A fight broke out between two Hausa men in the northern part of Nigeria following a tense argument about president Muhammadu Buhari.
In a trending video posted online (watch below), the younger man (in black shirt) was telling his colleague how bad the situation of the country is, and why he has no reason to support president Buhari in the 2019 election.
The other man (in white shirt) who appears to be a staunch supporter of Buhari – cautioned him to leave out the president out of the matter and that he has performed well.
In the course of the argument, they started hurling insults at each other including bring their parents into the matter.
This resulted into a fight with punches thrown at each other before they were separated by those around.
The secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon. Samuel Wanjoku has been killed by unknown gunmen.
It was gathered that last week Sunday November,11th, 2018, the duo of Hon. Samuel Wanjoku, and Moses Ogu, a party Chieftain honored invitation of the Anglican Church in their community, Apani, Ikwerre LGA.
On their way back to Port-Harcourt, they were attacked and abducted by unknown gun men along the Omuanwa-Ubima axis of the express way.
Sadly, the bullet-ridden decomposing corpse of Hon. Samuel Wanjoku was discovered deep inside the forest between Omuanwa and Ubima in the local government area. The corpse was found this morning.
Till this moment, the whereabouts of Hon. Moses Ogu remains unknown.
The APC in Ikwerre, has asked supporters to remain calm as the party calls on the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, CP Zaki Ahmed to urgently constitute a Fact-finding Panel to investigate and unravel the circumstances under which the APC members where abducted and murdered.
Dr Muhammad Sani-Bello, a former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State has formally joined the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Sani-Bello announced his decision to join the APC at a news conference on Saturday in Kaduna.
He said he consulted with different political parties before arriving at the decision to join the APC.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Sani-Bello dumped the PDP on Nov. 12, due to what he described as unending mistrust between him and the state leadership of the party, and its governorship candidate, Alhaji Isa Ashiru.
He said: “Based on consultations with my supporters and other stakeholders, I have decided that from today Nov. 12, 2018, I Dr Muhammad Sani-Bello, cease to be a member of the PDP.”
According to him, the mistrust emanated from the refusal of the party leaders in the state to put the term of consensus which led to his stepping down for Ashiru into writing prior to the party’s governorship primaries.
He added that he was also not comfortable working with Ashiru, whose academic credentials were allegedly in question.
“Based on my findings, the documentation of the candidate contains certain flaws which remained unexplained,’’ he stressed.
Senate President Bukola Saraki says the people of Kwara would not have been suffering today if they had been given enough federal appointments.
Saraki said had Kwara people been given appointments, they would have been able to approve money for party supporters which would have eased their suffering.
The Senate President was heard saying this in an audio clip while addressing Peoples Democratic Party members recently.
The audio was first posted by blogger, Kayode Ogundamisi, on his verified Twitter handle.
Saraki said during the run-up to the 2015 general elections, he campaigned for President Muhammadu Buhari in every state of the country except the six South-West states.
He said he spent between N200m and N400m per state with the hope that when the All Progressives Congress got into office, party faithful would be rewarded either financially or through appointments.
The Senate President, however, said Buhari decided to punish the people of the state by starving them of appointments.
Saraki said, “What is the benefit of people that are campaigning for the APC? What is their track record? Use me as an example. When I left the PDP for the APC in 2014 and was campaigning for the APC like never before, we went to every state to campaign with Buhari up until the election time.
“Out of the 36 states, I paid election money in 30. Some collected N300m, while some collected N400m, some collected N200m. The only states where I had nothing to do with was in the South-West.
“Even on the phone, I was calling and giving banks instructions. Our thinking was that when we get elected, we would get the majority of appointments. I even told majority of you then that we shall all be going to Abuja together after the election.
“I thought some of you would be appointed to head federal agencies like road maintenance like FERMA, NITDA, NPA and others. Because I know that if any Kwara son becomes even just the ED of UBEC, I know what he can approve from his desk. Whether N1m or N2m.
“But for the first time since we joined politics, you have a President of the Senate or even Speaker that cannot appoint a cleaner. I am not referring to board appointees who just collect money per sitting.
“If you look at the agencies where they appointed executive positions, what do you want me to say?”
A journalist and staff of Voice Of Nigeria (VON) has recounted her horrifying experience after surviving a close shave with death during the Kaduna crises few weeks back which claimed more than 50 lives with properties worth millions destroyed.
Temitope Mustapha, was travelling through Kaduna to Kano to cover the event on Media Dialogue on Equity for the Girl Child Education before being caught in the crisis.
She took to social media to share her story. Read the lengthy piece below;
Passing through Kaduna State on Sunday 21st of October 2018, to connect to Kano State for a two day Media Dialogue on Equity for the Girl Child Education , I never thought would end up bloody for me..
About 4:35pm ,Two times this gentleman who was in the same car with me woke me up and said “Madam stay awake” ,I replied him, see i had written stories previous nights before I embarked on this journey. Again this man woke me up and said “madam pls stay awake”.
Then I opened my sleepy eyes very wide and clearly I saw Military officers seated on their vehicles. Suddenly, a fellow passenger like me said ” Madam we have been making calls to know the safest road” & I said you mean this road is safe for us all? They all answered Yes. Suddenly at Kaduna By- Pass,I saw a trailer blocking the road and traffic was building up and the driver of the same car I boarded( public transport of of course) beckoned on one of the youths holding a fibre of an iron, of course he responded in Hausa language & another passenger translated this to me that he wanted to find another route out of By- Pass.
Suddenly, a number of the young men sighted me in the car & my driver started pleading with them, telling them ” Da Allah ki ya kuri” ,I was the only female in the car and extremely unusual of me I wore what you saw in the pictures above with an head tie ( turban)that I had on me.
RACE OF MY LIFE
The young men best described as Miscreants were more than fifteen,they started hitting the side of the car I was, Actually my head was blank, I couldn’t say one word of prayer, I didn’t panic and I was ready to run the race of my life.
Immediately my fellow passengers took to their heels from the front door and the left door side , then I summoned courage opened the right side door which was already confronted by men holding all manner of irons and stones. My turban ( head tie) fell off , And I started running towards an uncompleted building immediately I realised I could be finished in the building, With heavy stones landing on my back and long metallic objects hitting my body from people running after me ,I turned and thought of crossing the Gutters on Kaduna by – Pass.
O Yes I fell down with the heaviness & marathon of stones landing on my body then I watched myself being LYNCHED with all manners of iron rods, sticks and i was being stonned at the same time.
Nobody dared stopped these youths from stonning me neither was I rescued from their hands.
I actually saw one of them videoing what they were doing to me & I sincerely was running within me to catch up with breathe. Death is Painful.
I suddenly didn’t not feel the hitting of the irons on my body again & the stones were no longer making sounds to me. I was hearing ,Jesus is Lord inside my Head clearly as if with a mega phone, I was seeing my mother’s,my Son & my daughter’s faces all at thesame time & some how I kept hearing in my head that all they were doing was not up to Labour Pains.
I crawled inside the Gutters ,of course I was already almost inside the Gutters by by-Pass. I felt peace in my body & I found solace inside the Gutters. I saw these youths gathered on the other side ,I blurringly saw a crowd of men watching me , And I saw clearly one of them carrying a stone with his two hands right over me, I raised up one hand pleading to him & making gestures appealing. That was the last I saw.
HEAVY SLEEP OVER POWERED ME
Heavy & Deep Sleep came over me inside the Gutters,the thing overpowered me & I watched my hand threw away, from this moment I didn’t know what happened again ,I cannot tell what,where & anything about me again. I don’t know what switched me off. I was completely switched off.
Till I woke up at AMRULLAH Hospital (also along Kaduna by-Pass )on a stretcher , I started talking telling them I am a Journalist with Voice of Nigeria and I was only passing by Kaduna State to attend a Media Dialogue in Kano State. I attempted standing from the stretcher my body didn’t respond. I was asked for phone numbers , Heaven helped me to remember my younger sister’s number & the father of my children’s number.
AMRULLAH Hospital …
Totally to my rescue, about six drips including flagyl & All manners were set into my system. I was revived, Head suturing were done, the young Muslim doctor was crying while suturing my head, hospital attendants were cleaning stretcher stained with my blood. Everybody was put on guard. The Miscreants traced me to the hospital & demanded that the lady brought in should be released by the hospital to be killed. This Muslim hospital saved me,hidded me away from them & I realised I was kept in a ward locked with a nurse who was given instructions not to open the ward to anyone she possibly didnt know the voice. Only the Hospital Manager, the doctor on duty & two nurses were given access to where I was.
I asked the only face I saw when I woke up from the “deep sleep”, I said Pls who brought me. He looked at me with tears filled in his eyes & said A JTF Member brought you life-less. He said “we rejected you because you were not breathing and demanded he should not drop your body with us”
The AMRULLAH Hospital Manager said, when we refuse to take you the JTF Man dropped you on our stretcher & said you could come back that we should try.
AMRULLAH Hospital treated me & stabilised me. Then A thousand plus calls came on the Hospital Managers’ Phone,they said My Family Members were dead alive & Colleagues had sleepless night.
MANAGEMENT OF VOICE OF NIGERIA STOOD FOR ME
In the Midst of it all, Mr Ahaziah Suleiman My Exe.Dir.of News, Mr Ben Shemang,Hajia Sani,Hajia Hauwa even the DG I heard all sets contacts in motion for my proper care.
VON KADUNA STATE CORRESPONDENT SUDDENLY BECAME A MOTHER
Her name is Hajia Asmau, she was the family I saw,she was the colleague on ground, she wept uncontrollably & was still the one consoling herself ,I watched Asmau wiped tears several times. Above all this lady risked her life to identify with me in the hospital & practically carried a wheeled chair colleague to her house to ensure my safety.
Baba we all call him,Hajia Asmau’s Husband was there to carry me from the vehicle to hospital stretcher , He was there all through right beside his wife fixing my neck most times carrying me on wheel chair. Hajia Asmau’s children all cried uncontrollably and kept asking their Mother,Mummy what did she do to them”. Her family owned me straight up.
AGAIN MY BOSSES & COLLEAGUES TRIED
Aisha John Mark, Gloria Essien & Omolayo Alabi all pinned Prof. Dr Ogrimma down, owner of SKILLS HOSPITAL, He was there for VON, Of course curfew did not allow X-ray operator to be at work. But Dr Ogrimma tried for me. He ensured the fractured hand was well tied & he gave instructions that further saved me.
UNICEF TEAM & KADUNA STATE GOVT ALSO CARED
I Sincerely hail Mr Geoffrey Njoku, UNICEF Head Communication Officer, who i learnt contacted his colleagues in Kaduna State & informed them of my attack the same night I was revived at AMRULLAH Hospital. Of course UNICEF contacted Kaduna State government. Lo & Behold ! Commissioner For Health Kaduna State visited the following afternoon of the attack , He later sent an ambulance who took me to government hospital on ” KD State government’s demand” though no bed space & everywhere was already filled with victims.
44 MILITARY HOSPITAL & MY FRACTURED HAND.
My bosses didn’t sleep nor take a Nap over my situation in Kaduna. The third day of the incidence my Ogas contacted Gen.Burutai’s Men to save the situation as there was still curfew & I almost couldn’t walk. A very calm Army Boss reported at Hajia Asmau’s residence with his men ,the third day and carried me to 44 MILITARY HOSPITAL to attend to my dangling fractured & dislocated hand. The army medical doctors insisted on thorough xray including that of my head. At the end the Army left me better.
VON DELIVERED ME WHOLE TO MY FAMILY
Spending three days in Kaduna State at the heat of the crises wasn’t easy at all for my family.(Though Hajia Asmau’s presence created relief for my mother) VON sent an official car with the office nurse and armed men escorted my scattered body with my breathe intact out of Kaduna town . I was exchanged into VON official car @Kaduna Toll gate.
I do have a lot to say about Kaduna State October 2018 crises. While recuperating & being on bed rest I think when my Nurse ( My mum’s eyes ) are few times away from me) I think about being carried from the Gutters by an Unknown Possibly Muslim JTF Member, I think about AMRULLAH Hospital ( a complete Muslim hospital who God used to stabilised me after coming out of deep sleep & yet not delivering me into the hands of the Hot Headed Miscreants, I think about the safety of Nigerian road users TRAVELLERS in the midst of CRISES across Nigeria???
So many thoughts feeling my sutured head but I sure must put all these thoughts down…
That I am Alive alone for now ,I am grateful to God Almighty.
Dr. Eruani Azibapu, President of Azikel Group of Companies
At the glass house office of Azikel Group of Companies in Ogbogura community of Bayelsa State, the staff are few. But the traffic of tippers loading sand at the dredging site, to a discerning eye, tells the true story of the business that has catapulted Dr. Eruani Azibapu, president of the group, to high-class businessman and entrepreneur.
Growing up as a little child, his friends used to call him Azikel boy, and years later, his company was named Azikel.
At 44, he is on good track, but he set a record by buying his first helicopter at the age of 35, turning a billionaire at 34, graduating as a medical doctor at 27, and becoming the youngest commissioner for health in the country.
From the business of selling sand, he later diversified into aviation and now, petroleum, working to build the first functional private refinery in Nigeria.
Born on a Christmas day, December 25, 1974 in Emadike in Ayama district, a local community in Bayelsa State, life itself and growing up in this serene farming and fishing settlement was quite interesting for the village boy.
His mother was into fishing and farming, while his father, HRH, Chief Allwell Eruani Aguda IX, the Obanema of Emadike Kingdom, was into business.
Although his father had seven wives, Azibapu, who is his mother’s only surviving child, recalled that getting his father’s attention was quite competitive and interestingly challenging, with the usual rivalry, as all the wives and children competed for interest and who was going to be the most favoured.
His mother always wanted to have more children, but she never did, so, Azibapu from infancy set out to prove to her that it was not necessarily numbers that matter, but that one person can make a difference, and since she couldn’t have more children, he was going to surpass her, as he now has five children.
He had his primary education in his village, which though rural and lacked infrastructure, had very good and well-trained tutors. Primary One and Two were under the tree, but he enjoyed it.
He moved into the classroom of sort in Primary Three, shared the town hall, partitioned with mat in Primary Four and some sense of shelter in Primary Five and Six.
Secondary school was at a bigger community called Okodi, which he attended daily by canoe, usually sourced and paddled for about 45 minutes to one hour by the students themselves and being in a different community, they sometimes returned home very hungry.
Princehood conferred some village rights on him, but not at school, in another community. His father had a Yamaha speedboat and took him to school when he was really late, but he didn’t make it regular. He preferred the young boy should go through the rigours of going to school like his peers. Now, Azibapu sees the sense in what his father was doing.
He attended the University of Port Harcourt, where he graduated as a medical doctor, because he wanted to come back and provide healthcare for the people and himself. He used to have catarrh and was thinking of finding the cure to it. He is yet to accomplish this mission.
On graduation, he worked as a medical officer in the civil service and some private clinics in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and later sought further education and specialisation, starting in surgery at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, then travelled to the United States (US) and took interest in family medicine and later became a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Azibapu also worked in Bayelsa State as a medical officer. But when he became a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, he secured employment in Nigerian Agip Oil Company as an expatriate, basically providing occupational health services. He rose to the level of a deputy chief industrial doctor.
Then, there was clamour for him to come back, as the government of Bayelsa State needed some experienced doctors to revive its health sector.
The then governor, and later President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, appointed him as adviser on HIV/AIDS and Community Health and he was appointed commissioner of Health by Chief Timipre Sylvia, who took over from Jonathan.
After serving as adviser for about two years and commissioner for about five years, he felt it was time to go, because even though he achieved some success, the desire and things he could achieve were limited, particularly with the political nature of most of the offices, as he couldn’t bring to bear most of the things he would have loved to do.
So, beyond medical practice, he decided to explore other areas. His mind was on how to alleviate the housing and infrastructural deficit in the state.
He went into an area that was considered not befitting, but today he is a billionaire from a business built on sand; sand selling.
At the outset, not many people wanted to work with him. In fact, when he told his mother that he wanted to go into selling sand, she wept, that her son and only child, a medical doctor of international repute and commissioner was going to start selling sand.
But Azibapu had always known that one could actually make a good business from what many people didn’t like. And he found encouragement in his father, who said he believed in whatever he wanted to do.
He wasn’t going to do the ordinary kind of selling sand; he made some critical investments, got a good network of people and today, the story of his selling sand remains unique.
He reminisced: “I looked at the critical drivers of that business – I needed to have land and a dredging machine. I couldn’t afford to buy a dredging machine, because it costs millions of dollars. The cheapest dredging machine as at that time was nothing less than $10million.
“I needed to get land by the riverside. I could go to a community to get land and even if I cannot pay at once, I can pay overtime, and that was what I did. I went and discussed with the Otuogori community and they agreed. That is where my operation is based, more so, it was a vacant land then, as it was always submerged under water.”
Solving the problem of dredging machine was more challenging, as he didn’t have the money to rent a dredging machine, let alone buy one. “So, I approached someone I know has a dredging machine, who remains very famous in my history, called Akpe. I asked if he could pump some sand for me, and he agreed to do so if I was willing to pay.
“From the bill he gave me, I needed an initial deposit of about N80million. I didn’t even have up to N10million. I tried to bargain as much as I could, but it wasn’t forthcoming, so I accepted it, despite not having the money.
“But I said since he wouldn’t need the whole N80million at once, we should have a payment plan and I proposed N80million to dredge about 100 feet of sand and offered to pay him N5million deposit to mobilise a dredging machine to the site.
“I was able to muster about N10million, so while he was there, I could pay him another N5million. So, when he pumped the sand and we quantified that it was worth N10million, I paid another N10million,” he recalled.
It was not surprising that he got that business acumen, as his parents were traders and he observed what they did, coupled with his father also into bread baking and poultry farming.
“Akpe bought into the idea. My strategy was that by the time he gave me sand of N10million, I would start to sell the sand to pay him as much as he was producing. I paid and we started the deal; it was a win-win. He mobilised the machine, I paid the first N5million and we started pumping the sand. I quickly learnt from what he was doing and that this business was going to be very interesting and successful, but would be sustainable and I will be able to guarantee the market if I could own my own machine.
“We dredged and when it got up to the target, I made the payment and I started selling the sand immediately. He wanted to raise issues, but I said there was no issue to be raised, because the deal I had with him was N800 per trip, but I sold at N1600 and because I organised the market in a formal way, I had a lot of attraction.
“He knew the price and that I was making double the amount, so he said he wanted to change the price and I reminded him of our deal and that it is just for him to move to the next milestone and we would pay him. He tried to move to the second milestone, but he couldn’t move at the pace my clients were.
“I was able to penetrate the market very fast in a very short period of time and garnered about 95 per cent of the market share and I realised very quickly that Akpe could not meet up with the demand that I have, as more people were coming to me for sand. It got to a point where some people came to convince Akpe to leave me, saying I was cheating him, despite the fact that I was fulfilling my obligations. So, Akpe had to quit, saying he didn’t want to do the work anymore, that he had a better contract elsewhere.
“So, my feet came back to square one and I identified that one of my weakest points was not having a dredging machine, so I began to think of how to acquire one.”
So, after about one year, there was a vacuum, as getting his own dredging machine took a while.
Azibapu had already saved some money and having been known for the business, he used that goodwill to get other supplies, who were not as reliable as him being in control.
It took him about three to four years to muster enough resources to get a dredging machine, with support from local banks, such as Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, which gave him the first loan, but most of the critical investment in the business was from the US Exim Bank.
“I was able to cross-reference abroad and I was supported by the bank to acquire my first dredging machine. So, I pulled operations and soon broke barriers. I made the business much more sexier than anyone in the turf. In the Niger Delta, Azikel became a household name, as the federal and state governments, international companies, oil companies, e.t.c. came to us to buy sand.”
Asked how he hit it at an early age, Azibapu explained: “It is influence, largely environmental influence. The environment is not where you grow up; it is the people that you meet, your perception and the people that are around you. When you are purposeful and you have success written around you, you are likely to succeed.”
On how he overcame the challenge of raising the capital for the business, he stated: “Raising money is a critical factor to most people that dare. For example, raising $300million for a business could be a challenge to you, maybe even an impossible task, but to me, it is not, because I know that it is there.
Having that knowledge is a big difference, and I got that knowledge from the environment I grew up. I know people that raise a million dollars, I see it happen and that influences me. So, financing is not a limitation to doing business.
“Most people will say they want to start a business, but the problem is finance. For me, finance is not a problem, because I can get the money. I have gotten money in dredging and aviation, so it is not a problem. I don’t think about financing. The thing is information and knowledge.
“I secured my first financing in the dredging business, $15million, and another $50million from the US Exim Bank. Someone told me I didn’t have to bring all the money to buy the machine, that if I brought small, they could get it and do it. I asked if it was possible and it happened.
“All my guarantees were self-guarantees and that is why networking was very good. When I was raising $50million, I signed a guarantee, but with a caveat of asking someone in Nigeria if they knew me. And who did they ask? Alhaji Aliko Dangote. He put in good words for me and I broke that barrier of financing.
“I can get money anywhere in the world, there is no limitation and until you understand this, you would think otherwise. There is huge money in the world that people are looking to put into getting little gains, so you must be real and believable and be true to yourself. This was how we evolved.
“We are spending about $300million on the refinery, it is not a big deal to raise the money and that itself is not a challenge, if you are credible, reputable and have the facts to show for it.
“I took advantage of the relationship I had with the US Exim Bank. I didn’t stop at buying one dredger; I bought up to six dredgers.”
The dredging machines have the capacity of moving around the Niger Delta region and today, Azikel operates in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.
The business soon evolved into a multinational industry and there was the quest to diversify, this time into the aviation sector, starting with a small aircraft.
It was a natural choice for him, having worked with oil companies in the Niger Delta, with its difficult terrains, where airlift is imperative.
He knew that logistics was a major challenge and the oil majors and VIPs needed helicopters for easy movement, and sometimes sourcing for helicopters to hire used to be very difficult.
“So, I took advantage of that and bought a small aircraft, initially to break barriers. I wanted to get into a wider network of successful people and I didn’t have those that would introduce me, so, I needed to introduce myself and I couldn’t just introduce myself as Eruani; I needed to do something that could be outstanding that can leverage my relationship with all the other successful people.
“I had the resources to buy an aircraft, so I bought a helicopter and I quickly noticed that my friends were always asking me for free flights, wanting me to drop them in Lagos and Abuja and I said that was okay.
“There was this particular day one of my friends wanted to take a ride and I told him I didn’t have money to buy fuel, which was true anyway. He offered to buy the fuel and I said, ‘when we get to the airport, just buy the fuel,’ but he said he didn’t want to go through those rigours of buying the fuel, because he was more comfortable with giving me the money. I said I didn’t want to trade with him. He asked me the cost of the fuel was and I just made a guess of $9,000 dollars and he said it was okay, opened his briefcase and gave me the money with ease.
“I said this is very interesting, I sat back and called the airport and we were able to get the aircraft fuel for $5,000 to and fro. There and then, I made $4,000 and decided that if anyone was going to fly with me, he/she would buy the fuel. That was how my friends became my customers, by buying the fuel.
“I then realised that I needed to make that a viable business and that was how I registered as Azikel Airline and my friends started calling to know if I also had an helicopter, and I said I did.
“I would arrange for helicopters for them. Because I was into a wider market, I could leverage and get other aircraft and a lot of money was coming in, as the oil companies were also calling me. I thought I needed to invest in more helicopters, so I bought helicopters as well. That gave me a full-fledged business into aviation.
“I was providing VIP and shuttle services for the IOCs. I saw it was good, so I legalised the business, got an airline transport certificate and licence, as well as air operation certificate for Azikel Air, acquired two other aircraft and more helicopters and set about the business of being able to move people within the Niger Delta.”
Today, Azikel Air has four aircraft in its fleet, but had to scale down the operations in 2015 following the lull in the market. Many people could not afford executive flying and shuttle services. But Azibapu still flies around in one to make business easier for him, much as Azikel Air is supporting a lot of the group’s internal operations in the Niger Delta and across the world.
Like many airline and aircraft owners, Azibapu also takes flying as a hobby, especially as a trained pilot. He explained: “When you own an aircraft, the world is different from the way other people look at it. I look at the world very differently; I don’t see boundaries in the world. I have the leverage of going to any part of the world any day, anytime at will and there are no barricades.
“I used to be scared sometimes of turbulence. I am a licensed US pilot for rotorcraft, which is helicopters and fixed wing, and I fly both. In the US, for example, flying is fun, but in Nigeria, it is a luxury. I enjoy it, although a lot of people say it is risky, but I don’t see any risk in it, as the principles and safety of flying are well understood. That is my hobby. When I am in the US, I fly to locations to go have breakfast and I have friends in the flying club.”
Has he had any experience while flying that gave him some jitters? He said: “Turbulence is normal, it does happen, although some are much more severe than others. Otherwise, flying is reasonably safe. Everything in life has its own risk, but aviation is quite safe, as there are laid down principles and procedures.
“I like flying my own aircraft in Nigeria, because I understand what goes on. I also trust what my pilots do and the Nigerian pilots do very well too. I have my own hangars that I go to at will to inspect the aircraft, so I participate in what they do. To me, it is like we all know what we are doing and because of my knowledge.
“Before I got licensed, I had some interesting fears, but that is by the way. What then was catastrophic wasn’t really catastrophic; it was because I didn’t really understand what was happening, but now I do.”
After aviation, he went into the power sector in 2014 during the privatisation of the sector. He bid for the Ogbara power plant in Bayelsa, did everything he could, partnered with international participants, but lost, not just the bid, he lost it with over $5million in what he called a very transparent process, for which he gave kudos to the government.
When he lost the bid, he felt he could participate in a greenfield and launched Azikel Power Limited for a greenfield refinery of 500 megawatts. He pursued the licence, but didn’t succeed, so the project got stuck.
He secured about 50 acres of land close to a source of gas and close to evacuation, but couldn’t secure a licence. He got frustrated in the process, as the project didn’t get to fruition by the end of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, so he froze it, but was still committed to industrialisation, the entrepreneurial zeal was still very much in him as he strove to bring the desired change in the world by creating employment.
So in 2015, when the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was about to issue licences for private/modular refineries, Azibapu stood up to be counted. He participated and was one of the first two Nigerians granted licences to build refineries.
He told the story: “I was so excited about it. To come from the Niger Delta where there is abundance of crude oil, where I saw the exploration of crude at my backyard and for the first, we are given the right and privilege to take possession of that crude oil, according to the licence, add value to it and make commercial, economic and entrepreneurial benefits from it was very delighting.
“I was eager to make this possible and I went into the process of building the very first private hydro-skimming refinery in Nigeria and we launched it. I acquired the land when I was trying to construct the greenfield power plant, so all I needed to do was go back to that 50 acres of land, divide it into two and dedicate one part for the refinery.
“It is situated close to Shell, which exploits and exports crude oil from the gas facility and was finding ways of dealing with it, so it would easily be a feed stock from Shell. I was licensed for a 12,000 barrel as phase one refinery and I am bent on ensuring that the refinery was built .
“We commenced the foundational development investment, which is very challenging. I must say having been in this journey for a few years, it is very challenging, despite the huge success we have achieved. We are going to produce petrol, diesel for heavy-duty machines, LPG, jet fuel and kerosene for home use. We have developed that to a very significant extent.”
A man has narrated how he was used as a political thug during one of the elections conducted in Bayelsa state. According to the man named George, he decided to share the story to urge youths from being used as thugs in the forthcoming election.
Read the lengthy piece that was shared online;
“MY FOOLISH EXPERIENCE AS AN ELECTION THUG”
A job I was needed to execute only during electioneering era; that is, I and my gang get employed seasonally, every four years precisely.
My name is GEORGE A. N. GEORGE. I am from Yenagoa in Bayelsa State of Nigeria. I am a graduate of PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (Class of 2007), from NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA, ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA. I have so many relatives, friends and school mates. Below is the story of that part of my life you never knew. Please read and learn from it as a Nigerian Youth.
It was about 1:15am that night when my phone rang while we were on standby in one exotic hotel in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State (hotel name withheld) where all the rooms were paid down for us, including food and drinks. My phone screen displayed a withheld identity and I knew it was THE BOSS, because that was his usual way. He doesn’t ever disclose his phone number or his where about.
ON THE PHONE:
Me: The boss sir!
Boss: Everything OK?
Me: Yes sir.
Boss: How many soldiers have you?
Me: Three, sir.
Boss: Too damn few for this operation. Your subject is a well protected person. Make it five and do that immediately.
Me: Consider it done sir.
Boss: Better! Now open the gate and receive your supplies in Fourty minutes time. Remember, it must be convincingly an armed robbery. You must confirm him dead before you leave. Under no circumstance should he either survive or escape it. If you flunk this operation, you will not live to regret it. IS THAT CLEAR?
Me: Yes sir.
Boss: Good luck and get your balance after I read his obituary.
Me: Yes sir.
Exactly Fourty minutes later, two brand new Giant V8 Toyota SUV Prado Jeeps drove in and parked inside the hotel. The driver of the first one came out and handed the keys into me without uttering a single word. He immediately joined the other Jeep and they left.
The content of the Jeep:
There was a cash sum of Twelve million naira, seven complete set of military uniforms with ranks, including ID cards, all fake. There were different kinds of high caliber military sophisticated weapons (arms and ammunitions). While we were confirming the supply, the two other additional soldiers I contacted (Kiwy and Chester) arrived. My boys locked the gate and took everything inside. In that operation as led by me, were: GEORJAY (my very self as my friends call me), DALLAZ, SPARKY, KIWY & CHESTER.
The next night was the operation proper. We left the hotel in Yenagoa at 11:50pm for our victim’s residence in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Our subject was a major Political Gladiator and was also from Bayelsa State. The Boss wanted the operation to take place at the victim’s private residence in Port Harcourt, as that will guarantee a suspicion free one. It was indeed a smooth drive in that tinted screen and blinded number plate Jeep, as we were all military men in appearance. The lowest rank among us was that of a Sergeant. Mine as the leader was that of a Captain. Beating check points on the East-West road was therefore as easy as reading this confession.
We arrived in Port Harcourt at 1:05am. At exactly 1:30am, we forcefully broke into our victim’s residence, over powering and killing two of his armed guards who first shut at us, and incapacitating the two unarmed ones. Chester was badly injured from the dead guards’ initial attack. We bound one of them and forced the other to lead us to our victim’s bedroom, upstairs. By this time Sparky and Dallaz mounted surveillance at the gate and as well, kept an eye on Chester who was bleeding badly on his left shoulder. The man may have forgotten to lock his door. It was just an effortless attempt, and we were in his room. He was still sleeping. Kiwy had to tap him to wake up and when he did, we beat the hell out of him and collected all his money, laptops, phones and lots of valuables, thereby making it look like armed robbery, before we finally shut and confirmed him dead. To us it was our job we were executing faithfully. We also took all the phones of the guards and killed all of them before we took off back to Yenagoa that night. When we got to Choba Bridge, near University of Port Harcourt, we threw all the phones, laptops and the rest valuables into Choba River and took only the cash of #1.9million with us.
Chester was a student of The Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Amassoma, Bayelsa State. His father use to give him #350,000.00 as his weekly upkeep. A sum I wouldn’t be able to earn in six months. We dropped Chester at Amassoma and advised him to claim as a victim of armed robbery, and he did so. We quickly drove back to the hotel and parked the jeep, leaving everything, including the key, locked inside as instructed by the boss. We shared the money and departed. Chester’s share remained in my custody.
The Boss called me up at 6:00am and I told him all was perfectly done, he was celebrating. I now told him that one of us is badly injured. The boss shouted and said “I am not interested in that and I don’t want to hear it. How dare you mention that to me? Let him die if he wants to. As a matter of fact, I paid you well for it. Mention that to me again and forfeit your balance. Nonsense!” The boss dropped the call. I couldn’t call him back because one of the rules say; “No one ever tries to contact or visit the boss EXCEPT it is absolutely necessary. He does all the calling”. Besides, no one knew where the boss lived or even had his phone number. Run into the boss in an ordinary day for a problem of twenty thousand naira, and the boss will say he is broke and needy too, that is, if at all he will speak to you or act like you guys have ever met before. So I just stayed put and waited for his call concerning our balance.
Two days later, the boss called me up to come for the balance. I went to the agreed location and the boss kept to his words as usual. He was playing a recorded version of the news and with a smile, bringing his phone close to my ears. He was so fulfilled that his major obstacle has gone down for good. He opened his car trunk with a remote control key and asked me to carry the money to my small car, which I did. He then offered me a congratulatory hand shake. While we were shaking hands, his other phone rang. He picked the call and spoke briefly, then shouted “Oh my God”. He quickly jumped into his jeep and drove away menacingly, leaving me there speechless and confused. I got into my car and took off too.
When I got home in my hide out, Dallaz, Sparky and Kiwy were waiting for me. We took the money inside and decided to check on Chester at the hospital. On arrival at the hospital, VERY INTERESTING, SURPRISING AND UGLY TOO! Behold the boss and was seated with a woman beside Chester. What are you doing here? The boss shouted. We were speechless like Michael Jackson. In my heart, I was like; “so this is where he was called up from, and that is why he zoomed off like that”. The boss stood up and went outside, into his car. It was not the same car he drove earlier. He switched it. He was that thorough and swift. I asked Chester who that man was and he said they were his parents. By this time the boss was in his car. His wife did not know what was going on, everyone else did. She may have believed that we were Chester’s friends from school. She was cry bitterly in pity for her lovely son. She later went out to know why the boss dashed out like that, but the boss covered it up pretentiously. That was the day I knew that the boss ever had a family. He has never ever shown any sign of someone that has a wife, let alone, children. His family was too precious to him and animals like us must be kept far away. I was shocked.
Chester, in pains and slight confusion, managed and whispered to me, pleading with me not to lie to him, because he saw the drama that just took place now. He asked me, “Georjay, is this the man we worked for?” I found it very difficult to respond, but I couldn’t lie at that point. So I said yes. He also asked if I have collected the balance, I just nodded my head and told him that his share is intact. He begged us to leave immediately for his mum’s sake. Just then, his parents came in. His father, not knowing I had already told Chester everything, and still keeping his wife in the dark, said to us; “young men, please excuse us”. We went out got into the car and drove away.
One hour later, the boss called me and he was mad on the phone. He was insane. I mean he was in zany. I do not know whether he was out of his mind or his mind was rather out of him. He threatened to deal with me with the last drop of his blood, for corrupting his son and staining him with my filthy condemned life. It was like fire and brim stone pouring out from his voice. My cell phone was hot in my palm. In his words; “For luring my son into a life of thuggery, armed robbery and death ventures with your miserable life, I will clean your ass as part of the mess you have caused me and my family” I couldn’t say anything. In fact, at that point, I realized how filthy, empty and foolish I have been as a thug and a killer. I realized that I am not even a human being in the eyes of this Politian. A hundred of me and my friends put together cannot equate one of his child. I have lived a life of emptiness, foolishness and modern day slavery. I felt so imbecilic. I wished I could just drop dead.
I want to use this opportunity to advise Nigerian Youths. Experience, they say is the best teacher, but take it from me, experience, as good as it is, is a very slow and wicked teacher, because it teaches you correctly, but when it is too late. As I write this the boss is now an enemy and a hunter of my life. He has paid other gangs to kill all my friends, just to cover his back. They are currently tracing me day and night. Meanwhile, he has sent his lovely and important son (Chester) to London for his studies, while I am here ducking bullets. I am now a lifeless fugitive, a vagabond, all because of one man’s political ambition. The same man now wants me dead. What an irony? Even a piece of handkerchief is more of a valuable than my life. What a regretful life?
Now the elections are around the corner. The questions I want to ask you reading this story as a Nigerian Youth are these;
Are you going to learn from my experience, or you want your own experience to teach you? Will you learn now that it is early days yet or you will go on until it too late?
Will you throw your life away like a piece of paper because of one man’s political ambition, while his own children are in the best universities abroad? I wish that you will have a rethink.
Please be more interested in learning from these mistakes of mine, than thinking of where I may be right now because that will not add any value to your life. Just take the story and ignore the teller.
If any politician wants you to be his thug, just request that his son should join you and watch out if it will be a deal, and if not, ask him why.
A marriage between Danlami Madaki and Cecilia Vanyida, was dissolved Wednesday because of the wife’s irresponsible and violence act.
The judge, Barr. Ibrahim Shekarau made it clear that it was due to the fact that the both couple fail to reconcile so therefore the union between the two parties had been put to an end in the interest of peace.
He further gave an advised to the parties to maintain peace at all time that further violation of court order is grave offence.
The judge directed the parties to collect their divorce certificates from the registrar’s office.
According to a the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who discovered that the parties were married in 1997, complying with the native laws and customs of the Gbagyi of Karu in Nasarawa State. It was further discovered that the family is blessed with five children.
The husband Mr. Salami described his wife Cecilia as a violent and irresponsible woman, who not hesitate in destroying property at every slight provocation undermining the cost of things.
Following the trend of the upcoming 2019 election, the INEC state president commissioner in Edo state, Mr. Emmanuel Alex-hart made a disclosure to the public on the extension of the permanent voter card (PVC) collection due to short time frame. He made this known to Nigeria union of journalist (NUJ) when he presented INEC’s bundles of plastic chairs and public address systems.
Alex-Hart put to the public saying ‘‘although the number of days approved for the display of voters’ register and collection of PVCs in various wards and units has ended, we decided to extend the collection of PVCs aspect of the exercise at wards levels. The efforts are to bring the PVCs closer to the people ahead of the 2019 general elections for collection,”
To his point, it is to ensure credible 2019 election.