Esau And Political Jacob, By Chukwudi Sopuruchi

Hunger and thirst have really turned many into what ordinarily they would not have become; they have enslaved themselves into what they can hardly get out from. Hunger is a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat.

Reaction to hunger differs in various individuals. When a baby is hungry, he cries out to the mother. Some journalists, due to hunger and temporary satisfaction have sold their conscience, integrity and dignity for peanuts, just like the biblical Esau, to some of these politicians who pose like Jacob of the Bible.

They have no idea that there is power in both spoken and written words. Some when hungry can resort to assassination of character and image of innocent people through their maligning reports. You become a ‘pen-assailant’ just because of little bread the enemy of that person placed on your table. You trade your conscience and innocence and go to any height to hurt someone with your pen, murdering his career and image.

Hunger is one thing that has subjected many to all sorts of things and once the oil drops down the belly, some would begin to regret their actions. Yes! It is so because everyone has conscience and from time to time, your conscience will always rebuke you especially when you have got it totally wrong.

You do not need police interrogation whenever you have done something wrong, your conscience will start the interrogation first and go far before any further interrogation if your crime calls for it.

The inspiration to put this down reminds me of the biblical Esau and Jacob. Esau who was the eldest son of Isaac came back from the field one day and was very hungry. His younger brother, Jacob, was already making food. Esau begged his brother, Jacob for some food. But his brother Jacob insisted that he trade his birthright for the food.

Genesis 25:29-34 New King James Version (NKJV)

“29. Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 

30. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.

31. But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

32. And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”

33. Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.”

So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 

34. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Within a twinkle of an eye, the transaction of birthright was completed by the two brothers just as some of us do today. It is imperative to note that it’s not only some journalists that act like the Esau of old, the attitude cuts across many other fields of endeavour. Another round of elections will soon be here. A political aspirant you know by all indication will never deliver dividends of democracy when he or she gets to power, is the same person you throw your full support for because the person shared N1000 or even N500 as ridiculous as it could be. He becomes your Jacob. He has nothing to lose, because he understands what you do not understand and that is the power in the trade and what you stand to lose later.

Genesis 27: 33-38, King James Version (KJV)

33. Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, “Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him—and indeed he shall be blessed.”

34. When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me—me also, O my father!”

35. But he said, “Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing.”

36. And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”

37. Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?”

38. And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me—me also, O my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

Little did the Esau of old know that what he thought were mere utterances could take away his authority. A star meant to shine upon others became a foot mat for those he was meant to shine above for not respecting the power of word.  He never knew that a mere ‘take it and give me’ would actually take it forever for real.

The present day Esaus have something Jacobs want; Jacobs are desperate, they don’t care about what happens to your interest later, so long as they are comfortable and use you to get what is not theirs. They buy your future comfort with the temporary comfort they give to you.

Esaus are meant to be comfortable later in life but may be temporarily uncomfortable. Jacobs are opportunists, they use your temporary uncomfortable state or condition to trick you to get your future position or put you in a state of regret later in life.

Jacobs of our time just like the one of old, give you sugar with bitter taste embedded in it. When you lick off the surface, you will meet the main bitter taste and by that time, the swindler had gone too far and irreversible damages done to you.

The political Jacobs of our time understand one thing, just like the Jacob of old in the Bible, that certain humans cannot withstand hunger and that certain people can easily bend their will whenever they are hungry.

This is why they make things so hard for us to always be at their selfish beck and call.

Chukwudi Sopuruchi is graphic designer, 08032703003.

As We Await Their Proscription, By Mpaka Numbere

The challenges of insecurity in Nigeria and Plateau State in particular have continued to occupy and engage citizens not only because of the complex nature of the conflicts, but also of the competing interests that tend to make representations on the causes, dynamics and actors of the conflict intricate. To be sure, these contending interests again seem to accelerate the race to the bottom in finding solution to these crises which unfortunately is also against intervention initiatives to proffering elucidations on the methods to be adopted in the resolution of these crises.

The search for a lasting solution to this multifaceted, barbaric and dastardly act has in the past ranged from panels or commissions of inquiries to distribution of relief materials, appointments and elections to declaration of state of emergency and curfews, etc.

On assumption of office, the Executive Governor of Plateau State Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong appreciated the complexity the issue of these unending crises which was gradually taking its toll not just in Plateau state but also in other States of the Middle Belt like Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, with further deterioration to states like Edo, Delta, Ekiti, etc.

Governor Simon Lalong whose campaign promise among which was to vigorously seek for a lasting peace on the Plateau knew that hitherto existing interventions do not seek to analyze the causes of the conflicts or the various contending explanations given by the many stakeholders represented in the conflicts, knowing that he owes Plateau indigenes and residence the duty to secure their lives and properties as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution that indeed the primary consideration for any government is the provision of security. This is because section 14 (2) (a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that: The security and welfare of the people shall be a primary purpose of government.

This mandate the executive governor has pursued with diligence until the resurfacing of the madness by marauders called Fulani Herdsmen. Indeed the recent attack in some villages within Baki-Ladi and Bassa Local Government Areas of Plateau has left astringent experience not just within the affected communities but within Plateau state and Nigeria at large, the Big question remains where is their next target. Yes, the BIG question is inevitable considering the complacency demonstrated by the Federal Government controlled security operatives who practically aided the Fulani Herdsmen in their operation. The orders by the Muhamadu Buhari led federal government for the federal government led security operatives to stop reprisals rather than to fetch out the perpetrators (Fulani Herdsmen) and punish them according to the laws of the land has clearly demonstrated the role of the presidency in these attacks.

At this point, one is right to ask when will these criminals called Fulani Herdsmen become terrorist? If the President Buhari led Federal Government will rush to label IPOB a terrorist organization, why is the deadly Fulani murderers, radicals and heartless killers allowed to walk freely to carry out their evil act?

Indeed if this madness must stop, then Fulani Herdsmen must be proscribed and open grazing abolished in every part of Nigeria.

Mpaka Numbere is writing from Bassa Local Government, Plateau State

Akwa Ibom Rubber Stamp House Of Assembly And Its Leadership Burden On The People, By Eneh John

“Superficial knowledge is potentially more dangerous than ignorance. It gives a false sense of security encouraging an ignorant man to persevere in his efforts that can result in huge damage.”-Eraldo Banovac

Since the advent of the sixth Assembly in Akwa Ibom State, it has been one in house fighting,efforts to outsmart one another, fights with the masses,etc.

Has the Assembly now led by Onofiok Luke made any significant impact on the lives of the citizenry in the state? The answer is NO.

Practically, when Onofiok Luke became the Speaker of the Assembly, no one expected a schooled and acceptable Onofiok to turn the house yet again to an appendage of the Governor. But characteristically of the legislature in the state, the speaker did not just accept that the state Governor had turned them to a rubber stamp Assembly, he went ahead to affirm that the house, under his leadership, was an iron seal Assembly. Approving everything that comes from the Executive, even if it was to take the state to the gallows.

Till date, an incompetent legislature, who have refused to be accountable to the people, have failed to give us an account of how the first tranche of 14.5 billion Naira Paris debt refund was expended in the state.

What bothers the legislature, is the alleged percentage they got for approvals.

We live in perilous times, where incompetence and mediocrity is celebrated above merit and accountability.

Most members of the sixth Assembly in Akwa Ibom, as presently constituted, do not have any business being there. A state where the cabal feels they decide who gets what, who goes and who do not, almost turning the government to a criminal division.

The story of how incompetent fellows were drafted to the Assembly, is a public fact. Denying the masses yet another opportunity, to witness a robust Assembly, as seen in other climes.

There exist a surrogate amongst the gathering of political messengers, who represents Esit Eket/Ibeno, whose dirty deals is yet to be brought for public consumption. In spite of the public outcry against a failed property charge bill he was used as a front to push in the House, Usoro Akpanusoh seems not satisfied with it, as Akwa Ibomites may not know,that he has brought another bill, tagged ”a bill for a law for the establishment of Akwa Ibom State Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption tax and other matters connected therewith”.  Which has scaled through the first reading on the floor of the House of jokers.

The question is, why is Usoro Akpanusoh so obsessed about tax bills in the state? This is not done out of love for the people, but for the love of his pocket. A man who sacks his domestic staffers at will, and do not treat them well is the same man in the legislature, posing for the cameras,with media hype to deceive the world on how good he is, when the truth stares him on the face.

This is also not forgetting the member representing Eket, in the jokers House, as I have always maintained that it is a lost slot for the people. David Lawrence could be likened to the “I concur” member in the Assembly, as his representation is for his family and pocket. I have severally challenged him to tell the people what his stay in the Assembly has brought to Eket, other than a misrepresentation.

The house of Assembly under Onofiok, is rather a burden on the people of the state. There exist a leadership vacuum in most seats in the house.

Has Onofiok sat to ask himself, why people complain about most of the bills that has come out from the house? The earlier they take a review on their activities, the better for them, as it appears, the sixth Assembly is gearing towards becoming the worst constituted house in our Nation’s history.

In the words of Ralph, “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” How many leaders would have been produced when this incompetent leadership pass away? A leadership that feels its about them alone. A leadership whose critics are better viewed as oppositions. A leadership who have raised more praise singers than patriots.

A leadership who has no clear cut way of improving on the lives of the masses other than impoverishing them with satanic bills.

What legacies will the sixth Onofiok house of Assembly leave behind, is a subject for another day.

A REPUTATION FOUNDED ON INTEGRITY, MUST BE NURTURED BY TRUTH.

Eneh John is an Investigative Journalist and Editor, Trail Reporters News.

Dino’s Pictures: Beyond A Thousand Words, By Adeniran Mikhail

A picture is a believed to speak volumes to decibel higher than words. We are a very visual creature. Pictures are able to grab attention easily, we are immediately drawn to them.

My attention was drawn to couple of them over the weekend, it was posted on Instagram by senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi west district in the 8th National assembly. In the series of pictures, he showed off his collections of cars, from classics, to the fast cars (Lamborghinis, Ferrari etc.) and the luxurious ones (rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz G-wagon etc.). The estimation of worth of the cars in the garage is over 1 billion naira.

So many questions I want to ask. Where did a senator get the money to acquire these cars? How in God’s earth does he have the guts to post such pictures when you are under the government’s payroll.

Behind those pictures are thousands of words, stories that makes me feel sorry for the country. Even with the ridiculous salaries and allowances, it is not possible for a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria to acquire such numbers of automobiles. This is evidence of stealing-corruption in broad day light. I took keen interest by making some research about the man and I found out that not only has the man never worked in the private sector, all his earnings have been from the government. So how the hell does this man have so much money?

I understood that politics in this country has never being about serving the public but rather an avenue for self-service and corruption, I just didn’t think they will also rub it on our faces. Stealing behind our backs and showing off to our faces.

The consequence of posting such image is that, firstly, it shows the perception to public office in this country, even to the fact that he is on the brink of a recall from his constituents. He feels he doesn’t owe the people of Kogi west any explanation. Public office holders in other countries have been sacked or forced to resign for something less than what the senator posted. A minister in Canada resigned due to the pressure she faced from the public when she went for the funeral of Nelson Mandela, she was critized for wasting tax payers money to buy a return ticket to Canada when she could have followed the prime minister’s jet.

In other countries, people will ask questions. Broadcasting trucks will be lined outside of the senator’s houses. The press will be on his neck 24/7, his aide’s phones will be ringing nonstop for comments from the media. But in Nigeria, he won’t even lose sleep over it. It didn’t even make the front page of any Nigerian newspaper, it is shocking. The comments on the pictures are even more shocking, Nigerians are hailing him, telling him to ride on.

Secondly, it is the message these kinds of picture resonate in the mind of the average Nigerian about public office as an avenue to self-service and amassing of public funds. You are setting a very corrupt standard for the average youth. Taking another look at these cars, all I can imagine is constituency allowance, bribery from government agency when a senate committee is being set up, kickbacks from contracts and many other channels of stealing of public funds by the senator.

When you think you have seen all of it, on Monday, 9th if October, 2017. The senate press corps held an award giving dinner at the Sheraton Abuja hotel. You wouldn’t have guessed who was awarded the senator of the year? You guessed right, Mr Dino Melaye. And from the information I gathered, he was also the recipient of the award last year, making him back to back winner.

Mr Melaye is a highly influential man, highly almost above the law. I’m sure his recall proceedings will probably not come through. He has been in the game for some time, and I’m sure he knows how to deal with scuffles like this recall process. Ever since I saw those pictures, I have been asking myself, what kind of a country is this? What kind of senate is this? what kind of a media is this?

But I certainly know what kind of person that Mr Dino is, he is an irresponsible, myopic dimwitted piece of gremlinic oaf. Shame on you!

Mikhail Adeniran
adeniranmikhail@yahoo.com
twitter: @MikhailAdeniran

Nigerians Hate Nigeria, By Tijani Sheriffdeen

Isn’t it good that some incidences allow us appreciate and understand certain issues better? Everything has gone so clumsy in our country, that it takes critical and intellectual findings to discern and descry somethings. An average Nigerian wouldn’t want to be convinced when a government says it’s coming up with a project that would benefit the mases, as it has constantly been seen as one of their expensive tricks, which the citizenry have no choice but to trade in. Maybe this is the reason why the masses don’t tend to trust the actions and inactions of those they elected to lead them, if not, it’s quite unfathomable how some people would question the move to shop for new teachers in Kaduna State.

We have continued to complain and grumble about the appalling state of our education sector, how pale and lean it looks, and how fast everything seems to be growing worse for it, but it’s apparent we aren’t really bothered, maybe some are getting something for complaining. Nigerians are really a rare breed, one that needs an extensive research, as it is safe to say we are a different make. We understand that certain things don’t work in our country, and we are so good at pointing it out, with those connected to the problems most times, but we don’t want to give way to change, and if asked what we want from a government, we yell change like a child who is denied his favourite television station and isn’t expressive enough to convey his feelings but who sees hope in yelling “change”.

The Nigeria we have today is what we all want, as we have all collectively pushed it to where it is today, we generously painted Nigeria the colour it shows to the world, but we don’t want to agree it’s our doing, what relaxes an average Nigerian is saying our leaders are bad, they have destroyed this nation, isn’t it? Call out ten teachers anytime, and ask them what they feel about the education sector, they would help you with more than you inquire, but they would hardly talk about the contributions of teachers in the downturn of things in the education sector. It’s what we have as a nation!

About 21,780 out of 33,000 teachers failed the primary four test administered to test their competence by the Kaduna State government. The more reason the state is shopping for 25,000 teachers, as one of her plans to restore dignity and quality to education. If this is the case, isn’t it safe to conclude that Nigerian teachers are one of the problems affecting the education sector? The sustenance of the affected persons and their families is what some feel is important, at the expense of the potentials of this nation. Pathetic!

Critical thinkers have continued to remind us of the need to go back to the drawing board, but my fear is not about going back, it’s about those who would go back to the drawing board. If all that matters to Nigerians is the security of jobs of teachers who beat students for not knowing basic things they themselves don’t know, then, we may have to rush back to the drawing board with the right set of people, as a whole lot needs to be looked into, if we must get it right as a nation. It’s not surprising to see that changes aren’t meeting Nigeria, when young minds pass through institutions with nothing to hold on to, we then start thinking of working out solutions to people who should be drivers of innovation and creativity in our society, but with teachers who have nothing to offer, it’s a case of back to square one for us!

Governor El-Rufai asserts that the hiring of teachers in the past was politicised, and he intends to change the problem by bringing in young and qualified teachers to restore dignity to the education sector in the State. There is no gain saying he doesn’t have a point, if this productive move stretches the length and breadth of this nation; it only means we want a better future for our nation. Aside the politicking that brings some into the workforce, the spate of things in our country has also contributed in no small measure to the problems facing the sector in discussion, as people settle for teaching after endless search for job, with good consideration of the fact that most aren’t fit to teach. They have to survive too, isn’t it? The choice is ours, as it has always been and would continue to be, we can choose to go the right way or otherwise, either ways, there would be stories to tell!

Tijani Sheriffdeen is an undergraduate student of the University of Ilorin. Tweets at docshe_42

 

Dstv And Its Demonic Plan To Kill Tstv: Nigerians, This New Baby Must Not Die, By Fejiro Oliver

We must all build national unity, build all revolutionary forces, into one powerful wave to sweep away our main enemy, political imperialism and economic imperialism. – Sukarno

Whatever guts and arrogance popular satellite television DSTV had many years ago died completely two weeks ago in Nigeria. To DSTV, nothing like Pay TV or Pay as you watch. To DSTV, whatever they offered us as Nigerians was simply the best and we dare not complain. To DSTV, we were their cash cows. To DSTV, we are puppets that can be controlled at will and who are we to dare just complain. We are nobody.

All these changed when a new baby entered the stage. All the arrogance was punctured when a new whiz kid came on block and since them the centre in DSTV could no longer hold. The songs of inability to have Pay TV changed as soon as the new baby TSTV came with a bang and took the terrestrial wave by storm with readiness to not just offer Pay as you watch but also gift users with 20gb monthly to browse with.

While in the office today, I was discussing with my colleagues on which of the telecoms Wi-Fi we should buy to enable all staff use, and I was told bluntly to forget about buying any Wi-Fi but to wait for TSTV with their 20gb for us to use. Nigerians can’t wait any longer. The wait for TSTV to berth finally on the satellite soil is like waiting for godot.

Alas this hope may soon be dashed, as TSTV may NEVER launch in life. This waiting may just be in vain, as billions of Naira has been deployed by DSTV to our nation’s regulatory agencies, third party channels and even our National Assembly to stop TSTV from giving us the Pay as you watch that we have long waited for.

This is the bad news and I dare DSTV to prove me wrong. Fellow Nigerians, DSTV as I write has officially written to over twenty third party channels bribing them with billions of dollars to withdraw the rights they initially. That’s not all; some of our National Assembly members have been bribed to also tag TSTV a terrorist organisation simply because the corporate body refused to disclose how they got the rights that threaten DSTV hold on poor Nigerians. It is a well known fact that every business has its cherished secret and it will be suicidal to tell TSTV to disclose how they got access to the rights in their possession. It amounts to telling the Lawmakers to reveal how they won their opponents during the last election.

We are not beyond redemption as a people to allow a South African company in DSTV to come to our own land to milk us dry and allow them kill the only hope of escape from their grip. Our patriotism demands that we rise against DSTV this very moment to stop every plan they have against TSTV launch on November 1st 2017; including rolling out all the channels they have gotten rights for, without interference from DSTV.

It is terrorism to allow DSTV determines the satellite stations that will survive in our country of over N180 million people, when over ten of such stations can operate and still make maximum profits, without bickering. It is a national crime and offence to keep patronizing DSTV with its high rate of subscription when a national carrier in TSTV is offering much more at cheaper rate.

We owe it a duty to break the monopoly of this South African company just as we stood by Globacom when it came into the market to challenge MTN, which led to the freedom of per second calls we are enjoying today. If we can stand in solidarity then with, we should stand stronger now with TSTV. The continuous hold of DSTV on our homes through their monopoly is imperialism that should be stopped and hated by all. We should hold to our chest the words of Sukarno “I hate imperialism. I detest colonialism. And I fear the consequences of their last bitter struggle for life. We are determined that our nation, and the world as a whole, shall not be the plaything of one small corner of the world”.

This is not about Bright Echefu, the Managing Director of TSTV but us a people, one Nigeria that have no choice but to support a Nigeria product to break this monopoly of extortion. We have suffered too much and too long in the hands of DSTV and can no longer suffer again.

As I type, DSTV is planning to jam the frequency of TSTV to stop it from reaching our various homes when it starts to beam. In South Africa, they treat us like thrash; in our own backyard; they treat us like dust. In South Africa, we are treated as animals and in our own land; we are still treated like second class. The same billions of dollars they made exploiting us is same money used in bribing our own nationals to frustrate a project conceived by one of us, that they told us was never possible.

Back home in South Africa, DSTV is fined for irregularities and slammed with millions of Rands to pay for daring for fixing prices without notice to the national regulators, but here in Nigeria, they go scot free, after stuffing those who should regulate them with few millions of dollars, while we bear the arrogance of their impunity.

In South Africa, they dole out millions of dollars to support events while in Nigeria; they scam us into buying products for promo but never end up fulfilling their promises, and dare us to take them to industrial court. We have a lifetime opportunity to call their bluff off and a chance to make them beg for our attention. We are all witnesses already of what to expect if we stop DSTV from going ahead with their corporate fraud of using money to stop third party channels from withdrawing broadcasting rights from TSTV.

The Presidency should immediately summon DSTV and charge them for terrorism. It is a terrorist attack and an infringement of our sovereignty for a foreign organization to jam the frequency of a satellite television owned by a Nigerian. It is a national sabotage to allow this to go unchallenged without getting DSTV to pay for this heinous crime.

If MTN can be cut down to size despite its sense of ownership, that they beg Nigerians with their simcards on the road, disturbing our phones with needless promo messages, simply because we dare them to go to hell and embraced Globacom owned by Nigeria, we can do same to DSTV and see how they crumble like cookies, begging us to get free decoders and only subscribe to their channels at cheaper rates. This can only happen when we rise as a people to support TSTV.

We have a date with history on November 1st, to allow DSTV succeed in using our hard earned money paid over the years through decoders purchase and subscription cause TSTV to come to our homes with all the sports, news, movies, kiddies, religious and music channels or bow our heads in shame sticking with only DSTV. We have a chance with posterity and we alone can choose right. The consumer is king and it’s our right to freely choose the cable to purchase and watch and not DSTV to force theirs down our throats.

And did I tell us what the money DSTV made from us for over ten years has been used for?

Stay tuned as I unravel all the dirty secrets DSTV/GOTV never wanted Nigerians to know. It’s a blockbuster!

 

These little things matter…

Fejiro Oliver, an Investigative Journalist, Media Consultant and Human Rights Activist is also the Co-Convener of Coalition of Human Rights Defender (CHORD) and can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY) or secretsreporters@gmail.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86.

Lessons From Ijebu-Jesa, By Abiodun Komolafe

“Two things define you: your patience when you have nothing and your your attitude when you have everything. Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

–           Henry Ward Beecher

Ijebu-Jesa  has a new king and his name is Moses  Ilufemiloye Agunsoye! May God’s name be praised!

To start with, I doubt if I  had  the  opportunity  of  meeting  Oba  Agunsoye  before  his appointment  as  Elegboro of Ijebu-Jesa in the State of Osun. However, what influenced his eventual choice as successor to the throne  of Agigiri   Egboroganlada  has been  eloquently  summarized by Oyeniyi Ajifowobaje: “When you live in Lagos, work in Jos, still worship at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew’s, Ijebu-Jesa every Sunday; when you’re a director in a Federal Government parastatal, still, you relate with the young, old, rich and the peasants of Egboroland; … when the door of your house is wide open to the needy; when your house in Mushin is secretariat and hostel to applicants  of Ijebu-Jesa descent in Lagos”,  then you’re the people’s choice for the throne.”

With the passing of  Oba  Taiwo  Aribisala on March  9, 2017, the Elegboro stool became vacant, which in turn opened the space for the ruling houses in the ancient town to vie for the exalted throne. Oba  Aribisiala was from the Ajigiteri Ruling House and he was the 23rd Oba of Ijebu-Jesa. He was 88 years!

Before  all  else, let me join other well-meaning  Nigerians in congratulating Governor Rauf Aregbesola for ensuring a level playing field while the process lasted. In my view, that’s one of the important attributes of a good leader. That the people celebrated  its  outcome was a confirmation of  Oba Agunsoye’s  approval  by our ancestors.

At a time like this, it is pertinent to  thank God for the life of our king. For the avoidance of doubt, Oba Agunsoye has paid his dues. Thank God: providence has now crowned his efforts. A man of unmistaken vision who prefers to lead by example, Agunsoye is tantalizingly rich in humility and unquestionably  plush  in generosity. In his own little ways, Kabiyesi  now belongs  to the class of   the  Nelson  Mandelas, Oscar Romeros, Jamie Cardinal Sins  and Oladele Olashores  of this world who, even at great risks to personal comfort, opted to  side  with the downtrodden.

Nikos Kazantzakis once prescribed belief in one’s capacity as a prerequisite  for  success.  My journey through life has brought  me  face-to-face  with  how  ignorance  could  prevent some people from having a human face. For instance,   it was Oba   Olashore who sponsored my first degree (Ref: ‘Oladele    Olashore  at  70′,  ThisDay,  February 18,  2005); while Akin Fatodu of  ‘Olufemi  Fatodu  Foundation’  lent a helping hand during my postgraduate studies.   Archbishop Olukayode  Akinyemi and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah’s contributions on my way up the ladder of  life  were also immense.

If I may expand my argument, twice I wrote to the late Umar  Ali  Shinkafi  (on  November 7,  1994;  and December  24,  1995)  to seek  financial assistance for my  first  degree  programme. In two separate letters, dated  December  14,  1994  and January 20,  1996;  and signed  by Ngozi  Asoya,  his  Special  Assistant,   Marafan Sokoto  merely   sent   “best wishes”  which, of course, I gladly accepted. My  letter  to  Oba  Otudeko, dated January 8, 1991 and  a  follow-up  chat with one Seyi  Oduntan at Honeywell’s Ilupeju, Lagos-office ended at the level of opening a file! Earlier, I had   written a letter to the-then Colonel Abdul Kareem Adisa in his capacity as the Military Governor of the old Oyo State. Adisa was so “concerned”  about  my “plight”  that, in a letter dated April 25, 1991  and signed by one T.A. Oyeleye,  the   governor  directed me to my Local Government for assistance. I did as directed but nobody did anything! For the constraint of space, let  me stop here!

I  decided  to  tell  this story to show how small-but-constant drops of water could help make a hole in a stone. For instance, Oba  Olasore’s total financial support for my pursuit was N19,000.00,  spread over a period of four academic sessions (1992 – 1997); and Fatodu ‘supplied’ N23,500.00 during my postgraduate studies (2000 – 2003). In truth, but for these Good Samaritans’ interventions, I probably would have ended up a dropout in life.

Well,  this  is the kernel of my argument. Olashore  did not fight for Ajagbusi-Ekun stool after the death of his father before his antecedents bequeathed it to him. Even, after  Oladele’s  passing, the stool was reportedly reserved for his eldest son. It was after all entreaties to persuade Abimbola failed that the kingmakers contemplated a replacement. In like manner, our preference for Oba Agunsoye  is a call to greater service to humanity.

Unimpressed by the state of our youth in Ijebu-Jesa, I was once compelled to write a letter to the late Oba  Aribisala. In the letter, I pleaded with   him    to  rally    the rich and the affluent in the town  with  a  charge to  rise to the plight of our youth. On December 31, 1997,  I had the honour of  meeting  the late monarch in his private residence and he assured me that all hands were “on deck” to ennoble  “the  young  and  the  old”.  On  an  auspicious  occasion like this therefore, one can only enjoin Oba Agunsoye to look into the plight of our teeming youth who, though employable, remain terribly unemployed, primarily, due to the  selfishness of the socio-economic and political  leeches  who   latch around the corridors of power  for transient, pecuniary conveniences.

Like Nigeria, our major challenges in Ijebu-Jesa are not unconnected with  poverty,  despair,  helplessness and hopelessness. But how can the Ijesaness in us shun  expression of pains and anguish in a chat-show of fluidity, pettiness and emptiness?  Why should we continue  to  pray with empty stomachs in the wilderness of abandonment and a terrain replete with vanity and debauchery?

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant His Royal Majesty, Oba Moses Ilufemiloye Agunsoye II  the  wisdom  to  work for the prosperity of the people of my Native Nazareth!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State (ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk)

 

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

O20, Okenisa Street,

Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.

The Hullabaloo And World Bank Intervention In The North, By Murtala Mohammed

North East Nigeria is part of World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict and Violence FCV regions strategic intervention in West Africa. So I think when President Buhari said ‘North’ he might be referring to ‘North East’ Not the entire North.

World Bank’s intervention  in FCV regions are basically for reconstruction of Infrastructure; rehabilitation of young people, and reformation of government structures and institutions and North-eastern states  are seriously in need of this strategic reform.

Last year, Presidency disclosed that a huge sum of about $9 billion would be needed for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of broken infrastructure in the six states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.

The figure was a product of the recent pre-financing assessment jointly carried out by the federal and states governments alongside the global partners – the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union.

Incidentally, the figure was more or less the same with that of the Chairman, Presidential Committee on North East Initiatives (PCNI), Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.) who recently gave N2 trillion as an estimate for rebuilding the devastated areas of the country.

To rebuild North East states – Nigeria as Nation-state definitely needs support from the donor’s community. So WB through their FCV pillar might be willing to support Nigeria – and this is a welcome development.  So why the hullabaloos? – The same donor partners are supporting Partnership Initiative in Niger Delta PIND to build peace and equitable economic development in the Niger Delta.

World Bank’s FCV projects addresses the challenges of fragility, conflict, and violence.  This is a strategic priority in Bank programs and projects  – to achieve twin goals— end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It uses financial resources and extensive experience to help countries to reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve quality of life

They are also supporting post conflict communities such as North East affected communities towards the Sustainable Development Goals—in particular Goal 16 for peace, justice and strong institutions….

According to World Bank’s FCVSP…. Fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) are a critical development challenge that threatens efforts to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. Two billion people now live in countries where development outcomes are affected by FCV.

The share of extreme poor living in conflict-affected situations is expected to rise from 17% of the global total today to almost 50% by 2030. Conflicts also drive 80% of all humanitarian needs, while they reduce gross domestic product (GDP) growth by two percentage points per year, on average….

North-East Nigeria are part of the Two billion people live in countries where development outcomes are affected by fragility, conflict, and violence….That is why Bank is intervening…. In North East

Poverty and unemployment are among the top key drivers of conflict in North East Nigeria, to ensure sustainable peace and development in the region – we must engage the youth and the (ulamas) the religious leaders and traditional leaders to clearly understand what are their needs.

Despite Bank and other donor’s interventions in the northeast region, the central and state government need to also show sincere commitment towards lifting people of out poverty.

By Murtala Adogi Mohammed

~ MAM… for the sake of humanity and the love of my country

Eradicating Extreme Hunger In Nigeria With FoodBanks, By Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Hunger hurts and takes away hope. When hunger pervades a country’s landscape it not only threaten the future of its inhabitants, it hampers the prosperity of the country. In identifying man’s Hierarchy of Needs, renowned psychologist, Abraham Maslow, put food, water, warmth and rest, as the first basic needs that determines man’s daily actions. This no doubt appears to be in order.

Across Nigeria, millions of people with thousands  being children are at risk of starving to death. With unemployment put at a staggering 14.2% of the population (29 million people), many wake not knowing what to eat and go to bed oblivion of where their next meal might be coming from.

According to United Nations’ World Food Programme, the world faces an unprecedented catastrophe because 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria live on the brink of famine. Of this figure; about 5.2 million people are estimated to be facing hunger in the Northeast Nigeria alone due the protracted insecurity in the region as occasioned by Boko Haram insurgence. Recall, in 2013, the current President of the African Development Bank and former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria, Akinwunmi Adesina, at the High Level Meeting of AU Heads of State and Government on “unified approach to end hunger in Africa by 2025” in Addis Ababa, Ethopia revealed that Nigeria has 13 million people suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

In 2014, Bill Gate wrote an article,”Why Does Hunger Still Exist in Africa?”, where he established that in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of stunted children is still on the rise, up 12 million since 1990 to 56 million. Forty percent of all children in sub-Saharan Africa are stunted. “What I was witnessing was the terrible impact of malnutrition in Africa. These children were suffering from a condition known as stunting. They were not starving, but they were not getting enough to eat, leaving them years behind in their development – and it was hard to see how they could ever catch up,” the principal founder of Microsoft, Bill Gate wrote in the article. Except we choose to turn a blind eye, hunger is prevalent in Nigeria and has been the root cause of many unrest.

According to Wikipedia, hunger is a condition in which a person, for a sustained period, is unable to eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs. A Yoruba adage says that when hunger is removed from poverty, there is room for a poor person to engage and redirect the course of her life.

In the view of an Australian novelist, Elliot Perlman, taking care of basic food needs of a population is a prerequisite to having a vibrant economy, this was captured in his book “The Street Sweeper”, where he wrote that ”Everyone was always hungry. The poorer you were, the hungrier you were, and with the hunger came weakness and irritability (even depression and motivation for crime). It became difficult to think clearly and you needed to think clearly to work out how to survive the next day, how to get food. You were sure you could still work if you could find work, and you could look for it if only you could eat…”

Giving the foregoing, one must applaud the efforts of the United Nations in keeping the discussion about ending extreme hunger in the front burner; efforts to end extreme hunger led world leaders on September 8, 2000 in the Millennium Declaration to commit to the goal of reducing hunger by half by 2015, and further embarked on the ambitious plan to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 (Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, while the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO ) celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945 and show commitment to ending hunger.

Even though Nigeria is amongst the richest countries in the world in terms of resources, over half of its population lives below the poverty line, 4 of every 10 Nigeria are at the risk of sleeping hungry and 5 of every 10 children are at the risk of missing at least one meal every day and eating less than the required nutritional meal. The situation becomes more worrisome in metropolis like Lagos where cost of living and commuting remain on the increase while salaries and wages remain constant.

No doubt, zero hunger can help build a safer, more prosperous world, a major reason while the efforts of Honourable Babajimi Benson, member House of Representatives representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency must be commended. On October 16, 2016, Benson launched the first food bank in Nigeria called iCare Foodbank where food ingredients are distributed monthly to minimum of three hundred (300) Elderly persons, Widows, indigent people and the Vulnerable in the society. Each food bag given to the people contains a balance of food items that provide nutritional value to the body and can help feed a family of four for at least a month, thereby keying into the UN goals of ending world hunger by 2030. The mission of the bold initiative by the Honourable member is to ensure no household in Ikorodu Federal Constituency is without food.

In the last one year, directly or indirectly, over ten thousand persons have been given food through the iCare foodbank platform reinforcing the need to establish both government-owned and private sector driven food banks in Nigeria as a sustainable means to curtail hunger, considering that it is even an established norm in countries with enviable socio-economic system.

The world’s first food bank was established in the US in 1967, and since then many thousands have been set up all over the world. In Europe, which until recently had little need for food banks due to extensive welfare systems, the number of food banks  grew rapidly after the 2007-2008 world food price and financial crisis began to worsen economic conditions for low income earners. Records as at March 2015 showed that approximately 852,137 people received food from a food bank in Canada. More than one-third of those helped were children said to be children. To understand how much effort goes into feeding people, Alberta, a western province of Canada with an estimated population of 4,196,457 as of July 1, 2015, had over 110 food banks. Aside the food bank currently being operated by iCare Foundation, I doubt there is any in the country with structure to give people food every month.

Despite having roughly 15,083 food pantries (Food Banks) in America as of 2015, records show that “72% of food banks do not feel as though they are able to adequately meet the needs of their communities without adjusting the amount of food distributed”. For the record, United States per capital income is $55,836 while Nigeria’s per capital is paltry $2640, thus, establishing food banks with the mission to distribute food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough food to avoid  hunger, will be a good policy to ameliorate the suffering of millions and it has agricultural and economic benefits too.

Nigeria is strategic to the business operations of many companies both within the African continent and globally so government needs to show leadership by initiating a food security policy that will allow individuals to take action. Nigeria’s population is galloping towards 450 million by the year 2050. That will make Nigeria the third most populated country on earth after China and India. Food companies, the agricultural sector and the development sector need to work together to produce and distribute enough nutritious food to more people, all while using less resources and maximizing the potentials of a sizable number of the population render redundant by hunger, after all, the theme for this year’s world food day is, “Change the future of Migration. Invest in food security and Rural Development.”

Nothing can be more urgent than to feed a desperate population and food banks is a viable way to go.

 

Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni writes from Abuja via smojeeds@yahoo.com. Tweets from @OmoMojeed

The Truth About Ooni Of Ife And Emmanuella Ropo’s Romance Brouhaha, By Concerned Friends

We have read the internet report of Ooni’s alleged romance with Emmanuella Ropo, and also noticed the drama Ropo put up through a video clip to negate the report, alleging her “friends” to be behind the report. We want to categorically state that we salute the quick response of the palace to the report.

We would have kept quiet on all those melodrama, but for the purpose of setting records straight and letting people know that all her displays in the video were mere drama. The response of the palace, through ‘thebossnewspapers’, was apt; we read in particular where the palace indicated that “the Ooni cannot marry a woman who has mothered three children from two different men,” it was also noted that for the first time, the Ooni discovered that Emmanuella is not that single woman, as portrayed by the “Scout”, whose trade in stock was to go out and look for an “Olori” for the Kabiyesi.

The “Scout” who has been on the street requesting every fair lady her path has crossed, to come and marry the Kabiyesi, as if the Kabiyesi is not man enough to find himself a wife. Her sole aim is to control the palace fully. The other thing palace’s response also outlined is that “Reports have it that she’s personally interested in having the monarch pronounced her as lover”, a phrase that indicates that the palace even noticed that Emmanuella has been moving up and down, with the effort of her scout to make her become an Olori, so why the pretense by the intending Olori.

The questions emerging are: Why then would Emmanuella want to hold her “friends” responsible for the revelations that even the palace noticed it be somehow true? Were her friends involved when she started having an affair with Engr. Toye, a good and childhood friend of Ooni Adeyeye three years ago?  ,Were they involved when after a bank seized her Jeep, due to a bad loan of twenty five million Naira, and Toye borrowed her his own car and had to withdraw it when the bank attempted to seize that (although it was learned Ropo accused her best friend Tope of being behind Toye’s action)?

Was any of her friends involved when Toye heard about your move to Ile-Ife and flaunting of yourself as the next Olori, an act which made Toye confront you, reminding you that Ooni is his childhood friend, that you should perish the thought of becoming Olori? .Your response was that Toye can’t stop you from getting the Olori stool, a situation which resulted in a shouting match and you became violent, by hitting Toye’s head with a shoe, accusing him of trying to ruin your chance of becoming an Olori, all this brouhaha happened in Abimbola Awoliyi Estate.

You remember how you threatened him, that it’s because he’s alive that is making him block your chance, and that you will show him that your father is the head of the native doctors of your village. Was any of your friends involved, when you moved in your live-in-lover, Femi, to stay with you at your rented apartment in Anthony Enahoro Estate at Ogba? .Were they involved when you threw him out because your net caught a big Customs officer, and in order to have your good time with him, you must do away with Femi by shunning him off?

The Customs boss, who happened to be your uncle’s friend, had to abandon you after three months of the relationship, because you threatened to deal with his wife, which you perceived to be overbearing, and really the woman became so sick and defied all medications until she was taken to a prayer mountain. Were any of your friends involved when Femi, who felt cheated, opened a Facebook account and uploaded all your intimate pictures (part of which were used in the report that went viral.)

Were your friends involved when you converted the driver of your friend that lives in the Northern part of Nigeria, named Dare, to your lover?. Were they involved when you had a “lovely” night with him on the eve of his wedding, and his bride was searching for him everywhere? .Were they involved, when after the wedding, the groom, rather than stay with his wife, packed in with you?

Emmanuella, you claimed your friends picked those pictures from your phone; so hilarious, when you know that your phone is on per-second-lock, and your password is stronger than the one that opens the Central Bank, who can access your phone? Who? And you know nobody can!

Emmanuella, stop holding your friends responsible for your predicaments, Stop!. You know all of them are busy and successful in their chosen fields of endeavours, so they have little or no time to think about you. You have threatened to mention names; your friends are waiting to respond to you accordingly, even with more mind-boggling revelations.

You have a sad past, a confused present, but be rest assured your future can be well managed if you so desire; so start placing emphasis on a course that will advance your course in life, as you should know that success is not contagious. Work hard for your success, rather than frolicking with “big men”. Bye for now, you may soon hear from us, if need be.

My Concern Over The Current Debate On Dr. Ibe kachikwu’s Letter To The President, By Tanko Yakasai, OFR

Having been associated with the corridor of power both at the state and federal level in Nigeria, I doubt if the President is such a docile person as to allow his subordinates to manipulate his office the way our media made us to believe.

To adjudge an official for corruption, justice demands proof or evidence. Islam enjoins Moslems always to be just. In this regard, I would like to comment on the ongoing discussion on the letter the Minister of state sent to the President complaining of being side-lined by the NNPC GMD, INSUBORDINATION, and contract award without channelling such awards through him as chairman of the NNPC board.

My understanding of the issue is that, it is unimaginable to assume such a leak can happen without the knowledge or even consent of the Minister of State or anybody who is the author of such a document.

From the content of the Minister’s letter, it contained series of grievances which appeared to have accumulated. It is a common knowledge that the President has been away for over three months, common sense dictates that such accumulated differences should have been conveyed to the Acting President during the absence of the President.

As I have said earlier, I am familiar with the happenings at the highest level of governance, both when I was a member of my state executive council for eight years and at national level as a Special Assistant to the President for four years.

I know for sure that critical communications at the higher level are not normally done through a third party to avoid leakage of information. In view of that, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu’s letter must have been delivered to the President himself thereby eliminating the possibility of a third party knowing the content of such communication.

A leakage in this regard can only come from either Dr. Kachikwu or the President himself. Common sense dictates that the President will not leak such communication to the public particularly as it was carried by almost all the print media immediately after the letter was submitted to the President.

My feeling is that the leakage of the letter is simply made to embarrass the President and create an impression that he is not serious about following due process.

Another point is that some four years ago when I was serving in the Political Thematic group of Vison 202020, I could recall that late Dr. Ibrahim Tahir, raised an issue on the Public Procurement Act of 2007, enacted during the tenure of President Obasanjo, which he felt very strongly about.  Ibrahim Tahir’s strong feeling rose from alienation of the Ministers and the Board of Federal Government Parastatals in the award of contract. His argument is that under the present system, the President, Governor and the Local Government Chairman are the only people mandated by the electorate to serve as Chief Executive Officers of the tier of government they are heading.

The constitution, however, empowered them to delegate some of their powers to their subordinates including Ministers and Board of Parastatals. Dr. Tahir felt that it was odd for the Minister and the Board of parastatals not to have a role in matters pertaining award of contracts. Members of that thematic group can testify how vigorously Dr. Tahir tried to converse support to recommend changes in this regard but without success.

To this extent the question of the NNPC GMD side-lining the Minister of State has no justification having regard to the provision of  PPA act of 2006 in PART V — ORGANISATION OF PROCUREMENTS under Accounting officer which states that “

  1. (1) The accounting officer of a procuring entity shall be the person charged with line supervision of the conduct of all procurement processes; in the case of ministries the Permanent Secretary and in the case of extra-ministerial departments and corporations the Director-General or officer of co-ordinate responsibility.

(2) The accounting officer of every procuring entity shall have overall responsibility for the planning of, organization of tenders, evaluation of tenders and execution of all procurements and in particular shall be responsible for:

(a) ensuring compliance with the provisions of this Act by his entity and liable in person for the breach or contravention of this Act or any regulation made hereunder whether or not the act or omission was carried out by him personally or any of his subordinates and it shall not be material that he had delegated any function duty or power to any person or group of persons;

22.—(1) There is hereby established by this Act in each procuring entity a tenders board (in this Act referred to as “the Tenders Board”).

(2) Subject to the approval of the Council, the Bureau shall, from time to time, prescribe guidelines for the membership of the Tenders Board.

(3) The Tenders Board shall be responsible for the award of procurements of goods, works and services within the threshold set in the regulations.

In view of the foregoing, it is clear that the PPA of 2007 does not confer any responsibility on the Ministers and Board of Parastatals on matters pertaining to public procurement.  I am, however, aware that for some time Ministers and members of Board of Parastatals are grumbling over their exclusion in the process of public procurement and award of contract.

On matters of insubordination, the Minister of State’s letter did not give sufficient details to enable an informed judgement by anyone on this matter. According to the Public Service Rules, any case of insubordination should be immediately reported for appropriate action. There is no indication where the Minister has reported the insubordination of the GMD of NNPC to the appropriate quarters.

I am getting concerned at the current trend in Nigeria where a whistle blower is automatically regarded as telling the truth without investigation. I saw this in the case of a member who accused Speaker and members of house of representatives of budget padding and the media did not subject his allegation to proper scrutiny.

For Nigerians to get it right, the practice whereby the accused is automatically presumed guilty is not in consonance with the principle of that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

Re: The Hands Of Esau, The Sheriff, And The Sighs Of A Collection Of Marble Statuary, By Jimi Bickersteth

Prologue: This piece on the hands of Esau, the biblical son of Isaac and Rebecca and twin brother of Jacob, to whom he sold his birthright is relevant in the minister of state (petroleum resources) experiences in the NNPC/Baru saga and the Sheriff’s inability to hit the ground running; quite an interesting anecdote, but full of unintended contradiction.
But in defence of PMB’s responsibility, the first contradiction was that he in his body language, was honest enough to admit that there is the need for lateral changes  in the nation, by allegedly electing to give his minister of state (Oil) audience as per the leaked memo,even if it speaks volume of the basic standards and frame of reference in the corridor of power on one hand,and the hues that attended Kachukwu’s meeting with his boss on the other. But, you may ask, when is he publicly announcing the meeting with Baro.
Whenever that will be and to reach a valid decision in this matter, one way or the other, PMB needs to meet and question more people, otherwise he would be seen as a statute in size and dignity and reducing the minister to a sinecure of no or little work, but gave him status. While patience is a sine qua non for a good teacher, I doubt if same could apply to a leader of a debased nation.
The real deal,matters arising and opinion:The fear this raw October morning is borne out of the perception of the people about the impact the chief change agent is having on the nation’s political, economic and social circumstances in a raw portrayal of a nation that promises so much but always delivered very little: and for Nigerians, particularly, after 57th year of pretty rough deal of rampaging political and public servants in the nation’s chests,impunity and utter disregard for laid down regulations, all of which in different combination has made the nation become like a tainted tracery of veins on a leaf,even as it continued to waddle in wanton penury.

The people are now sighing in utter trepidation on what has suddenly became of PMB. While it could be argued that the status of his health has began to create waves and a myth of marching forward looking backwards, and this has began to elicit a quiet rumble across the length and breadth of the country.

The little lateral movement that imbued in all some ray of hope apparently were as a result of some shove without push and attitudinal change on the part of the nation’s public servants and did not include the fear factor that comes with a bang in a change of government political power and directions.

It is now clearer in this’hand of Esau’ relationship in the highest echelon of power and authority has shown that the nation’s leaders are the ones in charge of the manipulation of the group dynamics and the president as a leader is a marquee player in the affairs of state, and who must of necessity need stoicism, and should exude self-confidence to bear his burden lightly and shed humour and good advice over a nation ,that is looking up to him for leadership and directions. Who should reveal to himself and others unsuspected weaknesses, but perhaps discover too a new secret strength, and the Nigerian expects the president to have mastered the art of finding in himself more than he has got. The opulence and grace around that office is not for starters.
The position the nation has found itself is appaling and defy logic and Nigerians must love the nation, but do not love the president any less, but his inability to earn his corn and measure up to standard as expected would naturally draw the peoples ire and wrath, and the indignation should be as indignation can be. In the heat of indignation – things that we normally shrunk from are easily tackled in a flush of anger, sometimes they bring the desired results or take us to an expected end. The attempts to hush Nigerians up is a greater disservice to the nation’s growth.

As if we haven’t enough of distractions, now this. A scenario where the minister of state (Oil)and the GMD of a subsidiary conglomerate supposedly under his ministry are trying to one-up each other. You’ll wont to think that, even where there purviews dovetailed and motivations way different,but should be with the aim of reaching same goal,in offices that require compatibility derived from a very strong sense of duty; but the two dynamo-in-the-sack are at the risk of being set adrift like a hard-luck astronaut.PMB must sort this out, otherwise things can quickly erode. He must foster strength and harmony not strife and confusion in his kitchen cabinet.

I’m aware that there are several options and channels open to PMB, Kachiukwu and Vary with varying degrees of implications, however, the two combatants should stop trying to be perfect dancers to an unseen drummer or drummers, or look super intelligent, but should strive to perform their assigned tasks with a genuineness others will want to emulate;and to in various combining degree and efforts use their gifts, passions and discretions to help build a strong, virile units that would elevate the nation from its present rut and rot,to the path of prosperity and progress.

The duo must stop showing us what we know! What? That both of them and the rest of the PMB’s crew are all imperfect people and are prone to fend for personal interests. In politics, this may come too easily, because of ego and sheer vanity. In the matter, non of them should stay hurt,if at all,longer than it’s absolutely necessary. Using this poor one-upmanship togetherness-not-too-together ( that’s been the nation’s bane)to boost their self-worth is absolutely unnecessary. What’s important is to make sure all are singing from the same page, and not breeding a tower of Babel, concerning the nation’s expectations or else there’s trouble ahead.

To me,it’s not a’right or wrong’ issue. The PMB administration’s main goal is to win the nation over, not with tussles or arguments for and or against look for solution. The nation will succeed only as we identify in life or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend and blend to that one objective.

Time is at a premium and PMB must note that he must not allow himself to be caught in the web of presumptions for which he’s bound to suffer distractions of a kind that would require him to let his administration be controlled by the antics inherent in his ideological posturing and allegiance to the nation. Irrespective of the distractions weaved or contrived to put his pan Nigerian resolve off balance.

He owes the nation a responsibility, even if it meant standing in the middle of the power-bloc and political base in disgrace for failing to surrender state power to any oligarchy.

Whether PMB is suave and savvy enough to rise above any primordial instincts and set a new national agenda in a nation that highlights a grim reality of a nation in dire need of self-discovery is another matter; but the nation expects him (ill-health or not) to as a matter of fact and urgency, lead with a display of authority and grace.

The Kachukwu/Baro saga is slowing things down, because the mainstay of the nation’s economy. As days go by, feeling is getting stronger, he must see and correct all that is wrong and fix it. To the warring executives, they should not over flex on the contending issues. Things must always ‘be a certain way’ ; and instead of dwelling on the problems, they should not focus too much on what’s wrong, or on one another’s imperfections; dwelling on flaws – your own or someone else’s- it’s unnecessary. Now, let me be clearer; one is not talking about striving to do it better. That’s a good thing. I’m talking about obsessing about what’s wrong. There’ll always be a better way to do something. #

Jimi Bickersteth

Jimi Bickersteth is a writer and a blogger.

He can be reached on Twitter@bickerstethjimi

@alabaemanuel

@akannibickersteth

jimi.bickersteth@yahoo.co.UK

jimi.bickersteth@gmail.com

 

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