Category: NEWS FROM NIGERIA

WE CAN BUILD A NEW NIGERIA – ACTING PRESIDENT OSINBAJO

The acting Nigerian President made this declaration in a speech delivered st the graduation ceremony of the armed Forces, Command and Staff College course 39, at Jaji Jaduna last Friday

The full text of the VPs speech released by the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande reads:

“When you hear a person say that my tribe has been marginalized usually what he is saying is appoint me. The ethnic card is an effective bargaining tool.”

“…when people are charged with looting public funds they quickly find a counter narrative. It is because I am Yoruba, Fulani or Igbo; or the Christians or Muslims are after me.” I am especially pleased and indeed privileged to share this special day with you the staff, graduands and proud family members of the graduands of Senior Course 39.

We must give glory and thanks to the Almighty God by whose mercy and grace we are able to witness this celebration of achievement.
You have made a success of this course after 48 grueling weeks. Congratulations. Of course we must specially commend all the spouses of our graduands here, but for whose sacrifices and personal deprivations there would have been no celebrations for many here today.
It is also gratifying to note that amongst the 187 graduating students are 10 students from sister African countries, and 5 senior members of Staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Defence Intelligence Agency, Nigerian Defence Academy, Nigeria Police Force and the Federal Road Safety Commission.
I must commend the governments of Cameroun, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, The Gambia and Togo who nominated their officers to attend this course. By so doing they have strengthened the brotherhood we share as Africans but more so they have shown great foresight on the issue of our common security concerns on the continent.
The occasion of the graduation of the elite corps of our Military, armed services, intelligence and Foreign Service members is one that offers an opportunity for reflection on national issues.
We are the identifiable public service elite of our nation, paid for with taxpayers money, and so we must be its foremost think-thank. So, permit me to address you for a short while on the subject – We can build a new Nigeria.
The last two decades in Nigeria have witnessed the quickened retreat of the Nigerian elite to their ethnic and religious camps.
I would like to emphasize the fact that this was essentially an elite phenomenon – unity and disunity are promoted by the elite to which the vast majority of the Nigerian people were only later conscripted.
In these past few years, more and more, we began to hear expressions such as Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities; we began to see more identification by race and geopolitical zones, Ndigbo people, Arewa people, the Yoruba people, South-South, North-East, South-West, North-West and South-East; and other parochial description that were hitherto unknown.
The rise of ethnic chauvinism rode on the wings of several agitations. The narrative of most agitations centres around alleged marginalization and fears of dominance of one faith over the other.
In the 2015 elections, the ruling party repeatedly tried to cast the opposition as a party of Islamists determined to islamize Nigeria. The expression Janjaweed party took root.
Most ethnic agitations are centered around getting a larger share of the national cake or more favoured placement in the food chain because they were essentially elite claims: the vast majority of the populations of the ethnic groups that win some concession or the other never really benefit.
So, the mere fact that a South-South person became President did not necessarily translate to prosperity for the tribe, neither was it the case when a President from the North-West emerged, nor one from the South-West.
Aside from a few individual beneficiaries of some appointments or the other, there is usually nothing to show for the ethnic group of those who emerge in Nigeria’s numerous ethnic contests for power. Yet, the contests of the tribes are heightened by the elite, usually for personal political or commercial ends.
When you hear a person say that my tribe has been marginalized usually what he is saying is appoint me. The ethnic card is an effective bargaining tool.
A major drawback of ethnic chauvinism is the way that it is used to mask wrongdoing and promote impunity. Notice that when people are charged with looting public funds they quickly find a counter narrative. It is because I am Yoruba, Fulani or Igbo; or the Christians or Muslims are after me.
Appointments in the public service are no longer even judged on merit. The question is how many are from my own ethnic group. A terrible affliction, when you consider that what we are looking for are men and women of integrity and talent to run our economy and create a future for our children. Why is that when we want to win at football we don’t ask which ethnic group the players are from? But perhaps at its most extreme and dangerous are hate-filled agitations for secession or autonomy.
In the past few weeks we have as a nation witnessed the escalation of such agitations usually couched in deliberately intemperate and provocative language. The reckless deployment of hate speech and the loud expressions of prejudice and hate, name calling of those of other ethnicities and faiths is a new and destructive evil in our public discourse. But even more divisive words, expressions, and actions calculated to create fear and uncertainty have also been freely used.
Young people in the South-Eastern states under the aegis IPOB, issued a stay at home order as part of actions to prove support for their agitations for secession. In the Northern states young people under the aegis of the Arewa youth, issued an ultimatum to Igbos living in the Northern states to vacate before the 1st of October.
The problem with hate-filled and divisive speech is that they tap into some of the basest human instincts, bringing up irrational suspicions, fear, anger, and hatred and ultimately mindless violence. People who have lived together as neighbours and friends suddenly begin to see each other as mortal enemies.
The tensions that led to the killing of over 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus considered Tutsi sympathizers in the Rwandan genocide, were roused by hate media. The most notorious was the Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLMC), which became immensely popular as a young, hip alternative to the official voice of the government. It played popular music, and encouraged the public to phone-in and participate in radio broadcasts. Amongst its listeners, RTLMC attracted the unemployed youth and Interhamwe (Canadian NGO). The station also became notorious for its covert and overt naming of Tutsi individuals who it claimed deserved to be killed.
General Romeo Dallaire, the commander of the UN peacekeeping operation in Rwanda at the time of the genocide, said: “Simply jamming [the] broadcasts and replacing them with messages of peace and reconciliation would have had a significant impact on the course of events.”
Fortunately the purveyors of this tragic hate media did not escape unpunished. The ICC in Arusha eventually sentenced the owners of the hate radio stations and newspapers to long prison terms.
Some of our youth groups urging secession already are deploying hate media, using radio and social media. The language on those media are inciting, provocative and insulting to the individuals who are named, and to the beliefs of others.
While we must remain irrevocably committed to freedom of expression and the tenets of a free press, we must draw the line between freedom that conduces to healthy democracy and that which threatens and endangers the entire democratic enterprise. It is an important balance that we must strike. Failure in any way will be tragic.
The truth is that our nation and national unity is worth preserving and protecting. We are the pre-eminent power in Africa today in terms of population, size of our markets, natural resources and economy.
We are a factor in the geopolitics of the world and no one can ignore a nation-state that is home to one in every four black persons. Smaller is weaker not stronger today.
Your Excellency, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, history and experience has shown that countries can alter their destinies. Italy, India and Nigeria – to use just three examples, share one thing in common: at one point early in their existence people questioned their viability as nation-spaces; spoke of them in terms of being no more than mere geographical expressions.
Indeed not many Nigerians seem to know that the often quoted line about Nigeria being a “mere geographical expression” originally applied to Italy. It was the German statesman Klemens Von Metternich who dismissively summed up Italy as a mere geographical expression exactly a century before Nigeria came into being as a country. Churchill describing India said it was no more a nation than the equator, (which is just an imaginary geographical line.)
But what fate saddles a country with, and what that country makes of itself, we have since learned, can be two very different things. India for example has over the last couple of decades built itself into a technology and software powerhouse, and has also made impressive strides in nuclear and space technology. It has successfully created alternative narratives to a narrative of ethnic and religious division.
Italy on its own part has made its mark on the world in fashion and in automobiles; so that when people think of it today they are more likely to think of its venerable cuisine and fashion houses than its still-very-real fault lines.
What the stories of these countries tell us is that we do not need to be a perfect union before we can be a great country and there is no better example of that than the United States of America – a country that thrives, not in spite of its diversity, but because of it.
It is my respectful submission that the responsibility for a similar kind of greatness here in Nigeria lies in our hands as the country’s elite. We must rise above unproductive ethnic and religious sentiment.
We must develop the emotional intelligence required to cope and adapt in a swiftly and constantly changing world. We must adopt a global mindset that seeks to learn from the experiences of other countries, far and near, so that we do not waste valuable time repeating mistakes that we should have learned to avoid.
One of those lessons is that today’s wars never really end. This should be a sobering lesson to us all in Nigeria, as we contend with the forces who seek to stoke violence and bloodshed in our country.
Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and closer home, the Central African Republic, Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo; these wars have raged for years. Some of them have in fact gone on so long that they have been tagged as ‘forgotten wars’. Contemporary wars, we have learnt, are extremely easy to start, but difficult to end.
Another lesson is that in the 21st century the theatre of war is increasingly shifting to cyberspace. Terrorist organizations, purveyors of hate speech, all of these and many more who seek to destabilize the world are busy staking out territory on the Internet, and scoring significant victories and conquests for themselves. As members of the Armed Forces, with a mandate to protect Nigeria from all forms of internal and external aggression, you will increasingly be judged as much on the basis of your success online as on your successes on the conventional battlefield.
The Internet has altered or disrupted every industry we know of: Politics and Elections, Business and Commerce, Governance; and is changing the very nature of warfare. Websites teaching on how to make and use IEDs and other explosives are numerous.
Today a great deal of the threats facing Nigeria are being nurtured and cultivated in the vast spaces of the Internet. The rumblings of secession, the dangerous quit ultimatums to ethnic groups, the radio stations and blogs that spew divisive speech and exploit our fault lines; all of these are now to be found online.
This means that the military and its officers and men must itself devote resources and talent to these new battlefields, where mindless verdicts on the continued unity and existence of Nigeria are daily being delivered.
As you make your way out of the hallowed halls of this institution, into the ‘field’, as you would describe it, you have huge roles to play in the way Nigeria turns out in the years and decades ahead.
Even though the days of military rule are now well behind us as a nation, the role of the military is still as critical as ever – and not just in the traditional areas of deterring threats and protecting lives and property.
The Military of the 21st century must realize that it has a role to play in supplying reinforcement to the good side in the clash of ideas that today define the world: ideas of moderation, tolerance and sensibleness versus ideas of extremism, xenophobia, and terror. The Boko Haram terrorism is a perfect example of the types of scourges that the world faces.
The battle is not just to defeat the terrorists, the greater battle is to defeat the ideology and mindset that feeds the madness and to cut off its oxygen, money and publicity.
The great challenge and the wonderful opportunity for this generation of the Nigerian elite is to build a new Nigeria. Out of the rubble of cynicism, division and suspicions we can build a new nation.
A new nation built on trust, consensus, love for one another and love for our country is possible. A nation where the rulers do not steal the commonwealth, where every Nigerian is safe to live and work, where the State takes responsibility for the security of each and every Nigerian, where the state knows every Nigerian by name and can find and locate each one of us, a Nigeria where the Ibo or Ijaw man can live peacefully in Sokoto, and the Fulani man can live peacefully in the Niger Delta.
But building is an act of the human will. It is a practical, routine, sometimes dirty, sometimes frustrating enterprise. This is why no great nation was ever built overnight or without the sacrifice of group compromise, the pain of not getting all you want, the feeling that your ethnic or religious persuasion could be treated better, that is the sacrifice of nation- building, give and take; a little here, a little there. No one group can have it all.
Our leadership must be courageous. Courage means willingness to be abused and insulted by our own people. The humiliation of being heckled for making concessions is the price of the privilege of leadership. The greatest leaders are those prepared to take unpopular decisions or make compromises unpopular with their constituencies but crucial for long term goals.
Yes, they may be unpopular in the short run but their greatness eternally is guaranteed. Nelson Mandela after years in prison and decades of the inhumanity and oppression of apartheid, to the shock and amazement of his black constituency preached reconciliation. An unpopular move in the short term but no contemporary political figure is as revered as he is even in death.
The opportunity to go down in history as builders of the new Nigeria, now beckons. I trust that you will heed its call.
I pray that your road henceforth will be laden with favour and grace in Jesus name.

 


 

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NIGERIA IS INDISSOLUBLE – VP OSINBAJO

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday said Nigeria would remain a united country.

Speaking at a meeting with the 36 state governors in Abuja, Mr. Osinbajo told the governors that they “must ensure the security of lives and property” in their states, adding “Nigeria is indissoluble.”

The meeting is part of a series of meetings the acting president is having with ethnic, religious and political leaders to douse tensions in the country.

VP MEETING-WITH-STATE-GOVERNORS

The tensions got worse after a Northern youth coalition asked all Igbos living in Northern Nigeria to leave.

The call has been condemned by local and national officials including the federal government.

“We must not allow careless use of words to degenerate into crisis,” Mr. Osinbajo told the governors.

BASIC AGREEMENTS

Mr. Osinbajo also said that he reached a number of agreements with a cross section of leaders from the north and south-eastern part of Nigeria, whom he met with earlier in the week.

He said the meetings with the two sets of leaders agreed that “Nigeria’s unity should not be taken for granted” adding “no one wants to see us go down the path of bloodshed or war.”

The acting president also said the meetings agreed on the Nigerian 1999 constitution as the basis for the country’s unity. He said it was agreed that the constitution is the basis for the legal contract that exists between all Nigerians.

“Our meetings were frank and open as I hope this will be. We were able to agree on most of the critical issues that were discussed and in most cases changed perceptions that may have been long embedded in their minds.

“We also agreed that under no circumstances should we condone hateful speeches and that governments should take all steps necessary to bring to book all those who preach violence, in particular the kind of expressions of dissent that can cause violence.

“We also agreed that we need to do more to engage our youth productively, create some jobs and multiply the economic opportunities available.

“More importantly we agreed on the need for leaders to speak out forcefully to counter divisive speech or any kind of war mongering.

“We agreed that leaders at all levels speak out forcefully against any kind of divisiveness or divisive speech. And we expect that our political leaders will do so without waiting to be prompted,” he said.

 

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The acting president said most of those who spoke expressed the view that sometimes when leaders do not speak up promptly, the problems degenerate no matter what they are.

This applied to both the statement made by the young people in the south-east as well as the youth in the northern states.

“We discovered that there was a need for much greater resonance in the way that these things are done and for the leaders to speak up more forcefully.

“We believe that if the leaders do not speak up forcefully enough, if for any reason matters are allowed to degenerate, not only does leadership lose their legitimacy, they run the risk of things going completely out control,” Mr. Osinbajo said.

He commended the leaders from the North and South for their openness at the consultations saying “that they were extremely responsible even in their criticisms of what they felt were issues that should have been better handled.”

“I think that their criticisms were fair and balanced. I must commend them for their sense of responsibility and their leadership,” he said.

KEEP POLITICS ASIDE

Mr. Osinbajo urged the governors to unite with themselves and the federal government to “resolve various challenges that arise on a constant basis for the benefit of all Nigerians regardless of party affiliations”.

He called on the governors to resist the temptation to play politics especially with matters of security.

“Sometimes intensions are perceived on the account of the fact that they have wrong perception about a particular thing.

“I think it is in our place to ensure that we dig down the fact and ensure that people are given the fact and ensure that we don’t colour them with politics,” he said.

The meeting was also attended by some ministers, heads of the nation’s security agencies, and top officials in the presidency.

NAN/PREMIUM TIMES


 

IGBOS URGED TO SHELVE BIAFRA AGITATION AND FOCUS ON NEGOTIATING FOR PRESIDENCY INSTEAD

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia, Donatus Nwankpa, has advised pro-Biafra agitators to shelve their secession plan and negotiate to produce an Igbo president in the country.

Mr. Nwankpa gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Umuahia on Sunday.

The APC chieftain stated that the agitation for a Biafra Republic is not a viable option for the south-east zone of the country.

“For the Biafran agitators, I think Ndigbo need two things: One is that they should try and produce a president of Nigeria.

“They should try and work hard to see that a president comes from the south-east.’’

Mr. Nwankpa said a president of Igbo extraction would make the ‘no victor, no vanquished’ declaration at the end of the 30-month Nigerian civil war more realistic.

He, therefore, urged prominent Igbo politicians to mobilise their resources and contacts to negotiate for an Igbo president.

Mr. Nwankpa further said Ndigbo needed to ensure massive infrastructure and economic development of the zone.

“An Igbo man is hardworking, industrious and creative.

“He does not need government empowerment, which to me, only makes people lazy.

“The Igbo man needs good roads, regular power supply and a conducive economic climate to drive his enterprise to the peak.”

Mr. Nwankpa, a one-time state legislator, also spoke on the growing agitation for the restructuring of Nigeria along regional lines.

“The agitation for restructuring has to do with the problem of discomfort and suspicion of one another in the country,” he said.

He said Nigerians needed to understand and coexist peacefully rather than to tolerate one another.

The APC chair further said there was nothing wrong with the present structure of the country and its constitution.

He said, “the Nigerian constitution is one of the best drafted constitutions in the world.”

Mr. Nwankpa blamed the underdevelopment of some sections of the country on the excesses and self-aggrandisement of some of the past and present governors.

He alleged that the governors wielded so much power but failed to channel such power toward the development of the country.

Mr. Nwankpa described the three-month ultimatum issued to Ndigbo by some Arewa youth as “a wake-up call on Ndigbo to come home and invest and develop their area.”

NAN


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OVER HALF OF KOGI STATE VOTERS WANT DINO MELAYE RECALLED FROM SENATE

A stunning 52.3 percent of the registered voters in Kogi West Senatorial District want their Senator, Dino Melaye, recalled from the Senate.

That percentage represents 188,588 of the 360,098 registered voters in the senatorial district.   The collation of signatures of voters which was undertaken over five days ended on June 17.

The information was disclosed by Pius Kolawole, a special adviser to Governor Yahaya Bello, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) announced on Monday.

Mr. Kolawole, who was speaking to party members from the district, commended the voters for turning out in good numbers for the collation, pointing out that Section 69 of the 1999 constitution authorized their decision.

“In 2015, we voted for Dino and now we are using the same method to return him home,” he said.

Giving a breakdown of the collation, the Returning Officer, Adamu Yusuf, said that in terms of the seven local governments in the district, the following numbers of registered voters are in favor of the recall:

18,374 of the 35,331 in Yagba East;
9,186, of the 18,356 in Mopa-Muro local government;
24,703 of the 46,810 in Yagba West;
63,736 of the 116,296 in Lokoja Local Government;
24,283 of the 46,819 in Ijumu Local Government;
28,277 of the 60,520 in Kabba/Bunu Local Government; and
24,703 of the 46,810 in Kogi Local Government.

He disclosed that collation will be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, for the next step in the recall process.

SAHARA REPORTERS


 

DINO MELAYE ESCAPES ALLEGED ASSASSINS BULLETS ONE MORE TIME

Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West, escaped death on Monday in Lokoja when unknown gunmen attacked him during a rally in Lokoja.

Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District, was said to be rounding off his speech at the rally in front of Kogi State Polytechnic when the invaders attacked with guns and cutlasses.

Traffic on the Lokoja-Abuja highway was disrupted for almost one hour as motorists abandoned their vehicles and scampered for safety.

Traders at Lokoja main market also hurriedly abandoned their wares and escaped into nearby bushes and houses.

A student of the polytechnic simply identified as Saka Seidu and one other person were said to have been shot dead while two operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) attached to Mr. Melaye received gunshot injuries in the attack.

The Rector of the polytechnic, Mohammed Yisah, confirmed the death of one the student.

The senator’s Prado SUV was riddled with bullets and was towed to the Police headquarters in Lokoja.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Wilson Inalegwu, who rushed to the scene, told newsmen that the assistant commissioner of police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department had been directed to commence investigation in the case.

Mr. Inalegwu, however, said Mr. Melaye did not notify the police of his intention to hold the rally, and called on politicians to give police adequate notice before holding any rally.

The state governor, Yahaya Bello, who later visited the scene, urged security agencies to investigate the incident with a view to bringing the culprits to justice.

The governor confirmed the death of one person in the incident.

He recalled that a report was made in February to the Presidency, the SSS and police alleging that Mr. Melaye and his cohorts planned to cause a breach of the peace in the state.

He, however, assured the people of the state of adequate security of life and property, and advised them to go about their daily activities as the situation had been brought under control.

Mr. Melaye had on April 15, 2017 escaped death when his house at Ayetoro Gbede in Lokoja was attached by gunmen.

Six persons, including the Administrator of Ijumu Local Government Area, suspected to be involved in attack, were arrested and later charged to court.

NAN


 

 

FOUNDER OF SECRET NIGERIAN FACEBOOK GROUP FOR WOMEN MEETS FACEBOOK FOUNDER

It is one of Facebook’s fastest growing communities and has become such a phenomenon that last week, Mark Zuckerberg asked to meet its founder. But what is Fin?

Female IN or Fin is a “secret” Facebook group that has recently clocked up over a million members, largely from Nigeria.

But it’s a secret that founder Lola Omolola wants you to know all about – if you’re a woman that is.

Though it has a vaguely romantic air, secret is just Facebook terminology, Ms Omolala says. It means invitation-only – you need to know a member to get in.

“It’s a safe place, for a woman who has something to say,” Ms Omolola explains.

“You don’t have to agree but it is her story, she can say it.”

The group is a sort of confessional space, where women share stories that they might be uncomfortable – or even afraid – to tell in person.

It doesn’t offer anonymity – members have to post under their real names.

And the stories are stunning, although they remain strictly confidential.

In the few days that I’ve been a Finster, I’ve read testimonies on domestic abuse, physical and emotional violence, child abuse and rape.

One woman speaks about the moment she told her parents she was about to have a child as a single girl of 17, another about finally being accepted as a lesbian by her mother after many years.

They are brave and intimate, telling of failed relationships or unconventional sexual preferences.

The posts are brutally honest but many of them are laced with self-deprecating humour.

Like the woman who mortified herself on a first date in front of a banquet hall of people or the lady who stole the keys of a bus driver after he bumped her car and refused to apologise.

Many of the stories speak of a distinctly Nigerian experience.

FIN womenFinsters meet up in real life too

Until recently the group was called Female In Nigeria, so it’s not a surprise that most of its members are just that.

“The Nigerian woman has been the core of this process, because I am a Nigerian woman,” says Ms Omolala.

A former journalist, she moved from Nigeria to the US in the early 2000s at the age of 24 and started the group in 2015.

She had had an idea to start something for some time – a forum where Nigerian women could talk openly about the issues that affected them. But it was the kidnap of the Chibok girls that drove her to do it.

“I knew the cause of it,” she says.

“When you grow up in a place where a woman’s voice is not even valid, everything reinforces that idea that we’re not good enough.”

It didn’t surprise her that a group of men could kidnap and enslave these girls, because they didn’t see them as equals.

“Between the ages of three and six I noticed that whenever a girl shows any sign of self-awareness she gets silenced. When I said anything I got a pinch – a real, live pinch.”

Those pinches came from aunties, uncles, even her mother but never from her father. And it’s him that Ms Omolola traces her early feminism to.

Her father was a part-time businessman and was often at home with the children while her mum worked as full-time haematologist.

“We never felt any gender disparity,” she says.

“I realise now how much effort it must have taken. It was not something he was just stumbling into. It was an active choice.”

Lola OmololaThe group are unusually open with each other

Fin started out as a group where women could discuss women’s issues – one of the first blogs was on domestic violence – and Ms Omolola expected it to be an abstract conversation.

But women responded with their own stories.

Almost instantly it became a place where people could share things they had never shared before.

“When we started I used to cry. I stopped sleeping, I stopped eating,” she says. “I was not ready for the stories that were coming out.”

“There were women who had been abused for 40 years and hadn’t told anyone. No-one should live like that.”

Now the group gets hundreds of applications for posts every day but they are managed and approved by a group of 28 volunteers. About 40-100 make it on the page.

Fin has strict rules. Above anything else, Finsters are not allowed to judge each other. Any negative comments are removed, as is the member who posts them.

“I noticed that those people who try to shut women up in real life, they came there,” says Ms Omolola.

“They are so deeply conditioned to work against their own interest.

“It’s the online version of the pinch and the shush.”

But the pinchers and shushers were persistent.

In a religiously conservative society like Nigeria, expressions of female sexual freedom were never going to go unchallenged.

Some members tried to get around the ban by commenting with passages from the bible which condemned the woman’s actions.

That inspired a second rule – no preaching.

“We prohibit religious-themed advice,” it says in the rules. “Fin is not a place of worship.”

Lola OmololaLola Omolola says she makes no money from the million-strong group

People have likened Fin and its founder to the devil, they’ve called the group evil, a corrupter of young women.

Ms Omolola says she has been the subject of concerted attacks by church groups. But she’s not worried.

“Most people think that the controversy would kill me,” she says. “They don’t realise that it’s actually empowering me.”

After amassing a million-strong membership and a high-profile meeting with Mr Zuckerberg, what is next for Fin?

Ms Omolola has dreams of expanding the group into bricks and mortar, providing centres where women can go to talk about their experiences in a safe space.

But that may be a long way off.

“It needs money and right now I have none,” she says. “I can’t even pay my rent.”

It’s something that she discussed with Zuckerberg and though Facebook haven’t offered funding yet, she’s still in conversation with it on how to move the group forward.

From day one, she says, she had offers from companies who want to advertise on Fin but she has refused to monetise women’s stories.

On Mr Zuckerberg’s prompt she is now focusing on promoting the message of the site – female empowerment and tolerance.

And she’s doing interviews for the first time.

 

BBC NEWS


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CODE OF CONDUCT TRIBUNAL DISMISSES ALL CHARGES AGAINST SENATE PRESIDENT SARAKI

The Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja has dismissed the 18 charges of false asset declaration filed against the Senate President, Dr. Bulola Saraki.

The two-man panel of the CCT led by Danladi Umar unanimously upheld Saraki’s no-case submission, holding that the evidence led by the prosecution was discredited under cross-examination and therefore unreliable.

The CCT held that no reasonable tribunal would convict a defendant on the evidence led by the prosecution through its four witnesses.