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OPINION: Discussing MKO, Bisi Akande, Osimhen And Portable

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Tunde Odesola

The moin-moin thinks it is wise. It hides part of itself within the folds of éwé eeran, the green-turned-bronzy leaves encasing it. Hungry Man unfurls the leafy wraps, using his fingers or spoon as a rake, scraping out the moin-moin clinging behind the leaves: ibi pelebe la ti ń mú òlè je, the Yoruba say.

Moin-moin eating starts peripherally, not centrally. The etiquette for consuming moin-moin and agidi is written in native intelligence. If you finger, spoon, knife or fork móín-móín and èko headlong, you lose premium on quantity. Moin-moin eating is like an orchestra performance – building suspense in ibi pelebe, anticipatory nibbling of the sides of the moin-moin, preparatory to climaxing devouring.

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This article is a potpourri. It’s a dish by a cook beset with overflowing ingredients of ‘assorted’ innards – shaki, abodi, bokoto, roundabout – and cow head, stockfish, snails, crabs, prawns etc.

Too many ingredients spoil the broth. Nonetheless, I lay out a five-course dish comprising an appetiser, soup, entree, dessert and snacks called ipapanu in Yoruba. The dishes are Nigerian.
At the table are the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola; a former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; Nigerian footballer, Victor Osimhen, and waspish hip-hop musician, Habeeb Okikiola, aka Portable. Enjoy!

Appetiser
In the olden days when shame lived in the dark, a moral question combed the conscience, “Where would he blow it, the thief who stole the kàkàakí of the king?” This moral suasion belonged in Nigeria’s golden past. Nowadays, shame luxuriates in the sun, emboldening some faceless workers of iniquity to unchain the Sallah ram of a Chief Imam in the Bassa Local Government Area of Jos, Plateau, during a downpour, and disappear with it.

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THE PUNCH reports that Imam Abdulkadir lost his ram on Sallah eve. What was the motive behind the ram heist: religious obligation, greed or the ravaging hunger in the land? I don’t know. But I do know that as the chief imam and his relatives ruminate on Sallah, they would wish they knew whose gullets their ram passed through.

Kalakuta Republic was the Ikeja, Lagos home where the Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo, lived. It’s now a museum. Watching a documentary a few days ago, I saw an inscription on the wall of the museum which says, “No smoking of Indian hemp, here.” Uhmm! Really? Father of tragedy, Aeschylus, a Greek, said, “Time brings all things to pass,” his fellow countryman, Pericles, concludes, “Time is the wisest counsellor of all.” I hear Fela’s voice from the grave, “Confusion break bone, yeepaa! Double wahala for deadi body and the owner of deadi body.” Fela loved his marijuana.

The soup
In a seminal article, “Tinubu’s ‘taste’ gerontocracy,” published on Monday, June 17, 2024, in Nigerian Tribune, Lasisi Olagunju lampooned the appointment of a former interim National Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, by President Bola Tinubu as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Ibadan, at the age of 85. Olagunju had no soothing words for former-this-former-that octogenarian soldier, General Ike Nwachukwu, whom Tinubu also appointed Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governor Council, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, 72-year-old Yayale Ahmed, whom Tinubu made Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Is Akande qualified for the UI top job? In 2009, Osun indigene and Peoples Democratic Party bigwig, Chief Abiola Morakinyo, was stopped as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, after protesters hoisted in the face of President Musa Yar’Adua, the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act 2003, which says that anyone to be appointed Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of a national university must be a university graduate. Because Morakinyo wasn’t, he was removed.

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According to his personal website, bisiakande. com, the highest certificate the Ila-born politician attained in Nigeria was a Grade III Teacher Certificate at the Divisional Teachers’ Training College, Ile-Ife, before proceeding abroad, where he did correspondence courses at Wosley Hall, Rapid Results College, and the School of Accountancy, both in England but both were not universities.

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Vanguard columnist, Owei Lakemfa, titled his 2009 article, which condemned the appointment of Morakinyo, “To be led by the blind.” I am from Osun, the Omoluabi state; I cannot call Baba Akande blind. But I can call him a retired accountant and in-luck pro-chancellor, unlike Baba Morakinyo, a retired accountant and out-of-luck pro-chancellor. Nigerians, if you like, jump into the lagoon in protest, does the APC care? Have you forgotten too quickly the 2020 Night of Long Knives at the Lekki tollgate?

A joke explains why it’s incumbent for pro-chancellors and chairmen, governing councils of Nigerian universities, to have university education: “So that when a member of council lays a report before the Senate, the ‘un-university’ pro-chancellor and chairman of council would not ask, ‘Where is the report for the House of Reps!’

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Entrée
A few days ago, one of the children of the late MKO Abiola, Abdulmumuni, lit a fire on June 12 mountain when he granted a podcast interview to Seun Okinbaloye, accusing his elder brother, Kola, of having an affair with the daughter of his father’s jailor, General Ibrahim Babangida, the architect who designed the failure of the Nigerian nation.

Being family friends, there’s a possibility that Kola and Babangida’s daughter might have been dating before June 12, 1993. There’s also a possibility that the tricky Babangida, being a dribbler noted for booting penalties into throw-ins, might have repeatedly assured Kola that he was going to free MKO and make him President. Mumuni didn’t give Nigerians an idea of the particular period of the June 12 struggle Kola was knowing the daughter of the bloodiest Nigerian General. Neither did he reveal if Kola stopped at any point of the struggle. Is it the blindness of love or the madness of lust that sustained the frolic? So, when Nigerians were being shot, maimed and incarcerated by soldiers during the protest, Kola was sweating with Babangida’s daughter inside Aso Rock?

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Though it was insinuated MKO died after drinking a cup of tea in incarceration, I still prefer the quote of English musician, Boy George, who says, “I would rather have a cup of tea than sex,” to the opinion of American actress, Angelina Jolie, who says, “I need more sex, OK? Before I die I wanna taste everyone in the world.” Between George and Jolie, who would Kola vote for?

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Abdulmumuni also said Kola was unfit to be Nigeria’s President, adding that his elder brother couldn’t manage MKO’s empire. The younger Abiola didn’t shout obscenities, he spoke like he was discussing football’s Greatest of All Time, Lionel Messi, with Okinbaloye.

Dessert
Eccentric musician Portable recently blew his lid in a viral video in which he insinuated that Davido misadvised him. Hitherto, Portable had sung the praise of Davido to high heaven for taking him out in Atlanta, Georgia, and buying things for him. In a sharp twist afterwards, however, Portable came out with a video, poking innuendos at Davido. The Omo Baba Olowo didn’t take issues with Portable, he only unfollowed him.

Like Portable, Napoli striker and Nigerian international, Victor Osimhen, threw caution to the wind in a viral video, spoiling for war against former Super Eagles coach, Finidi George. Osimhen alleged that Finidi wrongly accused him of faking an injury just to avoid playing for the Super Eagles.

Instead of Osimhen foaming in the mouth with rage, like Portable, an articulate podcast would have presented him an opportunity to air his side of the story, but he ended up racking up sympathy for Finidi and a backlash for himself. Osimhen failed to realise that he’s a global icon, not a ghetto tout, he allowed the ‘We All Die Here’ mentality to get the better of him, and he fell into dishonour. I’m glad Osinhem speaks Yoruba fluently; he should know the meaning of the proverb, “Ejo la n ko, ki a to k’oja,” meaning you learn how to articulate your case before you learn how to fight. He should redeem his image by making a public apology to us, his fans. I won’t call for a ban on him, but Osimhen knows the Super Eagles have been winning matches without his goals.

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Going by his coaching experience and achievements, I had thought the Nigeria Football Federation would appoint Emmanuel Amuneke ahead of Finidi. But this is Nigeria. By the appointment, I feel the NFF deliberately set Finidi up for failure so they can appoint a cash cow foreign coach. The NFF knew ab initio that Finidi lacked the experience to handle the Super Eagles.

Snacks
Where’s the ex-Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello? It’s a shame the EFCC, DSS and police have kept quiet on his case. This is also an indictment on the Presidency – an alleged treasury looter appears to have been warned by the APC government and told to go and enjoy his money in silence. Nigerians deserve an update on Yahaya Bello.

Nigeria, we hail thee! Internet fraudster, Ramon Olurunwa Abass, aka Hushpuuppi, is serving an 11-year jail term in the US, but his accomplice, Abba Kyari, a criminal Nigerian police officer indicted by the US and Nigeria, was granted bail to go and bury his parent. When Hushpuppi is freed, Kyari’s trial for drugs will still be ongoing. Why are we so cursed?

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @Tunde Odesola
X: @Tunde_Odesola

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Meta Deletes 63,000 Accounts In ‘Yahoo Boys’ Crackdown

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Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has removed 63,000 accounts associated with the notorious “Yahoo Boys” scam group, the company announced in its Q1 2024 Adversarial Threat Report on Wednesday.

The accounts, deleted over the past few weeks, were used for financial sextortion scams and distributing blackmail scripts. Meta reported that a smaller network of 2,500 accounts, linked to around 20 individuals, primarily targeted adult men in the United States using fake identities.

Meta said it identified and disabled these accounts through a combination of advanced technical signals and comprehensive investigations, enhancing its automated detection systems.

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“Financial sextortion is a borderless crime, fueled in recent years by the increased activity of Yahoo Boys, loosely organised cybercriminals operating largely out of Nigeria that specialize in different types of scams,” the social media giant stated.

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It added, “We’ve removed around 63,000 accounts in Nigeria attempting to target people with financial sextortion scams, including a coordinated network of around 2,500 accounts.”

“We’ve also removed a set of Facebook accounts, Pages, and groups run by Yahoo Boys—banned under our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy—that were attempting to organize, recruit and train new scammers,” the company explained.

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During the investigation, Meta said it found that most scammers’ attempts were unsuccessful, though some had targeted minors. These cases were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Meta revealed that it also shared information with other tech companies via the Tech Coalition’s Lantern program to help curb these scams across platforms.

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Further, the parent company of Facebook said it removed around 7,200 assets in Nigeria, including 1,300 Facebook accounts, 200 pages, and 5,700 groups that were providing scam-related resources.

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These assets were found offering scripts and guides for scams and sharing links to collections of photos for creating fake accounts, it expounded.

Since this disruption, Meta’s systems have been actively blocking attempts from these groups to return, continually improving their detection capabilities.

The company noted that it has also been working closely with law enforcement, supporting investigations and prosecutions by responding to legal requests and alerting authorities to imminent threats.

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The social media giant stated that its efforts extend beyond account removal.

“We also fund and support NCMEC and the International Justice Mission to run Project Boost, a program that trains law enforcement agencies around the world in processing and acting on NCMEC reports.

“We’ve conducted several training sessions so far, including in Nigeria and the Cote d’Ivoire, with our most recent session taking place just last month,” the firm revealed.

To protect users, especially teens, Meta disclosed that it has implemented stricter messaging settings for users under 16 (under 18 in certain countries) and displays safety notices to encourage cautious behaviour online.

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READ ALSO: FG Slashes Allowances Of Stranded Nigerians On Scholarship In Russia The Federal Gov

Last week, Meta was fined $220m by Nigeria’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for multiple violations of data protection laws linked to WhatsApp.

The investigation, initiated in May 2021, found that Meta’s privacy policies infringed on users’ rights, including unauthorized data sharing and discriminatory practices.

Meta plans to appeal the decision, arguing that it disagrees with the findings and the imposed penalty. The FCCPC aims to ensure fair treatment of Nigerian users and compliance with local regulations.

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FG Slashes Allowances Of Stranded Nigerians On Scholarship In Russia The Federal Gov

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The Federal Government has announced a slash in allowances of foreign scholars who are currently studying in Moscow, Russia.

This is contained in a letter dated July 23, 2024, issued to the scholars’ association in country by the Federal Scholarship Board under the Federal Ministry of Education.

The students are studying under the Federal Government’s Bilateral Educational Agreement Scholarship, which is for the purpose of education exchange between Nigeria and the other countries.

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The letter, which was signed by the Director of the Federal Scholarship Board, Ndajiwo H.A., on behalf of the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman reads, “A: FG slashes allowances of Nigerian foreign scholars over hardship”

According to the letter, the monthly allowances were slashed from $500 to $220; the graduation allowance from $2500 to $2000; and the PG research allowance was slashed from $1,000 to $500.

The total for the payments initially paid was $5,650 per student but will now be $4,370 but allowance for health insurance, pilot allowance and Medical allowance remains $200, $700 and $500 as before.

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The letter reads: “The Scholars’ Association is hereby notified that due to the prevailing economic situation, the payment mandate for the BEA scholars’ allowances will be as per the new adjustment.”

“The balances for the years 2023 and 2024 owed to scholars will be paid as soon as the funds are made available,” the letter reads.

Meanwhile, reports has it that the scholars have not been paid for close to eight months and have endured financial strain due to the delay in receiving their stipends.

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BREAKING: SGF, NSA, Ministers In Emergency Meeting Over Planned Nationwide Protest

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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, George Akume, is currently meeting with ministers over the planned nationwide protest against economic hardship.

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The meeting, which is taking place behind closed doors, has all the over 40 ministers in President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet in attendance.

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Some of the Ministers spotted are Nyesom Wike (FCT), Yusuf Tuggar (Foreign Affairs), Zephaniah Jisalo (Special Duties), Tahir Mamman (Education), and Abubakar Bagudu (Budget and Planning).

Others are Wale Edun (Finance), Mohammed Idris (Information), Bello Matawalle (Defence), David Umahi (Works), and the National Security Adviser (NSA) Nuhu Ribadu, amongst others.

Recall that the President had earlier on Tuesday pleaded with Nigerians to shelve the #EndBadGovernance protest slated to commence on August 1.

The protest against economic hardship, organized by faceless persons, has gained traction on social media and is scheduled to hold across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

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Details shorly…

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