Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"I Married You"..... Joseph's story as he marries Anu on her graduation day

I knew Joseph Ola Kolawole on facebook after a friend shared his post on my wall, I was wowed by his writings, inspiring and filled with wisdom. He dished out nuggets on a regular to bless everyone until suddenly his posts reduced drastically. I found out he had moved to the UK to study further and so had little time to do what he loved doing. 
This morning I saw this post of his, he had married his longtime sweetheart Anu. Whoever knew Joseph (or Pastor Joseph like others call him) knows there is someone called "Anu". HE married her on her graduation day, love so amazing.
This is wishing you a happy married life filled with the glory of God.
E ba ara yin kale ooo, Amin

Read his story below 
No, not “you”, I mean her, the beautiful damsel in the pictures below. But between the two of us, “I Married You” isn’t just a phrase; it’s the title of the book I bought for her ON THE VERY FIRST DAY THAT I MET HER. It was in a Youth Service Camp in Northern Nigeria. I was drawn to her as she stood looking at the books at the book stand in front of the hall where I had just finished holding a Bible Study session. I walked up to her, struck up a conversation, and felt led to buy her a book by Late Walter Trobisch. I wanted to buy her “I Loved A Girl” which was the only book by that author which I had read, but they were out of copies so I opted for another title by the same author; a book I HAD NOT EVEN READ MYSELF. And the title became a prophetic script: “I MARRIED YOU!”
And it came…to pass. Last Wednesday. July 27th. I married her!
But not only that, ON THE SAME DAY, she graduated with a FIRST CLASS in her LLB Programme.
Pause right there. Give me a moment to tie it up for you…
Of course, this isn’t just a post about me getting married or about her graduating with a first class (we won’t be the first in anyways); but you know I like to draw out life lessons from almost everything. So this post wouldn’t be without one, and here is it: GOD LISTENS TO YOUR SILENT WHISPERS!
Here’s what I mean…
When Eleos was leaving Nigeria for the UK in 2013, I intended to meet her at the airport. I woke up early enough, stopped by at a store to buy her a golden wristwatch that I wanted to give her as a parting gift alongside a Friendship Journal where I chronicled our first conversations in our first few months together since February 2012 when the relationship started...
But Lagos traffic did its worst and I didn't make it to the airport in time to meet her. She had boarded the plane before I got there.
I cried. Like, literally.
But the aircraft had some little challenge so their take off was delayed... So we spoke on phone for almost an hour until it was time for the plane to take off.
But the only thing I can remember in that long conversation was this:
"Eleos, don't worry. I'll come and give you these things in the UK by myself..."
I said it jokingly, though. I had no plans of coming to the UK. I even had no Nigerian Passport at the time let alone a UK Visa...
Fast forward to months later, I find myself telling her (again, jokingly) in our almost-every-night conversations while I was still in Nigeria trying to encourage her with regards to her studies... I'll say something like:
"Don't worry. Study well and FINISH WITH A FIRST CLASS... I'll be there at your convocation...and WHISK YOU OFF AFTERWARDS TO MARRY YOU ON THE SAME DAY!"
Again, it was just a joke, but I love to tease her with the idea...
But as of today, not only did I actually come to give her the golden wristwatch by myself but I also witnessed her graduation and ‘WIFED’ her the same day! (Only the order was different; marriage first, graduation afterwards...)
Where am I going?
In the two cases above, I neither prayed nor fasted for days for those things to happen. They happened...because God listened! And He still does…
And that's my news to you today...
What have you been asking Him that He seems to be delaying to do?
What are your deepest desires?
The truth is that the God that cared enough to listen to my silent whispers is still alive. Don't stop trusting Him.
So yeah, I married her! And same day she graduated! And same day we got to have our first kiss in a SUPER GREAT and DUPER GUILTLESS atmosphere...
That’s what love looks like to me!
If our story inspires you enough, do well to drop a word of prayer for us. We will appreciate it.
If you feel offended to not have been informed, no hard feelings. At worst, pardon my forgetfulness. At best, respect Romans 8:14😄Wishing you even greater testimonies!
Let’s celebrate!

Thursday, July 28, 2016


You see, I have been thinking and as many have said before me; the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. All over the world, conferences are convoked to address issues presumed by world leaders to be the bane of the human society. They talk about opening up of borders, gun control, racial tensions, violent attacks, xenophobia, political ideology, corruption, religious extremism and a whole lot of other stuff. They are trying, I think, to dig deep enough into the problem of the human society, in order to come up with a viable solution.

But then, at any and every corner of personal and social life, the primary threats to human flourishing are not these externals the world seems to be addressing, rather, the crux of the human crisis is the disordering of the human soul and social relations into self-centered, individualistic, indulgent, narcissistic, idealistic, prideful, tribal, or sentimental factions. Chaos is a cancer that manifests itself within the soul of the individual and social relations when order disintegrates. Our desires become our masters, and with desires as numerous as the hairs on our heads we are pulled in a thousand different directions. St Augustine, better than anyone else in Western history and philosophy, provides the essential account of the human person as an uncontrollable bundle of desires that cannot be properly realigned outside of the grace of God.

Hobbes’ basic intuition about the terrible state of the “war of all against all” seems essentially right: that evil lies within the human heart that must never be depersonalized. Evil is always personal because it’s always a person who is evil. Not a truck, not a plane, not a gun, not a bomb. All of these externals are the means used by evil people to perpetrate evil deeds, just like all the motivations for attack, whether they be racial or religious or political, are internals that co-opt the congenital evil of the human heart to further their cause.
Hence this is what I think: Blow up Boko Haram, smoke up ISIS into dust or smithereens, and other groups will crawl out of their ashes. Ban all guns and someone will create a new weapon. This is the reality: you cannot legislate evil out of the heart of man. People are the problem. We always have been the problem and only a rebirth and redemption of the human heart in God can salvage our fallen race. God help the human family.

Benneth Joseph Obinna is a graduate of the University of Ibadan and a Post Graduate Diploma student in Broadcast Journalism with the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. He is an Administrative Assistant with the MBA department at the Pan-Atlantic University (Lagos Business School)Benneth Joseph Obinna is an Administrative Assistant with the Top of Form

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Itsekiri nation disowns calls for creation of Biafra Republic

THE Itsekiri ethnic nationality of Warri, Delta State, has dissociated itself from the calls for creation of a Biafra Republic out of Nigeria as being drummed by some Igbo interest groups in the South-East.
The Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, ILT, expressed the group’s concern over the Igbo agitation yesterday in a statement by its Chairman, Pa Johnson Ayomike and Secretary, Edward Ekpoko.
The body is disturbed that the proposed Biafra Republic as widely reported in the social media includes the whole of Delta State.
The statement stressed: “We recall with pains the day the defunct Biafran Army invaded Warri and Benin in the then Midwest Region on August 9, 1967. Never again will the Itsekiri tolerate such invasion. The Itsekiri nation is committed to the unity of Nigeria and will do all it can to promote and protect it as one indivisible country. As Major General Philip Effiong said on January 14 1970, the Republic of Biafra ceased to exist. We, the Itsekiri, wish it to be eternally so for the peace and development of our great nation.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

At half time, Amaechi 3 Wike 0

Exactly eight years ago, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, former governor of Rivers state, and Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, now governor of the state, were best of friends. By “exactly eight years ago”, I truly mean October 26, 2007. Just one day earlier, the supreme court had declared Amaechi governor of the state, saying he was the rightful candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) having won the party’s primary, rather than Celestine Omehia, whom the party fielded. 

At the time, Wike, as chairman of Obio-Akpor local government and national presi­dent of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), greatly supported Amaechi’s campaign. They were buddies. So happy were they that after Omehia was booted out of office, Amaechi appointed Wike his chief of staff – a position that governors traditionally allot to their most trusted ally. 

Fast-forward eight years later and both men would not just see eye-to-eye. It was Amaechi who nominated Wike for ministerial appointment under the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. But after Amaechi fell out with Jonathan and left PDP, Wike chose to side with not his old boss but his new one. Although both men have been at daggers drawn ever since, it is only in 2015 that the real battles have been fought; and so far, it is Amaechi who is having the upper hand. 


As a minister in Jonathan’s cabinet and as a Rivers state governorship aspirant under the PDP ticket, Wike staunchly opposed the candidature of APC’s Muhammadu Buhari, whose campaign was spearheaded by Amaechi. With Buhari polling a total of 15,424,921 votes ahead of Jonathan’s 12,853,162, not only did Nigeria have a new, Amaechi secured his first victory over his former ally-turned-enemy. 


Life is full of ironies. Or how does one explain that the chief antagonist of a ministerial nominee is the same one who once became a minister on the recommendation of the current nominee? Amaechi nominated Wike to be minister when he was governor, but Wike has been the most vociferous opponent of Amaechi’s ministerial nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

To Wike, Amaechi is too corrupt to be minister. Once, he branded his predecessor the most corrupt public office holder. “If Buhari is sincere in his fight against corruption, let him probe the Amaechi’s government and he will discover that there cannot be a government official that is more corrupt than Amaechi,” he said through Opunabo Inko-Tariah, his special adviser on media and publicity, shortly before the president released the first list of nominees. 

Of course, Amaechi had unkind words of his own, once describing Wike as a man who would betray his mother for money. “Nyesom Wike loves and worships money; he can betray his mother for money – nothing more, nothing less,” he had said two days before the election that Wike ‘won’. 

At some point, it did seem Amaechi would not even be screened by the senate, much less emerge a minister. Time after time, his screening was postponed following allegations of corruption to the tune of N70bn by Rivers state senators. Finally, on Thursday October 22, Amaechi was screened. 

Although George Sekibo, a PDP senator from Rivers, has warned that it is a thing to be screened and another to be confirmed minister, Amaechi, based on the reception he enjoyed at the screening, can count on his confirmation later this week. In any case, to have been screened alone is itself one more victory over his tormentor-in-chief. Two nil. 

RIVERS GOVERNORSHIP TUSSLE, 3-0 This is not closed yet, but it is quite some drama. Wike must have thought he had pulled one victory over Amaechi, whose candidate, Dakuku Peterside, he outwit by 1,029,102 votes to 124,896. In Nigerian politics, victory at the polls is hardly the real victory; almost every election loser goes to court, and the winner never really emerges until the legal options have been exhausted. Now, after the first legal option, the election petition tribunal, it does seem Wike has a massive battle in his hands. The tribunal has nullified his victory at the polls, and ordered fresh elections within 90 days. Jubilant Amaechi knows he has secured his third straight victory over Wike. But then, like it does happen in a game of football, even a three-nil deficit advantage can quickly be overturned. In doubt? Ask the Saudi ’89 Flying Eagles, who were losing four nil to the Soviet Union as at the 61st minute, only to score four goals in 23 minutes before going on to win 5-3 on penalties. Perhaps Wike will recover in due course to show Amaechi that the servant can, at times, outshine the master. But, for now, it’s Amaechi 3 – 0 Wike.

Juju scare in LASU

•Admin, Senate buildings laced with charms
•No-go-area for VC, staff for past 7 months

DON’T step into the Admin Block 1 of the Lagos State University (LASU) or the Senate Building if you don’t want to die! That is the message that those who laced the place with charms sought to deliver with their frightening deed. Since then fear has pervaded the 32-year-old institution in the past six months. The Admin Block 1, which houses the office of the Vice Chancellor, Prof John Obafunwa, other principal officers and registry staff has been deserted for over six months over alleged juju scare. This is the second time under his administration that juju was reportedly placed on the Admin Block and Senate Building.
On a good day, the Admin Block 1 was the busiest office on the campus and has the highest human traffic, mainly staff, students and visitors entering and coming out. It is a one storey building located near the Badagry Expressway gate of the university.
The Senate Building, which faces both the Admin Block 1 and 2, has also been abandoned in the past six months for the same reason forcing meetings of the Senate to be held at the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM).
In the last six months, the Admin Block 1 and the Senate Building have been made to look like a ghost town because of desertion by the Vice Chancellor, Prof John Obafunwa, principal officers and other staff over fear of being harmed by fetishes left in the area. The trouble started on Monday, March 16, 2015, when the staff unions chased out the VC, his two deputies, the Registrar and other senior management staff out of the campus.
Less than 24 hours after the protest, the university workers asked the former Governor, Babatunde Fashola, to appoint an acting VC, adding that they have ‘sacked’ the vice chancellor. The staff unions also demanded for a Visitation Panel.
The next day after the protest, congress of the three staff unions at their different meetings banned Prof. Obafunwa from entering the campus, accusing him of maladministration and several other offences.  Loyalists of the VC fought back and condemned the action of their colleagues, insisting that Obafunwa should be allowed into the university to carry out his duties.
After the ugly incident, the Admin Block 1 and the Senate were locked and since then no staff including the principal officers and even the campus security personnel had gone near the building.
The 32-year-old institution may have made history as the first tertiary institution whose VC has not set foot on campus for over six months because of the prolonged face-off with the workers who have vowed not to allow him into the university.
Fear of what happened to other workers, who some years back tried to force open the Admin and Senate blocks, also made security personnel and those loyal to the embattled VC not to open the two iron gates. Rumours about staff who were struck by strange illness when they tried to enter the buildings previously has made the place a no-go area.
For days, some staff were placed on ‘special duty’ by the unions to monitor the locked Admin and Senate blocks even as the workers gathered under a tree to continue with their celebration over the banishment of the VC and other top management from the campus.
Investigation reveals that several attempts were made by the immediate past governor to smuggle the embattled VC into the campus but the main problem was that nobody wanted to go near the Admin Block 1 and the Senate Building because of fear of the juju.
Even the NANS and LASU students union that demanded for the VC’s return to the main campus were not bold enough to go near the dreaded spots. They restricted their protest around the two gates.
When our correspondent visited the campus, it was evident that the Admin Block and Senate Building has not been used for several months, as the surroundings were overgrown with weeds. It was gathered that members of staff of the university also avoid the place for fear of bad omen.
Further enquires revealed that registry staffs, whose offices were located in the Admin Block 1 and the Senate Building have been temporary relocated to other offices. The VC, Prof Obafunwa, has been using his personal office at LASUCOM, while Senate meetings were held at one of the halls in LASUCOM.
Efforts by our correspondent to find out who laced the Admin Block and Senate Building with juju proved abortive as the Director, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations (CIPPR), Mrs. Ronke Osho was said to have started her retirement leave from the services of the Lagos State government.
The chairmen of ASUU, SSANU and NASU claimed ignorance of the juju. But some union members dared the students, state government and Obafunwa’s loyalists to open the gates.
“The unions will not stop them from going to open the Admin Block 1 and the Senate Building, but they know the consequences,” a staff who wishes to remain anonymous, explained. “Those who tried it some years ago know what happened. Even the VC and his loyalists know the implications of going to open the gates by force.’
It was gathered that before the gates of the Admin Block 1 and Senate Building would be opened for use, certain rituals would need to be performed in the night.
The new Pro Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo told Education Review that he and his members are working hard to restore peace on campus. He said they met the staff unions and students unions recently.
Obafunwa’s tenure would end on October 31 and staff unions have already started   a countdown for him with two big banners placed at the two gates of the university. announcing how many days are left of his administration.


Supreme court dismisses Wike’s suit against tribunal

The supreme court has dismissed the suit of Nyesom Wike, Rivers state governor, who challenged the jurisdiction of the Rivers governorship election petition tribunal to hear a petition by Dakuku Peterside of All Progressives Congress (APC). 

Wike had argued that the tribunal sitting in Abuja had no jurisdiction over matters that transpired in the state. His contention is that the tribunal should have sat in Rivers state and not in Abuja. The tribunal was moved to Abuja over for security concerns, as those of  Akwa I‎bom, Yobe, Adamawa and Borno. The appeal court had earlier ruled that the tribunal could sit in Abuja to handle Rivers election petitions. 

The Rivers tribunal had last Saturday sacked Wike as governor of the state, and ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hold a fresh election within 90 days. The apex court held that the tribunal was properly constituted and had jurisdiction to hear the petition of Peterside. It ruled that the shift in location of the tribunal from Rivers to Abuja was out of necessity, and added that the president of the appeal court did not err in law by ordering the‎ relocation of the tribunal. The court therefore dismissed Wike’s suit for lack of merit. ‎

The seven judges of the court, who were all in agreement with the ruling, stated that the relocation of the tribunal was to protect members of the panel and as such complied with the “doctrine of necessity”.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NNPC to publish financial transactions from September – Kachikwu

The financial transactions of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will be published periodically to ensure transparency beginning from next month, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
According to Kachikwu, the move was part of his resolve to usher in a new dawn of transparency in the national oil firm, stressing that transparency must be the watchword of every staff in the new NNPC.
Kachikwu, who stated this at his maiden town hall meeting with employees of the corporation at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Tuesday, said the new NNPC will be a corporation anchored on the foundation of clearness.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, confirmed this to our correspondent in a telephone interview and also in an electronic mail.
“I want transparency. Beginning from next month, I want to be able to publish what the company makes. I have told the President that as from next week I will be sending him weekly reports,” the new GMD reportedly told employees of the national oil firm.
If implemented, this will be a departure from what used to be obtainable at the national oil firm. It will be the first time in ages that the NNPC will be publishing its financial transactions for the public to see.

Source: The Punch