• Borno State has no governor.....

    30/Mar/2016 // 307 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 // 524 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 // 2465 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 // 1801 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 // 1179 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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  • Buhari, But One Day..... By Lekan Sote

    30/Sep/2015 // 107 Viewers

    Dad had a friend, probably much older than himself, a dapper, always well-turned out gentleman, with the nickname, “But One Day,” adopted, no doubt, in recognition of the fact that however long one does a thing, one day will be the day of reckoning – for good or for ill. One day that all mortals certainly dread is the day of death. Another is the Day of Judgment, on which the scriptures reveal, men will account for their deeds or misdeeds on earth.

    So it does not matter, therefore, whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari promised to accomplish certain things within his first 100 days in office. He will have to account for his stewardship one way or the other one day. “Doole,” or for sure, as the Hausa will say. The electioneering meter kept by the electorate is already running, and measuring.

    The All Progressives Congress publicity apparatchik and the President’s media handlers must accept that there is much ado about 100 Days in office. If it were not so, no one would have brought up the issue.The 100 Days concept is merely a measuring rod, not an end.

    Exponents of Management By Objectives will tell you that timelines must always be set for completion or achievement of goals and objectives. Otherwise, lazy operatives could justifiably ask for eternity to produce results.

    It appears, for instance, that some segments of the APC deny that those billboards with images of Candidate Buhari and his running mate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, promised “One Meal A Day” to primary school pupils throughout the nation.Those at the parliaments holding daily in Nigeria’s beer parlours say “Ko je je be, af’oroapara,” it must just be a joke.

    They argue that if the duo had caused those billboards to be pulled down during the campaign, no one will now hold them to those promises. But it is heartening that the Vice-President recently confirmed that, of a truth, they promised the free meal which should provide about 14 million jobs, and produce about 530,000 metric tonnes of food, for Nigerians.

    Osinbajo says: “The APC has made a commitment to provide one meal a day for all primary school pupils and this programme will create jobs in agriculture, including poultry, catering and delivery services.” That is integrity. This open admission of a commitment, even if not completed within 100 days in office, should provide tones of positive goodwill for the Buhari administration.

    Because a media aide of the President stated that the series of pledges like “My Covenant With Nigerians,” and “100 Things Buhari Will Do In 100 Days,” are unknown to the Buhari Campaign train, one can then assume that some do-gooders must have unilaterally taken the matter beyond free meals in schools to compile the #BUHARI’S 100-DAY 10-point PLEDGE.

    This list is sub-headed as follows: Corruption and Governance: The President promised to publicly declare his assets, and declare war against corruption, both of which he has done; grant greater autonomy to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission; allow the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission to determine the salaries and allowances of political appointees.

    Insurgency and Insecurity: Boost morale of Nigeria’s fighting forces, which he is doing; present a Marshall Plan to combat insurgency, ethnic and religious violence,kidnapping and rural banditry, which will be funded by the $2.1bn World Bank loan offered to Buhari during his official visit to the United States of America; bring back the Chibok Girls, a very difficult task. Niger Delta: Environmental sustainability, human capital development, resource management and distribution. Decisive actions have been taken on this matter.

    Diversity: Enhance equality and equity; activate the National Gender Policy that promises 35 per cent of new government appointments to women; promote National Disability Act that seeks the welfare of disabled Nigerians; and restore mutual trust for nation-building. These will take some time to accomplish.

    Health: Speedy implementation of the National Health Act 2014 that guarantees financial sustainability to the health sector; and improve availability of water and sanitation. There have been no clear words about this. Industrial Relations: Encourage labour union collective bargaining. The workability of this depends largely on the labour unions.

    Agriculture: Focus on agriculture; launch agricultural infrastructure; establish (fair) agricultural pricing and marketing policy; revamp the cooperative system, the Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, and Nigeria Export Import Bank; and launch a fund for Youth in Commercial Agribusiness Programme. Everyone knows that these can’t be accomplished within 100 days.

    Management of the Economy: Ensure regular meeting of the National Economic Council, made up of all state governors, with the Vice-President as Chairman. That council, that was almost moribund, is in the face of everyone these days. Prepare a Medium Term Expenditure Framework to create jobs; launch Small Scale Business Guarantee Scheme; speed up registration of sole proprietorship registration to 24 hours, and conclude the Petroleum Industry Bill.

    Power: Ensure availability of gas to generate electricity, and explore alternative sources of power like coal, wind and solar. Nearly everyone reports that electricity has become more regular in their neighbourhood after Buhari assumed office. But it will take longer than 100 days to generate power from alternative means.

    Youth and ICT Development: Support youths with requisite ICT skills; allocate 50 per cent of jobs to youths; encourage boys and girls education; give free tuition to students with exceptional skills in ICT related courses, and extend local content policy to software and hardware development. Hmn!

    These are laudable programmes that any government should adopt, even if somebody else compiled them. Everyone knows that you couldn’t achieve them all in one fell swoop. The early crisis that rocked the inauguration of the Eighth National Assembly and thus prevented an early constitution of the National Council of Ministers saw to that. But as the Igbo adage says, “If you aim for the sky, you may hit the tree top.” There can be no harm in trying. If you hit a home run, that would be a big score; if you miss it, then you will have a work-in-progress.

    It will be a smart move if the President will adopt as working papers these programmes that have been prepared, presumably by busybodies and unknown quantities. If you look through them, they constitute a checklist that any good government in a Third World economy should adopt. They have adequately addressed the major needs of Nigerian citizens.

    If security, electricity, water, transport, other infrastructure, agriculture and industry are settled as this checklist attempts to do, other issues can be addressed by promoting rule of law, equity and equitable distribution of resources, rights and privileges. These are the essence of governance.

    Adopting these programmes as a road map is like getting on the high road of good governance. They are veritable to-do checklist for any government that wishes to do good for its people. In them, the most important needs of Nigerians have been adequately addressed. It really cannot be more than this.

    A conscientious implementation of these programmes, even if they were not accomplished within 100 days in office, puts in good stead a government that may want to seek re-election when the tomorrow of 2019 comes.


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  • Politics Of Saraki's Trial, By Uche Igwe

    30/Sep/2015 // 195 Viewers

    Let me state something upfront. The law is (and should always be) no respecter of persons. Anyone who is found guilty of an offence or breach by a court of competent jurisdiction should be punished accordingly. Anyone who is accused of any offence is assumed to be innocent until proved guilty. However, due process must be followed because in all we do, we set and follow precedent. These are my assumptions as I try to appraise the ongoing hullaballoo about the travails of the President of Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, for alleged false declaration of assets and consequent breach of the Code of Conduct Act.
    Like many Nigerians, I am very angry about the mention of the word corruption. It gets worse when any prominent politician is associated with it. It has very little to do with the Senate President as a person. Just that he is a “big man” and is naturally on the receiving side of our ongoing class war in the country. Poor people get very irritated and incensed when some of the country’s humongous amounts of money are being mentioned in connection with public officers. It is purely as a result of a class warfare where poverty of the majority breeds anger and resentment against a privileged few. It is a struggle for incorporation rather than a matter of justice or equity. No one really bothers about the details or tries to stop that anger from distorting their objective reasons. But I beg to differ on this one.
    I attended the session at the Code of Conduct Tribunal last Tuesday, uninvited. I had to go there because I wanted an opportunity to see things for myself and put the whole saga in context. I left my room at about 8.00 am and arrived the Tribunal premises at about 9.02 am. I spent more than 30 minutes from Jabi Junction while enduring a humiliating searching and frisking from gun-wielding and stern-looking policemen. At a point, they stopped the taxi that was conveying me and I had to resort to renting a motorbike to complete my journey. There were about 483 policemen deployed from the road to the premises of the CCT. They had Armoured Personnel Carriers positioned in strategic locations. They were so battle ready such that you would mistake the trial in view to be that of Abubakar Shekau or Abua QaQa or a known Boko Haram commander. I managed to take a seat in the fully parked room after looking around for ten minutes.
    I counted about 34 journalists, 19 video cameras and three live television broadcast vans in the compound. It was clear that everyone was prepared for a major event. I was a little surprised at the elaborate preparation that I saw. It was as if another Oscar Pistorius was about to be arraigned. I was not exactly sure what to expect neither could I guess who could have paid for such an elaborate publicity. The atmosphere in the room was also soaked with tension. Some journalists gathered in clusters to review their expectations for the day while others threw banters at one another as they waited.
    At about 9.40 am, I noticed some movement of a crowd of persons at the entrance after which the delegation from the Senate arrived. I spotted the Senate President, Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu, Senators Magatakarda Wamakko, Ben Bruce and others in the crowd. The Deputy Senate President sat on the front row. The senators waited for another 50 minutes before the Chairman of the Tribunal stepped in about 10. 30 am. I do want to comment further on what transpired in court lest someone will either shout subjudice or accuse me of contempt of court. But I enjoyed the exchanges between the prosecution and the defence teams which brought clarity to the undercurrents of the trial. That said, let me raise some observations making the round already in the public domain.
    The first observation is about the credibility of the tribunal under its current leadership. It was reported in the media that the Chairman of the Code of Conduct tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, is himself facing corruption charges levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It was stated that the EFCC had invited him on several occasions and he rebuffed all of them. How come no one issued a warrant of arrest on him? Now, the problem is how can such a man who has yet to clear himself from the EFCC be trusted to preside over the corruption trial of another person? The right thing would have been for the learned Justice to step aside until he sorted himself out from the EFCC or handed over the trial to an acting Chairman to preside over.
    The second point is about the timing of the alleged offence and the trial. I listened while the charges were read and came to understand that some of the alleged breaches were said to have been committed many years ago when the defendant was serving as governor of Kwara State. Even though time is not a hindrance to crime prosecution, many Nigerians are wondering why it took the CCT 12 years to complete their investigation and bring the matter to trial. Some observers admit that part of the sins of the former governor is that he emerged as the President of Senate against the wishes of his party. Now, if this is true, it means that the CCT trial is now a tool in the hands of the party to punish Saraki for his “disobedience”. There are those who think that the timing is not as important as the fact of the symbolism of prosecuting a high profile politician. As far as they are concerned, offenders can be tried post-mortem. They take it as a credit to the political will of the current administration to fight corruption to take on anyone anytime. True. It sends a clear warning signal. What about others? Is Saraki the only public officer who might have allegedly breached the CCB Act? Are there other senators and public officers lined up for the CCT? Shall we then take this trial as a coincidence or a well-rehearsed plan to use someone as a scapegoat?
    My third and final point is about the implications of the whole saga on the polity. There appears to be a clear battle line that has been drawn between the executive and the legislative arms of government. Can President Muhammadu Buhari afford this now? I am worried because of the complaints from many quarters that the Federal Government is moving very slowly and whether such an executive-legislative face-off will not worsen the pace of governance. We have been informed that the President will send his ministerial nominees to the National Assembly on September 30. And so what next? If some of these grey areas are not clarified, how will he expect any expedited clearance of those nominees?
    Every lover of democracy knows the implication of a docile parliament. It simply means that no one will provide effective oversight or question any form of executive rascality. Such a situation will create an opportunity for the executive to exercise both constitutional and unconstitutional powers without checks which may encourage the President to become dictatorial. The consequences will be too dangerous to contemplate. In as much as many of us support the current efforts of government to fight corruption, such efforts must be systematic, thorough and made to follow due process and not converted to a selective fight. Nigerians have not forgotten how anti-corruption efforts of former President Olusegun Obasanjo yielded results until he converted to an instrument for hounding political opponents. President Buhari must learn from that experience


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  • My wish for Nigeria @ 55, By Joe Igbokwe

    30/Sep/2015 // 189 Viewers

    This is our chance to prove to the world that we did not go to school to learn how to accumulate what we do not need. This is not the time to stand and stare. This is not the time for bedtime stories and frivolities. This is the time for us to tear ourselves away from primitive accumulation of wealth to service delivery. This is the time to grow up. This is my wish for Nigeria at 55.
    Make no mistake about it, there is a finger of God in the coming of President Buhari at this critical moment in the nation’s history after making attempts at the presidency in 2003, 2007, and 2011, before eventually clinching it at the Saturday March 28, 2015 election. If one is not deep in the knowledge of how God works, one might not know the full meaning of President Buhari’s emergence at a time like this to do what he is doing presently. There was nothing PDP and its massive followers, with deep pockets, did not do to stop him but their efforts were not enough to stop an idea whose time had come.
    Those who did not follow the campaigns fully may not have known what the wreckers, the ruiners and destroyers of Nigeria did to stop him, but the grace of God and the love of God for Nigeria stopped them. Huge amounts of money in various currencies were deployed, mercenaries were hired to execute the worst form of hate campaign ever known in the history of Nigeria, the instrumentality of the full weight of the federal government was fully deployed, the full weight of Nigeria’s security forces were fully and maximally employed to stop President Buhari but God had other plans for Nigeria. Despite these onslaughts and desperation to change the will of God for Nigeria, this will of God prevailed. I may not have been a Reverend Father, Prophet, an Evangelist, General Overseer, Bishop or General Superintendent etc. but I saw it coming. God has not finished with Nigeria and this I know. Promotion does not come from the East, West, North or South. God is the judge. He chooses whom to lift up and whom to bring down, thus says the Holy Book.
    Since Buhari came to power, I have seen a lot of deep changes which ordinary eyes may not see. The 2015 election losers may not see this because they are still very angry. Inordinate ambition and hate have beclouded their senses of reasoning as they continue to curse the day President Buhari was born. But a deep look into Nigeria’s political landscape shows evidence of change to new ways of doing things. Saboteurs who have sworn that our power sector and the downstream energy sector will never work have distanced themselves from the vandalisation gas pipelines, power plants and refineries. Looters of our common patrimony are now thinking twice because a new sheriff is in town. The fear of President Buhari is now the beginning of wisdom. Yes, they have stolen enough for the real owners to take notice but they have not stolen our brains and ideas. With brains and ideas, we can start the process of rebuilding Nigeria. I am told that ideas are better than money at high levels of offices.
    It is historic and prophetic that the new ministers’ list will be out when Nigeria is clocking 55 on Thursday, October 1, 2015. My late father once told me that you will never get up unless you have fallen down. I have an idea of the kind of people who will make the ministers list in a Buhari-led government, and I know that 70 percent of them know that we have to build Nigeria now or never. We have the political will to recover every kobo stolen and use it effectively to rebuild our dilapidated infrastructure, create jobs in millions, rebuild our institutions, feed our teeming population and provide maximum security for all Nigerians. This is not the time to eat but time for work and work for the good of the commonwealth.
    The massive flow of Refugees from Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Africa into Europe should serve as teachable moments for Nigerian leaders. Boko Haram insurgents, MASSOB and Niger Delta Militants remain a big challenge to all of us, especially our leaders. We must rise above ethnic sentiments in order to confront these threats and build a new Nigeria of our dream.
    Last week, I took a tour of the Tin Can Island and Apapa, Lagos, where the federal government makes trillions every year via the seaports. One only needs to see the state of the roads in these gold mines to know the state of minds of those who serve as managing directors of companies at the Tin Can Island, the Apapa Wharf, the flour mills, banks, oil companies, etc. There is no law that prevents them from building roads that lead to their premises. What stops them from doing the needful by mounting pressure on the Federal Ministry of Works to use part of the huge amount they cart away every year to fix those roads? Roads in Apapa and Tin Can Island remain not only an eye sore, but a head sore, a mind sore, a soul sore and a heart sore.
    The incoming ministers must know that it is not business as usual. President Buhari has a mission and time is not on his side. It therefore behoves all of them to key in to the president’s vision of zero tolerance for corruption. They have no choice. Nigeria has gone full cycle in stupidity and selfishness and this is the time to rebuild or we all perish.
    Nigeria at 55 with Muhammadu Buhari as President provides a new window for all of us to sit up and be smart in re-ordering the way we do things in Nigeria. The massive flow of Refugees from Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Africa into Europe should serve as teachable moments for Nigerian leaders. Boko Haram insurgents, MASSOB and Niger Delta Militants remain a big challenge to all of us, especially our leaders. We must rise above ethnic sentiments in order to confront these threats and build a new Nigeria of our dream. Diversity remains our greatest assets in this country and should we bungle it as a result of greed, selfishness, ethnic preoccupation and political irresponsibility, woe betide us.
    President Buhari’s team should be our first eleven for the first time in 55 years, and we demand nothing less. I pity any minister who will go there to mess up when the need is greatest. I pity any minister who will go there to think it is business as usual. I pity any minister who will go there to betray the president and the country. This is our chance to prove to the world that we did not go to school to learn how to accumulate what we do not need. This is not the time to stand and stare. This is not the time for bedtime stories and frivolities. This is the time for us to tear ourselves away from primitive accumulation of wealth to service delivery. This is the time to grow up. This is my wish for Nigeria at 55.


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  • Why I married 18 yrs old princess, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

    30/Sep/2015 // 320 Viewers

    Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and one of his heartrobs
    54-years old Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II has explained why he took an 18-years old princess from Adamawa as his new wife.
    The said response was posted by the Emir in a private mail group and not initially meant for public consumption, but The Paradigm laid hold of the response and decided to publish.
    Find his response below:
    “I am sure NC members all have their views and have kept quiet out of (appropriate) deference to our right to make our individual choice. Obviously I do not need to explain anything to anyone in a purely personal matter but a few points are worthy of note:
    1. The lady in question is 18 and thererfore legally of age to marry under all laws and certainly inder Muslim law
    2. She is proceeding for her undergraduate education in the UK in january. She had an A in computer science in her O levels and plans to get a degree in computer science
    3 each and everyone of my wives is a university graduate and some have worked and fhen stopped and in each case the choice was purely theirs
    4. It is a tradition in Kano that emirs and princes in choosing wives consider issues beyond the individual. The family is in every sense a social unit. My predecessor was married to princesses from Ilorin, Katsina and Somoto
    5 The relationship between the late Lamido of Adamawa Aliyu Musdafa the father of the current Lamido is well known. Lamido Aliyu was the first emir turbanned after emir Sanusi I and they remained close until Sanusi’s death.
    6. My own relationship with the current Lamido dates back to 1981 when he was Ciroma and commissioner for works. By the way the Lamido and I are not illiterates we know what we are doing and he does have a PhD in Engineering
    7. My own mother was married in Adamawa and lived there for more than two decades and I have eight younger brothers and sisters from there
    8 it is therefore natural that if I choose to marry from another kingdom Adamawa would be the first choice for me and I am extremely happy to strengthen these ling historical bonds
    9. The young lady in question gave her free consent and even after the contract the wedding will not happen for a few years. By then she may be 21. If she freely consents to this I do not know on what moral grounds anyone has a grouse. She is an adult, she gave her consent, her education is not being in anyway interrupted.
    10. The real issue is that people do not accept cultural difference. And you can see it in the approach to these issues. I am supposed to be urbane and western educated. Yes but i am not european. I am a northern Nigerian Fulani Muslim brought up in a setting exactly like the one my children are being brought up in.
    If you read this and it improves your understanding of this issue that is fine. If it does not justvremember it us not your life, it is not your daughter and you are not my wife therefore it is not your business.
    I obviously cannot stoop to the level of responding publicly to these kinds of articles. I have always been an advocate of girls marrying after maturing. I personally like the minimum age of 18 even though i understand those who say 16 is fine and indeed this is the law in most so calked @advanced@ countries.
    Is this something that I expect a european or western trained or feminist mind to appreciate or endorse? Not at all. But has any american been bothered about my views on men marrying men or women marrying women which frankly I find primitive and bestial? No and my views do not matter. These are cultural issues.
    Even in Nigeria I have heard all this stuff as in Pius article about “north” and northerners. Again it is a failure to respect difference. There are parts if this country where parents expect their daughters to live with their boyfriends for years and actually get pregnant before they marry. It has become culture. We do not have that in the north and if your daughter gets pregnant before marriage she brings nothing but shame to the name. But we do not issue condemnations. We agree that this is how they choose to live. And i can give many other examples.
    When people use the term libido they do themselves injustice. First of all it shows how they view women and marriage. Women are nothing but the object of sexual desire. Marriage is nothing but sexual gratification. Well I am sorry but in my tradition it is not. Beauty and attraction rank third after religion and lineage in the choice of a wife. They see an 18 year old young lady. I see a princess of noble birth whose mother is also a princess, and who has been brought up in a good muslim home. This is the kind of woman that is prepared for hiving birth to princes and bringing them up for the role expected of them in society.
    Martiage is both social and political. Expanding the links of kano which have already been established by my predecessors through inter marriage with katsina, sokoto, ilorin, katagum, ningi, bauchi etc to adamawa is an important and signifant step and this is obvious to anyone with a sense of how royal families work and Ibn Khaldun’s sociological concept of Asabiyyah. When the emir of Kano marries it has to be something beyond what he oersonally desires to what is appropriate for that position and the expectations of the people he represents. You dont just pick up any girl on the street. And by the way for thise who shout libido sex is cheap and available everywhere in all shapes and sizes and all colours if that is what they want. And all ages too. Martiage is a very different proposition. The mother of your children has to be something other than, ot at least much more than a mere object of sexual fantasy. But if you do not know that you need to buy yourself a brain.
    I have daughters. And they know they can only marry from certain backgrounds. I always prefer family. When my daughter wanted to marry mouftah baba ahmed’s son and she asked me, knowing my views on family, i told her mouftah is family. And this is not about me and mouftah or me an hakeem or nafiu. No. It goes back to Baba Ahmed and Emirs Sanusi and Bayero. And the same rule applies to my sons. And it applied to me as well.
    It is I am sure very strange that I should even bother to comment on this. But it would be hypocritical for me to just keep quiet so long as these things are being posted and commented upon explicitly or in a snide manner. There was no secrecy in the marriage fatiha. The date was fixed and it was to be done in the central mosque after friday prayers. The day before we had a tragedy in Saudi Arabia and decided the fatiha must be very low key as a mark of respect for the dead. All traditional rulers in adamawa were there, as were governors and commissioners, members of my own emirate council and adamawa people. There is nothing here to hide or be apologetic about.
    The emirs of adamawa have shown love to my parents and grandparents and it is a sign of my appreciation of their love that i marry their daughter. This is the highest statement of friendship and loyalty on both sides.
    Again if you understand this this is fine. If you do not buy yourself a brain, A la Pius.
    In any event this is my one and final and only comment on this. And I am making it out of respect for NC members.”

    Source: The Paradigm


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  • New APC Vs Old APC And Why Buhari Might Lose The 2019 Election By Femi Akinfolarin

    30/Sep/2015 // 157 Viewers

    Mr. Buhari is largely responsible for this strong dichotomy between the Old and New APC. A political party by its nature is not a democracy even though it must have some sort of internal democratic structure. The leaders of the party must be able to crack the whip and make party members toe a required line. Mr. Buhari is not doing that. He isn’t setting the agenda for his party or openly making deviants toe the party line.

    There were three main reasons for the election of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari in April – the horrendously incompetent PDP administration; the presence of a viable alternative in the form of the APC led by an incorruptible Mr. Buhari; and finally the enviable record of the APC governors, especially the administration in Lagos, which most non-partisan Nigerians believed at the time was stellar. There might have been other ancillary issues but the above formed the basis.

    Tragically, the above will also spell the end of this APC government in 2019. There is starting to appear a clear distinction across the membership of the APC, between competence and clear incompetence. This distinction is clear when you consider the behaviour and performance of the members of the defunct Action Congress against the behaviour of other members, especially the ones who defected from the PDP to the APC after its formation. Despite all the vitriol recently sent the way of Mr. Bola Tinubu, his AC governors were disciplined and maintained a high level of performance when compared to the hapless PDP governors and politicians which made it really easy to say to the electorate that the performance would be continued under an administration led by Mr. Buhari. This message is getting lost in the battle between what I will call the New APC and the Old APC.

    Let me describe the difference between the New and Old APCs.

    The New APC is Mr. Olubukola Saraki defying his party and hiding inside a car park so he could sneak into the senate premises and execute the agreement he made with the PDP to seize the post of senate president. The Old APC is former Governor Fashola accepting to support Mr. Ambode, despite having his own candidate for the same post and keeping the quarrel between him and his godfather in-house. The New APC is Governor Jubrila Bindow, who defected from the PDP to the APC, budgeting N700m for prayers against Boko Haram and also appointing a male commissioner for the ministry of women affairs in Adamawa State. The Old APC is Governor Amosun constructing the first flyover bridge in Ijebu Ode. The New APC is when Governor Abubakar Sani who governs Niger State, which was recently bailed out by the Federal government, jets in to the UK for the sole purpose of visiting Stamford Bridge to watch the game between Arsenal and Chelsea. The New APC is Mr. Simon Lalong formerly of the PDP, following a suspended Comptroller General of Immigrations, Mr. Parradang to Aso Rock to beg President Buhari to reinstate him (Mr. Parradang was suspended for unauthorised recruitment into the immigration service, which is shameful considering how many lives were lost last year when the then minister of interior and the same Mr. Parradang messed up the immigration recruitment exercises, leading to the death of many young Nigerians). The New APC is 83 senators, including 35 APC senators, passing a vote of confidence on a senate president currently facing trial for corruption without considering the message that passes to ordinary citizens. The examples of bad behaviour by the New APC are piling up.

    The buck stops at Mr. Buhari’s table. As he announces his ministerial list, it is imperative that he understands that if his political associates are misbehaving, his ministers can absolutely not and they must show the same efficiency previously displayed by the AC governors to destroy the increasingly strong belief that APC and PDP are really the two sides of the same coin. Either he does that or the people will sack him in 2019.

    There was a sense of unity under the defunct AC. All its governors focused on high profile/high impact governmental priorities (roads construction, infrastructural development, traffic management, revenue collection, security reinforcement). The governors projected an image of efficiency. All governors and other office holders spoke with one voice on all matters in the political space. It was the combination of all these factors that made the AC such a compelling story for voters. While all governors had their distinct character, they were similar with regards to a drive for performance, a usage of technocrats to drive that performance and a collective platform for engaging with the nation. The new APC is a clear manifestation of the tower of babble, neither showing cohesion nor showing performance to make voters see it as a natural successor to the old AC. It’s obvious that the citizens of Nigeria will soon be able to see that what was promised is not what is being delivered.

    Mr. Buhari is largely responsible for this strong dichotomy between the Old and New APC. A political party by its nature is not a democracy even though it must have some sort of internal democratic structure. The leaders of the party must be able to crack the whip and make party members toe a required line. Mr. Buhari is not doing that. He isn’t setting the agenda for his party or openly making deviants toe the party line.

    The buck stops at Mr. Buhari’s table. As he announces his ministerial list, it is imperative that he understands that if his political associates are misbehaving, his ministers can absolutely not and they must show the same efficiency previously displayed by the AC governors to destroy the increasingly strong belief that APC and PDP are really the two sides of the same coin. Either he does that or the people will sack him in 2019.


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