Oyetola Will Surely Deliver; But…. By Abiodun Komolafe

I have had the privilege of reading Gboyega Oyetola’s Inaugural Speech as Governor of Osun and I can confirm that he meant well for dear state.

In the well-crafted speech, Oyetola promised to run “a people-friendly government which focuses on growth, creation of jobs, social protection, inclusive governance and sustainable upgrade in the standard of living of our people.” He assured Osun workers of their welfare, prompt payment and prioritization of their salaries and pensions “bearing in mind the financial inflow of the state.”

A healthy state is a wealthy state! While vowing to “build on the progress already achieved by past leaders as “the defining hallmark of” his “intervention in governance”, Oyetola also promised a participatory administration that would “promote equitable and value-based developmental education that emphasizes competence and character.”

Kudos for a well-written Address which input, in no small way, did reflect the personality traits of the governor! As good instinct would have it, the governor did not parrot the speech. Rather, it was a speech that was written for; and by him.

Lots of promises and lots of expectations! But, can Oyetola deliver on these lofty aims and ideas? He surely can and will deliver; going by his educational attainments and professional background, I have no doubt in my mind that he is eminently qualified to lead the state from where it is to where it ought to be. The governor is not a novice; he can handle and deliver. Also standing in his favour is his untainted grassroots pedigree, one whose dignified mien and capacity to freely hold conversations with the people, irrespective of their political status or racial inclinations is not in doubt.

Talk about religious piety, Oyetola is an unpretentious Muslim who has managerial skills and an interpretive understanding of social relations. Though a time-tested administrator who will never suffer fools gladly, he has an amiable comportment, not a garrulous physique that has the capacity to intimidate or scare people of other, even similar, religious inclinations. Besides, he is one good manager of people who understands the politics of the Board as well as the nitty gritty of the intrigues of human management. So, he has what it takes to excel. Above all, he is a successful family man who, in all modesty, is conveniently comfortable.

However, it is a statement of fact that the technology of politics is riddled with tales: some fairy, some real; and its path is strewn with thistles and thorns: some, intentional; some, conspiratorial; others, deliberate. Facing the reality of our time, this is where the governor’s creative ingenuity comes to play. After all, in a democracy, the process bears more weight and it’s as such more valued than the outcome.

First is the issue of praise-singers whose partisan concerns are only meant to satiate the saintliness of the time and wandering heroes who embellish fake and false narratives just to draw unmerited attention and curry favour. Oyetola needs to dine with these sets of people with the proverbial long spoon for his administration to make any meaningful impact. This step will not only allow the benefits of public programs to reach their target recipients, it will also help to improve on the allied ancillary issues that have for long been threatening our communal togetherness.

Broadly speaking, this is an age when ‘mere talk’ is no longer fruitful. In line with the distinctiveness and the diversity of opinions therefore, the governor also needs to nurture a cosmopolitan worldview on volatile religious and allied issues because, whatever the governor says or does, Nigerians will surely ascribe meanings, which, if not properly handled, may put his government in precarious situations.

Oyetola needs to be proactive, independent-minded and firm, especially, on issues that are capable of catalyzing investment decisions and energizing the economy of the state. I have argued in some of my previous interventions that one major challenge of our Nigerianness is the collapse of feedback and reward system. In my considered opinion therefore, the governor should create a Feedback Department and put certain sets of responsible government officials in charge to handle feedback.

For instance, I have always wondered why a ruling party that has done so much to uplift the welfare of the people could be searching for less than 1000 votes on September 22, 2018. Of course, the more reason trailblazing programmes like ‘Ogbeni Till Daybreak’, which, on a good day, ought to have predicted the direction of the election before the party in power almost lost the plot, should be reviewed and re-energized with a view to serving the purpose for which they were originally conceptualized.

In politics, professional hawks and sycophantic hangers-on, who are always motivated by personal greed to rattle the government for attention, will always ply their trade but it is the duty of the governor to consistently demonstrate leadership by compassionate and inspiring example.

Let me state here that money, said to be the wheel of the gospel has also been identified as the root of all evil. Thus, Oyetola will be doing posterity the greatest good if he can avoid throwing money at problems. For example, a community in need of, say, ten boreholes, will get better values for their request if those boreholes are sunk – and are seen to have been sunk – unlike when huge sums of money are given to some faceless, dishonourable leaders in whose pockets such monies usually find a haven.

Last but not the least is the troubling issue of entitlement seeking. In my view, this dangerous and unprofitable razzmatazz must not find a space in Oyetola’s government. Truth be told, there are ‘Agba Osun’ and there are ‘Agba Osun.’ While the former refers to those “highly vulnerable seniors who lack guardian support”, the latter comprises the cult of rapacious ten per centers, the 10-for-10 kobo elite, none other than a tiny section of the electorate who prefer commercial prosperity to political liberty and latter-day democrats whose primary constituency is their pocket.

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Osun!

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

 

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

O20, Okenisa Street,

PO Box 153,

Ijebu-Jesa, State of Osun.

 

 

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The Ajibola Basiru We Know, By Rasaki Adejare

According to the dictionary definition, illustrious can be defined as a well known, respected , and admired for past achievements.

For someone to be illustrious, such person must be eminent, distinguished, acclaimed, noted, notable, noteworthy, prominent, pre-eminent, foremost, leading, paramount, pretigious, important, significant, influential, lionized, renowned, famous, famed, well known, respected, exalted, venerable, august, highly regarded, well thought of, of distinction, of repute, of high standing, splendid, brilliant, remarkable, outstanding, great, noble, glorious, grand and lofty.

In my vantage position as the National President of Osogbo Progressive Union who has gotten the opportunities to assess AJIBOLA BASIRU from far and close ranges, he perfectly fits in the dictionary definition of illustrious as itemised above.

Rasaki Adejare Shiyanbola JP.

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An Open Letter To OAU Vice-Chancellor, By Kazeem Israel

Mr. Vice-Chancellor Sir,

It is no gainsaying that I have always done all I could to engage you personally as regards happenings in the University community most especially issues relating to the well-being of students.

As usual, I write you this letter with all sense of humility, patriotism and without any malice, bitterness, anger or personal antagonism despite the fact that on many occasions, you have repeatedly infringed on our fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended), African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with some of us being victims of your high-handedness all in a bid to maintain a reasonable level of silence within the rank and file of students in the face of anomie we have found ourselves.

Sir, it is pathetic that upon your assumption of office as the Vice-Chancellor of the University with the belief that you were divinely anointed, you embarked on a dismal journey of silencing all form of opposition and subject a reasonable number of students into serious hardship in response to their refusal to be gagged. It is instructive to note that I write you this open letter as one who has cried out on many occasions on issues affecting students and staff of the University at great personal peril and the aim of this letter is to take this issue into the public space for the general public to be aware of the wave of illegality being blown on OAU campus and to also cause you to reverse your decision on the suspension of Students’ Union activities in the University which is against all known laws.

Sir, I have in the last two years of your administration studied you with keen interests and I have come to realise that you are basically testing the patience of the mass of students in the University thereby mistaking the silence of students as regards the appalling state of things to mean acquiescence which has caused you to act in scant regard for the dignity of students in the University community ranging from the suspension of students’ activists who dare to speak up without recourse to Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

In view of your past activities, most especially the way and manner you colluded with the deluded and paranoia administration of the last Union leadership, one can easily deduce that you intentionally acted the way you did in order to set the Union on the path of destruction. It would be recalled that I personally wrote to you during the course of the pandemonium caused by the #2.5million which you disbursed for the last Union executive without parliamentary ratification that you should cease disbursing money without parliamentary ratification in order for us not to descend to a state of anarchy and that you should investigate how the #2.5million was spent, but, it is so appalling that rather than yield to the content of the letter, you choose to disburse another tranche to the executive council till the fracas reached its peak.

It is very obvious that you have been able to escape public scrutiny through manipulation and mis-representation despite the fact that what we were bedeviled with as a Union were caused by you. It is a sad commentary on University administration, governance and democracy that despite the fact that the blind eyes you turned to the reality of the issues confronting the Union then caused us to be where we are today, you have, at the slightest opportunity advised students to keep praying for Union activities to be restored as if it is a spiritual dealing expected to fall from the heavens. This in itself is an insult on the collective intelligence of students in the University.

Sir, you must be reminded that the continued suspension of Union activities on campus is a derogation of our godly and Constitutionally recognized Right to Freedom of Association and Assembly which derogation is a contravention and an assault on the provisions of Article 9, 10 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 1981 a Treaty-turned-Act which does not accommodate derogation in any form and Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended). As a matter of fact, based on the authority of the Supreme Court in Abacha V. Gani Fawehinmi and other plethora of cases, you cannot find any justifiable defense either in the provisions on derogation, Section 45 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) or in the powers conferred on the University management, Section 34 and other similar provisions of the University of Ife Law 1970 and Obafemi Awolowo University (Transitional Provisions) Act 1975 because of the doctrine of pacta sunt servanda.

Interestingly Sir, you would recall that you became the Vice-Chancellor of the University through the coordinated struggles of both students and staff of the University against the emergence of the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayo Salami, but, it is quite embarrassing that your emergence has signaled a clampdown on dissent and students’ unionism from the suspension of Great Ife Students’ Union to the suspension of students’ activists to the extent that you employed a new method of suspending students’ activists (deactivation of e-portals) without being invited to face any panel which is a gross violation of the Right to Fair Hearing as provided for in Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as a plethora of High Court rulings deprecating such act based on the protection given to the principle of fair hearing and presumption of innocence of the accused.

Sir, it cannot be over-emphasised that the essence of students’ unionism on campus is to protect the interests of students and bring about radical change by consistently engaging those in the position of authority while proffering way-forwards to societal ills and most importantly, demanding for the proper funding of the educational sector, but, it is so shameful, preposterous and incredulous that you have always mistaken our demands for something else and also denied us the benefits of fair hearing despite the fact that the Constitution guarantees this right with numerous decisions of Courts affirming same without taking any sincere attempt to ever look at our grievances and also solve the problems that led to them in avoiding future occurrences.

Meanwhile, as the University’s Vice-Chancellor, you have continually poke a finger in the eye of the law while placing yourself high above the law neglecting the fact that the University itself is a creation of the law and is expected to act within the purview of the law. Ironically, you have consistently punished students that have chosen to act in total disregard for the strange laws that appear inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution being introduced in the University which include placing ban on the gathering of students and criminalising articles that do not suit your perception.

It is very important to note that by suspending Union activities on campus and describing the gathering of students as illegal, you have been able to show the extent to which your administration holds with disdain, the recognition of the fundamental rights of students in the University which is not expected in a University that prides itself as an incubator of knowledge. The irony of the suspension of Great Ife Students’ Union was that there was no need to suspend the Union, but, to simply punish those that were involved in the fracas as the suspension of the Union in itself is a clear violation of students’ right and this has also not stopped students from organising themselves to discuss issues as it affects them and to also interfere on issues relating to the general well-being of students which you have consistently answered by slamming students concerned with suspension.

Sir, you need not be reminded that Freedom of Association and Assembly, Freedom of Expression and Right to Fair Hearing are expressly internationally recognized rights, and, as re-echoed by the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, William Stuart Symington in October this year while delivering a convocation lecture at the University of Ilorin when he noted that injustice and disregard for the rule of law are worse than stealing of public funds, you are ordinarily painting a bad image of the University amongst the comity of Universities and you are basically at the edge of taking us back to the ugly days of the military where Vice-Chancellors would do everything possible to kill dissent and gag a larger percentage of students all in a bid to produce zombies as graduates.

Though, you may not take me serious because you have misrepresented some of us to be never-do-well which you have always echoed at different occassions, but, it is very important for me as a student who holds you in high-esteem and who have been adhering strictly to the University matriculation oath sworn to in good faith and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is the groundnum ever since I was matriculated to write you this letter in order to intimate you that what you perceive as peace does not represent peace as a volcano has already being gathered within the rank and file of students in the University which might erupt and consume everyone sooner than later. It is interesting to note that students are gradually losing patience and in avoiding a situation whereby the academic calendar that is being stabilised by your administration would not be truncated, it is expected of you, Sir, to recognise and show respect for the rights of students in the University. Sir, we live by the Credo of the Spanish Civil War that; it is better to die on one’s feet than live on one’s knees. The truth remains that, as a student and like other students too, I am not comfortable with the situation of things in the University.

Sir, I have not written this to embarrass you or drag you into the mud, but, as a student who has exhausted all internal remedies, I write this with no expected verbal response but for you to see reason(s) to correct the irregularities in the University. I sincerely hope that this letter would meet you well and that, it would cause you to, as a matter of exigency, necessity and urgency recognise students’ rights as it is legally justifiable and expedient.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall (1906).

Ever Obedient Yours,
Kazeem Olalekan Israel (GANI)

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Re: Sokoto PDP Flag Off: Gainers And Losers. A Rejoinder To Abu Shekara, By Usama Dandare

I read with adore an article with the above caption published on Page 43 of Daily Trust of Tuesday, December 11, 2018, written by one Abu Shekara, the Director General, Media and Public Affairs to Sokoto State Governor, on the recent PDP flag off campaign launched in Sokoto last week. I initially intended not to respond to that academic suicide but for the emphasis education, I think it’s imperative to set the records straight.

In the said piece, Abu Shekara opined that the campaign rally left an impression that portend a number of implications for the political landscape of the Northwestern region and the nation as a whole. Which according to him gainers and losers emerged in the aftermath.

Like a clever monkey who always dances when given some banana, Mr. Shekara attributed the major gain to the PDP basking on the euphoria that a mammoth crowd stood at Kangiwa Square venue of the event for over six hours, wanting to catch a glimpse of the event. This in all ramifications is more or less a blatant lie, I was in Sokoto when the flag off campaign was held and didn’t notice any of such crowd that Abu Shekara was pointing at. In fact, I didn’t even knew there was an event of sort going on in the state until a friend of mine informed me that Atiku Abubakar was holding a campaign rally at Kangiwa Square. I quickly rushed to the said venue to see things for myself and to my dismay, all I saw were thugs carrying all sorts of weapons and destroying people’s vehicles who they perceived to be opposition members while others were busy selling hard drugs at the main entrance of the square. I had to parked my car at a nearby building belonging to FOMWAN for fear of being attacked and trekked several metres to the venue. And alas I saw, I saw an empty field with half filled canopies and some jobless youths roaming about while others were busy playing football. If what I saw was what Abu Shekara meant by “an unprecedented crowd”, then I am sorry but he need to see an ophthalmologist for cross-examination.

Mr. Shekara always cited Governor Tambuwal as an individual who stood to gain more from the gathering but unknown to him, Tambuwal only succeeded in blowing away his last remaining political goodwill by hosting a corruption tainted Atiku Abubakar in a state that’s yet to heal from the scores of perpetual corruption inflicted upon it in the last three to four years due a gross maladministration. The event also highlighted Tambuwal’s imminent political demise as he failed to galvanised support for his unmarketable commodity. His showing at the rally has indeed casted no doubt that he’s not in control of Sokoto politics as people are seen going about there daily activities while the rally was been held.
Over the last three to four years since Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal became Governor, not much can be said about his achievements as governor of the state. For the most part, until people began to complain, the Governor was always out of the state. The local governments today has been made moribund, and we haven’t seen or heard anything interesting going on in Sokoto State.

Another personality who Abu Shekara claimed to have gained more from the jamboree was Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, the former state governor who currently cannot deliver even his own local government. One would be left in doubt if Bafarawa received a rousing welcome at the occasion, this is someone with little or no electoral value, a man who in 2007 was overwhelmingly defeated despite the power of incumbency and a man whose greed made him to field his son as the PDP flag bearer for Isa/Sabon-Birni federal constituency in 2015 but was unable to secure the seat for him. If not for Abu Shekara’s lack of reasoning, how do you expect an expired politician who failed to impose his son on only two local governments to deliver 23 LGAs for the PDP. I think something must be wrong with this guy upstairs.

To Abu Shekara, APC is the main loser considering the fact that the Sokoto flag off was an exhibition of the kind of support and popularity the PDP is currently enjoying in the state which according to him can be measured with the mammoth crowd that greeted the occasion. I still wonder if Mr. Shekara really understand the full meaning of ‘mammoth crowd’ but however, the PDP outing can only be compared to the reception given to Sowore in Kano, as far as crowds go.

Abu Shekara ended his verbal masturbation with the usual attack on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that Nigerian masses are without argument, worse off in the last three years than they can ever recall. It’s baffling or sometimes laughable to see Governor Tambuwal or any of his foot soldier accusing the Buhari government of underperformance, it’s hypocritical and absolutely deceitful for any Tambuwal supporter to accuse someone of underperformance. This is a government that claimed to have spent over N400billion in the last four years without a single visible project to show on ground, a government that cannot pay tuition fees for students not to mention of any infrastructural development. No wonder, they called Tambuwal a ‘silent achiever’, a leader whose achievements cannot speak for themselves must be named a silent achiever.

Just like Abu Shekara said: “there is a limit to how far a people can be taken for granted.” We also the people of Sokoto State would not allow any unproductive politician to toy with our future again, we are patiently waiting for Tambuwal at the polls to hand him the greatest surprise of his life. A monumental electoral humiliation awaits him and his cohorts come 2019 general elections. Only a fool make same mistake twice and I believe the good people of Sokoto State are not fools and will never be.

Instead of testing his vocabularies on national dailies and writing blatant lies, it will be very logical for Abu Shekara to use that avenue to market his boss by telling us what they have done in the last three years and what they are planning to do for the future. Governor Tambuwal would not be judged by the number of crowd he rented to dupe Atiku but by what he has done for the masses.

Usama Dandare, a social commentator write from Sokoto.

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Should Government Stop Working Because Of Election? By Zainab Adewale-Cole

It’s something we have become accustomed to in Nigeria, months before any election, the government stops in its strides and all energy is channeled towards the election. For 16 years, when PDP ruled Nigeria, unwritten bank holidays were awarded to civil servants and in some cases, contractors.

Government projects almost always came to a halt as everyone looked in the direction of the cookie jar. Its that time in every four years when Nigerians get to enjoy the largesse that has eluded them in the last three and a half years. It is the national cake and here’s an opportunity to stake a claim, who dares pass up on that.

But in the last few months, the script has been rewritten, the narrative is changed and so is the body language. The people who have mastered making big money once every four years have to town with their propaganda machinery and the expectation of response appears to be pissing them off.

Away from the shenanigans, let’s x-ray the government of the day and their reaction to the 2019 election. Like every beer parlour politics, some Nigerians have hammered the government for two things. First, for refusing to campaign like they had expected. These people generally expected the ruling campaign to begin massive campaign rallies across Nigeria, once the campaign season opened on 18 November but they were taken off guard when President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo continued their obligations to the people.

The VP have made two campaign stops, one in Abuja and the other in Lagos, but it was no more than door-to-door campaign. It cost him, his principal and their party, no dime. Yes, I mean no dime at all. While Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have embarked on three campaign rallies, the ruling party is acting like its unaware of the season we are in, the question is why should it bother.

The government pretty much believes that the work it has done in the last three and half years will speak for it at the polls, this is not to say they will not campaign at all. But what is most staggering the chatter that the government should stop working.

How can a responsible government stop work because election is around the corner? For example, many people especially the opposition have labelled TraderMoni a vote buying scheme because the Vice President is still embarking on monitoring and on the-site assessment of the scheme but they don’t see the ongoing construction of rail and roads as vote buying, they don’t see the bridges that are constructed as vote buying.

The truth is that Nigerians can’t tell the difference between a government dedicated to achieving its goals and the government that plays politics with everything including our livelihood. PDP insinuating that President Buhari not campaigning means he wants to rig the election is a big joke. It only exposes how PDP has operated over the years and how they expect others to behave.

I think Nigerians should open their minds and understand that no reasonable and responsible government will halt activities for its selfish gains. The government owes it to us to keep working until it hands over to a new government and wins a re-election. In any case, Babatunde Fashola has continued to boost electricity in Nigeria, not minding the forthcoming election.

Let’s hope this is the start of greater things to come for Nigeria.

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Saraki’s Greed And Imminent Abeyance, By Richard Tayo

Dear Senator Saraki,
I wrote a letter to you almost 2years ago titled “When does ambition go overboard?”
Whether you read that letter or not, I am determined to write you another letter. I am writing this letter as a citizen whose tax is used to pay you.
 I wrote in the letter and I quote “Remember that everything that has a beginning must surely have an end. Meaning a time will come when your highness will be dethroned. You will look back and you won’t find those urging you on now”. You should read the letter sir because that time seem near.
To say that you are gradually losing relevance is an understatement sir.  And this is a spoiler; You may not make it to the 9th Assembly by way of losing your bid just like you lost the PDP presidential primaries with your infamous 317 votes. Should you make it to the 9th Assembly your case may be worse than that of Senator David Mark who won himself the appellation “Chairman Senate Committee on Silence and sit down look”. The stunt you pulled to become the Senate President should be thrown into the trash bin because it won’t work again. Affliction won’t rise the second time.
To start with, does the recent bye election in Kwara State sound a warning note at all? I guess it doesn’t. You don’t give up easily do you? You are like the proverbial cat with seven lives. Your party the PDP lost the Ekiti, Irepodun/Isin/Okeero Federal Constituency in Kwara South Senatorial District to the candidate of the APC Raheem Olawuyi. Never forget that Prince Ayorinde Adedoyin the governorship candidate of the Accord Party is already making in roads too. Does Atunwa stand a chance? Time will tell.
However, either the bye election defines how 2019 general elections will go or not it sure gives APC and other parties a psychological boost. It also gives credence to the rumor making the rounds that Kwarans are tired of your Godfatherism, imposition and subjugation.
This is where I blame Abdulfatah Ahmed the incumbent Governor of Kwara state, he allowed loyalty to become slavery. He would have been one of the best governors Kwara has ever had with his level of intelligence but your overbearing influence on him has greatly taper off and abridged his popularity and performance that he allegedly has to give up his senatorial ambition because you said so.
Recently we heard you graciously approved the distribution of some tricycles , motorcycles, grinding machines and computer sets to various beneficiaries selected from across Kwara Central senatorial district. Another desperate move? Annie Macaulay Idibia just empowered 500 women in Ikorodu Lagos recently and she did not make a noise about it. She helped those indigent women without expecting votes or any form of gratification from them. You sir, couldn’t have done a thing like that except in exchange for votes.
It was reported that you Dr Bukola Saraki The de facto governor of Kwara State said you would start offsetting salary arrears owned certain categories of workers in Kwara state how thoughtful. Or another desperate move don’t you think? Are you familiar with the lyrics “No alert no sitting”?
The song was recently released by the national assembly workers in protest for their unpaid salaries and wages. You are obviously more concerned with the politics you intend to play with Kwara people’s salaries.
Pretending you are moral, saying you are moral is not the same as acting morally. More than half your day is spent not working on legislation. Instead they are essentially full of strategies on how to make Buhari government patronize you.
Yes! You read that correctly, we all listened to all you spew out during your meeting with your cronies. For 33minutes and 55seconds you spoke about patronage, appointments and sharing but not for once did you talk about infrastructure or development of Kwara State.The following are excerpt as transcribed;
 “I had already promised some of you here that you will be MD of federal agencies or incharge of road maintenance, Nigeria Ports Authority, SUBEB and so on”.
“I know if I put one amongst you from Kwara in the Federal agencies, at least you will be able to sign contracts of 1Million, 2million. For the first time that I have been in politics neither the Senate president nor Speaker can’t appoint a cleaner”.
“When David Mark was Senate President every confirmation, he made for the President came with something”.
“Now we have seen signs that if Atiku becomes President things will come to us”.
This means politics to you is about personal aggrandizement. The meeting is a pointer to your insatiable greed. To you, politics is not about service but patronage. Politics is about sharing, haba Mr Senate President. if Buhari’s government did nothing aside from making you and your cronies realize that it’s no longer business as usual, Nigerians will be satisfied.
I must close by saying everyone joins a party where his interest can be better served. People take a plunge into politics to make a difference, and therefore there is nothing like immorality.
So why should one continue to remain in a party that does not have one‘s interest at heart or make a difference in one‘s personal life? The answer to this question is what leads politicians to crossing the carpet. You may not know it, APC members may also not know it too but the best thing to have  happened to APC this year was your exit.
Your greed is calling for your political abeyance.
@richardtayo
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Declined Electoral Bill: What Mike Ozhekome Want From President Buhari, By Tobi Matthew

The media space has been awash with rants of Opposition party voices and their associates about the declined Electoral amended bill 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In his words, the President said; “I am declining assent to the Bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new Electoral Act this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general election, which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process” Of the noticeable rants in the media space is criticism by Mike Ozekhome [SAN] who stated that President Buhari is afraid of imminent defeat at the polls, noting that all he is out to achieve by failing to put pen to paper is to provide a suitable environment to enhance electoral manipulation to pave way for his re-election.

One cannot but laugh at Ozekhome comment and you wonder how he rose to the position of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria. It’s well known that his legal expertise has always been to detriment of the nation’s progress as his cronies & associates have always be found wanting in various financial crimes which significantly stalled the progress of our nation. If a constituted lawyer and SAN like Ozekhome could support the “trap” bill, then what becomes of the hope in the men who are supposed to weigh and analyze critically serious national issues before making comment.

In the mind of Ozekhome, he wants Buhari to sign into law an amended bill that gives one person the right to cancel the entire election process in the nation; he wants Buhari to sign into law an electoral act that removed card readers from our elections.

He wants Buhari to sign into law; an electoral act that remove voting counting and replace it with vote announcing, a bill that says political parties can merge 21 days before elections. He wants Buhari to sign an electoral act that says INEC must transmit results electronically in a nation where Power supply is not in constant supply to the 774 local governments It’s suffice to say that the amended electoral bill 2018 was garnished as an overall appealing draft to the public with an underlying intended motive or how do one amend the rules of an electoral process that has already kick started?

It will definitely amounts to changing the rules in the middle of the game and this surely creates room for suspicions. Ozhekome should be aware that the Presidency cannot be cowed nor be incited against the public using amended electoral bill or perhaps he realized that the slightest opportunity of returning his cronies back to power has been declined.

Twitter

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The Economic Case For The Trader Moni Scheme, By Nnamdi Chukwuemeka

The Federal Government launched the Trader Moni scheme as part of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in July 2018. The TraderMoni scheme entails the provision of N10,000 in interest free credit to table top traders. Beneficiaries have up to six months to repay the loans and thereby qualify for higher sums of money.

Since the launch of the scheme, which has been received by great enthusiasm by the beneficiaries, there have been various reactions ranging from genuine interest in knowing how the scheme works to name calling by political opponents of the APC Government who have called the loans bribes and vote-buying. It is difficult to understand how money that will be paid back can be considered as bribes. This short paper outlines the economic case for the TraderMoni scheme and the benefits that it will entail for the country.

The starting point for understanding TraderMoni is to see it as part of the broad ranging financial inclusion strategy of the Federal Government. Financial inclusion entails making financial services available to households and businesses in an affordable way. Several studies have shown that access to financial services helps to reduce poverty by facilitating payments and savings for households and businesses as well as enabling households to smooth out expenses and access services like micro-credit, micro-insurance and pensions. It also helps to improve lives, spur economic activity, reduce the cost of financial transactions and improve the delivery of social services, especially government payments. Financial inclusion also helps micro-enterprises to access cheaper credit and invest in order to grow their businesses.

Financial exclusion is considered expensive for economies. This means that with up to 41% of Nigerians lacking access to formal financial services there is need for urgent action. Financial exclusion in Nigeria is quite high compared to countries like Ghana where the rate of financial inclusion increased from 29% in 2011 to 58% in 2017. In South Africa which still suffers from the legacy of apartheid, up to 75% of the population has bank accounts as compared to 46% in 2004. in Kenya there has been a drastic increase in financial inclusion with up to 75% of the population having bank accounts, which is a 50% increase over the past 10 years partly due to the impact of digital payments systems. The common denominator in the examples of South Africa, Ghana and Kenya is that their governments took innovative and urgent action to speed up the pace of financial inclusion.

Empirical evidence from random controlled trials shows that small businesses benefit from increased access to credit because it enable them to invest in assets to expand their businesses, diversify into new products and cope better with business risk. Indeed, the relatively longer tenor of TraderMoni loans means that small entrepreneurs can venture into expanding their inventory and/or production.

Given Nigeria’s relatively poor performance in financial inclusion, the Federal Government has taken a strategic and innovative approach to ramping up financial inclusion in Nigeria. It has done this by:
• Recognising the need for urgency
• Introducing innovative programmes • Using fintech
• Working with major stakeholders
In recognising the need for urgency, the Federal Government to an approach to financial inclusion that would bring a large number of people into the financial net in a very short space of time. Accordingly, its target for TraderMoni was to have 2m people engaged in the scheme by the end of 2018. In the same vein, the programme ensured geographical coverage so that each State would be entitled to at least 30,000 participants in the TraderMoni scheme in the first phase.

The innovative programmes introduced to boost financial inclusion are to be found in the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which provides micro-credit to existing businesses, which means the focus in on empowerment. GEEP has several components such as TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni and involves giving interest free loans to existing businesses. The advantages of the GEEP programme are exemplified by Trader Moni whose features include:

• N10,000 loans
• The credit is interest free
• Participating traders have to be table top, bottom of the value chain micro enterprises
• These micro-enterprises have to be carefully enumerated and captured into a database
• The loans have to be repaid in six months which entitles the borrower to borrowing a higher
amount of N15,000

MarketMoni which grants loans from N50,000 to N300,000 requires participants to open or have bank accounts (immediate financial inclusion) also uses an innovative risk mitigation arrangement whereby participants have to be part of a cooperative in order to qualify for the credit.

Studies have shown that microcredit works well when the participant already has an existing business and when interest rates are not exorbitant. TraderMoni meets this requirement given that participants not only have existing businesses but they are actually part of established retail chains, albeit at the lowest end. The interest free credit is to be contrasted to interest paid on loans from microfinance banks which attract interest rates of up to 30% to 60%.
TraderMoni also supports financial inclusion because it is bringing two million people into the financial system.

Participants get paid by electronic cash transfers and are required to open bank accounts including KYC requirements and BVN at point of requesting additional loans. This innovative micro-credit scheme will also help to avoid dependence on unreliable, insufficient and expensive informal mechanisms which traders currently rely on.
As a micro-credit scheme, TraderMoni can be seen as a good starting point for wider economic inclusion as the enrolment and data generated will propel the movement towards micro-savings, micro-insurance, micro-pensions and micro-payments for services like health provision. It will also encourage a second generation of innovative business ideas such as micro-leasing for ‘okadas’ and solar power. This will be backstopped by the fintech arrangements being used to process TraderMoni loans such as Eyowo.

Working with the Committee of Bank Chief Executives, the TraderMoni scheme will also be giving telephone hand sets to participants who do not already have one. This will help reduce the resort to sharing handsets and also ensuring that electronic payments get to the intended beneficiaries. The banks are working speedily towards expanding their agent network across the country while also making greater use of technology to ensure interoperable systems. Ultimately, with an envisaged general saving account somewhat like the government saving account in India, financial inclusion will enable more people to access additional services like micro-insurance, micro- payments, etc. TraderMoni is similarly preparing the previously financially excluded to use the Payment Services Banks which are set to be licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The strategy of using micro-credit and technology contribute to higher degrees of financial inclusion which is positively and causally related to growth and employment. It is estimated for instance that the roll out of SANEF by the Bankers Committee will lead to an additional 500,000 jobs in the wider economy.

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The A-Z Of MarketMoni And TraderMoni, By Yinka Ogunnubi

In August 2018, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration launched the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) through the Bank of Industry (BOI). GEEP has two pillars – the first called Market Moni and the second, Trader Moni.

The Market Moni scheme is a soft loans to traders ranging from N10,000 – N100,000. Traders decide the amount needed to boost their trade as long as it remains within the stipulated range.

The repayment period is for six months and there is 5% administration fee. No interest is charged. There is also a two weeks grace period to pay back. At the end of each payment, beneficiary can apply for a higher value or the same value.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE INTEREST FREE LOAN
1. You must belong to a registered and accredited market association or cooperative which must be registered with BOI
2. You must have BVN
3. Your market association or cooperative must nominate you for a loan and stand as your guarantor.
4. You must have a business location

So basically, to access Market Moni, you need to belong to a market association or a cooperative. This is because the money will be disbursed through your cooperative.

Now let’s talk about Trader Moni.

Trader Moni is a mobile phone driven initiative scheme. Unlike Market Moni, traders don’t need to be a member of a cooperative to access it. While Market Moni targets micro traders that are a bit structured, Trader Moni is targeted at the ultra-micro enterprises.

With Trader Moni, you can access N10,000 and pay back N10,250 to qualify for N15,000. Once you payback N15,375 you will qualify for N20,000 loan, when you pay back N21,000 you will get N50,000. The repayment period is six months with  zero interest.

REGISTRATION PROCESS

To get registered, you need a mobile phone. Once your details are captured by the enumerators (also called agents), and sent to BoI system for validation, you’ll within 48 hours get cash notification in your mobile wallet account. You can either transfer the collateral free loan to your bank account or cash it at mobile money agent around.

In a nutshell, while Market Moni gives out loans from N10,000 – N100,000, Trader Moni gives loans from between N10,000 – N50,000 without beneficiary belonging to any cooperative or association. The repayment period remains six months.

In 2013, Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), did a survey and they found out thatthe total number of MSMEs in Nigeria stood at 37,067,416 (Micro-36,994,578, Small- 68,168, and Medium-4,670). 68.35% of this number (i.e. 23.3m MSMEs) initial start-up capital was predominantly less than N50,000. This was the justification and it was based on data not politics.

You may ask, why not N1 million or N10m or N50m? This is because there are already other intervention funds like the Central Bank of Nigeria Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), which gives from N500,000 to N50m to SMEs. To access this fund, you need a business plan, and be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), with a collateral.

How many market women, artisans and traders do you know who can prepare a business plan, register their business with CAC and have sufficient collateral to attract the CBN’s N220 Billion SME loan? Aside from this, the BOI also has a similar loan targeted at SMEs as well.

So what has been happening is that the big SME’s with the strength to do so have been able to access the other intervention funds targeted at SMEs, but those at the micro level have been unable to do so mainly because of structural reasons. This’s why they were targeted with GEEP.

So the idea that this is some vote buying scheme is ridiculous. Don’t go with the crowd. The government has been able to help these traders scale up by supporting their business with micro credit. As many that benefit from this scheme, they in turn add to the nation’s GDP.

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2019 Presidential Election: Buhari Coasting To A Landslide Victory, By Ayantunji Gbenro (PhD)

2019 election is barely two months away, the umpire has declared the campaigns open and the gladiators are already on the field across the country. There are currently over 20 candidates jostling for the highest job in the land. These candidates can be categorized into contenders, pretenders and “I also run”. The contest is seeing by majority as a direct fight between the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling APC and Alhaji Abubakar Atiku of the major opposition party, PDP. The pretenders are Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, Mr. Donald Duke and Prof. Kingsley Moghalu. Despite the effort by the pretenders, the fact that the candidates’ names are more popular than their platforms speak volume. The lack of financial resources and political structure across the country is a serious impediment to the genuine and laudable aspiration of these patriots to chat a different political course for the country. These candidates could have probably been better if they aspire to go to the National Assembly on the platform of any of the two major political parties and commence the gradual ideological change the country so much needs from inside. The other candidates are the “I also run”, in my opinion. It’s difficult to understand the motivation for most of these candidates to run for Presidents when their names hardly heard even in their wards.

I will try to justify the above prediction on the outcome of 2019 presidential election by considering the chances of the incumbent president with his major challenger, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The prediction will be done by examining factors such as: the strength and cohesion of APC and PDP, the character and political reach of each candidate, the performance of the incumbent and the electoral value of the running mate to each candidate.

Both APC and PDP experienced crisis after the primary elections. The APC experienced mass exodus before the presidential primary when it was obvious that Buhari was propped to be the only candidate. However, the presidential primary itself didn’t lead to any issue and the affirmation of Buhari as APC’s candidate was a smooth sail. APC also experienced crisis during the legislative and governorship primaries in many states, with Imo, Ogun and Zamfara been the most affected States because the sitting governors couldn’t have their ways in installing their preferred candidates. These states have experienced mass exodus from APC by the supporters of the sitting governors.

One thing that is instructive however is that, even in States where aggrieved APC members moved out of the party, the decamping didn’t translate to either withdrawal of support for Buhari or support for Atiku by hitherto. They have largely remained committed to working for the success of Buhari in the presidential election. Contrary to APC’s experience, PDP’s Presidential primary was a battle royale. Among the contenders at the PDP presidential primaries, only Senator Bukola Saraki can today be said to be totally committed to Atiku’s campaign. Other contestants have gone under the radar. Even when some of them appear in the public once in a while, the body language cannot be said to be encouraging. Also, the commitment of the likes of governor Wike of Rivers State, whose State financial and electoral strength appears non-comital.

The fact that new decampees into PDP appear to be calling the shot is not sitting well with Majority that stayed to build the party after 2015 defeat. The SE PDP governors and legislators also appear to have developed cold feet on Atiku’s candidacy as a fall out of the choice of running mate. If the structures that Atiku’s campaign will rely on are non-comital to his candidacy two months to the election then there is cause for alarm. The PDP may want to garnish its outing at the recent NW (seven States) zonal campaign, which was the commencement of it campaign but when measured by the turnout of both supporters and party leaders, the outing was a monumental failure and probably a pointer to what to come. Judging from the perspective of party’s cohesion and commitment to candidacy, Buhari appears to be miles ahead of Atiku. PDP can still put its house in order but time is running out.

President Mohammadu Buhari is a man of impeccable character and integrity, even his fiercest detractors will agree with this summation in their closets. He has over the year proved his integrity and this has given him a cult like following among the masses, especially in the north. The person of Buhari alone guarantees, at least, 12 million votes without any campaign in a free and fair election. This cannot be said of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Either real or imaginary, he has been projected as a symbol of everything wrong with our society over the years. This has caused a lot of loathing for him among the masses especially from the north, even in his Adamawa State. Atiku as a candidate cannot withstand Buhari in any northern State even if PDP controls the States’ instruments of coercion talk less of a situation where the State apparatuses are out of their hands.

PDP has also done little or nothing to reduce Buhari’s political influence in the past three and half years it has been out of power. If anything, the age, religion and ethnicity that PDP employed over the past three and half years to de-market Buhari in some part of NC, SE and SS has further enhanced his standing in his traditional support base and alienated Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The story of Jibrin from Sudan, which is obviously been promoted by PDP and Atiku’s camp has further dent their claim that Buhari has no strength to withstand the rigor of office while the inability of Atiku to visit USA despite recent desperate efforts further confirm the assertion made about his person by many but majorly amplified by his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. While PDP has not been able to make any significant inroad into Buhari’s support base, APC and Buhari have made significant inroad into SE and SS where they are hitherto considered an anathema.

On performance, though opinions may differ depending on the yardstick employed on whether Buhari has done excellently well or not, one thing that cannot be disputed is that he has done more when compared to PDP’s performance in 16yrs vis a vis the available resources. The various infrastructural developments across the nation will be a testimonial Buhari will flaunt to the electorates in seeking for re-election. I don’t know how PDP and Atiku will want to deny such verifiable evidences knowing fully well what was done by them in 16yrs. The security across the country has greatly improved under Buhari when compared to PDP’s era. Boko Haram have been pushed to the brinks of lake Chad compare to when it threatens to overrun the whole of Northern Nigeria and Abuja.

The herdsmen crisis and kidnapping which a section of the media tried to amplified beyond reasoning has been largely curtailed in recent time. The economy appears to be on the rise compare to the free fall state Buhari inherited. Pensioners owed over years are been paid. This and many more are things Buhari will point to and it will be compared with the 16yrs of PDP. The Buhari’s anticorruption crusade is yielding results when high profile convictions, forfeitures and fear to engage in corrupt practices under the current administration is compared with 16yrs of PDP when corruption became synonymous to Nigeria.

Another area the Buhari Administration will score big is its Social Intervention Programs. This has been thoughted as the most ambitious Social Intervention program, ever, in Africa. The over three hundred engaged in Npower with thirty thousand monthly stipends have relatives and PVC and will make a statement at the right time. I am sure that they will speak for Buhari at the poll comes 16th of February 2019. The three hundred thousand captured in the conditional cash transfer also posses PVC and relative. They will speak at the right time for Buhari. The over nine million children enjoying the school feeding and almost ninety thousand food vendors also have PVC and relatives. The two million that would have benefitted from Trader money also have PVCs and relatives. Market money, Anchor borrowers etc beneficiaries will also speak when it is time. These people are the neglected of the society by the successive government who are prioritized by Buhari’s administration. They will all make their opinion known at the poll.

The choice of running mate is usually to compliment the candidate in any election. The choice of Osibajo in 2014 was to balance the religious card and to bring the Southern voters on board. The choice worked perfectly well. The choice of Peter Obi is doing the opposite to Atiku’s candidacy. First, the choice has caused a lot of disaffection among the political elites in the SE. If SE, which is considered the major support base of PDP and Atiku singing a discordant tune, then, an obvious threat to his success is brewing. In addition to this, some actions of Obi as Anambra State governor which was viewed as anti-Muslim and anti-north is now been brought back to remembrance. This will further alienate Atiku from northern voters. Osibajo on the other hand has gone beyond just a compliment to Buhari, to what many analysts refer to as Political “Star Boy”.

His connection to the ordinary man on the street has extended the cult like followership of Buhari among the masses beyond the north to other regions of the country. His loyalty during Buhari’s sickness has proven his Christianity beyond rhetoric and endears him to people of other religion. His competency has been applauded by all and the synergy between him and his principal is what the nation has never witnessed at that level of governance. The more PDP try to throw mud at him the more they make him popular a leader without stain. When compare to each other, Buhari’s running mate is million of light years ahead of Atiku’s in terms of what he brings to the political table.

When the factors discussed in this article are married with other factors such as voting population by States and the standing of each candidate in each State vis a vis the standing of his party in the States, I will make bold prediction that Buhari will not only win the 2019 presidential election but he will do so with a margin that exceeds that winning margin of 2015 presidential election. Except something catastrophic happens, Buhari is coasting to a landslide victory in the 2019 presidential election.

 

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Rekindling The Past Glory In Nigerian Sports, By Maximus Umeh

 remember the good old days when I was a much younger lad. A time engaging in sports was a major focal point of the citizenry and the federal government. Such times were days of glory and honour for my country, Nigeria. A season where sports (not just football) were the adhesive factor that broke down walls of division amongst us and made us bound together. A time watching sports served as a panacea for all our pains and suffering giving us “a glimmer of hope” for the future – I mean our future!

Those were the days when Nigeria boasted and paraded some the best and most feared athletes in the world. Such great men and women in Track and Field,  like the Ezinwa brothers, Seun Ogunkoya, Francis Obikwelu, Mary Onyali, Chioma Ajunwa, and Falilat Ogunkoya; whose names made their counterparts like the legendary Carl Lewis, Morris Greene, Dwayne Chambers, and  Gwen Torrence tremble. That was how formidable they were!

What about the glory days of Nigerian Boxing or even Lawn Tennis when Nigeria’s Sule Ladipo made the country proud? Till date, Ladipo been the most (probably the only) renowned Nigerian Tennis player ever.

What about Football? Yes, there has been a steady resurgence of Nigerian Soccer on the world stage of late. However, the quality of the senior National Football team today is still nowhere near that of the class of ‘92 – ‘98; the era that fully announced Nigeria in Football as a sport. The list goes on.

But for over two decades, however, the state of sports in Nigeria has fallen so badly that the thought of the glory days seems like “a distant dream”.

Several factors have contributed to bringing about this decadence. Corruption, negligence, and complacency by the government and the sports community are factors clear to everyone.

My brother, who was formerly a professional sprinter, once told me about the treacherous manner in which athletes are treated by the coaching staff crew. Let’s say, for instance, there is a competition of some sort, a contingent of a school, a state, or even the national contingent for an international competition, would have a budget set out for them for the event by the school management or Federal government. This budget is meant to take care of their daily feeding allowance, training and performance kits, supplements etc. throughout the competition. Unfortunately, this money will be handed to their coaching team. Once it gets into their hands, they only use less than 20% for the athletes. As a result, many times, the athletes will perform literally on empty stomachs and poor quality kit. Yet people would expect them to give their best performance, regardless.

When these players sustain injuries or have issues with their health, they leave them to “deal with it” on their own; whereas the budget is also meant to cover that area. But the management would pocket the money and leave them hanging. The poor athletes would have no choice but to foot their medical bills out of their own pockets. Afterwards, they would be called up again and expected to give their best performance.

It is on account of this treacherous trend that many disgruntled athletes like Francis Obikwelu and Gloria Alozie (Formerly the world best in female 100m hurdles) find their way out to nationalize and compete for foreign countries. Francis Obikwelu (Formerly among the top five sprinters in the world) bailed to Portugal and became a Portuguese citizen. And for several years In a row was crowned Portuguese sportsman of the year. His lot changed for the better overnight once he changed nationality. Same happened with Gloria Alozie who took up Spanish citizenship and worked her wonders for them.

These are only two cases out of countless others. Every day, Nigeria loses her best talents and assets to foreign countries that appreciate their talent, and are more than happy to have them as their own. Most of the athletes who remain cannot put in their best because they are so discouraged. So the situation keeps getting worse.

Today, Nigeria, the once great dominant force in Track and Field in Africa and beyond can barely “scrape” a single medal in the Track and Field events in African championships, let alone global championships like the Olympics. Nowadays, Nigeria is the one eating the dust of the likes of Ghana, South Africa, and Cameroon in Track and Field events particularly, whereas the contrary was the case in the recent past.

The matter is made worse by an ignorant, negligent government that appears to be oblivious to the contribution of sports to the country’s economy and national image. Consider the infamous and thoroughly disgraceful debacle that occurred during the last Olympic Games. The entire Nigerian contingent was self-sponsored. The government did not set aside a budget for the Olympic Games. In fact, the government acted as if they didn’t know the Olympic Games were forthcoming. Members of the Nigerian contingent had to first pay their way to the games and then cater for themselves throughout the games.

It was a national shame knowing the Football team got stranded at the airport for days. Social media and the international community went berserk about this. So many words of ridicule were thrown at President Buhari and the Minister of Sports for being so brazenly and shamelessly callous. All President Buhari and the Sports Minister did was to give flimsy and embarrassing excuses that made one wonder if they thought they were dealing with children. Because their excuses were so outrageous and ridiculous that they were beyond childish. Meanwhile the Football team remained stranded at the airport, as days rolled by.

The Football team missed the opening ceremony and were on the verge of missing their first game when the captain, Mikel Obi, intervened. He paid the airfare for the entire team and paid for their hotel accommodation. The Nigerian team arrived just in time for their first match. Against tremendous odds, they came out victorious and won the bronze medal in the Men’s Football category. The international community lauded their achievement; saying that, under the circumstances, it was a “Miracle.”

If Mikel Obi had not intervened on time Nigeria would have not taken part at all in Men’s Football in the Olympic Games.

I could go on and on and on. The list is endless. The fact is that the appreciation and value for sports as a major sector of the economy has dropped to a deplorable level in recent times. The government is becoming ever more oblivious and ignorant of the economic value of sports; investing little in the sector. Young gifted athletes keep going to waste because of corruption and lack of support.

Countries like Jamaica, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya, Invest a lot in their sports sector. They have seen how much it contributes to their economies and boosts their national image. They take it seriously. And that’s why they have been consistent; maintaining their superiority over the decades. Why should it be any different for Nigeria?

The Federal government needs to not only pay attention to and investing adequately in the more popular sports within the sector again, but it should also help develop the less popular ones. Like Swimming, Gymnastics, Rowing, Diving, etc. This will really help to expand the sports sector to more wholesome proportions, and with greater dimensionality, making it even more dynamic.

It is only by this means that Nigeria can rekindle the glory of the past and get back to being the dominant force she once was in the world of sports.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maximus Rex Umeh is the true definition of “Jack Of all Trade.” He is an Actor, a Recording Artiste, a Model, a Motivational Speaker, a Voice over Artist, and an aspiring Filmmaker.  Max is also one of the in-house writers for StageRave publisher, which is an arm of StageRave entertainment – a dynamic success-driven organisation with a high sense of commitment and deep interest in developing talents, managing established artistes and harnessing opportunities for investors to reap a rewarding return for their investment.

Reach Max with this mail: info@stagerave.com.ng

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Identity Crisis: A Bane In The Nigeria Education, By Bukola Okunade

Are you unsure of your role in life? Do you feel like you don’t know the ‘real you’? If you answer yes to the previous questions, you may be experiencing identity crisis. Identity crisis can be defined as a period or episode of psychological distress, often occurring in adolescence but sometimes in adulthood, when a person seeks a clearer sense of self and an acceptable role in society.

Theorist Erik Erikson coined the term identity crisis and believed that it was one of the most important conflicts people face in development. According to Erikson, an identity crisis is a time of intensive analysis and exploration of different ways of looking at oneself. Erikson believed that the formation of identity was one of the most important parts of a person’s life. While developing a sense of identity is an important part of the teenage years, Erikson did not believe that the formation and growth of identity were just confined to adolescence. Instead, identity is something that shifts and grows throughout life as people confront new challenges and tackle different experiences.

In Nigeria, most parents see education as a tool to surviving than as a tool to equipping and developing oneself. As a child, developing a sense of identity is craved into your mind while growing up and you tend to want to become what your parent has said is good for you. Nigerian parents are of the impression that only venturing into a professional course would help you survive and that is why it is very difficult to wake up and tell your parent you want to become a dancer or a ballet teacher and they would not but think you need psychiatric evaluation. Some children are pushed into becoming what they do not have interest in, in the name of studying a professional course in school.

The Nigeria education is affected by teenagers and youths suffering from identity crisis because they do not know their purpose or the role they want to play in life. Many people live their parents’ dream and are lost finding themselves, thereby suffering from psychological distress. The failure rate in the education system can be traced to misplaced identity. Because a child is said to be smart, he is placed in the science class whereas his choice is to be in art class and study to become a great photographer. Identity crisis is a great factor in the limitations we have in Nigerian education. I believe we can engage more practical courses in our educational system to explore potentials of teenagers and youth so they can have a pool of opportunities to consider before creating an identity for themselves.

The best that parents can do for their children is to help them nurture that which is inherent in them. Fulfillment and greatness do not lie in specific courses but in whatever a person’s heart chooses to do and do well. Parents and teachers should pay attention to the gifts of their children and let this shape their future ambitions. Fulfillment lies in living a purposeful life and a purposeful life is the crux of a person’s identity.

Discover your identity and begin to live maximally!

© Adebukola Okunade

Learner Support and Advisory Unit, Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan

 

 

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