amount sold to BDC to help meet the demands of buyers.


This, he said, would help reduce the amount of pressure on the currency.


The apex bank closed the Retail Dutch and Wholesale Auction system of the Foreign Exchange Market, to help strengthen the currency.


It further, at one point, sold additional $30,000 to BDCs to help demand meet supply in the market.


For over one month, the naira had traded consistently at N197 to a dollar at the inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market. (NAN)

What is wrong with this photo? (John Dumelo's Anaconda set to hunt version)



Performer John Dumelo posted his first bathroom selfie on his instagram page today and a few women said there was some kind of problem with the photograph. Ladies, can you spot what is wrong with this pic above ?

Photos: Buhari, OBJ, Ameachi Arrive Lagos To Campaign For Ambode

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari is shortly in Lagos where he has come to campaign for Akinwunmi Ambode.


Buhari was welcomed by Gov. Tunde Raji Fashola, Rivers Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and a large group of party excos. Previous president Olusegun Obasanjo was likewise in Lagos to see him. What do you think about baba Obj’s move ?

Troops flush out Boko Haram from Borno stronghold

The Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, has said troops of the Nigerian Army concluded a comprehensive raid on Alagarno Forest, Borno State, on Tuesday morning.  Olukolade said in a statement on Tuesday that the troops cleared the Alagarno community, described as a major haven of Boko Haram insurgents, of terrorists presence.

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The Defence spokesman added that the soldiers captured several weapons and equipment from the insurgents during the operation.


According to him, the items recovered from the terrorists included Armoured Personnel Carriers, various sizes and calibres of arms and ammunition, power generating sets, and Improvised Explosive Devices. He stated that the troops also captured rolls of copper cable used for the production of IEDs, megaphones, bow and arrows from the insurgents.


He said the military had commenced a cordon and search and mopping up operations to make the community safe for the people of the area to return.The spokesman explained that Alagarno was also reputed to have provided the routes being used by terrorists to neighbouring towns and countries aside being a major stronghold of terrorists.  Olukolade added that the thick forest in the area and the difficult terrain, which made it difficult to carry out aerial operations, made Alagarno a safe haven for the terrorists.


I'll support Buhari – Clark

A previous Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, has swore to work with the President-Elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.)  He said he will bolster him the way he upheld the late President, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua.
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Clark expressed this in a celebratory message sent to the President-elect, who challenged the presidential race on the stage of the All Progressives Congress against President Goodluck Jonathan of the people groups Democratic Party in the March 28 presidential decision.


He said,
“I congratulate you and reassure you that as you get to commence the process of peaceful transition and government, you will have my full support, as a man who strongly believes in the unity of Nigeria, just as I supported our most respected late President, Umaru Yar’Adua, and his successor, President Jonathan, as along as you will, at all times, uphold the dignity of Nigeria and those things that bind us together as one united country.


“Remember that part of our old National Anthem, which says, ‘Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.’


“This was exactly what the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa stood for, and the late Martin Luther Kings Jnr of the United States of America fought and died for.”


“This is the principle I have always stood for and supported. But some people misunderstood me.”

Singer/model Sefiya goes bra-less in stunning new photos

Dazzling fast rising artist, model and video vixen, Sefiya, has dropped some dope new photographs shot by well known picture taker, Paul Ukunu.


See more photographs bellow.

Mavin Boss, Don Jazzy replies fan who called  him out for not denouncing Oba of Lagos!



At the point when a fan called Don Jazzy out for not censuring Oba of Lagos in light of his assumed cooperation with Governor Fashola, the nonconformist music maker took to instagram to judiciously answer and clarify himself.

See what he composed bellow.

Drop your crown & pursue politics - Afenifere tells Oba of Lagos

Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere has approached the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu to drop his crown and seek after governmental issues taking after  his speech  against ibo. Representative of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin spoke with Vanguard about the position of the group;


“We say with all sense of responsibility that if these were truly the words of Kabiyesi, he has clearly crossed the line of royal decency, desecrated the royal stool and violated the electoral laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and engaged in promotion of hate speech capable of fueling ethnic tension and clashes which are against the spirit of peaceful co-existence which we have achieved in recent years.


We respect the right of Oba Akiolu to drop the crown at Iga and become Director of Mobilisation for the leader of his party if he so desires, but we detest his hiding behind the throne to fan the embers of disunity which could put Yoruba people in harm’s way wherever they are living as settlers. Yoruba people are too civilized to support the primitive intimidation of fellow Nigerians just as we will not accept such action being visited on our people in any part of Nigeria.” he said

Letter to Muhammadu Buhari and Yemi Osinbajo - Tolu Ogunlesi

President Buhari should under no circumstances allow himself to be cast as a Fulani President, or a President of northerners or Muslims.


tolu_Ogunlesi


Vice President Osinbajo should never succumb to the temptation to see himself as a Vice President for Yoruba people, or the Redeemed Christian Church of God, or for Nigerian Christians.


Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo sadly saw nothing wrong in using religion to divide the country; Jonathan taking delight in running from church to church, posing with Pastors and Bishops (he even managed to squeeze in a photo-splashed pilgrimage to Jerusalem), while his party tried to portray Muhammadu Buhari and the APC as Islamists, Sharia apologists, ‘Janjaweed’ and even the political wing of Boko Haram. During the presidential campaign Vice President Sambo reversed the strategy, and did all he could to convince us he was the next in line to Prophet Mohammed, in the Islamic pecking order. (From him we learnt that ‘Namadi’ actually means ‘Na Madinah’, and that Osinbajo was on a mission to Christianise Nigeria).


Both Buhari and Osinbajo should avoid anything that will portray them as beholden to any group of Nigerians on the basis of sectional or religious or partisan interests. They should strive to be leaders for all of Nigeria, regardless of ethnicity, religion, age, or political affiliation.


Two. The matter of the Office of First Lady. One of the greatest contributors to President Jonathan’s loss of goodwill has been his wife, the uncouth, overreaching, uncontrollable Patience ‘Mama Peace’ Jonathan. Wole Soyinka warned the President to keep his wife in check; like much of the other advice he got he ignored it. Buhari has given hints that he does not believe in the existence of the office of First Lady, because there is no place for it in the Constitution. Our recent experiences with First Ladies have convinced me that any President serious about bringing change to Nigeria cannot afford to have his or her spouse running a parallel government in the manner that Turai Yar’Adua and Patience Jonathan did. While I don’t think the Office has to be abolished, it is clear that whoever occupies it must do so with a sense of decorum and responsibility.


Three. Presidential assertiveness. Goodluck Jonathan’s biggest failings, in my opinion, lay in his almost total abdication of presidential control and responsibility, so that he became a hostage of the forces surrounding him. There’s an interesting anecdote by journalist and newspaper editor Jide Ajani, who was part of a team that interviewed President Jonathan in the presidential media chat of Sunday May 4, 2014; the first after the abduction of the Chibok girls. After the chat, Ajani was invited to join the president for dinner. Listen to Mr. Ajani’s account of what transpired while they ate:


“Apart from Mr. Vice President, Namadi Sambo; Chief of Staff, Gen. Arogbofa (rtd); Dr. Reuben Abati; and Labaran Maku, Information Minister; the dinner table was filled with jesters. Some would not even allow Mr. President to finish a sentence before they would interject and complete the sentence for him. When Jonathan tried to explain the complexities involved in the abduction saga and why he remained disappointed in the way the episode is turning out, some people around the table would not let him finish. ‘Yes, the state government should be blamed, Mr. President’; ‘the school principal is not fit to head a school’; ‘Mr. President, this looks like a set up’.” Ajani’s damning conclusion: “Jonathan’s friends and close aides … appear to have ring-fenced the man from reality.”


These buffoons and jesters surrounded the president and kept him detached from reality. Instead they endlessly reinforced the nonchalance and paranoia that came to define his administration. So that when, in February, the Wall Street Journal asked him if there were any plans to investigate the Ekitigate tape, all he could think to say was: “It’s all fabrications. Why should I investigate things that are not real?” And this was the same attitude he extended to everything, whether it was allegations of impropriety against the oil Minister, or reports of billions of dollars in missing oil revenues (“America will know!”), or (in the early days) the news that hundreds of Chibok schoolgirls had been abducted by Boko Haram, or that MEND had claimed responsibility for the Independence Day bombings of 2010 (Recall that he hurriedly absolved MEND of responsibility, because “it is erroneous to think that my people who have been agitating for good living will deliberately blow up the opportunity they have now.”)


What we learn from the Jonathan era is that a President who allows these professional sycophants to hold him hostage will pay for it in substantial political and moral capital. Buhari and Osinbajo would do well to avoid surrendering to these men and women who haunt the corridors of power, looking for whom to mislead and destroy. They will wear all sorts of masks, they will be the ones singing and praying the loudest in Professor Osinbajo’s early morning prayer meetings, they will be the ones hustling to have breakfast with President Buhari or to sit closest to him in the mosque. Some of them are worse than merely sycophantic; they are downright evil characters, reprobate souls for whom no lies are too large, and no schemes too immoral.


President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo will need to find a way to keep open that all-important access line to common sense and outside reality. Our leaders need an antidote to the reality distortion fields of the presidential villa. For all we know Goodluck Jonathan truly believed he was transforming Nigeria, because that was the message his army of court jesters consistently vuvuzela-ed into his ears. Imagine the surprise that awaits him when he steps down from the gilded cage and realizes that even the East-West road (which connects his home state of Bayelsa to his wife’s home state of Rivers) remains, in many sections, a death trap; that it may be faster to bicycle from Lagos to Kano than attempt to take his much lauded trains, that the Kaduna-Abuja railway line which his government has been boasting about finishing is really still a long way from being ready for use. I don’t know how Buhari and Osinbajo plan to counter the inevitable attempts to ring-fence them from reality; what is clear is that if they don’t, they will, in a few years from now, find themselves in the deep hole in which Jonathan is concluding his presidency. And they shall deserve no pity, because they had the example of Jonathan to learn from.


Four, a reading list for the President and President-elect. In recent years a handful of former presidential insiders have published accounts of their time in power. For me two of those books stand out, and not necessarily because they are wholly truthful – indeed they have both been challenged by other players who have recalled incidents and issues differently – but because they at least have taken the bold step of painting a picture of what it means to be an insider in the intrigue-ridden catacombs of Aso Rock. First is Segun Adeniyi’s account, ‘Power, Politics and Death’ (on the Yar’Adua years); the second one is Nasir el-Rufai’s ‘The Accidental Public Servant’ (on the Obasanjo years).


I would encourage the President-elect and Vice President-elect to find the time to read these two books and discuss learning points from them. We cannot afford to repeat the most egregious mistakes of our recent past. (As for the mistakes of the Jonathan era, we are surrounded by them, and are still feeling the many effects). There’s one more title I’d recommend for both men, and this is ‘Reforming the Unreformable’, outgoing Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s account of her first stint in office as Minister of Finance, under President Obasanjo, between 2003 and 2006. There is no sense in repeating, deliberately or out of ignorance, the mistakes of the past. The task ahead is too important, and too urgent, for Buhari and Osinbajo to not put in all the preparation that is necessary. Posterity will not forgive them or their party if they bungle this long awaited task of redemption.


Follow me on Twitter: @toluogunlesi

See the APC's 'message' that got Nigerians talking about Desmond Elliot!



APC Nigeria tweeted shared the tweet “The Oba of Lagos does not speak for the APC. From Gen. Buhari down to Desmond Elliot, even true APC supporters, no hate speeches made so far” and some Nigerians feel that was a strong message to Desmond Elliot.

See how Nigerians react to the message bellow.