• The dilemma of anti-corruption crusaders

    28/Feb/2016 // 229 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 // 315 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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  • Should Biafra become a reality? , By Muyiwa Adetiba

    28/Nov/2015 // 644 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 // 385 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 // 160 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 // 324 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 // 1341 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 // 722 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 // 2224 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 // 132 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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