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Etymology Of Atiku Abubakar As Stepping Stone For Igbo Presidency



By Magnus Onyibe

As it may be recalled ,a great deal of verbal missiles were hauled at Anambra state governor and former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo when he contended in a recently published article titled: ”History Beckons And I shall Not Be Silent (Part1)”, that nobody from the lgbo nation has a chance of becoming president of Nigeria in 2023.

“Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too; and he knows that we know. The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to APGA. The brutal truth (and some will say, God forbid) is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for president: the rest is exciting drama!“
The masterpiece by Soludo was a realistic and pragmatic analysis of what l would like to characterize as the ‘lgbo dilemma’.

Whereas the frank advise should have woken up the lgbo from what can be likened to a fantastic wonderland dream of presiding over the affairs of our country from Aso Rock Villa in 2023,instead it got a good number of them so incensed that the level of bile directed in rebuke at Soludo was as if he committed some kind of heresy or apostasy.
In order for readers to better understand the anger of the lgbos against Soludo or any other lgbo man or woman who does not subscribe to lgbo presidency of Nigeria in 2023,it is important that we put into context the propelling force for their quest to occupy Aso Rock Villa when the incumbent president Mohammadu Buhari exits next year.
The truth is that the anger of the lgbo that culminated into the vitriolic attacks on Soludo stems from the over half of a millennium years old determination of the tribe to regain their lost pride and glory because they were at the commanding heights of the political, economic and social architecture of Nigeria, pre January 1966 coup by the military that resulted in the death of the first republic (1963-66) and the crash of the lgbo from power in practically all the spheres of life in our country.

Not satisfied with their loss of power, particularly of the political hue in the Nigerian nation, the lgbo sought self determination by engaging the Nigerian state in a civil war from 1967 to 1970 when the country failed to allow her secede.

But at the end of the war rather than achieve their objective of returning to the pre-eminent position that they had occupied pre independence or before the British colonialist exited by granting Nigeria independence from colonial rule in 1960,the region got worse off.

That is simply because a significant number of lives of lgbo people got dispatched prematurely to the meet their ancestors, just as the infrastructure in the eastern region got wantonly destroyed in the course of the horrific war and the situation has not changed much till date.

In addition, the lgbo who lost the war have thereafter become systematically relegated to the bottom or even gotten excluded from the main stream of the political system in Nigeria.
And that is evidenced by the reality that currently, the leadership power equation in the only country that the lgbo can call their own seem to have been skewed against them as none of them is the head of the executive, legislative or judicial arms of government which is largely responsible for the enduring secessionist tendencies currently bedeviling the region in particular, and the whole country at large.

Arising from the above, and being a realist, l would argue that Soludo’s pragmatic assessment of the chances of an lgbo man/woman becoming president of Nigeria in 2023 as he marshaled in his published treatise: “History Beckons And I Shall Not Be Silent (part 1) was on point.

But lgbo appear not to be ready to accept the inconvenient truth, hence Soludo’s advise was discountenanced and he was disparaged and excoriated.

Before the Anambra governor’s matter-of-fact advise that elicited the ire of some lgbo that generated the firestorm that almost literally consumed him, another prominent lgbo politician, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, the current Chief Whip of Nigerian Senate and ex governor of Abia state had also admonished members of his tribe not to seek to become president of Nigeria in 2023.

Below are his reasons:

“I have no problem with an Ibo man becoming president, but we have to do it with other Nigerians.

“If you don’t do it with other Nigerians, it’s not going to work, no matter how popular you are. This is the president of Nigeria, not the president of Igbo land.”

He was quoted as basically stating that the lgbo must wait for another time when Nigerians would agree to zone the presidency to the east.

It is unsurprising that Kalu’s renunciation of lgbo presidency in 2023 did not trigger as much storm as Soludo’s admonishment which l would like to equate politically with an event recorded in the holy Bible ‘Sermon on the Mount’ which is a narrative of the teachings by our lord Jesus Christ during which he laid out the blue print of his doctrine to be followed by his disciples after he must have transformed from the physical into the spiritual realms.

As the Muslim religion has Abrahamic origins (Abraham is the source of Christianity, lslam and Judaism) which is why lslam recognizes Jesus Christ as lsah – a prophet of God and not son of God which is the belief of we Christians, I won’t be surprised if our Muslim brothers and sisters can identify an equivalent of such narrative in the holy Quran.
According to John R.W. Stott, “The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though arguably it is the least understood, and certainly it is the least obeyed”.

So, Soludo’s solution which sounded like sermon on the mount obviously struck the wrong chord amongst not only some lgbo elites, but also a critical mass of of the hoi poloi who are perhaps living in a parallel universe and as such unable to process the reality that it is not yet time for the lgbo to call the shots from Aso Rock Villa, and the reason the visionary Soludo was largely misunderstood in the manner that Jesus Christ was also misunderstood and disobeyed. For the avoidance of doubt, l am not equating Soludo with our lord Jesus Christ but sermon on the mount was referenced for analogical purpose only.

Perhaps, if the lgbos take the statistics below into consideration, they would probably have a different reaction to Soludo’s wise counsel.

For instance, the total number of registered voters for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria according to lndependent National Electoral Commission, INEC is 93.5 million.
And the total number of registered voters in the entire lgbo land is a paltry 11.49 million.
That makes the eastern region the zone with the least number of registered voters.
It is followed from the rear by the north central with 14.1 million voters.

When you compare the south-east registered voters numbers which is about half of the 22.67 million registered voters in the north-west region that is the highest,it would be clear that the eastern region is a dwarf or Lilliputian politically compared to the north-west which is a giant ,since it has the largest registered voters cache in our country.
And that makes the north-west the battle ground for all the leading political parties and the south-east a less consequential part of the country for sourcing votes by politicians and therefore on the fringe in the reckoning of political strategists.

Given the scenario described above, those clamoring for lgbo presidency should also take notice of the fact that Wazirin Atiku Abubakar of PDP is from the northern region where the bulk of the voters reside,and it presupposes that he has a home base advantage.

Also by juxtaposing the south east minuscule and insignificant number of registered voters against that of the south-west region which is 18.3 million,the eastern region’s jeopardy would come into greater relief.

More so ,if it dawns on the proponents of lgbo presidency in 2023 that the south-west is also APC torch bearer Bola Tinubu’s enclave and supporters base.
But the Igbos driven by ethnic nationalism are wont to argue that members of the tribe being itinerant people are spread all over Nigeria.

As such their voting power is more than the 11.49 million ascribed to the zone.

But so are members of other major tribes scattered across the country -Yoruba,Hausa/Fulani ,ljaw, kanuri,Tiv, kalabari,Urhobo,ldoma and lbibio,lgbira,lgala,Angas etc.
Perhaps,other ethnic nationalities outside their ancestral birth places are not as many as the lgbos that are challenged by land mass and are also very mercantile,hence they are very dispersed nationwide,but a lot Nigerians of all tribes are often well dispersed across the country too.

Another dilemma that the lgbo nation is contending with in its quest for the presidency of Nigeria is the fact that, of the six (6) geopolitical zones in Nigeria, only the south east where the lgbo is the dominant tribe is comprised of a mere five (5) states.

The zone has the least number of states because all the other five (5) regions have at least six (6) states each, with the north west region even having seven (7) states.
The realities above are the major handicaps that should compel the lgbo to seek collaborations with with either north-west or south-west regions where the critical mass of voters are located,in order for their dream that a member of lgbo ethnic stock would become president of Nigeria would manifest.

But rather than think critically,they have been fantasizing about an lgbo person becoming president of Nigeria in 2023 without taking into consideration the political calculus or equations outlined above.

Can those claiming that political structures would not matter in election 2023 also deny the fact that the number of registered voters in specific regions of the candidates would count, and a consequential presidential candidate must have a solid voter base ?

Yet, most politically naive lgbo have elected to remain in self denial by being sentimental instead of analytical.

Without looking beneath the inherent superficialities, they are counting on votes from the youth demography and those who are discontented with government either due to a prevailing culture of nepotism or insecurity of lives and properties as well as the high level of poverty ravaging the masses under the watch of the current administration to catapult an lgbo man into the presidency.

There is not enough space and time to put in array all the thistles and thorns that have buffeted Nigerians in the nearly eight (8) years of APC maladministration. But suffice it to say that while those ignoble hallmarks of misrule are significant factors that can influence some voters to desire to punish the ruling party at the polls,they are not enough to swing the presidential pendulum to the side of the lgbos because the region lacks the critical mass of voters and failed to secure an alliance with a high voters value like north-west or south-west.

Worse still, since it has been established that most Nigerian registered voters reside in the north-west and south-west, it follows that they seldom know Peter Obi and the LP platform.
More so because Obi and LP were basically unknown quantities nationally, until less than a year ago when the political platform and its candidate became a third force in 2023 presidential race that was hitherto looking like a two horse race.

To gain better insight, apart from Obi not having a political base like Atiku that practically has the entire north glued together by not only his robust political pedigree but religion and language; and Tinubu that controls the south-west leveraging his long time political antecedents, well funded political machines and the monarchical system existent in Yoruba land, readers only need to interrogate the voting pattern of Nigerians as captured in INEC’s historical records to discover that the category of the electorate that exercise their franchise the most are folks in the rural areas.

They are not the necessarily the smattering of youth and city slickers who are clamoring for Obi presidency and a handful of discontented adults seeking a new political order.
The category of Nigerians described above are not whom the lgbo nation should anchor their hope of being the tribe ruling the roost in Aso Rock Villa in 2023.
For crying out loud,most of our mothers, fathers,aunts and uncles in the villages are the ones who often step out to vote in throngs and they hardly know Peter Obi.
And they were likely not captured in the opinion polls,particularly the ANAP/NOI polling of which the pollsters have admitted they conducted by phone which by its nature is prone to manipulation therefore deeply flawed.

It is unfortunate that the pollsters seem to be ignoring those factors outlined earlier, either by omission or commission, hence they have ended up with their wrong calculations and false hope about the notion of lgbo producing the next president being a realizable objective without serious collaboration or alliance with voters from any of the two main zones (north-West and south-west) that are home to significant number of voters.

Had the attempted partnership between the LP and Dr Musa Kwakwanso’s New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP come into fruition with Obi as the presidential candidate of the coalition, the probability of an lgbo president in 2023 would have been higher. But without such an arrangement, Obi’s quest for the presidency would most likely be an exercise in futility.

The above reality is the justification for the recent comment by a prominent lgbo billionaire and power broker, Chief Arthur Eze who reportedly stated in the media, last week, the 24th of December that he had made it known to the LP Presidential candidate, Peter Obi that his ambition is inordinate was emphatic that he is not part of Obi’s plan.

“I told him to drop his ambition, and wait for next time. “When he told me about his ambition, l asked him the states he thinks he can win in the west and in the north -he told me, but l was not convinced. l told him he can not win; so that he would not waste his time and money”

Incidentally, in various opinion pieces that l have been writing and publishing in the mass media in the past two years, l had already identified and analyzed all the bogeys or stumbling blocks clogging the path of the lgbo man’s quest for becoming president of Nigeria without being propelled by the presently moribund presidential power rotation or power shift principle. They can all be found in my website

By obviously ignoring the wise counsel of critical lgbo stake holders like Chukwuma Soludo and Arthur Eze, as referenced earlier, clearly Mr Obi must be relying on opinion polls that have been forecasting that president Buhari would be handing over to him as his successor on 29 May 2023.

Another probable factor which may be at play for the lgbo (with Obi as the arrow head) to be nursing the false hope that they would be producing the next president would be that his strategists are likely working from the answer to the question, instead of the other way round.

Equally significant is the rather surprising revelation that the lgbo are still counting on the presidential power rotation principle which is a gentle man’s agreement hashed out during the unimplemented National Conference held under former military head of state, late general SANNI Abacha’s regime in 1995. It was basically a political power sharing formula that is still being relied upon by the lgbo to justify its claim that it is the turn of some of their ethnic stock to rule Nigeria.

That principle which is not enshrined in Nigeria’s statutes book has been jettisoned or at best suspended by both the ruling All Progressives Party, APC and main opposition peoples Democratic party, PDP, yet the lgbo appear to have remained fixated on it and seem not ready to purge themselves of the mind set.

Given the present dynamics of politics in Nigeria, only the APC or PDP are the political platforms that can produce the president of Nigeria.

And the lgbo is unfortunate that the two parties have no member of the stock as their presidential flag bearer.

So the chance of an lgbo man taking charge in Aso Rock Villa from 29 May 2023 is practically zero.

The conclusion above does not imply that l have not taken cognizance of the recent emergence of Labor Party, LP as a third (3rd) force in Nigeria’s political space with Mr Peter Obi, former Anambra state governor on the platform of APGA 2007-2014 who was also in 2019 the running mate to Wazirin Atiku Abubakar as presidential flag bearer on the platform of PDP which contested against incumbent president, Mohammadu Buhari of APC.

But, since it is an inconvenient truth for the typical lgbo man that has been seeking to return to the top of the pecking order of leadership of Nigeria resulting in a destructive three (3) years civil war that is believed to have claimed the lives of an estimated three (3) million Nigerians with the lgbos as the main victims, Soludo’s kinsmen who are apparently blind sided by their legitimate, but unrealizable ambition, have chosen to deem the realistic prognosis as an art of betrayal of his people for which he was ‘roasted ‘by lgbo intelligentsia, especially the social media denizens, also known as Obidients and architects of the famous #Endsars protests that had the potentials of revolutionizing Nigeria in 2020.

Fortuitously, Wazirin Atiku Abubakar has emerged on the scene like a knight in a shining amour to offer the lgbo the rescue that they have been craving by giving them the opportunity via his current quest for the presidency for one of them to be his running mate as vice president.

By so doing he is according the lgbos the honor and privilege of being the stepping stone for lgbo nation into Aso Rock Villa: “I am going to be a stepping stone to an Igbo president in this country. I have shown it in my action, because this is the third time I am running with an Igbo man. If you really want to produce a president, then, vote Atiku-Okowa ticket.”

Having established the etymology (in plain language the origin) of the words stepping stone deployed by Wazirin Atiku Abubakar in his lofty proposition to Ndigbo,it is fitting that we interrogate or take a cursory look at the emotional quotient that the lgbo nation has invested in accomplishing its mission to occupy the number position in Aso Rock Villa.

The emotional feelings that are oftentimes elicited by an lgbo person not becoming president of Nigeria is so potent that when current lmo state governor, Chief Hope Uzodinma of APC via a political abracadabra (controversial court ruling) supplanted, Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP who had earlier been declared winner and sworn into office as lmo state governor; and Uzodinma in trying to take control of the state that was originally largely PDP as governor on APC platform, reportedly called in the military to keep the peace, all was let loose.

That decision to call in the military that was necessitated by the rising spate of violence and break down of law and order in the state, resulted in Uzodinma’s country home being set ablaze with all the appurtenances including a Rolls Royce car burnt down.

Having taken into consideration the above circumstances, as far back as two (2) years ago, l had been writing a series of articles with the aim of averting the minds of lgbo people to the rough road that it has to travel to get into Aso Rock Villa in 2023 and l had pointed out that it was a mission impossible without presidential rotation principle being upheld.

And I had long arrived at the conclusion because it is simply mathematically impossible for an lgbo person to become President of Nigeria without having a prolific political base and aligning with people from the north-west or south-west of Nigeria to make it happen.

Mr Peter Obi, incidentally is from the south-east which is a politically disadvantaged region probably as a consequence of the civil war triggered by the decision of lgbo leadership at that time to secede in 1967-barely six (6) years after Nigeria’s independence and three (3) years after becoming a republic.

Worse still, the south-east can not be said to have a political base, simply because there is no evidence that he is enjoying the sympathy of any of the main or even fringe political parties or incumbent governors-from Anambra, Enugu, lmo ,Ebonyi to Abia states.

Yes, he has the backing of the lgbo social-cultural group Ohaneze Ndigbo, but it is not a political machine, but a mere sociocultural platform. In fact, it is as impotent politically as Afenifere in Yoruba land and Arewa in Hausa/Fulani part of our country. Incidentally, Afenifere in the south-west, touting its forthrightness is in sympathy with lgbo and therefore in support of Obi in his vaulting ambition.

But l wonder how the sociocultural group can harness Yoruba votes for the LP and its presidential candidate.

Do the lgbo have legitimate and justifiable reasons to jostle for the presidency of Nigeria?

The answer is in the affirmative.

That prospect would more than any policy of government enable them get reintegrated into Nigerian nation after the civil war fought, won and lost some fifty two (52) years ago.
But as things currently stand, only an Atiku Abubakar presidency with lgbo man as vice president is the out-of-the-box thinking formula that can make it happen.

It is disappointing that the so called three (3 Rs) Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Reintegration of the lgbo into the Nigerian nation which is a policy introduced by the general Yakubu Gowon regime that prosecuted and won the war (1967-70) has been largely implemented in breach. That is one of the reasons that the polarizing fault lines of division have been widening and amplifying the exclusion of lgbo in the political leadership of our beloved country at the centre due to actions and inactions of the incumbent regime which is exactly why the separatist sentiments of the easterners have persisted.

Having laid the foundation for the establishment of the proposition that Wazirin Atiku Abubakar would be the stepping stone for lgbo presidency, l would like to crave the indulgence of readers to allow me republish a relevant portion of one of the several articles that l wrote and first published nearly two years ago in both traditional and online media platforms titled: ”Nigeria Presidency 2023: Where Are The lgbo Candidates”

Here we go.

“The political inactivity in lgbo land with respect to the presidency of Nigeria in 2023 is quite the opposite of the preparatory activities towards the forthcoming November 6, governorship election which both president Buhari and lNEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu have vowed must hold on schedule, despite the IPOB threat.

Somehow, the quartet of Andy Uba of APC, Val Ozigbo of PDP, Chukwuma Soludo of APGA, and Ifeannyi Uba of YPP representing the main political parties have been ramping up their campaigns.

Given the scenario above, and if the lgbo are really not politicking for the presidency like their Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani counterparts, (which is evident by the reality on ground) the prospect of lgbo presidency in 2023 that may already be in peril, needs to be given a shot-in-the-arm through a strategic partnership that would provide required political structures and financial muscle .

That is what informed my proposal in the earlier referenced article: “How To Become The President Of Nigeria ln 2023”that the lgbo should align with Atiku Abubakar as PDP presidential candidate in 2023 to achieve the dream of lgbo presidency in 2027.

My proposal is underscored by the belief that it would be unlikely that the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who has become a veteran in presidential contests since 1992 with enormous practical experience , would seek for re-election in 2027, if elected president in 2023 via an lgbo alliance and PDP support.

Unless other northern contenders like Aminu Tambuwal or Bala Mohammed are willing to serve only one term and hand over to an lgbo Vice President, which is a highly unlikely scenario simply because of their relatively young age compared to the former Vice President who would be 75 years next month, lgbo quest for the presidency of Nigeria may remain a mirage.

In my view, a partnership with Atiku Abubakar as a pathway to Aso Rock Villa remains the most viable trajectory for an lgbo man/woman to become president of Nigeria in 2027 on PDP platform .That is because, Atiku Abubakar is liberal , broad minded, business savvy and has links by marriage to all the three major ethnic groups-Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and lgbo in Nigeria. It implies that Atiku Abubakar presidency would likely be more inclusive than nepotistic-a trademark of the current government in power that is fueling the current gale of separatist movements.

The point being made here is that under Atiku Abubakar’s watch as president, separatism would be consigned to the dustbin as inclusiveness becomes a major policy plank in government. With inclusiveness becoming a centre point of public policy in Nigeria ,secessionist tendencies would die a natural death in the manner that Niger delta militancy ceased after the late president Umaru Yar’dua took strategic steps to stabilize the volatile region via his offer of Amnesty to former militants after meeting some of their demands.

The existential reality in Nigeria’s current political equation that is not balanced , no thanks to Fredrick Lugard.

That truth is that the lgbos need help to actualize their quest for the presidency of Nigeria. As Atilla the Hun advised “choose your enemies wisely and your friends carefully.”
It should be obvious to the average lgbo that they can not ascend the throne in Aso Rock Villa seat of power by themself as they lack the numerical strength and political tentacles . And they must accept that their mastery of business can not overnight be translated into the political savviness that is required for someone of lgbo extraction to become the number one(1 )citizen presiding over our country in Aso Rock Villa from 2023.

So an alliance with the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar whose political fortune has been built since the time that he first contested against the late MKO Abiola in Social Democratic Party, SDP primaries held in 1992, remains the most viable political catapult that can propel the lgbo nation into Aso Rock Villa, after Alex Ekwueme’s partnership with Shehu Shagari for the presidency of Nigeria (1979-1983).

It is disappointing that Ekwueme’s vice presidency is the last time the lgbo enjoyed worthy political significance in a country that they have indisputable ancestry.
Frankly , without adopting or resorting to the application of the type of cold calculations that l am advocating, the lgbo’s demand for someone from their ethnic stock as number one occupant in Aso Rock Villa would very likely remain a mirage and mission impossible as it would continue to be elusive beyond 2023 and even 2027.

As a follow up article to “How To Become President Of Nigeria”, l wrote another piece titled : “A Citizen’s Guide on How To Become President of Nigeria” also published on the back page of Thisday newspaper on October 22,2021 and other mainstream newspapers, including Daily lndependence, Vanguard as well as online platforms. And the following points were brought to the attention of readers:

“Although presidential power play is largely about popularity, it also significantly utilizes conspiracies and alliances as the oxygen and blood for positioning popular candidates for victory in presidential polls.”

In light of the above reality, which ethnic nationality or nationalities in the Nigerian Union is the lgbo building alliance or conspiring with, overtly or covertly ? None”
So by and large what Chukwuma Soludo was literally clobbered on the head for saying, what had already been identified long ago in my articles before he articulated them more forcefully like a professor that he truly is. And before anybody levels a hasty and mischievous allegation of being anti lgbo against me, l implore readers to obtain and read my latest book : Becoming President of Nigeria. A Citizen’s Guide (May,2022)

A quarter of which is four (4) of the twelve (12) chapters tome is dedicated to making a case for lgbo presidency in 2023.

But after painstakingly identifying and interrogating the odds stacked against the lgbo nation in the present political structure of our country, l came to the conclusion that the most feasible pathway for the lgbo to ascend to the apogee of power in Aso Rock Villa soon is to quickly get on the PDP train and piggy-tail Wazirin Atiku Abubakar by ‘donating’ to him their votes in exchange for an lgbo person as vice Presidential candidate that would take over from him in four(4) years time,2027 when he completes his first tenure.

The lgbo leadership did not heed my nearly two years old advise and my brother, current delta state governor, Dr lfeanyi Okowa who saw the opportunity and could not resist it by letting it slip off, seized the moment.

And he has identified himself as an lgbo man and no one can deny him that identify.

As it is often with contestation for political power, Okowa did not wait to be given power, he seized it.

So the rest is now history.

Incidentally, before l made a case for the lgbo to make a beeline to the presidency via partnership with former vice president Atiku Abubakar, l never discussed it with him even though l have had the honor and privilege of knowing the Wazirin Adamawa over a long period of about two decades courtesy of my long association with my former boss and brother, ex governor of delta state (1999-2007) Chief James lbori who facilitated my sojourn into politics since 2003 as a commissioner in his cabinet.

It did not surprise me that my proposition for my lgbo brothers/sisters to hinge their mission to Aso Aso Rock Villa on Wazirin Atiku Abubakar’s presidency in 2023 was tagged by my friends and foes alike as ‘Magnus formula’ and of which l received more than a fair share of knocks by the same media mobs that tried to maul Professor Soludo for telling the lgbo nation the home truth.

About two (2) years after the idea was first mooted, I am delighted that the PDP presidential candidate, Wazirin Atiku’ Abubakar has finally validated my proposition made to the lgbos ‘several moons ago’ (as a typical lgbo person would put it) by personally making the pledge to them during his campaign stomp in Awka, Anambra state capital on 15 December,2023 that his presidency would be a stepping stone for lgbo presidency of Nigeria.

Again, leaning on or drawing from the legendary lgbo wittiness, ‘ndigbo now have the yam and the knife‘ and they can not pretend not to know what to do with the yam and knife.
And in case they have forgotten, Atiku Abubakar is providing the palm oil with which they can eat the yam after cutting for themselves a generous portion of it with the knife.
One thing that the lgbo must keep in the most critical part of their mind is that who they cast their votes for on 25 February next year can make or mar their chances of realizing their life long ambition to call the the shots in Aso Rock Villa.

And Wazirin Atiku Abubakar offers the best pathway.

Magnus Onyibe, an entrepreneur, public policy analyst, author, development strategist, alumnus of Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA and a former commissioner in Delta state government, sent this piece from lagos. To continue with this conversation, pls visit

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Open Letter to FCT Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike By Richard Akinnola II




Dear Hon minister,

First, a disclosure. You may not know me but we have met on two occasions in the house of our mutual respected Oga, first as a minister of State and second as a Governor, but l doubt if you can recognize me now. I’m one of your admirers and critic.

As a two-time Governor of Rivers state, you did well in terms of infrastructures, for which l often commend you. I however, sometimes disagree with you, particularly what l consider your streaks of high-handedness against those who disagreed with you politically.
I’m writing this letter, with the hope that don would send it to you, after watching your media interview with particular reference to your protégé and successor, Sim Fubara, a guy l have never met. No doubt, he wouldn’t have emerged as Governor without your imprimatur. I don’t have the details of your disagreement and I’m not even interested. What I’m interested in is you to rise above the alleged offence.

Take a deep breath and have an introspective view of your political trajectory since 1999.
*1999-2007: Obio-Akpor LGA Chairman
*2007-2011: Chief of Staff, Rivers
*2011-2015: Education Min. (State)
*2015-2023: Governor, Rivers State
*2023-till date: Minister of FCT
And you are just 55!
I stand to be corrected, nobody from Rivers State has been so politically favoured and blessed by God as you are, not that you are the most politically-savvy politician from the state but it’s just the Grace of God. I plead with you, don’t take such grace for granted.

As Governor of Lagos state in 2010, Governor Babatunde Fashola told me something that has stuck with me till today, regarding power and leadership. There was a three-month old strike by doctors in Lagos over pay increase. I stepped in to mediate between the doctors and State, which by the grace of God, l was able to pull through after extensive negotiations with the doctors and the strike was called off to the relief of millions of Lagosians. In the course of the mediation, Fashola told me that some people asked him to fire all the doctors but he made this profound statement: “Restraint is a powerful tool in leadership; the fact that you have the power to do something but chose to look the other way.” That statement has stuck with me till date. Why do you think American presidents, despite the temptation to press the nuclear button, when their interests are threatened, rather exercise restraint by refusing to go that route. It is leadership restraint.

Permit me to recall a story which you yourself regaled your audience with at the 70th birthday reception you held in honour of Dr Peter Odili. You said that when you wanted to contest for the Chairmanship of Obi/Akpor local government in 1998, you approached Dr Odili, whom you were meeting for the first time and sought his support. He obliged by giving you his support and according to you, he gave you the first financial support towards your ambition, even when he himself was campaigning to run for the governorship of Rivers State. You became the Chairman and when you wanted to go for a second tenure, some political actors removed your name and according to you, you ran to Dr Odili who was then the governor and he saved your political career by reinstating your name.

Fast forward to when you completed your tenure as the Chairman of the local government, when your erstwhile friend, Rotimi Amaechi who just became the Governor, appointed you his Chief of Staff and that administration commenced a process to humiliate Dr Odili by setting up the Rivers State Truth and Reconciliation Commission where your benefactor, Odili was the target and was put in the witness box.
Later when cracks began to emerge in your relationship with your boss, Amaechi, you ran back to your benefactor, Dr Odili to apologise for how your administration humiliated him. As a large-hearted person, he forgave you and that began a wonderful relationship till date. Why am l making references to these incidents? If Dr Odili could forgive you and took you back, why can’t you also forgive your political offenders, including Fubara, particularly since God has been so good to you?

Anyone who has transversed Ada George road, Port harcourt and seen the humongous, palatial estate you reside in, that takes a substantial part of that road, would know that you are not lacking materially. Coupled with that, you are a minister in the current government and your wonderful wife is a judge. What else does any human being want?

My brother, please calm down and let go of your ego and learn from history. Who would have thought that a whole General Shehu Yar’Adua (rtd) could die like a chicken inside prison; who would have imagined that a whole Bashorun MKO Abiola, the then richest man in Africa could spend five years in detention and die in custody, despite his international connections; who would have imagined that Major Hamza Al-Mustapher, the de facto Head of State during the junta of General Sanni Abacha, a man even Generals genuflected for, would spend 14 years in prison? Please, pause and think. This life is ephemeral. As the book of Ecclesiastes 1 states, life is vanity.

In Oyo state, there used to be the strong man of Ibadan politics, Lamidi Adedibu but his house in Molete, Ibadan is now desolate after his death. Adedibu was law as far as Ibadan politics was concerned. He was feared by all political actors across the nation. Before him, there was Busari Adelakun, otherwise known as “Eruobodo” in Ibadan politics. They have all been consigned to the dustbin of history. Learn from these because whether you like it or not, you would also pass away one day like all mortals.

God has been so good to you. Though I don’t have the details of your feud with Fubara but you claim he is an ingrate but this same “ingrate” took bullets for you as your Accountant-General when the EFCC was investigating your government. If you didn’t have confidence in him, you wouldn’t have put him forward to succeed you. Please, rise above political offences and be a leader. May it not be counted against you that since 1999, your successor would be the first Governor of Rivers state to be impeached. No garland for such feat. It would be a pyrrhic victory and your new political masters in Abuja would even be wary of you. You are new to Tinubu’s school of politics. Don’t get carried away.
May God guide you right.

Richard Akinnola
(Your admirer and critic)

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Voice of Emancipation: How to Achieve Yoruba Sovereignty (Pt. 3)




By Kayode Emola

Many people would have us believe that achieving Yoruba sovereignty is a gargantuan task, yet the reality is that it should not be as difficult as they make it appear. In part one of this series, I outlined how we first got into this mess, through the combination of unfavourable trade alliances and the sheer determination of the Europeans to colonise our lands for their personal gains.

Just as we are in this mess through the colonial powers’ determination, we ourselves must be doubly determined to remove ourselves from it. This is not an abstract idea that we can notionally support without any concrete action. Rather, we must be actively striving for our freedom, determining metrics by which we can measure our successes. Without such measurement, how can we ascertain whether we are truly making progress or, instead, retrogressing?

This is the time to do a roll call of people who are genuinely serious about Yoruba independence. The fight for self-determination must demonstrate an irrefutable desire for our own independent country outside of Nigeria, and to do that we need to put concrete measures in place. This is not about holding endless zoom meetings that lead nowhere, but rather ensuring that these meetings are backed by action, with direction and clear plans for how and when we get to our destination.

We in the self-determination struggle must have a clear understanding of where we are and where we are going. I hear too many arguments about which direction we should be traversing and how to circumnavigate the rough terrain of Yoruba independence. The truth is that those who are for one route or an opposite route are mistaken. We must be opened minded about our direction and all the options must be on the table and prepared for.

Take for instance, some people will say we want diplomatic route, and some people will say we want to get Yoruba nation forcefully. There is no such thing as diplomatic route or military route as those expressions are just gimmicks and grammars to keep us in check. There is only one route and that is the determination of our hearts and minds to liberate our country. Every other fantastic word being used is just an illusion of the mind.

Therefore, to begin our journey all we need do from the beginning is to plan how to get to our destination including self-defence. During the planning phase, this will highlight how long or short we realistically believe that the journey will take. The planners should be able to put a time limit which should be limited, not more than 2 – 5 years that Yoruba independence must be achieved and put measures in place on how it can be achieved, which I believe its realistic including whipping up sentiments among our people back home.

Once the planning on how the journey is to be executed which should be done by only a selected few, this information can be trickled down to the masses in the form of implementation. The planning should include how funds can be generated both from individuals who truly believe in the cause and from organisations or sympathetic governments around the world that are willing to listen to our plights.

Take for instance, when Israel was attacked on 7 October this year, Israel was determined to free the last citizen taken as hostage by HAMAS. This was an uncompromising position Israel set out for itself from the onset not mincing words or trying to compromise. Israel was determined to free their citizens and declared war against HAMAS and today we can see that they are winning the war and hostages are being released.

Thanks to the Israeli government resilience and determination, the freed hostages are being reunited with their families. That is the type of determination those at the forefront of the Yoruba must have if we are to make any headway on our journey.

Once those at the forefront are resolute and determined, then we need to take a roll call of those who truly believe in the freedom of Yoruba. By this, I don’t mean people who would just turn up for zoom meetings. I mean all the ordinary man on the street who are suffering from the hardship Nigeria has meted out to everyone and is determined to leave Nigeria to embrace their Yoruba identity.

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Journey into SELF: Your Mind, a Weapon, Your Brain, a Powerful Machine!




By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“The ultimate goal of every exploration is to discover something or unravel mysteries, and maximize those things in order to conquer: fears, flaws and limitations; thereby advancing one’s self for the benefit of those around us, especially our nations and generation(s). Your mind is a weapon; your brain is a powerful machine that aids in the explorations of the ‘empires’ that lie within the cores of your being for exploits beyond measures, such that it is on the basis of how far your inner eyes can see, so you are bound to become whatever, whenever and however your goodly and Godly heart desires are. The alignment of the Spirit, Soul and Body are channels for the openings of portals within and beyond realms. They are gifts for accessing from God that which makes us to be “Made Above Nature” for fellowships, also custodians of the deep things of God, wired as carriers of His essences and presence on this earthly plain, primarily for His glory!” – Tolulope A. Adegoke

By the activation of the process of what is termed to be self –exploration, the prodigal son in the Book of Life came back to his senses and went back home. He came to himself and arrived at the juncture of self-realization by a process – the process of self- exploration.

How far a man conquers the world is a function of how well he conquers himself; hence, the greatest journey, the most prestigious journey, the most rewarding journey any man would ever embark on is the journey of self-exploration. The ultimate goal of every exploration is to discover something(s) or unravel mysteries, and maximize those things to conquer: fears, flaws and limitations; thereby advancing one’s self for the benefits of those around us, especially our generation(s).

A man will be stuck in ‘yesterday’ no matter how well read he is or how well he has explored the world around him, if he neglects to travel through himself; that is, to explore the industries that lies with him. Empowerment for change of levels or development does not come from travelling round the world; it comes from travelling through one’s self. Africa as a continent and government of its nations, for example, craves to attract Africans in diaspora to come back home to make Africa better is an unnecessary move. Africans that will develop Africa are not those that have travelled round the world, they are simply those that have ‘travelled into the industries that lies within their earthen vessels’. The prodigal son is a testimony of this fact; despite how well-travelled he was, he still fell from grace to grass, from a Hero to zero, but he got connected to a program of restoration when he embarked on the journey of self-exploration.

Self-exploration is the art and act of outgrowing childish dependences on individuals, as an individual, a people, a nation or continent, in acknowledging and celebration of the cultural values of developing and assigning one’s natural or innate potentials or gifts to the benefits of others.  If you cannot lean on your inner grace (as given by God), you will end up becoming an unnecessary burden unto those around you. Treasures lies within everyone. To be honest, self-explorers out-grow and outshine childish nature of dependence on others. They do not just sit down and wait for others to make things work for them or better; rather, such category of people gets up and work-out things for the better by accepting responsibility for the well-being of peoples, or corporates or nations without any need of compulsion.

 Self-explorers meet needs, they do not waste time thinking of who to call on to help them meet their needs when in need. Therefore, such a man or woman waits on him or herself, because he believes in what the Creator, God Almighty has embedded in him or her, which are consciously and continuously worked upon to become better and more useful to God, society at large and not only to himself! We should be observant enough to know with empirical evidences that major life’s activities are usually done or carried out in seclusion. In quietness lies the truth. My daily mantra goes thus: ‘calm, quiet, available and useful is my soul before God Almighty, My Maker!’ For example, real banking transactions are carried out in the strong room and an organization’s behaviour is cultivated and strengthened and accounted for in a secluded company boardroom. Also, medical operations are usually carried out in secluded places known as the hospital-theatres. So, self-exploration is carried out in the empires of the mind!

 Self-exploration involves securing personal independence for self-realization and self-productivity, which requires a secluded or serene atmosphere and the culture of practiced silence. Because, in silence lies the truth! A man that does not engage in silence is bound to perform below his potentials! The prodigal son as a powerful case study here was launched to self-realization and fulfilment of his potentials simply by engaging in silence; listen to the account from the Book of Life: (Luke15:15-16)

15“And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; And he sent him into his fields to feed swine, 16And he would fain have filled is belly with the husks that swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.”

The prodigal son celebrated this truth: “…he sent him into his fields to feed swine.”

17“And when he came to himself, he said how many hired servants of my father have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him…am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”

As we can see, the prodigal son became alone with pigs, he was disconnected from men, such that he had nobody to come to his aid or depend on. He became alone, disconnected himself from clubbing, from hanging out with sluts and macho guys. He indeed disconnected himself from distractions (the noises), so as to gain attention to the call of destiny!

 Even, Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists ever lived was bearing witness with the prodigal son’s engagement to silence, when he revealed that:

“I am truly a ‘lone-traveller’ and never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family with my whole heart. In face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude, feeling that increase with the year.”

What the above simply means is to practically engage in silence beyond locking yourself in a room, disconnected from all manner of human and mechanical noise. It simply means disengaging your mind from all manner of desires, lust, pursuits, values and associations that are not loyal, subject or beneficial to the discovery, development and deployment of your God given or innate potentials.

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Says the Holy Book of Life!

The Hero called Michael Jordan, the man whom God had in mind in blessing and entertaining mankind with the basketball skills. The game of basketball would have become boring without the legendary exploits of this rare gem. With a divine sense of understanding, there are reasons beyond the visible that made Michael Jordan such a timeless star, which has helped to inspire a lot of individuals across the world and lured many of us study several respective versions of his biographies.

It has been discovered that Michael Jordan’s winning edge is his mastery of the ageless art of silence. He once wrote this powerful piece online:

“When I am out there, no one can bother me. Being out there is one of the most private parts of my life…during the game; for a few times in my life, I feel untouchable…I mean that about a game being like meditation period for me. Anytime I am playing serious basketball, it’s like meditation.

Sometimes even in the middle of the game, I am able to think about things as loud as it is; it’s almost a quiet time for me. I know that basketball game can be very exciting, but for me the game is one of the calmest parts of my life.”

Michael Jordan’s winning edge no doubt is his discipline to play the game on the platter of silence, by being united- spirit, soul and body-with the game of basketball; not minding external applauds or distracting forces which surrounded him- the process with such force that would break any unfocused man. By this, he is able to initiate and maximize communication and application with the unusual and inherent basketball energy he is endowed with.

Silence is the strong force that connects the physical into the spiritual, if properly harnessed to yielding the manifestations of possibilities. Silence, therefore, is the art of being immune to distracting-external forces in order for one to initiate or propel or maximize communication with inherent and invisible resources endowed in man by God. But the art of silence has been neglected by vast majority of mankind; yet it is as important as the art of prayer. Surprisingly, those that are master of the art of ‘prayer’ without mastering the art of ‘silence’ make little or no contribution to human existence. But, those that master the art of ‘silence’ enjoy the grace to maximize, expand, explore, exploit and contribute meaningfully to the advancement of humanity!

Attesting to the reality of this fact, Bishop David O. Oyedepo revealed in his book titled: “Maximizing your Destiny” that:

“Quietness enhances the quality of thinking. Quietness enhances productive reasoning. I cherish quietness and I will do anything to have it…that is why although we have many rooms in our house. I sometimes have to put certain guest in the hotel, to avoid the noise they will make in my home. Quietness is precious to me. It has great spiritual value…”

A prolific and industrious writer, Samson Adah Paul wrote this mind blowing piece that reminds me of the Divine creation techniques:

“When God Almighty saw the need to create woman for man, he did not inspire man to employ the ‘art of prayer’, he simply inspired man to connect to the art of silence…”

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs…and the rib which God had taken from man, made He woman.” [Genesis2:21]

Silence informs! It is the factory house of progress and development. Any quest for progress and development that is pursued without the art of silence will ever be in vain. Samson Adah Paul writes again: “Africans that will experience the fulfilment of the ‘African Dream’ will have to be masters of the art of silence. Mind you, silence in this context is not about being mute and dumb, it’s rather about being immune to distracting external-forces in order for one to initiate and maximize communication with the inherent resources endowed in man by God.”

Some sensitive aspects of Thomas Edison’s life have been a great lesson and positive example to me as a person after series of comprehensive study about him. I discovered too that his greatest strength was his mastery over the art of ‘silence’. His life showed impeccable discoveries and exploits, but were all as a result of paying attention to necessary matters; it is much more a function of withdrawing attention or refraining from unnecessary matters. He refused to submit to his medical science advancement for the treatment of 100% deafness which he suffered from birth on one ear and 80% deafness on his other ear. Edison rather preferred to bear the burden of deafness, for him to become better; because to him, that was an advantage. He wrote this mind-blowing piece:

“Even though I am nearly deaf, I seem to be gifted with a kind of inner hearing which enables me to detect sounds and noises that the ordinary person does not hear.” Edison did not consider hearing disability as pain but as gain which helped to strengthen his concentration levels in the areas of discoveries and impeccable inventions, thereby serving as a plus to humanity, rather than living on the guise of excuses! This, I call the Journeys of Our Beings to ‘Being’ whatever our hearts desires, whenever and however! It is a journey less travelled by a majority across the world, but mostly practised by the ‘One Percent’ of the ‘One Percent’ (Geniuses)!

Dr. Tolulope A. Adegoke is an accredited ISO 20700 Effective Leadership Management Trainer. 


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