Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Amazing discoveries of what may be the 3rd Emeka Ojukwu’s bunker.

standing by the opening of the tunnel, though i was convinced its a well

 At the National War Museum Umuahia annex, is a structural  masterpiece, built in 90 days (between April to June 1968) during the Nigerian Civil War. Originally referred to as the Subterranean Office of the Government of Biafra, but today it is called the ‘Ojukwu Bunker’. 



The remains of an old building, said to be a part of the bunker

The bunker has a bedroom, kitchen, store, bathroom, conference room, a parlour, toilet and a prison. There is also an escape route, a tunnel of escape in case of attack. Also in Amorka in the Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra state there is yet another Ojukwu Bunker. These two bunkers are officially recognised, but amazingly there might be yet a third bunker.


more of the buildings 
My life of adventure and exploration took me to Uzuakoli in Abia state where I was told that there is yet a third Ojukwu bunker yet to be verified. Unfortunately I could not work into the well-like tunnel to find out where it burst out, but my tour-guard told me that during the civil way the Biafran leader could go through the tunnel from Umuahai and burst out at Uzuakoli, some structures are standing by the areas, it was said that it was then the Biafran soldiers hide out.



inside one of the buildings

It is presently located in a bush, a semi tick forest, though areas around it are used for the farming of cassava.  This fact needs to be verified and proper documentation need to be made. I love adventure, I love risk taking and I love tourism.  


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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

TINAPA - HOW GOVERNMENT UNDERDEVELOPED HER PEOPLE


I visited the most talked about TINAPA at last in the North of Calabar municipality, Cross River State. Tinapa was the brain child of the former Governor of Cross Rivers state, Donald Duke, to improve business and tourism, Tinapa costs is estimated to be over $450 million or about 415 million euros. It was developed in four phases under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) in the Calabar Free Trade Zone. It is located on approximately 80,000 square metres (860,000 sq ft). Tinapa is a community on its on with shops and warehouses, the entertainment area has a casino, digital cinema, children's arcade, restaurants, a mini amphitheatre, a night club and pubs, an artificial tidal lake that feeds from the Calabar River, a Water Park / Leisure Land and parking Space for 4,000 cars.



There is also an open exhibition area for trade exhibitions and other events, and a movie production studio commonly called Tinapa Studios. There is a 243-room international three star Hotel.


The resort also has a truck terminal, and it is powered by an independent power plant.


Like most projects in Nigeria, TINAPA stands like a white elephant project today, on my visits, most of the shops were under lock and keys, few people moved around, nothing is happening there.




The reason I was told is because the Cross River State and the Federal government are fighting over who owns the right to operate a free trade zone policy there.

Dr James at the swimming pool section


The Federal Government is yet to approve the operating procedures and guidelines. Like when two elephants fight, while the free trade zone policy lingers, the interest rate payments on the construction cost of the complex is rising.



My take here is that the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as the Cross Rivers State Government should leave no stone on-turned to resuscitate Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort, the time is now and not tomorrow.

Dr James at the kiddies section  


Gov Donald Duke with Dr. Raphael James




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Monday, 28 May 2018

Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Owerri a massive place to visit



Roman Catholic Archdiocese, Owerri




As I drove pass the Assumpta Cathedral located at Villa Assumpta, Owerri, I was forced to stop over and take a shot of this church. I was told that the church was built in 1948 to serve as a place of worship for Catholic members. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese since May 26, 1994 and one of the largest Catholic churches in Nigeria

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THE GREAT ZIK OF AFRICA DIED HERE AND NOW HE RESTS IN PEACE

Standing in front of the Zik Medical center 

Behind me is the 5 storey building of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Medical Center of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital UNTH Enugu, this is where the elder statesman and nationalist who served as the first President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966, died. He was the father of Nigerian Nationalism. A product of Storer College, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania and Howard University. An advocate of Nigerian and African nationalism. He was a journalist, author, newspaper publisher, boxer, footballer, scholar of international repute and later, a political leader. He spent his last 179 days on earth before he kicked the bucket on November 11 by 4.50pm, inside this medical complex he stayed at the ground floor since November 14, 1995, two day to his 91st birthday.   


The Zik Medical center

Selected dates from my upcoming book: A secret Dairy of ZIK

1879                     Zik’s Father Obededom Chukwuemeka Azikiwe was born in Onitsha.
1902                     Zik’s father went to the North as a civil servant with the army
1904:                    Zik was born in Zungeru to his clerk father Obededom.
1912:                    At the age of 8 he was sent to Onitsha from Zungeru.
1915                     Zik left his grandmother at Onitsha at the age of eleven to live with his parents in Lagos. His father having being transferred from the North to Lagos.
1916, Dec.:         At 12, he won a deluxe version of the Methodist Church hymn book autographed and presented by Lord Fredrick Lugard Governor General of Nigeria after he came first at the Western Boy’s High School WBHS Lagos.
1920, August:    Zik entered Methodist Boys High School in Lagos.
1920.                    Zik was introduced to the legend, Marcus Garvey. Zik’s third mentor at Hope Waddell Institute in Calabar.
1920, Dec.:         Zik got the biography [from log-cabin to White House]of Gen. James A. Garfield his 2nd mentor as a school prize.

Standing in front of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital UNTH Enugu


1924, June:         Zik with two others, namely Sidney Brow & John Anyaso boarded a ship, Appam Sailing from Lagos to Liverpool at 5pounds each. The journey unfortunately got terminated at Sekondi due to sickness on the part of Sidney Brown.
1924:                    Zik returned to Calabar, Nigeria from Sekondi
1924:                    Zik prevailed upon his youthful contemporaries to join him in forming the Onitsha Literary Club.
1925, July 31:   Zik wrote from Calabar to his Cousin Prince C. Anazonwa who stayed at Onitsha expressing the rumour of his having gone to study in England and other Local matters.
1925                     Zik proceeded to America as a result of the strong influences of his mentors, Aggrey and Garvey.
1925, Oct. 2:      Zik land in America and was latter accepted into a preparatory section at Storer College
1926:                    Zik won the natural welter weight boxing title.
1927:                    Zik left Storer and proceeded straight to the city of Pittsburgh

The Great Zik of Africa 

1934, October: Zik returned to West Africa after his studies in United State of America.
1934-1937:        Editor, African Morning Post author of eventual classics, Liberia In World Politics and Renascent African
1935, Jan. 1:       Zik was appointed the editor-in –chief of the African Morning Post Newspaper.
1935, Nov 22:   Zik gave evidence at High Court in Accra over some political issues
1936:                    Zik joined Nigerian Youth Movement (formerly Lagos Youth Movement).
1936, April 4:    Zik had his marriage ceremony at the Methodist church in James Town, Accra to his wife Flora Ogoebunam from his home in Onitsha
1936, May 15:   Zik’s Morning Post Published ‘Has the African a God? This resulted in the arresting and ‘conviction of Zik together with the writer.
1936, May 23:   Zik was arrested for sedition and was later convicted in a lower court.
1937-1947:        Editor-in-Chief, West African Pilot, along with Spokesman, Sentinel, Comet, Defender, and others in the Zik Group.
1937:                    He was convicted along with Isaac Wallace Johnson of sedition for an article in the Morning Post.
1937, March:     Zik’s appeal to the West African Court of Appeal was allowed.
1937, March:     Zik was released.



Zik as the Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

1957,April 16:An attempt was made on Zik’s life, near Government House, Lagos, but for the timely intervention of Mr. Mbazulike Amechi, NCNC principal organizing secretary.
1959:                    Zik bade farewell to the east and returned to Lagos where he went into the new upper chamber (the senate) as one of the twelve members from Eastern Region and became the President of the chamber.
1959, Dec. 17:   Zik gave his farewell address at Premier Lodge, Enugu eastern capital where he recalled his career and also introduced his successor Dr. M.I. Okpara.
1959-60:             Presidential Candidate, NCNC, Member for Onitsha, Federal Senate; Elected by acclamation, President of the Senate.
1960-1966:        Founded the University of Nigeria, the first university in the 20th century established by Africans - and with their own finances.
1960, Nov 15:   Zik got a letter from Awolowo congratulating him on his (Zik) installation as Governor General of the Federation of Nigeria.
1960, Nov 16:   Zik assumed his position as the Governor General of Nigeria, succeeding James Robertson the last Governor General.
1960, Nov. 16: His Excellency the RT Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe gave his Inaugural Speech as the first Nigerian Governor-General and Head of State of the New Dominion.
1996, May 11:   The great Zik of Africa died.
The great ZIk of Africa


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Monday, 7 May 2018

THE MOST REVEREND SAMUEL AJAYI CROWTHER CRIES OUT FROM HIS GRAVE

My right hand on the remains of the mud building of Pa Ajayi family house. 



I am calling on: 1. The Federal Government of Nigeria. 2. Oyo State Government. 3. Iseyin Local Government. 4.  The Anglican Community in Nigeria. 5 Christians in Nigeria. 6. Wealthy Nigerians, to please take a good look at this photos, with less than N5 million we can build a one room apartment on this land, and decorate the inside with photographs of the legendary Nigerian -- THE MOST REVEREND SAMUEL AJAYI CROWTHER who was the first African Anglican Bishop in Nigeria, first  student of Fourah Bay College in to Freetown, Sierra Leone, trained in England as a minister and ordained by the Bishop of London, translated the Bible into the Yoruba language and compiled  a Yoruba dictionary. In 1843, a grammar book which he started working on during the Niger expedition was published; and a Yoruba version of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer followed later. He also compiled a vocabulary of the Yoruba language, including a large number of local proverbs, published in London in 1852.




standing inside what use to be Ajayi Crowther family house 


He also began codifying other languages. Following the British Niger Expeditions of 1854 and 1857, Crowther, assisted by a young Igbo interpreter named Simon Jonas, produced a primer for the Igbo language in 1857, another for the Nupe language in 1860, and a full grammar and vocabulary of Nupe in 1864. In 1864, he was ordained as the first African bishop of the Anglican Church; he was consecrated a bishop on St Peter's day 1864, by Charles Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury at Canterbury Cathedral. He is the first African to receive the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Oxford. His grandson Herbert Macaulay is one of the first Nigerian nationalists who played an important role in ending British colonial rule in Nigeria. He is celebrated with a feast on the liturgical calendar of some Anglican churches, including the Episcopal Church (United States) and the Church of Nigeria, on December 31. I am at the remain of the house where the young Ajayi was given birth to in 1809. 

the remains of the Pa Ajayi house in the middle of the bush,
with a roof by the Anglican church of Oshogun


This is the remains of his father’s house, I was told by an elder of the community that it was the Anglican church that roofed the site so that water will not erode the remaining part of the fence standing. I feel we can do better as a mark of honour to this great Nigerian. 


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Sunday, 6 May 2018

Amazing tree of over 217 years where the Most Reverend Samuel Ajayi Crowther was tied still standing solid

I am standing by the side of ‘Iyalode tree’ the tree 
that young Ajayi was tied to after he 
was captured into slavery in 1821.



Before now I had presented to u all the initial burial site of Bishop Ajayi Crowther at Ajele Cemetery in Lagos and I have also presented a photo of his present resting place at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos.  Today I present to u the tree he was tired to after he was captured into slavery in 1821 in his ancestral home in Osogun (in what is now Iseyin Local Government, Oyo State, Nigeria.

If ‘Iyalode’ tree was standing as at when Ajayi was captured in 1821, it means the tree must have been about, at least 20 years old to be strong enough to be used to hold slaves from escaping. So if we date the tree back to 1801 and calculate it now to 2018, the tree should be about 217 years old.

Standing infront of the over 217 years old tree

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW, WHO ‘THE MOST REVEREND SAMUEL AJAYI CROWTHER’ IS
1.      Primate of all Nigeria Bishops as at 1867
2.      First African Anglican Bishop in Nigeria.
3.    He was 12 years old when he was captured, tired to this same tree I am standing by, before he was sold into slavery.
4.      He was the first  student of Fourah Bay College in to Freetown, Sierra Leone
5.      His grandson Herbert Macaulay is one of the first Nigerian nationalists who played an important role in ending British colonial rule in Nigeria.
6.      He was trained in England as a minister and ordained by the Bishop of London.
7.      He returned to Africa in 1843 and with Henry Townsend, opened a mission in Abeokuta
8.   He translated the Bible into the Yoruba language and compiled  a Yoruba dictionary. In 1843, a grammar book which he started working on during the Niger expedition was published; and a Yoruba version of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer followed later. Crowther also compiled A vocabulary of the Yoruba language, including a large number of local proverbs, published in London in 1852. He also began codifying other languages. Following the British Niger Expeditions of 1854 and 1857, Crowther, assisted by a young Igbo interpreter named Simon Jonas, produced a primer for the Igbo language in 1857, another for the Nupe language in 1860, and a full grammar and vocabulary of Nupe in 1864.


The Most Reverend Samuel Ajayi Crowther

1.    In 1864, he was ordained as the first African bishop of the Anglican Church; he was consecrated a bishop on St Peter's day 1864, by Charles Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury at Canterbury Cathedral.
2.      He is the first African to receive the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Oxford.
3.   He is celebrated with a feast on the liturgical calendar of some Anglican churches, including the Episcopal Church (United States) and the Church of Nigeria, on December 31.
4.      He died of a stroke, in Lagos, on 31 December 1891



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Friday, 4 May 2018

VISITING THE WORLD SECOND HANGING LAKE

Standing by the sign post to the hanging lake 

Water, stream, river, lakes, ocean in whatever form and name are beautiful sites to visits. I have had the privilege over the years to visit the Osun River, Ogun River, River Niger and  River Benue.  I have been to the Azumini Blue River, I have been to the Okpu Ana Natural Spring in Ukpor. I have visited the Monastery Mountain Waterfall' Awhum  in Enugu and the  Olumirin Waterfalls (Erin-Ijesha) in Oriade, I have toured on the Atlantic Ocean from the Lagos bank and the Accra bank of it.
just about to start the climbing on step 3 to the top of the mountain 

Now, let’s talk about lakes, I have not visited the largest man-made lake in the world, interestingly, it is just next door to me ‘Lake Volta’ which runs from Akosombo in the South to Yeji in the North in Ghana. But I have visited ‘Oguta Blue Lake’, the largest natural lake in Imo State. I have also visited 'Lake Victoria', the world largest tropical lake, the world's second largest fresh water lake by surface area, the world's ninth largest continental lake and obviously Africa's largest lake by area. Today I present to u my visit to the second hanging lake in the world - Iyake Lake, suspended on top of the Oke Ado mountain.

climbing to the top of the mountain on step 200

What is a lake? A lake is an area filled with water, like in a shape of a basin and surrounded by land, with no attachment to a river or stream that feed or drain the lake. Most lakes are found in mountainous areas, rift zones, and areas with ongoing glaciation.

There are two hanging lakes in the world, one in Colorado U.S.A. and the other in Oke Ado mountain in Ado Awaye, Oyo State, Nigeria.
Standing by the ‘Ishage rock’ a very massive rock

The Colorado hanging lake is located in Glenwood Canyon, about 7 miles (11 km) east of Glenwood Springs. History have it that it was discovered by a man searching for gold in the canyon, he found a dead horse at the opening of a gulch and followed the gulch up through the steep hillside through the canyon he came around the backside and saw a small bowl-like basin of water hanging onto the cliffs below.

The Oke Ado hanging lake, is about 20km West of Iseyin, Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State amidst mountains. The mountains were some form of defence for the inhabitants in the prehistoric years. Just like the Olumo rock in Abeokuta was, the Oke  Ado mountains kept the enemies away. Especially during the Dahomey wars against the Yoruba (OYO) kingdom.

laying down very close to a foot like hole – ‘Agbomofunyake’.
Which is believed to be like a door to the lake

standing beside the Elephant tree, a fallen tree with twisted trunks

The hanging Iyake-lake is said to have some spiritual powers for barren women to get pregnant, people with needs go there to drink water from the lake for their needs to be met.    

To get to the hanging lake is fun, about 23 minutes of climbing a 350, steps and 16 minutes of hiking through the rocks. Most of the steps have been washed out by erosion, so one have to be very careful, because once you miss your step, one may roll down to the beginning. 

While on the mountain you will see the ‘Ishage rock’, a massive rock standing like it was dropped from the sky, the communities around worship the rock for they believe it has spiritual powers.

This roots of a tree, still growing after it was up rooted, is also describe as an Elephant tree  


Iyake lake and its water are treasured, no one swims and no ne baths in it. My adventours spirit made me wander the source of the water. Is it rain water, if it is rain water, then it will dry in the dry season, but history have it that for years since it was discovered it has never dried and it retains the same volume of water even during rainy season.

I have been able to debunk the story. The lake overflows its bank with rain, and the extra water flows down the rock and out it goes.  
 If u look closely following my finger, you will notice the escape source of the 
extra water from the lake after a rain fall, this how the lake is able to maintain its size always 

The other option is the possibility of being connected to a spring that supplies the water. (crater lake).

Like in my visit to the forest of a thousand demons, where I saw a talking tree, the mountain of Ado has an elephant tree, a fallen tree with twisted trunks I also saw a talking tree on the mountain.  

There is also a talking tree on the way to the lake, up on the mountain 


I also visited “Esekan Iku” - “the verge of death” from where I sighted buildings in the Benin Republic border towns.

Some folktales about the lake, have it that it is bottomless and leads to another world. It said that some Europeans who once dived inside to find out its depth never came out alive.

Standing in front of the Hanging lake

On the mountain about two metres away from the lake is a foot like hole – ‘Agbomofunyake’. Which is believed to be like a door to the lake. If one falls into the hole, he ends up in the lake.


standing at the back of the hanging lake 


I also saw the ‘ese awon agba’ (footprints of elders), foot sized depressions which were believed to be footprints of the ancestors of the community and broken pieces potsherds that litter the mountains.
 The potion of the mountain where my right foot is and where I am pointing at is vibrating as if it will sink


I love Research, I love adventure, I love exploration and I love tourism











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