To All Prospective Parents In Law: Read This Before You Call The Wedding Planner (Guest Bloggers Corner)

I came across this article by Funke Egbemode purely by accident and I thought I just had to have it on this site. I was most drawn to it mainly because it highlights many of the points that I have personally highlighted on my radio show “Baroness Js World On Naija FM”

Marriage is becoming a risky business by the hour. Instead of enlarging the family, it is reducing it. When your son or daughter marries, you expect grandchildren as dividends. Now, your initial investment gets liquidated in a pool of blood, without recourse to you. One infuriated sick and weak girl just grabs a kitchen knife and carves up your son in a flash, ripping out your heart and dreams of being surrounded by happiness in your old age. One silly boy in a moment of uncontrollable blinding fury stabs your daughter in the throat, leaving you reeling in that kind of pain no parent can recover from. Wives killing their husbands. Husbands killing their wives.

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How did our innocent babies become murderers? How did we miss it? What did we do wrong, or failed to do that is filling our doorsteps with shoes of mourners and our once happy homes with wailings and gnashing of teeth? Did the Bible not promise that our children will surround our tables and that we will not cast our young? So, what is going on? It is bad enough that more and more young marriages are failing. It is already a sad testimony that more women are becoming breadwinners and telling our sons when to snore in their own beds. But this added blood and gore and loss and unending pain… Or are you not worried?

Sure, the latest tragedies happened far from you but they are really closer than you think. If you still think these recent spousal murders do not really concern you, take a look at your daughter, your son and tell yourself you can vouch for the spouses they will end up with. And if your children are already in their 20s and of marriage age, swear you are not a teensy bit concerned about the suitors milling around them. That fine-boy-no-pimples full of smiles and politeness, does he have anger issues? Is he a keeper, a reaper or a taker? That babe who is already calling your son ‘Ayo mi’ (my joy) or ‘honey’, can you trust her with your greatest treasure, your brilliant caring son?

There is no retirement age for parents. We are parents for life. Our job is cut out for us and we must do it with all our heart and might. There is really no short cut. This is our calling until we are called home by He who chose us for this assignment as daddies and mummies. Of course, the temptation to hand over our daughters and our parenting jobs over to our in-laws the day we give them out in marriage will always be there. But it is a temptation we must resist as soon as the effects of red wine champagne wears off. Yeah. Wine-carrying, celebrated destination wedding ceremonies with the captains of industry and 10 governors in attendance is what it is, just another party. The marriage itself begins the following day. And let’s not forget that the young bride and groom had lived a protected life up until their wedding day. They were chauffeured to primary and secondary schools, assisted in picking their universities. Their NYSC postings were arranged by daddy. Their first jobs too via daddy’s connections. This is the first time they would be taking huge steps on their own. They probably will still be using daddy’s mechanic and mummy’s travel agent and caterer. Don’t bother denying it. We are all guilty of over-parenting. We all look forward so much to the days our children will get married that we forget there are things we must do, that is, beyond the small chops and assorted meals from here to China.

Raise your hand if you did a proper background check on your son’s wife before the wedding. Seriously? Yeah.

Let me stress this point then. You must investigate your daughter’s suitor, your son’s intended. Don’t be overly excited by the diamond ring he gave her or the rich family she comes from. You must do your research. You must ensure you are not handing over your treasure to a pig who’ll go play in the mud with it. Most parents hardly ever do that background check before calling the wedding planner. Is he abusive? Does she throw flower vases at television sets? Does his father beat his mother? Is her mother cantankerous? Before you fix the wedding date, make sure you are not funding a ceremony that will put your child in an early grave. That is the pre-wedding warning.

 

 

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However, marriage is the critical point. While I think it is a sin to meddle in your children’s marriage, I also think it is a crime to push our children into the deep end of the pool without providing life jackets. Parents should let new couples totter, falter, fall even but be there to help them back on their feet. Watch from a distance but watch you must, keenly, discreetly, wisely. The fear of failure and what the society would say make a lot of new couples die in silence. Without being intrusive, nudge your daughter or daughter-in-law to speak freely. Call her to accompany you to a party you don’t want to attend alone. Start a topic that will help her open up. It could be a new television series, a movie with a relationship or marriage theme. And being a busy politician or high flying executive is not an excuse. I open such topics with my girls while they are helping me pick an evening dress, do my make-up or while we are watching a movie that I had picked for that purpose. I have also had such intimate talks with my son as he drove us to church.

Fathers, let your son-in-law accompany you to events, golf course, church, mosque. What’s wrong with an occasional barber-date together? Get your grooming Saturday in sync. It helps you see through what they may be trying to hide without asking probing questions. You have gained an extra child and that should be an advantage.

Stop by unannounced occasionally too and make such visits brief, very brief. Take along gifts. Those unannounced visits help you to catch them without rehearsed speeches. Hug the wife, she will wince or grunt if she has been kicked or punched. Does she have puffy eyes, discoloured cheeks or walking with a limp? If every time you go there, there is always a story why a piece of furniture is broken or cracked, one of them may be violent, hurling coffee mugs at the television or kicking flower vases.

And if you discover that one of them is abusive, don’t expect them to sort it out on their own or with their pastor. An abusive wife or husband is a sick person. He needs help. She needs to see the appropriate doctor, it is an emergency. If the abusive partner refuses to get help, retrieve the one that belongs to you to safety. My mother used to counsel that a safe small corner on earth is better than a big space in the grave. You cannot fold your arms and hope she will stop slapping your son while she graduates to stabbing him. If he has pushed her down the staircase once and you leave her there, who will you blame when your church elders arrive with sober faces to break the news of your daughter?

Of course I know my pastor, and many other pastors reading this, will object to my ‘retrieve-your-child’ solution but I prefer my pastor chides me to him telling me ‘it is well’ later. God forbid. If a sick spouse gets help, the marriage can get back on track and everybody gets a chance to live happily ever after. And read the Bible too.

*Funke Egbemode is a columnist,  Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, New Telegraph Newspaper. She is also the President of Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE)

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Is It Love? Or is It Just Lust? It’s All In The Eyes

Where someone’s gaze falls could indicate almost instantly whether attraction is based on feelings of love or of lust.

Scientists say if the gaze is focused on a stranger’s face, then love is possible, but if the gaze focuses more on the stranger’s body, then the attraction is more sexual in nature. That automatic judgment can occur in as little as half a second, producing different gaze patterns.

“Although little is currently known about the science of love at first sight or how people fall in love, these patterns of response provide the first clues regarding how automatic attentional processes, such as eye gaze, may differentiate feelings of love from feelings of desire toward strangers,” says lead author Stephanie Cacioppo, director of the High-Performance Electrical NeuroImaging Laboratory at the University of Chicago.

Previous research by Cacioppo has shown that different networks of brain regions are activated by love and sexual desire. In this study, the team performed two experiments to test visual patterns in an effort to assess two different emotional and cognitive states that are often difficult to mdisentangle from one another—romantic love and sexual desire.

 

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Male and female students from the University of Geneva viewed a series of black-and-white photographs of persons they had never met. In part one of the study, participants viewed photos of young, adult heterosexual couples who were looking at or interacting with each other. In part two, participants viewed photographs of attractive individuals of the opposite sex who were looking directly at the camera/viewer. None of the photos contained nudity or erotic images.

In both experiments, participants were placed before a computer and asked to look at different blocks of photographs and decide as rapidly and precisely as possible whether they perceived each photograph or the persons in the photograph as eliciting feelings of lust or romantic love.

Quick as a wink

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, showed no significant difference in the time it took subjects to identify romantic love versus sexual desire, which suggests how quickly the brain can process both emotions, the researchers note.

But analysis of the eye-tracking data from the two studies revealed marked differences in eye movement patterns, depending on whether the subjects reported feeling sexual desire or romantic love.

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People tended to visually fixate on the face, especially when they said an image elicited a feeling of romantic love. However, with images that evoked sexual desire, the subjects’ eyes moved from the face to fixate on the rest of the body. The effect was found for male and female participants.

“By identifying eye patterns that are specific to love-related stimuli, the study may contribute to the development of a biomarker that differentiates feelings of romantic love versus sexual desire,” says coauthor John Cacioppo, director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. “An eye-tracking paradigm may eventually offer a new avenue of diagnosis in clinicians’ daily practice or for routine clinical exams in psychiatry and/or couple therapy.”

Coauthor Mylene Bolmont, a graduate student at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, contributed to the study.

Source: University of Chicago

Netanyahu Urges Europe To Follow Trump’s Move In Recognising Jerusalem As Isreals Capital

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday urged the European Union to follow U.S. President Donald Trump’s lead and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but EU ministers shook their heads at Trump’s move.

Netanyahu, arriving for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, said Trump’s move made peace in the Middle East possible “because recognising reality is the substance of peace, the foundation of peace.”

 

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But even Israel’s closest European allies such as the Czech Republic warned Trump’s decision was bad for peace efforts, while France insisted Jerusalem’s status could only be agreed in a final deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

Asked by reporters about Trump’s decision to switch the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said: “I’m afraid it can’t help us.”

Netanyahu, who has been angered by the EU’s search for closer business ties with Iran, said Trump’s move, condemned by the Palestinians and by Europe, should be emulated by them.

“It’s time that the Palestinians recognise the Jewish state and also recognise the fact that it has a capital. It’s called Jerusalem,” he said, after flying into Brussels from Paris after a meeting on Sunday with France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

“I believe that, even though we don’t have an agreement yet, this is what will happen in the future. I believe that all, or most, of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem, recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and engage robustly with us for security, prosperity and peace.”

Last week, the Czech foreign ministry said it would begin considering moving the Czech Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which many in Israel saw as an endorsement of Trump’s move.

But Prague later said it accepted Israel’s sovereignty only over West Jerusalem.

Read more at REUTERS

 

EU, Muslims And Arabs Condemn Trumps Decision On Jerusalem

Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East on Wednesday condemned the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and Palestinians said Washington was abandoning its leading role as a peace mediator.

The European Union and United Nations also voiced alarm at U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and its repercussions for any chances of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

Major U.S. allies came out against Trump’s reversal of decades of U.S. and broad international policy on Jerusalem.

France rejected the “unilateral” decision while appealing for calm in the region. Britain said the move would not help peace efforts and Jerusalem should ultimately be shared by Israel and a future Palestinian state. Germany said Jerusalem’s status could only be resolved on the basis of a two-state solution.

France rejected the “unilateral” decision while appealing for calm in the region. Britain said the move would not help peace efforts and Jerusalem should ultimately be shared by Israel and a future Palestinian state. Germany said Jerusalem’s status could only be resolved on the basis of a two-state solution.

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Israel, by contrast, applauded Trump’s move. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a pre-recorded video message that it was “an important step towards peace” and it was “our goal from Israel’s first day”.

He added that any peace accord with the Palestinians would have to include Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and he urged other countries to follow Trump’s example.

Trump upended decades of U.S. policy in defiance of warnings from around the world that the gesture risks aggravating conflict in the tinderbox Middle East.

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The status of Jerusalem is home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths. Its eastern sector was captured by Israel in a 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for the capital of an independent state they seek.

Israel deems Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital dating to antiquity, and its status is one of the thorniest barriers to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a pre-recorded speech, said Jerusalem was the “eternal capital of the State of Palestine” and that Trump’s move was “tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator.”

The last round of U.S.-brokered talks foundered in 2014 over issues including Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and Israeli accusations of Palestinian incitement to violence and refusal to recognise it as a Jewish state.

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which has dominated Gaza since soon after Israel ended a 38-year occupation in 2005, said Trump had committed a “flagrant aggression against the Palestinian people”. Hamas urged Arabs and Muslims to “undermine U.S. interests in the region” and to “shun Israel”.

 

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Protests broke out in parts of Jordan’s capital Amman inhabited by Palestinian refugees, with youths chanting anti-American slogans. In the Baqaa refugee camp on Amman’s outskirts, hundreds roamed the streets denouncing Trump and urging Jordan to scrap its 1994 peace treaty with Israel. “Down with America…America is the mother of terror,” they chanted.

Angry Palestinians switched off Christmas lights at Jesus’ traditional birthplace in the West Bank town of Bethlehem and in Ramallah. A tree adorned with lights outside Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, where Christians believe Jesus was born, and another in Ramallah, next to the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, were plunged into darkness.

All Palestinian factions called for a general strike and protest rallies at midday on Thursday.

“LEGALLY NULL” DECISION

The Saudi Royal Court issued a statement saying that the kingdom followed “with deep sorrow” Trump’s decision and warned of “dangerous consequences of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem”.

The statement described the move as “a big step back in efforts to advance the peace process”, and urged the U.S. administration to reverse its decision and adhere to international will.

Egypt, which forged the first Arab peace deal with Israel in 1979, brushed off Trump’s decision and said it did not change Jerusalem’s disputed legal status.

Jordan said Trump’s action was “legally null” because it consolidated Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Trump’s Jerusalem decision was dangerous and threatened the credibility of the United States as a broker of Middle East peace. He said the move would put back the peace process by decades and threatened regional stability and perhaps global stability.

Man Spots Himself In Fianceé’s Family Childhood Picture

They say we all cross paths with the person we ultimately settle down with before meeting them, but one couple have been able to pinpoint the exact moment that happened – with pictorial evidence.

Upon looking back at an old childhood family photo of his fiancée, a man spotted himself in the background.

Verona Koliqi, who lives in London but is originally from Kosovo, was visiting a beach in Montenegro with her family a decade ago when the photo was taken.

 

When she and her fiancé Mirand Buzaku examined the photo of the children on the beach, they noticed a young boy floating on a lilo in the sea behind the Koliqi and her family.

“He noticed the kid in the back had the same shirt, shorts and floaty as him,” Koliqi said.

 

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“We analysed further and confirmed with family members that it’s him photobombing my family photo.”

The couple didn’t believe it could be possible at first – after all, what are the chances that they were both on holiday at the same place, at the exact same beach, at the same time? – but Buzaku’s family members confirmed that they’d been there when the photo was taken.

They never actually met as children and it wasn’t until the summer of 2016 that the couple’s paths crossed again in Kosovo – a year later they were engaged.

 

After sharing her story on Instagram, Koliqi’s post has received over 30,000 likes and many gushing comments.

Many people decided to share their own stories of coincidence and love.

“My boyfriend and I discovered that we were unknowingly were at the same small concert (which maybe 50 people attended) about four years before we met,” one person wrote.

“It’s wonderful and no coincidence. You’re meant to be!”

 

Independent.co.uk

DANGOTE’S IMAGE DISPLAYED ON NASDAQ TOWER, NEW YORK AS HE IS LISTED ON BLOOMBERG’S 50 INFLUENTIAL NAMES OF 2017

The image of Africa’s richest man , Aliko Dangote was displayed on Wednesday on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square, New York.

This was in honour of him being named on Bloomberg’s list of 50 most influential names who have had an impact on the world in 2017

The NASDAQ Tower is considered the most visible LED video display in Times Square and is one of the most valuable advertising spaces in the world.

It’s the largest continuous sign in Times Square. It has close to 9,000 square feet of display space — about a quarter of an acre.

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Aliko Dangote was also honored last night at the Bloomberg 50 annual gala dinner at New York’s iconic Gotham Hall, for his outstanding commitment of over $4B USD to increase Nigeria’s food production capacity.

Represented in New York by the CEO of his Foundation, Dangote was joined by electric car visionary Elon Musk; Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon; Beatrice Fihn, anti-nuclear weapons advocate and Nobel Peace Laureate; Amazon’s Jeff Bezos; Robert Mueller, special counsel investigating Donald Trump’s potential collusion with Russia; and Vitalik Buterin, whose invention of the cryptocurrency Ethereum is revolutionizing the new blockchain craze.

Dangote’s contribution to the world this year revolves around his dynamic attention to lessen food imports into his own country and Africa’s largest nation, Nigeria, by focusing on domestic production of sugar and dairy, with 500 million liters of Nigerian milk to be produced by 2019. Earlier this year he announced a $50B USD plan to invest in renewable energy.

The other African to make the list is South Africa’s Elan Musk, founder of the electric car manufacturer, Tesla.

Why I Believe I’ll Win PDP Chairmanship Election – Otunba Gbenga Daniel

Former Ogun State Governor Othuba Olugbenga Daniels has expressed his confidence of becoming the next national chairman of The Peoples Democratic Party.

The PDP holds its national convention today, 150 days after the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party won its lengthy legal battle with the Ali Modu Sheriff faction at the Supreme The election of a new national chairman to replace the current interim leader, Mr. Makarfi is one of the top items on the convention’s agenda

A total of nine candidates including Raymond Dokpesi and Uche Secondus are in the race.

Others in the race are Bode George, Rasheed Ladoja, Segun Aderemi, Taoheed Adedoja, Gbenga Daniel, Tunde Adeniran and Jimi Agbaje are from the seven South-west zones.

Earlier indications are that the aspirants from the South-west may eventually resolve to field only one of them at the convention, but none of them has publicly backed down as at Friday morning.

In an interview with Premium Times reporters, the former governor said of his chances: “I think I have a very good chance. I have paid my dues. But more than anything else, I have had unprecedented interaction with all the delegates across the length and breadth of this country. You must know that just yesterday I concluded a tour of virtually all the states of the federation. Some places I even visited twice”

Please read the rest of the interview below:

Which of your challengers do you find most threatening?

I don’t really want to call them challengers. Let’s say co-contestants. You can look at this as what we used to do when we have co-debaters. It is not really about it in that sense. All the people who are contesting are people that I know, I have interacted with at one point or the other. I know their capacities. And I have no doubt in my mind that they’re all competent people.

But the fact of the case is that when you look at the challenges of the party today, I think I am better poised in terms of networking. In terms of relevant experience. The fact that I have had the opportunity, as it were, to actually go through serious elections and won. I am not so sure that many of them have the kind of experience that I have.

Many of them, if not most of them, have benefitted from appointments. They have risen through one appointment or the other. I have gone through elections. I have no doubt in my mind that all of them without an exception are my friends. And I know that this relationship will continue beyond this Saturday.

Should you become chairman, how would you handle some major players in the PDP that you have somewhat personal issues with, like Buruji Kashamu?

First and foremost, I’ll plead with you not to individualise a very, very fundamental matter. The party is about people. There’s no doubt about that. But don’t also forget that the party, you know, also has millions and millions of members. My responsibility as the chairman is to unite all the forces. Like I told you, even the one you mentioned and the one you didn’t mention, I have a relationship with all of them. There’s not a single one of them that I cannot call on the phone and tell him that ‘I am coming to your house to have dinner’ or to have lunch.

So, you may look at those things as fundamental, but the fact of the case is that there are no personal issues there. Out of principle, we disagree in politics. We disagree to agree. So don’t be surprised that many of those that you’re mentioning, you can find me going to their house and say ‘hey boy, what’s going on?’ So it’s not as serious as you’re making it look. That is my own opinion.

 

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Otunba Gbenga Daniel – “I’ve paid my dues”

How would you ensure that your EFCC case does not distract or render you ineffective as a chairman of a major opposition party?

The case is in court. It would be prejudice for me to be speaking about a matter that is already before a court of law.

Not even a word?

I know PREMIUM TIMES is interested in this matter, but the case is still before the court of law.

The role of money in party politics. Former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, recently warned against allowing money to dominate politics and buying the conscience of the people for votes.

Well, That is quite despicable. But you have to also appreciate that because of the level of poverty in the land, people tend to look for means and ways of surviving. Some do it via political action —political activities— and some do it via other actions. Not many people work hard for the money. That is really unfortunate.

My own opinion is that it’s something that should be discouraged. But we must appreciate that it’s a fundamental issue which has to do with the level of productivity of the people, of the country and all of that. My own solution is very, very simple: We must work very hard to create an environment where people are gainfully employed. Where people are busy. Where people have work to do. And it is also my position that we have more than enough work in this country for everybody —if only we can direct them properly. That is probably why some of us have gotten involved with the political process.

As you know, we’ve had the opportunity to demonstrate this practically in the past. When I was governor in Ogun State, at a stage I was boasting that ‘there’s nobody who is unemployed in Ogun State, I have work for everybody’, and I was dead serious. And I think if in our own little Ogun State we could do that successfully, there’s no reason why that cannot be nationalised.

And if you see me now trying to play some kind of role, it is to provide that kind of organisational capacity within the party and within the country so that people can feel challenged.

When people are busy and they have work to do, the incidence of monetisation in this process will not only be eradicated, it will become an anathema. It will become something that is despicable. Unfortunately, what it is today is that it’s all about money. And that is really, really unfortunate. And if we don’t put an end to it, we’re not going to make enough progress as a nation.

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You think money will not decide who wins at the convention?

Well, if what we want to do is money, I wouldn’t go round the 36 states of this country. We think that there’s need to interact with the delegates. Although we found that some delegates were interested in money, we were able to convince them that the futures of their children should be more important to them. And they agreed.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo openly dissociated himself from the PDP about three years ago, so why do some of you still go to him for political consultations?

Well, don’t forget that I was a governor for eight years. Four out of which Obansajo was my president and commander-in-chief. So I have a relationship with him. Don’t also forget that Obasanjo is an enigma. In the environment of Ogun State, he’s an elder statesman. And that is part of our culture. If you’re a cultured person and you want to do something like this, it is incumbent upon you to inform the people you consider as key, notwithstanding their political persuasion. It is a duty. It is incumbent. And I assure you, I told everybody, not necessarily partisan people, because, at the end of the day, the party is just a vehicle. It is about public service.

Like other people, I went to Baba and I told him what I wanted to do and he gave me good advice. And I am using some of the advice in whatever I am doing.

Still on Ogun State. We understand recently that you’ve fallen out with Kessington ‘Baba Ijebu’ Adebutu, what happened?

You’re in the realms of rumour mongering and I don’t respond to rumours.

You used to be close to him and now we understand that’s no longer the case, could you please tell us why?

I am saying that you people like rumours and I don’t respond to rumours.

President Buhari is running in 2019. Don’t you think his bid to run as an incumbent would constitute a major hindrance to the PDP’s aim to regain power?

I don’t think so. Quite on the contrary, I feel very happy that as a country and as a people, our democracy has developed. President Buhari is a great Nigerian. He has contributed his own quota. He was there to fight to unite Nigeria as a military personnel. He was military head of state and now he’s a civilian president. He has all our respect.

But we should not forget that he also contested against an incumbent and he won. So what makes you people think that somebody cannot contest against him and also win?

He has been a beneficiary of that democratic principle which we must actually commend the PDP for. If that has happened, it is a very good precedent and I am sure I have no doubt in my mind that come 2019, in that election, PDP would win. And I also trust that President Buhari is not a desperate man. I am sure that he would also cooperate and hand over power to PDP in 2019. That is how to develop democracy.

Your Excellency, you’ve left the PDP before for Labour Party, if you lose the chairmanship Saturday, would you remain in the party?

Name one person in this country today, who is anybody anywhere, who has not moved from one party to the other?Start from the current President Buhari, go to the Senate President, go to the Speaker, go to the governors. It’s just an evolution in the political system that we need to look at. So it’s not a question of X left or Y left. We should look at if the defection is ideological.

Final words for delegates?

My advice to the delegates is that they should vote for their conscience and not allow themselves to be unduly influenced by, you know, material gains. They should appreciate that this is a vote for their future. A vote for their children and grandchildren. They should vote for the people they think can turn around the country by turning around the person.