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Reuben Abati And His 30 Shekels Of Silver By B.U. Nwosu

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In the end, this is sad, short history of Mr. Reuben Abati, a once-gifted journalist, who sold his birthright for a plate of porridge, and now wanders the wilderness like a lost soul, looking for a master that will throw him a fat, bloodstained, fresh, juicy bone!

Mr. Reuben Abati loves money, and you will see the evidence before the end of this essay. His recent attempt to link the struggles of the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for self-determination to drug trafficking should not go unanswered, as people like Mr. Abati are ever ready to carry out the dirty deeds of corrupt and repressive regimes for a dirty sack of money. Additionally, the Ooni of Ife might be exposing himself to grave danger by including Mr. Abati’s name on the list of Yoruba think tank who will negotiate Sunday Igboho’s fate with Buhari’s junta. We will explain this in detail below. This essay is not an attack on Reuben Abati, for he has many vulnerabilities. Rather, it is an expose on a man who rose from humble beginnings to become the prince of brown envelope syndrome in Nigeria. For non-Nigerian readers, brown envelope syndrome is the art of bribing journalists in Nigeria with money, stashed in big brown envelopes, for the purpose of buying their silence and killing their stories.

Before his recent metamorphosis, Mr. Abati was a scrappy journalist at the Guardian newspaper in Nigeria where he wrote ceaselessly on the ills of the Nigerian society. If you read his weekly diatribes before 2014, you would think that this man was so pure and upright that the translucent blood of angels flowed in his veins. His strident, tortured, cacophonic notes reached a dizzying crescendo during the term of President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he savaged daily on the pages of Nigerian newspapers, not because Jonathan was a bad leader, but because Mr. Jonathan hailed from the South-South ethnic minority region of Nigeria. To bigots like Mr. Abati, President Jonathan had no business running the affairs of Nigeria. Thus, Mr. Abati swore that Mr. Jonathan must be disgraced out of office and his wife called unprintable names on the pages of Guardian newspaper. Then one day, President Jonathan, in his quiet manner, threw Mr. Abati a fat, juicy bone that he could not refuse! He invited Mr. Abati into his administration to serve as his special media adviser. That singular masterstroke ended the career of the fire-spitting, restless Abati as a bona fide journalist. In one split second, Mr. Abati went from Jonathan’s greatest attacker to Jonathan’s meek and lowly errand boy as he groveled and salivated at the foot of Jonathan while scurrying around for favors at the presidential palace.

But there was a darker side to Abati’s metamorphosis. In a bid to show Jonathan that he was a faithful servant, he became the brown envelope merchant of the Federal government of Nigeria. He set out with gusto to catch and kill any unpalatable stories about his turncoat era as a sycophantic journalist who has sold out his noble profession! He spent his time distributing money in brown envelopes to members of the Nigerian media who had anything unpalatable to write about him or Jonathan’s government. He even went as far as offering bribes to Nigerian journalists overseas to induce them to write pleasant stories about his role in the administration.

But something more damaging happened to Mr. Abati’s soul. With millions of dollars at his disposal, he became brazenly corrupt. The lion’s share of the money for silencing fellow journalists began to make their way into his wallet. His intellectual sharpness dwindled, his judgement turned erratic, and his ability to write forcefully with great flourish vanished into the winds. He became a Samson without his hair. And he became bitter because deep down he knew that he had sold his intellectual gift for dirty lucre. In his bitterness, he metamorphosed into a Nigerian version of Judas Iscariot and was secretly baying for the blood of his master.

In 2015, Mr. Abati betrayed his master! In a last-minute bid to corral votes from the Southwestern geopolitical region of the country, where Mr. Abati hailed from, President Jonathan gave Mr. Abati the keys to the campaign war chest so he could run the table in the Southwest by setting the famed Yoruba amala politics on the overdrive. This meant that Mr. Abati had the carte blache to buy up all votes in Southwestern Nigeria and sweep Jonathan to a decisive victory. President Jonathan placed all hopes on Mr. Abati to deliver. But Mr. Abati turned on him, pocketed the millions of campaign dollars, and worked secretly with Buhari’s campaign as an embedded spy to deliver a sinister coup de grace on poor President Jonathan. Mr. Jonathan lost the election and Mr. Abati fled Aso Rock with his millions, but never recovered his intellectual edge.

Since 2015, Mr. Abati has been searching for relevance as a journalist, a profession he can no longer grasp, as he had sold his soul to his Fulani master, Buhari. His essays are now infrequent, bland, dull, and unreadable as he has lost his grip on the righteous indignation that propelled him to dizzying heights at the Guardian. Everyone knows that Mr. Abati is living on stolen Nigerian wealth, and people who live on stolen Nigerian money are always restless. But Mr. Abati’s restlessness has risen sharply as his stolen money is now running out and he needs to refill his coffers

It is possible that the current dictator of Nigeria, Buhari, who used Mr. Abati to scuttle Jonathan’s chances for electoral victory in Southwest has now found a new use for Mr. Abati’s restless soul: employ him as an agent of disinformation against the struggles of the IPOB. But IPOB will match him pen for pen, word for word, paragraph for paragraph, and expose him for what he is: a fraud.

Along the same line, the Ooni of Ife, who recently added Mr. Abati’s name to the list of Yoruba think tank who will meet with the Buhari junta over Mr. Sunday Igboho’s fate, and the future of the greater Yoruba race, should know that Mr. Abati will be wearing a wire at all their meetings and will be transmitting every deliberation at the meeting to Aso Rock in real time! My prediction is that before the end of this year Mr. Abati will deliver the Ooni and the other Yoruba leaders to his Fulani masters on a platter, pocket his dirty millions, and go looking for other paymasters.

In the end, this is sad, short history of Mr. Reuben Abati, a once-gifted journalist, who sold his birthright for a plate of porridge, and now wanders the wilderness like a lost soul, looking for a master that will throw him a fat, bloodstained, fresh, juicy bone!

B.U. Nwosu

Culled from the Sahara Reporters 

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Court Jails Footballer, 1 Other Over Cybercrime

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Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has sentenced one-year imprisonment on one of the players of Ibrafix Football Club, Ilorin, Bamidele Saoban, for offences bordering on love scam.

Bamidele, 25, was jailed alongside one Adaraloye Ezekiel for similar offence.

The duo were prosecuted on separate charges by the Ilorin zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The defendants pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them.

Following their pleas, counsel to the EFCC, Rashidat Alao, led witnesses in evidence to review the facts of the cases.

The witnesses narrated how actionable intelligence led to the arrest of Bamidele and Adaraloye, telling the court that the duo specialised in “Yahoo-Yahoo business”.

Alao urged the court to convict the defendants since there was no contrary evidence to disprove the prosecution’s claims against them.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Oyinloye said the court was convinced that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt .

The judge sentenced Bamidele to a term of one year imprisonment with option of fine of N150,000 and Adaraloye to six months Imprisonment with option of fine of N250,000.

Culled from the Leadership News Nigeria

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Wife of Abia Governor visits lady allegedly raped by Policemen, assures of justice

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The Wife of the Governor of Abia State, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu has visited the student of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, whose alleged rape by policemen attached to the Rapid Response Squad in Aba sparked off protests by students of the institution today and assured that her Foundation, Vicar Hope, will foot her medical bills as well as ensure justice is done in the matter.

Mrs Ikpeazu who had earlier called and spoken with the victim, was represented by Dr Suzzy Nwachukwu, a medical personnel attached to the Office of the Wife of the Governor, in the visit to the medical facility where the victim was receiving treatment in Aba, condemned the action of perpetrators of the heinous crime and vowed to ensure that the matter was not swept under the carpet.

Mrs Ikpeazu further directed that the lady be moved to another medical facility within the state for better care and warned those who are still allegedly threatening her to prepare for the full weight of the law.

Meanwhile the state government has called on the commissioner of police, Mrs Janet Agbede to expeditiously investigate allegations of harassment of students and other citizens by security agents in the state. This was disclosed to newsmen by the Commisisoner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, who informed that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed the police authorities to ensure full investigation and prosecution of officers who are engaged in harassing law abiding citizens to serve as deterrent to others.

According to him, Governor Ikpeazu is actively monitoring the situation with the alleged harassment and rape of Abiapoly students with a view to ensuring the protection of all law abiding citizens.

Culled from the Sun News Nigeria

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North Korea Says It Successfully Tested Long-Range Missiles

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says it successfully test fired what it described as newly developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, its first known testing activity in months, underscoring how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States.

The Korean Central News Agency said Monday the cruise missiles, which had been under development for two years, successfully hit targets 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away during flight tests on Saturday and Sunday.

The North hailed its new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance” that meets leader Kim Jong Un’s call to strengthen the country’s military might, implying that they were being developed with an intent to arm them with nuclear warheads.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the military was analyzing the North Korean launches based on U.S. and South Korean intelligence.

Kim during a congress of the ruling Workers’ Party in January doubled down on his pledge to bolster his nuclear deterrent in the face of U.S. sanctions and pressure and issued a long wish list of new sophisticated assets, including longer-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites and tactical nuclear weapons. Kim also said then that his national defense scientists were developing “intermediate-range cruise missiles with the most powerful warheads in the world.”

North Korea’s weapons tests are meant to build a nuclear and missile program that can stand up to what it claims as U.S. and South Korean hostility, but they are also considered by outside analysts as ways to make its political demands clear to leaders in Washington and Seoul.

The North’s resumption of testing activity is likely an attempt at pressuring the Biden administration over the diplomatic freeze after Kim failed to leverage his arsenal for economic benefits during the the presidency of Donald Trump.

North Korea ended a yearlong pause in ballistic tests in March by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, continuing a tradition of testing new U.S. administrations with weapons demonstrations aimed at measuring Washington’s response and wresting concessions.

But there hadn’t been any known test launches for months after that as Kim focused national efforts on fending off the coronavirus and salvaging his economy.

KCNA said the missiles tested over the weekend traveled for 126 minutes “along an oval and pattern-8 flight orbits” above North Korean land and waters before hitting their targets.

“The test launches showed that the technical indices such as the thrust power of the newly developed turbine-blast engine, the missiles’ navigation control and the end guided hit accuracy by the combined guided mode met the requirements of designs. In all, the efficiency and practicality of the weapon system operation was confirmed to be excellent,” it said.

It appeared that Kim wasn’t in attendance to observe the tests. KCNA said Kim’s top military official, Pak Jong Chon, observed the test-firings and called for the country’s defense scientists to go “all out to increase” the North’s military capabilities.

Kim’s powerful sister last month hinted that North Korea was ready to resume weapons testing while issuing a statement berating the United States and South Korea for continuing their joint military exercises, which she said was the “most vivid expression of U.S. hostile policy.”

She then said the North would boost its pre-emptive strike capabilities while another senior official threatened unspecified countermeasures that would leave the allies facing a “security crisis.”

The allies say the drills are defensive in nature, but they have canceled or downsized them in recent years to create space for diplomacy or in response to COVID-19.

Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since the collapse of a summit between Trump and Kim in 2019, when the Americans rejected the North’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities. Kim’s government has so far rejected the Biden administration’s overtures for dialogue, demanding that Washington abandon its “hostile” policies first.

The latest tests came after Kim threw an unusual parade in capital Pyongyang last week that was a marked departure from past militaristic displays, showcasing anti-virus workers in hazmat suits and civil defense organizations involved in industrial work and rebuilding communities destroyed by floods instead of missiles and other provocative weaponry.

Experts said that the parade was focused on domestic unity as Kim now faces perhaps his toughest test with North Korea wrestling with U.S.-led economic sanctions over its nuclear weapons, pandemic border closures that are causing further strain to its broken economy, and food shortages worsened by floods in recent summers.

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