OPEN LETTER TO THE ENTIRE ONDO STATE STUDENTS’ MOVEMENT – BEFORE WE GET KILLED AGAIN BY SALAMI ISMAIL OYEWALE


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It was a Friday, the 13th of July, 2012, that the Ondo State Students’ Movement experienced the darkest moment in the annals of her history, as we lost FOUR students’ leaders in a ghastly motor accident along the Owo-Akure express road, namely:

[1] Comrade Aremo Gbenga [ÌBÍLÈ] the then NANS National Vice President [External Affairs].

[2] Comrade Awopegba Julius Oluwadapo [DPO] – the then Student Union President of the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

[3] Comrade Akintola Abiodun – the then Student Union Government President of the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo.

[4] Comrade Oyikan Olotu – the then Student Union Government President of the Ondo State School of Midwifery, Akure.

While a handful sustained different degrees of injury, ranging from minor cuts to permanent disability.

Four years down the lane, have we – the Ondo State Students’ fold learn anything from that dark period in our history?

I am tempted to say NO!

For those of you beating the drum of disunity, planting the seeds of discord and fueling the flames of hatred with your reckless utterances, disruptive and destructive actions, I am writing you this open letter from the depth of my heart.

We lost those students’ leaders in 2012 because of the seeds of hatred, envy, jealousy, curses etc planted in each of us against each other. We saw each other as arch enemies. We acted towards each other with suspicion. It all emanated from the crisis that rocked the NANS JCC Ondo State Axis in 2012! If you don’t know, now you know.

There was so much animosity in the rank and file of the Nigerian Students Movement in Ondo State back then that we wished each other evil!  It was that bad!

It all started with the imposition of Com. Owonola Abiodun [EQUITY] on the Ondo State Students’ Movement as NANS JCC Chairman by the “powers that be”, despite the non expiration of the tenure of Com. Omotayo Oladele [DELE-KENKO] and his executives.

We were so divided that at a certain conflict resolution meeting organised by the Ondo State Government at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, the Chief of Staff had to ask us to sit behind our respective NANS JCC Chairman. He said and I quote:

“If you are for EQUITY, move to the right side. If you’re for DELE, move to the left side.”

The respective camps kept on fighting each other whenever our paths crossed in the Akure metropolis. Fracas here and there. I, as the then FUTASUG President, was on the DELE side of the divide, our stance was simple and sacrosanct:

– DELE’s tenure was NOT over yet, thus the election conducted that produced EQUITY was an illegality, it cannot hold. It should be declared null and void.

On the other side of the divide – the EQUITY camp, they had their simple and negotiable demand too:

– “DELE must go”. He had offended the “powers that made him NANS JCC Chairman”, thus he must be sent packing from office.

After making a very ugly mess of ourselves by disturbing the peace and tranquility of Ondo State, the ODSG finally resolved the issue amicably for us – DELE would be allowed to complete his tenure in office, while the result of  election that produced EQUITY would stand and EQUITY would be sworn in as the new NANS JCC Chairman after the tenure of DELE.

Fast forward 4 years to this moment, my people, we find ourselves well divided just as the 2012 saga. There’s the Com. Falegan Samson [FADAR]-led JCC faction and the Com. Atolusi Anthony [ANTHOZ]-led JCC faction.

There is palpable enimity in the rank and file of the Ondo State Students’ fold. There are accusations and counter-accusations flying here and there. There exist the violence being unleashed by both camps. There is now a new twist of “metaphysical and/or supernatural attack” being deployed by both camps. There is the use of government machineries, university authorities and fraternal soldiers (cultists) to fight each other. Can it get messier than this?

When shall we learn? Is it when we complete rewriting the darkest period of our movement’s history by killing the next five or four or one amongst us before we reason?

Is it when you, yes I am referring to you, that is triggering, urging, rallying,  supporting and mobilising resources (be it material, financial, spiritual, cultist etc) for this ongoing crisis, quench your blood thirst before you let us have a peaceful students’ movement in Ondo State?

Finally, I’m calling on all concerned parties who have the genuine interest of the Nigerian Students in Ondo State at heart to sheath their swords of disagreement and allow peace to reign. Let us find a lasting solution to the ongoing imbroglio before it consumes us. 

Did I mention to you that the Ondo State Governorship Election is some months away? Just like in 2012, before that tragic accident that cost us some of the brightest comrades in Ondo State and maimed some others, the Ondo State Governorship Election was also around the corner then!

Y’all better #BeWise before your blood is siphoned!

… SamaOnPoint – always on point! …

MUSINGS OF A #BEDC CORPS MEMBER -THE NIGERIAN DREAM BY SALAMI ISMAIL OYEWALE


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Earlier today, Tuesday, 19th of April 2016, while distributing electricity bills in a remote metropolis in Benin city, Edo State, I was brought to tears by a show of passion in the “Nigerian Dream” by a customer I encountered.

Upon getting to the apartment, a partially completed 2-flat building, a middle-age woman attended to us (myself and a female marketer), we presented her bill to her.

The following sequence of events usually break out whenever we go out to share our monthly bills:

● Customer receives bills.

● Customer complains bitterly about high bill despite epileptic power supply.

● We (BEDC staffs) calm him/her down with empty reassurances that the supply will improve.

● Customer continues rant.

● We (BEDC staffs) take our leave, to proceed to the next apartment. And repeat the same sequence.

This particular woman was no different. Upon receiving her bill, she broke into a rant about the high bill we’ve given her this month. We calmed her down.

Fortunately, I’m yet to become accustomed to such rants since I joined the bill distribution crew. It’s a show that I’ve still got my conscience intact. Every month, high bills are printed, every month, customers blow hot without spitting fire, sheepishly they still go ahead to pay. The fraud in the electricity industry is a story for another day. Don’t let me digress.

The point I broke down before this middle-age woman was when she saw my NYSC cap and jungle boot (which I’ve converted to my BEDC fieldwork-safety boot). With her two little sons (about 7 and 4 years old respectively) quietly seated beside her while she was making her grievances known. Upon seeing my NYSC outfit, she calmed down and even flashed a smile at me. She showered prayer on me in native Benin language. The point arrived when she said that: “all her suffering now is to ensure that her two boys put on my NYSC uniform someday”.
Then she brought tears to my eyes by saying: “so they’ll also find job and work with NEPA like you my son”.

I answered “Ameen” sheepishly because I was in another realm!

I lost focus momentarily because I admired her sheer belief in the “Nigerian Dream” of the old days where our parents firmly believed what they had to do was to send us to school, and we’ll get employed thereafter!

I wept because I knew this woman, like millions others, were working very hard, toiling the soil, sweating blood just to ensure they get their children decent education with the firm hope and believe that there’s a nice job waiting for their wards after graduating!

I was sad because I knew it is a mirage!
These women will fulfill their part of the deal but the other body (governments, corporations, economy/economic policies etc) will not honour their side of the bargain!

I wept for my country for failing this woman and lots more, densely spread in virtually every home, from the far dry north to the coastal south!

I sobbed because I knew there is no longer a “Nigerian Dream”!

… SamaOnPoint – always on point! …

TROUBLED BY THESE KILLINGS… BY SALAMI ISMAIL OYEWALE


TROUBLED BY THESE KILLINGS… BY SALAMI ISMAIL OYEWALE

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In a country where the value of human life is not worth more than that of a fly at a butcher’s shop; where misery is a constant companion and the candour of our politicians and/or rulers is the same candour that pimps extend to prostitutes, it is not out of place to celebrate every minute, every hour, every month, and every year. It is certainly not for nothing that “Happy new month” has become a
refrain at the beginning of every month for many Nigerians on social media platforms.

Virtually every genuine student of the Nigerian Students Movement laments about the good old days of yesteryears. Statements such as: “Gone are the days of students’ activism on our university campus”. Or “Revolutionary student leaders like the late Segun Okeowo no longer exists”. Or “Students comrades are now political halleluya boys”, are the common lines used by the older generation of genuine comrades to register their displeasure at the death of a viable and strong students movement in Nigeria. 

The numbness and dumbness of today’s comrades is another form of
blindness that reflects on our nation’s collective myopia regarding social and political issues like corruption, poverty, unemployment, etc.
As university students and comrades, we are expected to take active roles in democracy – roles beyond the ballot box. We are expected to help frame both issues and solutions in our communities, our nation, and the world. Nigerian students and comrades no longer participate in the kind of vibrant civic life that is critical to the success of our democracy.

Our students and comrades have failed to be active in developing and promoting civic space in education of democratic citizenship and engagement of our citizens by developing their political consciousness. In a country of 170 million people, students’ voices matter! In the ’60s and ’70s, history has it that there was a huge rise in the involvement of students in politics. Time and again, we have seen and/or read how they have stood together to raise their voices against social injustices, tyranny, oppression, and dictatorship and have made impact on policies affecting them and Nigeria as a whole. Today, our university students and comrades are as dumb as a dummy. They have become “political almajiris” with the most corrupt politicians being their role models and decorating crooks with the highest students awards and honours.

The list of our shortcomings goes on and on. …

These and many more are the crimes of the Nigerian Students and comrades. I beg to bring the attention of the entire nation to a subtle and deliberate avenue which has heavily culminated in the slow decline and death of the involvement of these students and comrades in national issues – the extrajudicial killings of Nigerian Students and comrades.

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On Monday, April 11th, 2016, the news broke out of the killing of a Nigerian student, Comrade Ofurum Peter, a 400 level Accountancy student and serving president of the Faculty of Management Science Student Association (FAMASSA), amongst countless number of injured students by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) while protesting the increment of school fees on their school premises, University of Port Harcourt (UniPort), Rivers State.

To compound the woes, officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) were alleged to have also shot a student while protesting students were en route a media house in Port Harcourt in demonstration against the death of Comrade Orufum Peter, who was earlier shot dead by the NPF.

About 48 hours earlier, on Saturday, April 9th, 2016, report had it that, while protesting the death of one of their colleague involved in a ghastly motor accident, two (2) students were killed by the bullets of men of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State. This has led to the closure of the school indefinitely.

In summary, in the space of about 48 hours, four (4) – five (5) students were confirmed dead and about 2 dozens injured on 2 different campuses accross the country.

The rage in me is aimed towards the security forces in general, and the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in particular. The NPF is not our “f*cking friend”. Keep your friendship amongst your killing nest, blood-sucking, dream-shattering and future-draining force headquarters in Abuja. Friends don’t kill friends!!!

Forget about the inadequacies of the Nigerian Students Movement and overlook our weak national strength at the moment. The Nigerian Police Force remains the number one enemy of the Nigerian students and comrades in this country. Are there no ways to combat protesting students other than sporadic gun shots? The NPF needs a complete overhaul. Their offense isn’t only corruption, bribe taking, negligence of duty among others. Their major crime against the Nigerian people in particular, and humanity in general, is the indiscriminate use of firearms, especially against unarmed protesting Nigerian students!

These killings are a well calculated attempt to silence our voice. It is a deliberate move to render us permanently dumb and numb. It is now a recurring theme aimed at rendering us inconsequential in the scheme of national polity. To the Inspector General of Police, tell your incompetent boys they can kill one, two, three or some of us, but their bullets can’t kill us all! I’m a comrade, a full fledged one for that matter, my pain is in the fact that it could have been my lifeless body riddled by bullets from officers paid by taxpayer’s money to protect and safeguard my life!!! life!!

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To the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), our association is no longer at sleep, this disturbing sleep is so long I’m of the strong opinion that we are now in a state of coma! An urgent prodding of our conscience is of immense importance now. We need to retrace our steps to the glory days of years gone pass.

Corruption continues to divide and destroy our collective resolve to terminate the cancer from our body politic. With broken criminal system, dysfunctional judicial system, comatose security agencies (especially the Nigerian Police Force), unchecked
media manipulation, uninformed and gullible citizenry (especially the youths), we have failed as a people to reach a moment of divine clarity on how best to move this nation forward.

The truth is that we have a serious problem with virtually every institution in this country. A university is an ivory tower. The town (community) should always come and learn from the gown (university). But the gown (university) is in total disarray. University of Lagos (UniLag) was shut down, after the students protested last week due to epileptic power supply. Why do all university management wait for students’ protest before doing the needful? How can a university survive without power or water supply? As professors, should they not have been proactive enough and foresee the need to close the university before the situation got out of hands? Imagine if the protest had gone out of control and another student or two got shot dead by the morons in black and black outfit? I’m of the opinion that as a professor, you’re an epitome of knowledge. But these Nigerian professors are challenging that thinking pattern of mine!

Given that situation, it is no surprise
that in 56 years of independence, and with over 350 universities littering the national landscape, we have not been able to solve our myriads of problems as a nation. In other words, our universities are but a true measure of Nigeria’s futility in many areas of life. To solve our problem, the individual does not need a foreign education; the system needs an administrative overhaul and attitude adjustment. We are eager to run overseas in search of foreign qualifications but the talent at home is either ignored or discouraged. Recently, we almost divided the nation along the obvious fault lines and called each other names because the rich were unable to send foreign exchange to their wards schooling abroad, but very little is being done to elevate the quality of our university, which is – and has to be – the foundation of sustainable success at all level of governance in this country.

We have bought the foreign life as sold to us, but we are not doing anything to sell ours. Look at how poorly-managed our infrastructures are. The same administrators who have no difficulty going abroad to any institution, show no concern for our near-comatose institutions in Nigeria. Unfortunately this problem, which is of incompetence and mediocrity, is not limited to our citadels of learning alone. We send to public office people we know to lack commitment and character, and then complain when they steal us blind.
The answer is that we must make long-term plans and implement those plans. We must install and respect the concept of merit, so that those who take our important public jobs are among the best. Where there are anomalies, such as in the fraudulent Central Bank of Nigeria hires and in the case of those who manipulated the current federal budget, we must respond with severe and open sanctions, not simply re-
deployments of the guilty.

On this occasion of the brutal killings of innocent Nigerian Students and comrades, I rededicate myself to the destruction of that system, no matter what its purveyors call it, that seeks to enslave the workers of the world; to categorically detest and overthrow all circumstances in which the human
being is humiliated, enslaved; abandoned, and despised!
I pledge to Nigeria; however, not Nigeria in its extremely dysfunctional state. I commit to a new, progressive, and egalitarian Nigeria where citizens will be defined not by their name, language, faith, or ethnicity; where citizens will
find fulfillment no matter which part of the country they come from; above all, a Nigeria where every Nigerian can live in peace, go to school, work, raise a family and run for office wherever they choose. I believe that Nigeria is possible!

This challenge is bigger than the Nigerian Students and Comrades and bigger than our universities. It is the story and challenge of the Nigerian people! #BeWise
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Additional excerpts from the following works:

● “Oby Ezekwesili Versus Half-Baked Nigerian Journalists” By Bayo Oluwasanmi

● “Moyòsórè – A Journey Of Discovery, Reappraisal, And Rededication” By Chido Onumah

● “Troubled By China” By Sonala Olumhense
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… SamaOnPoint – always on point! …

OSUN: WHAT IS WRONG WITH NAMING OR RENAMING OF SCHOOLS? BY HON. BOLA ILORI


https://plus.google.com/+BolaIlori/posts/PzKfEPURUuV?_utm_source=1-2-2

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Osun PDP will never fail to amuse right thinking Nigerians. One wonders what is special in renaming a school. This is done in every sane clime and for many and varying reasons. Why can’t Osun PDP even do any research before they open their mouths to regurgitate and
vomit beer parlour talk they know little or nothing about?

I had the opportunity of doing post graduate study in Harvard University and I remember that a number of the
faculties were named after individuals.
In fact the funniest one was last year’s renaming of the Harvard School of Public Health to T.H. Chan School of
Public Health because the family of the man donated $350 million to Harvard University! If Aregbesola had done that,
the same ignoramus in PDP will be shouting corruption, siphoning, commercialisation of education, selling of legacy and so on. Why are your brains so skewed? Why?

Rather than Harvard faculties to shout corruption, the name of the college was changed and the history of the change is still advertised publicly on the website of Harvard University till today. Need I remind them that Harvard University is rated to be about the best University in the World?

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/harvard-chan-naming-
gift/

Imaging the benefit and relief that will come to the staff and students of LAUTECH if a department is named after Michael Adenuga, Otedola or any Osun person with such fund, who could donate 1 or more billion naira for research in such a department? Honestly I think Ogbeni should consider such.

I also listened to their thoughtless wailing and reference to the UNILAG-to-MAULAG analogy. I did my first degree at University of Lagos and was proudly amongst those who kicked against the renaming of the school. It will interest them to know that I was detained severally in our fight to secure
Abiola’s mandate while I was the University of Lagos Students’ Union Welfare Secretary and subsequently, the Secretary General of the UNILAG Students’ Union (A NANS Senator and National Mobilisation Officer).

What they failed to learn is that the basis of the antagonism was that the National Stadium Abuja is the
most befitting monument to be named after him (Moshood Abiola) considering his contribution to sports in Africa. Also we rejected the sectionalisation of Abiola as a Yoruba hero; he won a pan- Nigerian mandate!

Can these wailers please pick out the honoured individuals in the Osun case and lets analyse whomever they feel is not worthy of such honour in terms of their contribution to educational development of Osun. Honestly,
that way, I can agree with them on the basis of superior argument and not this incoherent rantings and uncouth
vituperation of theirs.

Meanwhile other states in Nigeria has renamed several institutions across party lines without anyone first
going to the State Assembly before the naming, yet no body quarrelled with it. The law is expected to be changed after
the naming and the House of Assembly is at liberty to accept or reject such bill.

Gov Wike (PDP) of Rivers state announced the honouring of Ken Saro Wiwa by renaming the state’s polytechnic after him on July 9, 2015. The bill to effect the change was not signed by the Rivers State Assembly until one month after, on August 7th , 2015. Yet APC didn’t raise hell.

http://dailypost.ng/2015/07/10/wike-honours-saro-
wiwa-renames-polytechnic-after-him/

http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/08/07/wike-
signs-bill-renaming-state-polytechnic-after-ken-saro-
wiwa/

Edo State (APC) also did its own:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/11/edo-renames-
varsity-tayo-akpata/ .

Why must Osun PDP always advertise its acute lack of understanding about procedure of governance, no wonder
they could not achieve much during their seven and half year misrule in Osun. I challenge Osun PDP to name one educational institution in Nigeria that was first renamed by the State Assembly before been announced by the Chief Executive of the State.

PDP is a warped and wayward contraption for the dreg of Nigeria, however Osun PDP is the worst genre of the coven. They are so proudly arrogant in their display of acute lack wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Haba! Osun PDP rabidly validate the statement by Martin Luther King Jr that “There is nothing more dangerous than
sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”.

Oh ye, Osun PDP , I command you in the name of Jesus to receive wisdom!

… SamaOnPoint – always on point! …

THE SECRETS OF TOLULOPE EBUN BY EMIOLA OLAWALE


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Tolulope Christiana Ebun a.k.a “ToluNio” is a Lagos based young lady born in Bariga – a ghetto in Lagos state.

Tolulope Ebun has been the talk of the youths in different parts of the country. It is imperative to ask why this 32-year old enigmatic lady remains the talk of town despite not holding a political office in the country?

She is an inspiring, intelligent, vibrant, liberal and eloquent young lady who is a fast growing political figure both at the state and national level. Her stern interest in human and societal development (especially youths) has endeared her to thousands both at home and in diaspora. Her humility, pragmatic approach to issues, honesty and respect for all are rare attributes which has earned her thousands of extremely loyal followers as she never makes sugar-coated promises just to have her way.

Tolulope Ebun has been nominated for, and won several indigenous and international awards based on merit, sterling leadership qualities, selfless service to humanity amongst other laudable attributes. These traits earned her recognition at the prestigious “Spirit of Lagos Awards” where she was named “The Exceptional Youngster”.

Tolulope Ebun is an astute grassroot politician, a card carrying member of The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) since 2011. Tolulope Ebun contested for the Seat of The House of Representatives – Shomolu Federal Constituency (2015) and still remains constantly in touch with and easily accessible by her constituents despite losing the election.

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● Achievement Highlights:

• She is a rare philanthropist.
• Sponsoring of youths, both home and abroad, for educational advancement.
• Construction of several boreholes to ameliorate the menace of lack of potable water in several areas in her community.
• Donation of Transformers to her constituency.
• Organisation of scholarships, empowerment seminars, sports programmes amongst others.

Due to her passion for selfless service, she contested for the House of Representative seat for the Somolu Federal Constituency in the last general election. She enjoys huge popularity and massive followership in her constituency and beyond because of her humble attitude, pragmatic approach to issues, honesty and respect for all both young and old.

She has won several awards both home and abroad based on her sterling leadership qualities. The most prominent being the award she won even as an opposition party politician, the “Spirit of Lagos Awards”, organised by the APC governed Lagos State Government, where she bagged the “Exceptional Youngster Award”.

Her simple lifestyle, eloquent speeches and courage to impact her community are part of what drives her to giving more to the society. She is collectively known as “TOLUNIO” by her fans and associates.

Tolulope Ebun started her political career in the year 2011, based on her increasing passion to improve on the lives of the people in her society. Her personal contributions to both the socio-infrastructural development and human development of her community can’t be overstated. She has been a rallying point for the children of the FATHERFUL and MOTHERLESS just for the sake of making sure everyone in contact with her live a life full of purpose. Little wonders after her election in 2015, she remains the number one guest speaker in all youth events both in Nigeria and abroad.

Recently, Tolulope Ebun honoured an invitation of the West African Legislative Summit in Nigeria where she discussed the topic: “Youths’ Role in The Radical Change For National Advancement” at the prestigious Federal University of Technology Akure, (FUTA), Ondo State, Nigeria. This event had top personalities of the Nigerian Students Movement leaders from across various Nigerian campuses in attendance – leadership of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) amongst other personalities were all gathered to listen to the eloquent Tolulope Ebun challenge and awaken the Nigerian Students and Youths with her electrifying speech.

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The question that scrolls to mind is: “Did Tolulope Ebun contest in Ondo State?” Not at all. She contested in Lagos state but her activities are spreading across the shores of the country like the water flowing from its source. She has made herself available for the good of the society and has never  disappointed the youths in her given role. After this epoch making event, she has been receiving additional invites as the keynote speaker for events as her audience keeps soaring far high like the eagle.

She bagged another impressive award at the end of the event as “THE MOST INFLUENTIAL POLITICAL YOUTH IN THE COUNTRY”. This award was presented to her by the son of the HRM Obateru Akinruntan, the billionaire business mogul.

Tolulope Ebun’s secret remains unknown but like it is popular said: “the day your foot soldiers stop bringing their problems to you marks the day you cease to lead”. In other words, Tolulope Ebun, despite numerous challenges and constraints as an opposition politician, has remained a constant choice of the youths. Could that be the SECRET OF TOLULOPE EBUN?

… SamaOnPoint – always on point! …

DEAR WORLD, I AM HOME!


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By birth, I am Ghanaian;
By blood, a Nigerian;
By citizenship, a Nigerian;
By faith, a Muslim;
By calling, I belong to the WORLD;
By heart, I belong entirely to GOD.

Ages ago;
I lay hid. A swelling embryo;
Swirling. Whirling. Twirling.
In the amniotic cocoon that sustained me for 9 months;
And when I was ensconced in the comfort of your womb;
You spat me out through my mother;
Without remorse.
Thank you MOTHER!

I waddled to your gates;
On crooked, malformed limbs.
Innocent. Inept. Green with naiveté;
Awed by the magnificence of your: Undulating hills;
Misty mountain tops;
Surreal water bodies;
In these plethora of concatenating variances;
I took my first steps;
Into a world of unknowns!
DEAR WORLD, I am home!

You gazed with dispassionate eyes;
When your suckling treaded on shimmering coals;
And your boy bawled in discomfort;
You smiled with contentment;
When your protégée withered into soulless sheaves;
And his best were immolated on your alter of excellence;
You glowed victoriously;
When I dropped dead from exhaustion;
But you screamed in sheer joy;
When I was reborn after series of defeats and lows;
And like the Phoenix, I rose from the ashes;
Of the ebbing fire you kindled;
Refined. Purified. True denizen of your teachings – a champion!
DEAR WORLD, I am home!

Do know, though wide I may roam;
Always, a true son comes home;
No stronger impetus than the thought;
Of your all-embracing arms wide open;
Bidding your pliant son to his grave;
I have been here before.
In another life;
In another space.
In another time;
I am here now.
DEAR WORLD, I am home!

Till I depart your surface;
For the land beyond;
Please be kind on me!
DEAR WORLD, I am home!!!

Happy Birthday Salami Ismail Oyewale “EL’SAMA”!!!

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… SamaOnPoint – always on point! …

AJAOKUTA STEEL: TIME TO BREAK THE DEADLY CONSPIRACY SURROUNDING AJAOKUTA STEEL COMPANY LIMITED BY NATASHA HADIZA AKPOTI


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I have been advised to use pseudo names in publishing this piece, but that’s not my nature. I am one who
bolds up to situations and thus, I shall bear my name and consequences this report might stir.

From the 14th of August 2015, the day I had an interactive and empowerment session with the blacksmiths of #Ebiraland, Kogi State, the pains in their voices daunted me. A people, whose ancestors carved a niche in ironworks way back as the 7th century suffered for want of materials to support their trade while a steel giant lay raped in their backyard by a series of unfortunate events and conspiracies.

In October, I took online to issue a petition pleading with President Buhari to revive ASCL; and with your support we were able to get hundreds of signatures. Since that day, I left no stone unturned to discover the
happenings so as to better understand the best path forward. I have taken time to make this report as brief and as simple as possible and urge you all to take time and read.

● 1958 to 1979

• 1958 – the colonial administration conducted a feasibility study on iron ore deposits in Nigeria.

• 1967 – the United Nations Industrial
Development Organisation survey identified Nigeria as a potential steel market which led to the signing of
a bilateral agreement between Soviet Union and Nigeria.

• 1971 – the Nigerian Steel Development Authority was established by Decree No.9 to bring to reality a steel plant.

• 1979 – during the administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, TyazhPromExport (TPE), a Russian leading engineering company commenced construction works on Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited.

● 1979 to 1994

In less than 12 years, TPE transformed a wide expanse of land to contain some giant size network of machinery meant to process the exploration of steel for
Nigeria. Indeed, billions were spent and its evident in the state of the art townships, roads, bridges, power plants, air strip, port, rail that were put up in Itakpe and Ajaokuta in Kogi state.

In 1990, as the project approached completion, TPE on monthly basis for 4 years wrote to the Federal Government reminders on the need to commence
works on the necessary infrastructure needed to successfully operate ASCL and Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO). They are access roads to
the mines and rail system from ASCL to Onne sea port in Port Harcourt. TPE also suggested the possibility of
dredging river Niger which could offer a better and more convenient route of importing raw materials. This
infrastructure TPE argued would benefit the public especially Northern part of Nigeria where finished steel
manufactured products such as cars, parts, construction materials etc could be shipped to other states and nations once the state is fully functional as
an industrial hub. The government never responded.

● THE INTERNATIONAL CONSPIRACIES

A lot of people talk about the international conspiracies surrounding ASCL but very few know what actually
they were or are. Here;

• In 1992, when the project was near completion and while the Russians (TPE) called on the government to
work on needed infrastructure; powerful countries namely France, America, Germany, Britain etc including organizations like the World Bank and
International Monetary Fund (IMF) started reaching out to the Nigerian government to terminate the project with the Russians. The Ohinoyi of Ebira land HRM Ado Ibrahim witnessed firsthand a plot by the IMF during a
conference in NewYork where a team of Nigerian officials and foreign agents connived that ASCL should be completely dismantled and forgotten. To them, Nigeria did not need to have a steel plant. Nigeria could as well buy steel from them if needed for its
development.

The Nigerian government listened to the negative solutions without ever considering the true intentions of the so
called experts from these powerful foreign countries.
Russia all through stood its ground alone against France, America and co and kept on reminding Nigeria of the need to ignore the adverse opinions. Russia told Nigeria that this conspiracy was cooked by the West to stop Nigeria from achieving the economic strength
strong enough to uplift not only itself but the whole of Africa. To them, Nigeria and Africa needed to be kept
as a market for all junk goods from the West. This is in line with the colonial economic model brought in by the
British and so, to have Nigeria turn around its economy and that of weaker nations hitherto being exploited by
the super powers, and by implication, impact negatively on the extent of influence of the richer countries sent shivers at the smart future awaiting
Nigeria.

Nigeria’s government was too busy focusing on ushering the 3rd Republic, June 12 saga and all. No attention was given to the Russians. TPE was no
longer being paid. In 1994 TPE left Nigeria.

● SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

• The Debt Buy Back
Nigeria’s contract with TPE was to construct ASCL for five billion German Deutschmarks (DM) and such that
the Nigerian steel authority gave TPE promissory notes guaranteeing payment to the company. When the Nigerian government suspended payment and TPE left, TPE soldoff these instruments to recover some of the debt owed to the company.
In October 1995, a series of secret debt buy-back transactions took place whereby the debt instruments
were sold at inflated prices to Liberian companies purportedly owned by the Abachas – Parnar Shipping
Corporation and Mecosta Securities .This involved the withdrawal in 1996 of $2.5 bn of public funds to settle debts owed to Russia for the construction of the Ajaokuta steel plant, but which in reality had been discounted to only $500m. Obasanjo in 1999 settled
debt through OMPADEC.

http://www.un.org/en/africarenewal/subjindx/subpdfs/131nigr.pdf

● THE CONCESSIONS

• SOLGAS – the first Concessionaire

In 2003, Nigeria under president Obasanjo realized the need to complete Ajaokuta and so, SolGas, an American company which specialized in petroleum was given concession. For a year and a half, Solgas’s zero progress raised questions as to their technical
capacity to operate ASCL. Even though they claimed Senator Liyel Imoke and Gbenga Obasanjo brought in Global Steel Holdings Limited/ISPAT to short- change it from performing. To this end, Nigeria terminated contracts with Solgas. There were no minutes recorded to document deliberations engaging or terminating with Solgas.

• GLOBAL STEEL HOLDINGS LIMITED (INDIAN) – the second Concessionaire

An Indian company first operating under the name ISPAT then changed its name to Global Infrastructure Holding Limited and now Global Steel Holdings (GSH) were helped into Nigeria by Sen. Liyle Imoke and Gbenga Obasanjo under President Obasanjo’s tenure
in August 2004. The agreement was such that company would own 60 percent of the shares of the steel mill.
The Federal Government would keep 30 percent while 10 percent shares would be sold to the public. This company, GSHL owned by Mr. Primod Mittal is not
affiliated with ArcelorMittal, which is the world’s renowned steel giant.ArcelorMittal is owned by Lakshmi Mittal and a cousin to Mr. Primod Mittal.
This concession which saw the taking over of ASCL and Itakpe is termed one of the biggest scams of that administration. The plant was hugely undervalued for $300m and GSH was
to pay nothing to the government but inject its funds to revive the plant with a number of conditions, some of
which were:

– 1. That the Federal Government should give GSHL two oil blocks.

– 2. That GSHL be allowed to lift crude oil from Nigeria.

– 3. That the Sapele Power Plant be given to GSHL to operate.

– 4. Concession of Delta and Warri Ports to GSHL to operate.

– 10. The supply of Natural Gas to GSHL at “competitive and reasonable tariff”.(GSHL came up with this condition after it failed to sign a Gas Supply Agreement with the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas
Company (NLNG). GSHL offered to pay N5.00 per cubic meter of Gas as against the market price of N30.00!). It also inserted in its conditions that Gas price should be kept “reasonable and consistent”.

After all these conditions, ASCL still deteriorated as equipments of ASCL were moved to Delta steel (which
GSHL took over in 2005) while some to other private-owned Indian-owned steel factories in Nigeria in the name of “borrowing”.
The Federal Government under President Yar’adua realized the huge mistake Nigeria once again made and
sought to terminate the contract with GSHL. The then Director General of the BPE, Mrs Bolanle Onagoruwa stressed that the approval of the concession of
Ajaokuta by president Obasanjo was in violation of the BPE Act.

At Senator Ahmed Lawan-led Adhoc Committee, the then Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect
Mohammed Musa Sada also revealed that the FG under President Obasanjo single handedly sold ASCL to GSHL and that GSHL ruined the Ajaokuta complex by stripping it of all valuable equipment and machineries. This and more revelations led to the cancellation of the entire process by the FG.

This act didn’t go too well with GSHL and they dragged Nigeria to the International Chamber of Commerce
(ICC) in London, UK and demanded Nigeria pays them $1B for termination.
In 2013, after 6 years of heated negotiations at the ICC,
the Jonathan’s administration successfully took back ASCL. GSHL also lost their $1B demand.

deman

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● 2013 – TILL DATE: INDIANS HOLD AJAOKUTA TO RANSOM

One would have assumed the drama over in 2013 but alas, the Federal Governments hands are tied on
progressing with ASCL. GSHL shrewdly crafted an arbitration clause in the contract between the government and GSHL which prohibits Nigeria from
dealing with anybody until all matters with GSHL are resolved. In other words, the Indians do not want the Nigerian government to proceed on completing
Ajaokuta until an unreasonably selfish condition is me – they want the Nigerian government to give Itakpe Iron Ore company to them free for 25 years!

As at the moment of this report writing, there is a modified contract containing such ridiculous terms before the
minister of solid minerals in favour of the Indians. GSHL wants to tap Iron Ore from Itakpe and move to Delta Steel which was in June 2015 taken over by
Premium Steel, a company set up just months before the purchase of Delta Steel. Premium Steel is owned by another powerful Indian conglomerate headed by the Vasuwani brothers (owners of the controversial Stallion Group).

Truth is that Itakpe was set up as a captive mine to ASCL. The original plan holds that iron ore would be moved from Itakpe to ASCL which will in turn
distribute to other smaller rolling mills, Delta Steel inclusive. If GSHL succeeds in its bid to take charge of Itakpe, ASCL will become a sad history as there will be no ore to feed from. That means Kogi state will have no steel plant of its own ever again. So no matter the amount of pacifying information the government publishes for the public on the urgency and good intention they have towards ASCL, nothing shall be done until the arbitration is terminated.

Patriotic Nigerians must call on the Nigerian Government to immediately terminate every agreement in whatever form with GSHL. Nigeria is too big a nation to be held captive by an Indian company. TPE, a whole Russian government owned company who built the complex did not cause this much pain to Nigeria. Why would a private Indian Company who has never operated any steel plant in its own country India do such a thing to us? A more worrisome question that begs for answer is – Who are the heavyweight Nigerians behind GSHL selling us this cheap? I don’t believe Mr. Primod Mittal (owner of GSHL) would have the courage to stand alone and dare
this much pandemonium; so who are the greedy Nigerians toiling with the present and future of Kogi state and Nigerians?

No matter what, Nigerians must
remember that the masses are always majority and the power to determine our future truly lies in our hands. Our silence and ignorance has only cost us this much.

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● RUSSIAN TyazhPromExport (TPE) IS BACK WITH HOPE FOR NIGERIA

The Sole Administrator of ASCL, Egnr. Onobere has repeatedly said that since the Russians left in 1994, no progress has been realized on the project. The
following questions kept hovering my mind:

– the moment Nigeria realized their mistake in not completing ASCL and were ready to commence completion, why were the Russians not called back to resume works? Why did we settle for SolGas and GSHL in the first and second instances?

– From the quality of work evident in Ajaokuta, is there any doubt on the expertise of TPE that questioned their
invitation?

– Could it be that TPE wasn’t invited because the Russians are too straight forward and don’t engage in
“smart business”?

My research led me to uncover a lot of conspiracies on how TPE is no longer interested in doing business with
Nigeria and some even said TPE no longer exists. My curiosity took the better part of me and I decided to
look them up the internet and initiate contacts.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?
story_fbid=10154065985231758&id=675006757

I sent an e-mail to TPE in mid November, 2015 and another
early December 2015, none were replied. It is said that desperate times require desperate measures and that when you truly want to do something, you shall find a way; so I contacted a dear friend of mine who lives in Russia and who happens to be the acting Chairman of Russia’s Arbitration Court
on International Economic Matters – Mr. Tunde Adewon. As God would have it he is also a Nigerian; born to a father from Ondo State and a Russian mother. His father late Engr. Moses Adewon was one of the senior engineers who worked to build the Itakpe Iron Ore complex. Mr. Adewon on behalf of Builders Hub visited TPE in Moscow, Russia in the 2nd week in December 2015. After the first brief meeting, TPE, as precautionary measures ran a security check on me. Then Mr. Adewon was called for a detailed meeting and this was noted;

– TPE expressed deep sadness at the manner in which ASCL was handled.

– TPE said their heart was poured into the project in other to give Nigeria, the greatest country in Africa, the biggest steel Complex in Africa.

– That never, in all of their works across the world, not even in India, did they build a steel city as big as Ajaokuta complex.

– That it was sad Nigeria did not heed to their warnings about the international conspiracies and Nigeria turned their back on them instead of seeing the
bright future they dreamt for us. That we, by our own hands allowed our economy to be trampled amidst
negative interests by other powerful countries.

– That over the past years, they had tried reaching out to the Nigerian government to allow them come back
and complete the project. Nigeria did not respond positively.

– That they would want nothing more than to work to revive Ajaokuta and help Nigeria create jobs for its people and take itself out of poverty. Nigeria, they said must wake up from its slumber and be greater than ever before for itself and for Africa.

During a skype meeting, TPE was advised to write a letter of intent to the Minister of Solid Minerals. I also
made it clear that neither I nor Mr. Adewon were interested in any monetary reward. We were only good
citizens of Nigeria trying to use our best arsenals to contribute our quota in helping our country. They appreciated our honesty.

On the 25th of December 2015 (Christmas day), TPE wrote and sent the letter (which I have attached to this
post) to the Minister of Solid Minerals Dr. Kayode Fayemi. TPE is expecting to be invited over to discuss a path forward which would first entail technical evaluation of ASCL to ascertain damage and recommend modernization and upgrade plans for
completion. TPE said they are very ready to come to Nigeria even at a week’s notice.

On Monday the 18th January, 2016, I paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Solid Minerals himself, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. He acknowledged reading the letter from TPE and mentioned that the Ministry would look into it. I pleaded with him on the need to expedite actions regarding ASCL and reminded him that TPE’s intentions should be considered a priority.

Four weeks after the letter was sent to the Ministry and no response from the Minister’s office, I visited the
Department of Steel within the Ministry. To my shock, no one had seen or heard of the letter of intent.

Question – what happened to the TPE’s letter after the Minister read it. Is it not supposed to be sent to the Steel and Legal departments for action?

Do you also know that till today, no committee has been set up to investigate into ASCL?

● KIND WORDS FOR HON. MINISTER DR. KAYODE FAYEMI

My dear Minister, sorry if I sound a bit hard. I don’t like it myself but like I told you in your office, I tour rural
communities and interact everyday with the unemployed; the pains in their eyes are unbearable and that’s what I pour out right here… the pains of Nigerians and the huge expectations from your kind self and Mr. President. You visited Ajaokuta on the 14th of December 2015 and promised an urgent action first by composing a think tank whose report would be submitted to the President; that’s 40 days ago!!!

The Russians worked even on Christmas day to get the letter to you. When are you going to respond and
extend an invitation to at least hear out their plans for ASCL and Nigeria? When would you constitute the fact finding committee? How long a time would the
committee have to prepare its report? When would the President digest the report? When would decisions be
made? Please note that Nigerians expect your efficient office to act quickly as we are fast drowning.

Mr. Minister, I am aware you were misinformed that the Russians are not interested in the constructions works
in ASCL, that’s not true sir. Please do not be trapped by misinterpretations. For that sake, I have decided to
post TPE’s letter out to Nigerians to read. Also, my team met with the senior management of TPE in Russia
today the 26th of January, 2016 and they once again expressed their readiness to work with Nigeria on
Ajaokuta and other projects if need be.

Sir, do you know that TPE Russia constructed 3 of India’s largest steel plants namely – Bhilai, Bakaro and
Visakhapatnam? Do you know that Bhilai is an eleven-time winner of the best integrated steel plant in India?
They say the blast furnace technology in Ajaokuta is old. NO sir. Do you know that India recently contracted TPE Russia to reconstruct and modernize Rourkela (originally built by Germans) and Durgapur steel plants? It shall interest you to know that TPE is
installing the largest blast furnace in India as part of Rourkela upgrade.

Sir, please join as we ask ourselves why India, with all its steel expertise keeps calling on TPE Russia? It’s
because they are good and honest and that is what Nigeria needs now. GSHL was not invited by their government to work on their plants? Better still – has
GSHL ever done any steel works in India? Was Nigeria supposed to be a guinea pig? Little wonder they can’t
let go of Nigeria and are holding Ajaokuta hostage.

Sir, please see that the arbitration with GSHL is terminated as soon as possible. In the meantime, TPE is at this
moment writing a comprehensive letter of intent to the president, your office shall be promptly copied sir. Thank you.

Today the 26th of January, 2016, I printed copies of the letter and again took a set to the Minister’s office and a set to the Director of Steel, Engr. Also Abdullahi. He promised to follow up with the Minister.

Dearest Nigerians and Kogites, it is said that you can’t make the same mistake twice, the second time you make it; it’s no longer a mistake but a choice. I don’t
know what a third mistake is called!

We have watched our God given economic destiny being tossed twice by
a few; we cannot sit back and watch it happen the third time around. It will be a big shame unto us. Anger will do no good. We shall forgive everyone for
every negligent decision made in the past. Sadly we have found ourselves in the most despicable of times; we should be courageous enough to seek to take the best path forward. Let us think deep quickly and ask ourselves – what do we have to lose or gain if the
Russians come back to rescue Ajaokuta?

Now that God has ushered us a new government in Kogi state, let us demand of our Governor and National
Assembly members to make ASCL their watchword. Let our dear royal fathers HRM the Attah of Igala, the
Ohinoyi of Ebira land, the Obaro of Kabba and others keep interceding on behalf of ASCL. Let every Kogite realise
that there is no better time than now to unite and seek that justice is done to ASCL. Let every state in Nigeria
join forces to call on the Federal Government to revive Ajaokuta because that single project coupled with
Nigeria’s intellectualism can usher us into unprecedented greatness. We are too poor, our youths are jobless, our future is bleak, we cannot continue to
suffer this much. The time to speak up and act is now!!!
Truly yours
Natasha Hadiza Akpoti.

NOTE: This report took weeks of constant research with me meeting with the Minister of Solid Minerals Dr.
Fayemi, Director of Steel Ahl. Also Abdullahi, Sole Administrator Engr. Onobere, TPE Russia and so many
others. No part of this excerpt expressly stated, though all true, was made by any of the above mentioned.

… SamaOnPoint – always on point! …