Friday, March 19, 2010

Barcelona Defender Gerard Pique: Arsenal Should Not Be Taken Lightly

The former Manchester United player reckons Cesc Fabregas could be a crucial player in the tie.....

Barcelona were drawn with Arsenal in the quarterfinals of the Champions League earlier on Friday. The first leg will be played at the Emirates in London while the return leg will take place at Camp Nou in the Catalan capital.

Barca central defender Gerard Pique has been quoted as saying by Sport, "Arsenal are a young team but they are not to be taken for granted. Cesc (Fabregas) is the best Arsenal player, who carries the weight of the team and pulls the wagon."

Pique added, "It's important to play the second leg at home, but it means nothing as last year we reached the final playing at home first, and we won the Champions League."

Barcelona will face Italian champions Inter in the semi-finals if both sides go through but the Spanish international defender refused to be drawn to any such speculation.

"I focus first on Arsenal. They are a very complicated team to beat and have demonstrated that by reaching the final rounds of the Champions League. They are going to be tough opponents."

Champions League Draw: Barcelona Face Arsenal, Bayern Munich Draw Manchester United

The path to Madrid has been blazed.

The Champions League quarter-final draw has been completed in Nyon, with Arsenal against Barcelona the undoubted tie of the round.

Elsewhere, there is an all French clash as Lyon will play Bordeaux, Bayern Munich will tackle Manchester United, while Inter will pit their wits against CSKA Moscow.

The path to the final at the Santiago Bernabeu was all mapped out, with the draw also made for the two semi finals.

The winner of Bayern and Man Utd will play the victor of Lyon and Bordeaux in one semi, while the other last four clash will feature the winner of Inter and CSKA Moscow versus the winner of Arsenal and Barcelona.

CL Draw

Olympique Lyon VS Bordeaux
Bayern Munich VS Manchester United
Arsenal VS Barcelona
Inter VS CSKA Moscow

The first leg of each quarter final tie will be played on March 30-31, while the second leg will take place on April 6-7.

Stay tuned with today as we will have all the news reaction, as well as editorial pieces on each of the remaining eight Champions League teams.

A Corpse For Joint Burial (Part 2)

To pray and protest against kidnapping and assassination in Akwa Ibom State of recent has become daily routine, and if God has not gone to bed, by now the crime would have faded to obscurity. But it is either God is sleeping or unable to answer our prayers on these issues. It can equally be that the clergies: the bishops, pastors, Revs, Arc Bishops, etc conducting these prayers are doing so to register their presence with government because most of them cannot preach against this menace and the atrocities, the corruptions, the decay and calamities of these politicians, especially when one of such dark-glassed-car-going, mobile-police-secured politicians is in their congregations.

This is how we ended when space could not accommodate us. Each day we are told by whatever means that the atrocities we are witnessing in Akwa Ibom State are politically motivated, watered and grown to fruition because of infiltration of our polity with men of dubious, I mean dubious character. At the open we lack the courage to call them to order for a ceasefire.

They brag of commanding every strength and having the connection you may not imagine. We can only be intimidated but not inwardly intimated to cap their follies, thus giving them the air to torment us. As we join Pastor Ime Ime Jerome to dance round Uyo in protest against this kidnapping and mannapping, we must advise the churches to shift emphasis from wealth creation, prosperity and mass acquisition of wealth to value creation and high level morality to nip every other nuisance that can brew from morality and value disconnect at bud.

These days, Pastor hardly preach against immorality evidence in improper dressing among women and youths in our society. They concentrate so much on wealth creation, even while wealth creation is not evil, the drive to amass it when the time is not right can lead many into temptation vis-a-vis, thuggery and cultism. A cultic evaded society may witness increase in kidnapping and cold blood murder as is the case in Akwa Ibom of recent. A we open the coven, we must not forget to nail all these and jointly bury them for eternity. Back to our orthodox religious practices, a careful analysis of even dance steps in churches today reveal an invitation for sexual spree and this is often than not dismissed with as glee by men of God in charge in the pretext that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy; and when we record high incidences of rape, unwanted pregnancy, we turn for who to blame. When I watched the skimpy, flimsy dressing, the Awilo and chest-beating dance steps by youths of that protest, I felt we need more of the works than the show. If our Pastors can beef up their spiritual assignment far from what is obtained now, a little prayer from here can do the magic.
Just as we have taken our search light, the house of worship, our lawmaking arm - our legislators must equally be called to order. In my estimation, they have left their primary assignment, a duty they vowed to do during their electioneering campaigns to other aspects that were never mentioned in the chats. They have made themselves tinkling-symbals for the second term ambition of his excellency to the detriment of the roles expected of them. If they can sponsor investigations into allegation of cultic involvement by high ranking individuals in the society, a little prayer again can do the magic. All the while we have had honourable members who sit at our legislative chamber to fill their pockets. They use the proceed of our oil money to run campaign for a so called continuity at the detriment of their legislative assignment.

I laugh along side other minds when I see a legislator on TV screen doing nothing, saying nothing other than the continuity of Chief Godswill Akpabio beyond 2011 and 2015. I am not against Governor Godswill Akpabio's continuity but I honestly don't think that our lawmakers should become his campaign boys. I don't think they should openly pledge allegiance to the governor as this will directly mean they will overlook his excesses where they are recorded, a key function of their calling as legislators.

These lawmakers hardly talk about child trafficking, poverty reduction, child labour among other things hunting us. This eye service, insincerity and negligence of duty is a corpse we must jointly buriy with the coffin drove around town by Pastor Ime Ime Jerome.

Help Tell The Jews What Obong Attah Wants

Leave them alone,
Leave them to be
Men lost to shame,
To honour lost!
Servant kinglets,
Riding to war
Against their own...
- R. E. G. Armattoe

Earnestly, I don't have anything in mind against the Jews, afterall, I am made to understand that the whole people occupying Akwa Ibom State and Southern part of Cross River State (including myself) migrated from the Jewish stock of the Sinai peninsular. Though sometimes last year, I wrote a sort of reactionary piece in one of the local tabloids which I titled, “Obong Attah's open letter and the truth about the Jews”. In the said article, I exposed inherently some of the Jewish traits that are found in (the behaviours of) our people. It was an extensive write-up which was propelled by a sycophantic advertorial published by Engr. Udo Mbosoh, (in National and Local tabloids) who, in trying to please the sitting governor (in a bid to influence some contracts) condemned Obong Attah's professional advice to his former commissioner (now the state governor), Chief Godswill Akpabio.
In today's piece, I will also expose other Jews who are even more sycophantic in their behaviours and thoughts of recent, than Mr. Udo Mbosoh.

But before I go on, let me quickly tender an unreserved apology to the people of Akwa Ibom State who are Jews the people of God. Let me also say that it is not my intention to always see the Jews in the negative perspective. But I have to do so in order to give you the background to some people's behaviour in our dear state.

Of all Jews scattering all over Africa, the Ibibio Jews are those that brought with them the negative aspects of the original Jews. These include: selling of birthrights, betrayal, denial, casting the first stone on their leaders, hypocrisy, eye-service/sycophancy, etc.

Remember, the first article I wrote about the Jews was motivated by the hypocritic nature of Engr. Udo Mbosoh when he came out condemning Obong Attah's Open letter. This second one is still propelled by yet, another malbehaviours of a certain group of men whom I had much regards for in days before now. This group of men, just like Udo Mbosoh, has sought to know what Obong Attah want just to please the sitting governor. Because of this, they have resorted to attacking Obong Victor Attah on pages of Newspapers (Though it does not hold water).

Before I move on to tell them what Obong Attah (though I am not his spokesman) wants, I will like to tell you the little I know about them. The Jews by all standards are hypocrites who would not mind “shouting crucify him, crucify him!” to a man whom they once shouted “hosanna, hosanna! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”. They are those who sees nothing wrong in slaughtering their integrity and respect on the alter of greed. They are those who will sell their brothers because he has a dream. They are those who will tell lies in order to tarnish the reputation of their kinsman.

In fact, the Jews are not only those who crucify Jesus Christ of Nazareth, but are also those that deny their master (brother) before the first cock crows in order to be friendly with the enemies. They are not only those that worship in synagogue(s), but include all those that play politics with bitterness.

Recently, Obong Victor Attah, the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator J. J. Akpanudoedeghe, former Senator, and former Minister of FCT, Group Captain Sam Enwang, former Military Governor of Rivers and Ogun States and Otuekong Idongesit Udokpo, former Commissioner for Special Duties, jointly wrote an article on pages of National tabloids, condemning the security situation of the state and blaming the government (which every right-thinking person also does) for lacking the political will to tame kidnapping and general insecurity in the state. Though the said article says that kidnapping is only targeted at the Ibibios (which of course is nothing but the truth). In fact, I support, let all of us support the fact that the situation in Akwa Ibom today is in “furtherance of a well planned ethnic cleansing originated at the crises of the Ibibio Union of Old”

But to my greatest surprise, that article which was given a nod by a greater percentage of Akwa Ibom people was (and still is) attacked by Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, Sunny Jackson Udoh, Chief (Mrs.) Helen Esuene, Akparawa Godwin Ntuk Udeh, Capt. Iniobong Ekong, Obong Peter Ekpe Atakpo, Obong Bassey Inuaeyen, and Dr. Maurice Ebong. These Jews, instead of advising the state government to live up to (the) expectation, resorted to asking, rather Jewishly, a question that has no basis: “What does Obong Victor Attah want?” (published in both local and national tabloids).

Let me tell them that Obong Attah is neither looking for contract nor position (because he is contented with the little he has); but all what he is looking for is the political will to tame kidnapping, insecurity, poverty, assassination, hunger, and corruption that are hanging like a sword of Damocle on the the “head” of Akwa Ibom State. What Obong Attah wants is to see the oil money which he laboured for being used judiciously, he wants ring roads to be constructed and not Tropicana and flyover which are now conduit pipes through which our money disappears.

I think Obong Attah and his co-signatories would want the government to stop awarding one kilometer road at the cost of one billion Naira. They want political motivated kidnapping and killings to stop forth within Akwa Ibom State.

In fact, Obong Attah and his co-signatories want Akwa Ibom people to be properly informed; they want the people to know (of course they know) that Airport, Le Meridien, Golf Course, APICO house, museum, Stock Exchange building, Ibaka seaport, hundreds of roads, Ibom Science Park, Ultra-modern motor parks, Ibom Plaza, Displays Machine at UUTH, Shelter Afrique, Osong Ama, Ewet Housing and other estates scattering all over the 31 Local Government Areas, House of Assembly Complex, Judiciary Complex, Governor's Lodge, Ibom Power Plants and other projects which are now claimed to be the works of Governor Akpabio, were done by Obong Attah.

Who are the Jews? To me Jews are the “mme-efre-mfon”. They are those who once upon a time dined and wined with Obong Victor Attah who they now want to nail. They are those who did not see anything good in Akpabio's aspiration, but now they have suddenly joined his choir of praise-singers.

Otuekong, Idongesit Nkanga is now combat ready to nail anybody that is aspiring to take over from Chief Akpabio (his master), forgetting that he too had aspired to unseat Obong Attah. Since he could not succeed, Attah being a Christian, on seeing that he was left with nothing to make ends meet, compensated him by appointing him (Otuekong Nkanga) the Chairman of Ibom Airport implementation committee, with executive powers the position he still holds till today, though the executive functions seem to have been withdrawn from him.

Should I go on talking about Sunny Jackson Udoh whom Obong Attah gave a contract to furnish Le Meridien (5-star) Hotel under the name of Jackson Davos? Should I also write about Obong Bassey Inuaeyen who renovated Government House during Obong Attah? Is it necessary to mention Akparawa Ntuk Udeh who seems to forget the past in a hurry, after furnishing Governor's Lodge, House of Assembly Complex and Presidential Lodge? Is it pertinent to tell you here who endorsed Mrs. Helen Esuene for ministerial appointment?

Will it be a waste of ink if I start writing about Captain Iniobong Ekong, Obong Peter Ekpe Atakpo and Dr. Maurice Ebong?
Let me conclude by reminding my readers that though we migrated from Israel, according to Nabi Umoh-faithmann, some of us have let go some negative attitudes, while some still hold onto them. Therefore, the Jews are not necessarily those that migrated from Israel, but are those who denied their friends, and are those who sit in the council of the ungodly and support inequities.

Earnestly, it was because of the behaviours of men like those I have mentioned above, who also migrated from Israel to form Ghanaian Jews that propelled R. E. G. Armattoe, a Ghanaian poet to advice his kinsmen to “leave them alone/leave them to be/ men lost of shame/to honour lost! Servant Kinglets/Riding to war/Against their own/watched by their foes/who urge them on/And laugh at them!”. This is nothing but Salient Points, so spare me!.

Beckham ''Destroyed'' By Injury Blow

David Beckham was "completely destroyed" when he reported the news of his torn Achilles to the England camp immediately after it occurred on Sunday night.

Fabio Capello is awaiting the full medical details after Beckham's surgery on Monday, but the England camp already know that the midfielder won't play for six months - at the earliest.

An FA insider told Soccernet of the highly charged, emotional call from Beckham on Sunday night: "He sounded destroyed, completely destroyed. He must have known he would miss the World Cup, there was little anyone could say to console him.

"He didn't realise what happened at first, he heard a big shot, as if he had been shot by someone with a gun. It is such a shame, and you can imagine how he was feeling. There was little to say to make him feel better.

"Although we are still waiting to hear from the doctor on how the surgery went, we know from our experiences that, with this type of injury, the player will not be able to play for six to seven months, and that is for sure."

The insider confirmed that Capello would have selected Beckham in England's 23-man final squad, even though doubts were raised after the Egypt game at Wembley whether he would make the final cut.

Yobo Hints At Everton Departure

Nigeria defender Joseph Yobo is set to leave Everton in the summer after a falling out with manager David Moyes.

Yobo was an unused substitute in the last two games against Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City and the Liverpool Echo reports that Silvain Distin, John Heitinga and the back from injury Phil Jagielka have all moved ahead of the Nigerian in the defensive pecking order.

However, understands from very reliable sources close to the player that Yobo's insistence in joining up with Nigeria for the African Nations Cup infuriated his manager.

The defender missed games in December following a hamstring injury and when he suffered the same injury playing for Nigeria, Moyes lost it.

It was the Nigerian's turn to lose his cool when Moyes left him out of two consecutive games, and he confronted the manager.

"Joe was very upset and he went in to see Moyes and make his feelings known.
Yobo joined Everton in July 2002 from Olympic Marseille and has gone on to become one of the club's defensive stalwarts, including playing every minute of every game in the 2006/2007 season.

Hull Sack Phil Brown

Phil Brown has been sacked as Hull City manager with the Tigers revealing they felt a change of leadership was the "correct option" in order to protect the club's top-flight status.

Hull have taken the decision to relieve Brown of his duties following a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday in which the Tigers conceded an injury-time goal having battled admirably despite being down to ten men following the first-half dismissal of George Boateng.

But Brown had been forced to deal with embarrassing headlines prior to the game when Nick Barmby and Jimmy Bullard were involved in a scrap in front of members of the Women's Institute near the Humber Bridge.

With the club in 19th place having won only five of 29 Premier League games this season, the board have now removed Brown and placed Brian Horton and Steve Parkin in temporary charge of the side as Hull seek to avoid relegation.

Samuel Peter Eyes IBF Title Shot

Samuel Peter is closing on another title shot after stopping Nagy Aguilera inside two rounds in an IBF heavyweight eliminator in Texas.

The 'Nigerian Nightmare' has now enjoyed four stoppage wins since re-dedicating himself following successive losses to Vitali Klitschko and Eddie Chambers.

Peter briefly held the WBC title before losing it to the returning Klitschko in a lamentable display that saw him quit after eight one-sided rounds.
However, now weighing in more than a stone lighter, the 29-year-old could be in line for a final eliminator against Alexander Povetkin.

Victory over the undefeated Russian could see Peter in a return match with Wladimir Klitschko, holder of the IBF, WBO and IBO belts.

Peter had the younger Klitschko on the deck three times in their first encounter back in 2005 but the Ukrainian fought back to take a narrow points decision.
Klitschko will first put his titles on the line against Chambers in Dusseldorf on Saturday night.

Mourinho Reunites With Mikel, Drogba As Inter Milan Battles Chelsea In Champions League Cracker

Portuguese coach, Jose Mourinho will be reuniting with most of the footballers he turned into world class players during his reign at Stamford Bridge as he will be returning to the stadium when Chelsea hosts Inter Milan in the make or mar cracker which will decide who amongst the two sides make it to the last eight. The likes of Nigerian born Mikel Obi, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, John Terry will be involved in what could be termed an 'emotional game'.

Basking In Hope And Expectation
At the start of the season Chelsea were one of the favourites for the Champions League trophy, and indeed they have looked good in Europe this campaign, although suspicions persist as to whether they were truly tested in the group stages. Therefore, Inter were their first main test in Europe's premier club competition and they did expressed their calibre and quality a fortnight ago.

Inter might have won the first leg of their Round of 16 tie 2-1 in Milan, but Chelsea weren't particularly bad and do have a valuable away goal, which Carlo Ancelotti and the rest of the Chelsea unit will be quick to point out as a potentially crucial factor in how the two sides approach the game on Tuesday evening. Chelsea know that they have to score to progress, while a draw will be good enough for the Nerazzurri.

The Premier League side have failed to make it to the semi-finals only once in the past six years and reached the final in 2008. Last season the Blues were knocked out in the semis by Barcelona on the away goals rule. Chelsea are going strong in the Premier League this campaign too, as they are currently second in the table, two points behind leaders Manchester United with a game in hand.

The Last 16 Curse
Inter have not gone past the Round of 16 in the Champions League for the past three seasons and in each of the last two campaigns they have fallen to English opposition. Last season they went out 2-0 on aggregate to Manchester United as a 0-0 scoreline at home was followed by a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford. In 2007-2008 it was Liverpool who knocked them out.
But this time Inter do have a genuine chance of progressing in Europe's top tier club competition. They might have conceded an away goal, but they have a one-goal advantage going to Stamford Bridge. If the Italian champions of the last four seasons can strengthen their backline and soak up pressure playing in a traditional Italian style, then they will be confident of getting a 0-0 draw and going through.
Jose Mourinho never lost a league game at the Bridge when he was the coach of Chelsea, losing only once there in all competitions, and this will be his first return to his old stomping ground since leaving the Blues in 2007. He has proclaimed his affection for Chelsea but will certainly be looking to knock out his former club.

Yuri Zhirkov and Deco should both be available after having recovered from their respective injuries. Jose Bosingwa, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien are long-term injury casualties, while Ricardo Carvalho is out with a hamstring injury. Both Petr Cech and Henrique Hilario are suffering from injuries, meaning that Ross Turnbull could be given a start.
Probable Lineup (4-5-1): Turnbull, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Zhirkov; Malouda, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou; Drogba

Cristian Chivu is out with injury but Marco Materazzi is back. Davide Santon was not part of the Inter squad that lost to Catania on Friday and doubts persist on whether he will be taken to London. Mario Balotelli, who has struggled with injuries in recent times, is reportedly out of the squad for Tuesday's game.
Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Zanetti; Cambiasso, Mariga, Stankovic; Sneijder; Eto'o, Milito
Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
The Ivorian international striker has been in excellent form so far this season and has 21 goals and six assists in 24 Premier League games, with three goals in the Champions League. He wasn't perhaps very prominent in the first leg against Inter at San Siro but Drogba will certainly be a huge threat at Stamford Bridge. Inter's otherwise strong defensive unit exhibited cracks on Friday night when they conceded three goals in Catania and the Drog, placed sixth in the Castrol Rankings, will be eager to take advantage of any defensive slip-up on Tuesday evening.
Diego Milito (Inter)
The much under-rated Argentine international striker scored in the first leg in Milan and made England international central defender John Terry look average. Milito has scored 16 goals and given three assists in 26 matches in Serie A and has struck twice in the Champions League. The 30-year-old has not accomplished much in Europe and as such he will be keen to light up the continent. Milito's attacking instincts, shooting accuracy and ability to hold the ball up and bring his team-mates into play will be an important feature for Inter against a confident Chelsea side.

Anichebe, Yakubu Score For Everton As
Ajilore Grab Brace in Gronoiningen Win

Rabiu Afolabi (Salzburg): Nigeria defender Rabiu Afolabi continue to steer his club to the path of triumph as he was in action for 90 minutes again when they defeated Kapfenberg in their Austrian Premier League clash last weekend. The former Sochaux central defender who is hoping for a Super Eagles recall, to fight for a place in the World Cup squad, has made 17 league starts and scored twice this season as his club consolidated on their lead at the top of the table.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Victor Anichebe (Eveton): The duo of Yakubu and Anichebe were in scoring form for Everton on Saturday as they netted one each in their 2-2 draw against Birmingham at Saint Andrews. Young Anichebe who is fast regaining his form after a long term injury lay off put the Toffees ahead barely after 15 minutes - his first goal of the season - firing a left-footed pile-driver after swivelling to past Liam Ridgewell. Moyes has been deploying the Beijing Olympic silver medallist on the right side of the club's midifield where he has shown brave performances with his great physical ability and pace to trouble opposing defenders. Anichebe however suffered an ankle injury and was replaced by Dan Gosling with barely a quarter of an hour left to play in the encounter.
Anichebe's senior compatriot Yakubu who had a below par performance in the encounter scored his own strike three minutes after Anichebe's opener to stretch the lead for Everton. The former Portsmouth and Middlesbrough forward headed in a well-crafted cross from South African star, Steven Pienaar to register his fourth strike in all competitions for the Merseyside outfit this season. In a show involving two Nigerian strikers from the start, Anichebe showed more promises and the young man could be in-line for a return to the Eagles for the World Cup in South Africa after featuring in the qualifiers before he was sidelined by a broken leg.
The other Nigerian in the Everton squad, Joseph Yobo continued to suffer a torrid time on the bench.
Mikel Obi (Chelsea): If there is any good thing happening in the Chelsea midfield at the moment, it is certainly the industrious performance of their Nigeria midfielder Mikel who has been a key figure in the absence of powerhouse Michael Essien. The Blues have shown sloppy form in recent weeks with defeat against Everton, Manchester City and Inter Milan but the Super Eagles midfielder has shouldered huge responsibilities while the duo of Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard are battling to live up to expectation.
Mikel's mobility, passing ability and more importantly his tireless defensive performances has been great as he helped his London club to a 4-1 win over city rivals West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Besides his crucial tackles that broke up the Hammers' offensive play, the former Lyn Oslo star played a delightful part in the move that led to Chelsea's last goal of the encounter. After moving the ball around the centre circle looking for passing options, Mikel threaded a cheeky pass to Lampard who took a few steps into the opponents' area to unleash a powerful shot that goalkeeper Robert Greening could only parry into the path of Didier Drogba. The big Ivorian striker netted from the rebound to increase his season's tally to 27 in all competitions.

Obafemi Martins (VFL Wolsburg): Martins was rewarded with his first Bundesliga start of the year but he failed to score despite his club, Wolfsburg enjoying a 4-0 win on their trip to Borrusia Monchegladbach last weekend. The Eagles striker who was on target the previous week in the 4-1 win over VFL Bochum played for 63 minutes last Saturday but it was subtitute Wolves' leading striker, Edin Dzeko who grabbed a brace - one from the penalty spot - to lead the German champions to another impressive win away from their Volkswagen arena home ground. Martins who has scored six times for Wolfsburg this season was replaced by Ashkan Dejagah just after the hour mark.

Onyekachi Apam (Nice): Eagles defender Apam was expectedly in action for all 90 minutes but his club, Nice suffered a 1-0 defeat at Le Mans in their French Ligue 1 encounter. Apam, who has started all the 18 league games he has featured for his club in the ongoing campaign, even made a clearance off the goal line from a Vaclav Sverkos effort.
Lukman Haruna (Monaco): Haruna was on from the start as his club, Monaco were held to a goalless draw at home by French champions Bordeaux in their Ligue 1 encounter. The former Flying eagles star was booked in the 62nd minute before being replaced by Coutadeaur 16 minutes before the end of the game.
Oubayo Adefemi (Bolougne): It is not the best of times for Adefemi as he was again not involved in his club's 3-1 away win at Nancy, their biggest win this season, as they continued their battle to survive relegation.

Femi Ajilore (Gronoiningen): Ajilore was the Eagles star of the week as he netted a brace to lead Groningen to a 3-0 away win at NAC Breda.
He has started 16 games and made three sub appearances for the team.

Zidane Interested In Coaching Algeria

Zinedine Zidane has been named as a possible future coach of Algeria after a meeting with country's president earlier thus month.

Algerian reports said the French World Cup star, whose parents hail from the north African country, expressed interest in a possible future role when it was discussed as courtesy call to President Abdelazziz Boutefika.

Zidane said he would like time to reflect on a suggestion that he replace Rabah Saadane after the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.

... Targets Man City Ace Onuoha

Nigeria coach, Lars Lagerback, has told Manchester City defender Nedhum Onuoha he would want him to feature for the country of his parents at the World Cup in June.

Onuoha could play for either Nigeria or England, where he was raised by Nigerian parents. Thus far, the 23-year-old defender has featured for England Under-21 while hoping to be capped at full international level by his adopted country.
“Lars has compiled a list of Nigerian-born players in Europe, who are yet to play for the team, but are still eligible to wear the green and white jersey of the country,” said Lagerback's representative, Emeka Enechi.

“One of those players is Onuoha, the Manchester City defender. He has made it known to the player how would want him to play in South Africa especially with many pundits and fans condemning the team's defence at the last Nations Cup in Angola.”
Enechi added: “Nedhum's coming along will increase competition for places and get the best out of the other players.”

Onuoha was first called up by Nigeria three years ago, but turned the Super Eagles down, saying he would prefer to wait for his England chance.

How Lagerback Will Shape The Eagles

The Swede, Lars Lagerback, is now Super Eagles new coach. The former coach of Sweden's national team arrived Nigeria on Tuesday, after briefly returning home to tidy up domestic matters before resuming fully on his new job.
Mindful of the little time available to accomplish what many Nigerian football fans consider an impossible mission (to take Nigeria to the semi-final of the World Cup in South Africa), he has submitted his programme to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

With the Swede still keeping his strategy close to his chest, a look at his coaching philosophy may provide an inkling into the shape the Super Eagles is likely to take under his direction. Just before he was appointed Eagles coach, he granted an interview to Europe's football governing body, UEFA. The interview, reproduced on their website, reveals the working of the mind of the Swede. In the interview, he takes a look at the different departments of a team and the kind of players he prefers in those departments.

Now that he is ready to work, we try to take a look at the direction in which the man may be heading as helmsman of the Eagles, based on his philosophy and the players available.

Attack of the attack
He says: "A really good striker is always at the right place. In a way, that is the most important thing - if you have good techniques, and you have high balls coming at you and you can finish with your first touch. They have something to read the game, be on the right spot at the right time, but also you want very good technique, how they finish with whatever part of the body they are using.

" If you look at Ronaldo, who has scored the most goals in the World Cup, he can be out of the game for 5 to 10 minutes but suddenly, he is there and scoring. So, for the classical goal scorer, this is typical. If you play at the highest level today - I do not see many teams having this kind of players - the forward has to be involved in the game because the demands on every position are rising every day."

In the Eagles attack at the moment, we have Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Obafemi Martins, Ikechukwu Uche, Michael Eneramo, Victor Anichebe and Joseph Akpala. This statement presupposes that he will defer to use the preferred playing formations of either 4-1-2-2-1 or 4-3-2-1. The number one(1) at the end of it is a lone striker who should be big, strong and reliable. That means Obafemi Martins and Ikechukwu Uche are out of that equation. Of the remaining three, only Yakubu Aiyegbeni has the experience to play that part perfectly and to some extent, his fellow Everton colleague, Victor Anichebe, who has the added attributes of youth and aggression.

It is almost a no-brainer that in whatever form, Yakubu will be in South Africa leading the line, unless he breaks a leg. He has scored the most goals for club and country and is the second leading foreign striker in the English Premiership, after Thierry Henry. His substitute may be Anichebe or Joseph Akpalla. There may not be a play maker in the mould of Austin Okocha, but there will probably be a shadow striker, and that role in the present Eagles' team is tailored for Osaze Odemwingie.

Lagerback continues:
"A target man must be able to receive the ball, shield and distribute but in the next phase of the game, he must also be able to score."
Yakubu has played as a lone striker for Everton on many occasions and his forte is probably bringing others into play. He can shoot with both legs and he is decent in the air.

Lagerback prefers a lone holding midfielder who will act as an auxiliary defender. He says:
"You can compare this to the libero in times past, just like Franz Beckenbaeur. You must have extremely good running abilities. I will be pleased if he is not found wanting in the one-on-one defensive part of the game. He should be a good reader of the game and must have good passing technique. The first holding midfielder I saw in the modern game was Dunga - Brazil's captain to the 1994 World Cup. He was really a role model for that position, and he had good passing technique, was physically strong and could run - a very good all-round player."

The position Lagerback has in mind suits Sani Kaita to the bone. Mikel Obi will be the screen in midfield and will occasionally swap positions with Kaita. Either Etuhu or Ayila will also fit into the Kaita role. The U-23 star has also shown that he can pass the ball. But the important trait is that he can defend, but he should be more disciplined.

For a coach that is impressed with Dunga's playing style, Kaita will be in serious reckoning to play the screen for the defence. Kaita is a workaholic, who loves defending. So, expect this guy to be in the starting line-up.

Given Lagerback's thoughts on the role of a play maker, the Eagles may not play with a playmaker per se in South Africa but with a shadow striker, who has the attributes but more importantly, is expected to score his fair share of goals:
"If you talk about the playmaker, the typical No.10, I think they are disappearing more and more from the game. In today's game, I would rather call him a shadow striker, and he must definitely have offensive skills.

"Zinedine Zidane was the typical playmaker, but there is also Dirk Kuyt. They have the same characteristics. When you talk about the shadow striker, the only difference is that the shadow striker must also be able to score. It is not that important that the playmaker is a clinical goal scorer in the penalty area."
Osaze Odemwingie is about the only player that fits the shadow striker mode. He possesses guile, can shoot with both legs and is good running at defences. So, in the Locomotiv Moscow striker, we may have another certainty for the Eagles starting line-up.

The new Eagles coach likes his defenders to be tall. He says in the interview:
"For the centre half, it is important that he is tall, at least 185m, and he must be good in the air. That is a quality that I think is needed today. For me, the most important thing is that he can defend."

Where does that leave Onyekachi Apam and Obinna Nwaneri, compared to players like Danny Shittu and Joseph Yobo? Danny Shittu and Joseph Yobo are the tallest players in that department. Rabiu Afolabi of Red Bull Salzburg in Austria may come into serious reckoning now that Amodu Shuaibu has left the team.

Lagerback continues, regarding the centre half:
"He can move the ball well, attack well and win one-on-one situation. I want them to be tough, if I can use that word, but if they want to play at the highest level, he must have a good passing technique and a good understanding of how to start the attack. But my priority is that he must be a good defender."
Going by this comment, one of the toughest defenders in the current Eagles team is Danny Shittu. He is also always 100 per cent committed to the national cause.
Lagerback believes that for the team to be really solid at the back, there has to be proper co-ordination in the midfield and defence:
"In the midfield and in the back four, it is important that you have good leadership because they can see much more. So, if you have good leadership from those playing the central defence, I think that is very good. They can also talk a little bit more from that position. Talking of centre backs, they have all the players in front of them so perhaps, they have the best overview of how the team is working."
The combination will likely be Yobo, who will also captain the side, and Shittu. The only place where they need to work on is communication and concentration. If Lagerback is able to instil that discipline he is noted for on the defence line, the Eagles may stop letting in cheeky goals.
For the goal keepers, just like former German handler, Berti Vogts, Lagerback's preference is for big guys to man the goal posts. Austin Ejide stands in good stead in this regard. But in terms of agility, concentration and ability in one-on-one situation, Vincent Enyeama should be first choice in South Africa. The Swede says of this department:
"The length of the goal keeper is very important with the number of crosses that are coming in. The goalkeeper ideally should be tall. Understanding and reading the game are also vital. As the games are now faster, he cannot handle back-passes. You must also be very quick to react in today's game (agility). You need a keeper that is an athlete and he must be brave of course, because there are a lot of situations where you have to dive at somebody's feet and all. I also think they must have a special quality in concentration."
Lagerback seems to have a clear idea of what he wants. Whether he achieves the semi-final target the NFF has set remains to be seen. He knows quite clearly that he faces a daunting task, but he seems primed to give it a good shot. At his unveiling two weeks ago he had said:
"I think it is quite possible for Nigeria to reach the semi-finals in South Africa. I think every coach, every country going into a competition, always have their aim on winning it."

Well said, but for $1.5 million, anybody can say such. He went further to qualify why he said the above.

"You have good individual skills in Nigeria, so if we can get that together with the players, I think we have a fairly good chance to go far in the World Cup."
All the players have been told that there are no automatic shirts.

"You have to prove yourself but like they say in football, let the feet do the talking. I have always been impressed by the Super Eagles and Nigerian football."
His optimism aside, the truth may be that for most Nigerian football fans, he will truly be judged, not on his ability to meet this semi-final benchmark, but on whether he is able to restore confidence in our football.

Know the lyrics2

Know the lyrics
Chorus 1
Oh, e get as you dey do me, do me, do me
Na the way you dey do me
Girl, I love the way you do me (do me 6x)
Boy, I love the way you do me (do me 6x)
Na the way you dey do me, do me
You go wound oh, you go wound oh, my baby
Na the way you dey do me, do me
You go wound oh, you go wound oh

Verse 1
So na she step into the club house
See how the boys dem a drop down
And all the ladies just dey hala say
Them no know say wahala dey
If you no sodji, take am easy, make you no dey fall
This na the song for the dancehall
The way you move your body, ebe like say
(ebe like say) you no know say wahala dey
Na the way you do the things you do
Ebe like say you get plans for me and you
if I put it on you, you put it on me
What a man can do, a woman can do

If you do me, I do you, (man no go vex)
Step on the dance floor (man no go vex)
Touch me I touch you (man no go vex)
You say, I say (man no go vex)
If you do me, I do you, (man no go vex)
Step on the dance floor (man no go vex)
So won't you give it to me (I will give it to you)
So make you give it to me some more (some more)
E get as e dey do me, so make you give it to me, give it to me
Eget us e dey do me, so make you give it to me some more
E get as e dey do me, so make you give it to me
Na the way you dey do me (do me 3x)
So you can give it to me some more

So make you do me (do me 6x)
Make you do me (do me 6x)

Verse 2
Omo, check out the way she twist and wind it
Make me feel like and grind it, grind it
Every girl, I know say you dey eye me, eye me
After the show na the party for my room
Strictly for me and you, you
We get plenty things to do, do
So pull off the bump... and move, make we groove

Boy, you know say talk is cheap and you are tempted to roll with me
Me, I no be the bizzy body wey you see
What a man can do, a woman can do so

Repeat Hook

Na the way you dey do me, do me
You go wound oh, you go wound oh, my baby
Na the way you dey do me, do me
You go wound oh, you go wound oh

From the way you do the things you do
Ebe like say you get plans for me and you
Me, I no be the bizzy body wey you see
What a man can do, a woman can do so

Repeat Hook till fade

Na the way you dey do me, do me
You go wound oh, you go wound oh, my baby
Na the way you dey do me, do me
You go wound oh, you go wound oh

Akintola, Okereke Battle Others For AMAA Diadem

Nominations for the 2010 African Movie Academy Awards have set star actresses, Bimbo Akintola and Stephanie Okereke, in keen contest for the Best Actress in a Leading Role.

While Akintola is in the race for her performance in Freedom in Chains, Okereke's appearance is based on her role in Nnenda.

Both are, however, in battle with their continental colleagues - Flora Suya, Akofa Asiedu, Jackie Apia, Lydia Farson - also nominated on the strength of their performances in Season of Life, I Sing of a Well and The Perfect Picture.

This was part of the report given by AMAA's College of Screeners on Saturday night, when the nomination party was held in Accra, Ghana. Amidst musical and comic performances, the College's Chairman, Mr. Shuaibu Hussein, gave details of how it arrived at a short list of 30 films from the 500 entries it received. While many were disqualified for flouting AMAA rules, he said, 208 were treated by the screeners, with 65 making it to the third level of screening.

“Eventually, 30 films were handed over to AMAA's jury,” he said at the occasion held at Menvic Hotel, where many stakeholders were present.

For the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, the nomination projects films dominant in other categories. Here, Ramseh Noah, hero of Kunle Afolayan's The Figurine, is nominated alongside Lucky Ejim, his counterpart in Jude Idada/Ejim's The Tenant shot between Canada and Nigeria. They are in the race with Majid Michael (Sin of the Soul), Odera Ozoka (Soul Dispora) and John Agyeman (I Sing of a Well). Further nominations show that the films here are a force to reckon with.

For instance, while Afolayan is on the list for the Best Director category, alongside Shemu Joya (Seasons of a Life); Shirley Frimpong-Manso (The Perfect Picture); Leila Djansi (I Sing of a Well); and Jude Idada and Ejim (The Tenant), The Figurine is also nominated for the Best Cinematography and Best Picture categories.
Other Nigerian films that gave a good account of themselves are Nnenda, AMBO's The Child nominated in The Best Costume and Most Promising Actor; and OmoIya Kan, nominated in the Best Film in Indigenous Language.

The impact of Yoruba films is very thin. Unlike last year when Tunde Kelani's Arugba and some others, as well as Funke Akindele stood to be counted, only Omo Iya Kan made it to the final. But Hussein's explanation on the disqualified films largely account for this. Some of the Yoruba films submitted are punctuated with adverts as their promoters failed to send editor's copies.

But as was the case last year, the nominations indicate that Nigerian films that have so far survived the pruning have a keen battle ahead of them as products from Ghana, South Africa and other countries are waiting to be counted.

I'm In Love With Genevieve Nnaji - D'banj

In what must be the biggest piece of news to hit the entertainment scene this year, it has been revealed that two of Nigeria's biggest stars in the music and film industry D'Banj and Genevieve Nnaji are reportedly in a sizzling hot romance! Our sources reveal that the two have been meeting on the down low for sometime now but unfortunately some eagle-eyed journalists got wind of it and tried to black mail them in a bid to make some quick money. It was then that D'banj decided that rather than being blackmailed he would come out with the news. He recently granted an interview to a soft selling magazine. Excerpts…

So you are in a relationship with her and you used her for the shooting of the video of ''fall in love''.you must have been looking at her whilst you were singing.were you really telling her your feelings?were you just singing or talking to her?
I am in love with Genevieve, its been long I felt this way about anyone. I dont know what other words to use to qualify my feelings but when you see the video,you will know that its not just a video,it was me talking to my girl for real.

D'banj you have been reportedly spotted with a lot of ladies,you have supposedly dated high profile celebrities,they say you are into sexual orgies,you like to have sex before you go on staget to perform and after .Why have you chosen to step out with Genevieve Nnaji officially as a couple?
None of them have has been true,like you said ''rumoured'' but it is Genevieve and this is the first time because this is the truth.

So what is this?A marriage headed relationship?
Oh well,like I just told you now, Genevieve is my girlfriend, infact I dont like using that word, shes my baby, she's my everything and I love her. We are both very mature people and we are also very private people. There's a big difference between our public lives and our private lives. We would like to take it one step at a time right now and would appreciate it if people will respect our need for privacy at this time.

Need for privacy? D'banj when the news of this relationship hits the streets, I am sure you both know what will happen next.there will be talk everywhere, stories about whom you both have been with, the press will do a re-run on you both in every way they question is, are you both ready for this?
.(breathes deeply)well,what can I say? Like I said Genevieve is the biggest african star that i know and i am also in the public eyes so it is to be expected but i personally do not care about any news that wants to come out,like i am telling you,i have been rumoured to have dated people i have never even met before .
For once,i am very proud of whom i am with,when i met genevieve i knew what i wanted and i went after what i wanted and i am still with what i want,and shes the one i want, they can say anything they like.people know me as an entertainer and i will do what i do on stage and off stage i live a private life,people think they know me, they say all sorts but no one really knows anything about who i am and i like it that way.

Right now, the only woman in my life is Genevieve and she knows that.we dont know about tomorow so we are taking one day at a time,right now we want to be together and we dont want to hide it anymore.i want to be able to take her out,walk into anywhere with her and not have to hide,we are both single so we are not committing any crime.
Hmm…what say we? Certainly sounds like a man in love doesn't he? So what do you think? A match made in entertainment heaven or a publicity stunt? As they say, 'morning will show the day'…lets wait and see. Meanwhile congrats to the two love birds!

Ibori Faces New Investigation

The immediate past governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who was recently acquitted of a 170-count corruption charges brought against him by Nigeria's anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is not home free, as the agency has launched a fresh round of investigations on the activities of the former governor.

In addition to the fact that the EFCC has, since December 2009, filed a notice of appeal against the December 17, 2009 judgement which absolved Mr. Ibori of all wrong doing, the commission has begun this new round of investigations on the former governor following a petition by members of the Delta State Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum, which was made available to the public last week.

Last week, the chairman of the EFCC, Farida Waziri, held a meeting with the acting president, Goodluck Jonathan, during which Mr. Jonathan re-emphasised the determination of the federal government to wage a vibrant anti-corruption campaign.
The latest petition against Mr. Ibori, signed by 10 leading citizens of Delta State headed by a former minister of information, Edwin Clark, includes a demand for a probe of the former governor over alleged illegal disposal of 528 million shares belonging to Delta State, in Oceanic Bank. The shares were said to have been disposed of in 2007 by government officials.

In the petition, which was also published in some national dailies, the group asked the anti- corruption agency to hold Mr. Ibori liable for the disposal of the shares. Mr. Ibori was alleged to have unlawfully used the 528.01 million units as “a collateral for a loan from Intercontinental Bank for his private company, Ascot Offshore Nigeria Ltd.”

Officials of the EFCC, who declined to be named, confirmed over the weekend that the agency has launched fresh investigations into several allegations against Mr. Ibori made by Mr. Clark, a delta chief and head of the Elders Committee of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“The EFCC has initiated investigations into some other allegations, including the ones made by Clark and co,” an operative of the agency told NEXT over the weekend.
However, the spokesman of the EFCC, Femi Babafemi, declined to speak on ongoing investigations against the former governor. “We are looking into the petition,” he said.

Mr. Babafemi however confirmed that the commission was eager to go on with the earlier case, but that the appeal court was yet to fix a date for hearing on the matter.

“After the December 17th judgement, the EFCC on December 23rd filled a notice of appeal at the appeal court in Benin. We are just waiting for the appeal court to fix a date for the hearing,” Mr. Babafemi said.

The EFCC had slammed a 170-count charge of corruption on Mr. Ibori in 2007. After two years, a trial judge, Marcel Awokulehin, ruled the case in favour of the former governor in a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State.
Mr. Ibori, however, still faces money laundering charges brought against him and some of his associates by the Metropolitan Police in London. The case is being heard at the Southwark County Court, London.

Soyinka, Falana want EFCC boss removed – Waku

Senator Joseph Waku has alleged that some individuals behind the SNG are canvassing the removal of EFCC boss, Mrs Farida Waziri.

Some national dailies had carried reports of moves to prevail on the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, to remove Mrs Waziri as the head of the anti-corruption agency.

Addressing journalists in Abuja recently, Senator Waku alleged that Professor Wole Soyinka and Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana, were behind the move to remove Farida from the EFCC.

Waku alleged that Soyinka had met with Jonathan and presented the agenda of the SNG. He said part of the agenda presented to the acting president was the removal of Mrs Waziri as the EFCC boss and her replacement with former Kaduna State Governor, Colonel Abubakar Umar [rtd].
Waku advised the acting president to be cautious with ideas coming from some prominent Nigerians and be focused on moving Nigeria forward.
“He should be cautious with ideas coming from certain Nigerians. He should focus on moving Nigeria forward. He shouldn't allow himself to be dragged into nepotism. They shouldn't take advantage of his proximity to them and blackmail Nigerians that they don't have access to,” Waku cautioned.

Speaking further, Senator Waku disclosed that the achievements of the EFCC boss since she mounted the saddle does not warrant the desperation to get her out of the anti corruption agency.

“Is it not heart-warming that she inherited about 10 high profile cases from her predecessor in June 2008 and today, she has filed about 50 additional ones? From the interview I read that in just 18 months she has recovered funds and assets in excess of three billion dollars ($3 billion) within the same period. I also counted 23 cardinal achievements she had recorded within the same period. If this is the record of her performance, which surpasses that of her predecessor, who is then afraid of her? Who wants her distracted? For what purpose?”

Waku, however pleaded that his defence of the EFCC boss should not be taken as informed by primordial sentiment since the EFCC boss is a Tiv from Benue State like Waku.

“I am not defending her because we are from the same state. In fact, all hands must be on deck to check corruption. No Nigerian that stole money should be left untouched no matter who they are. But Nigerians should be ready to produce evidence that can not be faulted, so that these people can be prosecuted. No nation can survive with this magnitude of corruption,” Waku submitted.

Official Confirms Warri Explosion

The Delta State commissioner for information, Oma Djebah, has confirmed that there was an explosion in Warri, near the venue of a ceremony to mark an amnesty for former rebel fighters.

Contrary to agency reports which indicated that the device went off near the main hall of the event, Mr. Djebah claimed that the explosion went off in a car parked away from the venue.

“Yes, there was an explosion about 200 meters away from the conference venue,” Mr. Djebah said in a telephone interview.

It remains unclear if there were any casualties or injuries as at the time of this report. The ceremony, a post-amnesty dialogue, organised by Vanguard Group of Newspapers, has however been put off until later in the day.
“The explosion happened while Sam Amuka-Pemu - the Vanguard Publisher - was giving his address after the chairman, Patrick Aziza, had given his opening remarks,” said a source who was at the conference.

However, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in an e-mailed statement to journalists that it had planted three explosive devices in and around Delta State Government House in Warri to debunk the state governor's claim about MEND.

“After receiving the baton of ignorance from his Bayelsa State counterpart, the governor of Delta State declared in the Vanguard newspaper of February 22, 2010 that “the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is a media creation,” the statement said and promised that it would detonate the first bomb remotely at 11:30 hours Nigerian time which it did.

Cabinet Dissolution: Yar'adua Ministers Begin 'clearing Their Tables' As Jonathan Meets Yar'adua's Mother

Federal ministers appointed by Yar'Adua have begun moving things out of their various offices as a cabinet dissolution fever hits Abuja. Saharareporters sources indicated that this week might prove decisive for the cabinet as Acting President Goodluck Jonathan gets ready to put his own team in place.

Only last week, Jonathan abandoned the weekly federal executive cabinet meeting at the Presidential Villa council chambers in favor of an international conference on Agriculture.

The ministers, who were already seated, awaiting the start of the meeting, which had been postponed in the morning, were later dispersed by the Secretary to the Federal Government, Yayale Ahmed, who explained that Jonathan was fatigued from attending the conference. It was the second time Jonathan would call off the meeting of the FEC since the sneaky return of Yar'Adua some 17 days ago.

It is gathered that the cabinet would have been dissolved last week by Jonathan but for the intervention of the newly appointed National Security Adviser, Aliyu Gusau, who sought further verification of the health status of Yar'Adua.

A series of meetings over the last week has further strengthened Jonathan's hand as it was confirmed that, contrary to the propaganda of his cronies, Yar'Adua is not recovering significantly. Our sources say he is simply lying in the villa, unable to move without assistance, or speak. Also, as a mark of respect for the Yar'Adua family, Jonathan is believed to have conceded 5 ministerial positions and one Special adviser position to his wife, Turai. We could not confirm the portfolios allocated to her.

Meanwhile Jonathan secretly met with Yar'Adua's mother on Friday night in a highly secretive parley, following which she also met with the new NSA, Gusau.
The NSA is fast becoming the most influential figure in the Jonathan regime. So far, over 17 state governors have met with him to pledge their allegiance. Some of them, particularly Bukola Saraki, have met with him twice as the NSA had declared that he would like to strengthen the Anti-Corruption agencies.

That is being interpreted by Saraki to mean that the super-corrupt and incompetent head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Nzamber Waziri, may be fired soon. Our sources say, however, that Mrs. Waziri's removal may be slightly delayed as Jonathan and Gasau are more interested in the dissolution of the cabinet, and the removal of the INEC chairman, Maurice Iwu, as a center point of electoral reform.

It is also learnt that the Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Alhaji Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo , will be sacked in the impending government and cabinet reorganization of the government of Jonathan.

Keys To Unlock Your Bible (Part 2)

Some may ask “Why does God lock the truth?” The answer is because it is very precious and not to be dishonoured and misused. This is exactly as you human would store and lock your precious valuables in safes and complicated lockers. Thank God! How to open it is in Isaiah 34:16, where one needs to search and seek in the word of God for those verses; for every verse has “its mate”. This refers to every verse of question having a corresponding or answering verse.

There is a great difference between Isaiah 28 verses 10 and 13. The last verse is concerned with getting caught in false doctrines and errors of untruth. Then how does one know what is truth? Jn. 17:17 answers “… thy word is truth”. Always examine the teachings to see whether they are according to the Scriptures in a well or properly laid out manner.

Ø GOLDEN KEY 2: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Among mankind written language has many forms poetical, dramatic, prose etc. So too, the Bible has been written by God in three forms of language:

i. Literal Language: Example as in Gen. 1:1 and Matt. 1:21. Here is directly understandable literal language. It poses no difficulty in understanding at all. But note the entire Bible is NOT written in this form.

ii. Parabolic language i.e. little stories which are not to be taken literally but spiritually, that is, they have a spiritual meaning or significance behind them e.g. in Lk. 15:3-7 the parable of the lost sheep. Many think that this verse in 7 refers to individual sinners and their repentance and turning to God. But if this refers to individual sinners then who are the “Ninety nine just persons that need no repentance”? Are there so many “Just Persons” in this world? The answer is in Rms. 3:10 “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one”. This is a parable, not referring to individual sinners at all.

Here, Jesus is speaking of a certain man having 100 sheep. Such a man is called a shepherd. This is a picture of God the owner and creator of all creation who is also referred to as the “SHEPHERD” in Ps. 23:1. The sheep symbolize the various obedient creations of God. Therefore, the 100 sheep refer to the various species of God's creations, including animals, birds, fish, insects, plants, angels, cherubim, man, etc. The number 100 signifies a round number of all creations; note the creations themselves far outnumbered 100!
Now, what is the implication of this one sheep missing? Of all God's creation, only one “sheep” or “specie” was lost, and that specie was mankind! They are completely as a race lost to sin and its wages death (Rms. 6:23). Then what did God do? He sent in his only begotten son, Jesus, to search for that “lost sheep” i.e. the lost race of mankind as in Jn. 3:16; so that at the end there will be great rejoicing in heaven when mankind is delivered from the condemnation of sin and death and given an ETERNAL LIFE.
iii. Symbolic language. This is where symbols are used to hide the meaning of great prophecies etc. The Book of Revelation is full of symbols as in chapter 1:1 “… And he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John. This language is also found in many other books of the Bible like in Ezekiel, Daniel, etc. Symbols in nature like wind, water, hill, mountain, city, clouds, trees, grass, horns, fire, etc. are used; and each has its meaning as in the Bible itself.
Take an example in Matt. 16:6 “leaven”. The meaning is still in the same chapter v.12 “… the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. These where false doctrines and teachings; as in Acts 23:8 “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor Spirit.
Another example is in Eccl. 11:1 “Cast your bread upon the waters: for you will find it after many days.” If this is taken literally, the bread as soon as put in water dissolves almost immediately, leaving no residue. So, how can you find it “after many days'? This is symbolic. The three symbols used here are: i. Bread. ii. Water. iii. After many days. Bread means the word of God the “Spiritual bread (Jer. 15:16 and Matt. 4:4). Waters refer to the World of “peoples, and multitudes, and nations and tongues (Rev. 17:15). “After many days” refers to the period of the kingdom of God on Earth when “then will all the people repent and turn to God (Ps. 22:27&28). Thus, this verse speaks of witnessing the truth Now before the people without expecting any result Now but rather in the future. Thus, one must “rightly divide the word of truth” or correctly identify and understand the language form used in order to gain the truth.

Ø GOLDEN KEY 3. Topical Study: This involves the study of various subjects by searching for the verses on those subjects “here a little and there a little” in the Bible; e.g. are subjects of Soul, Salvation, Baptism, Church etc. This topical study is now made possible with Concordances, Young and Strong etc.
So, a mere reading of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, from Chapter to Chapter will not really help to discover the truth embedded, for it is “here a little and there a little”. BE BLESSED!

Praised Like A Bee, Swatted Like A Mosquito

Aniefiokuduakabasiisrael is the name I got from my late father, Pa Edayt Essah Ogborgbor of Nung Abia Abinyoho Uta-ekpe in Obong Itam Village, Itu L.G.A. As I metamorphosed, so many things have happened to me that always made me feel like changing that name. My mother, because of these ugly happenings, renamed me Nkut-utit, meaning “let me see the end”. Right now I am thinking of whether to change my name to that of the luckful Jonathan or Nsennammfon. No, I still opt for the original name while waiting on God for its meaning to come to positive manifestation.
Dear reader, I have gotten a couple of tales to tell you, even if not in detail, from personal experiences anyway. You may learn a lesson or two: This columnist, I have a journal and a pen, but I am not a journalist. No, I am not, that is why I warn myself against violating the ethics of the profession. I only write to satisfy a passion. I am not paid, yet I bother not. The joy of a writer is in being read. At First Bank Plc I work and receive emolument. I am a security guard there. Few days ago one of our drivers saw my old scripts, looked twice at me, and with a hiss, said “money miss road”. I searched deep into his action and utterance and discovered that he wasn't referring to my too-much money, the lack of it or the misuse of it. He was baffled as to why a “ mere or common security man” should write in a tabloid or, if so talented, why he should be “Ette Watchie”. Maybe he expected only scribal elites or celebrated professors to write. Dear Mr. Monday, doing a menial job does not mean that I am mean or less in value. All the same, receive my unreserved thanks for your observation, comments or corrective criticism. You have made me remember appreciatively all the people who in diverse ways have contributed to my being what I am today. Today, I can even be visited or read at the World Wide Web. Thanks, Monty. Thanks Mr. Martins Effiong, without you I wouldn't know Monty.

For doing my security job, I have been mocked to scorn, I have been genuinely congratulated too, the former triumphing. Hear what an old girlfriend said when she surprisingly saw me in my security outfit: “Ani, na you be dis? You see as life dey turn?” A pigeon speaking pigeon English. She snubbed me, dropped her phone number and left. I kept deaf mute because she was with her mother. This text message accompanied her. “ Carol, my snobbish damsel, this is my final year in the faculty of Wear and Tear, University of Life. In our institution, we know that it is not everybody to whom it is well. We don't boast or brag. We don't write people off nor even criticize because we are not yet out of the woods and God is not done with us yet. However, it was a thrill seeing you after all those juvenile-prone years gone by. Please, pick up this PIN (………….) for a recharge. Endear me to your family. Till I. C. U again”.

There's another episode of shame that involved a man from my mother's villages, Edet by name. The guy wanted to buy an okrika shirt beside our bank. Immediately he set his eyes on me he left the seller, came to me and asked a double-barreled question: what are you are doing here, why are you wearing this type of clothes?” Imagine my fine uniform which I wore and took salute to the amusement of my wife and boys. Abruptly Edet left me without waiting for his answers. I didn't see him again except a female colleague he came to seek love from. The girl asked me “bro, what happened between you and that man? He said you have two brothers overseas and he sees no reason you should come and do this kind of job”. “ The mentality of some men”, I reasoned. Finally I let go all I wanted to tell him any time I see him. Edet was in India, a poverty-stricken overseas, for a purpose I know not. That overseas might have taken some senses out of him.

There is this other cocky young man who told me he worked as an aero contractor or something. With his clean-and-neat-as-a-pin suit on, he can't first greet me any time he comes to see our BDM. A young boy I left behind in secondary school and everything. I dunno how he regarded him self each time I greeted him “welcome, sir” or “bye, sir”. His own wasn't much of talking but a case of foolish pride. Egotism so debased.

“ If you ain't got something good to say about somebody, just shut up”. Maybe if Luky Dube had sung the above lyrics earlier, a lot less would had been said about this soul. They would have bridled their tongues. Talks of the streets! Dear Sir/Madam, I have more trouble with Aniefiokessah than with any other man I ever meet on the face of this earth, please allow me to think of Aniefiokessah.
Do not seek to be in my shoes. You wouldn't take what I have been through and still be and accepted folk in your neighborhood. If at all I am a handicap, I am the handicap I must face; I am the one who must choose my place; I am the one who knows what is wrong or right for me; I am the one to say where I want to go or what I want I want to do. I should be allowed to grow or develop at my own pace and speed. This honorable gentleman I am, take away from me anything love and there remains no me. But the people say I am the worst thing that ever happened to the human race, they lock me out of respect. Names-calling, derogatory remarks, pull-him-down (PhD) utterances, mention them. But why? The say I am excellent only when asleep but terrible ones awakened (na wa-o! But even if I am, and so what?). They say I speak evil of everyone except God whom I do not know (whereas their tongues are dripping of poison). They say because of my dirty ways of life, I have lost the affection of my people and the regard of others (yet I am not an outcast). They said I am a small man made for small thing (well, that's my trouble which they should leave for me). They say I am fit for a spade because I call a spade a spade (forgetting that I am fit for even garden forks and other tools, as a farmer). They say I am not a man to be tossed aside lightly, that I should be thrown with great force (I am happy I have weight and occupy space).

Some say my behavior can make the world a pandemonium (whereas I am a harmless dove looking for the kind of peace the United Nations cannot offer the world). They say I am the basest, meanest creature that ever disgraced the image of God (my supplications before God, not these spotless men). The say I am as ambitious as Lucifer, they say I am cold-blooded in behaviour, they say I am a bore (you don't need to go to school to know who I am, do you?). They say I am a wolf in a sheep's clothing, whereas you know too well that I am a sheep in a sheep's clothing genuine ( I don't play the ostrich). They say I drink like a fish whereas their “liquid contents only” can float a war ship. They say “woman” is my trademark whereas I am married to Marie (Satan leave me alone). They say instead of embracing my wife I have some dirty principles I always embrace (maybe they had forgotten to adjectify me as scissors, pliers, magnet or vice).

They say I am one small insignificant homosapien who make much ado about everything to impress myself on people. They say I write wise and otherwise to show up that I am wise or knowledgeable (point of correction: I write on random subjects. I write this wise, that wise and otherwise. I write zigs and zags). Typically these people are impressed with and remember what they call their own sense and my own nonsense. They say my life is full of crevices and gullies. They write all my good deeds on water and the bad ones on marble. Blind to their faults they sing their own praises and say every unprintable thing about me. Of course, they are not Pilate to say “I find no fault in this man”. I am grateful gossiping doesn't killed but gossips could. God must really love the common man because He made so many of them and gave them the ability to LIVE despite whatever is talked about or done to them. I hope you are not “common”.

If you are, please delete it from your dictionary in order not to be swatted like me. Well, I have learnt my lesson that the most amicable guy on earth can live at peace with his neighbor only as long as his choose. With a pair of rubber slippers under your feet and a raffia rope on your waist, people must talk; with a pair of Lords' brogues shoes and a no mean man's leather belt, they still talk. It is they who say “hosanna to the son of David”, it is the same they who say “crucify him”. Amo unam kpa amo kea tang awot.
Well, before ever there was world's history there was Aniefiok's history. They can keep on vilifying me so far it is good for them. They can continue using their low level language (LLL) to reduce me to the lowest common man (LCM), a status they don't cherish for themselves nor any of their loved ones. But if I were any of them, it would have been better I bite my tongue than have biting tongue. Thirsty, none of these people gave me water to drink; hungry, none of them gave me food to eat; hospitalized, none of them visited me on my sick bed. But sometimes I doubt whether there is a divine justice. All parts of the body get tired eventually except the tongue. I know that the mouth always talks about things that fill the heart, but it shouldn't be falsely as in my own case. Anyway, the hyenas are getting ready for the kill, but cowards that they are, they are stalking behind patiently, waiting for the prey to fall asleep. I am the prey. I am saying to the hyenas: go ahead and ravage. I honestly do not give a hoot, you humbugs. I don't tell the snoopers of my history or the invaders of my past to stop maliciously doing so, but they may find themselves stuck with more than they bargained for. Their lies, varnished untruths, half truths or any story telling cannot take a skin off my nose. I am happy I am such a good sport who can accept even defeats graciously. I simply leave everything in status quo and allow their farrago of statements and deeds to grow together until harvest time when the chaffs shall be separated from the grains. “Let it be … there will be an answer”, I always like those songful words wisdom from Mother Mary.

Everyone everyday says I am not the correct Aniefiok, everyone is wrong. Although they keep discounting me daily, in God's eye I am priceless. I am pious, but it is even they (you) who had sinned and gone short of the glory of this His Royal Aniefiokness. Mr. Leo Sayer, I have heard all you said, start saying something else. Can't I be anything else? Don't you have other names? Oh! Aniefiokmkpong! Imagine people who are not afraid of God being foolishly afraid of me! It makes me feel ten feet taller. It makes me proud of the me in me that makes them the me they fear. I reason with Shakespeare who said “what the greats do the less always prattle of”. At all times, I pray, may God's love fill people's mind, rule their hearts and guide their bla- bla-bla tongues, Amen. To God, His Son and His Spirit the trinity in perfect unity be all honor, power and glory.

To everyone who has caused this column to see the light of day, thanks all the way. From first publisher to the present, from first editor to the present; to Aniefiok Nkereuwem exceptionally who linked me to my first media outing; to you, you and you (unnamed but not unknown). Dr. Prince Bassey, I am not an ingrate to deny you your own share of credit. To all non dyslexics. To my late two fisted, no-nonsense he-man, my father. To my phenomenal mother. You both sent me to school, thankyou. To Marie, the one to whom I am married. My two bundles of joy, my cheerleaders (Mankind and Mystery) I love you all and dedicate this column to you. Dear reader, you and I successfully did this job together. Please, praise, don't swat, not only Aniefiok but the government of the day. Blessed is the tongue that doeth so.

Groups Predict Udoedehe’s Success Hold Prayer Summit

Not fewer than thirty (39) groups and their village, ward, and chapter co-ordinators led churches in the state last week Friday to an interdenominational prayer session for the success of Senator John James Akpanudoedeghe in the forthcoming guber race in the state.

The groups, led by the leader of Senator Udoedeghe Vanguard, Akuku Edidiong Philips include, Akwa Ibom Youths Alliance for Senator Udoedeghe, Movement for Sen. John Udoedeghe, Ibom Redemption Alliance, IRA, Campaign for Democratic Change, CDC, Akwa Ibom Movement, and All People Solidarity Network, APSONET. Others who joined the summit were, Friends of Senator John James Udoedeghe, Akwa Ibom Action Group, Akwa Ibom Women in Action, among others.

In attendance at the event which caused another traffic Jam along the campaign office of the guber contender at Udotung Ubo, Venue of the spiritual Cum Political exercise were the chairman of Positive Change 2011, a campaign outfit of Senator J. J. Udoedeghe, Emmanuel Udoh, Chairman, Publicity Committee of the Campaign outfit, Obong T.O. Akpan among other members of the campaign team.

Exhorting with the theme: “Getting Set for a Change over, Be not Afraid”, the leading clergy, Rev. Isuaemem Nkanta told the crowd that God was preparing a way for a change over to offer peace, security, prosperity, development and internal democracy in the state.

The clergy who read several scriptural passages including Ezekiel 8, while narrating the story of the Israelites in the days of their exile in Egypt told delegates selected among an estimated five hundred churches in the state to pray for God's intervention in the guber and Presidential Election 2011 in the state and the country to bring leaders who will have the interest of the people at heart and work for poverty reduction and other social vices. The man of God described the situation in Akwa Ibom State as “a sad irony of what the people should have as there is so much complains, so much brutality and bloodshed, so much verbal wars and accusation as if we don't have enough resources to supply our needs”.
Reverend Isuaemem Nkanta who was flanked by other men of God said with so much prayer offered to God in Akwa Ibom that his will shall be done. “I'm so sure that God will not fail to grant Senator Udoedehe success in the forth coming election. For I know the thought that I have for you, not of evil, to give you future … If we continue with this insecurity, this complains of capital flight, and accusation, then the future is not guaranteed.

It is not by might said the Lord, thus mountain must be removed as Israel has fought this sort of battle, be not frightened, be not discouraged, as far as the project is concerned, God shall see us through. He will drop us at the promise land”; he said.

Rev. Nkanta told the groups and their coordinators that many men of God in the state at several meetings have received inspiration that Senator John James Udoedeghe's governorship ambition was God's project which according to him cannot be abandoned. He noted that those who were going round with speculation that the governorship hopeful was flying kite for some other person or intended to be compensated later were using “cheap means to campaign against a channel of change for the betterment of people in the state, adding that those who are foreseeing the senator's failure, “are judging by sight because they are intimidated”.
The man of God warned those he described as “Paid fault finders to desist from attempting to tarnish the image of the governorship hopeful as they, according to him, “will incur divine wrath”.

Earlier in his opening remark, leader of the Senator Udoedeghe Vanguard, Akuku Edidiong Philips said they decided to start in prayer because of the belief that, “Except the Lord keeps the city, they that tarry in watch does so in vain”. He said: “These groups are formed to mobilize support for the liberation of Akwa Ibom people from these atrocities and enthrone Senator John James Udoedehe as the next governor in 2011. We want the Lord to go with us in this assignment to complement our mortal strength and strategies”. Akuku Philip thanked the ministers for leading the fasting which lasted 6am to 6pm and members of Positive Change 2011, Central Working Committee for attending the summit.

Akuku Philip said with the support of the majority of Akwa Ibom people to the guber ambition of Senator Udoedehe, there is, “indication that God is out to grant our prayers even before we asked”. He used the occasion to call for mass public support to bring the prayer to reality.

Responding on behalf of the campaign team of the guber hopeful, Elder Emmanuel Udoh thanked God for protection given to members of the team and all supporters of the aspiration of Senator J. J. Udoedehe. He told the group that, they were representing, “a tip of the general public who have risen in support of your governor in 2011 because they want to be liberated from this unprecedented breach of social contract that has resulted in these ills”. He continued: “you have done well to pray for God's help, but I can assure you God already is a member of this camp though we don't see him. From what we see daily in this campaign for change, I can boldly tell you that God wants a change over in Akwa Ibom State.

When you see respectable men condescending so low to accepting trash in the name of governance, blackmailing very few national and international icons that we have in the state, you can belief with me that there must be a messiah that God wants to introduce into the state governance. We urge you to continue to support Senator Udoedehe, don't be intimidated to lie or accept lies, and tell others to do same. God will see us through”.
The session featured prayer storms led by Evangelist Victor Iteh and special choral rendition and praises.

In Memory Of The Social Contract Theory

When an eighteen century French political philosopher, Jean Jack Resouseau propounded the theory of social contract, he meant that a general will be formed; as such individualism comes to an end. Every individual becomes a part of the general will and therefore cannot claim right over the state.
The concept of general will, according to Resouseau will bridge the gap between the government and the people; both should be bound together by common interest. He maintained that the government was only the agent of the sovereign people and not the master.

Going by this political philosophy, the government is a product of a contract among the people, and derives its powers from them. “Government should exist for the benefit of the people who have the right to change it when it proves no longer satisfactory.

Ironically, in developing and under-developed economy like Nigeria, the music is different from a soothing musing of a minstrel, to a war song, orchestrated by marshal drum beats. The story is different. The concept of general will has gradually given way to a class interests. Some governments do not exist for the benefit of the people, except for the political supporters, party members, sycophants etc. The sovereign people have lost their rights to change the government when it is no longer satisfactory.

Today, colonialism in Africa is a story, but the scars remain in our political system. Africans were separated from the government by the colonial masters and now, great Nigerians are separated from the activities of government. They are denied access to contribute to the process of governance. For instance, in the budgeting system. The contributions of the people, for whom the budget is prepared, are not needed. The budget is kept very secret from the people. Request for it is viewed with suspicion. The budget is a document that belongs to the people. They should be shown in the (website) net. A recent investigation by Niger Delta Citizens Platform on Budget (NDCDB) shows that Bayelsa alone displays its budget on the internet for public debate and analyses among the Niger Delta States.

Taking the local government administration as a case study, one would surely notice that at the ward level, who becomes the councilor, is the exclusive preserve of the powerful power-brokers. The local government chairman, law makers, the commissioners, others are the exclusive preserve of the highly political class. The government is no more created by social contract between the people, but by and for the political capitalists. Our local government politics has become an arena for the rich, a play ground for the powerful and a grave side for the weak, the meek and perhaps, those with sincere decision to serve the people.
Today, Akwa Ibom people are singing the song of 2nd term for their public office holders. Even the Royal fathers who should be criticizing the government when necessary, and who should be seen as sacred entities, are all in the same choir, singing weird songs.

The government was supposed to be the agent of the people; the officers are supposed to be servants of the people. But the reverse is the case. Because of persistent poverty and acute lack of integrity, the government becomes the master, “the honourables, the distinguished senators, the excellencies”, even when some of them are not distinguished or excellent.

Let us remember that the social contract demands us to end individual wills and to imbibe the general will approach. Our public office holders should see themselves as servants of the people and not their masters, by so doing, the much needed socio-economic development, built on a solid foundation of political acceptability w`ill find its way into our Socio-political system.

Paulinus Nta wrote in from Ikot Abasi

Jos Crisis: What A Mess!

History is replete with cases of sectarian clashes in the North. Sometimes, it is religious one sect against another. Islamic sect or Moslems against Christians. At other times, it is ethnic. In Southern Kaduna and Plateau (particularly Jos and its environs) it has always been ethno-religious; some people choose to call it indigene-settler crisis because they are ashamed of admitting the religious undertone. Riots in these areas have always been prosecuted with consuming passion. The words of Blaise Pascal, the 17th century French mathematician and philosopher, that “men never do evil so completely and cheerfully when they do it from religious conviction” may be instructive here. (Never mind if the conviction is informed by slavish fanaticism).
The reason is easy to see. Fighting across the Moslem-Christian divide, you have the settlers on one side and the indigenes on the other. And they are almost equally matched in numerical strength. One group must strongly resist the other. Remember Zangonka taf? The native Kataf against the Hausa-Fulani settlers, ostensibly over grazing on both sides. Some person of no mean position or economic means must have supplied those arms. That is history.
Every body who matters in Plateau State publicly maintains the latest Jose riot was not ethnic-motivated or religious or political nor was it a result of indigene-settler disappointment. Not that I believe them. What then could have started the mayhem? Perhaps, some pent-up fury suddenly imploded. Late last year, there was riot in Jos on a smaller scale and nobody truthfully told us what led to it or who the sponsors were. May be, it was spontaneous. Now, this latest one on a grand scale. And the who is who in the Benue-Plateau axis is attending a peace conference holding in Jos. Mere rhetoric and honorarium!
Could the spate of riots be aimed at discrediting the government of Jonah David Jang and undermining his aspiration for 2011? I doubt that a former military man could be rubbished twice in quick succession. Afterall, he has said that the military had acted promptly on security report; the latest hostilities would have been averted. Sabotage suspected? For this, the military is now calling names. I believe the riot borders on some very sensitive areas they would rather prefer hushed up at this point in time the ethno-religious angle is most likely.
What really bothers me is why the Northerners have a penchant for mass murder, for whatever reasons, real or imagined. The pogrom of 1966 could conveniently be compared to the ethnic cleansing in Rwanda in 1994. In 1981, Maitatsine took the stage in a sectarian war that got to such a frightening dimension. And unfortunately hundreds of innocent Christians were caught in the crossfire. In 2009, the mayhem that started in Boko Haram nearly engulfed the entire north taking its toll on Moslems and Christians alike. In between these, we have had at least half a dozen more in various parts of the north that spared nothing-lives, houses and properties.
I do not know of any culture in modern civilization that preaches savagery. But I do know that the world's greatest religions like Christianity, Islam (except the Isma'ilis), Judaism, etc, preach peace. Let me digress a little and talk about the Isma'ilis.
It is a sect if Islam, and is a part of the extreme wing of the Shi'ites. They are eclectic in character. Their Imams (leaders) are believed to be divine and infallible and therefore their commands are unquestionable and must be obeyed. Unfortunately, this is a sect that has a lot of influence on the intellectual life of Islam. It has revolutionary tendencies with its idealism and propaganda on social justice. Its structure is secretive and almost Masonic, its followers are fanatical and its doctrines appeal to every discontented element in the Islamic world.
This description is absolutely correct and can be attested to by any honest Islamic scholars. To continue the digression, we have a lot of northerners in the extreme wing of the Shi'ite sect. And if you look at the description of the sect a second time, you may be tempted to conclude that it is the mother of most terrorists and mass murderers. I hope no Nigerian fit exactly into the mould of the extremist Shi'ite. But it is a forlorn hope!
Back to the main issue. Since most Moslems and Christians embrace peace, why do we allow the minority to hold us to ransom? There is only one logical reason. Some persons among the majority connive with the perpetrators of violence for reasons we do not know.
After the first Jos crisis, the problem was not resolved and no key player was brought to book. Mind you, there are two opposing forces in this madness. One started it, and the other, perhaps, out of a duty of self-preservation, fought back. Since the problem was not settled after the hostilities, it was merely suspended to resume some day, and that day happened to be Sunday, 7th of March 2010 in Jos South Local Government Area.
No group is prepared to turn the other check. Both take to the an-eye-for-an-eye approach. There is something inherently faulty about both approaches, and something to be gained, too. An-eye-for-an-eye approach has the tendency to perpetuate hostilities and for ever fan the embers of hatred. On the other hand, it may be a warning to the aggressor that it does not have monopoly of violence. That the fact that it does not see aggression as wrong does not make it right, and that if it suffers aggression or counter-aggression, what violence means may be driven home to it. This could make the difference
The turning of the other check is a rather noble principle, but in some circumstances patently ominous. For a people to collectively adopt this principle in the face of brazen carnage means a willingness, in fact, a desire to be driven to extinction.
But must we continue to fight like a people who have chosen not to be affected by modern ways of thinking, or who have made fanaticism their culture or a people who feel their very existence threatened by the presence of persons of a different religion or tribe? No.
If the government sincerely wants to resolve the intermittent crisis, there must be no sacred cows. Question everything however long it has existed that is deleterious to harmonious co-existence. No person should be seen as untouchable. Get to the root of the crises. Apportion blame and mete out punishments. Where necessary, apply expediency for sustainable peace.
We are supposed to be of one stock which God created. Why should there be so much intolerance? In view of the fact that we have something to offer one another and considering that in our everyday life, at least, we interact, we need to pay attention more on what we have in common and what could promote peace and unity and less on what differentiates us and could bring anarchy and disunity.
In secular life, the problems that confront man is the same irrespective of his religious beliefs. In the religious sphere, we have the freedom to look forward to our different religions for solutions to the mysteries of our existence; true Moslems and Christians are in agreement on this. All religions to the best of my knowledge, set to improve humanity by enforcing on their respective members rich doctrines, moral precepts and sacred rites. What matters is not the extent to which these differ but the extent to which they go to make a more sane humanity. Strictly speaking, it is a question of ends and means.
Commonsense should tell us that there is no justification for discrimination between peoples. We must preserve human dignity and see hatred and persecution as deplorable.

Governors' Forum And The Politics Of Yar'Adua

The body of state chief executives known as the Governors' Forum recently took a position that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan should continue to function as acting president while ailing Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua should remain the president. To ensure that the status quo is maintained, the governors decided that Yar'Adua should not be declared incapacitated, regardless of his state of health.

They also would not want impeachment or resignation considered as options. Their stand is that until another president is elected, Yar' Adua should remain in office. This is the governors' formula for ensuring that political power resides in the North for eight unbroken years so that there can be stability in the polity. Their reasoning is that the North will be shortchanged if Yar' Adua's tenure is terminated and Jonathan is made the substantive president.

The position of the governors has further complicated Nigeria's lingering political crisis. It is an obvious disservice to the Nigerian state. The governor's stand is not based on any fresh insight into Nigeria's constitution, their stance is squarely predicated on purely political considerations and their demands are totally at variance with the preferences of the discerning and well-meaning public. The 1999 Constitution that regulates Nigeria's presidential democracy does not assign any role whatsoever to a pressure group like the Governors' Forum. That forum is indeed unknown to the constitution.

It therefore lacks the power to determine how and when a president should be removed from or retained in office.
PRESIDENT Yar' Adua was perceived as a breath of fresh air when he assumed office because he made a clean break with his predecessor's dictatorial democracy. The style, if not the substance, of his leadership endeared him to the people.

When in position to determine his now course of action, he demonstrated, to an appreciable extent, that he embraced openness. It was when his health problem began to take a toll on his capacity to manage both national and personal affairs the people's perception of him began to change.

NIGERIANS have sympathy for Yar'Adua. They have been praying for his recovery. It is a clique which surrounds him and holds him captive for selfish reasons that has brought about the change in perception and the widespread demand for his removal from office. His departure from Nigeria for medical treatment in other lands has always been stealthy as if it is an offence to take ill.

Throughout the 93 days he spent on his sick bed in Saudi Arabia, Nigerians were not informed about his health condition. None of the various delegations that travelled to that country to see him succeeded in setting their eyes on him.

Yar'Adua who constantly harped on the rule of law as the cardinal principles of his administration failed to comply with the constitution, which says he should cede power to his deputy whenever he goes on vacation. And since his secretive return, he has remained not only invisible but also incommunicado.

YAR'ADUA left the country rudderless when he took off for Saudi Arabia on November 23, 2009. the vacuum at the apex of political authority in Nigeria became a serious source of worry not only within the country but also in the international community. But for the ingenuity of the National Assembly which deftly invoked the Doctrine of Necessity to empower Jonathan to function as acting president, the situation would probably have gone out of control and the governors would not have been as comfortable as they are today to dictate terms.

In spite of the desperation of the clique around Yar'Adua to conceal the truth about his health from Nigerians, it has become an open secret that the likelihood of his functioning again as president is low. This is why there have been underground moves to find a suitable person who will for now serve as vice president and later emerge as the ruling party's presidential candidate in the 2011 elections.

What then is the rationale behind the governors' decision? Can they maintain this stance if a vice president is appointed tomorrow? What do they stand to lose from a substantive Jonathan presidency and what do they stand to gain from an incapacitated Yar'Adua presidency?

This position of the governors constitutes' a breach of their oath of allegiance. They have expressed in clear language that their loyalty is first and foremost to Yar'Adua and not to Nigeria. Yar'Adua violated the constitution by failing to cede power to his deputy when going on medical vacation, yet the governors insist that he cannot be impeached. The man is widely known to be incapable of performing the functions of the office of the President, but the governors' stand is that he should not be declared incapacitated.

Whose interests are these governors serving? Why did these same governors push for the emergence of Jonathan as acting president? Is the Jonathan presidency getting too hot for them to handle? Can Yar'Adua, in his present condition be held responsible for anything that goes wrong in the management of state affairs? Can the governors not draw the simple inference from the prevailing situation that the Yar'Adua presidency is in abeyance? Are they saying that Nigeria can have two presidents at the same time?