• Rotimi Amaechi - to become a minister in Buhari's cabinet?

    27/Oct/2015 // 1352 Viewers

    Rumour, yes! Let me presume it is one on the grapevine, though it sounds too strange to be true that Rotimi Amaechi who was once depicted by General Muhammadu Buhari sometime in 2011 as the most corrupt state Governor in Nigeria has suddenly become stainless to be nominated, cleared and  absorbed into his cabinet of ''efficient'' ministers. Ah, I am beginning to call this man's avowed integrity in question and more so his anti-graft war!

    Nigeria is a country that breeds, parades intellects and great minds. No one, no tribe, no ethnic group is more Nigerian than the other but sad to say today that the reverse is the case and to what do we owe this if I may ask? It is none other than, greed, ambition, impunity and personal aggrandisement being recklessly  exhibited by a cabal that has metamorphosed into a political dynasty holding us hostage and further  subjecting the generality of Nigerians to their diabolic whims and caprices.

    This, doubtless, makes Nigerians tired, irritable and see themselves jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. The question that agitates this writer is: 

    Where is the change Nigerians voted en masse for about five calendar months ago? 

    The change of which we urgently stand in need is nowhere in sight, in fact, it is nowhere on the horizon with the crop of men that make up the Abuja regime. If one may use a Biblical phrase as a satire on the ongoing obviously sad situation what we see under the existing circumstances is a new wine into old bottles and we, of course, know what the Holy Writ forewarns; ''the new one will burst the bottles and be spilled and the bottles shall perish''. 

    I often find myself standing mouth agape with incredulity watching the Buhari I used to know throwing caution to the winds by transgressing the bounds of decency. Ay, this has shocked and horrified so many Nigerians with a shred of decency that a government under the leadership of a supposedly perfect martinet in military discipline which is fighting a corruption war to regenerate Nigeria is often seen dining and winning with vermin and recidivists that have plunged us into  abysmal depths. Frankly, it is very disheartening! 

    If President Buhari is genuinely out to cleanse the Augean stables, there is every need to quickly employ positive values, demonstrate honesty, reinvent himself and backtrack on his ongoing vacuous magnanimity. 

    We all lauded the President and resolved to rally around him when he embarked on a campaign to root out corruption from Nigeria, like the Shakespearean Brutus in the play titled Julius Ceasar after he  slew his fast friend, Caesar, the Roman Army General, he told the Plebeians that though he loved Caesar, but he loved the city-state of Rome more.

    We saw Buhari toeing this line and thus stood firm in our conviction having drawn inferences from his antecedents that he loves Nigeria more which made him do all that he did some 30 years ago probably to revitalize the decadent paralysis at the time. 

    All in all, in the run up to 2015 presidential election, he did tell us there would be no sacred cow when voted to power. This was heartwarming and left us with no option but to pitch tents with him in anticipation of the much-desired change. On that historic day of destiny and power, our lips bore only one name, and  by the instrumentality of the ballot this change was effected devoid of bloodshed but what one sees on the ground today is better imagined than real which leaves a scar of distress on one's heart!

    Iyoha John Darlington is a scholar based in Turin, Italy's northern uplands.

    Email: jamestmichael2003@yahoo.com


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  • Cross River Inglorious Fall From Glory to Grass

    27/Oct/2016 // 215 Viewers

     

    By Inyali Peter
    According to John Maxwell, "Everything rises and falls on leadership". The reputation and image of any state or society is directly proportional to the quality of leadership of that society. A society with a responsible, responsive and proactive leadership, is likely to create a better reputation than the one with parochial, irresponsible and irresponsive leadership.

    The choice of the caption, "Cross River Inglorious Fall From Glory to Grass" is not intended at taking an aim at anybody particularly but to make us have mental pabulum on where we're coming from as a state, where we are today and probably where we are heading to (that's if we're heading somewhere at all). It is carefully crafted to at least attempt to compare our glory days to the current state of our dear state which can best be described as an inglorious fall from glory to grass.
    Since the return of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria in 1999, Cross River state has produced some of the best governors in terms of appearance, oratory prowess, performance, and innovations. The first democratically elected Governor of the state in the current democratic dispensation, Mr. Donald Duke, in his tenure won several distinguish awards for his proactive and responsive approach to leadership. In fact, as the youngest governor in his time, Duke was highly respected amongst his contemporaries that he was saddled with the leadership of the South South Governors Forum. Because of his outstanding leadership qualities, he moved from a zonal chairman to the national chairman of Nigeria's Governors forum.

    Despite assuming office at a tender age of 37, Duke was able to transform the state to arguably a paradise destination in Nigeria in terms of its serene, ever green and clean environment which made it a haven for tourists within and outside the country.

    When he came on board, Duke initially introduced agriculture to be the mainstay of the state's economy. The cultivation of pineapple, cashew, castor and the revamping of the oil palm industry was to contribute to the fields of agriculture to boost all round development of the state. But along the line, perhaps for the obvious reason of the huge financial outlay that may accrue to this initiative, Duke diversified wholly into development of the tourism sector and giving teeth to development in environment, information and communication technology, investment drive among others. Through his work Calabar was seen as the "cleanest city in Nigeria,’’ and even won a laurel in national reckoning for this posturing.

    It was during Duke’s days that the state boasted of such facilities as Obudu Ranch Resort that apart from serving as Nigeria’s Camp David [according to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua] hosted many athletes of international repute in the then famous International Mountain Race. The event grew under Duke and the next administration to one of the most lucrative mountain running competitions in the world.

    To attract tourist to the state, Duke opened the world class Tinapa resort. The state became an industrial hub as the Tinapa resort gained acceptance both locally and internationally. By the time he was rounding up his tenure, businesses of several kinds were booming in the resort.

    Also, Donald invested substantially in the education sector. It was during his time that the famous Polytechnic Calabar metamorphosed into the fast growing Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH. The secondary education was revitalized as the state education monitoring team ensured students and teachers were serious with academics. It was during this time that prep (An evening class session where students go for compulsory reading) was imposed on all secondary schools operating in the state. State quiz and debate competitions were also introduced to encourage competitiveness among schools and students.

    The three technical colleges established by former Governor Clement Ebri were properly funded. In fact, some of the best electricians and skilled craftsmen we have today in the state are products of the schools. At the primary level, parents and guidance were encouraged to send their children to school through the government Primary School free education scheme.

    He (Duke), however, got his share of criticism as he was accused of being too elitist in some of his projects. Some of the things he established were said be beyond the reach of an average Cross Riverian who needed government most. Questions like how the facilities could generate the financial outlay to sustain themselves given that the economy of the state is majorly dependant on allocation from the federal coffers pooped up at the time.

    When the immediate past governor, Senator Liyel Imoke came on board on the 29th of May 2007, throughout his eight years tenure, he showed little or no serious interest in Tourism as the former. The Tinapa Resort, Obudu Ranch Resort amongst others became comatose as such having no direct impact on the state's economy under him.

    His administration witnessed a drastic change from Duke's concentration in developing the urban to rural areas. Imoke administration constructed the highest number roads which cut across every political ward in the state in the history of Cross River state. Although, almost all the roads have experienced very short lifespan, he was applauded at the time for his commitment in developing the rural areas.

    Apart from that, the administration prioritized the development of the primary healthcare sector in the state. Functional health centre in almost every village in the state were established. I see why he was regarded by his admirers as a symbol of rural development!

    In agriculture, his administration granted loans and grants to farmers. He attracted investors to invest hugely in the sector. For instance, Wilmer's palm investment is one of the largest palm estate in Africa. He also brought the Songhai farms. He revived the state cocoa estate which was contributing about 30% to the growth of the state Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

    In education, he renovated primary and secondary schools in every single village in the state. He also established the world class Institute of Management Technology, Ugep. In fact, many people till date rate him in terms of his people's oriented projects as the state best governor ever.
    His government enjoyed positive remarks in ensuring relative peace more than the Duke's dispensation. In fact, the state was regarded nationally as the most peaceful in Nigeria.

    Despite the achievements of the past administrations which comunated into building a solid and favourable reputation for our dear state, both governors ran a government with about fourteen to nineteen cabinet members. Two of them put together had less than fifty Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants and Personal Assistants.

    As Imoke administration faded way into the thin air on the 29th of May 2015, Senator Ben Ayade, emerged as the new kid in the blog to take Cross River state to the promised land. Such was expected from Ayade being that he is the first Professor and the oldest man to become governor (any of his ages still put him as the oldest) when he assumed office. Clement Ebri became governor at 39, Duke at 37 while Imoke assumed office at 40.

    Cross Riverians had expected that Ayade would either take the state further or maintained the level he met the it. But very unfortunately and highly disappointing, the hopes and aspirations of such people is gradually fading away. Eighteen months (18) down the line nothing is really showing that those who insisted that it was either him or nobody were right.

    While the past administrations had clear policy plan in Agriculture, Tourism, Education and Health development, the Ayade administration has not shown a clear cut plans for these very relevant sectors of our economy. His administration is now known by the governor's oratory prowess which can be best described as unbridle lips doling out voodoo promises than any tangible achievement.

    In Agriculture, rather than building on the existing structure to expand the horizon, the governor has destroyed almost everything he inherited from the sector. The Songhai farms is now comatose. Nothing is happening there. The state has or is about to lose the five years world bank commercial agriculture development project at the expiration of the current contract later this year for failure of the governor to approve the list of successful candidates early enough for training which would have given the state opportunity for renewal. Even the state agriculture loans for women and youths has long died a murderous death caused by this administration.
    The cocoa estate which was contributing hugely to the state economy has been politicized. By the end of this year, cocoa farmers would have lost two farming seasons to the disagreement between the government and host communities on allocation of the estate to farmers. While farmers have insisted that real cocoa farmers should be allotted the blocs, the government is bent on floating the place with Calabar based politicians. This development has led aggrieved youths of the host communities to form a militant group called "Etung Avengers" which they have used to chase everybody away from the estate.

    In education, the government has left the state tertiary institutions as orphans. The state only owned university recently lost accreditation of two major courses (Architecture and Wood Product Engineering) as a result of failure of the government to fund the university properly to prepare for accreditation. Several months now, the government has sat on the statutory monthly subvention of the institution. All projects going on in the institution has been placed on hold due to paucity of funds. This development recently led the Council of Traditional Rulers to demanding the privatization of the institution. What a shame!

    The Institute of Management Technology, Ugep is now moribund. Lecturers are owed over eight months salaries. The hopes of the students is hanging in the balance as lecturers are leaving on daily basis. The Highbury University that had agreement to run the institution for the state has terminated the contract due to government inability to keep to the terms of the agreement. The dream and aspirstions of the founding fathers of the institution has been dashed.

    The West Africa Examination Council has held on to the results of candidates from the state as result of backlog of debts which the governor has not shown any serious interest to address. Our three technical colleges have become shadows of it itself. Instead of working on reviving them, Ayade said he has signed MOU to establish new once which is still flying in the air. In the primary education, pupils can no longer sit for common entrance as a result of the failure of government to organize the examination.

    The state tourism potentials has succumbed to insecurity. A state once regarded as the most peaceful barely seventeen months ago is now topping the chart in insecurity in the country according to police report. Corpses are now litter everywhere in the street of Calabar. Kidnapping, cultism and broad day robbery has become the new oder in Calabar. The state is now known for killings and robbery than the great tourism potentials that brought it to limelight.

    To make matter worst, Ayade has reduced governance to a huge joke and comedy as indicated in the appointments of retinue of political office holders and aides in both the state, senatorial district and local government levels. He recently unleashed terror on the state crunched economy with the appointment of 1,106 which when added with the existing 800 would take his tally to 1,906. The categories include Personal Assistants, Special Assistants, Senior Special Assistants, Special Advisers and commissioners. He ridiculously appointed people to some boards and agencies that has no legislative backings. For instance, Maize, Banana and Cassava Development Agencies.

    Apart from duplication of offices, he also appointed embers and chairmen to some nonexisting commissions. For instance, board of Cross River state Seaport Authority, Portside Authority, Wharf Etc. All these commissions are not seen anywhere near the state. The state House Assembly which is obligated to question this is a rubber stamp to the governor.

    With Nigeria economy in recession, one would have expected the governor to runn a lean cabinet to cut down cost of governance to reflect the state economic reality like his contemporaries in other states. How a state which receives one of the lowest allocations from the federal government and has witnessed a drop in the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N1.2 billion to about N800 million monthly recently harbour a cabinet lager than that of even the federal government is amazingly comical.

    This is a state which sits third in terms of debt profile of states in Nigeria. According to research by Web Management Office, Lagos still tops the charts with the debt rate of about $1.17 billion Dollars, Kaduna with $234 million Dollars and Cross River in third place with $142 million Dollars.

    With the debt of $142 million Dollars and a huge task of paying civil servants salaries and allowances there is no argument that instead of increasing the nineteen SAs appointed by Imoke administration to 1,106 and thirteen Commissioners to 29, he should run a lean government to reduce the cost of governance in the state.
    This is how much Cross River, which has a capital that pride itself as the nation's paradise has fallen from glory to grass. 

    While other states like Ebonyi, Lagos, Kaduna, Adamawa, Abia, Anambra to mention but a few are moving from glory to glory, Ayade has taken us back to Sodom and Gomora; we have returned to dark days where everything bad is associated with. We are surviving in the land where evil hold sway.
    The eighteen months of Ayade has been nothing more than an icing on the cake of bad leadership. To say the least, the Biafra tales as chronicled in Chinue Achebe literature "There Was a Country" can be reframed to say, there was state before Ayade came on board.

    Ayade should urgently return to the drawing board and come out with plans that can revamp the education, agriculture, tourism and health sectors. Development and improvement of our economy should be giving more attention than building political empire. He should as a matter of necessity, cancel his appointment bonanza; people should only be appointed into government to serve a purpose of growing our economy.

    His projects and program should at every time reflect the reality of our state financial position. We should not only have governor but there should be government in place. Cross Riverians should feel the impact of his digitalization like he promised. The time for this administration to work her talk is now. There should be less promises, more action.


    Inyali Peter is based in Calabar. He can be reached viainyalipeter@gmail.com.


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  • Another Look At President Buhari’s Wish List To The West By Oke Epia

    27/Sep/2015 // 109 Viewers

    There is no gainsaying the point that General Muhammadu Buhari’s ascension
    to the presidency on May 29 this year brought some delight and dignity to
    the perception of Nigeria in the international community. I have said this
    much previously in this column and concluded that Buhari’s honeymoon with
    the West ought to be quickly maximized for national benefits. I had
    counselled on the need to make hay while the sun shines otherwise the
    euphoria of the new rapprochement would melt away resulting in eventual
    disappointment.
    Now I have cause to warn again at the risk of sounding alarmist and tagged
    a wailing wailer (apologies to presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, who
    coined that phrase to describe the political opposition) that the
    President’s foreign forays are yielding less and less returns. For
    example, in spite of recent gains by the military, boko haram remains
    intractable as the Chibok girls remain in captivity suggesting that
    Nigeria is not getting the kind of cooperation promised by friends abroad.
    It is true that diplomatic engagements sometimes require time and patience
    to yield results but the evident fact is that Nigeria is nibbling at the
    huge international goodwill gained at the turn of a successful political
    transition from a ruling party to the opposition. I premise this
    submission on the embarrassing lack of policy direction bedevilling the
    Buhari administration four clear months into its life span.
    But before I expatiate further, let me commend the president for the
    diplomatic initiative of hosting Heads of States of West Africa over the
    political crisis in Burkina Faso. By showing leadership and in a swift
    manner too, the president brought Nigeria pride and reinforced that
    long-held foreign policy inclination of making Africa a centre-piece of
    the country’s external engagements. His recent diplomatic shuttles to
    Cameroun, Niger and Chad are no doubt relevant especially towards
    addressing the cross-border menace of boko haram terrorism and enhancing
    regional security. The president’s intervention in rallying ECOWAS leaders
    to seek solutions to the constitutional breach in Burkina Faso where
    presidential guards overthrew the government is therefore a worthy
    consolidation of his sub-regional engagements in the last three months or
    so.
    However, while there is yet the urgent need to articulate a clear foreign
    policy framework for the administration. This is what is expected of every
    government and the fact that this is lacking four months into the life of
    the government is something that has worried even admirers of President
    Buhari. No country commands sustained respect and serious attention
    without a clear-cut foreign policy agenda with which it engages the rest
    of the world. And it is a known dictum in international relations that a
    country’s foreign policy agenda is a reflection of its domestic goals and
    aspirations. Thus if the Buhari administration has yet to articulate a
    clear domestic vision and mission then it cannot advance a foreign policy
    agenda. Forget the antics of publicists who are forced to rationalize this
    unfortunate situation on the assumption that things are shaping up in the
    country in mere response to President Buhari’s body language. The
    narrative is that improved electricity supply, resumption of production at
    the hitherto moribund petroleum refineries, and the sudden reawakening of
    anti-corruption agencies among other tangibles and intangibles of the
    administration so far are attributable to the aura of the president. But
    the truth is that no country can grow its economy in a sustained and
    systematic manner based on the body language of its leader. It is even
    absurd to assume that diplomacy and foreign relations can be undertaken on
    such opaque mystique.
    It is therefore no surprise that the President still bandies about a wish
    list as trump card in his foreign visits. Recall that British Foreign
    Secretary, Philip Hammond had extolled the successful transition that
    brought President Buhari to office and invited him to bring a wish list
    before Western powers to help bring Nigeria up to higher plains. The
    Nigerian leader promptly accepted the invitation and has since made
    several trips to the West in pursuance of this wish list- which remains as
    twisted as the lack of a coherent foreign policy. He visited Germany in
    June on the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel to participate on the
    sidelines of the G7 Summit where he held bilateral consultations. He was
    guest of President Barack Obama of the United States of America on a state
    visit that was hyped to high heavens. He recently just returned from
    France on the invitation of President Francois Hollande to further
    prosecute the actualization of his wish list. Presidential publicist,
    Mallam Garba Shehu had said the three-day visit to France focused on
    security around the Lake Chad basin area especially with respect to Boko
    Haram. He also spoke vaguely about the pursuit of foreign investments and
    strengthening Nigeria-France bilateral relationship. Notably, Mr. Shehu
    said further that his principal would prevail on his host to get his
    colleagues in the G7 to actualize the wish list with respect to assisting
    Nigeria with intelligence and military hardware to battle boko haram, help
    in the reconstruction of the ravaged North-east part of the country, and
    the battle against corruption. This is pretty much the wish list of
    President Buhari. But a wish list is not enough. It is expected that a
    leader canvassing support from foreign friends must tell in clear and
    measurable terms how he intends to tinker with the economy; explain
    indigenous initiatives to tackle insecurity; advance intentions to
    strengthen the political and electoral process; as well as commit in words
    and deeds to entrench respect for human rights, promote justice and fair
    play in a multi-ethnic system like Nigeria’s. Much doubt exist that
    President Buhari is doing these or truly committed to doing them.
    It is noteworthy that the President’s delegation in nearly all of his
    overseas trips tells much of a lack of clear objectives sought to be
    achieved. Granted that Permanent Secretaries in charge of relevant
    ministries made up for the lack of ministers that should ordinarily
    accompany the president on foreign visits, the inclusion of certain
    individuals on the official delegation was further evidence of a lack of
    clear focus. For instance, the inclusion of Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, the Edo
    State governor on the president’s state visit to the US in July was of
    anything but a nuisance value added. What Nigerians can remember about
    Oshiomhole’s role in the trip was his controversial claim that a State
    Department official had told the Nigerian delegation that a minister in
    the Goodluck Jonathan administration stole $6billion of public fund. When
    challenged by the US to provide proof of his embarrassing claim, he balked
    thereby taking away a good slice of the seriousness with which Uncle Sam
    had held the Buhari team. Nigerians also recall the controversial comment
    of President Buhari himself during one of his outing during the visit. He
    has complained of how the Leahy law of the United States was impeding the
    military onslaught against boko haram. The president’s position which
    attracted a rather vitriolic response from Senator Patrick Leahy, the
    initiator of the legislation in question, was later clarified by a
    presidential statement. But some damage had already been done to reduce
    whatever gains the US visit could have achieved in terms of confidence
    building on boko haram.
    As you read this, President Buhari is back in the US to participate at the
    70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) during which
    period he would be engaging several bilateral and multilateral
    opportunities to promote Nigeria’s interests. This includes talks with UN
    Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Prime Minister David Cameron of
    Britain, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, President Vladmir Putin of Russia,
    Prime Minister Narenda Modi of India and President Xi Jinping of China,
    former U.S President, Bill Clinton, Mr. Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda
    Gates Foundation, former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown who is the
    UN Special Envoy on Global Education and one of the main drivers of the
    Safe Schools Initiative, among others. Also on the president’s schedule
    are meetings of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, a
    High-Level Roundtable on South-South Cooperation organised by President Xi
    Jinping of China and the UN, and another on an updated global health
    strategy for women and children. Clearly, the UNGA meeting opportunities
    provide yet another auspicious platform to pursue the actualization of
    President’s Buhari’s wish list. But this opportunity is constrained ab
    initio by a lack of clear foreign policy objectives. It is further
    impaired by some marginal decline in the domestic fortunes of the country
    with special emphasis on the economy which has suffered sustained
    uncertainty and lack of direction since this government assumed office.
    This point was succinctly amplified by Prof. Akin Oyebode, a distinguished
    academic of international law and jurisprudence in a recent television
    interview when he stated that “we cannot talk of a foreign policy of the
    President Buhari administration when there is yet no clear domestic
    policy.” Until the president fulfils this basic requirement, his wish list
    remains what it is- a wish list waiting for the genie in the bottle.


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  • Secession Not In Igbo’s Interest - Ohanaeze

    27/Sep/2015 // 202 Viewers

    National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing, Okechukwu Isiguzoro
    The youth wing of the apex Igbo socio- cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has told the leadership of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra that seceding from Nigeria, as being agitated by the group, would not be in the interest of the Igbo.
    The National President of Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro stated this on Saturday during a press conference in Umuahia, Abia State, to unveil plans for this year’s Igbo Youths Day slated for Monday in Umuahia.
    According to him, it is better for Ndigbo to remain in Nigeria and struggle for their fair share of the ‘national cake’ than fight for self-determination with its attendant consequences.
    He said, “ It is better we remain in Nigeria and fight for our rights than secede. We have been patient enough and in 2019, it will be our turn to produce a Nigerian President. It will take a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction to heal the wounds of Biafra.”
    He called on the Federal Government to unconditionally release all members of MASSOB and other Biafran activists detained in various prisons across the country.
    Isiguzoro also appealed to the Federal Government to address what he described as injustices against Ndigbo in the country, which he said were the major reason for the agitation for self-rule by MASSOB and other pro- Biafran groups.
    He further argued that it defied logic for members of MASSOB who are non-violent to continue to be held illegally for years in detention, ‘‘while the same government is busy releasing captured members of violent groups like Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants who have taken up arms against the state.”
    Source: The Punch
    “Since the Federal Government is secretly negotiating with Boko Haram terrorists, why can’t it also negotiate with MASSOB, which is non-violent? Since it is releasing some Boko Haram fighters, it should also consider MASSOB members detained illegally in prisons.”
    The OYC helmsman however declared support for the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari, arguing that those responsible for the woes of Nigeria should be brought to book.
    He also said the Igbo Youths Day would be used to sensitise Igbo governors on the urgent need to invest in agriculture for youth empowerment.
    Speaking earlier, Chairman of the organising committee and National Vice-Treasurer of OYC, Dr. Lawrence Dozie, said the theme of this year’s celebration is “Ndigbo: The Challenges of our Youths.”
    Source: The Punch


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  • Europe: Migrants Surge And The ISIS Connection, By Iyoha John Darlington

    27/Sep/2015 // 475 Viewers

    There has been an influx of refugees and migrants across the Old World to western Europe partly from crisis-ridden regions of the Dark Continent. The ongoing crisis from war-torn Syria compounded the problem as Europe unavoidably has to open its doors to fleeing Syrians from the bloodshed that has engulfed the embattled  country under President Assad. While the influx of refugees into Europe continues, concern is being expressed by many that Muslims refugees from Syria are a threat to Europe's Christian heritage, a position which is hotly contested by other dissenting voices on the continent.

    Migrants from Africa are none other than the  ones driven away from their homelands by bad governance.  The exodus is still ongoing; they only seek to make it to Europe  from sub-Saharan Africa across the fiery Sahara desert to the coast of north Africa before embarking on a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. The overcrowded rickety  boats on which they make the sea journey are often sub-standard and, therefore, incapable of withstanding the strong sea currents. Many lives have perished at sea and as of December 2014 over 3,419 migrants, this writer reliably gathered,  did not make it to the shore  according to  the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) official  records.

                 Scene of a Mediterranean shipwreck. 

    In Syria, the country has been fighting a civil war at a great human cost that has almost brought the country to its knees. The death toll in Syria after over 3 years, reports say, have risen to well over 210,060 with many more lives on the line thus forcing the Syrians to flee in droves. Europe has never witnessed such influx of migrants like she has seen for the past 3 calendar months thus compelling member states to voice their concern on how to cope with the refugees who have been forced out of their homelands. More worrisome is the suggestion of a quota system of relocation which appears an open invitation to thousands of economic migrants. This might spell out a great danger in the long run.

    In a recent summit that was held in the EU diplomatic capital of Brussels, it was agreed that Special Reception Centres be set up for Migrants in Italy and Greece before the end of November this doubtless is an open invitation to million refugees on European shores in the years to come. This, however, is a gesture of goodwill by the continent's leaders. Be that as it may, the pros and cons of this ''magnanimity'' agitate the mind of this writer. 

    In the UNHCR General Provisions, Article 1 subsection 2 says  a person who is in the danger of losing his life could seek protection outside the country of his nationality

    '' As a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or , owing to to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it'' 

    Hence, the conditions for which refugees fleeing  Syria appear in harmony with the contents of this clause. There is nothing wrong with extending hospitality to these displaced persons who have been forcibly ejected from their homeland resulting from the grave danger of losing their lives. Conversely, ISIS jihadists reportedly threatened to release a huge wave of migrants to cause chaos in Italy and the rest of Europe via hiding among refugees. Only a forth night ago ISIS jihadists from Syria raised and hoisted their flag in Germany to the consternation of everyone thereby bringing their reign of terror over our heads like the ancient sword of Damocles. One of the ISIS jihadists on the Mediterranean shores in Libya  was reported to have pointed at the centre of Europe and declared ''by the grace of Allah we will conquer Rome'' This is very disheartening! It is a thousand pities such outlandish remark and threat could be breathed out against  a country which has by words and deeds shown a rare display of magnanimity; in fact whose shores has been invaded by migrants from the coast of north Africa and war-torn Syria.

    However grapevine sources say not one of these refugees from Syria has been allowed into any of the Arab gulf states. Thus where is their feeling of brotherhood and friendship? Or is it that the gulf states are too poor to be turned to? Frankly, I do not think so. Not one of these refugees has been allowed to seek refuge in the oil-rich  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but  we see and hear the ISIS jihadists  threatening to unleash terror on countries in Western  Europe that have decided to accept refugees from this embattled region.

    This is a problem that could be resolved. For starters, the war in Syria must be put  a stop to forthwith. Inaction will only enhance the ongoing catastrophe in that country and these could spell more dangers to Europe considering the ISIS connection in the movement of migrants from that region and the coast of north Africa. A peaceful and stable Syria will halt the movement of refugees and put the activities of ISIS who hide among them in check.

    Rogue states that back the Assad regime should be sanctioned and the UN must ensure that such sanctions are fully complied with and implemented by member states. This brings into focus the tacit support being given to Assad by the arrogant regime in Moscow under President Putin. The world must not be held to ransom by the diabolic whims and caprices of the Kremlin which has been arming the notorious Assad regime.


    Iyoha John Darlington, an opinion leader and public commentator on national and global issues, writes from Turin, Italy.

     


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  • Running the economy without oil wealth

    28/Dec/2015 // 318 Viewers

     

    There were two major national problems our military rulers managed poorly. First was the enormous wealth that came our way in the oil boom of the early 70s. One martial ruler said his headache wasn’t money: It was how to spend it. Whereupon the country under him took upon itself the Father Christmas role. We gave and gave to African countries that were not as oily endowed as we were. When we could no longer locate the needy in Africa we turned to shores outside the continent.

    There was that distant Caribbean island. One of the reports on the matter said we paid the salaries of that country’s civil servants when the government couldn’t oblige their servants. Was it a loan? Was the money paid back with interest? Or we gave it to them not hoping it will be returned?

    After that era, another military leader came into the scene. He also enjoyed economic prosperity, engendered by the then Persian Gulf War that made Nigeria’s crude oil much sought after. His own problem was that despite applying all the political and economic strategies that big money could afford, a socio-politically ailing Nigeria failed to stabilise. And so he threw up his arms in despair and said the country had defied every solution in the books. Many astute observers wondered what became of the wise counsel of the galactic cabinet of his junta.

    Now in our day, in the period that would soon pass as the post-oil age, there is another challenge: what do we do without oil wealth? Can we manage the country and its teeming population with depleting wealth from crude? Is it possible to run this huge economy without the black gold?

    Those who have a keen sense of history, those who know what played out in the days of the old Western Region under Chief Obafemi Awolowo wouldn’t beat about the bush to answer those questions in the positive. They would tell you offhand that if he and the premiers of the other two regions developed their areas without oil in their days, Nigeria today would also thrive without oil, if we had the right leaders with bold and resourceful ideas.

    Oil wealth is receding, incapable of matching fiscal policy while there is a massive pressure on our leaders to sustain the machinery of government and to meet the yearnings of those who enabled their existence in our democratic process. So our leaders and their partners in industry are expected to move with lightning speed and walk away from oil as a base for development. We must think out of the box. Doing so means generating wealth from ideas such as countries without oil are doing and moving their societies into the league of leading nations of the world, far ahead of those with oil weapon which is now proving inadequate.

    Lately, we have seen this movement of idea power put to work in Ogun state. Faced with a bleak future for oil revenue and a rush of social and economic migrants from Lagos and other peripheral states, the administration of Governor Ibukunle Amosun has had to initiate creative strategies to raise good money to fund gigantic projects and meet the needs of the state’s burgeoning population. He is beating a retreat from resting on the rickety base of oil economy.

    Amosun resorted to the bold and imaginative step of what the government has since described as the Homeowners Charter project. It entailed a drastic discount in the process of acquiring the all-important Certificate of Occupancy for landed property in the state. It will cost close to N600, 000 to possess it. But in the arrangement initiated by Amosun, a property holder will pay less than N100, 000.

    Late in November in Abeokuta, the state capital, when he presented C of Os and Building Plan Approval to some 1000 more of the Home Owners Charter beneficiaries, Amosun alluded to a major advantage of the scheme: employment generation.
    Now I add four more: Home Owners Charter reduced crime in Ogun through its direct and indirect employment of the youth; it raised more funds for the mammoth capital development projects going on all over the state; it brought security of property ownership in Ogun; finally it enhanced the owner’s mortgage loan potential.

    Now oil revenue hasn’t played a role in all these. It’s been the result arising from a sheer stroke of an idea. Just as it was when the illustrious leader of the sprawling Western Region of Nigeria Obafemi Awolowo didn’t have oil money but still performed wonders under a cocoa economy. He was creative with what he had to introduce- free education for his people. It was the same enterprising mentality that made him build the Western Nigerian television station in Ibadan, which was reputed to be the first in Africa. In the North, it was Ahmadu Bello working without oil but relying on imaginative programmes who built the groundnut pyramids to develop his region. And in the East, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe employed a coal industry to raise a solid economic base for the Eastern Region of Nigeria. In all these instances it was the spirit of creativity that performed the magic.

    What Amosun has also achieved with the Home Owners Charter scheme represents a spark from the realm of creativity. It has as we have seen led to ripples of other life-giving projects to the benefit of society.

    What he and other men and women of ideas in our midst are teaching is that the country can be run on the wheels of ideas and enterprise in this age of dwindling resources from oil as we rely on science and technology rather than on the brawny oil regime.

    Banji  Ojewale writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

     

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


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  • Goodluck, Jonathan!

    28/Dec/2015 // 327 Viewers

    By Sonala Olumehense

     
    THE comma in the middle of my headline converts it from a name to a remark or a sentence. As in prison sentence.

     

    For I predict that by this time next year, the best-known bearer of that name, Nigeria’s former leader Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, will be serving one.

    In the closing weeks of 2015, what was sometimes conveniently dismissed by his supporters as heavy criticism of Mr. Jonathan has proved to be fair. That tragedy is that he did not run a government; he ran a-no-rules and no-responsibility bazaar to ennoble, and enable, the shameless privatisation of Nigeria’s resources.

    A case in point (and the only envelope to be opened so far): what some people now call Dasukigate: an arms-purchase scandal anchored by the National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki through which federal funds meant for arms for the military were being distributed to the well-connected.

    It is unclear when and how it became the business of the NSA to purchase military armament. Nigeria’s appropriation laws and practices do not reflect that.

    Scandalous, but Mr. Jonathan superintended it.

    To worsen the scandal, the star of Jonathan’s cabinet, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, confirmed early in December that she had also transferred into the hands of Dasuki previously-undisclosed “new Abacha funds of about $322 million” for “urgent security operations.” It is unclear where those funds came from.

    Remember: In June 2014, Liechtenstein returned $227m to Nigeria, to which Jonathan responded with a committee of cabinet to determine how it was be used. Nothing was heard of the Liechtenstein funds thereafter, but Nigerians at least knew how much was involved, where it had come from, and when it arrived.

    Three months earlier in March 2014, Switzerland repatriated $380 million, bringing that country’s total Abacha loot return to over $1billion.

    The point here is that until circumstances this month compelled Okonjo-Iweala’s confession, nobody had ever declared the return of “about $322 million…with another $700 million still expected.”

    In various commentaries over the years, I have argued that contrary to the tale being told by government officials—especially Okonjo-Iweala—Nigeria has recouped billions of Sani Abacha dollars, with no evidence they have been used for Nigeria. The casual, and illegal, transfer to NSA Dasuki of $322 million by the tag team of Jonathan and Okonjo-Iweala demonstrates the point.

    With no legal authorisation of any kind, in a democracy supposedly governed by specific structures and laws, the Finance Minister gave $322m to the NSA Minister. Read her statement closely and observe how she carefully tried to steer attention away from the quality of the crime with the promise of future riches: a forthcoming $700m that would presumably not be distributed among politicians, but “applied for development programmes as originally conceived.”

    But these are not the things that Mr. Jonathan was saying in the United States a week or two earlier as he marketed his “Goodluck Jonathan Foundation” at the Presidential Precinct in Virginia.

    The Precinct has the potential to do a lot of good work. Managing Director Neal Piper writes: “The Precinct offers an interactive and engaging learning experience that connects leaders – allowing them to share their expertise, collaborate, and build on ideas and lessons learned here and around the globe. Our goal is for participants to learn skills that they can apply in their home countries thereby helping them reach their goals and aspirations while transforming the economies and governance where they live. The Presidential Precinct allows them to make connections that will help build their personal futures.”

     

    You read that convoluted construction carefully, and it is clear that the mission of the Precinct is muddled up between its obligations to former leaders such as Mr. Jonathan, from whom it obtains its limelight; and its nod to future leaders, for whom it seeks its political legitimacy.

    Mr. Jonathan was the wrong client, and although The Precinct said it was helping him to hone the message of the GEJ Foundation, that plan is undermined by Mr. Jonathan’s political record.

    The former Nigerian leader did not tell his audience about that first envelope: Dasukigate, let alone such forthcoming envelopes as the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Transformation Agenda, Sure-P, or the broad daylight rigging back into office in Ekiti State of Governor Ayo Fayose.

    Instead, and here is the video of one of the public events, he told the curious story of how, when he was young, Africa was “considered the dark continent,” a misunderstood concept he wants to change through his foundation to make it “a light, a very bright continent.”

    He tells the story of his economic triumphs and how he transformed Nigeria into the biggest economy in Africa within five years on account of his reforms. “We reformed the private sector. So many sectors. We reformed our power sector. We reformed the agricultural sector. We reformed our oil and gas sector. Our industrial sector…

    Watch the video: “We involved young men and women in the private sector. We mentored them, encouraged them to set up small businesses, macro and small and medium scale enterprises in terms of light manufacturing, processing…food items, and also the service sector and it worked wonderfully well…”

    “[Mentoring]…Our philosophy was that every young person that is keying to our programme in five years should be able to employ two to five others but when we started that programme under two years some of them could employ up to ten, even more…”

    It is true that in April 2014, Nigeria’s economy became Africa’s largest when it was rebased to include in her GDP industries such as telecoms, airlines, film production, information technology, and online sales. None of them had anything to do with Jonathan or his policies.

    On the contrary, his government’s “reform” initiatives were often betrayed by his government. Unemployment soared; power supply worsened. Stealing received Mr. Jonathan’s official stamp of approval; merit declined as a currency; his government shared out money meant for combating the insurgency in the North. His was Nigeria’s most incoherent government since 1960.

    When did Mr. Jonathan implement the policies he speaks about in the video? Where are the figures to back up his claims?

    In what year or in what local council area did he encourage young graduates to go into farming—a programme he claims has been so successful that doctors, engineers and lawyers have switched into it?

    In his mix of misinformation and disinformation, the former Nigeria probably imagined he was in Nollywood, where fiction has no consequences.

    But this is the same mindset that ruined his years in the presidency, and for which he was rejected at the polls last March.

    The envelopes, please. And oh, Goodluck, Mr. Jonathan.

     

    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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  • 2019: ATIKU for President

    28/Dec/2016 // 399 Viewers

     

    ATIKU FOR PRESIDENT IN 2019

    Our past has been wounded, our present is equally battered and with what is happening, we are only left with our future. That is why we need to do all that is within our ability and capability to ensure that what our past suffered and what we are going through at the moment is not repeated in our future.

    Nigeria, a world industrial giant living as a world industrial slave; Africa big brother living as Africa big orphan; World next super power living as world abandoned nation. Treasures have become garbage, factories have become cemeteries. 56 years after independence we have schooled better than our father but become slaves than our fathers. Without our privileges, they turned villages to factories but with all our privileges our factories have become cemeteries. We claimed to be more civilized than our fathers but we have no solution like our fathers, what a shameful fact, Without PhD in food and nutrition, there made garri from cassava, akpu from cassava pounded yam from yam, tuwo from maize, kunu from guinea coin, amala from yam, brukutu from millet etc. they discovered egusi soup, banga soup, ewedu soup, afan soup okra soup etc. With no BSc in Architecture, the turn grass to thatch roof and block from clay.

    That we are in the midst of crises as a nation is now well understood. Our nation Nigeria is at war, against recession. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequences of greed and irresponsibility on the path of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Home have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered, our health care system is poor and faulty. Our school system is weak outdated and unreliable, each day brings further evidence that there is no energy to strengthen our factories and industries. All these have threatened our economy and growth.

    We remain a young nation, but the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit, to choose our better history to carry forward that precious gift that noble idea, passed on from our founding fathers. Our challenges may be new; the instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon our success depends (Honesty and Hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism). These things are old, they are true, and they have been tested, trusted and proven over time. They have been the quiet force of progress in history. What is demanded is a return to this truth, what is required of us is a new era of responsibility. A recognition, on the part of every Nigeria that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than given our all to a difficult task.

    There is a big work to do, that work involves a big choice in 2019. Nigeria needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, and our ambition to making our nation better and stronger. A country were the economy works for everyone not just those at the top. Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, a country where all our children can dream and those dreams are within reach. Our failed establishment has brought us nothing but poverty at home and bad image overseas. We are tired of economic and foreign policies that have that have bled this country dry. It is time for real change that puts the right man in charge.

    Permit me to introduce to you ATIKU ABUBAKAR the choice for 2019 presidential election. ATIKU ABUBAKAR is ready to pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of Nigeria at a time like this. Atiku understands the ideals of community, faith and service because they have defined his life. From his heroic service at custom and vice president, he devoted himself to this country. Again and again, we‘ve seen him make tough choices when easier ones are available.

    Real change means restoring honesty to our government. ATIKU ABUBAKAR contract with Nigerian voters begin with a plan to take our country back from the special interests. Together as we support ATIKU ABUBAKAR in 2019, we will make Nigeria wealthy again, we will make Nigeria strong again, we will make Nigeria safe again, and we will make Nigeria great again. The political elites in this country have used their power to enrich themselves at your expense, they’ve run the government for their benefit and profited from your pain. If you want a government that will grow and secure your economy, protect your family; vote for ATIKU ABUBAKAR in 2019.

    Today, I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. But know this, there will be met. The state for the economy calls for action, bold and swift, ATIKU ABUBAKAR will lay a new foundation for growth that will transform the country. Therefore, ATIKU ABUBAKAR remains the right man for the job in Aso Rock Villa in 2019

    By SULE
    Tel: 08059361214
    Email: sweetakv@yahoo.com

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


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  • The dilemma of anti-corruption crusaders

    28/Feb/2016 // 210 Viewers

    By Dele Momodu

    “So when they continued asking Him, He stood up and said to them, ‘The one without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” – King James Bible, John 8:7

    Fellow Nigerians, anyone familiar with the Holy Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth would have come across one of his most famous quotes above. Jesus was not trying to promote, defend and encourage prostitution or fornication but he tried to show that none of mankind is without blemish. I’m yet to find any other quote more poignant than this. It sums up the hypocrisy of man and why we should be careful about judging others so violently without removing the speck in our own eyes.

    I love reading those verses in the Bible for saying it as it is. Everywhere you turn in Nigeria today, the hottest topic is corruption. Even lawyers who should know better are saying the magnitude of corruption in our nation makes it imperative to employ extra-judicial means to try and convict alleged looters. The situation is so grave that corruption cases have become sensational thrillers on the front pages of newspapers.

    And it is obvious that we are all enjoying the melodrama despite its tragic nature. Some of the tales are stranger than fiction. They depict the wickedness of man and our incredible propensity for primitive acquisition of wealth. The greed factor has become so worrisome. Naturally, looters should be pilloried, denounced and convicted for looting their own people and country. That is the expectation of most Nigerians but I have not too pleasant news for those that desire that they should be executed for this kind of crime. That is simply not possible under our laws. Even the spectre of conviction has its myriad of problems.

    The battle ahead is not going to be simple and straight forward. I will explain why and advise the Buhari government on the way forward. History is all about reminding us of the past, where we are coming from, as a veritable guide to our collective future. Nigeria missed its best chance at curbing corruption during the successive military coups and rulership. As a matter of fact our military institutionalised corruption through the use of brute force to steal the common wealth of the people. We were never fortunate to have a military intervention that came ostensibly to clean the Augean stable. Rather ours came to odorise it offensively.

    Say what you will, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings came prepared like a man with a clear vision and mission. Though he trampled on human rights and wasted human lives, Ghana was lucky to start her journey towards economic emancipation and infrastructural development. Rawlings was able to set the tone and tempo for subsequent governments. Today, Ghanaian leaders are more disciplined than their counterparts elsewhere. They have imbibed the spirit of crime and punishment. Ministers can be dismissed for merely dreaming to use privileged positions to make big money in advance. The money has not even been stolen yet but punishment is swift and sure. The culture was deliberately and meticulously put in place and it has been sustained.

    The purpose of my sermon today is that it is going to be tough for a civilian government to achieve what military regimes failed to put in place. Nigeria is at point zero when it comes to issues of corruption. It is foolhardy to limit corruption strictly to those in government and power.

    It is much worse. Those political leaders we love to deride can’t pilfer exclusively without the active connivance of members of the private sector. The war against corruption therefore has to be systemic and practically thought out. It cannot and should not be fought in a manner to suggest a lack of understanding of the critical factors that have oiled corruption and would continue to sustain its attractiveness. My concern for the Buhari government is about not making the same mistakes made in the past with concomitant results. All stakeholders in this change movement should not abandon the administration to commit perfidious acts because some people are bloodthirsty.

    I offered the same advice in the past to the then Chairman of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, at the peak of his highly celebrated reign. He had erroneously mistaken me for an enemy when I was indeed a true and concerned friend. I see myself as a good student of Nigerian history and political science and had tapped into that experience and exposure to warn Ribadu of the danger ahead. But two days after I wrote my open letter of admonition to him on this very page, in this same Thisday newspaper, he unleashed his agents on me in a most ferocious manner. I was called unprintable names and libelled for no reason. What was my offence?

    The year was 2007 and President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was in power. The EFCC under Ribadu felt President Yar’Adua was somehow lukewarm to investigating and prosecuting James Ibori and others. It was also believed that the former Delta State Governor Ibori had nominated some of his cronies into that government and Ribadu was miffed. The media was used to harass and blackmail the President and I felt obliged to set the records straight.

    My position was simple. I saw President Yar’Adua as a man of honour who knew and remembered how he came to power. He realised how he came to power through the networks, platforms and stupendous resources of the bad gangs as many would have described them. It must have been a horrific dilemma for the simple and unassuming President. President Yar’Adua was under no illusion that nations were governed by saints and he decided to give the devil its due but under close supervision. His determination was to block the profligacy of government and ensure that all drain-pipes were closed. But pressure was mounted on him to continue a vengeful vendetta against a selection of former Governors who were in the bad books of the omnipresent godfathers.

    I wrote my epistle to Ribadu at that stage and stated the following facts. Where was EFCC when the Yar’Adua campaign was being openly funded from government coffers? Why should the President bite the fingers that fed him? Why the selective investigation and not a widespread and full examination of all public holders?

    As normal in our clime, it was alleged that I must have been sent on this errand by some people. But such conspiracy theories never bother me. My freedom of expression is always sacrosanct to me. I was happy to state what my mind felt was right. The attack on my person was blistering and vicious but I could not be cowed. Thisday gave the response from Ribadu a front page treatment. I could not believe the extent Ribadu’s acolytes went to vilify me. I was livid. Within a few hours, I prepared a response with my brilliant lawyers and mailed it to the then Editor of Thisday, Simon Kolawole. We waited for the publication the following day but it was not published. I headed straight to the home of Thisday Publisher, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, who thought I was coming to join him for our occasional breakfast and jaw-jaw.

    As soon as he saw my face, he knew something was terribly wrong. He asked why I was frowning and I told him how his publication, of which I was pioneer Editor, was being used to attack me. He requested for details and he told me to calm down. I said I was ready to sue him and his paper and he said that was not necessary and called Simon Kolawole. He told him to publish my own rejoinder and end the controversy right there. This was done the day after.

    I took time to tell Mallam Ribadu why the rule of law must be respected at all times. That was when I coined the phrase that “we must never set fire to an entire village because we want to catch a few rats.” It was obvious that some personalities had been targeted for obliteration of their businesses or even physical personal annihilation. Homes were being invaded, windows shattered to gain access to those wanted dead or alive. Alleged criminals were tried and convicted on the pages of newspapers. They were pronounced guilty and treated as felons ahead of any judicial process. No one ever thought that pursuing one man and killing his business could ruin the lives of thousands of his staff and dependants. Finally, I prophesied that Ribadu himself may be haunted and hunted some day through our vindictive system.

    President Yar’Adua read my piece and told Segun Adeniyi, his Special Adviser on Media, to call me. Segun informed me of how the President enjoyed reading my rebuttal and how proud he was about the way I marshalled my points. Like President Yar’Adua, President Muhammadu Buhari is a compulsive and voracious reader of newspapers. That is why I write these articles to keep him abreast of the reality on the streets.

    No matter how angry and disappointed President Buhari is, he must constantly remember that he is a civilian President now. He must work closely with all arms and tiers of government and do nothing to suggest his deliberate disdain for orders and others. He should lay a solid foundation for the rule of law and accountability. He should employ the instrumentality of law to achieve his aim. In a situation where we over-dramatise the war against corruption and advertise to the world that we are the most corrupt people on earth, we can be sure that investors will run away. Nobody wants to live in a society where no man is innocent and every alleged is guilty. The hoopla is getting out of hand and it is difficult not to see a pattern that indicates a witch-hunt the sort of which we saw in the past. We must seek a true change that protects the human rights of saints and sinners. We must do nothing to prolong the regime of fear and over-concentration of the power of life and death in the hands of privileged agents of government who would use coercion rather than persuasion.

    When tomorrow comes, the rat race may be turned full circle to avenge the past. Recent history tells us this is likely to happen. Ribadu had to run out of Nigeria. Mrs Farida Waziri who took over was summarily dismissed. Today it is the turn of his former deputy, Ibrahim Larmode, who is now under investigation. I’m certain he will soon scream victimisation. Who knows tomorrow? If they had all worked for the establishment and rigorous enforcement of the rule of law, it would have become a due process too difficult to alter. We should not allow this trend to persist. We can penetrate homes through the normal doors instead of crashing through the roofs.

    When we learn to trust our judges more and give them the true respect they deserve, many of them will reciprocate. When they are being insulted recklessly and endlessly, they may get hardened and respond in kind to a thankless society. After-all, the masquerade is a human being and not a deity from above. The system is bad but it can be made better. Even in America, an appointment to the Supreme Court is being politicised despite over 200 years of constitutional government…

    Ribadu and I have since become friends. He now knows I was never his enemy. He ended up in the same party with those he considered villainous once upon a time. We both contested the Presidential race in 2011 and he visited me a day after he got nominated as ACN Presidential flag-bearer. We dined together and spent hours discussing how to make Nigeria better. Neither of us won the race because of the Nigerian factor. The Ribadu I see today now knows Nigeria better. I’m sure that given another chance, he would handle his job with maximum respect for fellow citizens no matter the prejudices he may harbour against some.

    It is what we must all learn in the school of life; that no condition is permanent.


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  • Another False Flag Operation unfolding against #IMN:

    28/Mar/2016 // 294 Viewers

     

    We got this message:
    
    "A very reliable source from the Presidency just confirmed  that there was
    an Intelligence Report since last week that the El Zakzaky people vowed to
    Kidnap military officers to negotiate as ransom for the release of their
    leader purported to be under military custody. The source further confirmed
    that the Intelligence Officer in the Depot NA Zaria is aware of the report
    since last week. Everyone needs to be extra careful especially those in
    Kaduna and Abuja metropolis."
    
    And we also got this announcement today from the Nigerian military
    authorities:
    
    "Col S Inusa (44 RC) was abducted around NNPC junction. The abductors
    dropped off his wife and left with him in his car.  The car headed towards
    Abuja. Anybody with useful info or assistance should please assist in
    tracking these abductors. They are in a Mercedes Benz GLK black colour with
    registration number Abuja, KUJ 154 TZ.
    The incident happened yesterday evening ( Saturday 26 Mar 2016)
    at NNPC junction, Kaduna."
    
    The question is why will IMN "kidnap military officers to negotiate as
    ransom for the release of their leader purported to be under military
    custody"? And after Sheikh Ibraheem #Zakzaky is released after this
    negotiations which country will he be staying?
    
    The IMN under the leadership of His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has
    never engaged in criminal activities such as kidnapping or abduction or
    anything related to that and strongly condemned such criminal activities
    done under any pretext.
    
    Since after the brutal #Zaria_Massacre by the Nigerian Army that killed
    close to one thousand defenseless & unarmed Nigerians in Zaria, the
    Nigerian government launched a smear campaign of calumny and demonization
    against #IMN and its leadership with the sole intention of justifying the
    brutal massacre and portraying the peaceful IMN as "criminal & terrorist
    organization".
    
    After the Agatu killings in Benue State, the Nigerian government sponsored
    a faceless group to blame IMN of those atrocities and senseless killings.
    But fortunately enough Nigerians refused to buy that monumental fraud
    because they know the history of the conflict between the Fulani nomads and
    the host farmers.
    
    Nigerians are well aware of the rampancy of the cases of kidnappings in
    Nigeria for monetary ransom and the gross failure of the Nigerian
    authorities to eradicate it. There are mounting security challenges facing
    Nigeria such as the #BokoHaram insurgency, kidnappings, Oil bunkering,
    human trafficking, human organ trafficking etc but unfortunately what
    presently occupy the minds of our Nigerian oppressors is how to frame and
    demonize the peaceful Islamic Movement in Nigeria ( IMN ).
    
    Instead of the Nigerian government to concentrate on how to tackle these
    security challenges, the government is trying to bury what is undoubtedly a
    brutal war crime and by extension demonizing the victims of its brutal
    massacre. The present Nigerian government that is executing a foreign
    sponsored imperialist agenda by these actions is insensitive to the
    deteriorating economic and social conditions of Nigerians and is displaying
    nonchalant attitude to the present extreme sufferings of Nigerians.
    
    Finally, it is our hope that Col S Inusa and all those Nigerians kidnapped
    and abducted be freed and safely returned to their families. Kidnapping
    innocent Nigerians is a heinous crime that must be condemned by all.
    
    #FreeZakzaky
    #GodProtectZakzaky
    Harun Elbinawi 
    elbinawi@yahoo.com

     

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

     


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