• My wish for Nigeria @ 55, By Joe Igbokwe

    30/Sep/2015 // 165 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 // 282 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 // 138 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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  • Was God Angry The Day He Created The Nigerian? By Pius Adesanmi

    30/Sep/2015 // 89 Viewers

    Ottawa. Airport. In the lounge.
    I make a rich selection from the buffet and settle approvingly on a French wine. It’s still three hours to the boarding of that flight to London and on to homeland.
    The plan: enjoy a meal, and settle down to French winning while mentally visualising the delivery of my speech, “Hating Nigeria to Greatness” at Platform 2015 on Independence Day. Tweak the speech here and there. Envision the cadence of delivery. Envision stage management and body movement with Chris Oyakhilome’s stage practice always a guide. You see, prosperity Pentecostal Pastors do have their uses after all. I spend hours watching Chris Oyakhilome’s videos to learn from his uses of the stage…
    When you have such grandiose pre-flight plans, do not sit in front of a flatscreen in the lounge. Your plans will be ruined.
    It’s a local TV station. News time. Dominated by the impending Canadian election. Then they mention funeral rights for some people who were killed by a drunk driver. Then the anchor says that the three contenders for the Prime Minister position have been weighing in on the tragic road accident which led to loss of lives.
    In Brampton, Ontario, two children and their grandfather were killed this week by a drunk driver.
    They show footage of Prime Minister Harper regretting the loss of precious Canadian lives in the said road accident.
    They show footage of the other contestants mourning.
    Everybody is lamenting the loss of lives on the road and calling for stricter measures against drunk driving.
    I marvel at the Canadian culture of life and thank God for the privilege of Canada.
    But my evening is ruined all the same. The expensive French wine is now bitter. My food is now cold. It is going to be a long agonising flight to London.
    Why is Nigeria made differently? Why is the Nigerian made differently?
    So much value for the life of the citizen here in Canada. Above all differences, these bitter Canadian political rivals are uniting to value the life of the Canadian.
    A drunk driving incident leading to the loss of lives is making national news?
    Boko Haram will have to kill at least 100 Nigerian babies to make the news these days.
    The drunk driver who killed Canadians on the road will pay. No questions asked.
    Make the same guy a Nigerian and try to prosecute him.
    Then you hear:
    Is he the first Nigerian to drink and drive? How many people did he kill self?
    Yorubas are worse drunk drivers and nothing happens to them
    Hausas are worse drunk drivers and nothing happens to them.
    Igbos are worse drunk drivers and nothing happens to them.
    Why are you witch hunting him just because he made a mistake of drinking and driving?
    Is it because he is a Christian? Is it because he is a Muslim?
    Go and hug a transformer if you don’t like our culture. Go and die if you don’t like our religion.
    Even in America and Britain, people sometimes drink and drive.
    Besides, this so-called drunk driver that you are witch hunting has contributed IMMENSELY to the development of Nigeria.
    You are just a hater for persecuting him.
    So I ask my almighty God: who annoyed you the day you created the Nigerian?


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  • Saraki As Buhari’s Collateral Damage By Jude Ndukwe

    30/Sep/2015 // 116 Viewers

    Prior to the March 28 presidential election and shortly after it, just before the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, many waited in high expectations and eventually heaved a sigh of relief at what seemed to be a change of the unsatisfactory performance of the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in particular, and the 16 years of PDP rule at the centre in general. President Muhammadu Buhari was widely acclaimed as the needed and long-awaited messiah to take Nigeria to that utopian state of socio-economic haven and respect for the rights of the citizens, coupled with a guarantee of maximum security for everyone. Buhari was packaged as a repentant dictator who is purportedly now in tune with requirements of modern day democracy and the dictates of the rule of law. But just like every package, the true contents unfold only when the lid is lifted.
    With recent events, the claim of Buhari and his spin doctors that he is now a democrat and no longer that autocratic leader he was as military Head-of-State has failed abysmally. From the wanton harassment of Nigerians by security operatives to the invasion of private and official homes of citizens Gestapo-style and the witch hunt of political opponents for lawful dissent, the real Buhari keeps unfolding every day.
    It is no longer a secret that since Buhari came to power, he has shown a grave lack of respect for the polity and our delicate realities. He has carried on as if certain people and regions do not either matter or they are not Nigerians. His appointments so far indicate a president who lacks foresight. His claim that he had to appoint those whom he trusted and who had been with him from his days of struggle is socially expedient but politically suicidal and nationalistically murderous. The question is, how did Buhari fare when these loyal apostles of his were with him? Were they able to deliver the presidency to him? if not for his new breed of friends from different parts of the country who teamed up with him, not because he was in any way near the class of former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan but for the very fact that they were all driven by one desperate ambition to have Jonathan leave Aso Rock by all and any means possible, Buhari’s ambition to become Nigeria’s president would have remained an eternal mirage despite his association with those he claimed have been with him for a long time. In the end, such people can only be classified as “local champions” whose influence and loyalty to their principal could not deliver him the presidency until the intervention of powerful forces outside the immediate clique of Mr President.
    The fact of the matter is, Buhari is one man who does whatever he likes irrespective of what the nation thinks and no matter whose ox is gored. As a man not used to democratic practices and one who is finding it extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact that he cannot govern Nigeria alone as a sole administrator but would require a cabinet to do so, Mr Buhari’s only choice is to create excuses and keep giving them as reasons why he does not have a cabinet four months after inauguration.
    The formation of a cabinet simply means meetings would have to be conveyed and decisions would have to be reached by means not akin to dictatorial norms. The implication is that some of Buhari’s wishes might meet brick walls before ministers who might knock him out with superior arguments and proposals. He understands how scandalous things can be for him if one or two ministers or more decide to resign because of his high-handedness and incapability to succumb to superior proposals and submissions. For this reason, he might prefer to continue to rule alone.
    It would have been understandable if things were either working or looking up in the country without ministers, but as it is, things are getting worse by the day. The economic indices are not favourable just as our economic ratings in the international community have dropped drastically. Recently, the Nigeria Labour Congress confirmed that 60,000 of its members lost their jobs in the construction industry alone in the first three months of Buhari’s presidency, other private sector players including banks are regularly laying off workers in their thousands just to survive the negative impacts of an ill-thought out Treasury Single Account policy for MDAs, a policy that is not sustainable in the long run; little wonder some MDAs have already been exempted from it even before take-off. A more stringent and regular audit process for the MDAs would have been a better alternative.
    This seems to be how Buhari is wired and it is unfortunate that for him to continue running Nigeria like a sole proprietor, and Senator Bukola Saraki, president of the Senate of the Federal Republic becomes the victim and the proverbial sacrificial lamb. The game is simple. Buhari seems to detest working with ministers. He would only do so because the constitution compels him to so do. That is widely acknowledged. No one would want to work with mere “noise makers”! Now, to deliberately delay the constitution of a noise making cabinet, the confirming organ, that is the Senate, would have to be destabilised and thrown into confusion. While the confusion in the senate lasts, and fascinated by such intrigues, Nigerians would be pre-occupied with them as Buhari keeps dishing out policies as he likes without a cabinet. This is why there would be more executive-instigated intrigues in the legislature, especially the Senate, so as to make it look like it is the legislature which is not ready for legislative functions while the executive carries on without checks or balances. The senate would first of all fight for its own survival before considering any requests from the executive including the ministerial list of noise makers. This game plan by the executive may still fail and “noise makers” foisted on the president so soon and against his will.
    Senator Bukola Saraki’s travails are not unconnected with the calculation by the Buhari’s camp to continue to foist anti-democratic and dangerous political experiments on Nigerians while the senate continues in an unending battle for self-preservation. Unfortunately and in all these, Senator Bukola Saraki is the collateral damage!


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