Sep 10, 2012

Ahmed Musa Reunites with the Grassroots

Ahmed Musa was in town, the suburb of Bukuru in Jos, where he was born, raised and learnt football. He had trained at the muddy pitch of Aminci Football Club, his grassroots club, in the morning and was scheduled to come back for the evening session. We heard this and all gathered, waiting to see the guy that has made the town of Jos very proud with legs that unleash slug. The training was a special one meant to honor him. All players were unusually serious.
He was schedule to come later, when the training was already in progress, a mark of respect. So we waited... three local journalists, kids and unemployed youths who often spend their free time watching free football. I did not notice when a black Range Rover jeep arrived but noticed it when it was about to leave. It was clear that a personage had just arrived. I could see children crowding around an individual and looked critically to see that the star had arrived. He appeared so simple he makes you doubt if he is that guy that used to generate confusion in the goal mouth of opponents. He wore a black T-shirt and Super Eagles green shorts and prevented his aids from driving away children who crowded him.
After exchanging pleasantries, signing autographs and taking photos with fans, it was time for us the journalists. Musa talked about playing in the English Premiership League, saying that it is the dream of every Nigerian footballer to play in the Barclays Premiership League and his own position regarding that isn’t different. He said that he is aware that he is still young. The implication is that he has so many years of active football ahead of him and that playing in Russia is satisfactory but also provides an opportunity to be noticed by bigger clubs, a lot of which are in England. The star said that even though he is a fan of Arsenal, it does not mean that he must necessarily play for Arsenal alone as football these days is also about the money. He is going to wait and pray for the right time and the right club that destiny brings.
Musa referred to playing in the Champions League as a dream come true that also afforded him the chance to meet his favorite player, Christiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid with whom he had a photograph.
Football fans will recall that Ahmed Musa joined the Nigerian Senior National team, The Super Eagles under Coach Samson Siasia who was eventually sacked when we could not make it to the Nations Cup. Siaisa was replaced by former national team captain, Stephen Keshi. Musa told us that his fortunes had remained the same under the different coaches. Siaisa, according to Musa, kept encouraging him, telling him that he’s got what it takes and can play anywhere around the world. With Keshi, it is the same thing, he says. Keshi has continued to encourage him to help him bring out his best.
Musa expressed disappointment with the inability of the Super Eagles to qualify to play in the last Nations Cup. He said that one of his immediate dreams is to play in the Nations Cup and as such he was devastated when the national team failed to qualify for Africa’s premier football tournament. This time, he says, he believes they are going to qualify. Already, he says, they earned a point when they played a 2-2 draw with the Liberian National Team and sees no reason why they will not defeat the Liberians in the return leg in Calabar.
In the past, Nigerian footballers like Julius Aghahowa had frustrating times playing in Russia because of severe low temperatures. Ahmed Musa said that though the weather in Moscow is colder than in Jos where he comes from, it has not posed any treat or frustration to his career over there. As a matter of fact he is enjoying playing in Russia and looks forward to even better days there. 

Sep 5, 2012

Isa El Buba Builds a Skyscraper in Jos

The Edifice that Isa El Buba is Building
Anybody that has been a movie freak in Jos back in the seventies and eighties will definitely remember there used to be a movie theatre by the name of Scalar Cinema along Kashim Ibrahim Street. Changing times let to diminishing interest in movie watching in Nigeria. Consequently, cinema houses started experiencing reverses in their fortunes, leading to the closure of some of them. As a result, former Scalar building was taken over by a church known as Christ for all Nations. Eventually the building itself was demolished. In its place now is a tall building whose construction is ongoing. When I counted the number of floors, there were about ten of them.
In the whole of Jos, it is possible to count the number of towering structures that go beyond seven floors but not higher than eight floors. There is the Standard Building, PIPC building along Murtala Mohammed Way, The Federal Secretariat at Tudun Wada and the Plateau State Ministry of Education building at Joseph Gomwalk Secretariat of the Plateau State Government. If this building along Kashim Ibrahim Road is completed, it would have set a record as the highest building in the city of Jos. In addition, it will be the only such building to be owned by an individual. All the other ones listed are owned by either the Plateau State Government or the Federal Government. This individual is a clergy man that goes by the name of Isa El Buba.
The name Isa El Buba first rang a bell in my mind earlier in the year 2007 when he organized a well publicized evangelical crusade that was attended by the Plateau State Governor, Jonah David Jang, the year Jang became the Plateau State Governor. People came to know him as a man from Borno State that was formerly a Muslim, a fact that seem to explain the presence of the prefix “el” in his name. It appears El Buba has taken a decision to make Plateau State his home as he has managed to weave himself into the brotherhood of the Plateau people so much that he is said to have written a popular jingle praying for Plateau State and which is played each time the television and radio arms of the Plateau Radio and Television Corporation, PRTVC opens or closes for the day. Some years back, civil servants had to pick up a quarrel with El Buba for sticking his nose where it was not wanted when he dabbled into a labor misunderstanding between the Civil Service and the State Government.
It is rumored that El Buba plans to establish a school of theology and the towering building is meant to house the school. This leaves me wondering. First, the noisy nature of the street along which the structure is been erected makes it unsuitable for learning. Secondly, the conditions of similar buildings in the city are enough to warn Pastor El Buba of the waste it will amount in putting millions into its erection. The top floors of these buildings are virtually uninhabited due to absence of elevators as a result of the difficulty of maintaining them and the unpredictable electric power situations that has made the use of elevators risky in the country as a whole. Secondly, should one decide to sell such a structure, it will be difficult to find buyers for the same reasons. Where someone decides to buy at all, he will under-price it, knowing the top floors will be of no use. On the other hand, the worth of the structure will only appreciate with time, had the floors of the building been spread over a large expanse of land as is expected of a conventional school, just like The Theological College of Northern Nigeria located in the outskirts of the city.
A lot of people however believe that the pastor knows the rational bankruptcy associated with the erection of that kind of edifice and that he is only doing it to serve a more important purpose which is, primarily, to demonstrate to himself and onlookers, what he is capable of achieving.

Finangwai Dreams Big for Plateau State

Dr Hosea Finangwai. Source Dr Finangwai There is that saying that “the things that people desperately seek are always with them.” If ...