Friday, 3 September 2021

Niger Delta Militants Set to Join IPOB in War with Federal Government in Seven Days’ Time

By Razaq Adedeji Jimoh
The Niger Delta Region may on Monday, June 7, 2021 become the latest geographical zone of Nigeria to declare a state of war with the Federal Government as the Southeast region intensifies its war campaign against all state institutions and instruments of coercion. This is going by the 7-day ultimatum given to President Muhammodu Buhari by the most famous and dreaded former Niger Delta militants’ leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) In a press lease he personally signed, a copy of which was accessed by Civics Online Journal, Tompolo threatened to set the Niger Delta in a state of anarchy if President Buhari failed to inaugurate the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) within seven days. “I hereby proclaim a seven-day ultimatum from the date of this publication (being Monday, May 31) to inaugurate the substantive board of the Commission”. He said. Trailing this threat, security experts have warned Nigerians, particularly those with trades and businesses in the region not to take this warning of a dreaded militant with a pinch of salt. In context of the release entitled President Muhammodu Buhari and Senator Godswill Akpabio Should as a Matter of Urgency Constitute the Substantive Board of the Niger Delta Commission (NDDC), he said his threat was informed by his love for the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole. He queried the continuous running of the NNDC by a sole administrator, which according to him, negates the principle of democratic norms the country has adopted as her system of government. Tompolo said: “I have watched and observed with keen interest, the circumstances surrounding the constitution of NDDC board for some time now. I would have continued to keep watching and observing, but for the love of the region and the country. “The continuous running of the NDDC by a sole administrator at the instance of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio, is undemocratic and anti-development, hence unacceptable to the people of the region. The people of the region are averse to a one-man show in a commission that is supposed to attend to the development needs of nine states, namely, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers. It will likely set the region on fire sooner than later.” He went further to justify his position with evidence that the running of NDDC by sole administrator is a breach of the law that establishes it. He noted that Senator in charge of the Commission had deliberately used the proposed auditing of NDDC to impede inauguration of new board for his political ambition. He said: “The Act establishing the Commission provided, among other things, that it will be administered by a board comprising a Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors and Commissioners, who will be drawn from the nine states that make up the region. However, this provision has been blatantly undermined by Senator Godswill Akpabio and his co-travelers in the Presidency. There is no provision for either Interim Management Committee or Sole Administrator in the Act that establishes NDDC. “Common sense will tell you that the so called forensic audit that has been used by Senator Akpabio to strangle the Commission could be best conducted with a substantive board of representatives from the nine states and other parts of the country. As one from the region, Senator Akpabio’s initial mission to audit past activities of the Commission was seen as welcome development. But later, the people realized that it was a personal mission to feather the nest of his 2023 political ambition. Clearly, the present state of the Commission is abnormal and could throw the relatively peaceful region in the country into chaos and anarchy. “Undermining the very clear provisions in the establishing act under the guise of an endless forensic audit is evil and should be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians. It is itself an act of corruption as the people of the region have lost so much resources in the process of the so called forensic audit. No one can tell the amount of money that has been spent by Senator Akpabio in pursuing this divisive agenda. It is obvious that there will be another forensic audit to investigate the activities of Senator Akpabio by the time he let off the strangling grip of the Commission. This is disheartening and worrisome” Tompolo points out how the Commission as currently run has impeded developments and how it has been fraught with corrupt conducts under the one-man show of Sole Administrator. He also suggested that highly placed Niger Deltans may have been compromised to keep mute and see nothing evil about all this, describing this as “barbaric act” he is set to stop in the days ahead. He said: “The Commission has refused to pay contractors even after evaluation of the work done. The Commission has selectively paid cronies and those in the list of political patronage. It is an open secret that some contractors have been made to part with between 30% and 50% of the contract sum. I ask, where is the equity and probity of this sole administration? “There is no way things will continue in this manner. I am surprised at the recent silence of highly placed persons from the region on this matter. Perhaps Senator Akpabio is not alone on this NDDC ‘abduction’. This must be a product of high wired conspiracy among persons from the Presidency, National Assembly and security agencies to perpetually silence all well-meaning Nigerians in this strange deal. Senator Akpabio should know that it is time to end this barbaric act as it will be concertedly resisted in the days ahead. “Senator Akpabio’s temporal relieve from Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) protest is a child’s play compare to what is to come in a few days. He is about to be awaken to the rage of Niger Delta region. It is against this background that I wish to call on Mr. President, members of the National Assembly to work towards the constitution of the substantive board of the NDDC in a few days to avert a total breakdown of law and order that will equally affect crude oil exploration and exploitation activities in the region. “I hereby proclaim a seven-day ultimatum starting the date of this publication to inaugurate the substantive board of the Commission” Soon after Tompolo made his release, security experts were quick to describe his statement as a highly feasible proclamation of war against the Federal Government by the Niger Delta militia. “It is a case of the Niger Delta militants declaring their intention to go back to the creeks and take up arms against the institutions of the State”, said Mr. Bidemi Arinola, Chief Administrator of Security Affairs of an Ogun-based private security firm. He continued: “These militants may have found the state of insecurity in the whole of Northern region and the recent prevailing state of anarchy in the Southeast to make it the auspicious time to launch their own civil disobedience actions. Don’t forget; the business of kidnapping started with them, so it may not be out of place to say they are just about to resume the same trade as its appears to have become the new most lucrative business in the industry of crime today. Another security expert said: “What I can only advise genuine business operators in the region not to Tompolo’s threat with a pinch of salts. They need to know that he is a dreaded militant that might want to carry out his threats to make a statement because it is sure that President Buhari would not want to recognize him and rush to beat the militant’s ultimatum”.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

APC Primary Polls: Mixed Grill of Disruption, Stiff Contest Attended the Elections with Large Party Members Turn Out, As Disruptions Draw Olowoopejo, other Aspirants’ Victory to Inconclusive Election in Alimosho

Story by Toyo C. Ngem, Razaq A. Jimoh and Aina Abiola
The All Progressives Congress (APC) primary elections for the July Local Government Elections in Lagos State turned out to be a mixed of stiff competition and disruption across the state. This is going by the reports of our correspondents that went round to witness the elections across the state. In Alimosho Federal Constituency comprising of Alimosho LG and five local council development areas (LCDAs), it was a straight contest between the establishment and a new force within the Progressives fold which goes by the mantra identity of Otoge Alimosho, where both opposing sides mobilised to their respective venues of the primary elections. In Egbe-Idimu LCDA of the Alimosho, elections were disrupted in Ward A and Ward B, even as the incumbent Council Chairman bidding for a second term of office, Hon Kunle Sanyaolu Olowoopejo, appeared set to pick the party candidate ticket from the results of three Wards available to Civics Online Journal as at press time. The two aspirants seeking to grab the party ticket were the Olowoopejo (aka KSO), ostensibly the candidate for the establishment; and Hon Lukmon Idowu (aka L&K) who was being sponsored by the new force. However, the report gathered by our correspondents appeared to show that the latter group seemed not ready to go ahead with the elections over the disqualification of some aspirants belonging to their camp. This would later be given a verity of fact as elections were reported not to hold in Ward A (Isheri Olofin) and Ward B (Idimu North), which happens to be the respective Wards and supposedly strongholds of the party’s Apex Leader. Alhaji Abdullahi Enilolobo and member of the House of Assembly representing Alimosho Constituency 02, Hon Kehinde Joseph. In Ward B, all appeared well in the early morning as both sides cohabited peacefully while awaiting the Returning Officer (RO) and his team along with LASIEC observers. But trouble started at about 10am when consultations with the aspirants’ agents by the RO on how the election would proceed began. At that phase, one issue was raised and resolved after another until the RO declared to both parties that only one candidate was given to him as contesting for councillorship post in Ward B. This did not go down well with the new force group which representatives flared up instantly that there would be no election for that reason. After observations were raised as to the basis of their conclusions that their candidate was the disqualified aspirants since the RO had not revealed the identity of the valid aspirant for the election, calms returned and election deemed set to proceed. Thence both parties agreed to queue in four lines so that voting would be conducted in batches of four along with accreditation exercise. Lines were thus formed and voting set to commence until the RO again announced that he had only 700 ballot paper for the election. This was again taken for another issue of discomfort but turned out to be the last straw to break the camel’s back, as crisis erupted that made the RO left the venue never to return. When our correspondent spoke to Hon Kehinde Joseph via his WhatsApp line, he described the whole scene as a clarity that the opposition group attended the primary with the mission to disrupt it. He noted that only the party would have the final say on which way forward. The chat went thus: COJ: How would you describe today’s APC primary in your Ward B? Kehinde Joseph: But we are there together, so you can judge it yourself (which was) the troublesome group. COJ: Yes, we saw it all, particularly your interventions to make the whole event peaceful, but what position would you hold for a final conclusion on the whole exercise? Kehinde Joseph: They came there purposely to disrupt it because they know they can’t win. COJ: Given that as the opposition mission, would you say they were successful; and if so, what should be considered the way forward now? Kehinde Joseph: The party will make its position known soon. Mixed reports given by sources who claimed to witness the Ward A primaries also described it as a tensed atmosphere that would later lead to attack on the Apex Leader and Organising Secretary of the party’s Acting State Executive Committee, Alhaji Enilolobo. Election was said to be disrupted with skirmishes that involved a free for all fights characterized by throwing of chairs and pebbles, which was serious enough to hamper peaceful conduct of elections. Enilolobo was said to be padded out of the venue to safety. Efforts to get confirmations from Enilolobo’s aides by this magazine proved abortive before going to press. A message sent at about 2:18pm on Saturday to the WhatsApp line of Mr. Kazeem, his Media Aide reads: “Could you send us the results of Ward A (primary election) and possibly brief us on the election ambience? While it was confirmed delivered and read, no reply was given to our request till the press time. A SMS message also sent to Mr. Akadiri, Party Chairman of Ward A in the early hours on Sunday was not replied either. It read: “Pls can you avail us the results of yesterday primary election in your Ward. source informed us that it was disrupted such that there was no election. Ethics demand that we confirm and get your view on this”. News emerged late Friday that two aspirants were disqualified from the councillorship race in Egbe-Idimu LCDA by the outcome of the screening exercise. It cited the affected candidates to be Mr. Haleem Sulaimon Olanrewaju for Ward A and Mr. Bankole Olatunde Olumide in Ward B. The report accessed by our correspondent purportedly emanated from the State Secretariat of the party. The situation appeared not go down well with the Otoge Alimosh group which believed it was a power show of the establishment on display. A member of the top echelon of the group who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity insisted that their opposition side had “used their powers to refuse the contest of our aspirants in the primaries, we will also use our powers of the people to ensure that no primaries is held in Egbe-Idimu”, he said. Elections were however held in Ward C (Idimu South) Ward D (Egbe-Liasu) and Ward E (Agodo). Skirmishes were however reported to have happened in some of these wards too. One of the aspirants who is also the incumbent Council Chairman, Olowoopejo was caught on camera posted by his media aide as casting his vote in company of his wife in his Agodo Ward). The results of elections held in the three wards however showed he was in clear lead. In Alimosho Local Government, the primaries were reportedly disrupted with sounds of sporadic shooting by gunmen who invaded the election venue. However, a report by Ayinde Jamiu Kunle, the Senior Special Assistant, Media, to Hon Jelili Sulaimon, the incumbent Council Chairman seeking a second term ticket, claimed victory for his boss. He said even though it turned out to be a walk through a rough road, the joy was that it turned out victorious for his boss at last.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Decade Rule of the Progressives in Osun: A Cause to Preserve the Divine Union of the Present with the Past

Story by Razaq Adedeji Jimoh 

The Preamble

IT is as well a decade of the progressives’ rule in Osun State that was celebrated on November 26, 2020 as Governor Gboyega Oyetola and the State’s Chapter of the All Progressives Congress rolled out the drums for the celebration of Oyetola’s 2years in office. I say this with the logic that it was yet a union of the 2 years of Oyetola and the 8 years of his immediate past predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola.

I am not alone in this line of thought. I should however say I share this view with the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as so clear in his congratulations message to the substantive celebrants, Governor Oyetola. Acknowledging the giant stride Oyetola had achieved so far, he said he said: “Within two years, the impact of your people-oriented and responsive government has been felt across the length and breadth of your state. You have built on the legacies of your predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Thank you for making Osun. Thank you for making APC proud. Thank you for you have made all of us (the progressives) proud".

The sense in this is deeper than imagined anyway. Had the will of God made it possible that Osun fell from the rule of cerebrals to the grip of dancer clowns two years ago, there would not be this celebration while the past would have been dead. But to His glory, He chose to create Ileri Oluwa from the ribs of Oranmiyan for the union of the past 8years of the latter with the 2years of the former. Therefore, it is the wedding anniversary of the past APC rules with the present one that was celebrated on November 26. The union makes the oxygen that keeps the APC alive as the government in continuum in Osun today.

In trying to put the Osun education policy reversal by Oyetola in contexts of politics and history to establish the trailing insinuations of feud between the duo as unwarranted mischief, professor Niyi Akinnaso observed that the reversal rather meant to show that the APC government of the past and present governs in continuum of marital bliss contracted to ensure that the wishes of Osun people prevailed. He said Aregbe already gave a hint of the policy reversal as possible imperative the public should expect from the new government.

For better clarity, Akinnaso drew his conclusion of the union of Oranmiyan with Ileri Oluwa by reconciling the statements of the duo during their metaphorical wedding planning – the period of campaign for the election that brought the change of baton. He quoted Aregbe to have said: “If my party believes there are areas which I ought not to have done or done differently, the party will adequately inform Ileri Oluwa (Oyetola) and he would do it. So expect him to do things differently”

 To bring forth the full weight of Aregbe’s message, Akinnaso went further to state the aligning statement of Oyetola as then incoming Governor: “If it is the yearning of majority of the people that we should reconsider any policy… We would look at”.

It must therefore come to the psyche of all concerned that it is this blissful union of the foremost thriving couple in the Land of Virtue that the traducers seek to put asunder. And so it is yet the duty of the concerned that they hold it by sacred rote to preserve the union in their own interest.

The cause for this has its core testimony in a curiosity the Osun People are wont to forget so soon: the wonder that is it anything but a course of God’s Will, Allah’s Way that the same Chief Iyiola Omisore who was the core origin of the destabilization of the Osun progressives at incipient of this Fourth Republic that would yet become the metaphorical ‘Man of God’ – the Clergy – to solemnize this Union of Oranmiyan with Ileri Oluwa in 2019 – twenty years after?

Whereas the dots of this Omisore’s algorithm of the progressives politics in Osun has been well established in the book of Political History of Alimosho (still at mint), Civics Journal has found it worthy to bring the excerpt for the people of Osun to appreciate how far they have journeyed through the wilderness wild barbarity to human colony. The excerpt reads thence and it is an interesting stor to read.

Excerpts from the Book of Political History of Alimosho  

IT is quite evidential that in Nigeria, we live as a people that hardly sit back to connect the dots of our respective histories, both severally and as a people, to make out a sense of our existential course of values. Steve Job once underscored the essentiality of this task by making it a subject of his biography. In our case, we erroneously celebrate this failure in pride of our cultural disease and literally flaunt it as Short Memory Syndrome (SMS). It is only for want of a way to deny this as a tragedy of intellectual handicap that we embrace the excuse of SMS. In practical philosophy, SMS may have its value when it is ordinarily made a basic ingredient for forgiveness. But for fact, it is a matter of weakness to rise above primordial sentiment – not forgiveness – in our own case.

By November 26, 2018, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregesola would have served out his 8-year rule in the State of Osun as Executive Governor and Chief Security Officer. In the findings of this author from a subjective study of the diverse agenda and issues about the subject of Oranmiyan as a phenomenon, it seems to be an indisputable fact that the part of Oranmiyan at governance has overwhelmed the parts of its origin and struggles. The latter two seem to have been pushed into oblivion. Yet, a part can never be greater than whole. Thus to say it is only the holistic study of the whole parts to the Oranmiyan phenomenon that we can help the youth of Osun, indeed the Nigerian’s, to understand the history required to shape their parts to life in building today such that they can be part of the future as humanly desired.

In the parts of Oranmiyan’s conception and struggles are lessons in leadership courage as complementary to leadership charisma for today’s youth in prospect of their leadership in future. In their scattered dots of disjointed parts, like image puzzle, they might not be meaningful. But when the dots are connected to join the three parts – the conception, the struggle and the governance; a meaningful picture is bound to emerge to make a whole sense of a compass to guide the youths through their leadership formative year.

Let’s look at it this way: two of the prominent events amongst those of political evils President Olusegun Obasanjo planted as terrorism officialdom during his tenure were the assassinations of Chief Bola Ige of Osun State and Engr. Funsho Williams of Lagos State. At the interment ceremony of Williams in Lagos on 10th of August 2006, the officiating Minister, Rev Father Marvin Ubili of St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Yaba, observed with posers that the killers “who would later be celebrated as heroes” of democracy could only be traced to the ruling class on account of evidential circumstance linked to the inexplicable peculiarity’ of the deceased’s’ security operatives.

The Clergy queried: “Where were the policemen guarding the late Chief Ige when the assassins came? We don’t know! Where were the policemen guarding Funsho Williams when the killers came? Nobody knows!”

The question now is how relevance is that observation made in 2006 to the contemporary time of Oranmiyan at governance today?

In 2001 when Chief Ige was killed, the nearly day-old infants at the year are secondary school graduates at the administration of Aregbe as Governor of Osun State while Chief Iyiola Omisore made the visage of opposition. For lack of history, how would these youths of secondary school graduates be guided in their choice of role model between these two? Coincidentally, the duo equally made the opposing personages of the events surrounding the death of Ige, whose only offence against Obasanjo’s Presidency as presumed to inform the killing is herein later explained in title of The Fall of Araba in satirical prose...

It is not likely that in taking the statistics, 2 out of 50 people (not the youth only) of Osun would be able to connect the conception of Oranmiyan Project by Ogbeni Aregbesola to being his decision to rise against the rule of tyranny and to halt the high profile political murders that had caught Hon Olagunju, Chief Ige, Alhaji Olajoku, etc as victims. It was also a resolve to dismantle the beast colony the Obasanjo’s presidential evil had enthroned in the state.  Because the two parts of Oranmiyan’s origin and struggles had the nuclei of their events of connection to Osun rooted in Alimosho, it is simply providential that documenting the about twenty years of the Lagos Local Government’s political history would encompass the corollary value it has in the holistic study of what is today known as the Oranmiyan Phenomenon.

This is the core goal of the Political History of Alimosho in nexus to Osun. Interestingly, this is a front row account of the conception of the Oranmiyan project and the struggle to actualize the mission as conceptualized. Because the author was involved!  

To this author, then at incipient of its shindig, the philosophy that informed the choice of ‘Oranmiyan’ title for the Project was not clear. But it was clear to all the people of Alimosho Political Caves that it was a tide of Aregbe's governorship aspiration for the State of Osun. I call it ‘Alimosho political caves’ because the shindig of the purpose of Oranmiyan Project echoed across all the political parties – PDP, AC, the residual AD, ANPP, etc. The PDP cave was particularly enthralled with it in emotional jittery for the potential threat it posed to the party as a ruling government in Osun State.

In the AC cave; because the 8-year privilege of holding the portfolio of Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure had strategically exposed Aregbe to becoming a progressives’ icon across the state, the Oranmiyan interest that evolved from the Alimosho cave's soon secured the solidarity of the entire State's Action Congress members to become a Lagos Chapter's project. Indeed, Oranmiyan did become an auxiliary project for the Lagos AC for two reasons: first, it later became more discernible to be a liberation struggle for the people of Osun -- a cause an Ijesha man had chosen to champion from his Alimosho base in Lagos. Second, the Action Congress was formed on the philosophy of a political institution strongly poised for the liberation of Lagos State and the Nigerian nation at large from presidential idiosyncrasies tilting towards an extremism of what I have chosen to describe as the ‘Criminality of His Excellency in Power’.

At the behest of President Obasanjo’s body Language, his ruling party, PDP, had adopted a strange cultural philosophy for the new democracy he was superintending: that the party’s fundamental rule of engagement was a rule of might inspired by the typical instinct of the struggle for power in beast colony – not one of the conventional rule of law inspired by the logic of mind and cerebral power of thinking in human community.

Before the Birth of Oranmiyan: Omisore as spoiler

There is no doubt that a thorough objective assessment of the eight years rule of President Obasanjo, in fairness, will not fail to conclude that it was the darkest era of governance in Nigeria’s republics. Less than two years into his first tenure, the record of political murders had doubled the less than six years regime of the maximum despot, General Sanni Abacha. His regime’s act of state terrorism and audacious tyranny was never in minimal parity with the Abacha's either. While Abacha's victims and targets were localised in southwest region, Obasanjo era’s was wide spread across the nation, particularly when he began to conceive the idea of Operation Totality (“OT”) way back in 2000…

At end of the 2003 general elections, the PDP captured 5 out of 6 states in the Southwest geopolitical zone were captured for Obasanjo’s “Mainstream Politics” induction. The succeeding PDP governors were Gbenga Daniel for Ogun State, Rashidi Ladoja for Oyo State, Ayodele Fayose for Ekiti State, Brig General Olagunsoye Oyinlola (rtd) for Osun State and Olusegun Agagu (deceased) for Ondo State. It is on record that except Ladoja that rather became a victim of the political subterfuge that brought him to power and Agagu who would later taste a dose of Mimiko's poison of treacherous politics, the collective regime of Fayose, Daniel and Oyinlola was a psychopathic siege on their respective states. It was an era of harvests of deaths such that Wole Soyinka would eventually be convinced that “the PDP (as a political party) harboured a nest of killers”.

At the end of their first tenure in their respective states in 2007, the residents had encountered substantial terror. It overwhelmed them such that even in their wailing for a saviour, ‘terror seemed to be taking their sounds’ before they made them in their bondage. No one seemed to hear them!

How it all began and grew to Oranmiyan Phenomenon is the subject of interest here. However, in totality of the narrative of the three parts – Origin of Oranmiyan Project, the Oranmiyan Struggle and Oranmiyan Idiosyncrasies in governance, it will surely end up  being a case study of how the latent war of Operation Totality was commanded from the Presidency in Abuja.

It should therefore make sense to give a strong insight to the agonies of Osun people in the tenure of Oyinlola as case study for what happened in other states so ‘captured’ for the agony of PDP bondage. Thus so it should also hold for our belief that it was that cry of the people of Osun in that typical bondage of tyrannical terror that informed the rise of Oranmiyan in Alimosho.

In that OT war commanded from the palatial Obasanjo’s Presidency, the stratagem was a deliberate use of the federal might to destabilise the regime of the ruling AD party in the states, using the force of fifth columnist to undermine their administration. In the case of Osun, Chief Bisi Akande was the Executive Governor of the State. The first fatality of the war were marked by the demise of one Honourable Olagunju, a member of the First Osun State House of Assembly in this Fourth Republic and the eventual death of Chief Bola Ige – then Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation yet in the cabinet of President Obasanjo.

Governor Bisi AKande had barely settled down in office when his Deputy Governor, Chief Iyiola Omisore, became his pain in the neck as the fifth columnist in that administration. Instigating the Deputy Governors against their principal officers seemed to be the prime strategy adopted for the OT war. It would seem that the process for enlisting the pliable lieutenants for a mole in the administration entailed infusion of a dope of treachery into the psyche of the Deputy Governors for the mission to undermine the regime of their principals. Those of Osun (Omisore) and Lagos (Akerele-Bucknor) appeared more vulnerable to the dope offered in pecuniary materials and kindness of thorough abuse of the federal might.

For the matter of Osun in discuss, Chief Bisi Akande (November, 2004) explains how Omisore was used to destabilise his administration from his principal witness’ account and a victim’s real experience.

He said: “I also which to recall another incident. I received telephone calls in Mecca that the Osun State Police Command was being directly, without passing through the Inspector general of Police, controlled from Aso Rock by the PDP leadership, including President Obasanjo himself. I was asked to break my pilgrimage rituals to return to Nigeria to avoid a declaration of  State of Emergency being planned for Osun State. The Story was that if a few people could be killed in a riot, President Obasanjo would suspend me from office as the governor and takeover the State.

“Riots were truly orchestrated. The House of Assembly was sacked (by armed thugs). Arrest of people with arms and charms parading as rioters were made. Commands were coming from Aso Rock to the Police in Osun State that prosecution should be stopped and those arrested should be released”.

Chief Akande further explained how he reacted to the issue: 
“Uncle Bola (Ige) phoned and asked me to return home... Governor Bola Tinubu (also on the Hajj) and I discussed the desirability of returning home urgently too... (But) I decided to stay back for another ten days thereafter. He (Bola Ige) advised me to speak to the President (Obasanjo) on phone. I did not attempt doing so... I am happy, however, that I had the opportunity of telling President Obasanjo in writing, on my arrival from pilgrimage, (about) his harassment and intimidation of my administration’s security apparatus in Osun State during my absence”.

Iyiola Omisore would later become the prime suspect in the murder of Chief Bola Ige, the next victim of the state terrorism linked to Obasanjo's mission of operation totality. And curiously, Obasanjo’s conduct did not fail to give him out for a suspicion of accessory after the fact of the murder of his Cabinet member…

The Coming of Oranmiyan: the Struggle and the Alimosho's Leg of the War Stratagems

To this author, the basis for the choice of ‘Oranmiyan’ as identity for governorship ambition has not been discerned as a direct revelation from the visage, Ogbeni Aregbe, at the moment of writing this segment. The author was however an integral part of the political struggles and the strategic content by which the people of Osun State were eventually liberated. And curiously, while Oranmiyan was conceived as purpose vehicle for the liberation, only a few of Osun people realized the imperative of the cause. But Oranmiyan had since justified why he picked the gauntlet to the impressive appreciation of Osun people. The narrative of that Oranmiyan struggle is the subject of this chapter…

Beyond the goal for which it was conceived, Oranmiyan Project would later transform into Oranmiyan phenomenon from which many issues arose in subsidiaries. As implementation began – hereinafter discussed as The Oranmiyan Struggle, the whole essence of Oranmiyan as defined in mission would turn out to be a Policy Centre for Strategic Actions in legitimate means to dislodge a brutal despot and his tyrannical regime from power. This literally makes this passage's theme to be a narrative of the strategic activities for the epicenter of the struggle and the theatre of the struggle – all being the State of Osun in Nigeria – as logically conceived from Alimosho County in nexus to the Ikeja GRA base of the scheming.

Every festival time, it has become the practice of Osun State to deploy Railway transportation for his policy of “Family Reunion” in fulfillment of the constitutional mandate the fundamental principle of governance which shall include the promotion of harmonious family unit. However, it should not be any gainsaying that only infinitesimally small People of Osun would be able to tell in convincing term that the policy is in memory of that day Oranmiyan defied the threat of fatwa pronounced on its ‘Symbol’ – Aregbe – against his planned formal ambitious return to Osun. He escaped the ambush of enemy to arrive Osun with the cover of Railway.

This and others are what this chapter intends to highlight with a view to explain the underpinning strength of the strategic base of Alimosho Politics in Lagos.

Having accepted to lead the political liberation struggle for Osun State, Aregbe embraced a new political title – The Symbol – to depart from his previous Moniker for Lagos political brand – The Young. It was not too difficult to discern that in full content and lexical meaning, it implied the contemporary visage of Oranmiyan; as to be addressed as The Symbol of Oranmiyan. This again is my presumption of the thoughtful intendment…

It had been mentioned that Brigadier Olagunsoye Oyinloa (rtd) was the eventual beneficiary of the Obasanjo’s OT war in Osun. What has not been done is the whole narrative of Oyinlola’s regime in the context of which Osun literally regressed to a beast colony.

It mattered that following the impeachment and arrest of Chief Iyiola Omisore for the murder trial that clamped him in prison detention, Oyinlola inherited the evil structure Obasanjo had used Omisore to create…
The pains of Aregbe’s tribulations that have become the later pleasures of Osun people today revolved around the post 2003 general elections. With the 2003 election over; Obasanjo was now decked with euphoric garlands of his double feats: the 90% success of his ambitious drive to push Yoruba to PDP mainstream and his second term presidential victory, which took particular cognizance of his late wife, Stella Obasanjo, groveling on her knees before Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to clear the stumbling thuds on the path of her husband’s reach for the second term PDP presidential ticket. But it was an unfortunate era for the Yoruba nation; as thus it was for Atiku Abubakar anyway. The purported metaphoric kasa kasa baba kese kese had arrived. The reign of impunity was now enthroned. More enlistment of high profile political killings began to count across the region – from Funsho Williams in Lagos to Dipo Dina et al in Ogun State. From Ayo Daramola et al in Ekiti to Alhaji Olajoku et al in Osun State. But the scenarios of Osun yet remain our subject of interest.

Oyinlola had hardly settled down to governance before the barbaric siege of PDP on the State began…Thence too, the Oranmiyan struggle started earnestly as the plot giving it the thrust became rooted in Alimosho, Lagos. The epicenter of the struggle where the Lagos plots had to be executed was Osun State – then metaphorically described as the den of “Lion Oyinlola”. A school of thought even had it for suggestion that no metaphor could better describe the activities of the struggle better than what it really was: a full scale war. The thinking from this quarter should not be any point less than 100 per cent correct on account of the experience of 2005 edition of Oroki Day event. It was one date that gave another empirical support to the beast colony Osun State had degenerated to from Obasanjo's Operation Totality as purportedly commanded directly from his Presidency. It was the day Aregbe escaped death only by the skin of his teeth.

Really, the Oroki date encounter ought to have made it to a heritage of significant landlubber in the political history of Osun State. This proposal is never because of its tragic magnitude, but because it compares rationally in parity of purpose and act to the fatal event of February 13th 1976 in which then Head of State, General Muritala Muhammed encountered his fate of death. The Muritala and Aregbe's bullet ridden vehicles are good evidential monuments for the relics of their respective encounters in liberation cause... 

Wednesday, 25 November 2020


By Razaq Adedeji Jimoh 

different jobs and empowerment opportunities from the Federal Government policies are subsisting for close 2 to 7months respectively. They are the N75billion National Youth Investment Funds (NYIF) which opened in October amidst the crises of the #ENDSARS protest; and the recruitment exercises for the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) which application closed about the month of March. Interestingly, as should be so obvious, these are policies meant to address the problem of youth unemployment and the so called youth idleness believed to have instigated the protest to the level of wanton destruction of lives and property.

Information available to this Journal in terms of the responses to these job opportunities is that about a million applicants have expressed their interests for them respectively apiece. 

NIS and NSCDC recruitment applicants to seat for JAMB exams

The Minister of Interior, who is also the former Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, gave an update on the recruitments into NIS and NSCDC when the members of House of Representatives Committee on Interior visited his Ministry on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, as part of their over sight functions. He confirmed that over one million Nigerian youths applied for the recruitment exercise and were awaiting the aptitude test for the screening exercise. He insisted that the aptitude test would yet have to be done to complete the recruitment process this year because it was already captured in this 2020 budget year.

He further explained that the delay in completing the process was due to the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic and the logistic issue of how to assemble the over one million applicants for the aptitude tests. And to find a way around the latter problem, he said his ministry was already in talk with the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to use the Computer Based Test (CBT) facility of the Board for the aptitude test, which would ultimately help to determine the final list of successful applicants.

The National Youth Investment Funds (NYIF)

While the above is about direct job offer by the Federal Government, the NYIF (“the Fund”) is a matter of opportunity meant to encourage the creative minds amongst the youth to aspire for the more tasking challenge of job creation and entrepreneurial development. The set objectives for the Fund include the following:

1.         Improve access to finance for youth and youth-owned enterprises for national development.

2.         Generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youth restiveness.

3.         Boost the managerial capacity of the youth and develop their potentials to become future large corporate organizations.

However, in making its intervention to the Fund with a N25billion contribution for the takeoff, the CBN expanded these objectives. Releasing its own eligibility guidelines the CBN released on October 30, the apex bank held the understanding that a huge percentage of youth within the age bracket of 18-35 are engaged in the informal sector. Thus accordingly, it intends to use the NYIF to facilitate the transition of informal enterprises owned by youth into the formal mainstream economy where they can be supported comprehensively, build a bankable track record; and be accurately captured as active participants in economic development.

Unfortunately, however, a survey conducted by this Journal after a two-time publication of the related story and adverts in its terrestrial magazines showed that only one in every 95 of the qualified youths had registered for the Fund. This data is derived from a recent statement by Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, who revealed on November 1st that about 1 million youths had registered so far and given that about 95million Nigerians fall within the eligibility demography of Nigerian youths between the ages of 18 to 35years. This should literally suggest a shortfall in what should put the nation at rest for the prevention of a repeat of the #ENDSARS calamity.

The applicants may have increased even by 100 per cent fold to take it to 2million at this time, what this Journal yet discovered to be factors that informed this seemingly low registration include:

1.         lack of the right awareness about eligibility status;

2.         poor readership culture among the youths;

3.     the psychological disorientation of the youth by the information manipulation strive of the mainstream media;

4.        the bastardisation and abuse of the social media with high rate of misinformation and purveying             of fake news.

Above all these is the problem of government-citizen distrust that has taken root in the Nigerian governance system.

All these factors inform the primary reason for this special report aimed at bringing at least about 15 per cent of all eligible youth into the scheme of NYIF. This is what this article intends to achieve by bringing this enlightenment directly to your homes via this platform.

Let me begin that the application site has already been subjected to abuse by fraudsters. Twice now, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development have had cause to warn prospective applicants and the already registered youths to be wary of any online site seeking their BVN for them to get enlisted for the due training. It was first officially released by way of print media advert on November 2nd before it was again repeated twice via two online platforms that included the twitter handle of the Honourable Minister, Sunday Dare.

The caveat story signed by a Permanent Secretary, Gabriel Aduda, for the print media advert partly advised applicants not to “access unsecure and fraudulent application portals” for their registration.

What should have informed this public warning? This should be discernible in the purported online version of the caveat issued the following Friday by the Ministry’s Director of Press, Mrs. Lere-Adams Adjobome, where she identified a FAKE application site already trending on the social media as and warned prospective applicants to avoid like a leprous disease. The common points to all the channels of the warning message are here emphasized, quoted verbatim as so itemised:

1.         Do not access any fraudulent application portals.

2.         Do not disclose your BVN and other personal information to fraudsters. Your BVN is not required for you to access entrepreneurship training with approved EDI.

3.         Only the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development can contact and invite applicants for Entrepreneurship Development Training and assign the applicants to an approved EDI. Please discard any invitation for training that is not from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

4.         Disregard messages and advertisement inviting youth to pay any sum of money for entrepreneurship training, writing/business plan development or other services related to application for the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (NYIF).

5.         Access to the Application portal and Entrepreneurship Training for the NYIF is FREE. 

The Facts You Need to Know about the NYIF and Your BVN

The NYIF is conceived as about three-year rolling youth empowerment programme for which the federal government had set the sum of N75 billion for its implementation. The central bank of Nigeria (CBN) is releasing the sum of N25 billion for the scheme to take off officially. It is a loan to be offered for a maximum tenor of 5 years depending on the nature of the business and the assets so acquired with it. The interest is also put at a variable that shall not be more than 5% per annum (all-inclusive).

 As is the case with CBN, any financial intervention for social policy programmes it is getting involved in the country is implemented through NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank (NMFB). This makes the origin of the NMFB in the link for the online registration site.

In a superficial look at the warnings above, item 2 which warns against disclosure of your BVN could appear confusing by virtue of its contrast to the first step you will encounter at the registration site. Entering your BVN is the first requirement. This is inescapable because what the NMFB would need to open transactions with you is your BVN and your name.

So, this is the first interface request you will encounter when you successfully connect to the application site and it is what will take you to the next interface where you can now register your personal details. It must however be made clearer that the purported caveat actually warns that the fraudster site seeks your BVN to “access entrepreneurship training as so underlined for emphasis. 

Eligibility Matters

It should interests you to know that both the literate and non-literate youth are eligible. Earlier in the month of July, or there about, when the Federal Government first announced the scheme, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development appeared on many television programmes to explain the whole concept of the Fund. Therein, he emphasised that the NYIF would not discriminate against any Nigerian youth by the limit of their academic qualification. In other words, it does not matter whether you are a graduate or School Certificate holder or First School Leaving Certificate (primary six certificate) holder.

The broad primary eligibility is defined by any of these questions for anyone between the ages 18-35 years: What can you do? Or what is your skill? Or what idea do you think have that you think you will need what sum of money to develop into a business?

The eligibility guidelines of the CBN clearly make this clearer with categorization of applicants into the non-formal (individual) and formal (corporate) type. The non-formal type that obviously takes care of the artisans and non-literate group holds that an eligible youth must fulfill the following conditions: 

1.         Be a youth within the age bracket of 18-35 years.

2.         Have business/enterprises domiciled and operational in Nigeria.

3.         Has not been convicted of any financial crime in the last 10 years.

4,         Has a valid Bank Verification Number (BVN)

5.         Possess Local Government Indigene Certificate.

The Formal business type refers to the youth owned enterprises that are legal entities duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The eligibility requirements for this category are:

1.         Evidence of registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (Certificate of Incorporation and Form CAC 2A);

2.         Business questionnaire;

3.         List of Directors with BVN nos.;

4.         Evidence of regulatory approvals (where applicable);

5.         Tax Identification Number (TIN).

6.       Cooperative societies duly registered with the relevant government authorities and members of Commodity Associations that fall within the eligible age bracket are also eligible to participate.

7.       Applicants currently enjoying NMFB loans, including the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) and Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme – AgSMEIS loans that remain unpaid are NOT eligible to apply.

8.     Beneficiaries of other government loan schemes that remain unpaid are also not eligible to participate.

Under this category, the Fund appears more technical in choice of its business supports. Accordingly, the CBN goes further to list the business sectors that would likely get priorities even though they are well encompassing to have covered all sectors of the economy too. They include:

1.         Information and Technology related businesses

2.         Agriculture and related value chain

3.         Green Economy and Renewable energy sector

4.         Manufacturing

5.         Hospitality/Tourism

6.         Construction

7.         Logistics and supply chain

8.         Healthcare and the value chain

9.         Creative sector and

10. Trading and Services

11. Others as may be determined by NYIF/CBN from time to time.

Therefore, when you look at the aggregate of all these questions, you will see that:

1.         Your being an artisan of hair stylist, a tailor, a mechanic already prequalifies you to register for NYIF.

2.      Your being a School Certificate holder without pre-existing skill but has an idea to transform already qualifies you for the Fund.

3.       As a graduate of any tertiary level of education but dissatisfied with your current employment status and thinks going the entrepreneurship way is way out, the Fund is for you.

So wait no more get on board now by clicking on the link below


Monday, 26 October 2020


Story by Razaq Adedeji Jimoh


Chief Reuben Umeugoji
A Lagos based Igbo Chief and industrialist, Chief Reuben Umeugoji, has advised Nigerians not to lower their guards as peace begins to return to the State and other parts of Nigeria in the aftermath of the #ENDSARS protest. He stated that as the governments are succeeding to reclaim the cities’ physical space from the hoodlums that hijacked the protest to undermine their authorities, the criminals appeared to have shifted their crime base to the social media for a new strategy he described as “social media war” to sustain their mission to divide Nigeria through “destructive powers of fake news”.

Chief Umeugoji may appear to have spoken the minds of many Nigerians. The piece of Paul Ade-Adeleye of The Nation’s Barometer page gave the same gauge of the Lagos mood as one where the social media narratives is redefining the identity of the ruling APC in the wrong perspective and it appears many of the party members are not doing enough to counter this offensives. He entitled his own missive as Lagos: #ENDSARS as Cyber Warfare

Thus so, Umeugoji suggested that “Nigerians would also need to evolve the powers of common sense to repel the new warfare strategy”.

The industrialist gave this advice while praising the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for coming out at the appropriate time to debunk all the fake news wrapped around his person in the course and climax of the protest. He was referring to the visit of Tinubu to the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the State House in Marina on Saturday, October 24, 2020.

There were many parts of the social media reports that insinuated many stories about Tinubu with regards to the protest. That included the one of Sahara Reporters that underwent three metamorphosis stages. It began with one that read: “Tinubu Orders Military to Open Fire on EndSARS”.

Perhaps after the online medium owned by Omoyele Sowore realized the grave unethical implication of that publication, it flagged down the story and replaced it with another that read: “Live: Nigerian Military Open Fire on Peaceful EndSARS at Lekki. It however retained Tinubu’s photo for visage of the story. The third caption Sahara Reporter would release on its online porter – all within 24hours interval – for the same story read: “#ENDSARS: Ex-Lagos Governor , Tinubu, Justifies Use of Force on Peaceful Protesters by President Buhari’s Government”. This latter headline was however retained for many days probably because it believed that to be subtler in slander.

It turned out that the Sahara Reporter’s deliberate manipulation of information to misinform the public was powerful enough for the obvious incitement it was intended.

Trailing the reports in the terrestrial space were the arson attacks on all properties directly or remotely linked to Asiwaju Tinubu. That included but not limited to the burning of Television Continental (TVC), a broadcasting station located around the CMD area of Alapere in Keu; torch of the premises of Vintage Press – publishers of The Nation newspaper and; the vandalisation of Oriental Hotels by the successfully incited mob.

From the social media front while the insurrection lasted, the attack on Tinubu should reasonably and rightly pass for assaultive psychological trauma. He was reported to have fled the country in the heat of the crises. A viral video of this version gave a live radio interview of unspecified media firm where Tinubu was purported to be speaking from France and denying his link to the yet mysterious “Lekki Shooting”.

Closely related to that in strategy was another version of social media news which had it that his son had been kidnapped by the rampaging youth. In that, he was also simulated to be purportedly heard live, weeping in similar radio interview with appeal to the kidnappers to spare the life of his son.

In the Adeleye’s observation given on Sunday October 25 and found to corroborate Umeugoji’s point, he said it was right time the Lagos State realised that “it is already at cyber war with peddlers of fake news. He said the “Lekki Shooting” is mischievously pushing the “narrative that there was a massacre orchestrated by the former governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, approved by President Buhari and executed, with finesse by the incumbent Governor, Sanwo-Olu. The narrative started as a low din of the social media, but it finally rose to decibels loud enough to beat the band. Unfortunately, precious uninspiring little was done to counter these devastating offensives.

“The siege to the character of these persons are powerful and it is testament to the level of ignorance in the society and among the social media youths”.

Upon the visit of Tinubu to Governor Sanwo-Olu on that Saturday, all this became clearer to be a part in the many versions of the “Cyber Warfare” the hijackers of the #ENDSARS had perfected to incite the youth and Nigerian masses to insurrection against the government and a section of the Nigerian elite. Clearing the air to pressmen on all the social media reports mentioned above at the visit, Tinubu said they were all fake news because he never left the country in the first place.

He said: “I didn’t go anywhere. I am a Lagosian and I still hold the title of Asiwaju of Lagos and I am still (the) Jagaban. Fake news is all over the place. They said Seyi my son, was kidnapped and was chased; but look at him here. I didn’t pay a penny to bring him here”.

Chief Umeugoji, who immediately spoke to Civics Journal on this first public appearance of Tinubu after the crises, described it to be “timely”. He also said it was a “powerful statement” to his (Tinubu’s) traducers on one part and a “resounding message” to the Nigerian public at large on the other part.

He said: “It was a strong message to his enemies that he was never demoralised by their antics of the social media assault and propaganda. He had told them in clear terms that he did not earn the title of Asiwaju of Lagos for the fun of it. It is meant to lead the State in time of peace and crisis.

“To the Nigerian Public, Tinubu had evinced what we all might require to fight the rave of fake news merchants with a cause to shame them. When you come out to expose their lies as Tinubu had done now, you put the liers to shame and very soon, people would begin to be wary of them and take cautions in believing what they read or hear on the social media”.     

The industrialist, who is also a chieftain of the APC in Alimosho, charged all the Progressives minded public to join the APC members across Nigerians to give a cause to repelling all forces that may be rising against the genuine party leaders like President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu.

He also disclosed that he felt more concerned by divisive and dangerous ethnic dimension the crisis was tilting to as he yet condemned the invasive attack on the palace of Oba of Lagos. He added that it was high time we deployed the powers of common sense to differentiate criminals from their ethnic identities.

When Tinubu visited Sanwo-Olu

He said: “As the criminals are on the rampage both in the social media and in our physical neighbourhood, what we need to fight them collectively as responsible citizens is the power of common sense reasoning. It is this power that will help us to see the hoodlums, the looters, the arsonists and criminals generally in their identity of crime rather than seeing them in the identities of their ethnic origin as Igbo, Hausa/Fulani or Yoruba.

“This is the only way we can win the war against the enemies of Nigeria in their different categories as religion bigot, ethnic chauvinists and outright criminals.

“If our common enemies could be united in their resolve to destabilise and divide the country, we are already defeated before the raise of our arms if we move against them severally without a united front coalesced around our own patriotic strength.

“Therefore, he continued, as Igbo man who has spent about the golden years of my life in Lagos, I condemn the invasion of the palace of Oba of Lagos by these enemies in the strongest terms. I could only see criminals and not Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa doing that.

Friday, 16 October 2020


 By M. O, Shutti-Jimoh

THE National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) may have originated from Alimosho Local Government in Lagos. While anyone may have cause to contradict or question this reasoning, it is what the findings of Project Alimosho Heritage (PAH) point to as fact.

            Once in a thesis entitled Living Vision of the Light Bearers published on this page; it captured an aspect of the origin of education in the writing of the History of Alimosho as the purpose of PAH. According to the writer, the PAH Team, while on its mission, marveled at the living visions of “The Light Bearers” – a term it literally applied in documentation of its report to mean those who brazed all odds to bring education to expose the sleepy ancient setting of Alimosho to the light of civilization.

The marvelous factor that fascinates the team was the envious growing of their visions in passionate manner that bespeaks the resolute renewal of their mission to re-invent and restore the past glory and values of education in that sub-city corridor of Lagos. Thence the writer added that 2018 seemed to be the onset year for the restoration, as they all began to showcase developmental infrastructure aimed at consistency with the demands of Lagos State’s Quality Education Assurance (QEA) factors.

            One of the “Light bearers” featured in the thesis was the founder of Aunty May School in Idimu. She was said to have returned from decades of sojourn abroad to renew her passion. She purportedly showed this in a language that meant she was no longer content with just a block of about six classrooms and an office. “She impressively opened the past 2019/2020 Academic Session with a new block of L-shape two-storey building of many more classrooms without compromising the need for adequate space for recreational activity”. Curiously, this came at a time when report gathered by the PAH team indicated that many have concluded on the school as just passing through a phase of winding up, given particularly the earlier eventual death of its secondary school – Aunty May College at the Alake Area.

However, to the PAH Team; the return of “Mama Aunty May”, as she’s fondly called in the educational parlance, was the Eureka for the bundle of knowledge and testimonial authority it had long sought for writing an uncontroversial history of private school education in Alimosho. And consequent upon that, a part of the history the Team gathered from her in theme was the spirit of solidarity amongst the private school owners in Alimosho in the late 90s of the 20th century. And in the opinion of the Team, that spirit may be valid to pass for the existentiality theory that gave birth to NAPPS.

Last week thereabout, NAPPS celebrated its yearly Day. With my privileged access to what Mama Aunty May gave for the origin of the Association, I strongly feel the best speech that should worth a presentation for such NAAPS Day is the need to re-invent that spirit of togetherness with which the founders of the Association proclaimed it to existence. This is why I found it worthwhile to present the relevant excerpt of her interview with the PAH as a vital message to all NAPPS members and other private school proprietors. Enjoy the interactions! 

From the understanding of your origin, you were about the first school here in this Idimu axis, how did you manage your early rivalry as new schools began to emerge in competition with you?

            It could be interesting to narrate this experience and it will lead us to how the formation of Association of Private School Proprietors (APPS) became imperative and helpful in making private schools became organised at the time.

            There was this particular school that was about to start, I won't mention names. He just came to stand in front of my school to mobilise for students and teachers. He was giving fliers to teachers and parents, telling them: 'come to my school'. I stood there by the gate looking at him. Everybody was taking flier as I was looking. Then he said to me: 'you, you, won't you take fliers or don't you want better salary?' I just laughed because he didn't know I was the Aunty May. I think he had done his survey to know the salary I offered and he raised his own salary for his prospective teachers by N10. That to him was his strength of poaching enticement he thought he could use against me. Although none of my teachers went there but some of my pupils went there because he came to start in a big way.

            But as time went bye, he got to know I was the Aunty May and there was no doubt that he was ashamed of himself for what he did. But what would have made him regretted was that when he was settling down, he realised it didn't worth all he was doing; all the madness he did. As I talk to you now the school is no longer in existence. That was 1988 and I think he closed down more than five years ago.

            So, how did NAPPS come about?

            I happened to be among those people that started what we once called APPS -- Association of Proprietors of Private Schools – that later metamorphosed to NAPPS just to identify it by its national status – National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools. I have been part of it from 1992. There was a school, Sholly Preparatory School – the founder is late now, and one Josemaria School; the three of us were at the inaugural meeting of the proposed association.  As such, we became the contact persons for our respective localities. Mine was Idimu. So I went to Tadey, I went to Racy & Sturdy and I went to Foundation Schools to sell the idea of APPS to them because we want all school to be member.

            Before APPS, actually, those of running schools in Idimu, we were having informal meetings here in my school because we had become many – Intelligent School, Johan School; there was also one Muslim mail school, Al-Shabab if I'm correct. We've been having our gathering here and with the arrival of APPS, I told them to let us key-in to that so that we would not be running a separate body from that and I think about 90 per cent of us agreed to that.

            Let us emphasise our own area of interest in all of this and that is getting it from where the idea of association of private schools evolved. By that, we would be able to establish the motive and sentiments behind it. That is to say, good, it started as APPS. The APPS itself, how was it initiated? Where did the initiative come from?

            That day we were at Alaguntan Government Primary School, the Supervisory Councilor for Education in that old Alimosho Local Government, one Mr. Egbeola, invited all private schools to an event at that Alagutan public school. While the Councilor was talking to us, the late Mama Anifowoshe of Niger Preage and Mrs. Deregos of St. Benedict sent a note to all private schools proprietors that we should stay behind after the Council officials have finished with us. It was that post-event gathering that proposed the idea of meeting under the name of Association of Proprietors of Private Schools. That was the origin of APPS.

            The meeting venues were however rotated between St. Benedict School, Niger Preage School and Palmville School, all at Gowon Estate area in Egbeda. All of us from Iyana-Ipaja to Ijegun – that is talking about Mama Aunty-Yemi School there; all of us will gather for the meeting and it was always such a large gathering whenever we had meetings.

            Thereafter, APPS was broken into zones: Zone 1 was Ayobo upward North of Alimosho, Zone 2 covered from Egbeda, Shasha, Bameke, and all that. We were Zone 3 from Idimu Southward Alimosho. That structure remains to date as NAPPS structure too. The only modification to this structure after becoming NAPPS was the introduction of ‘Chapter’ as the state level.

Looking at all these schools you mentioned as founding members, they were
elite schools if we would be fair to ourselves. But you and others from here were the locals; were there not elements of discrimination you could perceive in the course of your relationships?

            For me if I said I saw any discrimination, I would be lying. These prime schools you are talking about, I still quoted what used to be their words at the last Chapter meeting we had on the 16th of September. What were there words, as they would always ask then at that early time: 'What is holding you back?' Why are you afraid? If you go to Alausa and you have problems, come and meet people like us!’

            To test them on their words, I went to Alausa and I had some difficulties about my approval processes. I came back to tell them at the next meeting. They just said: 'Mama (that was proprietor of Palmville Schools), look after Aunty May's problem'. Then I went to meet her after the meeting and she asked: 'What do you need? I said I was in a rented property but the Ministry was requesting for my building approval before I could get approval. She got my name and address and said I should go.

            The next I would later see was somebody from Alausa. He said I should come and submit my form, which I quickly did. After that, my approval process began to move. Before you know it and with God's help, my approval was soon ready. Such was the power of association for you! So as you could see, I did not suffer any discrimination, rather I benefitted profitably from them.

            I could recollect another of such values of the association with the open minds of these elite schools. When we were doing National Common Entrance, there was a time I needed some documents, which I didn't have. I sent one of my teachers to St Benedict. The report I got was how the Mama quickly got went to her archives to search for the original, went to do the photocopy and sent it to me. Those were things we enjoyed from being in the same association.

When she was going to have her 20th Founders Day, I bought a set of My Book of Bible Stories as the gift for her. She drove here to thank me especially for that because she said she had been searching for the book for a long time but could not get. So while others may have a different experience with them in membership of the NAPPS; for me, I did not suffer any form of discrimination.