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The Leader Of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele has asked politicians to desist from twisting his prophecies for their gains.


This was issued in a statement released by his media aide, Osho Oluwatosin in reaction to a viral story extracted from a video that the man of God has prophesied victory for APC in the 2023 presidential election.


The media office made it known that Primate Ayodele has not made a statement on the eventual winner of the election but all he has done is release warnings to all major candidates in the election.


He explained in the video, Primate Ayodele was seen warning the PDP and Labour Party candidate not to be relaxed because the APC candidate is desperate and is willing to do anything to become victorious.


Also, the media aide urged media practitioners to be responsible in their approach to news writing instead of raising false alarms that will only dent their credibility.


" It has been brought to our attention that some politicians have been twisting the prophecies of Primate Ayodele for their personal gains.


Rumours peddlers have shared that the man of God prophesied victory for the candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the coming 2023 presidential election.


They claimed Primate Ayodele made the statement in a video interview which was seen on his church's Facebook page.


Against their claims, Primate Ayodele never outrightly said Tinubu will win the presidential election, All Primate Ayodele did in the video is to warn all the major candidates as usual.


These were his words


"PDP and Labour party are not yet ready for thus election. What I saw over night is what I am revealing, the Lord says APC is ready to put all arsenal together; legally or illegally to get this election and If you are taking them for granted, they will be there, it's only that Tinubu will not do second term if you allow him"


There is no where Primate Ayodele declared victory for Tinubu, and it is a known fact that Primate Ayodele has been against APC Muslim-Muslim ticket, He has spoken against the candidacy of Tinubu severally. The man of God is not one who would speak from both sides of the mouth. This was just a wake-up call to the opposition parties.


We understand that everyone is at liberty to share any information especially on social media but it is important to note that falsehood is not appreciated anywhere.


We urge the public to please disregard the rumour flying on the internet, Primate Ayodele never prophesied victory for APC in the election at anytime, neither has he revealed the winner of the election.


We also hope that media practitioners will be responsible in their duties to ensure that falsehood is totally eradicated in the Nigeria media space.

 Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited has approached a Federal High Court in Lagos urging the court to declare that Value Added Tax VAT and withholding Tax WHT liabilities by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), as illegal, and of no effect whatsoever.
The Bank is also urging the court to declare that the Federal Inland Revenue Service is the sole agency of the Federal Government statutorily empowered to administer, assess, collect and enforce the payment of, Federal taxes (including VAT and WHT due to the Federal Government) pursuant to the Value Added Tax Act, Companies Income Tax Act and other tax statutes enumerated in the First Schedule to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act.
The Bank in amended Statement of Claim filed before the court by its lawyer, Chukwuka Ikwuazom, SAN , is contending that the Federal Inland Revenue Service cannot abdicate these statutory functions to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission RMAFC and Economic and financial commission EFCC who are 1st and 2nd defendants  respectively in this suit.
The Bank stated that, sometime in 2016, the RMAFC, in the purported exercise of it’s powers allegedly donated to it by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, commenced what it described as “verification and reconciliation of revenue collections and remittances” by banks (including the Plaintiff) on behalf of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Customs Service for the period between 2008 and June 2012.
It stated that the Defendant, without any factual or legal basis, issued a demand notice demanding from the Bank a whooping sum of N20,701,648,351.40 (Twenty billion, seven hundred and one million six hundred and forty-eight thousand three hundred and fifty-one Naira and forty kobo) which the RMAFC claimed to be unremitted Value Added Tax (“VAT”), and Withholding Tax (“WHT”) due to the Federal Government from the bank for 2008 to June 2012 financial years.
The bank  objected to the RMAFC  authority to issue the demand notice, it not being the agency of the Federal Government statutorily empowered to administer, collect and enforce tax obligations on behalf of the Federal Government.
The bank further objected to the demand notice on the ground that the bank did not owe the alleged tax liability contained in it.
Standard Chartered Bank maintained that, at the time of the issuance of the said demand notice, it has fully discharged its tax obligations to the Federal Inland Revenue Service for the relevant years (2008 to June 2012) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which had concluded a tax audit of the bank, had not \ issued any additional assessment of tax to the bank
But, the RMAFC allegedly acting through its agents, Messrs. Dele Olaniyan & Co. and Aikosi Festus & Co., disregarded the bank’s objections and continued to pursue the recovery of the purported VAT and WHT liabilities.
Following several invitations of employees of the bank to the offices of the EFCC at No. 154 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos and threats of arrest and detention of its senior employees, the bank reluctantly agreed to engage with the RAMFC consultants on the alleged unremitted VAT and WHT.
It stated that as a result of the 1st Defendant’s illegal verification exercise and unlawful and baseless demand for unremitted VAT  and WHT, the bank has suffered and continues to suffer inconvenience and incur costs by its engagement of tax consultant and legal counsel as well as trips made by its officers to the 1st and 2nd Defendants’ offices.
The bank further stated it has suffered untold hardship and intimidation by the  Defendants in respect of the repeated demands for payment of WHT and VAT, which is clearly outside the statutory powers of the Defendants
Consequently, the Bank is praying the court for a declaration that it is unlawful for the RMAFC and EFCC to usurp the statutory functions of administration, assessment, collection, and enforcement of payment of federal taxes (including VAT and WHT due to the Federal Government) which functions are vested upon the Federal inland Revenue Service pursuant to the Value Added Tax Act, Companies Income Tax Act and other tax Statutes enumerated in the First Schedule to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment)
The bank is seeking the following declarative orders: “A declaration that the 1st Defendant and the Federal Inland Revenue Service cannot engage in parallel audits of the bank and cannot impose parallel assessments of WHT and VAT on the Plaintiff for the period from July 2012 to December or for any other periods.
“A declaration that it is unlawful for the 1st Defendant to bypass the statutory powers under the Companies Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, and the Federal inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act for resolving a tax dispute and to procure the EFCC to harass, threaten, intimidate and coerce the bank into paying VAT, WHT, or indeed any other tax liability which the bank. genuinely disputes.
“A declaration that the conduct of the defendants has deprived the bank of the statutory procedure for challenging tax assessments as provided under the Companies Income Tax Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the Federal inland Revenue Services Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and the Value Added Tax Act.
“A Declaration that the 1st Defendant’s demand of the sum of N890,931,432.00 (Eight Hundred and Ninety Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty-One Thousand Four Hundred and ThirtyTwo Naira) as VAT and WHT liabilities from the bank in furtherance of its purported “Verification and Reconciliation of Revenue Collections and Remittances” exercise, is premised on an illegal process and therefore invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
“An Order of this Honourable Court setting aside the 1st Defendant’s demand on the bank for the sum of N890,931,432.00  as VAT and WHT allegedly collected on behalf of, but not remitted to the Federal Government for the period from July 2012 to December 2015 as communicated vide the 1st  Defendant’s letter dated 29” April 2019.
However RAMFC in its statement of defence and counter claim filed before the court by its counsel Chief Godwin Obla SAN denies almost all the claims of  Standard Chartered bank and states that the bank’s averments thereof are self-serving, half-truths and therefore puts the bank to the strict proofs of the averments thereof.
In further reaction to the foregoing paragraphs thereof. RAMFC states that prior to the commencement of the its Defendant’s verification exercise, it invited all banks to its headquarters on the 29th of November, 2016 to sensitize and educate them of its constitutional mandate thereof to pursue the exercise.
In specific reaction to  the Statement of Claim, RAMFC states that the consultants, before the commencement of the verification exercise held a commencement meeting with the bank at the bank’s head office in Lagos, wherein RAMFC’s consultants further apprised the bank of it’s letter requesting to provide all relevant documents required for the verification exercise.
The bank requested to sight any letter of authorisation and introduction by the Federal Inland Revenue Service’s as a precondition to releasing any of the documents requested for verification.
Despite the FIRS’s letter, as aforesaid, requesting the bank to release all relevant documents to enable its consultants to carry out their verification exercise, the bank was adamant and refused to provide the required documents as requested.
It became obvious that consequent on the bank’s refusal to release the required relevant documents for the verification exercise, RAMFC subsequently resorted to the alternative approach through the bank’s own published audited Financial Statements, and bank’s Pay Direct Platform, to form best of judgment opinion and to come up with a report on the 18th of April, 2018 indicating a liability of unpaid remittances in the sum of N6,069,844,000.00.
Rather than furnishing the RAMFC’s consultants with documents to show evidence of any transaction as proof of payment of remittances within the accounting period verified against them by the RAMFCs consultant, to establish the basis of their objection, the bank became evasive and rather requested to know how the RAMFC arrived at its computation.
By a letter dated the 22nd of May 2017, the bank came up with technical objection that all that the RAMFC’s consultant findings were not unremitted collectables but were tax avoidance and requested a discharge from the liabilities for payment of the sum of N6,069,844,000.00 on the basis of a claim that its books for the period had been audited and found no such outstanding liabilities.
Even while the bank was unable to supply any schedule or ledger of transactions in support of the above claim, it was further reviewed downward for the bank to the sum of N3, 899, 164,000
Rather than complying with the RAMFC directive to discharge its liabilities to pay the reviewed N3,899,164,000, the bank further objected to the reviewed sum by another correspondence requesting the RAMFC’s consultant to discharge the outstanding liabilities.
The bank  pressed for further reconciliation meeting, and whereupon, on the 29th of August, 2017, both the RAMFC consultant and the bank agreed on a few things but could not reach a consensus on several others as the bank failed to produce relevant documents.
Further reconciliation was held at the instances of the bank on the 11th of April 2018, on request that it be granted another opportunity to review fees, commissions and Work in progress to satisfy itself that non-Vatable items are not included.
Despite all of the efforts by the RAMFC  to accommodate the bank’s hecklings and volte-faces after every reconciliation, RAMFC yet obliged the bank another reconciliation after the bank had objected to the outstanding collectable liabilities of N3,718,106,000.00
Consequently, RAMFC issued the bank a demand notice reflecting the outcome of the reconciliation in the liabilities of N1,073,718,663.74.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) swooped in as a stakeholder when the bank became recalcitrant on meeting these liabilities after infractions had been established.
However, in a strange twist, the bank, by a letter dated the 27th of December 2018 agreed to the liabilities of tax evasion in the sum of N43, 689, 000 in respect of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and additional sum of N141, 012, 000 for Withholding Tax (WHT), totalling N184, 701, 000. 00, and proceeded to pay the total amount into the Recovery Account, leaving a total outstanding balance of N889, 017, 663. 74 unpaid.
Rather than paying up the outstanding balance, bank continued in its antics of unending objections thereafter, objecting even to the outstanding balance.
Afters,considering the sum of N184,701,000 already paid by the plaintiff the sum of N 752,414,250.23 was left as the outstanding liabilities against the bank.
RAMFC avers that the Plaintiff suit is an attempt to use the machinery of justice to avoid its mandatory statutory obligation to the Nigeria state
However in it’s counter claim RAMFC relying on its statement of defence and its witness deposition prays the court for the following reliefs: “A declaration that by the reconciliation meeting held in Abuja between RAMFC and the bank on the 4th of October 2018, pursuant to its review exercise on accruals, to and disbursement from, the Federation Account, the liabilities of the bank is in the sum of N1, 073, 713, 718, 663. 74 (One Billion, Seventy-Three Million, Seven Hundred and Eighteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty Three Naira Seventy-Four Kobo) being the unpaid remittances to the Federation Account as unearthed in the Reconciliation Meeting remains valid, true and represents the true state of the bank’s liabilities to the Federation Account.
“A declaration that by the earlier initial part-payment of the sum of N184, 701, 000. 00 made by the bank pursuant to the RAMFC review exercise, the bank still has balance of liabilities of unpaid remittances from taxes, penalty and interests due for payment to Federation Account of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the sum of N889, 017, 663. 74 (Eight Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million, Seventeen Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Hundred, Seventy-Four Kobo).
“An order of the Court directing the Plaintiff to pay the sum of N889, 017,663. 74 (Eight Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million, Seventeen Thousand, Six Hundred and sixty six thousand seventy-four Kobo being the balance of liabilities of unpaid remittances from taxes due for payment to Federation Account of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Interest on the said sum at prevailing interest rates fixed by the Central Bank of Nigeria from the time payment was due and 10% interest until the sum is liquidated.
Meanwhile, the presiding Judge, Lewis Allagoa has adjourned till next year for hearing to commence.
Wednesday, 21 December 2022 00:00

What’s Your VYBE

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Hey Guys! What’s your VYBE! What makes you come alive… FirstBank is celebrating your vybe this month with #DecemberIssaVybe… wanna win the amazing prices that are up for grabs like concert tickets to see Asake, etc…Here’s how!

-Upload a 30 to 60 seconds video that showcases your vybe over the course of the year using the hashtags FirstBank #showcaseyourVybe #DecemberIssaVybe #VybewithFirstBank


-Make sure you tag @firstbanknigeria in your video

NB: You must be following @firstbanknigeria

#ShowcaseYourVybe #DecemberIssaVybe #VybewithFirstBank #FirstBankIssaVybe #YouFirst








The Convener and National Chairman of the Peter Obi Movement, (POM), a prominent support group backing the Labour party presidential candidate,

Pastor Eliashib Ime- James has revealed the circumstances that led to the formation of POM and it's exponential growth all over Nigeria and in the diaspora.

He revealed,


Honestly, the idea, ab initio was not for a national body that POM has become. the idea was to help create the structure in Lagos where I reside but in just three days I got request from 24 states to imitate the same structure. The reception has been unexpectedly phenomenal."


The POM is Presently structured in the 36 states of the federation including FCT. With the full compliment of state, LGA, ward and polling unit leadership structures.


Pastor Ime - James says those politicians who believe Peter Obi does not have a political structure are living in dream land,

He enumerated,

" There are more than 500 support groups of Peter Obi and they all have there structures. Some of the support groups are state based, the least of all the support groups has structures in nothing less than 12 to 13 states.


 When people talk about Peter Obi not having structure, they imagine that serving legislators, LGA chairmen, governors  constitute the structure, but that thought process Is largely flawed in political party Organisation. 

The people are the structure not elected officers. The palpable anger amongst the populace is enough to stir up the soul of the mob. If that happens, it could lead to the  end of this geographical sphere called Nigeria. And We do not want that to happen; that anger Is what Is driving this people's organic movement. This Peter Obi candidature is structured beyond the labour movement, we the people are the movement  and the numbers at the polls in February will prove me right. 


So to answer you directly, yes peter Obi has the structure to win this election."


For him, the beauty of the Peter Obi candidacy is the large spread outreach of the various support groups all working together to achieve victory.


" We are all relating well. Our efforts are coordinated by Prof Pat Utomi's BIG TENT, Coalition for Peter Obi support groups, labour party and obiDatti Campaign Organisation. Every support group maintains it's structure but collaborate within the aforementioned organs".


The board of Trustees of the POM is comprised of eminent Nigerians who have excelled politically and joined forces for the betterment of Nigeria.

They include Pastor Moses Akinlaja Wey(chairman) Pastor Eliashib Ime-James Evang Glory Ufuoma Meruwa, Mr Chino Obasi, Barr. Rosemary Nekpen Emevon( Secretary), Mr Sunny Idowu Sado, Mrs Naomi Essien, Mrs Christianah John Bawa, Mr Abdulahi Tsoho and Mr Ejiofor Obimgba.


On who is funding POM?

"We are self funded. And I want to thank my state and LGA coordinators who have been doing a fantastic job coordinating, staying with our funds raising strategy and totally committed to the frugal ideals of our principal"


For those nay sayers who believe Peter Obi does not have a chance to win the 2023 Presidential election, Pastor Ime-James has a message for them,


"Please take this to the bank, Peter Obi will win this election and it will ignite the move toward a new Nigeria. I am not sentimental, I speak based on verifiable statistics. We are not fazed with their treats, POM National Intercessory prayer team, POM National security intelligence and POM volunteer legal team are battle ready to protect and defend our votes"


In a goodwill message to Nigerians as Christians celebrate Christmas which is the birth of Jesus Christ, the POM Convener urged Nigérians to use the yuletide season for sober reflections on the future of Nigeria,

" I plead with all men and women, in their good conscience to reflect on the state of our nation and the problems that beset us as a people. As we enter the Christmas period let us pray for spiritual and political rebirth for our Great country".

He enjoined Nigerians to resolve, come 2023 not to vote along ethnic or religious lines but for the candidate who can unite us as a people and move Nigeria a national cake sharing syndrome to earning equitable income froductive ventures. A man who would walk the talk of frugality and transparency. A man who will lead as the example for other to follow. 

" In my opinion, that person is Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the labour party".


Al Humphrey Onyanabo

Media Relations officer,



Congratulatory messages have continued to pour in, celebrating the life and times of the MD/CEO…










The spiritual revelation regarding the chances of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), winning the 2023 presidential election has been consistent.


As far as Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele is concerned, "Tinubu would be betrayed and disgraced by his associates. Perchance he becomes the president of Nigeria, Nigerians would experience more suffering than currently being endured."


While the revelation by Primate Ayodele who is known for his prophetic accuracy is damning, that Tinubu has continued to attract a lot of followers as his campaign train moves from one state to another is puzzling.


Though Tinubu's campaign has been marred by some inconsistencies such as misplaced attributions like when the former governor of Lagos State almost climaxed his speech with an appreciation of the opposition party rather than his ruling APC, one fact that can't be taken from Tinubu is his seeming cult supporters.


The mammoth crowd that greeted the campaign train in Kano was also witnessed in Bayelsa State, where Tinubu's supporters defied a heavy downpour to show their support for his ambition. Indeed, it was the same situation in Niger, Nasarawa and Delta States, and several other states that have been visited in recent times.


The outcome of the Lagos campaign was expected. It was not different, as Tinubu took over the nooks and crannies of the state, attracting people like bees to honey, albeit with the contribution of his son Seyi Tinubu and Musiliu Akinsanya popular as MC Alumni. On the said day, Lagos was in a lockdown, it was a sea of people showing support for the former member of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), aiming to become the next president of Nigeria, to say the least, and for want of a better choice of adjective.


Amidst all of these, one is forced to ask if these supporters are ignorant of the warnings from Primate Ayodele or are it that they just don't care.


Yet there have been questions about the possibility that Nigerians are just plain hungry and would sell their soul to anybody just for some little change. Whatever the case might be, one glaring question that Tinubu's followers and associates have refused to ask is what quality of leadership can he offer in his current state.


Like the current president, Muhammadu Buhari when he newly assumed office, there has been speculation about Tinubu's health with his campaign and publicity team confirming that he is as fit as a fiddle, even going to the extent of sheepishly releasing videos and photos of the Jagaban of Borgu on a treadmill, with a bold announcement "I am healthy and READY to serve Nigerians from Day One."


However, the idea of sleeping during meetings, forgetting the full meaning of PVC, APC and most recently symbolizing his supporters as drunkards are not signs of a stunning presidential candidate with something outstanding to offer, definitely not a candidate that can turn Nigeria around amidst its current chaos.


Tinubu's poor showing at Chatham House, where he seemingly deflected questions, delegating them to his associates has also not painted him in a positive light or as a man who understands the full weight of what he is getting into. Posers regarding why he chose to delegate his responsibility to his associates have been asked with very little sense made from the answers gotten.


The situation for Nigerians is also not helped by a recent statement by Primate Ayodele where he warned against electing the wrong person as the country’s next president in 2023.


According to the statement released by his media aide, Osho Oluwatosin, if Nigerians vote for the wrong candidate among the three frontrunners, they will buy imported rice for N80,000 and local rice for between N30,000 and N40,000.


Furthermore, Primate Ayodele explained that things will worsen, and Nigerians cannot afford to vote for a candidate without first seeking God’s guidance, urging Nigerians to go on their knees and ask God for the best choice because consulting with humans will only lead to failure.


‘’Nigerians will buy imported rice for N80,000 if we vote for the wrong candidate, local rice will be 30,000, Diesel will sell for N1,500 per liter. One of the three candidates is wrong for Nigeria, we need to be on alert.


‘’Nigerians must go on their knees to pray to God for the best choice for Nigeria in 2023. It is not by noise. We need a divine person that God will choose for us, human consultation will fail us in 2023. Human consultation will only lead us to worse situations, we need divine intervention. The best for us may not be the best for God, Let God have his way in 2023," the statement concluded.


Come 2023, when the presidential election eventually holds, Nigerians will only hope that they are not haunted by the prophecy of Primate Ayodele regarding the consequences of electing the wrong person as the country's next president.

Founder of Quincy Wellness and Naturopathic Centre, Quincy Ayodele, and hubby Engineer John Ayodele over…









The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) heartily felicitates with former Governor of Kwara State and immediate past President of the Senate, our own dear Senator Bukola Saraki, as he marks his 60th birthday.


Senator Saraki is an outstanding medical practitioner, very brilliant administrator, excellent legislator and exceptional stateman who continues to exert his skills and resources towards the development of our nation.


Over the years, as a medical doctor, two term Governor of Kwara State, President of the Senate and now one of the leading lights in the PDP’s mission to rescue our nation from the pains inflicted by the APC, Senator Saraki remains steadfast in dedicating himself for the good of our nation.


The PDP is proud of Senator Saraki’s achievements as Governor of Kwara State and as Senate President, during which he reinforced adherence to democratic tenets of the Rule of Law, Separation of Powers, Integrity of the National Assembly as a People’s Assembly as well as accountability in the system. 


Also, our Party recalls how Senator Saraki, as the Chairman of the PDP National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee worked with other leaders to stabilize and chart a new direction for the PDP despite the challenges, harassments and threats by the APC Government.


The PDP celebrates with Senator Saraki on this special day and prays to God to bless him with many more years in good health to continue in his service to country and humanity.


Happy birthday Your Excellency!





Hon. Debo Ologunagba 

National Publicity Secretary

Monday, 19 December 2022 00:00

CJPAN Holds 4th AGM

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*Inducts 10 Top Dignitaries Into Hall of Fame

*CJPAN Is The Best Online Association..Dr Kunle Hamilton .


Çelebrity Journal Publishers' Association of Nigeria ( CJPAN)  held it's 4th annual General Meeting (AGM) / Hall Of Fame & Induction at LCCI, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria on  Friday, December 16th, 2022 amidst fanfare..


In his welcome address, the President of the Association, Mr. Joshua Uloko thanked  the association for allowing him to serve them, being the youngest among the members. " I thank you all for giving me the privileged to serve the association in my capacity" .


He however explained that the association was formed when there was a need  to move our individual business forward together. He said 


Meanwhile, those that  were inducted into CJPAN's Hall of fame are: , Dr. DK Olukoya, General Overseer, MFM, Dr. Kunle Hamilton, Media Coach, Dr. Toyin Aborisade, Phemnick Life Support Boss, Primate Elijah Ayodele, General Overseer, INRI, Kehinde  Fajana: MD/ CEO, Eliezer Investment Ltd.


Others were Pastor Chima Emenuga: General Overseer, Destiny Revival Church, Hàjia Rashidat  Olukemi Yahaha: Jimkem Oil & Gas boss, and  Christopher Atane, Paradise Hotel & Suites boss


A beneficiary, Dr. Kunle  Hamilton advised journalists on the needs to be professional while  trying to make money as individual, and  bloggers to meet their responsibilities. Thus, they should equally  remember their social responsibilities to Nigeria and extreme journalism profession .


He  however concluded that  CJPAN is the best online association he has ever been dealing with.

" Of all the  online association I have been dealing with in the last three years, CJPAN is the best, they never wrote scandal about me as an association or as individual,  he noted.


He advised them  to continue showing exemplanary leadership.










What is your take on the current military’s tactics in decimating banditry and terrorism in the country?



I'll say, let them maintain it and keep up the aggressive assaults. Additionally, collaboration and synergy with other sister agencies is crucial. They must avoid being distracted and keep their attention on their task.






How would you describe the fight against terrorism in the country since you left office as the COAS?




Well, you must understand that the military is not a one man show; even when I was in service, I worked with a team, and I am happy to say that many of them are still in service. The current COAS served under me as Theater Commander of OP LAFIYA DOLE now OP HADIN KAI. By and large, I will say that they are doing well. Whatever little success we were able to achieve during my tenure, we did it together; it was a collective effort.







The 2023 general election is just by the corner; what advice do you have for the military to ensure a hit-free poll as far as security is concerned?





They must stick to their constitutional role and remain apolitical. I understand that the military may be called in to assist the civil police at some point, but only when things are about to get out of hand. I think the electorate must not succumb to fear or intimidation; they should come out and exercise their civic duty. At the same time, all of us must be vigilant; if you see something suspicious, try to say something to the right authorities.







According to PRNigeria the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu created an impression that the Buhari-led administration had inherited seventeen local governments and about four states which were under the control of foreign Jihadists in 2015. What is your take on this?





The conclusion and verdict of PRNigeria is false, wrong, and inaccurate. I was the first COAS to serve under President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and even before my appointment as COAS, I was the Force Commander, MNJTF, so I should have correct information and the situation of things in the North-East and Borno State, which is my state of origin. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu got it right. As of July 2015, the following LGAs were under Boko Haram in Borno State: Dikwa, Marte, Gamboru Ngala, Kala Balge, Guzamala, Damasak, and in Yobe State, we have Gulani and Gujba. The terrorists also partially occupied Kukawa,Gajiram, Kaga , Mafa,  Bama,  Gubio,  Chibok,  Gwoza,  Damboa, and Nganzai. The wrong impression created by PR Nigeria should be corrected. I understand that they were misinformed, but this is the correct information. 







What is your reaction on the report by PRNigeria that foreign technical experts, including mercenaries, assisted greatly in the recovery of the occupied territories in North-East?




If it does in fact occur, it did not occur during the time that I was in charge.






You actively supported one of the candidates in the presidential primaries of the ruling party. And you are on the side of your party’s presidential candidate in this election. Yet, you have always insisted, "I am not a politician." How do you explain this position?





Our lives are in phases and chapters. When I said, "I am not a politician," that was the truth and nothing but the truth. I was not a member of any political party then. I was a soldier who was under oath to protect and defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria. But as you know very well, that phase of my life is now gone. There is a time to join the Army and serve as a soldier, and there is a time to leave the Army and return to civilian life. I am a democrat; that's why, when I was in the Army, I tried to keep soldiers out of politics and allow the people to choose their leaders as they wanted. We also protected this democracy. So now that I am a civilian, I think it won't be out of place if I heed the call of destiny and enter politics. That doesn't mean I will run for political office. My plan is to form a government with some Nigerians who I believe have good intentions for the country. I initially supported Rotimi Amaechi because I believed in him, but we lost the primaries. However, since the party is supreme and God has willed that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will be the flagbearer of the APC, it is expected that I should support him to win the elections. This is what I am doing. And this is not a new thing in Nigeria or the US. Generals Shehu Yar'adua, Obasanjo, and Ibrahim Babangida, as well as Aliyu Gusau, David Jemibiwon, Abdurahman Danbazau, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, all played politics after their service in the military. There is no doubt; stakeholders and imminent Nigerians thought that I could add value and so invited me to join them to move the country forward. One thing I want to tell Nigerians is that I will surely add value. There is no doubt about that.








Your name isn’t going to fade away anytime soon from the Nigerian Army, both in terms of exploits and enduring legacies. How do you feel about your stewardship?






Honestly, it humbles me. We wanted to achieve much more than we have, but, you know, things don't always work out as planned. But it's nice to hear soldiers and officers talk positively about us. We did what we thought was best for the army and the wellbeing of Nigeria. As COAS, I worked virtually around the clock daily. Sometimes I just sleep for a few hours.







What do you see as the place of regional cooperation in addressing the security challenges in Nigeria?







Regional cooperation is strategic in addressing security challenges because our borders are porous and our people are interconnected. Some people in south-western Nigeria have blood relatives in the Benin Republic. Those in the North East have relatives in Chad, Cameroon, and the Niger Republic, as well as in Sokoto and other places. So it is easy for criminals to move into Nigeria from these neighboring countries. What affects our neighbors can easily affect us. Not just us, but the entire ECOWAS membership. When the Boko Haram insurgency started, some people thought it was a Nigerian problem alone, but it has now spread to Burkina Faso and Mali. So, regional cooperation is needed to tackle the issue of small arms proliferation, help with intelligence gathering, and conduct COIN operations. For example, the MNJTF is helping to deal with Boko Haram and ISWAP in a good way.








There is the story of your long connection to President Buhari, beginning with his deployment as Military Governor of North East State. Can you help us recall this and its culmination during your time as Force Commander of MNJTF and COAS?







Yes, President Buhari and I have come a long way because destiny connected us in 1975, when he was the military governor of Borno State and I was a Form One student at Teacher's College Maiduguri. He used to come to the school in the evenings to watch us play football. When I was running off the pitch to get the ball after hitting the ball so hard that it knocked down one of our classmates, the then-Colonel Buhari said to me, "You this boy! The army is what suits you best.







One thing led to another, and I was transferred to Teacher's College Potiskum, while then-Col Buhari left Borno to serve as Petroleum Minister in the government of General Olusegun Obasanjo. I finished Teacher's College, taught in a primary school at Buratai, and then joined the NDA in 1981. I got commissioned in December 1983 and heard that Major General Buhari was now the new Head of State. I proceeded to Elele in Rivers State, and that was it until sometime in 2015, when he visited Ndjamena as the newly democratically elected President of Nigeria. At that time, I was the Force Commander, MNJTF. When he returned to Nigeria and wanted to appoint his service chiefs, he appointed me as the 20th COAS. So he has been my leader and mentor in the past, now, and always.







What advice is best for the young officers and soldiers on the frontlines of service to the nation?







I have written and published a book known as Thoughts and Principles on Leadership. I am recommending it to all military officers to read. But that notwithstanding, my candid advice to young officers and soldiers is to remember the seven core Army values: their unit, the Army, God, and country. They must remain patriotic and keep on developing their skills and improving their competence.