• Edo State 2016: Soft Pitter-Patter As Elections Draw Near

    13/Nov/2015 // 718 Viewers

    The heat is on and soon the people of Edo state will  separate the corn from the chaff  in the forthcoming primary elections. Those that will be withered thence shall remain between the rock and hard place. As usual, tongues will waggle and threats will be made, but the people of Edo state will remain undaunted because it is not unusual. 

    The coming gubernatorial election in the history of Edo state will remain in the annals of history as the pivotal point that changed the course of the state  for good. The hue and cry of the people will enable the state to have a  working government from the start to finish. And not halfway good and halfway bad. 

    The people are aware of the political gimmicks played by some "money bags"  to gain power.  The people are aware of the machinations of some electorates to subvert the mandate of the majority. The people are aware of the sheep in the wolves' clothing who parade themselves in the corridors of power without the sheer interest of the people in their hearts.  In all these, the people are ready to withstand the challenges with the sacred resolve to give their mandate to the right candidate.

    In this, you will all agree with me that Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen stands as a colossus - the man that can meet the aspirations of the Edo people.  He has crossed seven seas and mountains with the old, young, rich and poor.  He has the political mien and organisational sagacity to emancipate Edo state from the shackles of poverty, unemployment and lack. 

    Your 'YES' for Hon. Matthew will bring about positivity, equity, political gains, fairness and desired probity.  Remember " vox populi, vox Dei".  Let us allow the above mantra to be our quick march slogan as we queue behind MAI.

     

    Iredia Osakue is a political analyst and opinion leader based in Turin, Italy.


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  • Is Vladimir Putin Trying to Teach the West a Lesson in Syria?

    13/Oct/2015 // 130 Viewers

    Ivan Krastev

    SOFIA, Bulgaria — Last week, after Russian planes bombed antigovernment forces near the Syrian town of Homs, a senior American official complained to me: “What Russia is doing in Syria is not an effort to fight the Islamic State; it is not old-fashioned realpolitik. It is not even a cynical attempt to make us forget about Ukraine. Putin simply wants to hurt us.”

    This notion of Russia as a “spoiling power” is a popular sentiment today in Washington. But what does this spoiling power actually want? Is Russia in Syria simply for the sport of watching a humiliated President Obama? Is damaging the value of American power the only purpose of Russia’s “spoiling”?

    It’s more accurate to say that the Kremlin is in Syria for pedagogical reasons: It wants to teach Americans a lesson, and a valuable one. It wants to show that America should either be prepared to intervene in any civil war that follows a troubled revolution inspired by its lofty rhetoric, or it should quit goading people to revolt. “Do you realize, what you have done?” was the most memorable line of President Vladimir Putin’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

     http://jobrize.com/index.php?ref=373503

     

    The situation in Syria may have an element of realpolitik to it, but it is also about two worldviews. Indeed, the differences between Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama can be boiled down to opposing theories about the sources of the current global instability. America sees global instability primarily as the result of authoritarians’ desperate attempts to preserve a doomed status quo, while Moscow blames Washington’s obsession with democracy.

    If the Soviets appealed to proletarians of the world to unite, the Kremlin today appeals to governments of the world to unite — all kind of governments. History is indeed “irony on the move.” Russia, the successor of the revolutionary Soviet Union, has given up on the power of the people.

    Most of the popular history books on the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 you can find in Moscow bookstores today tell the story of Lenin and his comrades not as a popular uprising, but as a coup d’état, engineered by — and here you have a choice — the German general staff or British intelligence agents. Any time and any place when people demand power, the situation gets worse. Loyalty and stability are at the center of the Kremlin’s universe, a universe dominated by insecurity and fear of the future.

    And what is on Kremlin’s mind is not Syria, or even Ukraine, but Central Asia, a part of the post-Soviet space in which authoritarian leaders are aging, economies are stagnating, millions of restless young people are unemployed and eager to emigrate, and radical Islam is on the rise. Russia sees itself as the guarantor of stability in the region, but it fears instability coming. Central Asia today reminds the Kremlin of the Middle East a decade ago. Could Syria teach America to watch its words and mind its business when the next crisis comes?

    President Putin wants to teach America a lesson, but he also speaks to a Europe flooded by a million refugees and haunted by the specters of radical Islam and demographic anxiety. Yesterday the European Union hoped to transform its neighbors; today it sees itself as a hostage. Mr. Putin wants to persuade Europe that, as brutal a dictator as Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya was, he was willing and able to protect the borders of Europe, something the new democracies could not do.

    Is a badly shaken Europe prepared for this message?

    Yes and no. Most European leaders hope for U.S.-Russian cooperation in Syria as the only way to end the conflict. They want Moscow on their side. Many blame the hyperactivity of George W. Bush and the inaction of Barack Obama for the turmoil in the Middle East. They hope for the return to the days of Soviet-American détente, when, as the historian Jeremi Suri has written, “Leaders abandoned their hopes for political change in order to smother the challenges they faced at home.”

    That, at least, is “Putin’s hypothesis” — that Europe will accept a more powerful Russia as a guarantor of stability, even at the cost of a European retreat from its values and ambitions.

    But can Mr. Putin deliver? His call for absolute stability is emotionally attractive but impractical. If in the straitjacket of the Cold War it was enough for the Soviet Union and the West to cut a deal for instability to recede, this is no longer the case. The world is no longer defined by East-West dynamics: Social, demographic, cultural and technological changes have made world stability a much more complicated puzzle. We live in the age of disruption.

    And though Russia is right to argue that what we see in Syria today is not a clash between a repressive government and its freedom-loving people, it is also not a clash between legitimate government and a bunch of extremists, as Moscow insists. It is worth remembering that the vast majority of refugees in Europe are running not from the Islamic State, but from the Assad regime, and its hold on power means that they could stay in Europe forever.

    In other words, Mr. Putin’s pedagogy is appealing, but it is not, ultimately, persuasive. It will take more than a change in American policy for people to stop revolting against ugly governments.


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  • Buhari’s wife as a beauty therapist

    14/Apr/2016 // 461 Viewers

                                          Aisha Buhari

     

    As you read this piece, the Wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, unveils her new book, “The Essentials of Beauty Therapy: A complete Guide for Beauty Specialists” at an event slated to take place today in Abuja.

    For those that may not know, our President’s wife is a beauty therapist, entrepreneur and skills acquisition consultant. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University. She is also an alumnus of Carlton Institute of London and the Academy Esthetigue Beauty Institute of France – post-graduate diploma in cosmetology and beauty therapy.

    A beauty therapist is someone who is professionally trained and specialises in beauty treatments of both the face and body. As well as making their clients look beautiful, they are also responsible for making them feel good about themselves.


     
    There is a novelty in the fact that the wife of a sitting President is presenting her professional work to the public. There is also an ingredient for cynicism. For the Nigerian lady who intensely wants to push the image of a confident, strong and cerebral citizen, there is cause to celebrate, and to intuitively see Mrs. Buhari as the unspoken poster girl for the new Nigerian woman.

    But for that woman who is so given to laidback affluence enjoyed in a vicarious manner living off of her successful husband, Mrs. Buhari is a wet blanket, who is lucky to have climbed to the highest social ladder and then turns around to sneer at the many women who dream to have a whiff of the privileges the corridors of power could bring.

    To this class, the magic of the First Ladyship is in the miracle-like transformation. To celebrate professional output while at that height is like trying to jinx the gravy train.

    To me, President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife has unwittingly turned a new page in the evolution of the country’s socio-political power equation. From now on, just as Buhari changed the name from “First Lady” to “President’s Wife”, his spouse may have just changed the game – the country’s first woman is first an individual with a life and career, before a power figure. So, Nigerians must expect more than politico-feminine verbosity and contrived visage.

    This will effectively snuff the life from that misnomer called “First Lady’s Pet Project”, with which so much noise was made and no lasting impact felt from the supposed breasts of the nation’s mother.

    We have been bamboozled with all sorts of seeming patriotic projects from the then highly revered Office of the First Lady. Granted, some of the first ladies’ projects added value to many less privileged Nigerians, but weighing these gains against the time and resources splattered on the ventures in no structured manner, they ended up as part of the white elephants and fiscal carcasses that defined the descent of our dear country into an irredeemable rent-seeking Federation.

    I concluded that the first ladies we had could not muster any personal cerebral zeal or mass enthusiasm to sustain their so-called “pet projects” when their husbands left office because the projects never represented their innate passions and capacities as they should. At best, these ephemeral schemes were tinkered together by praise singers, jobbers and hangers-on who see in the First Lady a new pipe to siphon the country’s wealth at no cost and with minimal commitment.

    Mrs Buhari has given that aberration a terminal knock-out.

    At least, we could be comforted by the fact that ours would soon become a nation like the United States, where the wife of the President is viewed against the backdrop of her professional life right before her ascension to the exalted pedestal of the First Family. Her pet project begins when her husband leaves office. At that time, the success of the project clearly shows the world the material with which she is made of.

    Let us look at a couple of these American Presidents’ wives. Before her time as the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy (wife of John F. Kennedy) was “Inquiring Camera Girl” for the Washington Times-Herald. After her husband’s assassination, she became Editor at Viking Press and Doubleday; she also worked to create the John F. Kennedy Library; and also led a public information campaign to save New York’s Grand Central Station.

    Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson (wife of Lyndon Johnson) was Chairman of the KLBJ radio station before her husband became president. After leaving the White House after their tenure, she authored White House Diary, and founded the National Wildflower Research Centre.

    Elizabeth “Betty” Ford (wife of Gerald Ford) was a dancer in Martha Graham’s concert group, a fashion model and a dance instructor. After leaving the White House, she created the Betty Ford Treatment Centre.

    Nancy Reagan (wife of Ronald Reagan) was a nurse’s aide, a Broadway and film actress, and Marshall Field’s sales clerk. When she left the White House with her former actor husband, she authored the book, My Turn, and founded the Nancy Reagan After School Programme; she also created and funded the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Institution for Research into Alzheimer’s Disease.

    Much had been said, and written, about what would transpire in Nigeria’s First Family considering Buhari’s personal discipline and ascetic lifestyle. Many stretched their imaginations to adumbrate how a cosmopolitan-looking President’s wife could navigate in a perceptively tiny room provided by self-proclaimed system-over haulers.

    In fact, it was based on this universal angst that my interest was piqued when I came across a copy of Mrs. Buhari’s book. Alas, I was thrilled by the little content I could glean! As is required from the nation’s First Lady, she should portray a positive image of the Nigerian woman, and that is what the book did.

    In the book, I discovered that unlike what it seems, a beauty therapist is not the same as a beautician. Actually, a beauty therapist is an environmental worker because beauty therapy is largely eco-related. It is all about hygiene and health management.

    For example, the chapter “Beauty Salon Ecology” discusses the meaning and importance of infection control, as well as the causes of infection and the conditions in which they thrive and spread. The chapter also outlines the methods used to prevent and control the spread of infection.

    The beauty therapist is also a scientist. According to the book, “In order to perform beauty treatments safely and effectively on any part of the body, it is very important for beauty therapists to have a sound understanding of the underlying scientific principles involved. To achieve these, the basic anatomy of the human body and the functions and working of the principal body systems must be learned.”

    I learnt that the beauty therapist utilises environmental resources for health purpose. For instance, hydrotherapy, a time-honoured technique that uses the properties of water such as temperature and pressure to stimulate healing and cleanse toxins, was dissected. A number of therapeutic treatments and approaches draw upon the healing properties of water for pain relief, making use of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli.

    Mrs Buhari’s book discusses waste disposal, hygiene and sanitation practices, client hygiene, salon hygiene, and personal hygiene, protection against possible risks, immunisation, and good hygiene knowledge.

    At the end, I came out with a solid impression: in a profession populated by mostly women, we fail to get the fundamental principle that a beauty parlour is not about the equipment. It is about knowledge, and how to use it to improve the human environment. What better teacher to cascade these knowledge to Nigerian women than the First Lady herself?

    By Greg Odogwu

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do reflect our editorial policy. DailyGlobeWatch shall, therefore, not be held responsible for any of its contents or any part thereof.


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  • Anti-Media Bill Is Evil, By Edward Ejembi Omaga

    14/Dec/2015 // 296 Viewers

     

    It is no longer news that the 8th Senate has plans to criminalize certain aspects of media practice in Nigeria. These plans have come under heavy criticism from the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Civil Society Organizations and other patriotic Nigerians. The bill entitled “An Act to prohibit frivolous petitions and other matters connected therewith” was purportedly sponsored by Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah who is of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Kebbi South.

     The bill which scaled through second reading on Wednesday, 2nd December, 2015 recommends jail terms ranging from a mandatory Six months up to Two years or fines of between N 200,000 and N 4,000,000 for petitions written or published through “any medium of whatever description” including facebook, twitter, instagram and other similar channels against public or private individuals without a sworn affidavit in a Federal or State High Court.

    We wish to state categorically that the bill is evil as much as it is an attempt to clamp down on journalists, social media petition writers and whistleblowers who might exercise their rights under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) or the Freedom of Information Act, 2011. Our grouse is that while the overwhelming majority of Nigerians are clamouring for credible democracy and happy with the wind of change blowing across the country, certain supposedly honourable men in the Senate like Na’Allah have abandoned their mandate to legislate for the good of the country and wrongly channeled their efforts towards embarking on a futile exercise in the name of gagging the press and limiting their influence in our democracy.

     
    We are of the firm belief that information participation by all and sundry is necessary for effective democracy and the failure of the government of the day to
    provide unhindered access to information can lead to monumental corruption and abuse of rights of citizens. In fact, a denial of freedom to access information in public domain is corruption in itself which we must reject if Nigeria is to move out of its present economic cum political quagmire. We are pleased with the stand taken by President Muhammadu Buhari as expressed on December 7, 2015,  vide Premium Times wherein he reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to the protection of free speech in keeping with democratic tradition. Nigerians must echo that the evil bill should  be immediately scrapped despite claims by the Senate that content of the bill has been misunderstood. Why should the Senate dissipate energy on a worthless bill such as the extant one instead of joining forces with Mr. President to tackle other more disturbing issues of corruption, poverty, unemployment, ethnic agitations and insecurity presently bedeviling us as a country? 

    We assume that the Senate is a democratic body consisting of persons with integrity who have their eyes on quality legislation and good governance. However, in the event that the Senate proves us wrong and eventually passes the bill, our hope will lie in the House of Representatives and President Muhammadu Buhari to respectively deny approval to the bill and stop it from becoming a binding law. In as much as we are not averse to lawful legislation, we are ready to defend the democratic rights of Nigerians with all our might and ensure that the Senate in carrying out their legislative duty must be consistent and operate within the ambit of the Constitution they swore to uphold. 


    No doubt, free speech is central to democratic societies anywhere in the world. Therefore, without free speech elected representatives will not be able to gauge
    public feelings and moods about governance issues. On a final note, we call on Mr. President to refuse assent to any legislation capable of being inconsistent with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We urge other sister Civil Society Organizations to lend their voices to the injustice planned to be meted out on the media by the Senate. We must all shout until the evil anti-media bill is thrown out of the Senate and Senator Na’Allah bends his head in shame for having misused the mandate graciously given to him by the good people of Kebbi South Senatorial District.God bless Nigeria!

     

    EDWARD EJEMBI OMAGA is a Trustee/Legal Adviser of Beyond
    Boundaries Legacy Leadership Initiative (
    BBLLI) and writes from FCT-Abuja.Email:
    omagaedward@yahoo.comSent

     

    Disclaimer: Views express in any article we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch.


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  • State of schools in Benue State

    14/Dec/2015 // 582 Viewers

                               One of the dilapidated public schools in Benue State

     

    There is no doubt that corruption exists in all sectors in Nigeria. The corruption in the educational sector is a frequent occurrence although it varies in sizes and shades from one state to another. As a result of poor leadership and woeful planning, the public schools system has become dysfunctional across Benue state and the sector has become an arena of inefficiency and a cesspool of corruption. For instance, the conditions of public schools in Okpokwu Local Government Area, one of the first local authorities in Benue State and my immediate constituency is quite disheartening and pitiable.

    From Edumoga through Okpoga to Ichama, the condition of these public schools is the same. The schools surroundings have become havens for several species of grasses and wild animals. The buildings have become dilapidated and academic activities are literarily crippled. The less privileged ones, who have no other alternative, usually receive lessons under the trees as there are no chairs or roofs to give them shelter.

    Since the return to democracy in 1999, Okpokwu has been on the good page of political relevance in Benue State having produced a Minister, State Party Chairman of the PDP, Commissioners, Special Advisers and most recently, the exalted position of the Deputy Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly. Aside these political gladiators, we are richly blessed with several illustrious sons and daughters who are heads of parastatals and agencies and others who have done well for themselves in their chosen carriers.

     Children attending public primary schools in Benue State were stuck at home for over eight months following a prolonged strike by their teachers for non-payment of their salaries. While we celebrate those who have taken bold steps to establish private schools, our leaders need to be reminded that the public schools in Okpokwu
    and other parts of the state need some enhancements since most of these private schools are out of the reach of the masses. This is just one of the ways our politicians can give back to the grassroots, who elected them and not by the continuous sharing of offering monies, salts, meats and wrappers as it is customary.

    The public schools system is looking for the era of change to spill some benefits on them through the wind of change that is now blowing. If the public school system can be given its deserved attention, by improving their infrastructure, improving the quality of teaching and learning, and improving the lots of teachers, the state of education would improve and the effect of 'change' would reach the grassroots level.

    Teachers occupy a pride of place in the scheme of things and should be given their due respect and entitlements instead of debasing and ridiculing them with insults and subjecting them to unnecessary hardship. Governments should be made to honour their salary obligations to teachers by making their monthly salaries a priority among competing items on the budgets. Our public schools and teachers deserve more from the Benue State government under the present political dispensation.

    Comr. Omaga Elachi Daniel,

    PRO, Benue Elite Development Network.


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  • Why CBN shouldn't give Dangote Forex

    14/Jan/2016 // 481 Viewers

    By Odilim Onwegbara

    Recently, the Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele announced that the apex bank would soon provide Dangote Refinery forex. No other justifications were given than that the CBN would be doing so in order to help fast-track the completion of that refinery. His argument is that the presence of Dangote Refinery when operational should reduce the importation of petroleum products into the country substantially.

    I strongly disagree that Emefiele has to become the one deciding which private company operating in the country should be entitled to forex. By mere fact that Mr Emefiele could be the one singling out which private company that should be entitled to forex, I think that knowingly or unknowingly the governor is stepping out of his monetary policymaking space to now be the one to decide on issues relating to promoting and regulating the activities of domestic and foreign investors.

    This selective policy if carried out would mean that whoever Mr Emefiele likes or has personal relationship with the governor too should be favoured with the country’s forex. In other words, those private business owners who are not Mr Emefiele’s friends shouldn’t expect forex from the CBN, being their punishment. As unbelievable as it would sound, the truth is that this is now kind of impression by the CBN governor has created in the minds, which is: the disbursement of the country’s forex is selectively conducted.

    Another message sent out there by the governor (and also as the immediate past managing director of Zenith Bank) is that those who need forex should either romance with Emefiele's CBN, romance with Zenith Bank, or befriend Mr Jim Ovia, the owner of Zenith Bank. We all know that there is no much difference between Mr Dangote's business interests and Mr Ovia's business interests. It is, therefore, possible that with Dangote getting forex from the CBN governor, doing banking with Ovia, means that most of his imports, including possible forex round-tripping through over-invoicing could take place at Zenith Bank.

    This is because there is no other plausible explanation why such an unelected governor of our apex bank now assumes the very role of the chief executive officer of Nigeria’s economy, a role reserved for the President of the Federal Republic Nigeria.

    Given this precedence, do we have to read the CBN Act of 2007 to the governor? I think one of the realities this throws up is the urgent need for strong executive and legislative oversight of the activities of these so-called technocrats whose personal interest promotion is no longer hidden. One thing is certain, should Emefiele think that he has the power to hand whoever he likes the country’s scarce forex, then, he should be told that this selective action is not only illegal but undoubtedly fraudulent.

    This way, the money goes round the clique, whose exploitation of our economy has no limits; thanks to the fact that their prepaid men and women in charge of our mass media always hide these fraudulent activities being perpetuated by these enemies of Nigeria. Also, thanks to our political and technocratic class who having populated our corridors of power are always determined to push these narrow interests of these barons no matter the high cost to our commonwealth.

    It is this kind of de facto power that now calls for the CBN’s urgent reform, starting with the repealing of so many sections of the CBN Act of 2007, which took away too many economic and political decisions on the country’s lifeblood, money, from the president and unpatriotically handed them to some unelected technocrats simply in the false name of guaranteeing independence to the apex bank.

    That past governments, since Obasanjo never renovated the country’s four refineries, let alone built new refineries shouldn’t be seen as an accident. This was a carefully orchestrated strategy by Obasanjo who was so determined to hand Dangote, his corporate godson, monopolistic control over the country’s petroleum downstream, the same way he successfully handed him cement manufacturing monopoly before leaving office.

    This explains the very midnight auctioning of the country's four refineries to Dangote by Obasanjo's. In other words, few hours to handing over to his successor Yar’Adua, Obasanjo without any form of transparent process, sold the four refineries to Dangote for such a token sum of $720mn. But, without any time wasted, Yar'Adua, in his sincere patriotism, reversed the questionable privatization of the country’s four refineries.

    But with President Yar'Adua’s sudden demise, Dangote reinvigorated his interest in having the refineries back at all costs. With this goal in mind, Mr Dangote this time around needed not have his moles in Jonathan administration. He along with Mr Femi Otedola—another Obasanjo's corporate godson—made sure he fully planted himself inside the Jonathan administration by being a leading member of that government’s so-called economic management team, which, in reality was their carefully constructed project used in controlling all major economic policy decisions of the government. And of course, that was what happened, with Okonjo-Iweala as the finance minister only there promoting Dangote and his group’s interests.

    So, fully in control of the government, Dangote made sure that no stone is left unturned in blocking the turnaround maintenance of the four refineries. Even proposals to build mega refineries and petrochemicals in the country by some foreign investors, particularly Chinese were blocked thanks to Dangote and his men and women being in full control of the country’s corridors of power. Little wonder by late November 2013, the Minister of Petroleum Ms Diezani Madueke, acting as Dangote’s crony, announced that the same four refineries once taken away from Dangote would once again be privatized. This was being proposed after billions of public naira was allegedly spent (since it was truly budgeted) by government in the “turnaround maintenance” of the four refineries.

    But without any waste of time, in my weekly Punch column titled “As the privatization hammer comes on the refineries” dated December 21, 2013, I alerted the unsuspecting Nigerians to watch out that soon Dangote should be handed the same refineries by Jonathan. My article did the wonder. Soon the presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, came barking, announcing that there was never a time President Jonathan directed Ms Madueke to sell the refineries and that her announcement of the sale of refineries was being done without approval by the president. On the eve of Christmas 2013—exactly December 24, 2013—the alarm I raised unfortunately earned me a phone call threatening my life.

    Having unsuccessfully tried to have the country’s refineries sold to him, Mr Dangote decided to build his own Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical, which was announced to be costing him and some foreign partners about $9 billion. From this partnership we were made to understand that the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical would be ready sometime in 2017. What is surprising now is that the refinery which has so many foreigners partnering with Dangote is now in need of forex.

    The questions this raises are obvious. Why is the same Dangote refinery which has received billions of dollars from foreign partners, now demanding that the CBN provides the refinery forex? Does that mean that the forex brought into the country by his partners are no longer sufficient to complete the building of the refinery? If that is the case, why shouldn’t Dangote reduce his stake in the company so that more foreigners should take more stakes in the company? Or isn’t Dangote better off seeking foreign loans, especially given that export of some of his refinery’s products will earn him enough foreign exchange?

    If Dangote is not comfortable with these suggestions, my advice is let Dangote source his forex needs for his refinery from his cement factories scattered across Africa, after all, the over $1.5 billion spent in building these cement factories came directly from Nigeria. Or is Mr Dangote saying that the money he is now making from these African cement factories is not forex, which he can now invest in his Nigerian refinery?

    What continues to marvel most Nigerians is that all these years, all Mr Dangote has successfully achieved is always taking full advantage of our country’s economy, in most cases using his moles at all levels and all tiers of government. While making all these selfish demands on Nigeria, one wonders where are Dangote’s corporate social responsibilities, a kind of payback or thank you Nigerians. My personal questions to Dangote are: Where is Dangote University, Dangote Hospital or Dangote Scholarship Program in Northern Nigeria? Or hasn't he made enough money in this country to know it is time to give back to his people since charity begins at home?

    Has Dangote ever gone public to show his personal support to our military fighting Boko Haram all these years or to show his sympathy to families of the missing Chibok girls by giving them personal gifts as should be expected of a national and international business tycoon like Dangote? The richest Americans did their best in giving back to America including leaving social landmarks such as some of the world’s best universities like MIT, Stanford, and Rockefeller University; some of America’s hospitals and health centers; some of the world’s best libraries and research laboratories; some of the scholarships that have made rarely gifted children of the poor become America’s best scientists, engineers, politicians, and clergies. In his own case the world’s first ever recognized richest Nigerian, richest African, and richest black man, what is it that Mr Dangote could proudly point his hands that fellow Nigerians, Africans, and black race should proudly recognize him for?

    Rather than thinking how to give back, Mr Dangote is ever more gripped with demanding special forex from government after government in Nigeria.

     

     


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  • BUHARI: The lying overlord

    14/Mar/2016 // 679 Viewers

    By Iyoha John Darlington

    PARIS, MARCH 14, 2016: (DGW) - I have always made plain my aversion to lies and falsehood and I dislike it as it constitutes  a deliberate affront to my intelligence. As I navigate through life and encounter one who lies to me, which I honestly do not anticipate I would be morally bound to lose my bearing thereby making it impossible for me to calculate my true position. This, I dare say,  hurts my soul!

    Buhari's anti-corruption crusade is  equally war against lies in high places from which millions of our hard earned money was allegedly 'siphoned' from the national treasury. If the lies never existed no money would have exited the treasury. In a similar vein, in the run up to the 2015 general elections, one of the reasons  given by  the All Progressives Congress for the ongoing insurgency was  youth unemployment. When people are unemployed they become potentially vulnerable to manipulations and this was exactly what they fell prey to when they were recruited and took up arms against the country in the hope of actualizing a sovereign  Islamic state.
    Lying is tantamount to theft. When you tell me something which I take to be true and, as a result, I invest my time, or my money, or even my care, you have stolen these things from me because you obtained them under false pretence. That was how they shot themselves to power after false promises that they  only possess the magic wand to reconstruct the country - a country that  never stood  in dire need of their services after all!

    APC with Buhari as the flag-bearer, we have it on good authority, promised  a-N5000 monthly state stipend which was a welcome development considering the exchange rate at the time. I, too, in my ignorance applauded the initiative since that would put us on a par with the welfarist scheme here in the Old World where citizens enjoy unemployment benefits and the introduction of that package in my country of nativity would be a right step in the right direction, I opined.

    Buhari, some people have often said, is a man of integrity and transparent honesty which of course is none other than a terminological inexactitude. His party partisans and diehard apologists often deify him as a Homer that never nods. But today he leads a government that shot its way to power by deceit, monstrous and hydra-headed lies; I have never known anyone who wants to be so deceived. For you to have campaigned and promised a monthly stipend to the unemployed to get their support and later reneged on the promise is nothing but a massive fraud!

    The historic merger that gave birth to the ruling All Progressives Congress, I wrote in one of my pieces, was a massive fraud designed to bamboozle Nigerians by self-styled grandees who are bent on personal aggrandizement. The product of that merger is nothing short of a party founded on lies and deception - I had earlier written before now.
    A fraud is a lie where the damage to me is quantifiable in money. Even those lies which the law does not define as fraud tend to fit the same definition: a knowing false utterance which the mark is intended to rely on to its harm. The only differences are of degree, for example, when we cannot assess the loss in money.
    The basic tenet that lying is wrong seems to be universal to all cultures, probably because humans are social animals. To live together in a society we must tell the truth to each other. A society whose members are unable to distinguish truthful messages from deceptive ones would collapse.

    The duo of Buhari and Yemi Osibanjo are  like a flag who we desire  to know what they actually  stand for. They were 'elected' to solve the myriad of  problems plaguing Nigeria, treat Nigerians  asa people rather than chattel, and be responsive to opinions. Their  honesty remains the cornerstone of the structure, but sadly enough we have caught them lying to us at every turn hence   it is impossible to be confident that they are carrying out the mission to genuinely reconstruct and regenerate Nigeria.

    Only today it made news headlines across the world that President Buhari is ''overstating Boko Haram losses'' In this news report by Associated Press(AP) he was chastised by a report in this mainstream western media for misrepresenting facts to the world as they truly are. General David Rodriguez, the Commander of US African Command reportedly told the United States Senate Armed Services Committee in DC that Boko Haram ''does own some significant territory in northern Nigeria'' and this was confirmed by some Nigerian officials in the country's north.

    The question that agitates the mind of this writer is: What is the rationale behind these monstrous lies by a man who presides over the affairs over 170 million people? Buhari, I dare say has lost his credibility to lead for lying to the whole world about the true situation in the embattled region which may have offered to assist Nigeria.

    While many people like his party partisans have resigned to being lied to some  defend the premise that the  lie he often  tells is only  in the interest of Nigeria without taking  cognizance the disastrous consequences it could trigger off in the long run. Paradoxically, liars want the people around them to be truthful so that they do not lose their own way. 

    Buhari did say he did not promise any state stipend to the unemployed  that his campaign coordinators did in the run-up to the 2015 general elections  but a leader who is tasked with acting as a navigator for an entire country must seek to have people around him who will give him rigorously accurate information, so he does not crash the vessel on the rocks.

    Today, I am very sure many will agree with me that he has failed the ''Integrity Test'' by telling  LIES which his apologists will prefer to call  ''white lies''. We see tons of money that had been stashed away in Swiss bank vaults by late General Sanni Abacha  finding its way back to Nigeria but Buhari having served in the iniquitous regime of the late dictator as Petroleum Trust Fund chairman (PTF) did whitewash Abacha and defend him with all the emphasis at his command that he did not steal Nigeria's money but today he has taken delivery of Abacha looted funds from the Swiss government! 

    Into what dangers would a lying leader plunge the country if one may ask? Nigerians live in a country who are all living witnesses to the goings-on. Lying to one and all who as a matter of fact knows the truth shows you as the only one in the system. This drags one's name through the mud hence does it makes a sense for a sitting president   to collaborate with the members of his cabinet and often  lie to the public some of these lies which he exports abroad? Could he be trying to adopt the infamous ethic of the Nixon administration and of many other discredited regimes throughout history? Crisis situations tend to bring out this ethic which has not augured well in the end.
    The problem is that lies  fly in the face of human nature. Just as bodies in motion tend to remain in motion, liars who have succeeded in obtaining something important through a falsehood like the stolen mandate that shot the duo of Buhari and Osibanjo to power should be expected to utter another one when there is something else to obtain. Lies become habitual and the goals may be of decreasing importance.

    Prof Osibanjo Nigeria's vice-President turned traitor  by failing to exhibit true Christian virtues. The belief that lies can be contained within neat temporal, geographical or ethnic lines has been disproved by experience. He lied to a beleaguered nation writhing in the yoke and pains of frustration foisted on it by the of the ruling All Progressives' Congress that the immediate past administration under former President Jonathan did not construct any road in Nigeria whereas a serving  minister  in Buhari's cabinet in the person of  Mr. Babatunde Fashola, heaped an encomium of praise on Buhari's predecessor  as the only one with unbroken record not just in roads' rehabilitation but roads' construction in Nigeria.

    Could this be a white lie?  It is very hard to say what this is. Personally, I feel better saying nothing about  hydra-headed lie than praising it falsely. The duo of Buhari and Osibanjo have only resorted to telling lies to wriggle out of their social contract with the people of Nigeria.  I believe today that an accretion of such lies, however trivial, undermines the trust we feel for another human being in more significant matters.

    It is hard to say that any lie is wholly beneficial or otherwise completely without consequences. Nigerians want to be told the truth at all times so as to avoid  past mistakes which now tell on them helplessly and marvelously. A very common and trivial lie involves deceiving someone about which others possess certain information. The duo of Buhari and Osibanjo the lying taskmasters of the  Abuja regime must be reminded the dangers inherent in spreading downright falsehoods to the world  thereby further  putting the lives of over 170 million Nigerians in jeopardy.


    Iyoha John Darlington, a social activist, scholar, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.

     

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • I am Prof. Soludo, the new face of the pro-Biafran movement

    14/Mar/2017 // 13667 Viewers

     

    I am Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and I approve this message for every supporter or sympathizer of Biafra (like myself).

    We are all very familiar with the Igbo proverb that a goat that died in a barn was not killed by hunger. This proverb sadly encapsulates the reality facing Ndigbo in Nigeria today. Our barn is full of yams as we can boast of men and women that can deliver good governance. Our challenge (a puzzle) as a people is how to stop the goat from dying in the barn. The good news is that I know how water entered the stalk of the pumping and that is why I have raised my hand as the new face of pro-Biafran movement.

    My mission is simple: transform the rise of nationalism in Igbo states into an economic and political force. It is not the huge size of a man that makes him famous, but what he can do. An objective observer of political developments will agree with me that a complaint-based agenda has never worked anywhere in the world. That’s why I have volunteered myself to market a non-violent alternative to the actualization of a semi-sovereign State of Biafra through economic empowerment.

    But first, Onye Igbo who feels marginalized and all sympathizers of Biafra should see themselves not just as an abstraction, but as ethically engaged subjects. We should realize that without a political strategy, pretenders in our midst will hijack the message of the pro-Biafran Movement. To prevent that, we need to coalesce the different pro-Biafran movements into an organization capable of competing in elections and taking governance responsibilities. That is the first step in transforming revolutionary rhetoric to political pragmatism.

    I had earlier stated in a press conference that the continued detention of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is unacceptable and an abuse of Mr. Kanu’s right to legitimate agitation. Beyond street protests, this agitation can only be actualized by transforming it into a political force. IPOB, MOSSOB and the rest should all remember that it is not by staring hard that one sees the road. Even Hitler converted a de facto discussion group to an actual political party.

    As I step up my involvement in putting pressure for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the questions of holistic political strategy are always on my mind. Where are we going as a people and how are we going to get there? We should be smart enough to call into question the strategies so far adopted towards the actualization of sovereignty. Let us all remember that when a tortoise argues and stretches himself, his shell breaks. We should stop breaking our backs on protests alone. We need to change gear.

    We should stop encouraging our children to keep dying without a coordinated political game plan that will aim for political power in the southeast. I want to save the life of my Igbo brothers from the murderous-crude Nigerian security operatives. I am thus challenging the pro-Biafran movement to ask their followers to look at political power through the ballot box. The time to change the tame strategy is now.

    I challenge the pro-Biafran intellectuals to throw their heart and energy into the ring as a true test of our grassroots support. We should rally round a good candidate for the Anambra State governorship in 2017.  I urge every Anambra citizen and all the different pro-Biafran groups to use the enormous goodwill, to mobilize the voting public for such candidate.

    Obviously, it will be difficult to register a political party with Biafran identity. But there are dozens of registered political parties out there that we can use as a platform to actualize “sovereignty” without bloodshed. Winning the Anambra Government House will be a starting tsunami of a non-violent alternative to the actualization of semi-sovereign State of Biafra. After winning Anambra, we will, together, transform the economy of the state before marching to capture the rest of the Southeastern State in subsequent elections.

    To this end, I have started consultations with stakeholders on our best candidate for Anambra 2017. As the New Face of the Pro-Biafran movement, I will formally make the candidate public and the political platform after due consultations.

    As I stated in a press release, Nnamdi Kanu should be urgently released. I am also calling on all pro-Biafran intellectuals, both home and abroad, to suspend all actions and activities that have ended up causing more deaths of our young men. Like grasshoppers, we should stop running into the midst of fowls in order not to end up in the land of the spirits. What we need now is forward thinking ideas that will transform our sentiment to freedom. That freedom starts with economic transformation of southeastern states.

    Ndigbo should assume greater responsibility for our own economic development by setting clear and attainable goals and designing policies and programs to achieve them. Like the Obi of Onitsha Igwe Achebe stated, we (Ndigbo) need good leaders to achieve a development plan. A na ekwu ekwu, a na-eme eme (talk the talk, walk the walk). My solemn pledge is to kick-start the 50-year development plan of the entire southeast region with my state, Anambra.

    Achieving the goal of building the most sustainable economy in the West African region is a possible endeavor for Ndigbo within the present Nigerian system. For that to happen, we have to stop sobbing and start taking meaningful steps towards emancipating ourselves. Let us build a diffuse economy consisting primarily of small businesses and anchored by a strong manufacturing base. All we need is an efficient way for small companies to receive incentives for creating high paying jobs in the entire region.

    Let me end this message by urging my people to stop attempting to lick our elbows. The grasshopper caught by a hornbill is either hard of hearing or too self-absorbed to heed its surroundings. We have been beaten by the rain, but not completely soaked, so, the time to start running is now. Capturing the Anambra State Government house should be the first prize towards emancipation of Ndigbo. Impossible is nothing!

    If a woman is sweet-voiced, her husband does not refuse her food.

    (This is the message Prof. Soludo should be spreading as the New Face of pro-Biafran movement. He has a pleasant voice and I am sure his Biafran-Nigerian brothers will listen to him.)

    *By Churchhill Okonkwo

    You can email Churchill at churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi.


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  • BIAFRA: The missing link

    14/Mar/2017 // 403 Viewers

     

    THE Biafran struggle is a legitimate one. This has been attested to by both foreign and Nigerian commentators. The attempt to muzzle it by force will only escalate the situation and even cause the Nigerian government more embarrassment. The people have a genuine right to determine who they want to associate and live together with as a nation. When you suppress justice, you only postpone the evil day.

    Nnamdi Kanu is today a hero to his people because the Federal government caused it to happen that way. He has become a hero of the cult-like status and there is nothing anyone can do to suppress the growing sentiment. I hope those in authority have wizened up.

    All over the world, people now want to determine how they are governed – Spain, UK and many other places. Dialogue under very peaceful and conducive atmosphere is what gives the desired result. So far, the case of Biafra should follow that option. The Igbo ethnic group inhabit all parts of Nigeria, In fact, there is a saying, that “if you arrive  in any town and do not find an Igbo man there, take your bag and run away”. Since they are found across Nigeria, I doubt if all of them will choose the option of a new Biafran nation, that is if a clear referendum is held on the issue. That again, is left for the federal government to decide.

    We have always known that a strong and united Nigeria, with one focus and goal, will be a great force in the comity of nations and an envy of other powers but, that is not enough to enforce an unworkable association. So far, in reality, it is becoming increasingly difficult to effect a one and united Nigerian nation. I believe we can only achieve this if the government subject the choice to a true referendum, involving the people. If the people are allowed to decide fairly, through their individual vote, they are bound to respect the outcome of the referendum. But this is not the focus of this piece.

    Although I empathise with the philosophies of the Biafran agitators, I have come to the conclusion that, they will not be able to achieve their goal of a Biafran nation if their mode of operations continue this way. I came to this conclusion after closely examining their methods, it is like history repeating itself. An analysis of the Biafran war of the sixties will help buttress the point that I am making here. The eastern region of 1960 covers the whole of present day South east and South south states except Delta and Edo.

    The Biafra war was a culmination of genocidal tendencies against the Igbos and people of the south by extreme elements in the northern part of Nigeria but the manner Odumegwu Ojukwu responded was not in tandem with other tribes of the south south. Although he had such people like Colonel Effiong in his team, the south south did not fully support the Biafrans in the war and this is because, Ojukwu did not carry out effective/meaningful consultations with his neighbours and fellow south south brothers. The Aburi documents revealed that, then Col. David Ejoor, a South south officer, told the body that: “we want to see our commander in chief”, at a time nobody knew where Aguiyi Ironsi, the assassinated head of state  was. That kind of person should have been courted properly to join the struggle, instead, they chose to go it alone, believing in their superior strength over their neighbours. Under that superior and arrogant stance that the Igbos have been accused of till today, they embarked on that expedition and the rest is  history.

    When the Biafrans invaded the then Mid west region, present day Edo and Delta states, the military governor of the state, then Col. David Ejoor, was forced to run away from Benin to Lagos to take refuge. The story then was that he rode on a bicycle from Benin to Lagos. You cannot force a people into a relationship that they do not desire. As a result of the Biafran actions, the South south turned their back on the Biafran cause  and helped the federal troops gain foothold on the Biafran territories through the creeks and hinterlands. If the Igbos and the minority South south tribes had been united in the Biafran course, the outcome of the civil war would have been different.

    The Igbos saw the South south minority tribes as inconsequential and as a people they can over ride and that was their greatest undoing. When the Igbos,  they  were surprised at the hostility shown to them by their fellow Igbo speaking Ikwerres of Port Harcourt city. Till date, Igbo abandoned properties have not been returned to their original owners like it happened elsewhere.

    For me that was where Biafra lost it in the sixties and they have started the same way again. A close look at the Biafra map  currently in circulation have states like Edo, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, part of Ondo and even Benue and Kogi as Biafra land. Biafrans want these people to be part of  them,yet no line of dialogue  has been initiated  with these states or their consent sought for. Everything been done is in the realm of   assumption.  No decision on how the proposed nation is to run and how the resources are to be managed. This is very wrong.

    If the Igbo nation refuses to properly carry along the minority South south in their fight for a Biafran nation, I am afraid their aspiration will certainly be a  mountain, too high to climb. To begin with, let us test this with an open referendum.

    Mr.  Sunny Ikhioya.  www. southsouthecho.com Twitter: @SunnyIkhioya

    The post 'Biafra: The missing link appeared first on the VANGUARD.


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  • Who governs Nigeria?, By Dr Reuben Abati

    15/Apr/2016 // 495 Viewers

     

    During the Jonathan administration, an outspoken opposition spokesperson had argued that Nigeria was on auto-pilot, a phrase that was gleefully even if ignorantly echoed by an excitable opposition crowd. Deeper reflection should have made it clear even to the unthinking that there is no way any country can ever be on auto-pilot, for there are many levels of governance, all working together and cross-influencing each other to determine the structure of inputs and outcomes in society. To say that a country is on auto-pilot is to assume wrongly that the only centre of governance that exists is the official corridor, whereas governance is far more complex. The question should be asked, now as then: who is governing Nigeria? Who is running the country? Why do we blame government alone for our woes, whereas we share a collective responsibility, and some of the worst violators of the public space are not even in public office?

    The President of the country is easily the target of every criticism. This is perhaps understandable to the extent that what we have in Nigeria is the perfect equivalent of an Imperial Presidency. Whoever is President of Nigeria wields the powers of life and death, depending on how he uses those enormous powers attached to his office by the Constitution, convention and expectations. Nigeria’s President not only governs, he rules. The kind of President that emerges at any particular time can determine the fortunes of the country. It helps if the President is driven by a commitment to make a difference, but the challenge is that every President invariably becomes a prisoner.

    He has the loneliest job in the land, because he is soon taken hostage by officials and various interests, struggling to exercise aspects of Presidential power vicariously. And these officials do it right to the minutest detail: they are the ones who tell the President that he is best thing ever since the invention of toothpaste. They are the ones who will convince him as to every little detail of governance: who to meet, where to travel to, and who to suspect or suspend. The President exercises power, the officials and the partisans in the corridors exercise influence. But when things go wrong, it is the President that gets the blame. He is reminded that the buck stops at his desk.

    We should begin to worry about these dangerous officials in the system, particularly within the public service, the reckless mind readers who exploit the system for their own ends, and who walk free when the President gets all the blame. To govern properly, every government not only needs a good man at the top, but good officials who will serve the country. We are not there yet. The same civil servants who superintended over the omissions of the past 16 years are the ones still going up and down today, and it is why something has changed but nothing has changed. The reality is terrifying.

    The officials at the state levels are no different, from the governor down to the local government chairman and their staff. They hardly get as much criticism as the folks in Abuja, but they are busy every day governing Nigeria, and doing so very badly too. Local government chairmen and their officials do almost nothing. The governors also try to act as if they are Imperial Majesties. The emphasis on ceremony rather than actual performance is the bane of governance in Nigeria. Everyone seems to be obsessed with ceremony and privileges.

    A friend sent me a picture he took with the Mayor of London inside a train, in the midst of ordinary citizens and asked if that would ever happen in Nigeria. The Mayor had no bodyguards. He was on his own. In the Netherlands, the Prime Minister is a part-time lecturer in one of the local colleges. Nigerian pubic officials are often too busy to have time for normal life. Even if they want to live normally, the system also makes it impossible. We need people in government living normal lives. Leaders need not be afraid of the people they govern. They must identify with them. There is too much royalty in government circles in Nigeria. No matter how well-intentioned you may be, once you find yourself in their midst, you will soon start acting and sounding like one, because it is the only language that is spoken in those corridors.

    Elsewhere, ideas govern countries. People become leaders on the basis of ideas and they govern with ideas. That is why the average voter in Europe or North America knows that what he votes for is what he is likely to get. Clearly in the on-going Presidential nomination process in the United States, every voter knows the difference between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side and between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump on the Republican side. Such differences are often blurry in Nigeria: our politics is driven by partisan interests; a primordial desperation for power, not ideas. It is also why Nigerian politicians can belong to five different political parties and movements within a decade.

    Even when men of ideas show up in the political arena, they are quickly reminded that they are not politicians and do not understand politics. Gross anti-intellectualism is a major problem that Nigeria would have to address at some stage. Some of the administrations in the past who had brainy men and women of ideas in strategic positions ended up not using them. They were either frustrated, caged, co-opted or forced to adapt or shown the door. The question is often asked: why don’t such people walk away? The answer that is well known in official corridors is this: doing so may be a form of suicide. Once inside, you are not allowed to walk out on the Federal Government of Nigeria, and if you must, not on your own terms. So, governance fails even at that level of values: that other important element that governs progressive nations.

    Partisan interests are major factors in the governance process. These seem to be the dominant factor in Nigeria, but again, they are irresponsibly deployed. The crowd of political parties, religious groups, traditional rulers, ethnic and community associations, professional associations, pastors, priests, traditional rulers, imams and alfas, shamanists, native doctors, soothsayers and traditional healers: they all govern. They wield enormous influence. But they have never helped Nigeria and they are not helping. All the people in public offices have strong links to all these other governors of Nigeria, but what kind of morality do they discuss? Those with partisan interests, including even promoters of Non-Governmental groups (NGOs) all have one interest at heart: power and relevance.

    The same priests who saw grand visions for the PDP and its members over a 16-year period are still in business seeing visions and making predictions. Those who claim to be so powerful they can make the lame walk and the blind see have not deemed it necessary to step forward to help the NNPC turn water into petrol. If any of these miracle-delivering pastors can just turn the Lagos Lagoon alone into a river of petrol, all Nigerians will become believers, but that won’t happen because they are committed to a different version of the gospel. As for the political parties: they are all in disarray.

    The private sector also governs Nigeria. But what is the quality of governance in the corporate sector? The Nigerian corporate elite are arrogant. They claim that they create jobs so the country may prosper, but they are, in reality, a rent-seeking class. They survive on government patronage, access to the Villa and its satellites, and claims of indispensability. But without government, most private sector organisations will be in distress. The withdrawal of public funds into a Treasury Single Account is a case in point. And with President Muhammadu Buhari not readily available to the eye-service wing of the Nigerian private sector, former sycophants in the corridors are clandestinely resorting to sabotage and blackmail. A responsible private sector has a duty in society: to build society, not to donate money to politicians during elections and seek patronage thereafter. And if it must co-operate with government, it must be for much nobler reasons in the public interest.

    The military are still governing Nigeria too. They may be in the background, but their exit 16 years ago, has not quite translated into a loss of influence or presence. In the early years of their de-centering, many of them chose to join politics and replace their uniforms with traditional attires. Their original argument is that if other professionals can join politics, then a soldier should not be excluded. They failed to add that the military class in politics in Africa has shown a tendency to exercise proprietorial rights and powers, which delimit the democratic project. In Nigeria such powers and rights have been exercised consistently and mostly by, happily for us, a gerontocratic class, whose impact, I believe, will be determined by the effluxion of time.

    And it is like this: the President that emerged in 1999 was a soldier: the received opinion was that only such a strong man could stabilise the country. His successor was the brother of another old soldier; he and his Deputy were personally chosen by the departing President. He died in office, but for his Deputy to succeed him, it helped a lot that he was also a favorite of the General who chose his own successors. When this protégé fell out with the General, in retrospect now, a miscalculation, the General turned Godfather swore to remove him from office. And it happened. In 2015, another former soldier and strong man had to be brought back to office and power. When anything goes wrong, a class of old Generals is the one who steps forward to protect and guide the country. The only saving grace is that they do not yet have a successor–class of similarly influential men with military pedigree. But when their time passes, would there be equally strong civilians who can act as protectors of the nation?

    The media governs too. But the media in Nigeria today is heavily politicised, compromised and a victim of internal censorship occasioned by hubris. Can the media still save Nigeria? It is in the same pit as the Nigerian voter, foreign interests, the legislature and the judiciary. But when there is positive change at all of these centres of power and influence, only then will there be change, movement and motion, and a new Nigeria.

    Dr Reuben Abati was Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan.

    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect our editorial policy. DailyGlobeWatch shall, therefore , not be held responsible for any of its contents or any part thereof.


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