[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu reports ] - It was the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo who in 1947 famously declared that “Nigeria is not a nation but a mere geographical expression.” Likewise Yakubu Gowon, the then head of state had also in August 1966 declared that “there was no basis for Nigerian unity.” Of particular note is the attitude of the independence leaders; the duo of Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa who took over the reins of power at independence both of whom in words and deeds never failed to demonstrate their disbelief in Nigeria. While Ahmadu Bello in his book and autobiography “My Life” published in 1961; famously derided the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria as “the mistake of 1914,” Tafawa Balewa who became the prime minister at independence was no different. In 1948 while addressing the legislative council, he declared that “Since 1914 the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any sign or willingness to unite. Nigerian unity is only a British intention for the country.”
Fast forward to 2005 and the Central intelligence agency (CIA) in the same vein broadly concluded that “while currently Nigeria's leaders are locked in a bad marriage that all dislike but dare not leave, there are possibilities that could disrupt the precarious equilibrium in Abuja and lead to outright collapse.” The conveners of PRONACO, notably the late Beko Ransome Kuti, and Chief Anthony Enahoro amongst others had similarly premised their campaign for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) on preventing the inevitable scenarios of eventual violent collapse. As is evident, the expressions of even those who have been opportuned to steer the ship of state demonstrates the extent to which Nigeria was and remains the mere geographical expression Chief Obafemi Awolowo once called it. It is thus no accident that every profile or introduction of Nigeria from the CIA World Factbook, the Tony Blair Foundation, Encyclopaedia, BBC country profile, the International Crisis Group (ICG), books, journals and government publications all begin their introductory profile or description of Nigeria with a labelling that aptly depicts Nigeria as a nation with deep ethnic and religious divisions.
In reality, Nigeria has historically been so divided that not even the independence struggle could unite them as was the case in other countries. Many do not realise that much of the casualties of the independence struggle was suffered not at the hands of the British colonialists as would be expected but at the hands of Northern leaders who in expression of their opposition to the call for independence by Anthony Enahoro in the federal parliament unleashed the infamous 1953 Kano riots that killed hundreds of people. These deep ethnic divisions also explains why Nigeria is the only country where nationalist pro-independence leaders could not win an outright victory in the post independence elections thereby making it possible for the Northern people’s congress that had opposed independence and severally expressed their disbelief in the idea of Nigeria to ironically form the first post-independence government. Subsequently every Nigerian leader has operated within a tribal prism without paying any attention to nation building. This crude resort to tribal alliances and the attendant domination, marginalisation and exclusion of other ethnic groups alongside other injustices is at the heart of Nigeria’s fault lines and existential crisis.
One Nigeria for all intents and purposes has been a scam. Neither the leaders nor the people believe in it beyond the lazy desire to share oil money. While a civil war was fought on the fraudulent premise of keeping Nigeria united, the war has been futile as the real reason behind the war was a desire to control the crude oil resources and not because there was any genuine desire to keep Nigeria united. This informs the sustained oppression and exclusion that trailed the aftermath of the so called war of unity in place of nation building which should have been the case had there been a genuine intention to keep Nigeria united without any ulterior motives. From a beginning that was marked by ethnic divisions Nigeria has continued on the trajectory of dangerous and increasingly violent divisions. In the absence of true federalism, justice/equality and abundance of leaders who abhor the necessity of nation building, Nigeria’s growing contradictions has birthed reactionary forces amongst which are MASSOB, MEND, OPC, Boko Haram and now Radio Biafra. These are all legitimate responses to a state that has failed to respond to its contradictions through nation building and other progressive policies of national integration. The vacuum created by the absence of nation building has naturally been filled by reactionary forces; some violent that has taken centre stage tearing at the fragile fabric of the nation.
A recent reminder of Nigeria’s deepening cleavages came from no other than the Oba of Lagos who threatened a section of the country with drowning in the sea if they didn’t vote for his preferred candidate, while Muhammadu Buhari as President has started off with appointments that clearly demonstrate sectionalism. Buhari himself later alluded to giving preferential treatment to those who voted for him during a question and answer session in the course of his visit to the United States. Not minding that we are in a democracy, this is a president who campaigned on the idea of changing Nigeria for the better yet has retreated to undemocratic practices and blatant sectionalism. It is no surprise then, that Radio Biafra has gained more popularity riding as it is on Buhari’s divisive policies that is further weakening the already fragile state. Radio Biafra is therefore a creation of Nigeria’s contradictions, exclusion, oppression, tribalism, born to rule system, injustice, inequality, apartheid and internal colonialism. In that regards, Radio Biafra is a legitimate reaction to Nigeria’s falsehood as a nation and successive bad leaders that has only made things worse.
Unlike some others, I don’t subscribe to the idea that Radio Biafra and its adherents are incapable of violence or war. History does not support such assumptions. Nothing in life has ever been written in stone and the lesson from Boko Haram and the near daily suicide bombings it now undertakes in a country where we once assumed that fearful Nigerians would never want to die for anything is a reminder that the truism ‘never say never’ is very true. Just like Boko Haram, Radio Biafra and its adherents could become radicalised enough to wage war and be successful at it. All through human history, the fear of death has never prevented or stopped warfare. Neither has it even stopped armed robbery here in Nigeria. War is a spirit and those who are sufficiently inspired or motivated would be willing to give their life for what they believe in. Millions across the world fought against colonial masters with vastly superior weaponry in the struggle for independence. Hundreds of people die daily in the Mediterranean crossing from Libya to Europe but that has not deterred those desperate enough to seek a better life from embarking on the perilous journey.
At independence, no one could have imagined that Nigerian would descend into tribal war in a few years, but when the conditions made war necessary, the war was fought with an unbelievable tenacity of purpose and resilience by the Biafrans who resisted Nigeria’s onslaught for almost three years with practically bare hands. Lesson is; no group should be pushed to the wall on assumption that they will not or cannot wage war. It would be a costly mistake as there is no precedent of any nation that survived a second civil war and Nigeria will not be an exception. Besides self determination from colonialism of all forms is a fundamental right enshrined in the United Nations charter. In this day and age the world is trending towards the use of democratic referendums to decide the quest for self determination and not war as the Scottish referendum recently demonstrated. In that regards it is entirely lawful to allow any region or regions that seek self determination to have a United Nations supervised referendum. In other words, if Radio Biafra succeeds in mobilising a critical mass of its target audience for self determination through for example a signed petition of up to half a million people, the Nigerian government would be bound by international law to let them have a referendum and in case of refusal, Radio Biafra would be within its right to wage war having exhausted all peaceful and legal means.
Truth is; Radio Biafra will not go away as far as the many injustices that birthed it remains. It will continue to grow and haunt Nigeria up to the possibility of open warfare except and until there is extensive dialogue between all Nigerian nationalities and an inclusive nation building constitution and leadership is constituted to aggressively initiative an all encompassing project of nation building. That is in the least, the only chance of permanently burying Radio Biafra and others like it. The alternative will be Nigeria’s inevitable disintegration sooner or later as even the Bible and the Koran in their divine wisdom did declare that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Those who have ears let them hear!
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption – Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, Director, Radio Biafra
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 21st July 2015)-Earlier today, our leadership issued a statement, titled: “Purported News of Former CSO’s Death in DSS Custody”. We had in the statement demanded, among other things, the public and physical production of Senior Agent Gordon Obua by the Service Management of the Department of the State Security Service as the only way Nigerians would believe he is still alive. Though the Service complied with the said demand of ours by featuring him in a “protective news briefing” with a seemingly skewed statement; but other demands were left totally unaddressed by the Service at the news briefing in which only the detained former CSO spoke.
The unanswered questions left by the Service are: what crime(s) or offense(s) known to Nigeria’s written criminal law did Senior Agent Gordon Obua commit or alleged to have committed warranting his arrest and detention since Thursday, 16th July 2015 without trial? Under the present democratic dispensation, which law under the 1999 Constitution empowers the SSS to arrest and detain any citizen without trial? Which law under democratic dispensation empowers the Service to arrest and detain any citizen including Citizen Gordon Obua without disclosure of reasons and offenses upon which he was arrested and detained for over six days? Where are the principles of Nemo Judex In Causa Sua( one should not be a judge in his own case) and Audi Alteram Partem (hear the other side or hear both sides) in the instant case? Why did the Service keep silence on the denial of the former CSO access to his family, lawyers and physicians? As a confirmed hypertensive and diabetic patient, why did the Service deny him access to his drugs? Assuming Senior Agent Gordon Obua is charged to court tomorrow, how will he prepare his for defense and defend himself? Are the SSS operational procedures and its establishment Act superior to the 1999 Constitution? Is the Service hiding under the moribund Decree No.2 of 1984 to unleash its renewed terror on Nigerians?
The Service Management of the SSS is called upon to provide concrete answers to the questions above. We thank Nigerians for their concerns and outcries over the solitary confinement of Senior Agent Gordon Obua, leading to fears in some quarters to the effect that he might have died in custody. It is very important to restate here that due process must be followed at all times in conducting governmental activities including visiting criminal arm of the law against citizens accused of being in conflict with the criminal law. No citizen must be arrested and detained without being informed of his or her offense, which must be written and defined by law. It is also a fundamental breach of the Constitution to arrest and detain any citizen without trial and express access to his or her family, doctor and lawyer. The SSS must respect the rule of law and principles of fair hearing at all times, otherwise its good intentions (if any) will crash. It should also revert to its core statutory functions and avoid over-stepping its bounds.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
*Photo Caption - As seen
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - We are indeed at a point of re-birth. Nigeria strayed for most of its past years since inception and was known for most things not too good. We had very little to be proud of and our national pledges and anthems were jokes to us. Bearing a corruption brand, we were ashamed to say we were from Nigeria and reluctantly pulled out our green passports when we traveled.
We achieved firsts in the worst scourges: world kidnapping capital, most corrupt nation, worst level of accountability, most oil-spill polluted shore, 419 capital, worst governments in the world, most poor per population, most looted nation, highest high sea piracy, most deadly terror group, worst country to be born… you name it.
What’s in a name? Everything. The Bible says, “1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. 2 Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.” Proverbs 22:1-2.
In Islam they say, choose a name that bestows virtue, do not name your child something meaningless like Bumblebee, then your child will end up so. The Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “You will be called on the Day of Resurrection by your names and the names of your fathers, so have good names.” (Reported by Abu Dawud)
In fact, interestingly the (potential) child in Islam has fundamental rights over the father, three of them are; 1. A right to a good mother, i.e. a man violates his unborn child’s right when he selects a worthless woman as his wife. 2. A right to a good name. And 3. A right to good education.
Culturally our names all had meanings. They praised where we were coming from, they recalled our past heroes, they characterized virtues and predicted character for us. They also revered our creator. A son of a Kenyan man, Obama was christened, “Barack,” meaning blessing. It was no accident he got blessed to become the president of the United States.
Likewise it is by no accident that a man they chose to name “Goodluck,” had the luck of his master-governor being arrested and the luck of his master-president dying, to ascend both steps to the number one position in Nigeria. Had he been named Clueliow, Lord knows, he may have remained the lecturer at college of education and the best he would have achieved would have been completing that his suspended PhD. Well let’s not deviate.
It is not in our culture to adopt meaningless or perhaps even evil names.
Nigeria: A Name That Promotes A Lie, A Theft Of Heritage
Again, looking at the foundation of our name, the same name neighbor “Niger” was christened but the English version; Nigeria I believe connotes River Niger, the river that the colonialist falsely claimed to have discovered. Hence our name continues to propagate the lie. In a past 2013 article, “Mungo Park Did Not Discover River Niger...But Mansa Abubakari II Discovered America,” I described the many other names and symbolisms we attributed to river Egerew Nigerewen, or Isa Ber, or Orimili, or Kwara and Oya as were the many beautiful names by which we knew it. Perhaps promoting this lie as our name is part of our crippling burden.
Our fortune has perhaps been tied to us having a bad name and/or/in any case has become tied to it. Either way, at this point in our history; as change has at last come and we as a people have grown together, suffered together and decided together to here-on-out, ensure our revolution and quest for excellence is never waylaid; I believe it is time we shed our perhaps bad name.
Reading Buhari’s opinion editorial on WashingtonPost today, it is clear our President embarked on a full system overhaul. He delayed appointment of Ministers to first create what a real Ministry should be, an integrity-based template, then employ true civil servants to fulfill the established obligations due. He is decided on restarting Nigeria from the scratch.
Let’s really rebrand Nigeria. Let this change be complete. All that’s left that is a drag to this country is that shameless N150 billion guzzling legislative covetous NASS sect, the 469 of them and the country’s name.
I suggest we all pick names…perhaps we can use a hashtag, #NigeriaNameChange and tweet our suggestions. The ones that are retweeted most would make the cut?
Lord knows what the wicked colonialist was thinking when he chose Nigeria. Probably something sinister. Probably some evil colonialists were making jest of us in a room, sitting on the backs of our ancestors on their fours (being used as stools) and pulled out the name, “Nigeria” from their back parts. Do you trust them? I don’t. So let’s do away with that and usher in a new future on a clean slate.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), reports.
*Photo Caption - Map of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports: Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman reports ] - "Corruption is Social Evil" "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
In its simplest sense, corruption may be defined as an act of bribery or misuse of public position or power for the fulfillment of selfish motives or to gain personal gratifications. It has also been defined as "Misuse of authority as a result of consideration of personal gain which need not be monetary".
In recent Centuries Nigeria has earned a place among the top most corrupt countries in the world. Corruption in Nigeria is a consequence of the nexus between Bureaucracy, politics and criminals. Nigeria is now no longer considered a soft state. It has now become a consideration state where everything can be had for a consideration. Today, the number of governors with an honest image can be counted on fingers. At one time, bribe was paid for getting wrong things done but now bribe is paid for getting right things done at right time.
It is well established that politicians are extremely corrupt the world over. In fact, people are surprised to find an honest politician. These corrupt politicians go scot-free, unharmed and unpunished. Leaders like President Muhammadu Buhari or late Murtala Muhammed are a rare breed now who had very little bank balance. The list of scams and scandals in the country is endless. We are all living witness to the 2003 all African games scandal in which billions of taxpayers’ money meant for the games was siphoned by some corrupt individuals. The NNPC is now an empire of corruption in Nigeria, it serves the cabals and control the destiny of the country.
Is it possible to contain corruption in our society? Corruption is a cancer, which every Nigerian must strive to cure. Many new leaders when come into power declare their determination to eradicate corruption but soon they themselves become corrupt and start amassing huge wealth.
There are many myths about corruption, which have to be exploded if we really want to combat it. Some of these myths are: Corruption is a way of life and nothing can be done about it. Only people from underdeveloped or developing countries are prone to corruption. We will have to guard against all these crude fallacies while planning measures to fight corruption.
It is not possible to kill or remove the corruption by improving the Social-economic conditions of the people. Because we all know that the most of the people who are corrupted are not economically or socially backward, surely they will be having a notable social status.
"Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, these results indicate that much remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the world's poorest citizens."
The following steps should be considered to eradicate corruption:
Greedy business people and unscrupulous investors should stop bribing the political elites. Don't be either at the receiving or at the bribing end. Political elites should stop putting their private gains before the welfare of citizens and economic development of their regions. Government should include a chapter in text books related to corruption and its desire consequences.
We all need to stop talking about Corruption and start the process to end it now. Corruption is going to end only when people like us stand up and speak out.
If we do not take step forward to remove corruption from root, the word developing country will always be attached with our country Nigeria. So we the common man are solution for removing corruption from our Nigeria and hence we will be helpful in making our country developed.
It is possible. Today’s generation is willing to change this system. And soon corruption is gone out from Nigeria. Every person should have his own responsibility to avoid corruption
A strong youth movement in the country only can remove corruption and each student should take a vow to begin this exercise courageously within the family-Former.
Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman ( Email: email@example.com ), reports from Kiev, Ukraine.
*Photo Caption – Map & Flag of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 11th July 2015)-It shocks and saddens our heart over lies of unpardonable proportion emanating from the official quarters since the controversies over the relocation of Bko Haram terror detainees to Ezinifite-Aguata Minimum Prison rented the air. In fourteen days or two weeks, from 27th June when the deadly “Awaiting Trial Detainees” of Terror Insurgency, to 10th July 2015; five official lies of shocking proportion have been identified.
These official lies that have the capacity of international enlistment in the Guinness Book of Positive and Negative Historical Records are the following: 1. The All Progressives Congress (APC), Southeast Zone’s public statement, debunking the news of relocation of the terror detainees to Anambra State. It was dated 27th June 2015.
2. The Nigerian Prisons Service’s Public Relations Statement, dated same 27th June 2015; denying the relocation with expert-reasons as to why it is untenable to “relocate terror detainees dominated by those in awaiting trial” to Anambra State per Ezinifite-Aguata Minimum Prison.
3. The Political Adviser to the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Chinedu Obidigwe, who granted a media interview, saying that it was the former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Governor Peter Obi that sealed the relocation of Boko Haram terror detainees to Anambra State as far back as 2012, but put it on hold due to the 2015 general polls and the former President’s second term bid. The former President was just one year into his elective presidential seat in 2012. Also by 2012, the number of those arrested in connection with the terror insurgency in Nigeria was very minimal. The terror activities and counter terror activities got surged in 2014 and early 2015. The ten expert-questions put across to Mr. Obidigwe by Intersociety over his lies have remained unanswered till date.
4. Another official falsehood to the effect that “the Prison under reference is situated at Ekwulobia”, whereas the truth remains that not even a meter of the Prison land belongs to Ekwulobia. Instead, the whole land hosting the Prison is in Ezinifite, Ekwulobia’s neighboring Community. At the archive of the Traditional Ruler of Ezinifite lies an original document with which the land was ceded to the Federal Government for the Prison project during the Shagari-Ekwueme civilian regime (1979-1983). The said papers also tallied with that kept with the Prison authorities at Awka, Anambra State.
Yet part of the official lies was found in the survey, where the Federal Government contractor that built the Prison (late A.I. Ezeh); an indigene of Ekwulobia, manipulated the survey and placed Ezinifite Community as “a sub village in Eziagulu Village in Ekwulobia Community”. The contractor also parted with some plots of the original land in its frontage and encroached on Ezinifite Community land belonging to Umuagu Village, which was not part of the ceded portion. When the staff quarters were built some four years ago, they drafted about ten soldiers led by a Colonel and later, by a Captain and used them to subdue Ezinifite Community over the encroached parcels of land. The Ezinifite Community was not only subdued and relegated, but also denied associated government amenities including access road, water and health facilities.
5. On 9th July 2015, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Mr. Dave Umahi told journalists during his inspection of work on some public projects that “The traders have the right to protest but there was no need for the protest because we (South-East governors) had enjoined the Federal Government not to relocate any Boko Haram prisoner to any prison in the South-East. Those suspects brought to Anambra State have been sent back to Abuja." Contrary to Governor Umahi’s statement, the 47 Boko Haram terror detainees at Ezinifite Minimum Prison have not been evacuated as at the night of 10th July 2015. Yet the media has been awash with the said statement till date. His reported denial of the statement under reference is watery and rejected by our leadership. Circumstantial attestation following the said statement has further messed him up and rubbished his gubernatorial seat the more. What did he tell traders in his State that discouraged them from protesting if not the statement as reported by the media in an open function?
It is very shocking, alarming and deafening that those holding hallowed public offices in trust for the people of Nigeria particularly those with hallowed title of “their excellencies” have turned themselves into “liars of Guinness Book of World Records standard”. Lying by public office holders in Nigeria has also been entrenched with an immunity called “political statement”. The quality of people elected or appointed into the country’s elective or appointive offices is nothing to write home about. As if the likes of Plato and Aristotle envisioned today’s political setting in Nigeria, they insisted that “politics is meant for the noble class”, which transcends “education and wealth” and bursts into “morality and nobility”.
Today, charlatans and clowns; who are educated or wealthy, lacking in morality and noblity, are in charge of Nigeria’s public affairs. Campus Cult Capons are nowadays made political advisers, legislators or even governors. In the case of the Governor of Ebonyi State, for instance, he has no locus standi as it concerns the presence or absence of the 47 Boko Haram detainees in Anambra State. He is the Chief Security Officer of Ebonyi State and not Anambra State. If he did not want to join forces with other stakeholders in the Southeast in the campaigns against escalation of Boko Haram insurgency in the country particularly in the Southeast, it would have been better for him to shut his mouth than to rubbish his gubernatorial position with lies of indelible record. He should have found an excusable excuse to give as why he stopped traders in his State from joining their colleagues in the ongoing peaceful protests.
There must be an end to “psychology of politics” or so called “political statement” in Nigeria’s political offices. The consequences of institutionalization of official lies or falsehoods are far reaching and one of them is that Nigerians will no longer attach any substance to official statements and explanations. Also public officeholders in Nigeria will continue to be disrespected and regarded as “elected or appointed touts and clowns”, until the country’s political space is liberated and purged of “celebrated empty quantities” holding its hallowed elective and appointive public offices in error or by default.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Uzochukwu Oguejiofor-Nwonu, Esq.
Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
*Photo Caption – As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: CLO reports ] - Forty five years after the fratricidal Nigeria Civil War where millions of Ndigbo were massacred with utter savagery and no mercy, the Igbos despite the proclamation of the famous three Rs have remained the most endangered species on planet earth.
In the Nigerian political configuration, they are treated as second class citizens. In the allocation of federal projects they ‘carry last ‘ while at the slightest break of ethnic riots or unrest in the North, they become the first target often resulting in monumental loss of lives and properties.
In the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, Ndigbo have suffered calamitous losses as their fine breeds who have domiciled in the North for many years have been mowed down in droves. In Anambra State, Adazi Nnukuwu and Umunnachi to be precise, monuments of several caskets brought back in dozens, all victims of Boko Haram litter the communities. The surviving family members of such victims have remained disillusioned, scattered and psychologically traumatized.
In the All Progressives Congress (APC) change mantra which culminated in the inauguration of Muhammed Buhari as Nigeria’s President on May 29th 2015, Ndigbo just like other Nigerians had (have) high expectations that our Eldorado has come.
Buhari and his team while campaigning assured us that insurgency will be a thing of the past once he ascends the Presidency throne and for Ndigbo, he promised that as Ogbuagu of Aba, Abia State and Okechukwu of Igbo lineage, we should be rest assured that we are ‘covered and protected’ because there will be no discrimination or alienation of any tribe most especially Ndigbo under his watch.
But beyond all the promises and assurances, General Buhari’s real welcome gift to Ndigbo is the relocation of suspected terrorists to Aguata, Anambra prisons under tight security on the night of Saturday 27th June 2005.
This act which happened barely few hours after the traders in Anambra State shut down all markets in the state in protest over the purported relocation has attracted widespread condemnation and more protests from several groups and platforms.
It is our position in the Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) that against all intents and purposes which the federal government of Nigeria can give, the relocation of such breed of suspects to Anambra State is illogical, ill-conceived, detrimental to the Nigerian and Igbo society and uncalled for.
We view such act as a continued onslaught against Ndigbo in the Nigerian project. It is the height of government miscalculation and the mockery of a unique and much endowed race now taunted as a conquered territory.
Bringing Boko Haram suspects here will compound and escalate the issue of terrorism instead of taming the scourge. The detainees also while here have been denied access to justice since the courts in Anambra have no jurisdiction to try them.
Their presence here in the state has heightened the fear of insecurity among the citizens and the people are psychologically scared already.
We commend all the individuals, the clergy, groups and associations that have spoken up in condemnation of the federal government action.
We also condemn the politicization of the government action and the use of such situation to score cheap political points. The recent statement credited to Governor Obiano through his Political Adviser, Chinedu Obidigwe where he accused former President and Former Governor, Peter Obi as the brains behind the relocation of the Boko Haram suspects to Anambra is to say the least, infantile.
Obiano should be reminded that his greatest undoing which will always backfire as he remains governor is to make any attack whether veiled or open to his predecessor, Mr. Peter Obi. He should also be wary of sycophants surrounding him who may present the picture of promoting him as Akpokue Dike of the whole world but will end up leading him into making fatal mistakes.
Also, the continuous closure of markets in Anambra State in the name of protests for the relocation of Boko Haram suspects in Anambra should stop forthwith. The traders have made a statement through their shut down of markets and peaceful protests of Saturday July 27th 2015. The continuous/incessant closure of markets on the order of the central market leaders without any consultation on the traders and their separate unions with its attendant economic implications is undemocratic and smacks of high handedness coated with ulterior motives.
While we welcome the reported meeting between the state government and a federal government delegation over the issue, we call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgent national attention, return the Boko Haram detainees to their former base while putting in motion machinery for confidence building and damage control on the psyche of Ndigbo.
Government should intensify its efforts in combating terrorism and endeavor to subject any it’s actions and policy statements/ directions to proper scrutiny before execution in line with the public opinion guage to avoid frequent somersaults and reversals .
Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah, Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) Anambra State Branch. attachcomrade @yahoo.com, 08035090548.
*Photo Caption - Map of Anambra State, showing Aguata.
[ Masterweb Reports: Olalekan Waheed Adigun reports ] - An adage says, “Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.” This should be reframed “Show me your leader and I will tell you the follower you are.” This shows that leaders and followers co-create each other. There can be no leadership without followership and the reverse is also true. In his wonderful book, The Wretched of the Earth, the French-born Algerian statesman, Frantz Fanon argued that ultimately the people get the kind of leaders they deserve; and the leaders deserve the kind of followers they get. After all, a leader is anyone called to guide, teach, command, motivate, inspire or plan. By this, we all are leaders.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) which has a glorious past in the 70s and the 80s due to its strong stance in defence of interests of students and the downtrodden in the society. But what went wrong suddenly? Today it is difficult to distinguish NANS activities from motor park touts. The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) made this point early 2014 when Delta State NANS Joint Campus Committee executives paid the Union a courtesy visit. So where are the leaders of tomorrow?
Like NANS, a University Campus branch of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Other Educational Institutions (NASU) did something quite amusing. Its members’ monetized benefits were allegedly cornered by the Vice Chancellor thus provoking the Union to embark on an indefinite strike. It is instructive to know that the Union leader, on been summarily promoted by the University Management from level 4 to 7 suddenly abandoned the poor workers and mortgaged their futures for personal gratification. Do we still have the moral authority to question our leaders when they collect huge World Bank/IMF loans and these never get home?
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on industrial action in 2009. The Union accuses the Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Egwu of not heeding to the plights of the Union because his children like those of other high ranking public officials in Government had their children in foreign Universities. Suffice to say that ASUU threatened to publish the names of public officers’ children in foreign Universities. The Minister also claimed he has the names of children of ASUU members studying abroad and threatened to publish their names. We are yet to see any lists from both sides till this day!
I have cited these instances just to justify the assertion that leaders and followers are co-creators.
Dynamism is one of the hallmarks of leadership. If we continue to use the same old responses, worn-out theories, old failed approaches instead of creating new ones we honestly aren’t expecting things to change. I am sure no one recalls experiencing bomb blasts being a daily practice two decades ago. These are the realities we live by in Nigeria today. But to respond with an overtly short-staffed, ill-equipped security agencies to a fire-emitting Boko Haram is to say the least crooked thinking. The Americans were told in clear language that they were in the 21st Century and no longer the Civil War, Cold War, Vietnam, or Gulf War Years of the 20th Century during the 9/11 attacks. Robert Green in his book, The 33 Strategies of War noted that there is nothing good that comes out of fighting the last war.
Just as a confused leader cannot lead effectively, so are a divided, unfocused, disorganized and disoriented people cannot follow. The latter is been taken advantage of by unscrupulous politicians for cheap political gains. So, leaders and followers are not independent of each other.
Only clear-headed persons can effectively lead. But ordinary clear-headedness without visions is like tea without sugar. Since the needs of today are not necessarily those of tomorrow, good leaders try to phantom them in advance to avoid creating a vacuum. It is this lack of vision that made countries like Ghana to do better than we are presently doing. Great visionaries like have visions that presently elude us.
Also, a leader must know which role to play per time. He must be able to discern the role he plays in every situation. At war time he is the Commander-in-Chief or Chief Security Officer; at peace time he is the Father of the Nation, shunning partisanship in any form; during the period of division he is the Uniting figure and so on. In Nigeria, it appears our leaders don’t know what role is expected of them per time. It is for this reason they get poor advice from their Advisors who are only bent on flattering their Master’s egos.
Great leaders spend their time understanding the needs of their people. When others are bothered about winning the next election, or their party, or tribal origin, they do their best to satisfy their people. They are like marketers who are told satisfy the needs of their customers, to guarantee their loyalty. It was this great truth that Franklin D. Roosevelt understood, as US President during the Great Depression (1929-1933), when he chose to pitch his tent with the poor who were most affected during this period. For these acts, he was rewarded with great victories in four consecutive elections which are unprecedented and unsurpassed in US history. This was what led the great political leader and perhaps the most influential religious figure in World Civilizations, Amenhotep IV, Pharaoh of Egypt (1360-1350BC) to say: “The glory of a King is the welfare of his people; his power and dominion resteth on the hearts of his subjects.” The greatest leaders have taken heed of this eternal truth.
Also, the greatest leaders are not those that lead from the mountains. They pay attention to the deepest levels of human experience. They don’t make themselves super humans. In essence they are humble. It becomes very difficult to see situations clearly when one is surrounded by such luxury Nigerian leaders are infected with. All these rather make people blind hence they depend on second hand reports from their unreliable lieutenants.
Great leaders give everything in their service to the people. History is not in want of leaders whom gave their lives in the service of their people: Mahatma Gandhi(India), Abraham Lincoln(USA), John F. Kennedy(USA), Peatrice Lumumba(Congo), Malcom Little
(Malcolm X) (USA), Martin Luther King(USA), Ernesto “Che” Guevara(Argentina), Amilcar Cabral(Guinea-Bissau), Salvador Allende(Chile) and many others paid the ultimate price with their lives. Others have endured painful punishments and assaults: Nelson Mandela(South Africa), Denis Brutus(South African), Fidel Castro(Cuba), Juan Peron(Argentina). Others like Ahmed Ben Bella(Algeria) and Kwame Nkrumah(Ghana) were exiled from their countries due to their defence of their people.
We are indeed in a period of great triumphs and potential pitfalls. The World, Nigeria especially, is in dear need for leadership and followership. To make the difference, the leaders must set the pace for the followers. The World is in desperate need of Inspirational leaders, not necessarily politicians. That is why as young people we must set the pace. It never comes by asking rather it comes by demanding.
Olalekan Waheed Adigun ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), writer, philosopher, academician, political risk analyst, researcher, independent political strategist and brand consultant for individuals, political organisations and campaigns reports from Lagos, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - Map & Flag of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports: Mohammad Nasir Augie writes President Buhari ] - Baba, let me start by congratulating you, or in other words congratulate Nigerians on the victory recorded in the just concluded elections in March this year, and your successful inauguration as the President of our great country Nigeria. This is no doubt an undeletable mark in our political history.
Although you passed through very tough and hard moments, crossed very rough roads and scaled through various obstacles before clinching to this victory, but Baba, the road ahead is tougher, rougher, harder and more dangerous, the task ahead is more demanding than the previous.
Nigerians from all sectors and sections of the country, male and female; young and old; rural and urban settlers; elites and illiterates; all contributed in their own ways to this success, with very high expectations beyond what is practically possible. They are full of hope that in you, they have found the right driver that will take them out of their bondage, to the promise land.
In the light of the above, Baba, what you need most now are good prayers for God’s guidance and protection; and good advises. We prayed so hard and will continue to pray, but what remains now is our kind, candid, and objective advises.
Baba you will agree with me that the 2015 elections are very historic and left behind so many lessons to learn. This election will forever remain unique in the history of Nigeria, and will be remembered for its distinctiveness.
Not only that it is the first time that power shifted from a ruling party to the opposition, but also the first time a sitting president will be defeated and removed from office through the ballot box. Most interesting of it is that, all these happened peacefully as against the predictions and expectations of many, due to the overheating of the polity especially during the campaigns, when disrespectful, hateful and divisive statements where emphasized as against the pressing issues bedeviling the nation.
It is a triumphant show of democracy, the way masses defy all odds of harsh weather, financial and physical intimidations and harassment; and logistic challenges. They also sacrificed their time, energy and wealth, because of their resolve to confront dishonesty, mismanagement, corruption and bad leadership, many Nigerians remained resolute in this cause despite being threatened, insulted and bullied.
Baba, the promises made by your party to rescue Nigerians from their long period of suffering from corruption, insecurity, unemployment, economic hardship and dilapidated basic infrastructure, elevated their hopes and expectations, and am very sure you are aware of this. This confidence reposed in you by the majority of Nigerians need to be justified.
The former President and indeed INEC need to be recommended for the sacrifice, humility, and commitment shown for the continued peaceful existence of this nation.
Jonathan's singular act of conceding defeat has shamed the religious bigots, proponents of violence and ethnic/sectional chauvinists, who always depend on cruelty as a means of holding unto power or being relevant in the society. It stopped the 'sit tight syndrome' associated with most African leaders, from having its way into Nigerian politics.
Even though many see the case of the former president as that of a man who lost all hope, and was left with no other option than to accept defeat, by considering the fact that, the world super powers have made it clear, that the sole responsibility of whatever happened, during or after the elections will be on the head of whoever contributed to it. Likewise the threat from the ICC and the intervention of some elder-statesmen.
Notwithstanding, he must be commended for his statesmanship in allowing the democratic process to progress unfettered in the first place, and his humility in accepting the defeat even when his associates were ready to defy all the international threats and throw the country into chaos, so long as the power will remain with them.
INEC and its Chairman will also be recommended for their innovations and improved logistics during the elections, so also the maturity of INEC chairman for remaining resolute despite the threats and intimidations from some quarters.
Social media political advocates also played a vital role in bringing this desired change, many people stood up in the cause of this struggle.
Baba you must not forget that the masses who defy all the odds and made these immeasurable sacrifices to bring about this change are your employers, and you are here to serve them and not the elder statesmen, high profile politicians, traditional rulers or religious leaders. Success of your administration would therefore be determined by the level of welfare, development and prosperity of the masses. Therefore, be very sensitive and responsive to their cries and agitations.
This administration must draw its membership from all sectors and sections of the country, so as to form an all inclusive government. That will give a sense of belonging to all Nigerians, irrespective of their gender, ethnic, religious, political or social affiliations.
Baba you need to always scout and seek for those men and women who are known to put national interest above their selfish interest, from among them select credible and experienced Nigerians to form a cabinet that can assist you in delivering your promises and having a successful administration.
There are many of such Nigerians that can be mobilized to assists in the reforms and overhaul of the system, to put Nigeria back on the track of good governance, progress, development and national integration.
Do not recycle the same people who have been in the position of power before, or have contributed to the problems we are experiencing today. Try to employ the services of new faces and where necessary experienced technocrats to hold key positions in your administration. Beware that those who have histories of working with bad rulers will always form bad councilors, as most of them are pretentious praise singers, they always sang praise and worship the leaders, but always have hidden agenda.
Try and appoints only people with unique and unquestionable character irrespective of where they came from. Presence of such people will preserve the trust and credibility this administration have in the sight of the masses. Always remember that the inner-circle/cabinet of any government determines its success or failure, never give corrupt and selfish people any space in your administration no matter how close or related they are to you, otherwise they will present a bad image of the administration.
Most of the previous leaders that we consider as unsuccessful have their failure directly related to those around them, who form their cabinet members, God – fathers or advisers. That mistake must not be allowed to repeat itself. Get nearer and be open to those who always told you the truth and remind you of God without hesitation, try to avoid sycophancy and flattering, excessive praise tends to make one vain and arrogant. By being pleased with these, Satan would find a means to destroy you.
Baba remember they say, "he who eats with the devil should have a long spoon", The massive decampees who defect to the APC in droves, most of whom are devil-like in character, should be handled with utmost care and caution. Many of them moved because of personal gains, and have contributed immensely to Nigeria's current problems. Though you can’t send them away from the party, never rely on them for advise or put them in your cabinet. Because in the cause of pursuing their personal interest, will cause commotion and disruption within the party and eventually cause same problem they caused in their former parties. Do not also seek counsel from miserly, greedy or cowards.
Baba you have to also be very cautious and systematic in dealing with what I called, 'difficult categories of people'. These are people who have great influence on you, and you cannot ignore them or do without them, and therefore they have the ability to either make or mar the entire administration. These include the political bigwigs who see this victory solely dependent on their efforts, politically, financially and otherwise, and therefore considered this government as 'their own'.
Even as they are close to you and are seen as your allies, many of them are not honest or trustworthy, while following their way will tarnish your image, parting ways with them will create a gap that enemies will use against you, as it will be translated as an internal failure within your caucus. Dealing with them will be difficult since they always have their own motives and agenda, which might not be the same as yours.
Another set are the masses, who also considered this victory as theirs, and therefore expect much from it. Many have been calling for change but within themselves are not ready to change, and most of them are indulged in one illegal activity or the other by not obeying simple laws and orders. They only believe this administration will protects them, and threatened their perceived enemies (rich and elites), misunderstanding or misinterpretation of any government policy by them, will turn them against this administration, this will eventually be used as an opportunity by enemies of this administration to paint it black.
Lastly, the families, relatives and friends, many of them will no doubt try to benefit from this privileged position, while in the process may diminish your good image. Many instances were seen where spouses or siblings of a leader bring an administration down, due to their antecedents in taking over official duties as personal engagements.
Baba, never forget the backward and depressed classes of people, these include the very poor, incapacitated, destitute, illiterates and physically challenged. Remember that they put their hopes in you and as Nigerians they equally have right to be catered for as part of their democratic dividends. Most often, they tend to be forgotten because they are unable to reach their leaders or representatives, and their voices are not loud enough to be heard.
Baba this administration need to salvage the future of this country by protecting and securing the future of Nigerian children, which was greatly abused and tarnished, as most of these children are found hawking on the streets, tattered, ravenous and worn out, instead of being in the classroom. They 'graduate' from these streets as touts, armed robbers, thieves, drug peddlers, prostitutes etc. Many children are out of school due to high school fees, parents' economic status and irresponsibility.
There is therefore the need to amend and strictly implement the child rights act, revitalize the UBE scheme to ensure that education is truthfully free and compulsory, at least up to secondary school level. Parents should also be mandated to stand up to their responsibilities through legislation, sensitization and reorientation. All forms of child labor and poor upbringing should be discouraged. Public schools need to be standardized and upgraded. Moral values, discipline and religious ethics should be emphasized in schools.
It is devastating, dangerous and shameful that Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world, and one of the countries with highest number of illiterate citizens.
Baba, try to liberate the Niger Delta people from the hands of their leaders, who often connive with the central government in denying them the sweetness of what comes out of their land, not even the basic human needs. Prove to them that a just and able leadership is what we all need to harmoniously and peacefully get all that we deserve without pain or struggle.
Nigerians are divided more than ever before, because our differences in terms of religion, tribe, ethnicity and section where being used by politicians as tools for their campaigns and deception, to gain cheap popularity and achieve their political aims. A drastic measure is needed to reverse this trend and encourage unity, understanding, tolerance and cohesiveness, this is very important because no society divided within itself can ever progress or develop.
Therefore, this administration must reconcile all aggrieved parties and communities that are divided because of politics, and unite all Nigerians into one indivisible family, where everyone will have a sense of belonging, with equitable distribution of wealth and privileges. Reach out to capable and trustworthy individuals from all political parties, tribes, sections and religions, let us all work together mutually in the spirit of one Nigeria.
I am not in doubt, that Baba is very much aware of the need to tackle all security challenges bedeviling this country, as it pose a great threat to our unity and territorial integrity of our nation. There is therefore the need to end all forms of criminality across the nation. Extend an olive branch and open your arms to all those who are willing to repent from their criminal ways and embrace peace, rehabilitate them and reintegrate them into the larger society. Baba, for those who are not willing to repent, do not hesitate to take a burning fire to their doors. Our military and other security agencies are able and capable; all they need is encouragement, equipment, welfare and training.
I most add here that, the unhealthy trend of allowing informal militia groups such as vigilante, cult groups, militants, hunters and other self-armed groups to be parading themselves as security operatives and carrying out their operations independently and unchecked must be reversed. While their help is occasionally needed due to the inability of our security agencies to provide the needed protection of life and properties, their operations need to be supervised, checked, controlled and limited.
It is very evident that so much harm has been done to public institutions in the country, leaving them dilapidated and ineffective. Baba, much need to be done on institution reform in all sectors, most especially economy, security, power, manufacturing, agriculture and petroleum.
Looking into what caused the decay of these institutions will hopefully help in tackling this problem and making them strong and functional. Accountability, transparency and merit – based recruitment and promotion in public services will reposition and strengthen it to near-perfect, and also helps in fighting corruption. Baba, you may agree with me that establishing an effective, sanitized and transparent public service is far better and easier than going against those who are already corrupt. In other words, I mean, it's better to discourage or stop people from stealing, than to allow them loot and then fight them in trying to recover the stolen funds back, remember it is very difficult if not impossible to recover all that was stolen.
The norm of impunity in public service need to be urgently changed. Situations where people will commit crimes through stealing and diversion of public funds and be openly proud of it by being protected by government to escape justice, surely results in system destruction.
Baba, apart from the problem of power that stagnated our development, effort need to be made in the provision of functional and efficient refineries to put a stop to oil importation. The petroleum sector remains one of the most corrupt and therefore need a complete overhaul, reform, and restructuring, both through legislative intervention and attitudinal changes, to bring about the needed sanity in that sector, which is presently the back bone of our economy.
Our refineries, if functional will not only provide Nigerians with transport fuels, but capable of creating job opportunities both within and outside the plants, through the production of various industrial raw materials and chemicals. This can go a long way in boosting our economy. I can boldly tell you Baba that our refineries can work efficiently if the right thing is done.
Baba, the gas sub-sector is a very promising one that has the potential of advancing our condition both economically and socially, if properly harnessed, it will help in providing job opportunities, industrial and infrastructural development. These reforms are also needed in various sectors: education, health, defense, economy, etc.
Nigeria's economy is presently in coma, everything possible should be done to resuscitate it. The present situation of running a mono economy solely dependent on petroleum need to be changed by opening other avenues, through diversification of the economy by considering alternative sources of income, such as agriculture, solid minerals, tourism, manufacturing and trade, etc. they are more reliable and provide more job opportunities.
It is a known fact that our basic infrastructures are dilapidated or in some cases absent, so also our industries. Revamping our infrastructures and industries back to shape is not a simple task, but rather a difficult and gradual one. What is needed therefore, is to put the country on track by setting an agenda of planned and concrete steps in that direction. Start by refurbishing and standardizing the existing infrastructures, and put in place a plan for their continuous advancement, then continue with steady progress in providing more. Emphasis should be on those sectors that have direct impact on the poor masses that constituted very high percentage of the population, including agricultural and agro-allied industries, transport, health care, education, water and power.
The ill-motivated and questionable planned sales of public institutions should be resisted, and those concluded should be revisited and where possible be reversed. All erudite Nigerians knew very well that there is nothing beneficial that reached the common man as a result of privatization of NITEL, PHCN etc. Public institutions and enterprises are not private properties and it is unpatriotic given them out to political allies, in the name of public private partnership or privatization, when they can be revived, and can function efficiently while remaining as the pride of the nation.
Baba, Nigeria's political structure need a comprehensive reform and restructuring, the parties' structure and intraparty politics should be remolded so as to give parties the power to control elected officials who ascend to power under their platform, instead of a situation where elected officials control the parties there by becoming unanswerable to anyone.
There has never been a contractual agreement between elected officials and the electorates. It is as result of this that political office holders seem to be the same, irrespective of which political platform they contested and won elections. This is because they are in full control of the political parties. This might be seen as a very difficult or rather impossible task, but Baba, if the legislature can be made to be alive and functional, and then stand up to their responsibilities, this would be achieved with ease, since most of these reforms require constitutional amendment and legislative enactment.
This restructuring is very necessary Baba because only then will good people in the society feel confident to come out and participate in active politics, so that the anomaly of having the blind leading the sighted could be stopped. This will surely bring sanity into the entire political system of the country, where the parties can direct and control the elected officials and the electorates can hold political parties responsible for the inability of the elected officials to fulfill the promises made by their respective parties.
To further strengthen our political system, all tiers of government need to be independent and autonomous, so as to enable them function without interference. The Executive, Legislature and Judicial arms of government, both at Federal and States levels need to have their financial and political independence. The local governments also need to have their complete independence, with a strengthened and fully functional political structure and power.
The media is a very important component of democracy and play a very vital role in encouraging justice, creating awareness, and enhancing unity among the citizens of a nation. Therefore, a sanitized, ethical and responsible media must be in place to achieve the desired development. Baba our media both print, broadcast and social need urgent restructuring and sanitizing through regulatory provisions to enforce ethical conduct in their activities. The media in Nigeria is contributing immensely in widening the gap of distrust and disunity amongst Nigerians through propagation of fabricated lies, divisive and hateful statements, unconfirmed figures, biased reports and appalling stories.
The judiciary remains the last hope of the common man, therefore lack of confidence in the judicial system results in so many negative tendencies from the people including increased crime rate, jungle justice and situations where people take laws into their hands. Absent of effective and reliable judicial system can destroy society or retard its development. There is the need to sanitize, strengthen and empower that system to be effective, reliable, independent and corruption-free.
A situation where our prisons are filled with inmates on awaiting trials is unhealthy, most disheartening are those cases where people are kept for longer periods than their supposed sentence, if they are to be convicted. Spending 5 years in prison awaiting trial, for an offence that if convicted will not result in more than 3 years imprisonment, is unjust.
Knowing your character and personality Baba I do not need to say this, but I will mention it for the sake of emphasis. For someone to successfully lead a very complex nation like Nigeria, he need to be very courageous, strict, visionary, focused and action oriented. Be bold to say what you do and do what you say, but never forget to always carry people along, know what your followers need and let them know where you are taking them to, and how you intend to get there.
Many leaders failed because they create a barrier between themselves and their followers, to the extent that the followers did not believe in any government policy, because they do not know where the leader is taking them to. This government must not be allowed to fail, because it's failure will be seen by all, both nationally and internationally, as stain on the future of this country.
Nigeria should be repositioned to reassert its leadership position in Africa, politically, economically and otherwise. Such will ensure the restoration of Africa's pride and black man’s dignity.
Baba, this administration need to do everything possible to block all leaking points in public treasuries and curb the excessive wastages and extravagance in governance. Huge amounts spent regularly on welfare of public office holders such as meals, transport, leisure etc. should be reduced accordingly. The plan to transform a nation surely requires fund, and presently our country is economically bankrupt, there is therefore the need to look into all possible avenues of increasing the government's revenue profile. Our looted resources should be recovered wherever possible either through soft or hard ways, all previous investigative committees' reports need to be revisited.
Baba, the outrageous salaries of political office holders need to be reduced to reflect the reality on ground, beyond any reasonable doubt annual budget of 130 – 150 billion naira for the national assembly alone is detrimental.
The unjustifiable gap created between the annual take home pay in different government ministries, departments or agencies must be reduced to bring sanity into the system. A situation where two individuals with same qualification working in same capacity, but one will be earning the other's annual pay in just two months, simply because they work under different ministries of the same government is unhealthy, unjust and demoralizing.
Government establishments and all other public institutions at all levels should disclose and make available their financial details on regular basis, to ensure accountability. Scraping of unnecessary political appointments will drastically reduce government overhead and bring down the cost of governance, thereby saving funds that can be used for people oriented projects. In the same vein, there is the need to merge and in some cases scrap some government institutions or agencies. This will bring more sanity and reduce administrative cost.
We trusted our resources under your care, do everything to protect them. The invented 'legalized stealing' being practiced by some public officials to continue looting public funds even after leaving office, through scandalous pension laws, should be repealed.
This administration should do all possible to discourage or reduce our foreign spending in all aspects, such as education, training, medical etc., it has negative impact on our economy and the strength of our currency.
Baba, our current constitutional provision concentrate much power at the centre, creating a syndrome where people felt if the person at the helm of affairs is not from their region, tribe, or religion then nothing good will come their way from the government. This is one of the reasons elections are filled with so much tension and agitations, every section claiming 'it is our turn to govern'.
The way out is to decentralize power and encourage participatory democracy, where some executive powers would be relegated to another arm of government, another tier of government or an institution. People from the grass root (at polling unit and ward levels) can be organized, encouraged and empowered to participate in major and sensitive government processes such as policy making, budgeting, budget and projects monitoring, project prioritization and security. This should include the traditional and religious leaders, NGOs and community development associations etc. People will then see themselves as part of the government process and see government projects as their own. This should not be misunderstood as taking over legislative responsibilities by the people.
Baba you will agree with me that religion is a very sensitive issue in this part of the world, the negative part of our own is that it lacks control and monitoring. Anybody can set up a religious centre and be called a Man of God, Sheik, or even God a times. He or she will be propagating his/her teachings without any proper monitoring. Religious institutions need to be organized and controlled. While everyone is free to practice his religion without hindrance, one should not be a threat to others or the nation.
Baba you need to remain focused and be very cautious so that you would not be misguided. Do not be carried away by the tremendous support and enormous trust you enjoyed from Nigerians into believing that you can do it alone or you are the only one who can do it, always seek help when necessary and work with people. Never think you have done enough or too much for the people, rather always concentrate on how to improve and make it better.
As it is with every administration, there will always be oppositions both objective and subjective, you should expect unnecessary condemnations and intended distractions, but never allow them to destabilize the administration. Do not distract yourself with vindictive attacks on perceived enemies, either personally or through aids and cabinet members, see yourself as president and father to all Nigerians and try to forgive those who unjustly and irrationally tried to humiliate you in the past.
With all due respect Baba, let me not forget to inform you that, should you for any reason fail to deliver your promises to Nigerians, or allowed yourself to be carried away by personal, sectional, tribal, religious, political or group interest as against national interest, as it was the case with your predecessors, Nigerians will not hesitate to criticize and humiliate you, and eventually disgrace you out of office. The well-merited integrity you earned for yourself is at stake.
We will not remember where the President comes from, or which tribe or religious believe he belongs to, because all we need is somebody who will take us out of our present situation and take us to the promise land. We will therefore continue to talk, talk and talk, and will also remain resolute in giving advises, contributions and constructive criticisms whenever necessary and through any available means.
Lastly, Baba let me remind you to always keep good your relationship with God, remembering Him, obeying Him, believing Him, praying to Him, depending on Him and trusting Him in all endeavors.
Long live Mr. President,
Long live this administration,
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Mohammad Nasir Augie.
A26, Guru Road,
0818 983 9777, 0812 599 6667
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu was invariably telling the world that what would bring honour to his personality and office was service to duty and not media sycophancy, when he made the disclosure in a press briefing made available to the public on June 17, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Godwin Adindu.
Although the relatively fine-looking governor did not mean the print media but jungle producers; he nonetheless did not intimate us in that report what price would be meted out to any offender among politicians and businessmen who would take praise-singing of the governor in jingles as a form of attracting attention.
The expression by Ikpeazu that jingles irritate him could be the same as the expression of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India as noted by New Delhi TV (NDTV), when the Prime Minister said that a perfectly healthy man can contract a lot of ailments if he starts suffering from diabetes; bad governance is worse than diabetes.
NDTV quoted Modi to have said this in his first reply to the motion of thanks on the Presidential address, where he outlined his government's priorities. Ikpeazu may learn that what formed Modi’s thrust of speeches in the two Houses of Parliament were cooperative federalism, development and good governance; not the other way round.
Like Modi would say in that speech of the Indian government, it is expected of Ikpeazu to understand and tell those he is governing with that, “Good Governance cannot remain merely a philosophy. Concrete steps have to be taken for realizing its goals. Individual efforts can bring excellence but only collective efforts can deliver effectively. It is our collective responsibility to ensure nobody sleeps hungry. Let's change the image of our country from ‘Scam India’ to ‘Skilled India.’”
Notwithstanding, we know that the governor was in a bid to be civil by his body language and not to be severe to the people that voted for him to be governor. The ban on jingles that would be meant to promote the good works of the governor when delivered was however dicey: The government was yet to inform the world if it would be making jingles that would reflect and amplify the works of the governor, either.
By the way! The message of the governor was understandable; hence the governor was supposedly telling us that he would attract notice of Abia people and the world through his ability to duty. It’s palpable that he was telling Abia people that he was fit for the system and the task before him.
Ikpeazu conversely wanted the people to look at him and see him as what a governor should be like and not like a gubernatorial candidate on an electioneering campaign where jingles and music are used as weapons that send message of the candidate across, while at the same time, deafening the eardrums of the people.
Ikpeazu has no excuse not to make Abia better. We want people from across the world to say that Abia State has left Nigeria behind. That would bring competitions among states in Nigeria. We cannot suffix to say that Ikpeazu would be One Hundred percent upright in governance but the more he realises the reference made by one Nwaocha Ogechukwu thus he might be a better governor.
Hear the Ogechukwu: “No matter how an individual views Satan, whether they believe that he is a real character or that he is just the product of literary scholars and imaginations, no one can deny that each one of us has an aspect of the devil within us. By studying the character and nature of Satan, we learn about ourselves; and the more we know about ourselves, the better we can fight our own personal demons—metaphorical or otherwise—in order to create a better tomorrow.”
Ikpeazu should know that in every government there has to be something that will be peculiar to it. He should not see governance as the classroom that breeds scholars. He should see it from the matrix by Aristotle, suggesting inter alia that, “The character of democracy creates democracy, and the character of oligarchy creates oligarchy.”
Some people may say, but the governor has not said, that the Abia State economy is comatose. But no matter what the situation, sanguinity is not in lack to rejuvenate the state where necessary. It is in the court of Ikpeazu to generate hope anywhere people might think there was no hope and turnaround the economy of the state, then jingles of his works could be heard across the world when he was no more on seat.
Odimegwu Onwumere (Email: email@example.com Tel: +2348057778358 ), Poet/Writer reports from Rivers State, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - Governor Okezie Ikpeazu
[ Masterweb Reports: Olalekan Waheed Adigun reports ] - The reality today in Africa is the challenge of terrorism. We have had to cope with the deadly acts perpetrated by the notorious al-Shabab in Somalia, Tanzania and recently in Kenya. We are equally witnesses to the ruthlessness of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad. We need not forget so soon the havoc wrecked by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda for many years. In the centre of this reality is the question of overcoming this monster of terrorism!
During 2015 presidential election campaign, President Muhammadu Buhari made it clear that top of his priorities when elected as Nigerian president is his promise to see the end of terror and its attendant evils. This was at the period when the dreaded Boko Haram was at the peak of their nefarious activities in Nigerian north eastern region.
It is on this note that President Buhari gave an unusual order in his inaugural address to the nation on May 29, 2015 for the Military High Command to with immediate effect relocate to Maiduguri, the ancient capital of Nigerian north eastern region which is also the terrorists’ stronghold. This order has been given different interpretations from several quarters within and without Nigeria. Irrespective of anyone’s interpretation(s) of the order, one thing is clear fighting terrorism requires taking some hard and tough choices like moving the entire military brass to the terrorists’ strongholds.
Like I have always said on this matter, terrorism pose unusual challenges and defeating it will require some radical, unconventional and in some cases strange decisions from the politico-military leadership. No one recalls terrorism being a “Nigerian” issue some two decades ago. Terrorism was almost missing from Nigerian glossary of terms over a decade ago but it features prominently today. This is why it must never be taken lightly. It is on this note that the recent formation of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) led by Nigeria against Boko Haram make a lot of sense.
Since the new administration was sworn-in about two weeks ago, the terrorists have done their very worst in their intensified assaults against the Nigerian state. In doing all these, the terrorists may only be taking the very chance that the Buhari’s government is yet to properly form. This is why I will advise President Buhari to cut short his “honeymoon” and get to work before things get out of hand!
On my part I will advocate that Nigeria must wake up to his historical role of providing leadership at the continental level. The formation of the MNJTF is welcome but that alone will not be enough to defeat terrorism. Nigeria provided leadership during the struggle against colonialism. Nigeria must canvass for the African Union (AU) to take a stand against terrorism. It must insist the Union put its feet down and roar ferociously against the insurgents.
President Buhari must, in his capacity as AU Chairman, canvass for an AU High Command, a special Anti-Terror Squad, or under any appropriate name, comprising volunteers from member-states in our bid to conquer insurgency.
For so long, it appears the AU fell asleep immediately it achieved its mandate of “eradicating colonialism in Africa.” One would have thought that since all African countries are now politically independent, the AU would have sought a new mandate, which should naturally be, “eradicating terrorism, insurgency and poverty in Africa.” One will equally have thought that the change of name from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) would have meant a change in approach, philosophy, tactics, mandate and perspectives. The Union must come to the realisation that the rise of insurgency on the continent is a direct attack on the corporate existence of the AU. This is where President Buhari must prove to be the difference!
Some may question the workability of our proposal. We would then be quick to point out that Nigeria is on record to have helped funded the powerful OAU organ, the Liberation Committee. The Committee, with its Secretariat in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania trained guerrilla fighters in their determination to achieve the core mandate of the defunct OAU. Nigeria supported groups such as the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the South African National Congress(ANC), the South West African People’s Organisation(SWAPO), Front for the Liberation of Mozambique(FRELIMO) and the likes. Probably OAU’s support for these groups made it difficult for it to give a definition to the word “Terrorism” at that period. If the same passion deployed to fight colonialism was deployed in our war against insurgency, it is only a matter of time before we prevail!
This is just a piece of advice to President Muhammadu Buhari on this matter.
Olalekan Waheed Adigun ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), writer, philosopher, academician, political risk analyst, researcher, independent political strategist and brand consultant for individuals, political organisations and campaigns reports from Lagos, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari