Friday, 28 December 2018


Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari
Born on February 25, 1925 and passed on December 28, 2018.

He was the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria October 1, 1979 - December 31, 1983

He was born in February 25, 1925, at Yabo in Shagari Community of Sokoto State, Nigeria. He attended Yabo Elementary School, 1931-1935; Middle School, 1935-1941; Kaduna College (now Barewa College) Kaduna 1941-1994; and Teacher Training College, Zaria 1944-1945. 

He served as Science Teacher, Sokoto Middle School, 1945-1950; Headmaster, Argungu Senior Primary School, 1951-1952; and Senior Visiting Teacher, Sokoto Province, 1953-1956. He was elected into the House of Representative for Sokoto West, 1954-1958; Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, 1958-1959; Acting Federal Minister of Commerce and Industry 1959; Minister of Economic Development 1959-1960; Minister of Pensions and Establishment 1960-1962; Minister of Internal Affairs, 1962-1965; and Minister of works 1965-1966. One time Secretary, Sokoto Province Educational Development fund 1967-1968; Commissioner for Establishment, North Western (Sokoto) 1968-1969; Federal Commissioner for Finance, 1971-1975; member, constituent Assembly (1977-1978). He was elected the first Executive President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces 1979, with a total vote scored of 5, 688, 857, beating Chief Obafemi Awolowo to a vote of 4, 916, 651. He was topple in a Military Coup on December 31, 1983 and was subsequently placed under house arrest. He was member, Nigerian Scholarship 1954-1958; He was conferred with Honorary Doctor of Laws (Hon. LLD) by the Ahmadu Bello University (1976) was the Secretary of the defunct Northern People’s Congress (NPC) 1951-1956. Some of his publications are: Wakar Nigeria (1983), Song of Nigeria and Shehu Usman Dan, The Turakin of Sokoto.  He is fondly called Shagari.


1979, October 17:      President Shehu Shagari submitted the list of 33 ministers to the Senate for approval. The Ministers in accordance with the Constitution are drawn from all the States of the Federation. Twenty-four of them are of cabinet rank while 14 are of non-cabinet rank. Of the cabinet of ministers, two each are picked from Benue, Kaduna, Anambra, Imo and Plateau States. Others are drawn from each state. The following is the full list of the ministers: FEDERAL CABINET MINISTRIES: Anambra, Mr. D.C. Ugwu, Mr. Chimezie Ikeazor; Bauchi, Mr. M.I Hassan; Brono, Mr. Adamu Ciroma; Bendel, Mr. I.A. Emina; Benue, Mr. I. Shaahu, Mr. Paul Unongo; Cross River, Prof. S.M. Essang; Gongola, Prof. Iya Abubakar; Imo, Dr. Sylvester Ugoh, Dr. I. I. Maduike; Kaduna Alhaji U. Dikko, Prof. Ishaya Audu; Kano, Alhaji B.M. Yusuf; Kwara, Alhaji A. Oniyangi; Lagos, Dr. W.O. Dosunmu; Niger, Alhaji N. Mamudu; Ogun, Mrs. A.E. Oyagbola; Ondo, Mr. S.A. Ogedengbe; Oyo, Chief R.O. Akinjide; Plateau, Mr. J.J. Kadiya; Rivers, Mr, Victor Masi: Sokoto, Alhaji I. Gusau.  NON-CABINET MINISTERS: Bauchi, Alhaji Ahmed Musa; Bendel, Chief Bolokor; Borno, Alhaji A. Jarma; Cross River, Chief E. Okoi-Obuli; Gongola, Alhaji Ali Baba; Kaduna, M.l.A. Dan-Musa; Kano, Alhaji B. Usman; Kwara, Mallam M.A. Makele; Lagos Mr. A. Thomas; Ogun, Chief Olu Awotesu; Ondo, Mr. C.A. Bamgboye, Oyo, Chief (Mrs.) J. Akinrinade; Rivers, Dr. J. Igbani; Sokoto, Alhaji Mahu.
1979, October 22:     President Shehu Shagari swore-in new permanent secretaries and laid down a firm guideline for them in the performance of their duties. The President expects them to possess a sense of purpose, to be creative, to keep good and decent company, to give responsible leadership by example, be dedicated to duty and show loyalty to the government and the nation. He warned the 31 permanent Secretaries that if any of them breached the code of conduct, he would be disciplined.
1979, November 15: President Shehu Shagari said in Lagos that he has no objection to the amendment of our constitution on the issue of freedom of the Press. The President was speaking at the State House, Ribadu Road, after an eight-man team of the Nigerian Guild of Editors presented a memorandum on issues affecting the operation of the Press. The Guild of Editors requested the President as “the primary proposer of legislation, chief lobbyist, diplomat-in-chief and Nigeria’s number one citizen” to initiate a bill to the effect that the National Assembly shall make no laws to abrogate the freedom of expression and freedom of the Press. President Shagari said he would accept such an amendment if it had the support of the majority of the legislators, but added that the initiative should not come from the executive but from the legislature.

1980, February 6:      The President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, received in audience, the visiting Commonwealth Secretary-General Mr. Shridat Rampal. While exchanging views with the visiting Secretary-General, the President expressed the hope that an amicable settlement would be achieved in Zimbabwe
1980, February 19:    The president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, in the course of his official visit to Bendel state, visited the Aladja steel project to see the progress so far made in the project construction.
1980, February 27:    President Shehu Shagari made his first official visits out side Nigeria to Republic of Benin.
1980, February 28:    The President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari met the representatives of the Nigerian Community in Cotonou, during his one day official visit to Benin Republic. Later at a press conference held in Cotonou at the end of his one-day visit, the President expressed satisfaction with the progress made on the various aspects of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Benin republic. He made particular reference to the joint partnership between the two countries in cement, sugar and road projects and expressed happiness that some of them had come to fruition.
1980, March 5:          President Shehu Shagari gave a directive that two million naira worth of relief materials should be distributed to the oil spillage areas of the Niger Delta. Another report says the federal Minister of housing and Environment Dr. Wahab Dosunmu and a separate three-man team of relief officials have started a tour of areas affected by the oil spillage.
1980, October 7:        President Shehu Shagari visited the United States of America and was
                                    hosted by President Jimmy Carter.
1980, October 17:      President Shehu Shagari presented his cabinet list for approval to the Senate.
1980, October 25:      President Shagari commissioned the Kaduna Oil refinery built at the cost of N503 million.
1980, November 22: President Shehu Shagari held first meeting with his National Council of State.
1981, November 1:    President Shehu Shagari laid foundation stone of the Jos Steel Rolling Mill.
1981, December 17:  President Shehu Shagari proposed N10.9 billion in the
                                    1982 budget.
1981, November 3:    President Shagari declared open the first made in Nigeria
Consumer and Industrial Goods Trade Fair in Lagos.

1983, December 31: Military coup in Nigeria ended the second term of President Shehu Shagari in office.
1984, January 3:        Deposed president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, was flown from Kaduna to Lagos amidst water-tight security.
 He died December 28, 2018 at the National Hospital, Abuja At 7:03pm

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Friday, 21 December 2018

8th oldest Secondary School in Nigeria - Kings College Lagos needs our help

Dr. Raphael James standing in front of Kings College library  

On December 17th 2018, I visited the 8th oldest secondary school in Nigeria, the Kings College Lagos, (originally called King’s School, Lagos), located at 3, Catholic Mission Street, Lagos, Nigeria. One of the oldest Government secondary schools in Nigeria founded by an Act of British Parliament on Monday September 29, 1909 with 10 students, (including J.C. Vaughan, Isaac Ladipo Oluwole, Frank Macaulay, Herbert Mills (from the Gold Coast), O.A. Omololu and Moses King) for the purpose of giving a higher education. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity of meeting with the Principal Mr. Kolawole Isaac Sola during my visit but comments have it that he is a great man, a product of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna state and the University of Ibadan where he bagged Master’s Degree in Educational Evaluation.

O. A. Oluwole one of the foundation students became the first Senior Prefect of the school. The school building was erected and furnished at a cost of £10,001. It was made up of a hall to accommodate 300 students, 8 lecture rooms, a chemical laboratory and an office.  The school started with a staff of three Europeans (a principal who gave instruction in English Language, Literature and Latin, a Mathematical and Science Master) with two African assistant teachers. Occasionally, members of the Education Department were engaged as lectures of the classes.

Kings College first building 1914

Students were prepared for Matriculation Examination of the University of London, provided useful course of study to those who eventually qualified for professional life and those that entered Government or Mercantile service. It was also used then for the Cambridge Local Examinations. In fact, from among the very first set of twenty-five students that sat for the Cambridge examinations in 1914, twenty passed; eleven senior and nine junior. Presently the school conducts exams for the West African School-Leaving Certificate and the National Examinations Council.

Dr Raphael James standing in front Kings College building

History has it that in 1908, Mr. Henry Rawlingson Carr - the Nigerian Acting Director of Education in Lagos, advised Governor Walter Egerton among many others to the formation of King's College. Carr convinced the London Board of Education that King's College's education mission would not overlap but supplement the education initiatives of missionary societies. The school uniform consists of a white shirt (long-sleeved for those in the senior school and short-sleeved for those in the junior school), a school tie and/or a school badge, white trousers, black belt, socks and black laced shoes and a blue blazer. 

Front view of Kings College gate from the main road

I was conducted on a guarded tour of the school premises by one of the staff and an old student Mr Jamezany Ofonimeh 03set. I was told that the College occupies about 10 Acres of land, with Day and Boarding facilities. The main building is a long-stretched-L-shaped two story block, consisting: the Introductory Technology Workshop, Assembly Hall and the College Clinic on the ground floor. The first floor is a long stream of hostels, which accommodate the Harmans and Panes Houses. On the top of the Houses is the penthouse of four flats for Housemasters.

Kings College roll call of Principals 1909-date

The ground floor of the second segment of the building has three classrooms, while the first and second floors accommodate the McKee Wright House. The third segment, is the Administrative Block or Brick block. The complex is of Colonial British architecture.  The building has brick walls and wooden floors. It accommodates a classroom, three offices and the College Library adjoining the building at the rear end of the ground floor; while the first floor consists of staff rooms and offices. The Principal’s office, the General Office and the Bursary are located on the third floor. The fourth segment of the structure is a storey building that houses the Science Laboratories.

Other buildings include a two storey block housing 12 classrooms and 8 offices for teachers, beside the Laboratory Block.  This block was put up in 1999 by the College Parents’ Teachers Association (PTA). Behind the PTA block is the Senior Boarding Housemaster’s (SBHM) House. A block of residential rooms is also located near the SBHM’s quarters. Towards the Western end of the College is a storey building, which accommodates the Dining Hall (ground floor) and the oldest Dormitory in the College – Hyde Johnson House above. Beside Hyde Johnson is a residential block of two flats for teachers and a Squash Court building.

Dr Raphael James with an old student of KC, Alhaji Lateef Jakande,
former Governor of Lagos State and former Federal Minister of Works & Housing

The school has sporting and recreational facilities including a standard Football field, Badminton and Squash courts, Cricket pitch, Basketball court and Table Tennis facilities.

Their library as well as the entire school need support and rehabilitation. on that note i will be presenting books to their library come 2019.  
The first Principal was Mr. Lomax who was seconded from the Survey Department, not long after he was replaced by Mr. Hyde-Johnson who lasted for nine months and was succeeded by Mr. Rowden, but the first African principal was Rex Akpofure. 

Dr Raphael James with an old student of KC, Gen. Odumegwu Ojukwu, 
Head of State of the defunct Republic of Biafra

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Thursday, 20 December 2018


Chief Mrs Sinatu Aduke Sanni

In 1864, Abeokuta was attacked by Dahomey, during this period the parents of Sinatu, migrated to the top of the Olumo rock to hide for protection, so it was no surprise that they got so use to the rock that they returned there years back. Sinatu Aduke Sanni was born on Friday August 15, 1884, that was 3 months before the Berlin conference commenced in Germany to partition African countries among European rival states, there Britain successfully laid claims to the territory of the Niger Basin and that was on November 15.

Chief Mrs Sinatu

Sinatu was just 6 years old when, father Conquard arrived at Abeokuta in 1890. On January 18, 1893, Sinatu was only 9 years old when the people of Abeokuta signed a treaty with British Governor Gilbert Carter and a quasi-independent state was granted to Abeokuta and by 1895, Father Conquard Built the first hospital in Nigeria at Abeokuta. When Abeokuta Grammar School started in July 16, 1908, Sinatu was encouraged to start school but it did not last, she felt ridiculous, for she was already 24 years and married, as she has taken over her mother’s trade of farming.

Chief Mrs Sinatu

On September 6, 1917, Sinatu was a part of the mass rally at the palace of Alake of Egbe land, just like most women her age and by 1918, when there was a massive Abeokuta riot, the 34 years old retired back to Olumo rock and she leaves there even as I write. 

artworks representing the war lords of Abeokuta on Olumo rock

Sinatu grew up under the Olumo rock and she has witnessed the coronation of about four Alake of Egbaland, including the September 28, 1963, coronation of Prince Adesina Gbadebo as the Alake of Abeokuta.       

the baobab tree where certain sacrifices are made for the gods

'Abeokuta' (Under the rock or 'beneath the rock'. Chief Sinatu is the Chief Priest of ‘Orisha Igun’
shrine, managed by women under her directives. They worship their own personal god ‘Orisa Igun’ (god of longevity) within the shrine

Dr Raphael James in the frontage of one of the huts under the rock where Sinatu grew up 

Olumo Rock is one of the tourist destinations in Abeokuta, Ogun State of Nigeria. It is the original safe ground of the indigenes of Egbaland, during the wars between the Kingdom of Dahomey people and Egba people. The people lived in caves,  inside the rock and they remain protected throughout the war period.

Dr Raphael on Olumo rock

She believes in the ‘god of the rock’ which, she says has kept her protected and directed her life all the years. 

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Promoting Book reading the CRIMMD LIBRARY WAY

Promoting book reading at CRIMMD comes in different ways this was awesome, it was our ‘Reading with Fun series tagged “The 'Ijebu-Garri-Drinking-Book Reading event”.

Facebook friend turn sister madam Atinuke Balogun aka Mama Onigarri donated to us, 10 bags of 1kg ijebu garri, and one bag of 2kg, total of 12kg, we had sugar, milk, two bottles of groundnut, and a pot of hot steaming Aganyin-bean (soft over cooked beans). The program started by 12.30 and ended by 2pm, it was held as usual at our CRIMMD FREE PUBLIC Library venue, 138 Ejigbo-Idimu road, by Ago-Adura bus stop, Idimu, Lagos.

 It was chaired by Mr. Tunde Oduwole. The books read are: ‘Nigeria their Nigeria’ by Dan Agbese; ‘Future tense’ by Richard O. Ikiebe and Taiwo Obe; ‘Live Your Abundant life’ by Aya Fubara Eneli; ‘Writing the wrong’ by Chid Chidi Amuta; ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ by Gozie Udemezue (Nwanyioma Nwachinemelu); ‘Nigerian festivals’ by Pelu Awofeso; ‘Cate saves the Ikopi Rain Forest’ by Adesola Aduke Arit Alamutu and Peju Dawodu; ‘Perspective from my mind’s eye’ by Steve Akadiri; ‘Destined to win’ by Soji Omotunde; ‘The man marches on’ by Jones Arogbofa; ‘My Stepping Stone’ by Jossy Nkwocha; ‘Catch them young through the energy vision’ by Daniel Anikor; ‘Olaitan Oyerinde’ by Lois Otse Adams and ‘A combatant at war’ by Utibe Ukim, Emmanuel Ukpong and Adeola Fadairo.

 It was a great outing as we later descended on the Ijebu garri and dealt with it mercilessly. Readers are leaders and that is what we are doing at the CRIMMD Free library since 2004
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Sunday, 9 December 2018

Giringori Akabogu of the New Masquerade deserves our commendation always

A friend, myself and Mr James Iroha aka Giringori

While I served as Media Assistant to the Governor of Abia State from 1999 to 2000, I had a friend, a very senior friend, a man I respected so much growing up in the 80's. A man with the Midas touch, one of the best script writer, best actor, best producer Nigeria ever had, he was then Director of Programs at the Abia State Broadcasting Service. 

Giringori in action 

When he was not in his office and not at home, he was in my place, he called me 'James Junior' and I called him 'James Senior'. James Iroha a.k.a Giringori Akabogu of the New Masquerade. A 1966 graduate of University of Ibadan, the creator of the television drama - "The New Masquerade", which ruled the screen in the early 80s, on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Network. The New Masquerade started as a radio programme in the then East Central State Broadcasting Corporation radio, Enugu which, at its prime, was the “King of Primetime” on the NTA Network. It ran as a 15-minute radio programme, known as "The Masquerade". 

Albums of New Masquerade featuring James Iroha

The audio format was adapted for an audiovisual recording and was adopted by the NTA Network service in the early 70s. For almost two decades, the half-hour slapstick programme captivated a national audience. He spent about 40 years of his life acting until his death at the age of 70. 

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