[ Masterweb Reports: Olalekan Waheed Adigun reports ] - Political theorists have sometimes been seen as a group of people who predict (the result of an election) wrongly and later explain why they predicted wrongly. This perfectly describes those who initially predicted the 2016 United States elections. Every political analyst, political observer, political scientist or commentator was so sure that Donald J. Trump is not going to be the Grand Old Party (GOP) Presidential nominee in 2016. Many were equally absolutely sure that Trump is not going to be sworn in as the 45th US President in January, 2017. Does the reality that stare us in the face proves us all wrong?
If the results from the primaries in the states are anything to go by, Trump is leading comfortably in at least 14 states and also likely to pocket many of the delegates and super-delegates during the party’s convention in July. So far, every poll in the media appears to strengthen his grip on the process. No one told us of a possible Trump lead at this time few months ago. No one predicted or saw the possibility of Mr. Trump winning even a state primary, let alone in “big” ones. No one ever said he would be the leader in every single national poll and gaining strength in all the early primary and caucus states? The past few weeks has shown that his candidacy has the capacity to survive what we professional political observers all think are obviously fatal gaffes and flubs.
If there is anything the Trump campaign has done well, it is his ability to redefine electoral campaign by broking all known rules. He has also, for the first time in a long while, shaken the GOP establishment to its very root. Those who took his presidential ambition with the wave of the hands must now be having a rethink. They are now either endorsing him, as the case of Chris Christie and Ben Carson, both former Republican presidential candidates; or John McCain and Mitt Romney, both former GOP candidates. Romney had nothing but strong words for the real estate mogul in his recent speech where he said: "His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing members of the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat." In any case, one thing is sure, seriously or otherwise, Trump is having it his way and seems to be enjoying it!
Another thing that seems to be working for Trump is his theatrics. As a host of the popular NBC reality show, The Apprentice, he surely knows how to get the audience excited or get them to weep. He seems to know how to capitalize on basic human emotions and turn it to his own advantage. He can boldly and unapologetically call for the banning of Muslims from entering the United States. Only Trump can remind Africans of their colonial masters not doing a poor job of colonizing and get away with it. It takes only Trump can do this. He can say obviously ignorant things like calling Mexicans “rapists, drug peddlers and criminals” and get away with it because there are always those who like to hear these lines like nursery rhymes. Another exciting part of this is that he wants to protect the border by “building a wall” but he wants coerce the Mexican government to pay for it! He does everything he is quoted as doing or saying because there are ready audiences for his “movies”. He says what his colleagues would have loved to say but for political correctness- a virtue Trump detests with a passion.
Let us make an important point here that there is nothing Trump is saying or alluding to that has not been said in varying degrees by other Republican candidates. The only difference, perhaps, is that he is more direct or “raw” unlike others. He is flying high on the fears of the average American, or Republican, putting the party’s establishment in a serious dilemma. The recent outbursts of pro-Establishment kinds like Romney, recently, may just be an indication of the difficult situation the party may find itself. Trump has earlier been quoted to have said he would run as a third party or independent should the Republican establishment frustrate him out of the race. Can he do that? Only those who do not know that to succeed in real estate means you must have strong negotiation skills. For Trump to have come this far in real estate means that he has perfected his art of negotiation. Of what reality are Trump chances in the election?
There is a big possibility that Trump will win the 2016 election and he may win the November election. His supporters have argued that not many smart people thought Ronald Reagan would become the President in 1980. They also told their critics that few experts successfully predicted Jimmy Carter to win in 1976.
Trump has a reputation for making controversial remarks. His critics point out that this makes him look “unpresidential” and may cost him the election ultimately. That is one possibility. Another possibility is that when people really hate you, they strangely are still connect with you and sharing a portion of their mental and emotional bandwidth with you. Eventually, if Trump Campaign strategists get their permutations right, they may be able to convert these haters to lovers using a well-crafted strategy. No one recalls “liking” Adolf Hitler (except for his most fanatical supporters) when his party, the National Socialist Party or Nazi, was seeking power in the 1930s. The rest, as they say, is history!
Our worst fear, perhaps, for Trump winning is that his administration may end up leading people to convergence by stirring up discussions on controversial topics by steering clear of being politically correct. Notice that Trump takes the most controversial and often eccentric approach where he throws a spanner in the works, waits for the stirred up discussion to settle down, goes quiet for few days and then plays the same cycle again. He hasn’t changed his views on racism. Trump once attacked Megyn Kelly (a presenter with Fox News) for daring to asking him “tough questions”. She has to be observing her period since "blood coming out of her wherever". This was after he once described women as "fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals." If the perception strengthens that Trump is against women as a segment itself, things may go bad for him in this space where candidates have a no-go zone. He has not bothered to apologize for the foul language he used late last year on fellow contestant, Clary Fiorina. His rallies have often turned violent, with Trump himself urging his supporters on promising to “pay the legal fees” for bullying others. We can continue, but will these stop him?
There is what is called Law of Gravity, but if we throw an object up in the air and it does not come down, what we you think? Maybe it landed on the roof or got stuck in a tree. We will not doubt this Law because we think it cannot be repealed. But by now, many will be doing their best trying to find out why Donald Trump has stunned the political establishment. We need not to abandon the assumption about politics. Let us ask a serious question: When and why do voters behave in ways that seem to break the rules? When are bedrock assumptions about campaigns rendered at least temporarily inoperative? In this context, poll numbers taken months before an election won’t count; while they can measure a public mood, the choice of a candidate is something like a customer in a store trying on hats.
Coming from a showbiz background, Trump handlers should know when to draw the line between popularity (or beauty) contests and electoral campaigns. A lot of people often fail to realize the differences between the two. The former is won by those who keep the media busy while the latter is won by politicians. The fact that business mogul does not see himself as a politician should can reduce his campaign to a pageant!
If the main parameters for measuring performance of his campaign are simply his name recognition and media mentions (as he once boasted in Chicago), then it only show that Trump is yet to get over the fact that it is an election, not a showbiz.
All these notwithstanding, should Donald Trump win come November, then some things are involved. First, like I posted on Twitter some days ago, we should start preparing “boys quarters” in my small village in Kwara to cater for the influx of deportees, many of whom have left us many years ago. Second, and more seriously, the boundaries in American politics would have been shifted by wide margin. And lastly, a Trump win will only strengthen the arguments that there are really no “rules” of engagement as far as politics is concerned making many political theorists to look for new jobs!
But the question is: Will Donald Trump ever win?
[ Masterweb Reports: Adeleke O. Ademo reports ] - In one of my ruminating escapades I stumbled upon this thought: 'Is NYSC really in the interest if Youth Corp Members?' Many people have put forth their voices regarding the National Youth Service Corp scheme that was put in place in 1973 by the Gowon administration in order to cushion the effect of the civil war which ended in 1970. In this article I would be examining the situation quite uniquely as my custom is when I write on social issues as it affects the wellbeing of a large number of people.
For many graduates, NYSC is the next thing on their mind. Some have however found many ways to boycott it. Many people see it as a waste of one year of their life, many others think differently. For many, NYSC is one year of free money, for many others, it is one year of under productivity. Many see NYSC as that necessary break in between school and ‘real life’.
I remember when I just graduated from the prestigious Lagos State University where I became a Sociologist; I was elated like many others and optimistic of my NYSC experience. I read several online accounts of different people's experiences in order to prepare myself for the unexpected.
My position on whether NYSC should be scrapped or not is quite unique, I believe that NYSC should not be scrapped but it should be overhauled. I believe that Corp members should be allowed to serve in companies instead of posting majority of them to schools. I think this has contributed a great deal in the ‘assumption’ that some of our graduates are unemployable.
These days most of the vacancies require years of experience. If graduates are allowed to work in companies, they would be able to get necessary experience that would make them employable instead of sending everyone to teach. I would also advise prospective Corp members and students to volunteer in various capacities so as to get the necessary skills and experience that they might need in 'real life'.
This is my humble opinion. It's don’t just want to make common sense, I also want our graduates to find jobs and make my Nigerian dream a reality.
I'm a proud Nigerian!
God bless Nigeria!
Adeleke O. Ademo ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - NYSC Youth Corpers
[ Masterweb Reports: Igbo Mandate Congress reports ] - Igbo Mandate Congress, IMC, has commended Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon for accepting responsibility for the paternity of his Igbo Son, Jack Musa Ngonadi Gowon, after forty eight years of denial, abandonment, victimization and slander. Gowon had in a signed statement two weeks ago, accepted paternity over his Igbo son, after 40 years of civil war.
Igbo Mandate Congress recalls that Jack Ngonadi Musa Gowon was jailed by the United States authority twenty two years ago, due to drug related offences. IMC believes that Musa Gowon was a victim of tribal hatred, frustration and rejection which led to loss of over two million Biafran civilians between 1966 and 1970, including a torn love relationship between her mother, Edith Ike and then Head of State Colonel Yakubu Gowon.
Igbo Mandate Congress had initially made arrangements, as disclosed publicly, in the press release of November 25th to accord Musa Gowon, a rousing welcome, whenever he was released by the US Immigration authorities, en-route Nigeria.
Igbo Mandate Congress noted that Edith stood by her Igbo kinsmen in correcting senseless murder of two million people and sacrificed her prospects of being a First lady, in defense of innocent civilians, mostly children.
Igbo Mandate Congress duly informed Nigerians in the earlier press statement of November 25th 2015 that “Musa Gowon was born out of a courtship gone awry between former Head of State Yakubu Gowon, then a Lieutenant Colonel and an Igbo Girl by name Edith Ike-Okongwu while he was still a bachelor,”
“This relationship between Gowon and Edith Ike ended in the heat of the civil war. It is widely believed that the relationship broke off after Federal Troops bombed Aba General Hospital with NAF Napalm Bomb on July 14, 1968 killing more than 500 patients.
“Edith was said to have expressed disapproval with Gowon over the deliberate bombing of Biafran civilian soft targets and the romance was brought to an end. Prior to that, Edith Ike’s parents, though from Aro-Ndikelionwu in Orumba North Local Govt of Anambra State but lived in the north for over thirty years, relocated back to the East after the first wave of pogrom of 1966.”
“Igbo Mandate Congress also calls on the Federal Government to ensure that this boy is rehabilitated so that those evil memories of the civil war is not resurrected and used by desperate politicians.
“Igbo Mandate Congress also called on Igbos in the United States to assist Musa Gowon Ngonadi because “he whom has been rejected should not reject himself”
“Igbo Mandate Congress also expresses gratitude to the United States President Barrack Obama for the pardon granted Musa Ngonadi Gowon in the spirit of reconciliation and demand good treatment of this man born under the contradictions of love, hate and an unnecessary civil war.”
Igbo Mandate Congress wishes to express appreciation to its members and well-wishers in the United States who heeded the clarion calls and mobilized resources to ensure that from the airport, this boy is given warm send forth.
Igbo Mandate Congress also wishes to appreciate all well-meaning Igbos in Nigeria who were on standby to accord this abandoned kinsman a welcome back to his roots. The inability to grant the welcome as planned was because the Immigration authorities in the US played on the intelligence of well-meaning people, and he was deported days earlier than tscheduled, probably , to avoid perceived family embarrassment, which was never intended by IMC.
Igbo Mandate Congress appreciates well-meaning Nigerians from within Ohanaeze and other Igbo leaders who expressed caution that the planned reception may exacerbate the then ongoing Biafra agitations and reopen old wounds. The same fears were expressed by some elements within the north, through their links to IMC. Though their fears were misguided, IMC still appreciates their concerns over the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Igbo Mandate Congress wishes to appreciate some extended members of the Gowon family and their friends who volunteered valuable information to IMC, and promised to mount pressures to ensure the right thing is done to rehabilitate Musa Gowon.
Igbo Mandate Congress IMC appreciates President Barrack Obama for releasing Musa from the penitentiary, and IMC still believes that Musa was implicated in the entire drug saga. IMC noted that he would have left the prison since, had he accepted to implicate some other persons, thus the spirit of betrayal is not part of the young man.
IMC wishes to posthumously commend Edith Ike Okongwu for standing by her people in times of difficulty, and prays that those who exacerbate ethnic differences in Nigeria will live to regret their actions.
IMC also wishes to commend ex-Head of State Yakubu Gowon finally accepting Musa Gowon as his son, after forty eight years of denial, and sees this as another step towards healing the wounds of that unnecessary war between Nigeria and Biafra.
Rev Obinna Akukwe
Director General, Igbo Mandate Congress IMC
*Photo Caption – Yakubu Gowon and son Jack Musa- LEFT & RIGHT-Victims of Nigeria Air Force bombing of Aba General Hospital in 1968 that according to Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) ended the relationship between Gowon and Musa's mother.
[ Masterweb Reports: Angelina Zimmerman reports ] - A very small minority of the 7.4 billion people in the world are wealthy. As reported by the BBC, an Oxfam, Credit Suisse study found that the eighty top billionaires in the world have amassed $1.9 trillion in wealth, marking a 50 percent increase in the past four years alone.
Here are right skills that can help you to become more successful and wealthy. Master these skills if you are serious about growing your wealth.
1. Become known for one thing.
Many a creative person will tell you they have many talents, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Excelling at various things can make your head spin as you aim to fit them all into your weekly schedule.
Those who are exceptionally successful will tell you this is the number one key to becoming successful. Focus on and be known for one thing — when you are the expert in one subject and are living and breathing what you do in addition to obtaining exceptional results, clients will travel from near and far to work with you.
2. Master a mindset.
Incredible things happen when you become aware of your daily thoughts and begin doing the work to change the thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve you.
The best book I’ve read on this subject is Breaking the Habit of Being You’ by Dr Joe Dispenza. The book helps you understand the brain and how it works, and offers tools for changing your thoughts in a simple yet practical way. Here’s a recent article on the topic.
3. Build muscle.
There are multiple ways you can stay fit, from yoga, Xtend barre, swimming, tennis, golf, or running. However, one of the fastest ways to lose weight, get tone, and stay healthy is to build muscle.
There are plenty of people who are thin but have more fat than muscle. By the time you reach the age of 50, the average person loses up to 10 percent of muscle mass.
Building muscle can improve bone density, reduce the risk of injury, boost
metabolism, help you gain tone and lose weight, improve your quality of sleep, and raise your level of confidence.
4. Turn habits into success rituals.
Your habits can help or distract you from achieving your goals. One of the best ways to effectively change your habits is to implement a set morning and evening routine.
There are thousands of articles and books on the toping, including The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
Success rituals are an effective part of setting a positive tone for the day and maximizing your time and results.
5. Turn on your efficiency machine.
Successful people excel at efficiency. They make decisions quickly and take action to make things happen and get things done.
They utilize their time effectively and realize the importance of energy management. A lack of energy can severely interrupt a person’s level of activity, which is why it is crucial to identify what energizes you versus what exhausts you.
To heighten your efficiency, automate your business and outsourcing activities that exhaust you (everything from cleaning to accounting).
The key to efficiency is to focus on what you excel at and build a talented team to help you achieve your audacious goals.
6. Inspire those around you.
People are drawn to those who inspire others. Inspirational people have a way of attracting people from all walks of life.
Inspirational people make others feel good about themselves and more importantly, help them to realize their potential.
We all have different families, beliefs, backgrounds, levels of education, and experiences growing up, and that’s why we think differently. Sometimes, despite the many talents people possess, they lack the belief in themselves or the confidence to achieve what they want to in life.
Inspirational people can help boost others confidence and help them to uncover their true purpose in life — a magical and rewarding experience.
7. Appreciate your world.
The power of gratitude and appreciation for what you have is absolutely phenomenal.
When we look at everything we have rather than focus on what we believe is missing, we gain inner peace, happiness, love, and acceptance of what is. We are able to live in the present moment rather than focusing on the future.
8. Meditate from the beaches to the mountaintops.
People around the world are embracing the benefits of meditation. Without a doubt, meditation has changed my life and the lives of countless others.
Regular meditation practice gives one feelings of calm, clarity, and bliss, greater levels of gratitude, and a different view of the world, not to mention the insights that are instrumental to achieving success.
The fact that many people are unclear about their purpose and goals in life and have difficulty making effective decisions is largely due to information overload and the vortex of social media, all of which compete with the everyday activities around relationships, career, and family.
Once you’ve mastered these eight skills, a multitude of benefits await you on a professional and personal level. They are the foundation for a lifetime of success, inner peace, wealth, and gratitude.
*Photo Caption - As seen
[ Masterweb Reports: Olalekan Waheed Adigun reports ] - It has been almost a year now that some of us, swept by the euphoria of the “Change Mantra”, went all out to support perhaps the most persecuted presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari. We were told severally how the General intends to “Islamize Nigeria”; we were told he was a member of the Islamic State (or ISIS); we were equally told of how he once promised to make “Nigeria ungovernable for Jonathan”. All these notwithstanding, we shunned every obvious temptation for ethnicity or religious bigotry to support and vote the most hated man in certain quarters as president.
Since he became president, Buhari seems to have gotten new supporters who seem to love him more than those who endured the worst conditions to support him during the election. These neo-Buharists, many of whom were never attended his campaign rally neither nor donated financially to his effort at the exalted office.
After the election, traditional Buhari’s critics, also known as the Wailing Wailers, started several hash tags on Twitter, such as #BabaGoSlow, #100WastedDays, #BudgetOfYams, #TyrantBuhari and more recently and embarrassingly, #BringBackCorruption. To all these, Buhari’s supporters have responded well too. They have launched counter attacks like: #GoOnBuhari to counter the accusations of his critics that he is a dictator. Apart from this, noticing the loss of steam and the seeming defencelessness of Buharists on social media, neo-Buharists regrouped and decided to do “something unique.” They launched what they called, #iStandWithBuhari.
The group promoting the hash tag has been vocal on social media for a while now. On getting to see the group’s sponsored advert, I immediately put a call through to its secretariat sometimes last month. I was told the group intends to mobilise a whopping 9 million Nigerians to a rally in support of President Buhari. I asked if there was any election in sight which the President was participating. To this, the receiver of my call answered in the negative. He only told me of the president’s war against corruption and the commencement of operation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA). The question I asked myself after ending the call was: Why the rally?
Inasmuch as I have no personal issue with showing affections to one’s country leader, this effort suffers from two obvious deficiencies. First, the poor timing of the rally especially at a time when Nigerians are facing harsh economic realities is at best uncalculated. Second, is the fact that only exposes political opportunism and the insincerity of those behind the hash tag.
Calling Nigerians out for a rally at this time is obviously a bad Public Relations strategy. The people pushing these hash tag are obviously no experts in PR. If they are, they will see the futility of their efforts even before materialising. The message is shabby, just as its medium is tactless. It appears some idle political aides want to be seen to be working hard at their jobs. It may also be true some of those people who hate the president so much are behind this mess.
This leads me to my second issue with this poorly-thought-out rally. Where are the funds for the rally come from? Who is the overt and covert sponsor of the event? In this critical period, it will not be so difficult to mobilise unemployed people who now gather in groups at newspaper stands or other conspicuous place to attend such rallies. Let us assume each of those mobilised will be paid a stipend of N1000 or given a meal, will cost (using conservative estimates) a whopping N90 billion. My God!
If this money can be channelled into building industries, these rally attendees will be gainfully employed.
There is nothing new in rallies of such nature. The fact that the same people who organised groups like: Daniel Kanu’s Youths Earnestly Yearn for Abacha (YEA); #BringBackGoodluck; Ifeanyi Uba’s Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN); Goodluck Initiative for Transformation (GIFT); Neighbour To Neighbour (N2N) and others too numerous to mention adds to my suspicions that these are nothing but professional praise singers, flatterers, charlatans and- to say the obvious- scammers.
Only recently did the true intentions of the group became manifest. Its National Coordinator Mr. Mustapha Ramalan resigned thanks to the schism within the group. Ramalan’s reason is that “…the nine million-man pro-Buhari march should be postponed because the government is still trying to pick up and hence should be given more time to justify the nine million-man march.” I dare ask, at what point did he recover his senses?
If I am in a position to advice President Buhari on this matter, I will suggest he considers taking Niccolo Machiavelli’s advice in his wonderful book, The Prince about dealing with these charlatans. The Italian philosopher writes: “…a wise prince ought to hold a third course by choosing the wise men in his state, and giving to them only the liberty of speaking the truth to him, and then only of those things of which he inquires, and of none others; but he ought to question them upon everything, and listen to their opinions, and afterwards form his own conclusions. With these councillors, separately and collectively, he ought to carry himself in such a way that each of them should know that, the more freely he shall speak, the more he shall be preferred; outside of these, he should listen to no one, pursue the thing resolved on, and be steadfast in his resolutions. He who does otherwise is either overthrown by flatterers, or is so often changed by varying opinions that he falls into contempt.” (The Prince, Chapter 23)
The Presidency needs to understand that it is not the time to keep mum in the face of these well-known political opportunists. The President’s media team must come down hard, issuing a strong “Caveat Emptor” on the matter. While we understand that the administration needs to public support, getting support from these ones whose intentions are purely to embarrass, malign and ridicule his modest achievements will further dampen, not construct, the administration’s image. There has to be limits to political opportunism!
Olalekan Waheed Adigun is a political risk analyst and independent political strategist for wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. He is based in Lagos, Nigeria. His write-ups can be viewed on his website http://olalekanadigun.com/ Tel: +2348136502040, +2347081901080
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - Many Nigerians have unnerved views that the education industry is supposed to be one of the biggest industries in the country. If the successive governments have harnessed the industry very well, it stands to earn the country billions of naira per annum.
Those in this line of scrutiny are of the outlook that not even the National Seminar in 1973, which led to the formulation of National Policy on Education in 1977, revised in 1981, and the introduction of the universal primary education (UPE) in 1976, have helped the country’s education sufficiently.
Gasping for ways to improve on the country’s education, the Universal Basic Education (UBE) was later launched formally by then President Olusegun Obasanjo in Nigeria on 30th September, 1999. The UBE was aimed at making education reachable and making all citizens literate by the year 2010. But Nigerians are today in 2016!
On March 14 2016, in Abuja, while making his address at the 2016 Commonwealth Day Celebration, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu assured Nigerians that the government was committed to achieving the 16 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); an expansion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed by governments in 2001, which came to an end in 2015.
Without doubt, many rich Nigerians have queued on the weakness of the following governments to establish schools as part of their own measures to foster the needed qualitative education that Nigeria seeks. And they are tapping from this no matter the “Made-in-China” education they render to their patronizers. China is known for low quality products! The big chasm in the Nigeria’s education system, the citizens are looking elsewhere to attain sound education.
Spending heavily to study abroad
The pillars of Nigeria were dazed when the Chairman Senate Committee on Tertiary Institution and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Senator Binta Masi on February 9 2016, in Abuja, during the official Commissioning of Federal University of Lafia, FUL, to the Nigeria Research and Education Network, NgREN, said that Nigerians spend $2bn on school fees abroad.
Many Nigerians focused their attention on the huge sum of money mentioned and flummoxed. The Senator was horror-struck, adding that it was unnecessary that Nigerians even travel to other African countries to get educated.
Her position was that the country was at the peak of getting the research and education network right. Conversely, some Nigerians contradicted the views of the Senator and said that it’s a pity that Nigerians are travelling out in droves to get qualitative education elsewhere. But they do not have other option due to the fact that majority of the public schools in the country – from kindergarten to tertiary level – do not even have working hostels, which they enjoy in schools across the shores of the country.
Reason for the exodus abroad
Checks have revealed that no matter the measures that the government is putting in place to stop the trend of exodus of Nigerians to study abroad, it is a tall dream to stop them because Nigerians, who have schooled overseas, did not experience unremitting strikes that preceptors and their unions embark on in Nigeria, which congealed many academic sessions in the recent past.
Specialists have said that there are inadequate teacher educations, betrayed quality assurance in the area of class dimension, minute number of teachers and tutorial objects, laughable governance of schools, zero execution of Schools Management Committees (SMCs), insufficient budgetary for education, low incentives for teachers, and so on.
Budget and Grades watered down
In May 2013, Sarki Mallam-Madori, a public affairs analyst argued in inference, saying, "From 1997 and 2000 statistics show that federal government expenditure on education was below 10% of overall expenditure. It noticed that, the national expenditure on education cannot be computed because various states expenditure on education cannot be determined, in relation to the UNESCO recommendation of 26% of national budgets."
In an appearance in July 2014, the Rector, Olawoyin Awosika School of Innovative Studies, Prof Abiola Awosika showed remorse that the education in the country is going down by the day, of which students' grades are lowered in order to see if they could measure up with the trend, whereas it should not have been so.
She pointed out that the flight of solid curricula in the universities and colleges of education that were supposed to build up people is a big blow. Prof Awosika said, “We lowered the Joint Administration and Matriculation Board (JAMB) scores again this year; 180 for universities and 130 for colleges of education and polytechnics."
Education killed by politicians
A Nigerian who wouldn’t like the name in print said that the schools in the country have been wrecked by apparent corrupt leaders. And this has led to the malfunctioning of other government agencies.
There are other factors that those in this line of thought said are imminent why Nigerians will not stop from travelling to overseas for studies. They include paying for the handouts of lecturers to get more points in tests and exams of which any students that did not abide by the dictate risks being delayed to graduate by his or her lecturer.
Some Nigerians who could not afford the money to study abroad drop out of school. There are situations where lecturers and students are cultists, details have opined. And the apparent cultists threaten the welfare of others who are not members. Many Nigerians argued that if the Senator was frowning about Nigerians studying abroad, perhaps, due to the exorbitant money they pay to get admission in the schools abroad, the private schools in Nigeria are even worse.
Private schools couldn’t help
Nigerians said that the private schools in Nigeria, unchangingly, collect huge sum of money from Nigerians without showing same in academic impartation. Only “Made in China” education!
The worry is that due to the economic harshness that many homes are going through, the effort by parents to keep their children in schools is unwholesome. A school of thought said that it does not see the rationale in spending huge sums of money that amount to hundreds of thousands per a term for a toddler in the Nigerian private nursery or elementary schools, whereas he or she would be meeting in the same university with those that went to public schools and most times, the toddler is just empty in head.
U.S. Department of Education vs. Nigeria’s
There are insinuations that apart from the supposed mal-functional hostels that majority of the schools across the country run, the scientific laboratories in virtually all the schools are like artifacts in the museum.
The blame has been heaped on the successive governments in the country, because statistics have shown that the workforce in Nigeria is not in the dearth. Lecturers from Nigeria excel in other worlds where they are exposed to the necessary amenities that include power, technology, conducive environment and sundry.
But Buhari, represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Akaneren Essien, while delivering a message at the 2014/2015, and 29th convocation ceremony of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), held at the school’s Abraham Odia Stadium, swaggered that N500 billion was allocated to the education sector in the 2016 federal budget. He described this as the highest so far allocated to the sector in the country.
Buhari said: “The 2016 budgetary provision of N500 billion for the education sector is the highest so far, and it is our desire to apply every kobo in this budget to deal with various need of our universities to ensure that they become more globally competitive.”
On-the-contrary, the USA federal government allocated approximately $154 billion on education in fiscal year 2015. Going by the programmes administered by the U.S. Department of Education, which appear in two separate parts in the USA budget, critics have said the statements made by Buhari at the occasion were mere politics and charade compared to what obtains in the USA budget for Department of Education.
Nigerians are of the judgment that the schools in the country would have been the best in the world if the country had used its resources meant for the education sector judiciously and ban political-leaders from sending their wards to school abroad.
The Executive Secretary, Kogi State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Mallam Nuhu Ahmed was of a view that the Change mantra of Major General Muhammadu Buhari administration will amount to an exercise in futility if the education sector is not bettered.
At five-day training on December 14 2015, for quality assurance officers organised by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the state SUBEB with the theme “Strengthening the Capacity of Quality Assurance officers for Improved Quality Delivery” in Lokoja, Ahmed said, “Nigeria cannot develop without quality education.”
Ahmed squabbled, saying that the country will be measured by the qualitative education it gets; and how quality the country’s basic education is will form the bedrock of the educational harvest of the country.
He added, “The dream of a change in Nigeria will be a mirage if there are no quality teachers in the schools. The need for qualitative basic education delivery must be intensified by the government because without quality teachers there cannot be quality product amongst the students.”
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Writer and Consultant; he writes from Rivers State. (email@example.com). Tel: +2348057778358.
*Photo Caption - Map of China
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Over the last few weeks, Nigerians all over the country have been faced with the question; Whatisthe737? From billboards to hash tags and radio hypes.
Introduced by Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Bank 737 is more than just well rhyming numbers; it’s a simple, smart, and safe way to bank anytime, anywhere and on any device. Imagine if opening an account was as simple as dialing a number from your mobile phone or transferring funds was as easy as sending a text message, or paying bills could be done at any time of the day, even long after banking hours. Imagine if you need to make an urgent transfer online and your data just ran out and you don’t have your hardware token to complete the transaction. Truth is, at some point or the other we have all experienced those moments when we wished banking could be as simple as ABC’s and 123’s. Well, in this case, GTBank has made it as simple as 737.
In recent years, mobile phones have made life easier! You can now shop online, watch movies, surf the internet, play games, chat with loved ones, share and download information with the simple push of a button. While mobile penetration has witnessed an impressive growth in Nigeria, Internet proliferation hasn’t experienced similar success, owing largely to the cost of data. Built on a USSD interface, GTBank’s 737 banking is phone agnostic and works on any type of mobile phone and does not require internet access or registration protocols. With GTBank’s Bank 737, your mobile phone is now a service channel for all your banking needs. Users simply have to dial the short USSD *737# code on any mobile device to experience a new world of simple banking.
With Bank 737, GTBank customers can perform banking functions such as transfers to all Banks in Nigeria, check account balance, open a GTBank account, buy airtime, pay bills, BVN linking, token code generation, card less withdrawals and lots more from their mobile phones.
Commenting on the launch of the product, Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc said; “The launch of this product marks another milestone in our quest to make banking truly simple for our customers. We remain firm on our objective to deliver banking products and services tailored to meet the diverse needs of our ever-growing customer base by leveraging technology to make banking faster, safer and more accessible for all our customers.”
GTBank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions in Nigeria and across its subsidiary countries. The bank is renowned for its innovative financial solutions, superior financial performance, world class corporate governance standards and excellent service delivery. The bank’s latest E-payment service, known as the 737 banking, is considered a veritable alternative to in-branch banking as it offers a faster, safer and more convenient way to perform financial transactions.
Social Media Manager
No 26 Oroleye Crescent off Abel Oreniyi Street.
Off Salvation Road, Opebi
*Photo Caption - A GTBank branch
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Islamic State (Isis) claimed responsibility for the two bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium that killed at least 34 people and injured many, Amaq, a news agency affiliated with the group said in a press statement. According to Amaq`s press release: "Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station in the centre of the Belgian capital Brussels."
There were two explosions in the departure hall of Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium, at about 8 a.m. local time today, according to Prime Minister Charles Michel, where officials said at least 14 people were killed. Three Americans, Mormon missionaries, were "seriously injured" in the blasts, according to Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
There was also an explosion a little over an hour later on the rail tracks at the Maelbeek subway station, according to a spokeswoman for Brussels transportation department. At least 20 people were killed there, officials said. Between the two sites, local officials estimate that at least 34 people were killed and over 180 injured.
*Photo Caption - Scene from Brussels Airport bombing
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 17th of March 2016)-It is the resolution of the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law to publicly draw the advocacy attention of the administration of Mr. Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano in Anambra State concerning the mounting public mobility (roads) and environmental challenges facing it following nearing of the rainy season.
By Section 15 (3) (a) of the 1999 Constitution (amended in 2011); under Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy (social duties and responsibilities of the governing authorities in Nigeria), “the State (including the Government of Anambra State) is directed, “for the purpose of promoting national integration”, etc, to “provide adequate facilities for the citizenry and encourage free mobility of people, goods and services throughout the federation (or any part thereof)”. By Section 20 of the same Constitution, the State (including the Government of Anambra State) is directed to “protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air and land, forest and wild life in Nigeria”.
Of the four sources of public mobility in Nigeria, particularly in Anambra State: roads, aviation, marine and railway; road network is the most important and strategic. It also solely connects other three public mobility sources. Presently, Anambra State has no airport or railway. The number of people using water transport in the State is very insignificant and restricted to its citizens of river-line areas. In all, over 95% of the people in the State including the aviation and marine passengers, use the State road network.
Combination of these factors makes the State road network stressed up and over motorized; added with fragility or non stone-base nature of the soil system in the State. Environmentally, the State is very hazardous with up to 1000 active gully erosion sites to its negative credit. The State Environmental management is also acutely below the international standards with a series of unchecked human and industrial harmful activities on the State environment. There are indiscriminate and unchecked disruptions of statutory master plans in various urban cities in the State. For instance, medium and large scale industries are indiscriminately being cited with illicit government approval in residential areas. Worst of this is the indiscriminate building of petroleum filling stations in densely populated areas and urban cities and streets of the State. Such illegally built filling stations with illicit government approvals are very indiscriminate in Ogbaru, Fegge, Woliwo, Awada, Omagba, Nkpor and Nnewi urban areas of the State.
In rural areas, there is also indiscriminate and unchecked felling of economic trees. During the yuletide, thousands of economic trees planted decades ago by mothers, fathers, forefathers and foremothers are felled courtesies of fundamentalist Christian groups or preachers who recklessly and falsely tag them “evil trees”. Between the yuletides of 2014 and 2015 alone, between 5,000 and 10,000 economic trees of several households were felled in various communities in Anambra State, on account of the activities of fundamental Christian groups or preachers, who claimed to be embarking on “breaking of generational curses” or “family cleansing”. Examples of these victim-trees are “ukwa trees”, “udala trees”, “ube trees”, “English pear trees”, “cashew trees”, “mango trees”, “ngwu trees”, “orji or iroko trees”, etc. When such important and life-sustaining trees are felled, no efforts are made to replant them. Some of them, by nature, cannot be replanted. Palm trees, too, are not exempted.
The health and environmental consequences of these environmentally unfriendly practices are alarmingly enormous. Apart from acutely diminishing life-sustaining oxygen, leading to pollution and proliferation of life-threatening and environmental hazardous carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide; it has also created acute scarcity of body system-mineral sustaining foods (fruits) as well as hyper increase in their open market prices. For instance, a cup of bread-fruit (ukwa) that is usually sold for N60.00 now goes for N200.00. The worst of it all is that none of these nature produced food items is mechanized by government till date; for the purpose of their production in industrial or commercial quantities. The sharp reduction in life expectancy and sharp increase in infant mortality, infant and adult sickness and malnutrition are attributed to the foregoing. These practices have also disrupted and impaired dietary composition and combination (balanced diets); leading to a situation whereby only rice, swallow (pounded cassava) and yam serve families all day and weeklong and round as only available food (starch).
On public mobility (roads) and environmental management in the State, challenges abound. There are high incidences of erection of structures on waterways and drainages particularly in various urban cities of the State. Dumping of garbage inside gutters and waterways and drainages in urban areas is also indiscriminate and unchecked. Among these is reckless resort to dumping of garbage including used plastic water cans and water sachets (pure water) inside gutters whenever it is raining. As we write, most of drainages in the State particularly in urban cities of Onitsha and environs, Awka and environs, Nnewi and environs and Ogbaru, Nsugbe, Obosi, Nkpor, Omagba, Woliwo and their environs are blocked by sands and garbage.
Also indiscriminate and unchecked, are cutting of the center of tarred roads for laying of cables without refilling them, as well as indiscriminate blocking of public roads with iron gates and burning of disused tyres on the center of the roads. Evacuation of refuse in designated evacuation spots is at snail speed. Dumping of evacuated refuse or garbage in unauthorized and environmentally unfriendly places such as banks of River Niger and streams, has also reached a damaging point.
Combined (negative) effects of these have not only stressed the State road network, but also shortened their life spans and led to failure of their strategic portions during and after the last rainy season. A number of their strategic portions failed because floods forced out of their waterways by blocked waterways swept off the asphalts. Others failed on account of over use or over motorization. Our recent checks on a number of the State’s strategic roads clearly indicated that the incoming rainy season will be very dicey for Anambra road users on account of failure of strategic portions of the State’s intercity and Trunk B roads. In Ogbaru, for instance, Obodoukwu and Ede Roads as well as some portions in the Harbour Industrial Layout are begging for urgent attention. In Fegge and Odakpu, a number of strategic intercity roads like Zik Avenue by Ochanja, Iweka Road, Modebe Avenue, Bida Road, Obanye Street, Iboku Street, New Market Road, Ezenwa Street and a number of others around Onitsha GRA need to be urgently attended to. The gutters of Modebe Avenue, New and Old Market Roads are condensed and blocked particularly at their Onitsha Main Market portions; likewise Bida Road.
Story is same in other parts of the State particularly in State roads located in Nnewi, Aguata, Ihiala, Orumba North and South and Idemili North and Anaocha LGAs of the State. Roads like Owerre-Ezukala-Isuochi and Nnobi-Awkaetiti-Igboukwu-Ekwulobia-Oko Roads are begging for urgent State attention. The Government of Anambra State and its Local Government System has a constitutional duty to fix the problems above highlighted and embark on aggressive and consistent management of the State public mobility (roads) and environment.
The Government of Mr. Willie Obiano is therefore called upon to rise to the occasion by, as a matter of uttermost immediacy and extreme public importance, mobilize the State resources and its Local Government System for the purpose of immediate reopening of all blocked drainages and waterways in the State. The State’s Road Maintenance department or agency should be fully mobilized and dispatched to all the failed roads in the State under the auspices of “operation zero portholes”. For proactive, concrete, apt and prompt attention, the bosses of the 21 LGAs in the State should be directed by the State Government to compile the names of all the failed roads in their areas and submit same. They should also be directed to embark on opening of all the blocked gutters in their areas and evacuation of debris so removed. The Government should also examine critically other environmental and public health concerns raised above so as to fashion out short term and long term measures to address them including enactment of relevant laws and their effective implementation. Part of the short term measures will be a total ban and prohibition of building or approval for building of petroleum filling stations and medium and large scale industries in residential areas or populated streets in any urban city in the State.
On the other hand, we wish to express strong disappointment over what happened at Iyiowa Layout yesterday (16th of March 2016) where the Obiano administration had gone to “commission” the “Abazuonu-Ihitenansa-Ibekwe-Acha-Madonna Catholic Church Road”. Our disappointment stems from clear misrepresentation of facts over the award and completion of the Road project. While we see nothing wrong in another governor deciding to commission a project started and completed by his or her predecessor, if he or she chooses and if the project has not been commissioned; but where we frown at deeply is where facts are deliberately misrepresented.
For the records and public knowledge, Iyiowa Layout in Ogbaru LGA of Anambra State is one of the most enlightened and well organized urban residential areas in Anambra State. The area of it covering Ihitenansa Street, Ehirim Close, Obidike Close, Ibekwe Street, Abazuonu Street or “New Road” and Okafor Lane is commonly referred to in the area as “Ogbaru GRA”. It is has the newest and very good road network and properly electrified with average of 20 hours power supply per day. It is also referred to as “activists zone”, owing to presence of large number of human rights activists including Emeka Umeagbalasi. The recent (still ongoing) advocacy onslaughts against sharp practices of EEDC in the Southeast Zone were spearheaded by the area. The area has four transformers to its credit and advocacy activities and parades one of the best organized community forums in Anambra State, peopled by tenants and landlords.
The Road in question (above mentioned) was constructed owing to four years of advocacy requests by rights activists in the area to former Governor Peter Obi. In January 2013, Peter Obi personally called Umeagbalasi and his group and pleaded with them to identify the strategic area in the Layout for road construction. He further pleaded that the area to be identified must connect the Madonna Catholic Church in the area. He had earlier visited the Church on 16th of September 2012 on the invitation of the Onitsha Catholic Archbishop. He also visited the area on 1st of October 2012 during the flood disaster, where he made a firm promise to build the Road once the flood menace subsided.
He had told the congregation during his visit at the Madonna Catholic Church on 16th of September 2012 that “he had been disturbed for years by some activists living in this area over deplorable state of roads here”. The IDC contractors were taken round as agreed in early January and later in the same January 2013, work commenced on the Road with 12 months completion deadline and in January 2014; the project was completed as contracted (two months before the inception of Obiano administration). During the governorship campaign visit to the area in late 2013, Mr. Peter Obi announced the addition of the remaining part of Acha Street and promised that it would be done on completion of the awarded one by the incoming administration under now moribund “continuation, completion and commissioning” arrangement. In 2014, around April/May, after the exit of Mr. Peter Obi and after the completion of the project, Governor Willie Obiano visited the area during his familiarization tour and announced the addition of Onyejiego Street, which joins the asphalted Road straight from Ibekwe Road Junction. Till date, the two additional streets/roads are yet to be done.
Just like we did on 13th of June 2015 during the claims and counter-claims over who did and completed the Nkpor-Ogidi-Abagana-Enugu-ukwu-Amawbia Old Enugu Road, our purpose here is to put the records straight and plead with those working with Governor Willie Obiano to stop embarrassing the Governor and the State. If not the IDC Contractor that handled and completed the Road project, who in his speech on the occasion, stated that “the contract was awarded in January 2013 by former Governor Peter Obi and completed in January 2014”; the Governor’s aides who earlier claimed false credit over the Road project and its completion, would have ended up making the Governor of Anambra State a liar before his people. What they ought to have done was to advise the Governor correctly and popularly to award additional new road in the area or better still, commence work on “Onyejiego Street” and the remainder of Acha Streets. Just as we had used the area (Iyiowa Layout) in the past 14 years as our advocacy case-study area; dating back to our CLO days, the Road in question is not only our advocacy achievement, but also a good case-study to show the populace at all times how governance can work and alleviate social sufferings, when government is constructively engaged by nimble and virile civil society.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption - Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - What is a reprisal? It is defined as the resorting to the use of force, short of war, in retaliation for damage or loss suffered. Typically the term is used to refer to instances where a disaffected community takes the law into its own hands and attacks the "other" community from whence it has judged that the perpetrators of the injustice it suffered hail.
A reprisal is however a double and often worse crime than the initial offence. Whereas the initial offence may have been accidental and may have had fewer victims, more innocent victims are killed deliberately in typical reprisal attacks. There is premeditation with reprisal violence.
Reprisal attacks follow the Genocidal Killing theory where all people belonging to the group from within which perpetrators are suspected to have emanated, are automatically judged culpable in the acts of harm inflicted on a member or members of the now retaliating clan.
In reality, under a functional State, they are not reprisals but new barbaric aggressions. Not a single innocent victim who did not participate in the crime should ever be hurt or killed for a crime he was not directly part of and perhaps even objected to and protested against.
“...let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God.” Quran 5:8
Perpetrators must only be convicted by legitimate courts. If the police fail to investigate and the courts fail to convict, then the crime has been transferred to the State which loses its legitimacy. The State becomes the perpetrator, the absolute culprit and "enemy."
The only long lasting solution to the illegal and immoral acts of reprisal mob justice is a government that postures itself to stop people becoming barbaric terrorists in response to a lack of *governance. Note the real infraction–a lack of governance. The reprisal act does not address or cure the infraction(s) but rather exacerbates societal chaos and progresses the failure of society.
A good government must strive to provide two key things/changes:
1. Adequate recourse for victims while ensuring trust in the system.
2. Must loudly broadcast that counter-perpetrators (reprisalists) who take the law into their hands no matter the injustice they have faced will be severely punished. And it must be serious about this an seriously proceed to enforce this prohibition.
On the part of the victims, they must realize that the real enemy, when they are maltreated by a citizen and the State fails to investigate and give them justice is no longer simply the perpetrator and definitely not his clan, but the injustice has now been transferred to the State. If they must personally seek recourse and redress, it must be with and against the State and not the clan.
Nigerians wait for a good government.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Late Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu
Notes: On October 7, 1967 Nigeria Army Second Division after capturing Mid-West Region, ordered the people of Asaba to assemble in a village square known as Ogbe-Osawa where the men were separated from the women and shot dead. Asaba lost over 70% of their male population from this massacre. Some elements in the army embarked on the ethnic cleansing in retaliation of the January 15, 1966 coup led my Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu that killed Northern leaders including Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (Prime Minister of Nigeria 1960–1966) and Sir Ahmadu Bello (first premier of the Northern Nigeria region 1954-1966). None of the soldiers involved in this crime against humanity was tried, thus nobody was punished for it. The Asaba massacre was 'daughter' to mother of reprisal attacks on people of defunct Eastern Region after the July 29, 1966 counter-coup - These attacks killed over 30,000 people and sent easterners living in other parts of the country back to their region.