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Kylian Mbappe, a forward for Paris Saint-Germain, has now passed both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the list of the richest footballers in the world.

Mbappe’s annual earnings have passed the £116m mark.


Messi and Ronaldo were listed as the two highest paid football players on Forbes’ annual list of wealthy athletes, which was released earlier this year.

However, that all looks set to change heading into 2023.

Robert Huth names clubs to finish Premier League top four this season
Manchester United’s Ronaldo (£104.9m) has dropped to second place, with Mbappe’s team-mate Messi (£102.1m) in third.

Ronaldo reportedly turned down an opportunity to join Saudi Arabian side, Al-Hilal this summer in a move that would have almost doubled his annual earnings.

A recently-signed bumper new deal at PSG means that Mbappe’s new status as the world’s richest footballer will come as a surprise to very few.

Matchmaker and relationship coach, Lara Kudayisi, talks her journey and other issues

Tell us about your background.

I am the first of four children. I was born and raised in Ogun State.

What services does Lara Kudayisi International offer?
Lara Kudayisi International focuses on therapy, coaching and certification. My organisation helps to heal people from trauma and emotional pain, and we make them happy afterwards. We are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.


Some people have said that matchmakers and relationship experts have difficulties in keeping relationships. Is this true?

What people do not know is that one cannot use people’s personal lives to judge their professional lives. Matchmaking is a professional service and it has nothing to do with the life of a person. This means that if I am a matchmaker, I must have been certified and it does not affect my personal life. Also, I am a cognitive behavioural therapist, but that does not exclude me from going through emotional pain.

What do you do when you go through emotional issues?

I have my own coaches and therapists. A coach needs a coach and a therapist needs therapy. Sometimes, therapists can have an emotional attachment to the stories that people share with them and it can make them depressed. Even as a professional, I still talk to my therapist as often as I can.

You once spoke about having 15 abortions. Why did you decide to share your story?


I started (sharing my story) 10 years ago and it was a divine instruction so that others can learn from my story. From then till now, I have grown to be a relationship therapist and life coach so that I can help other people who have similar experiences with me.

How have you been able to cope with the stereotype and stigmatisation you faced since you shared your story?

All those things do not matter to me because I know what I am doing and I have healed. It does not define me because it is my past. I am no longer the person that did those abortions. So, criticisms about my past life do not get to me.

Have you found closure with all the men you were involved with?

One does not need to go to people to find closure. That is what I teach people in the therapy programme I run. Closure is what you get by yourself. I have gone through years of therapy and I have got closure with all the men I was involved with. That helped me to heal and be able to talk about my story. I do not harbour any anger or hurt anymore and it is all part of my journey.


You once spoke about the pressure your father put on you to get married. How were you able to cope with it?

My dad is dead now but I got married when he was still alive. The pressure he put on me back then got to me because I had not healed from the trauma of my past. I know that if he was still alive, he would be disappointed that I am now a divorcee. My mother has got over it though.

I went public with my abortion story even before I got married. My ex-husband met me sharing my abortion story, which was what attracted him to me. My marriage had nothing to do with my past and this was the inspiration behind my book, ‘Why the Matchmaker’s Marriage Failed’.

Do your past experiences make you have trust issues?


I trust men a lot and I will be remarrying soon. What makes one not to trust men after heartbreak is because one has not healed. One has to pursue healing because it is very important. When one has healed, the kind of people one will attract and have a relationship with will be very different, and there will be nothing to fear anymore. Therapy is a life saver but a lot of people do not know that.

What lessons have you learnt as a single mum?

Being a single mum is really not an easy thing. It can be quite challenging when one is the primary caregiver. However, it has taught me that I am resilient and can do many things that I never thought I could do in the past. I have also learnt that if one is not ready to have a child and that person does, it will have an effect in that person’s life forever. So, it is important that one has to be prepared before becoming a parent.

How will you describe your relationship with God?

My relationship with God is fantastic. He is my friend, saviour and father. He is the one who directs me. Many people think that because I have done 15 abortions, I might be a bad girl or ungodly. God is very merciful and not judgmental like human beings. If one is remorseful and genuinely repentant after committing a sin, God will forgive that person and still make effective use of that person.

…As aggrieved members mull ICPC, EFCC invitation



Former and serving members of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are at war over the legality or otherwise of the housing allowance recently returned by serving members of the party’s leadership.

Sunday Vanguard was in an undated with conflicting views over the matter which some allege is a financial scandal that has further dragged the party’s reputation in the mud.

While some party chieftains insist that the housing allowance was legitimate others argue to the contrary.

A former Caretaker Chairman, North West Zone of the party, Dr Aminu Taura, himself a former member of the current National Working, said, “As a former member of the current NWC, I know that this matter of Housing Allowance and even Car Allowance had been discussed severally.

“It was the National Chairman who had to put his foot down, insisting that there were bigger issues to be addressed first.

 


“I recall that some of the people returning money today were the most vociferous advocates for these payments to be made.

I left the NWC about three months ago.”

Speaking in a similar vein, a former National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, argued that some persons were simply trying to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

He said, “There is no scandal as some detractors of our party are trying to make Nigerians believe, members of our NWC are not paid salaries, the housing allowance in question was what was discussed and agreed upon before it was released.”

Ologbondiyan said those who chose to return the money were at liberty to do so because it was within their rights. He however queried the undue politicization of the issue.

However, another former member of the party leadership, Diran Odeyemi, disagrees.

He argued that apart from the fact that the funds were taken from monies ordinarily meant to help the party prosecute the 2023 election campaigns, the payment as well as its timing was suspicious.

Odeyemi said, “I was the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party for 4 years, I never collected a dime either for transport or housing.

“So, where did this idea of housing allowance come from, why now? It will be in the best interest of our party if our national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, comes clean to clear his name.

“He should come out to clear his reputation because we all know the National Chairman has an approval limit and it’s certainly not this kind of humongous amount we are hearing now.”

Another party chieftain who pleaded anonymity expressed sadness that the whole affair was casting the party in a bad light.

“It is disappointing that this is happening more so at this very critical time we are trying to sell our party and candidates to Nigerians.

“How can we convince the populace that our nation’s resources are safe with us if we treat our own limited resources like this? They use to taunt us that we are PDP share the money, how do we respond now?

There are also indications that some of the aggrieved party members are contemplating the idea of writing petitions to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) if the party leadership does not come clean of allegations levelled against it.

A chieftain of the party, Mohammed Jamo gave this hint when he featured on a Channels Television Political Programme, Politics Today, on Friday. He said he and others who shared his views may opt to involve independent assessors to look into the matter.

Two Nigerians suspected to be cybercrime kingpins have been arrested by Interpol officers in South Africa.

According to South Africa’s TimeLive, the suspects were arrested on Wednesday during early morning raids with the collaborative efforts of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) known as Hawks in the Pretoria East suburb of Equestria.


The report did not disclose the identities of the suspects but said they were aged 39 and 42.

The suspects are alleged to be linked to Nigerian organised crime syndicates operating sophisticated cybercrime networks.


The Hawks spokesperson, Katlego Mogale, said “The search and seizure operation by the joint team recovered electronic equipment, including laptops and phones, thousands of rand in cash, as well as an unlicensed firearm, in Wapadrand and Sunnyside.


“The two foreign nationals are alleged to be part of a cult known as the ‘Air Lords’ who are said to be rivals of the ‘Black Axe’ movement. The suspects will be charged, detained and extradited by Interpol.

“The suspects will be linked to online scams being investigated by the 419 provincial task team. This arrest is but one of several simultaneous happening in other countries tracing the suspects involved in online scams such as romance, investments, Bitcoin, employment and related advance fee fraud.”

The suspects will be charged to court on charges bordering on conspiracy to wire fraud, access device fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering schemes related to contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

It was revealed that one suspect will be charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Sources said they were apprehended as part of a multidisciplinary operation involving years of investigation and co-operation between local and international law enforcement agencies.


The arrests are the latest in a crackdown on Nigerian organised crime groups, which began with raids in Cape Town in November last year when the Black Axe or Neo Black Movement of Africa’s Cape Town leadership were arrested in a huge operation.

They and other alleged Black Axe members and Nigerian organised crime members arrested since then face extradition to the United States on fraud charges relating to huge business e-mail compromise scams and romance scams worth hundreds of millions of rand.

Saturday, 01 October 2022 15:42

My manifesto 95% ready, says Peter Obi

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi has hinted that his party manifesto for 2023 is 95 per cent ready.

Obi, who spoke on Arise Television’s The Morning Show, noted that the manifesto of his party was 95 per cent ready and would be unveiled in a few days.


He reiterated that his policy document would be hinged on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), economic development and security of the country.

“Our manifesto is anchored on the Sustainable Development Goals and that the key issues are security, unifying the country, ensuring our cohesion comes down to law and order, fighting corruption, making the country productive and creating jobs among others,” he stated.


In a similar vein, the leadership of the Labour Party said it would formally unveil the names of leaders and members of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council in a few days.

The National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, in a statement released in Abuja, disclosed that the announcement of the PCC composition would also herald the beginning of the party’s electioneering in full compliance with electoral guidelines.

Recall that the LP presidential candidate had not constituted his campaign council as he was said to be making consultations across the country.

Abure reassured supporters that the constitution of Obi’s PCC and campaign would be ready in a few days.


The statement reads partly, “For our numerous supporters and members across the nation, this is to inform you that we are yet to commence our own campaign.

“The Labour Party will officially open its campaign in a few days from now and the world will be formally notified. It will also formally unveil a list of leaders and members of the party that will form the campaign council,” it added.

Supporters of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, have defied police directive against holding a rally at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.

It will be recalled that that the Lagos State Police Command had on Friday warned against any form of rally at the Lekki Toll gate, citing the court order that prohibited it.


However, on Saturday morning, October 1, the supporters, known as the ‘Obidients’, were seen in mass number as they marched at the Lekki-Epe Expressway, chanting ‘Obi! Obidient!’

A Twitter user, @Nkemchor, who shared a video, posted, “The police presence at Lekki did not stop youths from gathering. Very proud of this generation. If Lekki is your route join them!”

Another user, @eklepatience tweeted, “All we want is a genuine leader that’s ready to serve Nigerians we’re not asking for too much nah just give us Peter Obi. Festac Lagos is Obidient.”

According to tweeps, who shared images, the rally also seemed to be holding in other parts of Lagos, like Festac town, Surulere and the National Stadium.

Another tweep, @BensonIbeabuchi, tweeted, “Youths defy rainfall to come out in support of the Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi at Lekki, Lagos on October 1, 2022.

Saturday, 01 October 2022 15:40

Court jails Mama Boko Haram, 3 others, 7 years

The Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction and sentencing of Aisha Alkali Wakil, (a.k.a Mama Boko Haram) alongside Tahiru Alhaji, Saidu Daura and Prince Lawal Shoyode.

Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, sentenced them on Thursday, September 29, 2022, to seven years imprisonment each, for the offences of conspiracy and another seven years for obtaining money by false pretences.


Before their conviction, the defendants were first arraigned on September 14, 2020, before Justice Kumaliya on two count charges for the offences of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N 15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million Naira)

 

Count two of the charge reads: “That you, Aisha Alkali Wakil, Tahiru Alhaji Saidu Daura, Prince Lawal Shoyode Whilst being Chief Executive Officer, Program Manager and Country Director respectively of Complete Care and Aid Foundation (Non-Governmental Organization) and SAIDU MUKTAR (at large) sometime in November 2018 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million Naira) only from one Honourable Bukar Kachalla of Hammiza Global Resources Limited under the false pretence of executing a purported contract of supply of 3 units of Chemistry Analyzer Solar Energy Brand Model 1800 (UK Version), which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence Contrary to Section 1(1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and Punishable Under Section 1 (3) of the Same Act.”


The defendants pleaded ‘not guilty to the charges, prompting prosecution counsel, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed to present six witnesses and tendered several documents as exhibits before the court and thereafter closed his case on October 27, 2020.

Delivering judgment, Justice Kumaliya found the defendants guilty on all the two counts of charges and sentenced them to seven years imprisonment each without an option of a fine for the offence of conspiracy.


The judge further sentenced them to another seven years imprisonment without an option of fine each for the offence of obtaining money by false pretence.

He ordered the convicts to jointly restitute the sum of N15,000.000.00 (Fifteen Million Naira) to their victim, in default of which they are to serve additional five years prison term.

The convicts made their way to the Correctional Centers when they falsely obtained the sum of N15 million from a petitioner, in the guise of providing solar energy for his use. They neither offered the service nor returned his money to him. Justice Kumaliya had earlier convicted and sentenced “’ Mama Boko Haram” to five years, on two-count charges of conspiracy and obtaining over N71million by false pretence. She was jailed on June 15, 2022.

The British were in power after their greedy conquest of our country; the highest decisions that affected Nigeria and Nigerians came from the colonial office in London; the colonial masters prepared most of the constitutions under which we were governed; and the British controlled the wealth of the nation. So overwhelming were these influences that whenever the Governor General “broke air” in Lagos, the whole country heard the sound. Those of us who witnessed this British omnipotence still shudder to recall how disrespectfully Nigerians were treated.

Clearly, it was only through self-rule that this unbecoming treatment could be stopped. Consequently, the era witnessed the activities of many nationalists who, as occasion demanded, had to suffer untold privations in their quest to win independence for the country. Many of them went to jail; many were exiled in parts of the country ideal only for insulating “trouble makers”; many resorted to the instrumentality of strikes and riots to frighten the colonialists out of their smug dictatorship. Many of our nationalists participated in the constitutional conferences that prepared us for the eventual self-rule. This was Nigeria on the eve of October 1, 1960.

With Independence, Nigerians became the master of their own affairs, with their destiny clearly thrust upon their own hands. Now, hopefully, the final decision on issues affecting Nigerians would have to be taken in Lagos. A progressive cleansing of the country was enthusiastically envisaged. Nigerians thought that in no distant time, the country would become eldorado itself, a famed giant that would be an example for other nascent countries in Africa to emulate. The talk of the time had it that the only way to progress, to give meaning to our victories from colonialism was to avoid the vices and weaknesses of the colonialist and build on the positive legacy they left.

The joy of independence and the pervasive influence of our nationalists ensured that almost all of them were successful politicians in a country that was grateful to them. But a genuine retrospect into our journey so far is uninspiring. All the vices of the colonialists are now with us, infinitely magnified. Even the positive legacies of the colonialist have been bastardized. Very soon we even noticed that life was more dignified and respected under colonialism. If what Nigerians suffer today should give testimony and report to our independence, it cried out “we have failed woefully in the business of nation building”. Many factors buttress this assertion.

Political factors are the most fundamental. The aim of independence is essentially for self-rule. When you rule yourself, you would have the opportunity to determine other things that happen about you – economically, socially and otherwise. But looking at our political scene, one finds out that Nigeria has fared badly. Our post independent politics are dreary and confusing records of intrigues, shamelessness and abracadabra. We have never had a statesman, who would be able to rise above petty distractions and face the problems of the country head-on. What we have always had were glorified ethnic champions and tribal chieftains that almost always succeeded in creating more problems than they solved. The field of politics has been polluted to the extent that men of goodwill and genuine patriots are not given the chance; some of them have chickened out because the political field is too severe for their comfort.

Pretending a patriotic mission of solving these problems created by our civilian politicians, soldier politicians have had reasons to intervene. Being actually inspired by an aspiration to steal from the nation’s resources, they had merely compounded our problems. It was the soldiers’ intervention that proximately caused the civil war; it was soldiers that annulled June 12; it was soldiers that turned almost all our cherished ideals upside down. They merely, in my opinion, relinquished power in the conviction that the country had reached a dead end: inexorably moving towards a revolution.

The economic cause of our failure, as aforesaid, is linked to our political failure. Because we have incompetent politicians, they often promulgate faulty economic policies. The result is an unfortunate sequel: the collapse of Agriculture, hitherto the mainstay of our economy; the precarious dependence on oil; the deterioration of transport; the “death” of the naira; monies borrowed from international bodies at usurious interests, without any productive investment to vouch for their judicious use. The result is an economy quite unable to export the equivalent of its imports.

Let the religious causes of our failure enter the picture. Ideally, in a country, religion should be separated from politics, especially in a plural country such as ours. But somehow our leaders have always appealed to religious sentiments in words and deeds. Was it not a President of this country that furtively “dragged” us into the Organisation of Islamic Conference without evident qualms? Such acts, doubtless, make us to seek for religious reasons behind whatever our leaders do. The country is regrettably the worse for it.

It has become normal for Nigerians to be killed on account of religious riots. Many centuries ago, the Chinese T’ai Tsung lay it down that no Emperor should ratify a death sentence until he had fasted three days as a demonstration of how they revered life. Upon its recklessness, the colonial days showed marked respect for human life like the Chinese of T’ai Tsung’s time. Today, besides during religious riots, lives are taken daily without compunction. The number of unresolved murder cases in Nigeria of today will surely present accountancy with problems. The enormity of social and other serious malaise that bedevil our country leave much to be desired. The level of moral depravity in our homes and institutions is alarming. Dressing is now defined in terms of nudity. The social foundations of our nation have been dislocated, so we reap ethnic and other crises in return. One wonders when all these things will stop!

Regrettably, one of the solutions to the perennial problems in the country by our leaders is to gag the press and go after some influential Nigerians. Whilst they do this, the crime rate is increasing. When you see the level of crime and factors that push people into criminal activities, you will conclude that Nigeria is really in trouble. The good leader would war not against influential Nigerians, or institutions, the Ojukwus, The Insider magazine, the Nigerian Labour Congress, not even against criminals that torment us, but against the common enemy – poverty, for it is out of it that crime and disorder come.

With these signs of our failure staring us in the face, Nigerians were wrong to celebrate the last independence with pomp and circumstance, forgetful of their predicament. Many platitudinous speeches were delivered to commemorate the celebrations; there were events to add colour to the entire thing; and don’t forget, many advertisements were placed congratulating Nigeria for its “achievements” so far and perhaps for its future greatness.

One is not saying that a 44-year-old country does not have the right to congratulate itself, but my quarrel is with the manner of our celebration. You want to know; perhaps, how best we should have celebrated? We should have put on sackcloth and ashes to openly show remorse for so much faith and hope betrayed. Conferences should have been organized. The speakers should have endeavoured to teach us the perusal of history, to show us the rise, progress, decay, death; and whence, how and by what accidents and errors those great changes and failures have happened, and above all, how to repeat or avoid them. Since all factors making for revolution are with us today, the speakers should have also endeavoured to teach us how revolution commence and how they are carried out and by what a fatal chain of circumstances the wisest men are driven far the limits of moderation, and by what impulses an enraged people is precipitated into excess at the very thought of which they would have shuddered.

Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON has tendered an apology to his supporters, lovers and fans who may have been offended over the use of the word 'saboteur' while addressing a gathering  of his of his kinsmen, who are predominantly his party (PDP) members in Accra, Ghana.
 
This is so, he said, because is not in his character to be rude, even as he reiterates his respect for peoples choices and opinion, adding that his well intentioned address was misconstrued and blown out of proportion. 
 
His Excellency, was speaking in reaction to a viral video which alleged that he described the supporters of His Excellency,  Mr. Peter Obi, Presidential candidate of the Labour Party and the Igbos of the Southeast as saboteurs. 
 
Clarifying his choice of word, His Excellency maintained that the word “saboteur” he used during his speech was not referring to the supporters of the presidential candidate or the Igbo but to his kinsmen who are predominantly members of the PDP, while harping on the need for the party to reclaim power in the coming election
 
"I went to Ghana on the invitation of my kinsmen. I am an Mbaise man and  we celebrate the "Iri Ji" (New Yam Festival) and for quite some time, they have requested me to come join them and I felt it was important to do that at this time. I was speaking to my kinsmen predominantly members of my party, the PDP. And so, knowing where we are coming from as a people, understanding our circumstances and where the PDP adminisration left Nigeria and that we are the PDP in Nigeria and the promises that were made to Nigerians by the All Progressives Congress, APC, who were surging to take over power. Promises of constant light, free education, free housing, prosperiy and stabilization were all mirage, deceitful and  fraudulent. 
 
"Those promises have never come to pass and so when you talk about the future of our country, you get worried as people who may for one reason or the other be decieved into believing that you wish it happens. And so, the desire for me, for a PDP administration that has internal mechanism of good governance cannot be over emphasized. And so I spoke to our people within the PDP consciously, to express the need for them, not to sabotage our efforts in reclaimming power in 2023, so that Nigerians can see good governance".
 
Speaking on the reaction that greeted the viral video, he said, "the huge expectation is borne out of abaundant love and expectations. That I said any South-Easterner (Igbo Man at that or indeed Nigerias) who does not vote for my party are saboteur? That cannot be. That is far from the truth. It is obvious that is not me. It is not in my character. I believe in decency. So that cannot be. My position was very simple, I was speaking to our people, I am an Mbaise man. PDP has been faithful to us, they have given us the opportunity to produce a Governor and I said to them, we have an oppotunity and i said to them, dont sabotage our efforts tp claim power and that was it. That was the context and if you read or listen through, persons who have made calls to my family members, friends and associates have not had the opportunity to watch the clip. If you do watch the it, you will find out that the context is being blown out of proportion."
 
Mindful of the feelings and emotions of his numerous supporters,  followers and fans, he said, "however, I am responsible to people. When people show you love, confidence and indeed believe in you, you need to respect their feelings. So to the millions of Nigerians,  particularly the Southeast extraction who feel hurt by my use of language, I am deeply sorry.  I do not mean to hurt anybody. You all have the right to express your political opinion in anyway".
 
While speaking on the Obedient Movement, especially in the Southeast and its impact on the PDP ahead of the election, His Excellency,  said, "Mr. Peter Obi is a politician that has earned his place. He is a man I respect and have good relationship with. I know he has a growing support base. But we are going to a general election that is scheduled for February 2023 and you need a lot of time to penetrate. Now for us in the PDP,  when you look at the leadership of our party in the Southeast, we were with Mr. Peter Obi before he left. You will notice that our numbers have not reduced by any means and we are going to approach the campaigns and elections.  All I urge everyone is, let us be very cautious, the real danger is any opportunity to the APC. And so we should not inflict damage on ourselves while we put our eyes on the ball. 
 
Speaking on the chances on the PDP in the 2023 general elections, His Excellency said,"Give it to PDP, the thing about PDP is that yes, there are issues as expected in any human conglomerate but we have ways of dealing with them. We disagree within ourselves and we deal with them. 
 
He expressed confidence at the capacity of the leadership of the party and its presidential candidate, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar GCON, to resolve whatever every disagreement before general elections.
 
Speaking further on the chances of the PDP in Imo State, Hon. Ihedioha recalled the seven months of his Rebuild Imo administration, describing it as satisfactory.
 
"Within the seven months of our administration, we showed a redirection. We brought about confidence in governance and in the people. We restored economic prosperity, autonomy to the local government system and people could see that life was possible and that governance was possible at the local government level. Within that period, we revived every facet of our economy - be it cultural, rule of law, and we gave the people of Imo State a new lease of life. The civil service which was moribund before we came, boomed.
 
"Prior to our administration, pensioners were owed about 64 months arrears and only 70% of salaries were paid to workers but we changed the narrative and paid pensions consistently and restored salaries to 100% and paid consistently. There is confidence in the PDP  and obviously PDP is going to win the next election. 
 
 
Chibuike Onyeukwu 
Media Aide 
His Excellency,  Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON 
 
September 30, 2022
 

I tried to hold my tears but I could not! I tried to be strong but became weaker seeing this beautiful black woman grief-stricken and crying bitterly. I was so touched and seriously disturbed. I ran to her with anxiety and I asked her; Mama! Why are you crying?

I have never seen a prettier woman, so beautiful! Despite her age, she looked like a damsel. So beautiful, gorgeous and charming! words failed me to describe how beautiful she was. An epitome of beauty, a pride to other black women, the desire of every king, colorful and wonderfully made! Million questions came to my mind. Why is this beauty queen crying? Why is this black goddess seeding tears? I bowed before her and asked her majesty gently again, Mama! Why are you crying?"

I could not hold my tears when she replied me with soft and angelic voice:

"My son, as you can see, I am a 62 years old woman. I am the most famous black woman on Earth, the most fruitful black woman and  I am so blessed, my house is full of gold and silver likewise my land is flowing for milk and honey. I was once the envy of every black woman. Even the women of other colors once marveled and astonished about my beauty and natural endowment. Some of the most societal, strong and powerful women of today once prayed to be like me. 

"I gave birth to over 200 million princes and princesses who were supposed to reign and enjoy all my riches and wealth in a royal way. But what a pity! Many of these princes and princesses were scattered all over the world searching for greener pastures with royal beads on their necks even as I have many at home. Those at home who are supposed to walk majestically round my palace and enjoy all my riches live in abject poverty just like slaves! Most of them find it so difficult to eat and they lack elements of comfort and convenience,

"Where are my pride, honor, dignity, strength, glory, self-esteem and royalty? most of my children are suffering despite all I have? Other women who used to fear me, appreciate my beauty, tremble because of my strength and potential, who saw me then as a giant now mock and laugh at me! Even those that used to run to me then for help and assistance, they all see me now as nothing, and none one of them accord me my respect again! So why won't I cry?"

"My home was once a safe haven. Thousands ran to my land from far and near to seek refuge but now no one is safe in my home that was once a fortress. Sleeping with two eyes closed now became a taboo. Life is becoming valueless and crime is becoming the order of the day. Why won't I cry?" Tears were rushing down from my face, I was so  depressed and gloomy. I felt the pain of this caring mother as she continued her story: "Most painful is that my children don't see each other as siblings again! The foreign and imported religions tore them apart, tribalism and politics put a sword between them"

"What a pity! Many of my beautiful damsels have turned to a quean, trull and woman of the streets and many of my young men have turned to fraudsters, ritualists, kidnappers and are involved in other forms of immoral acts because of poverty"

I was so sad, in my sober mood I asked her, "Mama, with all your riches and wealth why are you children still suffering like this?" She replied, "Due to the selfishness of some who in the name of power intentionally make others poor in order to continue to manipulate them.  due to the wickedness of few that aim to enslave others in the name of politics. Due to  egotism and self-absorption of few who are in charge of the resources! They are milking others dry while getting fat. They wine and dine all day while others are crying for just water to drink! They are getting richer and wealthier daily at the detriment of others, so depressed, they use religion and ethnicity to divide others to have their way"

I tried to comfort this beautiful Mama, but the more effort I offered, the more she cried. What a mother! The pride of womanhood! She concluded, "I won't stop crying until my children are happy, until I see the end of their suffering, until my children are safe in my land, until I see smiles on their beautiful faces! Until all my children are treated like prince and princess and not like slave again! Until I regain my fading glory, till the world accords me my respect again, until a giant in me rises again, until kidnapping becomes a history. Until everyone can go to bed with two eyes closed, until justice and peace reign"

This is a clarion call to all of us! Together we can make mama smile again. If we work together as one we can redeem the fading glory. Together we can build this nation as we have no other nation to claim.  Christian or Muslim, Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba, whoever you are - we are siblings. PDP, APC, LP and others, let's build this nation together! Both good and bad people could be found in every religion, tribe and political party. Let's join hands together and build a nation where justice and peace reign! 

Happy 62nd Independence to Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Long life 

and prosperity!

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