Band of thieves and purveyors of ineptitude.....

CC™ Viewpoint 

It actually does not matter what aisle of the 'political' spectrum you belong to, this rudderless leadership has failed Nigerians, more-so even worse, since the inception of the 4th Republic in May, 1999.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held sway for fifteen mostly inglorious years (1999-2015) under the stewardship of the following:

a) Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007)

b) The late Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (2007-2010)

c) Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2010-2015).

For at least 12 of those first 15 years of the 4th Republic, corruption, by and large, became the norm while the climate created by avaricious greed, further engendered a general state of lawlessness.

Kidnappings and killing orgies became commonplace and have continued unabated, till today.

While some may say that there was a certain degree of accountability, with the accompanying restoration of some semblance of sanity during Yar'Adua's brief reign, the truth remains that his vision of a better Nigeria was never going to see the light of day, given the scavengers and marauders he was surrounded by.

For this piece, we will absolve Umaru Yar'Adua of some of the PDP misrule when one considers that he was never in charge, as the cabal (whose stranglehold on the proverbial throat of Nigeria has never been in doubt) led by the one Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo et al essentially pulled his strings. When he (Yar'Adua) then dared to think for himself, he was murdered by the demonic powers behind the Nigerian throne of oppression.

Then came Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo again, as in his quest to maintain his inordinate hold and that of his fellow 'barbarians at the gate' on the destiny of Nigeria, he ensured that the next Nigerian leader would come from his "political family tree'. Thus, the dysfunctional reign of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, an absolute and utter misfit for any public office, was visited upon Nigerians.

It remains telling that only Goodluck Ebele Jonathan could have made an ethnic and religious bigot attractive to the same Nigerians that had rejected him (Muhammadu Buhari) a resounding three times (2003, 2007 and 2011) prior to his resounding victory in the 2015 general elections.

In case some have forgotten how we got here, this was the "scorecard" of the PDP misrule, particularly under Jonathan:

a) Coffers-to-personal account accountability (or lack-there-of) where public funds were used for personal gain including the extravagant wedding of GEJ's daughter…/goodluck-jonathans-daughter-re….

b) An aviation industry (once led by Femi Fani-Kayode and then later by the certificate forging Stella Oduah) that was nothing short of a death trap. I should know as I lost a close relative, Deji Falae (Ondo State Commisioner for Culture and Tourism at the time) to one of those unfortunate but far-too-common air crashes under the PDP misrule.

c) Fabricated economic numbers embellished masterfully by sycophants in the Finance and Economic Ministries to obfuscate the fact that the average Nigerian could not afford the most basic amenities under the Jonathan misrule.

d) Religious over-reach where Jonathan consistently employed openly the advise and services of so-called Christian Pastors and even embarrassed the country by taking his whole cabinet to Israel to "pray". Can you imagine the outcry from the same hypocritical CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) and their egunje leadership if PMB had gone to Saudi Arabia with his whole cabinet to pray?

e) Under Jonathan, the bigotry and balkanization of Nigeria was effectively set in motion as Jonathan was essentially committed to the disintegration of Nigeria; and this was made even more apparent with the systematic decimation of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Jonathan, in an act of subterfuge against the Nigerian state, then employed foreign mercenaries (former South African soldiers under the apartheid racist regime) to fight Boko Haram at the end of his unfortunate misrule. 

f) Do Nigerians also forget that Jonathan attempted to scuttle the democratic process during this period of shame and disgrace to the Nigerian nation by postponing the elections?

g) The use of the DSS to terrorize, intimidate and kill (thousands of people disappeared without trace) Nigerians in the North, the SE and the SW (in particular) with Femi Fani-Kayode, Ayo Fayose and Musiliu Obanikoro leading the assault on political opponents in the SW with the firm support of the DSS, much like the days of Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, that weaponization of a State Security apparatus against the citizenry has continued under the autocratic administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

h) Nigeria became a pariah state under Jonathan and effectively lost its voice both on the African continent and globally. Anyone who underestimates the forces that are against this current administration with its stated desire to sanitize the nation must be truly misinformed. The forces are both spiritual and physical and I will caution Nigerians that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.  

And the circus has continued under the rudderless and despotic rulership of Muhammadu Buhari, who has proven himself to be just as incompetent a leader as he was as a soldier. Sadly, the teeming masses of hardworking and highly industrious Nigerians remain saddled with an unbecoming band of brigands and marauders as so-called leaders.

Nigerians need to realize that they are merely pawns in the game of high stakes chess being played by a corrupt and morally bankrupt political class. The truth is they (the political class) even intermarry and are not bothered by ethnic or religious so-called differences, while at the same time fanning the embers of ethnic and religious warfare among the desperately poor who just would like to have a fair shake in life, for once. 

As the late Sunny Okosun said in his famous song from almost three decades ago, "Which way Nigeria. Which way to go?" The answer lies squarely in the hands of the Nigerian people and the sooner they realize how much power they have to make a change, the sooner that change will come.  

Heaven, as they say, helps those who help themselves. 


16 Laws of Psychological Power

CC™ VideoScope


Unleash Your Super Brain To Learn Faster - Jim Kwik

CC™ VideoScope


World’s largest economies are surpassing pre-Covid oil demand

CC™ Global News

Some of the world’s biggest economies are seeing oil consumption turn the corner and even surpass pre-pandemic levels as falling Covid-19 infection rates drive a recovery in activity.

Oil demand in China, the world’s top energy consumer, will be 13% higher next quarter than in the same period in 2019 before the pandemic, according to SIA Energy. Indian fuel sales extended a rebound last month, while American consumption of petroleum products just hit a record high. Europe has also just had its best August for gasoline demand in 10 years, IHS Markit said.

The improvement in consumption across major economies is buoying oil prices that have rallied around 40% this year. Against this backdrop, the OPEC+ alliance decided to keep restoring crude supply earlier this month, citing tighter balances into year-end.

“The worst for Asian fuel demand is over and we see a soft recovery of oil demand in the coming months,” said Sengyick Tee, an analyst at Beijing-based SIA. China’s overall oil consumption will be led by a more than 20% jump in gasoline use next quarter from 2019, he said.

While motor fuel is powering the recovery as people take to the roads after months of lockdown, the situation for other oil products isn’t as positive. Jet fuel consumption is still languishing because of the lack of international air travel. Indian diesel use is down due seasonal factors, although SIA Energy sees demand for the fuel in China rising 4% next quarter from 2019.

Trucking and construction activities typically decline in India from June to September because of the monsoon. That weighs on demand for diesel, the country’s most popular fuel, before it rises again toward the end of the year amid crop harvesting and festivals.

“Sales volume of petrol has already crossed pre-Covid levels, with diesel likely to reach there in the next two to three months” said Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, chairman of Indian Oil Corp., the country’s biggest refiner.

Refining Ramp-Up

Indian processors will have “limited upside potential” for run rate increases this month as they struggle to cope with excess diesel that’s been produced from the process of making gasoline, said Senthil Kumaran, head of South Asia oil at industry consultant FGE. A turning point may come around October, with runs potentially rising above 5 million barrels a day by year-end, he said.

Chinese run rates have inched up with state-owned Sinopec refining the most crude in 11 months in August, data from local consultancy SCI99 show. However, activity at private refiners in Shandong province is only just over 70% amid a government-led clampdown on the sector. 

Still, with some of Asia’s largest economies reporting tens of thousands of virus infections per day, some threats to energy demand remain even as the region races to vaccinate its people.

“Resurgence risk is a concern that we have built into our outlook, particularly for populous countries such as India and Indonesia,” said Qiaoling Chen, an analyst at energy consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “For now, the worst for Asia oil demand is over, but the downside risks remain.”




Ronald Wayne: The forgotten co-founder of Apple and billionaire that never was.....

CC™ Business News

Ronald Wayne was one of the original founders of Apple, Inc. In the late 1970s, Ronald worked as an engineer at video game maker Atari. While at Atari, one of his co-workers was Steve Jobs. In their free time, Steve Jobs and a friend named Steve Wozniak were building homemade computers. 

In 1976, Jobs and Wozniak decided they wanted to launch their own company. Jobs reached out to Wayne, who had experience setting up corporations, to be a co-founder.

The oldest member of the three-man team, Mr. Wayne sank personal assets into the business and soon became worried that the project was going to run his finances into the ground. He drew the first logo for Apple, drafted the original agreement between the Apple founders, and wrote the manual for the first Apple computer.

Unfortunately, just two weeks after forming the company Ronald decided to relinquish his 10% stake for a payout of $800. When the company became an official corporation, he was paid an additional $1500 US to give up all rights of ownership.

Ronald went back to working at Atari and later owned a stamp shop. He is now retired, and authored his memoirs Adventures of an Apple Founder, and a book about the Constitution and its historic relevance, Insolence of Office, both of which were published in 2011.

Had Ronald held on to his 10% Apple stake, today it would be worth more than $100 billion today. He has said that he made the "best decision with the information available to me at the time" and does not regret his selling of his shares. The first Apple product he ever owned was an iPad 2 which was given to him in 2011. He is the owner of a dozen patents and was featured in the documentary Welcome to Macintosh. He sold the original Apple company agreement signed by Jobs and Wozniak in the early 90s for $500. That document later sold at auction for $1.6 million.

Today, Wayne, who is now 87 years old has a net worth of $400,000. Truly a case of what could have been. 



Elon Musk Mocks Jeff Bezos After Reports Reveal His Investment In a Startup That Seeks to Reverse Aging

CC™ Business News

And as expected, Elon Musk, his "rival" in some businesses, could not remain silent. The founder of SpaceX responded to a tweet that reported on Bezos' new investment and the possible salary of the scientists, with his usual characteristic tone.

"And if it doesn't work, he's gonna sue death!" the billionaire tweeted.

It is no secret to anyone that since the founder of Blue Origin sued the US Space Agency (NASA) for awarding contracts to Musk's SpaceX instead of his aerospace company, the media relationship between the two billionaires has been somewhat tense. 


'Palm oil' reverses crude oil-induced genotoxicity, slows ageing

CC™ Learning Desk

By Chukwuma Muanya

Recent studies have found that oral administration of palm oil tree extracts could be used to reverse damage caused by crude oil contamination of food products and water, and help to slow ageing and raise anti-tumor immune responses against breast cancer cells.

Scientists have also demonstrated that palm oil could be used as the best alternative oil to reduce trans fat in foods. A variety of global researches have concluded that the consumption of industrially produced trans fatty acids can trigger various diseases such as cardiovascular, atherosclerosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and infertility.

Researchers have in the first study concluded: "...The oral administration of Elaeis guineensis (palm oil tree) leaves extracts significantly decreased the observed micronuclei erythrocyte (red blood cell) and fragmented Deoxyribose nucleic Acid (DNA)/ genetic material in liver relative to rats fed crude oil contaminated feed (COCF) but with no treatment. The study has established that pre-treatment, post-treatment and co-treatment of rats with E. guineensis extracts reversed the genotoxic effect induced by consumption of COCF in rats."

The study titled "Effect of Elaeis guineensis (Jacq) leaf extracts on crude oil-induced genotoxicity in Wistar albino rats" was published in the journal Scientific African.

In genetics, genotoxicity describes the property of chemical agents that damages the genetic information within a cell causing mutations, which may lead to cancer.

Elaeis guineensis is a species of palm commonly just called oil palm but also sometimes African oil palm or macaw-fat. It is the principal source of palm oil.

The objective of the study was to determine the ameliorative effect of extracts of Elaeis guineensis leaves on crude oil induced genotoxicity. One hundred and twenty mature male albino Wistar rats were mobilized for this investigation. The rats were acclimatized for 14 days on grower's mash. The experiment was divided into three categories: Pre-treatment, co-treatment, post-treatment. In each category, rats were indiscriminately allotted to eight groups. Five rats made a group. Rats fed grower's mash only constitute Group 1. Rats in Group 2 were fed with COCF. Groups 3 to Group 8 were fed with COCF and then administered aqueous, methanol, ethanol acetone, petroleum ether and blended mixture of Elaeis guineensis leaves extract, respectively.

The rats in all groups had water ad libitum and were exposed to each diet for a period of 56 days. Biochemical analyses were carried out. In the various stages of contamination, significant increases were observed in micronuclei erythrocyte and fragmented DNA in the liver of Group 2 when compared with the control..."

Also, another study published in journal Vaccines and titled "Palm Tocotrienol-Adjuvanted Dendritic Cells Decrease Expression of the SATB1 Gene in Murine Breast Cancer Cells and Tissues" evaluated the effectiveness of immunotherapy using dendritic cells (DC) pulsed with tumor lysate (a DC vaccine) in combination with daily supplementation of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) to potentiate anti-tumor immune responses.

The researchers had previously reported that DC-vaccine immunotherapy together with TRF supplementation induced protective immunity to tumor challenge. Breast cancer was induced in female BALB/c mice. The mice were randomly assigned into the treatment groups. At autopsy, peripheral blood was collected in heparinized tube and the expression of cell surface molecules (CD40, CD80, CD83, and CD86) that are crucial for T-cell activation and survival were analyzed by flow cytometry. Tumor was excised from each animal and snap-frozen. Total RNA was extracted from each tumor tissue for microarray and gene expression analysis. Total protein was extracted from tumor tissue for protein expression studies using Western blotting.

The results show that systemic administration of 1 mg TRF daily in combination with DC-vaccine immunotherapy (DC + TL + TRF) caused a marked reduction of tumor size and increased the survival rates of the tumor-inoculated mice. The expression of CD40, CD80, CD83, and CD86 were upregulated in peripheral blood from the DC + TL + TRF group compared to other groups. In addition, there was higher expression of FasL in tumor-excised mice from the DC + TL + TRF group compared to other groups. FasL plays an important role in maintaining immune privilege and is required for cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) activity.

Microarray analysis identified several genes involved in the regulation of cancer. In this study, the researchers focused on the special AT rich binding protein 1 (SATB1) gene, which was reported to have dual functions, one of which was to induce aggressive growth in breast cancer cells. Tumors from DC + TL + TRF mice showed lower expression of SATB1 gene.

The researchers said further study would be conducted to investigate the molecular functions of and the role of SATB1 in 4T1 mammary cancer cells and DC. "In conclusion, TRF supplementation can potentiate the effectiveness of DC-vaccine immunotherapy," they said.

Tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) is the vitamin E fraction extracted from palm oil, which contains 70 per cent mixed tocotrienols and 30 per cent alpha-tocopherol. Tocotrienols and tocopherols are fat-soluble vitamins related to the vitamin E family. Tocopherols can be found in several vegetable oils such as soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and sunflower seed oil, whilst tocotrienols are primarily found in palm oil, rice-bran oil, and cereal grains such as wheat, barley, and rice. Tocotrienols have been the focus of increasing research interest in the last five-10 years as a unique nutritional compound. The scientific evidence to date has shown that in addition to being powerful biological antioxidants, tocotrienols can reduce cholesterol levels in people with hypercholesterolemia, may slow down the progression of atherosclerosis, and possess anti-cancer properties.

The researchers had previously reported that vaccinating mice with DC pulsed with tumor lysate from 4T1 cells (DC + TL) and daily supplementation with 1 mg TRF inhibited tumor growth and produced a tumor-specific immune response.

Also, another new study published in APCBEE Procedia and titled "Antioxidant Activity of Elaeis guineensis Leaf Extract: An Alternative Nutraceutical Approach in Impeding Ageing" concluded: "While it is too early to extrapolate the results to humans, the research does suggest the potential of E. guineensis as an anti-aging agent not forgetting also its high bio-accessibility and bioavailability throughout the country."

Although scientists have endorsed palm oil as one of the healthiest oils, a study published in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition and titled "Replacing trans fat: the argument for palm oil with a cautionary note on interesterification" concluded: "To replace dietary trans fatty acids (TFA), two practical options exist: revert to a natural saturated fat without cholesterol (most likely palm oil or its fractions) or move to a newer model of modified fat hardened by interesterification (IE)."

Manufacturers are now required to state on food labels the amount of trans fatty acids, also called hydrogenated fats, in packaged foods. Both trans fatty acids and saturated fatty acids are associated with elevated heart disease risk factors. Now, new research questions whether palm oil, whose functional characteristics are similar to trans fats, would be a good substitute for partially hydrogenated fat.

Trans fatty acids (trans fats) are created during a hardening process called hydrogenation, which serves to make oils suitable for use in products that require solid fats, such as baked goods and breakfast bars.

Contrary to views propagated by the Western media that palm oil is not good for health, scientists have found that locally produced palm oil is better than imported vegetable oils, very rich in nutrients and has more vitamin A than carrots.

In fact, palm oil has been shown to be the richest source of tocotrienol- a super antioxidant proven to reverse heart disease and fight cancer. However, palm oil is beneficial only when cooked or boiled not fried. Frying palm oil has been shown to produce dangerous chemicals that may lead to organ damage.

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of the oil palms.

Palm oil consumption and its effects on serum lipid levels and cardiovascular disease in humans is still a subject of debate. Advocacy groups with varying agenda fuel the controversy.

The main argument against the use of palm oil as an edible oil is the fact that it contains palmitic acid, which is a saturated fatty acid and by extrapolation should give rise to elevated total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)/bad cholesterol levels.

Palmitic acid is a common saturated fatty acid found in fats and waxes including olive oil, palm oil, and body lipids.

However, there are many scientific studies, both in animals and humans that clearly show that palm oil consumption does not give rise to elevated serum cholesterol levels and that palm oil is not atherogenic (tending to promote the formation of fatty deposits in the arteries).

However, local and international studies are beginning to celebrate palm oil for its health benefits. In fact it is becoming a major article of trade in Europe, United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US).

Red palm oil, a deep orange fat pressed from the palm tree fruit, is a superfood- packed with healthy antioxidants and good for the heart, say companies who sell it.

Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Antioxidants are found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables.

The Verdict: The colorful oil is rich in tocotrienols, nutrients in the vitamin E family, and carotenoids, which the body converts into vitamin A. Several studies suggest possible benefits in stroke and liver disease from vitamin extracts made from the oil.

Vice Chair of Alimentarius Codex Commission, Prof. Purwayitno Hariyadi, said that in several countries palm oil has been used as the alternative to replace the vegetable oils that are produced through the Partially Hydrogenated Oil (PHO) that contains trans fat. Hariyadi said large producers of palm oil such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Nigeria should be serious in taking the opportunity of palm oil as the alternative to meet the global demand for trans fat-free food along with the implementation of the WHO policy to eliminate trans fats in 2023.

The Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF), in a position paper on lipids and cardiovascular health, presented by its Executive Director, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, noted: "...Not all saturated fats have equal cholesterolemic (excess of cholesterol in the blood) effect and studies have indicated that consumption of palm olein (a liquid form of palm oil used in cooking and baking), which is more saturated reduces blood LDL when compared to sources of saturated fats like coconut oil, dairy and animal fats. The beneficial effect of palm oil in increasing High Density Lipo-protein (HDL) that is good cholesterol should be noted...

"In Nigeria, a lot of carbohydrate is consumed, and therefore the cholesterolemic ability of palm oil may be considered minimal. Though it needs to be scientifically documented..."

According to a study published in World Journal of Cardiology, "apart from palmitic acid, palm oil consists of oleic and linoleic acids which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated respectively. Palm oil also consists of vitamins A and E, which are powerful antioxidants. Palm oil has been scientifically shown to protect the heart and blood vessels from plaques and ischemic injuries.

Palm oil consumed as a dietary fat as a part of a healthy balanced diet does not have incremental risk for cardiovascular disease. Little or no additional benefit will be obtained by replacing it with other oils rich in mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids."

A professor of Pharmacognosy and Chief Executive Officer of Bioresources Development Group (BDG), Prof. Maurice Iwu, told The Guardian: "Contrary to views propagated by the Western media that palm oil is not good for health, scientists have found that locally produced palm oil is better than imported vegetable oils, very rich in nutrients and has more vitamin A than carrots."

Also, a recent study published in Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, concluded: "...It is reassuring to know that the consumption of palm oil as a source of dietary fat does not pose any additional risks for coronary artery disease when consumed in realistic amounts as part of a healthy diet. However, oxidized palm oil induces reproductive toxicity and organ toxicity particularly of the kidneys, lungs, liver and heart. Therefore, oxidized palm oil should be avoided."

The study is titled "Palm oil, its nutritional and health implications."

The study noted: "Diet for some time now in Nigeria has undergone many changes such as changes in dietary intake of fats and oils. There has been an increasing consumption of partially hydrogenated trans-vegetable oils and a decreasing intake of lauric acid-containing oils. Although popular literature and people generally, usually attribute an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) to elevated levels of serum cholesterol, which in turn are thought to derive from an increased dietary intake of saturated fats and cholesterol.

"The palm oil and palm kernel oil are high in saturated fatty acids, about 50 per cent and 80 per cent respectively and are esterified with glycerol. In developing countries, vegetable oils are replacing animal fats because of the cost and health concerns...."

A study claims that oxidized palm oil is not very healthy. Palm oil gets oxidized when fried. Oxidized oil is the processed oil that usually reaches us. Oxidized palm oil, when compared to fresh palm oil, has adverse effects on the lipid profile of the blood. It is also known to increase free fatty acids, phospholipids (a class of lipids that are a major component of all cell membranes) and cerebrosides (any of a group of complex lipids present in the sheaths of nerve fibers) in the blood. The study also claims that oxidized palm oil is toxic to the reproductive system and damages kidneys, lungs, liver and the heart.

Another multi-country study that analyzed the link between palm oil consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases claims that increased palm oil consumption is related to higher ischemic heart disease mortality rates in developing countries.

Adulteration of palm oil is a common practice in Nigeria, and adulterated palm oil has been linked to cancer, heart disease and kidney failure.

Also, a recent study concluded that with return to a yam-and-palm-based diet and the minimization of wheat gluten and milk lactose, the epidemic of the metabolic syndrome that currently challenges Forest West Africa and her global diaspora would be significantly obviated or remediated.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Also, an expert panel on lipids and cardiovascular health in the Nigerian Population has alerted to the increase in prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), especially Cardiovascular Disease (CD) in Nigeria, and the documented evidence of deleterious effects of lipids (fats and oil). The experts from a range of relevant disciplines in a report published in July 2017 edition of the European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety called for an urgent need to advocate for the general public and health professionals to make heart-friendly choices in food consumption even as they declared palm oil healthful. They said red palm oil should be used within the limits of allowed total daily calorie intake from fats, as there is as yet no scientific evidence that shows that consumption of red palm oil, as part of a healthy balanced diet is harmful.



Obasanjo: I thought I knew President Buhari

CC™ Politico News

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said he thought he knew Buhari but everything changed after he became the president in 2015.

Obasanjo said he thought Buhari would have done well in securing Nigeria and fighting corruption.

He said it is worrisome that banditry is happening in the north-west region of the country where the President hails from.

Obasanjo, therefore, asked the president to wake up and fight banditry and other sundry crimes especially in the northern part of the country.

The ex-president, who spoke in an interview with academic and historian, Toyin Falola, said Buhari should start thinking of leaving an enduring legacy as president.

He said, "I thought I knew President Buhari because he worked with me. But I used to ask people that is it that I have not read him well or read him adequately or is it that he has changed from the Buhari that I used to know? I am not subscribing to the people who say we have a new Buhari from Sudan and all that nonsense.

"I know what I believed was his limitations and I have written about it -he wasn't strong in economics, not all of us are strong in anything but you need to have sufficient knowledge of it for you to direct the affairs. He wasn't particularly too strong in foreign affairs but I thought he was strong enough in the military.

"From his performance in his first outing as head of state, I thought he would also do well in fighting corruption. I did not know the nepotistic tendencies of President Buhari maybe because he was not exposed to that sort of situation when he worked with me.

"But with what I have seen now, I believe that maybe he will be thinking of a legacy. Maybe he will also learn from what has happened in recent times. If you are the commander-in-chief and banditry is taking place in your backyard, then you have to wake up."

The ex-president also said some governors are now in a state of hopelessness because of the president's way of handling the insecurity in the country.

The security challenges in the country have assumed a more concerning dimension in recent times as rampaging bandits, bloodthirsty insurgents and ransom-demanding kidnappers terrorize Nigerians with daring audacity.



The saga of transactional sex on the campus of Nigerian universities

CC™ Editorial By Oludayo Tade 

Transactional sex among female undergraduates in Nigeria is a social reality. The practice has been reported on regularly in the mainstream media and explored in various research papers

This cross generational relationship is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, and across the world where sponsors are commonly known as “sugar daddies”.

In our study on transactional sex in Nigerian universities, my colleague and I looked at the symbiotic relationship between some female Nigerian undergraduate students and aristos – wealthy, married or unmarried men. The students have transactional sex with the aristos in exchange for financial, social or educational support.

Because a great deal of these relationships happen undercover, there are no solid figures on the number of women involved in them. But there are many reasons that these relationships happen. It’s a practice that’s driven by economic hardship, a desire to network socially, and peer influence.
To understand more about these relationships we conducted 30 interviews with female undergraduates – commonly known as “runs-girls”.
We found that the students engage in transactional sex for pleasure and money. Typically, wealthy students would be with an aristo for pleasure, while those who needed financial support did it for the money. Most of the women we spoke to viewed it as a critical survival life investment strategy and rejected the “prostitution” label.
Although these relationships could offer the students economic, emotional, and political support, their effects can also be negative. The students expose themselves to sexually transmitted infections, physical violence and academic setbacks, because the relationships can distract from their studies.
Those with sexually transmitted infections risk spreading these to their boyfriends, while also suffering economic losses seeking treatment.

Finding clients

Aristos are usually wealthy postgraduate students, lecturers, politicians, business people and military personnel. They are people with wealth and authority.
The students looked for these clients on and off campus, using connections and referrals. They then familiarized themselves with the potential client’s routine, aiming to eventually manufacture an encounter.
There’s usually a generational gap between the “runs-girls” and the aristos. The students often refer to their clients as “uncle”, “daddy” and, more recently, “aristo”. All of these bring connotations of the person’s expected role: to take care of the student.
If the students don’t have much financial support from their families, these relationships provide them with that security. Some started as a one-off “date”, for which they got a sum of money. But longer-term relationships also developed in some instances.
In return for sex, the women were given luxury possessions, like cars and mobile phones; investments for businesses they might start; or work placements when they finish their studies.
As one female student said:
The type of connection I have with politicians, lecturers, and military men cannot be purchased with money. At times, when I have problem, all I do is to make a call, depending on the nature of challenges…
In Nigeria, about 23% of young people are unemployed. These connections, with people of influence, may be a ticket to employment. As one “runs-girl” revealed:
One of my clients who happened to be a commissioner connected my senior sister to get a job at immigration even without any much stress…
Transactional sex isn’t limited to financially strapped students. We spoke to rich female students who engaged in it for sexual fulfillment. One 24 year old student said:
I am from a rich home, my father is even a Major (in the army), and my mother a nurse, but I’m involved in campus runs because of sexual satisfaction, although nothing goes for nothing, because sex is for enjoyment. I have a guy that I help financially, and on the long run he pays me back with sex.


In this research we identified a few challenges.
Some “runs-girls” accepted offers of unprotected sex for better pay. This put them at risk of catching sexually transmitted infections and, consequently, the cost of treatment. As one student said:
I am always scared of having naked (unprotected) sex. Most times I use (a) condom because one can never know a man that has HIV/AIDS. Although sometimes some men always want naked sex and in that case, they will have to pay triple than what is earlier bargained. Part of the money realized as a runs-girl are used in revitalizing the body, in which I go to the hospital once in a month to examine myself.
Other risks are that the women could be physically harmed. This is particularly true if the clients choose not to pay an agreed amount.
Their education could also suffer as they may choose to engage in “runs” rather than go to class.

Action needed

Getting the government or even universities to take action will prove difficult because our evidence suggests that policy makers, politicians and the business class are involved, as aristos.
Nevertheless, given the risks associated, something ought to be done.
One possible solution might be to establish part-time jobs for vulnerable students, and to institute courses about running businesses so that young women can earn money independently.
In addition, institutions should put together and roll out communications campaigns that teach young people about the implications of transactional sex.


Identity, citizenship and the Fulani in Ghana

CC™ Opinion Editorial

By Osman Alhassan

Observations from Gushiegu, Donkorkrom and Dawadawa

Conflicts between farmers and Fulani herders are a prominent – and growing – conflict in Northern Ghana. Although the Fulanis have been living in Ghana for generations they are still not accepted among local community groups and are thus excluded from certain areas of political life and health services. In this blog post Osman Alhassan from the University of Ghana argues why resolution of this conflict is in everyone’s interest.

Conflicts among competing land and water resource users are not new in West Africa. While some scholars attribute these rising resource use conflicts to growing scarcity of resources, others contend that it is the consequence of failed governance structures and local conflict resolution mechanisms. Our field investigations in northern Ghana in early 2019 as part of the Domestic Security Implications of Peacekeeping in Ghana (D-SIP) programme point to the fact that both resource scarcity, such as decreasing grazing land and increasingly stressed water resources, and social relations explain conflicts between local farmers and settler Fulani. A closer look at the conflicts between local community famers and settled pastoralists in the Gushiegu Municipality in the Northern Region of Ghana suggests an escalation. Although the Fulani pastoralists have lived in the Gushiegu area since the 1940s, they are increasingly experiencing tension with indigenous community groups, such as the Dagombas, Mamprusis, Konkombas, and the Bimobas.

The Fulani in Gushiegu recount that their ancestors settled in Gushiegu, and surrounding communities, as far back as in the 1930s and 1940s. They took care of cattle as well as farmed the land that was allocated to them for their food needs. Most of the Fulani are Muslims and as such joined the local population for congregational prayers on Fridays and during Eid festivities. As a guest community, the Fulani in Gushiegu and other communities made efforts to attend other local festivals and ceremonies in a bid to get closer to the local community and sustain mutual coexistence. While most Fulani children are not undertaking formal education, they attend the local Makaranta (Islamic school) with Dagomba kids where the Koran and Islam are taught. According to the Fulani in Gushiegu, there are a few inter-marriages between the Fulani and the Dagombas. However, there have been some challenges, especially during periods when cattle in the care of the Fulani destroy food crops belonging to community members or pollute community water sources.

In spite of the efforts by the Fulani to integrate, they are often reminded that they are strangers who do not belong to the community

In spite of the efforts by the Fulani to integrate, they are often reminded that they are strangers who do not belong to the community. The Fulani are not allowed to participate in gatherings such as political campaigns, cannot easily access health services, including National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards, and are not allowed to vote even in district level elections. The Fulani therefore are not identified as community members though they have stayed in the area for a long time. The local community is indifferent to the younger Fulanis who have been born in the area and have no other place of origin. The Fulani in Gushiegu cited an incident in Kpatinga two years ago that claimed the lives of two Fulani men and the destruction of their properties. No Fulani had anticipated this as they had lived with the people, practiced the same religion, taken part in local festivals and ceremonies, and had a few of their kinsmen married to Dagomba.

Issues around identity and citizenship provoke strong sentiments among Ghanaians when the Fulani are discussed. It would appear that no matter how long they have been in Ghana, the Fulani cannot become Ghanaians in the eyes of certain communities and officials. A Planning officer with the District Assembly at Donkorkrom argued that everyone in Donkorkrom was a migrant, including the Fulani. So he was baffled about why they had been singled out as not belonging to Ghana, when the Hausa, Gau and other ethnic groups that were not originally Ghanaian did not face the same challenge.

The situation at Dawadawa was not much different. A Fulani man, Ibrahim Musah, in Dawadawa explained the discrimination he felt in Ghana. Although he demonstrated fluency in three Ghanaian languages – Dagbani, Akan, and Ewe –during the interview, Ibrahim Musah was considered by many in Dawadawa as an alien because of his Fulani origins. His credentials, though, show him to be Ghanaian. He was born in 1987 in Bawku and raised there. He lived in Bimbilla for 14 years, and in Dawadawa for the past 10 years. Before this, he had lived in other places in Ghana, including Kumasi, for many years. People were not concerned about his birth, residence, mastery of several Ghanaian languages, and his vast knowledge about many parts of Ghana. ‘I consider Bawku as my hometown. If you send me to Bawku which is in Ghana, many people can testify that I was born there because my father lived there. My father hails from Bawku though my grandfather, I am told, hails from Burkina Faso,’ he accounted. He was of the view that there are many misleading perceptions about Fulani, including those who are citizens of Ghana, and this has had an adverse impact on their livelihoods and participation in decision making. A first step towards peaceful coexistence and effective conflict resolution would be to recognize the rights of the Fulani and facilitate their participation in local mechanisms for resolving conflicts.

The conflict situations in settlements such as Gushiegu could also improve if local and national governance mechanisms emphasized education of the population about the rights of citizenship. Local and national politics have often been complicated by religion, ethnicity, and economic considerations. While Ghana’s constitution specifies who a citizen is, this is differently interpreted at local levels to suit those in power to make decisions on behalf of the community. In addition, community members must also be aware that our collective economic and security organization goes beyond individual countries. For instance, the sustained development of livestock production is an integral part of any food security or poverty reduction policy. So, it has been argued that traditional pastoral farming systems such as transhumance – moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle – contribute to socio-economic development and the growth of livestock production.

A treaty on cooperation between Member States of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) exist as a means for regulating transhumance and achieving agricultural development and food security in the sub region. The provisions of ECOWAS decisions cover issues of the free movement of persons, good and services, and mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution, peacekeeping and security. Unfortunately, not many community members, or local government agencies are fully aware of these regulations which gives rights of passage across and within countries, and to grass and water resources for their cattle, to pastoralists such as the Fulani herdsmen. After all, ECOWAS was formed to commit to enhancing economic development through the free movement of people in the West African sub-region. It is about time governments realise that our diversity as a people is a major asset for development.

In some other discussions, both the Fulani and indigenous communities see the need for changing the policy and practice of pastoralism for the improvement of communities. Respondents in Gushiegu and Bimbilla agreed that logically, the more land and water employed for farming, the less land available for other livelihoods, including pastoral livelihoods, and the more competition and conflicts over land resources. Particularly if technology and population remain the way things are now. Both Fulani herdsmen and crop farmers in Gushiegu agreed that modern cattle ranching should be encouraged and capacities built to be able to exploit these opportunities. It is likely that cattle herding as is currently practiced, will survive only forty to fifty years from now because there will be no corridors for cattle passage. It is therefore critical to encourage good cattle rearing and farming practices such as development of pastures and the establishment of ranches on public-private joint management. Food security remains an integral part of human development and poverty reduction, and better livestock industrial practice will reduce the country’s meat deficits. It can also reduce the numerous conflicts over grazing land and water.



Nigeria: The prophetic consequences of dining with the devil.....

President Buhari (L) and the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo (R)
CC™ Viewpoint - By Ike Amaechi

Shortly after overthrowing Muhammadu Buhari's military junta on August 27, 1985, Ibrahim Babangida set up what he called the Nigerian Political Bureau. The 17-member panel inaugurated on January 13, 1986, with Samuel Cookey, a professor of political science, as chairman was charged with the responsibility of refocusing Nigeria's political trajectory by chiseling out a new socio-political order. 

With membership cutting across academia, business and labour - Abdullahi Augie, Bala Takaya, Dr. Edwin Madunagu, Prof. Oye Oyediran, Mrs. Hilda Adefarasin, Prof. Eme Awa, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, Dr. Ola Balogun, Haroun Adamu, Comrade Paschal Bafyau - the bureau reached out to prominent Nigerians. At the end, it received well over 27,000 memoranda on issues ranging from religion to ethnicity and ideology from ever-willing and rambunctious Nigerians. 

But Obafemi Awolowo was not sold on the project and refused to participate.

In his rejection letter addressed to Cookey, Awo was clairvoyant and made a damning proclamation. 

"I received your letter of February 28, 1986, and sincerely thank you for doing me the honour of inviting me to contribute to the national political debate.

The purpose of the debate is to clarify our thoughts in our search for a new social order.It is, therefore, proper that all those who have something to contribute should do so. I do fervently and will continue fervently to pray that I may be proved wrong. For something within me tells me, loud and clear, that we have embarked on a fruitless search. At the end of the day, when we imagine that the new order is here, we would be terribly disappointed.

"In other words, at the threshold of our new social order, we would see for ourselves that, as long as Nigerians remain what they are, nothing clean, principled, ethical, and idealistic can work with them. And Nigerians will remain what they are, unless the evils which now dominate their hearts, at all levels and in all sectors of our political, business and governmental activities, are exorcised.

"But I venture to assert that they will not be exorcised, and indeed they will be firmly entrenched, unless God Himself imbues a vast majority of us with a revolutionary change of attitude to life and politics or, unless the dialectic processes which have been at work for some twenty years now, perforce, make us perceive the abominable filth that abounds in our society, to the end that an inexorable abhorrence of it will be quickened in our hearts and impel us to make drastic changes for the better."

But in the event that Nigerians were not attuned to heeding the advice, there was, Awolowo said, an alternative option: "To succumb to permanent social instability and chaos." Nigerians obviously settled for the alternative option and 33 years after, we are still treading that self-destructive path. No matter how anyone cuts it, Nigeria is in trouble. The country under President Muhammadu Buhari's watch is gradually but inexorably succumbing to permanent social instability and chaos. When Nigerians elected Buhari president in 2015, they believed that they were enthroning a new order. Change was the slogan. Today, not a few are terribly disappointed. Truth be told, with Buhari, we embarked on a fruitless search.

Buhari has neither ruined himself nor about to. In fact, he doesn't care. I doubt if he gets it. But Nigeria is worse off for the shenanigans of his government. And the conduct of the last governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States reinforces the prevailing pessimism.

Under President Olusegun Obasanjo, elections were a do-or-die affair. As bad as that was, Buhari has taken the ugly trend to the next level, a notch higher, where it does not really matter whether you do or you don't, being a Nigerian willing to express a contrary political opinion makes you an enemy of the state with dire consequences. Which explains why the Kogi State PDP Woman Leader, Mrs. Salome Abuh, was burnt alive in her home just because of elections.

In broad daylight, hoodlums that were not masked arrived at Abuh's house, blocked every exit, knowing full well that she was inside, poured petrol on the building, set it ablaze, stepped back and fired gunshots continuously to scare people away from rescuing her. Terrified villagers who apparently knew the assassins could only watch the gory spectacle from afar, helplessly.

Meanwhile, the murderers were having a ball - smoking, drinking and chatting away - without a care in the world while their victim was wailing and begging for mercy. The blood-thirsty thugs waited patiently, mocking their victim. They had the license to kill. Like a child sent on a stealing voyage by his father, who loudly and without a care kicks the door open, they stood there supremely confident that their bestial act will go unpunished.

That is the level Nigeria is today. To date, nobody has been punished for this horrific crime. I dare say that nobody will be made to pay for the heinous crime. Lesser incidents will convulse any other country. Abuh's tragic fate reminds me of Mukaila Abdullahi, Kano State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, who was burnt to death at his Kano GRA residence on April 4, 2015 together with his wife and two children.

Abdullahi presided over the presidential and National Assembly elections. He didn't live to superintend over the governorship and state Assembly elections. His remains were buried in his home state of Jigawa even before investigations started. To date, there has been no serious attempt to unravel the mystery. Why should there be when the police concluded without any investigation that the entire family "suffocated after inhaling black smoke emitting from the split air-conditioner hose that caught fire after an electrical fault." To date, Kano residents and Abdullahi's neighbours dispute that account.

The Kano State police commissioner who made the announcement, Ibrahim Idris, became the Inspector General of Police, IGP, shortly after. Under Buhari's watch, Nigeria seems to have succumbed to permanent social instability and chaos. The homes of Nigerians are routinely burnt down and innocent citizens murdered in cold blood for daring to assemble as was the case of Ifeanyi Ejiofor, lawyer to leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, this week.

The government cherry picks which court order to obey. The National Assembly has become a mere rubber stamp with lawmakers misconstruing patriotism to mean allegiance to the president rather than the Constitution of the country. Nigerians have been cowed into silence. A Hate Speech Bill that prescribes death penalty is hanging over the heads of naysayers like the axiomatic sword of Damocles. There is also the Social Media Bill. The ominous warnings are back. Mere protest is a treasonable felony that must be firmly and ruthlessly put down. Any act of dissent is a potential banana skin.

On Tuesday December 3, 2019, the Department of State Services, DSS, sounded an ominous warning, claiming to have uncovered plots by some undesirable groups to cause a breakdown of law and order in parts of the country by instigating protests, mass action and violence. "These predetermined actions have been designed to take place simultaneously in the major cities across the geopolitical zones in the coming weeks," DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, announced in righteous indignation.

"Considering the implications of these on public safety and national security, the Service wishes to warn the anti-democratic elements responsible for these heinous plots to desist forthwith from their inglorious acts. Consequently, parents are advised to rein in their wards and enjoin them not to allow themselves to be used to foment trouble. Similarly, heads of academic and public institutions are to warn their students and employees respectively from engaging in any untoward activity against public order. The Service and other sister agencies are at alert and will ensure that peace and security are maintained in all parts of the country before, during and after the festive periods." 

Recently, the world also watched as Nigerian soldiers shot at innocent #EndSARS protesters as the latter were demonstrating against the activities of the murderous Special Anti-Robbery Squad Unit, accused of murdering innocent Nigerians, mostly the youth, in cold blood. There are also reports from inside sources that the Buhari administration is in a clandestine alliance with Boko Haram as the Northern leaders, namely the Sultan of Sokoto (who is the standard bearer of Fulani Jihadism), Nasir El-Rufai, the tyrannical Fulani irredentist Governor of Kaduna State and the Aso Rock Northern-Muslim Cabal surrounding President Muhammadu Buhari, seek to hold that as a dark horse over the country, ahead of the 2023 elections. 

The gloves are off. Buhari claimed he was a born-again democrat. Nigerians believed him. But can the leopard actually change its spots? Hardly! Buhari is exactly who we thought he was and Awolowo was right. He saw this coming more than three decades ago.