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If anything happens to Buhari, North will insist on two terms in 2019 – Junaid

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Junaid-Mohammed

In this interview with JOHN ALECHENU, a member of the House of Representatives during the second republic, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, talks about President Muhammadu Buhari’s health, 2019 presidential election and other national issues

Buhari has refused to address Nigerians concerning his state of health. Do you think that he should have done that before travelling out of the country again for medical treatment?

Ideally, I think he should have done so even though there is no law which requires him to do so. It would have been better for him to calm the nerves and the psyche of the nation because of the uncertainty which has bedevilled the country (because of issues surrounding his poor health). There are a lot of rumours and occasionally, some opportunistic and reckless statements emanate from some characters who are active players in the political circle, including non-politicians. I wouldn’t want to hold that against him because before he left, there was no indication that he was going to leave in a hurry. Being a professional in that field (health care), when a patient leaves in a hurry because the doctors handling his case insist that he should leave in a hurry, we must not make an issue out of that.

It is important that he travels to take care of his health. I am glad that for the second time he has left the country to seek medical attention, he has the presence of mind to send the requisite letter to the National Assembly – apart from the hiccup caused by somebody who smuggled in some irresponsible and reckless expression into the letter. This is somebody close to the President; the person was so lousy to input certain motives into the letter – thank God the constitution and reason prevailed.

As a medical doctor, what do you think is the true state of health of the President? What do you think he is suffering from?

As a medical doctor, I have no right to comment on the issue when he is not my patient. Secondly, whatever I know about his health is privileged information and it will be unethical on my part to discuss specifics in public. Thirdly, a lot of the confusion arising from the misinformation and deliberate attempts to mislead the people of Nigeria arose because non-medical persons took over the responsibility of managing information (concerning Buhari’s health). They wanted to use it for propaganda and present the President for what he is not. They want to present him as a superman, who cannot be sick, and when he is sick they treat it like he is just having a cold. As far as I am concerned, the best thing that could have happened was that it behoves the personal physician to the president in addition to the doctors who are managing President Buhari’s health to come forth and tell Nigerians what is wrong with the president. They cannot do that without clearance from Buhari. This is what applies to doctor-patient confidentiality.

In the situation we have found ourselves, Buhari is a public property. He is the president of Nigeria. People are concerned about the well-being and state of health of the President of close to 200 million people. This is a President that was freely and creditably elected; they are worried about what is being said concerning the state of being of the President they freely elected – the situation needs to be properly managed. You don’t leave the management of such information to the hands of two small boys who don’t even know the formulae for water to start talking about important medical issues. From the way the President looks, talks and walks, clearly the man is not in good health.

It is not proper to start making a noise and blaming people. They should come out and tell us the basic facts. And if the President does not want to come out and tell us the basic facts, it will be known. I don’t think the President is the kind of person that would not want to talk about his health. He is the one to decide (whether to reveal his health status or not). He is to decide on what could be divulged; it is within his powers. He is a patient and every patient has certain rights within the medical profession. I am not going to tell you what is wrong with the President because whatever I say will be a conjecture. We don’t do that kind of thing – I am not about to break my Hippocratic Oath because I am granting you an interview.

In view of Buhari’s ill-health that has kept him away for weeks, do you think he should resign?

The constitution of Nigeria provides that if the president is either sick or otherwise incapacitated physically or mentally, there are certain steps to be taken. But I don’t believe we are there yet. My concern is not about whether the President is sick or not, but the way the sickness is being treated. From the day Buhari came back into Nigeria, it was clear that he had been ‘hijacked’ – the Presidency has been held captive by a cabal, as we know them. Now, whether the cabal has the right to do that is another matter because the constitution does not provide for any group of people – whether they are personal blood relations or friends of the President or his cronies. They have no right to deny Nigerians access to the President. But if doctors decide not to allow him see some people, that should be stated in statements which are coherent and medically knowledge-based. But what we have been seeing is abracadabra, with everybody telling his own lie by saying that the President is either praying or going to the office or to the mosque.

These do not allay fears. Our concern is: What is the state of health of our President? If we know this and have it on good authority, tempers will not flare. I noticed from the last time he came back to the time he went back, there have been a group of people making very irresponsible statements. They are saying that some people are planning confusion. Someone claimed that he cried because Buhari was unable to attend the wedding of his (Buhari’s) grandson – certainly, that old man was lying. We’ve seen all sorts of people who are now bringing up all sorts of animosity within the ruling party that some people are responsible for some people not being given appointments or denied the opportunity to be picked as vice president. These are very dangerous gimmicks. Dangerous, because there is a problem of sensibilities; those of us who have opposed zoning and rotation since the 1970’s have continued to say that this is not a very healthy situation and it is not in the interest of the country.

The zoning in the Peoples Democratic Party has not worked. Now it is trending in the All Progressives Congress. It is either we fix it or ship it out altogether. If that is not done, then you have to go back and redress it by saying that in the course of zoning and rotation, (Umaru) Yar’Adua died in office. The years he ought to have spent in office were not compensated for. Those who are claiming that Yar’Adua was theirs or that he came from their region did not get the compensation that was due to them. We are now having a situation whereby Buhari is sick – whether he resigns or God forbid, something else happens, we are going to have the balance of Buhari’s years taken over by someone else from outside the zone Buhari comes from. What are we going to do? Are we going to say okay, nothing has happened, let’s carry on? They invoked the so-called Doctrine of Necessity and carried on. Whereas you can ignore agitations from people who didn’t win an election, you cannot ignore agitations from people who won an election. I have no doubt in my mind that Buhari won an election. What he has done with the mandate is another matter and I have been very critical about what has been happening. But the fact of the matter is, those who see Buhari as their representative and are not being treated justly are going to claim their own rights and the only way you are going to resolve the issue is that after Buhari’s administration, you have it zoned to a certain part of the country for eight to 10 years. Whether this makes sense in a democracy or not is beside the point, because I don’t support zoning and rotation. You should ask those who support it and see whether they can continue with the system.

Because clearly, there are so many unforeseen circumstances that can come up in the process of zoning and rotation for which there is no remedy. And, if we don’t have a remedy for it, it may lead to the breakup of the country. We should be very careful. It cannot be the kind of thing which happened under Yar’Adua whether you call it divine intervention or Doctrine of Necessity. This time around, the concept has to be revisited and those who have lost out twice have to be compensated. Otherwise, there may not be much of Nigeria to think or talk about and our democracy will be gone.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu issued a statement recently, saying Nigerians should not politicise the Buhari’s health. A former National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, expressed concern over the president’s health. Do you think both men are sincere with their comments?

They are far from being sincere. Both of them are playing politics and they are blaming other people of playing politics. Clearly, (Bola) Tinubu had the ambition to be vice president of Nigeria. He is blaming certain people for denying him the opportunity of becoming the vice president and eventually the president. Clearly, (Bisi) Akande was being alarmist when he said some people are creating confusion. He should tell us who are those people creating confusion? I believe he and Tinubu are the people throwing stones and blaming other people for not being patriotic. They imagine that they can win sympathy so that when the time comes for a transition, it will be easy for them and they can justify the eventuality of Buhari’s inability to continue. So that they can manipulate their way to take over completely in 2019; one thing I know is that, if Vice President (Yemi) Osinbajo becomes the president from whatever date to 2019, he cannot contest that position again. This was the understanding that was reached with Jonathan Goodluck (with the PDP) and he reneged on it and nearly threw the country into a civil war. This time around, those, whether from the North, South-South, South-West or South-East, who sign agreements with whomever, must make such public. They should also state the time when this agreement will come into force. We cannot now avoid the constitution. If there is the need to follow the constitution we must follow the letter and spirit of the constitution – that is up till 2019. Beyond that, power should come back to where Buhari comes from and remain there for a solid eight to 10 years – unless in running for a second term the person loses re-election. There is nothing one can do about that. CONTINUE READING FROM SOURCE

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Corpers and life of sex, booze, drugs in NYSC camps

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Corpers and life of sex, booze, drugs in NYSC camps

For Dorcas Ifeji, the best time of her life was in 2016, the year she participated in the one-year mandatory National youth service programme. And all of the excitement was down to the three weeks she spent in the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp in Taraba State.

Ifeji described her experience in camp as the time of her life she would always relish. As a fresh graduate, she had thought that the regimented life in the camp, with soldiers keeping a watchful eye on corps members, would be stressful, but she was wrong. The experience was almost like nothing changed for the party-loving lady.

“We had a place called Club Zero behind the Mammy Market (usually a market in military barracks where food, beverages and other things are sold); it was like a clubhouse,” she said with a sheepish smile.

“Club Zero was where everything unimaginable happened in the camp. It was just behind the Mammy Market. You could get to smoke weed, party and indulge in everything irregular; some adventurous people even made out in the open.

“What made Club Zero interesting was because the soldiers in the camp usually let their guards down there, looking for free beer from the guys and willing girls to flirt with. Some soldiers were lucky enough to find drunk and vulnerable girls who would follow them to their quarters for private business.Corpers and life of sex, booze, drugs in NYSC camps

“It was normal to see corps members in pairs, kissing, groping and doing sexually suggestive things in Club Zero. The place was dimly lit so the atmosphere was conducive for certain actions. A day really stood out for me: people were shouting and I was wondering what could have happened. Then I realised that a guy and a lady had just been found having sex in a corner at Club Zero.

“The act should have attracted serious punishment but people actually hailed them and after the noise went down, all the soldiers present there said was ‘una must buy us one crate of beer o’ (you must buy us a crate of beer).”

Since the national youth service is compulsory for Nigerian graduates under the age of 30, those seeking employment are required to show proof of participation or formal exemption from taking part in it as a prerequisite for getting jobs in the country.

According to the NYSC Code of Conduct during the period of orientation, any member who comes late to any official engagement on the field, at lectures or places of work shall be tried by the Camp Court and, if found guilty would be thrown out of the camp.

It also states that the member shall only be allowed to come back for service by joining the next batch for the orientation exercise.Corpers and life of sex, booze, drugs in NYSC camps

Similarly, the Code of Conduct states that a corps member shall “not leave orientation camp or absent himself from any official activity without the written consent of the State Coordinator but when absent from his duties on account of illness, ensure that such absences are covered by an ‘Excuse Duty Certificate’ issued by a medical doctor on duty at the camp.

“Any member who leaves the camp without the permission from the State Coordinator shall be tried by the Camp Court and, if found guilty, be liable to be decamped and sent out of camp.

“The member shall only be allowed to come back for service by joining the next batch for the orientation exercise.”

It also states that any member found to be drunk shall be tried by the Camp Court and, if found guilty, be liable to extra drill and/or confinement to the camp rehabilitation room for 30 minutes.

But like Ifeji, the NYSC orientation camp gave Uwazie Mark nothing but a thrilling experience. For Mark who camped in the Ogun State orientation camp, Sagamu in 2016, the favourite point of call for all fun lovers was Slim Bar. There was no disparity between officials and corps members there as long as you had some money to spend on drinks.

“If you were a guy and you had never been to Slim Bar, then your camping wasn’t complete. It was more like buying and selling. The rich guys came to show off in order to impress ladies and the ladies also showed up with the hope of finding rich boyfriends in the camp.

“All the soldiers in the camp that we considered as strict joked with us there, telling us stories about how they joined the force. You would find some of the soldiers begging to dance with female corps members. Some would drink and insist the corps members there should pay for their drinks,” Mark said.

Mark also revealed that while in the camp, he learnt about a small shack with a bed in the Mammy Market, which corps members could use to get intimate with their colleagues, but at a cost.

“Only few people knew about the brothel; it was all in code. The bed and room were made available on demand. Once you paid, they would set it up and secure the place for you while you had fun with your partner. I didn’t find out about the price because I was never interested in it,” he told Saturday PUNCH.

He also shared the story of a camp photographer who did more than taking fancy pictures for corps members.

“There was also a guy who was a camp photographer, but that was only used as cover for the main thing he did. He sold tramadol and other hard substances to guys who wanted to get high. He had a stand where he also sold soft drinks and snacks. Some guys would buy soft drinks from him and also buy other substances that would make them high to mix with the soft drinks.

“He used to sell cough syrups with codeine to so corps members who could mix their drinks with the drugs. Sometimes, you would see a guy in camp spending hours to finish a bottle of coke. Some female corps members also patronised the guy, but the interesting thing is that the soldiers knew about it and would even joke with corps members misbehaving that they must have been buying too much of tramadol and codeine from the photographer,” he said.

Maxwell Adim had his service year in Imo State in 2015 and would relive the experience if given another chance to.

At the NYSC orientation camp in the state, Adim had friends at the security post who readily took a bribe to allow him leave the camp.

“In camp, I met all kinds of ladies from every part of Nigeria but I was only interested in the beautiful ones. A colleague that shared a bunk with me was the one who told me that I could bribe the soldiers manning the gates if I wanted to leave the camp to have fun with ladies outside, even for days. Interestingly, I tried it and it worked,” Adim said.

“Later, I realised the lists of attendance that we used to sign wasn’t taken seriously by the authorities. Perhaps, they only used such lists to threaten those who didn’t know the trick.

“I had a friend who pretended that he was ill and he was let out of the camp under the guise of going to a hospital; but he got a hotel room where he stayed for the remaining days we spent in the camp. Female corps members who were his girlfriends went to meet him in his hotel room.

“Those who had money could bend the rules. He would call his soldier friends in the camp and make arrangements for them to allow the ladies to leave the camp and return by evening.”

Olarenwaju, as he wanted to be identified, served in Cross River State in 2014.

The experience was hellish for him until he met 23-year-old Folashade and things started to look up for him. With Folashade, Olanrewaju, 28, thought “finally, here is a woman I could spend the rest of my life with.”

“It was when I met Folashade that I finally started enjoying myself. She was the most beautiful lady I had ever seen. She was the leader of my platoon, while I was her assistant, and that was the beginning of our love affair.

“I really loved her and enjoyed her company. I asked her out and she agreed to be my girlfriend. I didn’t even have to stress myself for so long as she even told me that she knew she wanted a relationship with me the moment she met me. We went everywhere together and it was really nice,” he added.

However, after the camping experience, Olarenwaju received the biggest shock of her life, learning that his lover was married with a set of twins.

“I was very shocked to learn that she was married and was only having fun with me; it was as though I should disappear from planet earth. I found out about the situation from one of her colleagues that they did the primary assignment together.

“When I confronted her about it, she didn’t deny it. That was how we ended the relationship on a sad note. She confirmed that the twins were boys. I just kept my cool and asked God for forgiveness because if I had known she was married, I wouldn’t have had anything to do with her,” the insurance officer said.

It is often said that all manner of things happen on parade grounds in most NYSC orientation camps across the country. For Ifeanyi Oguabor, who served in Abuja in 2017; he was able to learn about the kind of things that went on on parade grounds at first hand.

“In my platoon in the camp, I was deployed to serve in the sanitation unit for some time. And I had to clean up the parade ground. I was very irritated as I had to pick up many used condoms on the field. That was my duty post and the job had to be done.

“I thought I was the only one that experienced such until my friends started narrating to me all the nasty experiences they also had while cleaning up the parade ground. Many corps members see their service year and their time in NYSC camps as a time to misbehave and have fun. Some married women I served together with went about without their wedding rings so that they could mingle with guys.

“Even me, I never thought I would smoke in my life but while I was in camp, I found myself smoking and doing things I would ordinarily not do,” he told Saturday PUNCH.

Anthonia Momodu experienced being left out of the “big girls” clique in camp when she refused to do what some other female corps members did to get posted to good companies for her primary assignment in Ibadan, Oyo State, where she served.

She said “I always prayed to God to be posted to a good place of primary assignment where I would be able to add to my knowledge to the service of the country and earn good money, but that did not happen. But I still feel better because while we were in camp, many ladies, including some of my friends, were sleeping with military officers to get posted to good companies in Ibadan, but at the end of the day, we all got posted to the same local government. They sold their bodies to military men in camp for nothing.

“Although, a senior military man asked me out a week after we got to camp, I said no without thinking twice about it because my elder sister had warned me to stay away from soldiers in camp. The soldier promised me a good time in camp and even after leaving camp, but I didn’t give it a second thought at all.”

Similarly, Abisoye, who is now a professional hair stylist, narrated how she was deceived into sleeping with one of the parents of her pupils she was giving home coaching.

“I served in Delta State and was posted to a public primary school to serve. I wanted to make more money for myself, so I started home coaching for two pupils, whose parents were interested in paying me for that.

“One of such parents was Mr. Ephraim, who introduced himself to me as a single father and businessman dealing in electronic gadgets. I would go to his house to teach his seven-year-old son, Joshua, Mathematics. Soon, his father said he liked me; he claimed he was never married to Joshua’s mother.

“I agreed to date him with the intention of getting married to him as he had promised. He also promised to get me a job in a top real estate firm in Warri, but he didn’t do any of those things. Through some of his neighbours that I had go to know while coaching his son, I found out that he had been lying to me. I was told that his wife was on a leave of absence from her job and was doing a PhD programme in the UK,” she said.

Abisoye said she never heard from Ephraim again after the completion of her service year.

The Director of Press and Public Relations, NYSC, Mrs. Adenike Adeyemi, was contacted many times through phone calls and text messages to get her comment on some of the activities allegedly going on in camps which are against the agency’s guidelines and code of conduct for corps members and handlers; she did not respond.

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Today’s Football Predictions – 1 September 2018 Soccer Predictions (Sponsored)

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Aston Villa sign Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham on season-long loan deal

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Aston Villa sign Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham

Chelsea have loaned English striker Tammy Abraham to ?Aston Villa for the remainder of the 2018/19 season.

The 20-year-old was unlikely to get much game time under Maurizio Sarri this season as he was behind Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud in the pecking order, but he should be afforded reasonable minutes at Villa.

“Aston Villa is delighted to confirm Tammy Abraham has joined the club on a season-long loan from Chelsea,” Villa announced via their official website on Friday afternoon.

Abraham scored 23 goals in 41 appearances for Bristol in the Championship during the 2016/17 season and has lots of experience playing in England’s second tier.

“I’m excited for this new chapter. Aston Villa are a big club that belongs in the Premier League and I’m here to help them achieve that. At this stage of my career, I need games and this is a great place for me to come and showcase my talent. I can’t wait to get started’ he said after signing his deal.

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