Why I put out the TB Joshua bribery audio – by investigative journalist, Nicholas Ibekwe

 Nicholas ibekwe TBJoshua

Nicholas Ibekwe is an investigative journalist who has been in the news for releasing an audio recording which he claims captures T.B. Joshua offering bribe to reporters. This happened in the wake of the building collapse in the minister’s synagogue which claimed over 70 lives.

Click HERE for a summarized transcript of the clip and to download and hear it for yourself.

The journalist himself took to the pages of his blog to shed more light on the matter in a piece titled ‘Why I put out the TB Joshua bribery audio’. To answer the self-imposed question, he wrote:

“I had recorded the audio six days before posting it on Twitter. To be sincere, I didn’t think much of it until Saturday morning (I’d explain later). I was intently watching the way the collapsed building was being played out in the media after the rather disappointing way Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, dodged reporters through a back door after his private meeting with TB Joshua on September 14. I observed that Nigerian media were being too gentle on TB Joshua despite the glaring irregularities surrounding the collapse. I read more reports about the “hovering craft” and how Boko Haram could’ve sabotaged the building and other poppycock the televangelist wanted the world to believe.

Very little was reported about the structural defects of the building. Not much was written about the fact that the building originally had 2 floors and was being illegally refurbished with 4 additional floors when it collapsed. We didn’t come hard on the Synagogue Church goons who attacked first responders. We didn’t highlight the fact that many of those that perished could have been saved if NEMA officials weren’t barred from the site for almost three days! We didn’t make an issue of the fact that our colleagues who had gone to report the collapsed building were molested on Saturday.

So when I woke up last Saturday morning and saw the picture of Jonathan shaking hands with a grinning TB Joshua with headlines like “Jonathan consoles TB Joshua,” I said damn it! I couldn’t stomach this blatant impunity…”

He also went on to highlight the less honorable parts of the journalism profession, especially as it is practiced in Nigeria.

Click HERE for the full article as written by Nicholas Ibekwe who tweets @nicholasibekwe.

Then go ahead and spill your thoughts below. As for me and my family, God forbid we speak or even believe ill of an anointed man of God; lest evil airplanes start to circle our small house and it collapses upon us before we have the chance to celebrate Independence day.

For your entertainment, hit Google to read the reactions that greeted the reporter’s actions – from TB Joshua fans and haters alike. One thing is sure – Naija has got talents!

Bless you!

 

 I am @ojukwu_martin on twirra

TONI KROOS TO REAL…WHOSE KROSS? WHOSE KROWN?

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One thing seems to be very certain every football season, and it is that Real Madrid Club de Futbol will always do something to remind everyone that they are the biggest club in the world. Folks at Carrington may be basking in lofty aspirations for the new season on the comments of Louis van Gaal ascribing that title to them, but let’s not kid ourselves, Beckham, Van Nistelrooy and Ronaldo would not have moved on if they were. They get who they want, whenever they want – because they are simply who everyone wants. Barcelona, of course, stands as the other major rival, but then Figo danced the Blaugrana tunes even as a Captain but still decided the Menu of the Merengues simply had more flavor. In a season where their Catalan rivals have lost their greatest midfielder of all time, got rid of Cesc Fabregas and signed Ivan Rakitic as a replacement, Real Madrid have captured unarguably the most efficient midfielder the world currently knows. His name – Toni Kroos.

And how have Bayern Munich actually come to the conclusion of letting him go in the first place? For 20million? It is very credible to say that Guardiola rates Thiago Alcantara ahead of him in implementing his style of play, and that in itself is an irony to Barcelona. The strength they afforded Bayern a year ago have become an advantage to their direct rivals today. You want to review that game at the Emirates where both players were simply impeccable with their passing and distribution, and of course, that exquisitely struck angled drive which left Lukasz Fabianksi leaping for fresh air.

Both players have very unique skill sets, Thiago himself being able to conjure magical moments bearing his own distinguished patent, and on that you may infer that Toni may not be leaving the BundesLiga Champions with a dire need to fill any gaping hole. With Lahm now fully committing his attention to club football (bowing out while the audience are still on their feet applauding, or perhaps wanting to improve his midfield mastery), added to the availability of the afore-praised Thiago, Javi Martinez and one or two other persons who might breakout from nowhere, Kroos won’t be missed to detrimental consequences.

But oh, what must now be the delight of those Madrid fans as they watched him dazzle in the famous whites of the capital club during his Thursday presentation! How they must be licking their lips at the possibility of slick interplays between him and Modric in midfield, and masterful distribution to Ronaldo and Bale further up, not to mention the combination of his intelligence with the energy of an Angel (if he stays). Difficult to please as these fans might be, it is nearly impossible to love football as a sport and as an art and not want Toni Kroos in your team – lavishly gifted with every possible ball playing technique with the ability to mail the ball with any foot, to any distance, to any part of any team mate’s body. And oh, to imagine the terror of the notoriously not-so-good La Liga defenders who will try aimlessly to decode the trajectory of his missiles, because in Toni, you have a player who does not always play the obvious ball – especially when he’s set his sights on giving the ball a rest in the back of the net.

It is no secret that one or two more players will join him as a Galactico this season (cc King James of Colombia), who may surpass him in transfer figure but definitely not in impact on Ancelotti’s La Decima winning Champions. The presence at Madrid of Herr Kroos will surely become the biggest Cross for all who face them, one they will be lucky to escape without some loss.

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By ALEX ONUKWUE II @lexmarylive

“I eat to work; I read to live; in love with all things that improve knowledge. God first, Arsenal second, You third.”

SEVENTEEN!

tweetian_12-7-14_11-20-34 Alexis

Seventeen years and 10 months into the Arsene Wenger dynasty at Arsenal, we gear up for another season of many expectations and anticipations, especially towards mounting a further storey to the foundation laid on the seventeenth of last May. Going by the buzz which swept every red-and-white few minutes before seven pm (BST) on the day we grew #StrongerTogether, we can rightly be hopeful that the crane is already in full swing.

Over the course of seventeen months, we’ve gone from consecutive home defeats to Blackburn and Bayern Munich, to winning 4563727638 😉 away games without dross, being Champions for 128 days, beating ‘them’ three times without conceding, signing “The-Lazy-Flop-who-is-only-nicking-a-living-but-wins-the-FA-Cup-and-World-Cup-in-8-weeks” and being Champions of the oldest Club Cup competition on the planet for a record 11th time.

So, what are we expecting from the coming season, in numbers seventeen to one?

 

17. The Name is Alexis Sanchez. He’s a beast of a baller, fresh from Barcelona and his goals have commentators going “lalalala”…you know the rest. (P.S. Monreal will now wear 18, same worn by Grimandi, Cygan, Silvestre and Squillaci…one hell of an Ancestry, innit?)

 

16. If Last Season’s Half Season Player of the Year shows any improvement on his pre-Christmas performances, we’ll be ruling Europe come May.

 

15. Alex Chamberlain. Yea, not his full name eh? But that’s 15 letters. Doesn’t actually explain why I sense he’ll be the Ramsey of the Season, but I trust my instincts.

 

14. 14 years since we last did the Double (4th place trophy and FA Cup last year not a double?), and we’re still chasing the elusive 14th League Championship? The time is now?

 

13. (Szeczny graduated from wearing 13 to 1. Now, Ospina wore 13 at Nice. #RandomRemark)

 

12. Olivier Giroud played well with a partner whenever Wenger favored that. With Alexis for company, you can only lick your lips.

 

11. A Message to Alexis, though, “Welcome, how may I ASSIST YOU?”

 

10. We beat them in the World Cup Final, We beat them again. Wembley, August 10.

 

9. For all the joy and relief of the 9-year old since-arsenal-last-won-a-trophy stopwatches being reset, 9 months (August to May) must be the maximum henceforth.

 

8. Newcastle, Tottenham, Everton, Man Utd, Chelsea, City, Liverpool and The Arsenal (mind ‘The’ difference) should be the league of contenders and pretenders this season…

 

7. ….we beat all 7, we take all!

 

6. But that won’t happen if we get rinsed every other week by 6-figure scorelines now, will it?

 

5. Keep Vermaelen.

 

4. NO to Cesc was the right decision. (Who cares if he’s replaced Brazil’s World Cup ‘star’ David Luiz as the New number 4 at Cobham?)

3. Our own number 4 is one of three World Champions; that implies returning to the Emirates with bouts of infectious confidence and ambition for glory.

 

2. Ozil and Sanchez in less than one calendar year? “Don’t wake me up!” And that only means one thing: that after 17 years…

 

1. … Win, Lose or Draw, IN WENGER WE THRUST #OneArseneWenger

 

By ALEX ONUKWUE II @lexmarylive

“I eat to work; I read to live; in love with all things that improve knowledge. God first, Arsenal second, You third.”

 

LESSONS FROM THE SEMIS

The make-up of the Brazilian team is an all-star lineup with the best players from the English, Spanish, German and Italian leagues.

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The German team can boast of top players too but mostly from the German league alone.

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So for the first semi-final match between the two, one would have rightly expected the team with more experienced top players to come out victorious, right? But that wasn’t what happened.

Why?!

The answer is TEAM. TEAMSPORT has ‘team’ in it for a reason. It is best defined as sport played by a team of players – emphasis on TEAM!

It is not the responsibility of a coach, much less team players, to morph a player into a demi-god. No, the media does that job well enough. The one responsibility of the coach and his players is to play as one team and win the one match. And keep at it consistently.

The German team played as a unit, amplifying individual strengths and glossing over weaknesses.

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Their defense is one of the burliest and pays the price for muscle by being one of the slowest. So they stood as one intimidating ‘Berlin wall’ letting the full backs do any venturing up the field. All of the opponents attempts at attack on their end evoked memories of a three-month old chewing on a plastic toy; and on the other end, the efficiency of their forwards raped the Brazilians over and over again.

The Samba boys should have been giving theirs back, but they had no team. What they had was a group of exceptional players who had been convinced that they weren’t worth much without a fellow also exceptional player. With all respect paid to the quality of the player, I repeat that the Samba boys minus Neymar possess the quality and depth to overcome not just the German but most of the other top teams they hosted at this World cup. But because they had bought into the ‘Neymar = star boy’ agenda, they struggled to win matches with him on the pitch, and with him off it, they fell apart.

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Yes, there are certain players whose talents and influence are so extraordinary that they single-handedly lead their teams to victory. But that is it – they LEAD the TEAM to victory, they don’t assume the glorified status of a deity while their fellow players play priests rendering sacrifices at their altar. Muller is one such player for Germany, always turning up with the goals; so is Messi for Argentina and Robben for Netherlands. And the team and coach recognize this.

But we don’t see suspended players wearing customized clothing in their honor, not because they died, but because they got injured. I can also bet that if Messi for instance, had need to miss the finals, Mascherano wouldn’t don the captain’s band and walk out to start the match by singing the national anthem while Messi’s #10 jersey like some talisman.

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The team’s passion was evident in the gusto with which they yelled the Brazilian anthem – as they had done in previous matches, they clearly wanted to make their country proud. But that jersey in the hands of a man who was supposed to lead a team to victory sent a shorter and woeful message: “We are finished without Neymar” Fortunately for soccer, Germany read that loud and clear.

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With heart battered and broken, Scolari might be thinking – and he said so too – that Tuesday’s 7-UP was the worst day of his life.

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And the PSG-bound most expensive defender of all time, David Luiz might be contemplating scraping off all of his curly hair in an attempt to resurrect the reputation of ‘Brazilian hair’ in the GWE – Global Weave-on Economy.

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But worse fates await them both if the Selecao fails to at least grab the Bronze off of Netherlands at the third-place match. Suffice it to say that a lot of hair ‘re-torching’ will be happening…

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and a lot of nationality re-identification as well…

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If by some off-chance you still need some convincing, reminisce on the second semi-final match between Argentina and Netherlands where Messi was clearly the point-man for Argentina and Robben the ‘star boy’ for Netherlands.

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In the words of a Goal.com commentator, “(Dutch) Vlaar trailed Messi like a shadow the whole match” The case was similar for Netherlands with the Argentine Mascherano staying glued to Robben for the entire match duration.

The result was the drabbest match of the two semi-final matches and a – if even possible – drabber score-line of 0 – 0.

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That is what happens when a team forgets to be a team, and elects to serve as mere scaffolding for one individual player.

A victory is a victory, you might say, and the Argentines won it and are in the finals. I completely agree, but come Sunday night in Rio Janeiro, the ‘star boy’ oriented group of players will be dancing sekem…

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while the TEAM will lift the World Cup.

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I am @ojukwu_martin on twitter

Maya Angelou

Maya03

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya02

In awed memory of Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014), author, poet and several other things in between.

Read about her here

 

Mention me on twirra @ojukwu_martin

it rained again today

I came across this poem and fell in love, not just because it’s a well-crafted piece of art but because boy, I PLAYED in the rain as a kid.

Its writer is a wonderful young man by name of Alyazid Alexander Osinachi Okoli who writes under the pseudonym, ‘The BlackInk’. (Ghen ghen):) When asked about himself, this dude only says “I am a graduate of the great University of Nigeria, read pharmacy…that’s it!”

Hmmm…this poet pipu can like to talk short short shaa. 😉

I’ll drop a little warning before I stop blabbing and post it already; Don’t read this poem as a grammar-savvy intellect or a grown person for that matter, read it like a child, through the eyes of the little boy or girl you used to be.

So! Here goes…

 

IT RAINED AGAIN TODAY

childintherain

its raining again….
my little com-com is set
i can hear its drum play
atop our zinc,…chidera lets go

slippers would bar my flow
bare-footed i set for the door
jumping like a milking goat
i scream out loud in joy

its raining again….
My little legs,dangling
held close by my dirty pant
arms spread wide, i soar in the rain

nne went to the market
as usual my plates are unwashed
but maybe she would understand
it afterall rained again, today

its raining again
legs dancing in the mud
sliding up and down the dirt
with absolute reckless abandon

what other fun beats playing
not just it,but also in the rain
screaming,”rain rain go away”
but wishing it poured down

more more and more

it rained again today
mama’s Cain awaits my bum-bum
but right now who cares
tell her it rained again today

– the blackINK.

Mention me on twirra @ojukwu_martin

Whether or not the film eventually gets a ratings certificate in Nigeria, “Half of a Yellow Sun” will be seen by millions of Nigerians – Biyi Bandele, Director.

HOAY

To what group do you belong:

Group A:Are you, like millions of Nigerians, wondering why the much-touted ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ movie is still not in our cinemas?

Group B: Are you, like more millions, wondering why our ‘Aba’ boys (AREA!!!) have not flooded the markets with duplicates yet?

Or

Group C: Have you, like me, forgotten all about it?

 

The movie director, Biyi Bandele will help you find out in the lines below – an excerpt from a recent interview:

 

When I heard last month that the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board, headquartered in Abuja, had indicated that it would be unable to issue certification for “Half of a Yellow Sun” in time for the film’s release date, I naturally assumed, at first, that what we were faced with was nothing more sinister than another instance of the typical, if frustrating, culture of wilful incompetence that we’d grappled with during the making of the film — while shooting the film in Nigeria two years ago, there were times when we felt ensnared in impenetrable jungles of red tape, when we would be given the go-head by one arm of the government only to find our path blocked by the other arm.

 

I had no reason to assume that there might be anything more to it than that. I had no reason to assume, for instance, that the inability of the board to issue the film with a certificate might actually be a clumsy, heavy-handed ban in all but name.

 

After all, when the movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last autumn, amongst the entourage of Nigerians who flew in to Toronto for the occasion was Patricia Bala, director-general of the Nigerian censorship board. Bala had arrived in Toronto — I was told — with several of her colleagues from the censor’s office. I know for a fact that they watched the movie. I do not know for a fact that they all liked it. I cannot say if any one of them stood up when, as the end credits rolled, the audience rose and gave the film three standing ovations. But I do know that Bala was gracious enough to tell us after the screening how much she loved the movie. At no point did she express any reservations about the contents of the film.Turning Nigeria’s civil war into fiction.

 

It is now nearly eight months since Bala and her board first saw the movie in Toronto and a few weeks since she and her board have failed to issue “Half of a Yellow Sun” the certification that it needs — that the law requires it obtains before it can be shown in cinemas in Nigeria. In those several days I’ve been assailed — on Twitter, Facebook, and by email — with rumors, innuendos, half-truths, and downright lies, disseminated sometimes directly from the censorship board (they have issued at least one press statement), about why “Half of a Yellow Sun” still hasn’t been issued with a ratings certificate.

 

The board claims that is has not banned the film but certain aspects of it “have some unresolved issues which have to be sorted out in accordance with the law and laid down regulations.” It has been rumored that FilmOne, the Nigerian distributors of “Half of a Yellow Sun,” might have been late in submitting the film for certification. Not true. Most films that are screened in Nigerian cinemas are shown to the censor only a day or two before the films open to the paying public. In documentations that have been shown to me, there are instances even of movies being shown to the censor days after the movies had officially opened to the public. “Half of a Yellow Sun” was scheduled to open on April 25. It was submitted to the censorship board at least two weeks earlier.

 

I’ve also heard tell that the censorship board’s inability to make a decision about a ratings certificate for my film has been brought upon it because of a sudden concern that a movie that depicts scenes from the Biafra war might provoke “tribal violence” in a country that has in recent months been besieged with terrorist bombings and profoundly shaken by the abduction of over 200 school girls by Boko Haram.

 

Since the Toronto premiere those many months ago, I’ve seen “Half of a Yellow Sun” at other film festivals in all corners of the globe. And Nigerians being the ubiquitous people that we are have been present in the audiences — quite often in great numbers — at each of these festivals. I am yet to meet a single Nigerian who has seen the film who came out of the cinema thinking that they had just seen a film that would incite anyone to violence. If anything, more than once, I’ve been accosted by cinema-goers — some Nigerian, but really, people of all races — who have been profoundly moved by the experience of watching the film. The refrain I’ve heard from them is, war is nasty, isn’t it.

 

Whether or not the film eventually gets a ratings certificate in Nigeria, “Half of a Yellow Sun” will be seen by millions of Nigerians. The question is: will they be allowed to see it in their local cinemas and on legally acquired DVDs or will they be forced to watch it on pirate DVDs and through illegal downloads? If the biggest film that’s ever been made in Nigeria is available to Nigerians only in bootleg form, the censorship board will be doing to the Nigerian film industry what Boko Haram is trying to do to Nigeria: drive a stake through its heart. I sincerely hope they both fail.

See here for the original article

So there. At least, we know which group should be popping the champagne, among groups A, B and C. #Naija4life

#BringBackOurCountry

hoay02

 Mention me @ojukwu_martin on twirra