DSS Releases Details Of Shekau’s Deputy Al-Barnawi, Says He Bombed UN Building In Abuja

The Department of State Services (DSS) has released more details about Khalid Al-Barnawi, a top Boko Haram leader who was arrested last week.

According to Tony Opuiyo, an agent of the DSS who released a statement on Saturday, Al-Barnawi is responsible for the 2011 bombing of the United Nations (UN) building in Abuja.

“This service wishes to inform the general public that further to its efforts to stem the tide of terrorism in the country, it has recorded another major breakthrough in the arrest of one Mohammed Usman, widely known as Khalid Al-Barnawi, Alias Kafuri/ Naziru/ Alhaji Yahaya/Mallam Dauda/Alhaji Tanimu,” he said.

“Khalid Al-Barnawi was apprehended by this Service on 1st April, 2016, in Lokoja, Kogi State, while hiding under a false cover. Al-Barnawi was a founding member of the Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid Da’wah Wa’l-Jihad (Boko Haram) and later the Amir of the breakaway faction, Jama’at Ansarul Muslimim Fi Biladi Sudan (JAMBS).”

He described Al-Barnawi as a trained terrorist commander, who has been coordinating terrorist activities in Nigeria, while talent-spotting and recruiting vulnerable young and able Nigerians for terrorist training by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in North African states and the Middle-East.

“Subject was involved in many terrorist attacks in states of the federation, including Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Sokoto and FCT-Abuja. This resulted in the killing and maiming of innocent citizens of this country,” he said.

“Al-Barnawi is also responsible for the bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja, on 26 August, 2011; the kidnapping of two European civil engineers in Kebbi state in May 2011, and their subsequent murder in Sokoto state; the kidnap of a German engineer, Edgar Raupach, in January 2012, the kidnap and murder of seven expatriate staff of Setraco Construction Company at Jama’are, in Bauchi State in February 2013, the attack of Nigerian troops at Okene in Kogi state, while on transit to Abuja for an official assignment.”

He confirmed that the insurgent would soon be charged to court to face his charges, once investigations have been concluded.

“This arrest is a major milestone in the counter-terrorism fight of this service,” he added.

“This arrest has strengthened the Service’s resolve that no matter how long and far perpetrators of crime and their sponsors may run, this Service in collaboration with other sister security agencies, will bring them to justice.”

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Building Nigeria, Not An Overnight Operation, US Tells Buhari

The United States has acknowledged Nigeria’s challenges and told President Muhammadu Buhari administration that building Nigeria would not be “an overnight operation.”

The US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, who stated this on Wednesday at the US-Nigeria Binational Commission’s meeting in Washington, said America wanted Nigeria to succeed.

He stated, “You know there are challenges. That’s what your election was about. And so we are all aware that the world right now is facing many different challenges in terms of governance in various parts of the world and for various reasons: absence of capital, absence of structure, having to build capacity.

“These things take time. Nobody is pretending that it’s an overnight operation. It wasn’t for us. And some people sometimes are very revisionist in America about our own history, but we’ve gone through some very difficult periods and very difficult issues.”

Kerry recalled that America took slavery out of its constitution after it had been written in, adding that it was no small task.

He stated, “We’ve been through a history. And what we’re trying to do is, really, share with people the shortcut, if you will – how you can manage to avoid some of the mistakes that we’ve made in the course of our own development in ways that can embrace the hopes and the aspirations of millions upon millions of people. That’s what this is about.”

He added that Nigeria was finding very vibrant expression in every branch of the arts. He said that like the United States, Nigeria “is a diverse country with a very large and assertive civil society.”

Kerry said, “The United States, let me be clear, is very encouraged by President Buhari’s commitment to an economy that is more diversified, less dependent on a single commodity for export earnings, and that means we need to develop sustainability.

“Sustainable growth depends on a climate that is welcoming to investment and respectful of the environment and of workers’ rights. And we have learned in these last 25, 30 years that it is never a competition between the environment and development.

“That is a false choice – completely false, and particularly in the context of today’s challenge of climate change. You can develop in ways that protect the environment and also are competitive and provide jobs for people.”

According to him, Nigeria’s future is in Nigerians’ hands. He said the United States would help Nigeria.

“Our development assistance this year will top $600m, and we are working closely with your leaders – the leaders of your health ministry – to halt the misery that is spread by HIV/AIDS, by malaria, and by TB,” he added.

He explained that the US Power Africa Initiative was aimed at strengthening the energy sector where shortage in electricity had frustrated the population and impeded growth.

He explained that America’s long-term food security programme, Feed the Future, would help to create more efficient agriculture and to raise rural incomes in doing that.

Kerry said that under Buhari’s administration, Nigeria had been taking the fight to Boko Haram and had reduced Boko Haram’s capacity to launch full-scale attacks.

He, however, stated that the group remained a threat to the entire region, adding that the US and Nigerian governments had been collaborating on new ways to institute security measures.

“The threat that is posed by Boko Haram is serious, but it must not – and I really believe this – it will not be allowed to shape Nigeria’s future. Nigeria is a country with could almost boundless capacity for economic growth,” he stated.

He also said no country could make progress with a culture of impunity.

The US also supported Nigeria’s fight against corruption. The secretary of state also backed Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s efforts to prosecute corruption cases.

Kerry said that no country, including Nigeria, could make progress with a culture of impunity.

He stated, “We back the role of civil society and of the media in exposing corruption and in advocating for greater transparency.

“And we emphasise the message that in the United States, we don’t have a holier-than-thou attitude about this. Believe me, we don’t. We’ve had our own challenges with organised crime through some of our history, but we have fought back against it.

“And we have fought back against it with prosecutors, who are above reproach, above the possibility of any kind of interference, and that has made all the difference in the world. You cannot have impunity in your culture – in anybody’s culture – and expect to be able to make progress.”

He added that all countries should emphasise that the fact that the soliciting of a bribe at any level of government could not be considered business as usual.

In his address, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said it had not been easy for Nigeria.

“President Buhari has really persisted. He is somebody, as you all know, whose unimpeachable integrity is respected in Nigeria and around the world. And it was not an easy task for him in opposition to come into power, but as you found also with your incumbent President, anything and everything is possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, the BNC in a communiqué at the end of the meeting said it discussed among other things, measures to counter violent extremism and encourage defections from Boko Haram; the importance of protecting civilians and safeguarding human rights; the need for integrated planning for the restoration of full civilian authority, resettlement and reconstruction; the need to understand and eliminate sources of terrorist financing; and ways to expand intelligence sharing.

The BNC’s discussion on security cooperation was co-chaired by Mansur Dan-Ali, Nigeria’s Minister of Defence and US Deputy Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

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Nation Building, National Identity: What Nigeria Needs To Do? By Shomoye Abiodun

Research towards nation building shows that nation building theory was primarily used to describe the processes of national integration and consolidation that led up to the establishment of the modern nation-state-as distinct from various form of traditional states, such as feudal and dynastic states, church states, empires, etc. “Nation-building” is an architectural metaphor which, strictly speaking, implies the existence of consciously acting agents such as architects, engineers, carpenters, and the like. However, as used by political scientists, the term covers not only conscious strategies initiated by state leaders but also unplanned societal change. The concept of “nation-building” became for political science what “industrialization” was to social economy: an indispensable tool for detecting, describing and analyzing the macro historical and sociological dynamics that have produced the modern state.

The traditional, pre-modern state was made up of isolated communities characterized by an unsophiscated focus on local concern to the exclusion of wider context at the “bottom” of society and a distant, and aloof, state structure at “the top,” largely content with collecting taxes and keeping order. The acts and mode of tax collection was a department under any monarch within the jurisdiction, most times the taxes are in farm input form and not necessarily in cash. Through nation building these two spheres were brought into more intimate contact with each other. Members of the local communities were drawn upwards into the larger society through education and political participation, Nigeria’s case can be traced back to the amalgamation process, the successful amalgamation saw the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa bundled together to make a single but much bigger nation. The state authorities, in turn, expanded their demands and obligations towards the members of society by offering a wide array of services and integrative social networks. The subjects of the monarch were gradually and imperceptibly turned into citizens of the nation state, they were stylishly debased of their powers and functions, rendered to an “unproductive” house arrest, and they were integrated into the government’s payroll. Substate cultures and loyalties either vanished or lost their political importance, superseded by loyalties toward the larger entity, the state.

Nation building in Nigeria’s context can be categorized into four phases, these phases are sequential, Nigeria has already surmounted the first three phases, though they are still subject of further assessment.

The first phase resulted in economic and cultural unification at elite level. The second phase brought over larger sectors of the masses into the system through conscription into the army, enrollment in compulsory schools, etc. The developing mass media created channels for direct contact between the central elites and periphery populations and generated widespread feelings of identity with the political system at large. In the third phase, the subject masses were brought into active participation in the workings of the territorial political system, nothing best explain this other than the 2015 general election.

In the last stage the administrative apparatus of the state ought to be expanded. Public welfare services should be established and nation-wide policies for the equalization of economic conditions should be designed.

A nation aiming to achieve the last phase of nation building needs to tackle some conventional limitations. As a nation, Nigeria can be said to be a typical example of a country with endowed atmosphere for the survival of hatred, corruption, nepotism among the citizenry. Though, all these retrogressive factors are subjected to gradual depletion from the society, if an only if the elites of the society are ready to embrace the evolutional move. The reverse is the case in our own clime, rather than ending hatred, the politically influential people have seen hatred as a tool to achieve their selfish interests.

The need for national identity in the process of nation building cannot be under estimated. What is then national Identity? National identity describes those common denominators and bonds of unity that bring a number of people together. It is fallacious to expect a lasting unified nation if national flag or the national image is merely a description of a selected region within a nation, who won be an ineffectual minority “in Nigeria’s pidgin parlance?

The need for national identity becomes important and an unavoidable penchant in view of the heterogenous nature of the country, having over 200 different ethnic groups that shares little or no cultural values. The love for local identity has in fact surpassed the needed love for national identity. Without any form of over emphasizing, there is a horrible conflict of superiority between local identity and national identity. The facts that local identity is currently winning the conflict has resulted into survival of unhealthy ethnic rivalry, inter and intra-communal feuds, religious antagonism, little inter-ethnic marriage and other terrible order of the day.

How then do we solve the recalcitrant challenge at our forehead before the avoidable becomes unavoidable? 

In order to promote and preserve national identity, certain fundamental issues have to be addressed objectively and with fairness. These includes the inane majority/minority ethnic group, national reconcillation and devolution of power within the three tier system of government and the total overhauling of the Nation Youth Service Corp Scheme whose glory has been over exhausted. Why keep revenue allocation formula if you want to cultivate national identity and make it super to local identity? The appalling and discriminatory revenue allocation formula should be smashed away from existence.

The important role education will also play in making achievement of national identity a reality cannot be undermined. It is indisputable that sentiment is generated and inculcated easily in the informal environment. Functional formal education which teaches history of people, civic education, constitution and the objectives and aspiration of Nigeria as a country should form an integral part of the academic curriculum.

By and large, evolving national identity and preserving same is not a rocket science and by no means a difficult task. It is a task that involves the leaders and followers alike in an atmosphere of healthy political competition and promising economy premised on sound ideological and philosophical frameworks. Eliminating “quota”, “national spread”, “catchment area”, “state of origin”, “LGA of origin” and so on should be done without any argument against it. I hope these factors could be seen worthy of consideration anytime soon by appropriate authorities, God bless Nigeria.

Shomoye Abiodun

Twitter: @MrShomoye

 

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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Lekki Building Collapse and the Action Oriented Steps Taken by Ambode – Lanre Olagunju

Ambode has shown clearly that he is a no nonsense leader, as against the perception by many at the very beginning of his administration in 2015 that Lagos has elected a go-slow-leader.  It is crystal clear from all indications that he is a careful manager of resources and situations, essentially on peculiar issues that concerns the people of Lagos. He has shown this in many ways, and a recent example is his swift response to the security crisis that enveloped Lagos in the last quarter of 2015 and the recent rescue of the 3 abducted students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary in Ikorodu. If we had a smart thinking and concerned president like Ambode when the Chibok girls were kidnapped, the abduction saga of the Chibok girls certainly would have been much different.

It is very sad that Lagos has again recorded another incident of collapsed building; it is even more painful and critical when one considers the news update that the incident was clearly an avoidable one, if the Managing Directors of of Lekki Gardens, Richard Nyong and Taiwo Henry didn’t flout orders from concerned regulatory agencies.

I am quite impressed with the steps taken so far by the state government and the Nigerian Police. Leadership is essentially about taking charge and not giving flimsy excuses. Definitely things will go wrong sometimes, most especially in a country state like Lagos, but like Ambode has always shown, standing up to the occasion with speed and tact will always be the key thing.

The argument raised by some prominent media giants and influencers, comparing the recent Lekki Building collapse  with that of the TB Joshua building  is quite shameful. No two human are the same, and in the very sense, no two leaders will ever be. The Lagos state government has clearly said that the directors of Lekki Gardens, allegedly, in a blatant act of defiance, unsealed the collapsed property and continued building beyond the initially approved floors, ignoring all warning signals until the unfortunate incident which claimed about 34 lives.

I think it is shameful to raise any argument in support of a distasteful act like this. The least is to allow justice take its place, for crying out loud, some innocent lives were lost and many are in either physical or emotional pains at the moment. Those struggling to raise an argument in support of TB Joshua should be reminded that the TB Joshua case is actually still in court. The two directors of Lekki Gardens are being reprimanded in Panti because the police has demanded from the court that they be held back to ease investigation.

In the case of TB Joshua, the Lagos state government claimed the church didn’t get approval for the said construction before building.  In the case of Lekki Garden, there was a clear case of ignoring warning from the government directly. I think the latter case is more severe. Some analysts have even gone forth to explain that the previous administration did its best to handle the TB Joshua case with utmost caution, probably due to the fact that Fashola was cautious of religious tension that the case might raise.

However, Man of God or no Man of God, anyone who is found guilty should be made to face the law.

It is impressive to know that Governor Ambode isn’t holding anything back.  After asking the Lekki Gardens Directors to report themselves to the Commissioner of Police or face arrest; he didn’t stop at that, or simply allow the Police or Judiciary dish out justice, while the acts of negligence by the concerned state agency be swept under the carpet.  No, that’s not the governor of Lagos! He has ensured the dismissal of the General Manager of the Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Engineer Adeigbe Olushola, Ambode has also dismissed the Head of Inspection and Quality Control in the Agency, Adeoye Thomas Adeyemi, the Zonal District Officer in the Agency, Dosunmu Gbadebo, while the Zonal Head of Eti-Osa West of the Agency, Mrs. Akinde Adenike Sherifat has been compulsorily retired from the Civil Service. These top government officials have been sacked due to acts of negligence that we most times over look as a people.

It is important to know that this is how to sweep impunity out of our nation. This is essentially some of the wind of change we desperately need but we are stylishly neglecting.

Many top officials in time past only get indicted, and then they still retain their top positions. We should be reminded that despite the death of 19 young people who died due to the stampede that occurred during the recruitment exercise poorly conducted by the Nigerian Immigration service, under the watch of Abba Moro, the former Minister of Interior. The minister was never relieved of his position neither was any disciplinary measure taken against him.

If we fail as a people to objectively and gradually strengthen our institutions and get rid of lawlessness, we would continue to pay for such in ways too many. Definitely, the actions taken by Ambode will send strong warnings to other civil servants and also business owners in the construction sector and beyond.

 

I am @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter. 

 

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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The Role Of  Nigerian Youth In Nation Building By Alabede Surajdeen

The term nationalisation refers to a process whereby private assets are being transferred into public ownership by a national government with the sole aim of achieving economic stability, productivity and efficiency. As we all know that it is the responsibility of all citizens to promote nationalisation. Thus, the participation and involvement of youth in nationalisation is mandatory. In fact, youth play a vital role in nation building. Youth and nationalisation seems to be a nexus that cannot be separated if we want to achieve economic development.

Youth are the engine room of every nation. The similitude of the importance of youth to nation building could be likened to a car engine, without which, vehicles can’t move, so also without youth, a nation cannot thrive. The role of the youth in nation building is too relevant to be jettisoned – they serve as the back-bone of a society. They can make or mar a nation based on what is programmed in them. They are a feedback system because if they are well equipped and garnished with the best available resources, they give a positive outcome, but, if otherwise, negative outcome should be expected.

Nigerian youth are surely among the most talented and creative youths in the world. They are fast learners; they have the ability to work under pressure and bring out desired result for any organisation or institution. The role of Nigerian youth cannot be underestimated in nation building. Nigerian youths from time immemorial have been contributing their quota towards national development. The likes of Sir Tafawa Balewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe and Herbert Macaulay fought tooth and nail in their youthful days to deliver the political independence we all enjoy today as a nation.

It is only an insane man that will say Nigerian youths are not productive because there is practically no aspect of nature, physical or anthropological, material or human, complex diversity or undefined homogeneity, regional, international, academic or sport, Nigeria cannot boast of, even in religion or ethnicity. Name any field of learning you would not see a Nigerian youth renowned locally or internationally. Mention any aspect of living, good or bad, a Nigerian youth will not be actively and not passively recognised. There is nowhere in the world one would not see a Nigerian youth with the buzzing I-can-do spirit; In fact they drive the wheel of several countries in the world.

In the same vein, it is paramount to state that most of the monuments we celebrate in this nation today were put in place by the then military regime led by young productive minds and they still remain ever green in our hearts. The present day youth are still trying their best in making sure that the effort of their heroes past is not in vain.

It is important to state clearly that the civic role of every Nigerian youth in promoting nationalisation should dwell on these five concepts; patriotism, reading culture, critical reasoning, skill acquisition and policy making.

Foremost, patriotism is the first trait lacking in Nigerian youths. For any nation to move forward, the people and most especially the youth must love their country unconditionally. Love makes the world go round, it cherishes, it adores, and it brings about all the good things of life. All the evil that befall this country, like corruption, terrorism, ethno religious crisis are as a result of lack of patriotism. If we truly love this nation, we will do anything to protect her interest and we will have in mind that Nigeria is bigger than any individual or institution. Patriotism should reflect in our everyday life as Nigerian youth. If we are patriotic, we won’t give room for corruption and we will not loot the country’s treasury if we are opportune to occupy any political office.

It is when youth love their country with passion that they will want to live there and helping it in all ramifications to meet world standard and this will help to maintain a balance between Nigerian population and resources. That is, resources will be shared based on equity and not equality. Patriotism will build sense of belonging in every Nigerian youth, it will make them more emotionally concerned about their country and it makes them use their strength, intelligence and skill in the development of such nation. Nationalisation would be promoted if the youths are ready to bear the hardships and sufferings being witnessed in their country because it brings about willingness to forgo some of their personal interest for public interest and temporal gains for future ones.

More so, every Nigerian youth should know that there is no alternative to reading. The popular maxim good for illustration is “a reading nation is a leading nation”. It is quite disheartening that most Nigerian youth are lazy when it comes to reading and the few ones that read are reading for pleasure sake. It is when we wake the reading spirit in us that we will be self acquainted with the country’s history and we will not be able to repeat the mistakes of the past. It is only when we turn to a  reader that we will know what it takes to be a citizen of a country, the civic responsibility, our roles as a youth and the government roles in nation building. It is through reading that we can contribute to national issues and bring about world changing ideas.

Youth that read are always abreast of latest information, they will be able to tackle any challenges and they will be fully groomed to depend on their own.  It is also very important to state clear that one should try to sieve what to read as a youth because the type of books you read influence who you are, that is why late Chief Obafemi Awolowo made it known that “he who reads books especially the good ones will suffer intellectual mal-nutrition and attrition“. Parents should take it as a challenge in making sure that their wards learn new things before going to bed. We can only be the partners of today and leaders of tomorrow if we devour good books and become hungry for knowing more in making a difference in our society.

Furthermore, critical reasoning is the only tool that can be used by Nigerian youths in bringing about innovation and invention. As we all know that innovation refers to a new idea and the creation of such ideas brings about invention. John F. Kennedy was of the notion that we should always “think not of what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country”. Youths around the world are coming up with new ideas based on the ability to think in a critical manner and come up with something that can benefit the whole world.

A good example of such a youth is Mark Zuckerberg and his friend Eduardo Saverin, when they invented a social networking service called ‘Facebook’ which was launched in February 2014, when they were between the ages of nineteen and twenty. The world will forever remember this young computer programmers and internet entrepreneurs for their world changing innovation. I have no doubt in my mind that there are many Nigerian youths that can come up with quintessential innovations better than the ones the world have witnessed, which will bring about positive change to Nigeria, but, we should not forget that it is when we read that we will be able to think, critical thinking brings about good ideas and good ideas helps a country to thrive.

In continuation, it is apparent that unemployment is one of the major problems bedevilling this nation. Nigerian youths should start to depend less on government and start to acquire skills that will help put food on their table rather than waiting for white collar jobs. Skill acquisition and entrepreneurship such as sewing of clothes, weaving of hair, bead making, bag and shoe making et cetera will help in the growth and development of Nigeria because less stress will be on the government in providing employment opportunities. As youths, we should not wait for large capital before starting a business, we can start with the little we have, from where we are and move to a greater height of becoming a business mogul of our dream. Creativity is all that is needed to package our product and make it the best among its pears. We should start to be creative as a youth and look at things in different dimensions so as to bring out the best in them. If we can be smart, agile and intelligent youth, unemployment will be a thing of past in our dear country. Doing all this will not make us think otherwise and we won’t be idle because it is only a busy man that has a few idle visitors, to the boiling pot the flies comes not.

As if that is not enough, youth should also be engaged in policy making to make Nigeria a country to reckon with and become one of the super powers of the world. It is only when youth are giving the opportunity to participate in decision making process that we will have a better policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. The youth are also obligated to contribute their quota, views and ideas irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, religion and background. The sole reason they must be carried along is because they are the leaders of tomorrow and the supporters of today. It is only the youths that know what they want; how they want it and what they are going through, but if they are not part of the policy making team, how do we know what they are going through, their pains and the best way to tackle their problems.

As we all know that Nigerian youths are full of vibrant ideas, when adequately guided and properly motivated, they will channel every good thing they have upstairs in formulating good policy. Nigerian youths should erase the feeling that only the leaders and the elderly ones can formulate good policy. If they take it as a challenge and work hand in hand with the government, they will surely come up with critical ideas that can be implemented even if not now but later in the future. If they are able to do this their names will be written in the book of life and generations unborn will continue to say good things about them.

If I have the chance to vote over and over again I will always choose Buhari to Jonathan, the journey may still be rough though, but I strongly believe the destination is smooth. We are glad that the change we have all been clamouring for is here at last, but this change will not be a positive one if the youths are not being catered for and carried along in developmental policies.Youths have the patience to learn from mistakes and the ability to try out new things if they are given the chance. It is no gain saying that if the government fails to put the strength, intelligence and resources of Nigerian youths into efficient and effective use economic prosperity cannot be achieved. In similar vein, Nigerian youths should also know that it is their responsibility to be a good ambassador of this great nation anywhere they found themselves and they should always contribute their quota in making sure that Nigeria becomes a home to all and sundry and a country to reckon with.

 

Alabede Surajdeen is an environmentalist, writer and speaker. He wrote this piece to celebrate Ogun State @40. He can be reached on:

Twitter: @babssuraj

Gmail: alabedekayode@gmqil.com

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Badeh’s N10Billion Building Sealed By EFCC, $2.8million Property Located in U.S

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has sealed another
gigantic property allegedly belonging to Ex- Defence Chief, Alex Badeh on
Friday around Aminu kano Crescent, after sealing his house located at Wuse
zone II in Abuja some days ago.

This is even as a $2.8million building allegedly owned by one of his
daughters have been traced in Aventura, Florida by detectives who are
currently compiling properties owned by serving and retired military
officers.

Over N1Trillion is alleged to have been found in the accounts of four
retired Generals, according to sources familiar with the probe.

The property said to be worth over N10Billion by Real Estate experts is
said to an office complex with a state of the art basement designed
specifically for Night Club.

As at the time the property was sealed by Operatives of the EFCC,
construction work was yet to be completed, sources told Pointblankews.com

Sources told Pointblanknews.com that the Federal Government might auction
all the properties seized from the retired military chiefs if found guilty
and use the proceeds to fund the 2016 budget.

It would be recalled that on the recommendation of the committee
established to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed
Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari
has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to  carry
out further investigation into the misconduct established against the
following retired and serving officers of the Nigerian Air Force and
Nigerian Army:

(1) Air Chief Marshal AS Badeh (Rtd)

(2) Air Marshal MD Umar (Rtd)

(3) Air Marshal AN Amosu (Rtd)

(4) Maj- Gen. ER Chioba (Rtd)

(5) AVM IA Balogun (Rtd)

(6) AVM AG Tsakr (Rtd)

(7) AVM AG Idowu (Rtd)

(8) AVM AM Mamu

(9) AVM OT Oguntoyinbo

(10) AVM T Omenyi

(11) AVM JB Adigun

(12) AVM RA Ojuawo

(13) AVM JA Kayode-Beckley

(12) Air Cdre SA Yushau (Rtd)

(13) Air Cdre AO Ogunjobi

(14) Air Cdre GMD Gwani

(15) Air Cdre SO Makinde

(16) Air Cdre AY Lassa

(16) Col N Ashinze

(17) Lt Col. MS Dasuki (Rtd)

Following the submission of the audit committee’s second interim report,
President Buhari has  directed the EFCC to investigate the roles of the
officers and the following companies and their directors in fundamental
breaches associated with the procurements by the Office of the National
Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

(1) Messrs Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux

(2) Himma Aboubakar

(3) Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services Limited

(4) Messrs Syrius Technologies

(5) Dr Theresa A. Ittu

(6) Sky Experts Nig Ltd

(7)Omenyi Ifeanyi Tony

(8) Huzee Nig Ltd

(9) GAT Techno Dynamics Ltd

(10) Gbujie Peter Obie

(11) Onuri Samuel Ugochukwu

(12) Spacewebs Interservices Ltd

(13)Oguntoyinbo Tayo

(14) Oguntoyinbo Funmi.

(15) Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd

(16)Chief Jacobs Bola

(17) Mono Marine Corporation Nig Ltd

(18) Geonel Intergrated Services Ltd

(20)Sachi Felicia

(20) Mudaki Polycarp

(21)Wolfgang Reinl.

Pointblanknews

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Why Buhari Should See Youth As Important In Building A New Nigeria – Babangida Ruma

Undoubtedly, the FUTURE belongs to the youth, they are also part of the “present” because they are most productive group in any society. However their productivity and contribution to national development depend on their capacity, in terms of skills, education and financial empowerment.

To me I defines the youth as FUTURE hope for every nation, no nation can move forward without youth. The youth constitute 60 percent of the nigerian populations but to be unfortunate not all of them can read and write, It is also becoming increasingly clear that the national security can be enhanced by addressing the problem of youth who are the most vulnerable group in our various communities because their Exuberance and Idealism are always manipulated for selfish interest the adage that the devil finds work for an idle mind in true among the youth than any other group emerging development indicate that idleness drag them to Drugs and crime, virtually All the people arrested for armed robbery and other crimes that endangers our security are young men.

The youth have also become a reserved army for unleashing political voilence on the country under cover of freedom for ethenic nationalities.

With the existence of those difficulty facing our youth in North and the whole country I deceided to found Arewa Youth Awareness Initiative Forum (AYAIF) It has been established to serve as a medium through which issues affecting the Northern Youth in particular and Nigeria in general, It is an assocition of like minds who are passionate about their own and try to shape a future that seem bleak, AYAIFoundation is now on the batch of officially getting register as full civil society organization.

Our major concern now is street Begging.

The growing number of begers on the major streets of our urban centress in Northern nigeria is not only disturbing but alarming. The category of people involved as cut across age and gender, because you now have in addition to the physically handicapped, a number of children, women and school age girls roaming the streets beggings without definite means of shalter, clothing or food. But a substantial number of the begging population are the “Almajiri” as they popularly known.

Let me remind those of us who feel to busy due to official and personal engagements, to contribute to the initiative by suporting us, that it is time for them to reflect and consider the possbility of re-paying the debt owed the society. The basic realities on groud is that this debt owed for many years need to be paid and indeed ought to be paid, By whatever yardstick of judgement. I also want to assert here that no amount of personal commitment is greater than the pursuance of this noble cause. You do not have to be poor to feel the plans of a common man you only need to have fear of God. You any need to have humility you any need to have humanity, you must be capable of listening so that you can hear when people are crying. You must be paying attention so that you can see when the youth are losing focus and are making the wrong choices in life. You do not have to be a counselor, chairman, honorable member or governor to know this is not the way to go. You cannot see yourself as superior to the people you seek to lead. You cannot believe you are better than the man who has not been given a choice, when you do those, than you can no longer claim to see hunger and anger in the faces of people. You cannot claim to still hear when they cry no matter what position you occupy in your community in your place of work, or government, you have lost the right to lead the people.

You most begin to ask yourself the hard questions when those youths are left to rot and their values are debased, what happens to your so-collet privileged children? How are you going to face your God when this vanity comes to an end we cannot fight the hunger of the stomach wen the poverty of our minds is getting stronger, so we must fight and defeat the poverty of our minds.

I also want use this opportunity to acknowledge the fact that, the Initiative at this stage need to widen the circle of consultation and subscriptions.

Finally, I am calling on Buhari Administration to consider utillizing more of those less greedy young people into process of governance and create an enabling atmosphere for their betterment by providing qualitative, accessible and affordable educational system and creating job opportunities to cater for poeverty and civic crime, so that we can save more to make our roads and health system better, thereby keeping our currency within system better,

 

Babangida Ruma

Commonwealth Youth Council Ambassador

Twitter @AmbassadorRuma

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The Role Of The Church In Nation Building, By Obiageli (Oby) Ezekwesili

PROTOCOLS.

I am delighted at the privilege of being asked by the leadership of FOURSQUARE Church to deliver this Diamond Lecture in celebration of sixtieth year of the Church in Nigeria. Let me specially thank Reverend Felix Meduoye,  The General Overseer of FOURSQUARE for the honour he bestows on me whenever he asks me to speak to his congregation of fellow believers in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Please accept my congratulations for the Diamond celebration which is happening under your inspiring and visionary leadership. I wish to also thank a dear brother, Femi Adesina who pressed on until my very swampy schedule opened up to enable me fulfil the promise I made several months ago when I could not be with you at a similar event in Lagos. Speaker of our House of Representatives-  Honourable Yakubu Dogara, delighted to have you chair this event. Other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for being here today to listen to this lecture.

The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, commonly referred to as the Foursquare Church, is a Pentecostal denomination founded in 1923 by one of the historically outstanding female preachers — Aimee Semple McPherson in Los Angeles, United States of America. She it was who described the basis for the naming of the Church from the revelation of Prophet Ezekiel as recorded in the Bible depicting the four faces of God that he ( the prophet) had seen. Pastor Aimee McPherson elaborated this even further stating that the four faces “were like the four phases of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the face of the man, she saw Jesus our Saviour. In the face of the lion, she saw Jesus the mighty Baptiser with the Holy Spirit and fire. In the face of the ox, she saw Jesus the Great Burden-Bearer, who took our infirmities and carried our sicknesses. In the face of the eagle, she saw Jesus the Coming King, who will return in power and victory for the church. It was a perfect, complete Gospel. It was a Gospel that faces squarely in every direction; it was the “Foursquare Gospel.”

The church propounds that its call is to preach Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as The Savior, The Baptizer, The Healer and The Coming King. In so doing, it seeks to glorify God, advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus as it undertakes His Great Commission of preaching the gospel and making disciples of all nations. Over the ninety two years of existence, the Four Square has experienced successions which has helped with its growth into a world wide church. Today, the Foursquare Church has more than 1,700 U.S. churches and more than 66,000 churches globally and meeting places in 140 countries and territories.

Nigeria is one of those several countries in which FourSquare has flourished since the Reverend and Mrs. Harold Curtis first brought the message of Four Square to our country in 1955 to three founding members Reverend James Boyejo, Rev. Samuel Olusegun Odunaike and Rev. Friday Chinyere Osuwa. The year of the inauguration of the first FourSquare Church is remarkable seeing that it was just five years before Nigeria gained her independence. The Nigerian branch of the Church has since spread in prolific growth not just across the entire country but also across the continent of Africa. The FourSquare Church is according to data considered one of the largest Pentecostal churches in Nigeria.

BIBLICAL CONTEXT FOR CHURCH.

The Bible documents  the spoken words of God to His people, written to shape the sacred beliefs of those who were first called Christians because their observers declared that “they had been with Christ” as they scrutinised their conducts in the city of Antioch.  So, it is natural for most people to assume that Church when defined as “organised gathering of people as a group and under some clear leadership” is a phenomenon only of the New Testament. The reality however, is that the Church evolved from the Old Testament into the New Testament in the form we know it today. It can be said that Church started in the Garden of Eden where God used to come down to fellowship with the first man that He had created- Adam; but that ‘gathering’ was interrupted by sin. The fall of Adam and Eve, aborted the awesome plan of God for humanity as expressed in Genesis. God subsequently made several other provisions, ranging from Noah to Abraham, to Joseph, to Moses, to Joshua, to Deborah, to Eli, to Samuel, to Elijah, Elisha and several other priests and prophets that were to “gather” God’s people regularly in harmonious fellowship with Him.

The New Testament church as recorded in Acts2 started at the Pentecost in the Upper Room led by the twelve Apostles of Christ and the many other believers in His teachings who gathered in fellowship after His death and resurrection aptly captures this classic definition of the Church in its characteristic attributes.  Acts 2:42-47 records:

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

The definition of Church as an “assembled group of people who met regularly under an organised leadership” places the emphasis on the human beings and why they gather much more than the building in which they do so. It is perhaps for this reason that Apostle Paul counsels the Hebrews to “not forsake the assembly of the brethren” making it all about relationship rather than a visit to a location. It is the people in fellowship with God and among themselves  more than where they gather that makes a gathering  of faithful followers of Christ, a Church of the modern ages.  The Early Church of the Acts of Apostles  still remains the model by which any gathering of people as Church is measured in terms of their relationship with God and with fellow believers.

When we read and observe the journey of the children of Israel as the ” The Old Testament Church” making their  way to the the Promise Land, we are awed at the similarity their gathering has with the New Testament church. Reviewing both the old and New testaments of the Bible to understand the concept of Church better, one cannot but remember the roles of certain prophets of God as they led the children of God to the land of promise. The priests and the prophets who ministered in the temple were no different from our Pastors in churches today with a congregation of human beings that are no different from the flawed men and women of that era; who were beneficiaries of God’s  grace.

In effect, church may have evolved from Old Testament tents of meeting, to temples and synagogues into the Upper House, peoples’ houses and then elegant church buildings; but the unchanging Owner of the Purpose  of every gathering of His people remains steadfast in what He wants from His people. Even as they journeyed through the wilderness as  His “…… treasured possession out of all the peoples” what He expected was that they “. . . shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.” With the favoured admission of those who were formerly Gentiles through redemptive grace of Christ, Apostle Peter still declares in striking continuity in the New Testament: ” But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” The people of God are created to be exemplary to all others. Simple.

In the Old Testament, Micah 6: 8 the prophet Micah asks, “What does the Lord require of you?” And answers, “To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” Apostle Paul speaks similarly in the New Testament in Ephesians 4: 1 says “To the church at Ephesus Paul writes, “I beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling.” Whatever may be the purpose that the people of God gather; if they be followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ; who believe in the power of the Holy Spirit; there is but one common denominator for both the Old Testament and the New Testament congregations. It is Holiness. There cannot be a “gathering” or “fellowship” of the people of God with God, without Holiness. In Leviticus 19v1-2, He repeated that same charge of Holiness which He had made to Abraham when He promised to make him “blessed to be a blessing” in Genesis. Without Holiness, God cannot be in the midst of those who have gathered to qualify it for His own definition of the Church that “the gate of hell cannot prevail against”.

The manifestation of the working of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church differentiates it from the Old Testament church. The Spirit of God brought great liberty to the individual who having confessed Jesus Christ as Lord is spoken of our Lord as “being greater than the Great John the Baptist even if such a one were the least in the kingdom.  The importance of this is best appreciated as one reads the assessment that God made of the Churches in Revelations2-3 where it is the Spirit of God that is expressly talking to the Church via the revelation experience of John the Beloved an Apostle of Christ. This is unlike in the days of old when God would speak to the Prophet or Priest who would in turn carry the message to the rest of the people.

HISTORY OF THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA

History records that the Church in Nigeria is some 172 years old having started with the Catholic priests who were part of the Portuguese trade incursion into the coastlands of Nigeria. It was only after some hiatus, that there was the arrival of a more sustained missionary exploits of the Methodist Missionary Society in 1842 pioneered by the works of Thomas Birch Freeman. The Christian Missionary Society followed suit later that same year with the visit of Henry Townsend from Sierra Leone. Some years later the Catholic Irish missionaries arrived and much later down the line, Nigerians saw the emergence of indigenous churches that interpreted the Christian experience to have local relevance. Churches such as the Aladura movement in Western Nigeria, the Apostolic movement, the Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal movements were founded and thus the Church in Nigeria was fully formed as an organizational concept coincident with the era of independence. For example, the Redeemed Christian Church of God a mission in which my husband and I have the privilege of having joined in the early 90s from our Anglican/Catholic backgrounds, is an indigenous Pentecostal/Evangelical church founded by Pa. Josiah Akindayomi sixty three years ago.

Each denomination of the Church in Nigeria flourished in  numerical growth and in an environment of relative religious freedom and constitutionally guaranteed secularity of governance, they individually carried on with their respective missions without the need for any structured collective structure. However, when during the military rule of General Ibrahim Babaginda, the Church in Nigeria collectively felt the threat resulting from that government signing up Nigeria as a member of the Organisation of Islamic Countries they came together under the umbrella of the  Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in 1976. Today, CAN is constituted by Churches under five groupings that are the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, The Christian Council of Nigeria, the Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, the Organisation of African Independent Churches and Tarrayar Ekelesioyoyin Kristi. The Christian Association of Nigeria enunciates the following objectives: to serve as a basis of [action for] the unity of the Church, especially as [intended] in our Lord’s pastoral prayer: ‘That they all may be one’to act as a liaison committee, by means of which its member churches can consult together and, when necessary, make common statements and take common action to be a watch-dog of the spiritual and moral welfare [of] the nation to propagate the Gospel to promote understanding among the various people and strata of society in Nigeria.

A critical analysis of the role that the Church has played in the nation along the lines of living up to its objectives of Unity of faith and collective action; its spiritual and moral watchdog of the nation objective; its promotion of understanding and peaceful relationship objective; is highly recommended for not just CAN but for all church leaders and their denominations. Any such objective assessment will reveal the deficit in acting to realize these lofty vision of CAN. Whereas it has done relatively well in some aspects of its vision, the association of Christians has a long journey to being the mega rallying point of Christians as the light of the Nigerian society that we are called to be.

WHAT IS NATION BUILDING?

Nation building in its simple definition refers to the use of the power of the state to construct or structure a national identity. Nation building is especially used in relation to countries in Africa and Central Europe where territorial habitation of people forces disparate nationalities to belong to a country and yet feel no common sense of shared identity among themselves. So, in basic terms, one could say that nation building aims to unify diverse people of ethnic, religious and other pluralities who have found themselves living together in a globally recognised entity known as a United Nations member country. The process of attempting to unify  the diverse nationalities within a territorial construction to make it politically stable and viable, is something that would resonate for all Nigerians-North, South, East and West-  seeing how so much it describes our story in the 101 years of amalgamation and 54 years of independence of our country.

“Today is Independence Day. The first of October 1960 is a date to which for two years, Nigeria has been eagerly looking forward. At last, our great day has arrived, and Nigeria is now indeed an independent Sovereign nation.  Words cannot adequately express my joy and pride at being the Nigerian citizen privileged to accept from Her Royal Highness these Constitutional Instruments which are the symbols of Nigeria’s Independence. It is a unique privilege which I shall remember forever, and it gives me strength and courage as I dedicate my life to the service of our country. This is a wonderful day, and it is all the more wonderful because we have awaited it with increasing impatience, compelled to watch one country after another overtaking us on the road when we had so nearly reached our goal. But now, we have acquired our rightful status, and I feel sure that history will show that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace: it has been thorough, and Nigeria now stands well-built upon firm foundations.”

These were the very gushing and giddy words of the first Prime Minister of Nigeria Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa on October 1, 1960.

Sadly,  the reality of our trajectory as a country is that we never transited from country to nation contrary to the poetic declarations of our first leader. To call a spade a spade, our nation building process has been extremely dismal in outcome and so fifty four years after, we are at the Diamond event of FourSquare Church which is five years older than independent Nigeria; still discussing matters of “Nation Building.” Our Founding Nationalists, simply equated our becoming a country with attaining nationhood. Our founding leaders forgot  that a State- i.e. A country-  is not always a Nation . True, Nigeria became a self-governing political entity that negotiated a federal structure in cognizance of the near autonomy of each of its constituent ethnic nationalities. The painful fact however is that our independent Nigeria does not yet act like a Nation after five decades. The inability to achieve the consensus necessary for nation building has robbed us of the fundamentals of shared identity, vision and values known as “nation formations”. Research proves that these fundamentals  are what have helped other countries in similar circumstances as Nigeria to transit into the more progressive concept of “State Building”. It is after Nation Building that the phase of State Building which focuses on the building of the social, human and physical infrastructure as well as the critical institutions can commence on a solid foundation. It is State Building that progresses a territory of unified people to citizens of economically, socially and politically viable nation-state through what is known as a “Capable State”.

Countries with multiple divides do not just melt into one happy union. It requires deliberation and intentionality for diverse people with divergent interests, threats, opportunities and strengths to forge a common and shared framework for lasting unity of purpose. In some of the instances where this has happened either through wars and or dialogues/negotiations or their combination , it had required the elite of such countries to lead the rest of the people in a deliberative process of nation building. Nation building agenda envisions the forging of a  common identity that all have resolved that they will defend at all time with clear mechanisms for conflict resolution. For countries like South Africa and more recently, the people- led constitutional process were their pathway.  It is the visionary power of the elite to move a people of diversity beyond the lowest common denominator of mere citizens of one country into a nation of people. It is what  makes the United States to stand out as a model multi-cultural society. Hence, even “with its multicultural society, the United States is also referred to as a nation-state because of the shared American “culture.”

Some people may of course dismiss this crave for evolution from country into a nation and say it does not matter. For those ones, I recall the wise words Carolyn Stephenson, who is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. She could have premised her thesis specially for Nigeria. Professor Stephenson states that “ Nation-building matters to intractable conflict because of the theory that a strong state is necessary in order to provide security and that the building of an integrated national community is important in the building of a state, and that there may be social and economic prerequisites or co-requisites to the building of an integrated national community” Simply put, if a people of diversity in a country truly wish to succeed, they must forge a shared identity, vision and values to realise their goal of building a strong, secure and viable nation- state.

THE PAST, THE PRESENT OF THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA AND THE NIGERIAN CONDITION. CAN THE CHURCH IN BECOME THE CATALYST FOR A NEW NIGERIA?

That failure to immediately use the early days of independence to commence the nation building process is what I consider the biggest missed opportunity in the history of Nigeria. So, it was not surprising that shortly after the novelty of our political independence wore off, the troubling underbelly of our nascent 1959/60 democracy was revealed in the rather prescient reading of the situation at that time by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)  of the United States its memorandum of 1966. CIA wrote thus:  “Africa’s most populous country (population estimated at 48 million) is in the throes of a highly complex internal crisis rooted in its artificial origin as a British dependency containing over 250 diverse and often antagonistic tribal groups. The present crisis started” with Nigerian independence in 1960, but the federated parliament hid “serious internal strains. It has been in an acute stage since last January when a military coup d’état destroyed the constitutional regime bequeathed by the British and upset the underlying tribal and regional power relationships. At stake now are the most fundamental questions which can be raised about a country, beginning with whether it will survive as a single viable entity. The situation is uncertain, with Nigeria,……is sliding downhill faster and faster, with less and less chance for unity and stability. Unless present army leaders and contending tribal elements soon reach agreement on a new basis for association and take some effective measures to halt a seriously deteriorating security situation, there will be increasing internal turmoil, possibly including civil war”.

The question anyone of reading this should ask in the context of our topic is, “where was the Church in Nigeria at the time these lethal strains that became entrenched even up until today,  were brewing? How could the Church have been irrelevant in the foundational work of unifying diverse aspirations by woefully failing to influence the individual actors of that era considering that many of them wore and do in fact continue to wear their ecclesiastic garment as boldly as they wore and wear their ethnic cleavage? Even if the other end of the dialogue was the mostly Muslim North, could there not have been a way that the church could have helped to prevent the needless deaths that started and degenerated into a pogrom, claiming the largest number of our people?”

In a similar situation in Rwanda, the Church has had to face the scrutiny on its failings or complicity in the genocide that almost wiped out an entire ethnic race. I do not recall that the Church in Nigeria has reviewed or been compelled to review its role in the 60s multiple tragedies of our country. The satanic seed of deep ethnic distrust, mistrust and hostility were sown unchallenged in that era. It pervades the Nigerian society today engulfing all generations in their relationships and explains why other ethnic groups often withhold  empathy from any other of the groups which is faced with challenges at any given time.

Nigerians engage in what I call “equal opportunity suffering”. Not having received empathy in their time of pain, they see no reason to empathize when it is the “turn” of another ethnic group to suffer their “own pain”. Nothing is more revealing of the absence of the spirit of nationhood as this inability to rise beyond ethnic trenches and show humanness to another group, regardless of past hurts. What one has known from advocating for our abducted 219 Chibok School girls and the North East more broadly, reveals extremely deep divides that should not exist where the Church in Nigeria living up to its Reconciliatory role.  Unfortunately, the Church is very woven into the fabric of inter and intra ethnic conflicts. Such conflicts have become very common within the Christian fold in Nigeria, thereby robbing it of the moral pedestal it must have in order to play the role of reconciliation in a country where conflicts easily erupt and escalate unnecessarily.

I dare say that our protracted  failure to build a nation out of a country is what changed the course of Nigeria’s history and squandered the huge benefit that empirical research shows is possible for diverse societies. That our political elite could not speedily and “sincerely act” on the lofty ideals espoused in their nationalist struggle when they successfully united against a common “enemy” and brought us our independence,  is the reason our language remains divisive, churlishly clannish and religiously irredentist. Rather, our political elite turned their backs on the supposed “independent sovereign nation” and resorted to lethal ethnicity. Worse, they hid under their fiery brand of ethnic and religious politics to paradoxically unite in offering a toxic variant of leadership that is mostly  devoid of altruism. Now, what remains of leadership if it is lacking in sacrifice?

Rather than thread a collective path toward nation building, what Nigerians know as the prevalent character of the political elite class across board is that they frequently push the country to a precipitous slide that has become the lot of Nigeria since independence. It was within this context of elite failure that the 1966 military coup struck and unleashed a huge canvass of governance instability epitomised by long period of military adventurism in governance, that abated only recently in 1999 with the coming on of the fourth Republic. It is only in the last sixteen years that our fifty four year old country finally got the longest season of the sins qua non democratic context that helps a people to negotiate their differences through freedoms of discourse, disagreement, dialogue and principled negotiation. The question however is, will our country ever seize the opportunity for such and achieve triumph through the pain and discomfort of the nation birthing process?

There is an incentive for us to push ourselves toward this painful choice.  Not having deliberately engaged the best medium for shaping our consensus around a shared national identity, shared vision and shared values we continue to struggle. Even in the last sixteen years of the latest cycle of being a Democracy,  Nigeria stays struggling to commence sensible and sustained “State Building” process. I mean, how can you possibly commence the structure of a house without laying the strong foundation required by engineering standards? That is precisely what we as Nigerians have been doing in “pretending to build a capable state” when basic nation building remains an unfinished business.

The unfinished business of nation building has created room for the wily elite class to cleverly capture what passes for the “State” and push the larger population of the excluded who dot the entire landscape of Nigeria to the fringes of the benefits of governance. Such elite capture and “pocketization” of  the “pseudo state” is exemplified by the governance failures of the past fifty four years that has engaged academic researchers around the world. Nearly all of Nigeria’s problem is traceable to poor governance and its more manifest symptom of cancerous corruption. Corruption is empirically proven to be the greatest obstacle to Nigeria’s development. Grand corruption which is the variant popularized by the elite of our society created the current endemic and systemic corruption. That in turn, has produced the most unacceptable levels of poverty in a country that evoked great expectation at the time of independence. Today, poorer segment of citizens all over the country, who find themselves caught in the corruption-poverty-corruption trap are angry at the “crumbling state” that has failed to provide them the most basic services that people of other nations enjoy. Hence, regardless of what part of the country they come from, what language they speak, what culture they practice, what religion they believe, Nigerian citizens are gradually realizing that the ethnic jingoism of our elite may after all be purely self serving.

Over the years, the depth of poor governance and corruption by the political class and their private sector collaborators and to a lesser extent the acquiescing religious elite has worsened the cynicism, pessimism and skepticism of citizens leading to huge erosion of our Social Capital. No society can build for a lasting future  without some reasonable measure of Trust of government by the people. That citizens do in fact openly express trenchant cynicism about the uninspiring role that the religious spheres including the Church has played in bring forth a values- deficit and broken down Nigeria- State is heartbreakingly opposite of the standard set for the modern church by the Early Church.  The collapse of our values and the depletion of our social capital heightened have further sharpened the ethnic and religious fault lines and increases conflicts. Conflicts of all kinds have further deepened poverty among the poor citizens already excluded from the benefits of recent economic growth. Feeling abandoned by the Nigeria- State, our society is seeing a growing number of people among the excluded cynically following after the “examples” of their elite. They do so by engaging  in all manner of acts of criminality and wickedness in apparent attempt at lashing out against the country which they believe has failed them.

And yet, the nation building process is one in which all of society  must. play a role and happens faster when it is designed as an all inclusive process that leaves no one, no segment, no group, no gender, no class and no sphere behind. Lessons from other lands show that in negotiating and agreeing a shares identity, the religious sphere for its inherent tendencies to building and nurturing human relationships usually play a strong role. The Church therefore-  both for its individual members and as a group/ organization has always had a central role to play in nation building – in fostering the sense of shares humanity of a people bound minimally by territorial neighborhood .

The question today however,  is how has the Church in Nigeria fared as a potential catalyst that helps propel Nigerians toward a positive trajectory and progression into nationhood?

Let us even narrow this evaluation of the role of the Church to the fundamental premise of my considered opinion that Nigeria has been a victim of an elite crisis. Doing so, would mean asking how much of a restraining or constraining  influence has the Church tried to be on the Nation-State destructive  role of our “power elite”?  Has the Church not mostly acquiesced with this class of people in the manner it  is welcomes  and honors those of its folks who ordinarily should receive its moral sanction?

There is if not empirical, at least some reasonable anecdotal basis for probing the role of the Church in so far as the public piety of its flocks is concerned. The privileged class are traced to the grand ills of the Nigerian society in nearly all the instances of truncation of governance by coups. Here is a classic description of the “power elite” of Nigeria in the statement “justifying” the 1966 coup:  “enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalist, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.”

Every other coup more or less repeated the text until the last one in 1993. One can reasonably conclude that what we today confront as systemic corruption only metamorphosed to the gargantuan scale as Nigeria’s elite class perverted the values of our country and distorted our incentive and disincentives regimes. It has been so since the painful 60s unto this day, robbing the poor who the Church exists to be their voice of the better life possible in Nigeria.

So, sure the economy has been growing  at 7% every year in the last ten years but what quality of growth have we had with still more than 61% of poor in the land, 24% unemployment level with more than 40% level among the youthful segment? We have a negligible changed structure of the Nigerian economy since independence with the consequence that manufacturing has stayed at less than 15% thus narrowing the opportunity for rapid absorption of labour.  The massive unemployment and underemployment is because our indigenous private sector is underdeveloped compared to the countries of Asia and Latin America where small businesses account for more than 60 percent of the economy or 75% in America. Our private sector that thrives mostly does so by depending on the distortion of policies, the corruption of the public sector and influence peddling while the small businesses suffer the severe adverse effects of failure of the same policies.Inequality and growing disparity between few that have had grown deeper. Regrettably the elite fail to understand the implications of such an unsustainable pattern of power and wealth relations in any society even as the heinous effects of long lasting poor governance in the North East of Nigeria stares us in the face.

All of the foregoing are policy, institutional, investment and broadly governance matters that constitute the State Building process. Our effort at tackling them without tackling the faulty foundation of absence of nation building has produced disappointing results. The corruption-poverty-corruption trap has thus capped the possibilities of our larger population of citizens while unlike the Early Church, today’s Church busies itself with materialism. That the Church in Nigeria provides a place of comfort rather than rebuke and sanction to the elite of the land who in one factually evidenced basis or the other are culpable for poor governance and corruption makes it unwittingly acquiescent in the entrenched inequality In the land. God cares for the poor. God wishes that His Church should also care for the equity and justice for the poor and to stand on the side of the weak and vulnerable and not with those who oppress them.

While the political and to a lesser degree, the business elite  set the stage for the broken and deficit foundation of Nigeria, the rest of our society must also accept their fair share of the blame for helping to accelerate the slide by their apathy, lethargy or indifference. The governed, be they men or women have a major role to compel their elite to act in always that promote the collective good of society. Those citizens who not understanding the power they wield and to collectively deploy it in demanding for good governance and accountability for resources and for results from those that lead them pay huge costs for their ignorance. To simply accept and applaud acts that injure a citizen is injustice to both the person and the rest of society. When citizens of Nigeria fail to actively engage, participate and exercise their voice in helping shape course that the country is taking, nation building will be further delayed.

To return to the basics and compel this all too important and painful process of nation building, I recommend that the Church in Nigeria acting as a collective, can become the Catalyst that galvanises individual members, families, civil society to set out an agenda for a discourse of our common identity, vision and values. There is no better organisation of people to trigger a Values Renaissance as a lasting counter to the present “distorted normal” . What happened to virtues like honesty, integrity, character, dignity, hard work,  selfless service? The distorted VALUES of the failing Nigerian society seeped so badly into the church such that we are reminded “if the foundations be destroyed or broken, what will the righteous do”? Is it not the case that we also have crisis of leadership values in the church today? Should we not first repent for failure to be the SALT,  THE LIGHT AND THE CITY UPON THE HILL.  Reading Prophet Hagia’s first and second chapters, one will conclude that like the children of Israel in his time, we the Church of Nigeria of today sit  in church praying to all become prosperous while the vineyard (Nigeria) that God had given us over grows with weeds. “Consider your ways”, the Prophet roared then. Where are our own Prophets to roar at His church?  If today they will emerge,  then God will return to us!

Who better than the Church can boldly take this agenda to the top of our national discourse determined to force our deliberation of the ideals upon which vibrant and successful nations emerge? The justification for the Church to make such a bold move is the urgency necessitated by growing inequality that seeks to engulf the land but which the political elite class that should provide leadership is too distracted by the pattern of power conflicts to give its attention.

A corrupted Nigeria will eternally rob the same poor that the Church should be protecting. Has today’s Church not mostly failed to use its Voice on behalf of the poor in the land by systematically living up to its “watchdog” roles in the same manner  as our Lord Jesus, John the Baptist, Prophets Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos and several others? How ready is the Church to champion a credible sanction era to punish the cancerous corruption that afflicts our land? Would it not be a tragedy if the government becomes actually serious to lead such a corrective war to rebuild our foundations and what the church does is to “blow the trumpet in an uncertain way” such that the people fail to prepare for battle?

The Lord understood that His children would have needs but His assurance that if we kept the matters of the kingdom— such as nation building, being the standard bearers in our nation as the “Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World”, excelling in our “Ministry of Reconciliation and Peace” unto which He has called us, then ALL THESE OTHER MATERIALISTIC “THINGS” ( Note that He belittles them as mere “things”) shall be added unto us. God forbid that the Church will become irrelevant because it joined the people of the world to mind the irrelevant things and not the Lord’s  mandate! The Lord goes further and warns that should His Church busy itself with “things” then it is no longer the “Assembly of the people of God” but a gathering of heathen.

I believe that this awakening calls the Church to deep retrospection and introspection to unreservedly discover where we missed it and veered into the path of perfidious acquisition craze. How did we, who should lead as His Light become the LED, into darkness? How did the Church become so “at ease in Nigeria” that we are now misled by our political and business elite who should have been under our positive influence? One pathway out of this quagmire is for the Church to judge itself and admit that it has fallen short as a cleansing ground; and that in order to qualify to function as a Cleanser in this land, we would all need to plead with the Lord of the Church to mercifully come into the sanctuary and purge His people. Is the Church ready for the painful purging?

When evil is prevalent in a society we know that God  keeps for Himself a Remnant.  There remaineth a REMNANT as Prophet  Isaiah declared in chapter  10 verse 20. How come FourSquare Church has tied its entire Diamond Anniversary to the issues of the Nigeria condition? It is because the Church senses that a new season has come.  It is a season of opportunity to “do a new thing that can spring forth!”. As Solomon said, there is a time for everything under the sky. A time to be indifferent and a time to become involved. A time to ignore and a time to no longer ignore. A time to sit in church and just pray and a time to both pray and work like Prophet Nehemiah and like the four carpenters that Prophet Zechariah spoke about. The season we are in is the season when the salvation of Nigeria is closer than when we first began. The season for a new birth has come and so there is a restiveness in the Spirit of the people of God. We shall both pray, groan in the spirit, travail and walk our beliefs for the birthing of the New Nigeria through deliberations that will transit us from country to NATION.

When Nehemiah heard the news of the broken walls of Jerusalem, his heart was burdened at what he was told about not just the city but the poor in the land. Nehemiah had no reason to be so distressed because after all, his situation as the King’s cupbearer was remarkably privileged for one in captivity. Yet, his sorrow new no end. He prayed and asked God for a strategy and received it immediately because God loves and supports those who care about His vision. Nehemiah, set out on the journey back to Jerusalem determined to succeed. Of all the tools that Nehemiah needed for a successful reconstruction effort— money, men and material– a good read of his book shall reveal to us  that it was none of these that brought the prophet his successful delivery on target. What did bring the completion of work despite all the challenges he encountered, was RIGHTEOUSNESS. Nehemiah new how to do the RIGHT THINGS. He did not engage in the wrong things while praying to get a good result. In nation building, we know that it is “Righteousness that exalts a nation while sin is a reproach to any people”. It was the Church as in the members not the buildings that Christ commanded to be known for “a pattern of well doing”.

Today, because it is appropriate to nation building, I have decided to use the concept of righteousness as the pattern of “doing the right things” even by a person or nation that is outside of the Christian Faith. We have an example of a country like that – of a people who do not confess our Lord Jesus Christ – as majority of our Christian folks do here in Nigeria.  It is a nation with similar multi- ethnic, history of colonisation and poverty challenges like we had in the 60s at independence. That nation, is known as Singapore. Together with Nigeria and many other developing countries, it started on the Development journey with Gross Domestic Product  – GDP per capita of less than $500 in the 60s. By first resolving the nation building process and then moving on to the state building process with leadership that “did the right things consistently” , Singapore today has a GDP per capita of $60,000 compared to  our beloved country’s  $2300.

Where then are our own Nehemiahs? Where are our Deborahs? Where are our Ezras? Where o country of Nigeria, are your Modecais and Esthers who have made up their minds to not bow but to rather dethrone the STRONG MAN OF CORRUPTION that is sitting over NIGERIA? It is time, Church! This is the season!! It is time to:

To PRAY !

To WORK!!

To WALK!!!

To BUILD …………. Until we become a Nation. ….. Until our New Nigeria emerges. Until the Nigeria of God’s dream comes. Until Nigeria becomes a praise in all the earth. I BELIEVE.

 

Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili

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Building A Nigeria That Would Last By Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

“Our nation is ripe with a multitude of successful people, who have achieved much for themselves with little impact on anyone else” -Fela Durotoye

Nigeria is without any reservation, a strategic nation on earth. Let me take the next few lines to explain to you why I am so sure of this particular fact. Nigeria is among the first ten of the world’s most populous nation on earth. According to United Nations Department of Economics and social affairs estimates, Nigeria is ranked the 7th most populous country in the world with a population of 183,506,867 as at 7th March, 2015. Apart from this, Nigeria is also the most populous county in the continent of Africa and also boasts of the largest economy, which before now has South Africa leading the continent’s economic position. In terms of natural resources, especially crude oil; Nigeria boasts of 37.2billion barrel, ranking the country as the largest oil producer in Africa and the 11th largest in the world, averaging 2.28 million barrels per day. In fact, at current rate; this oil reserves can serve for 45years of supply if no new oil was discovered. All these and many more contributes to Nigeria’s strategic position on the world map.

But how Nigeria has fared over the years with these resources and her position on the world stage is something of concern. The nation is rich and yet, she is poor. From unemployment to poverty, bad governance and bad leadership, corruption and poverty has characterized this entity called Nigeria. 100 years on since amalgamation, 53 years of independence; still no meaningful development can be ascribed to Africa’s most populated and oil-rich nation. From religious sentiments to tribal insecurity, a lot of issues have bedeviled the nation’s attainment of greatness in the years past. Countries like the United States of America, Germany and even Russia who have learnt that it is only in oneness and unity of purpose that a nation can thrive have moved on and today, they are nations on earth that can be reckoned with. Although Nigeria’s motto has been “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress”, we know that the nation’s has been under threat, especially since after the civil war in the sixties, and the continuous agitation for the state of Biafra in the East.

So, the question is this; how can we build a nation that would last, where all man would be equal before the law and the common resources of the people would serve everyone and not just some selected few? The answers are not far-fetched. First and foremost, it begins with building Strong Institutions. Most successful nations on earth that will know today are founded on strong and indestructible institutions. This usually starts by having established laws that bounds all and sundry, and not the type that some people would break and still go away with it like what we see here every day. People must obey the law, either willingly or being compelled to obey it. Not just having strong institutions would do, they must also be manned by people of integrity; people with proven track records of sincerity and respect for the rule of law. A lot of us have commended the immediate past of governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for a good job in his 8 years administration of the state. But how was he able to achieve these fetes in Lagos, the man simply made laws and entrusted it in the hands of people who will ensure these laws were being adhered to. President Barack Obama said Accra on his maiden visit Africa that “What Africa needs are strong institutions and not strong men”. I totally agree with this assertion because it also depicts what is happening in Nigeria. What we need to build a Nigeria that would last are strong institutions, and not greedy politicians whose aims are to milk the nation dry.

Next to building strong institutions are Leaders with Vision. Building a Nigeria that would last requires strong leadership at every sphere of the nation. And when I talk about leaders in this context, it is not limited to the center alone. I mean leaders at every level of our society; national, state and local level. One very crucial characteristic a leader must possess is VISION– ability to see ahead. When you remove this quality from a leader, what you simply have is an empty shell. One reason why Africa as a continent is still where it is today is simply because of leadership problem. You have African leaders who want to perpetuate themselves in power, rig elections in their favor. Even at old age; when they should be relaxing and enjoying their retirement benefits, they still want to continue in power. No vision for the continent, no vision for their respective countries. Nigeria is no exception from this menace. Visionless politicians recycle themselves every four years with no meaningful programs, except how to benefit their lots. Just listen to a Nigerian politician campaigning, then you can tell the stuffs he or she is made of. Building a nation that would last requires people with vision- people who can see ahead into the future and make plans for it. Countries like the US, UK are where they are today because they were or are at one point or the other has these leaders in charge of affairs. Until we get to this point in Nigeria, things may not change in a long time to come.

Lastly, for us to build a Nigeria that would last, we must work on our Values. The value I am simply talking about here is not our country’s currency worth as against the US dollars or UK’s pound sterling. Values here simply mean our moral or professional standards of behavior, principles and so on. An average young Nigerian as of today has lost the value of hard work. The endemic corrupt system that has been entrenched by our politicians has made a lot of these young folks to see things differently. It no longer news that young Nigerians now use various means and vices to want to make quick money nowadays, ranging from internet frauds, kidnappings and some even go as far as engaging in rituals. Moral standards have decayed; the youths are becoming more and more agitated to get rich quick. These issues must be addressed now if we want Nigeria to truly last. Whether we like it or not, Nigeria’s population has over 50% of it made up of the younger generation. Moral education should be taught vigorously both at primary and secondary school levels. The religious institutions should intensify the preaching of biblical and quranic morals to their youths and less of the preaching of prosperity and instigation of violence. Let me end by saying this. Nation building and human development need to go hand in hand. Good human values must be preached religiously to build a Nigeria that would last.

Thank you for reading.

Obayomi Abiola Benjamin
@abibeo_oba

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Building a Dependent Nation, By Adejoh Idoko Momoh

There has never been a more pressing time for economic revival in Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari knows this. Little wonder he spent the better part of his campaign announcing welfare schemes backed by bold ideas that promise to ultimately bring Nigeria’s poverty crisis to a halt. Most interesting of them is a scheme that will pay between N5, 000 and N10, 000 per month to the poorest 25 million Nigerians.

The scheme was first talked about when the All Progressives Congress launched its manifesto in 2014 and from the onset I have had reservations. I wondered if there was a time frame for the implementation of this program or if it will continue indefinitely? What intent this paltry cash sums will serve? Will people be expected to start small or household businesses with these sums? Will the funds be strictly for sustenance?

In a bid to deliver drastic change, we must be careful not to attempt lofty projects that will in the end threaten to cripple the same economy that we urgently seek to restore.

This programme alone if implemented as planned will cost Nigeria some N3 trillion annually. Can the economy in its present state bear this expenditure?  If oil prices continue to hover around its current price, where will funds for this program come from?  If 3trn is dedicated for a single welfare scheme, will there be leftover funds to implement the free feeding and housing schemes or the education plan?

In light of the enormity of this expense and the state of the Nigerian economy, it is unjustifiable and short sighted to spend 3trn on a single aspect of our population.

There are two very important things an economy like Nigeria needs and this scheme does not propose to deliver on any one of them. Nigeria needs funds to keep governance running and jobs that keep the citizens employed.

It is commendable to have schemes that provide deliberate assistance exclusively to the poor but for an economy that suffers a manpower shortage, these proposals must require beneficiaries to actually work and contribute in capacities however small to national development. We must be wary of creating a culture of dependency where poverty becomes convenient and rather than aspire from it, citizens choose to remain in it because of the perks or handouts they get from the government.

Yes, there must be welfare schemes and the Federal Government must do everything within its power to lift Nigerians from extreme poverty, but that can be done by creating jobs instead of doling out cash sums. This approach will solve the employment crisis on our hands and free up the proposed N3trn annual expenditure for use in more important and clearly challenged sectors.

The solutions must include teaching transferrable skills from which people can trade, creating a more conducive environment for small businesses to thrive, plugging leakages, crafting a robust development agenda that creates millions of direct and indirect jobs annually, ensuring qualitative and realistic education amongst others.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s aim must be to leave behind a self reliant Nigeria: One where every citizen is inspired to achieve prosperity through hard work and not one where citizens are reliant on welfare schemes that are not sustainable and therefore will be short lived at best. Skills development and small businesses that create employment must be the backbone of our economy. Small and Medium Scale Enterprises that grow into bigger ones are the only way we can create jobs: Real and sustainable jobs.

Besides all these, Nigeria cannot simply afford this spending: the national debt is some $69.6bn, high as it is the 2015 budget intends to increase it to about $87.3bn. Oil prices are at an all time low and government earnings have decreased dramatically. The naira is devalued and currently exchanges for about N207 to the dollar and it continues to be in a free fall. All these are not conditions favorable to welfare implementation.

Even when conditions are favorable, programs such as this should only be implemented as last resort, as they leave the government with even higher expenditures and do not necessarily ensure increased disposable income.

The All Progressives Congress and President Muhammadu Buhari will do well to rethink these plans and make certain they contribute to building more valuable citizens. Poverty in Nigeria must be reduced to the barest minimum, but this reduction must be guided by the principles of hard work and commitment to nation building.

After all is considered, the point of welfare should be building a more progressive nation and citizenry rather than one that is reliant on government benefits.

 

Adejoh Momoh can be reached on momoh.adejoh@gmail.com and blogs at www.adejoh.blogspot.com.

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Masari, Your Silence Is Building Expectations, By Ahmad Jibril

More than three weeks after swearing in, we did not hear any breath taking announcement that will relieve us the stress and uncertainties we carried over from the previous administration, the expectations on you are extremely high and you need a giant stride coupled with a strong, devoted and selfless cabinet to satisfy the people of Katsina State.

As you remain silent on some important turning point decisions, our expectations are piling up. Although the people of Katsina are optimistic about you, I would like to assure you that we will not accept anything below perfect, we suffered eight consecutive years of tyranny we cannot afford to go anything close it again. We are not pushing for quick but underhanded decisions, but while you brainstorm to create a proper direction for your government keep it in mind that the longer you remain silent the higher the expectations.

There could be a trick from somewhere to create sluggish activity in your administration, but that cannot be justification to give us anything below perfect, we cannot afford that. While we await your direction we pray for Allah’s guidance throughout your decisions. GOD BLESS KATSINA STATE.

Ahmad Jibril, Katsina, ahmadj47@yahoo.com, 08034422474, @KatsinaTweeps

 

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The Role Of Youths In Nation Building: An Open Letter To Kano Governor-elect Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

Dear Sir,

Let me first start by congratulating you on your victory at the April 11th governorship election in kano, this is not a victory to you alone but a victory to the entire people of kano state.

Your Excellency, this is the second letter iam writing to you, the first letter I wrote was on 10th January, 2015 which in the title of My letter I advised you to avoid a Shinkafi Treatment. I saw trustworthiness in you and from your words since after you were declared winner of the April 11th governorship election in kano. A lot of people especially those in the circle of youth activism have been complaining about your age, anytime I remember and realised the competency that is in you, I felt hopeful and positive that a better kano has come to stay. It is this competency that will motivate you in continuing with the good works the supreme and Grand Commander of the Kwankwasiyya Movement in Nigeria started or initiated. In My last open letter to you, I predicted your victory, this is because of the platform you contested under, I mean your political party inwhich my prediction became a reality.

Your Excellency Sir, off recent I have advised you on five major areas which I believe if you take and apply them into consideration will help in making kano greater and even compete with other great cities of the world, they were Education, Health Enhancement, and collection of revenue, indolenceness and completion/continuation of capital projects as initiated and executed by your principal. Let me refer you to such an articulated open letter I wrote some four months back.  http://abusidiqu.com/avoid-shinkafi-treatment-open-letter-dr-abdullahi-umar-ganduje-adnan-mukhtar-adam/

Sir, as we approach the inaugration of a new government in kano, I will consquently focus on one major phenomena which is that of the youths as a youth and student activist, I know our plights and I want you to address them for the interest and integrity of our Dear State. The youths have played a vital role in mobilizing and organising support for their choosen platforms as well as promoting such platforms, the engagement of youths in your govenment will provide a better enabling environment for the youths than the outgoing dispensation.

The challenge of unemployment faced by the economy, the challenge of growing poverty as well as the engagement of our youths by politicians in political thuggery for instance are blunders that fall heavily on the shoulder of the youth. That is why I am urging you Sir to put more effort in the completion of the hydro electric power project at Tiga Dam as that will help in giving power to our industries at Sharada and Bompai industrial area, this will help in the elimination of abject poverty and eradication of unemployment of our youths. More than 60% of our votes in kano is that of the youths, their engagement in electoral process is more than your expectation, in most cases the youths help in bringing a government into power but are unfortunately neglected. As a youth and student activist I know the plights our youths and their demands and how such plights can be tackled and the demands be taken into consideration.

Your Excellency, immediately after you are sworn in into office, I want you to look into the following demands of the youths, I am very much sure there will help in tackling the plights of our youths in kano, the youths as we all know constituted more than 60% of our population, there are playing a vital role in nation building, any society that neglect its youth will not develop and have make a big mistake of doing that, the youths are the backbone of development, take the youth close to you, I assure you that you will run a successful and hitch free tenure full of developmental things.

As a youth activist from kano I demand the following for our youths;

Problem of Youth Unemployment should as a matter of urgency be addressed, this led our youths to participate in many social and immoral vices in the society.

Demand for 30% youth representation in government

Creation of Ministry for Youth Development for the welfare and social development of the youths as stated in the African Youth Charter.

Such Ministry should be headed by a commissioner who is a youth aged 35 years and below respectively.

Education of the youths by ensuring free education scheme from primary up to university level as initiated by your master, Education of the youths is one of the important element that makes a society great.

Youth Empowerment through skills acquisition programmes and distribution of capital to our youths for the purpose of running a business, this will make them to be self reliant and will lead to the development our state

Youths exploitation as labourers in different industries we have in kano should be stopped, a situation where our youths and women go to work spending more than 12 hours working without pity by their employees, at last will be paid in lower amount, such a problem must be stopped from 12 hours to 6 hours thereby making it 3 shifting with a good salary. This should affect all the industries we are having in kano.

Employment of Our Youths as casual workers in such industries that are owned by foreigners should be stopped by your government.

Sir, if this will be taken into proper consideration, I assure you more than 95% of the youths plights in kano will be reduced and kano will be great. Thank You and God Bless

Your’s Sincerely

Rt Hon Adnan Mukhtar Adam (Comrade)
Deputy Speaker Students Consultative Council (SCC) Northwest University, Kano.

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