Protest as DSS arrests PDP campaign director

Bako who is the director of the media committee of the governorship candidate Isa Ashiru’s campaign organisation was arrested at the weekend by the security operatives for undisclosed charges.

At a press briefing in Kaduna yesterday, the Deputy Director, Ashiru Campaign Organisation, Comrade Danjuma Sarki, said the State Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Ahmadu Idris, placed a curious invitation to Bako before he was arrested and whisked away to Abuja .

“As a law-abiding citizen with nothing to fear or hide, Mr. Bako dutifully honoured the invitation of the DSS after informing many members of the campaign team.

“We are very much aware that long before now, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, under the leadership of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, had penned down a long list of influential PDP members in the state for intimidation, arrest and detention over spurious charges a few days to the general elections,” Sarki alleged.

Among those listed for arrest, according to him, are Makarfi, who is also a former national chairman, Caretaker Committee of the PDP; former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero; chairman of the state PDP, Chief Felix Hyat; former chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Yaro Makama; and state secretary of the party, Wusono.

“We are also aware that several youth leaders of the PDP in the state, women leaders and staunch supporters, including some public commentators, are also to be locked up shortly before the elections.

“The plan is to lock away 150 leaders of the PDP at the state and local government areas on trumped up charges of hate speech during campaign rallies. The intention is to send fears and weaken the spirit of the campaign or to stir crisis in the state.
“But unknown to Governor el-Rufai and the DSS, the more he arrests us, the stronger the PDP gets. It is too late to reverse the determination of the traumatised people of Kaduna State. They have been fleeced by a narrow group of friends and family under a government of tyranny, propaganda, bigotry, disunity and backwardness,” he said.

Sarki, who condemned Governor el-Rufai’s recent threat to local and global peace, said: “If anyone deserves impeachment, arrest or arraignment for hate speech over the years, it has to be el-Rufai of Kaduna State.

“The world today is still outraged by the murderous threat of the governor to international election observers, when he vowed that should any of them intervene contrary to the designs and expectation of the APC during and after elections, the person would return home in body bags.

“Curiously the presidency came out in full support of that crude, barbaric bravado which carries a costly diplomatic price, should any harm befall any international election observer in the course of their legitimate duty in Nigeria during the polls.”

The Kaduna PDP said that “from el-Rufai’s call for violent assault to the three senators in the state; his denigrating reference to the pope over his rejection by the electorate in Kaduna State and his latest threat, he remains the greatest albatross to local and international peace in Nigeria today. Not Mr. Ben Bako of the PDP. “

The PDP said it would not be drawn into any violent conflict no matter the provocation.

“Let us reiterate for the records: The PDP in Kaduna State is determined and totally committed to violence-free polls. No member or supporter of the PDP must be involved in breaking the law. In the same manner, the PDP is serious about ensuring that every vote cast in the state counts.

“We are calling on our members and supporters to ensure that they come out in large numbers and vote. They must ensure that their votes are counted, recorded and securely moved to the next collation centre. On this, we are ready to use every legal means to protect our franchise. No amount of intimidation, threat, blackmail and illegal use of state force will deter us from this aspect.”

The Kaduna PDP demanded the release of Bako from detection.

“The DSS has become compromised and partisan in Kaduna and we say no to such development. We believe that the Kaduna State Director of the DSS, Ahmadu Idris, will not be neutral in the 2019 general elections and we call for his immediate redeployment. We also call on both local and international observers to take special interest in elections in Kaduna State elections,” the party said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the APC in Kaduna State said yesterday that the party was in support of the arrest of Bako.

In an interview with The Guardian, the Assistant Publicity Secretary of Kaduna APC, Salisu Tanko Wusono ,said the Biko deserved to be arrested for posing security threat to the state during the PDP’s campaigns in the state.

Wusono however said : “For whatever reasons, I think the security agencies in Kaduna State are in the best position to tell the general public why they have arrested Bako.

Student dies on way to convocation venue

It was an occasion he looked forward to, but alas, he was not part of it. Graduating student of Library and Information Technology of the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA), Niger State, Justus Jiya, died in a road crash on his way to the convocation ground from Mokwa, his hometown. 

Like his colleagues, Mr. Justus Jiya planned to attend the 28th convocation and Founder’s Day of the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA), in Niger State, and thereafter return to Mokwa, his home town.

But while others made the trip, Jiya could not. He was killed in a motor accident that occured last Thursday morning.

CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the late 23-year-old Jiya with three other passengers died in the auto crash that occurred along Mokwa-Bida road.

It was also learnt that Jiya, who just completed his programme in Library and Information Technology (LIT), was traveling to Minna for his convocation at FUTMINNA when the car he boarded had a head-on collision with another vehicle coming from the opposite direction.

A witness, who pleaded not to be mentioned, said the commercial bus conveying Jiya was trying to evade a big pothole when it collided with a truck.

He said Jiya’s remains were buried on the same day as his body parts were mangled due to the damage done to the bus he boarded.

The sad news of Jiya’s death broke through the campus, leaving many of his colleagues and course mates shell shocked.

Some of his mates, who came for the convocation, CAMPUSLIFE gathered, held a candle-light procession at Bosso Campus to mourn their late classmate.

The deceased’s project supervisor, Prof. Georgina Oyedum, and his class representative addressed the bereaved students at the LIT Building complex around 8pm after the candlelight.

The don described his late student as a hardworking, courteous, gentle and responsible person, adding that  he was shocked to hear about Jiya’s death in a car accident.

He said the entire workers in the department were pained by news of Jiya’s loss, urging other students to strive to lead a life of positive influence and good example as led by the deceased.

“The late Jiya, who I personally supervised his project, was a student with an uncommon passion to learn. He was hardworking and at the same time brilliant. He was always receptive to my corrections on his dissertation, which he would humbly rework perfectly, and without delay. It was like a thunderbolt hearing the news of his demise. While I have the fervent belief that Almighty God will grant him a tranquil rest, I urge his family, friends and colleagues to be comforted that his exemplary and blossoming life was a reference point,” he said.

Evelyn Karse, a coursemate of the deceased, expressed shock over his death, saying the 2018 graduating set of LIT would miss him for many reasons. “We are all mourning the tragic loss of our dear friend, humble brother and brilliant classmate. Jiya was a colleague who meant different things to many of us. He was truly caring, gentle, cheerful, amiable and a highly-devoted Christian, who was very active in campus evangelism. It was demoralising hearing that he was killed in an accident while travelling to Minna for his convocation.”

A 400-Level student of FUTMINNA,  Obinna Okoye, said Jiya whom he called Babson, was eventually confirmed dead at a hospital in Mokwa after the auto crash.

He said: “Though, the accident happened in the morning of Thursday, getting accurate information about his condition was difficult. However, our worst fear was confirmed when my late friend’s class representative called his family, and was told of Jiya’s death. As I join others to grief over Babson’s painful death, I ask God to comfort his bereaved family at this trying moment.”

A former roommate of Jiya, who simply identified himself as Mr. Smart, said the deceased epitomised true, caring and affectionate friendship. He also described the deceased as a selfless giver and cheerful companion.

Though Jiya may have departed this world forever, Smart is optimistic that the deceased’s memory would remain fond and evergreen in the minds of those who crossed his path.

“The time we spent together as roommate in 200-Level was one of my best moments in FUTMINNA,” Smart recalled.

He continued: “On several occasions when I was financially handicapped, it was Jiya who usually  rescued me. He usually gave without expecting anything in return. Being a devout Christian was the hallmark of his personality. It was as a result of his tireless preaching that I was co-opted into the Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS) and participated in many evangelical activities on campus.”

Another graduate of the university and a relative of the deceased, who politely declined mentioning his name, told CAMPUSLIFE that the late Jiya was someone every parent would be proud to have as a child.

“It is devastating that we couldn’t witness his convocation,” the source lamented.

“This (convocation) is something every member of Justus’ family had eagerly awaited. Jiya’s death came as a rude shock to us, his close family relatives. At this tough moment, I join other sympathisers to mourn his glorious exit, and ask God to grant him peaceful rest. Adieu Jiya,” the bereaved-family member said.

CAMPUSLIFE learnt that some graduating students, who came for the convocation ceremony, also took to their social media accounts to mourn their departed colleague.

One Monday Abraham’s Facebook account read thus: “I woke up this morning to the breaking of the news of my inimitable, calm, and extremely Babson Jiya’s death. A devoted Christian, and a librarian to be certified tomorrow (last Friday). I can’t forget the pleasurable moments we shared together, especially when we ate from the same plate. My bosom friend, though I am yet to come to terms with the reality that you are permanently gone, yet I can’t question the authority of Almighty God. Your death, indeed, has enriched my life experience and broadened my scope generally about this transient life.

“LIT department, will forever, miss you. Adieu Egbon!”

“So sad to hear that you are no more,” lamented Opeyemi Moses, another sympathiser on his Facebook account.

“Tomorrow (last Friday) is your convocation and you passed away today. It is equally tragic that you left after our five-year struggles in school. Dear friend, adjectives will fail me if I attempt to describe your exceptional personality. Not me, or even any other colleague of yours, can describe the extent of the pain your departure brought to us. Jiya, we love you, but God loves you more. #RestInPeace.”

Atiku’s candidature, a blessing to Nigeria, says Jerry Useni

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Candidate in Plateau, Rtd. Gen. Jerry Useni, says that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s presidential candidature is a blessing to Nigeria.

Useni spoke through his running mate, Dr James Dalok, on Sunday before group of PDP supporters in Ketang, Mango Local Government of Plateau.

The PDP flag bearer said that the pedigree of Atiku was beyond human understanding and very capable of rescuing Nigerians from the hardship the All Progressives Congress (APC) had brought upon them.

”Atiku has what it takes to rescue Nigeria and Nigerians from the socioeconomic mess this present administration brought upon them.

”I wish to assure you that the long abandoned Panyam-Bokkos-Wamba Road and Gindiri Regional Water Plant will be completed if Atiku and himself as governor of Plateau,” he said.

Useni called on the people to vote wisely in the forthcoming elections to ensure that Atiku was voted into power.

He assured the people of the state of better and appealing people oriented policies and programs.

Also speaking, Mr Caleb Mutfwang, former Chairman, Mango LG appealed to party supporters in the council to vote massively for Atiku and Useni.

”We won’t disappoint our own son, Dalok, Useni’s running mate but give our bloc votes to them to lead us to the promise land,” he said. (NAN)

Polls: Police to deploy over 12000 personnel in Edo

Edo State Police Command said over 12,000 security personnel would be deployed for Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The elections would be conducted in 192 wards across 18 local government areas.

State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosun, who stated this at a media briefing on Monday said three additional Commissioners of Police would be deployed to be in charge of each senatorial district.

Odumosun said voters would be allowed to be at polling units even after voting but would be made to stay 300 metres away from where actual voting is taking place.

The Edo Police boss warned youths in the state not to allow themselves to be used for any act of violence during the conduct of the election.

He promised to provide level playing field for all political parties and cautioned politicians not to see the election as war.

According to him, “Other sister security agencies will support us. The people should not be afraid of arrest. We are adopting various strategies to ensure peaceful elections.

Grammy: Twitter on ‘fire’ over Drake’s acceptance speech

Over 480 thousand Twitter users have reacted to Drake’s controversial acceptance speech at the 61st Grammy Awards.

The rapper, who picked the Grammy for Best Rap Song for ‘God’s Plan’, took the moment to address the imbalance in award nominations and awards.

He said, “I want to take this opportunity while I’m up here to just talk to all the kids that are watching this, aspiring to do music.

“All my peers that make music from their heart that do things pure and tell the truth, I wanna let you know we’re playing in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport.

“So it’s not the NBA where at the end of the year you’re holding a trophy because you made the right decisions or won the games.

“The point is you have already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word if you’re a hero in your hometown.

“If there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows.

“You don’t need this right here, I promise you that, you already won,” he said, holding up his Grammy.

Following the speech, fans across the world, including Nigeria commended the rapper for speaking his truth and calling out award shows for their perceived bias.

@TundeGbedo said, “For the first time, I will agree with Drake 100 percent on that.”

@Shaneiso tweeted, “Legendary. We are witnessing the hard beginning of Something interesting in the music business.

“Hopefully people can take a lot from these speeches. Those awards don’t validate your creativity and passion.”

@Boodaforceghost wrote, “Thank you Drake for questioning what is an artist true worth and the meaning of true success, it’s a shame we couldn’t hear more.”

Man stones father to death

A 32-year old man, Rufus Akande, has been arrested by men of the Edo State Police Command for allegedly killing his 75 years old father, Usman Akande with a stone.

Rufus was said to have committed the act inside the late father’s cashew farm at Ibillo, Akoko-Edo local government area.

He was alleged to have used a stone to hit his father severally after an argument inside the farm.

State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosun, said late Usman told his son not to enter the farm again which made his son to attack him.

Rufus, however, denied hitting his father with a stone.

He said his father was chasing him around the farm with a cutlass and fell down hitting his head on a stone.

“I did not kill my father. He was pursuing me and he fell down. The stone was on the ground. My father died six days later at the hospital.”

Odumosun said the suspects would soon be charged to court.

31-year-old spiritualist defrauds woman of N2m

A 31-year-old man, Oladele Omotosho, who allegedly defrauded a woman of N2 million under the guise of giving her spiritual cleansing, has appeared before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.

The defendant, who lives at Inland Street, by Oladele bus stop, Ibadan, Oyo State, is facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretences and stealing before Magistrate M.I. Dan-Oni.

He pleaded not guilty.

Prosecuting Inspector Victor Eruada said the defendant committed the offence in connivance with others at large on June 17, 2016, in Lagos.

He alleged that the defendant defrauded Mrs. Mojisola Sufian, to whom he presented himself as a spiritualist with special abilities to solve spiritual problems.

Eruada said the defendant told Sufian that she would conceive a child if he conducted spiritual cleansing for her, adding that the defendant told the woman to bring N2 million for the exercise.

“Omotosho saw a vision for the complainant (Sufian) that she would conceive after spiritual cleansing, which he never did.

“When the complainant demanded her money, the defendant told her that he did not have the money.

“The case was reported, and the defendant arrested,” the prosecutor said.

The magistrate granted the defendant N500,000 bail with two sureties in the like sum.

He said the sureties should be employed and show evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

The case was adjourned till March 6.

Man, woman found dead inside car

A man and a woman have been found dead inside a vehicle, but the cause of their death remains a mystery.

The police yesterday said investigation had begun to unravel how they died.

The deceased, who were said to be well dressed, were found inside a vehicle at Maryland, Lagos, on Saturday morning.

It is believed that they might have been chatting because of the position they were found.

The Nation learnt that they might have died of carbon monoxide inhalation.

Detectives, it was learnt,   found alcoholic beverages and substances suspected to be herbal concoctions in the vehicle.

The bodies have been deposited in a mortuary.

Command spokesman Chike Oti, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), told The Nation that Commissioner Zubairu Muazu has given the forensic unit one week to submit its findings.

He said: “The police were called to the scene around 8:30am. The bodies were already stiff when the detectives arrived. The identity card of the driver and other items were found inside the vehicle. They have been handed over to forensic experts for analysis. The name on the ID card is Emmanuel Chetan I., Creative Director, Image World Visuals.

“Commissioner Muazu has directed the Forensic Unit, Homicide Section, State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos to carry out detailed investigation into the matter and submit its report within one week.”

Oti added that the family of the woman, whose name is Annie Bose Akhadelor, has been contacted

AXA Mansard announces AXA partnership with Liverpool FC

According to statement made available to reporters in Lagos, AXA reignites its sponsorship strategy to join forces with one of the most famous names in sports.

The multi-year deal with English Premier League legends Liverpool Football Club (“Liverpool FC”) sees AXA become the club’s Official Global Insurance Partner, the statement read.

Commenting on the partnership, AXA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thomas Burbel said: “I am delighted to announce this long-term partnership with Liverpool FC, which comes at a particularly exciting moment for AXA as the Best Global Brand Ranking, announced by Interbrand today, recognised AXA as the number one insurance brand for the 10th year in a row.

“Building on shared values, AXA and Liverpool FC will create innovative experiences for clients, partners and fans around the world, as well as making meaningful contributions to the local communities in which they both operate. Working closely with Liverpool FC’s players, manager, coaches and health professionals, AXA will also create unique and relevant content that will help support the shared goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle, delivering on the AXA brand purpose of empowering people to live a better life.”

AXA Mansard Insurance Brand and Communications Head, Mrs Nkiru Umeh noted that it is their way of identifying with the passion and energy of football fans both in Nigeria and all over the world, that reflects their passion to consistently provide quality products and services to their customers.

Ikechukwu Uche: Secrets of my career longevity

In this clime, they say count your blessings one-by-one and see what God has done for you.

Apparently, this is what former Super Eagles striker, Ikechukwu Uche, appeared to be doing as he looks back on his long impressive Playing career now closing on the two-decade mark.

Now 35, the fleet-footed forward seems to be playing football perpetually since his humbling beginning with defunct Iwuayanwu Nationale (now Heartland FC, Owerri) in 2000 to Spanish second tier side, Gimnàstic de Tarragona, where he currently plies his trade.

However, the metamorphosis of the mercurial striker with the knack for ripping up defences and scoring goals like runs in cricket is attested to by some of these underlying statistics.

One, he was reportedly  transferred  from Iwuayanwu Nationale as a teenager(17)  to Racing de Ferrol in the Spanish second division and played some impressive 24 matches in his second season with the club before they were relegated.

Secondly, he left Racing de Ferrol to another Spanish second tier side, Recreativo de Huelva, where he scored 12 goals in his first year and  was the club’s top scorer in the following  2005/2006 season with 20 goals, including five braces in just 28 appearances as the Andalusians returned – as champions – to La Liga after a three-year absence.

Thirdly, in his first top flight season with Recreativo de Huelva, Uche scored on eight occasions notably in three consecutive matches in November 2006 and ultimately helped  El Abuelo (The Grandfather ) as Recreativo was so nicknamed to finish eighth on the log .

Fourthly, Uche has played for some eight clubs in Spain and reportedly amassed a total of 194 La Liga matches with 42 goals during nine seasons as he turned out for clubs like Recreativo, Getafe, Zaragoza, Villarreal, Granada and Málaga.

Yet, Uche did not fare badly at the national team level and his durability in the game is equally commendable since he turned out for the national team for seven years between 2007 and 2014 with an impressive 19 goals in 46 appearances.

Apart from the above,  Uche, for instance, is one of only 10 players still very active from the 23-man Super Eagles to the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations held in Ghana while the rest have since called it a day.

“I really have to thank God for keeping my career this long but I don’t think I can attribute anything to it than the grace of God for which I’m very grateful,” the soft-spoken Uche echoed with a  soothing melody in a telephone conversation with our correspondent . “I don’t know and nobody can tell you how long I can still go on playing; it’s only my body that can decide how long I can go.”

Though no longer command attention as what with the case when he was prowling like a gazelle in the La Liga, Uche is still a huge factor for Gimnàstic since he arrived as a free agent from Mexican Tigres UANL side in August 2016.

So far, he has reportedly  played over 60 matches with some 16 goals which is not an insignificant statistics for a player now in his halcyon days after some good old days in the top flight of la Liga.

“Retirement from active career is what awaits everybody but I can’t say this is when I’m going to stop playing; after all, I didn’t tell anybody when I started,” offered Uche who recently celebrated his 35th anniversary on 5th January. “Seriously, I’m happy with how things are going and I know when the time comes I’ll retire from playing actively.”

Incidentally, Uche has virtually enjoyed his career in Spain sans the brief stint with Mexican side Tigres UANL in 2015 but he returned almost immediately a year later to Spain as a loanee to Málaga.

“I don’t know if I would have enjoyed my career in other countries and this is a question everybody asks me,” admitted Uche. “But the truth is that this is the only place (Spain) that I’ve been playing this long and I’m happy about it because everything has been so good.

“I have enjoyed the best of my career; and I am happy about all the places I have been to in my career. I like the way it had been and the way it’s going right now.

“The only thing I can say is that I’m happy and feel good about what I have done in the past and even now, I’m happy about my career.”

Always with a smile, Uche explained that football was his first love and it came as a second nature to him. “I don’t know what else I would have done in life because football is all that appealed to me from the start.

“Of course, there are so many things that appealed to us when we are growing up but at the end of the day, there’s only one thing that you’ll be well known for.

“At the end of the day, you might not remember all that you wanted to be as kid; the most important thing is that you want to be successful in life and that is about it. I’m happy that everything is going well.

“For now, football is what I’m doing and all that I like. I’m enjoying what I’m doing and I can say that it’s only football that makes me happy.”

Uche remains a happy-go-lucky guy despite going through some tempestuous time during his days with the Super Eagles, particularly being overlooked from the 2014 World Cup squad at a period when he was then firing on all cylinders for the Yellow Submarines (Villarreal) in the La Liga.

“Playing for the Super Eagles was my dream and I was so happy for being part of the team that won the African Cup of Nations in 2013,” he explained. “Going as far as winning the AFCON  trophy was a feeling you can’t describe and I would say I enjoyed my time playing for the Super Eagles.

“I had a great time and I’m happy I was able to make my fans and family happy with my performances while playing for the national team.

“Looking back, I would always say I have good memory about my time playing for the Super Eagles and the opportunity to represent my country; it’s a feeling no one can take away from me.

“I can and would always thank the fans who have been supporting me over the years; I can’t thank them enough for their support over the years.”

Aside the football faithful all over the country and beyond, Uche has kind words for his brother Kalu Uche with whom they played for the Super Eagles almost at the same time.

In fact, both Uches are in a motley crowd of brothers who have played in the chequered history of the Super Eagles, including Mathematical Segun and Wole Odegbami;  Blockbuster Aloysius and Andrew Atuegbu;  goalkeepers Emmanuel and Patrick Okala;  Monday and Augustine Eguavoen; Tunde and Tajudeen Disu;  Emmanuel and  Austin Jay jay Okocha; John and Peter Utaka ; Emmanuel and Celestine Babayaro;  Nwankwo and Christopher Kanu; Sunday and Azubuike Oliseh and lately Chidiebere and Kelechi Nwakali.

“As an older brother, Kalu surely had an influence on my career especially when we are doing the same thing; playing football,” the Aba-born Uche offered with breath-taking purr. “He gave me good pieces of advice and even now, he’s still doing that and I listen to him.

“Of course, apart from my brother growing up, I watched football and liked football while growing up; I can say that there are lots of players that influenced me.

“Luckily, we’ve had some great players like Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo and other important players in the world; so I saw a whole lot of them while growing up.  There were a whole lot of these players and I can say I took something out from those who were doing well when I was growing up.

“But I don’t know when we can have another player coming through from our family to play for Nigeria but we pray to God. It is something that I would be happy about but I can’t decide when this would happen.”

Yet Uche remains futuristic in his approach to life and apart from looking forward to settle down to marriage soon, he was upbeat about the prospect of the new players now streaming into the Super Eagles – especially Samuel Chukwueze who, incidentally, is turning out for Villarreal where he also made his mark in a four-season spell between 2011 and 2015.

“I went to see Chukwueze at Villarreal because he’s doing great with the club I once played for,” Uche further told our correspondent.

“He’s a very young guy that needs all the encouragement because he has so many great years ahead of him if he can keep his focus and discipline.

“ There’s nothing I can say about going into comparison with him (Chukwueze) but it’s left to people to compare. We have to continue to encourage him because he has  to continue to work hard despite the fact that everything is working well for him now.”

Uche is equally impressed with the new crop of players being blooded by Super Eagles’ Franco-German coach Gernot Rohr, adding that the younger elements remain the future hope of the national team.

He said: “I think the new young boys coming into the national team is good for competition and I’m happy about this development. It is good to have African players in the important leagues and I’m always happy to see Nigerian  young players playing at the top levels in Europe being drafted into the Super Eagles by the coach.”

Of course, anyone with inquisitive mind must be tempted to ask where Uche usually draws his strength from after hearing his sonorous voice as he spoke with remarkable candour over the telephone.

“Anything good makes me happy (laughter) but seriously, I’m cool with everything that is good,” he explained. “Anything good or bad can make me cry. Sometimes, one can cry for joy and at other times, it could be for something bad.

“But music is good for the soul and all kinds of music from gospel to contemporary music are good for me; I love good music.

“My type of music is basically based on my mood and it could be African music or music from any other parts of the world; I’m okay once I feel good about any kind of music,” noted Uche as if he was singing a lullaby to soothe a frayed soul.