Challenges Of Governance In Nigeria – Focus On Presidency By AbdulRahman Agboola

In the elementary training on ideology, action speaks louder than voice is a maxim that can best define the superiority of action over intention. Oftentimes, people align with promises base on hope, derived from trust and belief in the personality reeling out promises either at inter personal level or social contract level. Trust is the major premise for friendship or alliance among partners. When relationship is rosy and promises are kept in good faith, partners acknowledge trust and when otherwise, betrayer of trust becomes the slogan.

Trust is the core link that connects leadership and followership in terms of governance and relationship, especially in a sophisticated political clime where there is absolute priority for trust, as a premise to hand over mandate to political office seeker just as we witnessed at the 2015 Presidential Election in Nigeria. There are diverse factors across our divides that determines emergence of political office holders in different domains ranging from affinity, financial inducement, mobilization strength and strategies. Governance in Nigeria since 1960 has divergent views, considering peculiar circumstances of emergence and abortion of previous republics till we attained the great feat of uninterrupted democracy since 1999.

18 years of continuous nascent democratic rule, mistrust among nationalities has replaced the hitherto collective urge for an egalitarian society where welfare of citizens will be the hallmark of governance in Nigeria. It is easy to apportion blames to the old political juggernauts that foisted offshoots of dictatorial era on us since 1999, their young collaborators and accomplices also deserves thorough probity for misrepresenting “unsere leute” under democratic era. Coining dubious tactics by former Governors to hold on to power through cronies under the guise of continuity, has ruined the fortune of several States in Nigeria, while those that equally defeated the odds through crafty ideas are worse for deceptive dealings with the people even though we cannot rule out exceptions.

Nigeria previously had romance with strong economy, there were era of boom before and after discovery of crude oil, but our leaders were crookedly wicked with self-serving policies and actions at the expense of the future of the Country. At every point in time, when associates of people in power had business interest, limitless opportunities were offered to them to ruin public owned industries, which accounts majorly for death of most government owned businesses now limitlessly controlled by private business moguls richer than the Country.

There are few exceptions among former Nigeria Leaders and political office holders whose wealth are commensurable to their career earnings and legitimate profits on businesses, majority among them siphoned public funds and abuse their offices to create exceeding luxuries for their families and ruined the economy through disorderliness, lack of foresight and profligacy. Mentioning names merely amounts to opening of cans of worms; private public partnership scheme and privatization through dummy organizations were their design for infesting Nigerians with abject poverty.

Nigeria is a very productive Country of hardworking Nationalities and our currency that earlier had valuable purchasing power parity worldwide is now a mess, even in West Africa, had we prioritized the revamping of our economy through proper education of citizenry on the concept of national growth, the reduction of poverty from among the populace would have shifted from the lower ebb of hell to the frontage of paradise, “mirabile dictu”. There is no argument over the fact that Nigeria was is a distasteful state before the 2015 general election which eased the hiring of a personality with proven pedigree to lead the Country out of the doldrums to an expected order of positive accomplishments.

The trust that necessitated the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria Presidency in 2015 was not a façade, under his leadership of the Country, the middle class now dedicate proper value to their money and earnings, the downtrodden are opportune to combat their oppressors, while the affluent aristocrats hides their dubious possessions, unlike previous era where  looting of treasury, sharp practices  and naked power misdirected people in power towards profligacy and high handedness accountable for the economy recession and polity negativities.

The middle class and the poor, socially and economically, painfully bear the consequences of economic recession in the midst of inflation and poverty. Just like the Jews were blamed for not devising pragmatic political solutions to curtail “antisemitism” before it subjected them to inhumane treats by Countries in Europe before the Second World War, the vast populations of downtrodden in Nigeria are behaving similar to the Jews, going by the account of Hannah Arendt in “Origin of Totalitarianism”. The downtrodden cannot continue to wallow in despair to confront the saboteurs impeding on the rebirth of viability of our economy.

If the downtrodden had bothered to take seriously the exigent need for crushing corruption at all levels in Nigeria, probably the fight against corruption would have reposition the Country for greatness as targeted by Mr President at the early hours of this administration. Nigerians ignored the sign that the top echelons of both the illiberal ruling party – All Progressive Party and the bewildered opposition party – Peoples Democratic Party are populated with men and women of questionable characters with corrupt past, these demagogues are pride as role models and mentors yet the downtrodden expects them to change without detachment from power.

When will the ineffectual personalities among Governors, Senators, Ministers, Honourables and Political Lords lose their privileges while the downtrodden will gain their freedom to develop is a subject of proper coordination among the politically conscious middle class with genuine intentions for creation of an egalitarian society. Firstly, ideology and self-respect must be rebuilt among young people who are majorly in lust with power and fame as coveted in their romance with the aristocrats’ relevance in the polity.

The perception of young people towards leadership has to be properly sharpened towards understanding of service to humanity without raping the treasury; they must be equipped with knowledge of consequences of impunity and corruption as a guide to a rewarding economy as we prepare for the 2019 general election. If circumstances that abound in our polity are properly weighed, it will be correct to state that the ruling party has not done enough to correct the ills of the past and achieve a green economy, despite this, the prevailing occurrences exposed the fact that we didn’t build our Institutions to function effectively through standard regulations, rather we reposed confidence in individuals to perform magic, which is responsible for the slow recovery rate of the economy from recession.

There is a conception that the present is nothing than an insignificant link in future generation and the chain of past. When properly dissected, you will realize that a generation that thrives in the belief that acquisition of money through any means possible (whether legal or illegal) is already endangered by wrong orientation about means of survival. There are laws of survival at times of danger, these laws are not conventional and not applicable to daily lives at normal moments, people cannot continue to suffer loss of ideology simply because of survival.

We still have about 17 Calendar Months to the 2019 General Election in Nigeria, the present administration can still achieve monumental feats if the Presidency will be proactive to issues of national importance and build mass movement against corruption, with real and genuine intention to rebuild the Country. To be proactive is to sack any Minister or Political Office Holder within the ruling party with records of corruption as dossier by the Department of State Services, to be proactive is to concentrate on efforts towards a home grown economy through manufacturing, industrialization and agriculture, to be proactive is to grant autonomy to Local governments/State House of Assemblies, to be proactive is to reduce cost of running government and abolition of self-serving policies inherited from previous administrations.

There is no doubt that a proper consideration of these proactive measures will not only add value to the image of Muhammadu Buhari Presidency , there are tendencies of positive effects on the acceptability of the All Progressive Congress in the next general election. The Peoples’ Democratic Party elements within and outside the current administration, obviously wished the Presidency poor performance in all facets of governance, with their strategies through some gullible hatchet men in the National Assembly that hitherto derailed the Anti-Corruption crusade and recent efforts to reconcile all aggrieved party members towards preparation to take over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria again at the center in 2019.

Wishful thinking without commensurable efforts amount to vanity, the Presidency and the All Progressive Congress should not assume that Nigerians are well abreast that the present predicaments are products of the Peoples’ Democratic Party era of doom leadership of the Country, Nigerians must see the difference in practical realities of A to P achievements and not professing of good intentions as the masses are tilted to believe. Issues of sabotage, nepotism and deficient blue print must be addressed “expressis verbis” to protect our collective patrimony.

The health challenges of President Muhammadu Buhari shouldn’t be an impediment towards the fulfillment of his dreams and aspirations for a better Nigeria, even though his absence arose evaluation of true functionalities of democratic institutions and laws, his team should already be conversant with his approach to governance and basic ideals intended by him to boost the growth of our economy and governed positively to the benefit of a common Nigerian. The score card of first year of this administration recorded average rating on the fight against insecurity and international image, the second year recorded similar rating in the fight against corruption while the third year is ongoing with no clear cut approach to solving impasses in the polity and only God knows what will be recorded on the next score card.

The current administration has to be mindful of urgent need for synergy among the government and the governed, the government shouldn’t lose focus on delivery of dividends of good governance to the people, the 2016 budget was haphazardly implemented and the 2017 budget in focus bears no semblance with the pedigree of Mr President, the missing link must be found wherever lost, to avoid embarrassment for the Presidency. The people must be socially and politically considered important by the government and should not suffer the usual contemptuous aloofness, hence; action should speak louder than voice.

Comrade AbdulRahman Agboola

Vice Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP)

Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa Chapter

E-mail: goodcitizen4gg@gmail.com

 

 

 

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Hon Oladipo Olaitan: Blackmail, Smear Campaign Won’t Distract Aregbesola, By Inwalomhe Donald

One of the leading headlines of Saturday Vanguard Newspaper, July 22, 2017 is Aregbesola has damaged Tinubu badly credited to Afenifere scribe, Hon Oladipo Olaitan. The interview is a calculated attempt to blackmail Governor Rauf Aregbesola and create problem between Aregbesola and his political leader, Asiwaju Tinubu. The interview showed that Hon Olaitan is jealous of Aregbesola’s achievements in Osun state and his closeness to Tinubu. Hon Olaitan is aware of past and present developments in Osun state. He has deliberately resorted to cheap propaganda, mischief and blackmail to cause division between Asiwaju Tinubu and Aregbesola. The fact is that Hon Olaitan has lost relevance in Nigeria politics because he is purblind to the realities in Osun state (please visit www.osunsukukprojects.com)

Hon Olaitan’s interview was an attempt to blackmail Governor Aregbesola. Any dutiful and objective appraisal of the issues arising from the interview would agree with me that Hon Olaitan was really out to denigrate Aregbesola for intentions that had nothing to do with the public interests of Osun state and Nigerians. I am appalled by the deliberate attempt by Hon Olaitan to cause division between Asiwaju Tinubu and Aregbesola. I find it ridiculously baseless and mischievous the ranting of once upon a time leader. This can only be part of the unrelenting campaign of calumny and the ceaseless peddling of pernicious propaganda against Governor Aregbesola.

Aregbesola’s preoccupation has been and continues to be how to deliver on his promised rescue Agenda to the good people of Osun since he came to office. And he has received applause and commendations from far and near for being so focused and unrelenting in the pursuit of his vision for the state.

Aregbesola will not be distracted by any form of organised and orchestrated blackmail from any quarters, God willing; he will continue to deliver on his promises.

Hon Olaitan has made calculated statements to undermine and distort present developments in Osun state. He is peddling inaccuracies, misleading and calculated mischief about Osun state in an attempt to blackmail Governor Aregbesola and set him on a collision course with the people and Asiwaju Tinubu. Olaitan was fixated on matters of power, rather than issues that will benefit the Osun people. There is an obvious attempt to blackmail Aregbesola, paint him as an irresponsible leader, one not concerned with the welfare of the people, and set the Governor against Asiwaju on matters of power rather than issues that benefit the Osun people. This is clearly a bitterness syndrome being display by a spent politician whose belief in political expediency is based only on self-gain and not the people. How on earth a supposed elder statesman would refute developmental strides being experience in Osun?

Hon Olaitan’s interview is misinforming the people by claiming that Aregbesola has damaged Tinubu badly. This statement credited to Hon Olaitan, clearly showed that he is uninformed and a mischief maker. I understand Olaitan’s grievances that ‘’Afenifere was the rallying point for all of us, but no sooner than we all won the election, everybody started to have peculiar interests.Idiosyncrasies of each person started to play out, and then some people were either with Tinubu or with Afenifere. I stayed with Afenifere and will never bite the finger that fed me. I have nothing against Tinubu, absolutely nothing, but I just could not…it was difficult for me to understand that I would abandon my old ship and join another person. That was how the little difference emerged, and we were carrying on and carrying on, but in the party we knew ourselves. You were either for Tinubu or main Afenifere, and I was known to be main Afenifere. Of course, he who pays the piper dictates the tune. Tinubu being the governor, he would say he is the leader of the party and had the presence of those he says believed in him and by his own calculation, I could not have believed in him if I would still stay in Afenifere. Naturally, when people were to be returned, I was not returned because I did not belong. And up till today, I thank God that I am the National Financial Secretary of Afenifere and if my race gives me a particular position to hold for them, I will believe that I am holding it in trust for them. Like when I was in the National Assembly I saw myself as leading the Yoruba Race in the National Assembly.’’

My question now is how can Aregbesola badly damage Tinubu? In what sense?  I want to advise Hon Olaitan to go for psychological test because his interview was not coherent and it lacks basic facts about Aregbesola. If there is anything that Hon Olaitan wants from Tinubu, he should go straight to him instead of smearing the name of Aregbesola to gain cheap popularity. In his interview Hon Olaitan admitted that he is not popular that he relied on Afenifere to win election in 1999 and it is obvious he cannot distinguish between the past and present developments in Osun State. Hon Olaitan is ignorant of recent negative developments in the Nigerian economy which continues to face serious macroeconomic challenges and is in a recession for the first time in decades. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2016 was estimated at -1.5%, with a moderate recovery expected in 2017. This is attributed to a series of shocks, including the continued decline in oil prices, foreign exchange shortages, disruptions in fuel supply and sharp reduction in oil production, power shortages, and insecurity in some parts of the country, as well as low capital budget execution rate (51%).

Inwalomhe Donald, writes from Benin City.

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My Reply To Uduaghan By Prof. Pat Utomi

I am pleased to hear the former Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan respond to my comments on the poor state of finances in Delta State. To my mind, it is the direction of engagement that I hope will raise the quality of public discussions and move our democracy towards better serving the people. I therefore feel obligated to respond to the issues raised and to set the records straight for the benefit of the general public.

While I agree with the former Governor that our conversations of today should focus more on the future than the past, we must recognize that the damage done to Delta State by the mismanagement of its finances and resources still plagues the state as we speak. Uduaghan’s legacy is a sad reflection of this awful chapter of our history.

My comments on optimal debt-to-revenue ratios is verifiable and those who have the ability to do the math are all over the place. It was a comment made to draw attention to and prevent the worsening of a problem that is still on-going; because in spite of the bailout funds from the Federal Government, and the huge windfall from the Paris loan refunds which now stands at over N24billion, the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA) has approved over N18 billion as loans for the Okowa administration this year alone. In fact, a N13 billion plus loan request was recently made to the Delta State House of Assembly.

Deltans need to be aware and decry this type of heavy debt burden, especially as there are no commensurate development projects or programmes on ground to justify it and to aid repayment in future. Gov. Okowa was right to raise an alarm about the over N600 billion debt that he claimed to have inherited. He has however proceeded to increase this debt burden by over N60 billion of his own. This is only further mortgaging Delta state and the future of our children.

Having made that point, I wish to address a number of inaccuracies that dominate what was attributed to ex-Governor Uduaghan. He would deny them if he has any credibility, for he had on many occasions said to me and to several others, including Arc. Kester Ifeadi of the Organization for the Advancement of Anioma Culture (OFAAC), that some elements in the previous government in which he served as SSG sabotaged our “Technology Village” project which was initiated by the private-sector in Delta North to jump-start a “Silicon Valley” type development in Delta State.

He had also mentioned to some that he felt indebted to the Anioma people and he had hoped to make up for that sabotage from 2000/2001. Uduaghan must note that some of the world’s most valuable companies today, including Google and Facebook started in Stanford dorms that went across to become a value-creating ecosystem with Venture Capitalists in place. We planned the same program for Illah, and if the government of Delta State has not sabotaged this laudable project, it would have today become a reputable ICT hub driven by a learning centre of post-graduate level, just like Stanford, creating thousands of jobs for Deltans.

It is the kind of hub in Silicon valley that makes the State of California the biggest economy in the United States of America; bigger than most countries in Europe and the world. Despite the sabotage, we still set up ‘Socket Works’, a pioneer e-Government service provider which created Nigeria’s new Passport, and partners with the Immigration Services till date.

Also, I invited Uduaghan to do the ground-breaking of a Youth Centre to be built in Ibusa by an NGO that I founded called Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), dedicated to the upliftment of the youths of Delta state for free. The location was in a developing area and Uduaghan as governor, pledged to tar the road in the next quarter. He publicly asked then Commissioner for Works, Mr. Paul Osaji, to commence work immediately on this road that would have linked Ibusa and Okpanam.

But the road remains a mirage till date. CVL has started constructing another model at a different location. This NGO is also currently executing Youth Entrepreneurship Programmes in all the three senatorial districts of Delta state valued at more than ?800m, and training 400 youths in four different centres: Ibusa, Agbor, Effurun and Ozoro. All the trainees completed the 2nd phase of the program last week with written exams. The 3rd phase of the one-year program will commence next month and it will focus more on the acquisition of sustainable skills and capacity. This specialist program would ordinarily cost millions per person at Lagos Business School but it is offered free, with free meals and daily transport allowances to support the participants.

Even more troubling from the claims on attracting investment is the one related to an Agriculture Industrial Town. I brought a team of foreign investors to Asaba and Dr Uduaghan welcomed them, assuring speedy allocation of land. After two years of trips to Asaba that didn’t produce any result, we turned to Edo State and within months a C-of-O was ready. Several hundred millions of Naira investments have gone into this project already with additional billions pledged.

As we speak, more than one hundred hectares of jungle has been cleared and is continuing. An Independent Power Plant (IPP) to power this ‘Produce City’ in Edo State has commenced activities and hundreds of millions of Naira in investments have also been committed. In 5 years there will be more than 20,000 quality jobs created in that location.

Deltans will prefer that Uduaghan gives account for the IPP project he abandoned in Oghara that gulped over N20 billion under his administration with nothing to show seven years after. We welcome any debate on how to efficiently utilize scarce state resources for the maximum benefit of the people and prevent such colossal waste as was witnessed under Uduaghan – and is still the experience today under the current administration.

Finally, I was astonished to learn of “partnering” with the former Governor in search of foreign investments and coming up short. As I recall, I was delivering a lecture some years ago at Cramfield Business School in the UK when my Personal Assistant in Lagos received a call from Asaba that the Governor would appreciate my joining him on a US tour. It was indicated that I was out of the country; however, he insisted that it would add value if I could join the team in the US, and I made the trip across the Atlantic. Evidence of several successful foreign investments that I have attracted and which are on ground indicate just how bogus these claims are. It is also noteworthy to mention that I attracted a ‘Smart City’ project to Lagos State. If any foreign investors came near during this tour, it was by my trying to get partners in New York to show what they could do. I was not surprised when these investors did not get any response from him. A Councillor would have even done much better for our people than Uduaghan did then as Governor.

There is extreme misuse of the opportunities available to Delta State. It will take a serious and truly capable government to vigorously tap its potentials and create jobs for our teeming youths. This is one of the many reasons why I believe Delta State needs new political leadership in 2019. Deltans are not meant to suffer from the jeopardy of a clueless administration, especially at this critical phase of its existence.

I would have imagined that Uduaghan will be very sober and saddened by his legacy of mismanagement and gross wastage that he left behind in Delta State. Trying to spin his poor record in the hope that Deltans would have forgotten so soon is a failed attempt to rewrite history. Undoubtedly, he knows that only few Deltans speak well of him and it is his pain to struggle with that reality. As he grapples with history, what is more important to Deltans today is how we can rectify the wrong policies, decisions and actions of the past, so that we can create a government that would not only meet the needs of our people today but guarantee a better life for successive generations.

This is the task that I have offered to commit myself to between now and 2023. We are already looking forward to 2019 with hope and renewed zeal for the beginning of a ‘New Delta’ teeming with opportunities and alive with possibilities.

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Hon. Muktari Aliyu: A Burden Or A Blessing By Abdullahi Kantoma

For the benefit of clarity, Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara is the member representing the good people of Biu, Kwaya Kusar, Bayo and Shani at federal House of Representatives under the platform of All Progressive Congress, APC. He is currently serving for the third term and chaired the committee on defence.

Some weeks back social media was not only awash by some fictitious report going round credited to our passive lawmaker, Hon. Betara, that he has been granting some ghost interview to some ghost journalist, but the continue incantation that he is the best our constituency produced thus far calls for concern especially among the ever raising intellectuals we have. In reality he’s the one with least credentials among all that occupied the position since 1999.

Over the years, our attitude towards governance made us misapplied the ideals of democracy. Our people became petty and reduced themselves to cash and carry electorates.

For the privilege of my misinformed constituents, lawmakers are member of legislative arm of government responsible for making new laws and changing the existing ones. They govern by proposing bills, debates, passing resolutions, holding votes and enacting laws. Our people mistook all these with number of cars, tricycles, monies given to them and number of pilgrims sponsored. Not only that, they also mistaken lawmaking to money making. As such, being a lawmaker is seen as someone who represent a clan at the centre while the national cake is shared.

It is on record that all the aforementioned legislative qualities are direct opposite of what Hon. Betara represent. He is not only a serial absentee but a chronic bench warmer whose passiveness has rotten the bench for over ten years and still counting. It beat our imagination to see someone seat in a legislative chamber for over a decade without seconding to any motion. These and many more amount to grounds for recall and a total misrepresentation of the mandate we bestowed on him.

As small as my village Buratai, we have more than five professors. Celebrating Hon. Betara for granting an infamous interview in ‘English’ will raise a credibility question to our collective sensibility; especially in a cosmopolitan community like ours. Hon. Betara, might have tried within his capacity, but ten years of legislative mum is what we intend to change come 2019.

In a circumstances where the overwhelming majority are living in abject poverty due to the adverse effects of insecurity which has drawn the attention of international communities, given fridge or spraying money on his annual constituency tour goes to tell how opportunistic our civilian general (As he is fondly called) is. Our voice became muddy; on the floor of the House.

While it is on record that humongous amount of money has accrued to his offices, his accountability remain obscure. All he does is citing retrospective political precedents which is hampering our desired progress.

Ever since democracy returned in 1999, our outcry has been the same. The Biu to Gombe road which remained a travelers nightmare and the Biu Dam project which is abundant by every successive admin. Interestingly, all these projects cut across all the local government under his constituency. Unfortunately, these and lot more cannot be archived with this soporific legislative style of Hon. Betara, together with his half-baked, ill informed catalogue of aides.

Democracy is ever revolving while governance becoming competitive, we urge Hon. Betara to bury his legislative forbear and accept what his kinsmen are known for. That is competency: anywhere, anytime. We also want to use this medium to call on all and sundry, people of the constituency with unquestionable character, great intellect and stout-hearted to step forward and snatch the steering of our affairs, as the current driver is bemused as to where the passengers wants to go.

Finally, we enjoin our teeming youths to be vigilant and have a rethink, as any godfather who cannot help one discover and utilize his/her in-build potentials is not worth dying for. Youths should stop demeaning themselves by patronising those who will rather share penny than sow a better seed for the future generation. Those who send their children to best schools while they gleefully encourage you to showcase your political praise singing and thuggery don’t deserve your vote. Hon. Betara have invested so much on ignorance which remain the best way to cover his glaring inept and maintain his status quo. 2019 should be a sober one. Reflect on the activities of Hon. Betara, over the years, are we going to continue with his own way or revert to what is generally acceptable? All these and many more can be determine by our voters card.

To be continue…

Written by Concern Citizen.concerncitizen4all@gmail.com

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President Muhammadu Buhari and The Descendants Of Shimei By Femi Adesina

There is nothing new under the sun, goes a popular saying. In fact, the more things seem to change, the more they appear the same. From time immemorial, some people have spoken evil of leadership, cast aspersions on them, and generally portrayed themselves as the scum of the earth. No matter how a country loves its leader, there will naturally be those that the Good Book calls “filthy dreamers” who “despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” That is why as spokesman to President Muhammadu Buhari, I never respond to such people. Their type would always be around.

President Buhari has been indisposed since the beginning of the year. It is human, and presidents, despite their elevated status, remain human. If there is anybody who considers himself 100 percent healthy, or who bears what William Shakespeare calls “a charmed life,” let that person stand up to be identified. All mortals are doomed to sickness, they can recover, and they can die. That is the truth that has been internalized by millions of people praying for the recovery of our President. And that is where the shallowness, vacuousness, and hollowness of people who wish the President dead and carry unfounded rumors, is on stark display. Filthy dreamers. They speak evil of dignities and despise dominion. But we forgive them, for they know not what they do. When President Buhari returns (as God would make him do) where would they hide their faces? In shame.

Now, I started by saying we would always have scumbags around. It is inevitable. They are the descendants of Shimei, the son of Gera, whom I want to introduce to you now.

Who is Shimei? Well, I met him on the pages of the Good Book, and he bears a striking similitude to some people in our country today. The evil wishers, the hate monger, and those who spend their days conjecturing tragedy for leadership.

Absalom, the son of King David, had led an insurrection against his father. And the king of Israel fled, with some of his supporters in tow. As David got to a place called Bahurim, the Holy Bible records that Shimei, the son of Gera, a man of the family of Saul, came out, and started cursing the fleeing king. You don’t kick a man that is down, goes a saying, but Shimei not only cursed David, he also threw dust and stones at him. It was a show of shame.

David had succeeded Saul as king of Israel. And Shimei was from the family of Saul (read, People’s Democratic Party, PDP). Shimei hadn’t forgotten the bloody nose the family of Saul got when the kingship was taken away from them, and given to David. So when the latter got into a time of travail, no pity at all from people still smarting from bloody noses.

The All Progressives Congress (APC), inspired by Muhammadu Buhari, halted the 60-year pipe dream of PDP at the polls in 2015. Has the latter forgotten? No, they won’t forget till forever. But so much is the animus, the antipathy towards the President that they wish him dead. While millions of Nigerians are praying, some elements are rejoicing and imagining evil. But they forget: man is not God, and Jehovah always has the final say. The descendants of Shimei need to learn vital lessons from their forebear.

As the base fellow assaulted the fleeing king, Abishai, one of David’s mighty men, said:”Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.”(2 Samuel, 16:9). But David restrained him, saying if God had not permitted Shimei, he could not have done what he was doing.
President Buhari has tolerated people who have called him all sorts of names in the past two years. If he didn’t move against them directly, he could have allowed many Abishais to move against them, “and take off their heads.” But not our President, a reformed democrat, a pious man, who has resolved to leave the people suffused by hatred unto God. And will they get their just desserts one day? As night follows the day, they will. If not from man, they will get it from God. Their forefather, Shimei did. He reaped what he sowed.

After some time, the rebellion led by Absalom was crushed by loyal troops, and David regained the throne. As he headed back into the city, who came to meet the king, with one thousand of his relatives, pleading for mercy? Shimei. The Yorubas say the same mouth that the snail used to abuse the gods, is what it uses to lick the dusts of the earth. Shimei had suddenly become gentle. And humble, too. He fell down before David, and said:”I have sinned. Have mercy on me. Don’t remember what I did against you on the day you went out of Jerusalem.”

Heh, on a certain day, some people would come to prostrate, begging for mercy, asking President Buhari to forgive and forget. What will the President do? What did David do? Abishai said again to King David:”Let me bring down the head of this man, who cursed, and threw stones at you?”

But David said to Shimei:”Thou shall not surely die.” And the king swore unto him.

But did Shimei live happily ever after? Old sins, they say, have long shadows. Before David died, he instructed Solomon his son, who succeeded him, not to forget to deal with Shimei. At least, David had kept his part of the bargain not to kill Shimei.

What did Solomon do? He restricted Shimei to Jerusalem, adding that any day he went out of the city would be his last on earth. Days, weeks, and months went by. Shimei remained gentle. But on a certain day, two servants belonging to him ran away to Gath, another city. Shimei saddled his horses, and led his men to bring back the servants. He had received mercy from David, but he couldn’t show mercy to the servants. Mercy begets mercy.

The story was told to Solomon. Shimei has left Jerusalem. He went to Gath, contrary to your instructions. It was time for judgment. Solomon commanded that what Abishai had long wanted to do should be done to Shimei. And his head was brought down.
Will the descendants of Shimei repent, turn a new leaf, and become human? Will they recognize their own mortality? He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still. He that is overtaken by hate, let him remain hateful still. Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.

Let the descendants of Shimei who have ears to hear please hear. There is recompense for evil, and there is also recompense for good.

Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari

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Now Our Youths Are Crying And Kicking By @DeleMomodu

Fellow Nigerians, I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh when I got a call early this week from Ambassador Dayo Israel, one of the brightest youths I had mentored in my own modest way some years ago. It was a plaintive cry for help after the debacle of a failed local government chairmanship aspiration bid and the death knell of the campaign for youth emancipation in the Senate.

Dayo has since those halcyon days, when he came under my tutelage, worked very hard to be an iconic youth in Nigeria and beyond. Dayo recently threw his hat into the political ring recently when he attempted to pick the APC Chairmanship nomination for Lagos Mainland Local Government, to contest today against other Lagos Mainland Chairmanship aspirants in that Local Government of Lagos State. As you read my epistle right now, the election is taking place as scheduled but without Dayo’s name on the ballot papers.

Dayo had requested my intervention, several times in the last few months, for help with his political aspiration. He took his case to the high and mighty in our society and solicited the support of political godfathers in his party, APC. There is no doubt that Dayo is eminently qualified to run in this race and I was reasonably assured that he would deliver on most of the promises made by him. However, the arithmetic of politics in Nigeria, and in most places, is not always one plus one. The way these things are configured often make it impossible for brilliant young guys like Dayo to have a smooth sail in political climes like Nigeria. Ask me! I had my own Baptism of fire in 2011 when I got inspired by the audacity and miracle of Barack Obama in the United States of America and assumed foolishly that such could be replicated back home in Nigeria. Lord have mercy, I was dead wrong.

I had predicated my faith and boundless optimism on several factors: my personal credentials (I was well educated with a Masters degree in Literature-in-English), my political background (I had been in politics since 1982 and had even been a personal secretary to the then Deputy Governor of Old Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo. Since then I had interacted with some of Nigeria’s biggest political juggernauts), my business experience (I had managed people and resources from medium scale to high level), my global exposure (I had been blessed with access to world figures at home and abroad) and crucially, I now had what I thought were my greatest assets, the youths of Nigeria. But my dream of leading Nigeria out of the doldrums soon vanished.

The youths mostly teased and taunted me as inexperienced and poor. They preferred the calibre of people they claimed had pilfered, looted and wasted their common wealth – politicians with very loaded pockets. These are people who could instantly daze and dazzle them with cash which represents only a token of what they’ve stolen, and later abandon them and for good measure impoverish society at large. I could not believe my ears and my eyes as I watched developments with incredulity. I was too idealistic about a revolution foretold which became nothing but a mirage. I refused to join the mainstream parties in my nai?ve belief that the duo of PDP and AC had been substantially contaminated and we should start on a cleaner note. There is no doubt that the biggest party in Nigeria remains the unheralded and unregistered Floaters Party, comprising, of mainly, the most vocal but reticent youths in Africa. Anyway, I lost the election but learnt a lot of incredible lessons from the experience and exposure.

When Dayo Israel decided to go into politics, I readily and instantly knew he would have to climb Mount Everest in short time to clinch his party ticket. I admired his guts and appreciated his superlative enthusiasm. But I knew that alone could not catapult him to the dreamland that he foresaw. His campaign was remarkable and fresh. I did not want to discourage him in any way. I was in a position to give him privileged information that would have dampened his enthusiasm but refrained from doing so in order not to weaken his resolve or demoralise him, particularly for the future. Nevertheless, I knew the chicken would eventually come home to roost. Truth is the elders that we usually complain against, and grumble about, are better organised and more fraternised than the younger ones. Nigerian youths are yet to demonstrate sufficient capacity for sustained struggle and clear-cut principle or ideology. I was the only Presidential candidate in the history of Nigeria ever with uncommon faith in the abilities of Nigerian youths and demonstrated this when I picked a prodigiously gifted 26-year old Ohimai Godwin Amaize as my Presidential Campaign Coordinator. His biggest foes were the same youths he had fought for all his adult life. They regularly dissed and derided him as if success as a young man is a curse in Nigeria.

It was no surprise to me when Dayo started seeing red lights halting him in his tracks and denying him progress. His dreams and vision began to evaporate before his very eyes. He came crying to me several times and I tried to pacify him as much as possible. I sometimes had to tell him the blatant and unpleasant truth, which only brought more anguish for him. I prepared his mind for the worst case scenario. At first, he was reluctant and resisted my humble advice and realistic forecast as to how his ambition would be scuttled. Eventually, he saw reason and accepted his fate with equanimity. I was excited about his decision not to throw tantrums against his party leaders but to cooperate beautifully with them and rally together other disappointed and angry aspirants who were in denial, like he was initially. Obviously, “he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day,” according to an adage. Every act of compromise is not always an act of cowardice but is often a demonstration of wisdom and a show of strength of character.

That done and ambition thwarted for now, Dayo with youthful vigour decided to join yet another cause, the “not too young to run” campaign. Dayo Israel and company banked their resolve in this regard, on the support of the Nigerian Senate. I really don’t know what or who persuaded them that the Senate, as presently composed, was going to buy into their vision, but they somehow believed the bill was going to sail through. That hope too was soon dashed. Dayo was livid and incandescent with rage. He called me frantically. Since I didn’t know what informed the decision of the Senate not to kowtow to the wishes of our youths I decided to beg Dayo to cool temper. “Uncle, Uncle, please we need your intervention,” he pleaded like a penitent school boy. “What happened, Dayo,” I asked innocently. I didn’t really know why he was so worked up. Then he told me how the Senate had thrown out the bill that would help the Nigerian youths participate more effectively in politics, and he was so disappointed. I told him I was helpless. However, I also assured him that, If and when, I have the opportunity to speak to the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, I will speak to him about it,” I calmly told him that this was a solemn promise. And I also promised to publicly add my voice to this necessary crusade via my Pendulum column today.

The Nigerian youths must be told the unpalatable truth. No one gives up, or relinquishes power on a platter of gold. You must go all out and work assiduously to grab it. If necessary, you must fight ferociously for it. Life is not a bed of roses and the battle for power is no less so. The Azikiwes, Awolowos, Tafawa Balewas, and others all prepared well and adequately for power. They did not wake up suddenly to ask for it. Our youths must first distinguish themselves in their respective areas of expertise and endeavour. When you are distinguished, you will have the confidence to speak authoritatively and convincingly. People will listen to you. Nigerian youths should stop expecting manna from heaven. The last time it dropped was only reported in the Holy Bible, and that must be many centuries ago.

Nigerian youths must join mainstream political parties and form themselves into formidable cells. If you claim politics is too dirty and dangerous and abandon it on the laps of useless characters, you can’t come back later to blame anyone for your negligence or ostrich behaviour. Not only must they join the main political parties, Nigerian youths must invest in their political future by making donations towards funding of the electoral process. If you allow the moneybags hijack the political parties, that is it. He who pays the piper dictates the tune. One of the reasons corruption is difficult to contain or exterminate in Nigeria is because politicians are forced to raise and spend too much of their personal resources to contest elections. It is thus natural that an outlandish investor would want to recoup his humongous investment as soon as possible, if he is successful.

Nigerian youths must acquire and imbibe the spirit of patience by making painstaking effort to queue, vote and protect their votes on election day. Since phantoms or aliens are not going to descend from the heavens or outer space to elect our leaders for us, we must do it for ourselves by exercising our voting rights. The nonchalance of our youths must yield way to a more passionate interest in this most important matter of enfranchisement. We must register to vote and recognise that it is cool to vote no matter how tedious the process may be. No magic would change Nigeria for the better if we fail to do what is right. The elites, in particular, make it easy for stark illiterates and mediocres to take over our political landscape by thinking they are too big to vote or soil themselves by participating in party politics. When tomorrow comes, it is only those who presented themselves that would determine those who are to be voted in or out.

I sincerely sympathise with our youths. In 2019, some of the leading aspirants again would be in their sixties and seventies. That is the sad reality I must tell you about today. I’m yet to see those in the thirties and forties seriously warming up for the tough race ahead. On my part, at 57, I already feel I’m getting too old. It is now more obvious than ever that Nigeria must urgently seek energetic, youthful but accomplished, visionary, upwardly mobile leaders who would think and work outside the box regardless of tribe, gender or religion. We need our young entrepreneurs and innovators to also claim the political space. I do not care where our leaders come from as long as I’m reasonably convinced of their competence. However, we continue to do the same things repeatedly by churning out lacklustre and poor candidates who have no clue about governance or national development. For this reason, we should not expect different results from those of the past. Our lunacy would have been finally confirmed if we continue not only to repeat the mistakes of the past but also continue to embrace it. No nation develops without learning from its history and without leaning on its youth. It is not a coincidence that our greatest periods of national development and progress have been at the time when we have young men at the helm of affairs. We do not need to reinvent our existence or raison d’etre. We only need to flow with it and redevelop our instincts for youth and vigour, imagination and innovation – In short visionary, dedicated and disciplined leadership.

God help Nigeria.

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The Broken Woman: Perfection In Imperfections By Blossom Obi |@Blossomobi3

She was cold and her body began to grow stiff just like dad’s minutes before he passed on. I cried because I didn’t want to lose her because irrespective of her imperfection, she was still my mom and had gone through a lot for us.

My father ceased taking care of after having two children with his mistress. He turned his back on us, not even caring if we ate or not, but my mother was always there for and she did everything my father had run away from.

Mother had returned from church an hour ago, deciding to take a nap because of the day’s stress and I told everyone in the house not to disturb her. I was specifically referring to my older siblings Casey and Harry, since they have lost sight of important things and usually get into mishaps with one another.

I was in the room trying to shake off the feeling that life wasn’t a bed of roses, when I heard noises. As I tried to run towards the sound, my phone slipped off my hands and I didn’t even care, I wanted to be sure everyone was okay.

It was my siblings again. This time mother couldn’t bear it, so she tried to wriggle out Casey from Harry’s grip but he wouldn’t let go. It was like something else had taken over Harry and that was when mother yelled; “una wan kill me for this house?”.  As she continued in the struggle to separate them, her struggles made her fight for air and next thing, she was suffocating and then slumped.

All my screams to stop the madness earlier was falling on deaf ears, but the sound of my mother on the floor activated an ice-cold silence in the room. We all rushed towards her, touching and shaking her as much as we could, but she was growing cold. The warmth of life was leaving her body and her joints were gradually growing stiff.

My heart skipped and began racing into a realm of confusion. But “thank God”, I muttered out of my skipping breather, she was still breathing.  I yelled at my siblings to go away, to give her breathing space, at least she could be with people who cared about peaceful atmosphere. They moved but not completely away because Casey stayed a bit closer but still giving room for air. I started crying and beckoned on mother if she could say something as her eyes were still like that of a statues.

Casey joined me as we called on her, but she was just staring into the same empty space and would not move. My tears flowed harder, I wasn’t ready to become an orphan.

“This was how dad was few minutes before he passed on. You didn’t even know because you were not there and if mother goes because of your stupid attitude I would never forgive you”, I snapped at Harry.

Mother moved for the first time, making a gesture that meant she wanted water, relief flooded my whole body as I rushed to get water for her to drink. She sat up, drank and tried to speak but her voice was so low as if she did not speak at all.

“If husband dey misbehave, we go say make we dey the marriage because of children, if children come dey misbehave wetin person go do?’’, she muttered out when her voice became audible after a while.

A sharp pain tore through my heart as she was the one who single handedly completed my secondary school education with her petty trading and was training my older siblings in tertiary level.  She was in great pain which was evident in her tears, and  that was when we all knelt beside her, wiped her tears and began telling her how we would be the best children to her and siblings to each other.
“It will never happen again” I said and they all nodded.

Too many things fighting to bring us down and take away our hope and the very reason we are thankful for another day. Many times we feel the worst is upon us and it would never get any better, so we want to give up into despair, frustration or depression. Just hang on there a little, don’t give up just yet even though most times your whole body wants to take the easy way out and quit. Keep moving keep pushing, hope is knocking


Blossom Obi writes from Owerri, Imo State. For comments and responses, reach her via obiblossom8@gmail.com or Twitter/Instagram: @BlossomObi3

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After A Pyrrhic Victory! By Olalekan Adigun

It has become a pastime for me to write about political parties and movements since I submitted my first degree dissertation, Political Parties and Democratization: The Effects of Party Politics on Nigeria’s Democratic Experience (2003-2011) at the Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 2012. My fascinations with political parties and elections started when I worked as a polling clerk, in a ward at Itire (in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos state) during the 2003 general elections which gave me insights into the drama of politicians (then in the old Alliance for Democracy, AD, and People’s Democratic Party, PDP) and elections. Writing about political parties and elections has become some sorts of hubby for me.

I gave this background against the request by someone who wondered why I am “always attacking the PDP” in all my write-ups. My response to him was that I never attack the PDP or any other political party for that matter unfairly at any time. I point out what they are not doing well for them to improve and commend when they are getting it right so that our democracy can thrive!

Before the “victory” (which I will call a Pyrrhic victory for obvious reasons) about a week ago, I was among the first commentators to warn PDP about making Ali Modu Sheriff its National Chairman. Understandably, blind party supporters who thought Governors Ayodele Fayose and Nyelsom Wike could do no wrong told me to mind my business which I did immediately after writing the article, PDP, WHO STOLE THY THINKING CAP? What happened later, as they say, is history!

After the “victory” I want to sound another warning. If the news making the rounds is anything to go by that Femi Fani-Kayode is interested in becoming the party Chair, I submit that things can only get worse, not better, for the crises-ridden party. Some people will ask or wonder why I made this point. Like Modu Sheriff, people like FFK, as he is fondly called by his supporters, are motivated by blind and unregulated ambition for power, money and in most cases, women. Femi does not hide the fact that a bowl of porridge is just enough to sell his birth right. Like Sheriff, he is a bad market for the already “brandless” PDP.

I am one of those who still maintain that one of the main reasons former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election is FFK.  GEJ’s appointment of someone like FFK to handle his media in a make or mar election like 2015 made things easier for the All Progressive Congress (APC) to unseat the PDP. It was goofing after goofing for the Ife man. He got nothing right and got everything wrong. The only thing he’s good at is insults, which has never won any arguments. Let me make this clear that the APC 2015 presidential campaign was not spectacular in any way but was made easier by poor agents like FFK.

Also, FFK as far as I know him has never headed any responsible party position successfully. He headed the 2015 GEJ media team which led to disaster. The Aviation ministry he headed is better not talked about. His profile in party management is nothing to write home about. Let me not bring in his father, Remi Fani-Kayode. That’s another story altogether!

Another candidate jostling for the position is Chief Bode George. I understand apart from his military career, he’s played active roles in PDP for several years. He’s also, from what I know, a loyal party man. Unlike FFK who can sell the party when its members are asleep if the price is right. George, was elected as PDP Deputy National Chairman (South) which makes him understand the internal workings of the party.

The greatest George’s undoing is his conviction for Corruption. Even though he was later pardoned by GEJ after being cleared disappointingly by the Supreme Court, many still see him as integrity-challenged. This was why I posted some days ago that the difference between George and FFK is like trying to look for the eldest among puppies.

While I think PDP will struggle hard to convince most Nigerians that it’s no longer the looting party it’s known to be should it elect Bode George, electing FFK will bury the party earlier than predicted!

Olalekan Waheed ADIGUN is a political analyst and an independent political strategist for a range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

His write-ups can be viewed on his website http://olalekanadigun.com/

Tel: +2348136502040, +2347081901080

Email: olalekan@olalekanadigun.com, adgorwell@gmail.com

 

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In Defence Of The Rule Of Law By Bashir Sharif

It is not for nothing that, in the best of democracies all over the world, what one finds as the most visible is the strict adherence to the rule of law and conscious internalization of democratic values that largely define relationships within institutions and between individuals. In such societies, justice, in its broad sense, is seen not just as a relative concept but the conscience of the society, so much that its equitable dispensation is more of an article of faith than an exigency. Public office is therefore all about trust reposed and solemnly kept by those it is entrusted to.

In spite of the intermittent Military incursions that we have had to contend with as a country over the years, Nigeria has been a democracy, blessed with resources, enormous enough to take it to a very higher level and ahead of its peers. However, due to weakling institutions, impunity, by and among the political elite, dominates, in large proportion, the conduct of public officers in our governments. Rule of law, for instance, that other countries take seriously, is daily abused to the detriment of development without appropriate or at best selective sanction. Consequently, endemic corruption and nepotism find the opportunity to gradually erode whatever consensus the nation was built on.

Determined to face the challenges that tended to undermine good governance, Nigerians, by decisive choice, decided to effect a change of leadership orientation for the country when the opportunity presented itself in 2015 Presidential election and elected President Muhammadu Buhari, with the expectations that he would turn things round with his three point agenda. Happily, against all odds, a little over two years now, the President has justified the confidence reposed in the administration. Impunity and nepotism, that found cover under rule of law abuse in the previous administration, are being curtailed substantially to the delight of not a few.

However, while good governance is now taking root, Nigerians are bewildered by what is best describe as the resonation of rule law abuse and impunity in the most unexpected organ of the government. One is here referring to the purported suspension of the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, Professor Usman Yusuf, by the Minister for Health, Professor Isaac Adewale, who construed public office as synonymous with personal power and authority, not anything to do with accountability and responsibility.

On learning about this paradox, I was seriously worried and felt unjustifiably put on the defensive. Here is an administration that we put our all with many that paid the ultimate price to install, somersaulting to the inglorious method of the previous administration, when the President is not only far away but recuperating from serious sickness in London. I then begin to roll back the memory of places and congregations assured of absolute respect for the rule of law in this administration. Well, after all the alls, my conclusion is that, there is more to this perfidy than that meets the eye.

Be that as it may, the Minister needs to be tutored that the Public service is driven by transparent guidelines that, with emphasis, outlines span of control and responsibility such that no one can suspend whom he has no power to appoint. To this extent, the purported suspension of the Executive Secretary is nullity as it contravenes and circumvents the law establishing the Scheme and the public service rules. Of course, given his condition, the President could not have delegated the power to suspend the Executive Secretary to anybody. Moreover, it is very doubtable for the authorization to come from the Acting President, given his refusal to swear in two Ministers confirmed by the Senate, on the ground that it was the President that nominated them. Besides, the Minister cannot claim ignorance of the futility of the move by Senate in respect to the Comptroller of Custom based on power to appoint or remove from office.

One is not suggesting the coadunation of any wrong done by anybody in the administration. The insistence here is that, the Minister cannot accuse, out of own volition, investigate, suspend and lurk somewhere close to remove whom he did not appoint or have power to appoint. To do that, would entail not only infraction on the appointing authority and persecution on the part of the victim but equally an abuse of the rule of law that he swore to depend.

It is worth to note that, sensing the inherent danger, the Federal House of Representatives has called the Minister to order. However, commendable as the call is, it came after Minister has succeeded in ridiculing the people and Government as well as embarrassing the President in many fronts. If the untoward action was intended to be a kite flown when the President is indisposed, it has to be sanctioned otherwise nepotism that we believe the country has parted ways with will resurface in the administration.

One cannot say the President is infallible. Far from that, it is believed that he can make wholesome, safe and unintended mistake like many people. It therefore appears, the appointment of Professor Isaac Adewole is, by inference, one of such mistakes. For this reason, it is a justified agitation for the President to restructure his cabinet before much more havoc is done to his credibility and selfless service profile. After all, we are all one in defense of the rule of law.

May the Almighty bring back to us the President, stronger and healthier, to continue leading this country so that it will be better for us and future generation.

BASHIR ABBA SHARIF

HOPE NETWORK OF NIGERIA

N0 C4, Marhaba Street, Farm Center, Kano.

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No Recall For Saraki, Sahara Reporters’ Story Baseless By Terfa Naswem

Sahara Reporters in its story written by Abdulrazaq Hamzat,  published on July 16, 2017 with the title: “Recall of Senate President Saraki will commence on August 1st Despite Threat of Violence, Group Insists” projected that the people of Kwara Central will begin the recall process of Senator President Bukola Saraki  on August 1st 2017. This story so far is baseless, false and has no bearing on Saraki.

The people of Kwara State, especially those in Kwara Central are in support of Saraki and the notion that he will be recalled has not even gathered momentum as it is clear that those who are against Saraki are doing everything they can to bring him down for their diabolical schemes.

Saraki has never at any time dolled huge sum of money to launch campaign of calumny against anyone or unwarranted threats against others as reported by Sahara Reporters.

Mr. Olaitan Obalowu, an aide to Saraki has never at any point been involved in any threat of violence against any reporter of Sahara Reporters or any group as reported.

Some of the inconsequential and irrelevant reporters of Sahara Reporters have delved into publishing fake and baseless stories which are indications of some forces behind the scene that want their interest protected at all cost.

The latest of such fake stories by Sahara Reporters was the story published against Senator Dino Melaye that he did not graduate from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. The University authority brought out documents that showed Dino actually graduated from ABU which proved Sahara Reporters wrong.

The Kwara State Publicity Secretary of All Progressive Congress (APC), Alhaji Sulyman Buhari has also criticised Sahara Reporters from deviating from the ethics of journalism by publishing falsehoods.

Only the ignoramuses and the gullible would believe such fake and baseless reports aimed at relegating Saraki to the back seat by some politicians who are against him.

Saraki has repudiated to make the Senate rubber stamp by the Executive, the Cabal or anyone in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities which has made some of them to wage both surface and subterranean battles against him while others call him a recalcitrant Senate President.

Sahara Reporters was highly respected as a very reliable and credible source of news, but is gradually losing its respect. It should not allow its media organization to be hijacked by haters of Saraki. It should also desist from publishing baseless and false stories against people because such stories can’t move mountains but would further undermine its professionalism.

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Dangers of Accidental Journalism By Mukhtar Jarmajo 

It is doubtful if Nigerians can endure dictatorship again. We are now so used to the constitutional clause that guarantees our freedom of expression. Democracy has taught us that on every matter,  we are free to have and express an opinion. In fact, in a true democracy, our opinions are essential tools of decision making within the power corridors.

And true to it,  we are learning faster than expected. Nigerians are now very fast at making opinions on issues in the polity. At offices, schools, homes and even food joints, what transpire are arguments, debates or discussions on burning issues. However, while this calls for excitement as it may facilitate the process of governance, it yet calls for worry as the opinions expressed during such debates or discussions are hardly informed.

What is obvious is Nigerians are not patient enough to ascertain the veracity of information before decoding it to make an opinion out of it and or reporting it to the next level in the information dissemination chain.

A pointer to this is what obtains on the social media. On Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp groups etc, rumours and fake news (apologies to POTUS Trump) are what mostly circulate.

And to make matters worse, there are as many gullible Nigerians as there are rumour mongers. This perhaps is the reason why Nigeria’s rumours industry thrives. It also may be the reason why it is very easy to cause conflict in Nigerian societies.

At this instance, there is no gainsaying the fact that apart the fault lines of ethnicity, region and religion, Nigeria as a nation also suffers from pains caused by bad information management. And information is too important a resources to be left to accidental journalists to handle.

Information is so delicate a resources which failure to effectively manage causes crisis. Thus by its nature, information must only be disseminated from the right source through the right medium to the right audience at the right time and or place.

Jarmajo is on Twitter: @mukhtarjarmajo

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Sorry, But PDP Never ‘Won’ Osun-West Senatorial Election By Festus Ogun

Let me begin this piece by congratulating Senator Ademola Adeleke on his victory. As the saying goes, the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory. The emergence of Senator Ademola Adeleke is infact worth more than the more criticized dance. It was a triumphant entry into the National Assembly.

The rookie Senator was the flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP). He contested under the political party which was about going into political relegation in Nigeria polity. As much as PDP was widely rejected in the 2015 polls, Adeleke still emerged in a state ruled — and not governed — by the APC. This sends in some serious signals to be discussed herein.

We were taught in Civics that in democratic settings, political parties are voted for and not the candidates. And this is the reason why only names of political parties appear on ballot papers.

However, the case in Osun is different. The PDP never won the election in Osun West but Adeleke did. As much as this appears very illogical, it is the reality we must accept if we want the enhancement of our democracy.

This need be stated in reaction to claims by many chieftains of PDP that  the emergence of Senator Ademola Adeleke was the consequence of hard labour put in place by the party leaders and its acceptability amongst the people.

Both Ali Momodu Sheriff and Senator Markafi said “that the victory recorded by the party in the Osun West Senatorial election by Alhaji Nurudeen Adeleke was as a result of hard work.”

Many PDP leaders have persistently boasted that the victory is a prophecy of the party’s take over of power come 2019.

Unfortunately, all of these are quite far from the gospel truth. It was not PDP that made Senator Adeleke won. It was the ego and the “junta” tormenting spirit in Mr Rauf Aregbesola that made him won. It was the people’s will that made him won and not PDP strategies or hard labour.

PDP must resist from self deception — that same attitude that brought about the attempted suicide done to itself in 2015.

It was the expensive error the APC made at the primary that made Senator Adeleke became more acceptable amongst his people. One must not equally forget the “pity votes” casted by the electorates to compensate the deceased, Senator Isiaka Adeleke’s family.

The issue of internal democracy is a serious one in any given election. The lack of internal democracy in PDP was one of the reasons the party was swept away from power. The same reason APC was defeated in Osun too.

Infact, the bedrock of democracy is giving its true definition not just at general elections but also at the primaries.

Governor Aregbesola, who hasn’t done well to his people and has provoked anger in many by abysmal failure rocking his administration, ensured that his anointed candidate emerged as APC flag bearer at the expense of Senator Ademola Adeleke who was the people’s voice. He imposed Mr  Mudashiru Hussein on the people of Osun West. He never allowed democracy to prevail.

He never knew that the APC, with the 2015 elections enlightened many Nigerians, politically. That electorates are now wise and detest imposition. He never knew that our nation cannot move forwards if what obtain from within are not aligning with the tenets of democracy. He, therefore, used his hands to send and sell away the selling point of his party at the primary.

Senator Adeleke ran to PDP to contest. It was a day preceding the party’s primary that he got the ticket and he “won”. Many stepped down for him. But, why? It was, in my view, the fact that Aregbesola’s autocratic nature is now believed to be old fashion and evil.

Senator Adeleke contested and won under PDP, but PDP never won the election. It was the people’s will that did. It was not as a result of PDP’s hard work. It was not as if the party has been reformed. It was not as if the party is a preferable option. It was not as if the party is now better.

But, the people knew what they wanted.

Infact, the PDP leaders in the state never ascribed the victory to any hardwork or restructuring. They never ascribed it to its preparedness to take control of governmental machinery. The PDP chair in the state, interestingly, ascribed the victory to God. The chair, Mr Soji Adagunodo ascribed the victory to God saying the victory was beyond human calculation.

The party leaders in the state understand that PDP was merely a beneficiary of the sorry circumstances occasioned by Aregbe’s rigidity. The truth is: even if Senator Adeleke were to contest under APGA, UPN or any party whatsoever, he would have won!

And that is how politics in Nigeria ought to be. We ought not continue to dwell in blind politicking. We need to infact put on our glasses should we find it difficult to pick the right candidates in elections, regardless of parties.

In my humble submission, there are chief lessons to be learnt from the election. First, the mistake made by Aregbesola and acceded by other chieftains is too terrible for our growth. We cannot grow in midst of imposition. For the country to move forward, transparency must be observed in all political dealings. The era of manipulative imposition should be a bye gone in this present stage of our democracy.

But, would the Aregbesola annointed candidate have been defeated if he, Aregbe, had delivered the expected goods as governor? Aregbesola appears more of a disaster to his people and so no one will never support a candidate brought by “hardship” himself. Can you see why it’s good to be good? The PDP would have won Osun-West, but for Aregbesola.

The second is to the PDP. As much as the party is not prepared for being a viable opposition party, the time to come up together and set goals is still available for the party — before it becomes too late. The victory at Osun should not give the party any hope of acceptability. It shouldn’t give them any hope of it standing as a “threat” to the ruling party, APC.

As it stands, there is no opposition in Nigeria. The PDP needs critical reforms for it to stands as one. If the party isn’t a good opposition, the possibility of good governance should it get to power is slim like the road to heaven.

 

Festus Ogun is a Civil Rights activist, Law undergraduate and covener of Hi-Legal Initiative. Contact him via festusogunlaw@gmail.com .

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