• Concussion (2015 film) is a Nigerian

    04/Feb/2016 // 1043 Viewers

    By Akintokubo A. Adejumo

    Poser: How many Hollywood movies have been made about the lives and achievements of Nigerians who have made one impact or the other on the world stage, with big name actors like Will Smith taking the role of the Nigerian achiever, and Alec Baldwin in a supporting role?

    I am still struggling to come up with one, but please, if you know of any, kindly correct me. 

    I did not know about this film called Concussion, until a few evenings ago, when my wife and I decided to go and watch a movie, as we usually do most Sunday evenings to vary our lifestyle. So we searched online for what movie to go and watch and as usual, browsed through the reviews. I came across a movie called Concussion, which was about a Nigerian forensic pathologist in the United States. Our curiosity was aroused and we decided to take in the movie. It was perhaps the best decision I had ever made concerning watching a movie.

    Concussion is a 2015 American biographical sports medical drama film directed and written by Peter Landesman. This film is based on the 2009 GQ exposé Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas starring Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian forensic pathologist who fought against efforts by the National Football League to suppress his research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) brain damage suffered by professional football players. The film also stars Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Albert Brooks. Columbia Pictures released the film on December 25, 2015.

    Read Also: The Revelations of the Damned, By Akintokunbo A Adejumo

    I will summarise the plot of the movie, with reference to Wikipedia, (no use in re-inventing the wheel). In 2002, former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster was found dead in his pickup truck. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist with the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania coroner's office, handles Webster's autopsy, and discovers that he has severe brain damage. He ultimately determines that Webster died as a result of the long-term effects of repeated blows to the head—a disorder he calls chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). With the help of former Steelers team doctor Julian Bailes, fellow neurologist Steven T. DeKosky and county coroner Cyril Wecht, Omalu publishes a paper on his findings, which is initially dismissed by the NFL.

    Over the next few years, Omalu discovers that three other deceased former NFL players, Terry Long, Justin Strzelczyk and Andre Waters, had symptoms very similar to Webster's. He finally persuades newly appointed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to present his findings before a committee on player safety. However, the NFL doesn't take Omalu seriously; they don't even allow him to be in the room for the presentation, forcing Bailes to give it for him.

    Omalu is subjected to considerable pressure to back down from his efforts. Wecht is subjected to a politically motivated prosecution on corruption charges. Omalu's wife, Prema, suffers a miscarriage after being stalked. The Omalus are forced to leave their dream home outside Pittsburgh. They move to Lodi, California; where Omalu takes a job with the San Joaquin County coroner's office. However, he is vindicated when former NFL Players Association executive Dave Duerson commits suicide due to growing cognitive problems; in his suicide note, Duerson admits that Omalu was right. Omalu is allowed to address an NFLPA conference on concussions and CTE. Amid growing scrutiny from the US Congress, the NFL is forced to take the concussion issue more seriously.

    Omalu is offered a job as chief medical examiner for the District of Columbia, but turns it down in order to continue working hands-on with autopsies.

    Dr. Omalu's efforts to study and publicize CTE in the face of NFL opposition were reported in a GQ magazine article in 2009 by Jeanne Marie Laskas. The article was later expanded by Laskas into a book, Concussion, and a film of the same name where Dr. Omalu is the central character portrayed by Will Smith. The movie's production led to the creation of a foundation named after Omalu to advance CTE and concussion research.

    Dr. Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu (born September 1968) is a Nigerian American physician, forensic pathologist, and neuropathologist who was the first to publish findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players while working at the Allegheny County Coroner's Office in Pittsburgh. He later became chief medical examiner of San Joaquin County, California, and is a professor in the University of California, Davis, Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

    The family name, Omalu, is a shortened form of the surname, Onyemalukwube, which translates to “he (she) who knows, speak”.

    Brief Biography:

    Born    Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu, September 1968 (age 47), in Nnokwa, Idemili South, Nigeria
    Residence    Lodi, California
    Nationality    Nigerian and naturalized USA citizen
    Alma mater    University of Nigeria, Nsukka (M.B., B.S., 1990)
    Carnegie Mellon University (MBA, 2008)
    University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (MPH, Epidemiology) [2]
    Occupation    Medical Doctor, Forensic Pathologist, Professor, Medical Examiner
    Known for    Discovering the relationship of the brain disease CTE to damage done to some American football players by concussions.
    Spouse    Prema Mutiso

    Now back to my writing: If I had been trained as a film critic, I probably would have been more eloquent and professional than this and able to put my critical opinions and feelings better on paper. Watching that movie brought tears into my eyes, and yet again, also a great feeling of pride in my country of origin, Nigeria. Of course, Nigerians have been doing great and greater things than this in all areas of endeavour, profession, etc. all over the world. We have a Nobel Laureate, and so many great Nigerians who have been awarded genuine, international and prestigious prizes and awards. I cannot recount them all here, in fact, I do not know them all, because some of them were and are still working quietly in the background in so many countries of the world, and even some inside Nigeria itself. Yet, it seems the mediocre and the charlatans always have the upper hand in determining the potential and greatness of this country.

    Dr Omalu was threatened with deportation, had his wife stalked, nearly lost his job and was intimidated by official authorities (FBI) in the US to suppress his findings, yet he did not bend. His bosses and subordinates, who were whites, at work had the utmost faith and belief in him and his work, so much he was supported by them when undergoing this ordeal. 

    Another thing of note, and which should be an eye-opener or food for thought for Nigerians was that throughout, Dr Omalu, who had experienced the Biafran Civil War, never referred to himself as an Igbo man. He is a Nigerian all the time, even when he was courting his future Kenyan wife. His bosses, subordinates, allies and foes knew him as a Nigerian, not an Igbo man. He expressed, promoted and dignified Nigeria, not Igbo. 

    He was resilient and dignified. He showed an integrity which is now uncommon in Nigeria these days, the lack of which has made Nigerians all over the world become marked corrupt, easily bought and criminal. In the face of all that was thrown at him, he could have buckled in or collapsed under the pressure and decided not to pursue his findings (which could save thousands of lives) further and just get on with the job and intent of making his living on a pathologist’s salary, like many of us would – we don’t want to get deported back to Nigeria, or “look, dat na America’s problem, wetin concern me, if dem no wan hear d truth, na dem palaver be dat, make I earn my money jare”

    Dr Omalu only became a naturalised American citizen in February 2015. As he told journalist Jeanne Marie Laskas in the biographical Concussion, he became disillusioned with Nigeria after presidential candidate Moshood Abiola failed to win the Nigerian presidency due to an inconclusive election in 1993.

    Of course, Dr Bennet Omalu no longer owes any allegiance to his country of origin, like so many millions of Nigerians who have sojourned to foreign lands since time immemorial, but there is still the Nigerian-ness in him, again like many of us.

    We tend to derive some personal and national pride when the children of Nigeria do well outside of the country itself. We are always proud of Nigerians, dual nationality or not, who have brought glory and recognition to us and are pained and ashamed by those of them accosted all over the world for crimes like fraud, drug smuggling, money laundering, including our leaders who have been denigrating and shaming us since Independence, and more recently with unabated and unashamed looting of the treasury and utter governmental incompetence. These are type of people who forced the type of Dr Omalu to leave his own country and people and be more beneficial to other people’s countries.

    Aptly, Nigeria is concussed now, and it is the Omalu’s of this world that may be able to revive it. This is a movie many of us who are proud of our country should watch and encourage others to watch. It is inspiring, motivational, orientating, educational and positive about our much-maligned country. 

    Image result for Dr Bennet Omalu

         Dr Bennet Omalu

    I acknowledge you, Bennet Omalu, though you may never meet or know me. I have learnt something from you about humanity, resilience, devotion, hard work, personal conviction and pride and belief in one’s professionalism.

     Dr Bennet Omalu, M.D., M.B.A., MPH, CPE, DABP-AP, CP, FP, NP


    Akintokunbo A Adejumo writes from London, United Kingdom
    MSc, Dip Mngt, CIHM, MCMI, FITP, MIH
    Food Safety & Hygiene Trainer and Consultant


    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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  • It is time to summon Lai Mohammed - Ebi K. Alagba

    04/Feb/2016 // 491 Viewers

    By Ebi K. Alagba

    PARIS, FEBRUARY 4, 2016: It is time to summon Minister Lai Mohammed and allow our military to test those fake and substandard weapons on him to show Nigerians that they are truly substandard and fake.

    Most Nigerians remember that Leahy Law prevented Nigeria from acquiring sophisticated weapons from her major suppliers eg US government, to battle Boko Haram, but somehow, the past administration made concrete efforts and got other friendly nations to sell arms to Nigeria to enable her battle the war against Boko Haram, but the best that could come out of the  nation's Minister of Information is to regard these weapons as "fake and substandard" to the consternation  of the countries that assisted us in our time of need is totally unacceptable.

    Lai Mohammed should be reminded that he is the Information desk Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not the Spokesman of APC. Every of his statement made in his official capacity is deemed as what Nigeria has said, but his consistent lies are not helping Nigeria's image both locally and internationally and it is high-time he is read the Riot Act.

    Read Also: Boko Haram: Buhari has not acquired new arms apart from the ones I bought - Jonathan

    The weapons acquired denial series was totally uncalled for and later regarding such weapons as "fake and substandard" knowing full well the successes recorded by our military with these weapons against Boko Haram, as widely reported by the world press must be condemned in its entirety by all peace loving Nigerians. It incites hatred between citizens and their leaders and, therefore, criminal and actionable.

    You need sincere leaders around you Mr President and not those who will mislead you and your followers with consistent and fabricated lies with bickering and politicking.

    The issue of insecurity is of national interest to the entire nation that you have vowed to tackle and not parochial political sentiments as shared by Lai. The Minister of Information must know the differences and guide his frequent public utterances.

    While Nigerians pray fervently for our troops to succeed  in the fight against Islamist insurgents, no politician should be allowed to play politics with their efforts to end terrorism in Nigeria via unguided utterances in the public as being  done  by Lai Mohammed.

    Let all be guided.

    God Bless Nigeria.



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  • Rape Of Justice In Abia And The Ukwa-Ngwa Agitation

    04/Jan/2016 // 391 Viewers

    By Onuegbu Okechukwu


    “The greatest want of the world is the want of men - men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”- EllenG. White.

    The law is always referred to as the hope of the common man. It is the last resort and hope of the common man. But recently, few elements in the judiciary have dragged the name of that revered arm of government to the mud by delivering judgments that have generated of unimaginable scale of controversy.

    The elements are continuously contravening the above principles proffered by White as the solutions to the malady bedeviling this world. They are either bought or sold. Their conscience is not as true as needle to the pole, and they cannot stand for the right though the heavens fall.

    The latest is the Abia episode where over 300,000 voters from Obingwa, Osisioma and Isialangwa North local government areas were disenfranchised, including the governor of the state, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. The judges of the Appeal Court sitting in Owerri made the episode more comical by nullifying the mandate of Ikpeazu which was earlier by affirmed both by the Abia people and the lower tribunal.

    The Appellate Court since the judgment last Friday stirred the hornet’s nest. The ruling has attracted barrage of Innuendo: “Rape of justice”, “Miscarriage of justice”, Greatest joke of the century”, amongst others.

    Abians, especially the Ukwa-Ngwa ethnic nationality received the judgment with huge shock. The reasons for their agitation are not far- fetched. One, Abians massively voted for Ikpeazu. Two, they will not entertain any attempt and plot that would truncate the reformation process Ikpeazu has set in motion in the state.

    For the Ukwa- Ngwa people, any attempt to steal the mandate of one of their own, Ikpeazu, who they massively and unanimously gave their mandate, would meet the brick wall. It will be recalled that Ikpeazu is the first Ukwa- Ngwa man to have a shot at the governorship position in the state, since its creation in 1991.

    The day light robbery provoked a massive peaceful protest on the streets of Aba . A former President of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara who led the protest, is optimistic that the ignoble judgment would be quashed at the apex court, and called on the National Judicial Council, NJC, to sanction those judges in the appeal court for compromise.” I have never seen in my whole political life such a judgment in any law court and we all claim that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man, but they have not demonstrated that now. So what we are saying is that people should remain calm, demonstrate peacefully, we will get that”.

    “We are on the street to register our displeasure over the court of appeal ruling. All we are saying that our votes should and must be allowed to count. We must be part of the decision of who governs us. And we did when we voted overwhelmingly for our son Dr Ikpeazu as our governor. This attempt to rob us our hard earned -mandate which we have through the court of appeal is unacceptable to us. While the ruling will bechallenged, we shall remains on the streets,” Wabara said.

    Hon. Eziuche Ubani, Commissioner for Works and two-term member of the House of Representatives questioned the evidence of rigging, adding the Otti never campaigned in Obingwa, the local government area of Gov. Ikpeazu, and had no agent there.

    Ubani’s argument is buttressed further by the fact that the lower tribunal ruled that Obingwa votes were in order and decided that there will be a re-run in two wards in Osisioma, one in Isiala Ngwa North, two wards in Ugwunagbo . The implication of this is that the issues arising from the first election were determined by the order for a supplementary election. But unfortunately, the appellate court went back to those issues that have been determined by the lower tribunal.

    According to Ubani,“We know what this place (Aba) is and what it represents. If that doesn’t happen, we won’t have any control about what may actually happen. We are threatening anybody but the fact is that the facts are there, we can’t predict what would happen. So, that is why the leaders have come to organize peaceful protest and then let people do the right thing. This state has been held down for 16years. The state has taken off and we don’t want anyone to take us back to Egypt”.

    Another serious poser this rape of justice raises is” why would the appeal court declare Otti winner with a supposed margin of 50,000 based on results from 14 local government areas while invalidating results from three local government areas with a voter population of over 300,000?

    It will be recalled that during April 11 governorship election in Abia State, a winner could not be declared immediately after the election because the margin of leadership of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu was about 30,000 while the areas where elections could not hold for sundry reasons had about 50,000 registered voters. A supplementary election was held twoweeks later and Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu was declared winner afterwards.

    South East Progressives Assembly (SEPA) in a statement accused the 5-man panel, whom were allegedly drawn from Lagos division of the court of appeal,of striking a deal with some APC chieftainsto the detriment of the electoral act and constitution. The group further alleged that motive behind the deal is that should they help Otti grab Abia governorship seat through the court of appeal, that he would defect to APC and surrender the state to the control of the party.

    SEPA is of a strong view that a judgment that clearly disenfranchise over 300,000 registered voters from the strong-hold of Gov. Ikpeazu can never survive the judicial scrutiny of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, adding” is no gainsaying that the said judgment in entirety terribly unleashed a devastating blow to our nascent democracy which provocatively shocked Abia people, Nigerians and lovers of democracy outside the shores of our country”.

    “How did the justices determine and decided the substantial non-compliance in Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu's local government area and two other Ngwa local government areas as alleged by the appellant? How did they arrive at over-voting to cancel those legitimately collated and returned results from these LGAs? What did our law and electoral act provide in situations where over-voting is substantially proven? What informed the acceptability and invalidation of the cooked evidence of the second appellant which finally formed the bedrock and figures upon which Alex Otti was declared winner of the governorship election by the court of appeal?”

    There is a consensus among Abians and other justice- loving citizens across the world that the mandate of their performing- governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, cannot be tampered with. The feeling is pervasive and has turned into a sing song” any attempt to tamper with the mandate of our performing- governing would strongly resisted. Abians have made their statement by massively voting Gov. Ikpeazu, the desperado called Otti does not have any other option than to concede defeat. “The voice of the people is the voice of God”. “Vox populi, vox dei”. Attention should be paid to the voice of the people.

    “When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. Where evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice”.-Martin Luther King Jr(1929 - 1968).

    Ukegbu writes from Umuahia , Abia State.


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



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  • Amaechi, Fashola and allegory of the cave

    04/Jan/2016 // 298 Viewers

    By Bolaji Akinola


    THE agonising fuel situation, vexatious Apapa gridlock, distressing slide in the value of the naira, erratic power supply and the generally bewildering living conditions of the masses combine to provoke the feeling of a rudderless state. The level of frustration is rising ever so much faster than Nigeria’s economic growth. Nevertheless, Nigerians look up to the new government to earnestly deliver the promised change. Much hope is hinged on the two super Ministers – Fashola and Amaechi. Our hope of a better maritime industry also rests on these two former Governors.

    Amaechi is not ignorant of the problems facing the country. He is not a total stranger to the maritime environment either having served as Governor of Rivers State – a state that hosts the nation’s oldest seaport and the world famous Onne Port – for eight years. Ditto Fashola.

    The nation’s two major seaports are located in the state he ran commendably well for eight years. Fashola’s administration initiated the construction of the Lekki seaport. He had a clear understanding of the importance of the waterways. He set up the Lagos Waterways Authority (LASWA) to encourage the use of alternative mode of transportation by Lagosians. He even went as far as creating a sort of Coast Guard for Lagos.

    So what does a man who vastly feels compelled to give advice say to these gentlemen?

    Aha, the allegory of the cave! Plato’s allegory of the cave would be apt.

    The allegory provides an interesting perspective to life. It was written as a dialogue between two brothers, Socrates and Glaucon.

    Socrates begins by asking Glaucon to imagine a cave where people have been imprisoned from childhood. These prisoners are chained so that their legs and necks are fixed, forcing them to gaze at the wall in front of them and not look around at the cave, each other, or themselves. Behind the prisoners is a fire, and between the fire and the prisoners is a raised walkway with a low wall, behind which people walk carrying objects or puppets “of men and other living things”.

    The people walk behind the wall so their bodies do not cast shadows for the prisoners to see, but the objects they carry do (“just as puppet showmen have screens in front of them at which they work their puppets”.

    The prisoners cannot see any of this behind them and are only able to see the shadows cast upon the cave wall in front of them. The sounds of the people talking echo off the shadowed wall, and the prisoners falsely believe these sounds come from the shadows.

    Socrates suggests that the shadows constitute reality for the prisoners because they have never seen anything else; they do not realize that what they see are shadows of objects in front of a fire, much less that these objects are inspired by real living things outside the cave.

    Plato then supposes that one prisoner is freed, being forced to turn and see the fire. The light would hurt his eyes and make it hard for him to see the objects that are casting the shadows. If he is told that what he saw before was not real but instead that the objects he is now struggling to see are, he would not believe it. In his pain, Plato continues, the freed prisoner would turn away and run back to what he can see and is accustomed to, that is the shadows of the carried objects. He writes “…it would hurt his eyes, and he would escape by turning away to the things which he was able to look at, and these he would believe to be clearer than what was being shown to him.”

    Plato continues: “suppose…that someone should drag him…by force, up the rough ascent, the steep way up, and never stop until he could drag him out into the light of the sun.” The prisoner would be angry and in pain, and this would only worsen when the radiant light of the sun overwhelms his eyes and blinds him.

    The sunlight is representative of the new reality and knowledge that the freed prisoner is experiencing. But slowly, his eyes adjust to the light of the sun. First he can only see shadows. Gradually he can see the reflections of people and things in water and then later see the people and things themselves. Eventually he is able to look at the stars and moon at night until finally he can look upon the sun itself. Only after he can look straight at the sun “is he able to reason about it” and what it is. Plato continues, saying that the freed prisoner’s perception would be permanently altered. He would think that the real world was superior to the world he experienced in the cave; he would bless himself for the change, and pity the other prisoners and would want to bring his fellow cave dwellers out of the cave and into the sunlight.

    The returning prisoner, whose eyes have become acclimated to the light of the sun, would be blind when he re-enters the cave, just as he was when he was first exposed to the sun. The prisoners, according to Socrates, would infer from the returning man’s blindness that the journey out of the cave had harmed him and that they should not undertake a similar journey. Socrates concludes that the prisoners, if they were able, would therefore reach out and kill anyone who attempted to drag them out of the cave.

    Honourable Ministers, you’ve been out of the cave a while. You’ve seen the true light. You’ve heard the true sound and seen the real images. You’re back now to take this imprisoned generation out into sunshine; please don’t allow the people you desire to save resist you. Maritime industry confusionists are very loud and unrepentant. Please don’t let them hold you back.

    Drag, pull, push and force us up the rough ascent. Ignore the hues and cries. Make the change happen by all means. Please.

    Akinola, a maritime expert writes from Lagos, Nigeria.


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

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  • Who destroyed Nigeria, PDP or APC? By Segun Adebiyi

    04/Nov/2015 // 1511 Viewers

    I am usually taken aback whenever officers of the present APC administration release statements and interviews to sermonise Nigerians on how PDP administration has destroyed Nigeria for 16years and how they are working on fixing the mess created by PDP.
    It is non-contestable that between May 29, 1999 and May 29, 2015, "PDP"(in quote) occupied the seat of power in Abuja and control majority states in the federation. However, we have to get our fact right with respect to "who destroyed Nigeria between 99 and 2015". I believe we should do a holistic analysis on this subject.
    Presidents and Vice between 1999-2015: Nigeria had three presidents between May 29, 1999 and May 29, 2015. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Mallam Umaru Yar'adua and Dr Goodluck Jonathan. Of the three, Obasanjo spent eight years in office (1999-2007), Yar'adua three years (May 2007-May 2010) and Dr Jonathan five years (May 2010-May 2015). Obasanjo with highest number of time spent (Eight years) denounced PDP to become APC and Buhari's navigator to office.
    Similarly, of the three vice presidents between the period, Atiku Abubakar spent the most number of years in office (Eight, 1999-2007). He not only moved to AC/APC while in office in 2006, he also aspired to rule Nigeria on APC platform in 2014 and is a member of APC's Board of Trustees.
    Speakers of House of Representative between 1999-2015: Between 1999 and 2015 Nigeria had six Speakers of Federal House of Representative. They are Salisu Buhari (June -July 1999), Ghali Na'aba(July 1999-June 2003), Aminu Bello Mansari (June 2003-June 2007), Madam Patricia Etteh (June 2007-November 2007), Dimeji Bankole (Nov 2007-June 2011) and Waziri Tambawal (June 2011-June 2015). Of all six former Speakers, FOUR are members of APC (Na'aba, Mansari, Etteh and Tambawal) with a combined period of TWELVE YEARS in office out of the sixteen years. Mansari and Tambawal are APC Governors of Katsina and Sokoto states respectively.
    Prominent Government Officials: Nasir Elrufai was DG Bureau for Public Enterprise and Secretary of National Council on Privatisation between 1999 and 2003. He later became minister of FCT between 2003 and 2007. As DG BPE and Secretary of NCP, he supervised the privatisation of NEPA, NITEL etc..ALL were emershed in controversy. By virtue of his office, Atiku Abubakar was the Chairman of NCP between 1999 and 2007. Both men supervised the privatization of public companies for the period. They are APC members.
    Danjuma Goje, was the minister of state for power between 1999 and 2003. Rabiu Kwankwaso was minister of Defence between 2003 and 2007. Both are members of APC BoT and Senators.
    Samuel Orthom served as minister of state, trade and investment between 2011 and 2015. Nasir Elrufai was minister of FCT between 2003 and 2007. They are now Governors of Benue and Kaduna states respectively. 
    Should we wash all these away?
    State Administrations Between 1999-2015: Between 1999 and 2015, Gombe has had three Governors, Abubakar Hashidu (4years), Danjuma Goje (8years) and Ibrahim Dankwambo(4years). Both Hashidu and Goje are members of APC. That is a combined 12years.
    In Kwara state, all governors since 1999 are APC members save late Lawal who ruled under APP.
    In Anambra state, ex-Govs Mbadiniju (4years), Nwabuweze Chris Ngige (3years), and Peter Obi(8years) were Governors. Mbadinuju and Ngige are APC members. That is a combined 7years between 1999-2014. PDP Obi held sway for 8years.
    Similarly, in Benue state George Akume who held sway from 1999-2007 (and Senator 2007 till date) is APC chieftain.
    All Governors of Osun state between 1999 till date are APC members. Also in Ekiti state, of the 16years, PDP's Fayose only had four. Otunba Niyi Adebayo(4years), Segun Oni (3years) and Fayemi (4years) are BoT members of APC.
    In Abia state, Uzo Kalu that held sway between 1999 to 2007 is a Chief of APC.
    In Zamfara state, APC Govs held sway for TWELVE out of the 16years.
    In Rivers state APC Chieftain Rotimi Amaechi was not only Governor for eight years (of the 16years), he also served as Speaker for the other part of 8years.
    Plateau state Governor Simon lalong was a Speaker during the Dariye administration. The list is endless.
    APC Claim Is Illogical. We can see that between 1999 and May 2015 individuals occupied various political offices, the actions (and inactions) of these office-holders contributed to the decline of the Nigeria and her economy. Majority of these people were at one time or the other indicted for corrupt practices and fraud while in office. Most of these people are members of APC and some appointed into offices. ALL of them combined are responsible for the sorry state of things in Nigeria.
    We can't forget so soon that it was Saraki and Amaechi (as NGF Chairpersons) that moved for the Sharing and depletion of the Excess Crude Account, which GEJ bowed to between 2007 and 2012. In fact, they also pushed for the sharing of One Billion Dollars in Soveriegn Wealth Fund but was resisted by Jonathan. Today, Saraki is not just APC Senator but also the Senate President, while Amaechi is a minister-designate.
    Can we forget so soon that Audu Ogbeh, a minister-designate and APC Senator Barnabas Germade were PDP National Chairmen between these period. The claim by APC defies logic in every sense.
    Finally, the continuous claim by the Buhari administration that "PDP destroyed Nigeria" for sixteen years only shows that the present administration is yet to understand the problem of Nigeria. Worse still, it is an indictment on all those that held one offices or the other since 1999 especially at federal level. With Buhari having some of these people in his government and other positions of leadership, shows the insincerity of the government and ruling APC. I will advice that Buhari save Nigerians these excuses and focus on the job he was elected to do. PDP is not the name of any official, APC Chieftains have been part of the system.

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  • Why Governor Fayose's must hang

    05/Apr/2016 // 354 Viewers

     By Chuks Illoegbunam

    PETER Ayodele Fayose. Two-time Governor of Ekiti State. There’s certainly something to say for this man. Without question he is, for good or for ill, the most talked about State Governor in Nigeria today. He is one of the most controversial, if not the most controversial.

    Those who believe in him, who swear by his name, would readily die for him, would give whatever it would take for their man to retain his gubernatorial seat, will strike innumerable blows to thwart his traducers. Others who hold Fayose to be beneath contempt, who proclaim that disdain expended on his account amounts to vital energy exercised in obedience to barrenness, people who abhor all that the man stands for, and who stand eternally against his regular ventilation of contrary opinion, would yearn for a cudgel – and a chance to bring the deadly weapon hard down on his head, to shatter his cranium, to finish off everything for the first-and-final time.

    Yet, there is something to say for Ayodele Fayose. If the country ever had an autonomous Governor, the accolade belongs to this occupant of the Ekiti Governor’s Lodge. Leftwing ideologue Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, tried his hands at autonomy as Governor of the old Kaduna State during the Second Republic. He waged a determined war against the behemoth known otherwise as feudalism.

    He got impeached in less than two years. Even though the exercise that moved him from office was unwarranted, unjustified and shameful, the Federal Government then run by the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) sanctioned it. He went. Balarabe may have had a chance to bounce back to the governorship seat but a second, protracted military interregnum killed and buried the possibility. He still lives though – with his integrity intact – while very little is today heard of those who abused democracy to get a blameless leader off the principled path.

    Fayose is empathetic to Balarabe’s experience. On October 16, 2006, he suffered a similar fate when into the third of his four-year tenure as Governor of Ekiti State. He was impeached, not necessarily because he was a wolf among the sheep, but largely because the top leadership of his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), found him expendable. But age was on his side.  Only a month shy of his 46 birthday when he was impeached, he bided his time. He switched parties. He contested other elections. He ultimately returned to the PDP. Then he strode back to Government House, Ado-Ekiti!

    Peter Ayodele Fayose has soared to the zenith. He has plummeted to the nadir. The extreme experiences have fashioned and sharpened his choices. It is said that a man who moved forward, and then moved backward, stood in a proper stead to contextualize positioning, in order to determine the best of options at all times. Fayose has seen it all. Like gold, he has been tempered by the alchemist’s unrelenting fire. If he professed half measures previously, the Fayose of the Second Coming has shed kid gloves for iron fists in the fight against chicanery. He has effected an adamantine repudiation of fear. He now has little problem glaring at the lion and spitting in its face. Like a Shakespearean scholar, he has taken to heart the immortal words of Caesar in Julius Caesar:

    Cowards die many times before their deaths;

    The valiant never taste of death but once.

    Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

    It seems to me most strange that men should fear,

    Seeing that death, a necessary end,

    Will come when it will come.

    Fayose has left many disconcerted and scandalised. Coming from Ekiti, a state reputedly peopled by professors, he wasn’t even counted in the ranks of academics. So, what business had he being the tenant at Government House, Ado-Ekiti? Those mouthing this question forget that professorship and leadership stand in distinction. They take no account of the fact that Ekiti indigenes appear infinitely more interested in those who care for their very existence than the rest who are interested mainly in stuffing their brains with the contents of the fattest tomes.

    They are becoming wiser, or are they? They had impeached Fayose in 2006. When they tried a reenactment of the absurdity last year, the people refused and said No! They demonstrated their preparedness to die for the one unafraid to die. Thus, they worsted undemocratic elements. At that time, all members of the Ekiti State Assembly were of the opposition. They commenced a fresh move to impeach Fayose this year, when all members of the State Assembly are of the Governor’s party! The Honourable members went public, disavowing inducement with filthy lucre, opting instead for long stretches behind bars or worse! They would never abide by the disgraceful plot to impeach the one that led from the front.

    Whatever his political adversaries and opponents mete out to him today or the day after today, (And only what the Lord sanctions can happen to him), Fayose has become a star. He will, like Balarabe Musa, shine over the dulled and dying ends of the political Lilliputians wielding political power tyrannously; politicians in opposition to the contentions and contretemps that add colour and vigour to democratic culture and texture.

    The critical cannot but be sorry for the pathetic lot against Fayose because he is sometimes clad in T-shirts and jeans pants, and rides on Okada motorbikes, and eats in open spaces and bukaterias with society’s flotsam and jetsam. Fayose only borrowed from Fela who, during the 1970s craze for the Mercedes had purchased one such German limousine and used it to carry firewood through the streets of Lagos. Fayose has demystified governance and shamed those that confuse the hood for the monk. He has exposed the ludicrousness of fops invariably turned out in what a well-known teacher once memorably described as the Garment of Stupidity.

    In the sense of embodying free speech, Fayose is currently an Epitome of Democracy. He never shies away from the right to pronounce in mediation of contemporary challenges. His interventions should keep any true leader on their toes. He has advised President Buhari to shun globetrotting and settle down to some work! He has questioned Buhari’s physicality for the onerous job of directing Nigeria’s affairs. He has condemned the political leadership’s indifference to the marauding massacres by Fulani herdsmen. He is, therefore, more patriotic than hypocrites and sycophants who would tell a leader that the stench of his fart wafts like lavender.

    Only last week, the Ekiti chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) spectacularly claimed that Governor Fayose’s conduct was a threat to “national security.” If they got a chance, they would probably recommend that he hangs. Since I have written, not about a saint, but on a voice against the crowning of unworthy heads with the halo of sanctity, I align myself with the metaphor of hanging. But, say I, Governor Fayose is not a candidate for the noose. Rather, his official portrait should hang prominently on a wall in the nation’s Hall of Fame.


    The post ''Why Governor Fayose's must hang' appeared first on Vanguard.


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

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  • Why Buhari’s Public Support Is Fading, By Dr Ugoji Egboju

    05/Dec/2015 // 389 Viewers

                                                   Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

    Corruption cannot be uprooted in six months but why are its many bold signposts still untouched?   Nigerians know that Rome was not built in a day but they also know that the builders of Rome didn’t use baskets to fetch water. When the new government came hope, enthusiasm and optimism swelled. Some took to the roads on feet chaffed by poverty to trek hundreds of kilometers, convinced that misery and hopelessness had been served a quit notice.   Six months after, euphoria has subsided, enthusiasm has waned,   the bounce hasn’t become bust,   but even Buhari’s many supporters have moved from muffled     ‘hmmmmm’   to   audible gasps –  ‘ah ah’.

    We know the ills of the country cannot be sorted in one day but this government must understand that Nigerians have invested huge emotions in it.   And if this inertia isn’t transient and therefore benign, if it becomes sustained indolence,     ordinary Nigerians may   force the change they seek and it won’t be easy going.

    Many still have faith in Buhari but   when APC governorship candidates are announced these days a sinking feeling of hopelessness sits in. Because you get the feeling that even after having won the national elections Buhari has not managed to stamp his authority on the party and affect the way things are done and who represents the party.

    While his party may not be in immediate jeopardy because the rival PDP is in shambles, the nation cannot survive the current   lack of a clear economic direction. Local and international confidence in the economy has dipped. No one knows where it is headed.   In an import dependent economy, companies cannot obtain foreign exchange for their letters of credit?   The unemployment crisis is being compounded by layoffs.   It is true Buhari inherited a mess, he needs to show he has a rescue plan.

    Many of his supporters know he is decisive and can make tough decisions but not a few have begun to wonder whether he has the men to drive the expected change. Nearly every where you turn to there is a manifest absence of the Buhari effect, the Buhari of 1984.

    Petroleum subsidy and fuel queues

    Many Nigerians prior to the elections   were convinced Buhari was the man to take the bull by the horns and scrap fuel subsidy . Strangely the   government has retained the fuel subsidy.   What is their argument?   They want to help the poor. That defies reason. The nation is broke, our economy teeters on the brink of a major depression. Civil servants work but now depend on soothsayers to predict when their salaries will come.   If governors now sometimes brag about being able to pay routine salaries, how then do we sustain the luxury of     financing   the enrichment of middlemen in the name of fuel subsidy? Some governors had the impudence to suggest the slashing of minimum wage.

    The federal government cannot ensure steady supply of petrol because the sheer heft of the sums involved is now frightening, national incomes have dwindled. So the government will dilly and dally about paying subsidy claims until the marketers stanch   supplies and twist the arms of government with petrol queues.   A needless scarcity intrudes into the lives of Nigerians, keeps them idling and withering away at fuel stations where meters dispense 8 litres as 10 litres   and then step aside for calculators because fuel prices now change so quickly that meters can’t cope.

    In many parts of Nigeria petrol sells for as much as N200 per litre. So much for helping the poor.The government that claims it has no tolerance for wastages will yet pay marketers billions in subsidy? Many international oil traders wonder how the subsidy figures are even arrived at because international prices for refined products are at an all time low. The argument that the removal of subsidy will leave the very poor prostrate   even when the subsidy is largely milked by politicians and middlemen is lame. And it leads   you to wonder how the government thinks through its policies.

    This government that ran on zero tolerance for corruption has awarded fuel import allocations to marketers who had forged papers and defrauded the nation of billions of naira in previous fraudulent   subsidy claims.   How can this government ignore the report of the presidential committee on subsidy that indicted these marketers? The EFCC engaged in reprehensible selective prosecution of indicted marketers despite an avalanche of hard evidence.   How can people who contemplated life in exile because of the skeletons sticking out of their cup boards and pockets be allowed to heave sighs of relief and continue from where they stopped , plundering the economy? Little wonder that the kerosene subsidy fraudulent practices patented by the Jonathan regime have continued like that government still runs the oil industry.

    PPMC has remained PPMC. The president’s reputation is being mangled by unscrupulous officials. The NNPC imports all the kerosene sold in the country. It then sells the kerosene at about half its cost to marketers at   N40.50k per litre. The marketers are obligated to sell the kerosene to the public at N50 per litre. But because the NNPC and DPR are derelict of their duties and because the subsidy regime in being unenforceable fattens a select few the poor buy kerosene at an average price of 80 naira per litre.   So the government naively feeds PPMC officials   and marketers and claims its subsidizing kerosene for the poor.

    PPMC officials are aware the system is being shortchanged so everybody fends for himself. Any patriotic   technocrat   conversant with the oil sector, committed to change, would make the removal of   fuel subsidy a precondition for accepting to head the NNPC or the petroleum ministry. But technocrats in Nigeria aren’t that principled.

    The M.T AL-KHAF Scandal – crude oil theft

    A case of   suspected crude oil theft   was reported to the Chief of Naval staff   in a written petition about two months ago . Naval officers who are supposed to   be investigating   the matter called the petitioner   and asked thousands of questions . They received all they needed.   And what did they do with them?   Practically nothing.   A navy Captain was dispatched to Cotonou to verify that the vessel involved which was offshore Cotonou was laden with crude oil stolen from Nigeria and effect an arrest of the vessel . Surprisingly he came back without even as much as getting Cotonou officials to inspect the vessel whose location they were all conversant with.

    He said Cotonou authorities denied him co operation.   Nothing was heard from the Navy again. You wonder why   a vessel reported to be carrying crude oil stolen from Nigeria   cannot not be properly   investigated?   The criminal syndicate involved had bragged that they had everyone on their payroll. When the Navy failed, another petition was sent   this time to the president and that   petition was delivered to the National Security Adviser who ordered an investigation. The foreign affairs ministry   got Nigerian embassy in Cotonou involved.

    Everybody appeared frantic and they   asked a multitude of questions. Some of the questions asked and the manner   they were asked did not inspire any confidence.   They were literary asking to be told what they should do.   Every single detail of the parties involved was provided to the Nigerian embassy in Cotonou and they promised swift action. After a couple of days everything cooled down, then like with the Navy, died down. They were either lost or the files were lost.

    The criminal syndicate was prompted   as the information delivered to the authorities   were regularly leaked to them. And they began very frantic efforts to sell the crude oil. The officials involved in the investigations were notified but they curiously failed to appreciate the need for urgency. Why should petitions written to both the president and the chief of naval staff, all duly acknowledged, all supposedly still being worked upon, not attract a decent attention, not trigger a diligent investigation?

    Why would those investigating these crimes act in manner   that leaves everyone to suspect they are not interested in bringing the   criminal syndicate to book? Up till the time of writing this report no proper investigation has commenced and the suspects have sold most of the cargoes. Nigeria deserves pity. Where on earth is the much talked about change?

    And everyday you hear government officials relentlessly urging the public for information to stem crime and economic sabotage.   When information is given people who occupy high positions treat them with the sort of levity that emboldens criminals and puts the informant in great jeopardy. It would appear that many people in this government aren’t on the same wavelength with the president and are perhaps committed to proving that ‘change’ is mere rhetoric.

    CBN and foreign exchange

    The exchange rate of the naira is about 199 to a dollar. The government is resolutely frittering away scarce foreign exchange   resources propping that   fictitious exchange rate because the BDCs to whom the dollars are sold resell them at over N240 a dollar. Ordinary Nigerians do not get dollars at 199, so why prop the naira?   To check racketeering, the CBN wants the banks and BDCs to submit names of customers to whom foreign exchange was availed and their BVNs.

    So what do the BDCs do?   They approach some unscrupulous bank officials who compile names of bank customers and BVNs from their data bases and sell to the BDCs at N3000 per name. You wont believe it, names of unsuspecting and innocent people are sent to the CBN daily as having purchased foreign exchange, submitted to CBN as documentary evidence of disbursement of foreign exchange.   CBN will feign and claim ignorance.   The nation is being bled from all ends. Why is it difficult for the government to comb the streets and gather intelligence?

    The CBN is aware that its measures to stymie burgeoning demand for foreign exchange have failed and   it has chosen to maintain an exchange rate with significant disparity with the black market.   Currency dealers who have the right connections have become millionaires overnight at the expense of our foreign exchange reserves.   And because foreign cash transfers are now largely prohibited, traders move foreign currency in cash     out of Nigeria. It is no secret that they now patronize Aminu Kano international airport for currency trafficking where restrictions and checks   that exist in Lagos are non existent.

    Recently a traveller was arrested at an airport with more than 100 ATM cards. He is not alone. Nigerians now give out their ATM cards at a fee to currency dealers who use those cards abroad to buy items which they resell and bring back dollars into the country to sell at black market rate.   Like things in Nigeria everybody has become a foreign exchange speculator. President Buhari please, this is an easy call.

    And the government must hear this. Some members of a particular security agency have been arresting traders travelling with large quantities of foreign currency. That’s no news. The news is that these officials seize the monies, threaten them with prosecution but let them off if they surrender the monies to them. For these officials CBNs faulty policy has become a windfall.

    The Customs

    The Customs service has a former military man as its new head. And you would think that such a transgression against service culture will be mollified by immediate tangible positive changes. Lets leave the allegations of ethnic cleansing aside but they are weighty. Why has the customs service continued with old customs? Import papers are still routinely   ‘machined’ (clearing agents don’t say ‘forged’), processes are still prohibitively circuitous.   Clearing agents still ‘fly’ containers   (clear containers with false documents without inspection!).   Goods that attract heavy import duties are still being cleared as those with low import duties.

    A container of Hennessy Brandy which should attract 200% import duty will be cleared as ‘supermarket goods ’ and the duty will be negotiated with the Customs.   The new customs boss has integrity but the system is riddled with corruption.  Little has changed. The bill of laden comes with a false declaration, the container is routed to a private bonded terminal where a customs officer who understands the plot is in control, and just about anything can be cleared as stainless steel which attracts no duty.   And this not only drains national revenues but also distorts competition, makes the playing field uneven for traders.

    Traders who do not have the reach to play the game at the ports in Nigeria have continued to clear their goods through Cotonou where goods come into the country without   paying proper duties .   Cotonou is considered favourable because importers pay very little to Beninoise officials at Cotonou port   and when they get to the border post at Seme the goods are repacked.   A consignment of 5 containers can be   packed into one specially built truck and cleared as two containers.   Do you still wonder why customs officers consider posting to the border as lucrative?

    The coming of Buhari has sadly not changed anything. But the traders in Lagos would even complain that Katsina and other borders in far north have been seeing heavy volumes of goods trucked from Lome and Cotonou and that duties are rarely   paid at those border posts where no real assessment happens.

    Lagos,traffic snarls and robbers

    Where really is the change?The rains have ended and power generation has perhaps gotten tired of body language? In our everyday lives, we feel no change. Not even symbolic change.   At Ilasa on Oshodi-Apapa expressway container-carrying trucks fall regularly because that portion of the road has potholes that     can swallow cars. Fashola is at the helm of works ministry, Ambode is governor of Lagos   and between them someone must take responsibility for the many lives   crushed   at that spot by falling trucks and their crashing containers.

    If Lagos suffered from just potholes and loss of some lives daily to such accidents then the anxiety that has gripped millions may be better imagined. The Economist wrote about the impossibility of Lagos traffic and the state government threw tantrums. But daily commuters wear their lives away in senseless traffic   snarls where they sit to be dispossessed and maimed by robbers who have acquired an ubiquity that has made being on the road in Lagos a particularly risky endevour.

    That Ambode has been to Apapa many times to tackle the traffic mess without engineering anything more than a fleeting reprieve leaves one with the impression that the government is tragically helpless.   Ambode fortunately listens to criticisms and responds to issues but Lagos wants   immediate practical results. It is hoped that as he has brought in helicopters and gun boats to fight crime   that something out of the box will be designed to curb the menace of   “traffic jam robbers”

    Boko Haram, Kidnapping and General policing

    The new government has reclaimed most of   our national territories controlled by   the insurgents.   Officers and men of the military confirm that morale is now high and the military is better equipped and motivated. The insurgency sadly is far from over. Boko haram may be in disarray but the incidence of suicide bombing and number of lives lost worries all Nigerians.   The support of the Nigerian public for the military is at an all time high.   While boko haram may take longer than expected to be routed the persistence of commercial kidnapping   and violent crimes beg for better policing.

    Many live in perpetual fear of kidnappers who have always managed to collect their ransoms. A special police squad should be trained and equipped to tackle efficiently the scourge of kidnapping.   That will be some change.   The regular police cannot handle kidnapping and the DSS appears to get involved   in only high profile cases. The government must make the people feel change.

    If some of the supporters of the president feel betrayed it is because policemen still shamelessly take bribes in daylight on the street. They expected a change from day one.   It is difficult to believe that this government with all the promise can allow itself get used to so much routine corruption, so much ineptitude. “ If Buhari cannot tackle the economy, why can’t Buhari make a statement on police , customs and   bribes” a student of Lagos state university asked in bemusement

    The need for high profile  sting operations

    Buhari has been on the saddle for six months and not a single publicized high profile police sting operation has been conducted.  So why wont lecturers continue selling handouts and selling marks. And why wont a judiciary ravaged by corruption not have judges who are still selling judgments.   Even some election tribunals have been sullied by stories of graft.   It’s easy to conduct sting operations on judges and lecturers. Courts and universities must represent the moral fountains of the society. Nothing has changed.

    Nothing can change if the government feels it doesn’t have to earn righteousness. But no reputation can be sustained by wishfulness alone. Buhari’s favourable ratings will disappear if his government is perceived as condoning of   incompetence and indolence. The war against corruption must start from within the police, the customs and the judiciary. Nothing has happened, it is good to arrest and prosecute thieving politicians, but much more needs to start happening

    EFCC, ICPC and CCB

    Those who supported   change in government because Jonathan performed woefully   can barely stand the   bold shamelessness with which the fight against corruption has become a one sided affair . Soon every body will become a member of the APC and the multiparty environment we craved for   will disappear.   Sometimes you cant but   cringe at the   clumsiness and tardiness of anti corruption agencies and their penchant for   attention seeking   gimmickry in the name of war against corruption. The culture of poor , wayward,   prosecution prevalent in these agencies will not help the president.

    Its six months and besides one or two cases that haven’t managed to get off the tracks the much trumpeted ‘catching of goats that ate our yams’   has remained largely a   propaganda. Why does the government put the cart before the horse. Revelations of   wide scale embezzlement of government funds   were gleefully announced by government officials over three months ago. Besides the arrest of Dasuki and his aides not so much has happened. The public knows that well advertised arrests mean nothing, only convictions count.

    The government was expected to merge the EFCC and the ICPC to enhance   capacity and effectiveness . But as with many other things , the government appears not to have had a plan before coming into office.   The government had war against corruption as a priority   and left many shocked when it left Lamorde in office for so long. The EFCC is overwhelmed while the ICPC which has better facilities is rarely heard.

    The CCB should as a matter of urgency dig deep and find supporters of the new government who have falsely declared assets in the past and prosecute them.. The perception that they are engaging in political witch -hunt must be laid to rest

    Public support is fading

    If the government thinks it is entitled to public support then it must think again. The public is getting tired of this culture of talking too much and doing   too little. Some stopped fasting and said that their prayers have been answered. Mockers and jesters and ‘wailers’ have now taken center stage singing     “ we told you so”. The government must wake up. There is a unique opportunity to change the way things are done here because the majority shed apathy and embraced hope

    If the public loses confidence in this government, Nigeria will suffer.   But six months after, where is the change?   Buhari is still spare, austere and considered incorruptible but government bureaucracy has remained very rickety, almost moribund. There is too much noise. Many Nigerians think noise making is perhaps worse than mere ‘cluelessness’       because the former has added pretentiousness. Many want the president to engage the public directly and regularly and not from foreign lands.  Nigerians seek regular domestic presidential media briefings   that deals forthrightly with their worries. And they want to feel the government. That is not happening.

    Going forward

    Buhari must not go the way of Jonathan. He must rise up to the challenge. He must listen to criticisms, he must be responsive. Change is the agenda of Nigerian youths. It will pay the political class if Buhari succeeds, brings change.   Nigerians are fired up and cannot be let down.   Their appetite for change has been thoroughly whetted and they cant be let down now. The hunger of the youths must not change to anger. No one expected a messiah,   but many expected a   determined effort to instill rectitude.   Those who supported Buhari and other well meaning people must rise   and make insistent demands on this government   and its agents and help Buhari bring about change .


    Disclamier: 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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  • Mbaka: Priest, politician Or renegade? - Reuben Abati

    05/Feb/2016 // 503 Viewers

    By Reuben Abati

    Catholic priests in Nigeria have always captured the public imagination, some of them have served in government positions, some were prominent in the fight and struggle for democracy, some of them have proved their mettle as poets, teachers, musicians, social critics, and public affairs commentators, but Rev. Fr. Ejike Camillus Anthony Ebenezer Mbaka is a cut above the rest, not necessarily in terms of intellect or persona, but in terms of how he has been able to use the pulpit to acquire a rock star status.

    It is therefore not surprising that everything about him is with a touch of the histrionic.  This is exactly what happened when he was transferred, last week, from a parish where he had served for 20 years: from Christ the King Parish, GRA Enugu, to Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Umuchigbo, Njinike,  Enugu.  Characteristically, this radical priest and social activist turned what should be a routine administrative posting by his Bishop into a melodrama and an assault on the authority of the Church.  You would think he had been sentenced to a jail term, the way he whined and wept and appealed to sympathy. 

    Read Also: VP Osibanjo picks Buhari's  job as he proceeds on 5 days vacation to fix failing health

    “I'm going to suffer because I have no place to put my head. I am going to suffer because I have no place to keep the Adoration Ministry's assets…The Adoration Ministry is passing through suffering right now even though I've accepted that it is the will of God. Is the will of God through suffering? It is a mega suffering. The quantum of the assets of the Adoration Ministry is the only thing I am bothered about for now. Where am I going to keep them? I am going to stay in one small room that has only one small bed, one small table, little toilet and bathroom. So where am I going to keep all the Adoration assets? “ I couldn't believe that this was a Catholic Priest.

    His pain was so palpable. He even took a shot at the Church: “I won't fight anybody or even dream of battling anybody. If anybody allows the devil to use him, the same that advised you to make a mistake will laugh at you when you cry over the error.” This was a clear suggestion that the devil was using his boss, the Diocesan Bishop of Enugu, His Lordship Calistus Onaga, against him, Mbaka and the Adoration Ministry. Rev Fr. Mbaka further spoke with a touch of vanity about how he single-handedly built the Christ the King Parish, Enugu, with proceeds from the sale of his music albums. This priest is certainly special. He objects to suffering even if the Lord Jesus Christ, whose disciple he is, is the embodiment of sacrifice and suffering. He talks about assets in a capitalistic sense, and yet his reputation rests on his commitment to the poor. He finally says he accepts the “suffering”, sounding like a victim.

    Mbaka's melodrama was nothing short of an act of protest and incitement.  It didn't take long before a mob-like group trooped to the GRA, Enugu to help him move his things to the new church where it is said he will be an assistant priest.  If his followers had laid their hands on the Diocesan Bishop, only God knows what they would have done to him for allegedly demoting their hero. It also didn't take long before the spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress (APC), South-East Caucus, Osita Okechukwu issued a statement alleging that Mbaka was being victimized because he is pro-Buhari and pro-APC.

    Okechukwu's intervention was a needless busybody act. He only stopped short of asking the Diocesan Bishop to reverse himself or get labeled as an enemy of the government of the day. Nor did it take long before the Catholic Church also put its feet down, stating clearly that no priest is above the Church. Mbaka definitely needed that reality check. But he had succeeded in politicizing his transfer and dragging the Catholic Church into mainstream, partisan politics with the Church holding the short end of the stick.

     It is perhaps for this reason that the Catholic Bishop of Abuja Metropolitan See, Cardinal John Onaiyekan once asked that Rev. Fr. Mbaka should be sanctioned. He actually accused him of talking “rubbish” when he openly condemned President Goodluck Jonathan and insisted that the electorate should vote for Muhammadu Buhari, then Presidential candidate of the APC, who according to him, was destined to win the 2015 Presidential election. “I do not believe in my mind that the way things are in Nigeria, any Catholic priest has the mandate to decide which of the political contestants should be voted for… I don't believe a priest should be doing that…If he was in my archdiocese, I will have sanctioned him long ago for the kind of utterances he makes.” Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama. President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), also similarly disowned him. Even with those protestations, Mbaka remained untouchable. He is on record as having declared in a secessionist mood, for example, that the sovereignty of Nigeria is not sacrosanct. “If we must be one Nigeria, let it be one Nigeria, but if it can't be one Nigeria, let us divide…let us tell ourselves the truth.” He has also since the 2015 elections, made a high profile visit to the Presidential Villa to see President Buhari. He was actually shown arriving in a private jet, waving to the crowd as if he was on a Papal visit to the seat of power!  How did one priest, out of over 30 million Nigerian Catholics, become so powerful and untouchable?

    Rev Fr. Mbaka's seeming invincibility lies in his significance and relevance. His Ministry is a loud comment on the relationship between the Church and the congregation. Mbaka is the founder and Spiritual Director of a Ministry within the Catholic Church known as Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN).  Gifted, creative and clever; he is without any doubt a liberation theologian. He runs a prophetic church, a church that believes strongly in the power of the Eucharist, and which in every sense is a church of the poor. His source of inspiration must be those liberation theologians and other radical priests who have proven that for the church to be relevant, it must be relevant to the interests, concerns and expectations of the congregation, particularly the underprivileged poor.  

    More than any other catholic priest in Nigeria, Mbaka has taken the Catholic Church beyond the confines of liberal conservatism to the ordinary man in the market place. He speaks the poor man's language, he appeals to their imagination. He is the bridge between the Pentecostal churches and the Catholic Church in Nigeria. He has mastered the tricks, the rhetoric, the antics and the persona of the former, and he applies this with a touch of sassiness that is original.  He urges members of his ministry to “Pray Until Something Happens” (PUSH). In an overtly religious and superstitious country like Nigeria, there is never a shortage of persons who are ready to push until the impossible happens.

    He organizes vigils titled “E no dey again”. That is precisely what the people want to hear. They want to hear that problems, disease, unemployment- “e no dey again!”.   Mbaka also has a Foundation, the Multi-Life Savers Foundation. Note the emphasis on the saving of lives! He pays hospital bills, he gives out cars, he builds houses for people, he pays school fees, he sponsors events. He sings. He dances. He is not your typical Catholic priest. He is rich. He talks about assets. Other priests go to him for financial assistance. He is an all-round entrepreneur in church garments. His Ministry performs miracles, signs and wonders. He makes the lame walk, he opens the eyes of the blind, he cures diseases; he spreads wealth and opportunities. He creates jobs. He provides hope. With all this, Fr. Mbaka is far ahead of his bosses within the Catholic hierarchy. Persons of other faiths and Christian denominations troop to his Ministry to seek spiritual counseling.  Politicians seek his endorsement. He controls the mind of multitudes. The Catholic Church is probably in need of reinvention, and the seeds of that process may well lie in the example and eclecticism of Mbaka and his likes in other parts of the Catholic world.

    The plain truth is that the average church-goer today is looking for something different which the orthodox churches and their mode of worship do not offer. The poor who make up the congregation are as impatient as the politicians who have made them poor. They want immediate salvation, practical solutions to their problems; they want their blessings here and now, not in a world to come. Mbaka and the Pentecostal pastors understand this and so they bring the church closer to the people's needs. But there is a flipside and it is hubris.

    Hubris is risky and pernicious. It is what makes Fr. Mbaka appear so contradictory. It is what has distanced him from his original vows as a priest, making him talk of cash and assets as if he were an investor on Broad Street.  It is what makes him complain of suffering and see his transfer as a punishment, rather than as an opportunity for further evangelism of The Word. He must have started out as a humble priest, but today, he has mastered the use of the media for self-projection and he is not contented with being a priest, he is now enjoying the life of a celebrity, hugging the limelight, seeking personal glory. He runs a ministry of miracles, of wonders and signs and he sees visions of possible assassinations, either of himself or the politicians that he supports. No one should be surprised if this Pentecostal Catholic priest goes about with bodyguards. He shares this hubris with many other religious figures who seek to share power with politicians and co-govern Nigeria. They see visions about everything: from elections to diseases and foreign exchange rates. They have created a New Order under which they command the electorate, political parties and governments.

    It is this hubris that has blinded Fr. Mbaka to the fact that the souls to be won for Christ are not only in GRA, Enugu, but in all places as well. His transfer to a smaller parish should remind him of the essence of his priestly vows: humility, simplicity, obedience, sacrifice, as well as commitment to the good of the church rather than individual heroism, values which can truly make him a priest in the Order of Melchizedek. Let him therefore, suffer if he must, and let his suffering be a blessing upon the poor and the Church, and if he as much as whimpers again, let him be posted post-haste to Sambisa forest, where the poor are in urgent need of miracles.


    Dr Reuben Abati was Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

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  • Is there a covert plan by Buhari government against East? By Patrick Ejike

    05/Jul/2016 // 1041 Viewers


    As the blood of innocent men and women freely flow in the hinterlands of eastern part of Nigeria, I can’t help but ask my humble self, how did we descend to this ignoble level?  Who is to be blamed? The ignorant demonstrators or the violent and blood thirsty security forces? Is there any deliberate and covert plan by the present Federal government and her agencies to make the Easterners share in the recent and current experiences of the Northeast? What about the political office holders from the east, are they representing the interest of the governed or is the contrary the case?

    Even though, I am not a fan of the demonstrators due to the fact that I see their modus operandi as a mistake and a misplaced priority, but the fact still remains that they have earned the right to make mistake, though it might sound oxymoronic.

    In the words of Clement Udegbe: “No Igbo person should expose himself to risk of being shot at by these blood thirsty soldiers, and other security agencies no matter what . If Buhari has archived the report of the National Conference, so be it. Let our people start to think and act regionally, and let it come as a pleasant surprise any time that Nigeria decides to integrate us properly”.

    As the saying goes: “The king that turns the jungle into a city will be celebrated and remembered while the king that turns the city into a jungle shall never be forgotten. History keeps on repeating itself due to the fact that man has refused to learn from history.”

    When people get elected or appointed into an office, two things  are inevitable, the person either adjusts to the size of the new office or he reduces and shrinks the office to his own size.

    Each time I hear people postulate and boast about the indivisibility of the entity known as Nigeria; I laugh and wonder if these classes of people are speaking out of ignorance or pure mischief. Even the holy book did say that the heaven and the earth shall pass away but the word of God shall abide forever. You see, the only thing that is indivisible is the word of God. If we consider the origin of the state in accordance with the social contract theory as postulated by Thomas Hobbes, we will discover that people came together and gave up some of their rights willingly for some vital purposes. And according to Ciceron, no man gave up more right than the other during the social contract, and he also posited that men were created equal by God, we only defer in our ability to learn.

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  • Atiku on Buhari and restructuring

    05/Jun/2016 // 806 Viewers

    By Idowu Akinlotan

    GIVEN the candour and trenchancy of former vice president Atiku Abubakar’s views on the state of the nation last week in Abuja, federal officials may spend more time analysing his motives than understanding the import and relevance of his constructive ideas. Alhaji Atiku had at a public presentation of Chido Onumah’s book, We Are All Biafrans, made scathing and particular remarks on President Muhammadu Buhari’s management of the economy and politics. The president, he said, must find ways of leading the effort to restructure the federation, decentralise it, and make it less suffocating. He was also uncomfortable with the president’s economic management style, especially his approach to the herdsmen crisis.
    The former vice president caused many to wince when he suggested that Nigeria was saddled with “a leadership that is not prepared to learn from the past and a leadership that is also not prepared to lead.” A few days earlier, the president had told media interviewers he had no interest in revisiting past efforts, particularly those of his predecessor, ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, at restructuring the federation through a national conference. Whether Alhaji Atiku was responding to the president’s unwise view is not clear; but it is enough that the views are strong, relevant and weighty. The president himself had been roundly condemned for denouncing efforts to restructure the federation in the face of mounting national challenges to peace, stability and growth. So, when the former vice president weighed in on the same subject, and couched his view so trenchantly, he was likely to be accused of directly referring to and denouncing the president’s stance.
    In some respects, the former VP had earlier made some of the remarks attributed to him, though with perhaps less severity than last week’s. His views are probably gaining traction because of the president’s disregard for the true change the electorate thought they had voted for. Of course, the electorate knew the president must grapple with a broken economy made anaemic by the Jonathan government. It was also clear by the time of the last polls that many other aspects of the nation were either broken or about to be broken. Once sworn in, the president had to prioritise the nation’s existential challenges and deal with them firmly and urgently. But almost immediately, it also became clear to the public that the president needed to expand his vista and multitask very quickly, for too many other ancillary challenges were beginning to crop up and complicate the problems, making them intractable.
    But instead of responding to the widening gyre of crises gnawing at the country’s innards, the president stuck to his default mode, scorned the campaign to extend his areas of concern, isolated himself from both his party and other support bases elsewhere, and postured grandly as a lawgiver whose person, views and perspectives were sacrosanct and incorruptible. That standoffishness, combined with the deepening and metastasizing national crises, and a general unwillingness to explore new ideas and seek help from a wider political and ideological base, have unnerved the country and appeared to stultify the president’s efforts. This may explain why Alhaji Atiku’s seemingly harsh advice resonated so widely last week.
    The Buhari presidency will be tempted to focus on Alhaji Atiku’s person. They should resist that temptation. Even if the former vice president was motivated by malicious reasons, his views are not. He was right on Niger Delta; he was right on the need to repair the country’s political structure; he was right to ask for new economic paradigms; and though it may grate on the president’s nerves, the former vice president appeared to be giving the problems of the country more thought and was even sounding presidential, not to talk of courageous, a commodity he had never lacked. It must be humbling to the presidency that Alhaji Atiku addressed these salient issues, and did it very well. Should the presidency join issues with him on his observations, they would embarrass themselves, for they would be forced to debunk arguments admired by the rest of the country, and put the lie unsuccessfully to frustrations sometimes unspoken but nonetheless felt. No matter what motives propelled Alhaji Atiku to give vent to his views on the nation’s crises, he has done the Buhari presidency a world of good to draw their attention to these problems in their first year in office.
    It is also not unlikely that Alhaji Atiku, an unrepentantly ambitious politician, had other motives for publicising his succinct views. He has never hidden his ambition to be president, and inspired by the trajectory by which President Buhari assumed the presidency, the former VP would hold out hope for a glorious electoral future. In terms of courage, which he exemplified by his opposition to former president Olusegun Obasanjo between 2003 and 2007, he has shown himself to be a forthright and sensible politician and individual, one not afraid to gamble his future on a single throw of the dice. He has proved adept at synthesising public yearnings far better than President Buhari, and is more accessible, more gregarious, more gifted at discovering talents and mentoring them, and more nationally inclined, with friends everywhere. There is no doubt he would make a good president, probably a better president.
    But he could not have defeated Dr Jonathan in 2015, for the epithets hurled at him by Chief Obasanjo in the years before 2007 stuck to him painfully and remorselessly. He was of course healthier and more endowed than the then Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, the late Umaru Yar’Adua, but Chief Obasanjo had told the country and the world that Alhaji Atiku could not be trusted with the country’s money. The former vice president did everything in his power to shrug off what he described as criminal defamation, but nobody was buying. He ran a good race on the ticket of the then Action Congress (AC) party, but it was a short and hopeless fight. His sojourn in the political wilderness has however not attenuated his vigour, his friendliness, or his presence of mind.
    For a man so gifted, so thoughtful and so indomitable, it is a mystery that his virtues are not accompanied or reinforced by the principles and character that define and ennoble greatness and statesmanship. He generally does not flip-flop on ideas and philosophies, but he is unpredictable in party loyalties, jumping from one party to the other casually and almost insouciantly. Had he acquired the staying power and fortitude necessary to undergird his fidelity to ideas, and had he eschewed the lust for power which constantly triggers and dogs his nomadism and political peregrinations, it is not inconceivable he would today be leading the PDP and, in view of a faltering All Progressives Congress (APC) bent on self-destruction, be positioning himself for a powerful bid for the presidency in 2019. But notwithstanding his weaknesses, the nation is blessed to have him in politics, especially the courage and ideas he propagates so admirably.

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