P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Books http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Mon, 17 Aug 2015 14:15:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Globacom celebrates Wole Soyinka, young literary stars http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/31/globacom-celebrates-wole-soyinka-young-literary-stars/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/07/31/globacom-celebrates-wole-soyinka-young-literary-stars/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 07:20:02 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=247918 Prof Wole Soyinka

Prof Wole Soyinka

Information and Communications Technology solutions provider and leading supporter of African Literature, Globacom, has concluded plans to celebrate African playwright, poet and Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka.

Globacom stated on Thursday that Prof. Soyinka and some of Nigeria’s upcoming literary writers will be honoured in an event entitled “A Night with Wole Soyinka and Nigeria’s Young Literary Stars” in August in Lagos.

The event, according to the company, is one of the numerous efforts initiated to appreciate the literary stars for their outstanding contributions to the study of literature which has put Nigeria on the world literary stage.

Globacom stated that the Nobel Laureate had made Nigeria and Africa proud, adding that the celebration of the intellectual jewel at the event will also provide opportunity for the media, literature lovers and guests to interact with Professor Soyinka and the young award winning writers.

The telecoms company explained that it is working towards showcasing an evening of glitz, glamour, endless entertainment and Intellectual simulation for guests.

In addition, a documentary on the life and times of Professor Soyinka will be showcased as well as a reading of his works by the three young Nigerian writers.

During the event, Globacom will also launch a special prize in Literature for undergraduate students across the country tagged “The Glo Literature Prize for Undergraduate Students”.

It will also feature an interactive exchange between the Nobel Laureate and the young writers being honoured on the night, Sefi Atta, Tope Folarin and E.C. Osondu who will share their personal perspective on African literature and the contributions of Prof Soyinka.

Born in 1964 in Lagos, Nigeria, Sefi Atta has won several awards including the 2003 Red Hen Press Short Story Award, 2005 PEN International David TK Wong Prize, 2006 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and 2009 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa amongst others.

Washington, DC., United States based Tope Folarin is a recipient of writing fellowships from the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington DC., and serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation.

Tope was educated at Morehouse College, and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Master’s degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. In 2013, he won the Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled ‘Miracle’ from Transition.

E.C. Osondu, the last celebrant, lives in Rhode Island, USA where he is an Assistant Professor of English at Providence College. He won the Caine Prize in 2009 for his story “Waiting”. He has also won the Allen and Nirelle Galso Prize for Fiction, and his story, “A Letter from Home”, was judged one of The Top Ten Stories on the Internet in 2006.

Osondu’s debut short story collection Voice of America was published by Harper Collins in 2010 and Granta Books in 2011.

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Osoba Lambasts Obasanjo http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/29/osoba-lambasts-obasanjo/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/29/osoba-lambasts-obasanjo/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:56:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=224357 Lanre Babalola

Olusegun Obasanjo (left) with Aremo Segun Osoba.

Olusegun Obasanjo (left) with Aremo Segun Osoba.

Former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba, has described former President, Olusegun Obasanjo as big liar and an untruthful chronicler of history.

He made the remarks in Lagos, western Nigeria, while responding to the claims in Obasanjo’s controversial book My Watch.

Speaking at the launch of Watch The Watcher, A Book of Remembrance of the Obasanjo Years, written by Yinka Odumakin, at the Sheraton Hotel  on Monday in Lagos, Osoba said he would write his own account to debunk the lies Obasanjo has written in My Watch on how the Alliance for Democracy, AD, lost Ogun State in 2003.

According to Osoba, in 2002 during the University of Lagos Convocation, Obasanjo asked him and other AD governors who were at the convocation to meet him at Dodan Barracks.

“When we got there, he begged us to support him in 2003 to retain his seat as President in the 2003 election. But we told him it was not a decision we could take without the involvement of elders of the party such as Abraham Adesanya.

“So, another meeting was fixed for Ogun Government Lodge in Abeokuta. At the meeting, Obasanjo begged for our support again.

“However, two weeks before the 2003 presidential election, Abraham Adesanya accused Obasanjo of trying to use military tactics to outwit us. He failed to keep to the terms of the agreement we had with him.

“I am surprised that Obasanjo in his book denied knowing nothing about the arrangement between AD and his party,  Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. I will give a full account of what happened in my book,” Osoba said.

Also speaking at the event, Ayo Adebanjo lambasted Obasanjo, saying he is a man that has no conscience, a self-centred man who believes no other person matters except himself.

Guests at the event include G.G.Darah who reviewed the book, Odia Ofeimun, Col. Tony Nyiam, Col Bello Fadile, Akin Osuntokun, etc.

Obasanjo’s book, My Watch, has continued to generate reactions since it was launched, with Nigerians such as Pro. Wole Soyinka and Brig-Gen Alabi-Isama, who were maligned in the book, describing Obasanjo as a compulsive liar.

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Obasanjo, An Irredeemable Hypocrite —Wole Soyinka http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/24/obasanjo-an-irredeemable-hypocrite/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/24/obasanjo-an-irredeemable-hypocrite/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 11:51:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223832 Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has described former president, General Olusegun Obasanjo, as an irredeemable hypocrite and a liar who takes delight in denigrating people.

Soyinka, in his reply to the attack on him by Obasanjo in his latest controversial book, My Watch, pillories Obasanjo for invoking God all the time and wonders whether Obasanjo actually believes in such an entity, given his recourse to lying compulsively.

“Our Owu retiree soldier and prolific author is an infliction that those of us who share the same era and nation space must learn to endure,” Soyinka writes.

Obasanjo has a “capacity for infantile mischief.”

Soyinka describes him as “master of mendacity,” writer of ‘ignoble fabrication’ and an “indefatigable peddler of lies.”

“I despise humanity whose stock-in-trade is to concoct lies simply to score a point, win an argument, puff up his or her own ego, denigrate or attempt to destroy a fellow being. However, even within such deplorable species, a special pit of universal opprobrium is reserved for those who even lack the courage of their own lies, but must foist them on others.” The high-point of Soyinka’s diatribe is a succinct comparison of Obasanjo to  Olowo-aiye, a character in D.O. Fagunwa’s novel.

Prof Wole Soyinka at the press briefing. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye

Prof Wole Soyinka at the press briefing. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye

Soyinka says he has been brief and mild because of the interventions of some mutual friends and this traditional season of goodwill.

Here is  the full text of Soyinka’s response to Obasanjo titled: WATCH AND PRAY, WATCH AND PREY! :

“I had fully attuned myself to the fact that our Owu retiree soldier and prolific author is an infliction that those of us who share the same era and nation space must learn to endure. However, it does appear that there is no end to this individual’s capacity for infantile mischief, and for needless, mind-boggling provocations, such as his recent ‘literary’ intrusion on my peace.

Perhaps I ought to interrupt myself here with an apology to some mutual acquaintances – ‘blessed peacemakers’ and all – especially in this season of ‘peace and goodwill to all men’. Please know that your efforts have not been entirely in vain. I had a cordial exchange with Obasanjo over the phone recently – engineered by himself, his ground staff and/or a chance visitor  – when I had cause to visit his Presidential Laundromat for the first time ever.  During that exchange, I complimented him on making some quite positive use of landed property that was acquired under morally dubious circumstances, and blatantly developed through a process that I denounced as ‘executive extortionism’. That obscene proceeding has certainly set a competitive precedent for impunity in President Jonathan’s recent fund-raising shindig, editorialized in THE PUNCH (Dec. 23, 2014) as  “Impunity Taken too Far”. So much for the latest from that direction – we mustn’t allow Handing-Over notes between presidents to distract us for too long.

To return to our main man, and friendly interventionists, you may like to note that I went so far as to engage him in light banter, stating that some of his lesser sins would be forgiven him for that creative conversion of the landscape – a conversation that he shortly afterwards delightedly shared with at least three mutual acquaintances. I promised a follow-up visit to view some mysterious rock script whose existence, he informed me, was uncovered by workers during ground clearing. The exchange was, in short, as good as ‘malice towards none’ that any polemicist could hope to contribute to the ongoing season of peace and goodwill. Obviously that visit will not now take place, any more than the pursuit of vague notions of some creative collaboration with his Centre that began to play around my mind.

That much I do owe you from my report card.  Perhaps you will now accept that there are individuals who are born incorrigible but, more importantly, that some issues transcend one’s personal preferences for harmonious human relationships even in a season of traditional good will. The change in weather conditions sits quite well with me, however,  since we are both acquainted with the Yoruba proverb that goes:  the child that swears his mother will not sleep must also prepare for a prolonged, sleepless infancy.  So let it be with Okikiola, the overgrown child of circumstance.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

One of the incessant ironies that leapt up at me as I read Obasanjo’s magnum opus was that we are both victims of a number of distasteful impositions  – such as being compelled again and again to seek justice against libel in the law courts. I felt genuine empathy to read that he still has a pending thirty-year case instituted by him against his alleged libelers! Judgment was delivered in my favour regarding one of the most nauseating only this year, after surviving technical and other procrastinations, defendant evasions and other legalistic impediments for nearly as long as his. That leaves only a veritable Methuselah on the court list still awaiting re-listing under the resurrection ritual language known as de novo.  Unfortunately, not all acts of defamation or wilful misrepresentation are actionable, otherwise, my personal list against this newly revealed fellow-sufferer would have counted for an independent volume of the Nigerian Law Report since our paths first crossed during the Civil War.  My commitment to the belief in the fundamental right of all human beings NOT TO BE LIED AGAINST remains a life obsession, and thus demands, at the very least, an obligation of non-commission among fellow victims.

I must, therefore, reserve a full, frontal dissection of Obasanjo’s  My Watch for later, most especially since the work itself is currently under legal restraint and is not readily accessible to a general readership. So, for now, let me single out just one of the most glaring instances of this man’s compulsive career of lying, one sample that the media can readily check upon and use as a touchstone – if they do need one – in assessing our author’s multifaceted claims and commentaries on people and events. I refer here to the grotesque and personally insulting statement that he has attributed to me for some inscrutable but obviously diversionary reasons. In the process, this past Master of Mendacity brazenly implicates an innocent young man, Akin Osuntokun, who once served him as a Special Adviser. Instead of conferring dignity on a direct rebuttal of an ignoble fabrication, I shall simply make a personal, all-embracing attestation:

I despise that species of humanity whose stock-in-trade is to concoct lies simply to score a point, win an argument, puff up his or her own ego, denigrate or attempt to destroy a fellow being. However, even within such deplorable species, a special pit of universal opprobrium is surely reserved for those who even lack the courage of their own lies, but must foist them on others. When an old man stuffs a lie into the throat of an age-mate of his own children – omo inu e! – we can only pity an irredeemable egomaniac whose dotage is headed for twilight disgrace. 

D.O. Fagunwa, the pioneer Yoruba novelist, was a compulsive moralist. I suspect that he may have exerted some influence on our garrulous general, resulting in his pupil’s tedious, misapplied and self-serving deluge of moralizing. It seems quite likely indeed that the ghostly, moralistic hand of Fagunwa reached out from the Great Beyond, sat his would-be competitor forcefully before a mirror and bade him write what he saw in that image. I invoke Fagunwa because, at his commemorative colloquium in Akure in August last year, I drew my audience’s attention to a remarkable passage in Fagunwa’s Igbo Olodumare. The passage had struck me during translation and stuck to my mind. I found it uncanny that the original creative moralist, Fagunwa, had captured the psychological profile of a being whom I have been compelled by circumstances to study as an eerie creation, yet this was a character Fagunwa was unlikely to have encountered in real life at the time that he produced that work.

The section comes from an account of a visit to the abode of Iku, Death, the terrifying host to Olowo-aiye, the narrative voice of the adventure.  Iku, the host, had been admonishing his guests through the histories of seven creatures who were not permitted a straightforward passage to Heaven or Hell, but were subjected to admonitory punishment at the halfway house to the abode of the dead. The most horrendous tortures were reserved, it would seem, for the last of the seven such ‘detainees’, and I invited my audience to ponder if they could identify any prominent individual, a public figure whose life conduct seamlessly fitted into Fagunwa’s portrayal, which went thus:

“The seventh…. is not among those who set out to improve the world but rather to cause distress to its inhabitants. It was through manipulations that he attained a high position. Having achieved this, however, he constantly blocked the progress of those behind him, this being a most deplorable act in the eyes of God, and rank behaviour in the judgment of the dwellers of heaven – that anyone who has enjoyed upliftment in life should seek to be an obstacle for those who follow him. This man forgot the beings of earth, forgot the beings of heaven, in turn, he forgot the presence of God. The worst kind of behaviour agitated his hands – greed occupied the centre of his heart, and he was a creature that walked in darkness. This man wallowed in bribery, he was chairman of the circle of scheming, head of the gang of double-dealing, field-marshal of those who crept about in the dark of night. With his mouth, he ruined the work of others, while he used a big potsherd to cover the good works of some, that others might not see their attainments. He nosed around for secrets that would entrap his companions, and blew them up into monumental crimes in the eyes of the world. He who turns the world upside down, places the deceitful on the throne, casts the truthful down – because such is a being of base earth, he will never stand as equal among the uplifted.”

My co-occupants of the High Table, in side remarks, and those who came up from the audience afterwards to volunteer their answer to the riddle, without exception named one individual and one individual only, even as I remained non-committal. Indeed, one or two tried to put up a defence of that nominee, and I had to remind them that I had named no one! Fagunwa wrote largely of the world of mongrelized creatures but, as I remarked, his fiction remains a prescient and cautionary mirror of the society we inhabit, where beasts of the forest appear to have a greater moral integrity than those who claim to be leading lights of society.

In this season of goodwill, we owe a duty to our immediate and distant neighbours: CAVEAT EMPTOR!  Let all beware, who try to buy a Rolex from this indefatigable watch peddler. His own hand-crafted, uniquely personalized timepiece has been temporarily confiscated by NDLEA and other guardians of public health but, there is no cause for despair. Such has been the fate of the misunderstood and the envied, avatars descended from the heavens before their time, the seers, and all who crave recognition. Our author invokes God tirelessly, without provocation, without necessity and without justification, perhaps preemptively, but does he really believe in such an entity? Does our home-bred Double-O-Seven believe in anything outside his own Omnipotency? Could he possibly have mistaken the Christian exhortation – ‘Watch and Pray’ for his private inclination to “Watch and Prey? This is a seasoned predator on others’ achievements – he preys on their names, their characters, their motivations, their true lives, preys on gossip and preys on facts, preys on contributions to collective undertakings…..even preys on their identities, substituting his own where possible. Well, hopefully he may actually believe in the inevitable End to all vanities? So, let our Great Immortal, the Unparalleled Achiever, Divinely appointed Watchman even on the world that is yet to come remember Fagunwa’s  Iku, the ultimate predator whose visitation comes to us all, sooner or later.

Chei! There is Death o!”

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Pirates Feast On Obasanjo’s Book http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/22/pirates-feast-on-obasanjos-book/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/22/pirates-feast-on-obasanjos-book/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:57:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223652 Pirated copies of ‘My Watch,’ a controversial autobiography written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo have flooded the streets of Lagos, selling for as low as N7,000.

The illegal duplication of the book is coming on the heels of an order by a Federal Capital Territory High Court judge, Justice Valentine Ashi, asking security agents, including the police and men of the Department of State Service, to confiscate all copies of the book found anywhere in the country.

The original book has three volumes and costs about N25,000 but the pirated copy, which has two volumes, costs less than half the price and comes in a white cover as opposed to the original’s yellow and brown colour.

Some hawkers of the book found in Maryland and Opebi areas of Lagos said they  were selling the pirated copies due to the high demand of the scarce book by members of the public.

The book: My Watch

The book: My Watch

Investigations revealed that the book became scarce when the court ordered its seizure because the author allegedly flouted its order to stop publication.

“This is our opportunity to make money,” a hawker at Opebi who did not disclose where he got the book, stated.

“My friend, you know this book is illegal now and we are even taking a huge risk selling it. The controversy in the pages of the book and the controversy that it has continued to generate in society have made it a bestseller.

“I usually sell it for between N11,000 and N7,000 depending on the negotiating power of the customer.”

The book centres on the life of Obasanjo in the military, as a democratic president and after office.

It became controversial after its publication when Buruji Kashamu, Chairman, Organisation and Mobilisation Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party in the southwest, went to court to stop the launch of the book by Obasanjo.

Despite the court’s order stopping the launch, Obasanjo on 9 December, 2014, presented the book to the public and the judge ordered that the book be confiscated.

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Fashola To Launch Sodade’s Book http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/18/fashola-to-launch-sodades-book/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/18/fashola-to-launch-sodades-book/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:35:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223287 Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola is expected to grace the book presentation of the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Bayo Sodade, on Friday, 19 December.

Bayo Sodade’s books, “Financial Control in the Nigerian Public Service, (2nd Edition)” and “Biblenomics: Before Adam Smith, There Was..” will be unveiled at the Event Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos with Governor Fashola as the Special Guest of Honour.

Other dignitaries billed to attend the event in various capacities are the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Adefulire-Chairman of the Occasion; Chief Bayo Osibo-Chief presenter; Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Chief E.O.C. Eludoyin, Chief Pius Akinyelure and Bukola Adeniji-Co-presenters; Oba Rilwan Akiolu and Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Oba of Lagos and Alake of Egbaland respectively-Royal Fathers of the Day; Rt. Dr. Olusola Odedeji, the Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, Anglican Communion-Spiritual Father of the Day and Pastor Ben Akabueze, the Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget-Chief Host.

Sodade dedicates “Financial Control in the Nigerian Public Service, (2nd Edition)”, a sequel to the first publication by him in 2006, to Fashola for “daring to fan the ember of hope.”

The author brings to fore his vast experience garnered over time in the public sector, giving insights into the elements of public finance management in Nigeria and taking into cognisance the new reforms, laws and regulations in existence, while also explicitly documenting the changes effected on the rules guiding public financial management, procurement, auditing and accountability.

He exhibits his high level of brilliance in the comprehensive analysis of the New Pension Reform, payment procedures in government, auditing and accountability in public service; Due Process, NEEDS and Annual Appropriation procedures; while also making submissions on financial independence for public servants.

The reviewers are Mr. David Sunmoni, the Permanent Secretary and Accountant-General of the Lagos State Treasury Office and Dr. Dimeji Alo, the Chairman of Berger Paints.

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Obasanjo, An Incredible Liar —Brig-Gen Alabi-Isama http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/15/obasanjo-an-incredible-liar-brig-gen-alabi-isama/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/15/obasanjo-an-incredible-liar-brig-gen-alabi-isama/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 12:26:06 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222958 From his base in Ilorin, retired Brigadier Godwin Alabi-Isama this morning sent his caustic response to General Olusegun Obasanjo’s three-volume memoir, My Watch.

In a telephone conversation with P.M.NEWS and TheNEWS, Alabi-Isama described Obasanjo as an incredible liar and said that if he had read Obasanjo’s book before it was presented in Lagos last Tuesday,  9 December, he would have gone to the venue to challenge Obasanjo.

He said “the tragedy of our civil war is painful, but that Obasanjo is publishing fiction about it is so outrageous. We should not allow this liar to get away with his self-serving lies.’’

Here is the text of Alabi-Isama’s response:



“I’m gravely pained to be trading words with General Olusegun Obasanjo once again on the history of Nigeria-Biafra War. He is an elder and a former ruler who, ordinarily, should be treated with utmost respect. But how can one genuinely respect an old man who tells lies like a badly raised child? Obasanjo has obviously not recovered from the shock inflicted on him by my book, The Tragedy of Victory in which I exposed the tissues of lies in his civil war memoir, My Command. It is said that a lie may travel for a thousand miles, but it takes just one step of truth to catch up with it.

“I’m alive to stand up to him on the lies he has told on the war because I was a major participant in it.  I kept records.  With facts and figures at my finger tips, I have debunked Obasanjo’s lies in part three of my book, consisting of one hundred and sixty five pages, sixty nine pictures, thirteen military strategies and tactics, maps and documents.  This was the same Obasanjo who published a fake Federal Government gazette that I was found guilty by the Army when I was never tried.  I have proved that Obasanjo was an incompetent commander. I have proved that he was a wily and cunning fellow, and an incredible opportunist who reaped where he did not sow.

“I have proved that he was an ingrate and a hypocrite. More importantly, I have proved that he was a coward, who ran away from the war front to go and look for phantom ammunition.  Rather than respond to my claims the way a gallant officer should, he has now responded like a motor-park tout, impugning my person and questioning my ethnic lineage. I never said I was from Ibadan. I only schooled there.  General Obasanjo, this  bolekaja style is so demeaning.  You live in a glass house, so stop throwing stones. We, who have facts, pictures and documents, meticulously kept over the years, can tell the whole world one or two things about you.

L-R: Alabi-Isama, mother of bride groom, Olusegun Obasanjo and bride

L-R: Alabi-Isama, mother of bride groom, Obasanjo and his bride, Remi

“Have a look at this attached picture at your wedding to your first wife Remi. When the photographer wanted to take the picture of the bride and groom and their parents, you said a few things about your parents which I still remember.  It was only Remi’s mother that took the picture with us. Please, don’t mess with the memory of my dear parents. You know my mother, an Ilorin woman, and you also saw her at the war front. She told me who my father was and she spoke his language, and took me to his home town when he died. I went to primary school in Owu,  so I know your family very well.  You should be honest enough to tell the world the story of the man who was your father.  I told you and wrote in my book that any person who does not appreciate the efforts of women has had no good mother. Please, don’t go beyond military tactics and strategies when dealing with me.

“You say in volume three of your book My Watch that I could be in bed with a woman while radioing my commander that I was in pursuit of rebels. Hundreds of thousands of those who have read my book The Tragedy of Victory——a six hundred and seventy-page book, complete with four hundred and fifty pictures and thirty nine military strategies and tactics, maps and documents—- will call you a liar. I am so surprised and even embarrassed that a man of your status is still trading in gutter rumours. An elder with a filthy mind, a leader who lacks wisdom of age, does not deserve any respect.

“I’m the same Godwin  Alabi-Isama that commanded the troops that liberated today’s Cross River State in thirty days of battle from Calabar to Obubra with no single casualty.  This is the same Alabi-Isama that advanced 480 kilometres in 30 days from Calabar to Port Harcourt, liberating today’s Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa States with 35,000 men and women with 15000 on logistics, building roads and pontoons, with 8 men and 2 officers as my casualties. Obasanjo ordered the attack of Ohoba, a mere 24 miles from Owerri, in one hour of battle, more than 1000 Nigerian soldiers were dead.

Obasanjo unveiling the book

Obasanjo unveiling the book

“Obasanjo claims that when I once played squash with him, I cheated. This incredible liar has forgotten that there were witnesses to that game. Those witnesses are still alive, and they remember what really happened.  I played squash with him once in my life. He could not make a point because I was not one of his sycophants who would allow him to win a game just to massage his huge ego.  Look, General Obasanjo, there was no way you could have beaten me in any game. You do not have the physique and agility to do that. Apart from being a popular sports man and soccer captain in Ibadan Boys High School,  I was Sports Officer in the Nigerian Army, playing games from soccer to tennis, athletics etc. You never played any games at school let alone in the Army. If you had been diligent at your physical exercises as we were taught to be, your protruding tummy would not have become a butt of joke to many officers and men of the Army.

“General Obasanjo may try but he cannot deny the evidence of the civil war tragic history. While he got over a thousand soldiers killed at Ohoba, myself,  Alani Akinrinade,  and the brilliant and hardworking Pincer Team of Ola Oni, Iluyomade, Isemede, S.S. Tomoye, Salawu, Okwarobo, Sunny Tuoyo, etc.  did a better job at the Third Marine Commando.  I have stated how it was done in The Tragedy of Victory, by writing to set the Civil War records straight.  Obasanjo says I only wanted to make money that was why I wrote my book, after all I was broke. I thank Obasanjo for unwittingly giving credit that I did not steal money in the Army.   I believe that this country Nigeria ought to know by now all the crooks parading themselves as saints.  Now I know why Obasanjo was surprised at my financial successes abroad, and then sent his wife Stella of blessed memory to  me. She was my guest in Houston Texas for a week. We have video and pictures of the visit with witnesses like Jack Gonsoulin, Rod Anthony, and Tom Britton.

“I challenge Obasanjo to a debate on military tactics and strategies on the Nigerian Civil War. He wrote about his team. Who were they? George Innih went the wrong way to Arochukwu when Akinrinade needed reinforcement for the final battle to capture Uli Ihiala airport. Akinrinade told him that he would shoot George Innih anytime he showed up. Where was Obasanjo’s  fake Apollo Battalion that operated behind enemy lines, when he could not capture Ohoba?  When Akinrinade called him that Biafra troops had surrendered to him and the Pincer team, Obasanjo, who was coming from a party, got lost looking for them, as he did not know where to go and did not know the way to Amichi.

“I am not qualified to comment on Obasanjo’s  political achievements, if any, for this country. The people and posterity will do that. There is no president in this country that he has not condemned.  Haba!  He always thinks that he has the preserve of knowledge on how to rule this country. Did the country move forward when he was Head of State or President? He destroyed the heart of the national security. We can see the result today. He destroyed education in many ways. We see the result today.  He destroyed a lot of other things.  As for how he has treated his family shabbily, his wife and children have openly made their comments. Those comments are in public domain today and forever, even though Obasanjo cleverly brushes them aside in his current book.

“I implore Obasanjo to stop lying before he dies.”

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Book Launch: Court set to punish Obasanjo for contempt http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/10/book-launch-court-set-to-punish-obasanjo-for-contempt/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/10/book-launch-court-set-to-punish-obasanjo-for-contempt/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:11:36 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222484 Nnamdi Felix/Abuja

Former Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo cutting the tape at the presentation of 'My Watch'- A Memoir by Olusegun Obasanjo

Former Nigeria President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo cutting the tape at the presentation of ‘My Watch’- A Memoir by Olusegun Obasanjo

An Abuja High Court on Wednesday held that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was in contempt for flouting an order it made restraining him from publishing his autobiography titled ‘My Watch’.

The trial judge, Justice Valentine Ashi, thereafter gave the former President 21 days from the day of service of the court’s orders on him, to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt for going ahead to publish the book in spite of the ex-parte interim order made by the court on December 5 and a pending libel suit before the publication, involving him.

The court further restrained the former President from further publishing, printing or offering the book for sale which content touches on the subject matter before the court.

Justice Ashi had on December 5 granted exparte interim order restraining Obasanjo from proceeding with plans to publish the book or have it published for him, and fixed December 10 as the return date.

However, despite the court’s interim orders, Obasanjo reportedly made public presentation of the book last Tuesday in Lagos, on the grounds that the book had been published before the court was misled into making the orders.

The court held that it was wrong for Obasanjo to have gone ahead to publish the book despite the fact that a libel suit, which subject matter formed part of the content of the book, was still pending before the court and that the orders he made on December 5 was still pending.

The author, Olusegun Obasanjo signs an autograph at the book unveiling

The author, Olusegun Obasanjo signs an autograph at the book unveiling

He further held that it was immaterial that the book was published before the interim orders were made noting that Chief Obasanjo ought not to have published the book because he was aware of the part-heard libel suit relating to the letter he wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Buruji Kashamu, of being a fugitive wanted in the United States.

“The fact that the book was published in November is irrelevant. As long as the substantive suit is not yet determined, no party is entitled to publish or comment on material facts that are yet to be decided on by the court. I hold that the defendant is not only in contempt of the court, but has to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt and ordered to undo what he has wrongly done” the court held.

Furthermore, the court ordered the former President to within 21 days, from the day the order is served on him, to show cause, via affidavit, why he should not be punished for contempt committed by publishing and distributing for sale to the public, the book, My Watch, in plain disregard of the pendency of substantive the suit and the order of this court made on December 5, 2014 restraining him from doing so”.

Justice Ashi also ordered the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Services and the Comptroller of Customs, to recover the published book from all book stands, sales agents, vendors, the sea and airports and deposit them with his court’s registrar pending the determination of the substantive suit and fixed 13 January for hearing on the substantive suit.

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Greek writer Menis Koumandareas found murdered http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/06/greek-writer-menis-koumandareas-found-murdered/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/06/greek-writer-menis-koumandareas-found-murdered/#comments Sat, 06 Dec 2014 22:07:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=221961 Menis Koumandareas: was found murdered in Athens

Menis Koumandareas: was found murdered in Athens

Acclaimed Greek author Menis Koumandareas was found apparently murdered Saturday in his central Athens home, authorities said. He was 83.

Though his cause of death was not yet determined, police said the author had wounds to his neck and face, which also showed evidence of asphyxiation.

Investigators believe Koumandareas went with friends to a cafe in his neighbourhood on Friday evening.

According to media reports, he excused himself at one point, saying he had to return to his flat.

The door to his apartment showed no signs of forced entry, police said.

Police were still piecing together what happened next and have not indicated a possible motive for the crime.

Koumandareas wrote some 20 novels, short story collections and essays starting in the 1960s, and he twice won the state prize for novels. His writing has been translated into several languages.

“The tragic death of Meni Koumandareas deprives Greek literature of one of its greatest authors,” Greece’s Culture Minister Kostas Tasoulas said in a statement. “Over the past half-century Koumandareas has expressed with his unparallelled sensitivity and personal style the hopes of contemporary man and society.”

Known also for translating Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Koumandareas drew sober portraits in his works “Koula” and the “Glass Factory” of post-war Greek society with a focus on Athens’ middle class and shopkeepers.

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AMFacilities unveils World Facility Management Day 2014 Compendium http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/17/amfacilities-unveils-world-facility-management-day-2014-compendium/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/17/amfacilities-unveils-world-facility-management-day-2014-compendium/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:43:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216481 Nigeria’s leading Facilities Management Company, Alpha Mead Facilities Management & Services Limited, AMFacilities, has released the compendium of discussions at the 2014 Nigerian FM Roundtable.

The Nigerian FM Roundtable is one of the various platforms championed by AMFacilities to raise awareness and promote Global Best Practice within the Facilities Management and Real Estate Industry in Nigeria. The event, which is in its third year, is organized annually by AMFacilities, in commemoration of the World FM Day, celebrated across Europe, Asia and America.

The compendium contains technical presentations in three areas which are critical to the advancement of Nigeria’s infrastructure and Real Estate sector, namely Green Building, Facilities Management Benchmarking and Facilities Management Outsourcing in Nigeria.

In the compendium, Shina Oliyide, a Green Building expert and General Manager, Technical, AMFacilities, shares a wide range of perspectives on how the Nigerian built sector can preserve the environment through adoption of green practices. In his paper titled “The Evolution of Green Building in Nigeria: Myth or Reality?”, Oliyide, who is also a Chartered Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, United Kingdom, highlighted Nigeria’s global position in the Green Evolution. He also submitted that Facilities Management plays integral roles in helping to meet several Green Building initiatives around the globe.

AMF Compedium 2014 cover

The 2014 Nigerian FM Roundtable Compendium also brings to the fore the big question of how Nigeria’s FM industry can measure up to global standards. The compendium contains a presentation on “Implementing a Global FM Benchmarking System in Nigeria”, made by Keith McClanahan, Co-Principal, FM Benchmarking. In it, Keith shares his experience on how FM Benchmarking can support cutting-edge FM Practice in Nigeria, garnered over many years of practicing in several climes.

Besides the comments from different Facilities Management and Real Estate stakeholders, also contained in the compendium, Engr. Femi Akintunde, Managing Director/CEO, AMFacilities, discussed the various strategies involved in the FM Outsourcing Processes. His paper, “Managing Risk and Opportunities in Strategic FM Outsourcing”, dealt with how to structure FM Outsourcing at the different stages to help organizations and Facilities Management Companies achieve desired objectives.

AMFacilities is the first Nigerian Facilities Management Company to be awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certification by UKAS and ANAB in the U.K and U.S respectively. The company manages high profile clients such as Shell, Total, UACN, Nokia Siemens, Ericsson and Primrose Properties Limited. Some major projects being handled AMF include Integrated Facilities Management for The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Twinlakes Estate, Ado Bayero Mall, Kano, Shell offices and residential quarters in Port Harcourt, Warri and Lagos, Ultimate Apartments and Total E&P, among others.

The compendium is downloadable in several e-book versions on www.fmroundtable.com.

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French Author, Modiano, Wins 2014 Nobel Prize In Literature http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/french-author-modiano-wins-2014-nobel-prize-in-literature/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/french-author-modiano-wins-2014-nobel-prize-in-literature/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 12:12:04 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215248 Patrick Madiano has just been announced the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature.

Born in 1945, he has written 30 different books mainly novels. He is a master of detective genre of the novel form.

Patrick Modiano: Wins Nobel Prize

Patrick Modiano: Wins Nobel Prize

He is the 11th French writer to win the Nobel Prize.

Speculations have been rive that one of the following writers: Haruki Murakami, Ngugi Wa Thiogo, Milan Kundera, Margaret Attwood and Svetlana Alexievish would win.

Many of Patrick Modiano’s books are not translated into English yet.

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What my mother taught me – Oshiomhole http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/20/what-my-mother-taught-me-oshiomhole/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/20/what-my-mother-taught-me-oshiomhole/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:15:18 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=212697 •Governor  Oshiomhole: defied by teachers

•Governor Oshiomhole: defied by teachers

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, has described his mother, Ahaja Aishetu Oshiomhole, as “a strict disciplinarian” who gave him good moral upbringing.

He made the remarks on Saturday in Iyamho, near Auchi, at the launch of a book, “Igovina Emosi” a biography of Ahaja Aishetu Oshiomhole, mother of the governor.

The book was written by Mr Imuzeze Ofen-Imu.

The governor said that from his experiences with his mother, there is need for children to honour and listen to their mothers.

He said that his mother was a disciplinarian, who believed that sparing the rod would spoil the child.

He said that whatever he is today was the result of the upbringing he got from his mother.

He said that in spite of the strictness of his mother, “she is always caring and committed to humanity,” adding that he acquired wisdom from his mother.

Oshiomhole said that in spite of his age and status in the society, his mother still found time to advice, admonish and instill the right values on him.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr Donald Boi, described the governor’s mother as “a mother to all exemplifying truth, honesty, equity and humility”.

Mr Sam Oboh, the Chairman of Esan North-East Local Government Council, described Alhaja Oshiomhole as “a community mobiliser” who had been in politics long before her son.

The book reviewer, Prof. Marcel Okhakhu said the book chronicled the life and times of the mother of the Edo Governor.

He said that the book could be likened to a tale of two cities — Paris and London. “It dealt with the life and times of Mama at Ayua, her native village and Iyamho, her village by marriage.”

Okhakhu said the book chronicled Mama’s activities as a woman with leadership quality who was influential and pivotal in the affairs of Ayua.

About N27 million was realised at the book launch.

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Why I Wrote Book On Police, Criminal Justice —Abdul-Fatai http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/01/why-i-wrote-book-on-police-criminal-justice-abdul-fatai/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/01/why-i-wrote-book-on-police-criminal-justice-abdul-fatai/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:43:44 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209535 Kazeem Ugbodaga

A lawyer with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mr. Muheeb Abdul-Fatai, has explained why he wrote a book about the Nigeria Police and the criminal justice system.

 Abdul Fatai made this disclosure at the launching of the book titled: The Police in Criminal Justice Administration in Nigeria, held at the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management House, Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

“My choice of writing on the topic of the book that has just been presented today is not unconnected with my experience as a public defender. For the few years I worked in the Office of the Public Defender, which spanned about six years, I saw a whole lot of horrendous attitudes in our criminal justice sector on the part of most men of the Nigeria Police, most of which I have dealt with in the book.

“So, it has always been my feelings that some of these horrendous attitudes of some members of the police are dissected in a lucid, reformative and useful manner, even though I was not contemplating writing a book on them at that time,” he said.

•R-L: Justice H.A.O Abiru, Tunde Adagunduro, Abdul-Fatai Muheeb, Lawal Pedro (SAN), Dr. Muiz Banire, Justice G.A. Sunmonu and Mrs Ogungbesan at the launch of a book on Police and criminal administration recently.

•R-L: Justice H.A.O Abiru, Tunde Adagunduro, Abdul-Fatai Muheeb, Lawal Pedro (SAN), Dr. Muiz Banire, Justice G.A. Sunmonu and Mrs Ogungbesan at the launch of a book on Police and criminal administration recently.

Delivering the keynote address at the occasion, former Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire, said while the necessity of having a police force could not be over-emphasised, the confidence of an average Nigerian in the force might require some examination as the institution was not immune to certain ills facing the society. “The complaints of corruption, inefficiency and decay daily stare us in the face while the failure of the system to effectively kit an average police officer and guarantee his welfare cannot be downplayed,” he said.

According to him, “the dilapidation in capacity of officers and governmental insincerity have both combined to question the relevance of the police in society. Has the police force outlived its relevance that in many cases of civil disturbance we flippantly deploy the soldiers?”

Banire argued that the horrible in all was the confinement of police officers to the police stations, as the most civil of all actions was now being assigned to soldiers and men of the Civil Defence Corps.

“Rather than allowing the police to conduct monitoring of elections as purely civil activities, we have brought the military in and we have gotten the horrors most compounded. The Nigerian system has not been fair to the police and we have all manners of uniformed men taking over what should be the traditional role of the police in criminal justice administration.”

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How I Almost Killed Myself —Soyinka http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/14/how-i-almost-killed-myself-soyinka/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/14/how-i-almost-killed-myself-soyinka/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:16:02 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202914 Jamiu Yisa

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has revealed how he almost killed himself with a gun out of curiosity at the age of 10. The  global citizen, who celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday, 13 July, revealed this in an exclusive interview in the current special edition of TheNEWS magazine.

According to Kongi, as he is fondly called, “I used to go with my father when he hunted. It was a mere air gun but was good enough for squirrels, the wild pigeon and occasional rabbit.  I was just curious. One day I sat in the house frontage waiting for him to come out of his bedroom so I could accompany him.

“I just felt there was something about that part of his gun which he used to pull. I tried the same motion and it just exploded. But he knew it was his fault so he never chided me. He knew he should never have left that gun loaded and he knew me enough to know that I had learnt that lesson and I didn’t need to be reminded of it. Of course, there was a sort of mutual standoff; I wasn’t rebuked but he knew I wasn’t going to do it again.”

•Prof. Wole Soyinka

•Prof. Wole Soyinka

He said that as a child, he participated as a messenger between the different women groups, carried messages, thoroughly enjoying himself when the women rose in revolt against the excesses of the Alake of Abeokuta and his ally – the district officer when an unjust tax was imposed on them.

“My parents weren’t anti-establishment; they were anti-despotism. That is why my mother took part as one of the lieutenants of Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti when they rose against the excesses of the Alake of Abeokuta and his ally – the district officer. They resisted feudal despotism on behalf of the oppressed women.

“As a child, I participated as a messenger between the different women groups, carried messages, thoroughly enjoying myself when the women rose in revolt. Day after day, they kept up the siege. They were threatened, they were bullied, they were assaulted. They said, ‘No, this unjust tax must go’,” he said.

Recalling how his stubborn exuberance and pranks justified his mothers’ worries when he was a child that his over-confidence would kill him one day, he said, “when a child tries out something which people, even adults, should undertake with great caution, then they think that child is over-confident and is going to destroy himself.

“I think it stemmed from the fact that if I thought about something which was possible, then I should be ready to test it. That included even the sciences – the theoretical side of which I hated. I enjoyed trying out the practical side of science at home— I used to perform experiments.  Things like that, you know, sometimes blew up in my face. Same with putative artistry.

“I would re-arrange my mother’s shop because I felt mine was the best way. I looked at customers, studied them and decided which arrangements would attract them more. She would give up and let me have my way. After I had gone back to school, she would undo everything,” he said.

Sharing some memorable experiences of how he was able to cope with older boys as a 10year-old scholarship student at  Government College, Ibadan, he said, “those school mates of mine, they were bullies. They were terrifying because they looked big. Some of them, I’m sure, had children already. Some had moustaches and so they shaved every morning.

“The ‘over-confidence’ that my mother used to complain of saved me and put me in trouble also. Because they were big they felt they should trample all over me. I had no hesitation in taking them on. It was a very good training because you defeat people like that largely with moral persistence. They knew they were misusing their power.

“Whenever they turned on me, being really small, the bullying got really intense because these big boys could not stand the idea that this rondo (small) boy was sitting while others were standing. They couldn’t stand it. They intensified the bullying, which made me even more aggressive. I must confess that sometimes I was responsible for bringing disaster on my head because I would provoke them: I would call them names they didn’t like.

“Anyway, it got too much, so I called Christopher Kolade and Mesida, and said: ‘Let’s form a tripartite alliance. Anytime any of us is bullied, the other two would come to the rescue of the others.’ And that’s what we did. I summoned the most notorious to our presence and read him the riot act. We tried to move together as much as possible. The bullying reduced.

“The very notion that the three of us were ganging up against bullying infuriated that particular bully. He just couldn’t stand it. Even though the others backed off, this individual— I remember his name very well— he just became more and more aggressive. And he somehow sensed that it was my idea.

“The library was my favourite place. Also, the library was sanctuary. When I was cornered, or didn’t feel in a battle mood, there were two places into which I escaped – the library and the chapel. Their respect for the latter used to amuse me, so sanctimonious! They would back off and start circling the chapel when I sat in there, indifferent.  I used to enjoy their frustration.

“I would just step inside the chapel and the fool would wilt. I remember one of them who decided to invade the library sanctuary. He didn’t want to beat me up inside the library; so he tried to drag me out. As we struggled, I remember that I was catapulted through the glass door and I had a huge gash. I bled profusely. And he became frightened.

“It was very amusing to see this bully cowering because he thought he had killed me. Of course, I enjoyed that sense of power over him during that incident,” he said.

Speaking on his phobia for snakes since his days as a college student, he said: “I hated snakes. I still do. If you like, I was even scared of snakes – those creepy creatures. Many of us have a superstitiouus dread of snakes. Since I was afraid of them and considered them dangerous to humanity, it seemed logical not to leave any such intruder alive – wherever possible. Made me feel safer.

“I preferred to attack them instead of running away. I grew up with an attitude that you must overcome your fear – but this I only realized in retrospect,” he averred.

His wife, Folake described him as the best human being one can think of and who is very concerned about other people and their suffering even to his own detriment sometimes.

“He’s just a warm person. Looking at him, you may not know this, but that is who he is. He is someone you would want as a friend. He is very loyal. He is the best friend you can ask for.

“Professor Soyinka is a great provider as well; you are not going to get the Lamborghini or Bentley Continental GT, but you will get your school fees and it won’t be late. He is very responsible,” she said.

Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, Commissioner for Health, Ogun State and first son, while describing him as a father and a public figure, said to him as a kid, Soyinka looks 10 times as big and was quite scary in his mind because of his appearance in particular.

“But of course he was not strict because as a father, he was a very relaxed person in terms of allowing you to be yourself, to explore your boundaries and freedoms with just one or two fairly strict no-go areas. Following his instructions to the letter or respecting other people or other people’s property, important roles that kids tend to neglect, you do it at your peril.

“Yet, he is not a spanker or beater. He doesn’t believe in disciplining children with the rod. It was either he was giving you lines that you write a thousand times after you had done something naughty. At an early age, he established the fact that you can be strict and fair,” he said.

Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, lawyer and one of the daughters of the Professor, recalls the thrills and the pains of growing up as a child of the Nobel Laureate as well as the personality of the renowned playwright.

 Speaking on her fondest memories of Soyinka as a father, she recalled she and her sisters used to plait his beard and his hair because he has always had a lot of hair.

“He would sit down patiently and we would take a comb and we would be weaving and practising styles and all that. And when we finished, he would say, “Now that you are done, loosen it and comb it back.”

“I also remember when my siblings and I used to have the opportunity to go and watch the performances at the Arts Theatre. Because we were always free viewers, my father would not let us sit on the chairs that are paid for, so we had to sit on the stairs and just enjoy the show. Those are just a few of the memories.”

Speaking on his globe trotting nature, she said, “definitely, it was a concern and even though we are grown up, it still is a concern, not just for us the children, but also for the grandchildren. Our dad is not, and never was a typical dad; neither is he a typical grandfather at all. Right from when I was a toddler and when some of my younger siblings were born, he wasn’t around a lot. He was either away in detention, away in exile, or pursuing other career interests. He was at University of Ibadan briefly, and then resigned, I can’t remember for what reason.”

In the special edition of  the current edition of TheNEWS magazine circulating nationwide, there are at least 17 tributes by renowned associates, wife, sons and daughters of the professor in commemoration of his birthday. The tributes were written by Folake Wole-Soyinka, Yemi Ogunbiyi, Biodun Jeyifo, Femi Osofisan, Kole Omotoso, Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, Tejumola Olaniyan and Femi Soyinka.

Others are Okey Ndibe, Odia Ofeimun, Akin Adesokan, Olaokun Soyinka, Promise Ogochkwu, Folabo Soyinka-Ajayi, Bankole Olayebi and Dapo Adeniyi. Ask your vendor for the collector’s item.

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Wole Soyinka Prize: Akin Bello Wins Grand Prize http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/08/wole-soyinka-prize-akin-bello-wins-grand-prize/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/08/wole-soyinka-prize-akin-bello-wins-grand-prize/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:13:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202061 A former Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Akin Bello has been named by the judges of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa as the winner of the fifth edition of the prestigious prize in Literature.

Bello was crowned by Professor Wole Soyinka, assisted by the board of the Lumina Foundation, the organisers of the prize, Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi and Globacom’s Head of GloWorld, Titi Ebinisi, at the grand finale of the award at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday.

The fifth edition of the award, sponsored by the National Carrier, Globacom, was keenly contested by three authors, Bello, Othuke Ominibohs and Toyin Abiodun, whose entries were considered the best three of the total of 163 works submitted from across Africa.

One of the judges of the Prize, Professor Olu Obafemi, a prolific playwright, novelist and poet, who has himself published 14 scholarly and 15 creative books, formally announced the winner, who was promptly presented with the much coveted trophy and his cheque.

R-L: Professor Olu Obafemi, member of judging panel; Toyin Abiodun, a runner-up (behind); Titi Ebinisi, Head, GloWorld, Globacom; Othuke Ominibohs, a runner-up (behind); Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel, Chairperson, Lumina Foundation; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; winner of the 5th Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Akin Bello; and others at the grand finale of the prize sponsored by Globacom in Lagos on Saturday.

R-L: Professor Olu Obafemi, member of judging panel; Toyin Abiodun, a runner-up (behind); Titi Ebinisi, Head, GloWorld, Globacom; Othuke Ominibohs, a runner-up (behind); Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel, Chairperson, Lumina Foundation; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; winner of the 5th Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Akin Bello; and others at the grand finale of the prize sponsored by Globacom in Lagos on Saturday.

The winner, Akin Bello, was born in Lagos in 1950, and educated at Oyo, Ghana and the University of Ife, (now Obafemi Awolowo University) Ile-Ife, where he obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) (Pol. Science) in the 2nd Class (Upper) Division in 1975.

A widely travelled man with a richly diversified work experience, Bello is currently an Executive Director of a Non-Governmental Organisation in Ibadan. He was the Chairman of the Oyo State Chapter of ANA for four years between 2008 and 2012.

Before now, Bello had published three novels and a poetry collection. His first play, ‘Egbon of Lagos’ has now won him recognition and fame at the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

In his remarks, Professor Soyinka thanked Lumina Foundation and its partners, including Globacom for organizing the grand event and making it a success.

In a goodwill message read on his behalf, Globacom’s Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga, said that “Globacom is delighted to be part of the successful execution of the project, which honours one of the world’s biggest literary giants, Professor Wole Soyinka and seeks to promote excellence in the literary arts on the continent of Africa.”

Dr. Adenuga said, “As a teacher, role model, social activist and advocate, Professor Wole Soyinka has directly impacted millions of lives on the continent of Africa and beyond. We are deeply honoured to be part of a project like this, which celebrates this living legend and seeks to encourage the coming generation to aspire to attain such academic excellence in the literary world”.

In her remarks, Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel, the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Lumina Foundation, equally thanked all the partners of the organisation, without whose support the project might not have been a huge success that it has been.

The grand finale of the prize was graced by other literary icons, including renowned playwright and poet, John Pepper Clark, a former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), and loyal protégé of Professor Soyinka, Odia Ofeimun, renowned Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence, Akin Oyebode, who delivered the keynote address, and many other distinguished scholars.

Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa is a biennial event staged to recognize the best literary work produced by an African. It was established by the Lumina Foundation in 2005 to promote literary excellence in Africa and has since become the African equivalent of the Nobel Prize. This year’s Prize was dedicated to the drama genre.

The panel of five judges for the Prize was drawn from Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Algeria.

Guests were entertained by the Steve Rhodes Orchestra which reeled out tunes in different genres, cutting across old and contemporary. Also, multi-talented instrumentalist and Glo ambassador, Bez added spice to the event.

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Wole Soyinka Prize: Literary icons to inspire secondary students http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/02/wole-soyinka-prize-literary-icons-to-inspire-secondary-students/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/02/wole-soyinka-prize-literary-icons-to-inspire-secondary-students/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 05:37:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=201257 Professor Wole Soyinka

Select pupils from secondary schools in Nigeria with keen interest in literary arts will have a golden opportunity to meet and interact with literary icons attending the grand finale of the fifth edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. The award is sponsored by the Nigerian national telecommunication carrier, Globacom.

Literary icons such as the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and renowned Ghanaian author who was also a former Ghanaian Education Minister, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, among other distinguished writers, will be available to speak with the students at an event slated for 5 July at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Some of the schools pencilled to bring select pupils are Unique Heights Senior and Junior School, Halifield College, First Harvard School, Dowen College, Victoria Island Senior Secondary School, and Kuramo Senior Secondary School, all in Lagos.

In a joint statement by Globacom, the main sponsor of the Prize and Lumina Foundation, the organisers of the award, it was stated that the idea of inviting students to the grand finale is to enable the students meet their literary idols so that their imagination can be fired and they can be inspired to seek and attain greatness.

In contention for the $20,000 grand prize are three authors: Othuke Ominibohs, Akin Bello and Toyin Abiodun. The three finalists will also be available to interact with the students.

The finalists were selected from a longlist of 10 African authors including, Soji Cole, Comfort Adesuwa Ero, Isaac Attah Ogezi, Moshood Oba, Mayowa Saja, Wumi Raji and Akin Adejumo. They were drawn from a total of 163 entries submitted from 17 African countries in the genre of Drama, which is the focus of the 2014 edition.

The award is a biennial event staged to recognize the best literary work produced by an African. It was established in 2005 to promote literary excellence in Africa and has since become the African equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The panel of five judges for the Prize is drawn from Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Algeria. Globacom also sponsored the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2012.

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Rhodes Voices, Bez, for Soyinka Prize grand finale http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/29/rhodes-voices-bez-for-soyinka-prize-grand-finale/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/29/rhodes-voices-bez-for-soyinka-prize-grand-finale/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 06:19:45 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=200927 Professor Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka

Evergreen music orchestra, Steve Rhodes Orchestra and Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, Bez, have confirmed attendance for the grand finale of the fifth edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

The award, being sponsored by the national carrier, Globacom, coincides with the 80th birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

Steve Rhodes Orchestra is a creation of the late music impresario, Elder Steve Rhodes, who once bestrode the artistic world like a colossus. Since his demise, the orchestra has continued to hold the torch of the great music composer aloft, thrilling discerning music audiences across the country to the best of all genres of music.

Multiple award winner and Globacom brand ambassador, Bez will bring contemporary touch to the much anticipated event slated for July 5 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Bez is currently making waves in the Nigerian music scene with his brand of music dubbed “alternative soul”, a hybrid of soul, rock, jazz and R&B.

The two acts slated for the event have vowed to treat guests to their best performances ever at the grand finale where one of the three shortlisted authors will be crowned the winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

In contention for the $20,000 Grand Prize are three authors: Othuke Ominibohs, Akin Bello and Toyin Abiodun”.

The three finalists were selected from a longlist of 10 African authors including, Soji Cole, Comfort Adesuwa Ero, Isaac Attah Ogezi, Moshood Oba, Mayowa Saja, and Wumi Raji.

They were picked from a total of 163 entries submitted from 17 African countries in the genre of Drama, which is the focus of the 2014 edition.

The award is a biennial event staged to recognize the best literary work produced by an African. It was established by the Lumina Foundation in 2005 to promote literary excellence in Africa and has since become the African equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The panel of five judges for the Prize is drawn from Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Algeria.

Three heads of state have also given their commitment to be part of the series of events scheduled to round off the fifth edition of the award. Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana have indicated interest to be in Accra, Ghana on July 8 at the presentation of a book in honour of the Nobel Laureate three days after the announcement of the Prize winner in Lagos.

Other distinguished individuals expected at the activities include Former President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and renowned Ghanaian author and former Education Minister in the Ghana government, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo.

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Kokori Launches June 12 Memoir http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/25/kokori-launches-june-12-memoir/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/25/kokori-launches-june-12-memoir/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 13:47:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=200296 The former General Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Frank Kokori today presented his June 12 memoir : Frank Kokori: The Struggle For June 12.




The event which took place at the Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, attracted dignitaries from all walks of life.

The reviewer of the book was Kayode Komolafe. The event was ongoing at the time of this report.

According to Komolafe in his review, “The book is essentially a full-disclosure of the audacious role played by oil workers in the struggle to uphold the sanctity of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by Bashorun Moshood Abiola. During the historical moment, Kokori was the General-Secretary of the National   Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). Together with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), NUPENG provided the dynamite for the struggle with crippling strikes.

“The June 12 story could be encapsulated as follows: A presidential election that was to be the climax of a long-winding political transition programme was held on June 12, 1993.   Abiola as a candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) contested against Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC). As the results of the elections were being put together, Babangida, whose regime organised the transition programme, annulled the election.

“But an idea that could not be killed had been born. The resistance against the grand assault on the people’s will began in earnest. In the process, Babangida was forced out of power leaving behind a rickety interim governmental structure headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan with General Sani Abacha in charge of Defence.”

He added that “As predicted, Abacha sacked Shonekan’s government three months later and inaugurated a reign of terror on the country for five years. In a bid to kill the June 12 idea the junta arrested Abiola, and he died in detention.  Kokori was also incarcerated for four years for the bold and committed leadership he gave for the effective oil workers’ strikes.  Abacha died suddenly on June 8, 1998 and Abiola also died on July 7 the same year. That is the story in the simplest form one can put it.”

Prominent Nigerians, including retired Rear Adm. Ndubuisi Kanu and Chief Segun Osoba were among guests at the book launch in Lagos to commemorate the 70th birthday of Chief Frank Kokori.

Speaking at the event, Kanu, the Chairman of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), who also chaired the event lauded Kokori for his contributions in enthroning democracy in Nigeria.

“Kokori made so much sacrifice. If not for the struggle of June 12, Nigeria would have continued to experience transformed maximum rulership,” Kanu said. Also speaking, Osoba lamented that many of those who struggled for June 12 were not the ones enjoying the outcome of the struggle.

“Only 49 of us signed the document when NADECO was formed behind Abiola. The youngest of us then was Labaran Maku, the Minister of Information.”

Osoba said “the reason why many of those who struggled for June 12 did not get into power is because of the guarded handover of power carried out by the military.

“Am here today, to celebrate Kokori and my survival too. It was alleged that I gave Kokori up but I thank God he survived, otherwise, I would have been blamed for it,” Osoba said.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, represented by his aide, Mr Adinoyi Ojo, said that there was no better person to tell the inside story of June 12 than Kokori. “We must never forget his contributions and personal sacrifices.

“We have Kokori and others to thank as we celebrate 15 years of democracy in Nigeria,” Atiku said.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, representated by a former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Dele Aleke, described Kokori as a man of high repute.

“Am aware of his role in the struggle for June 12 actualisation. I thank and appreciate him for the role he has played and still playing for the enthronement of genuine democracy in Nigeria.

“In spite of Kokori’s incarceration and torture, he remained a symbol of consistency, perseverance, responsibility and a galvaniser of oil workers that staged massive protests for the emancipation of Nigerians,” Tinubu said.

In his response, Kokori said that he wrote the book to showcase the gladiators who helped Nigeria to attain democratic governance but had been neglected in the nation’s political dispensations.

“The book is a candid account of my roles and the roles that other heroes played in the quest to revalidate the June 12 1993 presidential election.”

Kokori, however, lamented that politics in Nigeria was being driven by money, urging Nigerians to rise above inducements in selecting their leaders.

Also at event were son of late Chief MKO Abiola, Mr Abdul Abiola, Mrs Ganiyat Fawehinmi (wife of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi), Sen. Biyi Durojaiye and representatives of civil society groups

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3 Presidents For Soyinka Literature Prize http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/16/3-presidents-for-soyinka-literature-prize/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/16/3-presidents-for-soyinka-literature-prize/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:42:26 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=198974 The biennial Wole Soyinka Prize for creative writing continues to grow in proportion with at least three serving heads of state billed to attend this year’s edition.

The presidents who have consented to be present at the ceremony, according to the organisers, include President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Liberian Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana.

Other high-profile dignitaries who are expected to attend are former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; former President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki; former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan; the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and renowned Ghanaian author and former Education Minister in the Ghana government, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo.

The prize award ceremony is scheduled for 5 July at the Civic Centre, Lagos. This will be followed by a book presentation on Soyinka slated for Accra, Ghana on 8 July.

The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature was established by Lumina Foundation in 2005 with the objective of rewarding literary creativity in the continent.

Apart from encouraging and rewarding talents in Africa, the prize has become the African-equivalent of the famous Nobel Prize for Literature.

According to a release from the public relations unit of the prize sponsor, Globacom, ten writers have been shortlisted.

This year’s edition of the prize will focus on drama. Entries were received from African published playwrights whose plays were published in the last two years.

Based on certain criteria, some subscribers of the communication service provider will be invited to the prize-giving ceremony.

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Users lament lack of books in Edo library http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/15/users-lament-lack-of-books-in-edo-library/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/15/users-lament-lack-of-books-in-edo-library/#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:39:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=198843 Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Edo State

Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Edo State

Readers and users of the Edo Library in Benin have lamented the poor infrastructure and outdated books stocked in the state-owned library.

Some readers told NAN in Benin on Sunday that people had no interest to read in the library due to shortage of reading materials, outdated books and poor infrastructure.

Miss Love Edomwonyi, a student of the National Open University, said the lighting of the library was poor and there was no alternative source of light when there was power outage.

She urged the state government to invest in books so that students would be encouraged to visit the library to read.

Also, Victor Ofor, an undergraduate studying law in Enugu and currently on court attachment in the state decried the theft of books in the library.

“I was here in 2005, and the library was well stocked with chairs and books but when I returned in 2014, I discovered that some of the books are missing.

“I complained to the librarians and they told me that readers were stealing the books.

“If this trend continues unabated, it will affect people who come here to read,” he said.

When contacted, one of the librarians who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the last books purchased by the library was over 22 years ago.

“For the past 22 years, we have not got money for books and we have not been able to assess our capital base,” the official said.

NAN observed that most of the readers in the library were students who were reading their lecture notes and personal text books.

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French book at Harvard library bound in human skin http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/06/french-book-at-harvard-library-bound-in-human-skin/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/06/french-book-at-harvard-library-bound-in-human-skin/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:06:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=197535 Book made with human skin

Book made with human skin

Harvard’s university library on Friday in New York confirmed that test has shown that a 19th-century French book at the university’s library collection was bound in human skin.

Bill Lane, Director of the Harvard Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Resource Library, said the cover of the Houghton Library’s copy of “Arsene Houssaye’s Des destinees de l’ame,” a meditation on afterlife and the human soul, was made of human skin.

He said the university began to conduct tests on the book’s cover after a note found in it by its author “Houssaye” said that it had been bound using human skin.

He said the back of the unclaimed body of a female mental patient was used, after she died of a stroke.

“This book is bound in human skin parchment on which no ornament has been stamped to preserve its elegance,” Houssaye’s note said.

“By looking carefully you easily distinguish the pores of the skin and a book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering,” he added.

Lane said early tests showed the binding was not made of sheep or goat skin, but was most likely of human origin or made of the skin of another closely related primate, such as a great ape or gibbon.

He said further tests revealed that the cover was made of human skin.

Lane said the analytical data, taken together with the provenance of Des destinees de l’ame, make it very unlikely that the source could be other than human.

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