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A Country In Search Of A Miracle By Reuben Abati



“You look tired”

“Ha, my brother. Thanks for being observant. I have been trekking.”


“I went to buy fuel at that fuel station by the Estate gate. I had to abandon the car there. On my way back home, I could not find okada or any other form of transportation.”

“No wonder you are sweating.”

“All the tricyclists and the okada people claim they have no fuel.”

“It is good for you big men to have a taste of what poor people go through. This fuel scarcity is an effective leveler. It is no respecter of persons.”

“I can’t wait for April 7 to come.”

“What’s special about April 7?”

“That’s the day we are told this scarcity will end, and there will be no more scarcity of petroleum products.”

“You mean a government official actually made such a promise?”


“Then, that official still has a lot to learn. In this kind of matter, you must never give a deadline because you never know. Nigerians will record the date, pretend to be optimistic and wait for you. If you don’t deliver on the said date, you will be branded an incompetent liar!”


“Trust me. Never set a deadline. Never say things such as we will put an end to the Boko Haram menace by June ending. We will deliver 10, 000 MW of electricity by December, and there will be fuel across the country by so-so-and-so date?”

“But I think April 7 is a sure date”

“I like your optimism. You mean by April 7, the pipeline vandals would have stopped stealing?”

“Some concerned Nigerians, particularly Pastors, I understand have been helping the Federal Government to appeal to vandals. They have been telling the vandals that it is not a good thing to steal petrol that belongs to all of us.”

“You want to stop oil theft and pipeline vandalism by preaching? Does anyone know who the vandals are?”

“You know we are a religious nation. When everything fails, we preach. I won’t be surprised to hear that any pipeline vandal who repents will be recommended for a National Honour!”

“In that case, what are you still doing here? You too should become a pipeline vandal, repent and get honoured. Or you don’t want a national honour?”

“Actually, I’d rather ask the vandals to give me fuel from their private depots, so I won’t have to face the stress of looking for fuel.”

“But I thought we were depending on the importation of refined petroleum products. Where are the major marketers?”

“They are there, but they say they can’t help because market forces are now obeying command-and-control, centralized orders which are not good for business.”

“I know. I know. The climate has changed. There is no more free money to share in the name of subsidy. Let the marketers continue to grumble. You know, sometimes I actually feel that if the NNPC can quickly get its acts together and Nigerians can endure a little, this may actually be our opportunity to free Nigerians from the threat of oil marketers.”

“What threat? The marketers are doing business. If the refineries work and fuel supply across the country is well managed, we should not be in this situation. If you frustrate the marketers, whose crime is that they feed off state inefficiency, and you have no alternative in place, this is what you get. The issue is also one of ideological confusion between capitalism and socialism.”

“It is a shame that at a time the international price of crude oil is dropping, Nigerians are having to pay an arm and a leg to get fuel. Right now, a litre of fuel is about N250”.

“It’s more. That is if you get it to buy.”

“Wait a moment. You are panting. What’s that wheezing sound? You may need to see a doctor.”

“I can’t remember when last I trekked.”

“Fuel scarcity is good for you then?”

“How can this suffering be good for anybody? Do you know how many families are now treating heat rash? Not to talk of hundreds of Nigerians who have died looking for fuel?”

“Just see a doctor. If you trek for about 1,000 metres and you are now looking like you want to pass out, then for you fuel scarcity is a major help. If you didn’t have to look for fuel, you’d be dying slowly and you may never know. I think every big man should in fact go look for fuel and trek a little, and listen to the people on the street. Good exercise.”

“You must be joking”

“Well, as it is, it is the poor who are benefitting from the crisis. Many lower class Nigerians now trek to work. They can’t afford the high cost of transportation, so they just hit the road with their feet.”

“You must be kidding me”.

“Two days ago, I saw a long stretch of trekkers, returning from work, moving from Victoria Island to the Mainland, looking like they have accepted their fate.”

“Too much trekking can kill.”

“Looks like that former Minister who once recommended that Nigerians should use the bicycle is about to be vindicated at last. The bicycle will be our best bet under the circumstances.”

“Stop being funny. Families will use the bicycle to take children to school? Or Madam will go to the market riding a bicycle?”

“Nigerians must learn to embrace change. Our problem is that we don’t always see the good sides of everything. Are you aware that this fuel scarcity crisis has created many jobs?”

“You mean it has resulted in many job losses. With the rise in the cost of goods and services, many companies have had to lay off staff. If you spend half of your profit on generating electricity and buying fuel at cut-throat rates, you’d have sooner or later to cut costs. The first casualties are the workers. Even big companies can no longer pay salaries. Small and medium scale enterprises are folding up.”

“In your estate?”

“What do you mean in my estate?”

“Because you see in this life, when some people are crying, some people are smiling. All those boys selling black market fuel in jerry cans by the roadside, I hear they are praying that there should always be fuel scarcity. Many of them are now multi-millionaires.”

“Profiting from other people’s agony. Is that your understanding of how a proper economy works?”

“I am an optimist. Those boys selling fuel are very happy. If there is regular supply of fuel tomorrow, they wont’ be happy.”

“Please stop this cynicism.”

“Cynicism? Look, if this thing continues beyond April 7, don’t be surprised if you see me by the roadside also hawking fuel in jerry cans. I will add some swag to my own; organize the jerry cans nicely and put up a visible sign-board with the inscription: NNPC Mega Station! I have been making enquiries.”

“Your mates are aspiring to own fuel stations, become major marketers, or even own oil fields, your ambition is to sell fuel in jerry cans.”

“Some of those boys selling fuel in jerry cans are university graduates. I did my research. You do yours.”

“You are exaggerating”

“No, I am not. You mean you have not seen Ph.D holders in this country who are working as drivers or running pepper soup joints or selling pure water? You better change your mentality. My friend, try and change.”

“It is not that bad, please.”

“Okay. Are you aware that many graduates are ready to join the Nigeria Police as constables? And they will be glad to be posted to checkpoints where they can check vehicle particulars, and the pockets of motorists.”


“Yes. Why do you think there has been such a massive rush for jobs in the Nigeria Police. The Police recently placed an advert asking for applications. The two websites for online application crashed within 4 hours.”


“They are looking for just 10, 000 new recruits. They received more than 8, 000 applications within one hour. If the portals did not crash, there would have been over a million applications.”

“Na wa o”

“Na wa ya o. We really need a miracle to happen.”

“No fuel. No electricity. No rainfall, either, as if God is holding on to the rains. Everywhere is so hot. I hardly sleep at night.”

“I still think you should see the doctor. And luckily for you, you may not have to pay the hospital.”

“How do you mean?”

“The Minister of Health has just directed all teaching hospitals and government-owned hospitals to treat patients free of charge.”

“Indigent patients or every patient?”

“We are all indigent, my friend.”

“But I don’t know why you take the Minister serious. You and I know he is just talking. No hospital will listen to him. And by the way, is he in a position to give such directives to state-owned hospitals? Even the ones owned by the Federal Government, do they have enough funds to embark on free healthcare? Government officials just must talk.”

“You can’t say that until you find out.”

“No. I don’t need to find out. I know.”

“Just take care of your health. I don’t want it said that you slumped while looking for fuel.”

“I’ll be fine”.

“Nigeria too will be fine. You remember that baby girl who was shown looking malnourished, and emaciated four months ago. Adacheka. And the boy now called Hope who was found in Akwa Ibom, left for dead, emaciated and sickly, in January. When I see the pictures of both children and how they have been saved, I think of our country, Nigeria. Miracles still happen.”

“I don’t believe in miracles any more.”

“Why not? Nigeria will soon start operating on nuclear energy level.”

“Really? People look for miracles when they are desperate or losing hope. In football, for example, Nigerians are looking for miracles right now. The Super Eagles have disappointed the nation. Indigenous coaches have failed us. From Stephen Keshi, to Austin Eguavoen, Samson Siasia and Sunday Oliseh, no hits, back to back, all na failure.”

“You don’t become a successful coach and manager just because you once captained a team. You need technical skills. You need the right people.”



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I Am The Voice Behind Psquare’s Hit Song ‘Story’ – Helen Paul



Nigerian comedian, Helen Paul has revealed she was the voice behind ‘Uncle, please tell us a story’, in Psquare’s ‘Story’, a song released in 2005.

She revealed this in a recent interview on the Honest Bunch Podcast, stating that she was a receptionist at the time and that she got the gig after the children who were meant to do the voiceover failed to show up.

Her words: “At the beginning, I didn’t know P Square. I didn’t even know they were going to blow. They came to the studio, and they wanted to record their songs. I think they were expecting some children to come and got disappointed. So, Ayoadeife said, “We have somebody who can do this voice, and this person can do all the range children,” she added.

“I didn’t know what range was, but I was just very good at imitating voices to date. I was a receptionist then, and when they told them, they agreed. And the guy just said, Helen, ‘You will work in the nights, but we’re not paying much. I said, I don’t care; just buy me a ‘soft drink’, because I loved it at the time.

“So they gave me the job, and I did the voicing of the children in the song. So they merged all the different children. So it sounded full. When the song started reigning, I didn’t even know what it was to put your name on a song; I didn’t fight for it.”

Helen Paul also revealed that her voice got her many jobs, and she moved from earning N9,500 monthly to over N400,000 monthly.

She said, “The next job I did was for another milk product. I was at the reception when they brought this job, and they told me the child that was to do it was having exams. They said they would not be able to take that in the office because the advert needed to air at 3 p.m. and it was 12 p.m., so they were looking for a baby voice.

“Uncle Ayo said, ‘Let’s try Helen’ and they brought me in to lay the voice, which I did. After the ad, I signed a paper for which I didn’t know the content. At that point, my salary was N9,500; I started receiving about N400,000 or N450,00 every month.”

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Davido’s Aide, Israel DMW, Announces Marriage Crash



Davido’s Logistics Manager, Israel Afeare, popularly known as Israel DMW, shared news of the end of his marriage to his wife, Sheila, in an Instagram post on Saturday.

In his detailed account, Israel DMW revealed that Sheila left their home on August 8, 2023, despite his substantial support since their marriage.

Israel also detailed acts of generosity, such as providing financial support, upgrading her phone, and indulging in shopping sprees for her.

Despite these efforts, he described a shift in Sheila’s behaviour after their wedding, where she sought to impose standards on him, believing she had achieved status as a prominent figure on Instagram.

Additionally, Israel DMW pointed out that marrying someone from a Christian background and being a virgin did not ensure peace in his case.

He highlighted that his wife accused him of being a slave to his boss, Davido.

He said, “Marrying a lady because you met her during evangelism as a virgin, a pastor’s daughter, a member of the same Winners Chapel church, might not guarantee anything peace at all. Don’t be too eager or quick to trust people. People can change at any time.

“People can be very ungrateful and deceptive. I met Sheila on February 19, 2022. We became friends, which later became intimate.

“She told me she would only lose her virginity to the man that would marry her since her Ugep, Cross River, mother, who’s now 41, had earlier married two different men, with two kids, before marrying her father and that she was overdue at 21 for marriage.

“We fully agreed with her terms and conditions. I immediately upgraded her unkept situation by giving her 300k and replacing her tattered phone of less than 60k with a new iPhone 12 Pro Max of 860k in less than two weeks.

“I later also replaced the 12 Pro Max with a brand 14 Pro Max of 1.2m that she uses to slay. I did a lot of shopping for her.

“Bought her clothes and bags, including expensive human hairs she’s using without sleeping with her then. I later proposed, and she fully accepted. We later did a legal introduction to traditional and white weddings in Benin City.

“Sheila immediately changed by showing her authentic self after our wedding and wanting to set standards for me. She now felt she was blown as Juju’s wife, fully verified on Instagram, with more followers from her earlier struggling 3k followers when I met her.

“A fully sapa girl I met with just 2,700 in her account. I have never raised my hands on her any day. I don’t beat women at all. I respect them so much. The least money for her upkeep was 100k. She now wakes up to tell me that I derive dignity in begging my oga, that I am fully a slave, and that I am disgracing her on social media.

“I had earlier taken her to show same oga for the first time before we wedded when we were in Abuja Transcorp Hilton, and oga asked her straight forward if she was ready for marriage, and she fully answered by saying yes and oga immediately gave her 500k for airtime. Oga was fully present in Benin for my wedding, after cancelling a 140m show appearance. Oga,”

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Court Remands Ex-CBN Governor, Emefiele In Kuje Correctional Centre Over Alleged N1.6bn Fraud



The Federal Government has arraigned the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, before Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court on a six-count charge bordering on alleged N1.6bn procurement fraud.

Emefiele however pleaded not guilty to all charges after it was read to him on Friday in Court.

Justice Muazu therefore adjourned the case till November 22 for ruling on the bail application of Emefiele and November 28 for the commencement of trial.

In the interim, the presiding Judge ordered that Emefiele be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre.

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