Thursday, 9 March 2017

Matchday Experience: Chronicle of a First Timer

After series of spiraling events, postponements, dilly-dallying, and a host of other stumbling blocks, I finally went to a Nigerian Professional Football League game (NPFL).
Prior to the formation of the League Management Committee (LMC) and reestablishment of the league, the league experienced an unprecedented level of decline. Although football is the country’s national sport, the domestic competitions suffered neglect and obscurity from the people, mostly as a result of the unsavory scenes that gritted match days. The situation grew even worse around the early 2000s when cable TVs became a commonplace, heralding a total development of Nigerians’ affinity for the European League, and most notably the English Premier League.
In the past, I have been to a national game, but the Shooting Stars vs. Plateau United is the first Nigerian League match I had ever seen – though I have watched numerous matches on TV. It was Sunday afternoon, and there wasn’t much to do, so, I thought of hanging out. It then came to me in an epiphany that there’d be an NPFL game. “No going back, the jinx of not seeing a game would be broken today,” I thought to myself.
By the time I arrived the stadium, it was about 20mins past kickoff. I saw people thronging hurriedly towards the ticket office and some others into the arena. Instantly, I was caught in the exciting frenzy, and I rushed along as if a step slower would make me miss the entire match.
At the ticket office, I saw people making frantic efforts to get tickets. There were young, as well as old people, male and female alike. I saw haggard-looking folks and something that describes poor – if not wretched, buying tickets to see the game. I was taken aback. More often, I have interacted with friends who are lovers of football but haven’t seen any sense watching a Nigerian League game on TV, talk less of going to the stadium to see a game. “Nigerian what?”, “It is a waste of time and money” they’d protest, with sullen and dismissive countenances.  But there I was, with folks who epitomize the suffering Nigerians, yet for the craving and love of the game, can still manage to buy tickets for a league match. I was overwhelmed.
In the arena, the covered area ticket I got couldn’t get me a seat. Like many others, I had to find a place to stand at the terrace behind the seats. Well, it looked like there wasn’t a system to check if seats were still available for a particular stand before selling more, and apparently, the number of tickets printed for the match day exceeded the number of seats available. Nevertheless, I shrugged it off. I should enjoy this ‘historic’ moment, I said to myself.
No sooner have I entered that I noticed a trend. Both sides were apprehensive of each other, trying to get the away from their goal as quick as possible. At the brink of half-time whistle, the visiting team scored a goal from a throw, courtesy of the casual defending by the home side.  From that moment, things took a dramatic plunge. Plateau United, the visiting team, started exhibiting antics.
By the turn of the match and few minutes of the second half, Shooting Stars had started to pile the pressure on the away side, looking for a way to turn things around. The antics and time-wasting tactics of Plateau United became recurrent, with their players suddenly dropping on the field, seeking medical attention, and bringing the play to a halt. It became rampant, with the Centre Referee failing to curb the excesses of the away side, and the fans having to endure a halt-play-halt game.
Things reached it peaked when a defender of Plateau United suddenly went down after Shooting Stars had spurned a chance. The medical staff of Shooting Stars, rushed in to attend to him, just as they’ve been doing throughout the match. They tried to lift the player out of the pitch with their stretcher, but the defender wouldn’t have any of it, deliberately refuting their attempts. The situation led to a scuffle between the visiting players and the home team medical staff. Eventually, the player was taken out of the pitch but was dropped outside in a cavalier manner, causing some of the Plateau United players to accost the medical staff leading to a push and shove confrontation. A few moments later, the General Manager of the home side then rushed to the touchline, angrily calling the attention of the referee, and saying something which was inaudible from the stands.
After a while, the skirmish started to die down, until the Coach of Plateau lunged towards the 3SC General Manager in what looked like fisticuffs were about to ensue. He was, however, held back by some members of his staff. This drew the ire of the Shooting Stars fans, with some throwing plastic objects towards the team members and staff of Plateau United. The pelting then fomented trouble among the home fans themselves, as some angrily challenged others that threw the objects towards the pitch, an action that seemingly meant to halt an action that could lead to a ban for the home side. Eventually, normalcy returned and the game was revived. Shooting Stars continued to pile the pressure, and they got their equalizer from the spot when a player who wanted to strike a rebound from an earlier shot was hacked down by an opposing defender. Tied at 1-1, the away side held on, employing their time-wasting antic, albeit mildly, as against their earlier actions. Finally, the Centre Referee blew the whistle, signaling an end to the game, but there was a sour taste in the mouth of the home team fans, while the away side shook themselves for a job ‘well done.’
As a football lover, I felt disappointed with the events of the day. A league that wants to grow, and willing to change the awful narratives around its reputation, and increase its fan base would do everything to avoid any dent, and ensure that such situations are dealt with to curb its reoccurrence. However, it wasn’t all negatives. I saw a passion in the fans, albeit laced with anger. I saw the capacity to check themselves even in the face of anger and incitement. I saw the prospect of fans being the ones to end the hooliganism in football. I see the possibility of the Nigerian League attaining greatness.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Who's here?

Wait a minute! How did I get here? What am I looking for? Wait...something looks familiar...Random Thoughts of a Nigerian? Where did I hear that again?! Ah! I remember, it is a name of a blog.
Whose blog is it? Ermm, let me rack my brain... What?! My BLOG???

Okay, I know I have been lazy and I have forgotten this page entirely...well, not entirely. But who am I to blame if not myself. I totally agree that I'm at fault. However the truth is there is a different world out there, a world different from that of the internet, and if I don't want to be left behind, I have to give it my attention.

I can't promise and renegade, just like I did before. So, I am not going to promise now, I will only do what I can do.

Okay, so many things on my mind. A very hectic day plus it is my birthday.

I've to go now. See ya.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Morning is Here

Just saw this on my desktop. Didn't realize I didn't post. Wrote it on the morning of the UEFA Champions League Final between Bayern and Chelsea.

The morning is here, I woke up on the bright side, though I didn’t sleep very well as my mind was in MUNICH throughout the night, yes , in Munich. My football side got a better hold of me ahead my political side, and I felt putting it down might ease me from the pressure I am suffering from.
It is theUEFA  Champions League Final and as a fan of Chelsea FC, I am relishing the night – the biggest night in European football and I can’t wait!
Then, the thought of other Chelsea FC fans struck me. How are they feeling now? Is the heat on as well? Do they feel uneasy as I am? I can only assume the answers to my numerous questions, but assumption is the lowest level of man’s knowledge.
A look at the history of my team (Chelsea) shows that we’ve never won the competition in our 107years of existence. The Champions League trophy is the missing feather on our cap, unlike our opponent, Bayern Munich, who had won the trophy four times.
My uneasiness is not because of the match alone, but because the match will be played in the domain of our opponent, in Allianz Arena! Coupled with the absence of major players like John Terry, Barnislav Ivanovic, Ramires, Meireless, this herculean task ahead alone sends shiver s down my spine, I tremble as I write this as there is only one thing on my mind, CHELSEA MUST WIN! The thought of not featuring in the next edition if the team fail to win is nauseating as the team finished on the 6th position in the EPL campaign.
Now, I wish I can just hibernate, and then come alive after the match and be told that Chelsea has won the Champions League. Well, that seems impossible somehow, I just have to be patient. What more can I do other than look forward to the evening.

Monday, 16 January 2012

NLC calls Off Strike!

After six days of protests and mass rallies over the hike in the price of petrol, the Labour movement yesterday suspended its nationwide strike.
Labour leaders, under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) enumerated the gains of the protests.
It noted that the new N97 per litre price of petrol was a unilateral decision of the Federal Government.
The Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had, on January 1, announced the withdrawal of petrol subsidy, which jacked up petrol price to between N138 to N200. The price hike caused increases in the prices of goods and services. 
The Labour movement, on January 9, began the nationwide strike, rallies and protests following Federal Government’s refusal to revert the price to N65. 
Announcing the suspension of the industrial action, rallies and street protest at the Labour House in Abuja yesterday, NLC President Comrade Abdulwahed Omar noted that the government “that chorused continuously that  its decision to increase PMS (petrol) price to N141 is irreversible and irreducible, was forced to announce a price reduction to N97”. 
In a statement titled: Suspension of strikes and mass protests against hike in fuel prices, Labour said: “With the experiences of the past eight days, we are sure that no government or institution will take Nigerians for granted again.”
The statement reads: “In the past eight days through strikes, mass rallies, shutdown, debates and street protests, Nigerians demonstrated clearly that they cannot be taken for granted and that sovereignty belongs to them.
“In the last 24 hours, the Labour movement and its allies who had the historic responsibility of coordinating these mass actions have had cause to review the various actions and decided that in order to save lives and in the interest of national survival, these mass actions be suspended.
“We note the major successes Nigerians scored in these past days in which they rose courageously as a people to take their destiny in their hands.
“First, the Federal Government that chorused continuously that its decision to increase petrol (PMS) price to N141 is irreversible and irreducible, was forced to announce a price reduction to N97. We, however, state categorically that this new price was a unilateral one by the Federal Government.
“Secondly, the government has been made to adopt the policy to drastically reduce the cost of governance.
“A third major success Nigerians recorded is to get the Federal Government to decisively move against the massive and crippling corruption in the oil sector. While until now the government has seemed helpless to tackle corruption, the mass action of the people has compelled it to address accountability issues in the sector.
“In this wise, President Goodluck Jonathan has told the nation that the forensic audit report on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will be studied and proven acts of corruption will be sanctioned.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Facts You Must Know ABOUT SUBSIDY: By Pst Tunde Bakare


Pastor 'Tunde Bakare delivered this expose on Fuel Subsidy at The Latter Rain Assembly a few hours ago. Please read, digest, and share with as many people as you can. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!


To subsidise is to sell a product below the cost of production. Since the federal government has been secretive about the state of our refineries and their production capacity, we will focus on importation rather than production. So, in essence, within the Nigerian Fuel Subsidy context, to subsidise is to sell petrol below the cost of importation.


The Nigerian government claims that Nigerians consume 34 million litres of petrol per day. The government has also said publicly that N141 per litre is the unsubsidised pump price of petrol imported into Nigeria. (N131.70 kobo being the landing price and N9.30 kobo being profit.)


Daily Fuel Consumption: 34 million litres

Cost at Pump: N141.00

No. of days in a regular year: 365 days

Total cost of all petrol imported yearly into Nigeria:

Litres Naira Days

34m x 141 x 365

= N1.75 trillion


Nigerians have been paying N65 per litre for fuel, haven’t we? Therefore, cost borne by the consumers =

Litres Naira Days

34m x 65 x 365

= N807 billion


In 2011 alone, government claimed to have spent N1.3 trillion by October – the bill for the full year, assuming a constant rate of consumption is N1.56 trillion.

Consequently, the true cost of subsidy borne by the government is:

Total cost of importation minus total borne by consumers, i.e. N1.75 trillion minus N807 billion = N943 billion.

Unexplainable difference: N617 billion

The federal government of Nigeria cannot explain the difference between the amount actually disbursed for subsidy and the cost borne by Nigerians (N1.56 trillion minus N943 billion = N617 billion).


A government official has claimed that the shortfall of N617 billion is what goes to subsidising our neighbours through smuggling. This is pathetic. But let us assume (assumption being the lowest level of knowledge) that the government is unable to protect our borders and checkmate the brisk smuggling going on. Even then, the figures still don’t add up. This is because even if 50% of the petrol consumed in each of our neighbouring countries is illegally exported from Nigeria, the figures are still inaccurate. Why?


NIGERIA: 158.4 million

BENIN: 8.8 million

TOGO: 6 million

CAMEROUN: 19.2 million

NIGER: 15.5 million

CHAD: 11.2 million

GHANA: 24.4 million

The total population of all our six (6) neighbours is 85.5 million.

Let’s do some more arithmetic:

a) Rate of Petrol Consumption in Nigeria: Total consumed divided by total population:

34 million litres divided by 158.8 million people = 0.21 litres per person per day.

b) Rate of Petrol Consumption in all our 6 neighbouring countries, assumed to be the same as Nigeria:

0.2 litres x 85.5 million people = 18.35 million litres per day

Now, if we assume that 50% of the petrol consumed in all the six neighbouring countries comes from Nigeria, this value come to 9.18 million litres per day.


There are two illogicalities flowing from this smuggling saga.

a) If 9.18 million litres of petrol is truly smuggled out of our borders per day, then ours is the most porous nation in the word. This is why: The biggest fuel tankers in Nigeria have a capacity of about 36,000 litres. To smuggle 9.18 million litres of fuel, you need 254 trucks. What our government is telling us is that 254 huge tankers pass through our borders every day and they cannot do anything about it. This is not just acute incompetence, but also a serious security challenge. For if the government cannot stop 254 tanker trailers from crossing the border daily, how can they stop importation of weapons or even invasion by a foreign country?

b) 2nd illogicality:

Even if we believe the government and assume that about 9.18 million litres is actually taken to our neighbours by way of smuggling every day, and all this is subsidised by the Nigerian government, the figures being touted as subsidy still don’t add up. This is why:

Difference between pump price before and after subsidy removal =

N141.00 – N65.00 = N76.00

Total spent on subsidizing petrol to our neighbours annually =

N76.00 x 9.18 million litres x 365 days = N255 billion

If you take the N255 billion away from the N617 billion shortfall that the government cannot explain, there is still a shortfall of N362 billion. The government still needs to tell us what/who is eating up this N362 billion ($2.26 billion USD).


i) We have assumed that there are no working refineries in Nigeria and so no local petrol production whatsoever – yet, there is, even if the refineries are working below capacity.

ii) Nigeria actually consumes 34 million litres of petrol per day. Most experts disagree and give a figure between 20 and 25 million litres per day. Yet there is still an unexplainable shortfall even if we use the exaggerated figure of the government.

iii) Ghana, Togo, Benin, Cameroun, Niger, and Chad all consume the same rate as Nigeria and get 50% of their petrol illegally from Nigeria through smuggling.

These figures simply show the incompetence and insincerity of our government officials. This is pure banditry.

9) FACT 9: The simplest part of the fuel subsidy arithmetic will reveal one startling fact: That the government does not need to subsidise our petrol at all if we reject corruption and sleaze as a way of life. Check this out:

a) NNPC crude oil allocation for local consumption = 400,000 barrels per day (from a total of 2.450 million barrels per day).

b) If our refineries work at just 30%, 280,000 barrels can be sold on the international market, leaving the rest for local production.

c) Money accruing to the federal government through NNPC on the sale, using $80/bbl – a conservative figure as against the current price of $100/bbl – would be $22.4m per day. Annually this translates to $8.176bn or N1.3 trillion.

d) The government does not need to subsidise our petrol imports - at least not from the Federation Account. The same crude that should have been refined by NNPC is simply sold on the international market (since our refineries barely work) and the money is used to buy petrol. The 400,000 barrels per day given to NNPC for local consumption can either be refined by NNPC or sold to pay for imports. This absurdity called subsidy should be funded with this money, not the regular FGN budget.

If the FGN uses it regular budget for subsidising petrol, then what happens to the crude oil given to NNPC for local refining that gets sold on the international market?


The federal government is making the deregulation issue a revenue problem. Nigerians are not against deregulation. We have seen deregulation in the telecom sector and Nigerians are better for it, as even the poor have access to telephones now right before the eyes of those who think it is not for them. What is happening presently is not deregulation but an all-time high fuel pump increase, unprecedented in the history of our nation by a government that has gone broke due to excessive and reckless spending largely on themselves. If the excesses of all the three tiers of government are seriously curbed, that would free enough money for infrastructural development without unduly punishing the poor citizens of this country.

Let me just cite, in closing, the example of National Assembly excesses and misplaced spending as contained in the 2012 budget proposal:

1.Number of Senators 109
2.Number of Members of the House of Representatives 360
3.Total Number of Legislators 469
4.2012 Budget Proposal for the National Assembly N150 billion
5.Average Cost of Maintaining Each Member N320 million
6.Average Cost of Maintaining Each Member in USD $2.1 million/year

Time has come for the citizens of this country to hold the government accountable and demand the prosecution of those bleeding our nation to death. Until this government downsizes, cuts down its profligacy and leads by example in modesty and moderation, the poor people of this country will not and must not subsidise the excesses of the oil sector fat cats and the immorality precipitate fiscal scandal of the self-centred and indulgent lifestyles of those in government.

Here is a hidden treasure of wisdom for those in power while there is still time to make amends:


“Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. The violence of the wicked will destroy them because they refuse to do just.”

A word of counsel for those who voted for such soulishly indulgent leadership:

“Never trust a man who once had no shoes, or you may end up losing your legs.”

This is the conclusion of the matter on subsidy removal:

i) “If a ruler pays attention to lies, all his servants become wicked.” (Proverbs 29:12)

ii) “The Righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked, overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness. Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and will not be heard.” (Proverbs 21:12&13)

Thanks for your attention. God bless you all.

Pastor ‘Tunde Bakare


Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists in Europe, Mr.Wole Arisekola is to meet Head of investigations at the International Criminal Court who is currently investigating Nigeria. It is time we start the campaign for Nigerian Government to face justice at the International Criminal Court for killing innocent protesters. Many Nigerians have been shot dead by Nigeria police Force . The names include Late .Muyideen Mustafa killed at Ilorin, Ademola Aderinto, in Lagos; Raheem Mojeed in Osun; Olurin Olateju in Ibadan; Abdulgafar Mohammed Hadis, in Kaduna; Yahaya Abubakar Adamu, in Lambata; Rabiu Abubakar, in Suleja & at least fifteen other citizens in Lokoja, Jalingo, Kano, Maiduguri, Ibafo.
You should call or write to report Nigeria Police Force and its trigger happy officers to the prosecutor Mr. Luis Moreno – Ocampo or Mr. Michel De Smedt (Head of investigations) at the ICC who is currently investigating current Police brutality against innocent protesters in Nigeria .
Informationon and Evidence Unit
Office of the Prosecutor
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM The Hague
The Netherlands
Tel. + 31 70 515 8515
Email Fax +31 70 515 8555.
Or or
Please you can also send pictures of police brutality as evidence. Thanks and God bless.
Wole Arisekola. Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists in Europe.

SEVEN FACTS... SHOWS JONATHAN IS CORRUPT: You read it b4 with sentiments.

SEVEN FACTS... SHOWS JONATHAN IS CORRUPT: You read it b4 with sentiments.


There is a general feeling that Jonathan is more of an administrator than a leader. He is better positioned only taktoe instructions rather than initiate new ideas, which is the hallmark of true leadership. As a Deputy Governor, he performed excellently as Alamieyeseigha's errand boy. Now Goodluck Jonathan cannot even control his wife Dame Patience Jonathan, who is now a wedge between the President and his followers. A man who cannot control his wife cannot be competent to preside over the affairs of 140 million people.


Jonathan lied during his Asset Declaration. There are more than two gigantic hotels belonging to Jonathan which were not declared to the Code of Conduct Bureau. His wife Dame Patience Jonathan has a Hotel in Otuoke and three Housing Estates in Port Harcourt. She also hijacked properties meant for the Poverty Alleviation Programme in the State. Among the properties hijacked include: three 3 No. speedboats, 2 No cold stores. One at swali Yenagoa and the other at Twon-Brass. These were not declared.

THREE: THE N8 billion Gas Turbine Scandal

The Jonathan awarded a contract of N4 billion to buy two 2 No. Digital Gas Turbines. The contract value was reviewed upwards to N8 billion, but not even one Gas Turbine was procured. What Bayelsa people saw was the refurbishment of one of the Gas Turbines at Imiringi and no new Gas turbine was procured. It was a fraudulent deal Goodluck Jonathan awarded to an Ogbia woman, widely believed to be his girl friend.


Goodluck Jonathan in connivance with the then Deputy Governor Hon. Peremobowei Ebebi packaged a contract for one Anyiam Osigwe and Igbo contractor to build A 4-Star Hotel . Because of his financial interest in the deal, he rushed to commit the State Government into writing an agreement with the Igbo contractor. However, when Bayelsa indigenes got to know that the contract to build Yenagoa City they rejected the idea. This led to a consistent, sustained protest against the policy.

When theJonathan eventually tried to revoke the contract, Anyiam Osigwe threatened litigation hence Jonatha was blackmailed to award a contract the build a 4 star Hotel at the whopping sum of N3.2 billion. While negotiation were going on, the value of the contract was reviewed upwards to N5 billion. There are insinuations that the value has been inflated again. This illegal deal must be investigated because charity begins at home.


The wife of President Dame Patience Jonathan awarded a contract of planting flowers in the Mbiama Yenagoa road at a whopping sum of N500 million. We have two major problems with the contract. First, the contract was awarded to one of her cronies Mrs. Megan Bozimo. Secondly, the flower planting contract did not follow due process, as there were no tenders, bids and other procedures stipulated in the Due Process Rules or the Public Procurement Bill. The Bayelsa State Government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should investigate the award of contract to determine the degree of compliance with due process.


The Aruera Foundation was established by Mrs. Patience Jonathan to siphon about N3 billion Naira. Numerous hotels projects built by the President as a Pet project to assist the poor and the less-privileged. More that N3 Billion NairaƂ was paid into the Foundation, with no visible impact on the lives of the less-privileged. Authentic from impeccable sources indicate that the money was used to acquire choice property in Otuoke, Port Harcourt and Calabar and Uyo.


Contrary to wide spread assertions that the Goodluck Jonathan left a healthy economy before he became Vice-President, the reality is that the Jonathan left behind a huge debt of well over N28 billion a reason most people blame for the slow pace of development in the State when Governor Timipre Sylva took office. It is surprising that the VP covered-up this mess when he publicly claimed that he was committed to transparency and accountability. Another cover-up is.

The actions of the Jonathan's former Chief of Staff Mr. Moses Otazi also betrayed his boss. He is believed to have stashed away the sum of N150 Million in the country home of his wife at Ewio but luck ran out of him as a local mafia group broke into the safe and made away with the loot. The man was obviously scared of lodging his lucre in the bank. Mr. Otazi we were told is not bank-friendly. This scam was also covered-up.


As Governance of Bayelsa State, Jonathan awarded the contract of clearing the Nembe Brass Road to a serving Senator one Chief Barigha Amange at a whopping sum of N530 million. We were reliably informed that apart from the contract sum being paid up front, the job was shoddily done due largely to the fact that there was neither survey nor soil test.

A Chief from the Nembe Community also informed us that prior to the award of the said contract the Nembe Chiefs Council had protested to Jonathan never to award the contract to the suspended Chief Amange because he was already from the community and was bent on destabilizing the community. But the President did not heed the advise this contract and the mode of its award did not follow due process as it was compensatory, essentially to enable the beneficiary raise money for electioneering campaigns.


My question now is how true? but yet, current day happening is a pointer!