The Sound of a New Nation














OF BLISS . . .





OF GRACE . . .

OF AMITY . . .



OF YOU . . .










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Covenant University denies a student admission because of Religion . . .

The Covenant University, Ota owned by the Living Faith Ministries, aka Winners Chapel, denies a candidate admission for being a Muslim

Sixteen-year-old Ayomide Abdulgafar Salami is not your average student. During his time in secondary school, he was his class’ overall best student for four straight years. And when he passed out, in July from Dansol High School, Lagos-an upmarket institution-he did so excellently. In the mandatory Senior School Certificate Examinations, SSCE, he pulled off a brilliant performance, scoring three As (distinction) and six Bs. He also sat for the University Matriculation Examination, UME and notched a comfortable 295, well above the cut-off mark.

Armed with his fine credentials, Salami headed for the Covenant University, Ota in Ogun State, which he had filled as his first choice institution to study Chemical Engineering. He was first made to sit for the compulsory post-UME test and scored 65 marks out of 80. But he had one more condition to meet: obtain a letter of recommendation from a cleric.

Being a Muslim, his dad, Taiwo Salami, got one from a Islamic cleric who lives in his neighbourhood. The younger Salami had earlier filled out an online confidentiality form on the university’s website where he stated he was a Muslim. Though the university is a Christian mission, Salami couldn’t deny his Islamic faith. He would later find out that this was his undoing.

Having sat for the school’s test and told his score immediately, his parents waited anxiously for the admission list to be out. On 30 August, the list was published in a national newspaper. But Salami’s name was surprisingly missing. His confused parents felt there was a mix-up somewhere.

“I called my son and asked: ‘Did anything go wrong during the test that you didn’t tell me?’. But he said: ‘No!’ He reiterated he actually scored 65 out of 80, and he got to know his score because the test was electronically done with the results displayed immediately,” recalled Taiwo, Ayomide’s dad.

The following day, the candidate’s mom headed for the institution to complain about her son’s curious exclusion from the admission list. She met the admission officer who checked through Salami’s details and cited some ‘inconsistencies’ in the online application form he filled. In the portion for religion. The official claimed Salami filled ‘Muslim’, as well as ‘Anglican’ as his denomination. The mom promptly denied this and asked that the official provide proof. He didn’t provide it.

She insisted her husband filled the online form on their son’s behalf and there was no way he would have made the error of filling a wrong religion. She also referred to the recommendation letter they sent to the institution which boldly bore the name and signature of an Islamic cleric. “We are Muslims and we have never hidden this fact,” Salami’s mom maintained.

She further pressed the admission officer to come clean on the reasons for her child’s exclusion. The encounter was now becoming fiercer. Eventually, the school official reportedly blurted: “We are not admitting Muslim students this year; some 12 Muslim students we admitted last gave us a hell of a time!”

This outburst shocked Mrs Salami who further remonstrated with the official. In the heated exchange, a senior official in the school walked in and intervened in the matter. He assured the candidate’s mom the matter would be looked into by the school’s authorities and that the family would be contacted. Few days later, she spoke with the personal assistant to the Vice-Chancellor who gave her a bad news. The school is standing by the admission officer’s decision to decline their son admission.

When contacted, the university offered very little details on why it took the action. An official in the Registrar’s office who declined to give his name maintained the school did the proper thing in the circumstance. “We observed some inconsistencies in his application; he contradicted himself in some information he supplied. It was an attempt to cheat on the system,” the official told TheNEWS on telephone.

But Taiwo’s dad has dismissed the school’s claim as baseless. “They should just be bold enough to admit it. They discriminated against my child on the basis of his religion, and that is so unfortunate. It is curious that Covenant University officials would deny a prospective student admission on the basis of his faith. There is no known legislation either in the country’s constitution, or by the universities regulatory body, the Nigerian Universities Commission, NUC, that permits such.’’

Taiwo has, however, secured admission in a Ghanaian university for his son, though this has come at a huge cost. “This experience has further shaken my faith in this country. Whatever it will cost me, I will ensure he completes his studies abroad and settles down there,” said Taiwo.

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The Chronicles of My Days . . . Great Ife (Terse)

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I won’t forget that season of my life in 2001 when I gained admission into the University I had seen in my vision – the great ‘Oba Awon University’. My set was of the order of 60/40% (those present there n then will understand better).

There were many aspirations, dreams and ambitions in the ventricles of my heart as I steadied into that awesome season of my life. Hmm . . . many were sacrificed, some were butchered, very few saw the light of the day and others were insensitively jumbled in the priority order.

Through it all there were places of great encounters for me as a person where life-defining altars were built. I still remember them all with a refreshing nostalgia and reminiscence that gives humbling worship back to ‘Ka-bi-o-si’.
1. Sports Centre/ECU Mountain
That graceful and awesome place! Sure will be number one on the list of many. And outside of the so many encounters on that ground, the experience of the unsympathetic cold night of Saturday, March 5, 2005 will forever be ineradicable (don’t ask me what happen).

2. Amphi Theatre
Not for the constant thrilling shows and dazzling frizzes on that ground but for the vision of it that I saw before being admitted and which became a reality on a blissful and saintful morning of Sunday, May 22, 2005.

3. All Souls Chapel
That ever bushy path that leads to your doors surely doesn’t paint the glorious picture of what you have made of the lives of men and women sprinkled all over the world. I am one of such. Any time we have to re-scheduled the 3-6pm services outside of your tentacles, I am one of those not always content, not because of the comfort of the physical building, but because of the bliss and awe of His presence (always present) whenever I step in.

And this weekend, 21 – 23 October, 2011; ECU Reunion will be coming up live at the Oduduwa Hall of that Great School and I perceive strongly in my spirit that one of the casual and tempera structure (The Oduduwa Hall) will be transformed into An Awesome Place; An Altar Of Covenant Encounter that will remain indelible for some.

I am set . . .
And I will be there . . .
Will you . . .
(Even regardless of fellowship/denominational barrier)
Not too late to decide . . .
See you there . . .
I’ll be there!!!

‘Jide Bakare

We are gods . . .

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I read the article below in one of the dailies, written by Akpovi-Esade. I know it would make for a thoughtful and insightful reading for the perceptive Nigerian minds.

Nigeria Will Flourish Again!!!

Happy Reading.

SINCE Nigerian midfielder Sani Kaita destroyed his country’s chance of advancing to the knockout stage of the ongoing World Cup in South Africa with that unprovoked attack on his Greek counterpart when the two nations met at the group stage, the attacks on him have been virulent.

Kaita without any feasible reason (except known to him alone) decided to practise kung fu on the Greek player even when the ball was not in play. Predictably, he got a red card and the Eagles who never bargained for that, crumbled and eventually lost the game by 2-1.

Minutes after the match, Blackberry messages began to fly. The Internet was busy and I got a hilarious message that got me thinking. A new word according to the sender has been introduced into the dictionary of Nigeria -KAITA, and it was defined as “a man who single-handedly destroys the hope of his country for reasons best known to him.”

It went further: “Kaita could be used in place of words like jeopardise, hinder, sabotage, disrupt, fool.” The message gave two examples: “Don’t Kaita what we have been building for 11 years in one day; “don’t be a Kaita”.

Nigerians blamed Kaita for the painful loss even though our Super Eagles did not have enough grip on that game even with Kaita still in play. The deluge of blame had me thinking; Nigerians obviously do not read the Bible and even if they do, they read it like novels if not we would have remembered a popular saying by Jesus Christ. Christ told some folks who wanted to stone a woman to death for allegedly committing adultery that “he who that is without sin, should cast the first stone”.

Since we all collectively blamed Kaita, I would say “he who that does not have a Kaita in him, let him cast the first stone”. Nigerians attack one another unprovoked every day. People living in one room apartments always find a reason to go for each other’s jugular without even the slightest provocation. Songs are sung to taunt neighbours who you perceive to be a foe – that is the Kaita in the person playing itself out. We hurry, push, shove and curse at busy places like CMS, Broad Street, Oshodi, among others all in the bid to show we are serious minded people; a danfo (commercial bus) conductor would stretch his hand and slams it against the vehicle nearby, sending shock waves in the occupants of the car and yet, he will be the one to curse and swear at the people he just harassed. What did Sani Kaita do that is strange to us then?

We are in a country where people display their wares from their stores up to the middle of the road, yet when a car makes even the slightest attempt to knock down the miserable fish, corn, biscuits etc, the seller comes flying like a mother hen who senses danger to its chicks, yet that person had the moral right to blame Sani Kaita.

The okada man is perpetually angry; he never wants to see someone driving a good car or even any car at all. They have sworn to a secret oath to hate forever all car owners so when one but comes close to the lone okada man riding on a busy three-lane Oshodi-Apapa Expressway (he shouldn’t be there in the first place), he gets irritated and curses non-stop. God help you if it’s an SUV you are driving, the common word of abuse is simply ‘ritualist’.

A governor of a state in Nigeria without any form of provocation decides to impoverish the people he is supposed to be governing by stealing everything in the state’s treasury. He stacks his bank accounts, his home full of money and retires from government smiling home a hero, worshiped by the people that never provoked him to steal from them. Will such a governor or politician blame Sani Kaita for that attack on the Greek?

Ibrahim Babangida chastised us with the whip for eight years, he ruled us like Herod the Great; when he was done, and he passed us over to his brother Sani Abacha (another Sani) who rather chose to chastise us with the biblical scorpion. Mind you, Nigerians never provoked their actions; we are simply docile, harmless people who are content with going about our daily chores of trying to feed ourselves. Kaita may have borrowed a leaf from his elder Sani Abacha and Babangida brothers.

He figured, “if we did not provoke these people and yet they made us go through so much and are heroes in Nigeria today, let me attack this Greek that did not provoke me, you never can tell, I may end up being a hero like the Babangidas of this world.” If Babangida could look at Nigerians in the eyes and annul the June 12 elections, unprovoked, then Kaita had done nothing wrong. The FIFA referee that handled the Nigeria/Greece match should have before the match checked Nigeria’s history, that would have helped in the understanding of Kaita’s action and perhaps he would have let the footballer walk free. He did not do his research well; one wonders how he became a FIFA accredited referee!

For those that went to the ridiculous level of sending death threats to the poor Kaita (never knew we have taken football fanaticism to this height), I will say shame unto you because you just dealt a bad pretentious hand. Leave Kaita alone, we all have a piece of that young man in all of us.

• Akpovi-Esade

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This poem is dedicated to all those who have gone through their valley of Bacca, transient times of great trials of their faith and have indeed made it a pool of water or is it a water of many ‘pools’. The bottom line is that our end point is not, and can not be determined by the handwritings of men in which ever form, our Father in Heaven holds the real pen, and when He writes, then it will surely come to pass.

Particularly as regard our Fatherland, Nigeria, where many have lost hope that we will ever live to the fullness of our true potential and greatness, both in Africa and World over. Whether you still believe or not is not what bothers me, [because of a truth you need the size of hope beyond the scope of human reasoning to still be holding forth with all that we have seen], the bottom line is that God is still at work in this nation.

And . . .





You might have cried where no one could hear you
You might have sighed and groaned
You might have gazed at nothing
You might have counted the stars like Abraham did

You know what it means to have all the answers
And yet not get the question right
You know what it feels like to see one’s strength wane
You know what it is to be naked and lonely, though with clothes on

You know what happens when men seek counsel from you
And you still seek God for answers to your own questions
You know when life demands the impossible and heaven is a brazen wall
You know what happens when God keeps silent and the shepherds bleed

Hold on! The master is still writing on the sand
And I think I know what He’s writing
The lord upholds all that fall and raises up those that be bowed down
He still gives songs in the night and never wastes a tear

The Father’s hand still holds
The Son’s stripes still heals
And the Spirit’s voice still comforts
He’ll come for you ‘cause He knows and understands the language of tears

You will see the harvest of your tears.

Rejoice! It is the Season of Reaping the Harvest.


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The roads of life are full of traffic and they are mostly strength draining.
They come in different shades and on diverse paths. Sometimes a go slow, often times a bumper to bumper and at times a stand still.

It could be on a connecting bridge to your next destination; with the bridge either a short one as the Oke Afa Bridge or a long edifice like the Third Mainland Bridge.

It could also be on a road leading to the next stop of your planned route, and this could be a long stretch or just a short distance.

In whatever shape they come or in whichever path we find them, they are mostly frustrating, depressing and ‘spirit-killing’. And at extreme-thought moments, you could wish to develop wings; jump and fly out of the many occasioned life-trapping traffics.

When it is a go slow, you seem content, abashedly not happy, particularly when you have been conditioned overtime to such norm of moving and living through life-traffics. You are content that though you are not dashing on the road as the speed of Usain Bolt or running as the acceleration of a Ferrari, it is okay that you are ‘go-ing n gro’a’w-ning slowly’ on this traffic lane of life with the conditioned pace and patience of ‘Ijapa’ (the Yoruba word for Volkswagen), impatiently and unhappily. And you wish you could do better; move faster and reach the desired/planned destination at the time scheduled.

When it is a bumper-to-bumper you are discontent. You snap, grill and selfishly compete for and guard every personal/official space. Every space and place is a ‘no-enter’ (ma wo ibe), without your express authorization or permission, for any face or ace, regardless of their grace or place. Except it is the grin and whip of the men in black or the boots of the khaki boys in the convoy of their befuddled race. You only move at the ‘traffic’ conditioned sequential pace of others regardless that you are wired to outrun the cheetahs and gazelles in the jungle. And it could be worse if your mobile operating device is ‘hand-me-down’ either from the shores of the imperialist or one already run-down by one of your own – then you might probably huff n puff, and overheat from the unmanageable pressure that comes when you are stuck in the bumper-to-bumper traffic lane of life.

When it is a standstill, you are abjectly disconsolate. You are simply jarring and cacophonous apparently to ‘self’ alone as you are in same strait as those in the standstill. It is a case of God for all! For reasons you can’t fathom or figure out you are belatedly stuck in one spot along your planned route of life. Calculatedly you have done your best to arrive at this junction (but not to get stucked), fully loaded and kitted to hit the road running on whichever path you navigate. And with a compunction of a repentance, you hallucinate why you followed this route and not another. Your mobile apparatus at this point no longer an asset – a pure liability you could temporarily lease off in order to move out of the stucked traffic lane of life. When the waiting lingers and no hope in sight, you could ‘park n pack’ by the sideways. At times for some hours or days and at other times forever.

But there is a highway . . . (Watch Out!)

Inspired thoughts in a four (4) hours traffic (of a journey less than 20 minutes) in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria.

‘Jide Bakare
A Socio-Change Crusader and an Entrepreneur
+234.805.452.6684, +234.806.661.5911

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100 Days of Jonathanistan . . .

100 Days of Jonathanistan . . .

Patriotic Musings ‘n’ Missives of an Inspirationally Dissatisfied Citizen

Today marks 100 days in office of the Jonathan Ebele Goodluck Azikwe led administration and Nigeria is not working! And the naked truth is that the nation is on a brink; a very edgy brink.

The sitting President has actually spent over 500 days in same office both as acting president during the dying days of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the incumbent after his demise on May 5, 2010. This gives no margin for any form of excuse of ‘settling down’ before the Nigerian populace starts reaping the dividends of this democratic process. Even if we give room for magnanimity (as no one expects quick solutions to these problems) and blab over old wife fables that the problems he inherited are humongous, the first few words, decisions and choices of a man shows you both what he is capable of becoming/doing and what he is sure not able to give/deliver. And for our Southerner President (as the divided map of the nation after the election is a national disintegrating slur and reality – we all will have to contend with that for some time now), his first few steps has definitely shown us what he is capable of doing and becoming and what he is sure not able to give to the Nigerian people and deliver for the great posterity of the nation. How a weekend will look like, we start reading the signs right from the Friday’s evening. This Yoruba adage simply defines this scenario: omo ti o ba ma je asamu ati kekere l’oti ma s’enu samu-samu. Meaning that a child that will become vibrant and vociferous, you start seeing the signs right from his tender age. This, we have definitely not seen in Goodluck’s 100 or over 500 days in office, as there is nothing to signal the direction of spot-on connective policies to salvage the bleeding soul of the nation.

In my irrational calculation, the foolishness of which we would permit in this mordant epistle (as we are all ‘happy, smiling, suffering n foolish’ recipient of the world infamous award), Uncle Joe will spend (unless by cunningly gushing down our throat of the sweetened coloured meaty elongated single term) one thousand four hundred and sixty (1,460) days during this promised one term stay in office. And if we decide to put that on the percentage scale we have spent around 7% of GEJ days in office and I don’t know if there is anything to show for the worth of those stretch that we have profligately expended in cooling off in Obudu; politicking of the post-election violence; running hundreds of millions worth of congratulatory ads for all portion of the mythical national cake duly shared in positions even to as low as special assistants/advisers; returning non-performing and appointing callow and gauche politicians as gate keepers of our national heritage; shouting and debating over the pre-election promised minimum wage; questioning and making barren noises over the religiosity of a system of banking; drain media warring of our Boko Haram pillory; politicisation and muddling of the nation’s judiciary system; the strategic incapacitation of EFCC; reducing to ruin the economy of the state through our debt rising profile and over bloated remunerations of the executive and legislature and so on and so on.

The truth is that the list is endless and the mere thought of the depth of the shattering impact of all of these on our national life and psyche, both now and in the days ahead is both demoralizing and hope butchery.

The ‘rented’ lyrics that sprouted the whole of our desecrated atmosphere some months back was that of ‘The breath of a fresh air’. And apart from the thick stench of ‘paraga’, ‘eja’ or ‘shepe’ of the evenly sprouting army of unemployed youths in our street corners and garages; the stinks of our petrifying roads; the scum of our epileptic power supply; the repels of life quality in our suburbs and slums; and the scum of our dilapidating social infrastructure, I doubt if there is anything fresh in this air. And amusingly we have just taken just one whiff of this cunningly concocted concoction and already we have started coughing sporadically with thick odious mucus and phlegm that we don’t hanker after, but will definitely have to swallow in bitter recriminations.

The muscle we have not built over time in the place of preparation we sure cannot deploy as a tool or resource in the days of battle. It is periphrastically hard to say for me and sure bitter to swallow for others that I have no faith in this administration. We sure have not seen the end of issues yet and at best we can just keep our fingers crossed, with hope in ‘time’ that the days ahead will speak. It was George Goethals (1858 – 1928) who said and I quote:

‘Faith in the ability of a leader is of slight service unless it be united

with faith in his integrity and justice.’


 This ark of state of ours cannot be built from this scrap of an abandoned vehicle as this, nor on a faulty foundation of decrepit blocks of luck and maintaining the status quo.

On the morning (21 August, 2011) of the liberation of Libya from the stranglehold of Ghaddafi, it was reported in Eastern Tripoli that the entire neighbourhood were woken by the imam at the local mosque singing the national anthem of the pre-Gaddafi monarchy. That is not same with our Captains of the Temple here in Nigeria. From our ‘daddy’ that told us whom to vote for, to our ‘bishop’ flying presidential jets across the land and blowing the whistle of ‘his’ Niger Delta brother, it is a shame that the kingdom has been dragged along this path in our nation. And with an average of two (2) churches and one (1) mosque each on our streets and roads nationwide, I am waiting to see when our idiotic religiously shaped minds will deliver a disciplined and corrupt free nation. With the Arab Spring advancing across the Middle East and North Africa, our Muslim neighbours go to mosque to pray for the change they desire from God Almighty, when they are done they gather themselves to hit the streets to demand for the change they have besought God. But my people – laugh-out-loud! We go leave matter for God o!  What a nation! Rich country, happy-foolish-poor people!

O foolish Nigerians! Who has bewitched us I pray to ask.

Obasanjo proposes third term agenda – let us pray to God to truncate it.

Massive rigging of 2007 elections in favour of PDP – God will frustrate the tokens of liars

Turai hijacked power when Yar’Adua was in Saudi – let us pray for God to heal him

Jonathan proposes single term of 7 years – It will not see the light of the day IJN

Salami suspended by NJC and retired by GEJ – God will scatter their counsel and justify him

Boko Haram bombs UN building and other places – God will render their camp desolate

Flood ravages our city – God will stay the hand of evil in our land

Nigerians are being killed in Libya – God will deliver them

Police are killing and collecting bribe – God will give them a new spirit

Killings and carnage going on in Jos – we restrain the force of evil in our land

What a people!

The bottom line is we have been conditioned over the years to be socially lazy, living absent minded and nonchalant in a nation where we jointly hold the commonwealth. We fear for our lives and would rather live with the fear, living servitude than die. And if anyone would ask for my number one opinion on what should be our prayer request in all the comatose religious houses in the nation; it would be for the power and courage to face and conquer the fear of death and truly live freely.

(And to all my people who insisted that it is a biblical injunction and commandment for us to pray for leaders in authority. No wahala. We would keep praying but with a promise that our eyes will not be closed, our mouths will not be shut, our legs will not be tied to chase those caught stealing and our hands will not be roped to stone same.)

No wonder when the people’s general cried on the eve of the election having sacrificed all, my generation said he was too old to cry; tagged him the weeping general, but I don’t know for how many of us now for whom it really hurts to laugh.

We dig our own borehole.

Generate our own power.

Fix the roads leading to our own houses and estates.

Have our own private family doctors.

Build our own schools or send our children to ‘private’

Buy our own jet.

It’s simply a case of God for us all; every man to himself, whosoever the devil catches is life’s culprit. What a life!

Igba o lo bi orere

Time does not go like a vista says the Yoruba nation. Our lot is definitely not just in God’s hand, but ours for the demand. And for me, the time is up for Nigerians to hit the street; particularly the teeming over 75% youth population. This is the generation of those who were born into this mess has so much been conditioned by this bondage living in Egypt that we do not know what it is like to live free in Israel.

And our demands are simple:

1. The restoration of Justice Ayo Salami as the President of the Appeal Court and a public-open investigation into allegations made against the former Chief Justice Katsina Alu

2. The call for a Sovereign National Conference

3. Constituted by credible Nigerians who have not been soiled by the mess of the past and chosen through an open referendum from all parts of the nation

4. To write a New Constitution for the nation that we can truly call the People’s Constitution

5. Fixing of the key infrastructures and project affecting development in the nation

6. Arrest and immediate prosecution of all those that have been named in the different bribery, corruption and embezzlement charges of EFCC, ICPC and so on (Siemen, Haliburton, Power Projects, BPE, Railway Projects, Police Affairs and many others that has been swept under the carpet)

7. Finding and prosecuting all those behind the different murder cases, killings and carnages; and bringing them to justice

I have always said it that when you employ a drunkard as the gate keeper of a distillery, it should not amaze you to come back to meet the gate of the factory wide opened, with ‘your’ man dead asleep from the stupor of the ‘awoof’ under his supposed protection. This is where we have found ourselves; the worst of us (both in competence and integrity) are ruling over the best of us and they are the gatekeepers of our national heritage and patrimony.

Nevertheless we are not going to loose faith. The thought and hope of the future is certainly a huge consolation of expected changes in the days ahead. No doubt there are those who scoff at the thought of tomorrow and the changes that comes with it. They continue living as if the present would be the pattern for the future by carousing in the day time; carousing in their own deception. Hmm, it is good we boldly warn and declare to such inglorious elements that whether they like it or not, Nigeria will come to its own-It is only a question of time.

And for this generation, if there is anything we would have to linger and anchor on, it is time. Faith in time (not in our over bloated religiosity and crammed rhetoric) and being radically progressive in our action and alertness, hopeful that time would justify our faith. The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach.

The time to change course is now!

Goodluck Nigerians.

‘Jide Bakare


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