[ Masterweb Reports: Ikechukwu Enyiagu reports ] - Hope is easy to have; it is less spiritually and mentally strenuous than the demand of faith. However, its burden is greater than that of justice, rights and faith. Every democratic society is, by law, governed by justice and rights and, sometimes, when political expectations mix with faith, it is only because, in all that man plans, there often are rooms for the unforeseen. Therefore, governments that are pro-people often create abundant room to contain exigencies. This informs one of the reasons why every State has the military and the police; they do not want to be taken unawares if, in any eventuality, crisis comes up.
Nigeria as a county, I daresay, now lies on the threshold of hope and hopelessness and, therefore, truly deserves this ‘change’ more than anything else: change in its political foundation and mindset. Come to think of it, why should there not be an aggressive and revolutionary change in our political system when, for decades, it’s become blatantly clear to all and sundry that we cannot get anywhere as a county under this political status quo? Our leaders are being unfair to the history of this country and to posterity with their continuous denial of what is and what eventually will be.
I was, as other thinkers are, compelled by the state of things to take an even closer look into our joint political business called Nigeria, and I have come to a conclusion that, from the book of history, posterity may judge me the same way or, maybe even harder than the so-called today’s political class, for doing absolutely nothing to lend positive voice to change in my time. Therefore, I am hereby looking into the so-called Nigeria Unity School system and its Federal Character manifestation in political appointments.
It is my understanding that the so-called Unity School system in Nigeria was put in place by the then military dictator of Nigeria, Yakubu Gowon. According to him, the main objective for the creation of these unity schools was to bring people of diverse tribe and tongues in Nigeria together in a unifying spirit. Gowon, it is said, bought the idea of unity schools when he paid a personal visit to the Federal Government College, Sokoto in 1973 and observed the atmosphere of unity and cordiality among the students regardless of ethnic or religious background. Suffice it to say that his decision to create the unity schools came after the genocide which his government carried out against the Igbo from 19667-1970. In his understanding, compelling, or rather, setting mechanisms for people of these clearly divergent and divisive ethnic nationalities to study under one roof devoid of Nigeria’s true war history in what he called “Unity Schools” was a sure means of containing further dissension or demand for fair play amongst future Nigerians. To him, it would surely prevent Igbo children whose families were unjustly wasted in the war from asking further questions. It is worthy of note, also, that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), a government body which compels the country's graduates into a compulsory one year national service, came about by this very Gowon’s decision to write off the events of the civil war as if they never happened and as if the genocide which he supervised never took place. This very man who killed millions of Nigerians also killed the Nigeria school system in the process of trying to cover up his sins and that of the government. Not minding that scores of youth corpers have died for this selfish vision, we will shortly see how his co-called quota system has so far fostered unity and produced a truly united and happy Nigeria.
Cut-Off Marks for Entrance into Federal Unity Schools for All the 36 States in Nigeria (Including the Federal Capital Territory)
Abia – Male (130) Female (130)
Anambra – Male (139) Female (139)
Ebonyi – Male (112) Female (112)
Enugu – Male (134) Female (134)
Imo – Male (138) Female (138)
Akwa-Ibom – Male (123) Female (123)
Bayelsa – Male (72) Female (72)
Cross-Rivers – Male (97) Female (97)
Delta – Male (131) Female (131)
Edo – Male (127) Female (127)
Rivers – Male (118) Female (118)
Ekiti – Male (119) Female (119)
Kwara – Male (123) Female (123)
Lagos – Male (133) Female(133)
Ogun – Male (131) Female (131)
Ondo – Male (126) Female (126)
Osun – Male (127) Female (127)
Oyo – Male (127) Female (127)
Adamawa – Male (62) Female (62)
Bauchi – Male (35) Female (35)
Benue – Male (111) Female (111)
Borno – Male (45) Female (45)
Gombe – Male (58) Female (58)
Jigawa – Male (44) Female (44)
Kaduna – Male (91) Female (91)
Kano – Male (67) Female (67)
Kastina – Male (60) Female (60)
Kebbi – Male (9) Female (20)
Kogi – Male (119) Female (119)
Nassarawa – Male (58) Female (58)
Niger – Male (93) Female (93)
Plateau – Male (97) Female (97)
Sokoto – Male (9) Female (13)
Taraba – Male (3) Female (11)
Yobe – Male (2) Female (27)
Zamfara – Male (4) Female (2)
FCT Abuja – Male (90) Female (90).
The above list has been in circulation for a while and there has not been any other list which countered it. Therefore, to all, this represents the idea of a unity school in Nigeria and how students in each state qualify for admission. In the words of Prof. Abdulrashid Garba, the Registrar, National Examination Council (NECO) (http://guardian.ng/news/neco-registrar-explains-disparity-in-cut-off-marks-for-unity-schools/), “Performances vary from state to state…It is so because the cut-off marks for such disadvantaged states are usually lower…These school are unity colleges which means you must take along all parts of the country.” Well, it takes only an enemy of unity to see anything uniting in this setup – not even minding that the country uses one curriculum and all students sit for one WASSE. Nevertheless, let us leave this for a moment and look at how Prof. Abdulrashid Garba’s claims reflect on Federal “Character” Appointments and how Gowon’s vision for Nigeria and the Igbo has fared so far.
Nigeria Security Appointments
Fire Service North
An expose written by Abdulrahman Abdulmalik in Premium Time of August 28, 2015 (http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/189117-outrage-grows-across-nigeria-as-buharis-lopsided-appointments-continue.html) will give you a detailed clue. I do not want to go into other appointments which unashamedly ridicled the so-called Federal Character. However, the latest ambassadorial list where states like Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Ondo and Sokoto were completely ignored or said to not have qualified people for the seat (which, by the way, was also seeded to the North) leaves a very sour taste to the political tongue.
It is said that education is the security of the future, if education is the security, therefore, and gives you the means, and if appointments are principally made from academic qualifications before other considerations, why has the North then taken over all security positions when, according to Unity School’s shameless board, it clearly shows that students from the north are mostly cajoled through school and, mostly and probably, given honorary certificates in place of due certificates awarded students from other regions – especially those from the South East?
How come those from educationally ‘very poor; states suddenly come up as more qualified to handle everything regarding the security and future of Nigeria than those who have been proven to have all it takes to steer this country aright?
Clearly, we are in for a terrible and inevitable future as Nigerians unless some form of political revolution is urgently carried out. This, I see, rest squarely of those from the South. Since we have done things in a particular way and we have always failed, is not time enough for us to do things differently? Sadly, it appears that the same North which has remained academically on the ground has been the same people championing the Nigeria cause. Is it a rocket science, therefore, why our locomotion has remained One step forward, two steps back? A stitch in time, they wisely say, saves nine. I believe that a president who truly stands for change for the betterment of all knows exactly what to do. However, like we use to say in Igbo, “Uzu na-amaghi akpu egbe, lee egbe anya n’odu.” Nigeria has drifted into a place where justice, rights and even faith seem dead and where hope has become the costliest of all commodities. This needs an immediate attention.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The Federal Government has cancelled its plan to build a massive film village in Kano State following concerns raised on social media and by Muslim clerics over the immorality the village could spawn.
More than N3 billion ($10m) was budgeted for the project as part of Nigeria’s efforts to improve the Hausa language film industry known as Kannywood and also create jobs. The film village was projected to create over three thousand jobs in addition to promoting the Hausa language.
Muslims clerics and Muslims on social media argued it would promote immorality, calling the federal government to scrap the project.
Editors Notes: Film Village will not work in the North just as the hosting of the 52nd edition of Miss World Beauty Pageant in 'Northern' Abuja did not work in 2002. The event was moved to London due to religious riots in nearby city of Kaduna that killed over 200 people. The bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians arose from what some Moslems branded blasphemous article in a 'Christian' ThisDay newspaper about the Miss World event.
ThisDay on Saturday November 16, 202 carried an article by Isioma Daniel in which he wrote that Prophet Muhammad would probably have approved of the Miss World competition. The Sultan of Sokoto called for peace and calm on national television, but the federal Minister for Abuja burst into tears in front of the cameras, crying that Daniel has blasphemed the prophet. (Nigeria for you!!). Muslim radicals rioted in Kaduna and other parts of the North burning properties and killing Christians.
Christian groups took revenge killing Moslems and set fire to Muslim homes, companies and mosques. In the evening of November 22, the organizers of the Miss World Pageant decided to move the event to London for fear of the safety of participants. The crisis lasted from November 20 to 23 before it was quelled by security forces. FILM VILLAGE WILL NOT WORK IN THE NORTH - NIGERIA SHOULD USE THE FUNDS FOR KANO FILM VILLAGE TO SET UP NOLLYWOOD FILM VILLAGE IN SOUTH-SOUTH or SOUTH-EAST.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] -The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties& the Rule of Law (Intersociety) believes strongly that injustice and graft are the greatest threats facing the promotion, advancement, preservation, protection and enforcement of Human Rights in Nigeria or any part thereof. The effects of injustice and graft breed insecurity, which in turn, give birth to general underdevelopment in Nigeria and one of the consequences of underdevelopment in Nigeria is the entrenched culture of born-before-computer among the country’s public policy makers and the managers of its education management and regulatory institutions.
The culture of born-before-computer is understood as pride and egoistic mentality of Nigeria’s policy makers and implementers to stick to old brigade approach and refusal to move in tandem with current social realities such as global village culture or ICT revolution. On the other hand, the effects of graft or corruption on public office holders including public education regulators and managers in Nigeria are alarmingly riotous and mentally terminal; which is why it is immortally said that corruption or graft kills entrepreneurship; destroys values; ruins economy and deadens mental faculties of their possessors. It is also said immortally that a corrupt judge is worst than a malevolent mad man running amok with a sharp dagger in a crowded market place and that when a professor is corrupt, he or she becomes a professorial moron and moves from professorial reasoning and creativity to professorial quackery all the time.
The existing policy and graft oriented injustices against some public establishments in Nigeria is basketful. Two of the victims gravely affected are the National Open University of Nigeria or NOUN and the Nigerian Traffic Warden Service (TWS) under the age-long enslavement of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). While NOUN and its law faculty is a victim of institutional graft and policy injustice powered by crudity and Hobbesian jurisprudence; the TWS is a victim of policing tyranny and enslavement.
For the records, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is one of the existing federal universities in Nigeria, established by the National Assembly in 1983 through an Act. Originally established as a correspondence or part-time university and modelled after the UK Open University (one of the ten best universities in the world; also the university with largest student population in the world); NOUN, likewise the UK Open University, was resuscitated and upgraded, offering a mixture of fulltime and distance learning programs using advanced ICT and well established electronic and manual libraries. NOUN’s programs or courses or degrees are approved and regularly supervised by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
NOUN was resuscitated in 2004 by the then Presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo to provide for close and distance learning education for all Nigerians particularly those in working class category. It is a major beneficiary of ICT powered mixture of face-to-face (student-teacher or facilitator) tertiary education and distance learning education programs. NOUN also uses dual examination methods of POP or Pen and Paper and e-exams or NOUN’s ICT powered and controlled computer examination. The use of POP is to expose and empower its students on manual writing skills and techniques while its e-exams are to develop its students in the use and knowledge of computer and its applications. The e-exams are mandatory for its 100-200 Level students while its POP is mandatory for its 300-400-500 Level students.
There is uniformed pre exams quiz called TMAs or tutor marked assignments, which constitute 30% of the total marks. The TMAs are purely computer and internet based done off classroom and composed of 80 objective questions per course material under TMA1, TMA2, TMA3 and TMA4; meaning that if a student registers for eight courses in a semester exam, he or she must attempt a total of 640 objective questions within a stipulated time frame and answers to TMAs are automatically or electronically affixed and graded; likewise the e-exams. In e-exams, students are automatically graded once they are done with 150 questions and click on the computer button: submit. The duration for the e-exams is strictly timed and regulated by computers under NOUN exams invigilators. This means that if a student is lazy and fails to study hard to be able to read and comprehend all his or her course materials cover to cover, he or she has automatically failed his or her exams and earned a license to a second missionary journey. Many tertiary institutions in Nigeria have borrowed this exams method from NOUN till date.
NOUN also has flexibility policy under its work and learn slogan. This has nothing to do with part-time; rather it offers the students opportunities to combine their work with education at NOUN at their own pace. It further means that a student of NOUN doing a four- year program can graduate at the completion of his or her course-loads and project in four years after mandatorily passing all the courses. A post graduate student can complete his or her study in one year, yet another can spend three years or more. Another student running a four-year program can as well graduate in seven years pending when his or her course-loads are completed and mandatorily passed. Whether a student of NOUN spends seven years or more in a four-year program, he or she must pay all compulsory fees every semester. Every kobo paid at NOUN is electronically captured and students can save money into their portals and use it for other semesters. NOUN certificates are issued at source at the convocation arenas provided the recipient’s academic records including all his or her program courses and project are certified or cleared by the University.
Course materials of NOUN are strictly written by NOUN in simplest grammars so as to enable distance students to read, understand, study and comprehend. All the examinable courses of NOUN are manually and electronically accessible. Its electronic or soft copies are down-loadable from NOUN’s e-portal. The University has the best e-library in Nigeria and borrows a lot from researches of other Open Universities such as the National Open University of UK or the UK Open University. It is still on record that the UK Open University has the largest university-student population in the world with over 180,000 and it is also one of the world’s top universities in the world universities ranking. There are at least 60 accredited Open Universities around the world including Open Universities of Hong Kong, Australia, China, Ghana, Israel, South Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, Netherlands, Spain, Sudan, Libya, Tanzania, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Philippines.
Further, at the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, zero room is provided for graft and immorality such as sorting, inflation of course-marks, exams cheating or malpractice, cultism, vindictiveness, sexual commodity and harassment and malicious degrading and failing of students by lecturers or facilitators. A student at NOUN is virtually on his or her own as well as architect of his or her own success or failure. NOUN students are strictly advised and tutored on the type of environment conducive to study and encouraged to read and study after midnight and under other noise-free environments. Computer, use of English and study skills courses are compulsory for all undergraduate and post graduate students of NOUN.
NOUN does not offer courses not accredited by the NUC or run programs not approved by same. The least facilitator or lecturer at NOUN is a master’s degree holder and NOUN facilitators (lecturers) manning their tutorial classes in its 37 Study Centers across Nigeria are hired from leading conventional universities and thoroughly blended on the methodologies of the University. Two most striking things about NOUN are zero culture of graft and meritorious academic pursuit and environment.
An undergraduate student of Criminology & Security Studies at NOUN, for instance, must cover and pass at least 53-55 courses including his or her project before he can be graduated. To graduate with LLB degree at NOUN from its faculty of law, a student must study, complete and pass at least 65 courses in addition to his or her project. A master’s degree student of Peace & Conflict Studies at NOUN, for instance, must pass at least 15 courses excluding thesis before he or she can be graduated.
But in conventional universities in Nigeria, only 60 courses or less are required to become a graduate of law, while only six of them are required to become a holder of Master of Laws in areas such as International Human Rights, Arbitration & Family Law. At NOUN, to pass course material to C, B or A grade, a student must read and study the course material cover to cover for at least three times: general reading, TMA reading and revision for exams. This means that a student of NOUN must have read or covered at least 80% of each of his or her course material before the exams. It is suicidal to register and take an unread course material at NOUN exams.
But in conventional universities, course materials are highly unregulated and exposed to quackery and serial extortion. Students with five carry-overs at conventional universities, for instance, can easily be upgraded and credited with better or best grades as case may be provided they can trade off enough cash or sex commodity for such crooked grades. At NOUN, any student with such carry-overs is instantly in hot soup and left with two options of either dropping out of NOUN or retaking the entire exams. NOUN course materials must be read and understood by students page to page to be able to write and pass them in the exams as well as to do and pass their attached Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs) and impart the knowledge and exposure originally intended.
But at conventional universities, the ability of students to patronize (buy) their lecturers’ junks or handouts or plagiarized notes, automatically earns them 25% of the total marks for each of the exam courses. Expo is also common in conventional universities in Nigeria whereby students are told areas to concentrate in their course materials for their exams. As a result, the students’ ability to read and study their course materials widely or cover to cover is roundly diminished or lost. The end-result is production of half-baked graduates flooding the streets of Nigeria and its unemployment sector.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: x reports ] - President Muhammadu Buhari has opened up on his administration's economic management team. In his reply to those accusing him of not having an economic management team, President Buhari said he already had one headed by his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, quoted Buhari as saying this in an exclusive interview he (the president) granted a magazine, The Interview."
The vice president's spokesman made the excerpts from the interview available to State House correspondents Sunday.
Buhari explained that he excluded the private sector players from the National Economic Management Team (NEMT) in order to prevent them from steering government policies to suit their own "narrow interests."
The president said while everyone would be listened to, his government was averse to making private sector individuals members of the economic management team.
Buhari was quoted as saying: "We will listen to everybody, but we are averse to economic teams whose private sector members frequently steer government policy to suit their own narrow interests rather than the over-all national interest."
Asked if he thought he needed an economic management having been criticised for not having one, Buhari responded: "What do they mean by team? The vice president heads our economic management team.
"You have a finance minister, a budget and planning minister, a minister for industry, trade and investments, a governor of the Central Bank, a national economic adviser and others. Yet, some still ask for a team. I don't know how they define the word team."
The vice president's spokesman recalled that the Presidency had disclosed several times that an economic management team exists and meets at least once a week.
He said the team played a leading role in the budgeting process and designed the strategic implementation document once the fiscal document was passed and signed into law.
He said though Buhari's administration was averse to interested private sector members, its economic team regularly consulted with different representatives of the private sector and other stakeholders.
President Buhari was also quoted as unveiling his wish list in the interview thus: "One, we will truly change the way we do things in Nigeria. Therein lies the future of our country as a great entity. Two, a fully diversified Nigerian economy no longer dependent on oil only. Three, a Nigeria where every Naira that comes into the treasury is used for the good of the people, particularly the ordinary people."
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Tessie Nkechi Udegboka reports ] - The Mandela Washington Program staff of the following host institutions, Indiana, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Purdue Universities planned and brought together the 100 Mandela Washington Fellows from the respective universities together for a site visit to SRAM, a bicycle manufacturing company, in Chicago, Illinois.
Surprisingly to all the Fellows, Evan Ryan, the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) was introduced. She flew in from Washington DC to meet with us, the Fellows, gave a brief remark after which she hopped back on plane back to Washington DC.
Before, 2013, Ms. Ryan served in the White House as Assistant to the Vice President and Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement. In 2005, she was Deputy Chair for the Governance track of the Clinton Global Initiative. Previously served as the Deputy Director of Communications for the John Kerry Presidential Campaign, Director of Scheduling for Hillary Clinton’s Senatorial campaign; and Special Assistant to the First Lady’s Chief of Staff. The Fellows were amazed as young as she looks and had experienced all these top positions.
“I am delighted to be here in Chicago. It’s wonderful to look around and see a room full of bright, accomplished and ambitious young leaders from Africa”, was her welcoming words. She congratulated each of us for been chosen to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) Program, stating that we were selected because of our leadership skills, our community involvement, and our potential to make a difference when we return home.
“President Obama has expended and enhanced international exchanges, making them a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. I am proud to say that the Mandela Washinton Fellowship, the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, has doubled from 500 to 1000 participants and would continues in 2017. The response to MWF among young African professional has grown since it started in 2014. You were selected from more than 40,000 applications we received this year. You should be very proud to be part of this program.” She said.
Ms Ryan emphasized that President Obama created this initiative to recognize and support the increasingly critical role of African youth in strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa. As the government of United States looks toward the future, it is clear that Africa is more important than ever to the security and prosperity of the international community, and to the United States in particular. Africa’s economies are among the fastest growing in the world, with technological change sweeping across the continent and offering tremendous opportunities in business, entrepreneurship, technology, energy, and medicine.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is designed to harness the energy of the rising youth population in Africa who are changing the economies and political systems in profound ways. The Fellowship brings leadership and networking opportunities to thousands of young people across the continent.
She said as the next generation of young leaders in Africa, we have the talent, drive, and capacity to make remarkable contributions to our country’s development. The Department of State constantly hear the amazing things that Fellows are doing after they return home, so she shared two examples – Merab Twashirwa, a MWF from Rwanda, recently won a $100,000 grant from the Gates Foundation to improve access to credit for people in Rwanda by developing a credit scoring system so that digital financial service providers can better estimate risk. Mutoba Ngoma, was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the 2016’s “30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa.” Mutoba, a Business and Entrepreneurship Fellow, started a renewable energy business in 2009 and has since focused on the production and promotion of biodiesel fuel and derivatives of vegetable oils.
Ms Ryan looks forward to hearing about our future success and amazing stories which the Department of States will be highlighting. She reminded us we will be welcomed into the U.S. Bureau’s alumni network, which already has more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 350 current or former heads of state and government.
“So remember, this experience doesn’t end when you go home; stay connected, engaged, and involved with individuals you meet through this fellowship, with the YALI network, the US State Department. Follow me on twitter and continues to share your experiences with each other and with us using the hashtag #MWF2016” she concluded.
Tessie Nkechi Udegboka ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), one of Mandela Washington Fellows, writes from Northwestern University, Chicago.
*Photo Caption - Ms. Evan Ryan, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) pose with some of the fellows.
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Pergerino Brimah reports ] - It's a mystery how Goodluck Jonathan's appointed Central Bank director, Godwin Emefiele remains comfortably at the helm of Nigeria's Apex bank. While the processes for his dismissal maybe somewhat convoluted, they do exist; and one man cannot stand in the way of the progress and hope of an entire nation, regardless of the conditions of his enthronement. Nigeria witnessed how Jonathan determined to remove Sanusi by any means necessary when he went against him. There is no equivalent to day with Buhari and Godwin, who goes against the nation as a whole.
At the resumption of the Buhari government, it appeared the new administration recognized the urgency to retire Godwin Emefiele, but as time went on, while one refuses to believe that the reported nepotism facilitated it, the Buhari government eased out of a posture to get him out.
Nigeria thus remains under the stranglehold of Jonathan's top General. This is not only economically suicidal but a crime and a sin. Godwin Emefiele is the Dasuki Arms gate. Much of the funds Dasuki released to buy and bribe looters were taken directly from the Central bank. Some were released and bullion vans filled with not much more than hand-written notes. Dasuki cannot be under trial while his partner in crime, Godwin walks free. This is a joke.
At the height of the Ekiti Fayose scandal again sits Godwin. It was Godwin's Zenith bank that facilitated the transfer of the nation's billions to fund Fayose and this was done under the watch of Central Bank chair, Godwin Emefiele. The examples are unlimited. No one owns the deadly corruption of the last administration more than Godwin Emefiele...who remains at the head of the nation's economy. The EFCC and Attorney General of the Federation and DSS has more than enough evidence to pursue and prosecute Godwin Emefiele. What they have on Saraki is a joke compared to the legitimate reasons to suspend, detain and prosecute Godwin Emefiele.
But the problem with keeping Godwin at the head of the Apex bank transcends the crimes of the past. Godwin is a threat to Nigeria's economic progress. This is a man who is enmeshed with the corrupt cabal and puts the cabal first. As the Buhari government struggles to cap corruption and awaken the economy, Godwin with all his policies puts the cabal first, tries to extend life lines to them and continues policies to cripple the masses and irreversibly destroys the economy.
The Central bank's foreign currency policies are a typical example of where and how Godwin continues to serve the cabal and destroy the nation's economy. The crash of the Naira is a Godwin policy. Demand and supply economics leaves Nigeria prostrate to Godwin's choices to give his cabal friends and partners massive profits as he pulls the strings on the Naira-Dollar exchange rates.
After much protest and after astute businessmen like Leo Stan Ekeh, January this year warned that 99% of Nigerian businesses will fold unless crippling Forex restrictions are reversed, Godwin reluctantly eased on restrictions imposed by the CBN. By this time the damage was irreversible to foreign-exchange dependent businesses especially SMEs, the bulk of employers of labour. Godwin continued to play games with forex, giving undue advantage to a handful of cabal who he promised unfettered access to Central Bank rate dollars, while killing small businesses. Nigeria got ruined and entered a recession. The masses tried to rise with a No Banking day to fight Godwin's crippling punishment but the Buhari government turned a blind ear to the protests by the people.
Finally agreeing to better advise to devalue the naira, Godwin still fails to properly adjust and regulate the exchange rate and availability of dollars in the market and maintains a dual rate longer than necessary, thus allowing his cronies to buy and sell dollars to make billions from the hustle as he adjusts the strings as he likes, akin to what the stock market calls "insider trading." How can Nigeria pull out of this economic recession while the like of Godwin Emefiele, a snake and corrupt cabal monster remains at the helm of the economy?
Dr. Pergerino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Godwin Emefiele
[ Masterweb Reports: Musa Abdullahi Krishi reports ] - The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said that the evidence given by the outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, on the allegations of sexual misconduct against three members of the House of Representatives was weak.
The accused lawmakers are Rep Mohammed Garba Gololo (APC, Bauchi), Reps Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue) and Samuel Ikon (PDP, A/Ibom) who attended a programme in Cleveland, Ohio, USA in April.
Onyeama said based on his meeting with the ambassador, the only evidence used in making the allegations was to identify the lawmakers in a photograph.
This is even as the minister said that the lawmakers could take legal action on the matter to prove their innocence in view of the fact that there was no concrete evidence.
He said Mr Entwistle informed him that the US government and the embassy has closed the matter and would not want to say anything about it.
*Photo Caption - As seen
[ Masterweb Reports: Lecture Paper by Emeka Umeagbalasi ] - Before going into this topic: Insecurity & Underdevelopment In Nigeria, it is important we understand the standard meaning of the word: security. Security is defined differently by various academic and social disciplines according to their uses, understandings and perceptions. But commonly, security means: safety; freedom from risk or danger; freedom from doubt, anxiety, fear or want. It also means confidence or something that gives or assures safety. It further means a sense or feeling of being secured. Traditionally, security is simply defined as a duty of the government to ensure that majority of the citizens and their properties or belongings are secured at all times from the hands of malicious individuals and criminal entities. Section 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 states: the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the Government.
The above definition literally accommodates expanded notion of security or modern notion of security and moves it away from the old or traditional concept of security (i.e. protection of lives and properties or detection and control of crimes and punishment of the offenders or a notion of forming and arming by the State of policing bodies to control crimes and protect lives and properties). This is referred to as gun-culture or militarized security. Today, the word: security has undergone series of transformations. While the traditional notion of security is largely retained, which include State security, individual security or self defense and collective security or community security (i.e. community vigilantism); security as a concept or an idea has further been expanded. It is now referred to as Human Security or Peopling Security.
Human Security or Peopling Security is simply an addition of human affair and human rights to the notion of security. This was expertly coined and masterfully developed in 1994 by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The epochal UNDP Human Development Report of 1994 contains: Human Security and its Seven Concepts. The Seven Concepts of Human Security developed by the UNDP in 1994 are: Economic Security, Health Security, Environmental Security, Food Security, Community Security, Political Security and Physical Security.
There is also Territorial Security and other sub-securitization concepts. Robust job creation, social security, economic growth and development, infrastructural development and maintenance, friendly trade and investment environment, etc, represent environmental security. Health Security is affordability and availability of primary and tertiary health care and facilities, etc. Environmental Security is sustenance of secured and safe environment as well as preservation of the natural environment and control of environmental challenges, etc. Food Security is absence of substandard and hazardous foods and drugs as well as contaminated and unsafe water. Community Security is absence or control of intra and inter-communal disharmony and communal militancy. Political Security is absence or control of political monopoly, political intolerance, political repression, political suppression, political segregation, political exclusion, political terrorism and politico-structural violence, etc. Physical Security is dutiful protection of lives and properties as well as detection and control of crimes and punishment of the offenders, etc.
The grand summary of the UNDP Report says: the concept of security has for too long been interpreted narrowly: as security of territory from external aggression, or as protection of national interests in foreign policy or as a global security from the threat of a nuclear holocaust. It has been related more to the nation-State than people…., for many of them, security symbolized protection from the threat of disease, hunger, unemployment, crime, social conflict, political repression and environmental hazards (UNDP Human Development Report, 1994:22).
Gladly, leading members of the comity of nations including South Africa and Canada have since adopted this noble concept; disappointingly, Nigeria, till date, still operates its outdated National Policy on Security, hugely premised on gun-culture security, which was last updated in 1979 in the dying days of Gen Olusegun Obasanjo’s military regime.
Having made the foregoing fundamentally explainable, the next question is: what is insecurity? Insecurity is simply the quality or state of being insecure. It also has to do with self-doubt and instability; lack of confidence or assurance. Insecurity, generally speaking, is synonymous with precariousness, shakiness and vulnerability. As a matter of fact, insecurity is the opposite of safety or absence of freedom from risk, danger, doubt, anxiety, fear and want. Put it the other way round, insecurity is powered by risk, danger, anxiety, fear, want, regime failures and regime atrocities.
What then is underdevelopment? It can simply be understood as a state of inadequate development. It is also a process of having a low level of economic productivity and technological sophistication or advancement within the contemporary range of possibility or in the midst of plenty or potentials of economic greatness.
Underdevelopment is both societal and individual. The inability or failure of an individual citizen to practicably realize his or her life potentials amounts to citizen-underdevelopment. There is also stunted citizen development (i.e. a millionaire/billionaire or a preacher with first school leaving certificate or acutely limited education or a highly educated citizen wallowing in abject poverty). Societal underdevelopment involves economic under-growth and economic underdevelopment as well as general social and economic backwardness of a political territory particularly in the midst of plenty owing to man-made inhibitions and drawbacks.
Therefore, where Human or Peopling Security is absent, there is Human or Peopling Insecurity and where there is Human or Peopling Insecurity, there is Underdevelopment. In other words, insecurity is synonymous with underdevelopment. Triggers of insecurity in Nigeria originate from absence of environmental security, health security, economic security, food security, community security, physical security and political security. These are further classified as triggers of divided society or social anarchy. Underdevelopment thrives where insecurity is entrenched while development thrives under a societal culture of human or peopling security. That is to say that the greatest challenge facing Nigeria’s development today is insecurity triggered off by years of stranglehold under kleptomaniac, avaricious, primordial, hegemonic, wicked and conscienceless political class; grossly found lacking and wanting in political statesmanship, vision, sagacity, uprightness, charisma and impeccability.
We hereby submit here and now that development has eluded Nigeria in all fronts owing to the above named negative triggers, to the extent that the country’s social and economic peers of the 60s and 70s have today overtaken the country four-folds in all international positive social ratings. Today, Nigeria is no match to the likes of China, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Brazil; most of which the Nigeria was comfortably ahead of in the 60s and the 70s. Nigeria has continued to run from pillar to pole in its governance without direction project; leading to present intensification of abject mass poverty and hyper insecurity.
In 1994, former President Julius Nyerere (born in 1922 and died in 1999) of the United Republic of Tanzania (Tanganyika and Zanzibar) raised an immortal question and threw it in the direction of primordial and kleptomaniac African political leaders. He had asked: why is it that when Europeans, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEANs) and North Americans are busy finding their routes to the moon, Africans are busy going back to the cave?
Today, Nigeria is acutely lacking in all indices of good governance and economic growth and development. The country’s education is in quandary and its securitization defense and intelligence have reached the nadir of failure and intractability. The state of the Federal Government’s 34,400 kilometers of the country’s total of 198,000 kilometers of road network as well as its 3,600 kilometers of railway is acutely nothing to write home about. The country’s existing road network is acutely overused and over-populated; likewise its 22 local and international airports. Nigeria’s 8600 kilometers of inland waterways and its four trans-national borders are porously secured. The level of graft or official corruption in its institutions and corridors of power has risen to an apogee. Its energy sector has gone from bad to worst and the physical security sector is in comatose; with hundreds of defenseless and law abiding citizens being butchered with reckless abandon every monthly. To make the matter worse, Nigeria’s security forces are now fully involved in massacring of thousands of nonviolent, defenseless and unarmed citizens with rabid impunity.
The truth about Nigeria is that literatures and creative minds discussing or writing about its insecurity and underdevelopment are extensively inexhaustible. That is to say that discussion about Nigeria’s governance failures, its insecurity and underdevelopment can never be exhausted in a year, not to talk of under few hours. Nigeria of present time and circumstance may no longer be credibly and popularly called the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The best way to describe the country is: the Federal Republic of Insecurity and Underdevelopment.
This grassroots lecture therefore is uniquely important in that it has extensively resolved the question as per whether there exists substantially insecurity and underdevelopment in Nigeria of present time and composition. And the answer is CAPITAL yes! The next question is: what do we do as members of the civil society or non-State actor individuals and entities? The best approach to this is to adopt a sick person and lab diagnosis approach! That is to say that sickness is half cured the moment its cause (s) is effectively and correctly diagnosed.
It is a truism that the challenge facing members of the civil society or non-State entities in the country today and in the midst of these social toxemias is civil unconsciousness or to borrow from the Holy Bible: lack of knowledge. This is where politicians and other political actors catch in and exploit to perpetually ride on the collective intelligence of the populace. It is technically referred to as psychology of politics or exploitation of public gullibility.
While the authorities of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish, Fegge, Onitsha and the Catholic’s Justice, Development & Peace Commission (JDPC) are exceptionally commended for organizing this august event in July, the Catholic Church and its Parishes should do more than this. The Church should invest heavily in adult literacy education to educate and empower its teeming parishioners with limited education. It is not only money that defies lateness at a fundraising occasion; education, too, and most importantly, defies lateness and has no age limits. We must particularly disassociate ourselves at all times from Prof Jubril Aminu’s immortal but unpopular advice to members of the public to try illiteracy if they think that education is costly and unaffordable.
It must be deeply appreciated that the Catholic Church has ensured and insisted that no person with limited education is ordained a priest of the Church; but the Church must also extend such gesture to its parishioners or laity as it is more worthwhile to people the Church with educated and liberated congregations than to people it with an assemblage of the educationally or academically challenged, who constitute silent and castrated majority in the moment of social challenges and political upheavals. This is because they can only bark but cannot bite!
Finally, the Catholic Church as well as other churches and non-Christian bodies must go a step further to inculcate in their members the culture of constitutionalization or a process of making it mandatory for every adult parishioner who has a copy of Holy Bible to also have a copy of the 1999 Constitution. We have extensively investigated and found that any parishioner that can read, quote, cite and understand the Holy Bible primarily, can as well read, quote, cite and understand the basics of the 1999 Constitution.
By marrying the 1999 Constitution at all times just as they marry Holy Bible and other sacred religious books, citizens’ awareness about their constitutionally guaranteed liberties and process of governance will not only increase, but will also offer them avenues of knowing the dos and don’ts or constitutional limits of the public office holders as well as their constitutional protections and civic responsibilities as citizens. When citizens are armed with requisite education and exposure, they will be better prepared to position themselves for noble societal roles of changing the country for better through citizens’ proactive participation.
A conscious citizen is one who is educated, connected and coordinated with ability to think and move ahead of his or her immediate environment in moment of challenges or societal ups and downs. In all, citizens’ consciousness and participation are direly needed to wriggle Nigeria out of its deepening insecurity and underdevelopment afflicted on all Nigerians by the political class, occasioned by deepening citizens’ docility and social castration.
A Paper Presented by Emeka Umeagbalasi (graduate of Criminology & Security Studies), Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law at a Grassroots Lecture Organized by the JDPC for Parishioners of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria on July 12, 2016. Mobile Line: +23474090052. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Photo Caption - Emeka Umeagbalasi presenting his paper at at a Grassroots Lecture Organized by JDPC.
[ Masterweb Reports: Abu Najakku reports ] - And so the National Assembly totters. Senator Dino Melaye is in the news again. Dino has a way of gravitating to whoever leads his house, whether it is Patricia Ette, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives or Dr Bukola Saraki, the current President of the Senate. The last time he backed Ette, when he held a white handkerchief, Dino and her fell together. Now, once again, he is backing the embattled Saraki, his brother, his friend. The details of what transpired during the last executive session of the Senate shocked everyone, irrespective of which side you listened to.
For Dino, the gloves are off; he has discovered his opponents - President Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. According to Dino, Buhari is ambitious, why did he contest the Presidency four times? Bola Tinubu is not God and Senator Dino cannot prostrate before him. Reports say, Dino has denied threatening to beat and impregnate Senator Oluremi Tinubu. Although Bola Tinubu has assured Dino something will happen if his wife is beaten, it is doubtful if the Presidency will react to Dino’s infantile outbursts against Buhari.
The Senators will be mistaken to believe that the details of what they discuss during so called executive sessions can remain hidden from the public. Dino can continue to deny whatever he chooses to, but he has to understand that going for Buhari’s jugular (impeachment) is political idiocy. As for Saraki, he is sinking deeper into political mess. For Saraki to allow Senator Dino the senatorial space to threaten impeachment against Buhari, attack Senator Remi Tinubu and disparage Bola Tinubu himself means that the political battle line has truly been drawn. It is a venture for which Dino and Saraki have to risk a huge political capital. The forces fighting the Senate President will not relent; another front on Panama Papers may soon open against him. For many people, the image of a fraudulent Senate President may have already been formed after it was revealed that two of his aides had, in one single day, allegedly made multiple deposits of millions of Naira into his Guarantee Trust Bank account while he was the governor of Kwara State. Many political watchers believe therefore that Saraki has failed the integrity test and so he is at the mercy of the system.
Many citizens also believe that the National Assembly is shamefully out of touch with those it represents. Whereas Nigerians expect the National Assembly to legislate against hate speech, cultism, poverty, unemployment, violence, etc., the members are busy legislating for themselves. Every time, the Senate leadership was called upon to prove their innocence from alleged criminalities, they had side tracked the serious issues and sought to divert the attention of the public. Like the Senate attempted to amend the Code of Conduct law, or the cheeky summons served on Justice Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to distract him from going on with the case of alleged false and under declaration of assets against Bukola Saraki. Like they summoned the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Chika Malami, SAN, in order to terrorise him from prosecuting alleged forgery case against the leadership of the Senate. According to the charges filed by the Attorney General, the standing rules under which Saraki and Ekweremadu were elected Senate President and Deputy Senate President were forged and so they are liable.
One Senator said the reason why they invited Malami was to inform him that by charging Saraki and others with forgery, he had abused his office. Blimey! Everything about the forgery case is sub judice, if the Attorney General abuses his office by filing the suit, the court will decide.
Having realised the legal maze in which he is, the National Assembly now wants to push for immunity for Saraki and other presiding officers at both national and state levels. These legislators do not realise that Nigerians want immunity scrapped even for those currently enjoying it. If you have a clean record, you don’t need immunity as a legislator. If you are a criminal, for God’s sake why must you contest election to become a lawmaker?
A while ago, these same legislators had asked for life pension for their leadership. Where is the morality if an ex-governor already enjoying lavish pension from his state secures another pension simply because he has been a Senate President for four years? What sort of public service is this? What kind of greed do we seek to satiate? Is the scramble to represent “my people” in the Senate all about cornering national resources for oneself?
First of all, Senator Dino and his mob should understand that they don’t have the moral stature or political influence to impeach, or the shoulders to bear the consequences of the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Secondly, although the Senators may toy with the idea of impeaching the President because they are wedded to their troubled leadership, the the House of Representatives does not suffer from such trauma and so has no motivation to embark on such action.
Thirdly, even when it was necessary, the Senate had been unable to impeach the President. A Senate that could not impeach Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’adua or Goodluck Jonathan, cannot impeach Muhammadu Buhari.
Fourthly, those who may wish to seize Buhari’s jugular - Senators Dino Melaye, Misau, Enyinnaya Abaribe and others - should understand that they cannot survive the conflagration that will follow. For as long as the Senate allows Saraki to sit atop them, instead of encouraging him to clear the mess surrounding his public records, for so long will members of that chamber be treated with disdain.
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Isiaka Wakili ] - President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned that the removal of any democratic government by force is no longer acceptable. According to him, violence can never solve problems, rather, it complicates them and retards the progress of democratic societies.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to resist the destabilisation of democratic countries through coups d’état.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement yesterday, quoted him over the failed coup in Turkey.
He added: “Democracy provides peaceful options of changing governments through the ballot box. The ballot box doesn’t require violence to remove any government perceived to have lost its popularity and public support. Despite its limitations, democracy is still better and more durable than a violent change of government.”
Buhari congratulated Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for surviving the putsch.
The president described Erdogan as one of Nigeria’s close international partners and sincere supporters in her current war against terrorism.
Buhari praised the courage and immediate response of ordinary Turkish citizens, who in face of guns and tanks, defied the rebel soldiers and forced them to abandon their “mad quest for power.”
Buhari, who urged Erdogan to pursue reconciliation, offered Nigeria’s support to the government and people of Turkey in their hour of trial.
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari