“Considering the pedigree of the first defendant as observed in his application, it is rather unfortunate that no one is willing to stand as his surety on those terms…it creates an assumption that despite the pedigree of the first defendant, none of his best associates is willing to stand for him. This poses a cause for concern”

The above quote was made by the Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja in the case of Omoyele Sowore Vs the Federal Government of Nigeria. Weeks ago (precisely on 4th October, 2019), she granted Mr. Sowore bail but as i write this, none of his friends, associates or financial sponsors have come to stand as a surety for him so he’d be released on bail. Recall that to enable Sowore meet the bail conditions, the judge has reduced the bail amount from N100m to N50m, and which would later be returned to the owner (surety).

As a devout student and follower of the Honorable Malcolm X, i stand and push for the liberation of our country from the wicked stranglehold of men (and women) in government and politics who are destroying Nigeria and impoverishing Nigerians – but in doing so, calling for a #RevolutionNow in a civilian government such as Nigeria’s is a call for one’s head. And sadly, all those who shouted and chanted #RevolutionNow behind Mr. Omoyele Sowore have left him to alone dance to the beats of the song he wrote.

Now, beyond the sad reality that is Nigeria and the over-flogged narrative of the shallowness of 21st century friendships (where friends (and even family) abandon you in your times of need), a ‘revolutionary’ character like Omoyele Sowore; a man who also contested to become the president of the country, is the least qualified individual to ask for a Revolution. Today, he is paying dearly for his exuberance and his cheap attention seeking tactics.

If by tomorrow I make an excess of N200m, I would readily stand surety for Mr. Sowore – but only if he promises me (and signs an Affidavit (apologies to President Muhammadu Buhari) as a covenant) that he would, going forward, stick only to his online investigative journalism (as sponsored by the Ford Foundation) and desist from seeking to participate in Nigeria’s political process in one breath and in another, call for the overthrow of a government enthroned by that same system – because he is not a (direct) beneficiary of the spoils of the warped politics and government that is Nigeria.

© Chad Otsapa

Rap is “The Devil’s Music” says Kanye West

Rap is “The Devil’s Music” says Kanye West

▪Newly Born Again Kanye says wife Kim Kardashian’s sexy image negatively affecting his “soul and spirit”

Rap is “The Devil’s Music” says Kanye West
Rap is “The Devil’s Music” says Kanye West

(Summit News)

Kanye West came to the conclusion that rap is “the devil’s music,” according to his pastor.

According to Adam Tyson, West’s pastor from Placerita Bible Church in California, the superstar made the comments after feeling burdened by the sins that come with being famous.

“One time, he told me that he wasn’t going to rap,” Tyson said in an interview.

“I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘That’s the devil’s music’. I said, ‘Hey, man. Rap is a genre. You can rap for God’.”

Tyson told Kanye he could use the “talents that God’s given you and use that platform for God.”

According to Tyson, Yeezy confided in him that fame had exacerbated his problems with sinful behavior.

“The guilt of sin brought him down low. He would say the devil basically brought him to a place where he just felt like he was in bondage to his sin. So he said, ‘I got delivered’.”

Kanye recently confirmed that he had converted to Christianity and that his wife Kim Kardashian’s provocatively sexy image was negatively affecting his “soul and spirit.”


For the first time, Saudi Arabia may allow unchaperoned women to go on the hajj

A female pilgrim returns from the hajj
A pilgrim’s progress.

The government of Saudi Arabia is considering a radical change which would allow female pilgrims to perform the hajj without a male guardian, according to an Arab News report.

The hajj, from the Arabic word for pilgrimage, is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims. Every year in the last month of the Islamic calendar, more than a million peopletravel en masse to Mecca over a six-day period. For Saudi Arabia, it’s a lucrative business—and a logistical nightmare.

Under present law, any woman under the age of 45 seeking a hajj visa must travel with a mahram—a male “guardian,” generally related by blood. Women over 45 may travel with an “organized group” instead, provided they are able to furnish the Saudi embassy with a “no objection letter from her husband, son or brother authorizing her to travel for Hajj with the named group,” according to a Saudi government website. “This letter should be notarized.”

Women who are not met by their sponsors have in the past not been allowed to enter the country or continue on other flights. Violating the policy may lead to deportation. The policy does not apply for women who are members of the minority Shia sect, which makes up about 10% of all Muslims: Shia scholars, unlike their Sunni peers, have ruled that women may travel alone on the hajj if they feel they will be safe. (According to the Saudi government, Sunni women have sometimes pretended to be Shia to circumvent the regulations.)

It’s just one part of the lengthy, bureaucratic process of applying for the hajj. For tourists and companies alike, the pilgrimage is heavily regulated—businesses in the sector must comply with a long list of obligations, including a compulsory annual payment of nearly $270,000 per company, which they say squeezes out smaller firms.

In recent months, however, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has instituted a selection of high-tech solutions to make the hajj easier to access. A new digital platform, Maqab, was launched last year, allowing visitors to streamline their application. In light of these changes, and of Saudi Arabia’s new electronic tourist visas, hoteliers and others in the hajj sector have asked the government to liberalize some conditions for female travelers and reduce tariffs on businesses.

Many of these potential changes echo those unveiled by crown prince Mohammad bin Salman as part of the government’s Vision 2030 agenda, which include allowing unmarried tourists to share a hotel room. He has also re-introduced movie theaters and given Saudi women the right to drive, and rent a room alone. But critics suggest these reforms may be geared at deflecting scrutiny from the ongoing human rights abuses in the ultraconservative kingdom, including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the arrest in May 2018 of women’s rights activists.

Actually changing the process for female pilgrims will require input from more than just the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah—especially if Sunni scholars are expected to weigh in. A spokesperson for the hajj minister, Mohammed Saleh Banten, said the ministry lacked sufficient authority to cancel the condition outright. “This is rather the concern of other ministries and government departments, not our ministry,” he explained.

REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

A Poem By PG Rama Rao

He Lost Only His Hair
(Based on William Saroyan’s story, “The Barber’s Uncle”)

Once there lived a boy
On whose head grew a
Huge bush of hair, which
Housed on long lease lice,
And for short terms
Little birds and mice.
* * *
His father took him
To the barber shop.
Said the barber,”My boy,
You’ll get a nice hair-cut
Without knowing it.”
All ears was the boy.
* * *
The barber was a
Gifted story -teller.
As he told the story
Of his own uncle,
Who had a bald pate,
He was carried away.
* * *
His uncle travelled
A lot seeking his
livelihood, and
At last joined a circus;
His job was to put his
Head in a tiger’s mouth.
* * *
Each day his poor bald
Head came out intact
Until, one day, he
Lost it to the tiger.
The boy looked at
Himself In the mirror.
* * *
He exclaimed in horror;
“Who’s he in the mirror?”
“Uncle lost his head,”
Answered the barber; “you’ve
Lost only your hair, while
We were lost in the story.”
* * *

[All rights reserved (C) PG Rama Rao, 2019]