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Akpabio to sue Nunieh, alleges defamation

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said he has instructed his lawyers to seek necessary redress in a Court of competent jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by the former acting managing director of the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Ms. Joy Nunieh.

Ms Nunieh in an interview with newsmen had raised some accusations against the former governor of Akwa-Ibom.

But in a statement signed Thursday in Abuja by Akpabio special assistant on media, Anietie Ekong, described all the allegations as “cornucopia of false, malicious and libellous,” adding that the Minister will seek redress in a Court of law.

The statement said: “The Honourable Minister’s initial attitude was to allow his lawyers and the judicial system vindicate him of the false allegations against him, but he is compelled to react to some of the wayward allegations levied against his person by Ms. Nunieh, especially the one bothering on sexual harassment.

“To start with, let it be known that there is no scintilla of truth in all the allegations peddled around by Ms. Nunieh. They are simply false! The Honourable Minister did not at any time, place or circumstance make any form of sexual advances to Ms. Nunieh, not even to put himself in a position or posture suggestive of sexual advances towards Ms. Nunieh, or any female staff of his Ministry or the NDDC.

“For the records, the Honourable Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON is happily married and contented with his wife. Together they are blessed with children, four (4) of whom are young women. The Honourable Minister is an avid believer of the Affirmative Action and that was visible in the appointments he made as a two (2) term Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015. Under his watch, he appointed several women into various high level positions as

“Chairpersons of Local Government Councils, Magistrates, Judges, Heads of Parastatals, Directors, Permanent Secretaries, and Commissioners.

“He is the first Governor in Akwa Ibom State to have a female Deputy Governor, was also the first to appoint female Chief Justices of the High Court, recommended women for ministerial appointments one of whom was the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, and supported for appointment the first female Vice Chancellor of the only Federal University in the State etc. He has always championed and still champions the cause of women and young children.

“Whilst the Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, the Honourable Minister summoned the political will and effrontery to stop modern day slavery in his state, where young women and children were ferried away from the State to other states in Nigeria to be used for all sorts of menial chores as house maids and most suffered unimaginable unethical trade malpractices and maltreatments. He ensured that anyone caught in that trade was severely punished. He signed the Child Rights Law to protect children, especially the girl child from stigmatization and punishment by ordeal where some were executed or banished on allegation of witchcraft. The Child Rights Law also made primary and secondary education in Akwa Ibom State free and compulsory; educating the girl child was his topmost priority.

“The Honourable Minister has never hidden his admiration and respect for his wife, Mrs. Ekaete Akpabio, Children and sisters, he therefore felt compelled to react to the malicious attack on his person by Ms. Nunieh bothering on allegations of sexual harassment. The Honourable Minister therefore finds the said allegation nauseating and a very cheap blackmail, for Ms. Nunieh to suggest or insinuate that he sexually harassed her, while she was the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC.

“The Honourable Minister also finds it appalling that, Ms. Nunieh, never deemed it fit to report the alleged incident to the police at the earliest opportunity she had, before, during or after her tenure as the Acting Managing Director on 17th February, 2020, if indeed the allegation was true. Waiting till July 10th and 13th 2020 when the National Assembly appears to be probing some of her actions as the Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee (“IMC”) exposes her motive, especially at a time when the momentum for the Forensic Audit”

According to the statement, investigation of the NDDC is heating up and the truth is about to be unveiled for all to see? The critical question is who is afraid of the Forensic Audit at the NDDC? Who is Afraid of the Truth?

“There is no doubt that Ms. Nunieh’s attacks are both personal and sponsored. Those afraid of the truth, and who wish to bury it from seeing the light of the day, are strenuously behind Ms. Nunieh’s vicious campaign of calumny.

“The Honourable Minister has a mandate from Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to unearth alleged looting and financial misappropriation that had gone on at the NDDC since its inception in 2001. He is committed to that mandate through the forensic audit of the NDDC and will not be deterred or distracted from that goal. The aim of this campaign of calumny is simple, get Senator Akpabio out, kill the forensic audit, and continue business as usual at the NDDC.”

On the allegations of the Minister’s involvement in contract racketeering, bombing of oil pipelines, corruption/diversion of funds, the statement said the Minister has stated several times and at various fora that since his assumption of office, he has only awarded three contracts till date- the appointment of the lead forensic auditors which was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC); the emergency procurement contract for COVID-19 intervention in the Niger Delta Area which due to its urgency had his interim approval and Presidential approval in line with the Bureau of Public Procurement Act and the award of Vehicles procurement duly approved by the Bureau of Public Procurement and the Federal Executive Council but yet to be consummated. It is noteworthy, that all these contracts went through due processes.

On her allegation that Akpabio directed her to change the Dollars in the NDDC’s Account, the statement declared that NDDC’s Account is domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Every inflow and outflow is known and traceable. NDDC gets its revenue in Dollars which is paid directly to its Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Dollar is then converted to Naira by the CBN and paid into the NDDC Naira Account still domiciled with the CBN upon a written application from the NDDC. It is therefore impossible for any sum of money belonging to the NDDC with the CBN including the several figures bandied around as missing to be missing.

It is important to state, that unlike in the past where the NDDC had over three hundred (300) bank accounts in different commercial banks, that practice had since changed under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which gave full effect to the application of the Treasury Single Account and the NDDC now has its accounts with the CBN. The Honourable Minister does not give verbal instructions to anybody, all instructions are in writing and in response to a request from the Commission.

“On the allegation that the Honourable Minister directed Ms. Nunieh to remove Mr. Kaltungo, same is false. His track record marks him out as a totally detribalized politician and one of the best friends of Northern Nigeria. The Honourable Minister was informed by the NDDC management that over twenty three (23) top Management Staff, from various part of Nigeria including the Niger Delta region, who have evaded leave in the last ten (10) years or had the tendency to influence negatively the ongoing forensic audit were recommended for mandatory leave by the lead forensic auditors. They are still staff of the Commission currently receiving their monthly salaries and benefits.

“The Honourable Minister has taken steps to instruct his lawyers to seek necessary redress in a Court of competent Jurisdiction on his behalf over the defamatory statements made by Ms. Nunieh.

“On a final note, while encouraging all Nigerians to hold their leaders to account, he urges them to take their time to sift between the chaff and the substance before embarking on far reaching allegations, opinions and views.”

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ZURU PEOPLE AND THEIR LELNA CULTURE BY BAWA AMOS

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Prince Bawa K. Amos a Nigerian author, presents a collection of the socio-cultural practices of the indigenous people of Zuru land in his book, “Zuru People of North-West Nigeria (Kebbi state): An Aspect of Lelna Cultural Heritage”.


The book is a harvest of information about the rich culture of an ethnic nationality whose traditional values, like those of many other ancient societies, are gradually going extinct.

Published in 2019 by Wadmaryamu Services Enterprises, the book contains 344 pages of lucid prose, divided into18 chapters and subsumed in five broad parts, revolving around the socio-cultural milieus of Lelna. The story, presented in the first-person point of view, typical of autobiographies, focuses on group identity.

It portrays the people in their traditional setting as a warrior tribe whose main occupation is farming and hunting with blacksmithing as a prestige trade.

The author takes the reader on an explorative journey as he unveils select aspects of Lelna culture, infusing his personal experiences into the collective experience of his ethnic group. The book encapsulates non-fictionalized, but captivating accounts of the development of man in A’lela and copious lessons on the C’lela language. Enriched with folklores that celebrate commendable deeds, but denounce deviant behaviours and punish offenders, the seminal masterpiece makes an interesting read.

Each part features subtitled chapters anchored on diverse subject matters. In Part One, the author introduces the reader to the history and language of the Lelna people. He explains why people are called Zuru or Dakarkari instead of Lelna. The topics in this part that revolve around childbirth include: A Pregnant Woman, Signs of Labour, Announcing a Delivery, Observing a Woman after Delivery, and Child Dedication.

Part Two encompasses topics such as Growth Period of Lelna Boys and Girls, Lelna Religious Cult (M’gila), and Traditional Court Process. Marriage related themes embedded in socio-cultural and economic activities are portrayed in Part Three under the subtitles: Loaning a Wife, Bridal Wealth, U’hola Festival, Economic Benefits of Shea Butter Oil, tribal marks and Chiselling of teeth.

Part Four “When Someone Dies” echoes the people’s belief about death: “When somebody dies, custom demands that there will be an inquest to ascertain what killed the man or woman. The inquest happens via consultation with an oracle.

The chief priest (Gomva d’sako) helps take care of that.” The author describes the customary activities observed before, during after the burial of a king, succession to the throne, and the handling of other burials in the society.

Part Five focuses on the relationship between Lelna and the other tribes with emphasis on the intertribal mergers resulting from the intermingling of the 33 tribes and over 300 clans living in A’lela. This segment also provides insightful commentaries on dialectal variations, the grammar, and phonology of the C’kela language. Beginning from the preface, the author reminisces on how childhood curiosity motivated him into writing about Lelna cultural heritage: “As a curious child, I used to ask a lot of questions about our culture and tradition. When I could not get information anywhere, I usually asked my grandfather Daudu K. Bawa, his wife Kukube, and my parents. My inquiries mostly involved seeking answers on why the Lelna people were a certain way.” He admits that the answers to such questions became the springboard for the present work: He showcases the various stages of “Rite of Passage for a K’lela man” from birth through death, admitting that some of the socio-cultural practices have undergone emasculation. The following passage excerpted from the “Conclusion” portrays his clarion call for the emancipation of the people from cultural alienation and reflects the theme of an identity crisis: “The Lelna people are fast exchanging their language, dialect and cultural values for Hausa and English. Due to this confusing trend, I grew interested in learning about Hausa people. By gathering information from different sources, I would say that a Hausa man is a tribesman who has lost his native or cultural identity.

If you pick out fifty men whom you assume are Hausa and interview them, you would discover that they are tribesmen from Lelna, Kamberi, Baribari, Kamuku, Saare, Hunne Yannne, Dakun, Adara, Abagi, or Bachama.” Gender disparity is one of the cardinal issues depicted in the book. This assertion is instantiated in the following excerpt: “If a woman dies in A’lela culture, a daughter or female children of the deceased only have the right to their mother’s personal effects.

These females, however, do not get any part of their mother’s property, and this happens because she will eventually be married and blessed with children.” Moreover, the role of mothers in preparing their daughters for marriage is highlighted with emphasis on sex education: “Mothers are required to give their daughters sex education. “By Lelna customs, it is a taboo for a woman to lose her virginity before marriage. It amounts to sacrilege, and if this happens, she will be mocked by her age group and parents. Such girls are usually screened out during a virginity screening ceremony in D’bitti, the ninth month of Lelna calendar, and will not be presented as virgins to their suitors during U’hola festival.” The author recalls experiencing a culture shock when he was to receive a tribal mark on his maiden visit to the village: “One day, while we were sitting under a tree, a stranger came to visit our grandparents. “Little did we know that our grandparents had decided to give us tribal marks. Our sister was called aside and the next thing we saw was blood running down her cheeks. The rest of us took to our heels and ran into the bush. We returned at sunset when we were sure that the stranger had gone. That was how we, the boys, escaped getting tribal marks.”

Widowhood is another thematic concern depicted in the book. The author reveals that during the mourning period the widow is confined to her room for three months or as long as one year, depending on her age and within the period, she wears leaves on her waist together with a thin rope tied around her waist, adding: “In 1979, a woman called Muni visited my grandparents’ compound. That was the time I saw a woman dressed in leaves. She was holding a stick and a calabash. I asked my uncle who this was and why she was dressed that way? He replied that she was a ‘bomse,’ ‘Bombshell?’ I asked, trying to pronounce what I thought I heard, but my uncle gave me a warm smile. ‘No, boy I said bomse…Bomse is a woman whose husband is dead.”

On the people’s religious stance, the author explains that Lelna people believe in the existence of a supreme spiritual God, Asila who is represented by the spirits of the ancestor, Aknu. They also believe in reincarnation, life after death and that earthly life is transient as physical death precedes eternal judgment. He reveals that the Lelna have a traditional religious cult, “M’ gila” which serves as an institution through which young boys are initiated and groomed from their teens into responsible adults.

He adds that the adherents of M’gila are conservative traditionalists, who accept neither Christianity nor Islam. The author also presents some myths and superstitious beliefs as exemplified in: “Women and children don’t eat chicken and eggs because chickens are used during their dedication rituals. Besides, it is also believed that children who eat chickens could turn out greedy.” Some of the traditional practices are similar to those recorded in the Bible. For instance, Golmo resonates with the account of Jacob who served his father-in-law, Laban for seven years in order to marry Rachel.

According to the author, Golmo which doubles as a military training institution for Lelna young men is a marriage contract that mandates a prospective son-in-law to serve the father-in-law on the farm for seven years. Surrogate or Ghost Marriage on the other hand allows the younger brother of a man to marry the widow and raise children for the late husband, reflecting the belief that marriage continues in the next life where the woman will belong to her first husband.

The book has been endorsed by renowned scholars as an invaluable resource material for research. In the foreword, a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Ishaya Bamaiyi recommends it saying: “This book should be read by those who associate with the Lelna people and would like to learn more about them. As for us Lelna people, I would like to say that reading this book will, not only enable us to know our culture, it will also enable us to know those around us who have the same or similar traditions and cultures. We will also be educated on the relationship between people in Zuru land as well as where these relationships started and the reason we should remain one despite the difference in dialects.”

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Orgasm: Are women being cheated by men?

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New research has confirmed that single women have fewer orgasms, while their male counterparts have the most.  According to one of the researchers, having an orgasm is more like running a marathon than a sprint, but for many women, it is uphill terrain.

That when it comes to orgasms, women are still the underdogs.  According to data from a 2014 survey conducted by an online marketing company, Columinate, in partnership with Durex on women’s sexual well-being, not even 50% of women climax: and not only are they unsatisfied with their sex lives, they also have ‘worrying’ low self-esteem.

“They still patronise men’s orgasms,’ says Debby Herbenick, director of Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion.  “Perhaps it’s because when a man finishes, very often, sex does too – or because, physically, the male orgasm is like a neatly tied bow, while the female is like a Valentino gown.

(It’s complex and can take a while to construct but boy, is it gorgeous …)  It can be hard to explain this to a partner – especially when you are both naked.  The good news: women are making strides towards closing the gap.  “It’s all about exploring what feels good for you,” she says.

Not all women need to have an orgasm every time for sex to be hot, she continues.  But most would like more.

These are three tips she says can help you get over the edge: Do yoga for your vagina.  Keep the energy flowing down there by taking deep breaths and imagining sending them to your lady cave.  Sounds wack – but it’s basically the free female Viagra.

Don’t be afraid to reveal a kinky desire.  No fetish is anti-feminist.  Just because you sometimes like being called a slut during sex doesn’t mean you ever like it during dinner.

(Silently) tell yourself how much you’re turning him on.  Whether he’s a Chatty Charlie or a quiet type in the sack, seeing his face as he’s lost in ecstasy – and realising you’re making it happen – can be the push you need to cross the finish line!

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Group wants Omojuwa investigated over alleged forgery

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A policy advocacy group known as Society for Watchdog on Non-Governmental Organization and Good Governance (SWOGG), has called on the police to launch an immediate investigation into an on-going cyber offence and personality forgery involving a company linked to influential social media activist, Japheth Omojuwa.

The group, in a press release signed Monday in Abuja, by its Executive Director, Bayo Orimolade said that it was wrong of Omojuwa to have listed the former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili as a director in his company, Alpha Reach Limited, when indeed, the information was false.

“This act of forgery and identity theft is a crime against the Nigerian laws and, in this instance has opened a high ranking Nigerian, in the person of Dr. Ezewesili to public ridicule.

“We ask that the Nigerian Police should cast its attention to this developing story and particularly unearth why the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) would register a company with a false information and without due diligence.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Omojuwa’s company is mentioned as a crony in an international image laundering campaign in support of an individual under criminal investigation. It is pertinent that we refrain from commenting on this particular allegation until the conclusion of investigations on the matter.

“However, it is our intention to put Nigerians on the alert about the necessity of cross checking information put out by the so-called social media influential figures. Such warning is expedient as the 2023 election cycle is approaching and it is necessary for Nigerians know that a good number of social media agitators are fronts for politicians, hence the reason why their commentaries should be taken with a pinch of salt,” the statement said.

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