Posts Tagged ‘Nigeria’



Lone candle snuffed out by a bitter wind hell bent on destroying this spark of greatness…zara

No tears now,

Peace at last for this angel whose gentle smiles lit up the tiniest crevices where fear found abode.

Stranger, not friend; yet tears roll silently down these faces as word arrives that this star is gone home to rest among shiny lights and angels in clouds afar.

Long lonely road to get you right where you are,

But now no tears, no more pain: no joy has left these hearts.

Now peace with the memory that you brought with you laughter, your voice and your blessed heart.

Loaded you came to give of you selflessly,

Now empty of all earthly treasures you return to the maker head held high,

Shoulders straight, confident in the fact that you have shared your gifts with all who passed you along the way…


A few days back, the Nigerian President signed into law a bill criminalizing same sex marriages and unions in Nigeria. The bill I must say (even from a layman’s point of view) is as ambiguous as it gets. The position of the Government and most of the supporters of the new law is three pronged; One, Homosexuality is foreign and not in line with the cultures of the over ethnic 250 groups that make up this country called Nigeria. Secondly, they argue that the activities of gay people are against all religious doctrines and teachings. This in a Secular state. The third arm of their pitch-fork is that homosexuality is a neo-colonialist practice, being force fed to us by the West. They make these wonderful assertion from the comfort of their western invented iPads and smartphones, blind to the fact that homosexuality has existed in African societies before a white man ever landed in these parts.

To clear the muddy waters of this whole issue, my friend Ayo Sogunro, a lawyer and a writer whose latest book SORRY TALES has received much critical acclaim, has written the article below. He is as straight in his sexual orientation as Solomon (well, maybe without so many partners)  and has been one of those calling for reason in the face of the homophobic display of ignorance being peddled by most Nigerians, including some very notable persons in the entertainment sector.

In the article, he breaks down the law and its true (read Nigerian) interpretation. Bringing to the attention of those who are prematurely applauding the law as the best thing since the introduction of the GSM, that the ambiguity of the law puts all Nigerians at risk of witch-hunting and invasion of privacy by our dear officers of the law. Read the article below.



Congratulations, straight Nigerian, this article is for your benefit. Now that the Same-Sex Marriage Act has been signed, you can breathe easy—or so you think. Well, not so fast—and the following paragraphs will explain why.

However, as is usual in my articles of this controversial nature, I will assume you are a reasonable Nigerian (maybe one who hates homosexuality a tad—or even a whole lot—that’s fine) but not one who thinks stoning a homosexual person to death is some sort of divine injunction—or that armed robbers are preferable to lesbians. If you’re the latter type of person, don’t bother reading this article, there are more important things for you to do: like amending your new law to allow you to directly murder gays and rape lesbians and save costs on the whole jailing thing.

But for the rest of you, well meaning, straight Nigerians, here are a few things that you should get—well, straight—about the new anti-gay law. So you can keep up with me, download a copy of the Same Sex Bill here.

1. The Law Is Not About Marriage: Fine, the proper name of the law is titled “Same Sex Marriage Act” and the general rationale from the sponsors of the bill is something to the effect that “gay marriage” was a devaluation of African and religious family values and similar nice sounding ideas taken right out of the holy books—which sounds like divorce ought to be a crime too, though nobody seems to mind that. But don’t be deceived by the PR, the anti-gay law is just that: an anti-gay law. As a matter of fact, homosexual marriage has always been invalid in Nigeria since British rule—this so-called innovation is simply about punishing homosexuality. Let’s start with s.1(1) of the law: “Marriage contract or civil union entered between persons of same gender is hereby prohibited in Nigeria”. Did you notice the “civil union” part? That means, even non-marital relationships are prohibited and criminalised. And just to drive the point home—in case you’re still arguing from the “marriage” angle—the law goes on to describe “civil union” to include: “independent relationships, caring partnership, civil solidarity pacts, domestic partnerships, reciprocal beneficiary relationships, significant relationships”, and a host of other non-existent types of relationships borne out of a level of paranoia that is matched only by the political system’s level of corruption. In short, gay/lesbian relationships of any type are criminalised—whether marital or not. And this is why, before the President could even pocket his signing pen, Bauchi State had already arrested people under the fresh law. Did these people organise a marriage ceremony while the law was being signed? If that is not proof that this has nothing to do with marriage, then you tell me what is proof.

And the next time some religious person argues  for the law on the premise that marriage should be only between a man or a woman, ask the person: “Fine, but what about a reciprocal beneficial relationship?”

Whatever the hell that means.

2. The Law Doesn’t Care About Deterring Homosexuality: See, ordinarily, an activity becomes worthy of criminal status when people keep reporting to the police that it has begun to affect them negatively. And so it becomes necessary to deter that rampant activity. Crimes don’t come out of the blue—they are a result of problematic activity in a society. Well, this law is notdeterring gay marriage because gay marriage isn’t an activity in Nigeria. It’s not even deterring gay relationships because gay relationships are virtually secret in Nigeria. Secret to the point of non-existent. Instead, it is a witch-hunting law—one that punishes people whose opinions differ, even if the said opinions are not causing any problems. The law is a solution to a non-existent problem. Take, for example, s.4(1): “The registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations, their sustenance, processions and meetings are hereby prohibited.” Meetings? Even armed robbers are not guilty of merely “meeting”. A meeting—and nothing more—doesn’t even hurt a fly. That’s like jailing union leaders for meeting to discuss a strike—in a democracy. Come on, they were probably meeting to discuss how not to be gay in a homophobic country! The law isn’t interested in the substance of the meeting; it is only interested in jailing the attendees.

And if anyone should be jailed for meetings that harm the country, it should be the Federal Executive Council!

3. The Law Punishes YOU, Even If You’re Definitely Straight: Take s.5(3), which is probably the most unfair punishment ever given to anybody for just being nice to another person: “Any persons or group of persons that witnesses, and aids the solemnisation of a same sex marriage contract or civil union or supports the registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and liable on conviction on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.” Here’s the deal: You will go to jail for 10 years, because you were cool enough to look the other way when you saw women making out. Why? Because you supported a same-sex civil union. In short, you will get jailed for having an opinion differing from the government’s opinion. You get jailed for being a reasonable straight person. Remember the “meetings” part? You will be sentenced to 10 years in jail forsupporting a meeting. In other words: report any gay/lesbian persons and activity or go to jail with them. Don’t forget, the law isn’t limited to marriage—it affects other types of homosexual relationships.

Summary: This law also affects heterosexual relationships. Because God wants to see straight people sent to jail for refusing to be judgmental.

 4. The Law Doesn’t Safeguard You: Fine, so you’re straight through and through. And fine, you have no problem about informing on gay people in your neighbourhood—in fact, you are positively excited about this particular civic duty. But what happens when YOU are accused by someone else? See, there are no standards of proof beyond being involved in a “civil union”, a phrase whose definition means a whole lot of nonsense. Take s. 4(2): “The public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly is hereby prohibited.” “Same sex amorous relationship”. This means, kissing, hugging, hand-holding, or other forms of affectionate—amorous—contact between the same gender is now prohibited in Nigeria. If you think this is a safe risk, wait till you are arrested and then try to prove otherwise. Maybe, a judge may ultimately find you not guilty, but think of the Nigerian justice system, and you will shiver at what powers to investigate your sexual life has been handed over to the Nigerian police.

5. The Law Is Set Up To Violate Privacy: In case, you didn’t know it, here’s what s.37 of the Nigerian Constitution assures every Nigerian: “The privacy of citizens…is hereby guaranteed and protected” which is a principal reason policemen are not allowed to spy into your bedroom without a warrant. Now, instead, the anti-gay law states in s.5(2) that “Any person who…directly or indirectly make a public show of same sex amorous relationship commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.” Now, tie that law to the police powers of investigation and you will get the problem in at least 4 steps.

Step 1: the law ordinarily permits the police to investigate and arrest a personsuspected of committing an offence in Nigeria.

Step 2: It is now an offence in Nigeria to directly or indirectly display same sex affection.

Step 3: the police (or someone else) is suspicious that you are committing this offence and the police wants to investigate your sexual life—to prove you’re not gay.

Step 4: There goes your private life.

Now, repeat Steps 1 to 4. This time between a male police officer and a female suspect.

6. The Law Is Plain Weird, Even By Nigerian Standards: Just take the basics, simple definitions: the definition of “civil union” isn’t closed, and can legitimately mean two girls sharing an apartment; “amorous relationship” is not defined and so even heterosexual greetings can be maliciously interpreted as the expression of a homosexual relationship; words like “support”, “meetings” are used carelessly without defined categories and exceptions; the burden of proof is not stated; the law does not provide for categories of unintentional or “inadvertent” offenders; and worse—it is a retrospective, and even retroactive, law—a type of law strongly disapproved of by our constitution. In summary, it’s a very lazy law—the kind a mob will hurriedly put together just to legalise their murderous instincts. But, you see, you can’t amend such a law to take care of these issues—because they deal with private matters that are difficult to enforce by the public without sacrificing people in the process.

And that is why every sensible legal system understands that what goes on in a person’s underwear is not the business of the law—to the extent that person hasn’t dragged in an unwilling third party.

But Nigeria has never been noted for being sensible.


Our society tolerates gross unfairness every day. It tolerates misogyny, racism and the callous indifference to those born without privilege.

But we manage to find endless umbrage for petty slights and small-time favoritism.

When a teacher gives one student a far better grade than he deserves, and does it without shame, we’re outraged. When the flight attendant hands that last chicken meal to our seatmate, wow, that’s a slight worth seething over for hours.

When Bull Connor directed fire hoses and attack dogs on innocent kinds in Birmingham, it conflated the two, the collision of the large and the small. Viewers didn’t witness the centuries of implicit and explicit racism, they saw a small, vivid act, moving in its obvious unfairness. It was the small act that focused our attention on the larger injustice.

I think that most of us are programmed to process the little stories, the emotional ones, things that touch people we can connect to. When it requires charts and graphs and multi-year studies, it’s too easy to ignore.

We don’t change markets, or populations, we change people. One person at a time, at a human level. And often, that change comes from small acts that move us, not from grand pronouncements.



The Collector: He has this heirloom (pouffes, quills, mats) or that from ancestors long dead. Or perhaps he’s the type who prefers to collect keepsakes from each foreign trip he takes, or old movies or old books. (Sorry @Marutsy this is not a sub) It’s creepy at first. Then, once you realize he’s not really stuck in the past, it becomes kind of interesting. After that, hilarity ensues because really, when the chips are down, you guys could make a killing from running a museum on the side.

The Hater: You know that guy who always tweets “F**k you haters!” Who writes “Haters want to steal my joy” etc. on his Facebook wall? And those musicians who… Someone mentioned Durella? Moving on. We all know where haters can go—so how do they hook us?! Let’s discuss.
Hating looks suspiciously like confidence and honesty if you don’t look too closely. And you’ll spend a few minutes being flattered that they like YOU because everyone’s a little bit vain! “You hate most girls, but you think I’m cool?! I must be bionic,” is what you’ll say to yourself—for one hot second. But then you start getting all nervous because you realize the minute you tell him you listened to Usher’s “Separated” like a hundred times that day, he’s going to be judging you and all your choices like a vegan at a slaughterhouse employee BBQ. At the end of this Fuji House of Commotion episode, you remember that you don’t care what he thinks of you, drop the “we need a break” bomb and just watch him watch you not care what he thinks. And then go to a corner of the room where fun has not gone to die and surely the boy will come a’runnin.

The Slacker: I don’t know much, but I do know this: the least-productive person in your group project…will be the least-productive person in your relationship. ‘Nuffsaid.

The Social Media Addict: You don’t even have to go anywhere—the online repartee is enough of a story.
Today: Aw, she posted a hilarious link on your FB wall from that time you talked about Sola & Eric! But she still hasn’t texted you back from a couple days ago … the one with the, “hey, what time did you say you wanted to meet up for the party?” Whatever, guess she’s busy. 
Tomorrow: She re-tweeted your tweet! I guess she thinks you’re pretty funny. Still don’t know what time you’re meeting for the party in question, but ok.
The Next Day: Um, hello re-blogs! She’s used 5 out of your last 7 posts on the Tumblrs. This is cute and all but WHAT time are your meeting up? Have you locked that down yet? You should text again, this is just rude.
The Ensuing Week: You get another 2 links on your FB wall, three retweets and a favorite, plus she’s stopped putting content on her blog and just keeps reposting your stuff. Still no text. Go to the party solo. Dance like a maniac. Enjoy your real, offline life.

The Quote Guy: He think he’s so inspirational that he quotes himself loudly and often. Or worse, he tries to pass Tupac and JayZ quotes off as his own (which is the ultimate betrayal). Or even worse to the ninth power, he delivers platitudes as though he thinks you’ve never heard them before. If his Facebook info page says, “No pain, no gain OR if he ever utters the phrase, “I work hard and play harder,” date him once for the story. Then, throw down a smoke bomb and get out. *evil cackle*

The Picture Taker: And speaking of Facebook… when it comes to Facebook profile pictures, how much is too much? I like to think we all have a little internal alarm that goes off when we see profile pic after profile pic—just her face over and over again, looking straight into the camera. No friends? No group shots? Nothing…but…her face? Nobody, save for MAYBE Channing Tatum, needs that many pictures of themselves on the Internet. And if it doesn’t stop there—as in, there’s a snap of every plate of food she’s ever eaten and her feet on every beach/mall/club/car she’s ever walked into—think of all the work you’ll have to do when you break up. Go out once, and you’ll get enough photo tags to make up a yearbook.

The Over-Toucher: There’s a way to let someone know you’re interested and there’s a way to make everyone around you wish you were never born. Lightly touching his arm while he talks to you? Nice. Coming up behind her and putting both your arms around her neck? Freaks some people out, but no biggie. Picking another person up, covering their eyes to “surprise them” when they’re alone, grabbing their hand so they can’t walk away from you … you know what? Maybe don’t touch at all until you know the person’s boundaries? Let’s go with that.

The Fashion Guy: You know that guy whose shirt has more rhinestuds, screen printing, tiger faces, splatter paint, zippers, epaulets, pockets, laser beams, cherubs, etc.  on it than your whole wardrobe (the ones I like to call Wizkid Ogba branch)? No, not Denrele. Who always thinks he’s better looking than you and preens and primes and makes peacocks look like disinterested swine. Know what?He’s probably gonna judge what you’re wearing. Know that going in. And be ready to be considered as another piece of his ubiquitous fashion accessory collection.

The Fighter: If she’s the first person to turn a verbal argument into Fight Club, it’s gonna get so old, so fast. Introduce her to an Over-Toucher and they can take their inappropriately physical selves somewhere else.

The INC (I Never Chop): Movie at the Palms just because you want to share a warm moment with the new lady, you’ve decided to take her to Cactus for a quick bite later on. Movie’s done, menu’s on your table at Cactus, and you sit there mouth splitting as she orders enough food to feed a small band of refugees. And take out… Well say hello to the INC! The only reason she is in a relationship with you is because she feels she can “bleed you dry”. Like leeches, she will cling to you for every need from a Bold 5 (her papa no dey use phone o) to Brazilian hair to the birthday party bill you have to foot “so her friends know she’s not going out with a broke guy”. One word of advice, don’t feel bad; play your Santa role if you can, then when you tired, get out as fast as reindeers would take Santa to the North Pole.

The Dreamer: Really there’s nothing wrong with dreaming, so long as you wake up and can get to work. But there’s that one guy who’s always up to one new venture or the other, the serial “entrepreneur” who doesn’t “want to work for anyone and will make his own way in life”. He’s good to have around for a while, for he will fill you with enough inspiration to want to pursue some of those dreams you have left to gather cobwebs in the back of your mind. But he’s no different from the INC. He will suck you dry and what will be left at the end is a boulevard of broken dreams…and bitterness. Enjoy the surge of passion and inspiration he brings, but just before he saps your energy, RUN.


Yesterday the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Aviation Minister Stella Oduah re-instated the operating

Stella Oduah

license of Dana Air. The license had been suspended to allow the aviation ministry carry out investigations into what led to the crash of the ill-fated Dana Air Flight 992 of June 3 2012. A crash responsible for the death of all 159 passengers and members of crew on board, and a still to be accurately determined number of persons on ground at the compound in Iju-Ishaga, Lagos Nigeria where the plane crashed. Investigations started off with a bit of hope but suddenly faltered as accusations and counter-accusations from both sides of the divide threatened to stall any form of progress. The government, the umpire in this case, which had promised that it would not stand idly by and allow the death of its citizens to go unaccounted for seemed to be winning the popular support on the issue. That was till yesterday, when news of the reinstatement broke.


Now I’m not one for emotion-laden rabble rousing, or here looking to score cheap points via sentimental issues. These are facts- people died. Some group of people in a bid to reduce costs or for private gains neglected the principles of the safety of air travelers and vehicles. As such mothers lost children, sons their fathers; whole families were scarred for life. All for what now?

Plane Wreckage


You might think this does not concern me and you, but are you sure? I remember that day in June, I was in my brother’s house in Ifako Ijaiye, I heard the sound of a plane flying dangerously low and when I came out to check, the acrid smell of what must have been fuel or oils filled the air. I remember saying to someone that “God I hope that plane is not going to crash”. Then I went out to Ogba to go watch Nigeria play a football match. Suddenly news filtered in over Twitter and Blackberry Messenger of a plane crash over at Iju-Ishaga, I remember now that the first thing I did was tweet about the fact that it must have been the plane that flew so low over a house I was in. I had my few moments of “there but for the grace of God goes Edward” and then it dawned on me that some would have not been so fortunate. Sounds of sirens filled the air as ambulances rushed to save whatever lives they could, and as we watched the match on TV you could tell people were subdued, fearing the worst and praying that none of theirs would be on the plane.

By evening identities of those who had been on the flight began to roll out, it wasn’t till Monday morning that I realized that someone I knew was on the flight. Pastor Akin of HOTR Abuja, a jolly good man and a snappy dresser who was one of our customers at my former office was gone too. I remembered the way he used to joke as he tried to get a bargain, and how he flowed freely with us switching from English to Yoruba, and the confidence that emanated from his person. He was gone forever, victim of a system anchored on greed, mediocrity and illicit gain.

Pastor Akin

But still we had hope that the government would do something this time, past governments had phased out the Sosolisos and co after such plane crashes. And so we were certain that a crash of this magnitude, one that got the whole world commiserating with us, would make the government ensure that no Dana Aircraft ever flies our skies. That is if the company would not altogether be crippled with fines and all. We were all wrong.


Without any regard for the opinion of the people, and not putting into consideration the fragile emotional states that bereaved families would still be in, the Nigerian government took the side of a corporate behemoth over the safety of lives and property of the people it swore to serve. Of course they will feel they owe us no explanations; that we won’t understand how they have been able to come to this decision. But we do not care. We just need the government to support us when we are in battle against these corporate mass murderers. Not to abandon us to our own fate just to satisfy personal agreements entered into behind closed doors, or to sustain evil alliances that only enrich a greedy few.

Hope of Nigeria?


I have a few questions for Stella Oduah and the FG:


  • What are the findings of your investigation team that has warranted that a company under suspicion of negligence in its safety procedures be allowed to again carry our sisters, fathers and children through the skies?
  • The black box report which is expected to be concluded by next year, have your people determined a way to speed up the process and have concluded on the cause of the crash?
  • What safety agreements have been signed with Dana Air (other airlines too) to ensure that disasters of this magnitude do not again befall our people?
  • What court or panel has exonerated Dana Air from any complicity through commission or negligence in the cause of the crash?

Well I know we won’t get a response, at least not one that is devoid of insincerity and sophistry. So we must again take our destiny into our own hands. Go to  and please sign the petition to stop Dana Air from flying our skies. I just did


We must bring the change we need.


God Bless you.

In a move that will be the United States’ first official offensive reaction against the Nigerian radical islamist sect Boko Haram, the US departments of State and Treasury are to officially apply the label of “Foreign Terrorist” to the three main figures of the militant Islamic sect.

The move comes in the wake of constant criticism of the Obama administration’s indecision in taking a definitive action against Boko Haram, which aims to impose an Islamic caliphate of sorts in northern Nigeria, and has been responsible for incessant bombings and violence in the region. On Sunday it attacked 3 churches in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing and wounding countless citizens of the state.

The three chief figures at the helm of affairs of the sect as identified by the US government are Abubakar Shekau 43, Abubakar Adam Kambar 35, and Khalid al Barnawi 36 all Nigerian citizens. In a video released not so long ago, Abubakar Shekau allegedly aligned himself with dreaded terrorist organization Al Qaeda which might have heightened the US government’s resolve to finally take a stand. All three will have their US assets frozen and US citizens will be forbidden from having any dealings with them.

The decision however doesn’t go down well with some US lawmakers and the Justice department who are demanding that the US government label the entire group as a foreign terrorist organization and deal with it as such. In January, Lisa Monaco, the Justice Department’s top security official sent a letter to the State department citing that Boko Haram meets the criteria of a “foreign terrorist” being that it engages in terrorist acts that threaten the United States, or that it has the wherewithal to do so.

Interestingly, some US academic experts on Africa are of the opinion that the US should not label the group a terrorist organization. In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in May, they argued that such a label would only serve to enhance the group’s reputation and standing especially among new recruits and apologists.

Since 2011, Boko Haram has been responsible for an increasingly brazen spate of bombings which have claimed close to a thousand lives, and have wounded and displaced countless others with property entering billions of Naira also being destroyed.


adapted from Reuters




Posted: June 18, 2012 in Just Stuff, Poetry, Summons
Tags: , ,

The stars above illuminate our hearts,
The silent drizzling of this tropical rain nourishes our land and our faith.
Our eyes have shed much tears and thus are blinded to pain,
We have been through hell and worse,
So this man-made fire merely bounces off our already toughened skins.
We have come to accept our weaknesses as signs of our mortality,
So we retain our bravery against greater foes.
Our failures are a sign of progress,
Our bruises tell us victory is near!
In diversity we remain one:
Our voices are many, but our hearts are one.
We dig our feet deep in the mud,
Arms linked, as well as our hearts,
For none here seek personal gains
Above this gift of peaceful days on our native land.
With our doubts bottled up we gather,
We forget pain, fear or glory as we stand for life and liberty….


There were reports this morning that Igbinedion University, a private tertiary institution in Okada, Edo State, Nigeria was under attack by unknown gunmen. The gunmen suspected to be militant kidnappers were reported to have arrived the school premises since 3am, and had been matcheting people, destroying cars and properties and had allegedly injured a number of students. Gates to the school were said to be blocked by the assailants and as such there were no movements into or outside the school.

Military and police personnel were quick to arrive on the scene, but the superior fire power of the attackers, now identified to be some ex-militants proved too much for the Nigerian security personnel, until more help arrived and the situation was contained. As of this moment, no statement has been released by security
Personnel or the school authorities in respect of who the assailants were, their true motives, or if any casualties or arrests were recorded.

On June 8, 2012, the school authorities reported that four students of the institution had been kidnapped by unknown persons on the road leading to the school. The students, all medical students of the university have since been released.

In another development, bomb blasts went off in three churches this morning in the northern state of Kaduna, Nigeria killing more than 40, and injuring close to 200 persons. The bomb blasts, carried out by suicide bombers suspected to be members of the islamist terror group Boko Haram, left a scene of tears, destruction and chaos in their wake.

On the latest update of the Global Peace Index, Nigeria dropped four places to 146th out of 158 countries, signifying a decline in peace and stability in the country in the past one year. The index, which is published by the Institute of Economics and Peace, measures peacefulness using 23 indicators, including a nation’s level of military expenditure as a percentage of its Gross Domestic Product, its relations with neighbouring countries, the level of perceived criminality, likelihood of violent demonstrations, level of organised conflict, terrorist acts and the level of respect for human rights.

This latest ranking comes on the heels of the Nigerian Government’s insistence that Nigeria was safe for investment, despite incessant bomb attacks that continues to kill and maim many people, especially in the northern parts of the country.

In December 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a make shift and purely suspect State of Emergency in certain parts of northern states identified as being high risk. This move has not to this moment stemmed the flow of these terrorist attacks.


DEVELOPING STORY: There are reports reaching us that Igbinedion University, a private tertiary institution in Okada, Edo State, Nigeria is under attack by unknown gunmen. The gunmen suspected to be militant kidnappers are reported to have arrived the school premises since 3am, and have been matcheting people, destroying cars and properties and have injured a number of students and might have killed one. Gates to the school have been blocked by the assailants and as such there are no movements into or outside the school.

Help is being sought from security operatives to contain the situation before it escalates!

On June 8, 2012, the school authorities reported that four students of the institution had been kidnapped by unknown persons on the road leading to the school. The students, all medical students of the university have since been released.

More information concerning this latest siege of the school to follow as it develops.

Adapted from Linda Ikeji’s Blog.


The first sound that woke me up this morning was the battery charger guy beside my house shouting “any Barca die by fire!” It was a shout that resounded throughout the evening as Chelsea, one man down after John Terry’s regrettable red card, held on the “Spanish Armada” Barcelona for 50 odd minutes and still managed to put two goals through. Chelsea had gone into the game with a goal ahead courtesy of a Drogba goal in the first leg at Stanford Bridge, but this was a game that even the , most optimistic of Chelsea fans were not expecting to down or be over easily. At a viewing center where I watched the match, the normally loud and boisterous Chelsea fans remained mute and solemn, praying perhaps to all gods of soccer to come to the aid of a team that pundits and analysts had termed, and rightly so, the underdogs in the tie.

It was a nail biting experience, as Barcelona stepped up their usual tempo of all out football, with center back Puyol spending more time in the Chelsea half hoping and helping to keep Chelsea harassed and forced to defend as wave after wave of Barcelona players tried to pass through, slice in and tip balls over the Chelsea defenders who one must add proved unyielding in their resolve to keep Barcelona attacks from coming to fruition. The wall would not keep out the constant barrage from Barcelona though, as a square play found Sergio Busquets free on the left, and he sliced in a perfect finish to send the Spanish holders 1 goal up and tied with Chelsea 1-1 on aggregate. Two minutes later, the gods of soccer seemed to turn their back on Chelsea, as Captain Terry was shown a straight red card for kneeing Alexis Sanchez in the back. This gave Barcelona a one man advantage, and heightened their belief that they could undertake a Chelsea massacre and go on unto the Champions League final. Their fortunes would get better, the Chelsea defense devoid of two center backs who started the game, after Cahill’s seeming hamstring pull, and Terry’s red card, would fall to another classic Barcelona goal via Iniesta in the 44th minute.

Now all hope seemed lost for Chelsea, and all expected Barcelona to keep on scoring and finish off Chelsea who were defending at the back with a trio of Ivanovic, Ashley Cole and Bosingwa (the weakest link in the team, if you ask any Chelsea fan), Drogba had dropped deep to cover the left full back position and Ramires was doing his best on the other wing. He was to be the harbinger of the “Miracle of Camp Nou” after all, a pass “like a hot knife through butter” from Lampard found Ramires who had sprinted forward with the flow of play, and he stayed true to his Brazilian roots, chipping the ball over the head of Barca goalkeeper Valdes in the 46th minute to put the game at 2-1, and 2-2 on aggregate. The game was on now! Chelsea, if the game ended as it stood, would qualify for the finals ahead of Barcelona on the away goal rule.

Roberto Di Matteo, who some have called the leader of the Chelsea renaissance after the misfortunes of former team manager Villas Boas, must have given one half time talk to his players that steadied their resolve to defend and defend and defend in the second half. Barely three minutes into the 2nd half however, Didier Drogba was judged to have felled Fabregas in the penalty box and Lionel Messi scorer of 14 goals so far in the competition this season, but who hitherto had not scored a goal past Chelsea keeper Peter Cech, stepped up to do the honors. It was to be a disheartening attempt however, as Chelsea were again saved by the wood work, their 12th player like some have said over the weeks. From then on Barcelona kept up the attack; certain that their failure to score another goal would destine them to a season without any major honor save for the Copa Del Rey.

Ten minutes from time, Di Matteo adjudged that Chelsea could not go on defending for all the time left , and sent in Torres to replace “defender” Drogba. It was to be a fortuned substitution, as in the dying moments of the match Torres ran forward via a clearance from the back to him at midfield and cut past the Barcelona goal keeper Valdes to score a goal that most Chelsea fans argued was worth his fifty million pounds sign on fee. That goal decided the match, as Chelsea were now up 3-2 on aggregate and would have gone ahead to the finals if Barcelona had managed to score another goal, having scored two away goals. As the referee brought the match to an end, it was jubilation and joy all over the Chelsea side as this victory, reminiscent of the 2005 Liverpool victory over AC Milan in Istanbul in its emotional significance, ensured that Chelsea would go on to play in the UEFA champions league final one more time.

It had been a stormy road for Chelsea up to this point, turned around since their victory over Napoli in the 2nd round stages of the competition and made more spectacular by being the second time Chelsea would be qualifying for a UEFA Champions League final under an Interim manager.

Over here in Lagos, Nigeria, fans went wild with elation; horns honked, Okada riders gave free rides, and crates of beer flowed like it was water amongst the Chelsea fans. Barcelona fans sulked, the long bitter walk of shame home in their Barcelona replica jerseys before them; some had even lost bets of up to N30, 000!! Who would have thought that Chelsea would come from two goals and a man down, to score two goals against almighty Barcelona, especially in front of their fans at Camp Nou? To mar the good news however, news filtered in via twitter that a bomb blast had occurred at a viewing center in Jos, Nigeria, Channels TV would go on to confirm that 1 fan had died as a result of the bombing in the morning. It was a testament to the growing insecurity in Nigeria, but somewhat selfishly it would not take away from the joy of Chelsea’s victory. A club many believe have done England proud in European competitions this season. England had once again defeated the Spanish armada, and this time, commanding Her Majesty’s fleet was “Sir” Roberto Di Matteo.