Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Seeks Establishment Of Endowment Fund For African States

Establishing an endowment fund for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states is a timely initiative that will put members on the path of sustainable growth and development,Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Wednesday when he received, on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, a delegation from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) comprising its Chairman, Ambassador Amadou Diop, Secretary General, Dr Patrick Gomes and other dignitaries.

He said: “setting up of an endowment fund like the one proposed will, in a way, guarantee an independent ACP because if our development partners continue to give us the kind of support that they are giving now, they will definitely want to determine our course of development in the future.’’

The Vice President, who pledged Nigeria’s unalloyed support for the ACP, especially in its agenda on climate change and others, urged member-nations to remain united in pursuit of the organization’s objectives.

According to him, “Nigeria remains firmly in support of the ACP because we have benefited so much from the organization. But I also want to emphasize the need for us to stay together.’’

He said: “the ACP has the potential to achieve a lot, especially in the focal areas of climate change, security and economic emancipation.’’

Prof. Osinbajo, however, emphasized the need for the group to review existing international regulations as it strives to address challenges of terrorism and armed conflict within ACP member-nations.

He commended the leadership of the ACP for the work done so far and promised to convey the group’s message to President Muhammadu Buhari.

In their separate remarks, both Dr. Gomes and Mr. Diop commended the role played by Nigeria in advancing the cause of ACP both on the African continent and the global stage.

They solicited Nigeria’s support in the actualization of ACP objectives, especially in the establishment of the ACP endowment fund.

“The key of Africa and the region is Nigeria hence the respect accorded the country by the ACP,’’ Gomes said.

Earlier, the Vice President received Mohamed Al Oraby, a special envoy of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa.

The envoy who delivered a special letter from the Egyptian President, sought Nigeria’s support for Egypt’s candidate, Ms. Moushira Khattab, in the November 2017 election for the Director-General of UNESCO.

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CAF Shortlist 30 For African Player Of The Year Award, Mikel, Four Other Nigerians Listed [Full List]

The Nigerian football trio of John Mikel Obi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho made the list of the 30 players shortlisted for the CAF African player of the year award for 2016.

Also, the duo of Mfon Udoh of Enyimba FC and Chisom Chikatara of Wydad FC of Morocco made the cut for the Africa-based Player of the Year award.

The list includes the 2015 African player of the year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Andre Ayew of Ghana.

THE FULL LIST

African Player of the Year

1. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)

2. El Arabi Hillel Soudani (Algeria & Dinamo Zagreb)

3. Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City)

4. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon & Antalyaspor)

5. Benjamin Mounkandjo (Cameroon & Lorient)

6. Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire & PSG)

7. Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United)

8. Yao Kouasi Gervais ‘Gervinho’ (Cote d’Ivoire & Hebei Fortune)

9.Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma)

10. Mohamed El Neny (Egypt & Arsenal)

11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund)

12. Andre Ayew (Ghana & West Ham)

13. Victor Wanyama (Kenya & Tottenham)

14. William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club)

15. Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)

16. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)

17. John Mikel Obi (Nigeria & Chelsea)

18. Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City)

19. Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Leicester City)

20. Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)

21. Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo & Everton)

22. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)

23. Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)

24. Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

25. Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)

26. Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk)

27. Aymen Abdennour Tunisia & Valencia)

28. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Sunderland)

29. Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

30. Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)

African Player of the Year – Based in Africa

1. Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

2. Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)

3. Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)

4. Joel Kimwaki (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)

5. Joyce Lomalisa (DR Congo & AS Vita)

6. Salif Coulibaly (Mali & TP Mazembe)

7. Ali Gabr (Egypt & Zamalek)

8. Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns) 9. Jackson Mwanza (Zambia & Zesco United)

10. Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe)

11. Elia Meschak (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)

12. Aymen Hefny (Egypt & Zamalek)

13. Morgan Betorangal (Chad & MO Bejaia)

14. Hlompho Kekana (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

15. Hamza Lahmar (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)

16. Jesse Were (Kenya & Zesco United)

17. Idris Mbombo (DR Congo & Zesco United)

18. Chisom Chikatara (Nigeria & Wydad Athletic Club)

19. William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club)

20. Reda Hajhouj (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)

21. Fabrice Nguessi Ondama (Congo & Wydad Athletic Club)

22. Mfon Udon (Nigeria & Enyimba)

23. Bassem Morsi (Egypt & Zamalek)

24. Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)

25. Yannick Zakri (Cote d’Ivoire & Mamelodi Sundowns)

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40 African Bankers discuss Collaboration in Mauritius

The Mauritius Commercial Bank Group hosts 40 top executives representing 40 African banks at the week-long 2016 Africa Forward Together conference

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, September 20, 2016/ — The Mauritius Commercial Bank Group (MCB) hosts 40 top executives representing 40 African banks at the week-long 2016 Africa Forward Together conference which opened this morning at the five-star Ravenala Attitude Hotel. Africa Forward Together (AFT) is an annual event organised by MCB since 2009 to showcase its “Bank of Banks” initiative. Since its inception, 351 delegates representing 108 financial institutions and representing 27 countries have attended the conference, which also aims at fostering better understanding and mutual cooperation between African banks.

Main focus

Opening the conference, MCB Group Chief Executive, Pierre Guy Noel said: “Africa remains our main focus for growth. There are plenty of things we can do in Africa and loads we can achieve together”. African banks can leverage MCB’s unique position in the region. Established since 1838, MCB is a strong regional leader, currently ranked first in East Africa and 17th among African banks according to The Banker.

The Bank of Banks

« Bank of Banks » aims at positioning MCB as a regional platform offering bundled banking and financial industry capabilities to its counterparts. Bankers attending the Africa Forward Together event get first-hand knowledge of MCB’s human expertise and technological capabilities while exploring collaboration possibilities that could allow them to boost their services through outsourcing in Mauritius.

Over the last few years, an increasing number of African banks have teamed up with MCB to serve their customers better and more efficiently. Some have managed to offer new services to their customers in record times without investing heavily in technology or human resources. Others have discovered opportunities to expand their businesses through intelligent collaboration with one of Africa’s leading banks.

A true partner

The « Bank of Banks » initiative is a key component of MCB’s African growth strategy. Instead of opening outlets across the continent and competing with local banks, MCB prefers to position itself as a privileged partner for institutions that want to scale new heights. As Africa gradually fulfils its promises and realizes its enormous potential, the continent’s banks are facing new challenges and have to meet growing and changing customer needs.

Summing up the challenges Africa has to face, Raoul Gufflet, Deputy Chief Executive, MCB, insisted on the fact that Africa is at a crossroad where it has to choose the right way forward. “This is where MCB fits in. AFT is not solely meant to showcase MCB’s value proposition but to explore new avenues of collaboration and sharing between African banks. AFT is about you, about your objectives and goals and what you would like to put into practice,” Raoul Gufflet, Deputy Chief Executive of MCB, told African bankers today.

Adding value to banking

MCB offers a full range of value added services to banks. This includes the issuance of documentary credits, international payments, management of cards services and electronic banking, internal auditing, risk management, non-banking financial services, custody services, SWIFT transfers and consulting services among others. By leveraging MCB’s world-class expertise, rich experience and state-of-the-art technology, other banks have an opportunity to speed up their development while delighting their customers.  Raoul Gufflet also indicated that MCB intends to expand its Private Banking arm in Africa.

A regional leader

Established in 1838, MCB is today the largest bank in East Africa and the 17h biggest on the continent. It is a blue chip on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius where it accounts for nearly a quarter of market capitalisation. Its strategy is to continuously diversify its services and its markets. To date, MCB’s international operations account for 55% of its results. It is currently present in Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Seychelles, Madagascar, Maldives, Réunion, Mayotte and France through a network of branches, associate companies and representative offices. It also has a vibrant network of correspondent banks across Africa and the rest of the world.

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GTBank CEO, Segun Agbaje named 2016 African Banker of the Year

Foremost African financial institution; Guaranty Trust Bank plc has once again reaffirmed its position as a leading global brand with the recent recognition of its Managing Director/CEO; SegunAgbaje as African Banker of the Year during the 2016 African Banker Awards that took place on the sidelines of the AfDB annual meeting on Wednesday, 25th May, 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia

Now in its 10th year, The African Banker Awards is internationally recognized as the landmark finance event to reward achievements, commend best practices and celebrate excellence in African banking. The award provides a platform to bring together industry leaders from across Africa and celebrate the achievements of those driving economic growth in Africa.

Speaking at the exclusive Gala Dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel attended by over 400 financiers, business leaders, and influential personalities and policy makers, Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher of African Banker magazine said “Over the years, I have been privileged to honour some truly exceptional individuals who have left an indelible mark on the industry. Today, we honour a man – Mr. Segun Agbaje – who has redefined the African Banking landscape and built an institution that is Proudly African and Truly International. Since assuming office in 2011, Mr. Agbaje has led the bank to become one of the most profitable banks in Africa with a well defined CSR strategy that continues to give back to its host communities through its many philanthropy initiatives

Commenting on the award, SegunAgbaje, Managing Director/CEO of GTBank said “I am humbled and happy to be recognized as the African Banker of the Year. For me, winning this award for the second time in 5 years is a testament to a great team of passionate and committed people, spurred by a vision to create an oasis in Africa where things are done properly, in line with global best practices. He further added that “we remain resolute in our goal of building a franchise that is not just African but truly international. As a dynamic and driven team, we are determined to achieve more and consolidate our leading position in the banking industry by aggressively pursuing innovative solutions and maintaining a high standard in creating sustainable value for all stakeholders.

Under his leadership, the Bank has maintained its dominance of the industry by continually recording significant and enviable financial and non-financial performance. His profundity and vivid understanding of diverse financial landscapes has been critical in ensuring the Bank’s successful foray into various financial markets across West & East Africa while maintaining a presence in Europe through its UK Subsidiary. In due recognition of his visionary leadership, Mr. Agbaje is the recipient of several international accolades such as 2015 CEO of the Year from Finance Monthly, 2015 West African Business Leader of the Year from All Africa Business Leaders Award (AABLA) and 2015 Banker of the Year from World Finance.

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Leave When Your Time Is Up, Kofi Annan Tells African Leaders

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has urged African leaders to leave when their mandated time is up and to avoid excluding opposing voices if elections are to cease contributing to conflicts on the continent.

The renowned international diplomat said that while unconstitutional changes to government on the continent had reduced, exclusionary politics threatened to reverse the gains made.

“I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations which may bring them back,” the Nobel laureate said in an interview at the 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa (http://www.TanaForum.org).

“If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after term after term, the tendency may be the only way to get him out is through a coup or people taking to the streets.

“Neither approach can be seen as an alternative to democracy, to elections or to parliamentary rule. Constitutions and the rules of the game have to be respected.”

Annan, the keynote speaker at the forum this year, said winner-take-all approaches to elections on the continent had the effect of leaving out citizens for holding an opposing view, raising tensions around elections.

Annan, who chairs the Africa Progress Panel and the Nelson Mandela-founded The Elders grouping, said he had been the first to tell the African Union not to accept coup leaders among their midst [during an OAU heads of state summit in Lusaka in 2001].

Annan also said that solutions to the problems the continent has must come from within. However, the continent must build up its ability to do so, including in financing its institutions.

“We cannot always pass a hat around and insist we want to be sovereign, we want to be independent. We should lead and get others to support us—that support will be much more forthcoming when they see how serious and committed we are.”

The African Union has struggled to get members to pay their dues to allow it run its operations and programmes efficiently, a recurrent theme addressed by leaders at the forum in the Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar.

Annan said such budgetary concerns were constraining the work of the continent in strengthening stability and required creative ways of resourcing.

“I was happy to hear them [African leaders] say ‘we must be prepared to pay for what we want; we must be prepared to put out our own money on the table and fund issues that are of great importance to us.’”

The forum, now in its fifth year, is an inspiration of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and is organised by the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University.

An invitation-only event, it is chaired by former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo and seeks to provide a platform for current and former leaders to interact with key stakeholders in an informal setting to tackle contemporary issues facing the continent.

It does not make decisions but is becoming an African ‘brand’ of note where local solutions are innovatively explored as the region seeks to carve out its place in a global security architecture dominated by western and emerging powers.

Leaders and experts at the Tana Forum also noted that the continent was not isolated.

“As Africa faces increasing security challenges, so does the rest of the world. The continent is well placed to provide innovative solutions to these security challenges,” Obasanjo said.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe, Somalia’s Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Sudan’s Omar al Bashir were among the heads of state and government present.

Former leaders Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Festus Mogae of Botswana, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Pierre Buyoya of Burundi and Joyce Banda of Malawi were also in attendance.

“I think it is a very good idea that ex-leaders come together with current leaders to share experience and try to talk very frankly about the challenges facing the continent and also about our relations with the international community,” Annan, who was attending the annual forum for the first time, said.

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Celebrating Goodluck Jonathan – Our New African Leadership Magazine Person Of The Year, By Usama Dandare

Do you know that former President Goodluck Jonathan has last week beaten the likes of Nelson Mandela, Strive Masiyiwa, Koffi Annan, Bola Tinubu and several other African leaders to clinch the “2015 African Leadership Magazine Award”? No be jokes o, and if you are not happy for him, you are wrong. Like him or not, you cannot strip him off the tittle “African Leadership Magazine Person Of The Year”.

Since leaving office on 29 May, 2015, Jonathan has been flying the green white green colours and lifting the name of Nigeria high in the global space. Every passing minute, we are been regaled with photos of him receiving awards in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, Nigeria and Otueke, all in recognition of his outstanding leadership. While many argued that Jonathan didn’t deserved such honours, others wondered how was Jonathan able to defeat the likes of several great leaders and symbols of African Leadership: well I need not to know the reasons behind his nomination or why he was chosen ahead of others before I can celebrate him. All I know is, you need not to be a good leader before you can be honoured in Africa, the benjamins alone can do it. Those asking why Jonathan should be awarded are Jonathan hatters who sees nothing good in him despite all the positive transformations he brought to Nigeria. Our son is bringing fame to our country, winning honours and awards all over the globe but yet, you keep on asking why would he be honoured. Must you know?

Since you insist, let me tell you why Jonathan is an exceptional leader who deserved honours and recognition above all other leaders worldwide: our celebrant today is unarguably an impressive dossier among Nigeria’s living and dead leader, what made him a political zero (sorry, hero) is his perception of the Nigerian nation, his orientation on the problems of Nigeria, his attitude toward the plight of Nigerians, and the fact that he doesn’t give a damn about anything and everything. Don’t mind Aljazeera for calling him badluck and the Economist for tagging him an “ineffectual buffoon”. Aljazeera is anti-jonathan because he is a christian while the Economist are APC sympathisers. So nothing good will come out from them when talking about Jonathan. But as far as I am concerned, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is indeed our political hero, a revered one at that.

What made him a great leader is this lenient nature of his, he doesn’t wants to wicked any Nigerian or treat anybody unpleasantly which perhaps stopped him from prosecuting a single case of a corruption, so that Nigerians would not see him as a wicked president. He believes that those who stole from public coffers shouldn’t be called corrupt (stealing should not be called corruption) in order not to tarnish anybody’s image, in fact they should even be pampered, celebrated, honoured and protected to any level against against all decorum. I think that’s why I am celebrating him today. He doesn’t believe corrupt government officials should be convicted but if mistakenly they got convicted, he’s always there to grant a state pardon. Blowing the whistle is something he hated with passion since when he had no shoes, whoever try to blow it under his stewardship will have a story to tell (ask HRH Sanusi Muhammed II), all in his drive to protect Nigerians from embarrassment.

Unlike today’s merciless regime that’s busy throwing Nigerians down the rivers, a lot of  people under Jonathan regime have been linked with corruption but our hero kept his promises of protecting his people by making sure all the suspected looters go scot free. He believes it’s an injustice to jail anybody over simple stealing especially when the stolen amount is not up to the price of a Peugeot car, and always encourages self enrichment in an intelligent and civilised manner; like inflating prices of official cars, adding extra zeros to expense budget, inflating oil subsidy amount, coming up with white elephant projects etc. That was why during his stewardship, several billionaires were born overnight, ownership of private jets tremendously increases, exotic villas and luxury vehicles were also rampant all over the nation because he gave Nigerians the chance to make quick wealth. Yet, you are saying he’s not a hero despite making uncountable Nigerians to become billionaires. Is this not worthy enough to honour him?

Ask of any Nigerian president who kept to his words and I will undoubtedly show you our hero – Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. He promised to protect all Nigerians if elected president and he did just that, that was perhaps why he protected Boko Haram warriors with all his might, he got furious whenever any Boko Haram got killed because he is their president. He made sure that he has the military and all other government forces under his belt and constantly punish them with inadequate funding and career stagnancy whenever they tried to kill Boko Haram members, he makes them desert their duty posts in Boko haram troubled regions to take up a more important jobs of election rigging and mounting surveillance at the Ekoyi residence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Indeed, he valued the lives of his citizens more than anything and have a special place in his heart for Generals that loves to divert arms funds in order not kill Nigerians (Boko Haram precisely).

True, Nigerians will forever live to remember the masses friendly government of President Jonathan that spent trillions of naira annually to subsidise petroleum just to ease things by providing enough fuel to the poor masses, despite criticism from both local and foreign communities. He ignored all criticisms and made sure his regime continue to pay subsidy not only for petrol but several other products. Even after the glaring need to remove subsidy, Jonathan made sure only 50% was remove and reinvested into improving the lives of Nigerians for the betterment of all and sundry. He founded the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), an agency under which the savings made from part removal of fuel subsidy were reinvested in compensating political associates and cronies for their contributions to the political success of the president and PDP as a whole.

Upon all the fresh air that Jonathan brought to Nigeria under his Transformation Agenda, his hatters were hell-bent on discrediting his uncredited administration for reasons that he is a christian from the minority: they sponsored the kidnapping of hundreds of girls, scores of boys, and the death of tens of thousands in the North East through Boko Haram, they again coordinated the murder of innocent youths during the ill-fated Immigration Service recruitment – just to make his government ungovernable and portray him as an incompetent leader. But being him a humble gentleman, Jonathan ignored all their plots and concentrated on his responsibilities of nation building especially in the last six weeks of his administration. Within that period alone: Jonathan found a way to get weapons to tackle Boko Haram despite America and it allies refusing to sell weapons to Nigeria, the President also summoned enough courage to visit the Boko Haram troubled region. Nigerians saw a welfarist regime within that short period of six weeks with 50% cut in electricity tariff, reduction in pump price of petrol, compensation for families of dead NIS applicants, reward for outstanding NYSC members and the disbursements of billions of dollars to political, cultural and religious groups. But yet, you keep on saying Jonathan didn’t deserved to be awarded.

Wait a minute! I am beginning to get frustrated, I cannot sincerely be satirical anymore. How can i be satirically normal while Jonathan keep embarrassing my country on a daily basis? He keep buying awards and honours from here and there all in an attempt to rewrite history and steal a legacy. It’s a great insult to any serious nation to have someone like Jonathan parading himself as one of its outstanding leaders; an accidental president under whose tyranny Nigeria failed to fair better in all developmental indexes hence there is nothing exceptional about his government except his rise to the top, his fascinating first name, and his fall from the top. In addition, his style of leadership only highlighted the resounding gong of danger that warrants our collective and individual condemnation. This is the only goodluck Jonathan brought to Nigeria and if there is any need to honour him, it should be based on these three things but nothing more.

He led a government that flows with the tide – telling the gullible few what they wanted to hear, instead of doing what is expected from him as the Commander-In-Chief. His administration was characterised with incessant strikes, monumental corruption, impunity, ethnic division, indiscipline, insecurity and above all blatant lies. He’s indeed a pusillanimous leaders who waits for problems to arise before seeking “common sense” solutions. Jonathan always spoke eloquently on his resolve to keep Nigeria and Nigerians safe but unfortunately, he only made things and contributed to the lost of uncountable numbers of innocent souls and properties valued trillions. Nigerians enjoyed no peace throughout his regime – from Boko Haram In the North to kidnapping in the East, from sea piracy and militancy in the Delta region to armed robbery in the West while an escalating ethnic crisis ravaged in the middle – but Jonathan woefully failed to act and instead, he and his cohorts siphoned all the funds meant for arms purchase into personal wealth. And yet, Dame’s husband is now pretending all went well and keep going round in search of some kangaroo awards.

Throughout his entire in office, there was no official federal government blueprint or road-map to resolve the lingering security situation hence Nigerians remained uncertain about their lives and lost all hopes of a better future until after his kindergarten stewardship. Apart from his failure to tackle the avoidable security challenges, Jonathan completely refused to take responsibility for not coming up with real solutions to end the crisis. Whenever Boko Haram struck, all the otuekean does was to issue some condemnation statements through his media aides days after the attack – promising to bring dead suicide bombers to book – and waited cowardly for the next attack to issue yet another condemnation. Only under Jonathan, that a large chunk of our territory – bigger the size of Belgium – was ceded to some ragtag that are now facing extinction in just ten months of President Buhari’s regime.

Fresh in our memories is the all embarrassing manner called Jonathan’s economic policies. Before the death of late President Umar Must Yeradua, Nigeria was debt free but just few months later, Nigeria (under Jonathan) was already begging for loans for no specific purpose and before he left power, we were owing huge debts to the tune of over $1trn with nothing concrete on ground to justify the spending of such loans. What baffles me more was in the midst of all these, Jonathan mischievously went ahead to share some huge funds in the name of Excess Crude revenue when it should have been stored it up for the Foreign Reserves that was as of then depleted from $80bn during the Yer’adua administration to less than $33bn under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan. When Obasanjo left power in 2007, $23bn was left in the Excess Crude Account after he built it up from nothing but by January 2012, the account was virtually squandered empty and scrapped. You must agree with me that Jonathan did nothing except enriching himself and his cohorts hence Nigeria kept on getting poorer by the day. If you still disagree with me on the status of Nigeria’s economy under the administration of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, you must be in another planet as of then but even the unborn can bear witness of Jonathan’s irresponsible stewardship.

Under Jonathan, no sector of the economy was spared of destabilisation. Education was given less or no priority while the healthcare system kept deteriorating in a monumental fashion; food production was at it lowest ebb ever while the transportation sector recorded a tremendous depreciation; poverty and unemployment waved across the nation in a befitting style while electricity was present only by structure; in the area of justice, Jonathan administration became the first and only regime that demoralised the entire judicial system and reduced our judges to mere thieves and second-class looters while the executives keep sucking the whole nation dry. Everywhere and everything was bastardised, our children and younger ones spent years sitting at home due to strike actions by teachers and lecturers of various academias nationwide; our brave and talented youths were turned cowards and tools for political violence overnight while our daughters and sisters were forced into prostitution just to carter for their wellbeing; the working class were left unpaid while the old were deprived their pensions due a gigantic corruption that swept through the whole country. In fact with Jonathan, our lives were endangered, our hopes crippled, our dreams shattered and our future amputated.

Meanwhile, now that all the possible awards have been bought, what next? To keep them in Otueke and voluntarilly submit himself to EFCC or wait for Magu to show him the way to Ademola Adetokumbo? It’s just a matter of time and it shall come. I don’t actually have any personal issue against Jonathan in person; I’m however finding it difficult to decipher how he is able to be parading himself around the globe as a great leader worthy honours, instead of residing back to Otueke and apologise to Nigerians for turning their country into rubbish. I said this before and will keep saying it: Jonathan will go down the annals of history as the most reckless, incompetent, clueless, unfocused, and irresponsible leader to have ever occupied Aso Rock and none like him will forever get the chance to lead this nation again. God forbid, never again. He should in fact be ashamed of himself for all the wasted years he stayed in office only if he knows anything called shame, otherwise we (Nigerians) are collectively ashamed on his behalf.

Usama Dandare is a social commentator, he writes from Sokoto.

 

Editor: Opinion expressed on this page are strictly those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of abusidiqu.com and its associates

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Some African Leaders To Blame For conflicts – Obasanjo

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 21, 2016/ — Some of Africa’s leaders are responsible for instability on the continent because they have failed to manage diversity in their societies, the former Nigerian President, General Olusegun Obasanjo, has said. By the same token, he noted, outside interference in Africa has been responsible for conflicts, citing the NATO air strikes in Libya in 2011 that led to the removal from power of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

“The repercussions are now being felt in Mali, Nigeria and the Sahel,” Gen. Obasanjo told a press conference on the upcoming Tana High-Level forum on Security in Africa in Ethiopia. Asked whether African leaders were to blame for the conflicts on the continent, he said: “Yes and no.”

He said leaders were failing their people because they had not been able to prevent marginalisation in their societies, prevent injustice, reduce unemployment, reduce poverty, and that they had not embraced democracy and good governance.

The theme of this year’s Forum is Africa in the Global Security Agenda.

This is apt, given the continuing fallout from the NATO intervention in Libya, for which US President Barack Obama recently criticised the British and French governments for getting rid of Gaddafi without having plans in place for effective “follow-up”.

On the issue of African peacekeeping operations, he agreed that the lack of funding from African Union member states was a major setback for peace and security on the continent.

He said that when he was head of state, he was in charge of a high-level panel to search for alternative sources of funding for the AU, but this came to nothing.

He noted that when the AU was looking for funds to counter the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, member states failed to provide the money. “The AU eventually had to turn to the private sector and it was able to raise $40 million,” said Gen. Obasanjo, who is Chairman of the Tana Forum.

He was critical of AU member states for not contributing to the AU’s general budget, adding, “I think this is down to the lack of political will.”

Gen. Obasanjo noted that Ebola and migration from Africa had security implications not just for the continent “because we now live in a global community whereby if something happens in Africa, it affects the rest of the world”.

This was why Africa had to take a serious look at its security infrastructure, what Africans could do themselves to deal with these issues, and what should be the continent’s role in formulating security policies globally.

The Deputy Chairman of the Forum, Professor Andreas Eshete of Ethiopia, said that Africa had to have not only a stronger voice in the global security architecture but also for its perspectives to be taken into account and incorporated into the global security agenda.

The 5th Tana High-Level Forum will take place on 16-17 April 2016 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. More than 150 participants are expected to attend, including current and former Heads of State and Government, high-ranking government officials, academics, civil society representatives, experts and policymakers from the AU, UN and other international institutions.

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Dogara Receives Delegation from African Bar Association, Says Only New Laws can Address Rising Global Unrest

The African Bar Association (ABA) has commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon ?Yakubu Dogara, for his nationalistic approach to governance, saying he has displayed traits of a true leader.

The group, according to a press statement issued by the special adviser to the Speaker on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, said this when it paid a courtesy call to the Speaker in his office yesterday.

“I want to commend you and your team for what you are doing for your country. It is your responsibility but it is also our duty to commend you and continue to encourage you. With the demeanor of Mr. Speaker, and your politics, we must play our politics nationally and cohesively. It must cover all Nigerians and I encourage you to continue to work this way,” president of the association, Hannibal Uwaifo, said.

The African lawyers forum also warned members of the legal profession to observe the rules guiding the profession in the discharge of their duties, adding that they support that all corrupt lawyers and judges should account for their actions.

“We must warn that the rule of ?law is not an end to itself and so, we cannot destroy our country, preaching rule of law. While lawyers must be allowed to do their jobs professionally, they must not ?be allowed to do it unprofessionally.

“While we continue to support our colleagues professionally, we also condemn those who ?want to do extra. You are not allowed by law to defend an accused person beyond your brief. There are professional guidelines for this.

“We will continue to encourage government in its fight against corruption according to the laid down rules, we will also continue to talk to our colleagues who impede justice and judges who are corrupt.”

Responding, Speaker Dogara called for development of new areas of law to cater to emerging global challenges.

He stated, “I sincerely believe there is a role for lawyers, especially now that the entire world is faced with crisis?. In the Middle East, for instance, there is collapse of sovereignty and challenge from conventional order. So many other things happening in our contemporary world call for solutions; it is not enough for us to fold our hands, we must do something. If history is anything to go by, when the world was challenged in those days, it was men and women of this profession that crafted solutions.

“That we are having these kinds of crisis in the world indicates that the tools developed before are no longer responding to the problems we have right now. So it is a clarion call on us members of this profession to, once again?, put on our professional hats or caps and try to craft a new order and we can’t do that based on what we have learnt individually, we can only do that when we pull ourselves into associations like this.”

The Speaker also urged the lawyers to take ?advocacy to citizens on the true roles and running of the National Assembly, pointing out that the legislature is usually used as a tool to distract citizens from the inadequacies of other arms of government.

He explained, “There have always been attempts to demonise the parliament and it appears that it is not only the case in Nigeria, it is everywhere. As a matter of fact, it has often been said that the parliament cannot win a popularity contest, the reason being that some of the arms of government believe that they have to demonise parliament so that they can divert the attention of the people from what is happening in other arms of government.”

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President Mahama And Former President Obasanjo Openly Insults Each Other At The African Forum In UK

There was near pandemonium and confusion at the Annual Global African Investment Forum held in Westminster, Central London after a heated exchange between Ghana’s President John Mahama and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo degenerated into open insults.

This was due to General Obasanjo openly accusing the Ghanaian president and his government of blackmailing and collecting bribes from Nigerian businessmen in Ghana, buying numerous properties in Nigeria and South Africa and financially contributing 12 million dollars to Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign last year.

This infuriated President Mahama who lost his temper and pointing his finger , called General Obasanjo an ” idiot” and a “stupid buffoon”.

It took other ministers present as well as Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to calm tempers and usher President Mahama to a nearby room .

The forum, which takes place from 1st to 3rd December is attended by African Heads of States Ministers, Private equity firms and investors to discuss opportunities for investment and development in African Economies.

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South African Court Finds Oscar Pistorius Guilty Of murder

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of murder after a South African appeals court overturned an earlier manslaughter verdict.

He killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after shooting her four times through a locked toilet door.

He is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail.

Pistorius will have to return to court to be re-sentenced, for murder.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

The minimum sentence for murder is 15 years but judges can apply some discretion.

South African law does not make provision for someone to be placed under house arrest for more than five years, so Pistorius will be going back to prison, reports the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg.

Leach said that having armed himself with a high-calibre weapon, Pistorius must have foreseen that whoever was behind the door might die.

Pistorius always maintained that he believed there was an intruder in the house but the judge said that the identity of the person behind the door was “irrelevant to his guilt”.

Justice Leach compared it to someone setting off a bomb in a public place not knowing who the victims might be.

He also rejected the argument that Pistorius had acted in self-defence.

The judge argued that his life was not in danger at the time of the shooting, as Pistorius did not know who was behind the door or if they posed a threat.

He added that Pistorius did “not take that most elementary precaution of firing a warning shot”.

Pistorius did not attend the hearing in Bloemfontein.

But Ms Steenkamp’s mother, June, was present and afterwards she was seen outside the court being embraced by members of the African National Congress Women’s League, who were singing songs of celebration.

The double amputee was released from prison on 19 October. Under South African law, he was eligible for release under “correctional supervision”, having served a sixth of his sentence.

Pistorius can challenge the ruling in the constitutional court but only if his lawyers can argue that his constitutional rights have been violated.

Legal expert Mannie Witz told the BBC that there do not appear to be any grounds for such an appeal.

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African Games: Adesokan Wins Gold, Sets New World Record In Powerlifting

Nigeria’s Yakubu Adesokan has won a Para-powerlifting gold medal and in the process set a new world record with a lift of 182.5kg in the 49kg weight class.

On Tuesday at the ongoing 11th African Games in Brazzaville, Congo, Adesokan lifted the 182.5 kg in his third attempt to win the gold medal.

Adesokan had set a world record at the 2012 paralympic games in London with a lift of 177 kg, but a Vietnamese subsequently erased that record with a lift of 181kg.

Adesokan, who won silver medal at a recent Open Asia Championship held in Kazakhstan, has now reclaimed his world record.

“I am excited, I can’t thank God enough for this. It is the result of hard work and focus,’’ NAN quoted him as saying after the lift.

“After the Asian championship at which I won silver medal, I gave myself a personal target of gold medal at the Africa Games, and with God, I have now been able to reach my target.”

He said that his next target will be to win gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympic games next year. Adesokan commended the National Sports Commission (NSC) for the preparation ahead of the Games, saying:

“I must thank my coach, Feyisetan Are, for believing in me and training me toward achieving this feat; he has been like a father to all us.

“I want to call on the NSC to allow us start the preparations for the 2016 Paralympic Games early, because with good preparation, the sky will be the limit for us. We have all what it takes to be world champions.”

In the 45kg category, another Nigerian, Latifat Tijani, lifted 98kg to also win a gold medal and set a new African record.

Ben Isini won silver 41kg 90, losing the gold medal to an Egyptian who lifted 92kg. Feyisetan Are, national para-powerlifting coach, told NAN in Brazzaville that the athletes were just keeping to their promise of good performances at the games.

“I am happy at the result. We are just taking part in three events this morning and we won two gold and silver; this is a sign of good things to happen to us in the competition,” he said.

“We promised Nigerians good outing and the athletes are living up to that promise they made to the nation. We are aiming to win at least 11 gold medals. It is just two now; more are still coming.”

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Redefining Africa for Africans: Journey to an African Africa By James Ogunjimi

“European (colonial) memory sprouts on the graveyard of African memory.” – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (Re-membering Visions)

“…the question of memory not only explains what ails contemporary Africa but also contains the seeds of communal renewal and self-confidence.” – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (Something Torn and New: an African Renaissance)

Black market. Blacklist. Blackmail. Black magic. Black sheep.

These are terms that colonialism forced on the African people in its ruthless determination to completely conquer us, obliterate our history, paint our most cherished ideals in an evil light and redefine bad things with African representations. But the African people did not just roll over and die; they mounted a conscious resistance by using their own indigenous languages to paint their terms and ideals in good light when it became impossible for those terms and ideals to be seen in good light using the colonialists’ languages.

But there was little that could be done when the post-colonial African governments, continuing to tow the path cleared by the colonial invaders and in conjunction with their foreign counterparts, sacked the remaining genuine history of the African people from the classrooms and replaced it with the history of the colonialists. The indigenous languages that had ensured the survival of our terms and ideals and their painting in good light was criminalised and tagged “vernacular”.

As a pupil in primary school and later a student in the secondary school, I was a witness to the ruthlessness with which African puppets, their strings being tugged by their foreign masters, attempted to crush the speaking of our languages in our schools. The class captains and prefects were charged with the task of writing the names of vernacular speakers. Those found guilty were dealt with the next morning on the assembly ground.

Not only that, they took it further. Students who performed well in English and French languages examinations and competitions were rewarded with big gifts and made poster pupils and students for the government-approved textbooks, while their counterparts who excelled in Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and other indigenous African languages were given derogatory names and made to feel ashamed of having a mastery of their own languages.

Now, whatever movement the African people create to reclaim Africa for Africans, abolishing the terms that colonialism forced on the people must be a priority. It is not enough to claim that we have gained independence from the colonial invaders. It is not enough to celebrate a clownish form of independence from a “master” and yet that “master” is still celebrated as hero in our history books. It comes to seeing that, as a prelude to the total reclamation of Africa from the colonial hijackers and their definition of Africa, our history books must change, the history of the colonialists and their definition of us must be yanked out permanently and burned in the fire of our own radiant history.

Our terms, our ideals, the definitions of us, must emanate from us. We are not on a revenge mission and as such it would be ridiculous that while we are taking off the robe of “mis-definition” of us by the colonial hijackers, we change blacklist to “whitelist” or blackmail to “whitemail”. That in itself will be counterproductive. While we are trying to rid ourselves of oppression and “mis-definition”, we are not trying to force a definition on people that they are not willing to take on. While we are asserting our freedom to be, we are not trying to take away other people’s freedom to be, no matter what roles they played and still play in the “mis-definition” of us and our people.

As an initial act and a first step to announce the determination of a movement or government towards the complete reclamation of Africa for Africans, the movement or government must insist on a redefinition of terms and an elevation of home-grown ideals and definitions of African people to the forefront of education of our children.

When the colonialists painted our languages and cultures in an evil light, they consciously made their own culture and languages appealing to our people and stripped them of whatever pride they used to have for their land. When I tell you that your culture and tradition is backward and “demonic”, the onus lies on me to tell you a “forward” and “godly” culture and tradition to embrace and proudly identify with. And like that, Africans were tricked into throwing away their own things and hankering after cultures and traditions that pale in comparison to the radiance of their own. To bring back a pride of being African and an appreciation of our culture, ideals and definitions, the movements and governments need to repaint our languages in good light and emphasize the richness of our culture.

Students who have a mastery of their own languages must be encouraged and appreciated as much as those with an understanding of the colonialists’ languages, if not more. African publishing houses should be encouraged to invest in the publishing of writings written in indigenous languages and hype them in international press the same way the ones written in the colonialists’ languages are hyped.

Our history, that predates the conquest of the colonialists must be taught as not just wars for clan domination, as the colonialists painted it, but as necessary battle for survival against a ruthless force that was consuming everything in sight and that was bent on consuming the African people no matter the resistance they put up. Our history, must be taught, that as against the tales pushed forward by the colonialists’ propaganda machines, of African people betraying their people because of a mirror and gift items, that the colonialists came with their Bibles in one hand and guns in the other hand, and waged a war for domination on the African people using religion as smokescreen. Our history must be taught that, as against what the colonialists said that Africa was a dark continent, that Africans had been building houses, erecting structures and had been writing before the colonial invasion. Our history must return to our classrooms.

It is not enough to throw tantrums and shake angry fists at those who rewrote our history to suit their purposes; the total redefinition and eventual reclamation must be carried out by clear-headed thinkers who know how arduous the journey to an African Africa will be and are determined to go all the way in spite of whatever is thrown their way.

Finally, in my poetry collection, Voice of the Whirlwind, from the poem titled, For Africa and Her historians, I wrote of the one-faced story told by the colonial invaders:

“You tell my story

and paint it in details so gory.

You pick up your pen

and write of a once-upon-a-time glory.

You sit back and then

you tell the world that it is my history….”

 

Conclusively, and as a message to Africans who are interested in having an African Africa, I wrote that:

“…Until I tell my story,

It will always be mistold.

Until my pen bleeds my history,

My truths will remain untold.”

The colonialists wrote us out of history and told a single-faced story of us, we must rewrite ourselves back into that history and insist on those histories being taught to our children.

Afrika, I have spoken!

 

© James Ogunjimi

20:07:2015

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