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AFCON 2019: Madagascar beat Nigeria to top group B

Madagascar pulled off one of the great shocks of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after defeating the Super Eagles of Nigeria to finish top of group B.

The newcomers, who had never scored against the Super Eagles, defeated the three-time champions 2-0 on Sunday at the Alexandria Stadium to advance to the knockout stages.

The Super Eagles had the bigger share of possession and had an effort on goal in the early stages.

Odion Ighalo was fouled metres away from the box. Ahmed Musa took the free kick which went off target.

The Indian Ocean islanders raced in front after a mix up at the back in the 12th minute. Leon Balogun was slow to John Ogu’s diagonal pass and Lalaina Nomenjanahary stole the ball, rounded past goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa before firing to the empty net.

The Eagles surged forward in numbers and searched for the equalizer. Samuel Kalu tried a shot from the edge of the box but his effort went inches wide.

Musa also wasted the chance to equalize. Oghenekaro Etebo stole the ball near the Madagascar box, his pass found Ahmed Musa who couldn’t score.

It was 1-0 in favour of Madagascar at halftime.

Madagascar scored their second goal from a free kick in the 52nd minute through Carolus Andriamatsinoro.

Substitute Wilfred Ndidi tried a shot from inside the box but the goalkeeper saved it.

Madagascar finished top of the group in their first ever appearance at the AFCON while Nigeria qualified as runners-up.

 

Power grid suffers total collapse as fire breaks out in Benin

 

The nation’s power grid experienced a total collapse on Sunday, plunging consumers across the country into blackout.

Enugu Electricity Distribution Plc disclosed on its Twitter handle that the present loss of supply in the entire South East “is as a result of a system collapse which occurred at 09:21 am of today, 30th June, 2019.”

It said, “This is as a result of fire outbreak on Benin 330KV transmission line reactor. As a result of this unfortunate development, there is zero supply to all customers in our franchise areas as all our injection substations are affected.”

Kaduna Electricity Distribution Plc also informed its customers of the system failure from the national grid.

“Dear esteemed customers, we are currently experiencing a system collapse from the national grid hence the power outage in our franchise states. Normal supply to our customers will resume as soon as the national grid is back up and stable,” it said on Twitter.

The Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria, Mr Usman Mohammed, confirmed the development to our correspondent on the telephone, saying the TCN would issue a statement soon.

The TCN, which manages the national grid, is still fully owned and operated by the government.

Rape allegation: COZA declares seven-day fast

Amid allegations of rape levelled against its Senior Pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo, the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly has declared seven days of fasting starting from Monday.

This comes as protesters have vowed to continue to demand for justice following allegations by Busola Dakolo, wife of popular Musician, Timi Dakolo, that Fatoyinbo raped her 20 years ago.

Addressing congregants on Sunday, Fatoyinbo said the yearly special programme titled, ‘Seven Days of Glory’, which usually takes place from July 1 to July 7, had been suspended.

The programme has in the past attracted international preachers like Creflo Dollar and Bishop T.D Jakes.

However, Fatoyinbo, who claimed to be speaking under the instruction of God, said the programme had to be cancelled because he did not want the invited preachers to go through the embarrassment of being heckled by protesters.

Fatoyinbo added, “We will have prayers for those who are interested in coming but we are not going to have the seven days of glory. It has been suspended because I don’t want all those kind of stuff.

“So, if you want to pray, come but the regular seven days of prayer, having preachers, come in, you don’t want to put your guest speakers through that. We love to host people properly.”

His speech was greeted with chants of ‘We love you pastor’ from worshippers.

In a prayer that ensued, he added, “As we start our fasting, even though we are not doing the seven days of glory (programme) as we usually do, those of you who are led to come and pray here, as you come, the Lord will lift you up.”

Shortly after Fatoyibo’s speech, his wife, Modele, attested to the integrity of her husband, insisting that he was not a rapist.

Mrs. Fatoyinbo said, “Not even as an unbeliever would my husband rape someone. Hello, let me talk, please, not even as an unbeliever.”

However, her husband quickly grabbed the microphone from her, saying, “The elders are stepping into it, please let them handle it.”

Earlier, the church, which usually begins its sermon at 10am, held a session of testimonies by female members, apparently with the aim of rubbishing allegations that Fatoyinbo was a rapist.

About seven women came out one after the other to share their ‘COZA Experience’.

The women all claimed their lives had hit rock bottom but God used Fatoyinbo to save them from destruction.

While Fatoyinbo was being eulogised inside the church auditorium, he was being heckled by protesters outside.

The protesters, mainly women, demanded justice and asked for the pastor to step down.

The #ChurchToo Movement, a group of at least 126 civil society organisations and individuals, which organised the protest, marched to the church premises around 9.30am clad in white t-shirts and holding placards that read ‘We are watching you,’ ‘Your pastor is not your God,’ ‘Thou shall not rape’ and ‘No to sexual abuse in my church,’ among others.

At the scene of the protest, COZA protocol officers formed a barricade against the protesters as officers of the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps accosted protesters and journalists who tried to intercept the barricade.

A convener of #ChurchToo, Bukky Shonibare, said, “We demand that the board and leadership of COZA commence investigation into the allegation of rape levelled by Busola Dakolo and any other member of the church against its lead pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo.

“While the investigation is being carried out, Pastor Fatoyinbo must be asked to step down from any leadership role in the church to avoid partiality.

“The Christian Association of Nigeria, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and other relevant Christian bodies must show leadership by condemning these crimes coming from the church, while ensuring relevant actions are taken. The continuous harassment and intimidation of Busola and Timi Dakolo, and other victims must stop forthwith.”

Atiku files N2.5bn libel suit against Buhari’s aide

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has filed a N2.5 billion defamation suit against Lauretta Onochie, special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media.

Atiku filed the suit before a federal capital territory (FCT) through Mike Ozekhome (SAN), his counsel.

Onochie had tweeted that Atiku was on the watch list of security operatives in the United Arab Emirates and had travelled “to shop for terrorists in the Middle East”

TheCable had fact checked her claim and found it false.

Denying the allegations contained in the tweet, Atiku said it was “politically orchestrated solely to cause maximum damage to his high reputation” while challenging the victory Buhari in the last presidential election.

“To say that the claimant is shopping for terrorists knowing same to be untrue and without any foundation is not only dishonest and reckless, but is calculated and politically designed to instigate security agents against him not only in the UAE, but across the world,” he said in a statement of claim accompanying the suit.

The presidential candidate of the PDP had demanded an apology, retraction and payment of N500 million compensation from Onochie “to assuage” the damage her social media post caused him.

He had also threatened to sue her should she fail to accede to the demand within 48 hours.

But Onochie did not retract the statement. A development Atiku interpreted to mean that she was unmoved by his demand. He said rather than show remorse, she made another derogatory publication and also published same globally online in the social and other print media against his person, on May 20.

“Atiku on UAE watchlist- Security sources Security operatives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are keeping a close tab on a former Nigerian Vice Pres Atiku Abubakar who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks now What is he doing there? Me: Shopping for Terrorists?”

NGE deputy president dies in road crash

Umar Tudunwada, deputy president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), is dead.

Tudunwada, who was managing director of Kano State Radio Corporation, met his untimely end at Kura town in Kura local government area of Kano state, on Sunday.

He was said to be on his way back to Kano from Abuja where he attended a meeting of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

A source disclosed that the deceased was in the vehicle with one of his wives, a daughter, and his driver when the accident occurred 30 kilometres away from Kano metropolis.

Those who survived the accident are currently receiving treatment at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital while Tudunwada has been buried in accordance with Islamic rites.

He served as the media aide of Rabiu Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano. Tudunwada was also a former assistant general manager at Freedom Radio Group.

In 2006, he joined the Voice of America (VOA), Hausa Service, where he translated daily news from English to Hausa.

He returned to Freedom Radio in 2009 and was appointed general manager operations and later editor-in-chief.

Umar cut his journalism teeth at the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) where he started as news assistant in 1980. In 1983, he joined the Kano State Television Corporation better known as CTV 67 as reporter but rose to the position of an editor.

He was at one time a correspondent for Deutsche-Welle (Voice of Germany), Hausa Service.

2 confirmed dead ,15 missing as boat capsizes in Lagos waters

The Lagos State Emergency Management (LASEMA) has reported that a boat carrying over 17 passengers capsized at the Ikorodu area of Lagos state on Saturday, June 29.

Oke Osanyintolu, LASEMA’s chief executive officer, disclosed that while two persons were confirmed dead in the sad incident, three other passengers were rescued and taken to hospital.

The boat mishap occurred at the above location yesterday 29th of June, 2019. Investigations conducted revealed that the boat was enroute Badore (Ajah) to Egbin (Ikorodu) with between 17 and 21 passengers on board. “The boat allegedly capsized due to overloading. It was gathered that the boat was overturned by the heavy current.

Unfortunately, the lifeless body of an adult female, identified as Aniyikaye Oluwaseunfunmi, 40 years old and unnamed person were found and bagged by the Agency’s response team.

COZA security guards attack protester in Abuja (VIDEO)

Security guards at the CommonWealth Zion Assembly (COZA) in Abuja manhandled a protester who was trying to make his way to the front of the church on Sunday.

The male protester joined the #ChurchToo Movement, which is protesting the alleged rape of Busayo Dakolo, celebrity photographer, by Biodun Fatoyinbo, COZA pastor.

The pastor has since denied the allegation, threatening to take legal action.

Below is a video of the incident:

AFCON 2019: Rohr makes five changes as Super Eagles face Madagascar

Coach Gernot Rohr has rung five changes in the Super Eagles’ line-up as the three-time African champions look forward to a Group B encounter against Madagascar in the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.

Both sides clash at the Alexandria Stadium with contrasting pictures in their heads before kick-off.

Nigeria are comfortable and already have a ticket into the round 16 with six points from their first two matches in the group phase, while Madagascar have four points and must record a positive result to be sure of a place in the last 16.

Super Eagles coach Rohr will deploy 4-2-3-1 formation against the well-organised Madagascar team.

Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong will play as centre-backs while Ola Aina and Chidozie Awaziem will operate as left and right backs respectively.

John Obi Mikel, Oghenekaro Etebo and John Ogu are the three midfielders named for the game.

Odion Ighalo will lead the line for the Eagles and will be ably supported by Samuel Kalu and Ahmed Musa.

Nigeria’s six points have come from wins over Burundi and Guinea.

 

AFCON 2019: Rohr makes five changes as Super Eagles face Madagascar

Trump invites Kim Jong Un to White House after historic trip to North Korea

President Donald Trump has invited Kim Jong Un, North Korea leader, to the White House, the seat of power in America.

Trump extended the invitation to the North Korean leader on Sunday when he made history as the first sitting American president to visit the Asian country.

Trump met with Jong Un at the demilitarised zone (DMZ), separating North Korea and South Korea after leaving Osaka, Japan, at the end of the G20 summit.

The US president initiated the visit via Twitter.

“Good to see you again. I never expected to meet you at this place,” Jong Un told Trump as both men shook hands.

Trump announced after the meeting that lasted about an hour that both countries would resume negotiations.

“Leaving South Korea after a wonderful meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un. Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!” he wrote on Twitter.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Leaving South Korea after a wonderful meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un. Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!

32.2K people are talking about this

Both men had in January 2018 over possession of and threats to use nuclear weapons by North Korea.

Though the leaders signed an agreement committing to the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”,  little progress has been made.

They met again in June 2018 where Trump said the tmeeting went better than expected.

Their last meeting in February ended in a no-deal. It held in Hanoi, Vietnam capital.

The Holy Spirit has spoken to me — Fatoyinbo

Biodun Fatoyinbo, founder of the Commonwealth Zion Assembly (COZA), has announced a suspension of a seven-day programme of the church, saying the “Holy Spirit” directed him to do so.

Tagged “Seven Days of Glory”, influential preachers from the US, including TD Jakes, have graced the annual programme.

But speaking when he mounted the pulpit on Sunday, the pastor said he was unhappy about the scandal rocking the church.

Fatoyinbo has been under pressure since Friday when Busola Dakolo, celebrity photographer, accused him of raping her as a teenager.

Although he denied the allegation, the pastor has been widely criticised, with some Nigerians on Twitter asking him to step down.

Protesters marched to his church in Lagos and Abuja on Sunday, mocking him and his members.

But the pastor asked his congregation not to be provoked as they make their way out of the church.

The service ended one hour earlier than usual, with many vacant seats at the church’s branch in Ikeja, Lagos.

“I have been relating with all my mentors, you know I am a man under authority. I really love to listen to them,” he said.

“So, I am going to be giving a few instructions as time goes on but the first instruction I want to give is, with what is going on, we are going to be having prayers every day for those who are interested to come. But we are not going to have the seven days of glory.

“I don’t want all these kinds of stuff. I think last month we prayed for a whole month and we do all of that. Please, let’s be people of peace. So, if you want to pray with us, you can come here to pray. But the regular seven days won’t hold this year… you don’t want to put your guest speakers through all of that.

“You know we love to host people properly. And you know some of them, apart from the fact that the Holy Spirit spoke to me about that, my mentors said to me, this is what we need to do while we step in and make sure we see what is going on. And you know what we stand for in COZA.

“So, please let’s obey God in our mentors and be a people of peace. Also, when you are going out, they are going to direct you how to go out, please don’t fight anybody, don’t reply anybody, you came to worship. They may say things to you, it doesn’t matter. Please, behave yourselves and make sure everything is in place.”

My husband is not a rapist, says Fatoyinbo’s wife as church cancels annual programme

Omodele Fatoyinbo, wife of the founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), says her husband is not a rapist.

Speaking at the Abuja headquarters of the church on Sunday, the woman dismissed the allegation levelled against her husband by Busola, wife of Timi Dakolo, a Nigerian singer.

Busola had said Biodun Fatoyinbo raped her as a teenager growing up in Ilorin, Kwara state. COZA started in the ancient town in 1999.

But Omodele, also a senior pastor of the church, said it was untrue. She spoke while welcoming newcomers to the church.

“My husband is not a rapist. Even if he was not a believer, he would not be a rapist,” she said.

“If you are a first timer, this is the authentic COZA you’ve heard about. You can hug each other. If you are of same sex, please o, before they say we are giving women to men.”

Some female members of the church also gave testimonies on how “God used Pastor Fatoyinbo” to transform their lives.

The founder, who spoke briefly, announced the cancellation of the annual seven days programme of the church which would have started on Monday.

Tagged “Seven Days of Glory”, influential preachers from the US, including TD Jakes, spoke at previous edition of the programme.

Fatoyinbo said he took the decision as directed by the “Holy Spirit”.

At a branch of the church in Ikeja, Lagos, Folarin Ogunsolu, the pastor in charge, asked members not to be worried, saying the issue would be addressed.

“I saw the protesters outside, that is good. But, it won’t stop us from praising God. Don’t get worried people, we will address this matter,” he said.

Protesters had stormed the church in Lagos and Abuja, asking the founder to step down.

 

Protesters storm COZA church in Abuja

Some protesters have stormed the COZA Global Headquarters Abuja as part of the activities to condemn the alleged rape allegations made by some church members against the Global Senior Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo.

The allegations started in 2013 by Efe Walters, however last week’s video recording by Busola Dakolo has opened new vistas to the development.

This morning, Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) wearing hooded masks, the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force and officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps surrounded the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly in Guzape, Abuja.


…more details soon!

Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo vrs Busola Dakolo: Need for caution

 

There has been understandable uproar and hoopla on social media especially, since Friday morning when Busola, the wife of a popular singer, Timi Dakolo, alleged in a pernicious interview conducted by a media cum public relations practitioner, Chude Jideonwo, that she was raped by Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, COZA.

According to her, the purported rape occurred about 20years ago when she was about 17 and a new convert in Fatoyinbo’s then non-denominational ‘youth club’ which embraced all kinds of people and focused on worship and fellowship in a modern way. It was the youth club, based then in Ilorin, Kwara State that transmuted into what is today known globally as COZA.

While the interview has become a hot-button issue online and offline, among adherents and activists and Nigerians across the world, it bears putting it in proper perspective. Busola, who was then a secondary school student in Suleja, Niger State, said that while home on one of her holidays in Ilorin where she lived with her mother and siblings, she was prevailed upon by her sisters to attend Fatoyinbo’s Divine Delight Club where she claimed she caught the then young pastor’s attention because of her boldness and bluntness.

A pastor-adherent relationship began with the pastor becoming a regular face in their house. One day, very early in the morning, while her mother was away and her sisters were in their rooms in the duplex the family maintained, Busola said Pastor Biodun came to the house.

She was still in her nightgown when she went to open the door and the pastor purportedly pushed her to a chair, speaking only to command her to do as he said. In the interview, Busola did not say that she raised an objection or that she screamed for help despite the fact that her sisters were home. She recalled that after they had sex, he went to his car, returned with a bottle of Krest and forced her to drink it, probably as some crude contraceptive. She recalled that Pastor Biodun told her, “You should be happy that a man of God did this to you.”

Until the interviewer, Jideonwo, interjected and mentioned the word ‘rape’, Busola did not use the word. A few days later, she was in the pastor’s house (her alleged rapist) to visit his wife who had just put to bed. When it was time for her to leave, Busola recalled that Modele, Pastor Biodun’s wife, insisted the pastor drop her off at home against her will. On their way, she said the pastor veered off the main road to a deserted corner and had a go at her again. This time, she said that he pulled her out of the passenger seat, forced his way into her and later moved her to the bonnet for ease of access. Still, she did not cry for help. And she did not report to the police or to her family. Busola reportedly kept the incident to herself for so long until one of her sisters had a dream and forced the story out of her. How convenient.

When the story blew open, she said that her family was begged not to make an issue out of it and she remained a member of the church until she started dating Pastor Biodun’s cousin. Indeed, rape is a very sensitive issue in Nigeria and everywhere else across the world. Rape is not acceptable no matter the victim, the sicko who did it and the religion of the debaser. It is a crime against the individual so debased, a crime against the state and a crime against God irrespective of your religion. Rape is a scourge that has brought down many powerful men. It brought down Mike Tyson from his Olympian heights as a heavyweight boxing champion when he was accused by a beauty queen,

Desiree Washington in the early 90s. Tyson was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison. Popular American comic actor, Bill Cosby, is currently serving a three to ten year jail term for a catalogue of rape cases dating back several decades. So, rape is as heinous a crime as it is reprehensible. Perhaps the most influential rape allegation of contemporary Nigeria, Busola’s allegations have sparked many conversations in the media and around the country about rape culture and pastoral privilege. But beneath the sound and fury of the viral allegation; beyond Nigerians’ fixation with sensationalism, there is a need for circumspection.

Pastor Biodun is not just any other man in the street. One of the most successful new generation pastors of his time, he is blessed with enviable oratorical prowess and smouldering good looks that can set off fire alarms, neither of which is his making. Add to the fact that he is wealthy too; many have described as an Adonis, a dandy and a very suave pastor who spares no cost to look good. Indeed, he will conveniently give Denzel Washington or Will Smith a run for their women fandom.

Perhaps that is why his church has grown exponentially in the last couple of years we would not know. What we do know is that he is happily married and there has never been any case of a crisis in his marriage unlike many equally popular and prosperous pastors (Pastors Chris Okotie and Chris Oyakhilome readily come to mind). While Pastor Biodun cannot claim to be perfect or even infallible, there is need to sieve through the excitable and laughable cacophony of voices asking him to step down as pastor.

There is a trending hashtag to that effect; #PastorStepDown. Thankfully, not all Nigerians are gullible or wilfully follow the bandwagon to sound or look cool or for social correctness. One of the most discerning responses to the allegation is that made by Reno Omokri, a former aide of former President Goodluck Jonathan. In a flurry of tweets, Omokri stated that although he never liked Fatoyinbo for personal reasons, “However, I am mature enough to divorce my emotions and be led by logic. And I counsel those now condemning him to do the same,” he wrote, adding, “Think. Don’t emote. A pastor comes to your house early in the morning. He does not know who will open when he knocks, or who is at home. He knocks and immediately you open he pushed you to a chair and raped you in your pyjamas. Do people think? He went on; “Even the most useless movie director won’t accept such a plot in a B-rated Hollywood/Nollywood/Bollywood movie.

A movie has to have PLAUSIBILITY (emphasis his). I don’t like Pastor Fatoyinbo, but I won’t suspend my intellect because of my dislike of the fellow. After he allegedly raped her, she kept quiet for enough time for him to go to his car and get a soda drink for her? It does not ADD UP. My dislike for Biofun Fatoyinbo won’t make me become a SLANDERER by default. This story rings very FALSE.” Also a pastor and author, Omokri wrote further, “I am an advocate of morality. For years, I publicly preach against premarital and extramarital sex. I pastored a congregation in Abuja for years. I will NEVER, EVER, support RAPE. But Satan is going about like a roaring lion seeking whom to consume! Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo is sleek. Too sleek for my liking. What type of sleek man will rape an underage girl in her parents’ house while her siblings are at home? And then leave her to go get a drink from his car. Is this mass HYPNOSIS?

Omokri, who has a Masters in Law from England, added, “The story cannot stand up in court. The story cannot stand up in the light of cross-examination. I give you my word that if you gave Satan 10 minutes to manipulate the minds of Nigerians, he will get a sizeable number of Nigerians to believe that Jesus is evil and the Satan is good. We are too gullible, excitable and emotional.” He concluded his posts with the hashtag, #ForTheBodyOfChristNotForFatoyinbo. It is instructive to note that prior to the outbreak of the allegation, a popular pastor had reportedly sworn that even if at the cost of his life, he would ensure that no soul remained in COZA, a declaration borne out of a deep-seated envy for Pastor Biodun. Was that why the interview was conducted in a church? And by a young man who has become infamous for being a professional mercenary and willing tool for organisations or governments? Again, it bears reiterating, why is everybody clamouring for him to step down from his role because of rape allegations brought against him? Is this about emotions or the law? Is the ongoing media trial of Pastor Biodun even godly?

Let the Dakolos file a formal complaint of rape and let us see how Fatoyinbo will defend himself. If found guilty, let the law take its full course otherwise, he will prove to the world that the trees that remain standing are those that bend best in the storm.

In my final year, my husband in 100 Level proposed to me – Prof Babalola, VC, Chrisland University

Prof Chinedum  Babalola is the Vice-ChancellorChrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State. The professor of pharmacokinetics/pharmaceutical chemistry, who is the first female pharmacist vice-chancellor in Nigeria, speaks with MUDIAGA AFFE on the nation’s education system among other issues

What are your responsibilities as the Vice-Chancellor of Chrisland University?

As the Chief Executive Officer of this university, I oversee both the administrative and academic activities of the institution. A private university like this is made up of a Board of Trustees, Governing Council and management. In terms of the management, I head the team; so, I have to see to the day-to-day activities of the university administratively as well as academically. I have to oversee the activities of the students and I chair all the administrative committees as much as possible and I chair the Senate. I am answerable to the Board of Trustees and the Governing Council.

What are some of the challenges associated with your office?

It is difficult to manage human beings, even in the home, because no two persons are the same. So, as a vice chancellor, one has to be a manager of men and resources. Some of the challenges for me is in managing the human resources as well as being able to attract more funding so that we do not depend on the founders (of the school) all the time. In trying to do that, I had already set up my mission and vision before I took the job. I had my strategic plans and the goals I wanted to achieve within my first tenure of five years. One cannot do it alone; one will need to use men and women to achieve those goals, no matter how good they look. So, some of my challenges are having the right calibre of men and women that would run with me in achieving this vision, in both academic and non-academic. Granted, we are still young, and we really do not have the retinue of staff that we need; so, to me, that is a challenge. For instance, I like proper documentation but I have not been able to get the calibre of people that can document for me, such as a public relations officer who can outline what we are doing. Again, I have tried with my team to publicise the university. We recently held a marketing meeting to look at our record in the last one year and I saw that the staff and I, and even the students, did a lot to market this university. But at the end of the day, we did not harvest the number of students that we wanted to attract. To me, populating this university is one of my greatest challenges. Similarly, mentoring the staff, both academically and non-academically, is very important. We have started it and for the academic aspect, putting round pegs in round holes is still a challenge which we are working on.

Within the short period that you have been at the helm in this school, have you had moments of breakthroughs?

When I came here in 2017, I met 57 students, and coming from the University of Ibadan, that was quite challenging. I told myself that we needed to do something about it. We now have over 160 students. The number is still not much, but at least, we have increased it. Our students have participated in some competitions. Somehow, we got noticed by the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, which runs some international programmes, and they try to involve this university. So, our first outing was on African policy and our students were applauded. That led to other programmes where we have been shinning. We also recently had a workshop on capacity training for our staff. It was an intensive two-day training programme for all our lecturers. We also recently allowed the students to choose their officers, not Students’ Union Government, but students’ representatives and it was neatly done through e-voting. This is to allow them start preparing themselves for leadership positions. Another breakthrough is that by the time I took over, we did not have NUC accreditation. In October/November last year, we went through the NUC accreditation process for all our nine programmes where we had students. It was one of the toughest challenges you could imagine because we had a thin population of both staff and students. We had to do a lot with the support of the founders of the institution, council and board of trustees, and at the end of it, we recorded 100 per cent. All our programmes were accredited and that made us believe that we can do it. Don’t forget that if you have nine programmes, it means you would have nine teams, professors from different parts of the country and the NUC team, visiting the school at different times. All of them praised us very well. They applauded our facilities, the environment, its serenity, the orderliness and everything positive. We also went through what NUC calls facility visit because originally, the university was given provisional licence to practise. So, we went through that and we scaled through. By April this year, we got full licence from the Federal Government. I think these are the greatest breakthroughs we have had and it gives us confidence that Chrisland University has come to stay in the eyes of the people, government and the regulatory bodies. So, we have started and we can run with our statement and mission.

What is the mission of Chrisland University?

We want to become a world-class university renowned for its intellectual and ethical standards, research, community service and outstanding training of a new generation of good leaders. Our mission is to create a learning environment that nurtures a sound moral and intellectual culture. Apart from the programmes that we are currently running in the university, we are going to have new ones very soon. They are going to be professionally based. Already we have Computer Science, Accounting, but come September, we would be starting programmes such as Nursing, Public Health, Physiotherapy, Bio-technology and some basic medical courses as a stepping stone to our College of Medicine. We would soon start Law and later Engineering. We have a pedigree of Chrisland Group of Schools which has been operating for over 40 years.

Is the proliferation of private universities necessary?

I am of the school of thought that believes we should put a stop to it. Right now, I think we can make do with what we have. Imagine a situation where we have 177 universities and about 50 per cent are private universities. Meanwhile, of the annual intake of students in the country, all the private universities account for only five per cent of students admitted. So, I will say at the moment, we are not really solving the problem of access. Private universities are set up to solve the problem of access but at the moment, we are not. I believe we will with time. Just like how people began to patronise private nursery, primary and secondary schools; with time, the same would happen with private universities. If you take the statistics now, there are more students in private nursery, primary and secondary schools than in public schools. Gradually, it will be that way at the university level. However, that also has to do with the resources available. Are the people able to pay for private universities? Some may think that it is too expensive but coming here, I realised that it is not expensive. It is just because people have not thought about it. If they think about how much they spend in public universities where resources are limited, you will find out that the private universities are actually cheap. In many public universities, you may just have accommodation for one or two years; the other years, you fend for yourself. You pay utility bills, you probably will pay for transport to go to the school, you probably would pay for one form of assignment or the other, you will have to pay for the extension of time due to strikes, but people do not monetise those things. When you do, I think the private universities are not that expensive. For a private university to break even, the students need to pay a minimum of N800,000 as fees, but only very few can charge that – not up to five in the country. So, people should begin to think about it. For instance, if you pay your fees here, an average of N500,000, it covers tuition, health and accommodation. In this university, you may not buy books because the library has e-books that will be downloaded for the students. There is free Wi-Fi for students, all infrastructural facilities are available and we run the regular calendar. So, with time, the private universities will be able to break even, but for now, they have not. I recently took a team on a visit to Covenant University, Ota (Ogun State) and we discovered that even though they have broken even in terms of population in the last 16 years, they have not started making profit. So, it is actually a philanthropic business, not money making business. If you want to make money, please go and start a primary or secondary school. Chrisland University is run by Chrisland Schools in Lagos. They have the population.

What is the potential of private universities to succeed ?

When you look at the private universities from outside, you may have the wrong mindset. Coming in here, I have realised that first class is first class anywhere. For some private universities that have broken even like Covenant and Babcock universities, check where their graduates are. The best employable graduates today are from private universities. Ask any employer of labour today; they will tell you that. So, they have a lot of prospects. In private universities, most times, morals are key. We monitor the students closely, and there are lots of assessments for the students. In many of the private universities, you clock in; they are run like private enterprises. So, people are made to obey rules and sanctions are meted out to staff and students. Granted, a lot of the high scorers in JAMB will go to public universities, but when you expose those who come to private universities to good training, they will come out excellent.

Interest in quality research in Nigerian universities appears to be declining. What is responsible for this?

I think this issue of ‘publish or perish’ is a problem. All of a sudden, there is the craze for published articles and people are now publishing in what we call predatory journals that are not of standard and where peer review is either nil or limited. I do not know why there is suddenly that craze for promotion. If you pick up a Curriculum Vitae these days, you are likely to see someone who has taught in four or five universities. They move from Assistant Lecturer to Lecturer 2, Senior Lecturer and professor within a short time. You are now likely to see professors who have not stepped out of the shores of Nigeria to do quality research because they have jumped from one university to another within Nigeria. They are full-time lecturers somewhere and adjunct in other places without going to any standard university to do research. That is part of the reasons for the dwindling interest in quality research. I think the problem of craze for promotion is making people to do research that is sub-standard. I think it is a matter of choice because when you look around, we do have fellowship programmes that will encourage people to travel out. Everybody blames government for one thing or the other but what government has done is to set up what we call TETFUND which is meant to fund research. It funds people to travel out. It may not be perfect but at least it’s been set up, although it only covers public universities. I think we should continue to set up standards to measure what kind of research people are doing. I recently came back from Kenya where we had done a review on Evidence Research – that is making government to adopt work on research. Sometimes, good researches are done but they end up as academic exercises. So, we are looking at how to engage government to take it up and how to do meaningful research that the government can take up. Government and the researchers must have a way of collaborating. Government should tell us what it needs. We need to come together to get it done.

Do you think TETFund should be extended to private universities?

We have asked the question a couple of times and we were told that the law establishing it covers only public universities and that it was ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) that fought for it. So, we would need to convince ASUU and government to change the rule so that it can cover private universities. But my own take is that how do you judge us when the regulatory bodies – NUC (National Universities Commission) and government – use the same standard and tools to judge. If you hear about NUC accreditation, it is the same tools used in Chrisland that will be used in University of Ibadan, or University of Port Harcourt. So, you expect us to have this standard. There are some lecturers in private universities who do not have their PhD. How do I send them abroad for further studies so that they can teach better? Do not forget that they are also teaching Nigerians. If we are all going to face the same test, then we should be given the same enabling environment because we are producing graduates for Nigeria. Again, the private institutions pay more taxes yearly. Private institutions contribute to the generation of funds for TETFund. So, why should they not benefit from it?

As a pharmacist, what do you think is responsible for drug abuse among students?

Most of it is due to peer pressure. We underrate influence. If adults can be influenced, how much more the younger ones whose minds are so tender? They test run so many things and unfortunately, drugs abuse react with brain cells, the central nervous system, and sometimes, cause irreversible reactions. The drugs are chemicals and when they react with the CNS, damage is done. Except there is a miracle, it never fully reverses. Some of these students indulge in drugs to be able to do certain things. For instance, some will take it to be able to face a girl or do XYZ. Eighty per cent of crimes lately are committed under the influence of drugs. For people to be able to kidnap, rape and rob, they are mostly under the influence of one substance or the other. That is why I tell people that when they are driving on the road, do not struggle with other drivers because a lot of the people you see on the road are on drugs. To curb this menace, we must create more awareness and have more rehabilitation centres.

The problem of sex-for-marks is becoming a recurring decimal in Nigerian institutions of higher learning. How can we tackle it?

This sex-for-marks syndrome has always been there. It is only coming out now because of improved communication gadgets. When you cough these days, it goes on social media. Sexual immorality between staff and students in higher institutions has always been there. I recall how I narrowly escaped it in 100 Level at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). We already knew about it before I entered the university but I had to run for my dear life when I discovered that two lecturers taking Physics and Chemistry had focused on me. I recall at a time one of my close friends had a problem too that we had to go as a group of students to beg the lecturer to release her. It has always been there but it is very wrong. Now that we have more gadgets and resources to track this immoral act, students should be empowered to know how to expose such things. You can see that society condemns it and government does too. So, if people are caught and punished, they will sit up. We need to empower students to know how to report these incidents.

What stirred your interest in education?

My mother did. She personally trained five of us by ensuring that we studied hard. From kindergarten till we left her house, we did not have any option. By the time I was in primary school, I told myself I was going to study Mathematics because she had pumped enough of it into my head. There was zero tolerance for failure in our house. So, I worked towards that. By the time I was finishing in the then University of Ife, pharmacy was thriving then; at least, I would have been a millionaire, but something told me to go into the academia.

Can you recall where you first worked?

That was at the University of Ife; the university will always keep their best. So, we were kept to actually start work immediately. I started my internship in OAU as a graduate assistant. I registered for my Master immediately. We were under the tutelage of our lecturers and we were helping the undergraduates with their practicals, helping to grade them, and we went to the hospital sometimes. The experience was good.

How did you meet your husband?

While I was in Ife, I got born again. In those days, when you say you are born again, you are truly born again. After that encounter, everything about me changed. My life became God’s will. I said, “Lord, whatever you want me to do that I will do.” Being the first born, I would not have gone into academics because my parents were waiting for me to come out as a pharmacist to set up a big pharmacy, but that all changed because God was directing me. I told God that when it comes to marriage, I will marry His choice for me, whoever it is. I was not tribalistic in that area; I was open minded. Prayerfully, we (my husband and I) met in the fellowship in Ife. The fellowship was called Evangelical Christian Union. Interestingly, I was in the final year and he was in year one when he came to propose. I prayed about it and I got a conviction. That was in 1983.

What challenges did you struggle with the early years of your marriage?

We did not get married until five years after he proposed to me (1988). I knew he was going to be a full-time minister of the gospel. He has always worked for God. Our early challenges were mainly financial because I was a postgraduate student, married and having children, though working.

Can you recall some fond memories of your childhood?

I enjoyed school. I attended the Federal Government College, Enugu. It was a mixed school. I had fun with good friends from all over the country. We had a lot of activities. Being in drama and dance groups was my best life. My father was a retired lecturer and my mum was a headmistress. We also had some fun in the house.

How do you balance your work and family life?

It is a busy life for me. It has always been so because a great part of my life is also spent in the ministry as a minister’s wife and I do not joke with it. A great part of my time is spent on my husband; another part on the children and another great part on the job. None must suffer. I think I do not sleep, even till now. There are days I work from night till morning to be able to catch up. What keeps me going is God. I depend on Him a lot for strength and good health. I work hard. I do not want anything I am doing to suffer.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy listening and singing along to gospel music. I started singing when I was two years old. Now that I do not have much time, I listen to Christian music. If I am in church, the best aspect of my worship life is praise and worship.

How do you relax?

I do not think I relax. Sometimes, I jog around my house in the morning. I occasionally watch the television. These days, I am not happy listening to the news. I love music and listen to it.

What kind of dressing do you like?

I like to dress simply, and sometimes, formal, depending on where I am going. I hate to wear long sleeves. For church, it is formal. I must wear a hat.

What is your beauty regime like?

Because I always rush to catch up with my schedules, I usually have my make-up kit, and I apply a little of it. I do not use lipstick, just brown powder. I use an eyeliner and lip-gloss. I think I am moderate.

Culled from The Punch

Woman, 20, stabs husband to death in Anambra

The police in Anambra State have arrested one Makoduchukwu Ndubisi for allegedly stabbing her husband to death.

John Bosko Ngu was reportedly stabbed on his chest with a sharp knife over a yet to be ascertained feud.

Anambra police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, said on Saturday that the corpse of the husband has been deposited at a morgue.

“At about 8am today, police detectives attached to 33 Police Station Onitsha arrested one Makoduchukwu Ndubisi, 20, of No 16 Donking Street Nsugbe in Anambra East LGA of Anambra State.

“Suspect allegedly had a scuffle with her husband, one John Bosko Ngu, aged 35 years of the same address and stabbed him on his chest with a sharp knife.

“Scene was visited by police detectives and victim rushed to Boromeo Hospital Onitsha for medical attention but was certified dead on arrival by a medical doctor.

“Corpse was deposited at the hospital mortuary for autopsy; exhibit recovered and case is under investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident,” Mr Mohammed said.

U.S. will not impose more tariff on China says Trump

The United States will not impose any new tariffs on China for now, President Donald Trump said on Saturday after high-stakes talks with his Chinese counterpart on the bruising trade war.

“At least for the time being,” Washington will not impose new tariffs or remove existing ones, Trump said at a press conference after the G20 summit in Japan’s Osaka. “We will be continuing to

AFP

Buhari picks Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Boss Mustapha, Okowa, Sanwo-Olu, Emefiele, Dalung, others to cheer Eagles in Egypt

President Muhammadu Buhari has picked the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, as leader of the Federal Government delegation to the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Egypt.

Also on the delegation are the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

Governors Ifeanyi Okowa and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, of Delta and Lagos respectively, are equally to be part of the delegation.

There are also the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Habu Gumel, and a representative of the Presidency; Captain Hosa Okunbo.

The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Olusade Adesola, and Muhammad Gambo, the ministry’s Director of Facilities, are also members of the delegation.

A former Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, completes the 11-man list.

Members of the delegation are expected to arrive in Egypt next week, in time for the Super Eagles’ Round of 16 encounter.

From Ikeja to Ikoyi, soldiers clean up Lagos

Residents of Ipodo community in Ikeja area of Lagos State woke up to receive unusual visitors in the neighborhood on Saturday.

A battalion of military personnel from the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army swarmed the neighbourhood in early hours for environmental sanitation, cleaning streets of filth.

From Ikeja to Ikoyi, soldiers clean up Lagos
Soldiers

Led by the Commander of 9 Brigade in Ikeja, Brigadier-General Nasir Mohammed Jega, the troops moved to the area with sanitation materials, including shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows, to carry the exercise organised in commemoration of the Nigerian Army Day.

The startled residents watched in awe as the soldiers dropped their riffles and swept the streets, clearing the drainages of PET bottles and used sachets.

From Ikeja to Ikoyi, soldiers clean up Lagos
Soldiers

The sanitation started from Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way to Olowu Street and ended Oriyomi Street.

The exercise was also held simultaneously in Ikoyi and Ojo areas of the state, where the troops engaged in cleaning exercise.

On the choice of sanitation as part of activities marking the Day, Brig-Gen. Jega said the military leadership in Lagos was excited by the environmental approach of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu

administration, pointing out that the exercise became a necessity to encourage Lagos residents on the need to promote cleanliness.

He said: “Nigerian Army believes in the cleanliness and we promote green activities as community service, because healthy environment brings about higher productivity. We are also doing this in support of the environmental initiative of the Lagos State Governor.

From Ikeja to Ikoyi, soldiers clean up Lagos
Soldiers

“We chose Ipodo community in Ikeja for this exercise since it is close to our 9 Brigade Cantonment.
“The sanitation is also to promote cordial relationship between the Nigerian Army and civilians living in communities around our formations. This is a directive from the Chief of Army Staff,” he said.

From Ikeja to Ikoyi, soldiers clean up Lagos
Brigadier-General Jega speaking

Brig-Gen. Jega said the Army also organised a free medical outreach to mark the Day adding that the celebration will also feature thanksgiving services at the church and mosque, before it would be wrapped up by a parade on the final day.

Residents hailed the soldiers for the exercise, describing it as “uncommon service from men in uniform”.
A resident of Olowu Street, Mr. Ogbonna Onwuzurike, said the gesture of the soldiers would prod residents into action to keep the area clean.

“We are excited that military officers are taking steps to improve their relationship with civilians. This is one of the ways to show that soldiers are friendly. I couldn’t have imagined soldiers would engage in this kind of activity, much less coming to clean up our drainages.

“This gesture would encourage residents and owners of businesses on this street to dedicate time for sanitation. “Before the soldiers came, used plastic bottles and nylon had blocked the drainages. Now that the gutters have been cleared, we can sleep with our eyes closed.”

Passengers who pick wrong airline seats should be fined – Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said he cannot wrongly identify an airline seat number like millions of travellers do all the time, and all over the world, and then attempt to consolidate the error in any form, through act, word, or gesture.

He said that those who commit such blunders deserve to be fined.

Social media was awash recently when business mogul, Tonye Cole, revealed how an unidentified young man refused to give up his seat for the playwright during an international flight.

Speaking on Saturday in his first official statement on the issue, the social critic advised airlines to impose fines on passengers who wrongly took seats on boarding and join proceeds from such initiative with donations from passengers to tackle worthy causes globally, especially health-related case.

Soyinka noted that one would rejoice in the thought of such benefits to humanity in its efforts to eradicate all kinds of diseases, especially malnutrition, and ensure the supply of nutrients that prevent the premature onset of brain impairment.

He said, “Those who permit themselves to be persuaded, even for one second that I, Wole Soyinka, having wrongly identified a seat number like millions of travellers all the time, and all over the world, would then attempt to consolidate the error in any form, through act, word, or gesture, qualify to be the first beneficiaries of this vastly improved humanitarian policy.’’

Buhari held hostage as infighting rocks APC leaders – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says there is infighting within the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the presidency.

In a statement on Saturday, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, alleged that the infighting is about positions.

Ologbondiyan described the APC as a sanctuary of “power mongers and looters.”

“The bitter fighting and hostilities in the presidency is as a result of the confusion that had enveloped the APC and the Buhari Presidency over the brazen stealing of the presidential mandate that Nigerians freely gave to the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar in the February 23, presidential election,” he said.

“The vicious fight for positions as ‘booty’ of a stolen mandate further exposes the APC and the cabal in the Buhari Presidency as power mongers who are only interested in power grabbing, treasury looting and plundering of our national patrimony and not in the welfare of Nigerians.

“Nigerians watched as a faction within the power-grabbing APC, in a loud protest in our nation’s seat of power, Abuja, earlier in the week, listed the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Mr. President’s cousin, Mamman Daura and his long-standing friend, Isa Funtua as members of the said cabal that have appropriated the Presidency and held President Buhari hostage.

“In a counter-protest, the supporters of the cabal had also accused a prominent APC governor of a north-west state and his ‘brother’, who is a prominent former minister and former governor of a south-south state, as those fanning the embers of discord in the presidential villa to achieve their desperate ambition for power in 2023.”

The PDP spokesman said the alleged infighting is a confirmation of Buhari’s “incompetence and leadership failure.”

“The harsh reality is that, with the situation at hand, there is no hope in sight for our nation under the APC and the Buhari presidency,” he said.

“Nevertheless, while the PDP stands with millions of Nigerians in the determination to retrieve our stolen mandate at the appropriate judicial panels, our party finds it ludicrous that in the face of herculean challenges confronting us as a nation, the concern of the APC and Buhari Presidency is the sharing of ill-gotten electoral booty.”

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, has not commented on the claims as at of the time of filing this report.