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

    13/Nov/2015 // 693 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 // 119 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 // 434 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 // 257 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 // 541 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 // 463 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 // 653 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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  • Who governs Nigeria?, By Dr Reuben Abati

    15/Apr/2016 // 464 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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  • Goodluck Jonathan was an exceptional president, Femi Aribisala

    15/Dec/2015 // 532 Viewers

     

    By Femi Aribisala
    I WALKED into the east wing of The Palms shopping center in Lekki, Lagos (popularly known as Shoprite); solely to be buttoned-holed by a person making an attempt to promote me a Honda Civic parked contained in the corridor. His gross sales pitch was that it was the primary completely assembled Honda in Nigeria; constructed utterly to Nigerian specs. For instance, in contrast to the classical Honda, the Nigeria mannequin has a excessive clearance, being aware of the potholes in Nigerian roads.
    President Goodluck Jonathan speaks throughout his go to to the Nigerian Inventory Change (NSE) in Lagos, on March 12, 2015. President Jonathan visited the Nigerian Inventory Change (NSE) on March 12, and launched a brand new on-line cellular platform, X-Gen, designed to extend native funding. The platform is targetted at growing the variety of native buyers within the nation and to allow about 30 tens of millions home buyers have entry to the market. AFP PHOTO
    I had no intention of shopping for a brand new automotive, least of all a Honda Accord.  However, I couldn’t fail to recognise that what he was touting is likely one of the many achievements of the Jonathan administration. Regardless of the Buhari administration’s day by day vilification of Jonathan, the achievements of his authorities proceed to talk for themselves.
    Jonathan put in place a coverage that offered zero import-obligation for utterly knocked down automobiles; whereas discouraging the importation of already assembled automobiles; previous or model new, by the imposition of heavy import-duties. This propelled automotive producers to arrange meeting-crops in Nigeria that present jobs for craftsmen, technicians, technologists, engineers, and different professionals throughout the worth chain. The federal government additionally made it a coverage to patronize regionally-made and assembled automobiles.
    The result is that native automotive-meeting is again in Nigeria; actually risen from the lifeless. Huge auto giants, together with Peugeot, Nissan, Volkswagen, Kia, Hyundai and apparently Honda, now both assemble, or totally manufacture, their automobiles, SUVs, vans and buses at numerous places in Nigeria.  As well as, Nigeria now has an indigenous automotive-manufacturing firm, Innoson, which isn’t solely promoting regionally however already dabbling in exports.
    Limits of  denigration
    Nowadays, probably the most discernible coverage of the brand new APC authorities is to assault all the things Jonathan.  Nevertheless, propaganda can solely masks the reality within the brief-time period.  It can’t destroy the reality within the medium to lengthy-time period.  It doesn’t matter what APC traducers say, the very fact stays that Goodluck Jonathan was an exceptional president by Nigerian requirements.
    Now’s the time to re-affirm this and to ask a extra dispassionate reappraisal of the details, away from the lies and fabrications of the election marketing campaign.  It could actually not be argued right now that anybody defending Jonathan is a PDP contractor; a favorite line of defence of Buharimaniacs.  Neither can Jonathan defenders be accused any longer of wanting to switch Reuben Abati because the president’s spokesman. “You are able to do nothing towards the reality however for the reality.”  It doesn’t matter what the APC continues to broadcast concerning the Jonathan administration, the reality can’t be silenced.
    Fashola’s gaffe: After six months of stasis, Buhari lastly unfurled his ministers in probably the most anti-climatic trend.  These lengthy-awaited saints and angels turned out to be principally Santa Claus.
    Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos State, is now the minister of Energy, Works and Housing.  At his maiden information convention, tagged grandiloquently: “Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change,” the identical Fashola who spent the election marketing campaign operating down the Jonathan administration shocked his viewers by revealing that, quite than embark on new street development tasks in 2016, he would solely endeavour to construct on Jonathan’s achievements.
    Wittingly or unwittingly, Fashola gave the mislead APC propaganda that Jonathan’s years have been wasted years?  If Jonathan was as incompetent because the APC would have us consider, why might the social gathering not launch its personal superior nationwide street-constructing plan, as Buhari had promised within the heady days of the 2015 election marketing campaign?  Why depend on allegedly sub-commonplace PDP foundations?
    Equally, moderately than jettison Jonathan’s energy-sector reforms that APC derided volubly in the course of the marketing campaign, Fashola revealed that the federal government might be persevering with with them. Jonathan accomplished 10 energy-crops in Nigeria inside three years; the primary and highest of such document by any Nigerian president dwelling or lifeless. The APC had accused Jonathan of awarding the facility tasks to PDP cronies and financiers who’re incompetent and poor.  However relatively than revoke these contracts, Fashola preached continuity.  He additionally admitted that Jonathan‘s transformation within the energy sector is above 50%, and that his job can be to construct on this achievement.
     Jonathan’s transformation  agenda
    Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, additionally had the identical evaluation of Jonathan’s achievements with regard to rail transportation.  He pledged to finish all ongoing rail-restoration tasks across the nation began by Jonathan; in addition to prolong them to all elements of the nation.
    Jonathan inaugurated the Lagos-Kano rail line and the Port Harcourt-Enugu mass transit practice.  He additionally launched into the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line.  Moreover, Jonathan’s tasks embrace the Abuja-Kaduna quick practice line; the 322km Lagos-Benin Metropolis line, 500km Benin-Abakiliki line, 673km Benin-Obudu Cattle Ranch line, 615km Lagos-Abuja excessive velocity line, 520km Zaria-Birnin- Koni line, 533km Ega nyi-Otukpo and the Ega nyi-Abuja line.
    Because of Jonathan, 5 million Nigerians at the moment are carried by rail, relative to the a million earlier than he got here.  An estimated seven hundred,000 passengers are projected to experience the Abuja Mild Rail (ALR) each day.  Solely just lately, KPMG listed Nigeria’s excessive velocity rail undertaking proposed by the Jonathan administration as one of many international prime one hundred world-class infrastructures.  The rail is predicted to attach Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Warri, Bauchi, Abuja and Port Harcourt; at a price of $thirteen billion.
    For his half, Audu Ogbeh, the brand new Minister of Agriculture and Rural Improvement, didn’t even fake to have an various to Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda.  Talking on the launching of the Anchor Debtors Programme in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, Ogbe recommended Jonathan’s achievements in agriculture, whereas additionally praising his ministerial predecessor for the improvements he launched.
    Because of Jonathan, agriculture now accounts for 22 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, greater than oil and fuel which solely account for 15.9 per cent.  Beneath Jonathan, Nigeria recorded a greater than 50 per cent discount in meals imports; from an import invoice of N1.four trillion to lower than N700 billion.  With the innovation of dry season rice-farming, Nigeria reached 60% self-sufficiency in rice manufacturing and have become, in line with the Meals and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the most important producer of cassava on the earth.
    Anti-corruption  hypocrisy
    Somewhat than hit the bottom operating, the in-coming Buhari administration has spent the final six months on a marketing campaign towards Jonathan and his males, as whether it is nonetheless looking for Nigerian votes.  This marketing campaign has turn out to be an alternative to coverage, resulting in the conclusion that the APC by no means actually anticipated to win the election and subsequently doesn’t know what to do now it has been declared the winner.  What the celebration did through the election marketing campaign was current pie-in-the-sky insurance policies that have been by no means meant to be carried out however have been primarily designed to reap votes.
    This accounts for the federal government’s present embarrassment with its personal social gathering manifesto and the denial of its marketing campaign guarantees.  It has even led to APC legislators being constrained to vote towards their very own coverage; the cost of N5000 month-to-month to the 25 million poorest Nigerians.  In six months, the a lot-touted change of the APC has turned out to be counterfeit.  What we have now as an alternative is a continuing barrage of media trials pertaining to the alleged corruption of the Jonathan administration.
    This anti-corruption campaign is clearly not addressed at curbing corruption.  Its main goal is to kill and bury the PDP.  Not even probably the most ardent supporters of Jonathan would insist that there was not rampant corruption underneath the PDP.  What’s unacceptable is the current authorities’s pretence that corruption in Nigeria is restricted to the PDP when, as a matter of reality, the APC is simply as corrupt, if not much more due to its blatant hypocrisy.
    The federal government’s anti-corruption campaign is already with out legitimacy as a result of it’s unashamedly partial and selective.  Allegations made towards APC workplace-holders are procedurally ignored by the federal government’s anti-corruption watchdogs.  A number of the APC chieftains accused of corruption have even been rewarded with main ministerial portfolios.  Others have been nominated as APC candidates in governorship elections.
    PDP members are labelled corrupt till they declare for the APC; then they mechanically grow to be saints.  We are supposed to consider that whereas the PDP used authorities funds to purchase favours and votes in the course of the election marketing campaign, APC managed to spend massively to dislodge the PDP from energy with out doing the identical.  The reality of the matter is that corruption shouldn’t be the unique protect of any celebration or individuals.  Corruption is endemic to the Nigerian political system.
    Selective maligning of the members of the previous authorities won’t rid Nigeria of corruption.  Neither will allegations of corruption hurriedly put collectively for the sake of public consumption, that are then thrown out by the courts.  Corruption needs to be addressed systemically and structurally.  However thus far, there’s little proof that the federal government’s anti-corruption intentions transcend the witch-searching of the Jonathan administration.
    Jonathan’s  legacies
    To the extent that the current administration might be stated to have any insurance policies after six months in workplace, they’re all legacies of the Jonathan administration.  The TSA is from Jonathan.  The flip-round upkeep of our refineries is from Jonathan.  The re-equipping of our army is from Jonathan.  The development in electrical energy is a Jonathan legacy.  However, the key insurance policies enunciated within the APC election manifesto stay primarily pipe-goals.
    Regardless of APC propaganda, Jonathan’s males maintain matching on.  Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Jonathan’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Improvement  is now President of the Africa Improvement Financial institution (AfDB).  Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Jonathan’s Minister of Finance, and Coordinating Minister of the Financial system, is now a Senior Adviser at Lazzard; a prestigious 167 yr-previous international funding agency.  Arunma Otteh, Jonathan’s Director-Basic of the Securities and Change Commission (SEC), is now a Vice-President of the World Financial institution.
    To paraphrase Marc Antony of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “The evil that males do lives after them; the great is oft interrèd with their bones. So let it’s with Jonathan. The noble APC hath informed you Jonathan was clueless. If it have been so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously hath Jonathan answered it.”

     

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


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  • The Igbo Question: A response to JIbrin Ibrahim, By Chidi Anslem Odinkalu

    15/Dec/2015 // 482 Viewers

     

     

    PARIS, DECEMBER 15, 2015: IDENTITY politics in Nigeria is very much alive, well and thriving. It’s an elite preoccupation. Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim is one of Nigeria’s most astute and reputable political scientists.

    He is a very able thought leader, civic activist and intellectual and an unlikely convert to the visceral world of Nigeria’s rent politics of identities and “tribes”. That is why his recent article on the “Igbo Question” merits attention and deserves a response.

    In the article, Dr. Ibrahim organises his argument around the assertion that “the Igbo elite has a strong empirical basis to read Nigerian political history as one of failure and frustration for them.” In support of this, he asserts that “after the civil war, there was a co-ordinated policy of pauperising the Igbo middle class” and “this was followed by routing the Igbos from the commanding heights of the economy”.

    According to Dr. Ibrahim, the “Igbo elite…. refused to change their narrative about the Nigerian state and today the initiative is out of their hands.” He does not necessarily say what this constant narrative is or when it began. However, the article laments that “the biggest failure of the Igbo elite is the incapacity to play the political game” and, switching from analysis to clairvoyance, concludes that “teaming up with Goodluck Jonathan produced petty rewards for a few but it rolled back the schedule for an Igbo Presidency.”

    Some people will read the article as somewhat favourable even if patronisingly so, to the “Igbo”. The declared goal of Dr. Ibrahim’s column is “Deepening Democracy”. Far from deepening democracy, however, the article stunts it. From a long-standing advocate of inclusive civics, this article corrodes coexistence and disappoints on many fronts.

    There are many flaws with both the methodology and argumentation in the article. Let me begin with the methodology. Clearly, ethnicism remains an effective organisational tool of Nigerian politics and many would argue that it is the province of political scientists to observe and analyse it. How this is done, however, matters.

    The historic methodological flaw of ethnicism is to racialise the politics of opinions and association and then homogenise them based on genes or tribal identity. That is manifestly unsustainable. Whoever the Igbo are, they are not a horde of undifferentiated morons. They’re capable of and have always had a political difference. In a democracy, tribes don’t vote; citizens do. To imprison political analysis in the mindset of homogenised tribalization, therefore, is to deny the possibility of an evolved civic capability in Nigeria generally and in the Igbo in particular.

    A related point is the convenient adaptability of deployments to which tribe and ethnicity are put in such analysis, with the effect of denying the considerable progress that Nigerians have made towards mutual co-existence. Take the case of former Kano State Governor,   Sabo Bakin Zuwo. Governor Bakin Zuwo  was Nupe.

    That would place his origins somewhere in present Niger State. But he was elected first as a Senator and then as Governor by the people of Kano. Yet, to most in Southern Nigeria, he was “Hausa” or just “Northerner”. Similarly, Kogi and Kwara states are part of the historic Northern Nigeria. So, persons from these states would be “Northerners”   but, if they are of Yoruba stock, then many would rather prefer to exclude them from “the North” by referring to them as “Yorubas” because the Yoruba are supposedly not of  the North even if millions of them are in it.

    However, when it comes to “flexing” (to use a contemporary Nigerian slang)  with demographic politics, the Yoruba of Kogi and Kwara are conveniently counted as “We North…” . By the way, Kaduna Nzeogwu was from the Mid-West (and until 1963 of the Western Region) but it was convenient in the narrative of the 1966 coup to re-create him exclusively as “Igbo”.

    Dr. Ibrahim’s article didn’t just indulge in staple homogenisations, and mutability of Nigerian ethnic politics, it also conflated race and geopolitics in its analysis. Its focus was probably on the South-East of Nigeria, but his framing was Igbo. Just as the North and Hausa or South-West and Yoruba are not the same thing,  Igbo and the South East aren’t the same.  One is a geopolitical invention; the other is an immutable racial identity. One can be reinvented; the other can’t. As with all things incapable of being changed, generalisations about tribe and race risk and invite credible accusations of bigotry.

    In reality, though, the underlying generalisation that is evident from the article arguably reflects its author’s personal views about “the Igbo”. If that is so, then this is quite troubling because it could suggest his cupboards of tribalisation in Nigeria are in gross arrears of his professed ideals.

    This leads to a more substantive problem with the article: its banalisation of politics and its commitment to the Bantustanisation of Nigeria. Dr. Ibrahim’s article speaks about the “political game” and, somewhat  hubristically, determines losers (and, therefore, winners). But, surely the question must be what winning means in Nigeria’s politics.

    In an earlier article, Dr. Ibrahim had recently written about Barewa College, the legendary High School in Katsina State that appears to hold a patent on producing Presidents and powerful people in Nigerian politics. But what have these people accomplished for Barewa, for their people or for Nigeria? All the Presidents he pointed to are from “the North”.

    But what have the peoples of this region had to show for their political musical chairs? Despite this lock on power, all the three zones and 19 States  of Northern Nigeria put together have less Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, than the six states of South-South Nigeria; the seven states of North West Nigeria (a zone that is a net importer of human resources from other parts and with nearly 30% of Nigeria’s population) together have just a little over half of the IGR of the five states of South East Nigeria which is a net exporter of  human resources to the rest of Nigeria. How can that be progress and what does that mean for politics and our notions of winning and losing?

    Speaking about the political game and how it has been banalised, the Niger Delta produced President Jonathan for five years and three months and yet the East-West Road which leads to his village remains, for the most part, a crater. The road to President Obasanjo’s house in Otta (the Abeokuta-Lagos Express Way) was, similarly, one of the worst in Nigeria under his Presidency. In this Nigerian political game, the people seem to be the football that the elites use for their kickabouts.

    I can honestly understand a claim that any people have lost out in the political game if Dr. Ibrahim or anyone could point to any verifiable legacies left by the supposed tribes of winners except the supposed Brownie Points that come from producing elites with an equal opportunity commitment to the pauperisation of all of the country. The most far reaching of such legacies have come from people who didn’t exercise federal power: Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo and Michael Okpara.

    Nigeria deserves to be freed from the tragic consciousness in which enlightened people think that politics is about capturing power with no real benefits to the human beings who make power worth exercising. If we cannot elevate the tone of our politics or its analysis, we can, at least, decide not to continue to trivialise it.

     

    Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, a human rights lawyer, writes  from Lagos, Nigeria.

     

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


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