• Should Biafra become a reality? , By Muyiwa Adetiba

    28/Nov/2015 // 631 Viewers

    The pro-Biafra protests are  not abating; and, for the first time, reached Abuja last week when Kanu the Director of Radio Biafra, was brought before the magistrate’s court. The protests may be fuelled by yet to be identified financiers, but those fanning the embers of secession are youths who have abandoned their various vocations to participate in the protests. Some are doing so for genuine, if misguided reasons. Some, not so genuine. Some might not even be of Igbo origin. But all are unhappy and discontented with their lives and have inadvertently become willing pawns in a complex chess game.

    After a period of studied but loud silence, the Igbo elders have come out to condemn the protests and by extension, the agitation for Biafra, by listing the many hurdles that await the realisation of Biafra. I don’t think they have gone far enough. The protesting youths need to be educated on the inevitability of war should they continue on this path. And should Radio Biafra continue to denigrate and insult every other tribe in Nigeria, the protesters are going to have many hostile neighbours.

    They also need to be made aware of the realistic and pragmatic gains and losses of their actions both in the shorter and longer terms. No divorce, either of marriages or business partnerships or countries is without scars and casualties. The resultant ‘freedom’ is often not worth it.And speaking of marriages, our parents were not any happier in their unions than we are. Yet they largely stuck with them, learnt mutual respect in the process and gave us stable homes in which to develop.

    There is no evidence that our lack of tolerance which has led to higher divorce rates has made us happier as individuals and as a society. The UK comprises of four distinct nations. They have been pushing and pulling themselves for as long as I can remember. They are often privately disdainful of one another. But they realise in their wisdom, that the components cannot be better or greater than the whole. So it is with Nigeria. The recent history of the Soviet Union, Sudan and other countries that have had to balkanise themselves because of unresolved internal contradictions are there for all to learn from.

    Let us assume today, that Kanu, Nwazuruike and their army of young Turks succeed in their wish to have Biafra. Would it all be gloom and doom for the rest of the country? I think not. Yes, the country would lose a valuable and vital piece of the tripod that had sustained the country. It would probably lose that section of the country that is most disposed to entrepreneurship in commerce and industry. It would also no longer be able to bask in the glory of their contributions in the diaspora.

    But it is not as if the crown jewel has been taken away and the rest of us are ordinary stones or mere shafts as the radio Biafra propaganda wants people to believe. The vast in-road they have made in trade and commerce all over the country is because their host ‘nations’ have been accommodating and have provided a level playing field. This, of course would stop. In any case, it has hardly been reciprocated in Igbo land. The Igbos for all the noise, don’t believe in inclusiveness.

    Or put another way, they don’t share well. I was once involved in a national newspaper where the admin manager was Igbo who was responsible for hiring the clerical staff. Before I knew it, all the cleaners, typists and messengers were from a particular part of the country. I had to tell him that were the owner of the paper like him, neither he nor I would have been employed in the first place since the owner was neither Igbo nor Yoruba.

    Another important issue to consider is where the territory would be. Some of the maps I have seen include the states in the old South-Eastern region. One even includes the Idomas of North-Central! It is instructive that leaders of the South-South have dissociated themselves from the partition as the fear of ending up as minorities with a dominant partner is real. This was one of the many causes that the late Isaac Boro fought for. One South-South leader cynically told me ‘they will have to conquer us if they want us to be part of them’. This leaves the core Igbo land which is essentially landlocked.

    But more importantly, having your own State like marriage, is in itself a journey not a destination. Nothing is to say that you are all going to live together happily ever after. Nothing is to say that one section is not going to feel maginalised by the other sections. This message is also to those who are angling for Oduduwa Republic. They should remember that the Yoruba have fought themselves in the past and could still do so. Sometimes, what unites you can also divide you.

    At the end of the day, what the restfulness in the various sections of the country is all about is the callous way our leaders have wasted the tomorrow of our youths. For years we have stated the need to run an inclusive, transparent system that is not based on ethno/religious considerations. One has pushed for merit and a robust engagement of our youths. Now the chicken is coming home to roost. From North to South, the devil is providing tools for the idle hands of our youths.

    MASSOB and the other disenfranchised youths from the other zones of the country need to engage the leaders from within. They need to tell them they were elected to improve living conditions for the entire populace and not for themselves alone. They should realise that many of the financiers of protests, riots and killings either live abroad or have their families abroad.

    The country on its part should cede some autonomy to the zones. Let the different nationalities develop at their own paces. We have run the unitary form of government now for over 40 years and it really hasn’t worked. That is not to say that it is the only solution to the problem of the country. Our problem is the attitude of the leaders to governance and it is not likely to change whether we have Oduduwa Republic or Republic of Biafra.

    The hope is that zonal autonomy will create inter zonal competition which will in turn bring development to the people especially the youths. It is only a hope


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  • Steep descent to the reign of Dragons

    28/Nov/2015 // 377 Viewers

    Bombs continue to rain down on Nigeria's north as fireballs from Boko Haram armoury. Many worshippers, reports say, were incinerated yesterday at a religious procession in the desert city of Kano. All we hear are repeated emotional pleas to Nigerians for patience from whom supposedly possess the magic wand to fix the nation's problems when he, as a matter of fact, is in for personal aggrandizement.
     
    Russian jet on a sortie was shot down over Syrian border by Turkey; the Kremlin reacts and calls it an outrage of unspeakable proportions followed by Erdogan's warning to Putin 'not to play with fire'. President Obama's response was big talk exonerating American troops in the embattled region after rising from an emergency meeting of all NATO allies with Turkey's Erdogan calling Putin bluff.
     
    Yet Russian President Putin remains defiant and halts the visa-free regime with Turkey. China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea with American aircraft carrier on patrol in the region. The Taliban has its own surge in Afghanistan after the US-led invasion of the country some years ago still committing heinous acts of terror especially violent ones.
     
    Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons in a bid to feel important on the world stage and tacitly supported by Moscow. Israel is at war with Hamas battling Palestinians in Arab East Jerusalem. Germany spies on the U.S. for the first time since World War II.
     
    ISIS has transformed from an armed rebel militia to a state carrying out cross-border terror attacks with the recent Paris attacks as a case in point and threatening to hit other great civilizations.
     
    Has the UN become a toothless bulldog in the face of this societal madness? Why are they fiddling while Rome burns? Yea, this forebodes nothing but an abysmal return of the dreaded Nigerian defunct ''Sawabas''
     
     
     
    Iyoha John Darlington is a Turin-based scholar, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues.
     
     
    Disclaimer: Views expressed in any article we publish remain the author's and do not represent the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch


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  • Agenda for Buhari's rescue confab

    29/Feb/2016 // 151 Viewers

    By Ochereome Nnann

    THIS morning, I am surprised but hopeful. I am surprised at the speed and expedition with which President Muhammadu Buhari accepted the rescue lifeline thrown to him by his newfound friend and sympathiser of his All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government, Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka 

    Last Thursday when I published an article entitled: “Soyinka’s Buhari rescue bid”, little did I know that I was going to do a sequel of sorts. When prominent individuals and those not so prominent sound alerts as Soyinka did and proffer advice, our usually all-knowing and imperial Presidency usually feels indignant and either ignores it or gets back with acid repartees. When Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1980 warned that the Nigerian economy was in grave danger, President Shehu Shagari’s Federal Government sent people like the late Dr Umaru Dikko to dismiss it with a cavalier wave of the hand and a flurry of truculent rhetoric.

    General Ibrahim Babangida’s goverment was fond of responding to such prodding with a terse one liner: “there is no alternative to SAP” (Structural Adjustment Programme). Olusegun Obasanjo would feel terribly insulted and either send his special assistant versed in the art of delivering abrasive insults (such as Femi Fani-Kayode – this chap is still actively practising his well-honed art) or he (OBJ) would personally take up the mike or pen (whichever was within easier reach) to deliver a “befitting” response.

    It is not as if Buhari lacks the musketeers capable of doing this dirty job. There is his Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu. There is Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina (alias Kulikuli). There is also the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, whose reputation goes ahead of him, if you get me. And now a new cadet has been added to the president’s cavalry: Tolu Ogunlesi, who coordinated Buhari’s spins in foreign media, especially The Economist Magazine.

    Buhari’s eagerness to be rescued from his nine months of visionless and directionless economic programme is a conclusive evidence that he had no economic blueprint, let alone an economic team, to carry it out. What else could it be? Even his ardent supporters, such as Professor Pat Utomi have openly said so. Remember it was Utomi who, about five months ago, told those who complained about the President’s excessive pandering to people from his section of the country for appointment of his inner government to shut up. He said Buhari, for all he cared, could appoint all his officials from his village, provided they could deliver the goods. Well, it would appear that Buhari could not find economists from his village to employ?

    So, I congratulate President Buhari for his humility and openness of mind to accept help. But I do not know what he would have done if the advice had come from equally concerned Nigerians who are not his “friends” like Soyinka. I say “friends”, because I expected Soyinka to go to Aso Villa and whisper the emergency conference idea into Buhari’s ears. Based on that, the President could, as usual, go to a choice foreign country and announce his government’s intention to call an economic conference. It would have been neater that way.

    Nevertheless, it is not a sign of weakness or foolishness for a leader to accept the offer of help when he seems lost for ideas or strategies to tackle a challenge of this magnitude. Nobody knows it all, except the Obasanjos of this country.

    Now that we are told that conference is not only imminent but already has a date attached to it (March 10/11, 2016) what should it be all about? What should we discuss? For me, the agenda is twofold: the immediate and long term strategies.

    The immediate include ways of stabilising the gyrating Naira, considering options for economic diversification away from oil dependency and job creation. We must restore hope in our economy by reassuring those who operate in it (investors, traders and the organised private sector) that they will no longer be abandoned in an unmanned ship at sea. The government must define a direction for the economy to enable us key in and help Buhari to succeed.

    But  for the most important objective of this conference should be to set the tone for the implementation of the APC’s manifesto and Buhari’s campaign promises. I don’t even know if he still looks at them at all. Buhari had promised, during the fight for nomination as his party’s candidate in December 2014, to “initiate action to amend the Nigerian constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true Federalism and the Federal spirit”.

    This has been the primary agenda of progressives in Nigerian politics. The true progressives believe that the centralised federation foisted on Nigeria by the military is responsible for our economic backwardness, particularly the heavy cost of governance. It is responsible for the fact that recurrent expenditure takes three quarters of the annual budget of each tier of government, especially the Federal Government.

    If Buhari is a genuine progressive (and not just a “progressive” to grab presidential power) he must seize the opportunity of this conference to unfold the details of his agenda for economic devolution. It is the states and the private sector that create wealth and jobs, while federal government merely guides and ensures the welfare and security of all Nigerians and the territotiral integrity of the country. Even if Buhari and some of his cohorts from the North (who usually footdrag about devolution of power) play somnolent on this item, I expect Chief Bola Tinubu to remind him that this was a driving force of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) before it merged with the other parties to form the APC.

    If this conference takes place and nothing concrete is said about economic devolution and the institution of true federalism, then the APC Federal Government will, once again, be called the “one chance” regime that used seductive promises to win election only to dump them. I have not set any agenda for Buhari on this conference. I have only reminded him to do as he said he would when given presidential power.

    Will he? Alex Otti: quotable quote TO the agents of PDP and the Abia State Government who desperately want to hear us congratulate Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu in the spirit of sportsmanship, my answer is this: you are ignorant of the meaning of sportsmanship. From day one, you disobeyed the rules guiding the game as you threatened, attacked, assaulted, intimidated, maimed innocent Abians and violently rigged the election; so where lay the spirit of sportsmanship in the contest? While like I said earlier, we have accepted the unpopular judgment that injures the sensibilities of Abians, we cannot congratulate you as that would amount to endorsement of criminality, so rather than arrogantly be demanding for unjust and undeserved congratulatory message from me and my party, the PDP should rather express remorse seek repentance, and be humble enough to seek for forgiveness from God and Abians.

    Like President George W. Bush said: “Terrorists can attack the foundation of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, but cannot touch the foundation of America”. I say to the agents of election rigging and political violence that though you may have hurt us temporarily, but you cannot stop our collective desire, determination, and drive to reclaim Abia and restore its pride and lost glory to the admiration and appreciation of millions of expectant Abians”. – At his recent thanksgiving in Aba.

     

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


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  • The alarming infrastructural decay at Ogbe Stadium under Gov Oshiomhole

    29/Jan/2016 // 303 Viewers

    Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Edo State

    By Iredia Osakue

    Once upon a time, Edo state was the center of attraction for sports with first class equipment and training kits.  Those days, the state and country were proud of  "made in Edo State" athletes in consideration of their hard work and winning ability.  In national festivals and international engagements, Edo State athletes were distinguished by their excellence, determination, ability and unflinching loyalty.

    With their commitment and desire to excel, they brought medals, economic prosperity, and honor to the state.  And upon  arrival, they are given grand reception by the government - with a cash gift, scholarship, employment, and promotion. This, in fact, brought pride and sense of belonging to the athletes and stakeholders.

    In consideration of the government's gesture of goodwill,  youths were motivated to engage in sporting activities with the foreknowledge that if they excel, "their lives will change for the better."  This was the principal determinant that gave rise to the popular mantra, "catch them young" that was at that time synonymous to the state.

    In preparation for sports festivals, other states in Nigeria rush to Edo state with suitcases filled  with a stash of banknotes  in search of athletes that will represent their states. In spite of this, the state thrived and remained unbeatable.  In view of the exodus of athletes to other states, it often appears that Edo athletes were competing against themselves as their opponents were their training partners that left because of incentives.  "Third eleven" of Edo state athletes were given national honors for their performance in other states. This was a sign that the state had enough athletes that can at any point win medals.

    At one time, Edo state sports council was a viable source of youth employment, development and empowerment. Many whose parents could not afford school fees were quickly advised to engage in sports with the aim of becoming a champion and thus become useful to  society, themselves and family.

    Alas, in this present system the  reverse has become the case. Youths are no more interested in fitness or engaging in sporting activities. Like what a friend said; Edo state that at a time pride herself  in producing seasoned athletes now produce "hard men" who wield guns and other war paraphernalia for survival. Twice pity!

    This can be attributed to simple incompetence and lackluster approach towards sports by the government.  The yesteryears of Edo state as a sport loving state has been dwarfed by the present  administration's lack of interest in sports development.  When youths engage in sports, it brings about a healthy society, discipline, values of sportsmanship, the well-being of men and women with  sound minds in sound bodies.

    In terms of infrastructure, the famous Ogbe Stadium built by Brigadier Samuel Ogbemudia is in fact in a sorry state and it will require the grace of God for it to stand the test of time if not attended to.  The extent of infrastructural decay  is so appalling that many of the training facilities are dangerous and unhealthy for athletes to use. The ruins is akin to a state devastated by a tsunami.  A horrendous smell emanating from dumped debris pervades the entire complex and helpless neighboring streets. The inherent danger is the free movement of rats: the carrier of the killer Lassa fever. As if not enough, when it is windy, athletes running on the track are apprehensive as they fear that zincs could fly off from the reserve seat zone and wreck havoc.

    The writer fervently appeals to the government to rise to the occasion by putting a new lease of life to the   structural decay  at Ogbe Stadium and regenerate  the state to  its enviable position in sports. The state will be doing a great deal of favour to sports enthusiasts and, above all, to athletes who do not have other means of survival than training, competing and bringing medals and glory to the state.


    Below are pictures of some of the training facilities and offices in ruins:

     

     

    Iredia Osakue, a scholar, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.

     

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


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  • “Sacrifice” by the Poor Amid Subsidies for the Rich in ‪#‎Nigeria‬ - By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

    29/May/2016 // 1333 Viewers

     

    The poor in Nigeria are being denuded of all subsidies that subside their existential pains. This year, it started with petrol, then moved to fertilizer. We don’t know what is next. But I think it’s time we changed the conversation. Let’s turn our gaze to the walloping subsidies that pay for the hedonism of Nigeria’s notoriously self-indulgent elite, shall we?
    We are told that subsidies for the poor have to go because Nigeria is broke and because the administration of subsidies is riddled with corruption. (And I thought the reason President Buhari was elected—and former President Jonathan was rejected at the polls— was because Buhari vowed to fight corruption so that it doesn’t interfere with the dispensation of help to people who need it).
    Well, if Nigeria is broke why is the construction of a helipad in Daura one of President Buhari’s major projects? No one seems to know precisely how much it would cost to build it (estimates vary from N2 million to tens of millions of naira), but what we do know so far is that N60 million has already been paid as compensation to people whose land will be used for the project, according to the Daily Trust of September 21, 2015 .
    Given that the helipad will become useless the moment Buhari’s tenure expires, this doesn’t strike me as a wise investment during this difficult financial time when the poor are stripped of subsidies and called upon to “sacrifice.”
    Let’s not even talk of the presidential air fleet that needlessly and avoidably drains our national resources. According to a November 17, 2015 statement from the presidency, there are currently 10 aircraft in the presidential fleet, and they cost the nation more than 2 billion naira to maintain in just 6 months.
    America, which is way wealthier than Nigeria and which gives all manner of subsidies to its poor, has only two aircraft in its presidential fleet. The British Prime Minister has no dedicated fleet of aircraft. It was announced only last year that a plane would be bought for the Prime Minister at the cost of $15 million. That’s about how much it cost to maintain Nigeria’s presidential fleet between May and November last year, according to the presidency.
    In the new budget President Buhari just signed, nearly 4 billion naira has been allocated for “annual routine maintenance of villa facilities by [Julius Berger Nigeria].” The medical center in the Villa will be maintained with N3.89 billion. But this excludes drugs. Within this budget year, more than N200 million has been allocated to buy drugs for the State House clinic. Never mind that the president actually goes to London for his medical needs.
    In February this year when he went to London for a routine medical check-up, he told Nigerians in the UK that he had been using his UK doctors “since 1978 when I was in Petroleum.” So over 4 billion naira has been allocated for a medical facility in the presidential villa that the president may not even use, yet the poor are told to “sacrifice” because the country is “broke.”
    But that’s not all. N387 million has been budgeted for “general renovation of the guest house” in the presidential villa, N254million for “renovation work on 8 No. Blocks of 16 No. 2 bedroom flats at State House security quarters, Asokoro,” N115 for “wildlife conservation,” N322,421,971 to link cable to the “driver’s rest room at Villa Admin,” N213,873,953 to link cable “from Guest House No. 9 Generator House to gate,” N114,967,140 for the President’s “food stuff/catering materials supplies,” N16,683,193 for the Vice President’s “food stuff/catering materials supplies,” etc. There are many more puzzlingly wasteful expenditures that I have no space to highlight here. (Follow this link to read the budget for yourself.
    Now compare this to America, the world’s wealthiest nation. American presidents pay for their own food from their pocket. As Gary Walters, a former White House Chief of Staff, told the (London) Guardian, “All those things that are personal in nature that we all pay for, the first family pays for.”
    “It’s just the tradition that it’s continued on through time that the president will pay for their own food and, I guess, if they needed something for the house that was personal. Toothpaste, cologne or whatever,” William Bushong, a White House historian, told the Guardian.
    Wife of President Ronald Reagan was shocked when she discovered that she and her husband had to pay for all of their personal needs. “Nobody had told us that the president and his wife are charged for every meal, as well as for such incidentals as dry cleaning, toothpaste and other toiletries,” she was reported to have said in 1981, according to the Guardian.
    If the world’s wealthiest country doesn’t subsidize the personal expenditures of its first families, why do Nigerian budgets earmark billions for the convenience of the first family but talk of “sacrifice” and being “broke” when it comes to giving subsidies to the poor?
    The Presidency isn’t the only usurper of subsidies, of course. The crooked and ineffectual National Assembly got a lump sum of N115 Billion in the current budget. There is no breakdown on how this money will be spent.
    A recent Daily Trust investigation also showed that “State governments are spending billions on luxury cars for members of their House of Assemblies” even though several of them haven’t paid salaries to their workers for nearly a year. And we learned that Buhari caved in to petrol price increase because of the pressure that was brought to bear on him by state governors who want more money to steal.
    Private sector operators (the second layer of my concentric circle) get their own subsidies, too. Apart from the oil cartel that perennially swindles Nigeria with impunity, a recent Senate investigation has uncovered a N447 billion import waiver scam to private sector fat cats from 2011 to 2015. It's just a tip of the iceberg.
    Nigeria’s subsidy regime is a classic case of taking coals to Newcastle, that is, giving assistance to people who don't need it and depriving it of people who desperately need it to survive. But I know there are many poor and not so poor Nigerians who will die defending the subsidies for the rich and opposing subsidies for the poor. Such people deserve our pity.
    But let’s say this: If members of the Nigeria political class are serious about “sacrificing,” in light of the fact that the country is “broke,” let’s get rid of everyone’s subsidies. It was Mahatma Gandhi who once said, “The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed.” We are broke not because of the need of the poor but because of the greed of the rich.


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  • Buhari's first year in office has been marvellously eventful - By Ifaluyi-Isibor Ogbeide

    29/May/2016 // 711 Viewers

               Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) President , Federal Republic of Nigeria


    .....And it came to pass in those days that the PDP lost her first Presidential Election 16 years after the rebirth of Democracy in Nigeria, perhaps because the people wanted a change or it was time to let others try.

    It has been a great year for some,at least for the President and those who have been appointed into offices, for some it's been quite a sad year as most Nigerians would say and for others it has been an extremely horrifying and hectic year defending every decision made by the President, rightly or wrongly.

    From the fight against corruption to the fight against the opposition,from the fight against insurgency to the fight against resurgence of militancy,from the fight laced with long aged acrimony to the fight against the key drivers of economy,from the fight against inconclusive budget padding to the fight to sustain inconclusive elections, the Buhari led government has been saddled with loads of controversies that has wriggled the foundation of the government making governance take the frame of a joke like Rob Allen Riggle would say during his display on "the daily show".

                          Ogbeide Ifaluyi-isibor's Profile Photo

                           Ifaluyi-Isibor Ogbeide

    No doubt the government has had her own challenges and successes and yes! her excruciating uglifications, many of which her media handlers have blamed the previous government for; howbeit irresponsibly.

    Sincerely,I have no doubt that Buhari is passionate about Nigeria,it would have been absurd if he wasn't, I mean,how could one explain his shedding of tears on National TV after he lost the 2011 elections, but if what we see today is anything to go by, his commitment to Nigeria as a Nation is at best suspicious. 

    Today,Nigeria is more divided along religious,political and ethnic lines than it has ever been in my lifetime and his earnestness to initiate a strategic plan to unify the nation is non-existent.

    The Nigerian economy has suffered a plethora of setbacks from divestment from the Stock market,to reduction of foreign investment by over 40%,increased unemployment, catastrophic drop in power generation, increased insecurity in relative Christian dominated settlements by Fulani herdsmen, the global crude oil crisis, the double digits inflation rate, the negative economic growth profile (worst in 25 years), painful 11 months of unending fuel Scarcity and above all,the inability of the government to establish an economic plan.

    The implementation of the TSA, the fear of financial misappropriation and fiscal rascality with impunity by government officials and the reduction of insurgency in the north-east have been the perceived gains in the last one year of the Buhari administration and we congratulate the government for those positives.

    As we progress to her second year,I would suggest that the Political and Social architecture in addition to the rules of engagement needs to be revisited and redefined immediately, people arrested for allegations of corruption should not be detained by the EFCC without charging them to court. It is said that America was founded as a nation under God but it appears that Nigeria is becoming a nation under a gun.

    Also,the current anti-corruption hogwash campaign should be greeted with utmost seriousness and not some mundane media praise singing culminating in what some have termed ludicrous media trial. I think corruption has been one of our greatest undoing against ourselves and our children and it should be dealt with from all angles and strata no matter the political divide.

    The economy now in recession should for once get the attention of the President, no nation with a negative Q1 GDP and a double inflation rate would attract an investor, the needless travels has proven to be exactly what they were; needless as the looted Abacha funds would still have come anyway.

    A nation that cannot develop her human capital is a dead nation, having over 4 million jobs lost directly and indirectly in less than a year is symbolic of a failed state.The cost of living today has climbed an all time high and Nigerians cannot sustain this hardship.

    The savagery with which the Fulani herdsmen Kill and maim innocent Nigerians is most condemnable and shameful and sadly enough the body language of this President hasn't affected this evil for amazing reasons.

    Nigerians deserve the truth and the truth is that  most Nigerians are losing confidence in the government, not only because most of her campaign promises have been amended and some denied but because the media handlers of the government churn out information not within a thousand miles of the truth as Nigerians marry their daily experiences with the information made available by government and should the seeming "deceit and lies" continue where 2 different information are released by same government within few hours or days,or where the report from the government is at variance with the reality, the government could then be regarded as a joke.

    I think the government needs the support of everyone of us just as we need the government and the nation to succeed. Nigeria is a great nation of very hardworking and resilient people, in unity we can make tremendous progress and fashion out   a nation we can be proud of.

    Happy Democracy day Nigeria!

     Ifaluyi-Isibor Ogbeide, a mechanical engineer, wrote from Benin City, Nigeria.

     

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


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  • Buhari and the Biafrans, By Obi Nwankama

    29/Nov/2015 // 2200 Viewers

    Dr. Chu S. P. Okongwu in his 2004 tributes to Ukpabi Asika, took an aside in his eulogies to emphasize the following: “The generation born after the civil war will not know that the former Eastern region, comprising East-Central State, South-Eastern state, and Rivers state, enjoyed a highly developed road network, with probably the highest quality road density in sub-Saharan Africa. These had been damaged or neglected during the war. Ukpabi Asika planned to reconstruct and modernize these.

    Action was also taken to upgrade and transfer to central government responsibility some trunk ‘B’ roads (1, 240 kilometers) and introduce some new federal highways and alignments… .” Dr. Okongwu was East Central State’s Commissioner forEconomic Planning from 1970-1975, and presumably has the data. But that’s besides the point. The real point is that assertion that the East had the “highest quality road density in Sub-sahara Africa” before the damages of war and neglect ruined it all.

    The terrible state of roads and interchanges in the old Eastern region, particularly in the current areas now known as the South East zone, remain even now, a sore point; and hard evidence of the neglect of the East by the Federal government since the end of the civil war in 1970. Those who have challenged the current agitation for Biafra, talk of equal opportunity misrule of the federation. But Biafrans present evidence of a specially targeted form of neglect.

    There was no reason for agitation for a Biafra from 1970-1983, because in those intermediary years, the East was in recovery mode, and its key intellectual and political leadership, and its highly trained bureaucracy was still intact, and they had the requisite institutional memory to mediate some of the more difficult and challenging obstacles placed on the Eastern states, through both strategic negotiation and initiative. I do recommend Dr. Okongwu’s tributes to Asika to readers of the “Orbit” for a really good context, and a closer understanding of “where the rain began to beat us.” From 1983, a strategic neglect of the East became more pronounced.

    Every effort of the past made to rebuild it; including investments in new industry, new skills, and so on, were stripped deliberately, almost as if to stifle the resurgence of its people by Federal authorities. Two marked examples for me includes Dr. Okongwu’s claim that the East Central State’s Data Processing Center, the first of its kind presumably in the continent, long before the current IT craze, was stripped and moved to Kaduna following the 1975 military coup.

    Here are Chu Okongwu’s words: “Immediately there was dispatched to East-Central State a mandatory pro-consul in the person of the late Colonel Anthony Aboki Ochefu. His assignment: the dismantling of the East-Central state. Colonel Ochefu dismantled the public service of East Central state.

    For good measure he declared that the mainframe computer of the Eastern Data Processing Center was unnecessary madness, beyond the needs and interests of the state. It was summarily dismantled and relocated to the Ahmadu Bello University where it found a necessary sane and needful home. Everybody in East Central state, except Col Ochefu, elements of the army of occupation and their touts, was a thief; the hounding campaign was underway. Cheer leaders and Coryphaei were not wanting in East-Central State.” Buhari was a member of the Supreme Military Council of that regime in 1975.

    The same scenario played out following the December 31, 1983 coup at which Buhari was head. A little drama played out in Owerri when, according to close associates of the late Governor Sam Mbakwe, he held out at the Governor’s lodge, Owerri, prepared to call out a mass demonstration starting with street protests from Aba to resist the coup, until he was finally persuaded to give up that move. Buhari appointed his own proconsul, in the person of the then Brigadier Ike Nwachuwku. Again, his assignment: dismantle the gains made in Imo under Mbakwe. Ike Nwachukwu’s first declaration, under what he called the “Imo Formula”  was to dismantle all the 42 industrial installations embarked upon by Sam Mbakwe, which were at various stages of development, and to which financial commitments had been entered.

    Nwachukwu’s “achievement” was to consolidate the Imo state university under a single campus at Uturu, near his ancestral home, from the five-campus design which had been envisioned on a model of the State of New York University system, by Mbakwe and his team, to evolve into beautifully designed network of university campuses to stimulate strategic development, and carter to a wider range of students and skills development in the long run.

    The effect of these was to stultify development in the East and drive a growing population of highly educated and skilled youth out of the East, into the wilderness. Kids who grew up in Government Reserved Areas in the East, for instance, suddenly found themselves living with rats in the ghettoes of Lagos because all the systems created to afford them the opportunity of living productive lives in the East on equal terms with their peerselsewhere in the world were strategically dismantled.

    It is called diminution. Divestments, and lack of investments in both industry and infrastructure in the East, especially by the federal government has led to this moment. What these examples suggest is that Nigeria’s postwar domestic policies have, it has always seemed obvious to Easterners, especially the Igbo, been directed towards subduing, rather than reconstructing the East. Even now, Buhari is talking about billions of naira to be earmarked for the “reconstruction of the North-East.”

    What about the East that has suffered from a devastating civil war levied against it, and from the mindless exploitation of oil that has rendered what was the entire Eastern region, one of the world’s great ecological disasters, with incidents of new cancers, the result of massive pollution, possibly the highest currently in the world? Easterners consider themselves victims of state-terror. There must be both reconstruction of the East and reparation for the years of discrimination.

    These facts will continue to drive the agitation for Biafra. And this is the point that Ohaneze and the South East governors meeting last week in Enugu failed to acknowledge, and which continues to make them irrelevant to the solutions for these agitations.

    The governors in the East and Ohaneze may make ex-cathedra claims, but they do not yet speak for these young people, who have clearly defied them in staging their protests. Again, whoever is advising this president must be plain in telling him that this generation considers him a great part of the Igbo problem, because under his watch as military head, progress in the East was stifled; and the East was isolated in his administration from 1983-85; and as a member of the SMC in 1975, the first postwar moves to “dismantle” the East was set in motion. The onus is on him to show good faith, and dissuade the agitators, or he could show further proof, as some have suggested, that Buhari is rigid and does not listen.

     

     


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  • Top 5 Indigenous Costume Ideas for Nigerians

    29/Oct/2016 // 122 Viewers

     

    Halloween, an annual holiday celebrated on the 31st of October in several countries around the world, including Australia, Canada and the United States of America, is not a Nigerian culture and has never been announced as an official holiday in the country. However, thanks to Nigeria’s love for anything “western world” and their proclivity for revelry, some people in the country are now seen dressed up in elaborate costumes and trick or treating around major cities on Halloween day every October.

    This year, from Club Illusion’s Halloween party set to hold on Friday 28th October atConcord Owerri to Halloween Party – THE LIGHTHOUSE, holding Saturday  29th October  2016 at Marina Lagos, there are so many events already lined up forHalloween. And with the D-day fast approaching, we at Jumia Travel know that it’s crunch time for finding the perfect costume. Given that we know your costume is preying on your mind, we have come up with unique ideas for costumes that can reflect the Nigerian society. If you are going to celebrate Halloween in Nigeria, wouldn’t it be best to make your costume a little indigenous? Read on to get the inspiration you need.


    Scary Ghosts/Witches

    A large number of people tend to put on scary costumes for Halloween around the world. From the most terrifying haunted houses to zombies, vampires and monsters like Frankenstein and King Kong, these costumes are geared towards hyping the Halloween spirit. But as Nigerians, you can also channel same spirit through our local scary characters such as Willie Willie and Karishika. Thanks to music artiste Falz; most people have a more modern idea of what the Karishika costume would entail.

    TV Favourites

    Another type of costumes that dominate the Halloween scene are costumes depicting favourite TV characters or just famous characters from movies. In Nigeria, some old favorites include Papa Ajasco and  Madam Pepeye from the Papa Ajasco series, Zebrudaya from the Masquerade, but in more recent times, Jenifa from Jenifa’s Diaries series (especially season 1), Akpororo from Comedy shows, e.t.c

    The Fashionista

    Love fashion? You can dress as a fun-loving Nigerian fashionista! Don a big, ostentatious wig and peculiar heel boots to go as Denerele, or put on very light skin powder and loud (but perfect) facial make up strut like Bobrisky. You may also want to play the “fashion victim” and re-enact some of the most memorable fashion fails in the Nigerian fashion scene. A good one is the famous Nollywood actress and Actor’s Guild of Nigeria’s President Ibinabo Fiberesima, who came out looking like a peacock at the AMVCA 2016.


    Music Icon

    Music artistes in Nigeria generally dress elaborately whether they are on stage or just on the streets and it is easy to copy any of their looks for a marvelous Halloween event. Some that we however consider most iconic to pull off for this 2016 include Cynthia Morgan, FELA , Lagbaja, and of course Falz the bahd guy. For those who want to dress up as a duo, they can consider going as PSquare.


    The Oshiomole

    This Halloween, you can embody the spirit of the Oshiomole by rocking his famous military inspired outfit, a Khaki brown shirt and matching shorts with and an “APC” hat (made in China).  You could also dig around for his favourite words or slangs and infuse them in your conversation throughout the day. That gets you extra points.


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  • Message for Gov. Ajimobi - Emerging Talent You Must Support!

    29/Sep/2016 // 178 Viewers

     

    The guy in the middle you are looking at is Abiodun Adegoke. He is 7 feet and 2 inches tall, ((in England, they lovingly call such tall people, Beanpoles) almost 18 years old and has just been admitted to resume and complete his secondary education at Segun Odegbami International College and Sports Academy (SOCA), Wasimi, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.

    He should have finished his school leaving certificate and be in first Year at a university, but failed to do so following his inability to cope with the psychological effect of the taunting by the public, the bullying by school mates and the financial constraints he had to face. 
     
    So two years ago, he left school in SS1 and retired into isolation, remaining mostly indoors weeping for the 'misfortune' fate had dealt him. He admits he is facing psychological challenges because of his unusual height and is only trying to cope with the attention he attracts everywhere. All of that until Chief Segun Odegbami found and took him in to resume a more purposeful life.

    At SOCA, he is to be well schooled, trained and groomed to gain a very good education as well as sports excellence that would open up opportunities available to someone with his exceptional gift of nature. Guess in what sport? Basketball, of course!
     
    There is no doubt that he may be destined to be a great basketball superstar in the mould and background of the legendary Akeem Olajuwon. This is what SOCA is committed to steering him towards.
    But there is a big challenge - the finances to take care of the rest of his education.
     
    Interestingly, Abiodun is from Ibadan. 
     
    What will it take the Oyo State Government to take up the financial commitment of supporting him to finish schooling in Nigeria? Being in SS2, he has less than two years left to complete his studies. 
     
    Undoubtedly, American College basketball scouts will soon be on his trail, and a successful future with the support of the Oyo State government will be a big plus for the people and government of the State. 

    Your Excellency, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, here is a challenge for you, and an opportunity to demonstrate goodwill and support for one of your children from the State. It will be a positive gesture by you that would reflect and reciprocate the kindness and benevolence of the good people of Ibadan and Oyo State. 

    I am sure His Excellency has Chief Odegbami’s phone number.

    *Akintokunbo A Adejumo wrote from London, the United Kingdom


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  • Burden of entitlement mentality in Nigeria systems By Femi Fabiyi

    30/Aug/2016 // 560 Viewers

     

    In America politics, “entitlement benefits” is a strong and contentious policy issue. Democrats believe in mandates that promotes universal health care program, food and shelter for all, whether or not they earned it. But Republicans fights for a freer, less regulated and a competitive system where rewards are in line with individual efforts – a system where no one should be a parasite on others. Either way, both parties usually find room in the middle, and ensure the system is not ideologically stalled. From time immemorial, “entitlement benefits” has been a key fabric of Nigeria culture – expectation placed on families, friends, spouses and private business owners even when the recipients are underserving.  More damning is the role ordinary Nigerians expects its government to play in their everyday lives, especially among people who have utter disregard for rules of the land.

    Second in line to Nigeria Political class immorality and impunity is the “entitlement mentality”. The idea is systematically crushing every aspect of human decency in Nigeria societies. The current economic recession and it’s hardship on the lives of everyone in the country cannot be alienated from people’s crave for special treatments in their day to day activities. The havoc “entitlement claims” have meted to Nigeria system can be likened to the Tsunami catastrophe to Japan economy.

    Entitlement Claims shape up in different forms and faces. The concept of individuals or group of people making claims to the ownership of Nigeria national resources is becoming reckless, and it constitute a serious socio economic threat to the growth and development of Nigeria union. It also undermines Nigeria potentials, as it continuously depress the country’s critical human and natural resources. In the current global economic dispensation where competition is stiff, market opportunities challengingly dynamic, and huge sum of money and time devoted to research for competitive edge, Nigeria workers are constantly agitating for more holidays. A 2 days holiday for every public and historic events we celebrate seems a stretch for a country that lags behind Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola in GDP according to IMF and the World Bank. Despite lack of enough foreign currency to spur economic growth, religious pilgrimage often succeed in making entitlement claims to discount foreign exchange. Ransom payment for freedom of life and properties are now entitlements to social and political kidnappers. Nigeria tertiary road maintenance and community policing are left solely to be cared for by the government budget. Civil servants expect favors from the customers they serve. Annual benefits and entitlements to Nigeria politicians and diplomats dwarf their salaries. Government officials and sport representatives are entitled to travel with large entourage even on unofficial missions.  Some individuals and institutions are compensated in foreign currency just because of their ethnic lineage or easy access to Aso Rock. Most Nigeria neighborhoods are selfishly littered, and we expect others to do the clean-up. Generally, many Nigerians relish the culture of freeloading at the expense of others, where their interest are always more valid and important than other people’s interest.

    Nigeria is in a dire situation, struggling for identity and direction, and seeking courage to fighting its biggest nemesis – corruption. Therefore, the pressure on the economy makes the “entitlement” overtures an abhorrent. The young, strong and the brightest of Nigeria students and professionals are leaving the country out of frustration, and some, if not most are pushed into legalized slavery abroad.

    The country cannot continue to lose its most amiable resources if there is hope for a better Nigeria and its institutions. For Nigerians who have chosen to migrate to America - a darling of a country. America system is set up to trap immigrants into legalized economic slavery. Americans and its residents are expected to pay taxes and insurance fees until they drop dead. The system cunningly encourages frustrated but smart immigrants with potentials (who are not residents) to attend America top tier colleges on a 10 or 15 years loan with school fees averaging $120,000 per year (the smart kid is never coming back home). Foreign Exchange is not just a slogan, it is the most liquid financial instrument and the largest market in the world. According to World Bank, an average of $5 trillion dollars is settled on a daily basis. In Nigeria markets; importers, exporters, local and foreign investors are often subjected to source FOREX in secondary markets due to Nigeria’s weak financial infrastructure. An average of two work days holiday often declared by Nigeria government per month does not put Nigeria Central bank, its stock market operators and local asset managers in a competitive FOREX dealings. Note that Wall Street never closes two work days in a roll except when America is dealing with a serious National issue.

    Nigeria economy is too frail to continue to absorb any type of parasitic tendencies where people can only wait for entitlements, and still pray for economic growth and development. Nigerians have got to learn to make sacrifices at local and national levels, investing in building sustainable and safe communities that encourages constructive collaboration with Nigerians in diaspora and foreign investors, to ensure investment schemes in Nigeria real sectors. At this challenging times, community based development initiatives should be key to Nigeria transformation process. In 2010 an American entrepreneur, Xavier Helgesen teamed up with locals of Monkey Bay – a small city in Malawi on a $6 per month solar project task. The city was 100% off the national electricity grid at the time. By 2012, Xavier project was so successful that he started Off-Grid Electric,  a for profit solar energy company focusing on providing affordable electricity to cities in African countries. In 2011, Sarah El Sayed, a prominent Egyptian activist was on the street of Cairo protesting with millions of people against the then Egyptian government, hoping for a political structure that truly represents the Egyptian people and their interests. Although, Egypt political landscape has not changed, Sarah El Sayed has moved her cause of fighting poverty and fairness by founding an organization called Nawaya, working with local women to build communities that focuses on self-sustenance. In 2007, Jay Kimmelman, Shannon May and Phil Frei founded Bridge International Academies to address educational issues relating to global poverty particularly in rural African countries. Bridge International succeeded in providing school kids of rural Kenya cities quality education for roughly $5 a month. Bridge International business model is been spread across the world targeting pupils whose families live on less than $2 a day.

    For years, Nigerians have indulge in the culture of complacency and financial irresponsibility, camouflaging the entitlement mentality as a bait for incompetence. The hard time is calling for a reality check, and the recalibration of our attitude to real life challenges.

    Solutions to the entitlement problems in Nigeria systems should be approached from two different perspectives. First, government agencies at all levels should cancel all unprogressive entitlement ventures, and redirect resources to real sector agenda – power, roads, manufacturing, education, agriculture and security. Expedite all the political fraud cases in the law court and allow all indicted politicians to face the wrath of the law without preferential treatment. All the recovered stolen money should be relieved of any political hovering. They should be deployed sensibly into stimulating the economy. Aids and grants from the government should focus on supporting small business owners, and indirectly creating a middle class based economy - the engine room for any aspiring economic growth and development. Government pilgrimage sponsorship programs should not take precedents over the foreign exchange needs of Nigerians importing and exporting materials for manufacturing. Foreign exchange allocation to sports, culture, internal and external ministries should be of moral justification and not one that is politically motivated. These are needed measures to demonstrate transparency of governance to the investment communities (local and foreign), and hope foreign investors in particular will garner confidence in these efforts and reposition Nigeria market favorably in their basket of portfolios.

    There is also need for every Nigerian to demonstrate high sense of responsibility and reasonability in their day to day decision making. People cannot continue to live beyond their means, hoping someone out there (brother, sister, uncle, aunty and even parents) will be available to clean up their financial mess - we should stop making babies we cannot support and stop committing to celebrations we cannot afford. The safety of our communities and the towns we live in is more compelling to our health, future and economic conditions. Well organized and structured communities with basic provisions like decent tertiary roads, drainage systems and local security forces are recipe for a more progressive collaboration between Nigerians at home and those in diaspora.

    If $6 a month solar project is working wonders in Monkey Bay, Malawi and $5 a month is turning education quality around in some rural African countries, why can’t Nigeria households give up 6,000 naira per month for the development of their communities? After all, an average family spends at least 5,000 naira a week on entertainment and social events. Our communities should be a selling point to promoting economic partnership with our friends and families in diaspora - community health centers, sports and recreation centers, day care centers, community power, community water, community markets are projects within our reach if carefully planned and diligently executed with or without government assistance.

    Change is not about expecting entitlements and scapegoating the people that caused the bumpy roads, it is about those who showed up and are willing to support the rebuilding process.

    Femi Fabiyi is based in Connecticut, USA

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

     


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