The Youth Corps Member And The Buhari Administration, By Gbolahan Yusuf

The manifesto of the All Progressives Congress is a brilliant product. In truth, I would not expect any less from a party known to be associated with almost every intelligent and progressive individual with the country’s interest at heart. Do not get me wrong, every party has such individuals, they however seem to be given a louder voice in the APC as against what obtains in the PDP, in particular. The result is a well thought – out manifesto which, by virtue of our obsession with mediocrity already is being described as a mere propaganda, which cannot possibly be realised. To the people, some of the quotes from the manifesto seem very laughable, they ask, how will government give free food to all schoolchildren?, how will they even make education free? In this country? Some ask, how will they pay youth corps members even after discharge from service?

I am more interested, as you can already guess, in the last question cited above seeing as it relates directly to my constituency as a serving youth corps member. The APC manifesto is dangerously being reduced by some to being an impossible height to attain, which does not portend well. In an ideal situation, all voices should join in the support of these visions in bringing them to reality and not shouting it down. However, in the undesirable scenario that the APC decides to tone down on some plans laid out in the manifesto, as the President-elect Buhari has rightly said, it is not the Bible nor the Quran, both of which are unamendable. However, the commitment to my constituency and fellow constituents(youth corpers) has to be top-rated.

The youth corpers, the face of service to motherland, the symbol of a unity of our diversity, unfortunately, over the years, have continued to lose relevance in our country, over the years. I have been opportuned to sit with many a men who were youth corps members in the early years of the scheme and something I could’nt but notice was how many of them claimed to buy their first car in their service year. From their allawee!

Of course, judging by the value of money between then and now, they earned as allowance, what many Nigerian youths today, educated or not, would beg for as salaries. Asides, the financial perspective, it was honourable to wear the uniform, the country was largely safer for travelling corpers, orientation camps were in better conditions (not the refugee camps in some states today), and they did not go through the last 3 months of service counting down rather ominously, to an impending period of unemployment. It is not the same today.

The progress or otherwise , of our country over the past three to four decades has been well articulated in the circles of public discourse and it is sad to know that youths, which constitute the highest percentage of our population, have gotten the short end of the weakened stick, it is the youths who have had to face an amazing level of decline in the educational sector side by side with a criminal rise in the cost of this declined product. The higher percentage of youths in the country find themselves unemployed or extremely underemployed having either graduated from a tertiary institution or failed in getting admission into one. Youths must have heaved a sigh of relief seeing a President-elect that inspires some confidence for a better future, they therefore cannot be let down. It will make as a very good message to send as to the commitment to these youths if the incoming government immediately looks at the youths currently serving the country in uniform.

In a period when, the S in the “NYSC” acronym has, in effect, been largely misconstrued to mean slavery rather than service, in some quarters, it will be sensible for government to pay corpers allowances, that will enable them to at least live at a decent standard for the month. The #19,800 currently paid is a far cry from that, thankfully, a bill seeking to push up this allowance scaled second reading in the House of Reps late last year but it is definitely still a long way from implementation, which is where the 8th National Assembly comes in, there has to be a cooperative effort to see pride restored to the National Youth Service Corps.

Many of my friends and colleagues express frustration at this service year, many think it as an exploitation rather than what it should be, which is a willful service of the motherland. I disagree with them when they say this scheme should be called off, it has its many benefits. But they shouldn’t see it this way, not if the right thing was being done. The orientation camps must be revisited, some are in conditions, not suitable enough to house war refugees. These, alongside the plan, to continue to pay corpers, after discharge, till gainfully employed, will no doubt, restore a degree of pride to the uniform. Change is here… Let the youth corpers feel it.

Gbolahan Yusuf is an Abia Corper writing from Umuahia

Tweets via @G1gbolahan.

 

The Role Of Youths In Nation Building: An Open Letter To Kano Governor-elect Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

Dear Sir,

Let me first start by congratulating you on your victory at the April 11th governorship election in kano, this is not a victory to you alone but a victory to the entire people of kano state.

Your Excellency, this is the second letter iam writing to you, the first letter I wrote was on 10th January, 2015 which in the title of My letter I advised you to avoid a Shinkafi Treatment. I saw trustworthiness in you and from your words since after you were declared winner of the April 11th governorship election in kano. A lot of people especially those in the circle of youth activism have been complaining about your age, anytime I remember and realised the competency that is in you, I felt hopeful and positive that a better kano has come to stay. It is this competency that will motivate you in continuing with the good works the supreme and Grand Commander of the Kwankwasiyya Movement in Nigeria started or initiated. In My last open letter to you, I predicted your victory, this is because of the platform you contested under, I mean your political party inwhich my prediction became a reality.

Your Excellency Sir, off recent I have advised you on five major areas which I believe if you take and apply them into consideration will help in making kano greater and even compete with other great cities of the world, they were Education, Health Enhancement, and collection of revenue, indolenceness and completion/continuation of capital projects as initiated and executed by your principal. Let me refer you to such an articulated open letter I wrote some four months back.  http://abusidiqu.com/avoid-shinkafi-treatment-open-letter-dr-abdullahi-umar-ganduje-adnan-mukhtar-adam/

Sir, as we approach the inaugration of a new government in kano, I will consquently focus on one major phenomena which is that of the youths as a youth and student activist, I know our plights and I want you to address them for the interest and integrity of our Dear State. The youths have played a vital role in mobilizing and organising support for their choosen platforms as well as promoting such platforms, the engagement of youths in your govenment will provide a better enabling environment for the youths than the outgoing dispensation.

The challenge of unemployment faced by the economy, the challenge of growing poverty as well as the engagement of our youths by politicians in political thuggery for instance are blunders that fall heavily on the shoulder of the youth. That is why I am urging you Sir to put more effort in the completion of the hydro electric power project at Tiga Dam as that will help in giving power to our industries at Sharada and Bompai industrial area, this will help in the elimination of abject poverty and eradication of unemployment of our youths. More than 60% of our votes in kano is that of the youths, their engagement in electoral process is more than your expectation, in most cases the youths help in bringing a government into power but are unfortunately neglected. As a youth and student activist I know the plights our youths and their demands and how such plights can be tackled and the demands be taken into consideration.

Your Excellency, immediately after you are sworn in into office, I want you to look into the following demands of the youths, I am very much sure there will help in tackling the plights of our youths in kano, the youths as we all know constituted more than 60% of our population, there are playing a vital role in nation building, any society that neglect its youth will not develop and have make a big mistake of doing that, the youths are the backbone of development, take the youth close to you, I assure you that you will run a successful and hitch free tenure full of developmental things.

As a youth activist from kano I demand the following for our youths;

Problem of Youth Unemployment should as a matter of urgency be addressed, this led our youths to participate in many social and immoral vices in the society.

Demand for 30% youth representation in government

Creation of Ministry for Youth Development for the welfare and social development of the youths as stated in the African Youth Charter.

Such Ministry should be headed by a commissioner who is a youth aged 35 years and below respectively.

Education of the youths by ensuring free education scheme from primary up to university level as initiated by your master, Education of the youths is one of the important element that makes a society great.

Youth Empowerment through skills acquisition programmes and distribution of capital to our youths for the purpose of running a business, this will make them to be self reliant and will lead to the development our state

Youths exploitation as labourers in different industries we have in kano should be stopped, a situation where our youths and women go to work spending more than 12 hours working without pity by their employees, at last will be paid in lower amount, such a problem must be stopped from 12 hours to 6 hours thereby making it 3 shifting with a good salary. This should affect all the industries we are having in kano.

Employment of Our Youths as casual workers in such industries that are owned by foreigners should be stopped by your government.

Sir, if this will be taken into proper consideration, I assure you more than 95% of the youths plights in kano will be reduced and kano will be great. Thank You and God Bless

Your’s Sincerely

Rt Hon Adnan Mukhtar Adam (Comrade)
Deputy Speaker Students Consultative Council (SCC) Northwest University, Kano.

Buhari’s Cabinet: Meritocratic Or Clientelistic, By Jude Feranmi

Fellow countrymen, I still love to think that congratulations on Nigeria’s budding democracy are still in order as regards the last democratic exercise in March and April. So, once again, Congratulations! In some other epochal situation, the peace we enjoy today will be a thing of hope. The gospel of change that has seen enough converts to unsit the incumbent President is a testament to our budding democracy. Today, we are all better for it.

Now, a lot of campaign promises have come and gone and it’s time to start hoping that those campaign promises were not as empty as Dokubo’s threats before elections. But, to sit back, relax and hope is the least we should be doing now. Our duty as occupants of the office of the citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria is to demand that the kind of life that we deserve should be given us. Nothing more, nothing less! More so, to be vigilant so as to be able to identify the decisions that will make or mar our demands directly or indirectly.

We are at a critical juncture in the Presidency of Muhammandu Buhari, which we all want to be a successful one. Though, it is yet to begin officially, a lot of decisions that will make/mar the Presidency are in full gear. One of these decisions which interests me as an occupant of the office of the citizen which I believe should also interest every well-meaning Nigerian is the structure and the content of the cabinet of the incoming Presidency. You see, when we elected Muhammadu Buhari, the APC flag bearer, we also elected prima-facie all the people who will occupy the roles of ministers, special advisers, director-generals, permanent secretaries amongst others. These people make up the civil service. In a nutshell, these people run the country’s business. They are the determinants of the level of success that we will achieve in the next four years and how the Presidency performs. Actually, when we lament the problems of leadership in our country, what we are lamenting is the problems of finding the right people to occupy these offices. We have usually elected Presidents who end up filling up these offices with politicians instead of technocrats or at instances where technocrats have been appointed, they have been incapacitated by politics. The clause of the constitution which ensures that each state produces a minister makes it worse. It is such that the state governor has a stake on who becomes minister from that state or the party leader. What we end up with is a conflation of people who are being paid for a favor or two they have done for the governor or the party leader in their state, they are usually characterized of people who know next to nothing when it comes to the offices they are gifted : Clientelism – that stage of political development where democracy is run by exchanging political favors in exchange for political support. I need not define Meritocracy.

TO THE NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT

All prosperous nations have something in common. A quality government bureaucracy made up of experts in their chosen fields, not politicians who know next to nothing about a field they preside over. Countries like Singapore and Germany are what they are today because of the caliber of people who run their governments. Coming back home a little, Akinwumi Adesina and Omobola Johnson were icons in the Jonathan Presidency despite all efforts by the President to ensure that the Presidency failed, though subconsciously, those ministries stood out and were talking points in the President’s campaign. Success is largely a function of the caliber of the people who surround you. The more experts you have , the easier it will become to achieve the vision of a better Nigeria. It is high time we had the best of our people running government. The time for politics is over Mr President-Elect, The time of Governance is here and making the mistake of putting a round peg (politicians) in a square hole (technocrat) will mar your Presidency. You have promised to deliver a better Nigeria, politicians can’t deliver a better Nigeria, only technocrats can. I can promise you sir, those nominated will be demanded of responsibilities of their offices, be they politicians or technocrats and a failure to rise up to those responsibilities will not be permissible.

TO FELLOW COUNTRYMEN

It is not time to sit back and watch the campaign promises become reality, it is time to be more vigilant. The life we get is the life we deserve. The kind of life we demand is the kind of life we get. If we sit back and relax, waiting and hoping, suffering and smiling or wailing and praying, the only change we will end up with is that which we have gotten, a change in the people occupying the positions. Nothing more Nothing less! A better Nigeria is possible and achievable, only if we demand it.

God bless the Federal Republic Of Nigeria

Jude Feranmi

@JUDED27

Buhari’s Handshake Uproar: It’s all about Politics, Nothing Islamic, By Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim

Let me be categorically clear from the onset that I am not here to legitimize the president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari’s handshake with any non-maharam woman. The often cited instances of other Muslim leaders of, among others, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia doing the same is, at best, extraneous and at worst, clumsy. No amount of words, logic, wisdom, etc can make what’s already haram (forbidden) such as an unconditional body contact with a non-maharam woman by another man halal (legit). That is my understanding, firm belief and sturdy stand.

Buhari’s action is, however, purely personal between him and his Creator, Allah. I am very sure that Buhari, being a Hausa-Fulani and Muslim, knows that. He would, if he at all allows it, definitely frown at anybody shaking the hands of his wife, his daughter or his female wards. He did not grow up seeing the same being done in their house nor in his immediate environment. And yes, we didn’t elect him because he’s versed in Islamic knowledge and to establish Shari’ah – and if you did so, you are very wrong. Christians, Muslims, etc Nigerians voted for Buhari to salvage the country from the shackles of the PDP-led government under Jonathan. His sins have nothing whatsoever to do with the development and growth, security, corrupt-free public servants and employment for the youths Nigerians zealously anticipate to witness under his leadership.

Enough of that, I believe. The annual birthday celebration (i.e. Maulud) of ‘Sheikh’ Ibrahim Nyass took place in Kano a few days ago (in the same week Buhari shook the hand of Mrs. Oshiomole). A so-called Malam (scholar) among the invitees openly blasphemed against the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) in the crudest and unheard of language. That was a sacrilege worth a downright condemnation by the Nigerian Muslims and the entire Ummah. It’s, to me and to many others, far worse than the caricatures of the Prophet done by the infamous Denmark magazine, the Charlie Hebdo’s and anybody else that I know of in all my living days.

As a netizen, I expected to see a far more fuss and fume from among the Muslim brethrens who just a few days ago expressed their angst towards the President-Elect for going against the Prophet’s teaching. There’s however a loud silence. I wondered why? I then recalled that Buhari is a politician and who has a cult-like followers especially in the north. Thus, disparaging him especially by a fellow northerner and in these days while the adoration and admiration is still afresh stands you a good chance to become popular. It’s almost certain that that would attract attention, for the critic displays ‘brevity’, ‘dispassion’ and ‘candor’.

The criticism might be more political than seeking for a cheap popularity, I further discovered. Many among those detractors have once or twice doggedly defended their fave politicians (for example former and the current governors of Kano State, Malam Shekarau and Engr. Kwankwaso, respectively) for committing exactly the same sin (handshake with a woman). But due to a double standard, they now nitpicked on Buhari. I think we shouldn’t be selective in telling the truth. Say the truth even on your own self, Islam teaches us.

It’s apparently clear that but for dirty politics and holier-than-thou attitude of many of us, where the Prophet’s virtue and personality was dented is the best place to deploy our big grammar, to exhaust our Internet megabytes and spend our time in his defense. We should take it as a duty to inform and enlighten as many people as we can out there about what happened. And we should be not afraid to unreservedly slam those mystic bastards calling themselves ‘Yan Haqiqah (‘Realists’), under the umbrella of Tijjaniyya sect.

To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I feel an excruciating pain circulating in my nerves at present. What would be our reaction when the same or similar desecration of the Prophet is carried out by a non-Muslim? I think you would remain nonplus as you are now, for it’s not Buhari who errs, and any (peaceful) protest will not make you popular. Politics shouldn’t foray into everything such as religious issues.

May Allah guide us to the right path and protect the virtue of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), amin.

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim

 

muhsin2008@gmail.com

@muhsin234

Interlopers, Intruders, SAGIP Seize Buhari’s Throat, By Joe Igbokwe

Since March 28 2015 when General Buhari made unforgettable history in a political landscape, I have put my eyes and ears on the ground to monitor the events around the President-elect whether he is in Daura, Katsina or at the Defense House, Abuja. All manner of people including those who are claiming to be trekking for the President elect (even though they may not have voted for the General), interlopers, intruders, scavengers, supporters of any government in power (SAGIP), Defectors from PDP, professional congratulators, food is ready professionals, Five Minutes to greatness vagabonds and cheats have not allowed the President elect to have a breathing space. They have no shame, no honor, no history, no antecedents, no records to show, no decency, no grace to show the world except the inordinate ambition and desire to belong at all cost.

They were yesterday’s men who were ardent followers of PDP, those who pillaged and plundered the common patrimony, those who killed, those who preached hate and swore to disgrace the President elect. They sponsored hate Advertorial on the Radio, TV stations and on the pages of Newspapers. They pulled down Buhari’s posters and billboards and cursed the day he was born. They used pulpits to abuse and cursed him as an uncircumcised religious bigot who wants to rule Nigeria at all cost and consequently Islamize Nigeria. They abused his family, his wife, his children, his in-laws, his supporters, his associates as Osus (outcasts in Igboland). They murdered his supporters across Nigeria with reckless abandon especially in Rivers and Akwa Ibom State.

In the South East, these 21st century idiots and animals stole the people’s mandate and made supporters of Buhari to look like foreigners in their own land. In Lagos the Odua Peoples’ Congress led by Chief Gani Adams and Dr Faseun did the unthinkable on a Monday morning in Lagos from the old Toll gate to the National Stadium Surulere. They seized Lagos, abused Lagos, vandalized Lagos, humiliated Lagos and disgraced Lagos and the South West Nigeria. As they marched with Tanks and hundreds of AK47 these unrepentant rogues pulled down APC Campaigns materials on the entire stretch, leaving only their useless campaign materials to stand, and history recorded it. In the South East, the moribund, useless, and criminal MASSOB, an outlawed organization like OPC seized Umuahia and other state capital replicating what OPC did in Lagos.

These compound idiots milling around Buhari today told us that he has no certificate and therefore an illiterate. They told us that he is sick and has cancer. They said he is too old to rule Nigeria. They said Buhari is unelectable. They used money, brute force of the police, Army, DSS, SSS etc to stop him but the man of destiny remained undaunted. He moved on, braved it and damned the consequences. The rest is now history.

Now look at them, like rain beaten chickens, lining up to seek Buhari’s hand shake and favour. Look at the shameless shenanigans swarming like bees around Buhari, pouring encomiums and singing like parrots how they did this or that for him even when it is obvious that they are the ones who tried to tear down the man of destiny.

In one fell swoop almost all of them abandoned President Jonathan who provided shelter to them as Vice President and President for eight years. Since Buhari won the election on March 28 2015, thousands of visitors to Aso Rock have dropped to a miserable level, almost zero. They have also abandoned the Party (PDP) that gave them succor for 16years. Unbelievably they have called the party that sheltered them for sixteen years a forest. Hours on end, they are knocking at APC doors in order to find a place to hide. They have no ideas on how to go and build their party. They have no plans whatsoever where to start. Having been in power for sixteen years I guess they have so become used to power that it may be difficult if not impossible to survive without being in power. Two pictures of Jonathan’s Aso Rock and Buhari;s temporary residence in Abuja which were published on the front page of the Punch on Sunday, May 17, 2015 tells a big and pathetic story of what has become of PDP and its followers after sixteen years. How are the mighty fallen? What went wrong? How did the boastful PDP got to this sorry pass? Where did the rains start beating them? What caused the mess we see these days?  Who will bell the cat? Who will build the new PDP the way Nehemiah rebuilt Jerusalem?

Where are the men and women who will do this job? This is indeed ugly and at best, despicable. Where is the capacity and strength to do this great job? I fear for PDP. I fear that APC may not have opposition for a long time to come and this is not good for Nigeria.

Now my advice to Buhari is to look above those deceitful and ugly crowds to find his real and actual supporters, the poor men and women who did the actual job. I want General Buhari to talk to Sahara Reporters, Premium Times , Nigerian Village Square and few other online publications. If the story of Buhari and 2015 revolution is a book Sahara Reporters wrote 50% of it. I want Buhari to be talking to the likes of Dele Momodu, Femi Adesina, Peter Claver, Rev Moses Iloh, Rev Ikem Igbodike, Declan Ihekaire (the one man show for Buhari in Agege Lagos) Sonala Olumhense, Duro Onabule, Kayode Abubakar, Ceedon Adinuba, Okey Nwanguma, Godson Moneke, Dr Kelechi Nwagwu and others which time and space will not permit to list here. The President elect should remember that the late Chukwuma Azikiwe worked so hard for him. These are some of the real men I want around the President elect, and not these fakes I see around him today. Another should not work and another positions himself to reap where he did not sow. Advice I am told is like a stranger, if it is welcomed it stays for the night, if not it leaves the same day.

Joe Igbokwe
Lagos

Fuel Crisis, Deregulation And The Incoming Government, By Tope Adesipo

The history of fuel scarcity in Nigeria is quite strange. there is hardly a a year that runs from January to December without fuel crisis coming somewhere  in between. meanwhile Nigeria is an oil producing country. the largest in Africa and its crude is preferred by many Nations of the world. ironically, many of the nations buying fuel from Nigeria are satisfied with the oil situation in their own country but sadly Nigeria has been engulfed in incessant fuel crisis for many years. in the last 4weeeks, reports says there are acute shortage of fuel which has led to long queues at filling stations. the latest crisis seems to be the longest in history of the nation. vehicle owners, commercial drivers and the general populace who depend on fuel for mobility and production of goods and service have suffered untold hardships. Recall the outgoing President Jonathan few months before he lost the historic election reduced the pump Price from 97 to 87 naira per litre.

?The economy has been moaning ever since the scarcity started waiting wistfully at bus stops and workers turning up late or not at all for work have become the new Normal. The informal economy made up of artisans and shop keepers is hardest hit. Against the background of the collapse of electricity supply despite privatization, artisans and shop keepers rely daily on generators to power appliances and make a living. Without fuel, it is impossible for this layer of the working masses to make their daily bread.

The current crisis is not caused by the global trend in the crude oil market. Last year, crude oil price crashed internationally – negatively impacting the economies of key oil exporting countries. this scarcity is caused by the refusal of oil marketers, who import refined fuel products into the country for domestic use, to continue to do so until the Federal Government pays what it purportedly owes them in subsidy payments. Subsidy!, the difference between the landing price of fuel and the fixed domestic price, is paid for by the State to guarantee cheaper price of imported petrol  there are also reports of banks refusing to open letters of credit to major oil marketers as the reason for this latest crisis. In essence, it is an artificial scarcity caused by the refusal of some sharks. A group of oil marketers and storage companies who have been in connivance with politicians for years ?and have been ripping the country for years through subsidy payments.  A probe launched into the subsidy payments in 2012 in response to the demands of the mass movement and strike early in January that year revealed much rip-off and embezzlement to the tune of $1.1billion. But except for a few arrests and circus trials, it has been business as usual for oil marketers, government officials and politicians.

Despite being an oil-producing Nation, Nigeria relies on imports for over 70% of domestic fuel needs. This is primarily because the country’s few refineries are not functioning at optimal capacity. Over 5 decades after oil was discovered in commercial quantity, Nigeria can only boast of four refineries with a combined oil distillation capacity of 445, 000 bbl/d. But even with this amount if compared to total local petroleum consumption in 2014 of 305, 000 bbl/d, it should mean that Nigeria does not have to import fuel at all. However in 2013, the “combined refinery utilisation rate was 22%” (US Energy Information Administration). This significant shortfall has to be taken care of by importation meaning that much of what the country gains in crude oil sale and foreign exchange earnings is in turn lost to fuel imports and subsidy payments.

Nothing better illustrates this absurdity than the current situation where according to the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) for instance, the Federal Government owes importers and storage companies the whopping sum of N200 billion ($1billion) in subsidy payments (ThisDay newspaper, 14 May 2015). This is after the initial payment of N154 billion in April. A large part of the balance of N200 billion – about N69 billion according to the marketers – is for forex differentials claimed. What accounts for this huge forex differential is the devaluation of the Naira as the government could not further stem its freefall against the dollar with a dwindling foreign reserve. From N168 per dollar last November, a dollar now exchanges for N199.90 at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approved interbank channels. But the freefall of the Naira continues. This means that even if the Federal Government is able to pay the marketers their outrageous claims, the next few months of fuel imports will see an accrual of similar monstrous claims.

Some are calling on the incoming  Buhari government to abolish fuel subsidy and embark on total deregulation . proponents are of the view that Nigeria can not continue to subsidize the pockets of a few oil marketers. they believe it does not make economic sense to spend billions of Naira on subsidy when according to them in reality the masses are not actually feeling the impact.  they also say Deregulation will encourage private investors to build refineries. In sharp contrast,  Obasanjo government gave license to Dangote and co to build refineries in 2005 but they have even converted those  licenses to importing refined fuel.  according to reports, it will cost around 2billion dollars to build a standard refinery in Nigeria.

We all agree that  corruption has been the biggest issue in the petroleum industry and recent probe of the NNPC has revealed the age long suspicion  that it is a cesspool of corruption. but Before we all ask the incoming Government to embark on full deregulation, This is what the Government must do.    The incoming Government must curb corruption, reform the NNPC and the oil sector, try to diversfy the economy and develop the capacity to refine fuel for our own domestic consumption. These are all significant reforms that would all constitute great advances over the sordid past. It is imperative.  We need to ask ourselves why do we have to subsidize in the first place? the reason for subsidy is because of cost induced in importation. And our refineries not working  which makes the landing cost of the product to be high. the difference between the landing cost and the fixed pump price by the government is the subsidy paid to the oil marketers.  a high fuel price for an economy completely living on it would lead to chaos. 70% of the population lives in abject poverty and unemployment is biting harder (forget the NBS statistical abracadabra) The 18,000 poverty wage won by labor in the last 4years has not been fully implemented by some states government many house-holds income, spending, and saving rates would definitely be affected by a high price of fuel worse still electricity is practically non existent in this part of the world.

Why is it difficult for government to build refineries to meet our daily consumption needs? these are fundamental questions we need to ask ourselves. The cartel that controls the marketing and supply of oil in Nigeria.Members of this cartel are politicians of the two major parties in Nigeria, their big business partners and international collaborators. with this cartel in place deregulation will never work. Diesel is a good example. it has been deregulated for many years. After some years, deregulation is supposed to bring the price down.  the price of diesel has refused to come down still. meanwhile those calling for deregulation now without a functional refineries believes the period of high price of fuel is for a short period. Diesel proves them wrong. These cartel guys are hard nosed players. profiteering is the name of the game and they don’t mind doing it at the expense of the consumers.the cartel is so big and strong that it can continue to manipulate prices out of the reach of common man. The cartel wants to continue importing fuel while owning refineries in Sao tome and some other African countries.

I believe Buhari is strong willed enough to challenge the cartel. he will need to fight tooth and nail. some of them are his supporters and members of his party. his government must find a way to end import induced cost by making our local refineries work, we will continue to have fuel crisis if we don’t do this.. it is a paradox for our refineries to only work at 22percent utilization rate. we need  the new government to ensure the existing refineries are working at optimal capacity and find a way to build new ones. one way to do it is to partner with the oil companies in Nigeria. we already know how much this will cost and i trust that It will not become another conduit pipe for massive looting of the public treasury under a Buhari government. Also it is not only possible to have plans of building new refineries on sustainable basis but also developing other sustainable energy and power sources.

 

Tope Adesipo

@tope414 on twitter

Pastor Series 2: Chris Okotie – Apostolic Incursion Into Nigerian politics (Part 2) By Obinna Akukwe

Chris Okotie is the first cerebral pastor in Nigeria to make an apostolic incursion into Nigeria’s dirty presidential politics. In 2003 he contested under Justice Party, placing 8th out of 29 candidates with 119,547 votes. Okotie formed FRESH Democratic Party and used the FRESH platform to vie for the presidency of Nigeria in 2007 , netting in 74049 votes, coming 8th among 20 candidates.

Security report and some independent electoral observers believed that the actual figures of the elections shows that Okotie actually got up to a million votes in each occasion but the trio of Olusegun Obasanjo ( former president), Tony Anenih( political henchman) and Maurice Iwu ( electoral umpire) and their agents of votes manipulations were magnanimous enough to allow a percentage of his votes to count , in the infamous electoral system where votes are written in the houses of party chieftains while hapless voters optimistically embark on electoral merry go round in the polling stations. When Okotie failed to win the do or die electoral fraud, a lot of Pentecostal pastors derided him and asked him where his God was.


Chris Okotie is a man of many firsts, both good and not so good. He was the first cerebral personality to embrace Christ in the early eighties. His first album ‘I Need Someone’ released in 1980 made him the most celebrated Nigerian pop musician. Himself and Jide Obi’s album ‘’Kill Me With Love’’ released in 1981 made the duo the most popular young musicians of the eighties. Therefore when news went round that the two law students of University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus are now preaching the Bible, it caused a stir and groups gathered to discuss the evil that had descended on the music industry while the church people rejoiced that Jesus had captured a hell bound soul. At that time parents would prefer a drunkard in the family than a born again, bible believing and bible preaching embarrassment.

His popularity then could be likened to that enjoyed by Tu-Face Idibia, P-Square and D-Banj in contemporary Nigerian music. While Churches and groups like Scripture Union, Assemblies of God Church, and Grace of God Mission etc rejoiced at the capture of a hell bent sinner, disco, rock and party lovers cursed the gods that snatched him out of their hands. I could recall vividly how patrons of Palm Beach Hotel and Enugu Guest House night clubs at Uwani area of Enugu were thrown into mourning because’ the church rats’ have snatches off a music star. Okotie barely finished his law degree programme in University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus and jetted to the US for theological education.

Okotie was the first celebrity in Nigeria to become a pastor. He started Household of God Church in 1987 after attending Bible School in the United States and was the first to introduce ‘Americana’ into Nigeria’s Pentecostal fold. Praise and Worship were rendered in high tempo American style with a lot of jumping, shouting and excitements. His tempo made Archbishop Idahosa’s own seems like a child’s play –though Idahosa struck a balance between western and native worship system. Okotie’s sobriquet ‘’uh..uh uh..uh’’ , is yet be imitated by anybody.

Okotie also introduced Jerry Curl hairstyle into the Pastoral Ministry. While some pastors who visited his church then, came back and headed straight to the hair stylist to make some hairdo adjustments, others changed their phonetics, dressings and imported elements of ‘Yuppies’ and exuberance into the system. Today some Nigerian pastors like Chris Oyakhilome , TB Joshua among others adorn stylish hairdo and phonetics.

In 2002, he told a stunned nation that he will be the president of Nigeria. Though he has failed twice, he reiterated the views in December 2010 saying” what I’m saying, that my time will come. I already quoted Abraham Lincoln in the sense that I am so sure that it is a divine mandate. All I have to do is wait for the right time and not compromise my philosophy or compromise my faith and join a conglomerate of men and women who call themselves political parties, whereas they are just a conscription of men and women of anti-theatrical philosophies who have no ideological connectivity and their only common denominator is their desire to annex wealth. Because I believe in a Nigeria where truth reigns; a fresh Nigeria which our party symbolises in F-Faith, R-Responsibility, E-Equality, S-Security and H-Hope. This is the philosophy upon which I have erected the citadel of my confidence because I believe only a fresh Nigerian can salvage this nation. All this cosmetic and superficial activity that are going on by the ruling party is a journey in futility. This will also drift us back to square one”.

It is prophetically discernible that Okotie was sent on apostolic mission to break the barriers creating apathy from among the believers and the clergy towards involvement in politics .When good Christians keep away from politics, the evil ones will mess up the destiny of the nation and bring calamities on everyone. I believe that Okotie misinterpreted his mission and such is not uncommon with people whose prophetic insight is not sharp. He must not become the president of Nigeria before the agenda is fulfilled. An apostle is a person divinely sent to a particular place or people to start a peculiar move of God. Some Apostolic Ministries are territory based while others are activity based and still some are both territorial and activity based. Hence we hear people call someone Apostle to the Gentiles, Apostle of Faith etc. Okotie’s own is activity based with limits of changing the mindset of believers towards politics and ensuring active participation of the clergy and laity in such matters so that sons of God can exhibit the light of God in public spheres and save Nigeria all the constant injustice, corruption, mediocrity and poverty ravaging the land.

Okotie’s apostolic ministry was first exhibited when he broke the barrier of spiritual indifference, skepticism and suspicion which the Pentecostal fold views politics, activism and secularism. In an apostolic move, he introduced an award, known as the Karis Award which seeks to reward Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in acts of patriotism and national service irrespective of religious affiliations. Recipients of the N1million naira award included both Christians and Muslims among who are the late Gani Fawehinmi, Pa Michael Imoudu, Gen Murtala Muhammed, Mallam Aminu Kano, Mrs Magraret Ekpo among others and thus started a process whereby the church moves from being a disinterested party to being an active observer of the polity. When a church rewards both Christians and Muslims using merit as criteria, it means that the barriers of religion hoisted on the nation through colonial manipulations is gradually being broken and dislodged and with more efforts, would be totally dismantled.

Chris Okotie was the first known Pentecostal pastor to venture into the murky waters of Nigerian politics in the order of late Rev Martin Luther King and Rev Jesse Jackson whose foray into U.S politics was instrumental to the eventual liberation of Black Americans of which Barrack Obama was a beneficiary. Okotie’s entrance into the stormy waters of Nigerian politics was an apostolic move meant to breaking the jinx which made the Pentecostals to say ‘’ take the world and its politics and give me Jesus’’ mantra.  PFN, CAN , GAAICOM and other Christian pressure groups in Nigeria have been encouraging their members of recent, to participate in politics.



God told Abraham that he will possess the land of Canaan and the patriarch of Faith, in robust prophetic left Mesopotamia for Shechem in Canaan, lived there temporarily and when famine visited Canaan, he left for Egypt. Abraham, by that encompassing, has spiritually secured Canaan for generations of Israeli till today. This was the kind of assignment Okotie was sent to do in Nigeria’s political sphere but dwarf prophets who see prophesy as only when they call the bank details and village names of their congregation, always makes mockery of prophetic and apostolic moves they fail to understand.

I stated in the older version of this piece, published in 2012, that though Okotie failed to win the election, he won the fight at the spiritual gates whereby sons of God are barred from participating in the current affairs of their nation.Therefore,the fire stocked by him in 2003, 2007 and 2011 is catching like wildfire- therefore, whosoever says that his entrance into politics is not divinely instructed, is displaying prophetic and apostolic ignorance.

Following the footsteps of Chris Okotie,fiery Nigerian prophet, Tunde Bakare, in 2011, was running mate to a popular Muslim candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, and both were able to secure 12 million votes for their opposition party in an election that has elements of manipulations. In 2015, another Pentecostal pastor by name Yemi Osibanjo, a professor of Law, also became the Vice Presidential Candidate to the same Buhari. This time around, the duo won that election, defeating an incumbent President. Therefore, Chris Okotie’s Apostolic Moves have yielded fruit, and heavens will reward him at the appropriate time.

Chris Okotie‘s insightful expose on the book of Revelations was an effort to dissect the signs of the times. His then popular TV programme, The Apocalypsus was interesting and revealing, even though the quality of grammar exhibited during the series disenfranchised some not so literate viewers. Keeping a dictionary handy during such expositions was helpful for some persons.

Chris Okotie has been visited with a lot of temptations of life meant to pull down his Christian faith. His marriage to first wife Tina broke after fourteen years and another marriage of four years to Stephanie Henshaw, crashed recently and he has signaled intention to pick a third wife. Stories of disturbing sexual scandals are not new in that church. It seems those beautiful girls and celebrities who dot his church are more interested in Rev Chris Okotie than his message, and as such have constituted themselves into a group of lustful pretenders waiting for opportunity to tear the pastor to pieces. Rev Okotie has to deal decisively with these recurring cases of tolerating lustful female seductors occupying church seats, in order not to tarnish a testimony of unusual, bold apostolic moves.



Temptations and trials come to every child of God and how one reacts to it is a different ballgame. It is only God that can explain why He allows some afflictions to visit some people but we are enjoined that all things works together for them which are in Christ Jesus and above all the ultimate goal is to be in heaven with other saved ones. When such adversities engulf a person, there is every tendency to miss focus. Therefore, those who have labored for God in the past need extra carefulness so that the devil does not rubbish their past testimonies and Okotie is one of those.

Chris Okotie as God’s servant defied odds in the past to always chart a new strange course for the body of Christ and the nation. His Apostolic moves have woken a slumbering and indifferent Christian community to the realities of not allowing the corrupt minded to rule over them.

Despite associated shortcoming in his personal lives, Okotie’s Apostolic incursion into Nigerian politics have charted a way in the wilderness for wandering Christian politicians.

Obinna Akukwe  wrote via profetobinna2@yahoo.com, www.facebook.com/obinnaakukwe, @ObinnaAkukwe

If Competence Is The Watchword, @BukolaSaraki Is Perfect For Senate Presidency, By Ayobami Oyalowo

Let me quickly state that I am not a fan of zoning. The PDP as a party brought zoning into our consciousness and while it may appear laudable, in the sense that it allows for so called regional balancing, zoning is counter-productive. The danger of zoning is that it may stifle brilliant and capable minds from contributing to national development simply because a particular office has not been zoned to their region.
 
The case of the current speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Aminu Tambuwal comes to mind. Nigeria would have lost the brilliance and vibrancy his leadership offered the outgoing House of Representatives if he and other nationalistic members of the house hadn’t taken the bull by the horn and ignored the PDP zoning arrangement.
 
Having said that, I write as an interested Nigerian to support the candidacy of Senator Bukola Saraki as he vies for the position of the Senate President in the Nigerian National Assembly. Senator Bukola has won me and many other youths over owing to his sagacity, youthfulness and willingness to make himself available to not only discuss burning national issues, but he’s also gone on record as a man who walks the talk. 
 
Let me remind my readers of an issue that caused massive uproar online some time ago. Bagega!
 
According to Wikipedia “An annual immunization programme in Northern Nigeria led to the discovery of a high number of child deaths in the area. An investigation showed that they had been digging for gold at the times of their deaths, in an area where lead is prevalent. It was thought by the villagers that all the children had contracted malaria but Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) found unusually high levels of lead in the blood during tests. The BBC suggested the contamination of water may have contributed to the high mortality rate. Blacksmith Institute was called in by the Nigerian authorities to assist in the removal of toxic lead.
It is thought that the poisonings were caused by the illegal extraction of ore by villagers, who take crushed rock home with them to extract. This results in the soil being contaminated from lead which then poisons people through hand-to-mouth contamination. Others have been contaminated by contact with contaminated tools and water.”
 
By January 2013, the problem had become endemic leading to many deaths and unexplained sicknesses. The Nigerian authority turned a blind eye to the devastation and slow wiping out of an entire generation of Bagega children until the problem was picked up online. 
 
A hashtag, #SaveBagega was born and for days Nigerians in the social media space made it a burning issue until it got to the attention of senator Bukola Saraki. Within days he took it up, went on an assessment trip to Bagega and used his office as the Chairman senate Committee on Environment and Ecology to ensure funds were released immediately for remediation. 
 
This episode struck a chord with me. Bukola Saraki is not perfect and which human is? But one thing was clear, here is a man who will do what he believes is right and in time too. Another factor I consider is his accessibility. We have raised so many questions online in the past, with little or no result, but Saraki has shown that he is a man that can be reached and be relied on to act whenever his attention is needed. 
 
Senator Saraki also was the first lawmaker to move a motion on the oil industry and the fuel subsidy. It was this motion that finally led to the ongoing scrutiny of the Nigerian oil sector, revealing the rot and monumental scam inherent in both the NNPC and ministry of petroleum.
 
Saraki has shown that he is a man who will do the needful as at when due without caring whose ox is gored. It was clear from the onset that his motion on the fuel subsidy and general rot in the oil industry might affect some of his friends and political associates, but a man on a mission that he is, Saraki would do what is needed to be done.
 
As Governor, he delivered a series of reforms to vital state services such as health and power. This included increasing power generation and extending local electrification and the installation of new transformers in rural communities; wide-ranging reform of primary health care services designed to reduce maternal and child mortality; as well as the implementation of a state-wide programme of hospital development. In reforming health care in Kwara, Dr Saraki has worked closely with a range of international organisations such as WHO and UNICEF. 
 
During this time, he also held the position of Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Nigeria’s national body for state governors. His Chairmanship was noted for its success in strengthening collaboration between state governors across Nigeria and developing new platforms for sharing best practice between states. Dr Saraki has worked closely with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver the Immunisation Leadership Challenge, which was a radical programme designed to reward states that made significant improvements in polio and routine immunization. 
 
During his Chairmanship, the Forum also successfully signed a range of Memoranda of Understanding with international bodies such as the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development, UNICEF and UNDP. 
 
Recently re-elected to a second term as Senator for Kwara State Central, Dr Saraki has campaigned extensively on health, food security, education and the environment. 
 
If competence and “can do” spirit is what we seek, Senator Bukola Saraki is one man whose leadership the Nigerian Senate will benefit immensely from.
 
 
Ayo Oyalowo is a member of the APC

Nigeria’s Politics And That Distasteful Verbal Diarrhea – By Taiwo Adediran

In the recent past, a great lot has transpired under the planet earth subdivision called Nigeria. Standing out like a sore thumb was the several unprintable utterances of politicians and their ilk, many of which have now been incorporated into our political lexicon under the sub-topic – Hate Speech. The political atmosphere was submerged in raw shows of unhealthy rivalry by supposed conveyors of peace. There was blazing display of babyish protestations for and against. An instance was an elder’s show of shame before the array of domestic and international cameras, one that spurred Wikipedia into action and prompted a profile update. Then, the vituperation of an Oba – a five-minute no-holds-barred ebullition that opened the monarch to all manner of reproof and punctured the sanctity of the traditional stool. These are just a fraction of the low moments.

Prior to this, key promoters of this shade of politics had in their unrefined approaches, formulated various theories and acted the scripts practically, one that formed the template for what was to become a core course in ‘bad-belle’ politics. Not long ago, one of the recent-time unascribable broadcast messages dotted the social media. The originator’s pick up line was:

JUST CHECKING MY MEMORY CARD: Buhari may die in office like Abacha – Ayo Fayose

“I wish they can see spiritually what I am talking about, that Buhari, despite the hullabaloo, will never be pres­ident.” – Ayo Fayose.

My over 70 years old mum wears diapers – Ayo Fayose.

“Wetin him dey find again? Him dey drag with him pikin mate. Old man wey no get brain, him brain don die pata pata.” – Patience Jonathan

“Patience Jonathan was right, Buhari is brain dead.” – Femi Fani-Kayode

“If they (APC) don’t crumble and disappear by 2014, don’t call me Okupe,”- Doyin Okupe

If APC wins, I will go on exile. – Bode George.

“If anyone of you, I swear in the name of God, goes against my wish that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos State, the person is going to die in­side this water. – Oba Akiolu of Lagos.

Yorubas will not vote for Buhari, we don’t trust Fulanis – Gani Adams.

There will be bloodshed if Jonathan loses in 2015 – Asari Dokubo…

All these were said a couple of months back. For politicians who among others, should esteem and dread the strength of utterances, it is doubtful if today, they still hold the same opinion. The last time I checked, Fani-Kayode who believed the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s democratic credentials are questionable apart from the “atrocities he committed when he was in power,” was begging Nigerians to cooperate with him (Buhari). Does Doyin Okupe still believe APC will crumble before 2014? What happens to his vow of a name change? Could we have expected a tribal annihilation had Ambode not won the gubernatorial election in Lagos as threatened by Oba Rilwan Akiolu? How appropriate is the word ‘Never’ as used by Gov. Fayose? Where does Dokubo stand at the moment and is Dame Patience now preparing to do a stint in prison as personally forecast?

The issue has again been exhumed following the faceoff between President Jonathan’s campaign organization and the PDP National Working Committee. Fayose has emerged the mouthpiece for the former while party chairman, Adamu Mu’azu is leading the latter pack. With the party’s stakeholders still nursing the hang-over that greeted the party’s traumatic performance in the 2015 polls, Mu’azu and his NWC attributed PDP’s flop to the hate campaign strategy adopted by the campaign team. Notable among those who were Ayo Fayose, Femi-Fani Kayode as well as the first lady of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan. The party’s resolve to now restrict sources of its official pronouncement is a testimony to the fact that the verbal liberty in the recent past was simply the wrong way to go.

Although, with obvious claim of no regret of the near past, many will live to battle a retraction of some of this sensitive, dehumanizing and inflaming utterances to redeem battered images. That may seem a futile attempt at redemption anyway, as the activities that necessitated the detestable expletive were as blatant as they were self-seeking, and condescending as were non-retractable, for they were spewed with wanton recklessness and impunity. The reason why many of our political figures went thus far is however a topic for another day, but then, naivety and altruism appear out of the question.

There have been various attempts at justifying most of these actions with a claim of professionalism and party loyalty, but that seems baseless and belated. As the Yoruba will say, it’s too late to cloth Omoye; Omoye has already stormed the market naked. In fact, that has done nothing more than further damage. A recent scenario was the effort made by Dr Doyin Okupe. Apparently peeved by the reminders sent to him regarding his words during electioneering, an obviously irritated Okupe was full of smoking remarks for his ‘detractors,’ with an excuse to have done what he was being paid for.

But as much as the vociferous media aide tried to let the public buy into this, the more he opened himself to more vitriolic jibes like a boxing tyro in a fight with a World Champion; Additional errors of fallacy committed and more ludicrous damage done to his person. A laughable instance was the comment: “Firstly I never said if APC survives “call me a bastard,” what I said was that “I will change my name” that is the truth. So the prerogative of changing my name is mine. Bastard is not an alternative. But u(sic) can continue to say that if it gives u the kick. I really and truly don’t care.” Why a man of his status will in the first place go as far as putting his name on the line beats every right-thinking man’s imagination. Except you hold no belief in healthy contest, the race between two or more can go either way, which portrays it as a legitimate gamble. While we have not heard much from Mama Peace herself, with Fani also becoming suddenly taciturn, it seems the quotes of yesterday are biting today. They should have known better.

That said, I am of the opinion that the intent of Governor Fayose’s early message congratulating Gen. Buhari and his party is more disturbing than sportsmanlike. Although, the Ekiti state helms man may likewise hide behind mere political reasons, it does not change the fact that it’s been politics taking too far. Firstly, it was done with strong and make-believe will. Secondly, the voice and body languages were quite bad for students of politics and the polity as a whole. Thirdly, it gives more reasons why the words that come from the mouth of a politician should not be trusted no matter what. Fourthly, it is never seen in the same phantom manner by political followers who extemporaneously put up a reactionary gab. Again, the right political will calls for no forgiveness in this manner. The clamour for one and call for reconciliation by Governor Fayose is thus an admittance of guilt in an act of misdemeanor for which you were called to order severally but turned deaf ears.

Little did they know that this crude and distasteful approach does more harm than good. On several occasions, it appeared like trying to deodorize dog shit, while in others, it smacked of self-centredness – a mourner crying more than the bereaved. Although, defeat or failure is never a product of a single factor, yet, the botched return bid of President Jonathan can indeed largely be attributed to it, likewise, the political fiasco in Ekiti at the moment. The assertion of the PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh and the party’s NWC that drew the wrath of Gov. Fayose cannot thus be wished away.

For Governor Fayose, the battle against the camp of those APC lawmakers is self-inflicted, unnecessary and should have been avoided at best. The imbroglio has today dwarfed his party’s victory at the polls and even his gubernatorial mandate at the Supreme Court. As helpless as the 19 lawmakers seem to be, they have to a large extent projected the government in a pugnacious light just as the lingering rigmarole has impeded him from focusing on meaningful affairs of governance in the state. Picking needless issues with the opposition is fiddling with the sleeping dog. They are the weaklings, who cannot extract milk from the cattle’s mammary glands but it cost them next to nothing to make a wasteful mess of the extracted milk. More painful is it that this acrimonious episode was forecasted but naughtily unheeded. Today, the chicken has come home to roost.

Perhaps, by now, the first lady have also come to terms with the reality that the energy, time and resources expended on tossing mud at her husband’s legitimate rivals could and should have been lavished on a better course. It is a lesson for all. Let me draw the curtain by asserting that although, he held a significant portfolio as SSA to the President on Media and Publicity, the difference between Dr Reuben Abati and the rest of the President’s mouthpiece is his refined, sagacious and mature approach. Even when the message tends to rock the boat, he is professional enough to be the messenger but stand aloof from the source. Hope a lesson has been learnt.

 

You can follow Taiwo Adediran on twitter @adedirant1759

Ten Memorable Excerpts To Remember President Jonathan After May 29, By Usama Dandare

The objectives and responsibilities of any leader apart from protecting the lives and properties of his people is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even more better. Leadership has also been described as a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common goal.

A good leader on the other hand is one who goes first and lead by example, so that others will be motivated to follow. This is a basic requirement of any leader. To be a leader, one must have a deep-rooted commitment to the goals that he strives to achieve even if nobody
follows him.
Several statements by leaders are more often use as reference by their protégé and other followers; they are what make a dry subject more appealing to the audience and oftentimes used as abstract words by many speakers and authors in their speeches and books/articles. It has in recent times became habitual for people in need of solution to quote or make references to speeches and actions of their leaders, these quotes are usually words of wisdom extracted from various speeches/books made by a particular leader of interest, especially when confronted with issues during a sustain period particularly in communication.

A leader is expected to create an enabling operating environment where others can do and achieve great things with the desire to mentor and motivate them, because a leader is expected to be a mentor, and a guide to the less experience or less knowledgeable ones. To be a great leader, your actions must be seen as inspirations for others to dream more, your words should be as guide for others to learn more and do more in order to achieve some desired goals.

Of recent, the outgoing president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has become increasingly phonetic and more acerbic at his co-travelers and other members of his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for their poor outing that led to a historic and all-time embarrassment in the March 28, 2015 presidential polls in which they were overwhelmingly humiliated by the opposition.

President Jonathan and wife are globally known for their unguarded blunders since becoming the number one-family of this great country, their entire stay in office will be remembered for their usual voodooed struggles and outrageous defense of corruption and impunity, the president in particular will be remembered for his poor decision-making and unyielding policies especially when it comes to pressing national issues. President Jonathan’s media chat through which he thought was his only channel to communicate directly with the poor masses was more-or-less a stage-managed exhibition of ignorance and heinous incompetence, all his appearance during those presidential chats were not only an insult to the office of the President but an embarrassment to the much vaunted collective intelligence of Nigerians, and also a mockery to democracy and governance in general. And to my dismay, the president seriously means whatever he says during those interviews.

Below are 10 memorable quotes from President Jonathan that will keep his name fresh in our memories after May 29:

1. After the “self-rebasing” of Nigeria’s economy by the National Bureau Of Statistics which saw our economy jumped a miraculous figures of 89% overnight and looking at the fact that the Nigerian masses continue to live in squalor despite being the Africa’s biggest economy, many began to doubt the authenticity of Nigeria’s fast growing economy and when asked, the President wasted no time in responding with his usual contradictory response. He said: “CNN has said our Economy is growing. The best Economists are at the World Bank. Now you have all these Nigerian Economists talking nonsense. Do they know better than
CNN or World Bank?”
Now if words have meaning, President Jonathan in the above statement clearly substantiate the fact that all he relied on to showcase his achievements in office are news-headlines from CNN but nothing physical to show on ground. Interestingly, the same Jonathan was furious at CNN and the world bank when the former broke the news about the deplorable state of welfare and lack of equipments facing our soldiers at war front and when the latter revealed that over 60% of Nigerians lives on less than one-dollar per day. Didn’t the World Bank and CNN know better?

2. On the lackadaisical approach to combating the satanic and bloodthirsty terrorist sect of Boko Haram, President Jonathan was trying to defend the less care attitudes exhibited by his government toward the fight against terrorism in the troubled northeast, he said: “I am treading softly on Islamic terror group Boko Haram because they are our siblings. It is extremely difficult to deal with them. You cannot mobilize the whole soldiers to go and wipe out your entire family. So, it is easier to deal with foreigners than with your brothers.” Could this be why Boko Haram comfortably unleashed mayhem on the innocent people of Nigeria without retreat for about six years of Jonathan’s stewardship? Having nothing to be afraid of with their dady in Aso Rock.

3. When asked about the alleged $20billion that was not remitted to the Federation account, raised by former Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the President was more interested in discrediting the whistleblower than to investigate the thieves surrounding him. He said: “Twenty billion dollars is a lot of money. If you steal $20 billion today, America will know. It is their money. Where will you hide the money? Even Dangote that is celebrated as the richest man in Africa today can not produce such amount of money…”

4. In June of 2012, when President Jonathan was responding to a question he was asked about public declaration of his assets; he clearly showed he doesn’t have it in him, the patriotism and respect for the rule of law which every president is expected not to lack but instead, he said: “The issue of public asset declaration is a matter of personal principle. That is the way I see it, and I don’t give a damn about it, even if you criticize me from heaven. I will not declare my asset.”

5. When asked to comment on a World Bank’s report that more than 70% of Nigerians lives in abject poverty, President Jonathan was short of words but instead, he applied his usual tactic of meaningless response. The President was quoted as saying; “I visited Kenya recently on a state visit and there was a programme for Nigerian and Kenyan business men to interact and the number of private jets that landed in Nairobi that day was a subject of discussion in Kenyan media for over a week. If you talk about ownership of private jets, Nigeria will be among the first 10 countries, yet they are saying that Nigeria is among the five poorest countries.” Did Mr. President made any sense here?

6. On the most disturbing issue in Nigeria today, corruption, President Jonathan officially endorsed embezzlement of public funds and further confirmed the fact that corruption is indeed an official policy and symbol of his administration. Jonathan, a Ph.D holder and an academician was at his best in an attempt to educate Nigerians and the world at large on the differences between “stealing and corruption” and i quote: “Over 70% of what are called corruption (cases) today, even by EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and other anti-corruption agencies, are not corruption but common stealing. Stealing is not the same thing as corruption. If you put yam and plantain where a goat is, you can’t stop that goat from eating the yam.” Here, Mr. President was trying to legalize corruption and at same time, tell the world that his goats (his cabinet members and associates) cannot be prevented from eating plantain and yam (public funds).

7. In furtherance of his outrageous defense of corruption (sorry, stealing) and his continuous opposition to the rule of law. President Jonathan while attempting to blackmail the people’s general, President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, at an Enugu campaign rally in January, he was quoted as saying: How much did Jim Nwobodo steal? He only stole a small amount of money not up to the price of Peugeot car, yet BUHARI jailed him. Is that fair enough?” and the hired crowd pitifully screamed NOOO!!!. For President Jonathan’s information, Jim Nwobodo stole $5.1m from the taxpayers hard-earned money in 1984 and if i am not mistaken, $5.1m as of 1984 were enough to buy a brand new helicopter or a tukumbo jet not to talk of a Peugeot car.

8. During an interactive session with Nigerians in Turkey before the 2011 general elections, President Jonathan said: “If i’m voted into power within the next four years, the issue of power will become a thing of the past. Four years is enough for anyone in power to make significant improvement and if I can’t improve on power within this period, it then means I cannot do anything even if I am there for the next four years.” Here we are, six years (not four) with Jonathan as President and I am sorry to say; not only did Jonathan failed to make any improvement in power supply but the 4,750megawatts of electricity he inherited in our national grid have reduced to a well embarrassing figures between 1,600-2,300megawatts.

9. In his sympathy message shortly after the attack on Government Comprehensive Senior Science Secondary School in Potiskum of Yobe state, which claimed the lives of no fewer than 50 school boys and hundreds sustained various degree of injuries when a suicide bomber disguised in school uniform detonated a bomb at the assembly ground while students were waiting to hear the principal’s daily address at exactly 7:50am, President Jonathan said: “I assures the grieving parents and people of Yobe state that no matter how long it takes, the Federal Government will ensure that all the suicide bombers that are responsible for the senseless murder of so many promising youngsters across the country are brought to justice and made to pay for their atrocious crimes.” If not lacking words to cover up his insensitivity and to pretend he’s putting serious efforts to securing the lives of the citizenry, how on earth would President Jonathan promise to bring a suicide bomber who has already killed himself to justice?

10. On August 31, 2012, during a Town Hall Meeting held in the commercial city of Onitsha as part of activities marking President Jonathan’s one-day visit to Anambra State, the issue of Second Niger Bridge came up during the Town Hall Meeting since Jonathan had during his campaigns for the 2011 general elections promised to construct the bridge if elected President, and the don has this to say: “When the first bridge was built, it was during the presidency of Nnamdi Azikiwe; the second Niger bridge will be built under the presidency of Azikiwe Jonathan.” “I will go on exile on the completion of my term in office if I didn’t build the bridge before 2015.”  After four years of deceptive and empty promise and with only 12 days left to the end of Jonathan’s stay in office, neither did he (President Jonathan) built the Second Niger Bridge nor did he went on exile as promised, except some three months ago when the president was seen inspecting the “Second Niger Bridge map” during his campaign trip to Anambra State, indicating that not a single block has been erected from the ground.

From the quotes above, you will agree with me that Nigerians spent the last six years in “one chance” under the watch of an incompetent president who always displays sheer arrogance and cattiness wherever he goes to represent Nigeria.

Note: all quotes in this piece were extracted directly from live interviews and speeches by President Jonathan, though some were paraphrased but if in doubt, you can easily verify them yourself easily by doing a google search.

Why are Yoruba Youths Missing in Action? By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye

Lateef Raji, a public policy analyst, in an article titled “Dwindling Oil Revenue: What Next for Nigeria?” posited that today, despite the pitiful state of unemployment in Nigeria, ironically, the nation is still rated as the third destination of investors and one of the fastest growing economy in the world. Raji noted that Nigeria is a golden land of numerous opportunities for those who are resourceful, ingenious, creative, innovative, inventive, ground-breaking, enterprising, hardworking, focused, visionary and most significantly, disciplined.

Consequently, as a concerned Nigerian, I want to question the role(s) of Yoruba youths in the current fight against unemployment, starvation and poverty in Nigeria. This question was necessitated by my discovery through indirect observations that Yoruba youths are the most laziest, perfidious and egoistic in Nigeria as at today.

I discovered that the pride of an average Yoruba youth has over-shadowed his intellectual judiciousness, level-headedness and sagacity. Today, among ten Nigerians submitting their resume in multi-national corporations, eight would be yorubas. My generations in the western Nigeria are too lazy to tap from the abundant opportunities that for instance liter the streets of Lagos for primitive accumulation of wealth.

Today, the string and button of Lagos, the Nigeria’s indisputable number one centre of success, excellence and opportunities has been tactically taken over from the Yorubas. The Igbos, and by extension, the Niger/Deltans and the Northerners have indirectly taken over the control of Lagos economy.

The Apapa wharf in Lagos has virtually been taken over by the Easterners. The data that I got from the Nigerian Custom Services divulges that 63% of those licensed to transact businesses in Apapa Wharf are Igbos.

More also, data collected from licensing office reveals that owners of 56% of commercial motorcycles in Lagos are Northerners and Easterners. The lucrative transport business has been hijacked from the Yorubas.

Today, the major work of average Yoruba youths on the streets of Lagos is to collect royalty, due and charges from the Hausas and Igbos using their motorcycles to make cool cash from their land. 95% of transport and travel and tour firms operating in Lagos are owned by the enterprising and hardworking Easterners.

The Yorubas stay at various intersections harassing hardworking people transacting their legal businesses in the name of collecting charges and dues for local government. I also discovered that majority of the few Yorubas riding commercial motorcycles in Lagos are locally trained automobile Engineers that have abandoned their workshops.

Furthermore, the popular Ladipo and Owode Motor Spare Parts markets in Lagos are now solidly in the hands of Igbos. As usual, Yoruba Youths are in the market collecting dues for their local government chairmen and the Iyaloja General of Lagos. Yaba, Oyigbo, Sabo, Oshodi, Agege, Alaba, Idumota etc markets have been taken over by the easterners and northerners who are predominantly youths.

Let me also assert unequivocally that Igbo youths are now becoming more prosperous in the entertainment industry than the Yoruba youths. Today, yorubas hardly tune their DSTV to the Yoruba movie channel of the satellite television, rather, they watch the other movie channel that show English movies starred by Actors and Actresses of Igbo extraction. Why? Because most Yoruba movies are short of creativity.

I can also articulate that 85% of the CEOs and Executive Directors of Commercial Banks operating in Nigeria today are Igbos and Hausas under the age of 50. They are very super and talented in boardroom politics unlike their Yoruba counterparts and they assist each other with an amazing ease.

Educationally, the yorubas are no longer in the first three. According to the National Universities Commission (NUC), Anambra, Imo and Enugu have the highest number of professors and Doctorate Degree Holders in Nigeria. Ekiti and Ondo States that used to top the list have been demoted to number four and six respectively.

The 2014 Reports of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) revealed that the Yorubas have been upturned by the Easterners in terms of academic performance. Ekiti, a state known as fountain of knowledge was number 34 in 2013.

The yorubas are also missing in the sports sector. The Golden Eaglet, Flying Eagles, Super Eagles, Flamingoes, Falconets, Super Falcons, D’Tigers and other Nigeria National Teams are dominated by the Igbos and Hausas. The team that won the African Cup of Nations for Nigeria in 2013 was tagged Biafran National Team by some Columnists and Social Commentators including myself.

Politically, the Igbos and Hausas are more united than the Yorubas. The result of the 2015 presidential election is a point of reference. The Hausas voted massively for General Buhari of the APC while the Igbos extraordinarily voted for Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.

Sadly, the Yorubas had no bearing during the election. While Jonathan’s kinsmen are currently blaming the Yorubas for their son’s expected defeat, the victorious Buhari’s kinsmen are today reportedly saying that the Yorubas contributed little or nothing to the success of their kinsman.

In conclusion, I want to charge my generation in the western part of Nigeria to wake up and begin to act. The nation of Nigeria that I am seeing today is hemorrhaging. I suggest we put ourselves in strategic positions. The bitter truth is that our leaders only think for themselves and their children.

If I may ask, can a young man at 35 with nothing attractive in his resume manage a lucrative conglomerate? Besides, must we be employed by conglomerates? Can’t we resourcefully, artistically and imaginatively employ ourselves? The fact is government cannot provide jobs for all. Folorunsho Alakija started as a Fashion Designer, but today, she’s the richest black woman on the surface of earth.

My fellow Yoruba youths, why are we too proud and lazy to ruggedly and smartly act like our brothers and sisters in the east and the north? Why do we always bringing ourselves down?  Why are Yoruba youths missing in action?

Adeleye writes from Magodo, Lagos
Maxwell_adeleye@yahoo.com
Tel: 07039168005 (SMS only)

Buhari on the rule of law, By Adetayo Adegbemle

I can only imagine, for the lame who just follow rules and knows nothing about the rule of law, how do you get to educate him on defending his innocence at a point of crucial need?

Let’s look into the issue of an educational institution, say a University. That there would be a change of Vice-Chancellor doesn’t mean the entire staff of the institution needs to be changed, same goes for a religious sect and so on.

Experience has always been linked to life as the best teacher to achieving our goal(s). Why not keep a certain entity or personnel in office after his long service(s); therein he must have gathered enough experience about his office, unless he failed in his duty can we relief him of his position. Why put in fresh blood every term for the role of experienced old heads? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying keep a president in office for eternity till he is weak and feeble or no longer able to deliver, there’s a certain rule that guides the electoral process of the emancipation of the office of the president, but does that same rule apply to the changing of cabinets and termination of appointments for civil/public workers in government?

Nigerians are so concerned with menial issues that it becomes evident that our minds have being fine tuned to certain programs as they occur and we tend to be distracted from more important issues (for instance, everyone is keeping a tab on all the ‘trekking’ to Abuja to congratulate the president elect yet ignoring more crucial issues like what his governance would be like when he resumes office). We were all cool with “Change” when it was programmed to our face and it did manifest. I don’t feel any remorse or regret saying this, but it would be deceitful and incompetent for us to really say our voice got heard or our vote counted when really we were just brainwashed by a certain party who capitalized on the weakness of their opposition by popping up in our head and face every now and then and made us come to a decision out of hallucination. That a certain party was weak during its campaign doesn’t necessarily make it a weakling when in power. I’m not one who’s affiliated with a certain party or any of its kind, but truth be told, cant we just stay calm and try being logical at times?

Leadership is about change, but what is a leader to do when faced with ubiquitous resistance? Resistance to change manifests itself in many ways, from foot-dragging and inertia to petty sabotage to outright rebellions. The best tool for leaders of change is to understand the predictable, universal sources of resistance in each situation and then strategize around them. Here are the ten I’ve found to be the most common with a total change of cabinet of any sort according to Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard Business Review. These are 10 reasons people resist change:

Loss of control. Change interferes with autonomy and can make people feel that they’ve lost control over their territory. It’s not just political, as in who has the power. Our sense of self-determination is often the first things to go when faced with a potential change coming from someone else. Smart leaders leave room for those affected by change to make choices. They invite others into the planning, giving them ownership.

Excess uncertainty. If change feels like walking off a cliff blindfolded, then people will reject it. People will often prefer to remain mired in misery than to head toward an unknown. As the saying goes, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” To overcome inertia requires a sense of safety as well as an inspiring vision. Leaders should create certainty of process, with clear, simple steps and timetables.

Surprise, surprise! Decisions imposed on people suddenly, with no time to get used to the idea or prepare for the consequences, are generally resisted. It’s always easier to say No than to say Yes. Leaders should avoid the temptation to craft changes in secret and then announce them all at once. It’s better to plant seeds — that is, to sprinkle hints of what might be coming and seek input.

Everything seems different. Change is meant to bring something different, but how different? We are creatures of habit. Routines become automatic, but change jolts us into consciousness, sometimes in uncomfortable ways. Too many differences can be distracting or confusing. Leaders should try to minimize the number of unrelated differences introduced by a central change. Wherever possible keep things familiar. Remain focused on the important things; avoid change for the sake of change.

Loss of face. By definition, change is a departure from the past. Those people associated with the last version — the one that didn’t work, or the one that’s being superseded — are likely to be defensive about it. When change involves a big shift of strategic direction, the people responsible for the previous direction dread the perception that they must have been wrong. Leaders can help people maintain dignity by celebrating those elements of the past that are worth honoring, and making it clear that the world has changed. That makes it easier to let go and move on.

Concerns about competence. Can I do it? Change is resisted when it makes people feel stupid. They might express skepticism about whether the new software version will work or whether digital journalism is really an improvement, but down deep they are worried that their skills will be obsolete. Leaders should over-invest in structural reassurance, providing abundant information, education, training, mentors, and support systems. A period of overlap, running two systems simultaneously, helps ease transitions.

More work. Here is a universal challenge. Change is indeed more work. Those closest to the change in terms of designing and testing it are often overloaded, in part because of the inevitable unanticipated glitches in the middle of change, per “Kanter’s Law” that “everything can look like a failure in the middle.” Leaders should acknowledge the hard work of change by allowing some people to focus exclusively on it, or adding extra perqs for participants (meals? valet parking? massages?). They should reward and recognize participants — and their families, too, who often make unseen sacrifices.

Ripple effects. Like tossing a pebble into a pond, change creates ripples, reaching distant spots in ever-widening circles. The ripples disrupt other departments, important customers, people well outside the venture or neighborhood, and they start to push back, rebelling against changes they had nothing to do with that interfere with their own activities. Leaders should enlarge the circle of stakeholders. They must consider all affected parties, however distant, and work with them to minimize disruption.

Past resentments. The ghosts of the past are always lying in wait to haunt us. As long as everything is steady state, they remain out of sight. But the minute you need cooperation for something new or different, the ghosts spring into action. Old wounds reopen; historic resentments are remembered — sometimes going back many generations. Leaders should consider gestures to heal the past before sailing into the future.

Sometimes the threat is real. Now we get to true pain and politics. Change is resisted because it can hurt. When new technologies displace old ones, jobs can be lost; prices can be cut; investments can be wiped out. The best thing leaders can do when the changes they seek pose significant threat is to be honest, transparent, fast, and fair. For example, one big layoff with strong transition assistance is better than successive waves of cuts.

Although leaders can’t always make people feel comfortable with change, they can minimize discomfort. Diagnosing the sources of resistance is the first step toward good solutions. And feedback from resistors can even be helpful in improving the process of gaining acceptance for change.

Coming to a comprehensive conclusion;

There are so many expectations from the incoming president, General Mohammadu Buhari’s regime.

Buhari’s victory at the March 28th 2015 polls ushered a platform for the APC and its hordes of supporters who wants to also take their position in government. One thing is certain, for Buhari’s government to achieve whatever they promised, they might have to review and position their faithfuls in key positions of the government, and economy. This throws up the question of what happens to appointments made by the outgoing government whose tenure overlaps the new governments’ developmental programs and rolling policies. Some of these includes the YouWIN program, the e-Purse program by the Ministry of Agriculture, the SURE-P, the Electric Power Privatization, to mention a few.

Recent appointments that could also be affected is the Nigerian Ports Authority Chairmanship, the Central Bank Governorship, Tertiary Education Trust Fund Chairmanship, Chairman of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board, SMEDAN Chairmanship, Rural Electrification Agency Chairmanship and other Commissions

In the case of the review of the above, would the Buhari government follow due process and allow the rule of law? Or will personal vendetta be the order of the day?

 

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