President Buhari Mourns Islamic Scholar, Abubakar Tureta

President Muhammadu Buhari has paid tribute to late Islamic scholar, Abubakar Tureta, describing him as a man of remarkable erudition and character, who spent his life promoting peaceful co-existence among people of different faiths.

In a condolence message to the family of the late scholar, President Buhari said the deceased, who lived an incredibly humble life, will be long remembered for “staying above controversy throughout his impressive life of scholarship, abhorring divisive statements.”

The President who described his death as “a major depletion of the forest of knowledge, a defoliation of a big branch on the tree of learning whose contributions to Islam are immeasurable,” urged other Islamic scholars to emulate his humility.

President Buhari said the best tribute Tureta’s followers, fans and students owe him is to live by his good examples.

He prayed Allah to forgive his gentle soul, reward his virtuous deeds with paradise and comfort his family in their moment of grief.

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Overhauling Public Service Delivery: The El-Rufai Example, By Mohammed Abubakar

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In Defence Of AGF Abubakar Malami By Chukwudi Enekwechi

The common saying that “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” seems to be the lot of Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami. A man with genteel disposition and one that is not enamoured by the attractions of high office, Mr. Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria has been in the saddle for less than two years, but his fight against graft in public offices is already having a backlash on his person and reputation. 
Due to his determination to recover Nigeria’s looted funds, some vested interests, and even fraudsters are now heaping insults and false accusations against him, all in a bid to break his will in continuing the fight. Nonetheless, the Abubakar Malami that I know will not waver nor falter in his assigned task, as his love for country and loyalty to President Buhari’s anti-corruption fight is unequivocal and unquestionable.
One begins to wonder why a certain Nigerian lawyer will accuse the Attorney General of asking for kickback in the return of about $458m Abacha loot. Obviously, such allegation smacks of blackmail and a calculated attempt to undermine Mr. Malami’s determination to repatriate all Nigeria’s stolen funds abroad.
It is pertinent to point out that throughout Mr. Malami’s day in the bar, and later National Legal Adviser of defunct Congress for Progressive Change he never wavered or left anyone in doubt on the need to combat corruption in Nigeria. It is therefore strange that a certain Nigerians US-based attorney will choose to malign his sterling reputation, simply because of his insistence that all the Abacha looted funds should be returned to the Federal Government.
It is worthy of note that under the new Attorney General, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been rejuvenated and has been professionalised in the way and manner they execute their duties. So far, they have recovered for the Federal Government over N3Trillion. This is an amount that ordinarily would have been in private pockets, and Nigerians will continue to wallow in poverty. With the recoveries, critical infrastructures such as roads, power, railways, health, education and others will be fixed and the ultimate beneficiaries are Nigerians.
The Attorney General has also continued to carry out his responsibilities within the framework of the constitution, as we no longer have cases of arbitrary arrests and trampling of the fundamental human rights of citizens. Rather, we are witnessing total observation of the rule of law and the recent inspection of EFCC detention cells to the press is a testimony that under Malami’s watch rule of law has become the norm.
It is indeed disheartening that some unscrupulous elements among us will always want to throw darts on performing government functionaries, all in a bid to intimidate or harangue them to do their bidding. Or how else can we describe a situation where the Abacha looted funds which ought to have returned to Nigeria from the United States are being withheld because of the unpatriotic actions of some Nigerians.
There is the need for total attitudinal change among Nigerians, and the Federal Government re-orientation programmes such as “Change start with me” are timely as they will help to sensitize Nigerians on the need to be patriotic. For us as a nation to make progress in the war against corruption there is the need to support the Justice Minister in his efforts to recover looted funds, as well as reposition the justice sector.
In this era of dwindling oil fortune all hands must be on deck to ensure that Nigeria’s stolen wealth which have been stashed in foreign countries are urgently repatriated. It is the height of irresponsibility and unpatriotism for some individuals to constitute themselves into obstacles in ensuring better lives for Nigerian citizens.
 In these trying times of the nation’s history, we owe it a duty to ensure that well-meaning government officials like the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami are given the necessary support to realize the objective of ridding our country of corruption. The effort he has so far invested in the recovery of looted funds should not be wasted on the altar of frivolous allegations and blackmail.  
As a consummate lawyer he has being in the vanguard of the advocacy for good governance and integrity in governance and it is too late in the day to distract him from those lofty goals. One can only implore him not to lose focus but devote his time and energy in ensuring that the cankerworm of corruption and dishonesty are eliminated from the Justice sector and the entire public service sector.
Perhaps I need to remind his blackmailer and framers that they are on a wild goose chase as Nigerians have already reposed their confidence in the current ATTORNEY GENERAL as his antecedents are glaring and inspiring and no amount of false allegations will change Nigerians’ good disposition towards him.
Chukwudi Enekwechi
Kwechis19@yahoo.com
08065507972
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Lessons from Governor Abubakar Sani Bello’s Exemplary Leadership By Abdullberqy U Ebbo

For a Governor who’s widely known for his modesty and who also avoids overexposure in the media, there are impressive traits about him that aren’t known by the public. Governor Sani Bello’s approach to governance and striking humility should make him a model for serving and elected officials.
Since assuming duty as Governor, what sets the Governor apart are his lifestyle and unconventional interactions and engagement with the people. Some of these are his unscheduled visits to MDAs on supervision tour of their activities and facilities available to them. This way, he got to notice public officials’ commitment to work first-hand. This is a lot more effective than receiving reports on the state of these MDAs through aides or the media.
Another remarkable aspect of his leadership are some of his strategies towards project supervisions. He’s already known for visiting ongoing projects to monitor progress without any fanfare or entourage. This gives him the privilege of ascertaining the true conditions and extents of works already done by the contractors.
Perhaps the Governor’s most unusual relationship with the people is his habits of stopping on the road while touring or on an unofficial drive, just to have brief discussions with the people. These are done simply to have their honest assessments of his administration and also determine the things they want from the administration. These have revealed to him some of the people’s plights, both personal and public.
Only those in government are aware of the fact that since he was sworn into office, Governor Sani Bello hasn’t been staying in his supposed official residence. This is so because there’s no any official residence in place for him, since Governor’s official residence wasn’t occupied by his predecessor, and so there was no habitable residence for the predecessor on taking office. The former Governor converted his private residence into Governor’s House, given to the state on a lease for millions of naira per month.
Instead of wasting the State’s resources on lavish residence, whether government-owned or even a lease, Governor Bello chose to stay in a 3-bedroom flat at the Presidential Lodge in Minna. This simplicity is a striking departure from the tradition of public figures occupying high offices, especially one who’s a State’s number-one citizen.
The Government House used to be expensive to maintain, it cost the previous administrations fortunes even though the Governor wasn’t occupying it. It used to be maintained with the sum of N150 million. Today, under Governor Bello, the activities and operations of the Government House are maintained with the sum of N20 million, saving a lot to fix more deserving parts of the state.
These only add to the administration’s running on a lean personnel cost, since the Governor has had the ministries in the state reduced from the 23 he found in place to 15 and Permanent Secretaries from 54 to 25. He saved a lot from this decision, and it’s not surprising to see his laudable achievements in fixing the State’s infrastructure. One can’t really wish for a better leader in this time of nationwide economic downturn.
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Gov. Bindow and Burden of Developing Adamawa By Abubakar Yola

Adamawa is one of the most ravaged states in northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram insurgency, with its capital in Yola. It gave birth to Taraba state in 1991 from the defunct Gongola State. It has our administrative divisions: Adamawa, Ganye, Mubi and Numan.

Adamawa state is popularly known as a Land of Beauty with Deep Cultural Heritage, Excellence and Millennium Tourist destination in Nigeria.

The state is blessed with vast fertile land, solid minerals and livestock in commercial quantities. The agro allied products include rice, maize, cotton, yams, cassava, potatoes, millet, guinea corn, guava and mango. Herds of cattle, sheep and goat as well as poultry products also abound in commercial quantities. The cash crops and cereals, livestock and poultry products are daily contributing to national food and nutrition needs of Nigerians. The state is currently yearning for investors to exploit its enormous solid mineral resources.

However, besides the insurgency that is almost contained, Adamawa is faced with lack of basic social amenities and infrastructure. Some of the common pressing problems facing the state are portable drinking water, health facilities, educational institutions, agric inputs, electricity and roads.

The citizens are highly optimistic that the challenges can be addressed if funds generated by and allocated to the state are judiciously utilized for the benefit of residents. The development indices will not only boost food production but add more revenue to the government to deliver democracy dividends.

This challenge, among other serious problems facing the state, made Senator Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow to join the wagon of APC in order to alleviate the hardship of the people. Bindow who curved a niche for himself in all the places he worked says he come to restore the dignity of his people. His report card in all the places he served tells every person having listening ears about his capabilities of transforming any area no matter the challenges or difficulties of governance. As the number one man with the trust of Adamawa people, Governor Bindow can only be described as a governor with a difference because he is seen as someone trading passionately where many couldn’t especially in carrying all along, with dignity and unity of purpose in governance.

By way of fulfilling campaign promises, the Bindow-led administration awarded township roads network with special attention given to the metropolitan state capital where most of the roads were abandoned by previous administrations. These roads includes Karewa-Masakare road, Gumti Road along Faro Bottling Company Limited linking Adamawa Sunshine transport park and part of Jambutu Quarters, Wauru Jabbe off Numan road, Yola bye pass to Upper Benue River Development Basin Authority quarters, among others.

It would be recalled that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, while flagging off the Wauru Jabbe road project asked Gov. Bindow to the hearing of many including the press “so you have already started executing projects in your state, so early?” While the governor kick started the Gumti-Faro road, his Deputy, Martins Babale, launched the commencement of the Bye pass road in Yola town which are presently above 60 per cent completion.

Some officials of the contracting firms like Royyco Construction Company constructing the Gumti-Faro road expressed confidence that they will certaintly finish work according to the contract agreement.

He also made giant strides in the area of health care delivery where a United Arab Emirate outfit indicated interest in constructing a 300 bedding hospital in the state. Also another Chinese firm was in the state and pledged to rehabilitate 4 major hospitals.

To this regard, a committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Martins Babale took the concerned Chinese firm to the Mubi General Hospital, Yola Specialist Hospital, Numan General Hospital and Guyuk General Hospital with a view to rehabilitating them as the first phase of Bindow’s government series of giving facelift to most of the hospitals in the state, apart from the completion of the Jada cottage hospital.

Governor Jibrilla’s wife, Hajiya Maryam Bindow equally established a pet project catering for expectant mothers by providing maternity kits in a customized bag nicknamed “Mama kits” containing all the necessary items needed by pregnant women which is being handled by the Primary Health development Agency, PHDA, in the state.

Similarly, the state orphanage which basically serves as an abode for abandoned children neglected by previous government but Governor Bindow’s administration has indeed brought a renewed hope for those kids under the custody of the centre, a part from the total renovation carried out, a bore hole has been constructed for water supply to the orphanage which suffered set-back in the past.

However, with a sense of improving source of generating Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, for the state, the state government under the leadership of Governor (Bindow) has not only brought back the contractor to site to complete the renovation of Yola International Hotel but injected N500m after reviewing the contract sum to N1.2 billion, and work is ongoing vigorously.

Also his government made the giant strides in reviewing the renovation of Yola International Hotel which according to him has been used as conduct pipe for diverting government money by previous administrations.

Another move to reduce poverty and unemployment by Bindow’s government is streamlining of a youth empowerment program tagged “Bindow Social Change” where the youths through traditional institution of their location in the states covering 226 wards will be accorded N30-N50, 000.00 as soft loan monthly for the small and medium enterprise so that self-reliance can be enhanced. A sum of N500m was also earmarked for the project.

With view to boosting sporting activities especially since Adamawa is blessed with large number of youths, the Jimeta Stadium complex which is at 50% completion and abandoned, Governor Bindow adopted a robust approach to realize the completion soon thereby mobilizing the contractor back to site and work has since resume in earnest.

With civil servants being the engine room of any government set up anywhere in the world, they are also not left behind by people’s leader as he used his connectivity to the organized private sector, involving KD Properties and Estate Limited, and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to commence the first phase of construction of 300 housing units coded “The Bindow Housing Estate” in Yola. This project has already taken off with all the prototype samples being constructed on site. The project when completed will allocate 10% of the houses to civil servants in the state under an owner occupier sub programme.

In the area of security he has taken steps to push for the return of normalcy in the seven Local Government Areas of Adamawa State that immensely suffered from the insurgency. Governor Bindow regularly visits all the centers hosting the IDPs in the state to motivate the people and monitor their welfare. He has also facilitated many partnerships with international development partners and the corporate world to support him in providing and delivering relief materials.

The following are also among the many projects lined up for implementation in 2016:, Reactivating the water treatment plants in Yola and Mubi; Establishment of a large scale rice production and processing company in Fufore; Total refurbishment of the state Secretariat in Yola; Re-functionalizing the abandoned Technical skills acquisition centers in the state; Partnership with NigCommSAT to train and install VSAT systems to provide internet connectivity for use in the provision of quality education and healthcare all over the state; Partnership with Friesland Campina Wamco to commence the development of viable Dairy Development Programme in the state.

I am indeed very proud to be associated with these physical transformation projects that was in every corner of my country home Adamawa State, I hope and pray Allah will continue to make it easy for our outstanding governor so that in four years to come the state will become a force to reckon in everything that can ginger development to the country.

NB: This piece is contributed by Abubakar from Kaduna. He can be reached on 08036323409, email: abubakaryola17@gmail.com

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@SpeakerDogara Felicitate With Sultan Abubakar As He Turns 60

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has extended birthday wishes to the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III. This, he did on behalf of the enrire House of Representatives as the Sultan turns 60 today.

The Speaker, in his statement, described the Sultan as a leader who “works tirelessly in building bridges of peace and harmony across religious and cultural divides”, and prayed for God to grant the Sultan good health and long life.

The full statement is copied below;

I, on behalf of the leadership and entire Honorable Members of the House of Representatives, most heartily felicitate with His Eminence, The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, CFR, mni on the occasion of his 60th birthday anniversary.

Your Eminence, as you mark this glorious day, it is my fervent prayer that Almighty God will continue to prosper and bless you with good health, long life and abundant wisdom as you work tirelessly in building bridges of peace and harmony across religious and cultural divides for the unity, progress and peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.

Once again, on behalf of the leadership and Members of the House of Representatives, I wish you many more years of prosperity and dedicated service to our dear country.

Happy Birthday Your Eminence!

Signed

Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara
Speaker,
House of Representatives

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#FreeAbuSidiq: Thank You Message By Abubakar Sidiq Usman

I would like to thank my family, my friends, my legal team, the members of the All Progressives Congress Youth Forum (APYF), political parties, members of the Nigerian online community irrespective of their affiliations, and hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who in one way or another spoke out against my unconstitutional detention by the EFCC.

Your tweets, posts, and demands for the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech led to my release and the victory that we have achieved today.

This experience has stirred up broader conversations on the roles of our statutory established institutions, the parameters of our laws, and our civil liberties as citizens of our great Federal Republic.

Moving forward, I will be pursuing all legal and constitutionally established avenues to ensure that this does not repeat itself.

This is a government that I fought for. But occurrences like these are not the experiences that myself and millions of Nigerians have fought for.

I hope that we can use this to rectify the wrongs in our system towards the attainment of a more sustainable democracy.

The reason(s) for my arrest will be made know to you all.

Thank you all for the love and support you showed me

Abubakar Sidiq “Abusidiq” Usman

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Nigeria anger over blogger Abubakar Sidiq Usman’s arrest – BBC NEWS

Nigerians have reacted angrily to the arrest of a prominent news blogger by the anti-corruption agency for “offences bordering on cyber-stalking”.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had abused it powers by arresting Abubakar Sidiq Usman, the governing party’s youth wing said.

His followers have launched a #FreeAbusidiq campaign on Twitter.

Last week, Mr Usman published allegations that EFCC acting chairman Ibrahim Magu was bullying his staff.

Mr Usman is an extremely popular blogger and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has also said it is deeply concerned about his arrest, reports the BBC’s Nasidi Yahaya from the capital, Abuja.

He is a strong backer of President Muhammadu Buhari, and a founding member of the youth wing of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement posted on its Facebook account, the APC youth wing said he was being held on “spurious charges”.

The EFCC was formed to investigate financial crimes and had overstepped its jurisdiction by detaining him, it said.

On Monday, the EFCC said Mr Usman was being questioned for “offences bordering on cyber-stalking”, and he had been offered bail.

He remains in detention and has not been charged in court.

Mr Usman is the third blogger to be arrested in Nigeria since the Cyber Crime Act came into force in 2015.

Source: BBC NEWS http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37024062

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Northern Nigeria and All These Talk of Morality By Abubakar Evuti

Too many times the humanity, level of civilization and the claim (or is it the assumption?) that the North is a morally sound region are always drawn into contention. The most recent provocation for the trial of the North is the rejection of the stationing of a film academy in Kano.

Many who kicked against it did so because, according to them, it would corrupt the morality of the youths. And as expected, this incurred the wrath of compatriots from the south. With a condescending attitude, many have said that that is not a sound reason because Kano is already a morally corrupt society. Others even added that Kano is far more corrupt than the societies down south. And there were those who pointed out that it is hypocritical of the people of Kano to have rejected the film academy on such a basis, when they, the people, already engage in many vices. Thus the North was brought to trial, where her inbabitats were reminded of their many sins.

My annoyance with these compatriots is that they cite especially  the abduction and marriage of an underage Bayelsan girl as an indication to the moral bankruptcy of the entire population of North! It bugles the mind how people who claim intellectual superiority deem it proper to use the action of Mr. Yunusa, even if he were backed by his friends and kin, as an indication of the moral standards of the entire an entire people.

When recently a 34 years old man in Enugu married a 12 years old girl, there was no outrage, even from our self-righteous compatriots who care too much about the rights of the  girl-child. Also, when a father, a pastor, chained his son inside a church for several weeks, here too there was scarcely any outrage. And those who condemned the act did so without inviting Christians or Nigerians from the south to explain or apologize for these crimes. But why is this never the case when a Northern Muslim is the criminal? Why are Northerns, all of them, placed on trial, tried and sentenced over a matter they all had no say in?

Although I  personally would have loved for the film academy to be built in Kano, I do not wish to address the rightness or wrongness of the people’s rejection of the academy, at least not in this article. What I am most concerned with is the talk of lack of morality of the Kano society. If, like the people of Kano, other Nigerians too agree that a film academy will introduce some kind of immorality to the society, then the argument about Kano already being corrupt holds no water. It is like this: if man’s house is afire and someone brings petrol, will the man say, “Oh the house is afire, go ahead”? Certainly no.

But there is nothing deep or discombobulating about this. And even the self-appointed gaugers of the morality of the people of Kano can see this clearly. We know that the thing that pushes them to lash out at the morality of the people of Kano, and the entire North by extension, goes beyond the mere talk of the film academy.

Let us close the argument for good by saying the thing we all already know: Northern Nigeria is a region with high moral standards. The many immoralities—like the drug addiction, rape and what have you—does not change the fact that in many homes, even in Christian homes, alcohol, indecent dressing, fornication, disrespect etc are all considered vices. No decent man will hand you his daughter if you’re a drinker of alcohol, a rapist or a drug addict. No mother will bless your marriage to her son if she sees you wearing skimpy dresses, and knows you sleep about.

Now this is not to suggest that these vices are not being practiced. But whether these are practiced in the open or behind closed doors, by a few or by many, doesn’t change the fact that the Northern society, and its religions, frown upon them. And the people are not being hypocritical when they say, “This is not who we are!”

(Please plant a tree today.)

 

The writer is on Twitter @ngugievuti

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On Appropriation and Inappropriate Behaviour – Abdulmumin Jibrin’s Very Bad Example By Jumai Abubakar

The Nigerian political scene has presented Nigerians with one form of drama or the other since May 2015 when the Buhari administration was sworn in. From the anti-corruption fight and interesting testimonies from detained suspects, to the protracted legal battle against Senate President Bukola Saraki and more recently, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu. Although many had believed that the National Assembly had served up its share of drama with the occurrences in the Senate, they were proved wrong when Abdulmumin Jibrin, the ousted chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, decided to take to Twitter to “expose” principal officers of the House.

Abdulmumin, who described Dogara as a coward and hypocrite, also leveled allegations of budget padding against principal officers of the House, notably deputy speaker Yusuf Lasun and minority leader, Leo Ogor. Abdulmumin claimed that his rant was triggered by Dogara’s statement regarding the circumstances surrounding his sack, but this just begs the question; if indeed, Abdulmumin Jibrin was privy to these sordid details regarding budget padding, why did he wait until now to be a responsible citizen and blow the whistle on alleged corruption? If, truly, he is the saint that he claims to be, should he not have rejected all their advances and exposed their antics right at the beginning?

Also, Nigerians cannot forget about the huge role that Dogara played in resolving budget issues; it was he who put an end to the standoff between the Executive and the Legislature by promising to rework the budget – a decision which did not sit well with other legislators who were spoiling for a fight with the Presidency, but which Dogara, nevertheless, followed through with an exceptional display of tact and diplomacy.

We must also keep in mind the fact that Jibrin very publicly opposed the Presidency with provocative comments during the budget fiasco, until the huge resources he allocated to his constituency were exposed. Only then did his tone mellow considerably. He has since sought to use his opposition to the immunity bill to get himself back into the good books of the Presidency in order to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians into believing that he is Pro-Buhari and therefore, pro-masses. This is a well-calculated ploy that Nigerians must not fall for.

The decision to remove Jibrin was reached a long time ago by all principal officers of the House of Representatives and this, he was privy to. He tried to save face by claiming that he had resigned when really, him being removed from the leadership of the committee was due to his selfish approach to allocating resources to himself. In fact, the usual practice of principal officers is to ensure that the constituency allocation of N100 billion is equitably distributed among members; however, Jibrin, as the Chairman of the Appropriation committee, decided that he wanted to allocate more than was equitable to himself, then proceeded to make large allocations to the constituencies of principal officers in order to prepare the grounds for what he had done. It was based on this devious act that the decision to remove him was made, and Dogara’s decision to revisit the budget was based upon this coming to light.

The Senate recently announced new leadership for committees, and any of those affected is yet to make a storm in a tea cup; why is Abdulmumin Jibrin intent on being childish? Does he not realize that making allegations barely a day after he was singing Dogara’s praises portrays him as a bitter, envious fellow who cannot be trusted? If there is anything at all the Jibrin has proven, it is that he is as unstable as power supply in the country – one moment, he was ready for a show down with the Presidency, the next, he was singing Baba Buhari’s praises. Some days ago, he was praising Dogara to the high heavens, and now, he’s calling the same man a hypocrite. At this rate, if Jibrin says “good morning”, whoever he’s addressing would need to confirm that it is indeed morning.

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Change: How Far So Far? By Abubakar Evuti

It was the eve of the presidential election of the year 2015. Like the sun, Abuja was disappearing behind us. Sitting beside me was my uncle and in the back seat, my mother. We were on road to the village to vote for Muhammadu Buhari. The car I was driving was an old Honda CRV with no spare tyre. The plan the day before was not to travel at night and with a car of questionable vitality, but we had no choice when father, who was away in Minna, called to say he could not make it to Abuja to drive us down to the village as was agreed; that we should not bother about voting. Mother will have none of it. As a business woman who travels to Kano often, it was imperative that Buhari becomes president. And even if it means hitting the road at night with an old car, she must cast her vote for the man who will defeat Boko Haram, and bring back peace.

Long story short, we arrived safely. Father thought it was too much of a risk: what if the joint of the front tires had given way? What if one of the tyres had burst? What if… What if…

But at the time there was greater what if  that troubled us more than all what ifs:what if Jonathan wins, and Buhari doesn’t become President?

 

All that was nearly two years ago. Today, by the power of God and of the people, Buhari is Nigeria’s President. The jubilation that undulated throughout the nation has simmered. Now only one question stares us in the face: how far so far?

Citing especially the war against Boko Haram to buttress their stand, supporters of the government have argued that the President is on the right path. But there are others, and they are many, who argue that the war—even though it has largely been sucessful—is not enough to give the President a pass.

Delivering a lecture at the 4th Annual Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture on Feb15, 1998 Buhari said,

…The questions to ask about a country’s development are three: what has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? If all these three have declined from higher levels, then beyond doubt this has been a period of development for the country concerned.

 

What Has Been Happening to Poverty?

There is no statistics to back this claim, but it is true that Nigerians are poorer than they were two years ago. Even the Vice President has admitted that there is economic hardship. Whether it was caused by the fall in the price of crude in the international market or by whatever factor, all compatriots feel the pain of the price of food and essential commodities going up, while money is becoming increasingly difficult to get.

 

What Has Been Happening to Unemployment?

As a graduate I know first hand that the matter of unemployment is a very disturbing one. Without a single doubt, unemployment is on the rise. If you write ‘Vacancy’ and place it on a notice board with a phone number underneath it, the number of calls you will receive—even from people with advance degrees—will boggle your mind. The N-powered program may assuage the pain a little but it is not in anyway a solution. Our thinkers, the Osinbajos of this country, must do something, and quickly too.

 

What Has Been Happening to Inequality?

Inequality is not unrelated to poverty and unemployment and seeing as both poverty and unemployment is on the rise, it is needless to suggest that inequality will follow naturally. The middle class is ebbing away by the day.

 

Verdict?

Even by his own reckoning, Muhammadu Buhari has performed below par. Nigerians have started to fear they have labored in vain; that they have wrongly placed their faith. Personally I am still hopeful the President will atone, in time.

In the meantime, the President should know that we understand Nigeria is not easy to govern, and he still enjoys the support of many a compatriot. But please—please!—enough with the apparent inaction and the irritating silence and show of insensitivity to the farmers/ herdsmen disturbance in the country. For a government that mouths so much about taking security seriously, this highly disappointing and very annoying. The recent disturbance in Benue that left several dead brought back the painful memory of the Jonathan days when hundreds were slaughtered in Baga and the government said nothing.

 

(Please plant a tree today.)

The writer is on Twitter @ngugievuti

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Governor Bello Names Kogi State University After Prince Abubakar Audu

Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Friday renamed the Kogi State University, Ayangba , after the late first civilian governor of the state, Prince Abubakar Audu.

Bello announced the change in the name of the 15- year-old university during a statewide broadcast to mark his victory at the state governorship election petition tribunal.

He said that naming the university was the ultimate honour that could be done to the memory of the late colourful politician who ruled the state twice as the civilian governor from 1991 to 1993 and 1999 to 2003.

Audu himself established the university in 2001 and named it Prince Abubakar Audu University but his successor , Alhaji Ibrahim Idris changed the name to Kogi State University in 2004.

Justifying his decision to restore the university to its original name, Bello said that Audu laid a solid foundation for the growth and development of the state.

“Today, and as always, I celebrate the life and times of Prince Abubakar Audu, the first Executive Governor of Kogi State.

” It is our hope that those who want to lay claim to his legacy will at least develop the same heart for the growth and development of Kogi State that he demonstrated through his lifetime,” he said.

According to the governor, an executive bill will soon be forwarded to the house of assembly to formalise the change in the name of the university.

Audu, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in the Nov. 21, 2015 governorship election in the state, died suddenly on Nov. 22 before the result of the election was announced.

The leadership of the APC consequently substituted the name of Audu with that of Yahaya Bello as the candidate in the supplementary governorship election held on Dec. 5, 2015.

The governor also used the broadcast to thank the people of the state for their support and understanding since his assumption of office in January .

He said that since the five petitions filed against him had been thrown out for lack of merit, the state was now set to witness a new direction and accelerated development.

According to Bello, a blueprint of the administration which will kick start creation of one million jobs for the unemployed youths will be unveiled by next week.

He called on all those who lost at the tribunal, irrespective of their political affiliation, to join hands with him to develop the state, saying “there was no victor, no vanquish.”

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