Author Archives: YWriter

#InCaseYouMissedIt: 10 lessons on trust we learnt from Orji Uzor Kalu this week

by Hauwa Gambo

Very early in the week, the former governor of Abia and serial everything from publisher to presidential candidate, Orji Uzor Kalu poured his heart out in a piece on his successor, Theodore Orji.

In the opinion piece titled ‘The chameleon in Governor Theodore Orji – a personal narrative’, the old Orji essentially called the new Orji the devil.

You might not have had the time to read the entire interview, but it makes for a good lesson in how to be afraid – actually, frightened silly – of the human beings you have around you. And we share that lesson in 10 points.

1. Don’t trust the man who is humble when he needs you

The first thing that would strike any person meeting Theodore Ahamefule Orji for the first time – 16 years ago – was his humble personality. I doubt if he still carries himself with the same simplicity and can­dour, for which I have known him, now he has tested power as governor. I say so, because power has a way of intoxicating some people, especially those who never dreamed of getting it. I must openly sub­mit that I was taken in by his facial ap­pearance, not knowing that deep inside he was a different person all together – a chameleon. Subsequent events have since proved me right. Up till this moment, I still do not believe that it was the same Theodore Orji, whom I met at Chief Mark Uka Ogwo’s house, that is hauling abuses at me on a daily basis and walk­ing the corridors of power like a colossus. He calls me all kinds of names and uses every available medium to castigate my person.

2. Don’t trust a man who has plenty of ambition

His speech at every public or private event begins and ends with my name, as if he has no other business in governance other than to abuse Orji Kalu. Not only that: he goes about telling all kinds of naked lies in order to soil my reputation. He also goes to gossip to the President and his wife about me, telling them unprintable things, just to disfavour me. He tells anybody he encoun­ters – businessmen and women, politicians, the clergy, traders, farmers, drivers, carpen­ters, bricklayers, the high and mighty, lowly people, and just anybody – that I am his sworn enemy. He also takes his campaign of hate against me to the Diaspora. The situ­ation is really getting out of hand.

3. Don’t trust a man who loves power

I had kept quiet all this while in the hope that commonsense would prevail some­where along the line. Instead of the man minding his constitutional business of gov­ernance and thinking about how to better the lives of our traumatised people, whom he has abandoned chasing shadows, he has spent scarce resources fighting me and eve­rybody related to me. There is no single day that passes that he does not use the state government-owned radio and television to pour invectives on me and my relations. Not only that, he has as well been going about concocting all sorts of tales in order to destroy my reputation and create conflict between me and others. To show how heart­less the man is, he has even leveled some grievous allegations against me in order to get at me for no justifiable reason.

4. Don’t trust a man just because he does as you say

Indeed, I have been forced some times to do an introspection, trying to find out what exactly I had done against him to warrant such hatred and malice. But after each exercise, I could not lay my hands on anything. The only sin I know I committed against him was that God used me and the good people of Abia State, who believed in me, to make him governor while he was in prison, contrary to the opposition of some close aides, family relations and confidants against his choice. As I wrote last week, there was no sign at all that he would do any of the wicked things he does these days against my person, because he pre­tended to be a good man when in essence he was a chameleon. He hid many things about himself from me and put up a very pretentious and false personality for the 8 years he served as my Chief of Staff. How he managed to do it without being detected is something only him can tell. All I know is that I trusted him and treated him like an elder brother and confidant.

5. Don’t trust a man just because you love and respect him

For the 8 years he worked as my Chief of Staff, I never used a foul language on him or berated him. Rather I treated him with utmost respect and love, even where he had visibly wronged me. I left virtually every­thing pertaining to the administration of the Government House under his care and di­rection. He was in charge of almost every­thing in Government House – from security vote to routine administration. I, working with one of my closest aides then, Victor Oye, and the commissioners, concentrated on policy formulation, key-decision-mak­ing and supervision of the ministries. There were no-go areas for him. In fact, he had uninhibited access to my bedroom, my of­fice and every place. Each time he travelled abroad he stayed at my private residences. There was nothing good I did not do for this man. I gave him his first executive car in life and money to build a befitting house, encouraged him to send his children to good schools, entrusted him with the administra­tion of Government House, including the management of financial resources due to the governor and the Government House. He also rose to the enviable position of di­rector, and later permanent secretary within the same period. I cannot list everything here, because the list is long.

6. Don’t trust a man who has seen you naked

I recall with deep pain (because he stabbed me in the back) the day he came to the Governor’s Lodge to see me. I was in the bathroom. Time was 6.30 in the morn­ing. He had come with a letter for my sig­nature. The letter was urgent as the Attor­ney-General was to travel to Abuja with it first thing in the morning of that fateful day. When my personal aide drew my attention to his presence I asked him to bring him up into my bedroom. When he knocked, I asked him to come straight on to the bath­room, because of the urgency of the letter, not minding that I was naked. I used a dry towel to hold the pen he brought for me to sign the said letter. Before I signed the let­ter I told him that now that he had seen my nakedness there was nothing else I could keep away from him. I also told him that if he chose in future to betray me there would be nothing else to talk about. He was jolted by my comment and stood fixated for some minutes, barely controlling his shock. I am sure he recalls that statement each moment he goes out of his way to malign me. That is if his conscience pricks him.

7. Don’t trust a man just because you crowned him king

For those who did not know: we went through hell (figuratively speaking) to make him governor. Imagine somebody in detention, without spending a dime or casting his own vote for himself, becoming governor in a hotly-contested governorship election in a state like Abia! Recall we had to contend with the enormous might of the Federal Government, which had earlier thrown its support behind another candi­date. Again, the Progressive Peoples’ Al­liance (PPA) – the political platform that was used to deliver him as governor – was formed barely four months to the governor­ship election. So, you can see, he got power on a platter; probably that accounts for the levity with which he holds the office today. Certainly, if he had spent his personal resources and energy to become governor he would have appreciated the sacrifices we made to make him governor. Today the same party (PPA) and the people who deliv­ered him as governor are his arch enemies. He has done many atrocious things to de­stroy all of us, but God has been merciful to us.

8. Don’t trust a man you have been warned against

I capped my goodness to him by mak­ing him governor (by the grace of God and the unflinching support of our people), while he was in detention at the Kirikiri Minimum Prison, Lagos. As I indicated earlier in this article, many people openly opposed his candidature for the position of governor for many reasons. Somebody – a very close confidant of the governor now – approached me then and warned against making him governor. He gave a very grave reason I should never make him governor. Even the then President Olusegun Obasanjo told me pointblank not to make him gov­ernor. He struck a deal with my mother to instead choose one of my younger brothers to succeed me as governor in place of Theo­dore Orji. To all the advice, I said no. I told who­ever cared to listen then that Chief Theo­dore Orji would succeed me. The reason I settled for him was simple: I thought I had groomed him sufficiently enough to step into my shoes and continue the good works we had started. If I had wanted somebody that would do my biddings blindly, defi­nitely it would not have been Chief Orji. I would have settled for one of the more doc­ile aspirants. I saw in Chief Orji humane­ness, humility, simplicity, resilience and hard work, not the haughty, stiff-necked, abusive and cruel personality he currently showcases.

9. Don’t trust a man because he makes you promises

I remember all the promises he made in the presence of Chief Ogwo: how faithful he would be and how ready he was to stand by me, no matter the circumstances. What has happened at last? He has jettisoned eve­rything good he stood for and now wears the garb of wickedness and hatred. How I wish Chief Ogwo were still alive to testify to all this. I know wherever he is he would be full of regrets for recommending such a chameleonic and deceitful person to me.

10. And surely, the former governor should know this since he brooked no such thing himself: don’t trust a man whom you criticise and condemn loudly in public

Did I do anything wrong by telling him to buckle up and deliver the dividends of democracy to our people? This is the grouse he holds about him. But I do not have any regrets whatsoever for telling him the truth. Any meticulous follower of events in Abia State would agree with me that the man has not performed. To show how mischievous he can be he has gone ahead to label some of the projects executed by our administra­tion between 1999 and 2007 as having been done by his own administration. Abians know who did what. He cannot pull the wool over their eyes.

All the evil machinations he has de­signed against me have continued to fall through. When I told him not to go for a second term, having not performed in his first, he went to town with the story that I held him hostage. He claimed that I was the person responsible for his inability to per­form. Between May 2010 and now (since he claimed to have been liberated) what has he done to prove that I was the one that held him hostage? It is still the same story of non-performance. Let us face the facts: let him tell Abians what he has done for them to justify the huge amount he has collected from the federation account. What he runs in Abia is a government of deceit, using in­timidation and vendetta to cow people into submission. That was why I drew the atten­tion of the law enforcement agencies to the seething anger of our people who have con­doned his excesses for too long.

There is no question that the people’s anger would have boiled over if we had not persuaded them to remain calm. But there is a limit to how much a people can bear. For me, I have nothing to lose by his constant insults on my person. But our people have everything to lose if we all kept silent and allowed the governor to do as he likes. We are honourable people, which was why we had kept quiet all these years believing that one day soon he would change. However, from all indications, there is no sign that he is ready to come down from his high horse. Instead he has continued to acquire new tricks as day breaks.

This will not be last we hear of this.

GEJ smiling.jpg-large

My president is hotter than yours! See how GEJ arrived Germany (PHOTOS)

by Hauwa Gambo

Yesterday morning, President Goodluck Jonathan left Nigeria for Germany. On arrival he got hard at work, connecting with the Falconets in Canada and meeting with the diplomatic representatives in the country including Ambassadors AU Abubakar and Hassan Tukur.

But that’s not why we are here.

We  are here because:

Jonathan hot ynaija

 

GEJ arrives Germany YNaija

a) The president is dapper in a suit again.

b) The president is dapper in a suit again.

c) The president is positively dapper in that bowler hat, thrown in just because.

d) The president’s got swag.

e) It’s a Saturday so don’t take life too seriously.

Whoever is working on the President’s styling is positively sending the right messages. We, er, doff our hats.

PS: In case, you’re wondering what the president is doing in Germany, this is Abati’s message for you, shared with the media on Thursday:

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will leave Abuja early Friday on a private visit to Germany.

The President will be accompanied on the trip by some of his principal aides.

He is expected back in Abuja early next week.

#ThatsAll.

Kutigi

LOOK: Kutigi hands over final confab report to GEJ

by Hauwa Gambo

Kutigi hands over report ynaija

Yesterday, retired Justice and chairman of the National Conference, Idris Kutigi yesterday wrapped up the talkshop officially by submitting the panel repor – with over 600 resolutions approved – to the President, Goodluck Jonathan.

He thanked the president for his “unusual coverage” in convening the conference.

“It was only expected that tempers would fly and tempers did fly,” he said. “Mr President, we did not try to ignore or bury our differences,” he said. “On behalf of the delegates to the 2014 national conference, I thank you for your courage in summoning this conference.”

 

Governors and Ebola

This is how governors shake hands now ’cause of Ebola (LOOK)

by Hauwa Gambo

Ebola is not a laughing matter, not in any way – and especially not when it has killed three Nigerians already and is sweeping through West Africa.

Governors Ebola

However, you have to give it to our president and the governors – these are powerful visuals which, while funny, emphasise a very, very important message – take caution against the Ebola virus. It kills, and it kills fast. But it is completely and entirely preventable.

This picture was taken today after a special meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on the Ebola source, at the State House in Abuja. Attending were state governors as well as the Ministers of of Health, Information & the FCT.

So fist-bump to Theodore Orji of Abia, Willie Obiano of Anambra and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom.

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Stay ahead of the Ebola scare | Follow the stories, issues, facts and progress on our dedicated vertical: ebola.ynaija.com

Muah

“I DO NOT OWE YOU any explanation” | Liberian minister who cleared Patrick Sawyer to travel speaks on Facebook

 

by Hauwa Gambo

The good guys at Premium Times have tracked what they have confirmed as Liberia’s Deputy Finance Minister, Sebastian Omar defending himslf against charged of incompetence for clearing Patrick Sawyer to travel to Nigeria for a conference while he was under observation for Ebola.

In the heated conversation tracked below, Muah stands his ground, and reveals that Sawyer was his friend.

Deputy Finance Minister For Fiscal Affairs, Sebastian Muah – See more at: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/featured-news/166560-exclusive-how-liberian-govt-cleared-patrick-sawyer-to-travel-to-nigeria-while-under-observation-for-ebola.html#sthash.A7ftPpYV.dpuf
Deputy Finance Minister For Fiscal Affairs, Sebastian Muah – See more at: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/featured-news/166560-exclusive-how-liberian-govt-cleared-patrick-sawyer-to-travel-to-nigeria-while-under-observation-for-ebola.html#sthash.A7ftPpYV.dpuf

Part of the conversation is below:

  • Omar Tariq Mr. Muah did you see his blood test results or did he just simple tell you it was negative? As his superior if a man tells you his sister died from ebola and he could have been exposed do you not think it is your duty to ask the hard questions or maybe you could have reported this to the health officials? Stop making silly excuses as to not being his doctors. This does not excuse you from asking the questions as a Government official that would safeguard the lives of our citizens and your International Partners. It is your duty, again Government official not wanting to go above and beyond his duty to safe guard our population.
    5 hrs · 1
  • Sebastian Muah Omar Tariq a friend is dead, I DO NOT OWE YOU any explanation on your monday night quarter backing. POS was a public health practitioner if you MUST KNOW. The Uganda doctor was a MEDICAL DOCTOR if you again MUST KNOW. They are no longer. So the freaking issue is not why he lied or didn’t lie to travel. But how we address the freaking disease. IF you don’t have jack to say in that direction then frankly shut up on the subject.
  • Sebastian Muah Don’t have time today frankly for your rants.
    5 hrs
  • Omar Tariq Oh hell yes you do owe Liberians and the International community an explanation Sebastian Muah, this is the complete arrogance of you people in Government. How dare you tell us such nonsense. You have through your negligence of not asking the proper questions exposed others to such a horrible Virus and you on here talking bull. A friend is dead I am sorry but you have some answering to do since you want to brag that you approved his travels.
    5 hrs · 1
  • Sebastian Muah they old people say empty drum can’t make noise. So you will be talking by yourself as I see you don’t know what you are talking about and as a matter of finding solution you DO NOT HAVE any but trying to find blame. WOW. Someone must have frustrated the hell out of you in Liberia O…. Take me to the international court since I am guilty of approving a travel.

Read the rest of it here.

Eleven people have now been infected after Patrick Sawyer brought the virus to Nigeria.

CCTV footage showed Patrick Sawyer avoiding bodily contact on the flight [DETAILS]

by Hauwa Gambo

As Nigeria tries to grapple with the implications of what Patrick Sawyer, whom President Goodluck Jonathan has referred to as a “crazy” man might have done in bringing in the country’s first confirmed case of Ebola, events around the death continue to intrigue.

READ: “If somebody is dead, leave him there” | Our top 7 quotes from President Jonathan’s Ebola reaction

We now know that his employers suspected Ebola and isolated him, we now know he was aware of his condition, and we now know that he was cleared to travel by his friend, who is a deputy minister in Liberia. Sawyer was acutely aware of his condition when he also boarded the flight to Nigeria for a conference in Calabar.

According to Liberian newspaper, The New Dawn, which monitored the CCTV footage recorded at Monrovia’s James Spriggs Payne’s Airport, Monrovia, Sawyer looked “terribly ill” before he boarded the 20 July Asky Airline plane to Lagos He reportedly wore a “sad countenance“ and was obviously in severe pain.

Apparently overtaken by “excruciating pain,” he, at a point, laid flat on his stomach on the floor in the corridor of the airport.

According to the paper, Mr. Sawyer sat alone all through the time he was boarding the flight and avoided bodily contact with other passengers who were close to him at the boarding gate in Monrovia.

Mr. Sawyer became severely ill on the plane and was taken to First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, from the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos. He died there on 24 July.

For some yet unclear reason, Sawyer and his highly placed friends in the Liberian government were insistent on his visiting Calabar. First, reports indicate he did not escape from isolation as reported by some news media. According to those, the officials were more concerned about ensuring he got to his Calabar conference.

Also the hospital in which he died, First Consultant Hospital had issued a statement confirming that it had to resist huge pressure from Liberian government officials who wanted him to be discharged, and claimed he had a crucial role to play in that talkshop.

by
ecowas-logo

Man who assisted Patrick Sawyer has also died of Ebola in Lagos

by Hauwa Gambo

It’s sad news – the world loses another person to Ebola, in Nigeria.

Yesterday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced that one of its staff, Jatto Abdulqudir, had died of the virus, bringing the number of deaths to three.

The full statement from ECOWAS is below:

The ECOWAS Commission announces with deep regret the passing of a staff member of its Lagos Liaison Office, Mr. Jatto Asihu Abdulqudir, aged 36.

Mr. Abdulqudir, a Protocol Assistant, was among those who assisted the Liberian delegate to a regional meeting Mr. Patrick Sawyer, who died from the Ebola Virus Disease at a Lagos hospital on 25th July 2014.

Mr. Abdulqudir had been under quarantine following that sad incident.

The Commission wishes to use this opportunity to express its gratitude to Nigerian government authorities and others who contributed to managing the late official while under quarantine. The Management of the Commission wishes to commiserate with Mr. Abdulqudir’s family and colleagues and prays for the repose of his soul.

Before this sad event, the Commission working in collaboration with Nigerian health authorities, had disinfected all the facilities of the ECOWAS Lagos Liaison Office as part of precautionary measures to safeguard the health, safety and security of staff members, and will continue to monitor the situation.

Management has also intensified awareness campaign among staff on the deadly virus and uses this opportunity to invoke the spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance.

The Commission wishes to reassure staff of all Community Institutions all over the entire region that it is taking all necessary steps to guarantee their health and safety.

Furthermore, Management enjoins all staff members and community citizens in general to intensify the observance of personal hygiene. They should also report any suspected case to health facilities and seek medical advice or attention for the effective containment and defeat of the Ebola disease.

On the directive of regional leaders, ECOWAS has already set up a Solidarity Fund to fight the disease and has solicited the support contribution of Member States and development partners to the Fund to rid the region of the virus.

The ECOWAS Commission wishes to reiterate its continued commitment to support Member States in confronting this deadly virus.

May his soul rest.

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Stay ahead of the Ebola scare | Follow the stories, issues, facts and progress on our dedicated vertical: ebola.ynaija.com

patrick sawyer

Here is the newsletter that shows Patrick Sawyer’s employers suspected Ebola before he came to Nigeria

by Hauwa Gambo

It has now been confirmed that Liberian authorities knew Patrick Sawyer might be infected with the Ebola virus before he was allowed to travel to Nigeria for a conference.

According to an internal company newsletter, the iron mining firm he worked for, ArcelorMittal suspended him from work when they suspected he had got the virus from his late sister and reffered him to the Liberian health ministry for observation,

The newsletter is below:

Ebola-statement-to-Employees-Water-marked

H/T: Premium Times

Ebola-virus-20140803165709

The 3rd person has now died of Ebola in Nigeria [DETAILS]

by Hauwa Gambo

In more sad news, the third person has now died of Ebola in Nigeria.

The Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS] today announced that one of its staff, Jatto Abdulqudir died of the virus. He joins Patrick Sawyer who was Nigeria’s first confirmed carrier, and one of the nurses who treated him at the Obalende-based First Consultant Hospital, in Lagos.

“The ECOWAS Commission announces with deep regret the passing of a staff member of its Lagos Liaison Office, Mr. Jatto Asihu Abdulqudir, aged 36,” said the statement. “Mr. Abdulqudir, a Protocol Assistant, was among those who assisted the Liberian delegate to a regional meeting Mr. Patrick Sawyer, who died from the Ebola Virus Disease at a Lagos hospital on 25th July 2014. Mr. Abdulqudir had been under quarantine following that sad incident.”

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Stay ahead of the Ebola scare | Follow the stories, issues, facts and progress on our dedicated vertical: ebola.ynaija.com

ebola-guinea

Liberian minister admits the government knew about Patrick Sawyer

by Hauwa Gambo

The intrigue around the entry of Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer into Nigeria, bringing with him the dreaded Ebola virus is not about to end, with new revelations delay about the scale of the deception, dereliction of duty and sloppiness that led his to Nigeria even though he was already suspected of carrying the virus.

Apparently, despite being under isolation and observation, the Liberian Deputy Finance Minister For Fiscal Affairs, Sebastian Muah, cleared Sawyer to travel to Nigeria an Economic Community of West African States convention happening in Calabar for an ECOWAS convention in Calabar.

The deputy minister admitted to this in a Facebook group, after his fellow citizens questioned his competence.

“I can confirm to you that he was advised by the Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health not to leave the country because he was under observation,” said Lewis Brown, who is the country’s information minister, to Premium Times. “It was regrettable that he left the country while being observed. We felt he had a duty to his colleagues to tell them that he was under observation for the disease. We also felt he had a duty to our country and yours (Nigeria) not to leave Liberia so as not to endanger the lives of others.”

On the question of why Muah approved the journey, he called it an “administrative slip” that occurred because government agencies had not began cooperating on the outbreak at the time.

“Before the Patrick Sawyer incident, we did not have that kind of cooperation,” he said. “We were not locking people under observation down. We were only bringing them to the isolation centre after they showed signs of the disease.It’s possible the health ministry was monitoring him (Mr. Sawyer) but the finance ministry did not know. It was a slip and we have learned from it regrettably.”

Liberia has now begun to upgrade its processes, he added: “Now the practice is to share the names of everyone under observation with all other agencies, including the airport, so they cannot leave the country.”