Permit me to begin this contribution with an apology for my disappearance from the literary and political scene for the last one month but this was due to circumstances beyond my control.
On October 21st, five days after my 56th birthday, I was arrested by the EFCC without an arrest warrant at the premises of the Federal High Court in Lagos where I had been earlier granted bail. Thereafter I was illegally detained by them without any detention order for 21 days.
Throughout the time of the second detention I was kept in a dingy underground cell at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja where I met a number of other high profile opposition figures like Senator Bala Mohammed, the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the former Minister of State for Defence and Mr. Reuben Abati, the former spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan.
After that I heard nothing from them and I was told nothing though I had daily visits to the medical clinic at the EFCC due to my deteriorating health.
Three weeks later, on November 10th, I was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja and arraigned on yet another set of spurrious, baseless and politically-motivated charges.
These ones were even more ridiculous and far-fetched than the first set in Lagos. I was falsely accused of receiving 26 million naira cash from the former National Security Advisor, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, for media work for the Jonathan administration in 2014.
Thankfully I was granted bail by the court and I was detained at Kuje prison for a further 4 days whilst I attempted to perfect my bail.
This was a frightful place and those that were locked up there were very dangerous and frightful people yet thankfully the Lord went ahead of me.
The single cells, though small, were clean, self-contained, well-ventilated, dry and very neat. The inmates were surprisingly very kind and friendly towards me and turned out to be my best friends and bodyguards whenever I toured th other parts of the prison.
I was very impressed with them and when I heard their stories and what some of them had been subjected to by the security forces and the state tears came to my eyes.
When I went to visit the great and brilliant freedom fighter, Nnamdi Kanu, who is the leader of IPOB and easily the most courageous, powerful and credible Igbo leader in Nigeria today in his cell we had a very instructive and long discussion.
I had never met Nnamdi before and I was amazed at his depth of knowledge, his immense courage and his deep convictions.
There is no doubt in my mind that that man is going places and in him the Igbo have an Ojukwu and a Nnamdi Azikiwe all rolled into one. He is destined for greatness.
Given what I have written about Boko Haram in the past and given my total aversion to any form of violence, terrorism and radical Islam, this was a classic case of God granting me favour before my enemies.
Everyone dreaded them in that prison but I am proud to say that they were my friends and I will never forget their courage, kindness and fellowship for the rest of my life.
This was the doing of the Lord and it was marvellous in my sight. Throughout my travails I have never questioned God and I have been inspired and comforted by His word which says that in all things we must give thanks to Him.
I am innocent of all the charges and allegations and as I have said elsewhere the whole thing is an attempt by the Federal Government and an increasingly desperate EFCC that is obsessed with my name and putting me away to discredit, break and silence me.
Like Nelson Mandela did at Robben Island prison every day for 26 years, I recited that poem three times a day on each and every day of my total of 90 days detention this year. And if I am arrested and detained again by the EFCC or any of President Buhari’s other numerous security or intelligence agencies I will continue to recite it. I have no fear of what men or satan can do to me and I trust and have faith in the God that I serve.
Shettima Justifies N15 billion Budgeted For His Official Residence, Says Peter Obi Suffering From Post-election Trauma
Vice President Kashim Shettima has responded to recent criticisms from Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.
Stanley Nkwocha, the spokesman for Vice President Shettima, addressed Obi’s remarks, defending the administration’s decision to spend N15 billion to renovate his boss’s residences in Lagos and Abuja.
Obi had questioned why the government planned to spend a lot on renovating the edifices while budgeting a paltry N5 billion for student loans in the country.
In his statement released on behalf of Vice President Shettima, Nkwocha responded to Obi’s comments, denouncing what he termed as a series of misguided attacks and falsehoods directed at the administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Nkwocha challenged the criticisms levelled by Obi, citing the allocation of funds for the renovation of the Vice President’s official residence by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
He clarified that the project was initiated and funded during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan and was later renewed by the current FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, due to its long-standing abandonment.
The spokesman defended the decision to resume the project, emphasizing the administration’s commitment to completing long-abandoned public projects across the nation, a stance he suggested was in contrast to Obi’s past directives as governor of Anambra State.
COP28 Delegation: ”Tinubu Has Turned Climate Change Conference to Owambe” – Atiku
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has strongly criticized the reported over-bloated delegation led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai.
In a statement released by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku criticized the size and nature of the delegation, suggesting that Tinubu lacked an understanding of the severity of Nigeria’s economic challenges.
Atiku questioned the rationale behind converting a climate change conference into what he described as a “jamboree, all-comers, and ‘owambe’ party” with over 1,400 delegates.
He characterized the situation as ridiculous and indicative of a governance approach lacking awareness and responsibility.
The statement highlighted the pressing economic hardships faced by Nigeria, emphasizing the need for leaders to align their actions with the available resources.
Atiku criticized the use of borrowed funds for what he termed a “street party” held outside the country, calling attention to the disparity between the purpose of COP28—focusing on improving lives, clean air, healthy food, and a secure future—and the alleged extravagant delegation.
“The economic dire straits that Nigeria is facing demand that its leaders cut their coats according to the cloth available,” the statement read, emphasizing the necessity for a more prudent and responsible approach to governance and resource utilization.
Atiku’s remarks add to the growing chorus of criticism regarding the alleged misuse of resources and the size of the Nigerian delegation at COP28.
“Lagos Is Bigger Than Ghana” – Ghanaian Singer, Efya, Settles Music Industry Comparison
She said: “Nigerian and Ghanaian music markets are not the same. Nigerians are way more than we are in terms of numbers. Numbers really matter now. The number of people that will stream Nigerian music in Nigeria is different from the number of people that will stream Ghanaian music in Ghana. The numbers are not the same.
“In the capacity of numbers, Lagos is bigger than Ghana. It is like the music hub itself. Nigerians are way bigger than we are. So, usually when I see people comparing, I’m like, ‘Do you guys know?’
“There shouldn’t be any comparisons. What I believe that we should is that we should be more collaborative. Find our vibes and put them together to advance what Afrobeats is going to be in the future; for us to be the gatekeepers of our own sound. And I think that’s the power move.”
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