Obama: Patient Dog or Chained Lion?

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J. K. Randle

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By J. K. Randle  |

THANKS to Edward Snowden, the cat has been let out of the bag.  From his sanctuary in Moscow, Russia the former “Consultant” to the American National Security Agency, has spilled the beans on “the 24/7 Group”.  It turns out that the group is neither faceless nor sinister.  Indeed, it is no big deal –the reference to “24/7” is the direct product of the solemn promise of US President Barack Obama to the citizens and allies of the United States of America:

“Before my election I committed myself to working day and night 24/7 (twenty-four hours and seven days a week) to making America a better and stronger country than the day I became President on January 20, 2009.

My mission and my goals remain the same.  No shaking. No wavering.”

The active involvement and robust engagement of the “Senior Elder Citizens” (ex-KPMG partners who are awaiting their gratuity and pension) in this noble endeavour is the closest thing to an “open secret”.  In appreciation of the uncommon hospitality and respect that both Barack and his charming First Lady, Michele have accorded us, we too are supporting them “24/7” with the only weapons at our disposal – heartfelt prayers, genuine compassion and constructive advice.

The bottom line is the Legacy Issue.  Barack and Michele have taken pains to explain at great length, over and over again, that the financial collapse of 2008 is now history.  It is almost a distant memory.  The jobs are coming back.  Wall Street has rallied and a boom may be imminent.  Inflation has been tamed and interest rates are not only stable, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, Dr Janet L Yellen has signaled that interest rates are likely to remain stable until at least the second quarter of next year.  No need to panic.  Besides, a timely deal with the Republicans (as well as dissident Democrats) has staved off the threatened shut down of the American financial system and the Treasury.  Also, the figures and the statistics are on the side of Obama.  When he assumed office as President, there were 180,000 American troops deployed to various active war zones and simmering conflict areas – from Iraq to Afghanistan, Yemen, Korea, Germany, etc.  Now, they are down to only 9,800.  Ninety per cent of them will be home for Christmas and New Year to celebrate with their families and loved ones.

For good measure, Obama has now mended fences with America’s nearest enemy – Cuba which is only ninety-miles from its border.

For his troubles, Barack Obama has been rewarded not with spectacular popularity or exuberant affection but with intense hostility from the Republicans especially the right wing Tea Party.  They are unrelenting in their war cry:  Obama is the worst thing that has ever happened to America.  As for his fellow Blacks, Obama may just as well not be in the White House.  They are pretty cool towards him and Michele.  Hence, they are not unduly bothered by the discomfiture of the Obamas.   It serves them right is their clarion call, in despair over an adventure that started off as the “Audacity of Hope” but to them is now spiraling towards the “Tyranny of Despair and Abject Poverty”.

Obama’s arch detractors – the “Red Necks” and the enemy battalions have no inhibitions about resorting to cyberspace to nuke him. All the weapons of mass destruction have been primed for the final assault. If those fail, their alternatives are the drones, the “IED’s” [Improvised Explosive Devices] and low flying missiles.  This is war.

Total war.  Pistols, assault rifles and machine guns are openly on sale at shopping malls (led by Walmart).  The ultra-conservatives insist that the right of every American to carry weapons is enshrined in the Constitution.  Hence, undisputedly the most powerful lobby group in America is the National Rifles Association (NRA).  Presumably, the Constitution is silent on chaos and anarchy.  If everybody is armed, nobody is safe.  Every life is only a trigger and bullet away from being blasted by psychopaths, delinquents, road ragers and domestic tyrants. For Christmas and the New Year, the gun merchants are offering free weapon training, discounts and cavalier background checks.

What Obama’s enemies are determined to achieve is a pre-emptive strike – to annul his election and wipe out any reference by history (or historians) to the Obama era.  Once that is done, they want Obama to return whatever salaries or allowances he has collected from the American Treasury.  As for gratuity or pension, just forget it!!  They want to treat him like the ex-KPMG partners who are still waiting to collect their pension after serving the firm meritoriously for thirty-four years (1970- 2004).

In order to dissuade the Senior Elder Citizens from bailing out the embattled Barack Obama from his predicament, the ultra-right wing Conservatives/Republicans have resorted to the tactics of blackmail and intimidation by publishing and circulating the following reports about Zimboda, the giant of Africa:

(i)        “New Telegraph” newspaper of December 17, 2014.

Front page headline: “HERBALIST DEMANDED HUMAN SKULL TO CURE ME OF MADNESS”

A 35-year-old man, Olorunto Dipe, who was arrested for dealing in human parts, has said that a herbalist asked him to get a human skull found in his possession for healing purposes.

Dipe said the herbalist wanted to use the skull to heal him of madness and leprosy.

The suspect was arrested by a team of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) at Ajibawo, Atan-Otta, Ogun State on October 22, based on a tip-off.  The team was led by Abba Kyari, a Superintendent of Police (SP). Dipe also claimed that he bought the human skull for N12,500 from Cotonou in the Republic of Benin.

The suspect added that he was suffering from leprosy and partial madness and was asked to bring a human skull for treatment by a herbalist he identified as Asiwaju.

Dipe also claimed that he met Asiwaju at Atan in Ogun State.

He said: “It was Asiwaju who asked me to bring a human skull.  He said he would use it to help me.  I went to Cotonou and bought it for N12,500.

I had not given it to him before I was caught by the police.  Asiwaju promised to cure me with a human skull, but he did not succeed.  It was a hospital that finally cured me.”  After Dipe’s arrest, the police arrested Asiwaju.  He was, however, released after he claimed not to have known or seen Dipe before.

Dipe, who is a farmer and a father of four, pleaded for mercy.

He said:  “I’m a foolish man because when I was arrested, the person who asked me to get the human skull denied me.

If I’m released, I will not deal in human skulls again.  Police should please forgive me.  I won’t do it again.

(ii)       “The Punch” newspaper of December 18, 2014

Front page headline: “NEED TO ERECT FIREWALL AROUND BANKS”

With financial stress looming over Nigeria’s public sector, there is some anxiety that turbulence could once more buffet the banking system.  This fear was heightened last week when Umaru Ibrahim, Managing Director of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, revealed how bad loans and fraud appeared to be rising again in the sector.  The country simply cannot afford systemic stress and the regulator should brace up for the protection of the financial sector from adversity. Though the authorities are still confident about the system’s resilience, dangers appear to be coming from within and without.  In its predictions for 2015 titled, “A Pessimist’s Guide to the World in 2015,” Bloomberg News, an international news agency, calculates that Nigeria may crumble as oil prices fall and Islamist radicals gain strength.  Oil prices and revenues, that fund 80 per cent of our national budget, have been falling fast.  On Tuesday, the freefall saw benchmark crude price plummet to $58 per barrel, down from $63pb last week and a dizzying crash from $109pb in July this year.  According to some reports, it may fall to as low as $40pb by early next year.

Despite a rally, the naira remains weak against major international currencies.  The upshot, for a commodity and import-dependent economy, is all round pressure on the domestic economy, impacting inflation, production, unemployment and markets.  The Nigerian Stock Exchange lost N64 billion in value on a single day as foreign portfolio investors continued to pull out.

But stress, if it hits, will be largely the result of poor choices and lack of effective policies to protect and grow the local economy.  Failure to diversify revenue sources, stimulate the productive sectors and promote exports lay the economy open to turbulence when oil prices fall and the banking system to stress when the public sector that drives it is starved of cash.

Nigerian banks often run into problems when high double-digit interest rates mix with volatile naira exchange rates and high exposure to public sector funds.  The tendency is for many banks to become margin traders and foreign exchange traders, and round-tripping scarce foreign currencies at the expense of core intermediation functions.  This heady mix featured prominently in the systemic distress of the 1990s.  It is ominously gathering now with the benchmark lending interest rate raised to 13 per cent and overnight rates among banks spiking to over 40 per cent last week.

Have we learnt the right lessons?  Distress has hit the Nigerian banking sector before, most recently in 2008-2009, during the global meltdown and the near crash of our capital market.  That the banks had N398 billion worth of non-performing loans on their books as of September this year is worrisome.  Though a far cry from the over N1 trillion in bad debts purchased by the Assets Management Company in the first phase of its mop-up of banks’ toxic assets in 2010, it bucks the strict credit risk management guidelines handed down by the Central Bank of Nigeria in the aftermath.  Though he said banks’ liquidity ratio at 66.6 per cent was still healthy, Ibrahim warned that there could be systemic shocks in the future.  With loans and advances at N15.5 trillion, alarm bells may not have started ringing, but the revelation that bank frauds involving N21.7 billion were recorded in 2013 should set them off.

It is a road the country traversed in 1930-1946 when 21 out of 25 indigenous banks collapsed.  The cycle was repeated in the 1960s and again in the 1980s, 1990s and recently in 2008/2010.  Between 1994 and 1998, 44 commercial and merchant banks were liquidated.  Eight more banks were taken over by regulators in 2009/10.  According to John Ebhodaghe, pioneer CEO of the NDIC, banks fell due to poor risk management, weak internal controls, fraud, poor management and over-reliance on public sector funds in an economy with a weak private sector.  Whereas between 1991 and 1996, frauds involving N8.2 billion were recorded, in 1997 alone, frauds totaled N7.4 billion.  By 1998, 26 banks with 347 branches in 32 states and Abuja were liquidated.

Experts say a banking system that is in crisis cannot carry out its intermediation role effectively, as lending, especially to the productive, job-creating sectors, will dry up.  In response to the financial crises of 2008/9, the United Kingdom scrapped its bank regulatory agency, Financial Services Authority, replacing it with two successors – one to ensure financial services stability, the other to monitor the sector’s behaviour – and both overseen by the Bank of England.

A study by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision for the Bank of International Settlements in 2004 found that better credit risk management, better regulation, capital adequacy and fraud-free operations enable a banking system to survive turbulent times.  US regulators too have tightened supervision after 465 banks collapsed between 2008 and 2012.

Back home, it was the bold, imaginative programme of takeover, restructuring and Purchase and Assumption option adopted by Lamido Sanusi as CBN governor that prevented a disastrous systemic distress in a sector that had only mega deposit money banks.  The economy cannot afford such a shock again.  Though NDIC’s Minimum Deposit Insurance Cover has been raised to N500,000, it is better to avoid massive loss of savings altogether.

The weakness of the economy is exposed in the reality that it was the withdrawal of public sector funds in 1989 that triggered the bank failures of the 1990s.  Today, the 75 per cent Cash Reserve Ratio (the ratio of deposits banks must hold) on public sector funds imposed by the regulator has hit our banks hard as the private sector remains weak and transactions, rather than production, receive the largest chunk of bank credit.

We must learn from our past and from the experiences of others to fortify the system.  The CBN and NDIC should reform themselves and reposition their operations to be able to properly monitor the financial institutions in real time in order to ensure compliance with the rules and detect signs of stress before they deteriorate to distress.  Our banks too should plan for worst-case scenarios and be realistic in their projections.  They should begin to find other funding sources away from public sector deposits and take steps to reduce risk.

The CBN should, therefore, scrutinize the system now, roll out strong policies and stamp out sharp practices whenever and wherever they pop up.”

(iii)      “The Nation” newspaper of December 17, 2014

Front page headline: “FRC TO BEGIN AUDIT QUALITY INSPECTION OF BANKS”

“The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) will in the first quarter of next year, begin audit quality of banks, its Chief Executive Officer, Jim Obazee, has said.

Obazee, who spoke at the weekend during a three-day media retreat in Lagos, said the time had come to hold auditors more accountable for their work.

He said the Council would pay more attention to the quality of work done by audit firms and their executives for quoted and non-quoted companies, particularly those considered as being of national importance.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Financial reporting regulation: Issues and challenges,’ Obazee said auditing standards are high-profile issues in the light of recent events globally and national surprises. “Auditing standards are a high-profile issue in the light of recent events globally and obvious national surprises.  Auditors play a crucial role in ensuring that financial statements can be relied upon by users. Given current international trends and the critical role that auditors have, it seems desirable to embrace some degree of changes being considered internationally, as they might be required in the Nigerian space,” he said. The FRC helmsman said he wants professionals to be more careful while doing their job, as they risk personal liability for misbehaviour.

He explained that in line with the FRC enabling Act, where an audit firm qualifies a report, it must be accompanied “with detailed explanations for such qualifications within 30 days from the date of such qualification.  Such reports shall not be announced to the public until all accounting issues relating to the reports are resolved by the Council”. Obazee said the FRC’s bid to undertake audit of banks was in line with the desire of the body to become a member of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR), explaining that this will be a booster to the capacity of the Council to monitor audit quality.

He said: “The first phase of the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards in Nigeria, has started producing enhanced perception for Nigeria, adding that the FRC is currently carrying out IFRS readiness test for entities in the second phase – (Other Public Interest entities including Not-for-Profit Organisations)”.

Obazee explained that part of FRC’s role next year, would be to carry out audit quality inspection in banks and other publicly quoted companies, stressing that there is urgent need to check what the internal auditors are doing at all times.

We are to look at who is checking the checker (internal auditors).  This will be done through the external auditors, but there are international audit control rules that will be followed,” he said.

He explained that the FRC is a unified independent regulatory body for accounting, auditing, actuarial, valuation and corporate governance practices in both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.

He said the body will address institutional weaknesses in regulation, compliance and enforcement of standards, as well as the development of robust arrangements for monitoring and enforcing compliance with financial reporting standards in the country.

He said the implementation of the FRC Act was expected to lead to increased management credibility, more long-term investments, lower cost of capital, improved access to new capital and higher share values. “For investors and lenders, better disclosure provides more relevant information for making sound investment decisions and risk assessment respectively.  This is especially so because merchants do not have a country, (sic)” he said.

He said the National Code of Corporate Governance will be operational in the first quarter of 2015, adding that this will strengthen compliance with Section 44 (3) of the FRC Act and enhance the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment and arouse greater interest from local investors. He said the required platform for the implementation of internal systems/information systems control with independent attestation, in accordance with Section 7 of the FRC Act, shall also be laid. “We are also confident that the much awaited IFRS Academy shall at last commence its operation.  The implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) by Governmental Funds shall be a priority,” he said.

(iv)      “The Nation” newspaper of December 2014

Front and back page headlines: “STOVE SCAM?”

  • “Is the N9.2 billion budgeted for energy-saving stoves and Wonderbags well-spent?”

“The announcement that the Federal Government is to spend N9.2 billion on clean-cooking stoves and Wonderbags for Nigeria’s rural women, as part of its National Clean Cooking Scheme (NCCS), throws up several conflicting responses.

On the surface, it appears a welcome intervention in the lives of a much-neglected segment of the populace; and a long-overdue step in reducing desertification, global warming and disease.

On the other hand, however, it is at best, a blatant attempt to curry votes in the forthcoming general election; and at worst, a slush fund to be used in purchasing votes in the polls.

Perhaps the first bone of contention has to do with the manner in which it was conceived.  How did the Federal Government arrive at the conclusion that the purchase of 750,000 clean-cooking stoves and 18,000 wonderbags is the most pressing need confronting rural women at the present time?

Such a decision obviously requires the input of those it is meant to benefit; yet there is no evidence that any needs assessment surveys were conducted among rural women anywhere in the country.

Which rural women’s groups and non-governmental organisations were contacted by officials of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs?  What recommendations and suggestions did rural women or their representatives make?

Such questions make the scheme reminiscent of the attempt to make 10 million mobile phones available to farmers in January 2013, which was criticized for its opacity and lack of consideration for the actual needs of peasant farmers.

If indeed rural women were not fully consulted on the clean stove initiative, then the scheme smacks of the arrogant paternalism of a Federal Government which thinks it knows more about those it purports to govern than they know about themselves.

Then, there is the issue of whether the initiative was properly thought out.  What kind of fuel will the clean-cooking stoves be using?  How is it to be sourced and by whom?

Even though the stoves themselves are to be distributed without charge, will the fuel also be free?  What happens when stoves are damaged?  On what basis will the stoves and wonderbags be delivered, given the fact that different geographical zones will have different but competing requirements?

The clean-cooking stoves are to be locally assembled; it is assumed that the wonderbags will be imported.  Both are to be delivered in 12 weeks.  Such projections assume superlative efficiencies which are unheard of in the Nigerian environment.

What is the guarantee that this timeline will be met, and what are sanctions in the almost-certain case of failure?

It is particularly noteworthy that the period just happens to coincide with that of the elections, thereby giving rise to the question of whether it is actually being deployed as an electoral bribe, a more sophisticated version of the “stomach infrastructure” strategy that was so successfully used in Ekiti State in June.

In the particular case of wonderbags, it is surprising that the Federal Government has chosen not to replicate the successful experience of South Africa, where costs were kept down by working with a multi-national company which elected to distribute it for free upon purchase of specific products.

In the Nigerian case, it appears to be a wholly government-owned scheme, with all the risks of administrative inefficiency, sleaze, rampant corruption, impunity and ultimate failure.

In addition to the many unanswered questions surrounding the clean-cooking stoves and wonderbags, there is the fact that their use will not address the fundamental issues that have stared the country’s rural women in the face for so long: stable electricity, cheap and affordable kerosene, cottage industries and small-scale enterprises, as well as the construction of good roads.

It is only when these developments occur, in conjunction with one another that the lot of the long-suffering rural women will truly improve.”

(v)       “The Vanguard” newspaper December 17, 2014

 

Front and back page headlines:

(a)      “HOW MOBILE POLICEMEN KILLED, BURIED DRIVER IN LEKKI”

  • We want justice – FAMILY

“Lagos-relatives of a 25-year-old driver, Aondona Tavershima, who was allegedly killed and buried in a shallow grave at a beach by a team of mobile policemen attached to Lekki Residents Associations in Lekki area of Lagos State, have called on police authorities to bring their brother’s killers to justice.

Tavershima died last Wednesday when policemen from Mopol 23 Squadron Command, Lagos, accosted him on Fola Oshibo Street, off Emma Abimbo Street, Lekki, on a bike and opened fire on him.  He reportedly died on the spot.

The policemen, five in number, were said to have hurriedly taken the deceased for burial in a shallow grave at Jakande New Kuramo beach.

Vanguard gathered that eyewitnesses alerted relatives of the deceased, who was said to be a native of Benue State.

The matter, as gathered, was immediately reported at Maroko Police Station and the Divisional Police Officer mobilized his men to Lekki, arrested the five officers and exhumed Tavershima’s corpse, which was deposited at a mortuary.

 

Brother’s story

One of Tavershima’s brothers, Tersoo Tavershima, who narrated how he was killed and buried in a shallow grave by the mobile policemen, said: “My brother is a driver working here in Lagos and the person he works for travelled abroad.

I was not present at the scene of the incident, but was told by eyewitnesses that the team of mobile policemen attached to Lekki Resident Association, accosted my brother on a motorbike on Fola Oshibo Street, off Emma Abimbo Street, Lekki.

They tried to stop him, but he did not stop and they shot him.  He rammed a gate by that street and the mobile policeman went after him and shot him again.  The owner of the building insisted that the policemen take him away.

“They took him to New Kuramo Beach, Jakande, paid the Omonile (touts) some money and buried my brother.  News came that my brother had been killed and we went in search of him.

“A man, who witnessed my brother’s burial, contacted me on phone and I mobilized some of my relatives and we went to the beach to search for him.  One of our in-laws, who took part in the search, found the grave.

“We dug a little and saw my brother’s leg.  One of my brothers and I quickly ran to Maroko Division and insisted on seeing the District Police Officer; DPO.

 

DPO’s intervention

When we reported the matter he was furious.  He led a team to Lekki and arrested all the mobile policemen on ground.

He brought them to his station and asked them why they killed my brother.  The leader of the team, an Inspector, explained that he shot my brother because he refused to stop when he asked him to stop.

The DPO asked them why they took my brother for burial without bringing him to the station and the Inspector could not say anything.

He then ordered that they be detained and later transferred the case to the State Criminal Investigations Department, SCID, Panti.

I am happy with the way the DPO handled the case, but I am troubled that we may not get a similar treatment in Panti, because as I speak with you, I have been informed that the mobile policemen are denying that they buried my brother in the shallow grave in which we found his corpse.

I want police authorities to ensure that my brother’s killers whose duty it was to protect him, are brought to justice.”

 (vi)     “Daily Sun” newspaper of December 18, 2014

Front page headline“HOW BEE ATTACK ALMOST CAUSED ME KIDNEY FAILURE”  — Ogundipe

“The number of people who have suffered kidney failure and survived it are few.  Mr Christopher Ogundipe is one of them.  His kidney disease, according to him, was caused by severe pains he suffered after he was attacked by a swarm of bees.

He lived in a house for years which unknown to him was infested by bees, that had found a home for themselves inside the ceiling of his house, living a quiet, peaceful and happy life until one fateful day, when he disturbed their peace.  And then, he incurred the wrath of his co-house owners.  This happened when he attempted to install a satellite dish.

“My family live at Ibadan.  That fateful evening, I returned home, undressed and was just in knickers and singlet.  The technician I contracted came to mount the dish.  He climbed the ladder and tried to check if the facial board was strong enough to hold the dish.  As soon as he mounted the ladder and knocked the hammer on the board, two bees flew out and stung him.  He screamed.  I was surprised and asked what happened?  Immediately, he fell off the ladder still screaming and then ran inside the house.”

He recalled that in a split second, bees numbering over 3,000 flew out from the ceiling and enveloped him like a blanket. “So, I started shouting, running up and down, here and there around the whole compound and in the estate.  I ran to the security men crying for help.  But they took to their heels.  I didn’t know what to do.  In fact, the bees almost blocked my nostril and ears.  If they had succeeded, maybe I would have been a dead man by now.  They ate me up.  I was overwhelmed in my anguish.  Till date, if I take off my clothes, even though I underwent dermatology therapy, the spots are still visible.”

He said before the attack, it was not unusual to sight one or two bees flying around.  He never spared a thought as to the source.  Little did he realize they had established a colony right inside the ceiling of his apartment.

“I thought the fluorescent light was their attraction.  Since they did not disturb me, I felt it was needless looking for where they came from.  But I never knew they were so many; in fact, that countless of them were inside the ceiling of my house.  And they have been there for ages.

When the news got to the estate health centre, the officials came with insecticide to rescue me.  But, seeing me like a beehive, they couldn’t come down from their vehicle.  They wound up and drove off.  It was later they told me the bees were over 3,000.”

With help coming from nowhere, Ogundipe said he had to scamper into the house to get his car keys after which he drove in a manner of life and death to the hospital.

“You need to have seen the way I drove with those bees still covering my whole body.  Seeing me, the nurses were alarmed; they were just screaming saying what is this?  They took to their heels.  I hope and prayed I could get immediate help.  But I couldn’t call for help for fear of the bees entering my mouth.  I felt terribly thirsty.  Then, I passed out.  But for the fact that I met qualified nurses on duty, I would have given up because they said if they had given me water at that point in time, I would perhaps, have died.  But no one dared come close to me.” He believed that if he did not muster the courage to drive himself to the hospital, he could have long been dead.  “I made efforts and God did the rest.”

He recounted that after a week of hospitalization without any improvement, he asked to be discharged.  Again, he mustered the courage to drive from Jebba to Ibadan where his family was.  It was a five-hour drive.  “By this time, all my body was in disarray.  All my system was disorganized.  During the drive to Ibadan, the flesh was dead; the spirit was alive.

When I got to Ibadan, my wife took me straight to our family hospital.  Immediately I got to the hospital premises at Ibadan, I collapsed.  So, some staff of the hospital rushed out to carry me into the hospital.  I spent a week there.  When they noticed that my condition was not improving, I was referred to UCH (University College Hospital).  At UCH, series of tests were conducted and it was discovered I had developed kidney problem.  So they asked if I could afford the treatment.  I told them to commence treatment.  At UCH, I was transferred from one ward to another, I spent 27 days.  I became bloated.

Anybody who saw me would just conclude that was the end of the whole story.  In fact, the doctors told my family that my case had a 50/50 chance of survival.

It got to a stage that the problem affected parts of my organs.  It affected my kidney and the surgeon even said I should prepare my mind that I was going to do kidney transplant.  But I told them I was not going to undergo any transplant.  So, I started dialysis.  I went for it the first, second and third time.  The third time, I lost my breath.  I was gasping.  I almost gave up.  But, God saved me.  I was revived with the aid of oxygen, which was not prepared for me.  Because it was an emergency, it was used to bring me back to life.”

At that point, his health had degenerated tremendously and complications had set in.

“By the time I was discharged, my kidney was ailing.  The surgeon said to me, ‘Mr Ogundipe, I hope you know you will be undergoing a kidney transplant?”  I said no.  I started pre-transplant checks.  But then, my wife and I wished it away and affirmed that nothing will happen to me.  And God intervened.  So I did not undergo the transplant.  It was a miracle that I survived.  Anytime I go for check-up and a doctor opens my file, he just wonders how I survived an attack by over 3,000 bees.”

Ogundipe said he was prompted to make the trip from Ibadan to Lagos to share his experiences for two reasons.  First to tell of God’s goodness in his life.  The second is his love for The Sun Publishing Limited. “I sleep, dream, wake and even eat The Sun newspapers.  I love The Sun newspapers.  I just love everything about the paper.  It is like a magazine.  The Sun newspaper is my first breakfast every morning.  Each morning, immediately after my prayers, the next thing I do is read a copy of The Sun newspaper.  And I buy it on a daily basis.  The paper is just like a magazine and I don’t ever get enough of it.”

Bashorun J.K. Randle, OFR, FCA, is a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, and former Chairman of KPMG Nigeria and Africa Region.  He is currently the Chairman, JK Randle Professional Services.   Email: [email protected]

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