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The Buhari, Babangidas: Nigerians Decide For Nigeria, Not The North – Reno

The Buhari, Babangidas: Nigerians Decide For Nigeria, Not The North – Reno Featured

Let me start this piece by congratulating former President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on the marriage of his daughter, Halima, to her beau, Auwal Abdullahi. It goes without saying that the wedding would be the talk of Nigeria for aeons to come because of the kind of crowd it pulled. In case you missed the news, let me inform you that no fewer than thirty private jets landed at Minna airport last weekend on account of this wedding that locked down Nigeria! Thirty private jets. I do not even know what to exclaim! This is more than wow! Gosh does not even come close to the exclamation I wanted to express when I first read of this private jet convention in Minna! Gobsmacked is the only word that comes close, but even it does not quite capture the reaction I had. Thank God former President Goodluck Jonathan, who was amongst the wedding guests, does not have a private jet, because that would have been the major topic of the day. The propaganda loving All Progressive Congress would have capitalized on that to rubbish Jonathan. Lai Mohammed would have been hyper ventilating with excitement at the character assassination possibilities if such had been the case. But the lesson Nigerians may want to take from this is that few, very few of those who arrived Minna in private jets have any sort of productive business venture that generates and sustains jobs in Nigeria. Yes, there were a couple of folks made rich by oil and gas at the Minna private jet convention, but these are not people that did anything constructive, productive or job creating that gave them wealth. Some were given oil blocks or allocations, others were given allocations to import petroleum products. Even a monkey would prosper if given such oligarchic opportunities. But how does that sort of business create jobs or adds value to Nigerians? Others amongst them are government contractors, supplying sundry items to the various governments at federal, state and local government level. They are basically suppliers. They buy and resell to the government. But how does that sort of business create jobs and adds value to Nigerians? Yet, they have private jets, private jetties, private yachts and even private body guards! Nigeria has one of the lowest, if not the lowest, tax to GDP ratio in the world. In a country of 190 million people, only 214 individuals in the entire country pay tax of 20 million naira or more. This is according to the very latest official figures from the Federal Inland Revenue Service. Norway has a population of just 5.2 million people yet they have more than 100 times the amount of people paying tax of $65,000 of more (the equivalent of 20 million naira). But the story does not end there. Norway has never had a private party or private wedding or any private celebration that attracted 30 private jets! The funniest thing is that Norway gives Nigeria financial aid every year! We have a political and economic elite that are so rapacious and parasitic and who only think of what they can suck from Nigeria and could not careless that they are surrounded by some of the poorest people in the world according to official figures from the 2016 United Nations Human Development Index released on the 21st of March, 2017. Norway is number 1 on that list. Nigeria is 152 out of 188 nations. Libya (102) and Iraq (121) both of which are war torn nations, outrank Nigeria. But most embarrassingly, Syria that has been enmeshed in probably the worst humanitarian crisis the world has seen in at least 10 years also outranks Nigeria (149)! And almost all our elites are involved in this. President Muhammadu Buhari likes to be seen as the only good person in Nigeria but we have not forgotten so soon how, according to Daily Trust (which also happens to be the President’s favorite paper) his own daughter, Zahra Buhari, received pre wedding gifts worth 47 million Naira from her then suitor and now husband, Ahmed Indimi. This same Ahmed Indimi likes to fly in private jets, pictures of which dot Nigeria’s social media landscape. I can assure you that Ahmed Indimi is not one of the 214 Nigerians who pay tax of over 20 million Naira. Yet right there in Indimi’s Borno state, right there in Maiduguri where their palatial family house is a sprawling tourist attraction, there are millions of Internally Displaced Persons without food to eat and medicine for their ailments. Perhaps it is this sort of wickedness that Mohammed Yusuf saw and which made him conclude that Boko (book) must be Haram, if it can make people so oblivious to the suffering around them. It is this same Indimi family that likes to marry and be married to Nigeria’s high and mighty (President Ibrahim Babangida was also once their in-law via the marriage of Mohammed Babangida, his first son, to Rahama Indimi). Many Nigerians are not aware that if you isolate Borno state from the rest of Nigeria, that state becomes the poorest region on planet earth BAR NONE! Borno has the highest unemployment rate in Nigeria and the second lowest primary school enrollment rate in Nigeria. What has her private jet loving, high and mighty marrying elite done to change that? I was in Anambra once and the type of community spirit I saw there impressed me. They may not have a lot of private jets in Anambra, but in Anambra, they have community associations that give scholarships and business grants to those who are commercially inclined. There is NO poverty in Nnewi, one of the communities where this community spirit is most prevalent. They build their own primary and secondary schools through community effort. I am dead serious. If you go there you will not believe your eyes! They have well tarred modern roads that were built through their private efforts. All over Anambra, the various towns and villages copy the Nnewi model. I daresay that there is more evidence of private and community development in Anambra than there is of any type of federal government presence. Anambra does not even have an airport! Borno does. Anambra does not even have a publicly built federal university! The only so called Federal University in Anambra, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, was built by the state government with contributions from private citizens and then compulsorily taken over by the military government of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida via Decree No. 34 of July 15, 1992. But in Borno, they have a massive federal university WHOLLY built with Federal Government funds. If any state deserves to be poor from lack of Federal Government presence, that state is Anambra. If any state deserves to be rich by reason of the existence of Federal Government presence, that state is Borno. But Borno is poor while Anambra is rich! Why? Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are sponsoring immunization and other medical interventions in Borno state. They are together the richest people on earth. Yet their life styles is nowhere near as lavish as Nigeria’s private jet loving parasitic elite. Both Gates and Buffet are known for their frugality. Both of them have shown more concern for Nigeria’s poor than any of the owners or leasers of the 30 private jets that converged in Minna last week. In fact, Bill Gates has personally visited with many of the poorest Nigerians and has administered vaccines to their children with his own hands! If those thirty private jet owners or leasers could do in their communities what Nnewi people do in theirs, then most assuredly Nigeria would not be in recession today. Jeff Bezos of Amazon is worth $67 billion, Mark Zuckerberg is worth $55.5 billion. Both of them are young people who made their money by dint of hardwork, yet none of these two billionaires had a wedding as spectacularly opulent as either Zahra Buhari’s or Halima Babangida’s weddings. Mark Zuckerberg actually got married at a simple ceremony in the backyard of his home in Palo Alto, California in front of 100 guests. The British charity, Oxfam, recently released a report on inequality in Nigeria. According to Oxfam, the combined wealth of the five richest Nigerians, put at about $29.9 billion, could end extreme poverty in the country! According to Oxfam, in recent years the number of millionaires in Nigeria has increased by 44% while the number of those living in poverty has increased by 69%! And instead of the shameless Federal Government of Nigeria to appreciate Oxfam, not just for its years of charity work in Nigeria, but for this new report which distills the issues militating against Nigeria’s efforts to increase human development, it turns around to condemn the report and accuse Oxfam of ‘inciting’ Nigerians against her elite! It is becoming clearer and clearer that Nigeria, as currently designed, can hardly produce young people with the mindset of Bezos or Zuckerberg. You see, if we do not redesign Nigeria and ensure that the wealth of the nation is more equitably redistributed, we will find out soon enough that Nigeria, as it is currently designed, is designed to fail. Nigeria has such a high unemployment rate because the wealth of the nation is trapped in the hands of carpetbaggers, rent seekers and influence paddlers who flaunt their wealth at the masses without even giving them token employment. And it is not as if Nigerians are not willing to work. We are. Strive Masiyiwa, the Zimbabwean founder of Econet, famously revealed how stunned he was when he found out how willing Nigerians were to work. When he came to Nigeria in 2001 and wanted to hire staff for his new company, Econet Wireless Nigeria, he advertised for jobs seeking people with telecommunications experience who had electronic engineering degrees and a minimum of five years relevant experience. Mr. Masiyiwa, a dollar billionaire with experience working all over the world was stunned at the response. Let me allow him tell his story because I cannot possibly tell it better than him. “I came into the office to find postal bags, piled to the ceiling! “I only want to see the applications from people who meet our requirements, and not from chancers who aren’t qualified,” I complained. “Sir, these are the ones we have vetted.” “What?! You mean there were more than this?” “Thousands, sir.” Then I came up with an idea: “Why don’t you separate for me, the most qualified academically. Set aside people with MBAs, and even PHDs.” A day later, another postal bag of applications was delivered to my office. I was staggered! There were thousands of people with qualifications in just this one discipline with MBAs and PHDs! Many had qualified in the best universities around the world. There were also GSM-qualified Nigerians working internationally, including in America and Europe, wanting to return home! I was blown away by the qualifications. I thought to myself: “You can start almost any business or industry here. I wish investors would one day discover the wealth of this nation.” Whenever I hear people talk about the wealth of Nigeria in terms of oil, I shake my head to say: “You have no idea what you’re talking about!” The true wealth of Nigeria is its extraordinary human capital, and passion for education. Unleash that and no one can stop them!” The funniest thing is that Strive Masiyiwa, a dollar billionaire who made his money from a productive industry like the telecommunications sector and who provided enduring jobs for literarily tens of thousands of Nigerians, does not live as large as many Nigerian elite. No wonder that the exploitative carpetbagging elite of Nigeria chased him out of Nigeria! Strive Masiyiwa is the antithesis of the exploitative Nigerian elite who epitomize at least six of the seven deadly social sins: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Religion without sacrifice. Politics without principle. The only one they do not epitomize is Science without humanity because that involves work and intellectual and creative abilities which many of our elite lack. If it were cleverness and guile, they would supersede even the best! Ango Abdullahi Ango Abdullahi has no basis for saying that the North would not allow Professor Yemi Osinbajo succeed Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. The North does not decide for Nigeria. Nigerians decide for Nigeria. What Ango Abdullahi seems to have forgotten is that it was Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that God used to make Muhammadu Buhari President in 2015. If the Northern Elders Forum could have made Buhari President, they would have done so in 2003, 2007 and 2011 when Buhari tried unsuccessfully to become President. Nigeria has changed. Unfortunately, people like Ango Abdullahi and Junaid Mohammed, who add very little value to Nigeria and exist only to make provocative statements should realize that should their words precipitate crisis today or in 2019, both they and those they represent will be the biggest losers because they have more to gain from a united and peaceful Nigeria founded on the rule of law than others. Nigerians will famously remember Ango Abdullahi as the liar who said that money from the North was used to develop the oil industry in the South. His exact words in 2014 were as follows: “It is the North that developed the present day oil industry in this country. It is Northern money; it is the Northern leadership that developed the oil industry.” Since Ango Abdullahi purports to be a professor and since he is from the North, let me use the words of another Northerner who happens to be a professor to respond to him. On Saturday the 6th of May 2017, Farooq Kperogi wrote thus: That money from the North funded oil exploration in the South. Professor Ango Abdullahi actually repeated this lie recently. He said this, ironically, while exhorting Emir Sanusi II to “go and read history.” The truth is that not a dime of northern Nigeria’s money contributed to oil exploration in the Niger Delta. When oil was discovered in commercial quantities in Oloibiri in 1956, Shell bore the financial burden for the exploration. Other Euro-American oil companies later joined in oil exploration. It wasn’t until 1973 that the Nigerian federal government acquired 30 percent shares in oil companies. By 1973, Northern Nigeria had ceased to exist; it had been divided into states. In any case, colonial records show that the biggest motivation for amalgamating northern and southern Nigeria was because northern Nigeria wasn’t financially self-sustaining and the British Imperial Government said it would never subsidize colonial administration anywhere in Africa. So Lord Lugard amalgamated the two regions and used the surplus from the south to sustain the north. It’s illogical to say that a region that wasn’t financially self-sustaining financed oil exploration in the Niger Delta. It is a very sad day when a character like Ango Abdullahi is called an elder statesman. I think a better word for his ilk would be an agbaya! Professor (?) Abdullahi can ask Farook Kperogi to tell him the meaning of that word! Reno’s Nuggets Never marry just because plans are at an advance stage. If there is doubt in your heart, call it off. Embarrassment is better than a wrong union. It is easier to change I dont into I do than to change I do to I don’t. And be aware that the sexier the woman, the higher the maintenance. The lovelier the woman. The lower the maintenance. Sexy is expensive. Love is not. Finally, do not be moved by beauty. With fake hair, fake lashes and fake eyes, any girl can be fine. Focus on character. It has no fake #RenosNuggets Reno Omokri is a Christian TV talk show host and founder of the Mind of Christ Christian Center and the Helen and Bemigho Sanctuary for orphans. He is the author of three books, Shunpiking: No Shortcuts to God, Why Jesus Wept and Apples of Gold: A Book of Godly Wisdom. His upcoming fourth book, Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years: Chibok, 2015 and Other Conspiracies, is set for release in June.

Original article at Vanguard Ngr

About Author

Anih Ambrose is the Managing Editor of Sustainability Watch Nigeria. He is a Sustainable Development Practitioner. He is very Passionate about Social and Political Sustainability Issues. Ambrose loves reading, travelling and swimming. Follow him on Twitter @able_ebu. Email him at editor@sustainabilitywatchngr.com. call him at +2349061197608

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  • Of Chibok Girls And Falomo Boys, By Olusegun Adeniyi

    In April 2014, Nigerians were confronted with a monumental tragedy when 276 female students were abducted from the premises of Government Secondary School, Chibok by Boko Haram insurgents. While more than 150 of them have, at different times, regained their freedom—many of them with physical and psychological scars that they will carry for the rest of their lives—the primitive instincts that led to their abduction by those who claim to be fighting for God also account for the criminal behaviour of some male students of Ireti Grammar School, Falomo in Lagos State who last week assaulted and would have raped their female colleagues but for the intervention of a passer-by.

    While we must commend President Muhammadu Buhari for staying the course and the tenacity of the BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) coalition that led to the release of additional 82 of the Chibok girls last weekend, we must also deal with the bigger issue of the way we treat our women and girls. If we must be honest, the reason the depraved Boko Haram insurgents carried the Chibok girls into captivity is not different from the madness that drove the Falomo boys into attacking their female colleagues. But in a society where the sexual domination of girls and women has become an expression of power, it must worry all of us that the malaise is so deep-rooted that secondary school students now believe rape is just another sport.

    In January 2004, Amnesty International released a damning report about our country titled “Rape—The Silent Weapon”. Although it was about how the personnel of the police and other security agencies allegedly use their positions to sexually exploit vulnerable women and girls in Nigeria, any discerning reader cannot but come to only one conclusion: the infractions reported are not exclusive to the law enforcement authorities, they represent a general problem within our society.

     

    That much can be glimpsed from the “Gender in Nigeria Report 2012” sponsored by the British Council on which several Nigerian female professionals collaborated. With the Foreword co-written by the former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her then Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) counterpart, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the report is quite revealing of the hurdles before our women and girls in a society where the seemingly strong take pleasure in oppressing those considered weaker.

    Whether we want to admit it or not, rape is becoming a problem in our country essentially because of gender hierarchy and we must begin to deal with it like most other countries are trying to do. For instance, in her piece titled “The Psychology of Rape”, Melody Sundberg wrote that a 2010 study conducted in South Africa revealed that “466 out of the 1686 men participating in the research, had forced a woman to have sex with them against her will. Most commonly, they stated that they did this out of a sense of sexual entitlement. In other cases, they raped to inflict punishment on girlfriends and other women, or sometimes simply as entertainment.”

    I am sure that the situation is not much different in Nigeria but since there has been no attempt to analyse the challenge, we can all pretend all is well on that front. It is also within that context that we can situate the unfortunate incident at the Falomo school which, as it is now coming to light, is actually a common occurrence.

    According to the eye-witness account, a crowd of boys had overpowered and surrounded two girls and were being hailed as they attempted to gang-rape them in the public glare: “People are looking and some security guards in the office near us are recording it. I open my car in disbelief and shout at the boys to break it up, while shouting at my security and the second driver to assist me. As I make my way towards them, I see another group and this time, they have cornered one of the girls who falls while running from them. I see her kicked down, she bravely pushes herself up and another guy tries to clear her legs and she lunges at him and then a guy takes a pair of scissors in his hands and with one swoop, tears her skirt from the bottom and also a part of the black ‘spanx shorts’ she has underneath…”

    That some men who should have intervened were more interested in recording the ugly scene, evidently to post on Youtube, is a sign of the troubling times. But the Lagos State authorities and the Police have so much lead to work on in this matter. All the boys involved in the disgraceful and criminal act must be apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the law. The authorities of the notorious Falomo School from where such scumbags graduated must also bear vicarious responsibility for what happened given reports that it is a familiar scene.

    However, when taken together, the episode at Falomo and the Chibok tragedy presents an inconvenient truth about our country and the culture of rape—physical and metaphorical—that pervades the land. While this has become a sociological issue that we must address in a larger context, given its manifestations in several areas of our national life, it also provides explanations for why some politicians have chosen to intentionally hurt the parents of the Chibok girls by calling the abduction of their children a hoax.

    As a father of two girls, I can imagine what any parents with such harrowing experience would be going through and I will strongly recommend to those who see politics in everything that a little compassion will also not take anything from them. In case such people have spoken out of ignorance rather than in mischief, they should reflect on the hopes and dreams that have been derailed as well as the potential that may never be realized, all because these girls decided to go to school, like their peers in the country and around the world.

    Besides, not knowing where your daughter is or how she is being treated or whether she is in fact alive or dead is perhaps the hardest thing for any loving parent to face. It is a roller-coaster kind of existence that can try the soul of any human being. That is why the Yoruba people would say ‘my child is dead is better than my child is lost’. One minute you could feel a surge of optimism, the next, you are back to the depth of despair. That has been the story of the Chibok parents in the last three years. The only thing we can offer them, especially those still awaiting the return of their children, are words of comfort and love; not bile and reckless statements that are based on some petty politics and can only hurt and damage.

    Indeed, if there is any lesson that politicians and public officials must take away from the Chibok tragedy, it is that in times of crisis, playing the blame game is not the right thing to do as it was partly responsible for the inability to rescue the children when there were opportunities to, at the initial stage of their abduction. That should teach us never to elevate political cold calculations above our common humanity.

    What we must understand is that in an atmosphere of dread and terror, it is difficult for parents to send their children, especially of the female folks, to school. Yet to the extent that education remains the only path to sustainable progress, we must do everything we can to ensure that some sexual perverts do not stand in the ways of our girls who seek knowledge. That is why the rapists of Falomo School must be severely dealt with so that other animals like them will know that there are consequences for such criminal acts.

    The Model Policemen
    Until Dr Reuben Abati paid homage to him on Tuesday, I did not know that Mr Taiwo Lakanu is now an Assistant Inspector General of Police. As many senior journalists would attest, everything Reuben wrote about Lakanu is true as he has been—for almost two decades that many of us have known him—a shining example of what a policeman should be. But for me, the real essence of Reuben’s tribute is that as much as we like to talk about the bad eggs in the police, it is also good to promote those who take their jobs seriously and are professional in their dealings. As difficult as it may be to believe, there are actually many Lakanus in the Nigeria Police Force. I encountered some recently.

    On 27th April, 24 hours to the public presentation of my book, “Against The Run of Play”, it suddenly occurred to me that I had made no provision for security. I called TheCable publisher, Mr Simon Kolawole, to ask whether he had the phone number of the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr Fatai Owoseni. He immediately sent me the man’s number. I called the Compol and introduced myself and he was very warm and friendly despite the fact that we had never met before. When I told him about my book presentation and that I would need security, he asked me to send him a text message containing venue of the event and time. I did as instructed.

    By the time the event started the next day at the Nigeria Institute for International Affairs (NIIA) in Victoria Island, a detachment of police from the anti-bomb squad (based on the inscription on their vehicles) led by a female officer had been drafted to the venue. While I noticed their presence throughout, the real surprise for me was that, none of the policemen or their leader approached me for the customary “we-your-boys-are-on-ground” salutation. And because I did not know when they left, that meant I also did not have the opportunity to say thank you to them. They just did their job professionally and left after their operation without any interaction with me. I am therefore using this opportunity to thank Mr Owoseni and the Lagos State Police Command.

    Meanwhile, I am overwhelmed by the incredible support I have been receiving from many Nigerians, including those I do not even know, who have taken it upon themselves that I must reap the financial benefits of my book, following the hacking of the online edition. The online campaign undertaken by some groups that those who have been forwarded the free online copy should pay into the publisher’s account or buy their own have also been very effective. I am grateful to them all.

    However, as I stated last week, we must collectively join in the efforts to fight piracy and theft of intellectual property. Our society will be the better for it.

    Original Article at Thisdayngr

  • Richard Quest And Nigeria’s Search For Good Image By Dele Momodu

    Fellow Nigerians, anyone familiar with CNN International would readily know the name and face of an unusually dramatic presenter, Richard Quest, widely known and acclaimed for his popular programme “Quest Means Business”. This journalist with a tinge of eccentricity has been in Nigeria all this week.

    If he is still in town and able to read this, let me say a big Nigerian welcome to him, before I move on to the meat of my epistle this week.

    I believe CNN is more popular in Nigeria than it is in its original base in the United States of America. Our love and propensity for anything and anyone foreign is legendary.

     

    That is why we go to great extents to scour the length and breadth of the globe to get foreigners to do the jobs that Nigerians can do better and cheaper, whilst those other nations gleefully snap up our precocious and prodigious talents to develop their arts, sciences and economy.

    Indeed, our predilection for all things foreign is not limited to services but extends to almost every conceivable commodity or good produced.

    Things have even become so bad that our staple products like Garri are now being made abroad and imported into this country with willing acceptance by our import crazy population.

    If toothpicks can be on the import list, why not a very powerful and influential television channel like CNN? CNN should be eternally grateful to Nigerian brands.

    Such brands as the grandmasters of data, GLOBALCOM, owned by the Spirit of Africa, Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr, with extraordinary stakes in telecoms, oil and gas, banking and real estates; Zenith Bank; the Dangote Group, with vast interests in cement, commodities, petrochemicals and agriculture; the global bank UBA, whose Chairman, Dr Tony Elumelu is known as the father of emerging African entrepreneurs through a stupendous investment of 100 million US Dollars in charity; First Bank of Nigeria PLC; Access Bank PLC; Diamond Bank PLC; and others have been a handsome financier of CNN Programmes.

    There is no doubt that Nigerian companies patronise CNN more than others on the continent. I won’t be surprised if other great News Channels are jealous of the good fortunes and the domination of the Nigerian market by CNN.

    Richard Quest is therefore a big name and a massive fish in Nigeria’s net. This is obvious in the way and manner members of the Nigerian privilegentsia have been falling over themselves to meet and speak to Richard since he arrived on these shores.

    And trust Richard to make the best of this unique opportunity. While Richard has attracted a huge attention and publicity to Nigeria, he has also tried to stylishly diss our foibles and egocentricities.

    The commonest is the lack of regular power supply. I watched him from the rooftops of the Intercontinental hotel and he said the place is powered by five generators.

    He took us through the popular Marina road on Lagos island where he juxtaposed the paradox of wealth and poverty existing side by side. That is the reality of Nigeria. We are a very special and uncommon people.

    Nigeria parades some of the world’s smartest human beings. I’m certain even Richard Quest is amazed at the array and parade of greatness in the personalities that he has met in Nigeria.

    He must be wondering secretly, in case I missed his confession on the matter, why Nigeria is often led and controlled by the dregs of society and the wretched of the earth.

    He is likely to marvel at why a country with such a population of incredibly educated, talented and enlightened citizens have remained so pitifully docile and unable to liberate itself from its perpetual servitude. The problem with Nigeria is almost one of a supernatural nature and not easy to analyse and comprehend.

    Its complexity is such that Nigerians themselves spend ample time and energy debating and bemoaning the excruciating conditions we are forced to live with on daily basis.

    Thanks to CNN and Richard Quest, even if some of our big guns paid for it, Nigeria has enjoyed a nice week of celebrating a few of our best and it is not a bad idea at all. But I hope our government would allow us savour this rare moment of giddiness after Richard has come and gone.

    I will tell you why. Every Nigerian government, since 1999, has made it a pre-occupation to rubbish Nigeria and Nigerians, under the pretext of fighting a phantom war against a nebulous corruption pandemic.

    Yet nothing major has come out of this grandstanding in nearly twenty years. I believe that corruption is a societal ill that must be tackled not only urgently but seriously.

    Indeed, it is akin to a cancer which requires surgical excision but that can only occur when the necessary palliative conditions have been put in place.

    The way we are fighting this battle is simply not it! I would not be surprised if we wake up next week and the trending news is the over-dramatisation of catching big rats and hauling them into detention with all the cameras, flash bulbs, klieg lights and even flashlights in tow and then the rats just as suddenly disappear to whatever hole they were hibernating in when their sleep was disturbed by the barking dogs.

    Sadly, we have seen this over and over again. While it is good and desirable to fight this war, it should be done with common sense and practical strategy.

    How we need to fight the war is to develop structures and systems and not a personalisation of the war on corruption as is being done now.

    Our obsession with kill-and-go methods has not helped matters. The use of brute force has not been able to change the attitude and body language of our people to corruption.

    Once upon a time, armed robbers were tied to the stakes and killed by firing squad, it never wiped out the terrible menace. A lot would depend on an overhaul of the system that encourages the acidic corruption.

    I shall dwell more on this one of these days because I already worked on a blueprint when I ran the Presidential race in 2011. It is not as tough as it seems.

    Every act of corruption begins from NEED before it graduates to GREED. If we are able to eliminate the chronic deprivation in our land, we might be able to reduce the proclivity for primitive accumulation. A petty pilferer is most likely to transfigure to a pen robber when the opportunity presents itself.

    Our government should therefore fight the wars more carefully. The collateral damage to our country and human psyche has become more expensive and debilitating than the gains. We cannot be inviting public relations experts to our country when we are our own worst PR damagers.

    We cannot expect the world to fall for our PR stunts when we go to the rooftops to advertise ourselves as a country of rogues and artful dodgers.

    No nation sells its citizens so cheaply in order to appear as a nation of saints in power. We have said this for years and no one seems to care. Russia should serve as a veritable example to us.

    Each time its citizens are demonised as fraudsters and murderers, the country stands up stoutly to defend its territorial integrity.

    No self-respecting nation writes to another nation to ask that its citizens be mercilessly scrutinised because they are all potential fraudsters.

    It is the height of fool-hardiness and it rubbishes all the efforts of many men and women of integrity and goodwill who have laboured assiduously to portray Nigeria in good light. Indeed our leaders should realise that the generality of our people are honest, upright and well-intentioned.

    That is why we have the great outrage that we get from the populace when our security agencies unearth yet another pot of gold! We should not allow the excesses of less than 5,000 people determine and destroy the future of nearly 200 million people.

    Richard Quest will act his part and earn his pay but nothing would change unless we change how we trample upon ourselves in the mud.

    Is anyone listening please?

    A SEASON OF SUDDEN DEATHS

    I have been extremely saddened by the sudden deaths of a few friends and brothers. I was yet to fully accept the death of Oladipo Famakinwa when I was totally blown apart by the death of the former Governor of Osun State, Senator Isiaka Adeleke.

    As if that was not bad enough, I received the news that Professor Abraham Babalola Borishade, a distinguished scholar and former Minister had passed on.

    The deadly blows were just too much to absorb by me but what can I do? God is good and in all things we must give thanks.

    I had met and bonded with Dipo when I visited and consulted the famous Pastor Tunde Bakare over my Presidential aspiration in 2011. Dipo had asked very pertinent questions about my plans for Nigeria and we interacted as much as time permitted thereafter.

    I was quite impressed about his passion for matters affecting the Yoruba race. He soon became a recognised authority on the subject and gave his all to the mission to elevate his people out of socio-political doldrums.

    Like his friend, Yinka Odumakin, his voice was loud and respected. You can imagine how I felt when this voice was silenced by death. May his soul rest in peace.

    Now to my big brother, one of the friendliest human beings I ever met, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the first civilian Governor of Osun State.

    I landed in Nigeria last Sunday and as soon as I switched on my phone, I received a call from my friend, Mayor Akinpelu and the news he gave me was just too sad! SERUBAWON, as we fondly called Senator Adeleke, had just died. I told him to stop the joke but alas, it was true.

    I will always remember Senator Adeleke as someone who gave me an opportunity to work as a consultant on his media coverage around 1992. We worked very closely and he was very accessible.

    I was very close to members of his family, including Dr Adedeji Adeleke, and in particular, his youngest brother, Dr Ademola Adeleke, who had only a couple of weeks before, in Atlanta, Georgia, enlisted my support for Serubawon’s bid for another term as Governor of Osun State.

    An astute politician, Senator Adeleke was a very happy and joyous man who welcomed everyone with open arms. May Allah accept his soul.

    I met Professor Borisade at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife where he was a respected lecturer in the Faculty of Technology. Prof. was a good friend and colleague of my elder brother, Professor Oladele Ajayi, a distinguished material scientist in the Department of Physics and we thus had cause to meet occasionally.

    However, I came to know him more because he was part of a troika that consisted of himself, Professor Sola Ehindero, of the Faculty of Education and Professor Femi Fajewonyomi of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

    I was a political protégé of Professor Ehindero and so Professor Borisade and I interacted regularly as a result. He was intelligent and very passionate about Nigeria.

    I was happy for him when he became a Minister and I believed he tried to serve to the best of his ability. I pray for the sweet repose of his soul.

    Original article atThisday Newspaper

  • The Ailing President And The Coming Conflagration In Nigeria By Fani Kayode

    If the United Kingdom’s Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson, can describe the Leader of the Opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, as a “mutton-headed old mugwump” and an “Islington herbivore” how on earth should we describe our very own President Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria?

    As each day passes he looks more and more like the colourful creature called Golum in J.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ and behaves more and more like the goblyns and orcs in that same book.

    This is a man who came back from the United Kingdom as an ailing and fading ghost and who, despite all entreties and pleas from men and women of goodwill, has refused to resign.

     

    Since he came back he has not been seen in any public function, apart from the usual friday mosque prayers, and he has not presided over or been able to attend any of the weekly National Executive Council meetings in the last three weeks.

    Worse still when his high profile and once very powerful Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir “the Grasscutter” Lawal was asked what his reaction was to the fact that he had just been suspended and stripped of his job by the Presidency, he asked, in a contemptous and condescending manner, “who is the Presidency?”

    I worked in the Villa as spokesman to President Olusegun Obasanjo 13 years ago for three good years before I was appointed as a Minister and joined his cabinet and I recognise the import of that loaded question.

    Simply put the SGF was asking the journaliat that put the question to him who exactly had suspended him in the Presidency because, as far as he was concerned, the President was no longer in control and other individuals are now making unauthorised decisions in his name and on his behalf without his knowledge.

    That is how badly things have degenerated in Buhari’s government as different forces and factions are attempting to grab the space and fill the widening power vacuum.

    Again three curious events took place in the last few days which all confirm this dangerous state of affairs.

    Firstly a Punch Newspaper reporter was marched out of the Villa by the President’s Chief Security Officer, without any reference to the President’s media team or aides, simply because he wrote a story suggesting that the President’s ailment was getting worse.

    Secondly as many as 20 Ministers and the President’s Chief of Staff refused to attend the last Federal Executive Council meeting which was presided over by Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President.

    This begs the following questions: was this a well-orchestrated protest and boycott or was it just holiday-time for all those Ministers that were absent?

    Thirdly the lying Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, happily told Nigerians that the President “needed to rest” and would henceforth “not atted NEC meetings” but would instead be “working from home”.

    He also said that from now on all files that needed to be treated should be sent to the Presidents sitting room!

    Do we need to hear anything else before we can safely come to the conclusion that our President is no longer himself and is indeed on his way out?

    Whilst all this was going on and the confusion continued to brew another complicated and dangerous mess was silently unfolding in the background.

    This is of course the deadly, venomous and utterly shameful snake fight of double-speak, treachery and betrayal that is going on between Ibrahim Magu and his EFCC on the one hand and Ayo Oke and his NIA on the other with the National Security Advisor, Babagana Mongunu, dancing somewhere in between.

    With accusations and counter-accusations from all sides they are all dancing naked in the streets like madmen and bringing shame and opprobium to the institutions that they lead and to our nation and people.

    This is indeed bedlam in its fullest and most pristine form. It is worse than the cacaphony of the loud, strange and divided tongues that bellowed and screeched from the biblical Tower of Babel.

    A situation where the intelligence and security agencies are merrily “Tarkaring” and “Daboing” themselves before the entire world and exposing one anothers dirty little secrets all in a squalid attempt to gain the upper hand in an unfolding internal struggle for power and supremacy, is not good for the country and is even worse for the government that they all claim to serve.

    The bottom line is that the Presidency is in utter disarray and confusion and the health of the President, despite all pretentions, is obviously getting far worse and is degenerating by the day.

    Last week one rather bold commentator went as far as to describe him as looking like a “bag of skin and bones” and described him as a “walking ghost”.

    Many, including some of those around him, are wondering why he does not just resign, hand over the reigns of power to his Vice President and go back to Daura to take care of his health.

    Does he find it so difficult to let go? Has his desire to hold on to power at all costs become as obsessive, compelling and all-consumming as Golum’s “precious ring?”

    Does our country not deserve to have a president that is physically and mentally fit and that is hale and hearty?

    The fact of the matter is that for those of us that are not in the corridors of power but that are in the know, all this is very disturbing.

    The truth is that the consequeces of such confusion and turbulence for a nation that is not only suffering the worst economic recession in its history but that is also going through the greatest pain, trauma, division, strife, butchery, hardship and suffering since its civil war, are dangerous and unimaginable.

    Yet sadly it gets even worse. The most troubling assertion that is making the rounds is that the President has lost it to such a degree and that he is so incapacitated by his health challenges that he is hardly ever lucid.

    We are told that consequently the country is now being run by a small band of unelected, dark and evil men and an obsessive, paranoid, unstable, dangerous, volatile, ruthless, power-obsessed, ethnic and religious ultra-conservative cabal who have simply refused to let him resign in peace and who are covertly making all the decisions and are actually running the country.

    When one marries this explsive cocktail to the fact that many are fully aware of what will happen in our country if Buhari dies whilst on the throne it is enough to give us all sleepless nights about the future.

    That fear is compounded by the utterly chilling and callous public comments made by one Inusa Saidu Biu who claims to be an officer in the Nigerian Police Force.

    A few days ago he said that Buhari had been “poisoned by his enemies” (meaning southerners and Christians) and that if the President dies he would personally “shoot 200 people dead”.

    His assertion and threat, made openly and publicly on his Facebook page, in full police uniform whilst carrying weapons and hardware, says a lot and invokes deep concern.

    The truth is that Biu’s words betray the mindset and reflects the thinking of millions of people from Buhari’s core northern constituency, who think like him, who do not give a damn about anything or anyone other than Buhari, who see the President as their god and who are ready to kill for him at the drop of a hat.

    There are literally millions of murderous and genocidal maniacs like Biu crawling all over the landscape and under the woodwork of the core north and who are waiting to vent their spleen and anger and shed oceans of innocent blood in the event of anything untoward happening to the President.

    Does anyone remember what sparked off the genocide that took place in Rwanda in the 1990’s?

    It all started when the Hutu President was killed in a plane crash and the Hutus were told that the plane had been shot down by tge Tutsis.

    The result was that in the space of one month close to one million Tutsis were jacked to death and butchered in their homes by Hutu mobs who were motivated by nothing but hate and a desire to effect revenge.

    The rhetoric of people like Biu points in this direction. Only they will kill far more than one million if goven half a chance.

    The truth is that we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder in this country and I sincerely hope and pray that the Presidents health improves and some measure of order, predictability, sanity and stability is restored.

    If this happens we will have the opportunity to organise ourselves and vote the APC out in a peaceful election in 2019 but if it does not and Buhari dies before the end of his tenure, no-one in his right mind should expect a smooth transition of power to the Vice President. This is because the cabal and Buhari’s hard-line supporters and footsoldiers simply despise him and will not allow it.

    If the President dies whilst on the throne there will he chaos, carnage and destruction on an unprecedented and massive scale in our country because his core northern support base will unleash mayhem on Nigeria and particulary on southerners and Christians that reside in the north.

    What they fail to appreciate is that if that were to happen there will be an equally massive and unprecedented retaliation from the south and from the people of the Middle Belt and Nigeria will not survive it.

    It is unfortunate that things have come to this but let no-one make any mistake: the will of the south must not be tested.

    We are ready for the very worse and whether anyone likes it or not southern unity and solidarity is on the rise.

    Gone are the days that our people will be butchered at will in the morbid quest for northern Muslim power and in an attempt to perpetuate Hausa Fulani hegemony without a robust and equally devatating response.

    We pray for our President: that God will forgive him of his many sins, grant him good health and spare his life but we also warn those that are planning to harm our people to sheath their swords before they set off a chain of events that will cause an unprecedented, historic and massive conflagration on the African continent, the likes of which have never been seen before.

    May God help us all.

  • How Emir Sanusi II Unleashed The Ogre In Northern Oligarchs, By Ralph Tathagata

    Emir Mohammadu Sanusi II is at the peak of his prestige and popularity. No matter where you stand. His frank condemnation of the iniquities that breed appalling conditions in northern Nigeria has culminated in a collision of interest between him and northern oligarchs.

    He blamed the abusive class for the measured impoverishment of the masses by deploying the tool of Islam. He also linked random polygamy and reckless siring of children to the bane of wretched almajaris (mendicants) that frequently fuel all forms of terrorism.

    In the same breath, Sanusi called Man-Made-Misery, MMM, by its proper name. While decrying a common spectre that ravages the north, the Emir blamed Zamfara’s pitiably pornographic poverty on its leadership’s (past and present) wicked misuse of religion.
    Governor Abubarkar Yari of Zamfara State was in the news before Sanusi’s outcry. Rather than proffer remedial solution, Yari went public and overtly dressed-down a dire and disease-ridden people in his care. Victims of a viral but not sexually communicable disease were viciously pestered with guilt, including clean-handed toddlers. That a 21st century Governor invoked religion, citing fornication as a causative factor in a treatable bacterial infection such as meningitis, suggests a nuclear cant Islamic religion has become in the hands of northern political oligarchs.

     

    Without delay, a caravan of nettled northern conservatives predictably called for Sanusi’s head. They initiated an urgent probe of his books which he’s responded. Their condemnation of his outcry has been so definitive. As far as they’re concerned Sanusi should turn a blind eye to the unspeakable realities of human suffering all around him. “Why upset the applecart? Can’t this critical and vociferous scion of imperial parentage shut up for once?” For this mortified group, the Kano Chieftain should rather, appreciatively, bask in his royal glory in eternal silence. It could be inferred that they made him Emir just to gag him, with his mouth permanently bandaged with the turban.

    But Sanusi was not done with his slew of provocations. In the heat of his much picked-apart speech, he sent his young daughter to stand in for him at the recent #BBOG# 3rd anniversary. Perhaps to portray himself as an iconoclastic muslim, an epitome of every cultured and chivalrous virtue that a modern Emir could have. The young lady’s expected delivery of her father’s message at the event sent a kind of pro-feminist vibes from the royal household to the public. Traditional custodians of the realm considered this a sacrilege and ran riot.

    The orthodoxy of his royal office was further called to question on social media and other public spaces. The gatekeepers of a 9th century, and destructive northern style of Islam, took Sanusi to the cleaners. It doesn’t matter if the crest of Sanusi’s family throne of over a century old is famous for nonconformity, he was overstepping his boundaries as far as these conservative watchdogs were concerned. For speaking out, Sanusi was branded a southern sellout by his own caste. He’s given their traducers raw materials to despise them even more. They must’ve been grumbling.

    It’s a crying shame that these predominantly Hausa-Fulani forces of reaction are fixated on desperately preserving and profiting from an atavistic brand of Islamic tradition. Any of that group who condemns such, as Sanusi has done, must be considered a sellout and should be liquidated if possible. This further explains why Wahhabism, and other forms of imported extremist Islam, typically, the ruinous smorgasbord of terrorist factions which Western powers exploited in the pulverization of Libya, and now, Syria, have been using northern Nigeria as a testing ground.

    But is Emir Sanusi II an outsider? Did he say anything new? Can he sacrifice his mantle or even become a martyr for the religion-induced desolation and anachronistic feudalism that bestride the northern poor? The answer is a “no” with a brutal accent.

    Sanusi has done well for himself. He has lived a bespoke life like any but a few successful Nigerian scions. As a banker, he rose to the apex position of banking in Nigeria. Before his exit, he enjoyed a fleeting fame as a former Governor of CBN for whistle-blowing. Afterward, he became the Emir of Kano following the death of Emir Adamu Bayero. There is absolutely nothing wrong with such attainment.

    Paradoxically, the same dismal condition that imperils his people – which he strategically decried recently, most likely, to enhance his prestige and popularity (for the next level) is the vital force that sustains his present dominion. Same goes to the entire British-controlled, northern-colonial caliphate. It’s reported that 3 million almajaris exist in Kano State alone. So the criminal waste of lives and talents must continue for the imperial footmen (Hausa-Fulani oligarchs) to callously hold sway over their people and, by extension, Nigeria. The rooted man-made suffering that has arrested the northern poor for over a century can only be reversed by an #Arewaspring#.

    Therefore Sanusi’s demonstration of defiance is far from becoming the genuine rallying point for misdirected anger of the deprived and abandoned youth of the northern realm. But it’s positively far-right. If he’s selfless about his struggle, let him use his office and rally his people. The youth who’ve been rejected and bestialised in the bush should be told that their enemies aren’t the innocent Agatu, Enugu, and Southern Kaduna people, etc., they rape and slaughter at will. Let him address them in a language they’ll understand and tell them who their real enemies are; the northern oligarchs.

    Of course, it goes far beyond Hausa Fulani oligarchy. It’s about a less than 5% total of Nigeria’s population – a ruling class and their payees that represent the most wicked and destructive colonial footprint. It doesn’t matter where they’re plying their imperial and disgraceful trade. Neither is it about their party, tribal or ethnic affiliations. They spread across the 36 states of the federation. From Abia to Zamfara, the narrative is practically the same. In fact, the States Governors, lawmakers, the judiciary and the Presidency are all mindless, colonial stooges. The people should stand up to them, reclaim and turn this space into a nation.

    Second to the last time Sanusi snitched on his class as CBN Governor, a mantle of Emir-ship waited for him. And what, pray, crown awaits the Kano Chieftain this time? Time and only time will tell.

    So, the beat goes on. The beat goes on and on in a brutally cyclic fashion.

    Ralph Tathagata, a Poet Writes In From Lagos, Nigeria

  • Lamentations Of A Looter, By Eric Ayoola

    Wailers are wailing,
    Looters are crying,
    Magu is not listening
    And ordinary Nigerians are laughing.

    What have you buried?
    How much have you carried,
    At the deep of night,
    Into your backyard and out of sight?

     

    Who did you hire?
    With whom did you conspire,
    To squirrel away your loot?
    This, is the moment of truth.

    Why are you scared?
    What have you just heard?
    The sound of a whistle?
    That pierces your heart like the bullet from a pistol

    Who could it be,
    That ratted to the EFCC?
    Those Buhari bulldogs.
    Tenacious anti-corruption thugs.

    Could it be the Mai-guard?
    The vendor selling Vanguard,
    The housemaid?
    Now you wish she were better paid.!

    The office clerk?
    Whom you denied an annual perk.
    The wife?
    No! she’s the love of your life,
    Well she was, until you took a second wife.

    You cower,
    You shiver,
    You reach for the phone,
    Alas, your saviour in Aso Rock is long gone.

    You pull strings,
    You run around in rings.
    Why aren’t these EFCC boys listening?
    Is this not Nigeria? This cannot be happening?

    Dollars, pounds, Euros,
    Being carted out in wheel barrows.
    You hang your head in sorrow.
    Maybe it’s a nightmare and you will wake up tomorrow.

    What’s with this change?
    It’s so un-Nigerian, so strange.
    You want a return to the carnage,
    Of unremitting looting and of brigandage.

    You console yourself,
    As you reach for the drink on the shelf.
    You know your people.
    They are nothing if not fickle.

    After Buhari,
    They will not tarry
    To return to the days of Yore,
    Kickbacks and scamming galore.

    That , you say,
    Is the Nigerian way.
    Corruption is here to stay.
    Let Buhari and Magu have their day!

     Original article at skytrendnews Nigeria

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