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

    29/Sep/2016 // 189 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 // 597 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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  • Zaria Massacre: Why CoAS Lt. General T. Y. Buratai Needs To Resign

    30/Dec/2015 // 1233 Viewers

     

    As many other Nigerians and foreigners, I highly respect Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai. Since rising to his top Military position, he has dramatically changed the narrative of the war against terror in Nigeria; reforming and transforming a helpless and dysfunctional, exploited State army into a successful and adequately deadly force against Boko Haram. At last the terrorists are on the run, deprived of supplies, recruits and modern weapons, now left to riding bicycles and using dane guns. Regularly seen in the midst of active troops, General Buratai has restored military morale and improved professionalism of the beaten troops.

    However, the mistake or error of December 12 and the following days since demand our respected General demonstrate his exemplary probity by tending his immediate resignation.

    While some other errors of our military may not be directly linked to the Chief of Army Staff as the Sokoto road massacre was, and may not demand his resignation as other officers my take the fall; General Buratai was there on the fateful day. He gave or physically oversaw the command. He is directly implicated and responsible.

    The actions on Sokoto road are reminiscent of ancient Military authoritarian behavior not consistent with the 21st century civilization.

    It was an era where the Military command like the colonial master was an absolute and almighty imperious authority that anyone who disrespected must be beaten and put to death for. This attitude is inconsistent with modern civilization. Armed protests regardless of who is obstructed do not have to be put out with lethal force. Gaddafi was sacked by a global coalition allegedly for his crushing response to armed protest.

     

    While the once bitten (July 2014 Nigerian army massacre) stick and stone wielding students on Sokoto road were belligerent and civilly disobedient, did they deserve immediate extermination for delaying the Army General’s passage to his function? No. For the simple reasons below:

     

    1. The Army is only to be engaged in defined state of war and where a

    state of emergency or marshall law is declared. In all other instances,

    according to the Nigerian constitution, the police and mobile police are to

    be called. Except in Sambisa, and war struck Borno where their deployment

    has been approved by the National Assembly, the army is no authority on

    Nigerian streets. It is mobile police who know the rules of engagement to

    neutralize instances of civil disobedience. All that beating people in

    petrol stations and guard-room locking of offenders is illegal. The army

    can only be invited by the police as a backup.

    1. The continued use of excessive force by the army, with further deadly

    attacks including the use of grenades on the Islamic Center and the home of

    Sheikh Zakzaky at 11pm that night, were further and continued illegal

    actions which only the police/mobile police are trained and authorized to

    conduct.

    1. The raids on the premises and bulldozing of the the Islamic Center

    and Zakzaky residence by the army without court order or police

    authorization are additional illegalities.

    1. For obvious reasons, the Military Chief defended himself by reporting

    the incident and attempting to justify their use of excessive and

    disproportional force as being a result of deliberate assassination attempt

    on his life. The question to ask is; did the army chief have to

    purposefully mow his way through a crowd of dissenting students? Could

    there be an alternative way to get to where he was going without having to

    hurriedly kill every one on and off his path? Was he headed to a national

    emergency? In his capacity, could he not call for a helicopter to transport

    him while possibly leaving the army there till mobile police arrive to

    contain the situation and arrest the culprits?

     

    The Chief of Army Staff is the Chief protecter of civilians in Nigeria, not the Chief of civilian submission. His duties are limited to Military barracks’, emergency meeting halls and war fronts. He has no urban duty and if he gets into a brawl in a club, would be treated by the law no different from who he slug with.

     

    It is unfortunate that significant Nigerians including members of the army, governors and those higher-up appear to be addressing national issues from sectarian positions. The disrespectful attack on the Shia Muslims in ways that no other group has ever been, with the crushing of their religious centers and humiliation of their highest authority, who does not even stand accused of terrorism or treason, reeks heavily of systematic and deliberate religious persecution with many similarities, unfortunately to that of Daesh. Cages and wheel barrows for transport of the subdued are an ominous trademark. Only the unreserved resignation of the military Chief and a thorough investigation and compensation “blood money” where due of the victims can restore confidence in the Nigerian government.

     

    While as many as 200 bodies were deposited in the ABU morgue, as many as

    1000 Nigerians are reported to have been killed in this horrific incident.

    This is serious and weighty. Hundreds more are injured and a potential 5-10 million minority, notably peaceful Shia Muslims feel deliberately repeatedly targeted and persecuted by the Nigerian government.

     

    While the Kaduna government and northern governors have attempted to use this sad event to stop processions, which the group holds three times a year, the truth is that there was no procession on this day of death. The event being held was a sermon to usher in a new month and no procession was slated. The only individuals at the center at the time were travelers and organizers as the event was not even slated to have commenced. The government has the right to responsibly contain or ban “nuisance”

    processions, however attempts to malign the address and response to this particular massacre by these conflagrations are in poor taste; unless the deadly incident was staged as a pre-mediated tool to ban the “annoying”

    processions and crush the religious group. The same people who commiserated with Zakzaky last year, without an investigation having been done are persecuting him this year.

     

    Thus far, the Shia Muslims have demonstrated exemplary character in Nigeria, by not resorting to violence in reaction to the current and past deadly aggression. While we are thankful of their spiritual and social anti-violence doctrine, which perhaps no other group in Nigeria and few others worldwide, apart from Monks are close in, we expect an attempt to similarly advance in character by the Nigerian authorities, who should learn from their former leaders currently in jail. There is no threat of Shia becoming terrorists; they never will. We should stop insulting them further with such utterances.

     

    We can recall several incidents of armed protest in the recent past, including the post-election riots when Buhari lost in 2011. Those protests took 800 lives. While wherever armed protesters are inflicting deadly harm, they must be immediately put out, there was no report of murder by these youth, except the alleged attempt on General Buratai’s life. What if the Military under Jonathan had put out a similar crushing response to the armed Youth protesters, protesting Buhari’s election defeat? What if the Army then had bombed Buhari’s house without him being convicted of calling for the deadly armed protests? Has/was Sheikh Zakzaky convicted of staging the armed Youth protest on Sokoto road before the army took action against Shia Islam in Nigeria and the Shia leader?

     

    Imagine the US deploying the army, not with tear gas and rubber bullets, but with live ammunition and grenades to mow down the Baltimore armed and violent youth protesters?

     

    Rather than perhaps cook-up “evidence” of pre-event linking “intelligence”

    that Sheikh Zakzaky had a premeditated sinister plot to kill General Buratai and overthrow the Nigerian government, which led to the stationing of troops in front of the Islamic center at 12 noon on December 12th and the crushing response to the protesting youth at 3pm that day, we would advice the Military Chief to accept his reflex errors and resign.

     

    The post Zaria Massacre: Why COAS Lt. Gen. TY Buratai Need To Resign appeared first in Pointblank News

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


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  • National statement on the way forward

    30/Jan/2016 // 205 Viewers

    By Ogoloma Endurance Young

    Politics must be about people, not candidature, it should be about the welfare of people and most importantly the future generation, it is a selfless calling and not a selfish one, how can one become a leader when they are self-serving?

    A true leader is a servant for his people, sacrificing what they hanker after for the masses. Tasked to enrich the land and its inhabitants not themselves, their families and companions, it's sad that in Africa most leaders are a desirous pack, and the common folk work their fingers to the bone for their amusement.

    We are in a social setting where leaders have no plans and don't care about the time ahead. I know for a fact is a generational curse, but we need a leader that will sacrifice for the future. To be honest to God, my question is, are we ready to embrace change?

    As Nigerians, we need to be part of everyday governance and politics; we need to make an effort to transmute. Not necessarily change of government but of mindset and attitude. Our outlook on the affairs of the land is crucial to national maturity.

    We are in a space where one thinks they need to clamp one down to succeed, that posture draws us back. We care only for our stomachs today and look to God for tomorrow. Of course, when the proletariat can't fend for themselves and their families how do you expect them to contribute sensibly and judiciously to the growth of a nation?

    Every nation is supposed to be a good parent to its nationals by feeding, clothing, sheltering, financing and providing quality healthcare & education for them as children. We also have a responsibility as law abiding citizens to contribute our quota in changing the status quo.

    A typical mindset of African governance is displayed in most homes, where a husband eats the large and ripe portion of a meal, for left over’s to be served to the rest of the family.

    We will never be a superior nation, if we continue in our self-serving ways of reasoning. We need to set in motion a generational thinking stance for posterity's sake.

    Its tiresome hearing abusive candidates at each other's throat on political platforms, exposing their ignorance on affairs of the state, It clearly confirms they have nothing to offer the generations ahead.

    Petty minded politics leads to a neither here nor there nation. Our forebears did what they could; let's write their wrongs, so we won't be worse off 50 years from now.

    We could sit and blame our leaders all we want, but I believe we should be responsible for our future and take charge of it. Let's gather generational thinkers to help build this nation.

    In the west, education, healthcare, etc is free, it’s a crime for your ward not to enroll for school. This is a race that has posterity in mind; years ago their antecedents toiled to put a system in place. And it shall be passed unto the next generation, its tradition.

    How do you expect a nation to move forward without a national layout? For example, every eight years there is change in governance, each and every incumbent will come with ideas and objectives on which route the nation should take. In effect the nation moves to and fro and becomes inconsequential.

    Again I don't know how these things work, but will beseech our brothers and sisters in the diasporas with ideas and experience on how the systems work internationally to come build our nation. We need long term hands-on solutions and not inconceivable ideas that can't materialized.

    Education is key, and to catch up with the rest of the world, we need to invest heavily in that sector. We should not only fund it, but take a critical look at our entire curricular again. Axe out what is not important and focus on that which is. Let's work out a NATIONAL PLAN and make an effort towards its achievement.

    To our leaders, business people, scholars, pastors and philosophers in this great country Nigeria and the rest of Africa please note that: INVESTING INTO POSTERITY IS AN UNBENDABLE CONSTITUENT TO SAFEGUARD WHAT LIES AHEAD.

    Well, all have a responsibility to reorganize Nigeria for future generation. It's a luxury we will be deprived of, if we don't look upon it as a necessity.

     

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


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  • Ada Mark Legacy: Celebrating an amazon with the bold heart

    30/Mar/2016 // 197 Viewers

    By Omaga Daniel

     

    The world does not celebrate ideas, but achievements. It does not celebrate dreams but impacts. While some impacts may be easily forgotten, others outlive generations.

    Ada Mark Ogbole, the Idoma-born amazon cum CEO of Ada Mark Foundation for Girls is fast becoming a national legend through her leadership sagacity, quest for the emancipation of the girl child, mother to all posture and philantrophic gesture for the less-privileged and vulnerable. Despite her self-effacing and unassuming style, the societal impacts of Hon. Mrs. Ada Mark Ogbole have continued to earn her respect and affection of the grassroots and the attention of Nigerians across the globe. Indeed, Nigerians who appreciate commitment to nation building and service to humanity will always hold this mother and administrative guru to a very high esteem.

    Ones view about “Aunty Ada” as she is foundly called by youths depends on the perspective with which you look at her. In my view, however, she is better described as *“an advocate of gender equality who dominates her world with well reasoned arguments” *and a “*patriot in the attainment of the vision of a better society*”.

    Having been elected at the age of 26 to represent her constituency at the Federal House of Representatives and her continuous drive for the
    re-positioning of the girl-child and women for greater achievements through sports, capacity building, empowerment and education, her Pisces horoscope personality and leadership sagacity have indeed been brought to bear and this gives the younger generation of African women hope that the quest for true leadership and gender inequality in Africa, will soon be over.

    What a man can do, a woman can do even better. That is just the best way to describe the guts of Aunty Ada. She is detribalized, accessible,
    determined, jovial, strong willed and above all, a very good listener. I am proud to identify with this woman of amiable mien, whose enviable impacts in the lives of Nigerian Women and youths cannot be over emphasized. Her commitment and passion to the cause of the common man has been further illuminated by her immense support for the victims of the Agatu Massacre.

    I am fully convinced that the exodus towards an equitable society as exemplified by Aunty Ada*, *would continue in the right direction and her impacts never be forgotten in a hurry, when Nigerians would celebrate 100 years of independence on 1st October, 2060. On that day, Nigerian women and other Africans who have received the positive impacts of her selflessness will have the cause to smile and tell the world that the journey for the girl-child emancipation started with the Ada Mark legacy.

    Comrade Omaga Elachi Daniel is the Executive Director, Beyond Boundaries Legacy Leadership Initiative and writes from Abuja.

     

    Disclaimer: 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 any of its contents or any part thereof.

     

     


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  • Borno State has no governor.....

    30/Mar/2016 // 282 Viewers

    By Fejiro Oliver

    I read with amusement the statement credited to Gov Shettima of Borno State that it took 19 days before former President Jonathan called him to enquire about the Chibok girls kidnap.

    What manner of governor is he that will make a governor who has internal crisis and instead of being the one calling the president was expecting that the president should call him?

    If his kids were among those kidnapped, would he have waited for the presidency before swinging into action? Is he no longer the Chief Security Officer of the state again? That Jonathan is out of power does not give him the right to denigrate him. The kidnap of chibok girls is ENTIRELY the fault of Shettima who could not provide security for his people knowing that his state was and remains the hub of the dreaded sect.

    The governor should hide his face in shame that blaming an innocent man of his failure. He should bury his head in the sand for attempting to drag Jonathan into his incompetent government.

    Today the dumb as of a governor can rant because his kids are safe. Today the lazy governor can tell the world his gross laxity and claimed the presidency was responsible. Since Buhari came into power and Boko Haram has killed in Borno state, has he called him?  Tomorrow if PMB leaves power, he will pass his failure to him.

     

    Disclaimer: 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 any of its contents or any part thereof.


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  • Buhari and APC: Lies, lies, no truth; promises, promises and disappointment By Prince Tosan

    30/May/2016 // 469 Viewers

     

    Just read president Buhari's Democracy day speech and all I could do is to shake my head in disgust as his Speech is stuffed with lies.

    1. He said Boko Haram was in charge of 14 LGAs when he took over as President. The reality is that the army had recovered most LGAs by May ending, 2015.

    2. He also mentioned that Infrastructure was in a state of decay including rail. One thing we know is that the GEJ's administration revived rails.

    3. Buhari said his government has reduced extravagant spending. Do I need to remind him that the budget for Presidency is N20 billion more than that for 2015? How's that reducing spending?

    4. Also, he mentioned that Capital expenditure in the 2016 budget is 30%. I can't really blame him on this because we know he is not mathematically sound. The is fact, capital expenditure is N1.59 trillion of total of N6.06 trillion which equals 26.2%.

    5. The most annoying one is the one he said the budget process is more transparent than ever. I need to remind him that the details of the budget were revealed by BudgIT. The budget was only published after agitations from Nigerians. 

    Do we also remind him that the budget has different versions? Went missing at some point and was disowned? How's that transparency??
    6. He said his government has delivered significant milestones on security, economy and security. Well, the indices show otherwise.

    7. Another nauseating one is when he said his government is committed to democratic principles. Is this not the same administration that has continued to disregard court orders? Or someone that has changed INEC to an Inconclusive commission?

    8. He failed to criticize the activities of Fulani herdsmen or commiserate with the bereaved but was quick to call out the Niger Delta Avengers. Interesting!

    Finally, I was looking out for the names of looters that President Buhari without anyone asking him said he would release on democracy day. Like other promises,  he broke this one too tendering flimsy excuses.
    No integrity. This APC and Buhari administration don't surprise me anymore...


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  • Biafra, Oodua and the seventh lesson

    30/Oct/2015 // 2452 Viewers

    Democracy does not necessarily translate into the disappearance of crises and dilemmas, (even trilemmas, quadrilemmas or more) in a country, either developed, developing or perhaps evolutionary. Built into the fabric of the right to choose is also the right to make mistakes and so, across Africa at this moment, in Nigeria, Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Guinea Conakry, Rwanda, the lessons are being driven home, as elections are being held or have been held or will be held, that even as democracy spreads within the continent, the tension between stabilization and consolidation, trade offs and efficiency, pessimism and optimism, ethnocentrism and nationalism, remains a major concern.

    Whatever the challenges may be however, both local and international authorities have a duty to ensure that the people learn from their mistakes, build on those mistakes positively, and prevent a relapse to either militarism or militarized democracy disguised either as benevolent democracy or charismatic autocracy, or ethnic revanchism as an option for national movement. The people’s right to make mistakes, oxymoronic as it may seem, is part of the democratic challenge. In Nigeria, our biggest mistake lies in the strange assumption that our problems will disappear simply through intra-elite displacement or the symbolism of grand gestures. And so, we end up with a boringly repetitive national life cycle.

    This leads us to one urgent point: the biggest challenge that the Nigerian state faces today, tearing into the very idea of statehood, and of democracy, is the centrifugal pull from every direction that seems to have become disturbingly incremental. In the North Eastern part of the country, with the tragedy spreading, with casualties increasing, you have the heart-wrenching Boko Haram menace.

    The Haram fundamentalists want a divided Nigeria. They have their own flag and they have made it clear that Western education and technology are sinful even if they use the same technology and intelligence to perpetrate their assault. With their flags and propaganda, they want “out” of Nigeria. Their act of defiance and the evil outcomes have increased since May even if civil society has chosen, all of a sudden, to be less anxious. But it is not a problem that can ever be treated lightly located as it is, in the tragic axis of global terror.

    In the Middle Belt, an indigene-settler dichotomy, mutating as majorities-minorities conflict at the heart of Northern community relations, or as pastoralists-farmer confrontation has created seasons of violence and bloodshed with strong allegations of genocide and no sign of immediate abatement. In the South West, the recent abduction of a Yoruba leader, Chief Olu Falae by persons alleged to be Fulani herdsmen has resulted in the exchange of hate speech among Yoruba and Fulani ethnic champions defending territory, rights and identity.

    In Ibadan, the other day, a group of Yoruba elders demanded that Fulani herdsmen should be expelled from Yoruba territory and that should the provocation continue, the Yoruba with their 50 million population will be prepared to exit Nigeria. In the Eastern part of the country, there is a resurgence of Biafran nationalism; young Igbos in diaspora, are insisting on the creation of a Republic of Biafra. The new voice of Biafran nationalism is Nnamdi Kanu’s Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Radio Biafra, and the Igbos campaigning for Biafra in front of embassies in Europe, India and Japan! In the South South, there is a renewed consciousness of oil citizenship, with the Ijaw whose kinsman recently lost power at the centre protesting that they are victims of Hausa/Fulani harassment, and intimidation.

    Perhaps the more worrisome is the noise being made about likely secession from Nigeria, by certain elements in the North East (terrorists actually seeking to carve out territory), by latter-day Biafrans, and by Yoruba irredentists. It may not be possible without empirical inquiry to determine how much of this is pure opportunism, posturing or criminal-mindedness (except in the case of Boko Haram where criminality is proven), but it would appear that while seeking to uphold the law against those who challenge the sanctity of the state, the government must nonetheless take the agitations seriously for they speak to something old and familiar which has become resoundingly deeper.

    If the matter were to be subjected to referenda across the country, I am not too sure there are many Nigerians today who will vote for the dismemberment of this country. Social scientists advise us not to rule out any possibility, self-determination can be self-fulfilling; and nations have been known to dissolve against all odds, but it seems to me that the majority of Nigerians would rather be Nigerians. Our country has been kept together by the resilience and the optimism of the majority, not the disillusionment of a critical minority. We have not yet reached a point where the idea of Nigeria is lost and forlorn, to the extent that the feeling of self-sufficiency that propels the secessionist instinct may indeed be illusionary. No matter the challenge, I believe that it is the idea of Nigeria that will prevail.

    The long and the short of it however, is that this remains a grossly imperfect federation, union and democracy. The country is hoisted on a foundation of ancestral fissures. For 55 years, this country has refused to transform into a nation. It has been hijacked by identity politics, and by ethnic and class determinism. It is sad, very sad indeed, that successive governments have not been able to create an enlightened citizenry and an intelligent elite that can look beyond their own greed. The Nigerian political brain has remained a grossly emotional brain.

    We seem to have lost the national battle to emotions fed by ancestral memory, creating a gap between knowledge, and desire. It is why MASSOB, Nnamdi Kanu, Radio Biafra and Biafra Voice International (BVI) are the new faces of Igbo nationalism, and not Aka Ikenga or Ohanaeze Ndigbo. It is why disgruntled elements in the North East insist on pulling down the country. It is why citizens of a defined oil territory continue to blackmail the Nigerian state. Nnamdi Kanu does not necessarily speak for all Igbos, and neither the Afenifere nor the Yoruba Council of Elders can determine the Yoruba emotion but they throw up ideas that cannot be ignored. It is the duty of government to address the dangerous ideas of disintegration, dismemberment that issue from those political brains, not to ignore or traduce them.

    The key message is that this is not yet a nation. Kanu’s protest and the frustrations in the Niger Delta or the Yoruba anger over the humiliation of an iconic figure, or the angst of the people of the Middle Belt, or the widespread concern about the arrogance of power, escalated since independence, should be a wake up call. Those who feel defeated politically are drawing attention to subliminal fears about ancestral injustices, inequities, and inequalities in the Nigerian democratic space. The more they perceive an attempt to appropriate, exclude and marginalize, the more vociferous they are likely to be. In the long run, nobody may secede (General Gowon is right on this score), but the inequities of the Nigerian state must be addressed. The man who will save Nigeria is that leader who will engage Nigerians proactively on the issues of inclusion and cohesion, and thereby grant to every citizen, a sense of ownership beyond ethnic identity, a sense of belonging, and confidence in the Nigerian identity. When people relate to the state from a position of fear, and exclusion, they create the kind of problems we witness.

    One, poverty, not necessarily material poverty, is at the heart of the problem. Two, the failure of the moral dimension is also a veritable cause of national dysfunction. Three, when the people have jobs, and the economy works and education is taken seriously as a tool for empowerment and progress, there will perhaps be better citizens. What this means is that developing a state that works and a leadership that believes and cares, and focuses on governance responsibilities is where the priority lies. To move Nigeria forward, these are the fundamental issues to address. How to go about this is the responsibility of those to whom we have entrusted our mandate. It was the main assignment yesterday, the same today and the compass for tomorrow.

    Dr. Abati, former President Goodluck Jonathan Media Adviser


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  • The arrest and detention of Nnamdi Kalu

    30/Oct/2015 // 1747 Viewers

    It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve (Henry George)

    Rather than tackling the myriad problems besetting Nigeria, President Buhari goes about looking for whom to arrest and detain. Buhari has not jettisoned his dictatorial tendencies, as he wants to gag the press and abolish freedom of speech and association. He still thinks that he is a military ruler. The arrest of Nnamdi Kalu for operating Radio Biafra was a catastrophic blunder by this administration. Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of Biafra Television and the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS), after he had flown from the UK, to Lagos. We learnt he is being held in an underground cell, and, in the midst of other hardened criminals, and, that he is not eating the food they are offering to him, fearing that he might be poisoned. It is remarkable how Nnamdi Kanu has been making Buhari tremulous all along! According to Vanguard, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a separatist movement that call for the independence of Nigeria’s former Eastern Region – proclaimed the Republic of Biafra in 1967 and re-annexed to Nigeria three years later, following a civil war that claimed between one and three million lives.

    Mr. Kanu has been granted bail, but has not been released, as he is yet to meet the bail conditions, and has been denied access to a lawyer. His arrest has led to pro-Biafra rallies and demonstrations in Port Harcourt, Asaba, Onitsha, Enugu, Aba, Owerri, Umuahia and all over Igbo land. Unfortunately, those rallies and demonstrations have led to the killing and maiming of some of the pro-Biafra demonstrators. The federal government that Buhari is leading has ordered police to shoot unarmed people protesting the detention of Nnamdi Kanu. Buhari went to the United Nations some weeks ago to preach freedom for the Palestine people, and their right to have their own nation, while here in Nigeria, he is doing something else, and has ordered the arrested of a young man who is only using his Radio Station to bring hope, enlightenment and knowledge to his people. How can Buhari make a speech at the United Nations supporting freedom, and self determination for other peoples, but, in his own country, peaceful demonstrators against the unlawful detention of Nnamdi Kanu, who is asking for the freedom and the self determination of his people, are being shot, maimed or arrested? The whole thing smacks of self-deception.

    Buhari has turned Nnamdi Kanu into an instant hero; even the Member of the British Parliament representing Nnamdi Kanu’s constituency has joined the fray among other world leaders. We just read where the Member of Parliament representing Camberbell and Peckham in the British House of Commons, Ms. Harriet Harman, has petitioned the House of Common for the illegal detention her constituent member is exposed to in Nigeria. The British MP had in the petition requested that the Nigerian government to immediately release Nnamdi Kanu or charge him to court for offences committed.

    President Buhari, as the fugleman or leader, should beware of his actions and utterances. Nothing lasts forever. He might heed the warning of Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall”(New Living Translation), and, George Ayittey (1945) wrote that “Dictators cause the world’s worst problems: all the collapsed states, and all the devastated economies…leaving in their wake trails of wanton destruction, horrendous carnage and human debris”. Buhari should know that all those people protesting in the former Eastern Region are not only doing that because of Nnamdi Kanu, but, are also using the opportunity to vent out their disappointment, frustration, anger and hatred for the ruling class.

    For those who were fooled initially by the messiah-like portrayal of Buhari, and who now remain concerned over the direction of Nigeria under a man, whose leadership resembles that of an imperialistic president, what more could be expected from one elected to Aso Rock, whose perceived self image is paramount, and who had never before even managed anything well? One thing is that history tells us that narcissistic pride (love) of self and false aura of superiority, such as surrounds and abides in President Buhari, is bound to be pierced in time. In the midst of turmoil and unrest Buhari is creating, the people of Biafra have not given up hope, as some believe that the “bone shall rise again”. Only time will tell!

    Chima Ubochi


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  • The temptations of Biafra

    30/Oct/2015 // 1153 Viewers

    Do not be deceived, every Igbo man is a Biafran, irrespective of where he was born and grew up on this earth, whether he fought and witnessed the Nigerian civil war or not. He may not even know what Biafra is all about, and may not believe in the concept or idea of Biafra, but God knows why he was created an Igbo man.

    Although as an individual, he may know his purpose, vision and mission on earth, he would be incomplete until he discovers his role as an Igbo man. A man who does not know his identity irrespective of his status in society needs help, and many Igbos need help in this regard.

    I was in Biafra as a 12-year-old during the civil war, and saw war fronts, the refugee camps, feeding, research and production centers, etc. I saw deaths, hunger, kwashiorkor, oppression by the soldiers on both sides of the war; intrigues: Biafrans killing Biafrans. But I found myself weeping uncontrollably the day it was announced that we lost the war because no one likes defeat, not even a child. Biafra was defeated in January 1970; so when you mention it now, some are tempted to avoid it, postpone the topic, kill it, suppress it, while others want to speak and stand by it.

    Failure, they say, is an orphan, and the attitude of people when it seems that they have failed determines how far they will go. But did Biafra and Ndigbo fail ?

    While some in Nigeria feel that Biafra and Ndigbo failed, many have realised from events in Nigeria 45 years after that war, that Biafra was an idea whose time was yet to come, and we are extremely proud and thankful to God for the positive attitude of Ndigbo to matters in Nigeria, in spite of all. Ndigbo have overcome and survived that war by excelling in spite of its effects. They are scattered all over Nigeria, thus becoming the single ethnic group found in all geopolitical zones of this country, peacefully making contributions, building their host societies and their economies, in spite of the hatred, disdain and aggravations from such host communities.

    Only last week, the respected Deji of Akure, for example, found it comfortable to insult the sensibilities of Ndigbo by reducing the personality of Eze-Ndigbo in Ondo State, yet no Igbo king will dictate how an Oba should carry on with his affairs as a king in Igbo land.

    Some of these Obas have become so confused about One Nigeria that rather than foster unity between Igbos and Yorubas, to take advantage of the huge and awesome opportunities God has given to them in the South of Nigeria, they devote so much time and energy creating divisions between the two ethnic groups, playing and falling into the hands and agenda of others in this geographical expression called Nigeria.

    There is no record so far of any Eze of Igbo land disparaging any Oba, but that is what Igbos suffer very often. The experience of Igbos and the distinguished Oba of Lagos during the 2015 elections is still fresh in our minds. It is a form of brewing xenophobia against Igbos in Nigeria, and if Nigeria will not deal with it, Ndigbo will with time find ways round the whole gamut of insults. The key offense of Ndigbo is their competiveness and open attitude to life wherever they find themselves.

    They believe truly in one Nigeria and live it, allowing their money, as small as it may be, to work for them where ever they live in Nigeria; but others pay lip service to One Nigeria, always on daggers-drawn when things do not suit them.

    Last month, apparently overwhelmed by Buhari’s victory at the 2015 polls, a prominent Northern elite, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, taunted Ndigbo to secede if they could, and face the wrath of the North. Nothing happened to him, no Northern elder said a word, not even a rebuke from our President, lending credence to the belief in many quarters that Buhari does not care about Ndigbo. It is xenophobia against Ndigbo, but Ndigbo will not reject themselves if Nigeria under whichever President rejects them.

    As long as this earth revolves on its axis, time will continue to change, and any idea whose time has come cannot be stopped. Wise people therefore flow with ideas whose time has come. But has the time for the true Biafra come ? I am tempted to say NO, because first, Igbos themselves are not ready spiritually, mentally and physically. Pointer: Their current five Governors became either confused or deliberately mischievous against this common cause of Ndigbo. If the time for Biafra was here, they would be made to regret their recent utterances for life

    Second, Igbos are well scattered all over Nigeria, and whenever there is a little discomfort, they start running home, and have done this since 1966. But after almost 50 years Igbos ought to have developed a system of exercising control and influence in their home communities without having to be treated like castrated lambs all the time. When the time for Biafra arrives, Igbos will begin to effectively use their positions within their host communities, without having to fire a gunshot in Nigeria or within Igbo land.

    Third, when the time for Biafra comes, Igbo youths will sit down, think deeply, and plan well concerning the development of Igbo land, making support for the best interests of Ndigbo the basis for everything. They will begin to hold their leaders accountable and demand more than the current practice where their senators and NASS representatives only organise football matches during festive periods as their community projects. Ostentatious, greedy and deceptive governors will be resisted and rejected across Igbo land.

    Finally, Igbo youths should avoid being part of the killing of the economy of the South East Zone. They disrupted trade and commerce during the Ekulobia Prisons nonsense by this government, and now it is about Nnamdi Kanu. They need to understand that this Buhari government of APC does not care about Ndigbo and so should strategise to develop Igbo land first.


    Clement Udegbe writes from Lagos, Nigeria.


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