Friday, 21 October 2016

A peep into the Presidential kitchen, by Philip Agbese

A peep into the Presidential kitchen, by Philip Agbese

An African adage says, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Whether in Africa, Europe or Asian continents, leaders are burdened. And support of his family has to come with full measure for him to succeed.

Leaders of nations battle to contain disparate interests; strive to leave a legacy and unquestionably accept responsibility for acts of commission or omission from subordinates. A leader of any nation spends more time cogitating and less for leisure. He deprives himself and his family the comfort of his presence most of the times.

It’s worse when a leader operates in a clime where there is stiff opposition.

In faraway Germany, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari decried the burden posed by a multi-coloured opposition in Nigeria in these words; “It’s not easy to satisfy the whole Nigerian opposition parties or to participate in the government.”

A leader in the words of the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle must be a philosopher King, who must claim superior knowledge over the rest of the ruled, opposition inclusive. He must not only imbibe the virtues of truth, honesty and hard work, but ardently exhibit it at all times in private and public arenas. President Buhari is an embodiment of these virtues, which is the source of his courageous and fearless war on corruption in Nigeria.

The family of a leader, whether designated as president, prime minister or chancellor or as in the case of Germany is rightly, the first family of the nation. They must exude the quintessence of uprightness and puritanism.

When they pander to debauchery, the nation screams and shrieks; hurl invective at them. Like any other couple, leaders of nations also double as leaders of their families. And the shame of ridicule of a failed first family imposes a heavy and additional burden on the husband and wife to keep an eagle eye on the family.

The temptation of children of leaders of nations to pander to waywardness is extremely high because of the feeling of a paradise on earth. It is fired by the blaze of affluence.

Therefore, President Buhari’s epochal statement that “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to; but she belongs to my kitchen, my living room and the other room,” is humorous; but also pregnant with meaning.

The President was reacting to comments credited to his wife, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, in a BBC interview, which had political undertones. Invariably, Buhari as leader of Nigeria and also head of Nigeria’s first family sought to limit the duties of his wife, to domestic affairs only, which in itself is a herculean burden.

Nevertheless, the statement is the embodiment of the hard truth about the onerous task on the shoulders of the wife of the President in ensuring the proper upbringing of the first family and proper care of the home-front.

It is a sacred duty she owes to the nation. The Holy books prescribed it. It is the unwritten norm in traditions of almost all communities in the world. Families which slide into immorality, resent hard work and embrace odiousness are not only shunned, but loathed.

In Nigeria, with its complexities and a fastidious people,the imperative of an ideal first family is a ministry of its own headed by the wife of the President. And she needs not be burdened any further with the exigencies of politicking.

It is confirmable that women married to high profile politicians are the epitomes of endurance and patience. They spend days or sometimes weeks, without the comfort of their spouse, who keeps moving from one meeting in one location to another.

And since Buhari’s foray into partisan politics, Aisha was automatically elevated from the position of housewife to the lofty status of the Minister of Kitchen and Domestic Affairs. She has lived with the task all her marital life, by ensuring the children, especially the tender ones are properly brought up, in the periods of her husband’s absence for political adventures. Her ministry of Kitchen and Domestic Affairs ensured the children were properly fed, attended school timely, cultivated good social relationships and never deviated from the path of morality.

Now, after exhaustive political meetings, only Aisha knows the delicacy that would revive and energize her husband. It is perhaps, the secret of President Buhari’s strength and agility at his octogenarian age. It is the signpost of excellence from Aisha’s Kitchen and Domestic Affairs Ministry.

She cooks endlessly for the teeming supporters or visitors to the house and now Aso Villa, where President Buhari is resident. She plans the President’s menu and outlines what goes for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as refreshments’.

Aisha is the closest confidant of the President and he confides in her, issues that would ordinarily not be thrown to public purview. Even though President Buhari is endowed with superior knowledge over the wisdom of his wife, but undoubtedly, the shared thoughts give him inspiration to courageously and fearlessly confront the devouring external forces against him.

A troubled house unsettles the head of the family. It inflicts a psychological burden on the leader of the house, which affects him in multiple dimensions. But by ensuring peace in the house, Aisha raises a platform that gives Buhari the confidence to face Nigeria to deliver on his mandate of leadership to the country.

But by far, the most alluring and enduring accomplishments of Aisha’s ministry is her supportive role in ensuring discipline is inculcated in the children of the first family. They exemplify the virtues of truthfulness, discipline, hard work and honesty. In 1983 when Buhari was military Head of State and since his return as civilian President in 2015, none of his children has been caught in public cynosure of haughtiness and waywardness, traits common with children of leaders of President Buhari’s status.

It will therefore, not be out of place to nominate Aisha Buhari as the best performing Minister of Kitchen and Domestic Affairs in Nigeria for the year 2016, as Nigerians look forward to 2017 with more brightened performance of the first family . So, dragging her into politicking would be a distraction designed to diminish this enviable record.

- Agbese wrote from the United Kingdom
EFCC re-arrests Fani-Kayode

EFCC re-arrests Fani-Kayode

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has re-arrested a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.

Fani-Kayode was re-arrested by operatives of the anti-graft about 1.55pm outside the premises of a Federal High Court on Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Fani-Kayode, who was in court for his trial over an alleged fraud of ‎N4.9bn, was re-arrested shortly after he stepped out of the court premises.
If I were president I would jail people who marry from same tribe - Freeze

If I were president I would jail people who marry from same tribe - Freeze

Controversial broadcaster, Freeze has prescribed jail term for couples who marry from the same tribe.

The OAP popular for his blunt opinion which he shares on social media, said diversity is one of the many problems plaguing the nation and if he was president he will ban Nigerians from marrying from the same tribe.

He posted pictures of past presidents and captioned it with: “Religion and tribalism are the tools utilized in dividing Nigeria. What would I do if I were elected president of Nigeria in 2019? Someone asked. Well I would sign a bill into law, punishable with a minimum of 5 years in prison and maximum of 15 years in prison, any marriage conducted by 2 members of the same tribe.

"Meaning that if a Yoruba man marries a Yoruba woman or an Igbo man marries an Igbo woman or a Hausa man marries a Hausa woman, they along with their parents, the bridal team and the groomsmen would all spend a minimum of 5 years in prison."
NIGERIAN JOBS: Hotel Accountants at Janchine Nigeria Limited

NIGERIAN JOBS: Hotel Accountants at Janchine Nigeria Limited

Janchine Nigeria Limited was incorporated in March 2007 as a Support Services and other Logistics firm. Being Human Capital Managers, we strive to add value to our clients business by providing unequalled, unique and excellent services to various sectors such as Banks, Insurance Companies, Manufacturing, and other corporate organizations, by leveraging on our experienced human capital base.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Hotel Accountant


Job Description

  • It's your job to keep track of every financial transaction in the hotel to make sure that all incoming and outgoing money is accurately recorded and handled. If there are any discrepancies, you'll have to investigate and correct them, or report the reason why they happened, such as mistake or fraud.
  • You'll also be handling wage and salary calculations and payments, too.
  • You'll be based at the hotel, unless you work for a large hotel group, in which case you might be based at head office with responsibility for a specific property.
Key Responsibilities
  • Controlling the payroll
  • Producing an accurate set of month-end accounts, with comparisons to forecasts and previous periods
  • Preparing profit and loss accounts and the balance sheet for senior management
  • Assisting in preparing budgets and business planning, including projected room revenue
  • Reconciling bank statements
  • Ensuring legislation is followed.
  • Chasing late payments, reporting bad debts and keeping a careful eye on the cash flow
  • Accountancy skills, ideally honed in a hospitality environment
  • IT knowledge, as transactions are usually done through computerised systems, electronic cash tills and so on
  • Data processing skills, including spreadsheet packages
  • Analytical and communication skills
  • Unmatched attention to detail as you'll be preparing detailed financial information for senior management
  • Minimum of a HND/B.Sc in any related field from any accredited institutions.
Application Closing Date
28th October, 2016

Method of Application

Interested and qualified candidates should send their application letters and CV's to:
Every woman loves the other room!, by Clem Oluwole

Every woman loves the other room!, by Clem Oluwole

For more than one week now, the media space has been awash with reactions to the interview which the Wife of the President (First Lady), Aisha Buhari, granted the BBC Hausa Service to the effect that her no-nonsense husband, Muhammadu Buhari, and his government have been hijacked by a cabal in the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

Her outburst did not come to me as a surprise. There is hardly any regime under the sun that is not dogged by a tiny clique that calls the shots. I am not a good student of cabalisation… the process of cannibalising a government to suit the interests of some powerful people in the corridors of power.

Now, let us turn back the hands of the clock: There was a cabal during the Shagariera. Remember UmaruDikko? Was there any cabal during the Obasanjo regime (1999 – 2007)? I can’t remember. Can you remember any?Check it out. All I can remember was that OBJ, as the fiery ex-General is fondly referred to, was himself a one-man cabal. No one could mess around him let alone cabalise him.

There was a cabal that held the late President Umaru Yar’Adua captive. His cabalisation was made easy by his failing health. While he was undergoing treatment overseas, the cabal seized the Villa and the vice president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, was left in the lurch. It took the Doctrine of Necessity to wrestle power from their grip.

When Jonathan became president, the initial arrangement was that he would complete his principal’s tenure after which he would hand over the mantle to another northerner to complete the region’s second term. But for where? A powerful cabal soon sprang up to convince him not to surrender power which the Constitution allowed him to hold on to. Jonathan was even persuaded to run in 2015 on the premise that his tenure (2011 -2015) was his first term in office, constitutionally. Eventually, he actually ran but away from the Villa! Aside from the cabal that kept him under its thumb, he also had the ubiquitous Ijaw chieftain, Pa Edwin Clark, to contend with as a godfather… just as President Buhari is said to be under the thumb of his nephew, Malam Mamman Daura.

I found the Buhari-under-Mamman-Daura-thumb claim a bit strange. Strange because Buhari is known to be a tough guy and the Mamman Daura I used to know was a highly respected and harmless fellow. He was my editor when I joined the New Nigerian Newspapers in the early 70s. He was so revered that when I visited the head office of the paper in Kaduna one afternoon, my colleague on the sports desk, Ndanusa Alao, who later became the managing director of the giant media house, asked me to remain in the background as Mamman Daura walked into the newsroom en route to his office, looking majestic in his white babanriga. He was a very handsome young man… any woman’s dream man for the other room. Which was why I found it a bit difficult to buy into that claim! Well, that was Mamman Daura of the 70s. May be people CHANGE!

The Wife of the President has been under the hammer for coming into the open to express her frustration about how her man is surrounded by strange faces… characters that were unknown to her in her close to three decades of being the President’s alter ego. She warned that the over 15m Buharists might take up arms against the state because Buhari has been offering bananas to the baboons, while the monkeys are hugging starvation, driven by recession. She swore that if the baboonery is carried into 2019, she would not be there for her man. She would not campaign for his re-election… that is if Baba is interested in running for the second term.

Buhari was in Germany on a state visit when the amiable First Lady dropped the bombshell. When asked to react to her interview, the President reached for his bag of humour, saying that his wife belongs to his kitchen, his living room and the other room. For a humour-meister like me, that was a three-star response. He merely stated the obvious.

A woman’s place starts at the kitchen, then the sitting room where she refuels the man and then the other room which is the ultimate and dream destination of every (married) woman. All those critics at home and abroad who have taken the President to Golgotha on account of coating the truth with humour are hypocrites. Even Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor and one of the most powerful women in the world today, who stood next to Buhari, cannot deny the fact that she started her marital life from the kitchen and still ends up in the other room ever and anon despite being Germany’s numerouno.

Cooking is a primordial responsibility of a wife. Nature has prepared her for that critical role right from creation. And were Buhari a misogynist as he is being painted all over the place, he would not have picked a school certificate holder, beautified her, and sponsored her to the university for her first and second degree programmes. That is not the hallmark of someone who denigrates women.

Have we forgotten so soon how the wife of the former Ogun state governor, OtunbaGbenga Daniel, took over her kitchen when her spouse came down with food poisoning and had to be flown abroad? Women who abdicate their kitchen throne do so at their husbands’ peril. There are also instances where housemaids have philtered their oga’s meals and took over the other room, via the kitchen because of madam’s dereliction of duty.

We should be careful how we dabble into problems involving a husband and his wife. This is because by the time they settle the matter in the other room, after a sumptuous meal, they will make you and I look really stupid.

Finally, any woman out there who does not love the other room should stand up to be identified… none!
EFCC recovers N196m in Borno

EFCC recovers N196m in Borno

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday said it recovered more than N196m on financial crimes during various operations in Borno between November 2015 till date.

The EFCC Head of Operation in the state, Ibrahim Bappa, in a statement said the commission also recovered N2.8 million for victims as a result of petitions received and acted upon in the zone.

The statement said, “As part of efforts to cleanse our country of economic and financial crimes, the commission has made reasonable monetary recoveries to the Federal Government and still has many cases undergoing investigation.

“The commission is hereby putting on notice to all businessmen and women who indulge in economic and financial crimes to desist from such unwholesome acts or face the wrath of the law.

“The EFCC is urging the general public to report any public official suspected to have used his or her position to enrich him or herself or any individual living above his means.

“We encourage individuals to write petition to the Executive Chairman of EFCC through the Head of Operation, Maiduguri Zonal Office as no stone would be left unturned to bring such person to justice.”

The Maiduguri EFCC Zonal Office was inaugurated on the March, 22, 2011, but its operations were suspended as a result of the Boko Haram security challenges.

Critics are not always enemies, by Afam Nkemdiche

Critics are not always enemies, by Afam Nkemdiche

Some years back I chanced on an instructive short story in an in-flight magazine, which could be paraphrased thus: “It is in the nature of larks (small birds) to migrate from the temperate north to the tropical south as the temperatures dropped. On a particular winter a daring lark decided it could “weather the storm;” it thus refused to migrate with its kind. It stored up enough food and coolly watched as schools of its species flapped briskly southwards. Unfortunately for the stubborn lark, the winter proved extremely harsh with unprecedented low temperatures.

“Rather belatedly, the lark threw in the towel and decided to fly southwards; but the winter had already taken a toll on its energy. Half-way through its flight the lark ran out of energy and came crashing down. It landed in a cattle ranch, much short of the tropics. It shivered uncontrollably; hungry and exhausted. Death gestured at it. The lark was helplessly looking to breathe its last when a blissfully grazing cow dumped a huge dung on it. The warmth and cover of the dung resuscitated and kept the lark alive respectively.

“However, the lark remained trapped by the sheer weight of the dung. Not long after, the keen nostrils of a hungry cat sensed the trapped mouthful. In one swift movement the cat liberated the lark and made a meal of it.”

The moral of the foregoing anecdote for Nigeria’s political class is: not every critic is an enemy; just as not every praise-singer is a friend. Unfortunately, this moral seems entirely lost on most personages who find themselves in leadership positions in Nigeria. For these persons, criticisms, no matter how constructively objective, are perceived as devices of the enemies with the singular aim to pull them down. As a consequence, the country’s successions of leaders expend disproportionately huge resources and time contending with these perceived enemies at the expense of national socio-economic development. This narrative pre-dates Nigeria’s independence.

In the First Republic, the ruling Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) federal government had devoted a greater part of its time in power fighting the main opposition party of the day, the Action Group (AG) party under the irrepressible Yoruba leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. That counter-productive scenario was replicated in the Second Republic by the ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN), wherein self-same Chief Awolowo again headed the main opposition party, the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).

The acrimonies between the ruling party and the opposition parties had been of such intensity that caused a presidential candidate, the liberal-minded Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri, to plead with his fellow contestants to eschew bitterness in Nigerian politics. Much self-seeking scheming by the toothy general caused the Third Republic to suffer a still birth. In the Fourth Republic the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) party employed all manner of executive schemes to undermine the main opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), a successor to the defunct Action Group party.

Some of such schemes included non-payments of accrued funds from the federation account to state and local governments, and inquisitorial harassments of vocal critics of the Federal Government, not excluding party members. Ad hoc government agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and other related offences Commission (ICPC) were ostensibly set up to combat the rising incidence of corruption in Nigeria, but actually to hound critics who dared to speak truth to power. The consequences of those mindless uses of executive powers against otherwise well-meaning critics are still with us today.

Expectedly, the hounding didn’t stop even with the change of batons at the Aso Villa in 2015. The sloganeering spokesman of the new ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lai Mohammed, employs every public forum to tell the world that his party is a vulnerable island in the midst of violently surging seas. Every criticism by the opposition parties is seen as a calculated attempt to submerge the nascent APC Federal Government. Such a mindset clearly offends against the dialectics of political development, as it forecloses the concretisation of necessary anti-theses, which normally interact with the prevailing theses to propel human societies forward. Even while conceding that some politicians are capable of unguarded utterances, and even deliberate falsehood in desperate situations, it still cannot be gainsaid that most criticisms are to the good of humanity. (How else can humanity progress without criticisms?).

This was the point Sister Aisha, wife of the president was making in Europe a few days ago: should the Federal Government persists in its present stead Buhari runs the risk of ending his presidency without a legacy, because some hawks have hijacked the machinery of government. This certainly ranks among the strongest criticisms against the Buhari administration. (Surely, Lai Mohammed cannot get Nigerians to believe his principal has an enemy for wife). Mrs. Buhari has merely echoed a narrative that has been in the public space since her husband revealed the names of his ministerial nominees.

The antecedents of a number of the nominees had immediately suggested to discerning Nigerians that much was amiss in the Buhari presidency. Strident calls were made for a review of the submitted list to the National Assembly, but the president was heedless. Eighteen months of APC federal executive council have demonstrated that those calls had been as right as rain.

Had President Buhari heeded those calls for a review of his list of ministerial nominees, the Nigerian economy might have averted the current “technical recession,” in spite of the tale spin in the prices of crude oil. You cannot optimally run a national economy without accomplished professionals in the cabinet. Let us hope that the president would quickly snap out of his visible shock at his wife’s unusual, but apt remarks; and cultivate the healthy habit of discerning the merits of constructive criticisms. Indeed, as the anecdotal lark belatedly learnt, not all those who embarrass us, as critics often do, are enemies.

Nkemdiche, consulting engineer, writes from Abuja.
NIGERIAN JOBS: Entry-Level Technical Support Officers at Tekniteed Nigeria Limited

NIGERIAN JOBS: Entry-Level Technical Support Officers at Tekniteed Nigeria Limited

Tekniteed Nigeria Limited is one of the fastest growing industrial spares and packaging solutions marketing house in Nigeria. We specialize on conveyor spares, power transmission, fluid power, automation, OEM after-market parts, material handling and industrial tools.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Technical Support Officer


Job Description
  • The company is need of a committed Technical Support Officer to offer support to the technical sales and the IT departments for our Lagos location.
  • Interested candidates must be smart, internet savvy, able to think out of the box and
  • Candidate should possess a minimum qualification of OND in Engineering.
Application Closing Date
26th October, 2016.

Method of Application:
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV's to: with the subject of the mail as Technical Support Officer.
CBN loans 310 youths N930m to start business

CBN loans 310 youths N930m to start business

A total of 310 youths, including members of the National Youth Service Corps, on Thursday received N930m from the Central Bank of Nigeria to establish profitable ventures in different sectors of the economy.

Each of the youth, who emerged through a rigorous competitive process, received N3m under the Youth Entrepreneurial Development Programme. The first set of the loans was disbursed through Heritage Bank.

Speaking at the disbursement ceremony, the Governor, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the YEDP was introduced in March 2016 by the apex bank as part of efforts to reduce the nation’s un-employment rate, which had increased to 13.3 per cent in the second quarter.

Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, said the programme was to ensure that the creative energies of the over 64 million Nigerian youths were harnessed to stimulate growth, address restiveness and promote economic development.

He said, “To realise this objective, the bank, in partnership with the National Youth Service Corps and Heritage Bank, began the pilot seven months ago to inspire and harvest the entrepreneurial abilities of Nigerian youths towards creating over one million direct jobs by 2020.

“The programme is open to youths of between 18 and 35 years who are serving corps members, graduates or artisans. All youths in this category are eligible to apply and will be pre-qualified for training on entrepreneurship before they can access credit lines of up to N3m at a single digit interest rate.

“The programme is premised on the provision of timely and affordable credit to identified youth entrepreneurs with expected multiplier effects on job creation and economic growth.”

He added, “To overcome the bottleneck of collateral requirements for loans and ease access to finance, their academic and the NYSC certificates, third-party guarantees and movable assets are allowed as acceptable collateral under the programme.

“The programme is a revolving fund with a target to create more than one million direct jobs. We encourage all Nigerian youths that are interested in being their own bosses to apply online through the participating banks.”

Emefiele said the central bank had commenced the YEDP with other Deposit Money Banks such as Sterling Bank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc, adding that discussions were ongoing with other banks to open their portals for the programme in order to have a wider outreach and fund more small businesses.

The Managing Director, Heritage Bank, Mr. IfieSekibo, said the bank had received more than 7,000 applications for the second batch of the programme, adding that the lender would soon be meeting with the CBN to expand the reach of the programme.

Sekibo, who was represented by the Executive Director, Lagos & Southwest, Corporate Banking, Heritage Bank, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, gave an assurance that some issues raised by some of the beneficiaries would be addressed.

The Director-General, NYSC, Brig.-Gen. SuleKazaure, encouraged the beneficiaries to remain focused and ensure that the loans were repaid to make for the extension of similar facilities to other corps members.