• The trials of Tompolo

    19/Dec/2015 // 252 Viewers

     

    Quite apart from the fact that the assessment of the property deal involving High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, as regards the National Maritime University, clearly indicates that Tompolo was merely legitimately paid what he negotiated with the Federal Government on the amount he was willing to sell his property as take-off site for the institution, certain alarming matters have been thrown up.
     
    The last time I bothered to check, the Maritime University, over which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is clearly witch-hunting Tompolo, apparently at the behest of the All Progressives Congress, APC, whose chieftains and apologists have now appointed themselves the EFCC spokesmen in the matter, is situated in the Niger Delta. Of course, we cannot be too sure that it has not been miraculously transported from the South to somewhere up North, seeing that this is of course Nigeria where anything can happen.
     
    The alleged N13 billion spent by the Federal Government on purchasing Tompolo’s private property as the institution’s take off site, as well as, what it spent on additional land for the institution in neighboring Okerekonko, coupled with what has been additionally expended thus far in developing the university are federal funds derived from the oil wealth belonging to the Niger Delta. The last time I also checked, none of the funds was mobilized from any resources the Federal Government might have mopped up from Katsina or from Lake Chad.
     
    Yet the born-to-rule administration of the APC would have us believe it is now entitled to take Panadol for what – if at all – should be the headache of the Niger Delta while our President has devoted almost N40 billion of Niger Deltan oil money to search for oil in the same Lake Chad when more than 50 years of prospecting for oil in that barren wilderness has been completely fruitless till date.
     
    Not done with such gambling with our common wealth by the APC-led Federal Government, our President is making the case for spending an astronomical amount of more Niger Deltan oil money on diverting a river all the way from crisis-ridden Central African Republic to replenish the very same Lake Chad, a lake which, from all indications, God has abandoned!
     
    Suddenly in our country, everything must now be for the North. Our national patrimony must now be spent rebuilding the North-East that was destroyed by Boko Haram initially inspired by the zealots who spearheaded Shariah in the North and who remain the bigwigs of the APC as if we are the ones who charmed them into destroying a region they are indigenes of! Oil money, inhumanly appropriated from the Niger Delta and taxes heartlessly milked from similarly productive parts of the South-West, South-East and Middle Belt must now be misallocated to rebuilding the killing fields of Boko Haram only for them to destroy the place all over again and for us to be compelled at gunpoint to cough out more money to perpetually keep rebuilding it like a pack of fools.
     
    Only northerners are qualified to man all three arms of government. Only northerners are qualified to head the entire military apparatus of a supposedly united, indivisible and indissoluble entity called Nigeria that was forged by an unscrupulous British military adventurer and was named by a woman with whom he was committing adultery. Only northerners can be appointed to man scores of critical federal agencies from which hapless southerners are being fired on a daily basis. Only northerners are qualified to form the kitchen cabinet of a President who solemnly assured us he belongs to everybody and to nobody.
     
    Before the APC plunges our nation into doom, probably in a bid to divert attention from its now all too obvious incompetence and unpreparedness to rule, can we all please come together and call the Buhari administration to order, please?
     
     
     
    Debekeme, a public commentator on national issues, writes from Port Harcourt, 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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  • Judas Iscariot And Imo State Governor, By Prof. Protus Nathan Uzorma

    19/Jan/2016 // 918 Viewers

    By Prof. Nathan Uzorma

     

    In the words of Aristotle, “In the arena of human life, the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action”. In Hinduism, their way of life is summarized thus, “The serenity of the teacher, the heroism of the warrior, the honesty of the business man, the patience and the energy of the worker all contribute to social growth”.

    While Mahatma Gandhi describes what he sees as social sins in seven ways thus, “Politics without principle, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity and religion without sacrifice”. As the Sandwich Islander believes that the strength and weakness of the enemy he kills passes into him, so we gain the strength of the temptation we resist. Though the fastest way to die a martyr is to always stick to the truth even as many critics have fallen to Gov. Rochas Okorocha’s schemes due to hunger and frustration in Imo State.

    Christianity understands and recognizes the noble and just struggle for justice thus the tenets of Christ upon which Christianity rests its credo is upon love of God and all in creation as Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa says, “When the honor of God is at stake, we will disobey iniquitous and unjust laws”.

    Judas Iscariot, the man whose action opened up a new history and calendar for humanity is highly avoided. Everybody avoids naming his or her child after Judas Iscariot the reason is obvious. But considering the role Judas Iscariot played, one may be tempted to conclude that without the betrayal, (death and resurrection) there would not have been salvation for mankind as Paul would say, “…and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” I Corinth 15:14.

    It’s obvious hitherto that Judas who was destined for that role helped humanity to be salvaged through the death and resurrection of Christ.

    However, my intension here is not to engage in a religious cum philosophical argument on the role played by Judas rather to produce every syllogistic evidence that Judas in the light of our present day Imo leadership is very correct in his rhetoric question, “to what purpose is this waste?” As a matter of fact, Judas was friendly with Christ to the extent that he was made the treasurer among other twelve Apostles. A day came when Jesus Christ visited Bethany where he raised his friend Lazarus from (sleep) death that they made him a supper and they consequently ate with him. The Bible says, “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then said one of his disciples Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him. Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and had the bag and bare what is put therein” St. John 12:3-6.

    From the above Biblical story, Judas was solely exasperated consequent upon the waste of resources ostentatiously made by Mary. Adding that such pound of ointment should have been sold for mega money and same be used for assisting the indigents in the society. Judas was very right if he meant what he said but he was very wrong because he was bereft of spiritual insight inherent in that action. Judas was against economic waste even though he betrayed Christ; there was a huge sense in his stupidity. As stupidity is the only original character in an individual hence every knowledge is plagiarized.

    Therefore, if Judas had lived in our present day society (Imo) where Gov Rocha waste resources and money that is generally owned on his personal wishes, what then would be his questions and reactions?

    Today, in spite of the well meaning efforts put in place to fight corruption by President Buhari, it is still on daily increase in Imo; otherwise how can any person justify the waste of about 600 million (as rumor has it) used by Imo Government just for Christmas decoration. If this is true, oh to what purpose is this waste? There cannot be peace without justice nor justice without love. As E.O Oyelade has shown, justice is “the main pivot on which the unity of human race revolves”, hence the observance of justice attracts handsome reward from God whereas injustice is the straw that breaks the camel’s back as Dwight Eisenhower would say, “Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.”

    The evidence of this colossal waste is unavoidably conspicuous in the way Gov. Rochas embarked on programmes that do not have any economic impact on Imolites. Today, Imolites are shouting and very unsanctified the way Gov Rochas is punishing them with impunity. Gov Okorocha is one of the leaders in Nigeria whose method of leadership is bereft of conscience.

    Why is my state Imo a cesspool of corruption, underdevelopment and debilitating poverty? Why has evil been allowed to bestride and ravage our polity unchallenged, in a land that is heavily populated by adherent of many faith persuasions? Why haven’t all the claims to religion by Chief Rochas launched Imo on the path to greatness? Rather his religious claims are used to canonize tribalism, xenophobia, sectionalism, corruption and the more you look the less you see. Before now in 2010 / 2011 statistics had it that about forty percent of Imolites lived below the poverty line, but today about ninety percent of Imolites are said to be living below poverty line. This is a profound tragedy ignited by ignoble economic policies resulting from mediocrity in leadership.

    In a recent chart with one great Islamic scholar Shaykh Salih Animashaun with regards to Imo problems, he inferred that Imo instead of developing is in deep mess and retrogression. The issue of unemployment, poverty and the difficulties on ground speak volume of our deplorable economic state. Parents whose children are in private schools are no longer able to pay their children’s school fees. Oh education is dead in Imo yet the Governor is applauding his free education policy. Free education without quality education is like tea without sugar.

    Corruption is almost overcoming us; our youths have degenerated to the level of stealing via the internet, fraud and 419 in order to make ends meet due to lack of job and proper concern by the Government. Our school and universities are busy producing jobless graduates. A situation where a graduate of chemical engineer, has stayed for ten years without job and consequently resorted to Okada business in order to make a living is a bugaboo. How many higher institutions do we have in Imo? Are our able bodied young graduates who hawk pure water and other sundries at traffic happy?

    Are they happily living in such a condition of abject poverty? After all, Gov. Rochas has built Bongo square for Imo youths to enable them dance off worries of joblessness. Some of the jobless graduates who are now born again for the sole purpose of securing jobs have ended up as men of God with the claim of having the call of God upon their lives. Recently I was informed by one of such people that if he had gotten a job after graduation, he would not have been involved in pastoral business. Gov. Rochas should try to listen to the voice of reason.

     

     

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


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  • NDDC: Who Is Afraid Of Semenitari?

    19/Jan/2016 // 253 Viewers

     

    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Psalms 23:5

    For the acting Managing Director and Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs Ibim Semenitari, the words of Psalms 23:5 hold true. President Muhammadu Buhari appointed her to post as detractors from her home state of Rivers mobilised to rubbish her achievements as the Commissioner for Information under the immediate past administration of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as governor.

    The desperation of those after Semenitari was such that they got to the rabid extent of turning logic on its head just so they nail their quarry.  They were in such hurry that what they could come up with was the allegation that she borrowed over N1 trillion during her tenure as commissioner. A cursory look at the approval limit of each public officer for each level of government instantly trashes the  campaign of calumny mounted against this lady as stuff that should be consigned to the realm of beer parlour gossip. One must be heavily drunk on cheap alcohol bought with stolen public funds to by the hogwash being peddled in the public space about Ibim Semenitari.

    A key aim of that campaign was to create the impression that President Buhari has appointed a corrupt person into public office. Recall that an even more intense hate campaign was mounted against her former boss, Rotimi Amaechi with the sole goal of blocking his emergence as a minister. This line of thought fails for one simple reason. A president, in Nigeria, usually requests background checks before naming people to positions – this check include security checks and also input from anti-corruption agencies. The attempt to belittle the person of the acting Managing Director has thus unwittingly come out being an indictment of the nation's security and anti-graft agencies by implying that they did not properly screened her candidacy before giving Mr President the green light for the appointment to be made.

    Another faux pas from the anti-Semenitari gang is exposing their hands too early in the game. Like every other agency under the past administration to which they owe loyalty, the NDDC easily qualified to be one of the top ten most corrupt institutions. It was likely one of the subsidiary ATMs that funded the campaign of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP). When the turning wheel of the anti-corruption war gets to this agency, the rot uncovered in the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) could prove to be childs-play considering the fanatical sense of ethnic ownership with which its activities were managed. This is a serious cause of sleeplessness for this gang as they await reckoning with trepidation.

    Their hues and cry is thus consistent with the natural knee jerk reactions of persons who do not want a reformer in tune with President Buhari's vision for change to take charge of affairs. Semenitari must have triggered such tsunami of panic among all the goats that ate the yams in the NDDC that they believe intimidating her with phantom allegations would dim her resolve to make the agency work for the people of the Niger Delta the way it was envisioned when it was established. The agency simply has to stop being the meal ticket for a few people and those who will lose their gluttonous meals on account of a new sheriff coming to town at the NDDC cannot sleep easy.

    An additional facet to the tantrum being thrown in Port Harcourt over the appointment has to do with the compassion one must have for adults who remain toddlers even in the twilight of their political careers. Attempting to deprive the nation of a capable hand in running of the NDDC on account of local or state politics takes clueless selfishness to a new low. It takes such supreme selfishness to conveniently ignore the fact that there are other states covered by the NDDC and not just Rivers state – of course some proxies were recruited into the assault but it remained largely the affairs of a disgruntled few from Rivers state. Anyone with an open mind will also appreciate that that the agency, by virtue of its mandate, transcends even those south-south and oil producing states. They should have thus find alternate ways of resolving state level squabbles without coming out looking like sore losers.

    Furthermore, on the level of conspiracy theory, one can wildly guess that these fellows want to raise false alarms and thereby throw the anti-corruption agencies off the scent of their own wrong doings.

    There discussion in hushed tones about things that went down at several educational agencies under a particular leadership. The combine fraud that could be potentially uncovered and connected to this certain leadership is touted to be in the realm of a couple trillion naira. What better strategy of evading scrutiny than to send the EFCC and ICPC on a wild goose chase. First, it will dissipate resources and energy. Secondly it allowing the agencies to go on such futile chase will prepare the ground for them to also dismiss their findings as spurious when the time for reckoning comes.

    It is on this note that one must appeal to President Buhari not to allow the antics of these trouble makers distract the rescue mission and the recovery of our stolen commonwealth. Their expectations that the anti-corruption agencies would be easily overburdened must be deflated while the acting Managing Director of the NDDC should be encouraged to proceed with the marching order to clean up the place.

    Mrs Ibim Semenitari must also know that all eyes are on her. She cannot afford to perform less than she did as a Commissioner for her state as Nigeria deserve such sterling quality of service particularly at a time when the nation has collectively chosen a new direction to go. The rantings of this rabble-rousers should not in any way deter her from the resolve she expressed on the day she resumed office. She has the leave of Nigerians to continue to make them have sleepless nights.

     

    Philip Agbese is  an International Public Affairs Commentator.

     

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

     


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  • Buhari & his college of saints

    19/Nov/2015 // 232 Viewers

    Have you ever loved and trusted somebody, and then find out the person does not have fidelity in his or her dictionary? Ask me and I will gladly tell you, Baba don fuckup. The moment the list of PMB crept to the social media domain, my first reaction was to ignore it. After over three months of waiting, the names I saw were our victimizers – actor in the political and economic arena who through their actions and inactions had submerged Nigerian in poverty and underdevelopment. You cannot smack a child and then deny him the right to cry. I am crying because Baba don shit for altar.

    I am one supporter of PMB who believed he was ‘San tache’ but now, I know better. Who imagined that for all the three months Nigerians were praying, fasting and crying for ministers, Mr. President was not busy searching for philosopher kings in Oxford Yale, Cambridge Havard, UI, UNN and ABU? Tunde Faglenle provided the correct answer.

    “Ours is a rotten society, rotten through and through, and leaders that we produce, no matter how personally elevated, are pulled into the vortex of rottenness that pervades” One would not need a prophet nor a soothsayer to say that there is an obvious compromise on the part of PMB. And, bearing in mind the immoral words of late Professor Chinua Achebe that “one of the truest test of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised”. One will not be wrong to say that the Buhari of yesterday may not be the Buhari of today. Like the parrot, he seems to have realized that in the murky and shark infested backwaters of Nigerian politics if you can’t beat them you join them.

    Does it make sense to put new wine in old wine skin or old wine in new wine skin? How can we succeed in killing corruption even as she tries to kill us through a corrupt process and persons? Just like I bemoaned earlier, Olusegun Adeniyi a celebral and versatile journalist and columnist observed that “these men were around yesterday, they dominate today even as they plot strategies for tomorrow”. Why will a president of a “lonely island of poverty in the midst of vast ocean of material prosperity” bring in woods infected with maggot as cabinet members? Has he forgotten the counsel of Achebe that “He who brings woods infested with maggot must be ready to welcome lizards?

    I am optimistic that “Naija go better” somehow, someday, but that does not stop us from looking at the other side of the coin. “Look at the ministerial list and tell me why Nigeria is not doomed. He took six months since his brothers declared him winner to return to Nigeria almost the same set of people that Nigerians asked PDP to sack”. Judging from the names in the ministerial list, Nnaji Obed Isiegbu’s outburst is justified.

    From the creeks of Warri to the high land of Yola, and from the thick forest of Emekuku to the sandy terrain of Kano, corruption is like an ogbanje child, who keeps her family in mournful mood. With a population of over 140million citizens, Nigeria, no doubt is blessed with citizens who can tame our widest beast – Corruption yet he settle for experienced looters and re-cycled old-men. I am beginning to think that PMB is either not interested in changing or does not know the type of change Nigerians are expecting.

    Imagine a cabinet in this lunar and planetary age without any youth. I am crying not only because of the profile of his cabinet members but the fact that Nigerians will soon realize that Baba had commissioned rats to safeguard the fish Nigerians bought on May 28 2015.

    It is going to be a mortal sin if Buhari’s college of saints fails to redeem our chequered political history. Professor Chinua Achebe once observed that “stopping an average Nigerian from corruption is like stopping goats from eating yam”. PMB must realize that his biggest assignment and that of his college of saints is proving Achebe wrong.

    I don’t predict that Buhari pitcher will break before he gets to the stream but I am not expecting to see a Nigerian Lee in 2019 or a college of saints who will prove that Julius Nyerere was a Nigeria.

     

     By Eze Martins-Hassan Esomchi

     

    The views expressed in this articles are entirely the author's and do not in any way reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Has anything really changed?

    19/Nov/2015 // 256 Viewers

    Yesterday, I was challenged by a friend who insists on seeing today’s Nigeria through goggles fabricated by the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, on what Muhammadu Buhari has done right as President. Even though I understand the challenges with seeing clearly with such outdated spectacles, yet I took a chance in drawing his attention to the mess left behind by his hero and the work being done to clean up the mess. Nigeria was on a dilapidated, abandoned couch, bleeding to death when this government took over. In a case of this nature, what you first do is stop the bleeding, and begin the process of healing. A process, I believe, has just begun.

    To understand that the change of guards has brought about a change of style in governance, with political will now being gradually exercised to safeguard national interest, take a look at what is happening in the agencies charged with regulatory responsibilities. Before now, a lot of private sector operators were carrying on, in utter disrespect for the customers and the law. Regulators were comfortable to be in bed with operators, flouting rules and regulations at will. The wind of change is already blowing across the regulatory space – the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and others are beginning to grow new teeth, while biting hard with the old ones.

    That might be a minor achievement for some. However, when you consider that what has been lacking in government – particularly so under President Jonathan, is the willingness to exercise authority for the right reasons. The policy on the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is a case in point. President Jonathan has rightfully claimed credit for issuing a policy directive to that effect but what might not be willingly admitted is that it remained a mere policy. The December 2014 directive had given February 28, 2015 as deadline for compliance, but pressure from the beneficiaries of the previous regime – mostly bankers, made the government pull back from enforcing it.

    The Jonathan administration could not see to the enforcement of that policy, even with the abundance of evidence that the Ministries Departments and Agencies were indeed short-changing government. So bad was the situation that NNPC and its subsidiaries, which generated N6.132 trillion between 2009 and 2011 remitted nothing to the Federation Account. Revenue generating Ministries Departments and Agencies were reported to have generated N3.06 trillion in 2009, but only remitted N46.80 billion to government coffers; generated N3.07 trillion in 2010, remitting a mere N54.10 billion; and generated N3.17 trillion in 2011 and only remitted a meagre N73.80 billion.

    The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that has suddenly woken up from years of hibernation reportedly had two different audited accounts — one with lower figures sent to the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) and another with higher figures sent to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF). Fraud was also reportedly discovered during a close examination of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) presentation showing how in its 2009 audited accounts, N5.6 million was found in the audited account forwarded to FRC while N323 million was found in the same audited account it sent to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

    Yet, the beneficiaries and Banks did not allow enforcement of the policy on TSA. Nigerian banks are used to not abiding by rules and regulations, content to paying token CBN fines and getting away with it, with minority shareholders already emasculated. Our banks have grown fat on all manner of infractions, riding roughshod over customers, taking maximum advantage of the ever-slow judicial process to get away with murder. They were not going to let the enforcement of the directive again, employing subterfuge and blackmail to stop it. The change, this time around, is that the CBN has stood up to them. Three banks that reportedly tried to play smart by either under-reporting MDAs’ balances or concealing them have been rightfully hammered with almost N9 billion fine. One would think that the Boards of those banks should, have fired the Managing Directors.

    The days of impunity, with banks operating in their own rarefied world, where rules are observed more in breach, are numbered. Weaning the banks off the breast milk of public funds to get them back onto the path of real banking that will, with time, grow the real sector of the economy is a change much needed. What has really changed? It is the willingness on the part of the government, to enforce the rule of law in public interest.

     

    By Simbo Olorunfemi


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  • Ekweremadu's Assassination Bid: APC Killer Squad On The Prowl?

    19/Nov/2015 // 539 Viewers

          Dr Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

    The world is democratising and Nigeria finally joined the league of other democratic nations 16 years ago after our previous attempts collapsed like a pack of cards. Under a despot  who died with his boots on, we saw the ghosts of late dictators  hovering over Nigeria like  Ismail Enver Pasha, leader of the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars and World War I,  North Korea’s Kim II-Sung's dictatorial leader who led the country in a dreadful direction.
     
    Others are Mao Zedong of China, communist leader and revolutionary who led the People’s Republic of China, and back in Africa, Mengistu Haile Mariam of  Ethiopia who  led the country from 1974 to 1991 and initiated The Red Terror campaign that recorded the worst mass murder ever in Africa and, of course, the self-acclaimed Field Marshall, Idi Amin Dada whose rule like we have today in Nigeria was marked with brutality, human rights abuse and ethnic persecution calling to mind  the ongoing suppression of the Igbo nation. 
     
    At the period under sad review, many of us who objected to the absolute power wielded by the late dark-goggled Aso Rock dictator had no option but to flee the country. This was in the heat of pro-democracy struggle in Nigeria amid state-linked killings and brutal repressions worse than nazi-Germany.
     
    Voices of reason like the late National Democratic Coalition chieftain and elder statesman  Chief Anthony Enahoro had to flee the country when he  was marked out for death, the Nigerian literary guru - the Nobel Laureate - Nigeria's pride,  Prof. Wole Soyinka and many others who were at the forefront of the pro-democracy struggle had to follow suit resulting from an ill-conceived plan to send them to their untimely graves. These were indeed dark days in our nation's history.
     
    The late despot Sani Abacha 'may God rest his soul' has probably not left the four walls of a secondary grammar school somewhere in the desert city of Kano when the late elder statesman he had planned to cut down moved the historic motion of Nigeria's independence back in 1953 from British rule, a country which he later bestrode like a colossus. Many other NADECO chieftains among whom were Pa Alfred Rewane, Kudirat Abiola were hit and  the uncrowned winner of 1993 presidential election in Nigeria, Chief Abiola was unduly incarcerated and died while in detention. In fact, so many things went wrong so much so that one loathes the distinctive Nigerian identity. 
     
    That period, however, remains the darkest part of our nation's night but  like a bolt from the blue we were freed from that yoke that heralded a return to civil democratic rule through the agency of the self-styled evil genius. I know many would contest this, but it is undeniably true. Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar would probably have held on to power like other sit-tight African leaders but contrary to all expectations  he heeded the advice of his boss Gen. Ibrahim Babangida as matters were somewhat getting out of hand probably from some esprit de corps developed through comradeship  resolved to end the military rule  that ultimately ushered in civilian government in 1999 with his handpicked former boss President Olusegun Obasanjo to lead Nigeria again. 
     
    Thus, the military forces were  sent back and had them confined to the barracks to concentrate on their statutory duty of defending the country instead of playing the  neophyte  actors in the governance chess game  He earns my respect for this rare display of  magnanimity.
     
    This marked the dawn of a new era in Nigeria which was none other than a welcome relief  today it is becoming a less savoury experiment. Having watched  behind the scenes, I do not, frankly, think  the dividends of democracy were  enjoyed beyond former President Olusegun's tenure. When President Yar 'Adua took ill and  inevitably went the way of all flesh, President Jonathan completed his tenure in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and contested which he won in 2011. That victory cost Nigeria so many things resulting from one man's intransigence which ultimately transformed into aggression and violence.
     
    The riot and consequent  killings that trailed the 2011 presidential election in Nigeria soon after former President Jonathan was declared the winner by beating the then  closest opponent, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) ominously threatened our nascent democracy in the face. In the years that followed while Jonathan ruled, we saw Nigeria gyrating between panic attacks and undefined hopes until he fell prey to a grand conspiracy that booted him out of Aso Rock to his Otueke ancestral home on May 29, 2015.
     
    A new Sheriff and an ethics policeman took charge. It is six calendar months today that power like the 'marshal's  baton'  was given to President Muhammadu Buhari after his party, the All Progressive Congress, won by a landslide. Driven by his party's change slogan he delved into work and began cleansing the Augean stables. The first shocker we got when he assumed office was to order bombing raids on Cross-Rivers creek communities that left many defenceless civilians, including children and women dead.
     
    That was a danger signal and the atmosphere reeked of blood and foreboded repression - a sad  pointer that the leopard could never change its spots. We had earlier recorded deaths in 2011 when it became clear that he had lost the presidential election and the deaths again  recorded by the bombings he ordered in Cross-Rivers was a sad reminder which only swelled the number. These are harrowing incidents that keep this writer astounded in no small measure.
     
    In a bid to cleanse the  proverbial Augean stables what we visibly see is nothing short of a harrowing departure  from  all accepted norms  and procedures. You are labelled an undesirable  and consequently marked out for a tragic fate once you are not on the same page with the regime in Abuja while the party partisans and apologists have become the rightful heirs of our common patrimony. 
     
    This brings the assassination bid of Nigeria's Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu into focus. It has made news headlines across the globe and the international community has been watching what is happening in  Nigeria which is fundamentally opposed to all accepted  democratic norms and this leaves the country risk-averse. There is no denying the fact that there are traces of brutality, human right abuse and ethnic abuse in Nigeria under the present Buhari regime like the world witnessed when Amin ruled over Uganda that qualified him for a despot.
     
    Be that as it may, reports making the rounds say soon after the attempt on Ekweremadu's life, his seat was methodically and dramatically taken by Senator Remi Tinubu in the Red Chambers and our Honourable men and women   watched helplessly  in consternation. This story, frankly, is better imagined than real.
     
    In civilized world as the manhunt for the killer squad begins, if the drama that reportedly  took place in the senate chamber  is anything to go by  Sen. Remi Tinubu runs the risk of being   thoroughly  investigated and   implicated in that heinous  crime commencing with wiretapping, surveillance and e-mail monitoring but, who is there to bell the proverbial cat when the ruling  APC, according to the  PDP, may have recruited the killer squad on the prowl?
     
    Iyoha John Darlington, a scholar, an opinion leader and public commentator  on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.


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  • THE FATHER (Clerk), THE SON (Jonathan) & THE GHOST (Obasanjo)

    19/Oct/2015 // 470 Viewers

    By Sikiru Salawudeen

    Fathers pass blessings to their sons in old age, or curse. We know the story of Jacob and Esau in the Holy Bible. Clerk is turning Jonathan into Esau after eating his meal. The meal here refers to the privileges as an insider in his government, his trust. We can’t compare him with the story of Elijah and the 42 children who laughed at an elder man with bald head. Jonathan did not curse Clerk. He respected the old man, so why has he unleashed the bears at the Otuoke son?


    When Jonathan’s name was advanced by Obasanjo as second in command to Late Yar’adua, Clerk was front and centre with his voice of dissent. Ango Abdullahi of ACF referred to it in an advertorial. He wondered why Jonathan rallied behind the Otuoke mouse. Is it not Clerk who roared that Jonathan could not make the second eleven (11) of the Niger Delta? And he was right then. Why did Clerk not stick to his convictions then? Maybe he was not convinced!


    It is a lesson in politics. You cannot trust the young or the old. Politics is about betrayal. Not even the hoary can be saints. He knowns no one will give any influence in APC, so he says he has retired. If Buhari were young like Jonathan, he would call him his son again. A father with fertility for sons. Maybe very soon, he will call him my younger brother up North (Daura).


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  • Looking back on Gov. Oshiomhole's stewardship in Edo State

    20/Dec/2015 // 786 Viewers

                                                         Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Edo State


    Back in 2008 when the government of Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor was sacked via a high court judgement in Benin City  the capital city of Nigeria's oldest state, our joy knew no bounds. We celebrated the unceremonious  exit of the Peoples' Democratic Party from power considering its abysmal failure in Edo State. Under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State, we opined,  would do better by bringing the dividends of democracy to the people calling to mind his days as a labour leader. 

    Party then did not matter to me because I remained non-partisan. All that mattered to me was a credible  candidate with credible promises irrespective of the political party under whose platform he/she contested. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole became my preferred candidate to lead Edo State at the period under sad review.

    Little was known to me about the defunct ACN party programmes but since he championed the cause of workers in his labour days gave him that magnetic pull. His supporters had no iota of  doubt that he understood the plight of the common man whose cause like I said before he had championed by fighting and standing toe-to-toe with government during the dark days of military rule in Nigeria.

    Comrade Oshiomhole's ascension to power was greeted with pomp and pageantry and I could recall from dim memory his maiden speech that he would not only be a field governor but  will run a government driven by accountability. Like a Bible verse  in the New Testament  Adams did expressly say that he had not come to bring peace but division by setting the people against their leaders who while working with him in the day-to-day administration of Edo State will be made to give a regular  account of their stewardship to their people. This was heartwarming, a Messiah, we said, had come in the long run to reposition the state in the path of socio-politico development and economic prosperity.

    Governor Adams Oshiomhole was lauded in these while the indigenes of Edo State all looked forward to the future with pride in the hope that he would fight doggedly to restore the state's lost glory but little did I know we were wallowing in the pool of ignorance.

    The first deafening salvo he fired was the increase in tuition fees at my Alma Mater, the then Edo State University, Ekpoma  by making the cost of education there prohibitive. Amidst protests he engaged the reverse gear. Today, reports reaching us from home say plans are again in top gear to increase the tuition fees by as much as 200 percent. This, I dare say, is outrageous!

                                                    Lington Donovan

                                                    Iyoha John Darlington

    Edo State during my growing up days enjoyed the prestige of being the most educationally advantaged state in Nigeria followed by Ogun State but because of certain outrageous educational policies of the state government we have been ruefully displaced. Our state has been reduced to a shadow of its former self with its indigenes thrown out of schools. Of course, we all know and feel the negative impact  on the people which this writer shall not touch on.

    In the area of roads rehabilitation, Oshiomhole is often erroneously said to have outdone Napoleon Bonaparte. This sickens me to the stomach a great deal. Is he leaving Edo State better than where he met it? If you ask me, frankly, my response will doubtless not be in the affirmative. How accessible are our rural areas from the capital city, Benin City? On this score, you will agree with me he has failed woefully. 

    Many rural communities in Edo State today still depend on water sourced from ponds and streams as the state Water Board has become moribund thereby making potable water an elusive dream. What we have in Edo State today, reports say, are nothing short of dry taps and this again is very disheartening! What would it have cost the state government to revitalise and resuscitate the state Water Board to provide potable water for the indigenes of the state? The outgoing governor has a serious case to answer here if he needs reminding as water remains one of the basic necessities of life.

    There is no denying the fact that the bulk of  Edo State indigenes remains hungry, homeless, frightened and pauperized but this is a state that is blessed with vast agricultural potentials. To what extent has the Oshiomhole-led administration  positively mobilised labour to solve the state food crisis? Again, the governor has failed woefully to bring about the desired agricultural revolution in the state. We all know full well what the state would have stood to gain in that regard. Unemployment, hunger would have been drastically reduced, twin evils that promote crime particularly violent ones.

    Has there been any time that the state government is denied of allocation from the Federal Government? Frankly, I do not think so. Hence, what reason has the outgoing administration to tender for denying the indigenes of the state the basic necessities of life? Our children have been thrown out of schools and left with no option but  to embark on dangerous journeys to the unknown. Quite a good number of them have died while trying to cross the fiery Sahara desert to the coast of north Africa for onward sea voyage across the Mediterranean to Europe. Many of our people have perished at sea while trying to cross on substandard and rickety boats which are incapable of  withstanding the strong ocean currents. What has the Oshiomhole-led administration in the state done to stem this ignoble  trend?

    It is very unfortunate that he is leaving behind a state without any meaningful improvement via capital projects and service infrastructures to better the lives of the indigenes. Party partisans often pat him on the back by making Benin City township roads a reference point. Many of the roads supposedly rehabilitated by his administration often become waterlogged and, therefore, rendered  impassable whenever there is a downpour. Pictures, they say, do not lie. Be that as it may, these must not be made any credit of seeing that it is the duty of the state government to provide good roads but the half-baked rehabilitation had only succeeded in making  the city residents caught in a vicious circle.

    Reports reaching this writer have it that he is leaving behind a state that is saddled with a massive debt burden. In fact, Edo State is one of the seven states in Nigeria with the worst debt profile up to the tune of $127 million dollars. Where  and what was this whooping amount of  money spent on? Mathematicians and party partisans, answer me! This is a state that is still bereft of service infrastructures, a state whose Water Board has suffered terminal decline and, therefore, incapable of providing potable water for its indigenes! Party partisans would doubtless turn a blind eye to these anomalies and label me as none other than a paid agent writing in favour of the former ruling Peoples' Democratic Party. 


    In the area of sports, Edo State has fallen to its lowest web as the once glorious Bendel Insurance only battles to secure a promotion ticket to Nigeria's Premier League. How are the mighty fallen; tell this not anywhere in the old Bendel State!


    These are indeed teething problems which ought to have been addressed by the outgoing administration. Fortunately or unfortunately, Governor Oshiomhole that was once very dear to my heart has assumed the role of Nigeria's ethics policeman enmeshed in sophistries and terminological inexactitudes blaming his abysmal failure and  inability to deliver on his political promises on Jonathan's government. 


    The US government, we read, did say never at any point in time was the governor told that a former minister under Jonathan's government stole up to the tune of $6 billion. Are these the reasons for his catalogue of dismal failures in Edo State? Is he leaving Edo State better than he met it? Are our children in schools? What about the upsurge in violent  crimes  in the state occasioned by the massive unemployment? What has he to say about our children which have been driven away from home in search of the proverbial greener pastures abroad that have either died in the fiery Sahara desert while trying to make it to the coast of north Africa  or drowned in the Mediterranean? What about our young women who have become women of easy virtue in many parts of the Old World and the Middle East, the Emirates to be precise?

      Did the outgoing governor ever come with a solution or still a part of our problems?

     

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

     

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


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  •  Is the World on the Brink of Another Great Recession?

    20/Feb/2016 // 1071 Viewers

    By Sherle R. Schwenniger


    One of the greatest challenges, President Obama faces in his last months in office is how to deal with a global economy teetering on the edge of a yet another crisis. For weeks now, the financial markets have been signaling major trouble ahead. Turbulent equity markets throughout the world have plummeted. Yields on long-term bonds in the United States have fallen to near historic lows, auguring extended economic weakness ahead. And interest rates have turned negative in Japan and some European economies, underscoring that these economies may be losing the fight against deflation. Meanwhile, the large flow of money into China and emerging economies that drove global growth after the great financial crisis has reversed, exposing those economies to years of debt buildup.
     
     Indeed, one cannot rule out that the markets may be signaling something more serious than just a global economic slowdown. They could be foreshadowing the beginning of what might be called the third leg of the world economic crisis, one that would echo the US-centered housing bubble in 2008 (the first leg) and the eurozone crisis in 2010–11 (the second leg). This third leg would center on China and emerging markets. In the aftermath of the global crisis of 2008, with demand in the United States and Europe no longer available to power its export economy, China embarked on the largest expansion of credit in modern economic history. In the process, it built too many factories, too much housing, and too much infrastructure. The huge increase in debt worked to keep China’s economy growing and boosted emerging markets and commodity producers, but it created huge excesses and lots of bad debt in China and other economies dependent on China that now must be worked off.
     
    Not surprisingly, the Chinese economy is now on a bumpy descent as it tries to manage its overinvestment bubble and as it transitions to a more consumer-oriented economy. The fear of a Chinese hard landing has created tremors throughout the global economy. The price of commodities, from oil to copper and iron ore, has collapsed in the face of global oversupply and expected weaker demand from China. Brazil, Russia, and other commodity producers are in recession. Manufacturing economies worry about a new wave of deflation coming out of China, driving down the price of manufactured goods. And everyone worries that China will have no choice but to let the yuan fall further, thereby setting off a series of competitive devaluations in Asia and beyond and setting the stage for a new emerging-market debt crisis. For as currencies fall, emerging markets will not be able to service their dollar-denominated debt, triggering a new financial crisis that will extend to European banks and the shadow banking system of US asset managers and hedge funds.
     
    The US economy is in a better position than other economies to weather this third leg of the global crisis. But in today’s world, no economy is an island. It is unlikely that the United States can avoid a recession if Europe, Japan, and China are all pulled into one, and even more unlikely if there is a major credit crisis centered on emerging markets, energy, and Chinese debt, which would pull down many European banks and some US asset managers. Even as it is, US energy producers—solar and wind as well oil and gas—are being decimated by the wars of oversupply and weaker demand. And US manufacturing is contracting because of a strengthening dollar, which makes US exports more expensive. American consumers will of course benefit from lower energy costs and cheaper goods, but it will be difficult for them to hold up the global economy as they have done in the past, given their sizable debt burden and weak wage growth over the past six years.
     
    The prospect of a global economic slowdown is especially troubling because the world’s central banks, despite extraordinary measures, have not been able to reverse the drift toward deflation and depression. Now they are essentially out of ammunition and are resorting to experimenting with negative interest rates. Worse, fiscal policy in the form of government spending is, for political reasons, off the table in nearly all major economies, including in the United States.
     
    If ever there were a time for US global leadership, it is now. Even if the United States avoids being pulled into recession, one shudders to think about the geopolitical implications of a global slowdown. Even as it is now, divisions and xenophobic populist movements are growing in Europe in response to the flood of refugees and a half-decade of austerity, to take one example. It is of course possible that China will be able to stabilize its descent, that Europe and Japan will be able to eke out some economic growth in the year ahead, that emerging economies will be able to manage their debts, and that the US economy will enjoy something of a deflationary boom as a result of a strong job market and falling prices for energy and consumer goods.
     
    But this would be far from the global prosperity that is needed to lift people out of poverty and grow a bigger global middle class. There are a number of sensible ideas for avoiding a major world economic crisis and for supporting more robust global growth: a massive US infrastructure investment program; debt restructuring and relief for households and students in the United States as well as for sovereign debtors in Europe and other regions; a bigger IMF and World Bank insurance fund for emerging-market debt; a growth program in Europe led by the European Investment Bank; expanded funding for refugee resettlement; new international reconstruction programs in Ukraine, North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia; and, if necessary, direct central bank financing of these and other spending programs. The White House could also pressure Berlin and other European capitals more on reversing austerity and less on maintaining sanctions on Russia. All these policy measures would support global demand and create jobs while easing the pressures of debt deflation.
     
    But nearly all of these ideas, except some pale versions like increased spending on infrastructure, are outside the boundaries of current American political discourse. To say that the US political and media establishment is unready for a global economic slowdown, let alone a new financial crisis, would be an understatement. Nearly all the Republican candidates have committed themselves to balanced budgets and reduced spending and, unless the politics change quickly, a Republican Congress would most surely block any recovery program a Democratic president would propose as well as US participation in any international recovery effort. Most of the candidates are full of crackpot ideas on how to stand up to Putin and destroy ISIS, but none have ventured to say a word about how they would save the world economy from another crisis.
     
    As we have argued in other contexts, Senator Sanders is right: we need a political revolution. But looking out at the troubled global economy, we must also see that the revolution must do more than just fix a rigged economy and a rigged political system. It must also seek to transform our international relations to give much greater priority to widely shared global economic prosperity.
     
    *SHERLE R. SCHWENNINGER Sherle R. Schwenninger is director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute.
     


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  • NIGERIA: A nation in the woods with her president in transit

    20/Feb/2016 // 180 Viewers

     By Ifedayo Obi


    Since emergence of our President as number one citizen, he has left no one in doubt that charity should begin from abroad not home. Thus he deems it fit to tour the globe in his quest for providing solution to Nigeria’s problem. From all indications, it seems he is comfortable in communicating his policies via this platform.

    Surprisingly, this style of governance is alien to our nation and many keep wondering why the President should choose such a path. To make the matter worse his spin’s doctors are going to any length in defending this unbecoming act. Their defence have changed from during or after trip to before trip, what a government?

    To be candid, there is nothing bad in attending international affairs outside the shore of his country but the situation in our country deserve full attention and time from its leaders. According to a Norway's proverb that says necessity teaches naked woman how to knit.

    It would have been better if Mr President has strong affinity for delegation of responsibilities but he has not, considering outcome of the presented 2016 Budget to NASS. It is now clear to all and sundry that the current government is unprepared for governance. Even Buhari himself has admitted this by saying he came at the wrong time to govern. Buhari and APC are doing more of politicking than governance and this is affecting all their outings. From TSA commission fee to inconclusive elections to budget of change that turned to fraud, in fact the list is becoming endless.

    We expected the government to salvage the nation from global economy downturn with appreciable policies but what we are having now is government that is bent on passing buck to past government, political vendettas and always fail to admit when it errs.

    How could a government that promise change steal, replace and later disown its budget? Till now, no apology has been rendered instead it keeps bringing webminster words like mafia, saboteurs to defend a national embarrassment. Our advice for this government is to withdraw this profligacy entourage called budget of change and present a reasonable. If not the sacking spree will justify our earlier claim that this government is only replacing them to reward its sponsors' list.

    At this juncture, we don't need any rocket scientist to discern the state of our economy and Mr Buhari should stop thinking that as a retired Army General he will know it all. If Financial Times and Bloomberg are enemies to our nation, we don't think our economists like Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Pat Utomi who are ardent supporters of this government will toe same path with these foreign analysts.

    What benefit will "I will not kill Naira" do to the innocent public that 98% of their daily transactions reflect happenings from parallel market of foreign exchange? No matter how good an intention sounds without facts and figures of reality it will remain a harmful substance in economics.

    It is high time we stopped these stringent policies that keep widening the gap between official and parallel markets' rates.

    It is high time we stopped passing bucks and face reality.

    It is high time we stopped having 4 media aides to a President of prudence and leaned cabinet when no Chief Economy Adviser has been appointed.

    It is high time we stopped thinking that melodrama from EFCC, DSS and fifth columnist media outfits can replace policies for good governance.

    It is high time we stopped thinking that foreign aids will come without consequences as no country is a father xmas.

    We are saying it again, the vacuum created by the wasted first six months cannot be underscored with the charade of shame in 2016 budget and this government should desist from justifying what is alien to our style of governance.

    Good Governance Advocates is saying to Mr President to listen less to his inner caucus and praise singers but give more attention to his critics.

    Nigeria belongs to all and our patriotism should be to it than any political parties or groups

    *Ifedayo Obi,

    GGA

    (Good Governance Advocates is a partner of Shadow Cabinet of Nigeria and we are synonymous to governance par excellence with mandate to bring government to their toes in discharge of their duties for the governed to smile)

     

    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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