The Presidency’s Jamboree Budget By Nasir El-Rufai

The year 2014 is already off to a dramatic start with allegations of massive fraud to the tune of about $20 billion (N3.6 trillion) being leveled against the NNPC for failure to remit oil revenue earnings for a period of 19 months. As soon as the revelations gained traction, the governor of the Central Bank was illegally removed, and as usual whenever Jonathan’s government is under pressure, the wanton killings of Nigerians escalated in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

Boko Haram and President Jonathan seem to be working in unison to ensure attention is diverted from the administration whenever massive cases of corruption are revealed. We saw this with the fuel subsidy protests of January 2012 and several other instances since then. Let us mourn our dead, grieve over the murder of our innocent children, but never lose track of the clear link between Jonathanian theft and the insecurity our nation suffers.

Back to the diversion of federation oil revenues: Under whose watch did the $20 billion disappear and into whose accounts have they gone? Should a government that claims to have the interest of its citizens at heart so brazenly loot public funds? Does the average person know the intricacies of how the budget is appropriated? These are questions that must command the interest of Nigerians as yet another cycle of wasteful spending unfolds.

In seeking answers to the above questions and in line with our tradition of annual budget analyses, we will begin 2014 with an assessment of the Presidency’s allocations. The Presidency has allocations of about N108.2bn. It includes the State House (N33.4bn), the offices of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (N63.2bn) and Head of Civil Service of the Federation (N11.6bn). Indeed, the offices of the National Security Adviser, the Independent Corrupt Practices, Salaries and Wages, Sports and Planning Commissions – and all federal executive bodies can be considered part of the Presidency, though under separate budget sub-heads.

This week, we will look at the ‘Presidency – State House’, while the offices of the SGF and Head of Civil Service will be examined in ensuing weeks. The State House is an important budget subhead that overlooks 14 agencies, some of which are central to Nigeria’s anti-corruption, transparency and disaster preparedness.

In 2013, the Presidency – State House supervised 11 MDAs. This fiscal year, two new operation departments have been created, confirming that this administration is only interested in increasing the size of its already bloated bureaucracy. As the current budget proposal shows, government seems to have cemented a policy that allows wasteful proposals and a very heavy recurrent allocation.

In 2014, the Presidency would spend N33,406,722,566 or 0.7% of the federal budget. On the surface, the amount would represent a decrease of 10.3% or N3, 855,660,039 when compared to the N37, 262,882,605 that it got in 2013. Of this sum, N12.7bn or 38.3% of the budget is apportioned to personnel costs or staff salaries in 10 Departments and agencies under the Presidency. N12.2bn would is for maintaining existing structures and people, effectively bringing the recurrent budget to N25, 016,720,760 or 74.8%. In other words, contrary to the government’s promise to bring down the recurrent budget, it is quietly, but consistently increasing it.

Capital provisions for the Presidency this year would be N8, 390,001,806 or 25.2% of the total budget. There is a reduction in the capital budget of about 41.8% from the N14.4bn 2013 figures. With provisions like these, what immediately becomes clear is that the 2014 budget is a budget of salaries, traveling, tea and coffee for the privileged few that would in no way guarantee any real progress or help Nigerians redress growing poverty and destitution.

Total allocations across agencies reveal the following: State House HQ 26.1%, State House Operations (P) 8.9%, State House Operations (VP) 1.3%, National Boundary Commission 1.9%, Border Communities Development Agency 1.2%, Office of the Special Assistant MDG’s 0.5%, NIPPS, 4.3%, Bureau of Public Enterprises 6.7%, National Emergency Management Agency 3.8%, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission 30.6% and the Bureau of Public Procurement 3.8%.

Similarly, NEITI has 3.3%, National Atomic Energy Commission 6.6% and the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President 0.4% of the total MDA budget. As is evident from the above, the highest allocation of 36.3% goes to the State House alone whose only responsibility is catering to the President and his largely ‘missing-in-action’ deputy.

Analyzing the capital budget further, it becomes clear that this government is insincere in its fight against corruption. How can it justify the allocation of N3.7bn or 44.5% of the Presidency’s total capital allocation to the State House and a paltry N1.4bn or 16.8% to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission? It is even more pathetic when one considers that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) gets a miserly 4% or N339m allocation for capital expenditure in the 2014 fiscal year.

The budgetary provisions can be seen in clearer perspective if you consider that the State House intends to amongst others, spend its capital allocations on building and furnishing guest houses, purchasing vehicles and buses, procuring sauna baths, massage beds and renovating horse stables while the BPP, NEITI, EFCC and NEMA, all agencies which render essential anti-corruption and disaster management services get fractions of its allocation. A closer look at EFCC will suffice to illustrate the sorry state of affairs.

Beyond a shortage of funds, the EFCC faces the challenges of a legal system that grinds slowly and unsurely, resulting in prolonged litigation and outright loss of cases due to poor investigation and evidence gathering. This reality should ordinarily lead to increased funding for legal services under the commission, but President Jonathan simply cannot be bothered.

In 2014, the EFCC would get N283.6m for the services of lawyers and for prosecuting financial crimes. While this is an increase over the 2013 allocation of N100m, it is a classic example of perverse prioritization when you consider that the State House intends to spend N320.2m on honorarium and sitting allowances alone and N267.7m on welfare packages while EFCC has difficulties paying for legal services. NEITI which is the transparency watchdog of the oil industry with less than N70m for capital projects is similarly constrained, while NNPC diverts $20bn without appropriation!

As concerned Nigerians, we should ask important questions like: if the fight against corruption is sincere, why does the State House get an allocation for sitting allowances that is higher than the legal services allocation of the EFCC or NEITI’s capital budget? Why does the Presidency also think that welfare package for a few State House employees is more important than the oil revenue transparency and anti-corruption drive, assuming it can be called that?

To use the NEMA as another example, with Nigeria’s insecurity issues, threats of global warming, flooding and other unforeseen disasters, why is the agency not getting higher allocation for research and development? Instead, nowhere in its paltry N339m capital provision is there a line item for this kind of contingencies. The consequences could be unpreparedness for disasters which would only lead to an increase in the number of internally displaced Nigerians.

Even if the contingency budget under the service-wide vote is resorted to, the time-lag in accessing it and then complying with the provisions of the Public procurement Act 2007 would hamper the operations of NEMA and impact the timeliness of its response to disasters. Even more bothersome is the fact that for both local and international training in 2014, the agency would get some N60.6m, while at N173.3m the State House would get almost thrice that amount for refreshment and feeding alone.

Zoologist or not, President Jonathan must be living on another planet to assume that he is responsible for wildlife conservation and animals, when more than 70% of Nigerians live in abject poverty, insecurity and inequality. How else can one explain spending N100m in tax payers’ funds on wildlife conservation and animals in the fiscal year 2013 and in the 2014 budget proposal? Does Nigeria still have a ministry of environment?

To put this in proper context, in 2013, the Villa spent N7.5m on wildlife conservation and intends to spend N37.5m in 2014 on the same purpose.  Upgrading and maintaining the State House zoo would cost Nigerian tax payers some N8m. The renovation of stables cost N7.5m in 2013 and would set the nation back some N15m in the current fiscal year. In addition to all these, we would spend a generous N14.5m for the purchase of two very lucky animals.

Almost every item in the Presidency’s budget proposal redefines the term ‘wasteful’. For instance, there is a provision of N1.5bn for the upgrade of facilities, but the proposal cleverly leaves out details of the facilities to be upgraded. If the budget is finalized as it is, the government would spend N23.7m on the purchase of laundry equipment, N50m on the reconstruction of perimeter fence and gate house for the state house and N310.5m on vehicles purchase. Most ridiculous is the spending of N218.3m on generator fuel. The Presidency should simply get connected to the national grid and experience the much touted ‘improvement’ in power supply if it believes its own fairy tales.

Misappropriation of public funds should not be treated with such levity if there is going to be a more even distribution of national income and if there is any hope of closing the wide gap between the rich and poor in Nigeria. The populace must not fall for the deliberate distraction tactics of this government whenever their failures manifest. Public accountability must be paramount on the minds of those vying for political office as well as the electorate. The $20bn diverted must be accounted for in full to the 36 states and the FCT as well as the 774 local governments that make up our federation. We must demand accountability and insist on it.

The government – beginning with the Presidency – needs to urgently reduce wasteful spending by trimming unnecessary costs and eliminating wasteful provisions to free up funds for investments in human and physical infrastructure. The Presidency should set standard for probity and sensible spending. Unfortunately, the Presidency’s current budget proposal shows no indication of any real progress or positive change, only the jamboree mentality that has become a hallmark of Jonathan’s government.

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Employment Scandal In Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, A Call For Probe By Mustapha Saddiq

SculsA ‘serious’ recruitment scandal has embroiled the newly established federal University, Dutsin-ma as reported by SUNDAYTRUST on 13th october, 2013.
According to the report, the university’s catchment area consist of Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto and Zamfara but unfortunately this doesn’t reflect in the composition of the university’s community workforce. The report pointed out among other things that there is a great imbalance and series of scandals that put the Vice chancellor (VC) Professor James O.I. Ayatse who is from Benue State in the center of it.

For instance, according to the report, only 3 out of the dozens management team of the university are from the north-west zone as a whole! Katsina State indigenes are taking the lead in the total work force only on paper as the strategic posts shows the contrary. These actions of cause are against the spirit of the federal character principle as well as the universities catchment area policy.
As expected, this draw the attention of the house of representative committee on education who visited the university to see things for them selves and later queried the VC over the illegal miss doings. The committee also demanded explanation as to how -or rather why- Benue State (which is north-central and not a catchment area) has more indegines working in the university that Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara states combine.

To further compound the problem, states like Osun, Plateau, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Anambara, Oyo and Edo that are not even in the university’s region i.e north -except Plateau- have between 8 and 12 staff while States like Zamfara, Kebbi and Sokoto have between 3 and 7. While Jigawa State have none.

Also, with the controversial appointment of his wife as senior lecturer and HOD and his younger brother as chief security officer and later (after so much pressure) as a newly created office holder of a senior special adviser on security that further exposed the lack of credibility of the VC, one will begin to wonder what are his real motives.

Now, we all know that it will not make any sense for any one to come and tell us that we lack the man power in Katsina State or North-West in general and that we can’t satisfy the university community with enough personals what so ever. Katsina State and indeed the entire north-west region are known to be among the bests in terms of education. That’s a fact!

With this, we (the people in the catchment area of the university) collectively joined the house committee of education in demanding the full explanation of these scandals from the VC himself and also asking for the immediate reversal of the wrong doings in the institution for the betterment and social coexistence of the nation in general.

Mustapha Saddiq wrote from Batagarawa.
Twitter: @mustysaddiq

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Is Akwa Ibom State Government (AKSG) Ready to Embrace the Digital Migration?

Akwa Ibom WebsiteAs an IT professional who is passionate about anything ICT and who also believes in contributing to the development of that sector wherever I find myself, I make it a hobby to research about new and emerging technologies in the field of ICT and try as much as I could to experiment on them.

In one of such adventures, I stumbled upon a news article from Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) about the availability of Nigeria’s Top-Level domain ( for government use.

For the benefit of those who do not know what NiRA stands for, NiRA is an independent not-for-profit organization that manages the .ng country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) name space in the public interest of Nigeria and global internet communities. NiRA then subcontracts the registration of domain names to Registrars e.g to help Nigerian Government institutions in the registration of their required domain.

Having become aware of the existence of these domains in Nigeria and having also understood the import of migrating States Government websites to the secured domain which of course creates a unique semblance of our country of origin in the global internet communities, I decided to conduct a domain search for

Precisely on April 6th, 2012, I discovered that Akwa Ibom State Government(AKSG) was yet to apply for the purchase of, so I made enquiries from NiRA to purchase that domain and was told that I must present a Letter of Authorization from relevant Government Department officer e.g Commissioner in the Ministry of Science and Technology

With that information, I proceeded to the Ministry of Science and Technology to get a letter from the Commissioner with a proposal for the design, development and management of that domain, after painstakingly explaining the importance of AKSG to be on Unfortunately, the then Commissioner replied that that aspect of Akwa Ibom State website was taken out from the Ministry to Information and Communication Ministry and so I headed to Ministry of Information and Communication on the 16th April, 2012 for the letter.I was told by the Commissioner that the Ministry was working on it, whereas at the time of my visit, the registrar confirmed that the domain is yet to be taken by any person or government department.

The proposal was ignored and the idea taken from me. As at that April, 2012, just about few states were on in Nigeria

Since April, 2012 to date, Akwa Ibom State Government is yet to host its official website on A check on the domain address today says; Under Construction and it had been under construction since May, 2012 when AKSG eventually applied and bought the domain.

The following are domain addresses of other state already on after May, 2012 when AKSG secured:

How long does it take for a website to be developed and hosted?

This attitude begs the question whether AKSG is ready to embrace ICT.

If we must develop our state in line with modern realities in the area of ICT, we must allow for a pool of professional ideas and set aside politics.


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On The Katsina State Free Hajj Seat Award By Mustapha Saddiq

The free hajj (pilgrimage to mecca) seats are an annual awards giving to best teachers under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). The beneficiaries were normally selected from the 34 local government areas of the state. The detail of this selection, I don’t know.

No doubt, this initiative is a good one especially going by the fact that it will boost the moral of the state teachers which will consequently improve the quality of primary education in the state. Nobody need to be told that a better secondary school education is directly proportional to a good primary education, this will in turn pave way for a best tertiary school education. Finally this will manifest as a self reliant and productive society. This is good, I must say. But alas, I have a better option!

Islamically, hajj is one of the five pillars of islam in which a believer is expected to perform at least ONCE in a life if he/she is ABLE to do (emphasis mine). The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) have stated that the conditions for hajj being obligatory which if met makes it obligatory for a person to perform and without them, hajj is not obligatory. There are five (5) of such conditions: being a Muslim, being of sound mind, being an adult, being free (i.e. not slave) and being ABLE to do it.

“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)” – Aal ‘Imraan 3:97.

Being able here covers both physically and financially. What is meant by being physically able is that one sound in body and can bear the hardship of traveling to the sacred house of Allah.

What is meant by being financially able is that a person should have surplus funds that are sufficient for doing Hajj after paying off debts and taking care of shar’i obligations and basic needs.

A woman should also have a husband or Mahram -Any man with whom a woman has a relationship (of blood or fosterage) that precludes marriage- with whom to travel to hajj. Also, if a person needs to get married, that takes precedence over hajj. Otherwise (if he/she does not need it at that time) then, hajj take precedence.

Now, here comes the debate; should the government continue with this gesture as ‘free hajj seats’ or should it continue with the gesture but as ‘free money gift’. This writer goes with the later. Having read all the above conditions given by the Muslim scholars for the conditions necessary for hajj, one has no option but to believe with me even more in this regard due to the following.

Firstly, N639,496.52 (going by the minimum fare) is actually huge money that I believe many primary school teachers dreamed of having. I also believe that many of them have many things to do before performing hajj. Many of them don’t have their own house; many of them are in debt while some of them had already performed their ‘obligatory’ hajj. I believe some of them don’t have a motorcycle talk less of a car. This mony, if given I know will surely help them purchase one of these. It will ease their transportation to their respective schools.

Secondly, this is actually a question- does the government give two seats to women if they happened to win, one for themselves and the other for their husbands and or mahrams? I doubt much! If it does, then fine. But if it doesn’t then I think there is a great violation of Islamic jurisdictions somehow, somewhere.

Finally, I hope the SUBEB will look into this. God bless Katsina State.

Mustapha Saddiq wrote from Batagarawa

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Sayaya Community and the Mahatma Ghandi Approach By Mustapha Saddiq

As I went through the national dailies as usual one faithful Saturday morning, precisely on the 7th of September, 2013, a news item in Weekly Trust caught my attention. The said news has the headline ‘No road, No Vaccination, Sayaya Community Vows’ It interested me more especially that it happened to be in my state. Sayaya community is a remote village in Matazu Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The people of Sayaya community vowed to stop participating in all government programs unless the only access road and collapsed bridge linking them to the outside world are repaired. The people of the community seem determined to take their destinies in their hands. They described it as a sustained government neglect of the area for the fast 14 years since the return of democracy!

The community listed so many economic and social hardship the ‘sustained government neglect’ is costing them including loss of lives. They also said they forwarded their complaint to the state government so many times including during the 2011 election campaigns directly to the oga at the top but have fallen into the deaf ears, they said.

A native of the community was quoted to have said “until government comes to our aid by rehabilitating both the road and the bridge, it is going to be; no road no polio vaccination, no road no election campaigns and voting in the area come 2015, no road no participation in government programs”.

Now this idea remind me of Mahatma Gandhi of India who is well known for his non-violence civil disobedience and I think this is exactly what all of us should embrace since the government of the day is such a mess that they know only themselves and their immediate families.

Katsina State is a state where her governor hardly spends a week. He is always flying to Abuja busy with how they could resolve their party issues and remain in power till eternity in the process, leaving the governmental issues in the state unattended. The State is a state where the government of the day is busy constructing a multi-billion naira sport stadium even though it is not what we need at this time, especially at the expense of Sayaya and other communities in the state. We are living in a state where there are still no any local government elected chairman since 2007! We are in a state with government of misplaced priorities. This is the bitter truth that we must all tell ourselves and I hope Gov. Ibrahim Shehu Shema will read this.

How I wish we will all emulate the Sayaya community, how I wish each and every community will copy from them. There’s no need for violence, there’s no need for loss of lives and or properties. Let’s just em brass the Gandhi’s non-violence civil disobedience and let our demands be passed across and heard to the top. Let it just be; no steady electricity, no elections come 2015; no good motorable roads, no campaign rallies hence forth; no security, no further participation in any of the government activities. etc etc.

Mustapha Saddiq

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Femi Fani-Kayode, An Ignorant Political Prostitute and Bigot By Ogbuefi

Femi-Fani-Kayode”The claim that the Igbo helped to develop Lagos is hogwash. The major institutions of the south-west were developed by the diligence, hard-work, industry and sweat of the Yoruba people. This is a historical fact” – Femi Fani-Kayode

Did I read Femi Fani-Kayode and the clown he quoted in his ignorant article saying that Lagos was the nerve center of commerce in West Africa before Nigeria was conjured by the British?

This is historical crap:

“Lagos was a British colony seized from Benin Empire and built by federal fund and might…Check this out: Ojukwu started his professional career at the Agricultural department before leaving to join John Holt as a tyre sales clerk. He also incorporated a textile company in Onitsha to supplement his income during this period, already exhibiting a little bit of his entrepreneurial spirit. While at John Holt, he noticed the severe strain a lack of adequate transportation had on Eastern textile traders. He later left John Holt to create a transport company to improve the trading environment for Nigerian traders. As a transporter he was a tireless worker and meticulous to detail; he was usually the first to inspect his transport vehicles for oil and leakages. Apart from his work ethic, his success was also oiled by the economic boom after World War II, working with the West African Railway Company and the newly inaugurated produce boards, he provided his fleet for commodity transportation and for other traders use. As a transporter he had his own transport company (Ojukwu”s Transport Company)which was the first major transport company to move the easterners to Lagos from the Asaba end of the Niger river after they might have crossed over from Onitsha on a boat.

During the 1950s, he diversified his interest, bought some industries, invested heavily in the real estate sector and became a director in numerous major corporations including the state-owned Nigerian National Shipping Line. He was a member of the board of Nigerian Coal Corporation, Shell Oil, D’Archy, and African Continental Bank.

Ojukwu died in 1966, just a year before the Nigerian civil war. His son Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was the leader of the secessionist state of Biafra.

“Since 1914, the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any signs of willingness to unite … Nigerian unity is only a British invention” – Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa who in 1950 was reported by the TIME MAGAZINE of October 10, 1960 to have said there was no basis for Nigerian unity and it was only a wish of the British

Then just 4 years later: Northern House Of Assembly Proceedings, February-March 1964 

Below is an extract from the proceedings of the Northern Region House of Assembly between February and March 1964, less than four years after Nigeria’s independence from the British. I have nothing to add. Read and judge for yourself:

Mallam Muhammadu Mustapha Mande Gyan:

On the allocation of plots to Ibos or allocation of stalls, I would like to advise the Minister that these people know how to make money, and we do not know the way and manner of getting about this business. We do not want Ibos to be allocated with plots. I do not want them to be given plots…

Mallam Bashari Umaru:

I would like (you), as a Minister of Land and Survey, to revoke forthwith all Certificates of Occupancy from the hands of the Ibos resident in the Region… (Applause)

Mr. A. A. Agogede:

I’m very glad that we are in a Moslem country, and the government of Northern Nigeria allowed some few Christians in the region to enjoy themselves according to the belief of their religion, but building of hotels should be taken away from the Igbos, and even if we find some Christians who are interested in building hotels and do not have money to do so, the government should aid them, instead of allowing Ibos to continue with their hotels.

Dr. Iya Abubakar (Special Member, Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria):

I am one of the strong believers in Nigerian unity, and I have hoped for our having a united Nigeria, but certainly if the present state of affairs continues, I hope the government will investigate first the desirability and secondly the possibility of extending Northernisation policy to the petty traders. (Applause)

Mallam Mukhtar Bello:

I would like to say something very important, that the Minister should take my appeal to the Federal Government about the Igbos in the post office. I wish the numbers of these Igbos be reduced…. There are too many of them in the North. They are like sardines and 1 think they are just too dangerous to the Region.

Mallam Ibrahim Musa:

Mr. Chairman, Sir. Well first and foremost, what I have to say before this Hon. House is that we should send a delegation to meet our Hon. Premier to move a motion in this very Budget Session that all the Ibos working in the Civil Service of Northern Nigeria, including the native authorities, whether they are contractors or not, should be repatriated at once…

Mallam Bashari Umaru:

There should be no contracts either from the government, native authorities, or private enterprises given to Ibo contractors (Government Bench: Good talk and shouts of “Fire the Southerners”). Again, Mr. Chairman, the foreign firms too should be given time limit to replace all Ibo in their firms by some other people.

The Premier (Alhaji the Hon. Sir Ahmadu Bello, K.B.E., Sardauna of Sokoto):

It is my most earnest desire that every post in the region, however small it is, be filled by a Northerner (Applause)

Alhaji Usman Liman:

What brought the Ibos into this region? They were here since the colonial days. Had it not been for the colonial rule, there would hardly have been any Ibo in this region. Now that there is no colonial rule, the Ibos should go back to their region. There should be no hesitation about the matter. Mr. Chairman, North is for Northerners, East for Easterners, West for Westerners, and the Federation is for us all. (Applause)

The Minister of Land and Survey (Alhaji the Hon. Ibrahim Musa Cashash, O.B.E.):

Mr. Chairman. Sir, I do not like to take up much of the time of this House in making explanations, but I would like to assure members that having heard their demands about Ibos holding land in Northern Nigeria, my ministry will do all it can to see that the demands of members are met. How to do this, when to do it, al1 these should not be disclosed. In due course, you will all see what will happen. (Applause)

Above is Culled from M. O. Onyenakeya, Igbos in Nigerian Politics, pp.30-32

And, by the way, Lagos indigenes and Yorubas did not develop Lagos. Lagos is the product of the concentration of funding and infrastructure there by the Federal Government since 1914. It became “Nigeria’s commercial capital” because Nigerian private business people from all tribes came to Lagos, being the nation’s Seat of Power for many decades, and established their businesses there. Lagos is the greatest beneficiary of Nigeria’s federalism. Nigeria’s crude oil and gas resources, corporate taxes and the entrepreneurial zeal of Nigerians built Lagos.

“Let us for forget our differences……..” Nnamdi Azikiwe was said to have canvassed to which Ahmadu Bello retorted “No, we cannot forget our differences, we have to understand our differences….” I agree with Ahmadu Bello

Let me end this with Kelechi Jeff Eme’s take on Femi Fani-Kayode: The political prostitute and bigot

“There are men I attached little value to: men robed in loquaciousness, men who are inconsistent and those whose stomachs determine their actions. Femi Fani-Kayode, FFK, is the epitome of this and frankly speaking, he is the worse specie of what defines a politician. For a man who achieved relevance simply because his father was a former Deputy Premier of Western Nigeria, the least he should have done is to zip up his vocal cavity and allow erudite men to think and speak. Surely, Yorubas are not lacking of such men.

Did I read FFK and the clown he quoted saying that Lagos was the nerve center of commerce in West Africa before Nigeria was conjured by the British? I wonder where they are getting that history lesson from. Obviously from a timid historical mindset laced in bigotry and pedestrian appreciation of what national cohesion is all about.

“I am amazed that a man of such low intellectual and commonsensical capacity was once a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. How did he cope? Was that responsible for the fast track decay in the sector during his tenure? Does FFK really know what economic development is? For his infantile mind, this guy should know that without the small scale and informal sectors, the industrial estates he is boasting of would have been a nullity.

“FFK should be bold enough to answer this question: would Yorubas have been able to command Nigerian corporate life today had Awolowo as Finance Minister and Vice Chairman of Gowon’s governing council in brazen display of nepotism handed over our mutual inheritance to them?

“It is bizarre that FFK failed to point out that when Sir Louis Ojukwu was atop the Lagos/ Nigerian corporate world, No Yoruba was any where near him. Was he simply trading? FFK, you are still feeble minded to appreciate some of these things. Please go to honourable men like Chief Akintola Williams for a lecture. I hope he will sit you down and straighten you up.

Please smell the coffee young man and appreciate that life does not end in naira and kobo. Get a life.”

Ogbuefi Blogs

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An open letter to President Jonathan Goodluck on Ajaokuta Steel Project by Joseph Ozigis Akomodi

I have written intensively on Ajaokuta Steel Project. I, as a Metallurgical Engineer and as an Educator, I have in-depth knowledge about the state of Ajaokuta and what we need to do to ensure that the steel project bounce back to the production stage. Joe Isah as a sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Project if the entire youths of Nigeria do not give him supporting hands to ensure the project becomes a reality, then we would not go too far with such quest to ensure that Ajaokuta is up and running with strength and vibrancy that it demands. I am absolutely sure under Joseph Isah’s watch, with the right budget in place, Ajaokuta would get back on its feet. With this in mind, the idea that Ajaokuta should be contracted out for companies all over the planet to buy into the share of production cannot go too far. I would later give analysis of why such move would not work.

A Steel Industry is one of the major backbones of any progressive nation or industrialized nation. Steel production is in high demands as we move into new technological age. I have read lots of distorted findings by Nigerian writers about Ajaokuta steel project, why the steel plants failed. Some of those articles have criticized the western world for tampering with Nigerian development. I would categorically kicked against such assertions, because the western world is not our problems. Our problems are within us. Those of you who have been long in Ajaokuta, would agree with me that the Russians used to call Nigerians “Ali Babas” What does this quote meant to average Nigerians? It meant nothing to us. When the Russians came to Nigeria in late 70s, Nigerians were fond of breaking into the Russian homes to steal their personal belongings. As a result of this stealing, the Russians called all Nigerians “Ali Babas” which means thieves. Those of you who are still in Ajaokuta today, you would find out all the places Russians leaved before are well secured with well-protected iron doors even on their ceilings to ensure no Nigerians could break into their homes when they are at work.

Another distorted article about Nigerian writers when it comes to Ajaokuta was that when Russians came to Nigeria they brought their technology that where outdated or more than 50 years old to installed in Ajaokuta. The Nigerians that studied Metallurgy in Russia and have been to Ajaokuta knows for fact that was just a pure lie. The equipments then were up to date because it was the same types of equipments Russians used in their own Metallurgical factories. The same technology the Russians used in India. The Russians updates their technology as the world move towards technological advancement. The idea of nano-technology changed the entire steel industries, which Indians and other Countries have to also modernize their technology to meet with the challenges of 21st century.

The former President Shehu Shagari had the right vision, to ensure Ajaokuta steel project starts on the right footing. Since he was ousted from power by the greedy military regime, Ajaokuta has taken a back seat by our concurrent leaders. Nigeria as a Nation has not really embarked in any meaningful project since the birth of its’ independent. The oil sectors in Nigeria came to realistic functioning stage, by the effort of the British. The first major project Nigerians would have called a successful project would have been Ajaokuta Steel Project. Trillions of Naira has been budgeted for the steel plant to take off. A fraction of that money never made it to the doorstep of the steel project in the first place. Due to high corruption rate in Nigeria and the greedy leaders we have in our Nation, it is practically impossible to find a genuine true Nigerians who are committed to be patriotic to our nation, those who are bent on been patriotic are frustrated to the point that they either quite or join the bad wagons. Nigerians are well known as consumers not producers. The idea of patriotism and love for our nation has been lost from generation to generations. An average Nigerians only think how they can make money fast either by crook or by gentle. That is because the leaders have structured the society that way. In this article, I would address five major issues that confront our nation’s industrial ineptitude and ways such ineptitude can be eradicated from our system.

The first issue I would address in this article, is the idea that Ajaokuta should be contracted out for investors to buy into its functionality, Nigerian youths must kicked against such idea. No true investors in the west are interested to invest in Nigeria; one, Nigeria is still a fragile Country and the fact that we have no true democracy in our system of governing makes it practically impossible to see a genuine investors. The truth is, we are known all over the world as the most corrupt nation on earth and our leaders are proud of that. The only investors we are going to get are those dubious investors who would like to capitalize on Nigerian sickness of corruption to loot us more. As a result, all our efforts would be in vain. To curb such ineptitude, we would have to start nation building from Nigerians themselves. That is how the Japanese and Chinese did it. This indiscipline in Nigeria must start from top-down approach. I would suggest that it should be enacted into law that all political leaders should give up all their allowances and allocations for their constituencies for the duration of two years where no political leaders would get anything other than basic salary including the President except on a rear cases where they have to traveled out of the Country as our Nation demands. A clear process of accountability must be in place so that every Nigerians are accountable to ensure that Ajaokuta is up and running within those two years where the entire nation would have to forfeit their ridiculous allowances and allocations to their constituencies so that we can focus on nation building.

At this junction, the primary responsibility of the President is to ensure that Ajaokuta Steel project begins and finish within that two years duration where every constituency have to give up something for nation building. Just like what the United States went through in the 60s during the leadership of John F. Kennedy. When he charged the United States Scientists to do all it can to ensure that Americans lunch their space shuttle, after Russians lunch their sputnik in space. The President JFK gave an ultimatum to American Scientists then to ensure such project was successful and they did. I would like President Jonathan to embark on such enthusiasm and rigor to drive Ajaokuta Steel Project. If that were only achievement he did for the nation, he would ever be remembered as one of the best leader Nigerians ever hard as he goes down in history as the sole President that completed Ajaokuta Steel. He would affix his fingerprints in the blue print of Ajaokuta Steel realization effort.

Second, Nigerian Government must take full responsibility of the Ajaokuta Steel production, were by the sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Project reports directly to the President. We must get rid of all the Ministers we have in Nigeria because they are ineffective. They are just there embezzling the national cake. Those loop holes must be close for realistic discipline bounded upon all Nigerians. Anyone found in any shape or form in the misappropriation of the budget should be sentence to 20 years in jail without possibility of parole or bail. The various Managing Directors of all Industries should report to the President. The President can set a team of experts in those fields to coordinate the smooth running of each industry. The workers should have a forum where they can report any illegality without the fear of being dismissed from the job. They should be accorded with whistle blower status. The President must promote transparency in every industry to ensure that there is check and balances in the governance of the steel project. The President should have no mercy for any one caught siphoning the budget of the steel project. Such person should face the judicial system and be brought to book. If guilty of the offence, such person or persons must face jail time with no possibility of bail out or parole. The President must make it clear to the sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Project that the nation would provide every resources necessary for Ajaokuta’s completion but he is given an ultimatum to have the project completed within two years to be up and running just like other advance Countries Steel plants.

Third, the Russians must be called back to complete the job under the supervision of the sole Administrator of the steel project. They must also equipped and trained technicians and Engineers on the changes with nano-technology in the steel production. The blast furnace, oxygen converter, electric steal making, foundry workshops, rolling mills and all the furnaces in the steel plants must be modernize to the current world standard. The raw materials that is needed for the production of rolling mills must be up and running such as billets until that time when we are producing the billets ourselves as a result of Itakpe iron ore. Itakpe iron ore must run concurrently with Ajaokuta steel project so that these two sole Administrators are charged with the same responsibilities. There must be connectivity between Ajaokuta and Itakpe Iron ore by rail for effective transportation of the raw materials to Ajaokuta Steel plant. We also must ensure that an institution for higher learning is cited in the vicinity for technical training for the workforce. We have so many steel experts in Nigeria who are either lecturing in the Universities just because they have nothing to do or they have been retrenched from the Ajaokuta Steel plant. All of these experts would have keen interest to learn new changes in the steel production and serves as a guide for technical manpower.

Fourth, President Jonathan Ebele Goodluck must focus one primary goal for the entire Nigeria for the realization of Ajaokuta Steel Project during his tenure; such effort would be the first in African continent to realize such goals by African leadership. It would be one of the major barriers that we as Nigerians would be able to defeat. As the progress of Ajaokuta is in full swing, the President of Nigeria can create a forum where experts trained in Nigeria and those leaving in abroad can volunteer their time ones in every five years during their vacations or holidays to give back to their Country Nigeria regardless of where they resides. This process would enhance the patriotic nature of Nigerians. This request would be on voluntary bases. I am sure a lot of Nigerians experts in Nigeria and abroad would welcome such idea. They can create seminars on their fields to their other counterparts in Nigeria and share knowledge, which I called as skills empowerments. That is how we would diversify our knowledge and our horizon for true knowledge and love for our nation. Nigerians are one of the most learned people in Africa and yet we are trailing behind every other nation, because those who went to school to learn all the skills they needed to be productive in their Country by the time they finish would realize that Nigeria is not ready for his or her skills. So they seek to go places where their talent could be utilize to earn a leaving.

Finally, Ajaokuta must be linked to all the other steel producing Countries to ensure there exist a dialogue among Nigerian experts and other nations in the field of steel production. We must welcome experts to visit our nation to learn about our methods and to also discuss the problems we face and how to better tackle such problems for better advancement. We must also be ready to send our experts to other nation for more skill-training if need be. In doing so, learning about steel production would become a global village. If this analysis I elaborated above is strictly followed I am so sure that Nigeria would be one of the greatest nation on earth we would gradually remove the plague that has eaten deep into Nigerian veins. This would help in eradicating corruption; it would improve the idea of oneness; it would ensure that Nigeria is back on its’ feet again where all Nigerians would view each other, as we need each other to make a better Nigeria with a motto we either sink or swim together.

In summation, in this write ups, it addresses the importance of steel production in Nigeria and why it is important for Nigerian Government to do all it takes to embark on steel production and how we must all sacrifice to ensure that this project takes place. This single project would create avenues for other industries to take shape in Nigeria and would generate millions and millions of jobs for the youths of our nation, which leads to technological advancement. There is a saying that an idle mind is a devils workshop. Therefore, we must weed out corruptions out of our system before any other nation can take us seriously. The Russians must be called back with a renewed mind of completing the steel project and updating the new technology for steel production. Engineers and technicians must be retrained to effectively take up responsibilities of steel production. Our president must make Ajaokuta as the primary national goal to ensure all attentions are focus in this area of development.

We must ensure that as the steel productions progresses our experts must engage in an on going training and learning with other experts of other steel producing nations. We must understand that there is no development without sacrifice and we must all stop in pointing fingers about the wrong and the kind of money that was wasted in Ajaokuta before, let us all be committed in ensuring that Ajaokuta steel production jump stand now, not tomorrow. I would like to reminds us that their would be some bumps on the road but we must be determined and ready to face it and realize it. I would like to end these lengthy write-ups by saying Ajaokuta Steel Project now for all Nigerians that is the future of real advancement of our nation with the idea that we would be more economically buoyant for all Nigerians.

Nigeria would be a Country that all other Countries all over the world would like to visit and leave in. Let us make Nigeria great again. We must all wake up to screamed out loud for Ajaokuta now to our leaders and our constituent representatives that we all want it now and yearning for its’ development. Thank you my esteemed Nigerian citizens. Nigeria would one day be great!

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How the Nigerian Police Killed My Love for the Profession by Ajewole Bejide

When I was much younger in the late 80s and early 90s, I had a friend who took me and my sisters across the road every morning. This friend of our’s, a policeman was always there every morning to take us across and even give my youngest sister a coin for her to stop crying as she was always crying every morning.

This gesture made me want to be a policeman. A man who can give kids he does not even know their parents or where they stay money and always looking so clean in his black police uniform must be well paid. Well that was my impression back then.

During our end of year party in primary school, we will all gather to entertain our parents and other guests with songs and one of those songs was one we told them what we would love to become when we grow up.

My love for the Policeman who gives us money and takes us across the road made me want to be a policeman, I told parents including mine I would love to be a policeman. Dressed in a black jacket and trouser with a white tie, a cap and a black baton to match, I told the gathering how I would help maintain peace and order.

My mum kicked against this line of profession and told me I will be a doctor and not a policeman. She told me of how armed robbers kill policemen and scared me with a lot of stories including pointing to the fact that most policemen are ugly, dirty and potbellied!

I had a chance to really know the true nature of men of the Nigerian Police Force later in 2003 when I had an encounter with the black men with a black heart. This incident led to the assassination of my thoughts of ever becoming a policeman.

It was a Sunday morning and as usual, I skipped church. I decided to go to Ajibose street at Alfa Nla where my aunt’s friend has a photography and Video studio. On getting there, her apprentices were not around yet so I decided to shave my hair at a barber’s shop close by.

I waited for my turn and after shaving I settled down to watch some guys playing PS 2 in the same shop. While watching the PS 2 a guy came in with a black travelling bag, put the bag on the chair and asked the barber to shave his hair for him. While I was engrossed in the PS 2 I was watching and the barber still on the guy’s hair, some policemen came in with Ak47 and started screaming ‘What is in this bag?’ Another policeman answered, ‘Arms and ammunition, grenades, guns’ We were all rounded up and arrested.

The funniest thing was, the bag in question was not opened and not even taken along to the police station! We were all taken except the owner of the bag and the barber. I was even asked to take the PS 2 along as evidence of gambling!

We were taken to Isokoko police station where were kept at the back of the counter. We were told we were caught in possession of fire arms and also gambling. We were not spoken to after that and left there. Later, they moved us to an empty room where they asked that we removed our belts.

At that point, I started crying, begging that my uncle whom I stayed with will be expecting me back home. I pleaded with them to allow me go home and that I will never go watch PS 2 in my life again! They ignored me, went on with their normal duty.

Minutes later, the owner of the shop came in company of a guy whose father was a police officer and together they secured our bail with 2000 Naira. We were released and you need to see my shame when we came out of the station and people starring at us.

I went home, took a shower and slept. I refused to go out throughout that day and even for some days afterwards. That’s it, my respect for the police dried up and I began to hate the men in black! I hated them so much that I stopped talking to a friend whose father was a policeman!

Recently, a policeman told me to apply and join the force and I told him ‘I’ll rather remain jobless than join the Nigerian police’ I wish I could turn back the hands of time to our end of year celebrations in school and tell parents that I’ll never be a policeman as I was a misguided boy who wasn’t capable of thinking straight in those days!

Ajewole Bejide is a detrabilized Nigerian and a firm believer in one Nigeria. Follow him on twitter @Da_Megadon
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Death of African Leaders in Office, What Is Responsible?

It’s rare for the leader of a country to die in office. Since 2008, it’s happened 13 times worldwide – but 10 of those leaders have been African. Why is it so much more common in this one continent?

Large crowds carrying candles ran alongside the hearse carrying the body of Meles Zenawi, as it made its way through Addis Ababa, on Tuesday. He had died, aged 57, after a long illness.

Earlier in the month, tens of thousands of Ghanaians attended the funeral of their late President, John Atta Mills, who had died suddenly at the age of 68.

Four months earlier, a national holiday was declared in Malawi to allow as many people as possible to attend the funeral of the late president, Bingu wa Mutharika, who had died of a cardiac arrest, aged 78.

And in January, the president of Guinea Bissau, Malam Bacai Sanha, died in a military hospital in Paris after a long illness. He was 64.

So, four African leaders have died in office this year alone. Disruptive for the countries concerned, tragic for the leaders’ families. But spare a thought also for the reporters.

“I seem to be getting an awful lot of calls in the night telling me an African president has died,” says Simon Allison, a correspondent for South Africa’s Daily Maverick website. “Why do African presidents keep dying?”

The question led him to take a close look at their survival rate.

“Go back just a little bit further and the list of dead sitting African presidents gets alarmingly longer,” he says. Indeed, since 2008, 10 African leaders have died in office.

Continue reading the main story

Leader Age Cause Leader Age Cause
Meles Zenawi Ethiopia PM, Meles Zenawi 57 “Sudden infection”, August 2012 John Atta Mills Ghana president, John Atta Mills 68 Throat cancer, July 2012
Bingu wa Mutharika Malawi president, Bingu wa Mutharika 78 Cardiac arrest, April 2012 Malam Bacai Sanha Guinea Bissau president, M B Sanha 64 Long illness, January 2012
Muammar Gaddafi Libya leader, Muammar Gaddafi 69 Killed, October 2011 Umaru Yar'Adua Nigeria president, Umaru Yar’Adua 58 Kidney, heart problems, May 2010
Omar Bongo Gabon president, Omar Bongo 73 Heart attack, June 2009 Bernardo Vieira Guinea Bissau president, J B Vieira 69 Killed, March 2009
Lansana Conte Guinea president, Lansana Conte 74 Unspecified cause, December, 2008 Levy Mwanawasa Zambia president, Levy Mwanawasa 59 Stroke, August 2008

Continue reading the main story

It’s certainly true that leaders are dying in office in higher numbers in Africa than on any other continent. In the same period, only three other national leaders have died in office – Kim Jong Il of North Korea, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash, and David Thomson of Barbados, who had cancer.

The obvious answer is that African leaders are just older than those of other continents, an explanation Simon Allison favours. He believes Africans like their leaders to be older – respect for elders is embedded in the culture of many of the continent’s countries.

But are they?

Actually, the average age of African leaders is 61 years – the same as in Asia. European leaders are, on average, 55 years old, while in South America, it’s 59.

But another thing to consider is life expectancy which, among the general population, is lower in Africa than in Europe, Latin America and Asia. This is partly because of problems like the prevalence of HIV/Aids and also poor medical care, which leads to high rates of death in childbirth.

But poverty in childhood and early life can also have a lasting impact, as Dr George Leeson, a gerontologist from the University of Oxford, explains.

“African presidents, before they have been elected, will have led a relatively disadvantaged life, and disadvantageous lifestyle, and that will impact on their life expectancies at subsequent ages,” he says.

“So once they get into the presidential office, even though they will be living a lifestyle far far far removed from their fellow citizens, which would increase their life expectancy in relation to those fellow citizens, they do have an accumulated disadvantageous lifestyle which they have to pay back on at some time.”

Although of course, not all African leaders will have had poor childhoods.

But is there another factor to take into account – politics? The stereotypical African leader clings on to power until he drops. But the facts don’t seem to fit that explanation.

“This is true of some of the leaders who died in office, particularly Omar Bongo, Conte and Gaddafi,” says Simon Allison. “All of them were old-school dictators who were never going to leave voluntarily, but the others are different – Meles Zenawi had clung on to power for a long time, but he was only 57. And all the others were in their constitutional time limits and hadn’t even fiddled with them yet.”

It’s important to note that, our calculations only take into account the deaths in office of world leaders since 2008. It could be that the number of African deaths in this timeframe is just a statistical blip.

But whatever’s going on, such a death toll creates uncertainty. Deaths in office create power vacuums, which can be dangerous and destabilising.

“Look at what happened in Guinea-Bissau,” says Simon Allison. “When Sanha died, a coup followed very shortly afterwards. This is a difficult situation for Africa to find itself in because it, historically, has not done very well with power vacuums.”

However, he believes there is some cause for optimism.

“In Zambia, in Malawi and Ghana and in Nigeria, the death of the president was followed by a constitutional succession with a minimum of violence and dispute, and I think this is a very encouraging sign for Africa’s development.”

Culled from BBC

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The TEN Commandments For Nigeria

God has finally handed over to Goodluck Jonathan, some special commandments for Nigeria. The 10 commandments come to us from Goodluck 20:1-17. Here is the verse…

And God spoke all these words, saying:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of JUNTAS, and out of the house of BONDAGE. I) You shall have no gods, godfather, syncopates, lobbyists before thy constituents.

II) You shall not take the name of thy CONSTITUTION in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who destroys Nigeria’s Nationhood.

III) Remember the INDEPENDENCE DAY, to keep it safe. October FIRST, you shall labor and do all your work, but this day is thy UNITY day.

IV) Honor your founding fathers and mothers, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

V) Honor only ONE constitution, one COURT, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who destroys Nigeria’s secularity.

VI) You who are chosen to lead shall declare your assets to the public.

VII) You shall not steal public fund, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who divert public money out of the Land.

VIII) You shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor and shall not torment thy political opponents.

IX) You shall not murder.

X) You shall not covet leadership; you shall not covet the COUNTRY, nor her oil; nor her treasury; nor her economic prosperity; you shall not covet your PARTY; nor anything that is your party’s.”

Managing Editor, News Publication
Guardian News Inc

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Jega, INEC and the Burden of Credible Elections by Abubakar Usman

Prior to the appointment of Professor Attahiru Jega to head the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, the election conducted under Professor Maurice Iwu was one that lacked credibility in all ramifications. There were reports of massive rigging in the form ballot box snatching and stuffing, multiple voting and falsification of results. Aside the wide condemnation that greeted the outcome of that election in the home country, the international community also lent their voice to denounce the election as any that meets international best practices, such that hopes were lost in the democratic process.

However, with the coming on board of Professor Attahiru Jega, the lost hope was rejuvenated largely because of the antecedents of the new helmsman particularly at Bayero University Kano. Prior to his appointment as the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega (OFR) was the Vice Chancellor at the Bayero University, Kano. He was at one time the president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. During the Military regime, he was one of the few unrepentant optimist that fought and believed that Nigeria will one day be freed from the shackles of the military; and that democracy will not only prevail but will become a way of life and when the country embraced democracy, he also was a factor to reckon with. Events that trailed his appointment as INEC Chairman however, presents a perfect opportunity for those records to be messed up.

The registration of voters, which was the first major assignment he carried out since his appointment, was fraught with a lot of problem. While eligible voters trooped out en masse to exercise their civic responsibility, Jega’s INEC fell far short of what was required to get every willing persons registered conveniently. I personally had to go to my home town to get registered after several efforts at registering in Abuja. the sad side of the story was that I couldn’t vote when the time for elections came, because I don’t reside in my home town.

The 2011 general election  conducted by Jega, although adjudged to be an improvement to the 2007 elections conducted by Professor Maurice Iwu, which I consider as unworthy of been used as a basis of comparison,  did not meet the expectations that greeted Jega’s appointment.  The elections were marred with the usual ballot box stuffing, ballot box snatching, multiple voting and falsification of election results usually associated with elections in Nigeria. The words of consolation is usually that there is nowhere in the world where elections are perfect.

Some school of thoughts will argue that Jega did not have the time to adequately prepare for the 2011 elections, but did he not have time to conduct elections of states which did not participate in the General election, especially considering that they were staggered?  The recent gubernatorial elections in Edo state is a perfect example. There were reports of election officials not deployed in sufficient numbers in some polling units, prompting party agents to step in and assist the election officials in the accreditation of voters. There were incidences were many prospective voters were disenfranchised following the omission of their names or photograph in the voters register. The problem of late arrival of election materials and delay in the commencement of accreditation and voting, which has plagued Nigeria’s elections in the past, was also observed in many polling units.

Although, the Edo election was a great improvement to the others conducted in recent times, one had expected to see a near perfect election given the ample time INEC had to prepare and the number and caliber of personnel drafted to oversee the election, because little incidences like those highlighted above are strong enough to cast doubt on the credibility of an election. According to Agbo Godwin “Credible elections are elections conducted free of any form of malpractice, acceptable by the voters, other countries and the losers convinced”.

My believe is that Professor Jega and indeed INEC have learnt from these myriads of problems that have confronted elections in Nigeria, particularly the ones he organized. The 2015 elections is another opportunity for him to prove to Nigeria’s that he has what it takes to conduct elections that are credible and acceptable to all Nigerians. Jega has recently assured Nigerians that the 2015 elections will be the best ever conducted in the country, but he must realise that the task of conducting a credible election goes beyond mere promises. He must put in place strategies to block all loopholes that have bedeviled previous elections in Nigeria.

Jega must realize that the conduct of a credible election starts with the voters register and therefore should work hard in consolidating and updating the existing voters register to accommodate all eligible and willing prospective voters. The voters register should be seamlessly integrated in a data base and the process of continuous registration institutionalize so as to ensure that no voter is disenfranchised on the day of election.

One of the major problems that have marred elections conducted by INEC is the issue of logistics, especially in the delivery of voting materials to election venues. INEC must look critically into this area by developing a model in which election materials and personnel can be delivered to the remotest village at the required time.

The need for the conduct of a credible election in Nigeria is not only apt, but expedient if really we are desirous of overcoming the enormous task and challenges confronting us as a nation.

“If Africa’s most populous state can hold a credible process, it would help signal an end to a democratic reversal in which governments have gone through the electoral motions but rarely offered the real thing.’’ – Financial Times.

I am Abubakar Sidiq Usman

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How To Change Government Peacefully And Make Society Better- Pastor Tunde Bakare

Fellow citizens of our great country, household faithful at The Latter Rain Assembly, Gentlemen of the Press, and every other person present, welcome to this special occasion. At the beginning of this month, during the Father’s Day celebration, an invitation was extended to every concerned citizen of our nation to attend this special lecture – our humble contribution towards nation building. We would like to place on the register our gratitude to God and our profound appreciation for the leadership and members of The Latter Rain Assembly for the provision of this auditorium. After all, in matters of public enlightenment, the church should be in the forefront of such efforts, going by the definitive proclamation of Jesus concerning the church.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV):
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be     hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a     lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so     shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your     Father in heaven.
In addition, for those befuddled in their minds about our role in this process, let me again rely on the words of Prophet Malachi written exclusively to those in priestly garments who have forgotten their God-ordained role in matters of nation building:
Malachi 2:1-9 (NKJV):
1“And now, O priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If you will not hear,     and if you will not take it to heart, to give glory to My name,” says the     LORD of hosts, “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your     blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to     heart. 3 “Behold, I will rebuke your descendants and spread refuse on your     faces, the refuse of your solemn feasts; and one will take you away with it.     4 Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My     covenant with Levi may continue,” says the LORD of hosts. 5 “My covenant     was with him, one of life and peace, and I gave them to him that he might     fear Me; so he feared Me and was reverent before My name. 6 The law of     truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked     with Me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity. 7 “For     the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law     from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 8 But you     have departed from the way; you have caused many to stumble at the law.     You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the LORD of hosts.     9 “Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base before all the     people, because you have not kept My ways but have shown partiality in     the law.”

For those questioning our intentions and the use of this platform to disseminate truths that will unblock the minds of our citizens and set them free from limiting thoughts that produce self-defeat, there you have it in black and white in the Holy Writ:
     Malachi 2:7 (NKJV):
“For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek     the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.”

Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, saints and strangers, do I then have your permission this morning to perform this noble role of a messenger to a nation on the road to perdition and self-annihilation?
Having given me an overwhelming yes, please permit me to quickly add that, beyond the church being a lighthouse to a dark world, and beyond the role of the priest as a messenger whose lips should keep knowledge and from whose mouth the people should seek the law, there is an additional burden of the watchman and his message that is totally lost on the prosperity merchants and their crowd. Please turn your Bibles with me to the Book of Ezekiel the Prophet, chapter 33:1-20:

1 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ 7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’ 11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ 12 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ 13 When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. 14 Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live. 17 “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”
I invited all and sundry here this morning because I can see the sword already upon this land – shall I then blow the trumpet? Not to do so would be a disservice to my nation and outright disobedience to God – a luxury I cannot afford. Therefore, lend me your ears.

For the sake of clarity and to keep within the boundary of the subject of our contemplation this morning – ‘How to Change Government Peacefully and Make Society Better’ – I have arranged this lecture under four major headings:


I will take the headings one by one.
Today, it is common practice among pseudo-intellectuals worldwide to mock biblical teachings on God, Satan and demons. But to those who are wise and discerning, it is clear that behind the socio-political and economic evils of our time lie supernatural powers.
It is true that God Almighty is “the blessed and only Potentate [Sovereign], the King of kings and Lord of lords” (I Timothy 6:13-16). It is also true that honour and everlasting power belong to God. Nonetheless, in the wisdom of God who rules in the affairs of men, He allows or permits the lowest of men to occupy apex power positions in order that the living may know and hopefully learn.

The New Testament’s perspective on the grip of evil over our socio-political and economic systems comes from the Old Testament prophet, Daniel. Daniel was a young man when Babylonians invaded his city Jerusalem, destroyed it, brutally massacred his people and carried their royalty into slavery in Babylon. Later, they returned to destroy God’s temple and placed God’s sacred vessels in the temple of their god.

This humiliating horror raised disturbing theological questions: Who really rules in the affairs of this world? Who is in control of history – at least at this moment? Why are the kingdoms of this world at times so cruel, brutal, exploitative and oppressive? From the Book of Daniel come three clear answers that can help us navigate our own murky political waters and deliver our nation from imminent bankruptcy and balkanization:


Daniel 2:20-22 (NKJV) –
20 Daniel answered and said “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,     For wisdom and might are His. 21 And He changes the times and the     seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the     wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. 22 He reveals deep     and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with     Him.


Daniel 4:13-18 (NKJV) –
13 “I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts get out from under it, and the birds from its branches. 15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts on the grass of the earth. 16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man, let him be given the heart of a beast, and let seven times pass over him. 17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men.’ 18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”

As Daniel humbled himself, fasted and prayed for understanding, he was given a glimpse of the supernatural realm. He saw clearly that behind the socio-political and economic evils of his time lay supernatural powers.
For example, in Daniel chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar dreamt about a statue made of gold, silver, bronze and iron, each representing four successive empires: Babylonian (gold), Medo-Persian (silver), Greek (bronze) and Roman (iron). After their rule, a mere stone – the kingdom of God – brought all the evil kingdoms of this world to an end.

Curiously, in chapter 7, we read that Daniel, a captive turned learned governor and president, humbled himself in fasting and prayer, seeking to understand where history was going and God’s role in its unravelling. He was given the vision of the same four kingdoms Nebuchadnezzar had seen earlier, except that Daniel saw them not as a dazzling statue of precious metals but as beasts that devoured: the lion (Babylonian), the bear (Medo-Persian), and the leopard (Greek), and the “fourth beast [was] dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong”. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left (Daniel 7:7). This fourth beast was Daniel’s vision of the Roman Empire.

Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, the kingdoms of this world were and are beastly, because behind them were and are evil supernatural forces. This understanding of evil as something more than natural, human or socio-political did not begin with Daniel. Israel’s first king became evil, despotic and murderous, and the Bible explains that God’s Spirit had left him and an evil spirit began to torment him (I Samuel 16:14-23).

Likewise, in the Book of Judges, socio-political evils are seen as a direct result of spiritual evil, specifically the operation of the spirit of ill will sent by God when Abimelech hired worthless and reckless men to kill all the seventy (70) sons of Gideon so that he could become king.

Judges 9:22-23

22 After Abimelech had reigned over Israel three years, 23 God sent a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech…
Each of the above mentioned biblical texts and a plethora of others affirm that God remains Sovereign over His creation even when He allows evil spirits or devils to hold sway. Apostle Paul explains in Romans 1:18-32 that God gives whole cultures over to evil when humans choose to suppress truth with wickedness. This is where we are in Nigeria today. To the discerning, the nation has been thrown to the dogs of pervasive corruption and disruptive, perennial insecurity. The question begging for an answer is: Who will deliver us from this self-induced chaotic disorder?

The purpose of any meaningful government is the welfare and security of the people. In our clime, neither welfare nor security of the lives and property of our people seems to matter anymore. Our malady is not new. History holds records of nations who were bled to death by their rulers and tells how such leaders were ultimately dealt with when the oppressed could no longer bear the heavy weight of their oppressive and insensitive leadership. Biblical history also alludes to this. While the people kept suffering in the midst of plenty in the days of King Solomon, who used his wisdom to satisfy his unquenchable thirst and hunger for material acquisition and outlandish women of all shapes and shades, a day came in the life of the nation when the people kicked and shouted, “We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel!” (I Kings 12:16). The rebellion did not only stand, God also rubberstamped it and said “this thing is from me”(I Kings 12:24) — it was orchestrated by the GREAT ORGANIZED DESIGNER (GOD).

It is unfortunate that our people are crying today for change, but they are expecting the change to either fall from the sky or come from sources that cannot produce it. It is simple logic that when a corrupt leader is in office, he corrupts those he leads. This is true of a family, true of a church, and true of a nation. A corrupt father will ultimately corrupt his family as he cannot distinguish between his wife and his son’s wife. A corrupt pastor will corrupt, influence, affect and infect his church as he prioritizes outreaches, programmes and projects executed with filthy lucre flowing from the perverse and the corrupt above the spiritual welfare of the congregants. And a corrupt elected official will infect his nation with corruption. I cannot but borrow a leaf from the profound lecture delivered by Prof. Niyi Osundare recently on the state of the nation titled: ‘Why We No Longer Blush: Corruption as Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’. He said, and I quote:

“Watch out, Nigeria: a new Jonathan seems to be emerging, one who confuses cockiness with confidence, tactlessness with toughness, strong-manship with statesmanship.”

President Jonathan’s combination of naivety and amorality is as profound as it is injurious to the health of this country. Can a corruption-compliant ruler really lead a corruption-free country? If change – positive change – will ever come to our clime, it will not be engineered by those who are benefitting without conscience from the present cesspool of corrosive corruption. It will and can only come from a new breed without greed and a radical opposition to corruption. True, genuine change can only come from those not infected by the present corruption malaise; it can only come from positive agents of social change who are totally sold out to public good.


Every time I have considered this subject, only one thing flows from me towards President Goodluck Jonathan – genuine pity. Anyone who has had the privilege of sitting with Mr. President, as I sometimes have, will feel the same for this simple soul who has become a victim of circumstances generated and orchestrated by his bramble predecessor, who, in his bid to be king of all trees, used his position to force on the nation the sick, the weak, and the ill-equipped in an attempt to dominate the polity and maintain his larger than life status out of office (Judges 9:8-15). So, it did not come as a surprise to me at all when, two days ago, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila cited Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution, saying that any action of the President defined as “gross misconduct” by the National Assembly was “sufficient grounds to initiate impeachment proceedings against him.” Let me quote verbatim from Friday July 20, 2012’s Punch [‘Budget: Lawmakers threaten to impeach President’] to buttress my point:

Gbajabiamila had proposed the amendment to a motion before the House     on the poor implementation of the 2012 budget.

 “If by September 18, the budget performance has not improved to 100%, we     shall begin to invoke and draw up articles of impeachment against Mr.         President”, he said.

Members shouted aloud “yes”, “yes”, “yes” and clapped for the minority     leader as Gbajabiamila made the proposal.

He accused the executive of allegedly breaching the Appropriation Act,     2012    by engaging in “selective implementation” of the budget.

Gbajabiamila added, “What we have in our hands today is a budget of     abracadabra; a budget of voodoo economy.

“I like Mr. President, he is a fine gentleman, but I like my people, the     Nigerian people more.”

Indeed, Mr. President may be a fine gentleman thrust into a position of leadership by circumstances beyond his control who is now facing a barrage of problems he is incapable of solving. He deserves our sympathy, our prayers, and whatever else we can honourably and legally do to make sure he gets back to his home-base safely.

Perhaps a few suggestions may change the course of our rapid descent into the abyss, since free, fair and credible election is presently alien to our polity. In all honesty, I perceive very strongly that our next general election will be better, though it may come earlier than expected.

Now, a few suggestions:

1.    First and foremost, THE UNQUESTIONABLE GOD FACTOR: From both biblical and human history, sometimes – if not at all times – God moves behind the scenes in unimaginable ways and fosters changes that are beyond human comprehension – especially when all hope is lost. Indeed, God changes the times and the seasons, He removes kings and raises up kings (Daniel 2:21 & 22).

The same God who raised David the shepherd boy from the sheepfold and made him king over Israel, and deposed the insane King Saul, still does what pleases Him in the nations of the earth. Oftentimes, when citizens are pushed to the wall and rulers boastfully think they are irremovable due to their political sagacity and ‘matter of cash’ policy, a Jehu type of prophetic revolution is in the making. Other times, God replaces the mighty and the powerful with their own appointed palace administrators. One biblical example is sufficient for our time and our clime.

Hear the declarations of God as recorded in Isaiah 22:15-25 (NKJV):
15 Thus says the Lord God of hosts: “Go, proceed to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the house, and say: 16 ‘What have you here, and whom have you here, that you have hewn a sepulcher here, as he who hews himself a sepulcher on high, who carves a tomb for himself in a rock? 17 Indeed, the Lord will throw you away violently, O mighty man, and will surely seize you. 18 He will surely turn violently and toss you like a ball into a large country; there you shall die, and there your glorious chariots shall be the shame of your master’s house. 19 So I will drive you out of your office, and from your position will pull you down. 20 ‘Then it shall be in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; 21 I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23 I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house. 24 ‘They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the pitchers. 25 In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘the peg that is fastened in the secure place will be removed and be cut down and fall, and the burden that was on it will be cut off; for the Lord has spoken.’”

By the way, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah was a palace administrator lifted by God to the status of a king. God placed upon his shoulders the very keys of David to open and shut as he willed (Isaiah 36:3; NKJV). With God all things are possible — so he who has ears to hear, let him hear.

2.    RESIGNATION: Even for a seasoned, well-cooked and well-equipped UK prime minister like Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady, the moment the people rose against her policy, she did the honourable and noble thing – she resigned and returned to the parliament before retiring from politics. Resignation is not a sign of weakness – it is a sign of patriotic truthfulness. It is giving opportunity to those who can do a better job in the interest of the nation to carry on with nation-building where the exiting leader stops.

3.    IMPEACHMENT: This can only be carried out by the National Assembly and the process has begun. It may be aborted, or it may be carried to its logical conclusion. Either way, it is a worse option and carries a load of shame with it compared to resignation. Come to think of it, Mr. President should not wait for the conclusions in the court of law and the court of public opinion for the rape and atrocities committed against the Appropriation Act 2011 in respect of the subsidy scandal (a ghost that still haunts his administration and will not rest in peace until the truth is made known and justice is served). The admission of extra-budgetary spending of over N2 trillion without appropriation is another impeachable time bomb that can explode anytime. It would be a total disgrace if resignation comes after that explosion as was the case for Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal.

At this juncture, I cannot but wonder what is going on in the minds of those who falsely accused us of crying for regime change in January during the fuel hike crisis. It is the House of Assembly that is now championing same with overwhelming shouts of “yes”, “yes”, and “yes” from the floor members. History truly is lived forward but is written in retrospect. Today’s headlines and history’s judgement are rarely the same. Those who are too attentive to today’s headlines will most certainly not do the hard work of securing a positive verdict from history. Whether or not the President resigns or allows himself to be impeached is his call. In the words of Lord Chesterfield:

“A weak mind is like a microscope which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones.”

If I were Mr. President – unfortunately, I am not, and I do not envy his tottering position, but if I were he – I would give no thought to what the world might say of me, or the drum the hangers-on and political jobbers benefitting from the present chaotic disorder might be beating. I would not “give a damn” if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man thrust into the boxing ring to fight enemies I am ill-equipped to fight, and I would therefore resign before I receive a death blow.

4.    THE PEOPLE’S REVOLT: I seriously wish and fervently pray that it will not get to the stage of a people’s revolt before positive changes begin to happen in the north and south of Nigeria. Without a doubt, if corruption remains king, violence its deputy, and insecurity the treasurer of the ill-fated status quo Federal Republic of Nigeria, we might as well write the gravestone epitaph today:

“Here lie the remains of a potentially great country whose ruin came because leadership did not give a damn; her filthiness was in her garments, her collapse was awesome, because she did not consider her destiny.”

Without a doubt, the catalogue of scandalous mismanagement of national resources, the unbridled stealing of public funds, and the bewildering exposure of the level of corruption in almost every arm of government as well as governmental agencies and parastatals, call for a change of guards – more so when the president has openly admitted that the security situation in the country has changed his pre-election agenda. And in spite of the president’s promises to deal with insecurity head-on, this government appears helpless because it cannot see the linkage between corruption and violence.

During the fuel hike protests in January this year, neither the threats to our lives nor the tanks that were rolled out brazenly to suppress genuine agitation against oppression, were scary to me. Rather, it was the bold placard held up in Abuja and Ojota Freedom Park by people unknown to me. The placard contained this startling message: “ONE DAY THE POOR WILL HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO EAT BUT THE RICH”; that was very scary to me, “because no nation, no matter how enlightened, can endure criminal violence. If we cannot control it, we are admitting to the world and to ourselves that our laws are no more than a facade that crumbles when the winds of crisis rise.” (Alan Bible)

For that not to happen is the reason for this message. This is no time for false accusations and counter accusations. Mr. President may be doing his best but the impact is not felt anywhere except in the bank accounts of oil vultures, his corrupt political allies and corporate cowboys. We have a patriotic duty to educate our people and we will continue to do that until light replaces the darkness in foggy minds, since education is considered a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. In the words of Henry Peter Brougham:

“Education makes people easy to lead, but difficult to drive, easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.”
If this message does that, our expectations would have been fully satisfied.
The starting point of any great enterprise is reality. If we are all ruthlessly and brutally honest about our inventory as a nation, Nigeria requires better handling than we are presently experiencing.
May the good Lord in His infinite mercies look down upon our affliction as a people, burst the gloomy cloud of despair over our nation, and raise for us visionary leaders imbued with wisdom, integrity, justice, courage, temperance and fortitude; leaders who we can trust and who can inspire confidence in our people for the rebuilding of our nation. Let me end this message by quoting Joseph Addison:
“There is no greater sign of a general decay of virtue in a nation than a want  of zeal in its inhabitants for the good of their country.”

May the zeal of God consume us as a people for the good of our country.
Thank you so much for your attentive ears. And may the good Lord heal, save, and make Nigeria great in our lifetime.
Once again, thank you all.

Dr. ‘Tunde Bakare
Serving Overseer,
The Latter Rain Assembly



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