(CULLED FROM YAHOO GROUPS)

Adeniba Adepoyigi <adenibaadepoyigi@ yahoo.com. au wrote:
Dear All

I just returned from Nigeria where I spent the past six months and felt I wasn't ready yet to start contributing to debates on the forum until I read the below piece from my good friend Dr Osuji. He has argued this point in the past that the future for African religions is what he calls 'syncretism' i.e. the "mix of African and Christian religions" due to our colonial experience, I totally disagree with him on this issue.

1. This 'syncretism' idea is not new at all. I consider it to be another ploy to ensure that Africans will for ever continue to define themselves in the European image. Isn't this what they had always wanted? We are misled into thinking that we can take part of their religion and merge it with ours to create a new religion which will free us from their yoke. But wait a minute. What will be the major defining aspects of this new 'syncretised' religion? Who will be the main heroes and what holy text will be used? Religion or spirituality is central to all cultures because it consists of systems of belief, values, and norms. It therefore has two components that may be called the 'inside' and 'outside' components.

The 'inside' component which consists of a peoples' history, heritage, and cumulative knowledge is what gives the people their identity and autonomy. That is why it is guarded jealously by all races of people. The 'outside' component, on the other hand, comprises of rituals, sacramental practices, songs, objects of worship etc.These are open to empirical scrutiny and public opinion and aspects of them can be changed without loss of identity and autonomy. That is why you can have different sacramental practices or faiths (interpretations) of Islam or Christianity, for example, but their histrionics or main heroes remain intact. As Dr Osuji said, Europe took the Semitic religion, imposed their own sacramental practices (the outside component) and started to define themselves by it. There are only two ways to it when people are confronted with this kind of change. They either accept the 'inside' component which will result in a change of identity and loss of autonomy or reject it to retain their identity and autonomy. They can make any changes they like to the 'outside' component but it will not be able to restore their identity and autonomy once they have accepted the 'inside' component. We can thus see why this 'syncretism' is a very risky route for Africans to take.

2. The assertion that our history and heritage have been lost due to our colonial experience is not true. The African history and heritage are still intact only the Europeans have been very busy trying to put it in our heads to reject them for their own selfish ends. The Yoruba ancestral heroes are still being revered in all parts of Yorubaland, for example. Contrary to outside appearance, the Yoruba have not been 'socialised' to Christianity at all. Instead there is a kind of assimilation process going on. Some sacramental practices ('outside' component) of Islam and Christianity are being assimilated to their spirituality or religion. That's what I observed and that's how it should be. In short, the Yoruba have, in the main, retained their identity and autonomy. For the Yoruba, at least, it is no longer possible to reject the 'inside' component of their religion for this has now spread to other parts of the world.

3. The thesis that Africans have to change their identity or 'way of living' before they can successfully embrace modern science and technology is another big lie manufactured in European academia. There are absolutely no aspects of the African character and 'way of living' that are contradictory to modern science and technology. In fact, all the factors that have been identified for Europe's achievement in science and technology are there in abundance in all African societies. That is why whenever an African is given the opportunity, he or she is able to compete effectively with others in science and other areas of industry. That Africa is lagging behind Europe and parts of Asia in science and technology is externally induced.

4. Another important point is the mistake of equating the corrupt behaviour of our present political leaders and public officials, and the pervading social disorder, with African 'traditional way of living'. Nothing could be further from the truth. African values abhor corrupt leaders and social disorder. The punishment for these is usually death. What you see today in African societies are simply the excesses of Western consumerism which we are blindly copying without the means. I will submit that what is urgently needed in Africa is a renaissance of our true African character and values of fairness, hard work, and respect for social order which are the main pillars of our religions or spirituality.

Adeniba Adepoyigi
Australia.


____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
Greetings All,

Reclaiming OUR spirituality is vital to anything that WE are trying
to do in order to have SUSTAINED SUCCESS. Adopting religions and
not embracing OUR spirituality is what has produced and will
continue OUR downfall.
Here is my working definition and explanation of spirituality vs
religion in my attempt to bring some clarity to this discourse.
Spirituality is the holistic deification of your existence in the
universe. Historically and traditionally, all
civilizations/ cultures have holistically deified the environment
they live in and all interactions that take place within their
environment as a constant continuum. When I speak of holistic
deification, I refer to the identification and awareness of the
divinity found as a continuum expressing itself as principles,
archetypes and paradigms that make up ones everyday existence.
Which include in many cultures/civilizati ons ancestors, nature
spirits and all things related as such. That could be expressed as
brushing your teeth or going to your altar and performing rites.
If you are able to holistically deify your personal circumstances
and environment, then you are practicing spirituality.
All organized religions are rooted in the spirituality of a
specific culture/civilizatio n.
Organized religion is when you separate the formal ritual practices
of a culture/civilizatio n's spirituality from the inherent
environment which it was produced and export into/onto another
culture/civilizatio n. Many times,this exported fragmented spiritual
system is used as a means to control and promote the interest of
the people from which the exported religion has derived from. Once
the religions have been imported, it sometimes undergoes
Improvisational Adaptation (I.A) to retrofit the religion to it's
current environment. The best I.A. methods allow the spiritual
principles to remain while still promoting the culture/civilizatio n
that receives the imported religion via missionary practices or
overt force and coercion. However, the inherent promotion of
culture/civilizatio n of origin still remains even if ever so slight
and unnoticeable as you delve deeper into the religion. There has
been instances where people have adopted religions not inherent or
indigenous to themselves (i.e so called commonly referred to
Jews)to control others and promote their self interests.
Nonetheless, all religions and religious practice are separate
compartmentalized fractions of spirituality that frequently get
exported to promote the interest of ones culture/civilizatio n. I do
agree you Bro Ozodi, that there needs to be some type of
Improvisational Adaptation (I.A.) of a new spirituality. As long as
it is thoroughly rooted in the principles, archetypes and paradigms
that are derivative from OUR ancestor/ancestral heritage and
retaining of traditions that can be implemented throughout the
African Diaspora.

Now Bro Ozodi, as a "Black man" born in America who is a descendant
of Africa and commonly labeled as an African American with ancestry
directly from the Gullah Islands and Guyana South America, I really
don't like to address this "African American" vs "African" or vs
any African descendant in the Diaspora issue but your remarks in
this post leave me know choice.
I am very confused about your assertions concerning Black/African Americans.
My question is when your refer to "African Americans" that kill
themselves and not White people (which is accurate for the most
part) in an environment where WE have the disadvantage of being
outnumbered why do you speak as if this is a uniquely "African
American" phenomenon, when while the Europeans colonized almost
every part of Africa for years while being tremendously outnumbered
by "Africans", were there mass killing of Europeans like in a place
called South Africa that I am unaware of? I was unaware that
"Africans" were accustomed to seeing "Africans" routinely killing
their European Colonizer on the African continent. In referring
specifically to "African Americans" killing "African Americans" do
you exclude the recent Rawanda genocide as a demonstration of
"Africans" on the continent not killing "Africans"? I reason I say
exclude because I am confident and even say assumptive (which I
normally don't assume) based on your previous and current posts
that you are aware of the mass violence that took place in Rawanda.
Also the difference being colonial servant/slave and being an
imprisoned captive/slave is the same difference as a person under
house arrest in their own house(Africa specifically) and a person
being sent away to an actual prison work camp (America
specifically) . If you are saying that yourself and other
"Africans" come to America with a house Negro mentality and are
proud of being oppressively subjugated in a PERCEIVED kindler and
gentler way as a colonial servant/slave then that is not only sad
but counter productive which helps promote the stereotypical
divisive speech I still hear amongst OUR folks.
If the perceived differences are more prominent in the minds of
"Africans" that think this way rather than the similarities, I am
not sure if I define it as delusional arrogance or depressing
ignorance.
I hope your response will enlighten me on this particular part of your post.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

TO DR OJO AND SADA

Dr Ojo:

Thanks for clarifying the difference between religion and
spirituality. Let me reinforce your point: human beings are
spiritual beings and are always trying to reconnect with their
creator (or whatever they call their source). On the other hand,
organized religion is a means of social control; through organized
religion the powers that be in society control the masses and tell
them what to do.
The Catholic Church used to have the masses come confess their
“sins†to “Reverend fathers†(reverend comes
from the verb revere, to respect, respected fathers) and from that
practice the "Revered Fathers" knew the innermost secrets of the
people and used that information to blackmail them into submission
to the bishop of Rome.
As you noted, Christianity and Islam are Semitic religions, one
Jewish and the other Arab; both of these Semitic religions are
means of controlling the world. The Semitic race is bent on world
domination through their religions.
In India the Aryans (whites) came from Iran (Iran means Aryan,
white, remember Adolf Hitler’s Aryan race historiography? ) and
formulated a religion that approved caste system with the whitest
groups (called Brahmins, priests) dominating the others (the fair
skin Kastryas are used as soldiers/administra tors to control the
dark complexioned Dravidians also called Sudras or lower class
persons, aka untouchables; that is, religion was used by white
Indians to exploit the dark skinned Indians; this is Machiavellian
behavior, for you tell the masses to accept that they are second
class citizens and as a result of so-called Karma, what they did in
past lives that they are condemned to servitude, and they accept
that nonsense and as a result you relegate them to slave status in
society).

Now to SADA:

SADA may I ask you if you are a fool? Did you go to school or do
you talk rubbish for the sake of making noise? Didn’t they
teach you at school that every society tries to control its people;
organized society everywhere equals social control.
Every society controls its people (via norms) and gets them to do
as told to do (if not they are punished) . Without such controls
there would be no law and order in society.
Man is by nature capable of evil acts; indeed, he is a predatory
animal and needs to be forcefully socialized least he is wild and
antisocial. (See what happens in America's inner cities, ghettos
where boys are not disciplined by strong fathers, young men run
wide committing crimes and winding up in jails and prisons.)
In this regard, Europeans through their Europeanized Semitic
religion of Christianity (In Alaigbo it was mostly Catholicism and
Anglicanism) controlled their African subjects (as they did in
Europe, too).They gave their religion to the Igbos and socialized
them to that religion.
Thus, it came to pass that most Igbos are either Catholics or
Anglicans. You got that right when you said that Igbos are either
Catholics or Anglicans.
Now that Europeans have enslaved Africans to their religion the
question is what shall we do about it?
Once ideas are planted into the individual’s head (especially
in childhood) he will do as the ideas bid him to do even if he
denies that he has those ideas. Denial does not eradicate facts.
(Good old Sigmund Freud said that society implants those ideas into
our unconscious mind and use them to repress our Id proclivities;
the superego is social norms suppressing the individual’s id.
Nietzsche said that human beings are like camels, you get them to
kneel down and you load them up with culture, and ask them to get
up and they do so and carry that heavy load to wherever their
master wants them to go. This is the tragedy of being human beings,
we were all enslaved with culture. See Nietzsche, Thus Spake
Zarathustra. )
Consider black Americans: they were socialized to believe that they
are slaves. Whether you know it or not they are still mentally
slaves. They still behave like slaves, for four hundred years of
internalizing the view that they are slaves has made them slaves.
It would take a few more generations to rid slavery from their
psyche.
If you are smart and observant, the first thing that you notice
upon coming to America and seeing African-Americans is that they
behave like slaves. I certainly noticed the differences between
them and I.
The African from the continent notices that African-Americans tend
to fear white folks (and kill themselves but do not kill whites,
their oppressors…black on black crime; they are afraid of
killing whites, for if they killed whites the white establishment
would literally round them up and mow them down; never mind your
idea of rule of law; whites control them through their white laws).
The African also notices the differences in his and
African-Americans personal psychologies. Black Americans have a
psychology of blaming other people for their problems.
Blaming other people for ones life outcome is a sign of slave
mentality for the slave thinks that his master controls his life.
(Some Africans also tend to blame whites for their problems due to
their colonial servant-master relationship with whites and they
came to see whites as the boss in charge of their lives, rather
than them, Africans, been in charge of their own lives ,as free men
do.)

Now back to the Igbos; the Igbos were socialized into Christianity
and their ethos is now Christian. There is nothing they or any one
can do about that fact. All that they can do is accept it and
gradually re-socialize themselves to a different religion. This is
already happening
In urban areas Igbos are slowly discarding their Catholicism and
Anglicanism. They are increasingly engaging in syncretism: mix
African and Christian religions. Many persons who are related to me
are now members of Alladura Church or Cherubim and Seraphim church
Hitherto, they were all Catholics. This is one way of distancing
themselves from the control of Rome. The two mentioned religions
are locally controlled by Nigerians and Nigerians define the terms
of worship.
Ultimately, Igbos would wean themselves from Christianity but it is
not going to be sudden, it is going to be gradual. They would
eventually evolve out of their present Christianity as they see a
better way of relating to their creator.
Igbos are not going to go back to what you call African religions.
And before you begin shooting your motor mouth about African
religion, you had better stop and listen to me, for i know a thing
or two about that African religion that talk so much about.
My family, the Osujis (meaning the servants of God) for hundreds of
years years is their people’s high priests; we conduct all the
people’s religious ceremonies. (In AlaIgbo, Igboland, high
priest position is inherited and runs in certain families, such as
mine; it is not a democratic phenomenon.)
When I was eight years old, the Dibias (Igbo psychics) deemed me
the next high priest of Amadioha (our religion). My parents sent me
to our village for two years to understudy my uncle, Akakporo, the
then high priest.
I know more about African religions than you can ever know in one
million years. I know it not only because it is my family business
but because I have a propensity to metaphysics. See, I ignored
religion and studied science but later in life something moved me
to go study religion. For several years, I threw myself into the
study of Hinduism, Buddhism and all the major religions of the
world. I do not consider myself second to any one in understanding
religions.
Why did I feel compelled to go study religions? Perhaps, there is
something the old Igbo Dibias knew about me at age eight that I do
not know? Perhaps it is because an Igbo “Onye isi muoâ€
(high priest) must now understand the religions of mankind, not
just his own religion? Perhaps, comparative religion, (such
knowledge0 may come in handy in performing the necessary synthesis
of religions that Africans must do?

Here are the facts for you. We, Igbos, and most African have
internalized Western approaches to phenomena. We cannot go back to
what you call African ways of living. Consider my extended family:
most adults in it are college graduates. Many of them studied in
North America, Europe or Nigerian universities. These people are
working as scientists, engineers etc. Their frame of reference is
scientific. You are not going to make them behave like their
forefathers did when they lived in Africa as agricultural folks.
(This weekend I visited with my sisters in New York, one a PhD
Biochemist, the other an MBA/Accountant. What are their reference
points? Their reference point is Western education with a point of
departure from African weltanschauung. These people do not live as
their ancestors did. This is their reality, my friend; learn to
deal with reality and stop escaping into the fantasy world you seem
to prefer when you talk about Africans cultures, as if there is
such a thing as a pristine African culture...by the way, in what
language are we communicating in, English? If you speak a peoples
language they have acculturated you, enslaved you).

What is now doable in Africa is to synthesize the remnants of
African religions in our psyche and our imported religions into a
new spirituality, one that enables us reconnect with our creator.
We cannot go back to our ancestors religion for its agricultural
supporting milieu is gone (my village is now a suburb of the city
of Owerri, with an airport right in front of our house…this
means that folks now operate in the modern world, not your
nostalgic African world).
Perhaps, you have heard the aphorism: once one left ones home, one
would never go back to it; one never steps into the same
stream/river twice. Life is change, always change, nothing remains
the same. Change is constant.
Africans have been changed by their encounter with the West; there
is no going back to old Africa. You should get this fact into your
thick head and stop deluding yourself with some of the nonsense you
espouse about Africa.
Africans have to live in the modern scientific world, not in the
world of superstitions. Our parameters are now the same that other
people have. The scientific paradigm of reality is the same
everywhere in the world.
Africans have to operate in the world’s current scientific
culture, not in nostalgic traditional African culture. Old Africa
no longer exists; however, out of its death a new Africa will
emerge, one that synthesizes our current multicultural experience.
Grow up, my fiend and stop harking after a lost world.

By Ozodi Thomas Osuji

------------------------------------------------


KAfrica33@aol. com wrote:

SADA says 99.9% of the Igbos are
Christians and have lost their traditional African religion 85% of
the Igbo Christians are Roman Catholics. None of them knows why
Catholics became Romans, yet they think they are going to heaven.
Hmmm. Well done. Romans. Igbos are Romans more than Africans in
their current religion. But what is the African religion? Note that
if the African person has been rendered a chattel slave, what do
you think of the African religion? Many of the living continental
and Diaspora Africans, including Osuji, have little exposure to the
African religion, and many have never seen one in active worship.
It is of great feat to behold the African religious practices.
Through drumming and singing a spirit is invoked. That is the
African religion we know of. Concerning African religion, please,
we can write what we want, it is more complex than the Abraham
religion of FAITH, for in African religion, there are no
faith. At least those I know of in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast,
Liberia and Togo. Visit us at sada-13.org.

Kofi.

------------------------------------------------------

In a message dated 5/28/2007 11:42:11 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
valojo@md.metrocast .net writes:
Dr. Osuji:

A little clarification.

What our people have is NOT a "religion" - what we have among African and
in most non-European/ non-Semitic peoples is "spirituality" - a
connection, like an umblical cord to the ancestors and to those who have
gone before them.

"Religion" is a socio-political institution invented by Arabs and
Europeans (mainly - the Hindus and the Buddhists, etc., also have similar
organized structures)to control the lower castes and social classes in
their communities/ societies.

Study societies that have organized religions, these societies also
invariably have a social stratification - a social pecking order - where
"religion" is just one of the "instruments of control" to keep the
dissatisfied lower caste in line, in addition to using "physical force"
and "economic control".

We can discuss this at length some other time.

Therefore, do not let us confuse the "SPIRITUALITY" of a people - belief
in a "higher power", an "almighty creator", an all-powerful one
(Amadioha, Chineke, Eledumare, Olorun, call it what you want) with an
"organized RELIGION" forced and imposed upon them by the ruling classes,
pretending to "speaking for God".

This is the context in which I spoke of you being "confused".

Dr. Valentine Ojo
Tall Timbers, MD
************ ****
----------------------------------------------------


Dr Ojo:

Christianity is a Jewish religion, a sect of Judaism. In effect,
the Jews control Europeans via their religion and the other
Semitic group, Arabs, control Africans through their religion,
Islam. It seems the two Semitic groups, Jews and Arabs, are bent
on world domination through their religions.
Religion is very critical for the masses. That is why I embarked
on formulating a rational religion for folks. The task is almost
done.
You have harped on what you called my confusion and I sit back and
smile at you. You do not know what my task is, sir. In so far that
I believe in religions it is my ancestors religion. I am the
current Amadioha high priest of my people. An Igbo high priest
does not abandon his peoples religion; insteaqd he has an
obligation to modernize it, for life is change and one cannot go
back; willy nilly, we Africans are now part of the modern world
and our religion must reflect our current experience hence cannot
be exactly as our fathers practiced it in an agricultural society.
Visit some of my websites and appreciate what I am doing (
www.spiritualpsycho logytoday. com )
Have a good evening.

Ozodi

"Dr. Valentine Ojo" <valojo@md.metrocast .net wrote:
------------ --------- ------- Original Message
------------ --------- -------
Subject: WILLIE LYNCH 2--HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
From: "kamau makesi-tehuti" <eatemup3000@ yahoo.com


In 1832, a sermon was given in the south entitled, The Religious
Instruction of the Negro. By 1906, Negro church followings increased
57.6 percent. Said another way, enslaved Afrikans were being transformed
into negro christians at alarmingly fast & successful rates. HOW TO MAKE A
NEGRO CHRISTIAN reprints the entire sermon, so you can read it for
yourself and adds highly critical commentary. Read about the exact plans
constructed by one Dr. Reverend Charles Colcock Jones to 'biblize' us-the
enslaved Afrikan population and take notice at what happens on sundays in
the majority of the Afrikan/Black communities today in 2007. Below are a
few choice quotes from the so-called 'Apostle of the Blacks.'

www.lulu.com/ kamau301

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
And having our plantations, the time and persons of our servants wholly
under our control, we can arrange the manner and frequency of our
instructions, as we please, and the period of these instructions with as
much punctuality, and with as little interruption, as we can arrange the
morning and evening devotions of our own fire-side. Our very children
might become, to some extent, teachers, by reading to them plain portions
of the Bible, or plain Tracts and things of such sort page 67

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
Will the authority of the Masters be weakened by instructions of this
sort? No, it will be strengthened. And we believe that their authority
can be strengthened and supported in this way only; for the duty of
obedience will never be felt and performed to the extent that we desire
it, unless we can bottom it on religious principle page 72

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
It is a matter of astonishment, that there should be any objection at all;
for the duty of giving religious instruction to our Negroes, and the
benefits flowing from it, should be obvious to all. The benefits, we
conceive to be incalculably great, and [one] of them [is] there will be
greater subordination . . .amongst the Negroes. page 52

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
[I]n order to induce a sense of guilt, [you] must charge upon the Negroes
those particular sins to which they are so much addicted, and expose their
enormity and consequent punishment in the world to come. page 55

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
[The matter of preaching to the Negroes should] deal much in parables,
historical events, miracles, lives of men holy and profane, as found in
the Bible, and the great and wonderful works of God: all in illustration
of doctrine and practice. He must reason much by illustration. And as the
great majority of them do not read, he should read and explain God's holy
word to them constantly, and as extensively as possible page 83

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
It becomes us to inquire, if, in the history of the world, any people have
ever been thoroughly christianized, without the employment of their own
agency to a large extent, in diffusing the gospel amongst themselves? I
know of no such people. page 86


In 1832, a sermon was given in the south entitled, The Religious
Instruction of the Negro.
By 1906, Negro church followings increased 57.6 percent. Said another way,
enslaved Afrikans were being transformed into negro christians at
alarmingly fast & successful rates.
HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN reprints the entire sermon, so you can read
it for yourself and adds highly critical commentary.
Read about the exact plans constructed by one Dr. Reverend Charles Colcock
Jones to 'biblize' us-the enslaved Afrikan population and take notice at
what happens on sundays in the majority of the Afrikan/Black communities
today in 2007.
Below are a few choice quotes from the so-called 'Apostle of the Blacks.'

www.lulu.com/ kamau301

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
And having our plantations, the time and persons of our servants wholly
under our control, we can arrange the manner and frequency of our
instructions, as we please, and the period of these instructions with as
much punctuality, and with as little interruption, as we can arrange the
morning and evening devotions of our own fire-side. Our very children
might become, to some extent, teachers, by reading to them plain portions
of the Bible, or plain Tracts and things of such sort
page 67

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
Will the authority of the Masters be weakened by instructions of this
sort? No, it will be strengthened. And we believe that their authority
can be strengthened and supported in this way only; for the duty of
obedience will never be felt and performed to the extent that we desire
it, unless we can bottom it on religious principle
page 72

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
It is a matter of astonishment, that there should be any objection at all;
for the duty of giving religious instruction to our Negroes, and the
benefits flowing from it, should be obvious to all. The benefits, we
conceive to be incalculably great, and [one] of them [is] there will be
greater subordination . . .amongst the Negroes.
page 52

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
[I]n order to induce a sense of guilt, [you] must charge upon the Negroes
those particular sins to which they are so much addicted, and expose their
enormity and consequent punishment in the world to come.
page 55

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
[The matter of preaching to the Negroes should] deal much in parables,
historical events, miracles, lives of men holy and profane, as found in
the Bible, and the great and wonderful works of God: all in illustration
of doctrine and practice. He must reason much by illustration. And as the
great majority of them do not read, he should read and explain God's holy
word to them constantly, and as extensively as possible
page 83

HOW TO MAKE A NEGRO CHRISTIAN
It becomes us to inquire, if, in the history of the world, any people have
ever been thoroughly christianized, without the employment of their own
agency to a large extent, in diffusing the gospel amongst themselves? I
know of no such people.
page 86

Tags: Religion

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