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To own a Twitter account is to be called out for your words in sometimes very uncouth fashion. We call it ‘bants’–a euphemism for “you ain’t even shit”.

Slander: “To defame; the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation”.

In Nigeria Twitterverse, slander has a slightly different meaning. It means creating a hashtag to call you out for your private life choices or something you said or have written. Slander means to have your DMs (Direct Messages) screen munched and tweeted to the world with accompanying emojis. Slander means to dig up your old tweets on a particular subject matter. Slander means you have no right to change your mind on a subject matter. Slander means to laugh at you, mock your lineage until you are left in tears; hot tears. 

If you ever asked a babe out on Twitter or tweeted dirty, you were one screen capture away from being slandered in 2015. 

As the year draws to a close, we recall some of the Twitter slanders that got fingers hitting furiously at gadget keypads. 

We are a slander nation at Twitter Republic and we absolutely loveeet!

1. Femi Adesina

Femi-Adesina1

The presidential spokesman who re-invented the phrase ‘wailing wailers’, was damned if he tweeted and damned if he didn’t.

In a year where President Muhammadu Buhari said very little, Mr Adesina was fair game. His tweets irritated us and made us follow and unfollow him for as many times as we chose.

We hated him for his tweets and scolded him for not tweeting when we thought he should.

2. Toke Makinwa’s husband

Toke makinwa

His name is Maje Ayida but Toke Makinwa’s husband was what we called him for weeks on end.

We hung him out on the TL to dry for having the nerve to cheat on Toke Makinwa and putting their marriage in jeopardy.

There was a reported separation after and a comeback for Ayida. But while it all lasted, we followed him to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, insulting the living daylight out of his bald pate.

3. Lekki Lawyer and TPL

TPL-Crowd

TPL is actually an abbreviation for Twitter Premier League–a football event organized from Twitter by Twitter users. Except that we made it more than a football event.

We drove to TPL in search of gossip and babes. Once we had found some, we let our Twitter followers know about our finds.

TPL became an avenue to tweet about who was sleeping with whom offline and who found a soulmate in a red or white dress. And when one lawyer based in Lekki allegedly cheated on his girlfriend, we sent his story to @Subdeliveryman to be shared and re-shared.

4. Sugabelly

Sugabelly

It is a wonder how Lottana Igwe-Odunze (@Sugabelly) managed to survive the ceaseless attacks that became her lot all through 2015.

Whether it was her paintings, her teachings on entrepreneurship and feminism; or her sharing of a rape tale for which she was allegedly the victim, Sugabelly was pummeled without let. She was at the receiving end of countless vicious, unprintable ‘bants’.

And she often gave as good as she got.

5. Yoruba boys

Yoruba demon

 

Yoruba boys

We kept them trending on account of a stereotype, all through 2015.

They became the poster boys of infidelity and heartbreaks. You didn’t even have to be one. Once you dressed like one and opted out of a relationship, Twitter Nigeria came for you–hard.

We invented memes to honor their perceived heartlessness. They became the demons we all came to love.

They kept taking one for the whole team of cheating men round the globe; all through 2015.

6. Nudes and leaked DMs

DM

There were those who couldn’t settle their differences off Twitter, so they brought it to the court of the 140 character limit.

The guy who shared nude photos with one person suddenly finds himself sharing his nudes with thousands of giddy users. The babe who was asked out, screen-munches the chat trail for us all as evidence.

And then we shared, favorited and shared again.

We sat in judgment over affairs we had absolutely no clues about, besides the screen grabs in front of us. We meted out sentences how we deemed fit and waited for the next prey.

 7. Ben Murray-Bruce

Ben bruce

The senator representing Bayelsa East senatorial district in the upper legislative chamber, earned our ire and got under our skins on account of his tweets, in 2015.

Commonsense tweets and nuggets, he called them, but we hated him for them. It didn’t help that Murray-Bruce runs a chain of successful private enterprises. That angered us even more.

We took him out on the price of popcorn at Silverbird Cinemas, his flying 1st class when he preaches the contrary and how many Nigerians he has on his payroll.

When it came to Murray-Bruce, we threw the Twitter rule books outta the window.

8. Linda Ikeji

linda-ikeji-rides-3

Perhaps no blogger gets as much stick as Linda Ikeji.

For many Twitter users, she passes for the Antichrist.

When she acquired this luxury property in upscale Banana Island area of Lagos, Twitter came for her like it always does.

And then, we all rushed to her blog in droves after slandering her. We couldn’t help it.

9. Sambo Dasuki

Sambo Dasuki

The former National Security Adviser (NSA) didn’t have to be on Twitter to feel the wrath of many users.

If no one could afford lunch, it was Dasuki’s fault. Having a bad day at the office? Blame it on Dasuki. Your hairstylist messed up the chosen style? Have a go at Dasuki. Had a fight with the bus conductor? He must be from Dasuki’s lineage.

We pummeled Dasuki like we would have loved to, in the last quarter of 2015. And as Nigeria’s economy tanked with global oil prices leaving a huge deficit in our coffers, we knew who caused it all. His name?

Sambo Dasuki.

10. Change Agents Dinner.

Change agents dinner

LOL.

 

 

 

 

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Nigeria’s general election year left us with plenty of histrionics, high-wire politics and words to chew on. Some of those words, we’ll never forget any time soon. 

We bring you the 10 most memorable and in no particular order….

1.  “Anybody that come and tell you change, stone that person. Anybody that come and tell you he will change, stone that person”–Patience Jonathan

patience-jonathan

Nigeria’s former 1st Lady, Dame Patience Faka Jonathan was a bundle of energy on the campaign trail as she stomped for her husband.

On some occasion, she went too far and yet on others, she was just being the straight-talking, English-murdering Patience Jonathan we all fell in love with.

On this occasion however, the APC was left fuming that anyone could trample on their slogan so mercilessly. The International Criminal Court (ICC) was handed Mrs Jonathan’s file for instigating violence, soon after.

2. “But I am not angry with them. My anger is that in Rivers they know I don’t like money. And I expect them to defend me that I don’t like money”Rotimi Amaechi

Amaechi

Faced with the real prospect of not getting screened into the federal cabinet on corruption charges, former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, embarked on a trip to nowhere.

“I don’t like money”, he thundered, leaving all of Rivers and most of Nigeria opening their mouths in sheer disbelief.

3. “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody… I bear no ill will against anyone on past events. Nobody should fear anything from me. We are not after anyone. People should only fear the consequences of their actions”. —Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari-Budget-6

President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration address contained a few soundbites and this one predictably went viral.

The second part of the quote up there came from his Independence Day address and it was just as prescient–outlining the kind of leader he intends to be as Nigeria’s newly elected President.

4. “We will not take it…We cannot take it. Jega you are tribalistic, you are selective. Jega you are biased. You are selective, you are partial…we will not take it from you”–Elder Godsday Orubebe

Orubebe

It was the meltdown felt, seen and heard round the world.

One that spun memes and pictorials aplenty, leaving us wondering what would have been if Godsday Orubebe had had his way during the vote collation process; with the numbers indicating that his benefactor, Goodluck Jonathan, was on his way out of office.

We couldn’t even stop laughing because Orubebe wasn’t even joking–not with his bowler hat, well tailored suit and still finding the time to sit on the floor in what was a one man protest.

5. “I don’t sign cheques, none of my commissioners ever signed a cheque. I never signed a cheque. It’s an institutional process. I don’t sit in award for contracts”–Babatunde Raji Fashola

fashola-lagos

Nigeria’s power, works and housing minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola, was assailed with allegations of spending a whopping N78 million to build a website as Governor of Lagos State, among other such hefty outlay on budget line items.

The quote above arrived as he defended himself on the floor of the senate during the ministerial screening process.

6. “With all due respect to the former Minister Okonjo-Iweala, she knows how to play around with statistics…Okonjo-Iweala should be probed. I don’t care what people say. You cannot be coordinating a corruption-ridden economy and be pretending to be an angel.”–Adams Oshiomhole

Adams-Oshiomhole-GEJ

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole and erstwhile minister of finance/coordinating minister of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, won’t even sit on the same table to share drinks in the real world, we presume.

They’ve called each other every name on the planet.

Here, the Edo State governor goes one better–asking for the former minister’s arrest and probe over the arms procurement scandal.

7. “The man (Jonathan) became convinced to contest after Oritsejafor had told him, using CAN’s name, that God had ordained him the winner of the 2015 presidential election. So, while I continued to write and speak that Jonathan was not the man, those of them who knew the truth in what I was saying chose to keep quiet out of fear. I told CAN and PFN that Jonathan was not of God”Chris Okotie

ChrisOkotie

Reverend Chris Okotie of the Household of God church practically told the world that the leadership of the nation’s christian body misled Jonathan into believing he’ll win the 2015 presidential contest.

Okotie earned a stern rebuke from CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) with CAN Director of National Issues Mr. Sunny Oibe saying:  “Well, it is laughable if Chris Okotie is making this spurious allegation…We will not like to join issues with Okotie…because doing that will amount to making him popular. He is looking for popularity which he doesn’t have, through Pastor Ayo and he is not going to get it”.

8. “I knew Amaechi when he used to wear one shirt for three days. Perhaps, it is only in Nigeria that a man with his background, in spite of the things he did when he was young; in spite of the things he did when he was in the university, could become a governor”–Femi Fani-Kayode

banners-Femi_Fani_Kayode_858479882

A platform to win the electorate over on national television, immediately turned nasty.

“Fani-Kayode does not have credibility. If the right person speaks, then we will respond. Fani-Kayode lacks the credibility. Let’s move to other issues,” said Amaechi of the APC, sparking that vitriolic riposte from his opposite number.

9. “Mr Orubebe, you are a former Minister of the Federal Republic. You are a statesman in your own right. You should be careful about what you say or what allegations or accusations you make. Certainly, you should be careful about your public conduct”Attahiru Jega

Jega-INEC-BOSS

It wasn’t the words said but the manner in which they were said, that drew the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, wide acclaim.

There was Elder Godsday Orubebe, disrupting the vote counting process and making a fool of himself on national and international television….and calling Jega all sorts of names for effect.

You would have expected Jega to fly off the handle and go all red in the face.

But his calm, measured cadence and demeanor as the world threatened to implode all around him; even taking the time to lecture his petulant and erring pupil, conferred the then INEC boss with the title of “Master Of Chill”.

10. “If you vote the PDP and Jonathan, it would be better for you. If you vote the APC and Buhari, you will go to prison. How can you jail somebody for 300 years? I’m not ready to carry food to my husband inside prison oh!”Patience Jonathan

Patience-Jonathan-in-Ekiti1

Be careful what you wish for, goes a cliche, because you just might have it. Some say there’s a tinge of the prophetic in this quote, everywhere you look.

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    Nigerians love the internet, and use it for all manner of things. One of the major activities around the internet is ‘searching’. Nigeria’s internet generation is known for admonishing their fellows, albeit jokingly, to ‘Ask Google’ whenever certain questions are thrown at them.  Asking google is a way of encouraging people to find out practically everything from the search engine; from the meaning of words to the looks of people; and from how to cook food to how to look good.

     

    And as 2015 races to an end, Google gives us an idea of the most searched topics in Nigeria. From events to personalities, and from football clubs to designers, below are the categories and the topics/individuals most searched from Nigeria.

     

    EVENTS

    Remember the April 2015 Xenophobic attacks in South Africa? It was sparked by the careless comment of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini which said foreigners in South Africa should go back to their countries. The attacks – which included the hacking to death of many foreigners – sparked a global uproar and condemnation.

    The next is the 2015 elections. It was the first election in Nigeria’s history in which an opposition party won at the national level and defeated a party that had ruled at the centre for 16 years. The then incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan, called his opponent, Muhammadu Buhari, even before the final collation of the results and congratulated him for his victory.

    Whether the arrest by the Federal Government, of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – Nnamdi Kanu – is a good decision or not is left for analysts. But that action by the government shot the Radio Biafra founder into national limelight, making him the top three trending event in the outgoing year. Kanu has been detained by the federal government against the decisions of courts that he be released unconditionally. He was slammed with a new charge this week, during hearing of which he expressed his lack of confidence in the judge’s ability to give him fair hearing.

    The Under-17 World Cup was next. For the 5th time, Nigeria won this tournament, making the country the second to retain it after it equally won it in 2013.  Also, for the second time in the history of the tournament, the final match was played by two African sides. This year’s was between Nigeria and Mali. Nigeria won 2-0.

    Charlie Hebdo attack, was the January 2015 attack executed by two terrorists on a French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The attack sparked global support for France and saw over 2 million people, including 40 world leaders, hold a rally in Paris. Another 3.7million equally held rallies across France in support of Charlie Hebdo.

    The fight of the century – Floyd Mayweather Vs. Manny Pacquiao – also made it to the top ten trending topics. The fight was preceded by much hype, yet many were disappointed for its lack of spark.

    The sudden death of Nollywood actor Muna Obiekwe and the death of Ooni of Ife followed. The next is the marriage between Iara Forte and Governor Adams Oshiomhole, as well as ‘Diezani Alison-Madueke arrest’.

    PEOPLE

    The top ten trending people in Nigeria, according to Google are:

    1. Muna Obiekwe – The late Nollywood actor
    2. Muhammadu Buhari – Nigeria’s President
    3. Lamar Odom – Former NBA star and former in-law to the Kardashians (He married Khloe)
    4. Bruce Jenner – Former patriarch of the Kardashians. Now he is a woman called Kaitlyn
    5. Bobbi Kristina – Late daughter of singer Whitney Houston
    6. Nnamdi Kanu – Detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)
    7. Bukola Saraki – Nigeria’s Senate President
    8. Jidenna – Nigerian-American recording artiste
    9. Kiss Daniel- The Nigerian performing artiste who sang the bestsellers ‘Woju’ and ‘Laye’
    10. Attahiru Jega– Immediate past INEC chairman who introduced the revolutionary Card Reader in Nigeria’s electoral system.

     

    FOOTBALL CLUBS

    1. Arsenal
    2. Chelsea
    3. FC Barcelona
    4. Manchester United
    5. Liverpool FC
    6. Real Madrid FC
    7. Reading FC
    8. Juventus
    9. AC Milan
    10. Manchester City FC

     

    MUSICIANS

    1. Olamide
    2. Wizkid
    3. Davido
    4. Phyno
    5. Kiss Daniel
    6. Flavour
    7. Tiwa Savage
    8. Lil Kesh
    9. Timaya
    10. Ice Prince

     

    THE MOST SEARCHED UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA

     

    1. University of Lagos
    2. Obafemi Awolowo University
    3. University of Nigeria Nsukka
    4. University of Ibadan
    5. National Open University of Nigeria
    6. Covenant University
    7. University of Ilorin
    8. Babcock University
    9. University of Abuja
    10. Kogi state University

    TOP TEN TRENDING TV SERIES/MOVIES

     

    1. Furious 7
    2. 50 Shade of Grey
    3. Empire
    4. The Flash
    5. Game of thrones
    6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
    7. 2015 Grammy Awards
    8. Straight Outta Compton
    9. American Sniper
    10. 30 Days in Atlanta

     

    MOST SEARCHED FASHION BRANDS

    1. Gucci
    2. Chanel
    3. Versace
    4. Michael Kors
    5. Louis Vuitton
    6. Armani
    7. Prada
    8. Cartier
    9. Tom Ford
    10. Givenchy

     

    TRENDING SPORTS PERSONALITIES

    Only Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh is the Nigerian in this list.

     

    1. Pedro
    2. Arda Turan
    3. Anthony Martial
    4. Karim Benzema
    5. Peter Cech
    6. Memphis Depay
    7. Gabriel Paulista
    8. Sergio Ramos
    9. Matteo Darmian
    10. Sunday Oliseh

     

    TRENDING SONGS

    1. Melo-melo – By Olamide
    2. Woju Remix – Kiss Daniel Ft. Davido and Tiwa Savage
    3. Bobo- Olamide
    4. Hello – Adele
    5. Woju – Kiss Daniel
    6. Shakiti Bobo – Olamide
    7. Fans Mi – Davido Ft Meek Mill
    8. Godwin – Korede Bello
    9. Laye – Kiss Daniel
    10. Ojuelegba Remix – Wizkid ft. Drake & Skepta

     

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    President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2016 draft appropriation bill to lawmakers today. Before his address however, the Senate President Bukola Saraki had to officially welcome him into the joint sitting of the national assembly. Below is a transcript of Saraki’s address:

    It is my pleasure on behalf of my Distinguished and Honourable colleagues to warmly welcome you and your entourage to this joint session of the National Assembly.

    Mr. President, your coming to this hallowed chamber in person today to present the 2016 draft Appropriation Bill, bears eloquent testimony to your profound respect and commitment to the ideals of our constitutional democracy and the dictate of the rule of law. This is the first time in a few years that the President of Nigeria has personally performed this constitutional task. It highlights the importance you have attached to building a smooth working relationship with the National Assembly. This is a positive gesture that is not lost on all of us.

    Mr. President, the National Assembly is acutely aware of the challenges we face today as a nation both in terms of the economy and security. In addition to this, the price of oil is at a 7 year low and the dwindling government revenue consequently. This notwithstanding, in order to meet with the aspirations of Nigerians across all works of life, we expect that the budget must de-emphasise recurrent expenditure and prioritize the upgrade of infrastructure in order to achieve economic recovery and generate employment for our teeming population. The 2016 budget must also be bold and pragmatic in providing transparent incentives and conducive environment that will prime private sector-led development, encourage local production and promote made-in Nigeria goods.

    Mr. President, the National Assembly is conscious of the yearning of Nigerians for quick delivery of democracy dividends. The National Assembly has a critical role to play and we recognize this role. On the budget we are willing and ready to provide the scrutiny necessary to pass only a budget that can be implemented comprehensively to the letter. We are ready to move swiftly and speedily to pass the 2016 Appropriation Bill. The swift passage of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper already points to our commitment and resolve towards this. I would like to use this opportunity to thank all my colleagues in the Senate and the House for their steadfastness and patriotism in this area. We will apply same but in the light of the great importance of this document we will not short-circuit scrutiny on the altar of expediency.

    I acknowledge that the task of implementing the budget is primarily that of the Executive. But our recent experience has shown that even with the best of intentions, too much discretionary powers over budget matters are inimical to accountability. It is also true that impunity and corruption thrive best when the democratic safeguards for checks and balances collapse and accountability institutions abdicate their responsibilities. In this regard, the 8th National Assembly intends to discharge our oversight responsibilities fully. I therefore, want to implore Your Excellency to support us in this important task by ensuring that members of your government promptly respond to invitations for clarifications when they are required to do so by the National Assembly. Mr. President, if only half of the unfolding allegations regarding financial misappropriation under the previous administration are true, they would already be sufficient evidence of the dangers that we face when public officials treat accountability institutions with disdain and oversight activities with irritation. I am confident that your avowed commitment to the rule of law and accountability would have no accommodation for such behavior. On our own side, we want to assure you that we shall only pursue that which is provided for by the laws and strictly within the ambit of the law.

    Mr. President, I wish to assure you that both chambers of the National Assembly are united in our support for your administration. We both recognize that even as we seek to maintain the integrity and independence of our respective Chambers, that autonomy must be embedded within the overriding responsibility we all have, to improve the quality of lives of our people and make them proud once again to be Nigerians. We recognize that a harmonious National Assembly is essential not only to Legislative progress, but also for the Executive to function effectively. I therefore invite Mr. President to take advantage of this relationship, which we have not had for a couple of years, to push through some of the necessary reforms that would promote our economy. It is in this light that the National Assembly is also prioritizing the passage of laws that further enhances our business environment and promotes accountability in governance.

    Let me assure you Mr. President, that with the 8th National Assembly you have got a partner. An ally to help you steer the ship of State in the right direction for growth, transparency, accountability, equal opportunities, inclusion and fairness. We will stand by you and work with you to see Nigeria become the pride of all Nigerians home and abroad and earn the respect it deserves in the global arena.

    With these few words, I hereby invite Your Excellency to deliver your speech and lay the 2016 budget proposals for the consideration of the National Assembly in accordance with Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

    I thank you and extend the season’s greetings to everyone.

    PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
    (Tuesday, 22 December, 2015).

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    President Barrack Obama of the United States on Tuesday appointed Nigeria-born Adewale Adeyemo as the deputy national security adviser (NSA) for international economics.

    In a statement announcing Adeyemo’s appointment, Obama said the African-American helped the US combat global economic recession which started in 2008.

    “I am grateful that Caroline’s (Atkinson, former deputy NSA) work will be carried on by Adewale ‘Wally’ Adeyemo, who has served in my administration since 2009,” he said.

    “At the treasury department, he was part of the team that helped coordinate our response to the global recession, laying the foundation for renewed growth at home and abroad.

    “He helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and he’s been our point person on a range of international economic issues, including negotiations on strong currency agreements around the trans pacific partnership.

    “I will be calling on Wally’s intellect, judgment and dedication as we sustain America’s global economic leadership, which reinforces our national security, and as we work with allies and partners around the world to create jobs and opportunity for all our people.”

    ADEYEMO’S PARENTS LEFT FOR GREENER PASTURES

    When he appeared before the US senate committee on banking, housing, and urban affairs in September, he appreciated his parents who left Nigeria to seek a better life for him.

    “While they could not be here today, I want to acknowledge my father and mother who immigrated to this country in search of the American dream and the opportunity to give my brother, sister, and me a better life,” he had said.

    “They have worked hard, as an elementary school principal and a nurse, to give tremendous opportunities to their children, but along the way, they have instilled in us the values that guide us every day.

    “They often remind us that this country affords the chance to do anything we wanted if we work hard.  And they have taught us that we have a responsibility to serve the community and the country that has afforded them so many opportunities.”

    GRADUATE OF YALE LAW SCHOOL

    The 34-year-old graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s of arts, before moving to Yale Law School, where he bagged his Juris Doctor (JD) for further studies in specialised law.

    While at Yale, he was the co-director, project on law and education for the university.

    Before his appointment, Adeyemo was the deputy chief of staff at the department of the treasury, a position he held for three years.

    He has served in various positions at treasury, including senior advisor to the chief of staff and deputy executive secretary. Adeyemo also worked as the chief of staff at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2010 to 2011.

    He was an editor for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution from 2008 to 2009.

    COULD HE BECOME THE GOVERNOR OF US FEDERAL RESERVES?

    The governor of the US federal reserves is equivalent to that of Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

    Adeyemo’s position as deputy NSA has been the springboard to Michael Froman, who is currently the US trade representative and Lael Brainard, Federal Reserve governor.

    American finance experts also believe that the post can serve as a springboard to the Nigeria-born who is toeing the same line as those who have gone ahead of him on the job.

    But the question still remains; can Adeyemo become the first Nigerian US citizen to be governor of the US federal reserve?

    Credit: TheCable

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      INCORRUPTIBILITY; A SPIRITUAL PREMISE FOR MATERIAL WELLBEING KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AT THE OSIGWE ANYIAM-OSIGWE FOUNDATION LECTURE HELD ON DECEMBER 11, 2015, AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA.

      PROTOCOLS
      Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I want to begin by appreciating the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation for its impact on the development of ideas through its annual lecture series. The fact that the themes of the lecture series have focused on critical puzzles bordering on human development lends credence and justification for the sustenance of the lecture series.

      It is no doubt that an event like this demands a lot of sacrifice financially and otherwise. Apart from the contribution of the lecture series to human development, it has also unveiled the genius personality of Emmanuel Onyechere Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe, whose philosophical insight is gradually finding place in the psyche of academics globally, particularly at a time when Africans are determined to rewrite their own history.

      The topic of discourse at this session, which is corruption, significantly ties into my vision for our great country, Nigeria, that we must kill corruption before corruption will kill us. My being here to deliver the keynote address at today’s session is instructive on the resolve of this government to interface with initiatives that are fundamentally patriotic and assisting in our path to socio-economic and political recovery.

      In the last general elections, in the midst of a number of issues upon which we campaigned as a party, the one that gained higher currency in the psyche of our people was that Nigerians needed leadership that could be relied upon to tackle the orgy of corruption in the country.

      While our programme of action identified corruption as a very dangerous challenge that must be curtailed if our country could ever generate a future of hope, the issues of collapsing educational system, diversification of our economy, fostering a welfare based agenda for the disadvantaged, infrastructural development, among others, were also very prominent in our campaign focus.

      The primary attention that tackling corruption earned in the course of our campaign and in determining the final outcome of the election underpins how seriously Nigerians see corruption as a fundamental factor crippling the progress and development of the country. Nigerians are, indeed, convinced that except we curtail corruption, the country will remain in perennial regression.

      It is upon this conviction of our people that corruption poses great danger and should be curtailed that we anchor our hope. It underpins our assurance that the efforts of this government in checking corruption will yield significant successes in the final outcome.

      In other words, we note that sheer heroism cannot achieve the elimination of corruption from our social space. What is most required is the conviction of the populace that corruption is an antithesis to social cohesion and development, and must be eliminated. We must get to a point where every Nigerian begins to hate corruption with a passion, and collectively determine to root it out of our body polity.

      Any effort to try to deal with corruption without a convinced populace will end as spasmodic, ephemeral exercise, lacking the appropriate social impact. When we are talking about corruption conventionally, it is a manifestation of the human mindset. It is the human beings that manifest corruption.

      To win the war on corruption, therefore, begins with the people accepting that there is an error to be corrected in their lives, that there is a need to refocus and re-orientate the values that we cherish and hold dear. It requires change of mindset, change of attitude, and change of conduct.

      The decision of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation to choose corruption as the topic of discourse at this session is, therefore, encouraging to this government, pursuant to our vision that winning the war against corruption requires our synergy, a collectivisation of our resolve that corruption must be eliminated in the social psyche of the Nigerian nation.

      Even in my earlier years in service to our country, I had personally identified the destructive impact of corruption. Taken from the narrow perspective of the embezzlement of public funds, its social consequence of gross economic inequality alters the basis for social peace and security.

      When given the opportunity to play a leading role in our national history in 1984, we acknowledged that corruption is not just about the embezzlement of public funds but that the perversion of our consciousness and mindset was the point at stake. This was the basis of our WAR AGAINST INDISCIPLINE (WAI) – Indiscipline in any way and manner is a form of corruption of the human essence. That was why we waged campaigns against indiscipline, and its many manifestations in the 1980’s during my tenure as Head of State of our great Nation.

      Sadly in this season, we find ourselves in a Nigeria where indiscipline has been taken to an unprecedented level. Th rule of law is grossly perverted, and corruption has been elevated to a way of life at all strata of the society. In striving to reorder our country and put it on the path of recovery, we have thus identified the need to tackle corruption head-on. In this regard, we have taken steps towards recovering a reasonable amount of the money that was looted or misappropriated from public coffers. Investigations are ongoing on public officers who served, or are still serving, and those whose conduct are questionable will be compelled to accept the path of honour and surrender their loots.

      As I stated recently, a good number of people who abused their positions are voluntarily returning the illicit funds. I have heard it said that we should disclose the names of the people, and the amount returned. Yes, in due course, the Central Bank of Nigeria will make information available to the public on the surrendered funds, but I must remark that it is yet early days, and any disclosure now may jeopardize the possibility of bigger recoveries. But we owe Nigerians adequate information, and it shall come in due course. It is part of the collective effort to change our land from the bastion of corruption it currently is, to a place of probity and transparency.

      Quite frankly, the anti-corruption war is not strictly about me as a person, it is about building a country where our children, and the forthcoming generations, can live in peace and prosperity. When you see dilapidated infrastructure round the country, it is often the consequence of corruption. Poor healthcare, collapsed education, lack of public utilities, decayed social services, are all products of corruption, as those entrusted with public resources put them in their private pockets. That must stop, if we want a new Nigeria. And that was why I said at another forum that people need not fear me, but they must fear the consequences of their actions. Corrupt acts will always be punished, and there will be no friend, no foe. We will strive to do what is fair and just at all times, but people who refuse to embrace probity should have every cause to fear.

      Look at the corruption problem in the country, and tell me how you feel as a Nigerian. Our commonwealth is entrusted to leaders at different levels of governance, and instead of using the God given resources to better the lot of the citizens, they divert them to private use. They then amass wealth in billions and trillions of naira, and other major currencies of the world, ill gotten wealth which they cannot finish spending in several lifetimes over. This is abuse of trust, pure and simple. When you hold public office, you do it in trust for the people. When you, therefore, use it to serve self, you have betrayed the people who entrusted that office to you.

      Again, how do you feel year after year, when Transparency International (TI) releases its Corruption Perception Index, and Nigeria is cast in the role of a superstar on corruption? In 2011, out of 183 countries, Nigeria was 143 on the corruption ladder. In 2012, we were 139th out of 176. In 2013, we ranked 144 out of 177, and in 2014, we stood at 136th out of 174. Hardly a record to inspire anyone. In fact, it is sad, depressing and distressing. Our country can be known for better things other than corruption.

      In the process of trying to recover stolen funds now, we are seeking the cooperation of the countries were these loots were taken. Time it was, when such nations may have overlooked our overtures for assistance to fight corruption. However, we now live in an era where corruption is anathema, looked upon as something that should be tackled head-on because the actions of the corrupt can have global impact.

      It is to be noted that resolving the problem of corruption transcends merely arresting and trying people that have held public office. This is because, to curtail corruption, we have to reorder the mindset of all. Empirical facts have shown that even those who are critics today are most times not better than those they criticize. When they are availed the same or similar opportunities, they act likewise. In other words, those who didn’t have the opportunity criticise and blow whistle but when they get into office; they become victims of the same thing they criticize. Nigeria must grow beyond that point, and be populated by people with conviction, a new breed without greed, radically opposed to corruption.

      This points to the fact that curtailing corruption might require a more broadened social engineering. It, indeed, requires conforming every mindset in the social order to the moral tenets in which propriety anchors as a way of life.

      That was why in the earlier dispensation, we saw corruption beyond the embezzlement of public funds. We knew that a morally upright personality, a disciplined person, will not embezzle people’s money or betray the confidence reposed in him after being elected or appointed to manage any office.

      We knew that due to the perversion of our mindsets, people would rather abandon pedestrian bridges and flyovers and run through the traffic in very busy highways. We understood the economic and social worth of every Nigerian and the need to preserve their lives; we tried to enforce compliance with commuters using the pedestrian bridges provided for their safety. We even went as far as enforcing the discipline of queuing to board buses and not the chaos of scrambling with its attendant dangers. The people saw where we were headed, and cooperated with us.

      That effort of the past was under a military regime, a dictatorship as it is classified. Now we are under a democracy. The democratic system has its benefit in the rule of law and the fact that a man cannot be assumed guilty until it is so determined by the court of law.

      With the rule of law and its advantages, the same could however pose as serious limitations to curtailing corruption when the legal system is not adequately reinforced. The onus, therefore, is on those who run our legal process to ensure that the corrupt does not go free through exploiting the weakness and lacuna in the system.

      I agree with Anyiam-Osigwe that corruption is an attitude and it is about the wrong attitude. The problem with tackling corruption is that when people have become used to a particular way of doing things, even if it is not the proper way, they find it difficult to change.

      We all know that to lie is not good. But we have a sense of justification each time we tell lies. This sense of justification encourages us always to do the wrong thing. It is in this context that the mindset becomes an issue. There is the need to bring back our minds to the pure state of the human identity.

      While changing the mindset of the people is integral to dealing with the manifestation of corruption socially, it is also important to heal the wounds inflicted by the corruptive indulgence of specific people who have been entrusted with public positions or funds.

      Thus, it is the responsibility of government to investigate reported cases of corruption. In the process, suspected culprits could be arrested, detained or questioned. All these efforts would eventually end up with prosecuting the case in court. A government that closes its eyes to brazen corruption loses its essence, the very reason of its existence. Such a government is sheer flippancy, a waste of time, moral and sociological absurdity.

      In Nigeria, it needs be said that two problems stare us in the face. First is that our laws need to be strengthened if we must realistically contend with the miasma of corruption. The second is that we must correct the gaps in our legal system that are exploited to frustrate the process of justice. A number of anti-corruption cases have been rendered inconclusive due to legal limitations.

      Dealing with corruption, requires the collective will of every Nigerian. Without our collective will to resist corrupt acts as a people, it will be difficult to win the war. We in the leadership will provide the right example. We will not pay mere lip service to corruption. We will eschew it in every aspect of our lives. However, we are but few, in a country of more than 170 million people. We need the mass army of Nigerians to rise as one man, and stand for probity in both public and private lives. It is only then that we can be sure of dealing a mortal blow on corruption, which will engender a better country.

      Nigeria has been brought almost to her knees by decades of corruption and mismanagement of the public treasury. We must come to a point when we all collectively say Enough! That is collective will, and that is what will bring us to a new state and status. If this country will realize her potentials, and take her rightful place in the comity of nations, we must collectively repudiate corruption, and fight it to a standstill. It remains eternally true: if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.

      I thank you for listening.

        258 6966

        Bayo Omoboriowo had a tough time going through the University of Lagos and an even tougher time after his graduation. But when photography calls, you answer.

        “When I was in school, just because I wanted to buy camera, I was eating sixty naira bread, thirty naira beans with two sachet water (referred to as pure water on Nigeria’s streets) to down it all; making it N100 for a meal and if I take that in the morning, it would sustain me till night time”, he told CSNews.

        But taking pictures has always been a passion for Omoboriowo, against all the odds.

        He started out in photography taking the pictures of just about every wedding ceremony, naming ceremony and graduation he could find; but at some point, it dawned on him that all of that wasn’t the genre of photography he was cut out for.

        Bayo

        “When I returned from NYSC, I wanted to work with Chevron and all these big companies but I knew photography was calling me so I said to myself that all these everything photography I’m doing will not take me anywhere. I chose photography; it did not choose me so why will photography be frustrating me? I recall asking myself.

        “I said to myself that I will be a wedding photographer but that too was proving very challenging. I said to myself again that I wanted to become a documentary photographer because inside documentary photography is photojournalism. I said I will be doing documentary journalism and I would be working for agencies and companies”.

        But after some time, Omoboriowo got bored of that as well and gave up the documentary photography gig.

        During the last electioneering campaigns, Omoboriowo’s breakthrough moment finally arrived.

        Omoboriowo disclosed that he attended the last All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election/convention, uninvited. He had no accreditation to take pictures of the biggest political event in the country at the time, but sometimes gate-crashing does have its rewards.

        According to him, “I was taking pictures and when Buhari was casting his vote, I lost my phone worth 120,000 Naira. I said to myself that I came here of my volition, nobody is paying for my services and my phone is gone. With that, I promised myself that I was going to stay till the end of the primary election which lasted more than two days”.

        It turned out a decision that paid off.

        “I also said to myself after the entire event that God must pay me back for all I am doing here because no man can really pay me for this. That brings me to the place of God in one’s life. People should never take God out of the picture in the affairs of their lives”.

        After the primary election, Omoboriowo began sharing pictures from the APC convention on Instagram and all other social media platforms; with many Likes and Favorites to boot.

        When the time came for assembling the campaign team for the presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari, Omoboriowo recalls that former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi hired PR agency Red Media to handle the social media bit for the campaign.

        And Omoboriowo’s time was here.

        bayo-omoboriowo-jide-salu1

        “They needed a photographer for the whole movement for the presidential candidate and they were looking for who was the best person that could do the job and one of the criteria for getting the job was that the person must have story pictures, and I had the pictures they wanted”, he said with a glint in his eyes.

        “I showed them what I had done at the presidential primary. A few days later, they put a phone call through to me and handed me the job and that was how I was invited to become President Buhari’s photographer for the campaign. From the campaign, I was able to deliver what they wanted and we can thank God because here we are.”

        Omobiriowo is credited with humanizing a once none-smiling former Army General during the electioneering campaigns–one powerful shot from his lens at a time. The social media audience was fed with Omoboriowo’s pictures of candidate Buhari and his running mate Professor Yemi Osinbajo in real time. Most of those images would end up as viral totems online and offline.

        He also recalls that being with the President on the same flight as they made their way round the country and round the world, left him with indelible memories.

        “It is a big honour, I appreciate him for giving me the privilege. Maybe I am the youngest person on his team. He’s a loving person; he is someone everybody wants to relate with”, said Omoboriowo who is still on the payroll of the presidency.

          164 3731

          Ok, go ahead and judge us all you want, because we aren’t about to let this story go.

          Not yet.

          Senator Oluremi Tinubu (who represents Lagos Central in the upper legislative chamber) caused quite a stir on the floor of the senate on Wednesday when she took over the seat reserved for Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu (he belongs to the opposition PDP and was absent from plenary).

          Mrs Tinubu who is the spouse of APC leader and former Governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, not only stood in Ekweremadu’s corner to make a contribution, she returned to take her place on his seat moments later.

          Let’s just say it took the PDP senators chasing her out of that seat.

          In case you are some LASTMAn agent, find the full gist here.

          Thanks to the good folks at Naij.com and citizen Aderonke Bello, there are pictures of that moment when Oluremi Tinubu became Deputy Senate President for a few minutes.

          And she has our permission to have them framed for posterity.

          Remi Tinubu

          Remi Tinubu 1

          Remi Tinubu 2

           

           

            12 1849

            Newly appointed Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, isn’t the most loved man in the country for a few reasons:

            His performance during the screening of potential ministers by parliament was sub-par and he came off his screening as a religious extremist and bigot. Not a few Nigerians wanted the senate to prevent his passage into the federal cabinet.

            But Mr. Shittu got his wish and has since been handed the Communications portfolio.

            On Saturday in Ibadan, his friends got round to putting together a reception in his honor. Present at this reception were the Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, the Chairman of Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Dr. Lekan Are, a former governor of Oyo state, Omololu Olunloyo, Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadan land, High Chief Kola Daisi, Are Alasa of Ibadan land, High Chief Lekan Alabi, Are’s wife, Olabisi, the All Progressives Congress chairman in the state, Akin Oke, deputy governor of the state, Moses Alake, President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rafiu Ladipo, monarchs from Oke-Ogun area of the state and a large number of APC supporters from the Oke-Ogun area and other zones in the state.

            It wasn’t the array of advice that poured out from the mouths of Shittu’s friends that captured the attention of Nigerians, though. It was this picture:

            Adebayo Shittu

            Seriously, what were the gloves for? And does his wife (to the extreme left of your picture) have to appear at a public function all covered up like that?

            Most importantly, just how do you solve a problem like Mr. Adebayo Shittu?

             

              35 1913

              Nigerians finally know the names of those who will form President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, after the senate approved the list of 36 nominees, five months after the president took office.

              Mr Buhari, who was elected in March partly on a promise to tackle corruption and insecurity, vowed to select competent and clean individuals.

              But when the much-anticipated list was released, many were disappointed, asking whether the wait had been worth it, and whether those selected were the best in the country.

              Some say the list is full of old and recycled politicians who have been part of Nigeria’s problems.

              The youths who worked tirelessly during his campaign have also been disappointed because the average age in the cabinet is 52. Some women’s groups have also voiced their anger that there are just six females on the list.

              The 36 names approved by MPs – but yet to be given portfolios – include five former governors, nine lawyers, four former senators, three academics, two medical doctors, two retired soldiers and a clergyman.

              The combination of experienced politicians and technocrats shows that the president was trying to balance his choice – rewarding party loyalists, while also selecting some professionals.

              His hands were also tied by the constitutional requirement to choose at least one person from each of Nigeria’s 36 states.

              His supporters say the list shows he is committed to fulfilling his election promises, adding that age and gender do not matter at this stage because the country needs to be rescued urgently.

              Here are seven interesting characters to watch in the cabinet:


              Babatunde Fashola

              Former Nigeria's Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola

              It is not surprising that Mr Fashola made the list.

              His achievements during his tenure as governor of Lagos state – Nigeria’s commercial capital – makes him a good asset.

              He is credited with bringing an element of order to the chaotic city through massive infrastructure development that included demolishing illegal structures to pave the way for new road projects.

              As a senior lawyer and experienced administrator, it won’t be surprising if he is asked to head the justice ministry.

              The president has promised to root out corruption and bribery allegations that tainted the image of Nigeria’s judicial system.


              Ibe Kachikwu

              ibe kachikwu 

              The former ExxonMobil executive vice-chairman was appointed by President Buhari in August to head the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), an organisation vital to Africa’s largest economy but notorious for corruption and mismanagement.

              Many analysts believe his appointment has started to yield results.

              It is surprising that he has now been asked to join the cabinet and is very likely to be appointed a minister in the oil ministry.

              This means a new NNPC head may have to be appointed.

              Even though the president has said he will oversee the ministry himself, most of the work and reforms he plans to carry out will be handled by Mr Kachikwu.

              It will be interesting to see how he will help Mr Buhari clean up the oil sector and recover the mind-boggling sums he said had been stolen.


              Amina Mohammed

              Former Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on post-2015 development planning, Amina MohammedImage copyrightAFP

              She is a well-known technocrat within and outside Nigeria. She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of development, including as Nigeria’s presidential adviser on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

              She was credited with designing and developing several government projects aimed at reducing poverty.

              Before joining the cabinet, Ms Mohammed was the Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on post-2015 development planning.

              Her eloquence and globally-exposed experience in development and management could be an asset to the government if correctly exploited.


              Rotimi Amaechi

              Former Nigeria's Rivers state governor Rotimi Amaechi

              He is the most controversial of all the appointees even though his inclusion did not come as surprise.

              As President Buhari’s campaign director, many Nigerians see Mr Amaechi’s appointment as pay-back for the role he played in the president’s victory during the election.

              However, his choice has been heavily criticised after he was indicted by Rivers state’s panel of inquiry for allegedly enriching himself during his eight-year tenure as the state’s governor.

              He denied all the allegations and said they were politically motivated. He also took the commission to court.

              Opposition MPs tried to block his appointment but the ruling party used its majority to get him through.


              Abdurrahman Dambazau

              Dambazau 1

              As Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff between 2008 and 2010, he led a successful campaign against militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

              After he was sacked, the militants regrouped in 2011. Since then, thousands of people have been killed and the insurgency has spread to neighbouring countries.

              Tackling the group is one of Mr Buhari’s top priorities, so it will be interesting to see how Mr Dambazzau will tackle the conflict now, assuming he is asked to head the ministry of defence as expected.

               

              Kemi Adeosun

              Mrs.-Kemi-Adeosun

              She is an economist and financial expert who was educated and worked in the UK before going back to Nigeria to serve as a commissioner of finance in the south-western state of Ogun.

              Many expect her to be posted to the finance ministry.

              During her presentation to the Senate, she said funds allocated for various projects are being diverted and identified ways to stop this happening.

              She also said the country cannot afford to continue spending 78% of its budget on paying civil servants’ salaries and other ongoing costs.

              It will be interesting to see how the financial markets, investors and ordinary Nigerians will react to her appointment and whether she will be able to transform the country’s struggling economy.


              Audu Ogbeh

              Veteran Nigerian politician Audu Ogbe

              As a veteran politician with four decades of experience, Mr Ogbeh, 68, is known to be independent-minded and self-willed and has served in several previous governments.

              Many remember him for his public row with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, when he was chairman of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

              He was forced to resign from the position after accusing Mr Obasanjo of interfering in party affairs.

              Mr Ogbeh is an experienced farmer who is expected to be appointed to lead the vital agriculture ministry.

              Nigeria has a vast tracts of land that analysts say, if used properly, could create jobs for the country’s army of unemployed youths and reduce Nigeria’s dependence on oil.

              Nigerians will be hoping that he is able to bring this theory to reality.

              Read this in the BBC