*Nigeria: Kudos To The National Assembly For Banning Same Sex Marriage
By Amiru Adamu
Whatever the gay rights campaigners may say, the senate of the federal republic of Nigeria has done a commendable job by passing the bill prohibiting same sex marriage in Nigeria. This law banning marriage and public display of affection between homosexual couples, with a provision of up to fourteen years imprisonment for violators is a historic and brave move that will help save our generation and the upcoming generations from descending into one of the most sinful acts known to humanity, and the total collapse of shame and honor in our country We’ Nigerians are cultured people. We are religious people who follow the teachings of Islam and Christianity. And though Nigeria has a constitution that guarantees’ our rights, we are also bound by our religious commandments that forbids us from engaging in acts that are ungodly, unnatural, unprofitable, un-cultural and unhealthy. Homosexuality and lesbianism have no place in Islam and Christianity as clearly stated in the following quotes from the two holy books; Qur’an and Bible. The holy Qur’an in surat Al-Araf (The heights) (7:80-84) states “We also (sent) Lut: he said to his people: "Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? "For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds." And his people gave no answer but this: they said, "drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!" But We saved him and his family, except his wife: she was of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime! ( Continues below…… )
Photo Above: British Gay Priest Rev. Colin Coward with Nigerian Gay Fiancé Bobby Egbele (Photo 1)
The holy Bible in Romans (1:21-27) also states “21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error! ( Continues below…… )
Photo Above: British Gay Priest Rev. Colin Coward with Nigerian Gay Fiancé Bobby Egbele (Photo 2)
These verses from the two holy books alone are enough justification for the passage of the bill. Though the bill has a uniform support from majority of Nigerians, the gay right campaigners have refused to see reason. They insist on instigating some foreign countries to descend so low, as to threaten the withdrawal of the assistance given to Nigeria for its fight against HIV/AIDS. They also went further to instigate some youths to storm the national assembly to protest against the bill. The brainwashed youths shamelessly demanded for their right to carryout same sex marriages as is the case in other countries which have legalized Homosexualism and lesbianism. The most amazing part of the debate is the fact that, some of these countries trying to pressure Nigeria on human rights issues are the same countries that banned the use of veil (Hijab) by Muslim women, who chose to cover their faces in accordance with the teachings of their faith. As they argued that veils are alien to their culture, so also is homosexuality and lesbianism to ours. It is my opinion that banning same sex marriage will bring nothing but the much needed good luck to Nigeria. I want to use this medium to call on members of the House of Representatives to hasten the passage of the bill, so it can be signed into law by President Jonathan. Thank you Nigerian Senators for a job well done!
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.
*Nigeria: ATSSSAN President Sues For Unity Among Aviation Unions
By Lateef Lawal
Members of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) have been urged to unite to fight the social ills in the aviation sector in the country for the emancipation of workers from the chackles of injustice. The call was made by the re-elected President of ASSSAN, Comrade Benjamin Okewu while speaking after being sworn in for the second term of four years, who described his election as that destined by God, called on executives of all branches of ATSSSAN to work for the over all enhancement of workers welfare.
According to him, it will be difficult for any association to grow or fight for the well being of its members where acrimony and rancor was the order of the day. He enjoined everyone to desist from anti-association activities in the interest of members of the association. He declared that union’s agitation for a comprehensive road map and plan for the development of the aviation sector will not stop until the road map was made to reflect the various tangible expectations of stakeholders. ( Continues below….. )
Okewu urged the government to learn from the unpopular decision of liquidation of the Nigeria Airways to be harnessed into the aviation road map. The ATSSSAN President called on the government to conclude the process for the final payment of all outstanding indebtedness to Nigeria Airways workers immediately to put an end to incessant deaths. According to Okewu, “ATSSSAN will not stop calling for the review and cancellation of various concession agreements that are skewed in favour of the concessionaires to the detriment of the organization, workers and Nigerian people”
While commending the steps taken by the aviation minister over the Bilateral Air Service Agreement with the British government, Okewu expressed delight over the commencement of work aimed at re-modeling some airports across the country saying it was as a result of the workers out cries and agitations which will never be in vain. ( Continues below..... )
Other national executives elected at the just concluded elections for various offices are : Sarah Rimdans,Deputy Nat. President; Giwa Rimanchatin,Deputy Nat. President; Ogbonda Evans,Nat. Vice President; Ilitrus Ahmadu,Nat. Vice President; Olanipekun Olaniran,National Treasurer; Emeto Philips,Nat. Financial Secretary.
The rest are-Imafidon Edwin,National Auditor; Toyin Awonusi,National Auditor; Abiodun Adewuni,National Trustee; Onoja Pius,National Trustee; Okpokpong John Donald,National Trustee; Danjuma Ahmed,National Ex-Officio; Ajayi Ganiyat,National Ex-Officio; Agom G. A. National Ex-Officio; Andrew Inalegwu,National Ex-officio.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Nigeria: NSE Honours NAMA MD, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh
By Lateef Lawal
The Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA), Engineer Mazi Nnamdi Udoh was on Tuesday, 29th November, 2011 enlisted in the honours roll of the distinguished members of the Nigeria Society of Engineers(NSE), Ikeja, Lagos branch.
Honoured alongside the NAMA boss at the well attended ceremony held at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja is the current Commissioner of Agriculture, Ondo State, Engineer Ademola Olorunfemi. In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Ikeja Chapter of NSE, Engineer Bola Bido said among others that "It is a day of joy, because from among us, came engineers that have been found worthy of State and National Service." ( Continues below….. )
He explained that the branch decided to honour "these great men now, in their lifetime and not after they passed on. In the light of this recognition, the two recipients of these Awards must continue the business of bringing the needed changes into the office they now occupied and imparting the life of young generations of engineers by their exemplary performance".
Engineer Bido said as ambassadors of the group, members look forward to the two awardees to create more opportunities for engineers to assume political positions,adding that "as evident, we recognised, today, your contributions to the engineering profession and the opportunities you have created for young engineers within your sphere of influence".
Engineer Udoh, who was the immediate past Director of Safety Electronics and Engineering Services in NAMA holds a Master of Science(M.Sc) in Air Safety from the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, City University, London among several other academic and professional certificates prior to his recent appointment by the Federal Government as the Managing Director of NAMA three months ago.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Gowon And The Curse He Took Home: Nigerians And Their Harvest
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Yakubu ("Jack" Dan-Yumma) Gowon, the man accorded ‘General’ for his led genocide against Biafrans, is the symbol of the curse of Nigeria today. You will do well to pay close attention to me because this is no a vain saying. He is the symbol of Nigeria’s evil, wickedness, stubbornness, and prevailing curse. When God punishes a king, his subjects-those who support him while he goes about his many abominations and defiling of God’s name, people, and temple-will suffer even greater consequences. Such a man has an end that visits the wicked and ungodly. The danger of having a wicked king, who has no fear for God or feelings for his subjects, is that his end is a long experience of spiritual torture and regrets, and his subjects, especially those who bow before him in false adoration, exclaiming: “Long live the king-” these people shall not go unpunished; their generations shall meet the consequences of their fathers’ rebellion against truth, and shall partake of the results of self-induced ignorance. Yet, to those that have parted ways with a life of lies and illusions, those who have recognized and accepted their sins and the consequences thereof-to them, there may yet be a way out. But for Yakubu Gowon, the man who led Nigeria, Britain, Russia, and the entire Arab in a hell-conceived plot to “wipe Israel off the map,” his generation shall know no peace. He will live to see the full result of his choices made out of great hatred for a people who have only done well in the land-to a people who offered themselves and their tribe to bring positive changes wherever they may be found. Ojukwu may have died today, yet he has gone home to rejoice; but you, Gowon, shall live to suffer the full wrath of the demon you have unleashed on yourself and your people.
I make bold to tell you and all who care to listen: you killed Nigeria and paid her burial with the blood of over one million Ndigbo. Since you championed “one Nigeria” where Igbos are the sacrificial lamb and the slaves, and since Nigeria has died, you shall die with her-you and your generations. You are happy Ojukwu died as a Nigerian, really? It only goes to show your eternal hatred against your very self and against your generation, because hating Igbos only means hating your life; and opposing a realized Biafra is called self-opposition. What choices do you still think are available to your dying soul; what more resistance can you put up which has not already been quashed? Your statement clearly displays the vanity of a callous and unrepentant man who still believes, even after 40 years, that a united Nigeria is depended upon the continued slavery of Igbos. You remain the greatest curse and the worst thing that has ever befallen Nigeria, even though you are alive. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Nigeria Ex-Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon leaving after attending Late Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua's funeral in Katsina, Katsina State May 6, 2010.
Plateau state today has become the first graveyard of the judgment on Nigeria, courtesy of the acclaimed “General of Nigeria’s unity.” Blood has spilled on the ground of Plateau state to the very level where unbelievers should believe, and where rebellious people should repent and obey. This is the hometown of the said General of Nigeria’s unity, Gowon. Who shall deliver you; who is there to save your families? No one! Plateau has become the Armageddon of the North, the judgment place against Nigeria. And this blood is spilling over…ever to yonder places, to those whose signatories saw to the Biafran genocide. It has become a wave of fire and transported by the wind. Presidents have come and gone without addressing the issue of Biafra, and God has stamped His feet against Nigeria. Leaders have brought up many measures to, according to the only true General Nigeria has ever seen, Dim Ojukwu, “patch things up,” but everything has gone from bad to worse. Don’t live in rebellion because that is the only blindness that truly blinds. Nigeria was cursed the day it went to war against Biafra, and as in justice, the man who championed it will suffer more terrible fate than others; Gowon brought punishment to his people.
Where are those songs sung during the massacre; where are those who said they were fighting to kill our fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons; where are those who sang on national broadcasting stations that they would rape our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters? Where are they today? Even in your midst, you are being killed and raped by your sons-the sons you bore in abominations. The judgment has long begun and the angel in charge has no mercy to give. Your fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons shall be slaughtered in broad daylight; and your mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters shall be raped in your presence before being slaughtered as well. Those Igbos killed amongst you can only be a breed of those who have hated their lives for the sake of the world; and to them who walk in the counsel of the ungodly, who stand in the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of the scornful-to them shall the judgment of the guilt befall. They are equally counted for the rebellious and shall be punished alongside. Those who forfeit the spirit for the flesh shall lose both in the days of accountability and recompense. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map and Flag of Nigeria
Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu led us in a defensive fight against the invading team of Dan Fodians; he never started any war. It was the very spirit which led Usman Dan Fodio to invade the North that led the genocide mission against the Christian South-Easterners. No man born of a woman has any rights to compel a dissatisfied man into remaining in an unholy marriage; even husbands have lost right to keep a dissatisfied woman beyond her wish. The massacre of Igbos in the North should have been more than enough to appease those whose generation came from a bloodline of murderers; from those whose god feeds on the blood of the innocent, and before whom killing of innocents is a direct passage to paradise. The very reasons the spirit of Biafra manifested when he did have always been there, and even now, in their dynamic explosions. Igbos are still killed, Igbos are still deprived, and Igbos are still hated in all of Nigeria. You only have to be an Igbo or a Christian to incur the wrath of the murderous North. To hate an Igbo man has become a culture in Nigeria and not even the forces put to compel the deluded Nigeria’s unity have been enough to stop the bloodsuckers from seeking the blood of my people in every corner and for any reason. Dim Ojukwu was a man no Nigerian, past and present, could ever be; he is a man who saw the truth and stood for it. He stood for his people, and against corruption. The clear disparity between the man, Ojukwu, and the so-called leaders that Nigeria’s genocide against Biafrans has produced in Nigeria today, is largely evident. While Ojukwu forsook self and fought all the way, with all he had, to defend his people, Nigeria’s wickedness only produced leaders whose only agenda is self. They care for themselves alone; even a neighbor is a stranger to them.
The effect of Gowon’s rebuttal, refusal, and denial of the Aburi Accord, which he signed willingly after having understood it, rubbished whatever is left in Nigeria’s legitimacy to sovereignty of a nation where Igbos are a part. A so-called General, the so-called president of Nigeria, who found it hard to match Ojukwu in common sense, ought to have allowed Biafra to go. But, no; his strength was in his guns, bombs, Her Majesty and the Arab league whose only agenda in the world is to enforce one faith, yet their very people have turned against them even this day. It doesn’t matter how long the man of gun compels, one day, his gun shall become obsolete, and him, powerless, helpless and judged. The mighty hand of God will assure that. It does not matter how long Nigeria’s rebellion holds, eventually, the hand which pressed down the truth will be weak and broken; and it will fall off. Compulsion never achieved anything lasting; if anything, it breeds great animosity in generation after another against those who compel-even against their generations unborn. It’s the same blood.
Biafra is the only solution for Nigeria; a separate state called Biafra is the only remedy for Nigeria’s ever increasing and chronic illness. The constant waving aside of this possibility is a clear indication of utter ignorance which destroys. Biafra is! To any country or government which went through the story of Nigeria and Biafra, the events of these last forty years are enough to pinpoint the log which holds everything back. The delusion of Nigeria’s leaders-past and present-is the constant decay of whatever is left of Nigeria. To some who believe that the Biafran war should be likened to those fought in other places that eventually remained as one, you are equally deluding yourself because you have not done your research well enough to notice the clear uniqueness of the 1967 war in the west of Africa. To those who loot public funds and refuse to call for a Sovereign National Conference, you shall not escape. The judgment shall start from you. And even now, it has. Gowon and those who followed his orders to “wipe Israel off the map” have only one thing remaining to be grateful for: An independent state called the Republic of Biafra. And to every government that comes and goes without addressing the issues of the wickedness which the entire Nigeria and its government meted out on Biafrans, you will never succeed. As long as Biafra is a sin in your mind, you shall remain an abomination before heaven. And be sure that your wheel is forever stuck. Your rule shall be sustained with chaos and your end shall be more disastrous than you came in to see. You, too, cannot go unpunished. And, no matter how long your rebellion stays, Biafra will eventually stand; and it shall not delay longer than written. Ojukwu’s transition didn’t erase it, it rekindled it. Be sure of this.
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Nigeria: Governor Aliyu Magatakarda - The Journey So Far
By Amiru Adamu
To many admirers, governor Aliyu wamakko is an exemplary leader and a rare breed of excellence whose quality of character and sincerity of purpose endears him to the administration and respect of the people of sokoto state. His immense contributions in the society and his concern for the wellbeing of the common man will forever remain indelible in the political history of Sokoto State. When Aliyu magatakarda wamakko took the reigns of government in may 2007, it was clear to us that the task before him was not an easy one, considering the enormity of the development were complex and had been compounded by the lack of seriousness and courage to grapple with them by his predecessors.
Impressively, with greater enthusiasm and utter determination not to fail the people who gave him their mandate, governor wamakko resolved to sacrifice his time, energy and acumen the almighty Allah bestowed on him to make sokoto great, socially, economically politically, and to be at par with other states of the federation. It is worthy of note, that within three and half years of his four year term, it is encouraging to note that the policy objectives of the administration are not only being pursued but that significant progress has been made in implementing these policies. In every nook and cranny of sokoto state today, are scores of projects touching on all facets of human endeavours representing an integral part of the developmental influence of governor Aliyu magatakarda wamakko. Name them: from housing development, through education, water supply, youth empowerment, healthcare delivery, poverty eradication, transportation, rural electrification and roads. All these and many more are today practically transparent in every nook and cranny of sokoto state. The ever increasing focus on education as the most decisive factor in the progress and development of modern societies and as a tool for fighting ignorance and disease, explains the high rating accorded to education in sokoto state. At its inception the administration declared a state of emergency in the educational sector and committed 22% of its budget to it. The administration has so far renovated most primary schools, expanded over 30 secondary schools including classrooms, hostels libraries workshops and staff residential quarters.
It went further to provide model libraries in some selected post primary schools, purchased and distributed relevant textbooks for all subjects as well as equipping classrooms and hostels with furniture’s and generators. The administration also increased the students feeding allowances by 100% and abolished examination fees, school fees and other miscellaneous expenses for all students’ non indigenes inclusive. These policies have increased students enrollment to about 40%. In order to back its policies with enough manpower, the administration recruited additional 700, primary school teachers, 1000, secondary school teachers190, teachers for Arabic and Islamic board and 172, for Shehu Shagari College of education. Other efforts by the administration in the educational sector include: establishment of additional normadic schools, establishment of Almajirci integrated school, purchase and distribution of free JAMB/DE forms on a yearly basis, extra mural lessons for students with deficiencies in o/level, scholarships and study grants etc. The first phase of the sokoto state university is in its completion stage. Health care delivery, has also received attention from the administration. With clear understanding of the need for improvement and expansion of healthcare delivery services in the state to correspond with the rapid population growth, increase in the sophistication of the pattern of life of the people and demand for better health services. The administration immediately swung into action, by putting in place articulated strategies to deal with these inadequacies. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto State
It ensured the completion of all inherited projects, constructed six general hospitals, 15 primary healthcare centers, ongoing construction of an orthopedic hospital, constant supply of drugs and medical equipments, supply of ambulances, training and retaining of all cadres of health personnel etc. to ensure accessibility to medical care, the administration procured 30 mobile clinics and utility vehicles. It also supports immunization against child killer diseases, resulting to ranking of sokoto state 2nd lowest in infection North West zone. The administration also established a drugs revolving fund, and procured drugs worth 100 million under the scheme to ensure hospitals do not lack drugs, it also provided logistics for aggressive campaign against drug abuse, HIV/AIDS and STI’S. The administration is also providing free medical care to pregnant women and children under five years in its FREMCARE programme in which customized drugs and diagnostics services are provided free of charge in all general hospitals and primary health care centers. The overall health policies have been geared towards the attainment of state economic empowerment development strategies (SEEDS) and millennium development goals (MDG’S).
The administration has boosted the agricultural sector, through increased participation and funding. The fact that Fertilizer is the most important commodity to a farmer prompted the administration to commit a lot of money into procurement of assorted fertilizer which it distributes to farmers yearly at a subsidized rate. It has also procured and distributed over 300 tractors,50.000 irrigation pumps,200 rice threshing machines and over 1.5 Billion Naira worth of aerial spray materials, pesticides and agrochemical materials for control of Quella birds and other crop pests in the state. To boost dry season farming the administration rehabilitated over 10 irrigation schemes and disbursed over 100 million Naira loan to farmers for dry season farming and animal tractions. Animal health was not neglected as sokoto state is noted for its large herds of cattle, sheep and goats.
The administration embarked on the vaccination of different animals against diseases in all parts of the state. Shelter as a key necessity of life was not left out of the administrations’ development agenda. Wamakko’s administration took a giant leap in the housing sector when it went all out to construct a total of 2000 housing units within the state capital and 30 units in each of the 23 local governments of the state. Most of these houses have been completed and allocated to civil servants on owner/occupier basis. The state’s NYSC permanent camp is presently under construction, to provide a befitting accommodation to Youth corps members posted to sokoto state. Economically stable electricity supply brings a lot of development and a considerable decline in the number of the unemployed, due to increase of economic activities. These foreseen prospects prompted the administration to embark on a 3.8 Billion Naira state independent power project, to provide 30 mega watts in addition to the PHCN supply. The promise of rural electrification is also being fulfilled.
The administration has so far connected over 300 towns and villages to the national grid. This step has encouraged the establishment of cottage industries and other commercial activities of the people living in the rural areas. It has also triggered a decline in the migration of people from rural to urban areas, most especially the youth whose absence affects agriculture, which is the dominant occupation in the rural areas. The provision of portable and clean water supply should be a top priority issue to every responsible government. Clean and properly treated water prevents the populace from being infected with various water borne diseases. At its inception the administration took a step to arrest the perennial water shortage in the state by setting up a committee to ensure adequate water supply in the state within the shortest time possible. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states, including Sokoto State and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
The committee immediately after its inauguration embarked on the replacement of old pipes and refurbishment of tank reservoirs, a step that alleviated the acute shortage of water within the metropolis dramatically. The administration has so far converted 35 motorized water schemes to solar water schemes, rehabilitated more than 200 semi urban water schemes, the work on the diversion of kware main line to Achida and rehabilitation of the impressit water supply extension for Sokoto Township among others. The government through its department for rural water supply embarked on special projects to supply the rural areas with water. Some of these projects include 90 motorized water schemes,40 solar powered motorized water schemes, reactivation of 200 hand pumps,50 overhead tanks,100 boreholes and the rehabilitation of Binga, Yaka, Yar abba and Tungar malam Rashidu rural water schemes among others. The administration further drilled 50 additional boreholes in guinea- worm infested communities of Binji, Gada, Rabah, Silame, Tangaza, Tureta and Tambuwal local government areas. The construction is also on, for a water station at Asare capable of providing 45 million litres of water per day.
These calculated and people oriented projects, have brought succor to the people of sokoto state in the area of water supply. The youth as the leaders of tomorrow, are given a high priority by the administration. The youth empowerment programme of the administration picked up on a sound footing. By design the programme is aimed at providing succor to the vibrant youth and other unemployed persons in the state. The administration established a skills acquisition mega center in each of the three senatorial districts; two skills acquisition centers in each of the 23 local government areas to cater for male and female training. The scheme has so far trained more than 30.000 youths in various skills and tools of the trades provided for the graduates. The administration has so far provided 300 buses, 200 taxis and over 1000 tricycles which were distributed on loan to individuals. The administration also secured a 2 billion Naira loan, on behalf of the traders in the state. An arrangement was reached between the state government and the banks, with interest being remitted to the banks by the state government on behalf of the traders. Women form the larger segment of the society.
It is in line with this fact that the administration gives top priority attention to the development of women in the state. The women development center in sokoto was provided with working materials, computer center, fitness center and a daycare center. Centers in all the 23 local governments of the state were also provided with equipment and materials worth millions of Naira. Over 30, million, Naira, assistance was given to distressed women and petty traders across the state, while cooperative groups got loans. Good roads are essential for the development of trade and tourism. It also makes movement of people and goods from one place to another safer and easier. As a mark of commitment towards structural transformation, the administration has within the period under review, constructed, dualised and upgraded more than 600 standard and feeder roads within sokoto and its 23 local governments. A contract was recently awarded, for the fitting of all major roads within sokoto metropolis with solar powered street lights; an overhead bridge that runs through the town centre has been constructed.
The administration takes the welfare of its less privileged very seriously. The government through its ministry of social welfare pays minimum wage to every disabled person in sokoto state. The ministry has so far achieved a great success in its field of operation some of which include: clearing of mentally challenged people from the streets of sokoto and facilitating their treatment at psychiatric hospital, renovation and increased funding for the state orphanage homes, payment of hospital bills for the less privileged with critical and expensive medical conditions. The Ramadan feeding programme being carried out by the administration is also another landmark achievement. Sokoto state being the seat of the caliphate is a predominant Muslim state, hence the administration’s commitment to the development of religious affairs. At its inception the present administration established a ministry of religious affairs that is in charge of overseeing all religious matters in the state. The ministry has so far constructed 4 type “A” Jumu’at mosques, 33 type “B” Jumu’at mosques and Islamiyya schools.
It also provided motorcycles to its recruited Islamic teachers, for easy access to the rural areas. The ministry is participating fully in the collection and distribution of zakat within the The administration took a giant step to curb the problems associated with “Almajirci” in the state, by establishing the Almajirci model school, a first of its kind in Nigeria. Indeed the journey so far did not come without some pains and deprivations. It is rather impossible to have attained the level of achievement recorded with so little resources. The state’s finances are not all that encouraging especially with the bulk of civil workforce on its payroll consuming a substantial slice of the monthly cash allocation from the federal government. The minimum wage saga inherited by the administration at its inception is also history. Without reservation Governor wamakko has justified himself as an exemplary leader, whose personal qualities and proficiency as demonstrated in the past 4 years of his stewardship, has restored a new lease of life to the people of sokoto state in terms of belonging and hope for the future.
Amiru Adamu is the publisher of Northern Wind Magazine.
*Arik Air Returns to Abuja - London Heathrow Route December 12
By Lateef Lawal
Arik Air is to recommence operations between Abuja and London, Heathrow by 12th December, 2011. This is as a result of the positive negotiations between UK and Nigeria governments on the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) two weeks ago..
It has been agreed that Arik will now receive two additional weekly slots at Heathrow Terminal 4 in order to operate a daily Abuja – London, Heathrow flight compared to five times weekly that the airline had operated from November 2009 until the end of the last summer schedule in 2011 when it suspended operations due to a number of extraneous factors.
The increased frequency on the route means Nigeria is now operating 14 of its 21 agreed frequencies between the two countries. The airline will operate a daily flight between the two capitals, complementing its daily Lagos – London, Heathrow service bringing Arik’s total frequency of flights between Nigeria and the UK to 14 per week.
Arik will fly in to Terminal 4 operating a New Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a two class configuration with 16 Business Class cradle style seats with 8.6’’ TV monitors and 126 ergonomically designed Economy Class seats with a pitch of 34’’. It will depart Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at 11:35am (local time) and arrive in London at 5:05pm (local time). The inbound flight will conveniently depart Heathrow at 9:45pm, arriving in to Abuja for 5:10am affording passengers time to connect on to any one of the 16 domestic destinations served by Arik from its secondary hub. Sir Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide(CON), Executive Chairman and founder of Arik Air, noted:“It had always been our intention to recommence flights between Abuja and London, Heathrow and I am very happy that we will meet that promise before the end of this year. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A landing Arik Plane
Both governments and associated bodies have worked amicably and swiftly to resolve the issue, redress the imbalance and reciprocate on the agreed number of slots. We would like to thank The Federal Government of Nigeria for its unwavering support in this matter; the nation owes its Honorable Government a debt of gratitude for championing the cause of the aviation sector in Nigeria.
This outcome will ultimately be in the long-term interest of Nigeria and her people. I would also like to pay a special thank you to the Honorable Minister for Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah OON, for her leadership and resolve in addressing this imbalance and seeking a solution that is to the benefit of the indigenous airlines for a change.
“As Nigeria’s largest airline it is imperative that we continue to fly the flag for the country and operate daily between London and Nigeria’s federal and economic capitals. The route has for many years been under-served and there was very little value for money being offered. Arik’s entrance in to the market in December 2008 and November 20 09 had addressed some of that and the increased frequency negotiated under these new terms goes a long way to addressing it further.”
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Nigeria: NAMA Set To Implement Aviation Telecommunication Policy
By Lateef Lawal
Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA) is to with immediate effect begin the implementation of the Aviation Telecommunication Policy with the aim of streamlining users of the facilities and also generate revenue. This came to light November 29, at the presentation of the policy document to the Managing Director of NAMA, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh by the Chairman of the committee, Mr Dotun Oni who is also the General Manager, Business Development of the agency.
While receiving the document, Mazi Udoh commended members of the committee for a job well done and that there was no time to waste in the execution of the recommendations contained in the policy document. He said instead of constituting another committee for the implementation of the document, members of the committee are to see to the immediate execution of the recommendations for the benefits of the Agency, the airlines, other stakeholders and the country at large. He also enjoined all the staff of the Agency to shun rumour mongering in the cause of their duties ,adding that if anyone was in doubt on any issue, such a staff should feel free to come forward or meet with his/her superior for clarification instead of spreading falsehood which could be detrimental to the well-being of not only the staff as a whole but also the Agency from where they draw their salaries and other wellfare packages. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
Part of the recommendations already adopted by the management for immediate implementation are:
*NAMA shall undertake a comprehensive inventory of all telecommunication infrastuctures/services deployed at all airports
*Meet with all the owners of of such infrastructures deployed and services provided to come up with terms and conditions for their continued operations within the airports
*Enter into formal agreement with NAMA for their continued operations in all the airports as provided by the statute setting up the Agency.
The objectives of the new telecommunications policy,will among others serve as a guide to NAMA management in granting approvals for the provision and deployment of telecommunication facilities in all the airports across the country and ensure that NAMA derives appropriate recompense in the service agreements entered into.
The full implementation of the agreement will also minimise and prevent potential interference with air navigation systems which may compromise the safety and security of the country's airspace.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Nigeria: The Art of Misleading A President
By Kali Gwegwe
While it is not criminal for a magistrate or judge to err in law, same cannot be said of a president when he or she errs in democracy. In law, an appellate court will simply correct the error which is also seen as “mistake of law.” In a presidential democracy, the electorates will correct an erring president by voting him out of office if he or she is seeking re-election. On the other hand, the electorates are easily persuaded to embrace the opposition if the erring president is not seeking re-election. This has happened several times in American presidential democracy.
There is an emerging line of reasoning that sound political leaders can never be misled by their lieutenants in a democracy. This is not true. It must be noted that different people are in government for diverse reasons. While some are for service, others for personal gains. There are still some who seek power just to protect the interests or agendas of third party organizations. Of greater worry are those who stay in government to deliberately give counsels that will pitch the people against government. In most cases, those who prime themselves to deliberately mislead political leaders wear honourable personalities and also parade very attractive credentials that can flatter anybody. They are the ones I term “false patriots.” This is what Jesus Christ said of such people in Matthew 24:24-25, “For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” There are very many “false patriots” in the corridors of power in Abuja. The only way to survive this minority but influential clan of “false patriots” is for the president to stand with the masses.
One question that readily comes to mind at this point is: why are political leaders easily misled by “false patriots” even in the light of all the deliberate designs put in place to protect the culture of democracy and promote good governance? Specifically, political leaders are misled due to the peculiar template of democratic bureaucracy, where internal independence is usually granted some specialized sectors such as military, economy, agriculture, science and technology. For instance, current and past global economic crisis are products of internal independence granted some specialised agencies of governments in the West. To be more specific, former president George Bush of the United States was misled into ordering the invasion of Iraq in 2003 owing to false intelligence. It has now become clear that internal independence gives too much room for administration officials to mislead political leaders and heads of national government. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
As part of efforts to effectively tackle this problem, most legislatures in the developed climes have responded by showing deeper interests in critical national issues that are traditionally left in the hands of the executive arm of government. The aim is to safeguard national security and economy. In almost all advanced democracies today, national security has been elaborated to consciously identify causes of dissent arising from unpopular government policies. Members of the legislature and the media play a major role in this regard.
It is in realization of this important fact that the fanatical anti-subsidy apostles in Nigeria have now shifted their battle to the sacred floors of the National Assembly in Abuja. The aim is to lure lawmakers to endorse plans by the federal government to remove fuel subsidy next year after stiff opposition from NLC, TUC, NUPENG, NBA, and other pro-masses organizations. Nigerian masses have come to the conclusion that the promised palliative measures cannot adequately compensate for their already feeble purchasing power that will be further weakened by the increase in the prices of goods and services that have direct and indirect link with petrol. This writer does not know of any product or service that does not have direct or indirect attachment to petrol.
One basic fact need to be highlighted here. The nation’s economic advisers and fiscal policy formulators are lazy and non-creative. They are merely “copying and pasting” foreign fiscal policies. An economic strategy that works in country A may not necessarily do well in country B. This is because population, literacy level, culture, religion, science and technology determines which policy works where and when. The IMF and World Bank have all accepted this fact. Sadly however, both the IMF and World Bank are quick in advising developing economies to devalue their currencies and abandon subsidy regimes. But unknown to many, the United States, Canada, and members of the European Union subsidize critical sectors of their economies in order to protect their citizens cum national security. High unemployment, poverty, and hunger pose great threats to the national security of a country.
In 2010, the European Union spent €57 billion on agricultural development programme. Of this amount, €39 billion was spent on direct subsidies. Who is fooling who? The West is indeed fooling Africans. They are however using some of our willing intellectuals to do so. It is the duty of every government to identify the critical sector in its economy to intervene. Frankly, it would be wide of the mark for Nigeria to remove fuel subsidy because Britain or the United did so. It is so sad that our fiscal policy formulators and economic advisers have become so lethargic that they have relegated themselves to merely copying and pasting foreign fiscal policies that do not fit with our peculiar circumstances. ( Continues below….. )
For months now, our nation’s “false patriots” have been fighting dirty to win the subsidy removal battle. It is extremely absurd for anyone to remind Nigerian masses of the pump price of petrol in the United States, Canada, or Europe all in a bid to buttress their campaign for the removal of fuel subsidy. Apart from the fact that unemployment figures are low in those climes, they also have cheap and efficient mass transportation systems, discounted housing and health care programs. These are just a few of the safety nets put in place by governments in developed democracies to protect the welfare of their citizens. These safety nets were not deployed in four or eight years. For instance, it would take up to a decade to build an effective national transportation infrastructure. That is one reason why those who are in a position to appreciate what it would take government to put in place safety nets to cushion the effects of withdrawal of fuel subsidy suspect government’s sincerity. For the avoidance of doubt, it would cost government more than what it spends on fuel subsidy to deploy effective safety nets to cushion the effects of increase in the price of petrol. Government should not make the mistake of tying the deployment of new and the rehabilitation of existing national public infrastructure to the removal of fuel subsidy. It is something government owes the citizenry.
It will also be necessary to remind the minority clan of anti-subsidy campaigners that Nigerians would be too willing to buy a liter of petrol for even N150 if public and private sector workers earn as much as their contemporaries do in America and Europe. Instead of being creative, the nation’s fiscal policy formulators and economic experts in government have chosen to take the short-cut to national transformation by merely copying and pasting World Bank and IMF prescriptions. It is longer secret that both the World Bank and IMF are tools used by the West to pursue their hidden economic agendas against developing countries especially in Africa. Most of the fiscal prescriptions that come out of the World Bank and IMF are usually anti-people and specifically designed to pitch the masses in developing countries against their governments so as to brew economic crisis and consequent social dissent. With this, they would be able to discreetly sabotage rapid economic growth in Africa and protect the export-based economies of Western democracies. Some of such fiscal prescriptions are Structural Adjustment Program, Currency Devaluation, and Anti-Subsidy policy.
The time has come for President Jonathan to hear the truth. There are too many “false patriots” in his administration. No doubt, they are honourable in appearance and eloquent during debates. The truth is that they do not mean well for him and Nigeria. Like it is in every developed country, the people are the centerpiece of democracy. For this singular reason, any policy that will injure the welfare of the people must be jettisoned. Call for the removal of fuel subsidy is one of them. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
It has been very clear right from the onset that the federal government’s fiscal plan of withdrawing fuel subsidy next year is not the idea of President Goodluck Jonathan. Nevertheless, he will bear whatever consequences that may arise from it. This is the major reason why the president must ignore the minority clan of well-heeled elites and stand with the Nigerian masses like he promised during the campaign season. To do this, President Jonathan would have to quickly separate reality from cheap logic as being postulated by some of his lieutenants in the corridors of power.
For the avoidance doubt, it is the fundamental responsibility of government to see that the welfare of the citizens is protected through deliberate policies with human face. The planned removal of fuel subsidy would not have human face as far as the poor and hapless Nigerian masses are concerned. Government should rather look for other means of raising money to fund the nation’s socio-economic framework. In the last five decades, it has been the low and middle class that have shouldered the burden of national transformation, leaving the wealthy few to swim in their typically questionable affluence. Government can raise up to N1 trillion by imposing 2% annual tax (for 5 years from date of purchase) on every private car above N3 million, 2% tax on every private residential house costing more than N7 million, 1% on each local flight ticket, 2% on each international flight ticket, 2% tax on accommodation in luxury hotels, and 50% reduction in the salaries and allowances of elected and appointed government officials.
Furthermore, government should build more refineries and also ensure that the four existing ones operate at optimum capacities. With this, the pump price of petrol will fall in line with what is obtainable in other OPEC countries, where a liter of petrol sells between N9 and N45. The masses should not be punished for the deliberate ineptitude of some government officials that sabotaged our local refineries in order to promote the fuel import business.
Kali Gwegwe, CEO, Nigeria Democracy Watchtower writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org ( 0806 407 4810 )
*Nigeria: Aero, Arik Airfares on Lagos-Benin Route Outrageous says Edo Deputy Speaker
By Lateef Lawal
The Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Festus Ebea has described as outrageous the fares being charged by Aero Contractors and Arik Air on the Lagos/Benin routes. Speaking at the just concluded delegates’ conference of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), in Asaba, Delta State, Ebea described the high fares charged on the routes by the airlines as another 'British Airways' price fixing on the domestic routes.
According to the him, charging N26,000 as fare on a thirty five minutes flight was very outrageous and unacceptable and called on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) to look into the matter urgently. He declared. “But again I said he who comes to equity must come with clean hands, Arik and Aero the fares they charge between Benin and Lagos, 35 minutes flight is outrageous. But when you fly to Abuja you get lesser fare. What is the NCAA doing about it?” ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Aerocontractors Plane
The Deputy Speaker, who was a former Personal Assistant to the managing director of the liquidated Nigeria Airways, while commending the transformation in the aviation sector especially with the attainment of the Category One status, said a lot needed to be done. He remarked that any nation without a national carrier was doomed in the aviation World as it will be difficult to launder her image. “A country that is in dire need of identification, a country that is in dire need of image laundry, we have everything that can showcase that on every front. Even private airlines can exist side by side with a national carrier but I was thinking after the death of Nigeria Airways, allowing private airlines to flourish will answer the question of most of the problems the aviation industry but it is not there. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
On the recent reversal of slot of British Airways by the government, Hon Ebea applauded the action and called for improvement on airport security across the country adding that the airports were porous. “Security is still an issue in the aviation industry. Nigerian airport is the only airport you come to and you will be seeing people you don’t know if they have business being there. You coming out of the arrival hall you are seeing people you cannot even identify”. Ebea called on the government as a matter of urgency address the dearth of pilots and engineers in the country in order to rescue the industry from total collapse.
He noted that in the next two years, most of the ageing pilots and engineers in the system would have voluntarily retired and urged government to further fund the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria, in order to train pilots there instead of sending them to South Africa.
“We still need to do more in terms of training to ensure there is sustainability in the industry. People go to South Africa, they want to become pilots, within two years they are back, we don’t have that because I still know that in as much as we still give kudos to the present administration for sustaining training in NCAT, I don’t think they are graduating as at when due because of lack of training equipment”
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Imperative For Values-Based Leadership In Nigeria, Africa
By Uchechukwu Chris Arinze
The recently released Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index report for year 2011 which ranked Nigeria at position 41 out of 53 African countries in its governance index report inspired this article when viewed against the backdrop of our socio-economic and political condition. The report in its assessment of Nigeria on four governance indicators Viz: Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development returned a damning verdict on the quality of governance and leadership in the country. Out of 100 marks, Nigeria score 41 for governance quality and scored lower than the regional average for west Africa, which was 51 and lower than the continental average, 50. Its highest rank was in sub-categories of Rights and Education (26th) and lowest in Health (51st). In retrospect, over the past five years, between 2006 and 2010, Nigeria has consistently been found wanting on virtually all key governance indicators. For instance, out of the 48 ranked countries then, Nigeria was the 40th in 2010, 35th in 2009 and 39th in 2008 respectively. Despite the fact that the 2011 report includes new indicators for assessment like Physical and Telecommunications infrastructure, Gender, Health, Welfare Service Provision; and Economic Management. Mauritius, Cape Verde, Seychelles and South Africa, performed creditably well in all the four categories. In terms of Good Governance, Mauritius clinched the first position, while Cape Verde came second. Among the 16 nations in the West Africa sub-region, Ghana was rated first in the sub-region and 7th in Africa, while Nigeria, the giant of Africa, maintained the 13th position in West Africa, while Somalia maintained its usual last position in Africa and Liberia and Sierra Leone recorded the most striking improvement in Governance, two countries that have emerged from protracted civil war. While Liberia improved across all four categories of assessment.
From the foregoing, the importance of good governance, exemplary leadership, and efficient management of resources cannot be overemphasized. Good and visionary leadership is necessary in providing a sense of direction towards achieving individual and collective goals, as well as the harnessing and proper management, utilization and allocation of limited resources for the satisfaction of basic needs of the citizenry. At this juncture it is pertinent to define the meaning of the two keywords Values and Leadership in order to avoid ambiguity. The advanced Chambers Dictionary of contemporary English Language usage defines Values as moral principles and standards, while Leadership is the ability to show the way by going first, to direct and to guide. Since there is no consensus as to the acceptable standard definition of leadership which led Warren Bennis et al, an authority in the field of leadership in their book entitled–“Leaders” to posit that “like love, leadership continued to be something everybody knew existed but nobody could define” And they went further to assert that there are more than 350 definitions of leadership”. But they conceded to the fact that one thing which is undisputable and not subject to semantic differences about leadership is that “ it is the pivotal force behind successful organization.” The organization in this case could be the home, government establishment, the places of worship (Churches, Mosques and Synagogues), educational institutions, business organizations (Private and Public) community development associations et cetera. The inference that could be drawn from the above definitions is that a Values-based leadership is a leadership model centered or anchored on moral principles and standards. A leadership that has a sense of right and wrong, and has the moral courage to choose what is right for the benefit of its citizens. A leadership with a sense of compassion and understanding. A leadership based on the core moral principles of interigrity, patriotism, dynamism, pragmatism, vision, courage, social justice, equity, fairness, transparency, accountability, prudent management of scarce, human and material resources, sacrifice, selfless service and above all respect for the value and dignity of the human person. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
Since the emergence of Nigeria as a sovereign entity from British colonial rule on October 1st 1960, it has been grappling with lots of challenges. But the most pressing of all its challenges is the absence of visionary, transformative and exemplary leadership. A fact corroborated by the Nigerian celebrated literary giant and author of Things Fall Apart, the David and Marianna Fisher Professor of literature and Africana Studies at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S-Chinua Achebe in his book entitled: The Trouble With Nigeria, rightly posited that “…The Nigeria Problem is the unwillingness or inability of it’s leaders to rise to the responsibility and challenges of personal example, which are the hallmarks of true leadership.” With a population in excess of hundred and sixty-seven (167) million people, according to recent data released by the National Population Commission (NPC) and approximate land mass of one million square kilometers, suitable for commercial agriculture and abundant solid minerals, largely untapped, prides itself as the most populous Black Country in the world. Ranked among the top ten crude oil and natural gas exporters in the world by the Vienna, Austria-based organization of petroleum exporting countries, (OPEC), with daily crude oil output of 2.2 million barrels per day (Mbpd), and a total of 32.8 cubit metres of natural gas daily. Nigeria has a gross domestic product of (GDP) of $ 248 billion, while her GDP Per Capita is $1,600, which when adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), would be about $ 2,400 per annum.
Yet, Nigeria with all these potentials and resource endowments ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world. With high unemployment rate at an all-time high of 20.1 per cent, low life expectancy, averaging 45 years for men and women, with over 70 percent of its citizens living below the poverty line, coupled with its worst economic indices of human development not only in sub-Saharan Africa region, but the world at large, scoring an appalling 0.511 points and ranked 158th out of 182 countries in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Human Development Index (HDI) report for year 2009, this ranking placed Nigeria at the bottom of human development, only managed to scale above Togo, Malawi and Niger. In terms of perception and image in the international community, the country has not fared better either. The annual corruption perception index (CPI) report for year 2007 of the German-based Transparency International (TI), ranks Nigeria as the 147th most corrupt countries in the world out of 179 countries polled. The CPI is based on the perception of foreign businessmen and fifteen (15) surveys from nine (9) independent institutions respectively. Prof. Achebe in an Op-Ed article in the New York Times of January 15th, 2011 entitled: Nigeria’s Promise, Africa’s Hope, stated that “since independence in 1960, an estimated sum of four hundred Billion Dollars ($400 Billion) has been mismanaged by previous administrations in this country, which is more than the gross domestic products of Norway and Sweden combined.” This fact was recently confirmed by the authoritative International News Magazine-TIME, in its special Timeframes issue of December 6th, 2010 on page 17, which chronicled global events between 2000-2010, the magazine reported that money leaving Africa illegally (Nigeria, Inclusive!), increased from $13.1 billion in 2000 to $77.8 billion in 2010. In a similar vein, Global Financial Integrity estimates that over the past 40 years over 854 billion dollars have been illegally transferred out of African nations with Nigeria’s estimated loss of over 240 billion dollars topping the list. The United States Foreign Policy magazine published a list of failed states index (FSI), which since 2006 put Nigeria in the highest red alert classification, with FSI of 90 or more. That indicates high vulnerability to collapse. A failed state, according to the Crisis States Research Centre of the United States is “a state that can no longer perform its basic security and development functions and has no effective control over its territory and borders, the evidence is all over Nigeria, that the various indicators released by the various competent international organizations were not mere fabrications, but fact of realities on ground.
Leadership, according to Jean Jacques Rousseau is a social contract between the leader and the followers. This relationship is bound by the element of trust and needs to be nurtured and sustained by a culture of interigrity and uprightness. With it comes responsibility and exemplary conduct. Such leadership has zero tolerance for mediocrity, inefficiency, double standard, favouritism, nepotism, corruption and pettiness. Former U.S President Dwight Eisenhower once described leadership as the “Art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it”. This demands that a Values-based leadership must command respect from its followers. The apathy, cynicism and pessimism with regard to government policies and pronouncements will give way to fresh air of trust, confidence, optimism and synergy between the leadership and the followers. The impact visionary and transformative leadership has on the Asian Tiger economies led by Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong, Western countries led by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, The Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland) as well as the emerging BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) respectively, is a testament of its positive effect on the society and the world at large. Singapores’ Lee Kuan Yew is a good case study, whose master piece-from Third World to First World, is a must read for our contemporary leaders and aspiring ones. It is to his credit that Singapore, once an impoverished country is among the fastest growing advanced economies in the world today. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Africa
The leadership crisis in Nigeria is as a result of wrong value system, that places so much premium on material possession (not minding how it was acquired) and status than good name, morals and ideology, greed, crass opportunism, materialism cum primitive acquisition of wealth, inordinate ambition to get rich quick, identity crisis, multiculturalism and diverse ethnic orientation of the country, with over 450 ethnic groupings, that has engendered internal struggle and competition for dominance and resource control at the detriment of other ethnic groups which led to instability in our socio-political system and the inevitable incursion of the military in our body polity with its attendant culture of arbitrariness and impunity, hence our inability to build, nurture and sustain strong social and democratic institutions which will guarantee the emergence of credible, competent, visionary, and exemplary leadership, we all yearn for. Nigeria’s misfortune after the Nigerian-Biafran civil war and the banning from political activities and subsequent death of it’s first generation leaders has seen the emergence of strings of either weak, ineffective, corrupt, demagogic, non-visionary, dictatorial rulers or leaders without much exception. The continuance of all-pervasive, anachronistic and highly damaging feudal system has become a fixed frame of mind for the nation. This is in direct conflict with democracy, progress and freedom, both social, economic and political. Total neglect of education has wide spread socio-economic and cultural implications and clear-cut effects on the society’s moral fibre. This neglect is only the trend of a feudal society like ours, with no any Nigerian University among the Top 200 in the world Universities ranking, after producing Africa’s first Nobel Literature Laureate in the 1980s. Constitutional acrobats of 1956, 1962, 1973 and later undemocratic amendments destroyed the system of government badly and uprooted the structural integrity of our dear country. Weak governments paved the way for abuse of official power, nepotism, tribalism, and favouritism for private gains by government officials, politicians and rulers. The masses were trapped in a vicious triangle of struggling for food, clothing, shelter and survival.
In the quest for the enthronement of credible and Values-based leadership in Nigeria, there is need for a paradigm shift in our leadership, at local, state and federal levels and in private and public life. There should be a top-down change in leadership perception, psychology, attitude and mentality of Nigerians, particularly the younger generation, who are the so-called leaders of tomorrow. By making them to embrace leadership from a service-oriented philosophy perspective rather than see the call to lead as an opportunity to satisfy personal aggrandizement, by amassing public wealth for personal gains to the detriment of our collective interest and posterity. Change to a more engaging, compassionate, patriotic, visionary, courageous and exemplary style of leadership and the higher ideals of selfless service, sacrifice and integrity. This will lift the country out of the morass of socio-economic and political retrogression and place it on the path of prosperity and greatness among the comity of nations. This can be achieved through the introduction of leadership and civics education as a course of study in the school curriculum at both primary and secondary school levels respectively, as well as its incorporation in the general studies programme of tertiary institutions of learning so as to expose the younger generation to the basic tenets, principles and fundamentals of leadership as well as the qualities they should imbibe to be able to provide the transformative leadership our country needs. A Values-based leadership, will not only be sympathetic to the plight of ordinary Nigerians, but will also have a sense of mission and empathy, thereby promoting a culture of peace and stability which are sine qua none for socio-economic and political transformation.
For the Nigeria project to be sustainable and competitive in the twenty-first century globalised economy, were the wind of globalization accelerated by forces of information and communication technology, trade/commerce, finance, nanotechnology, medicine and nuclear technology have combined to make the world a global village, a visionary, courageous, selfless, patriotic and reformist leadership is imperative. Such a leadership will redirect the social compass of this country to the path of moral rectitude, make our economy vibrant and investor-friendly, so as to attract the much needed foreign direct investments (FDIs) and the realization of Vision 20-2020, combat the hydra-headed monster called corruption, which has eating deep into our social fabric, create jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths, provide basic infrastructure like roads, hospitals, schools, utilities and address the myriad of structural and political problems hindering our development and growth, as a nation.
Uchechukwu Chris Arinze, ( email@example.com ) is a Computer Scientist/Public Affairs Analyst, wrote in from Lagos,
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