pensiveThere I was the other day as I sat alone at Jabi Lake resort, a serene man-made creation in the heart of Abuja, the Nigerian Federal Capital, starring at the gentle wave of the lake and thinking what the tide would bring for me in the year of the Lord 2014.  Lost in thought, my mind reeled back to events of the year past and mentally I concluded that I truly had a lot to thank God for. It was while in this reverie, that I felt a gentle breeze bristle the nape of my neck… suddenly, I had this creepy feeling that I was not really alone. Swiftly, I looked behind but there was no soul stalking me, yet the feeling won’t go away. Much as I tried to regain my composure, it persisted.

So, I rechecked and there he was. My shadow, giving me the creeps. Why would my own shadow give me such a fright?  My shadow follows me everywhere, well… almost everywhere – for I have found out that he has a compulsive fear for dark places and only there can I really escape him. I do not like it. When I first became aware of it, it was kind of cute and quaint – you know, somebody who follows in my footsteps I thought. But as I grew older, as innocence faded, I couldn’t help but notice how dutifully Mr. Shadow kept dogging me. There is a point when persistence becomes nuisance and it had reached that.

I asked, requested, remonstrated, threatened and even begged; but no, he would not give it up. He loomed a few paces behind me; sometimes for a change he would walk ahead of me. No conversation was complete without him. My most intimate secrets, he was privy to them. My only escape was the dark. But how long can man, a creature of the light, stay in the dark? Only in my sleeping hours did I find some respite but that was of little use to me, for I didn’t care whether he was sleeping next to me; what bothered me was my eerie awareness of his presence.

Starring back at him, I realize he is truly the only companion who has been with me for as long as I can remember, a fellow who knows all about me yet won’t squeal, openly praise me for doing good or admonish me whenever I did wrong nor abandon our acquaintance, like some fair weather friends would do, no matter the situation?  So I asked him how he can tolerate me for so long without complaint. He smiled back at me, copying my facial expression with his silhouette. Well, this is not the first time I have initiated a conversation with my shadow.  We’ve had many in the past always climaxing in the same conclusion. But that day he exhibited a rather jovial if not sarcastic mood.

ME: Pally how far?

MY SHADOW: (Grunts) Hmmm

ME: Why do you enjoy creeping on me like that?

MY SHADOW: Why? Because I like it. Were you scared?

ME: Not really

MY SHADOW:  He laughed heartily. “Ogbeni! I hear you. By the way, wetin you dey think for hours, sitting alone here? Hope no bi say you wan jump inside dat water o. If you try am, you are on your own, ehen!”

ME: Jump inside where? Far from it. I was only looking back on the year past and thanking God for all HIS blessings.

MY SHADOW: “But at a point you look worried and I can guess wetin dey your mind. Na dis politicians and dia yo-yo politics dey trouble you abi?”

ME: “How did you know?”

MY SHADOW: (He retorted) “I know you more than you know yourself, my friend!  Why are you so bothered about these rogues?” He asks?

ME: Startled but not scared I take a long dour look at him. I mutter. “So you are not a useless twerp after all”

Now, he let out a guttural, quite ugly and disturbing laughter. Showing the mad part of his personae that I often find irritating. I braced myself for what was coming…

MY SHADOW: “Why won’t you just leave these sick bastards alone” he tells me still racking in spasms emanating from his sick laughter.

I am neither shocked nor surprised. On the contrary, to my surprise, I am kind of happy that he has at last spoken this way!

ME: “How do you know how angry I am at my countrymen for their complacency as they watch the ‘politician bastard’ corrode the very pillars on which my country stand?”

MY SHADOW: (without emotions) “I have been with you for so long, I wonder why you have not realized that your country is a lost cause!”

ME: “And how would you know that, you inanimate fool?’’ I am quite miffed at his statement.

MY SHADOW:  Abi I lie? Siddon there dey o, make you dey look me like Ozuor somebody!

ME: “Are you trying to abuse me?” I fixed him an angry look. But he appeared not to notice. He continued with his tirade.

MY SHADOW: “I follow you everywhere, Mr. Journalist, remember? I am with you every day when you shake hands with these same people who bother you so much in your silent moments. As a matter of fact, my man, I dey shame for you when you shake hands with these people who give you sleepless nights.”

The ‘bugger’ actually shook his head which at that moment I felt like rattling and spinning in full circle. He even shocks me further.

MY SHADOW: “You see Ogbeni Journalist, we shadows do talk too. The other day you sneered at one of these thieves behind his back, I mean that governor fellow who has turned state funds into his personal estate, his shadow and I had a good silent laugh, why couldn’t you simply tell the man to his face that he was a thief, a bloody rogue? But no, there you were with your recorder asking him patronizing questions and giving the fool the opportunity of colouring his lie” …” As a matter of fact, we shadows are so fed up with your hypocrisy that we are thinking of cross-carpeting too!”

ME:  Patronizing questions, me?! You are not serious!

MY SHADOW:  He burst out angrily in an indignant tone “Yes you! na so I talk. Wetin you wan do, slap me?”  He waved a long shadowy finger in my face. What a sinister gesture!

“Let me tell you, we shall shame all of them in our own unique way and you better believe it. In fact we shall soon launch our Association of Concerned Shadows of Nigeria (ACSN) of which I am championing”

ME: Wonders shall never end. “And what do you intend to gain with such gathering?”

MY SHADOWS: “Well, for one, we shall openly encourage our members to abandon any and all of these rogues in power with corrupt IMAGES. Imagine the scenario of a big wig politician addressing a mammoth crowd at a political rally in full glare of the lights without his shadow in sight to accompany him as he spews out his bag of lies?! What can be more disgraceful than that? I am sure you will agree with me that a man without his shadow cannot be trusted.  Na Ghost or Dracula bi dat na?!”

ME: “Haah!!!”

MY SHADOW: He glared at me incredulously, “What is Haah?! I have even come up with a coinage for the act which I am sure will soon become very popular with Nigerians …OKAY, check this out, ”And his shadow left him to his folly” how about that. I am very confident it will soon enter the National lexicon!”

Have I gone quite mad? I reel around, half hoping he won’t do the same, he does! Somebody help me….

At this point my shadow extended his theatrics…

I laughed and he laughed. I got angry, the corners of my mouth crinkling with contempt. He did the same. I tore my hair out. He repeated it action for action. Eeh! E gba mi o!!!

Finally, darkness settled in on that part of the resort I was seated and he fled leaving me alone in peace. Ah, the joy of being alone with nothing for company but inanimate things. I talked to the water, the trees, and my books about my problem. They listened without interrupting. As I sat in pitch darkness, no person could listen as well as them and I loved them for that. I spoke, they nodded in silent acquiescence. They did not imitate me. I quite liked that.

But soon enough the park lights were switched on by some unseen hands…and quite! There he was again. It brought my shadow back, somewhat chastened. But it never lasted long. He would be up to his tricks again, trust him.

Thus it is that I now confide in you. Oh, yes, you reading this! I do not know where else to turn for people will not listen to me. They do not understand. I thought I would find a more sympathetic audience in you. Can you see him? He is here, My All Knowing Shadow that is. I stare at him, he stares back, not content with his imitations of me!  I ask again, can you see him? Please tell me what to do?

Help me!


Islam believes Jesus will come again — Imam Saheed Salmon

The Imam of Federal College of Technology, Yaba Mosque, Imam Saeed Salmon has said that Islam also believes in the second coming of Jesus Christ, emphasising that any Muslim who does not believe in it is not a true follower of Prophet Muhammed.

Salmon who made this known at a special lecture held at the Lagos Central Mosque, Tinubu, said,  Jesus is a messenger of God and would still return to a mosque in Damascus.
“The second coming of Jesus Christ is a doctrine that every Muslim must believe. The teachings of prophet Muhammed talks extensively about this.
The Qua’ ran Chapter 4:157-159 teaches this but the teachings of Islam does not support that Jesus was killed or resurrected, rather, he was raised by Almighty Allah to his majesty.”
“Jesus is coming again to refute the claim of the Jews that he was crucified and to correct the doctrine of the Christians that he is the son of God.
Again, the second coming of Jesus is to establish that there is a close relationship between Prophet Muhammed and Jesus himself.”
The Chief host and organiser of the lecture, Amir Ajala Kamardeen noted that he is under the obligation as a true Muslim to educate the public and to correct any  misconception about Islam.
“Jesus is a prophet and messenger of Allah and as a true Muslim, we are bound to believe all prophets of Allah.
The holy book ,Qur’an points to the fact that the second coming of Jesus Christ is a sign of end time but there are some group of Muslims in Harvard University and in Cairo known as the fatimists and also Ahmadists who are saying otherwise, so, I have put it upon myself to correct them.”

Ogbeni Walor

Lagos House Of Assembly Bans Public Smoking

The Lagos State House of Assembly, western Nigeria on Monday evening passed a bill that now places fine of N10,000, three months imprisonment or both for first offenders. The law for a law to prohibit smoking in designated places and vehicles, which was sponsored by Gbolahan Yishawu, the lawmaker representing Eti-Osa Constituency 2 at the House, had lingered since last year.

The law, which scaled the third reading on Monday, prohibits residents of the state from smoking in public places such as libraries, museum, public toilets, schools, hospital, day-care centres, public transportation, restaurants among others. Section 12 of the 16-section law that has now been passed to the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, for assent also instructs owners of public places to place signs with the inscription; ‘No Smoking’ or symbols as part of enlightenment for smokers and would-be violators of the law. Section 4 of the passed bill says that it shall be the duty of those who own or occupy public places to ensure that approved signs are displayed conspicuously at each entrance and in prominent locations throughout the premises to inform smokers about the prohibition.

In such public places, the owners are mandated by the law to create areas where people could smoke but that it should not be close to the vicinity. Any person who repeatedly violates the provisions of the law, according to the bill, shall on conviction be liable to a fine of N50,000:00 or six months imprisonment or both. For non-compliance by owners of public places, the law states that such offenders shall be fined N100,000 or six months imprisonment or other non custodial punishment that the judge may deem fit.
The law further states that any person who smokes in the presence of a child commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N15,000 or one month imprisonment term.

Where the offence of refusal to place the sign or symbol is committed by a corporate body, the director, manager, company secretary or any person concerned in the management of the affairs of the corporate body would be liable. In this case, he would be fined the sum of N250,000 upon conviction. The law states that it is an offence to obstruct a duly authorized officers from carrying out their duties under the provision of this law. It also give authorised commissioners of the state the opportunity to designate more places as non-smoking areas for the sake of effective implementation of the law. The law gives the state Environmental Protection Agency the powers to implement it while giving aggrieved residents who have complaints against officials of the state saddled with implementing it the opportunity to report to the state Ministry of the Environment.

Ogbeni Walor

Men Who Poured Pepper Into Woman, Daughter’s Private Part Arrested At Oba’s Palace In Lagos!

Saharareporters has learned of the arrest of all the perpetrators of a bestial torture and sodomy of three women in Ejigbo which happened February last year.
 The arrest of the sodomy gang, Saharareporters was reliably informed, happened at the palace of Oba Moruf Adisa Ojoola of Ejigbo earlier today.
 The arrest was possible due to immense pressure on Oba Moruf himself, he reportedly got all the men assembled at his palace around 11pm Saturday night. The gathering of the gang by Oba Moruf followed a closure of the market yesterday, which prevented the market men and women from carrying out their trading activities until the perpetrators were identified and brought to book.
 The gang’s torture and sodomizing of a lady by thrusting of a bottle of ground pepper and sticks in her genital had resulted in her death, two months after. She was later identified as “Juliana” by her father, a palm wine tapper, who revealed that he also lost a toddler in the incidence as his wife, mother of the baby while being tortured by the gang was not allowed to attend to the baby.
 In addition to torture, the gang also destroyed the palm wine tapper’s house and banished him from the community, after he was made to pay N50,000 as fine to secure the release of his wife and two daughters.
 On Thursday, last week, Oba Moruf was invited by the Lagos Assembly Committee regarding the investigation into the crime. A source familiar with the meeting of the Oba with the committee told our correspondent that the Oba’s demeanor at the meeting was cooperative, and he did not spend much time. The previous day, Wednesday, the Iyaloja (Ejigbo Market women leader) also visited the committee on invitation. She was accompanied by her husband, who pledged support toward the investigation.
 The Babaloja, who allegedly received a fine from the palm wine tapper and also supervised his banishment, did not honor an invitation by the committee. He gave the excuse that he had injury on his leg. But sources in the market said the Babaloja may have had the injury when he scaled a fence to escape arrest by a police team that visited the market for investigation last week.
 At a public hearing upon constitution of the Lagos Assembly committee, the police, the local government chairman, market women and other members of the Ejigbo community had denied knowledge of the crime, even as sources from the community insisted the crime happened in the public glare.
 As efforts progressed into finding the perpetrators, the police, through its DPO in Ejigbo, CSP Oliver Abbey had clearly shown complicity and laxity by claiming it doubted the event happened at all, evidently by doing nothing about it. CSP Abbey was later deployed out of the area after his compromised position became clear to his superiors.
 It is expected that the arrested gang would be tried for the crime of murder, and the illegal sum collected from Mr. Freeman, the palm wine tapper to secure his wife and daughters recovered.
 Mr. Freeman’s family is also expected to be rehabilitated.

Ogbeni Walor

Supersports Employee Shot Dead While Withdrawing From ATM

An employee of Supersports, Kunle Fajugbabe, has been killed by armed robbers in the Bariga area of Lagos State. Kunle had gone to withdraw money from an Automated Teller Machine at a Wema Bank branch located on Jagunmolu Street around 11.30pm when he was attacked by the robbers. The robbers shot him, snatched his Mazda salon car and fled, leaving him in a pool of blood. policemen attached to the Bariga Division, who were on night patrol, saw Kunle’s body and took him to the station before his family members were contacted. He died two hours later at the Gbagada General Hospital. His car was recovered three days later in the Ogudu area of the state. He was survived by a wife and three children. The police are still looking for the assailants. *Culled from heleneventsblog*

Ogbeni Walor

Nigerian Gay Group To Protest In Abuja

Nigerian gays and lesbians, under the aegis of ‘The Right Defense’, are daring President Goodluck Jonathan, and would soon stage a demonstration in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, they said in a statement on Saturday.

The protest is against the anti-gay law signed by the president on January, 7.

They added to the statement the masked pictures of themselves noting they were protesting against an “undemocratic and unlawful discrimination” of gays and lesbians and trans-genders in the country.

The demonstration in Abuja, they said, has become necessary to condemn what they call “an increase in threats against fundamental human rights of certain persons including LGBT in the country.”

According to the group, they also want to challenge the existence of the Nigeria human rights body, the National Human Right Commission “for its lack of integrity and principle in the fight against discrimination and violation of individual rights.”

The group said many Nigerians have in the past fled the country due to threats to life and harassment in their communities. Those who have fled include Alimi Bisi, Philip Temidayo Adabayo, Desmond Patric, Nkechi Ugo, Lara Abiodun Akinniyi, Simeon Demola Adesanmi, Penu K. Z.

“The planning for the unviolent rally is to avert the continuous attacking of the unarmed citizens and the unlawful and arbitrary arrest of wanted individuals,” the group said. However, no date was announced when the protest rally will hold.

Ogbeni Walor