What is the good in building up a population if you can’t use it to build the nation? – Newstrends
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What is the good in building up a population if you can’t use it to build the nation?



By Oyinkan Medubi

When a country has a population such as Nigeria’s, it is supposed to constitute a formidable workforce that should make and keep the machinery of state at world-top level. Perhaps, the future we saw yesterday will return tomorrow.

You know, when one ponders the matter, it becomes obvious that the reason why we have not quite understood the point in this country is that we have all been talking at cross-purposes. You know what that is, don’t you? It is when two people have their wires crossed in their subject matters, sometimes deliberately, sometimes by a quirky calculation of pure chance. For instance, take the classical case of when a man wants to take a second wife. He begins by noting how hard it is for his wife to cope with the house-work and all, and even suggests getting someone to help her. Naturally, the wife eagerly throws herself into the conversation, nodding her agreement while believing the husband to be talking about the same kind of helper she is thinking of. Can a conversation be more crossed and entangled than when realisation dawns? I always love the point when reality dawns and the fireworks begin to fly.

In Nigeria, national discourse is often so entangled you can’t make out what anybody is saying. For instance, I read the other day that some assembly members, senators, and state governors somewhere in this vast expanse of a country had got their brains jammed and decided to fix a retirement sum for themselves that runs into hundreds of millions of Naira. It is enough to make anyone who is not a governor go and drown. Now, that is coming right after the furor generated by the unfair heftiness of these people’s allowances and emoluments; unfair to the rest of us of course, not to them. Naturally, many of us are so enraged we want to puncture their swelled cheeks with our nails in the hope of reducing them. Sadly, some others don’t see things this right way. You can easily spot them: they have eyes behind their backs. They are the ones wondering why we can’t spare more for them.

So many promising national discourses have nosedived into the ground and have not yielded any fruit because of these crossed wires. For instance, some among us insist on defending what cannot possibly be of any good for the health of the nation, such as someone charged with helping him/herself to billions of Naira using any argument on earth and in heaven? Yet, many of them regularly manage to be freed by the law courts and the people’s court, particularly when the people share the same ethnic background. The other day, I heard someone say that a bank chief accused of pocketing tens of billions of his bank’s money was only a victim of someone in the apex bank; in actual fact, he was innocent. I said, WOW! Now, I have heard everything. Next, they will tell us that the certain someone accused of pocketing funds from a pensions fund was actually the target of a functionary’s anger. What now, are we living in tents across the land where everyone runs to when they are accused of indecent behaviour?

The thing about discourses is that they have ways of bringing out the best, worst or dregs in the innermost recesses of our brains. The pity is that we all appear to be clothed in human skin, yet we are hosting so many incapacitating germs in our brains. This proves, according to a fable, what one animal said to another: there are many walking on two legs who should be using four. Many among us are really animals in animal skin, and many more are in human skin. When you consider that the world just celebrated the world population day this July, you want to pause a bit and reflect on these two important questions: what really makes up the Nigerian population; and what is the good in building up a population if you can’t use it to build the nation?

Honestly, I cannot begin to think of telling you the answer to the first question, lest I be hanged in effigy by many a reader. The unfortunate thing is that nearly all, if not all of us, have brought some degree of impropriety into the sanctity of Nigeria’s population. We all really deserve to hang our heads downwards like brooding chickens, pluck at our chests like penitents and intone after me: we are sinners and are not very proud of it. We are not worthy to be counted as members of the population of this country.

If you think you are not affected just because you have never ‘swallowed’ millions or billions raise your hand and I’ll show you an untruth-sayer. Please note, I have not called you a liar, just an untruth-sayer. Have you or have you never stopped in the middle of the road to greet your friend while traffic builds up behind you? Well, have you not? Can you say, in any given day, that you do not regularly break any traffic, building, contracting, policing, soldering, doctoring, nursing, teaching, civil-servicing, studenting, or anything-you-do rule? And the most important question of all, can you say that you regularly or even averagely work for the pay you get?

Nigeria has a population of people dwelling within her walls and occupying her space. Sadly, though, she has no builders, only sackers of treasuries, spoilers of lands and plunders of the nation. Everyone is so busy trying to get his/her itching hand on the ‘national cake’ it’s a wonder that there is still any left. Nigeria’s population right now is engrossed in ravaging the land like locusts, taking, taking, taking and giving little or nothing back. For them, there’s no such thing as ‘ask not what your country can do for you …’ and all that. For this population, it is what we can get from the country that counts. Yet normally, when a country has a population such as Nigeria’s, it is supposed to constitute a formidable workforce that should make and keep the machinery of state at world-top level. Perhaps, the future we saw yesterday will return tomorrow.

However, here we are today, the about one hundred and sixty-million of us, a population bred as a nation that cannot even keep its own laws. How then can we build a nation? Oh yes, failure to keep the law is failure to build the nation. Someone once said she was afraid to train her child to be obedient, law abiding, humble and all that because she was certain that many parents are allowing their children to grow up as wild, lawless beings, thus making her good children greatly disadvantaged. For answer, I did not answer.

I guess World Population Day is the day we are supposed to gather round a table as a nation and talk about how to control it downwards or upwards, considering that the food resources are at the moment presently not at par with the users. So, we are supposed to discuss how best to match population with resources for the maximum development potential of every individual. However, I chose the road not normally trodden today for a good reason: that many of us do not sufficiently appreciate the connection between respecting the country and gaining access to the just and equitable utilization of her resources. It is this connection which prevents humanity from being a useless population to a useful one. For what indeed, does it profit a country to gain so much population figures and lose its very essence? Let us make Nigeria’s population count in a way that matters.

This article was first published on 13/7/2014.

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Farooq Kperogi: Yahaya Bello’s EFCC comeuppance



Farooq Kperogi: Yahaya Bello’s EFCC comeuppance

I am not from Kogi State, but I have strong opinions on former Kogi State governor Yahaya Bello—as most Nigerians do. There is no doubt that few politicians in Nigeria are as universally reviled and despised as Yahaya Bello because of how he turned governance into a violent infant play, denuded it of even the faintest pretense to sanity and respectability, and developed an uncanny capacity to incite raw rage in people.

That’s why there is mass excitement in Nigeria over his current travails with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Most people see his fate as a richly deserved karmic retribution for his eight years of incompetent, anger-arousing, profligate, and terroristic governance in Kogi State, the consequences of which transcended the bounds of Kogi State.

He began his tenure as governor as the symbol of hope for youth inclusion in governance. But he soon became a byword for recklessness, malfeasance, ineptitude, incivility, and the greatest betrayer of the youth constituency. He shouldn’t have been governor—or, for that matter, anything in politics.

He had no guardrails on his tongue. Like a spoiled, over-indulged, ill-bred, and uninhibited child, he blabbered whatever inanities caught his febrile fantasies with no care for consequences. He ridiculed civil servants, and terrorized opponents with full-strength viciousness— as if he would remain the governor of his state forever.

He even nicknamed himself—or was nicknamed by his flunkies—as the “white lion.” But when the EFCC came calling, the “white lion” transmogrified into a pitifully frightened, yellow-bellied chicken. Now the white-lion-turned-chicken is fluttering and hiding like he has gone insane.


A wanted notice has been issued for him by the EFCC, the Inspector General of Police has withdrawn all police officers assigned to guard him, and the Nigerian Immigration Service has placed him on its watchlist. I can’t wait to see him brought to justice for all the crimes he committed while he held sway as the governor of Kogi State.

In a 2022 article, I described him as an ignorant, incorrigibly petulant child who was trapped in an adult’s body, who was destroying the littlest semblance of decency left in government in Kogi State, and who thought he could democratize his infantilism nationwide by seeking to be president.

According to several Kogi State civil servants, Bello didn’t pay full salaries for most civil servants for most of his tenure as governor, yet he is being hunted by the EFCC for allegedly laundering up to 80.2 billion naira, presumably the money he should have used to pay the salaries of workers.

In less than one week after he was sworn in as Kogi State governor on January 27, 2016, according to a May 13, 2016, Premium Times’ investigation, Bello approved N250 million naira for himself as “security vote” and another N148 million to “furnish” and “renovate” his office. At that time, Kogi State workers hadn’t been paid their salaries for months.

Bello’s spokesman at the time said the raiding of the state’s treasury in the name of security was justified because Kogi had become the seedbed of crime as a result of its location.

“It is public knowledge that Kogi State has been contending with serious security breach for the past 10 years,” he said. “As a result of the location of the state as gateway to many states of the federation, the state drifted into a criminal hotbed. Also, years of gross maladministration and blinding embezzlement has left the youth bare, exposing them to all sorts of criminal activities to survive. Kogi became a haven of robbers and kidnappers.”

That was the start, which most people ignored. Everything went downhill from there. The man didn’t even pretend to govern.

In 2020 when COVID-19 raged and most people were caught in a complex web of uncertainties and anxieties about the new infectious disease, Bello chose to become a abhorrent, ignorant conspiracist and the conduit for all sorts of wild, crazed, dangerous, fringe chatter about the disease.


Yet, although he openly questioned the existence of COVID-19, he fed fat on it like the vampire that he is. The Premium Times of March 26, 2021, reported that Bello spent 90 million naira in 2020 to purchase COVID-19-tracking software that cost only 30 million naira.

“The software, approved by a COVID-19 sceptic, Governor Yahaya Bello, was for tracking coronavirus cases in the state,” Premium Times reported. “However, the software is no longer functioning as the developers said they had a contract to host it for only one year.”

It’s impossible to chronicle Bello’s in-your-face financial malfeasance in a newspaper column. Not even a book-length narrative is sufficient to do justice to how much Bello financially bled and sucked the blood of Kogi State.

The man’s daring electoral terrorism is another issue that has earned him well-deserved loathing in Nigeria. This is a man who commanded his toadies to dig deep ditches on roads (that were built with billions of naira) just to stop voters from a part of the state he knew won’t vote for his candidate from being able to cast their votes.

According to Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, at the time the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Kogi central, “We woke up this morning to the news that Yahaya Bello has instructed the excavation of all access roads to my hometown. My hometown is cut off from Obangede community; it is also cut off from Eika. And right now, I am in front of another road which was just excavated, thereby cutting me out of travelling out of my hometown.

“What this means is INEC would not be able to [access] certain communities, especially my hometown. What this also means is if Yahaya Bello and his APC goons decide to attack me and the good people of Kogi central in Ihima community, it will be impossible for the DPO to get across to this place. That means I, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, my fellow candidates, and supporters are trapped. We have no way out because Yahaya Bello has dug gullies.”

This is a vile and detestable vermin who should never have been allowed to get anywhere close to governance, much less be a governor. He is an excellent specimen of how not to be a governor—or, in fact, a human. I have not the littlest drop of sympathy for him.

Given the peculiarities of the Nigerian political environment, it seems likely that he is in trouble with the EFCC only because he has fallen out of favor with the president or his henchmen. I honestly don’t care.

More than anything, though, Bello’s troubles exemplify the transience of power and the imperative for humility when you wield it.

Farooq Kperogi is a renowned Nigerian newspaper columnist and United States-based Professor of Journalism.

Farooq Kperogi: Yahaya Bello’s EFCC comeuppance

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Bobrisky, Cubana Chief Priest and Indabosky Bahose



Tunde Odesola

Bobrisky, Cubana Chief Priest and Indabosky Bahose

Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH, on Friday, April 19, 2024)

Abido Shaker! Life is a widening gyre where women fear cockroaches, cockroaches fear cocks, cocks fear men, and men fear women. A few years ago, Chukwemeka Cyril Ohanaemere was an ordinary name in Nigeria until fakery kissed bombast and vainglory took materialism to bed, birthing ‘The Lion Himself’, ‘The War’. ‘The Fight’, ‘Dabus Kabash’, ‘The Indabosky Bahose’.

Ohanaemere, the unlettered Anambra indigene, more famous for his comic displays than his cleric claims, also calls himself ‘The Liquid Metal’, which is another name for mercury. Ohanaemere aka Odumeje doesn’t call himself ‘The Liquid Metal’ because he understands that mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature. He calls himself ‘The Liquid Metal’ because of the fancy the name carries.

In a viral video, 41-year-old Odumeje boasted to some fans about his numerous spiritual powers that he hasn’t used yet, saying, “…Indabosky Bahose is power, Lebadusi Prelamande is power, Abido Shaker is power, Dabus Kabash is power, Lipase Parrel is power, Gandukah Gandusah is power; those powers, I have not touched them, I’ve never used them, I’m still on Indabosky Bahose!” All na wash (in Nyesome Wike’s voice)

Odumeje’s gung-ho powers are like the sands of the beach. When angry, he can make people go deaf and dumb because he’s the ‘Warlord’, which he pronounces as ‘Worrod’. In 2022, however, when the men of the Anambra State Environmental Task Force pulled down his illegal church in Onitsha, the all-conquering God that Odumeje serves refused to rescue him. Odumeje’s God was probably snoring when the officials of the environmental task force rained slaps on him and kicked him around like a graven image.

Because of their unique adaptability nature, the female gender deserves the ‘Liquid Metal’ title much more than the jester of Onitsha. But the female gender shouldn’t undermine their flexibility and overlook a worrisome development that the case of popular cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye, presents.


Ever since Okuneye aka Bobrisky confessed before a Federal High Court in Lagos, to possessing a cock, the calm in the women’s rights community nationwide has been disturbing.

By his confession, it’s not out of place to imply that Bobrisky had seen the nakedness of women in public restrooms. In this light, I had expected Nigerian women’s rights advocacy groups to test the (in)elasticity of our laws by pressing against Bobrisky charges such as invasion capable of causing breach of law and order, intrusion of privacy, and potential sexual threat against children and women, among others. Or, how else can you explain the dangers posed when a man in a woman’s clothing uses the same restroom with unsuspecting females?

In the US, a man or woman who wishes to change their sex must first live the gender they want to change to for a year before undergoing sex-change surgery. They must also undergo a series of psychological and psychotherapy care before they can change their gender. This is to test their resolve.

Both Odumeje and Bobrisky are the creations of a society whose gaping vacuum for icons has been filled by Mammon-seeking pranksters. They are the products of a crippling economy and morally shattered nation unfurling as Paradise Lost. This is why you see the millions of Nigerians seeking guidance from yeyebrities, who themselves are lacking-thought broken spirits.

Many see the prosecution and conviction of Bobrisky for naira mutilation as scapegoating, coupled with the ongoing prosecution of a former shoemaker, Pascal Okechukwukwu aka Cubana Chief Priest, for the same offence. The position of people who hold this belief can’t be impeached because scapegoating, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is ‘a goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness…’. This is the same reason why the Yoruba say the fellow on whose head the community coconut is broken won’t wait to partake in it, ‘eniti won fi ori re fo agbon, ko ni duro je ni be’.

It was former President Goodluck Jonathan who defined the lack of shoes as an index of poverty. I don’t know whether to categorise shoemaking as a mirror reflecting poverty or affluence. But a background search describes Odumeje as a hustler who ‘had his humble days as a struggling leather designer on the streets of buzzing and busy Onitsha City in Anambra State’. I’m not unaware that the dazzle in razzmatazz can polish a shoemaker into a leather designer on the streets of Onitsha. Cubana Chief Priest wasn’t ashamed to reveal life on the streets of Aba, Abia State, as a shoemaker.


Valid questions are being raised as to the parameters used in singling out Bobrisky and Cubana Chief Priest for prosecution when the children of former President Muhammadu Buhari and their powerful guests ‘sprayed’ and trampled on naira during the wedding of Hanan, one of Buhari’s daughters. I’ll offer free consultation here: the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission can pin the prosecution of the two citizens on their serial abuse of the naira, but for Christ’s sake, Nigerians need an explanation on why a musician like Wasiu Ayinde, who was garlanded by an Ogun State monarch, Oba Kolawole Sowemimo, with taped naira notes, is left of the EFCC hook. Sowemimi, who’s the Olu of Owode, was suspended by the Ogun State Council of Traditional Rulers but Wasiu was not even questioned by the EFCC for his consistent abuse of the naira. Is it because Ayinde is the bard of the ruling All Progressives Congress? For the integrity of its brand, the EFCC should explain lest the crackdown be seen as a witch-hunt.

Instead of picking on Bobrisky for naira abuse, numerous online videos of Bobrisky showing Bobrisky claiming to be a woman and having boyfriends abound. Her nickname name, ‘Mummy of Lagos’, points at homosexual allegations trailing her. In an online video, Bobrisky said, “If you dump me, na another man go kari me. Do you get what I’m saying? If you dump me, if you think you’re done with me, na another man wey dey cherish me, wey wan nack me, go kari me.”

On account of this video alone, and in the light of his confession before a court, to being a man, Bobrisky is guilty of the anti-homosexual laws of the country. Also, the EFCC should know the dangers inherent in leaving Bobrisky’s five million online followers, mostly youths, to manipulation and indoctrination.

If Nigeria had laws against homosexuality, the country should man up to defend the laws and stop hiding behind the naira-spraying fingers of Bobrisky – US position on homosexuality notwithstanding. Nigeria and the US both need each other. The ‘not guilty’ plea of Cubana Chief Priest is expected to expand the frontiers of the laws against naira abuse, and I wait to see how the case unfolds. C-o-u-r-t!

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @Tunde Odesola
X: @Tunde_Odesola

Bobrisky, Cubana Chief Priest and Indabosky Bahose

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The real reason government went after Bobrisky – Reno Omokri



Idris Okuneye, better known as Bobrisky

The real reason government went after Bobrisky – Reno Omokri

What happened with Bobrisky just shows you the savviness of Nigeria compared to other nations and the intellectual response to governing on display by the current administration.

The Nigerian government obviously wanted to clamp down on the trending cross-dressing culture in Nigeria. But the government was also aware of the fact that any direct move in that regard would earn it the whip of the Western powers.

And being that our economy is only just improving after eight years of General Buhari’s wasteful locust years, Nigeria could not place itself in the position that Ghana now is.

On Wednesday, February 28, 2024, Ghana’s parliament passed legislation cracking down on LGBTQ rights, of which a significant aspect of that law addresses the issue of cross-dressing.

Perhaps the most powerful bloc in liberal America and the UK is the LGBTQ community, and their pushback against Ghana was quick and with a stick. The alacrity of response was not treated with temerity in Ghana. Within days, it was announced that if the Ghanaian President signed that law, the World Bank would have to reconsider a $3.8 billion loan to Ghana.

That announcement made the Ghanaian President turn blind, as Nana Akufo-Addo was quoted as saying that he had not yet seen the law on his desk, therefore, he could not sign it.

Three months after its passage, President Nana Akufo-Addo still has not seen the law. Maybe JAMB sent a Nigerian snake to eat the law!


In case you ever wondered why President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron moved against then-President Jonathan and, in an unprecedented manner, worked against his re-election in 2015, do note that it was because, on Monday, January 13, 2014, Dr. Jonathan signed a law criminalising same-sex relationships and its appurtenances.

General Buhari’s handlers were competent. They immediately hired the same guy advising both Obama and the LGBTQ movement in America-David Axelrod. They passed the word that if Buhari were supported to be President by the Western powers, he would frustrate the anti gay marriage las that their enemy, Jonathan, signed.

In my book, Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years, I provide proof of this.

So, the Tinubu administration was in a dilemma. How to deal with Bobrisky for being a cross-dresser but not to make it about his being a cross-dresser. And this is where you have to respect the subtlety of the Tinubu administration. They found a way, a creative genius way.

Bobrisky violated a law against the abuse of the Naira. That is why a first-time offender committed an offence that even government officials engaged in during Buhari’s son’s wedding, and, despite pleading guilty, was sentenced to six months in prison.

In fact, there is more video evidence of Naira abuse via spraying at the wedding of no less a person than Abdul Aziz Malami, the son of Abubakar Malami (SAN), Nigeria’s Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

And the scapegoating of Bobrisky has worked. Since his arrest, have you seen any of his ‘colleagues’ prancing about?

We used to see them almost daily on blogs and social media. The traditional media, too, could not have enough of them. They got the memo. They have run for cover since Chairwoman answered to the gender of male in court, when asked to state ‘her’ gender.

The Tinubu administration has just shown that there are more ways than one to skin a cat. And you can choose a way that will not bring you negative attention.

Now, cross-dressing will be on the wane, and Nigeria will not suffer any economic sanctions or diplomatic repercussions, as has happened to Uganda and Hungary.

The real reason government went after Bobrisky – Reno Omokri

Reno Omokri

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