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The Daniel’s Cross By Yiseyon Agboyinu

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Daniel

One would need to think like the Biblical Daniel to be able to appreciate what must have been going on in his mind when he was, for no just cause, thrown into the den of lions. Was he sweating? Or was he just calm all through? Even if he was, being human could he have entertained some doubts about his own faith and convictions. We all face such difficult moments in our daily lives.

Two events dominated the media and Nigerian Political space in the last two weeks; one was the resignation of the former Governor of Ogun State and Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCO), Otunba Gbenga Daniel from PDP and partisan politics and, the sham called Supplementary Governorship And Houses of Assembly elections in some states of the Nigerian federation. The one I find interesting for the moment, (I can’t help the election “supplements” situation) is the Daniel’s resignation and the icing on the cake, the purported decamping or defection of same into the rival All Peoples Congress barely twenty four hours after the announced resignation.

The issues raised in this matter bother on morality and betrayal of trust. Some argue on the propriety of the time he did; too early when Atiku is still in court trying to challenge the results of the election and reclaim his “stolen” mandate.

Just like I would give more than a penny for the thought to have a peep into the minds of the Biblical Daniel to know how he felt while in the Lion’s den, I have the same compulsion to read through the mind of this modern age Daniel. What exactly was on his mind; how is he relating to all these events and controversies. The answer may not necessarily lie in Daniel’s mind but in the Atiku Presidential campaign organisation itself. How did it function? What are the interplay of forces and the intrigues which removed the strength of morality and propriety of time, consultations and trust?

The Atiku Presidential campaigns gained a lot of tractions on the strength and assumptions that there is money- heavy money to be made by a lot of people. It has the largest number of Support Groups that refused to function as Volunteers which they should be, but cut out as a paid employment in expectation of gratifications and rewards. At the last count, the number of Support Groups are over one thousand and each boasting of having membership across the length and breadth of the country with a minimum of 1,000 members each. And on the average, over one million people claim to be members of the various Support Groups. Daniel’s crime Number One: fulfilling the desires and expectations of over one million people will be a tall order so Daniel might have unwittingly thrown himself in the den by choice; he has enrolled a course in a political university where no one has ever passed with honours.

Atiku also is on record as the longest and the most recycled presidential aspirant (candidate) in the recent history of Nigeria’s democracy. In the course of the years he has built a large retinue of personal staff who remain on his permanent payrolls and have by right carved a territory, formed a paternalistic view and claim a hold on his purse. They are surely and most likely to develop a mutual distrust of any newcomer(s) trying to usurp or take a slice off their comfort territory. This is a hell hole far deeper than a Lion’s den into which Daniel plunged.

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Perhaps, and most probably if Daniel was fishing in familiar territory, some of these challenges could have been easier managed, it looks like he was alone, home and dry. The PDP appears like a very hostile and uncharted water when most of his colleagues and contemporaries in the party since 2003 have left in search of other plausible windows of expressions and political survival away from the choking outhouse of PDP. Rashidi Ladoja, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Alao Akala, Musiliu Obanikoro, Segun Oni, Professor Tunde Adeniran etc. the fewer remnants of leaders function only at the fringes of party activities like some hired employees to keep up space in a political party; they take instructions from where the power of the party resides.

Daniel in a conservative Peoples Democratic Party could be a total stranger and this cross he had borne ever since he got elected on the platform of the party in 2003, he has been fishing in hostile waters, his progressive political ideology have clashed severally with the party’s ideology. His political views, dispositions, conducts and temperaments have been antithetical to what the PDP stands for and he was never too far away from constant brushes with the powers that be in the party. The entire problem of PDP started from Ogun State around 2009 where he, as a sitting governor was stripped of the power to control the affairs of the same party which he nurtured for over six years. Instead, that power was vested in a totally new comer to the state’s politics; he was not allowed to instal a successor in Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka.

Several attempts to stage a come back were clearly rebuffed by the “owners of the land and party”, even when he sought to lead the party as national chairman, deploying all arsenal in a nationwide campaigns for an office which was assumed to have been zoned to the South West as a strategic move to strengthen the party in the region, until he was persuaded to step down like most other contestants (Bode George, Jimi Agbaje, Rashidi Ladoja) from the South West. That was the PDP in which Daniel was ready to go into the gulag for.

Not done yet, on the strength of the colourful campaign in his chairmanship bid, Daniel got another rare opportunity to prove himself, capacity and commitment as he was appointed to lead the Atiku Presidential campaigns where he deployed his dexterity in the management of men and resources. He was able to steer Atiku to victory in a keenly contested primaries with about twelve contestants in Port Harcourt. And no sooner has he done what was considered unthinkable than the “owners of the land” rose again. This Daniel must be cut short at all cost. Daniel had only planted a tree in a dessert, and like Moses who struck the rod on the rock of life, he can only see the Promised Land from a distance, a Joshua would have to lead the “Israelites” to God’s promise. And so, it was that PDP prosecuted its campaigns like a people who have already won an election even before the votes were cast and counted.

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There lies the burden of Daniel’s morality: to stay or not to stay. The moral compass which were not invoked for former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he left and torn his PDP membership card in 2014, not for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar when he moved in and out of PDP to pick the ticket of Action Congress (AC) in 2007 and APC in 2014, not for Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was changing the names and identity of his political parties at every turn, not for President Mohammadu Buhari who left from ANPP to CPC and eventually to APC, not for Bukola Saraki, for Kwakwanso and for Godwill Akpabio when they leave the same PDP in 2014 to work for and got elected on the platform of APC, now became a banner on which Daniel must be judged. It appears political morality is only a Daniel’s Cross.

While Daniel must have been imprisoned in a moral gaol of his own convictions, chained by the propriety of Time of his choice movement, to wait till the court matter for Atiku to reclaim his mandate is dispensed with, only a few give it a thought “to play what role?”. His office which is already up for grabs by less competent hands? Is he a lawyer? What other assurances of relevance has been given and accorded him. The whole of South West states where he comes from, except Oyo, are safely in Opposition hands. How many Yoruba prominent politicians are playing leading roles in the PDP at the national level. Politics of principle must be rooted in a solid foundation, and political leadership is a function of followers and those who believe and trust in the capacity of a leader to take the right decision and lead them to a safer destination. The God of Daniel stood by him in the Bible and that was why he was accepted as a Prophet and a Judge over the Israelites. Should a leader wait till all those those who repose their trust in him leave in droves or one after another before reestablishing his leadership. Those who criticise Daniel definitely are not those who want to follow him, but more of those who feel he was at a time the man who usurped their daily bread, those who felt he did not allow them to milk from the Atiku Presidential, campaigns, those who are also threatened of what they fear might be his next political moves, and of course those who genuinely felt concerned with inadequate information about the Cross he had to bear and what he must have gone through.

If Daniel’s supporters insist he should and must lead them to another party, logic prevails he must hearken to the voices of those who truly believe in him and trust his leadership and not those who he cannot truly please no matter what he does; that is the hallmark of true leadership. Of course Daniel has promised not to abandon Atiku in his trying time, but what if Atiku abandons him?

Yiseyon (yiseyonagbonyinu@yahoo.com) is a social commentator, writes from Badagry Lagos, Nigeria.

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ECOBA Lagos Present Prizes and Awards to deserving Students of Edo College

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The Lagos branch of Edo College old boys Association, ECOBA has presented nineteen prizes and awards to deserving students and teachers of Edo College, Benin City at the 2019 graduation and prize-giving ceremony of the institution.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony for one hundred and forty-three students, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Isaac Ehiozuwa, Edo state Head of Service commended the staff of the school for maintaining the excellent standard of the school.

According to the Head of Service, who was represented by Mr. Edwin Oaikhena Edionweme, a director of administration and supplies, a lot has been done by the school authorities, but a lot still needs to be done.

He advised the staff to continue to ensure that the right discipline is inculcated in the students which would bring joy to every parent.

“We are all aware of the steps the Edo state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has been taking in the education sector. It is therefore good to key into the mission and vision of this administration,” he added.

The National President of ECOBA, Dr. Reuben Osahon who thanked the old boys of the school for their numerous contributions to the development of their Alma-Mata enjoined the new graduands to find the nearest branch wherever they find themselves and join the association.

“The law states that after two years of graduation from the school without being expelled you are qualified. If you have benefited from the institution, it is your responsibility to contribute your quota to the development of the school that is 82 years old,” he noted.

During the presentation of prizes and awards from the Lagos branch, the ECOBA National President gave the best mathematics SS3 student award to Efosa Illoware Eghenayamose, sponsored by Senator David Dafinone Foundation; The best English Language SS3 award sponsored by Mr. Sunday Airrue Uaboi to Odiase O. Micheal; the best SS3 Economics award sponsored by Senator David Dafinone Foundation to Elaigwu Augustine Ugbede-Ojo; The best Accounts SS3 award sponsored by Senator David Dafinone Foundation to Izekor Jefferson and the best SS3 Physics award sponsored by Engr Edward E. Iyamu to Emina Attah Emeka.

The Benin branch chairman. Barrister Peter Oibor made the presentation to the best Fine Arts SS3 award sponsored by Micheal I. Omo Osagie to Elaigwu Augustine Ugbede-Ojo; the best Agric Science SS3 award sponsored by Osazenaye Osarenkhoe to Ofuase Kikachukwu Oluwatimilehin; the best Biology SS3 award sponsored by Mrs. Hilda Gregory (AKA Edede Edo College) to Oghagbon Osasenaga; the best Geography SS3 award sponsored by Omaha Endowment Fund to Ikilo Eghosasere Evidence and the best sport person SS3 award sponsored by Uyi Akpata to Isreal Edosomwan.

Other awards presented by the ECOBA Benin branch Chairman were the best mathematics SS2 award sponsored by AVM Joe Ehigie (Rtd) to Iyase Eghosa; the best Athletics SS2 award sponsored by Madam Ofure Akpata to Egharevba Blossom; the best mathematics JS3 award sponsored by Godwin Ize-Iyamu to Agas Eseoghene David; the best English Language JS3 award sponsored by Mrs. Omokhuwe Alegeh to Aiwehoe Osayuki Gabriel; the Best French JS3 award sponsored by Amb. Vincent Okobi went to Abiodun-Mudasiru Moyosola Marcel while the Best JS1 French Class award went to JS1c and the Best teacher in Geography award sponsored by Omaha Endowment Fund went to Mr. Aghedo B.O.

Other awards presented by the representative of the Head of Service include the outstanding teacher in English to Mrs. Theresa Ehigie, the best N-power outstanding award to Evance Erhabor and the principal of the school, Mr. Samuel Ogbebor also presented the principal award to ECOBA for their contribution to the overall development of Edo College.

“The laudable contributions of ECOBA to the overall development of Edo College cannot be over-emphasized. The old boys have played key roles in activating the core values of the college, its physical environment inclusive, management is extremely grateful to the class set of 92 that built and commissioned a basketball court. By so doing, they have revived the spirit of sportsmanship amongst students,” he added. 

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IGP Must Read This: Shocking Details Of How Police Allegely Manipulated Rape Victim

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Kidnapper

A 19 year old lady simply identified as Oyindamola, was allegedly drugged and gang raped by her boyfriend and his friends at a party in the Alagbado area in Lagos state on June 30th.

 

The older sister of the victim, Mrs Afolabi, in an exclusive interview with LIB, said the victim who was a virgin, was invited to a birthday party by her boyfriend, Roy Arinze, who drugged her, took her away from the party while she was unconcious and raped her alongside two of his friends.

 

On the 30th of June, my sister Oyindamola went for a birthday party with one of her best friend called Roy Arinze. Arround 6pm, Roy invited her to a birthday party which was celebrated by one of his brothers. On getting to the party, Roy brought beer for my sister to drink  and she had never taken beer before. He begged her to drink it so she collected it from him and she drank it. After taking the alcohol, she said she doesn’t know what is happening to her. The next thing, she found herslef in Roy’s house.  Roy took her to his house. She was unconcious. When she woke up, she saw three guys packing blood. She was like what is going on here? What happened. Roy responded that he just fingered her.  She was like you just fingered me and I am seeing three guys packing blood. Roy responded that they came to her rescue.

 

She said she wants to start going home. She woke up around 9.30pm. During that period, she had switched off her phone. We have been looking for her.  They asked her to sleep over but she said no that she cannot wait that she has to go back home. They put her to a bike and she went home.

When my sister got home, she went straight to bed. She did not inform anybody. The next day, my mum went out and she called me to say she wasn’t feeling alright. She said she was feeling pains in her vagina. I asked her what happened and she told me that she went to her boyfriend’s place yesterday and that he told her that he fingered her and that since then, she hasn’t been feeling okay. I was thinking maybe normal tears, maybe the guy slept with her and disvirgined her and she had a few tears. I called a nurse who told me she can take Ampiclox and then sit on warm water.

 

Oyindamola was in so much pain that she couldn’t walk. So she wanted to go and buy the drugs which is Ampiclox. On getting to the pharmacy which was in our neighboorhood, the pharmacist saw the way she was walking and was like what happened to you Oyindamola? She responded that she is having pains all over her body and that she wants to buy drugs. The pharmacist was like you are having body pains and you want to buy Ampiclox? The pharmacist forced her to come closer to see what was happening down. She bent and opened her vagina for the pharmacist.

The pharmacist was shocked and was very suprised. She directed her to    Fumbi Medical Center hospital in our area. She went there and she was admitted. Because my mum wasn’t around and I wasn’t around as well, , she called Roy to tell him she was in the hospital.  The guy came down to the hospital. The doctor asked them to pay N38, 000 to stitch it for my sister. I think the doctor did not know it was something big.

 

Later on,  my mum got in touch with her and asked her ”where are you?’. She said she was in the hospital. When she got to the hospital, my mum was very surpised. She rushed down to the police station  on AIT Alagbado to report. She got there and at the counter, met a female police officer who accompanied her to get Roy arrested.

On getting there, they saw Roy and the doctor discussing. Roy was promising the doctor that he will pay extra N25, 000 to take care of Oyindamola as well as beg our mother on his behalf.

Roy was immediately arrested and taken to the police station. When they got there, the policemen were asking my mum to pay N5000 to open file, another N5000 for transport and another N5000.  They were just asking her for money. She was like money for what? Is it a crime for me to come and tell you that something happened to me and you can’t come to my rescue? (sic)  The police woman told my mum if she cannot pay the money, then she should forget about the case. My mum was surprised and was like why would she say such a thing? She left for home and returned with N5000 which was all she could gather. Before she returned to the police station, I think the police woman and Roy had discussed. Roy asked her to please help him beg my mum  and that he is going to settle the woman.

 

The police woman told my mum that she come so they can settle the matter because she knows she doesn’t have money. She told my mum that if they go to court, she would lose because she doesn’t have money.  She was like you don’t have money to pay N5000 for  transport. My Mum was like why would she say such a thing. She told my mum that she should provide the remaining money asked for as soon as possible otherwise she would release the suspect, Roy.

My mum did not have much with her. She rushed down to the church and called upon the brethren that they should please come to her aid. My mum and the church members visited the police station on Wednesday July 2nd. They went straight to the DPO’s office as the female police officer was not on sit. The DPO wasn’t aware of what was even happening. The DPO said he was not even aware wasn’t even in the cell.

 

He begged my mum and church members.  Some people hinted us that we should call humanright activists that they are ready to fight for us and can take up the issue. We got their number and called them that same Wednesday. We called and Mrs Fola from Ikeja spoke to us. She came on Thursday July 3rd. She met my sister in the Hospital and asked her questions. She also met with doctor. The doctor told Mrs Fola he did not see any sign of penetration and that he doesn’t understand the case and that she should just take it easy.

Mrs Fola then said no that she will not take it easy and that it must be charged to court. That Thursday, the doctor gave us a bill of N55, 000 and asked us to go and pay. My sister all through this period couldn’t urinate by herself. They had to pass a pipe through her body. Unfortuately we don’t have much, we are very rich. We didn’t have much with us. We tried to run helter skelter to raise the money. We didn’t have much because my dad has not been feeling fine for a very long time. He cannot walk. We have been spending much on my dad. This Oyinda own coming suddenly made us weak.

Before then, Roy’s family members have been coming down to the hospital, begging us that we should settle this matter because they are Igbo, we we are Yoruba (sic).  They said they will pick up the bill and that they will give  us some amount of money and that anything we want we should ask for. I personally said no because  this guy is not telling us the truth because after he injured my sister, he cleaned her blood with his clothes and white handkerchief. We even asked for the clothes he used to clean her blood but he said he had burnt it. We don’t even know what he used the blood to do.

 

The police just put him in their custody. They did not question him nor ask him We were also surprised because my sister said they were three when she openned her eyes. They left the remaining two guys. They did not interrogate them.” she said

 

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Speaking further, Mrs Afolabi said the Humanright activisit insisted that Oyinda must be examined at the Mirabel Medical center within seven days as the test will not be able to detect anything after seven days.

On Saturday July 6th, the humanrights activist came to take Oyindamola for the test but the doctor denied her access because we had not paid the hospital bill. The doctor said she cannot release Oyindamola unless the hospital bill is paid. We pleaded that she should just allow Oyindamola to go for the test and come back to the hospital. We were like we will try and go to church on Sunday and gather something. The doctor refused.  Thank God for Mrs Fola. , she spoke with the doctor who pledged to ensure Oyindamola returns to the hospital.

At the end of the day, Mrs Fola left with Oyindamola and my brother to Mirabel for the test. Me and my mum we were there at the hospital. They brought her back to the hospital. On Sunday we got to church and  we were not able to gather anything. We were just tired. Later we agreed that Roy’s family should pay the money because it is their responsibility because they are the ones that caused everything. They paid the bill and we went home.

 

On Monday  July 8th, I went to the police station to find out what is happening and they said they have not made any arrest because they have not seen any evidence. They asked me to take a sheet of paper to Mirabel to collect the result. On Tuesday July 9th, we went down to Mirabel.

 

On that Saturday when they went for the test in Mirabel, they met with one Dr who enlightened Mrs Fola that it was a gang rape. He said from what he saw, it was a gang rape. He said the result will come out in 7 days. He said they raped her through her vagina and through her anus . The doctor was so sad.

 

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According to Mrs Afolabi, on Monday July 15th, the police called for a meeting between her family and Roy’s family members. On getting to the station, Oyindamola and her mother were shocked to see Roy arrriving the police station on a motorbike. They never knew the police had released Roy. A few minutes later, the police informed them that the meeting had been postponed to the next day.  Oyindamola accused the police officer of wasting her time as she was meant to be at the Mirabel medical center for further treatment but had to cancel it because of the meeting.

 

Mrs Afolabi said that to her family’s suprise, the police officer accused Oyindamola of being rude and locked her up in the cell. She said the police threatened her mum that she will also be locked up if she isn’t careful.  She was detained in the cell till the next day July 16th.

 

In the night, the policemen were interrogating her again. They told her that when they get to court, she should tell them that she was not sleeping when Roy was having sex with her. They were collecting another statement from her again.  They did not give her food or medication.

The next day, my mummy came and they said they want to go to court because they have collected another statement. They said they were going to court that morning which was yesterday. She called me and I was surprised. I was angry because the police decided to go to court now after forcing my sister to make another statement. The police officers collected my mum’s phone so she could not be able to talk to me, forced her into a vehicle with Oyindamola and they drove to the court” she said

Mrs Afolabi said Roy was in the court and his lawyers asked the court to grant him bail.

 

The Magistrate court adjourned the case to September 26th.

 

Mrs Afolabi says all her family is demanding is justice for her sister, Oyindamola.

 

Culled: Linda Ikeji

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GTBank Holds 9th Annual Autism Conference July 30th – 31st

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For the ninth year in a row, Africa’s foremost financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, will bring together some of the world’s leading experts in Autism for two days of critical discourse on supporting children and adults living with Autism in Africa. Organized as part of the GTBank’s Orange Ribbon Initiative, the Annual Autism Conference, will hold on the 30th and 31st of July 2019 at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

Themed, “Autism: Transitions, Vocational skills and The Role of Technology,” the Annual Autism Conference will bring to the fore the challenges facing children living with Autism as they grow into adulthood. The conference will feature presentations and keynote addresses on how to empower children and adults living with Autism to reach their full potential. Some of the facilitators include Dr. Loretta Burns, a leading expert in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders and the founder of ABE International Clinic; Dr. Tisa Hooper-Johnson, the Medical Director of the HFHS Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD), USA; Janette Washington, a speech-language pathologist with nearly a decade of experience working with children living with autism and other special needs; and Ivie Emokpae, a qualified special needs coordinator from the Institute of Education London.

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Following the Autism conference will be free one-on-one consultations for children with Autism and other developmental challenges, as well as counselling for parents and guardians.

There will also be sessions for Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Behaviour Analysis, Audiology, Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychiatry, Physiotherapy, and Occupational Therapy. These sessions will hold from Thursday August 1st to Tuesday August 6th, 2019 at Digital Village, Alausa, Lagos.

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Commenting on the 9th Annual Autism Awareness Conference, Segun Agbaje, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “Children and adults living with autism often lack the support and vocational training that they need to develop critical life skills for leading independent and productive lives. As an organization that is passionate about uplifting the most vulnerable in our society, we will continue to empower people living with autism with all the support and resources that they need to reach their full potential.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is a Nigerian financial institution that has maintained a defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since its inception in 1990.

The Bank actively supports numerous programmes across Africa that positively affect Infant and Maternal Healthcare, Education, the Arts, Community Development and the Environment.

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