Suicide At Governor Yahaya Bello’s Gate

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Suicide At Governor Yahaya Bello’s Gate By Erasmus Ikhide

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We are inoculated from shocks of any harrowing news in Nigeria, however convulsing. This perhaps, may have accounted for the reason we were judged by the World Happiness Report (WHR) as the happiest people on earth in 2003. We’re yet to descend to the lowest rung of the ladder as the saddest people on earth, just to prove Fela Anikulapo Kuti wrong that we’re not “Suffering and Smiling”!

It’s our way of life to wake up every morning to the news that our mothers have been violated and butchered in their sleep or on their way to the market, fathers maimed and killed on their way to the farm, daughters and sisters raped, children sold for less than a quarter of a million naira.

The frightening trend is so nauseating and callous that you would wish that humanity swaps its place with the animal kingdom because the essential difference between animals and humans, which is the ability to self-reflect, seems literarily lustrated from Nigerians’ DNA.

Two months ago, a man was slaughtered on his farm by Fulani herdsmen who came grazing with their herds of cattle over his farm in Ogun State, South West Nigeria. No arrest was made. Last week, in the same state, news of a woman who sold her baby girl came to light, while another lady was butchered by her yahoo plus/plus lover and her body parts such as eyes, breasts, armpit hairs and reproductive organs were dug out of her body!

Prior to that, three weeks ago, the news of Mr. Edward Kehinde Soje’s suicide death seized the country. Mr. Soje was a Kogi State civil service who committed suicide for his inability to draw wages from the state government after eleven months! Another news broke on the 28th of last month that Mr. Biodun Bashir, a staff of Universal Basic Education (UBE) in Kwara State, Oyun Local Government Area, hung himself to death over failure of Kwara State Government to pay his salaries for six months.

Mr. Soje’s suicide death is mind blowing, at 54! He was a director in the Kogi State civil service with a family without salaries for 11 months. But the Kogi State Government said it was owing late Mr. Soje only 8 months salary arrears! Before his death, civil servants in the state embarked on industrial action to protest the non-payment of their salaries arrears with some being owed for upwards of 21 months.

A friend of the Soje’s family hinted that he might have taken his life due to the frustrations orchestrated by non-payment of his salaries coupled with the unsettling news that his wife gave birth to male triplets barely two weeks earlier.

In the suicide note, he quoted the scripture in Psalm 121:3, where the Bible says, “God will not suffer your foot to be moved: He that keepeth you will not slumber. Amen.” Continuing, he said: “You and the three boys, the God Almighty will keep you and prosper you, amen. I love you.”

Family sources said that Soje had before the incident been going through a lot of financial pressure due to non-payment of his salary for 11 months by the Kogi State Government. As a way out, he was said to have sold his only car and a three-bedroom bungalow he was building at Otokiti area of Lokoja.

The building, which was at lintel level, was sold by Soje at a giveaway price of N1.5 million in April to meet urgent family needs, it was gathered. According to the sources, Soje’s financial woes became compounded when the wife gave birth to a set of triplets through caesarian operation in a private hospital in Abuja on October 7th.

Nigerians of today are worse than the governments at all levels which use, deride, deprive and pillage their existence because they lack the willpower to demand and fight for their rights. It could be the uncanny reason Nigerians were adjudged as the most happiest people on earth in 2003 and beyond.

If a citizen’s genetic propensity to happiness is measured by care, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance, then a nation almost always on the brink of a cataclysmic disaster, terrorism, poor leadership, poverty, joblessness, food inflation, and corruption can’t be a happy people.

According to the World Health Organization, as of 2015, life expectancy in Nigeria was 53 for men and 56 for women, respectively – one of the lowest in the world. Nigeria has an ‘alarmingly high’ maternal mortality rate and according to the Paediatrics Association Nigeria, as of 2017, one million children die annually from preventable diseases.

Despite President Buhari’s face-saving or minor dent on anticorruption, Transparency International still ranks Nigeria as 136th out of 178 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index with a score of 28 out of 100. Is that a pass mark? Poverty is rife as is inequality. In spite the growing youth population, the first ever Global Youth Wellbeing Index in 2014 ranked Nigeria bottom, making it the worst country, of those ranked, to be a young person.

Ironically, a backward-looking country like Nigeria changed that perception of fake happiness in 2011. A twenty-six-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi who had been the sole income earner in his extended family of eight, upset the apple cart in Tunis. He operated a vegetable or apple cart (the contents of the cart are disputed) for seven years in Sidi Bouzid, 190 miles (300 km) south of Tunis. On 17 December 2010, a female officer confiscated his cart and produce. Bouazizi, who had had such an event happen to him before, tried to pay the 10-dinar fine (a day’s wages, equivalent to 7USD).

In response, the policewoman insulted his deceased father and slapped him. The officer, Faida Hamdi, stated that she was not even a policewoman, but a city employee who had been tasked that morning with confiscating produce from vendors without licenses. When she tried to do so with Bouazizi a scuffle ensued. Hamdi says she called the police who then beat Bouazizi.

A humiliated Bouazizi then went to the provincial headquarters in an attempt to complain to local municipality officials and to have his produce returned. He was refused an audience. Without alerting his family, at 11:30 am and within an hour of the initial confrontation, Bouazizi returned to the headquarters, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire. Public outrage quickly grew over the incident, leading to protests.

This immolation and the subsequent heavy-handed response by the police to peaceful marchers caused riots the next day in Sidi Bouzid that went largely unnoticed, although social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube featured images of police dispersing youths who attacked shop windows and damaged cars. Bouazizi was subsequently transferred to a hospital near Tunis. In an attempt to quell the unrest President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali visited Bouazizi in hospital on 28 December 2010. Bouazizi died on 4 January 2011 and the president was chased away from the seat of power thereafter.

Where is the Nigerian’s Bouazizi? Why the vocal collapse? Why did Edward Soje not commit suicide in front of Government House gate at Lokoja to ignite Arab-like uprising? Where are the Mohamed Bouazizis of Nigerian that brought down Tunisia and a few of other Arab countries?

Even with the statistics of terrible failures at governance, Governor Yahaya Bello and his Kwara counterpart are still shamelessly parading themselves as “Governors”, after dismal performances and their failure to fulfil constitutional obligation to pay wages to workers and protect life and property. Yahaya Bello and Abdulfatah Ahmed’s unregenerated primitivity is tolerable in climes such as Nigeria where the people elect to be “Suffering and Smiling”.

Erasmus writes from Lagos. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter @ikhide_erasmus1.

This piece was written by Erasmus Ikhide. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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Enugu LG Polls: PDP Floors APC, Wins 14 Chairmanship Seats

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The Candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have swept the 14 chairmanship election results released by the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) in Saturday’s local government election.

It is understood that seventeen Chairmanship and Counsellorship positions were contested.

The chairman of ENSIEC, Chief Mike Ajogwu (SAN), who announced the results on Sunday at the commission’s headquarters at Independence layout, said the ruling party cleared the 14 chairmanship seats so far declared.

The opposition party also cleared all ward councillorship positions in 11 local government areas also announced by the commission.

Mr. Ajogwu, who is also the Chief Returning Officer for the poll, said that the results of three council areas had not been collated because they arrived late.

He noted that the council areas the results of which were yet to be concluded were: Enugu North, Awgu and Udi Local Government Areas, adding that the results of six local government areas councillorship had not arrived.

“So far, so good, the election had been credible, free and fair from ENSIEC assessment.

“I want to thank both the media, security agencies and Enugu State residents for making it a huge success,’’ he said.

“I’m not aware of any bomb explosions, violence, rigging or mal-practice during the election. This election is reliable and credible,” he said.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared that it will head to court to challenge the outcome of the exercise.

According to the chairman of the party in Enugu, Ben Nwoye, there was widespread violence.

He further queried that “even if the ENSIEC does not want to do election, does it worth the blood of anybody?

He alleged that the electoral body disenfranchised the people of the State by making sure that no result sheet was brought to polling units, after which already prepared results were announced.

He further declared that “in this circumstance, we have no other option than to go to court; we won’t call for cancellation because there was no election in the first place; you cannot cancel what does not exist; so we are going ahead to challenge the outcome of the charade they did today in court.

“We have got reports of violence across the State; even the party’s governorship candidate in the 2015 governorship election, Barr. Okey Ezea was tortured. He was abducted, beaten and the worst could have happened but for the intervention of security agents. As I speak to you, he is in hospital receiving treatment. Several other persons were wounded during the exercise.”

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Nigerian Govt Gives Reason For Closure Of NERFUND

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The federal government has said that the closure of the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) was purely based on the recommendations of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s special examination report of Sept. 30, 2013.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, said this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

He stated that the government took the decision to close the office because it was too expensive to run it for recovery purposes only.

He said: “No local or foreign bank would lend money to them because their balance sheet was so bad and they still had to pay salaries and overheads.

“So when government decided to wind up the company, one of the things we did was to cut on the number of staff. So we gave them a very generous voluntary exit package to keep industrial peace.

“Many of them, six contract staff and  33 senior management staff who had spent many years there took advantage of the offer and voluntarily resigned, collected their benefit and left.

“But the younger ones, of average age of 35 years stayed back and continued the recovery effort and as of the date of closure, we had 49 staff left.

“You see NERFUND was an intervention agency and not a regular or permanent one like the Central bank, NDIC or the core civil service.

“Under their terms of service, government is not obliged to transfer them to other ministries like in the civil service where you are basically guaranteed employment till retirement.”

However, Isa-Dutse said that he had written to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita in October 2017, to appraise her of the development and solicit her intervention with the remaining staff.

“We also contacted the office of the Vice President where they have the social intervention programmes, in case they require the skills of these people. But it’s not a guarantee that they will be employed.”

He said that it was unfortunate that People misunderstood the closing down of the fund as government no longer cared about Micro Small and Medium Enterprises .

“Government especially the current administration is very concerned about diversifying the economy as contained in the ERGP. There is emphasis in the diversification of the economy and the promotion of MSMEs.

“Government have decided that NERFUND has to go because it has failed and there is BOI, CBN, DBN with bigger and better managed funds for intervention to MSMEs,’’ he said

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Borno Promises To Return IDPs To Their States In 2018

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The Deputy Governor of Borno State, Usman Durkwa, has stated that plans are underway to ensure that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state return to their communities before the first quarter of 2018.

The Deputy Governor made this known while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri, the state capital, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

According to him, there were still a handful of camps within the state hosting the IDPs, but that expectation was that IDPs would be returned to their communities early next year.

Dikwa further stressed that with the coming of the North East Development Commission, things will hasten the realisation of government expectation of returning the IDPs, adding that the commission would seriously complement the efforts of the state government.

He also said the commission would, among other things, coordinate projects and programmes within the Master Plan for the rehabilitation, resettlement, reconciliation, reconstruction and sustainable development of the North-East Zone.

According to him, the functions of the commission also include infrastructure, human and social services.

Durkwa commended the Federal Government in ensuring improvement in the living standard of the IDPs.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Friday handed over 33,114 (50kg) bags of rice and other relief materials to assist IDPs in Borno.

The gesture was part way of the efforts by the Federal Government to ease life for those affected by the activities of the insurgents in the North- East.

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Conte: Dropping Luiz Was Tactical

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Antonio Conte insists the decision to drop David Luiz from the squad to face United, was purely tactical.

Conte preferred young defender, Christensen in the starting lineup and teenage Ampadu on the bench.

The decision led to talks of unrest between the Italian manager and Luiz, but the tactician has moved to rubbish the claims.

“It is a tactical decision,” the manager told Sky Sports. “There is Andreas Christensen in good form and we have Ethan Ampadu who is a good, young player at the club.

“We are conceding many goals so you have to find stability and solidity. We have to be patient with the team and defend in the right way.

“Manchester United is a really good team. They will want to win, like us. We have to try playing our football and be focused from the start to the end.”

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Guardiola: City Are Not Barcelona Or Bayern

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Pep Guardiola does not think Manchester City are on the same level as Bayern and Barcelona and says they must win a title before any comparisons.

Manchester City continued their dominance in the league, with De Bruyne, Aguero and Jesus securing a 3-1 win against Arsenal.

The Citizens are currently on a 23-match unbeaten run in all competitions, dating from last season, but Guardiola does not think comparisons to his former teams are right.

“We cannot deny the last two months, it was amazing, we won all the games in the Premier League, Champions League, Carabao Cup – it’s so, so difficult,” he told Sky Sports.

“I’m so happy. [But] in the recent past Barcelona and Bayern won titles and we didn’t win once.

“Until we lift something we cannot talk about that. The way we played [was excellent], we cannot deny that in the two months we played well.”

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Valverde: Suarez Has Killer Instincts

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Ernesto Valverde claims Barcelona striker, Luis Suarez is a killer and has seen signs of him returning to form.

The Uruguay international forward has scored only three goals from eight games, failing to net on Saturday, in the 2-1 win over Sevilla.

Despite the decrease in form of Suarez, Valverde trusts he will find his best form in no time.

“We talk a lot about Suarez lately, but I’m pleased to have him because of how he works and all the things he gives us,” he said.

“He is a killer.

“Despite the fact he’s not scoring lately, he always has chances, [against Sevilla] too. And that is a good sign.”

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Conte Asks For Patience With Chelsea

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Antonio Conte has asked for patience with Chelsea, after he led them to the Premier League title last season.

Chelsea welcome Manchester United on Sunday evening, after a humbling 3-0 defeat to Roma and Conte was criticized for mistakes made.

The Italian manager says winning the title with Chelsea last season, has raised the expectations of the club and has asked for patience.

“It’s not simple to repeat and then to win [the title]. Above all here, above all in this league. It’s not simple,” Conte said. “You have to try to do this. You have to consider the real situation that you stay now. I said to you a lot of time that now we are trying to build something important. Now we are trying to put the fundamentals for this club.

“Don’t forget that in the last four, five years we lost a lot of important players for Chelsea: Drogba, Petr Cech, Lampard, Terry, Ivanovic, Mikel, Ashley Cole. I’m talking about players that wrote history in this club, because they played for many years and they played Champions League games, semi-finals, finals.

“Now we are restarting to build something important, to try to put the club again to be able to face this type of situation. If we think I do this (snapping fingers) and we are ready to fight. It’s not simple. Last season what happened was a miracle. It was a miracle, because we had the same players that the season before finished 10th.

“Okay our transfer market was with Batshuayi, Luiz, Kante and Alonso. If I don’t remember badly, you [the media] were the first to say Chelsea is prepared this season to become worse than the previous season. I remember the headlines. I have to say when I make mistakes, but also you have to do the same.

“We must be ready to do something special. But we must be realistic and to understand that we are building, we are creating a base. We are creating a foundation. In this season we bought five new players and we have 16 senior players.

“Honestly, I think I earned my time here with the win of last season. I earned my time. I don’t like to ask for time. I like to tell the truth. My truth is this, maybe some don’t agree with me, but I like to tell the truth. I don’t [decide that I] want to take time, for what? The situation is very clear.

“My task is to work and to put all myself for this club. Then if it’s enough, okay. It’s won’t be enough, okay the same. I will continue to live. I always like to tell the truth, first of all to my club. I think the most important thing is to try always to tell the truth.

“Sometimes it’s better a good lie than a bad truth, but in my opinion, I’m a person who always prefers to tell a bad truth than a good lie. In this way I have the respect of the people that I tell the truth to.”

“We are trying to build something important,” he continued. “It’s important to have the patience and then to have the time to do this. I understand that it’s not for all to have patience. But patience is a big quality. For example, I have not a lot of patience, honestly. But after last season, I’m proving a lot to do this.”

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Cavani Not Looking For Legend Status

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Edinson Cavani says he is not interested in looking for legend status in Ligue 1, after he reached 101 goals in PSG’s win over Angers.

The Uruguay international forward has become an outstanding player since Ibrahimovic left PSG, scoring 35 goals in the 2016-17 season.

And Cavani is on the same path this season, scoring 13 goals already this season from 11 matches.

“I try to give everything for my team. Football is like that. Today we are here, but afterwards, we don’t know,” said Cavani.

“I give the maximum. If things go well, I’m happy for myself, for the team, for the club, for the fans.

“But I don’t play to be a legend. I play for pleasure, for the passion that I have as a football player.

“It’s a nice evening because we came here to win and we leave with the three points after playing a big game. We earned the three points.

“We are happy, we have done a lot of important things today.”

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Football Papers :All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossips This Morning

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  • Jose Mourinho is demanding a huge pay rise to sign a new contract as Manchester United boss.
  • Everton have stepped up their bid to lure Sean Dyche to Goodison Park and want him in place after in the international break.
  • Arsenal face competition from Tottenham for top target Leon Goretzka.
  • Fernandinho is set to end speculation about his future and sign a new Manchester City deal.
  • Watford boss Marco Silva has emerged as a major target for the Everton job.
  • Dele Alli is wanted by a host of top European clubs, according to Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson.
  • Hatem Ben Arfa is set for a Premier League return with former boss Claude Puel at Leicester.
  • Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is fighting for survival in his job.
  • Barcelona and Real Madrid have intensified their interest in Tottenham’s young stars Dele Alli and Harry Winks.

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Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp Hails His Side’s “Perfect Counter-attacking” Performance

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Jurgen Klopp has described his Liverpool’s counter-attacking display during their 4-1 win over West Ham United as “pretty perfect”.

Liverpool made it a comfortable victory at the London Stadium, with Mohamed Salah helping himself to a brace and Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also on the scoresheet.

“The result, it feels good. We changed our approach, it was a counter-attacking line-up to use our speed from a deep situation. It was brilliant play for the first goal,” he told BBC Sport.

“Our counter-attacking was pretty perfect, we had some wonderful play. Roberto Firmino, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player play a third game in the week with such intensity and I’m a few days in this business.

“3-0, 3-0, 4-1, it’s a really good week. It’s a good moment to have a little break. We lost our skipper overnight and Gini Wijnaldum did not have his boots here. We thought he had no chance of playing, we only brought him here so he is nearer to Amsterdam, he was flying there to see the doctor.

“And he played 90 minutes. Sadio Mane is a naturally fit player, he could have played the 90 minutes after just one training session.”

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We Are Letting Slaven Bilic Down, Says West Ham Defender Aaron Cresswell

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West Ham United defender Aaron Cresswell believes that himself and his teammates are letting beleaguered manager Slaven Bilic down with their current form.

West Ham slumped to a second consecutive home defeat and a sixth league loss of the season overall this evening as Liverpool ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at the London Stadium.

The result leaves West Ham just one point clear of the relegation zone, and Aaron Cresswell admitted that confidence levels are low amongst the squad at the moment.

“It’s hard to take and it is not good enough. We have a two-week gap now and we have to get on the training ground to put things right,” he told BBC Sport.

“Confidence is low. It’s not easy being at the bottom of the table. We saw the fans leaving at the end and that’s down to the way we are playing. We need to turn this mess around. Times are difficult, The goals we conceded were not good enough.

“[Bilic’s future is] not our decisions. As players we can be professional and do our best. [We are] definitely [letting him down], every player included. It is not good enough as a team collectively. We need to ease the pressure off the gaffer and ourselves.”

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Chelsea Fans Still Like Me – Jose Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho has claimed that he is still greeted warmly by Chelsea fans

Jose Mourinho was once a hero of the Chelsea supporters having ended their 50-year wait for a title at the end of his first season in charge of the club, before going on to add two more Premier League crowns in 2005-06 and 2014-15.

However, since taking over at United the Portuguese boss has endured a stormy relationship with the Stamford Bridge faithful, but he insists that is only the case when he is sitting in the opposition dugout.

“I walk down the street and outside the football heat, outside the football environment, I see so many Chelsea fans, especially in the area where I live. I see so many Chelsea supporters and I didn’t have one single one that wasn’t nice,” he told reporters.

“What happened in the football stadium was a different thing. When I walk in the street in London, I am just a normal guy. When I go to Stamford Bridge and sit in that dugout, on the right side of the tunnel, I am the manager of their opponents, so I accept every possible reaction with the utmost respect.”

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We Could Have Scored More Against West Ham – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has claimed that Liverpool could have scored even more during their 4-1 victory over West Ham.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain marked his first Premier League start with Liverpool with his first Premier League goal for the club to help them on their way to a comfortable win

“It was a very intense game, especially when they made it 2-1 and I think it was crucial that we responded well and obviously we did that,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told BT Sport.

“We had to defend really well and with the counter, the boys up front, we are a big threat and I think we proved that time and time again. The four goals were enough (in the end), we could have had some more maybe.

“I feel like I’m getting there and it is important that every time I get an opportunity then I have to show what I can do and keep improving. There’s a lot more to come from me.”

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I Would Accept The Everton Job If I’m Offered – David Moyes

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David Moyes has revealed that he would be interested in a return to Everton if he was offered the job

David Moyes spent 11 years at Goodison Park between 2002 and 2013, but his managerial career has since suffered from unsuccessful spells at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

The Scot has been linked with a return to Merseyside since Everton sacked Ronald Koeman following a disastrous start to the season, and Moyes has confirmed that he would be open to a reunion with his former club.

“Of course it would have to be yes, but I’ve got other things ongoing and it might not be too long before I’m back in work. If the job came up I would be interested, but I’ve got other interests as well,” he told beIN Sports.

“Bill [Kenwright] is one of the best chairmen so anyone who does get the job will be working with a really good chairman who’s incredibly supportive. I had 11 great years there – I loved it. Sometimes going back isn’t always the answer but Jose Mourinho went back to Chelsea and won the league, and now Jupp Heynckes is back at Bayern Munich.

“I’m a better coach and better all-round manager. I think in football you have to go through difficulties. I’m amazed because I had them down to be top six. I think they’ve bought good players, but I’m not sure if they’ve bought all the right pieces and I don’t expect them to be where they are right now.”

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I’m At The Best Club In The World – Mauricio Pochettino

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Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that he is already at the “best club in the world” amid speculation linking him to some of Europe’s biggest teams.

Mauricio Pochettino has developed Tottenham into consistent Premier League title contenders during his time in North London, while their midweek Champions League win over European champions Real Madrid saw his stock rise even further.

Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have since been credited with an interest in the Argentine, but Pochettino pledged his future to Tottenham and insists that he is completely happy at the club.

“For me, the most important club in the world is Tottenham and for me, it is the best club in the world. I need to feel like this. That emotion is real because I cannot be fake it,” he told reporters.

“I cannot translate that emotion to the players, I cannot translate that emotion to my chairman, to create the trust if you don’t really believe. Today, for me, Tottenham is in my head 100%. Today I do not change Tottenham for another position in the world because I am so involved, I am so focused, and because I think the club deserves to have people that think only about the club, the fans, the players and the structures that provide us with an unbelievable life.

“It is an amazing club, everything is amazing and it’s so important for us to pay back, no? To pay back the club in the same way that the club treat us. Before I arrived to Tottenham, everyone said to me, ‘It’s so difficult to have a very good relationship with Daniel [Levy]’. And after, I discovered a great man.

“Today, I feel that he trusts in me and I trust in him. That is a good point, no? And then, I don’t think too much about my future. I think about today. I don’t care what happens around myself because I know very well that I am so happy here and we have a great relationship. It’s not about win or lose, it’s about trust, and when you achieve that in a club like Tottenham, with massive potential, you must create something together to try to be strong and win.”

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