The Leaders of Tomorrow and the Killers of Today – By Amao Isaac Oluwasogo

Things have never been the same from the very moment we were told we are the leaders of tomorrow. This is because every unfolding event, as well as the body language from those that hold on tightly to this saying, cannot be reconciled with the truism of the undeniable agonizingly tough reality that we sleep and wake up with. Our education has been reduced to the point that it is not even attractive to the illiterates again.


Every administration has only succeeded in drawing and drowning this sector into the Mediterranean Sea. We have not only lived in the deceitful kissing of these Judas Iscariots but have also realized that we are at the mercy of being crucified. This cannot be distant from the lack of a deep sense of leadership quality that every citizen of a country expects from their leaders. A trait found in men like Nelson Mandela whose watchword when it comes to education remains; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


Developed countries have something in common: They are perpetually in the business of investing heavily in their education sector. This is because they understood the resultant effect of quality education on their youths. These investments gave birth to men and women with revolutionary ideas.  And it is with these ideas that they rule the world. Ever progressing while we are here dreaming and wishing without an action that is commensurate to achieve the same feat. Funny enough, we are still busy beating around the minimum requirement given by the UNESCO that is expected to be earned marked for education in our yearly budget.


This is the problem of having leaders whose bellies are their gods. Men who lack visions and foresight for the hope of the future and whose mouths are bigger than their cerebral grandstanding. While the future of the nation is rotting away, possessing luxuries and gallivanting the four cardinal points of the earth is all that burns in their hearts. Why won’t our neighboring country, Ghana become a better place to school than ours?  Every year, the numbers of students leaving the shore of Nigeria for schooling is unarguably embarrassing. Yet in all of these, they call us the leaders of tomorrow and emphasize the beauty of education even when it is obvious that they are killing that same future on the altar of today.


This story is applicable to virtually some of the Nigeria institutions especially the government- owned institutions, starting from the primary school to the tertiary institutions. The more reason I insisted that our problem is basically fundamental and foundational. The system that should be the hope of reviving the spirit of creativity and innovations in students has suddenly become a butchering ground- dwindling the morale of the students. In the 21st century, we are still satisfied with blackboard, chalk, and duster. The system is so old that it tends to corrupt fresh brains. And when the environment is not conducive, nothing thrives. These bitter scenarios finally walked throughout universities and other tertiary institutions.


The testimony that you have come to school is that you used more than expected numbers of years in the university, not because you failed but because of what has turned to be an annual expected event– that is the incessant strikes. For a session to pass without strike makes it look as though the academic calendar of that session is not yet complete. Students can be out of school for months, it means nothing to the spiritual forces and power that be. As a result, the students have seen this abnormality as a norm to go on strike and if attempts are made to protest, it is done at the expense of their lives. It is either they are victimized by the school authorities or be faced with life gun as though they are Christmas chicken. University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) could be a recent example to relate with amidst the innumerable occurrences we have witnessed over the years.


The fate of the public institutions is at stake in this nation. If it is being treated with this level of absurdity and trepidation, expect private institutions to take over in years to come. This was not actually a surprise when the governor of my state compared LAUTECH with BABCOCK University. I was poised to ask if this was a nightmare or a product of accidental leadership.


How can you use a private university as a yardstick for the State University? This is a school in approximately seven months strike and everything seems as though nothing is happening. Their change mantra is nothing but a fluke from all indications. To say that students and lecturers should go and have a sanctuary of reasoning on how they will finance the school sounds sympathetic. But this is all we have come to live with, leaders of tomorrow in the hands of the killers of today


We are at a stage where things are no longer at ease. Those who burn themselves to light other people’s ways are being maltreated. No salary yet their task masters called leaders forced them to work by threatening them with sack letters. How many times have any governor or politicians ever protested of not being paid their salary? It is these same people who do not care that formulate our educational policy. What an irony of life!  You then began to ask, how many research work thrives in Nigeria? Are productive, innovative and creative are our tertiary institutions?


We can continue like this and remain the same or put up the necessary measures and join the league of developed Nations. Enough of politicking education in this country! It is high time we started to engage technocrats and scholars with capacities to help rebuild the falling wall. Making it a priority to fund the system by supporting research works will help us as a nation to be great.


Until then, we would only live in the fool’s paradise of having a fortified educational system. Of most importance is for every student to equally take their destinies in their hands. Whatever you can take out of the school system not minding its poor state, do in order to better yourself and your future as well as your society.


Follow the writer on Twitter: @isaacsogo

Saraki Decorates David Mark as Leader of the Decade

Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Wednesday, decorated the former Senate President, David Mark with the leader of the Decade award.

This was announced on Wednesday, November 23 during a National Assembly Press Corps Award in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital.

Mark is a retired Nigerian Army Brigadier General and politician who was President of the Senate of Nigeria from 2007 to 2015 and is the Senator for the Benue State constituency. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)

PDP Leaders Move To Begin Peace Talks With Sheriff

In the aftermath of the botched convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Port Harcourt, leaders of the party have again initiated moves to reconcile with its former chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, who has continued to lay claims to the leadership of the party, despite court ruling declaring him a usurper.

It was gathered in Abuja, yesterday, that two governors of the party and the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, have met with Senator Sheriff after the convention to bring him on board in a one united party.

A former member of the House of Representatives and staunch supporter of Senator Sheriff, who craved anonymity, said that at separate meetings with the governors and the Board of Trustees chairman, Senator Sheriff reiterated his demands which, among others, include the dissolution of the Makarfi-led caretaker committee and the composition of a new committee made up of his nominees and others to conduct a fresh convention for the party.

The member said: “The governors came begging and Senator Sheriff reiterated his earlier demands. Having come this far in trying to salvage the party, we cannot afford to hand over the party to the governors so that they can continue with their impunity.

“What happened at the so-called convention in Port Harcourt has vindicated Sheriff’s position that the governors have not learned anything from the results of the 2015 election.

“Sheriff is out to salvage the party and return it to its owners who are the masses. Nigerians should commend Sheriff for standing up to the shenanigans of the governors.”


Olawale Rotimi: Education in Rural Nigeria; An Assessment

In the Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (FRN 1998), it is stated that the Federal Government has adopted education as an instrument for effecting National Development in all areas of the nation. However, this does not reflect the situation in rural Nigeria where there is overwhelming widespread of illiteracy. Education in rural Nigeria is characterized with very poor infrastructure, insufficient academic staff, insecurity, and non-payment of academic staff among others. It is common knowledge that majority of the population in developing countries like Nigeria live in rural areas. Nigeria is predominantly a rural society as the vast majority of her population live in rural area. Generally, rural areas in Nigeria are incessantly neglected by the government when it comes to development of any form, educational development inclusive.

Despite the fact that rural dwellers in Nigeria are usually not recognized on government development activities, the nation’s wealth is derived from rural areas across the country. Crude oil, limestone, coal among other resources possessed by the country are hugely deposited in rural areas. The under-development in Nigeria as a country has been linked to lack of development in the rural areas. A view states that no serious, active, conscious, sensitive, and organized government would want to neglect rural communities. Lack of development has a positive correlation with the neglect of rural areas. Rural neglects brings negative consequences such as exodus of rural dwellers to urban areas, with resulting problems of unemployment, crimes, prostitution, child labour, insecurity, money laundering, bribery, poverty, proliferation of shanty living areas, spread of diseases, and overstretching of the facilities and infrastructures in the urban areas.

Having travelled to and through rural areas in various geo-political zones of the country, the sight of education facilities in rural areas of Nigeria is disheartening, particularly in the 21st century. From broken classroom walls, to opened roofs, damaged chalk board, over population and lack of sufficient chairs and tables in classes, bushy environment that houses reptiles to mention a few, the educational plight in rural Nigeria calls for immediate “unpolitical” attention. Having visited some rural schools in South West, North Central and North West Nigeria, the current situation tends to endanger the nation’s future if not revived. In one of the North Central states (picture below), pupils have been learning under a shade for many years before the local government authority managed to erect a single building for all classes. This is one of others been faced by critical challenges.

In a rural school in North Central Nigeria where pupils study under a shade

Education is to a nation what the mind is to the body, just as a diseased mind is handicapped in the coordination and direction of the bodily activities. Therefore, the single most significant complex of social – control tools for national development is found in the educational system. Since majority of the population still live in rural areas, education which is believed to be the bedrock of any serious nation’s development should be experience serious development in rural areas, hence it is expected of Nigeria’s government and relevant stakeholders to take the issues of education in rural areas seriously. Challenges confronting rural education in Nigeria include:

Lack of Infrastructure: There is a huge infrastructural deficit in rural education development in Nigeria. Majority of the rural schools are poorly built and very old with damaged roofs and walls. Other educational facilities such as chairs and tables are usually not sufficient; libraries do not exist in many rural schools e.t.c.


Poor Legislative Oversight Duty: Legislative oversight duty is a serious way the legislature can check the executive by supervising projects awarded and asking important questions on budget and expenses on such project. However, the legislators have performed poorly in their oversight function. Thus, some of the approved rural schools are not well constructed or not constructed at all.

Insufficient Academic Staff: There has been an incessant shortage of academic staff in rural schools for many years in Nigeria. This explains why a teacher can be saddled to teach two or more subjects/courses, sometimes outside his/her discipline.

Poor Learning Facilities: Learning facilities in rural Nigeria are in very poor conditions, if at all they exist. Computer laboratories, internet and other things that will expose the children to global standard in their studies are absent.

Poverty: This is an underlining factor in Nigeria as a whole. People in rural areas live below a dollar daily. The poverty level is so high for them to afford schooling opportunities for their children.

Corruption: This problem has affected Nigeria negatively in all sectors. Embezzlement of educational funds, scholarship and grants has marred the effort to develop education in rural Nigeria.

Speaking to teachers and students in a rural secondary school

Critically assessing the first post-independence National Educational Nigerian Conference on Curriculum development organized in 1969 by the Nigerian Educational Council with the following resolutions:

– Provision and expansion of educational facilities to ensure education gets to the door step of every Nigerian child.
– Overhauling and reforming the content of general education to make it more responsive to the socio-economic needs of the country.
– Development and consolidating the nation’s higher education in response to the manpower needs of the country.
– Developing technological education in order to meet the growing needs of the nation.

All these resolutions failed because of the lack of commitment from the government. Education is fundamental to growth and development, and serves as critical indices to measure progress of development agenda. Therefore, deliberate effort should be made to develop the sector particularly in rural areas. This will include provision of educational infrastructures and facilities, sustainable curriculum and policies, employment of more academic staff, strengthening oversight function on educational facilities and scholarship for students. Education is the most powerful tool of reducing poverty, ensuring peace and stability and advancing a people through inventions, a nation cannot grow beyond her level of education, for Nigeria to grow, education must grow.

Olawale Rotimi

(BA, MA Ilorin, DELF Paris)

Olawale can be reached via or 08105508224

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Kim Jong-un Executes Military Chief On Charges Of Corruption

Kim Jong-un’s military chief has been executed on charges of corruption, it was reported Wednesday.

Army General Ri Yong-gil, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, was conspicuous in his absence from events celebrating the North’s controversial satellite launch on Sunday.

Ri is believed to have been charged with pursuing personal gains and may have been ousted after raising objections to Kim’s recent appointments of party leaders to military posts, a source said.
If confirmed, it would be the latest in a series of executions, purges and disappearances under its young tyrant.
The source, who is familiar with North Korean affairs, said: ‘Ri Yong-gil is known to have been faithful to principles, so it appears the North cited (the charges) to justify his execution.
‘This shows that Kim Jong-un is very nervous about the armed forces. It also shows his reign of terror continues.’
The news comes amid heightened tension surrounding isolated North Korea after its Sunday launch of a long-range rocket, which came about a month after it drew international condemnation for conducting its fourth nuclear test.
It is believed Ri was executed last week around the time Kim presided over a joint meeting of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party and the military, but it is not clear how he was killed.

Source: Daily mail

Islamic State Suffers Double Blow As Ramadi Falls, Leaders Killed

U.S.-led forces have killed 10 Islamic State leaders in air strikes, including individuals linked to the Paris attacks, a U.S. spokesman said, dealing a double blow to the militant group after Iraqi forces ousted it from the city of Ramadi.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi planted the national flag in Ramadi after the army retook the city center from Islamic State, a victory that could help vindicate his strategy for rebuilding the military after stunning defeats.

“Over the past month, we’ve killed 10 ISIL leadership figures with targeted air strikes, including several external attack planners, some of whom are linked to the Paris attacks,” said U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamist group also known by the acronym ISIL.

“Others had designs on further attacking the West.”

One of those killed was Abdul Qader Hakim, who facilitated the militants’ external operations and had links to the Paris attack network, Warren said. He was killed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Dec. 26.
Two days earlier, a coalition air strike in Syria killed Charaffe al Mouadan, a Syria-based Islamic State member with a direct link to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the coordinated bombings and shootings in Paris on Nov. 13 which killed 130 people, Warren said.
Mouadan was planning further attacks against the West, he added.
Air strikes on Islamic State’s leadership helped explain recent battlefield successes against the group, which also lost control of a dam on a strategic supply route near its de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria on Saturday.

“Part of those successes is attributable to the fact that the organization is losing its leadership,” Warren said. He warned, however: “It’s still got fangs.”

W. African Leaders Seek Ban On Full-Face Veil To Prevent Attacks

West African leaders said Thursday they were seeking to “forbid” women wearing full-face veils in an effort to curb the growing number of female suicide bombers unleashed by Boko Haram jihadists.

The president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, told reporters at the close of a two-day summit in Abuja that leaders must take “measures that would forbid this kind of dress that will not allow security personnel to be sure of their identities.”

Losing swathes of territory to the Nigerian army, Boko Haram jihadists have since July started using young women and girls as suicide bombers by hiding explosives in their loose-fitting clothes.

The radical Sunni group has also used the tactic in Cameroon, Chad and Niger — countries that have already enforced bans on veils this year.

The region is reeling from a spike in female suicide bombings as a weakened Boko Haram shifts its strategy from raiding villages to relying on explosives in its quest to overthrow the government and create a hardline Islamist state in northeast Nigeria.

“Certain dress codes, which make identification of the persons concerned difficult, may considerably hinder actions geared towards protecting people and properties,” said Ouedraogo, who said countries should enforce a ban “in line with their national realities.”

Credit: AFP

Ijaw, Itsekiri Leaders Vow To Shut Down Shell Operations

Scores of embittered Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic groups in Delta State have threatened to shut down all Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, operations in their land, if the Anglo-Dutch oil company fails to comply with the agreement reached with them some time ago.

Addressing newsmen, yesterday in Warri, the people, under the aegis of their Forum also indicted Shell for allegedly instigating crisis among the host communities with its divide and rule antics.

Mr Moses Eduogha and Fregene Emiko, who jointly signed a statement, argued that they were mostly annoyed that Shell refused to honour a peace meeting summoned by Governor Ifeayi Okowa and the host communities on December 15, 2015.

“We see SPDC’s action as a big slap on both the governor’s face and ours. We decided to tell the whole world that Shell is definitely looking for trouble. Our people are already agitated and we will give them fire for fire.

“Host communities have been impoverished. You can imagine a situation where our contractors are made to renew their contract papers on yearly basis with nothing to show for it,” the forum leaders said.

They said that neither Ijaw nor Itsekiri is directly involved in any contract, rather the company staff engages their cronies to do the job local contractors are supposed to do.

“Activities of Shell were capable of causing crisis among the host communities. Nigeria’s local content law is not working in Shell as the workers have turned contractors,” they said.

According to them, aggrieved youths are already beating war drums, adding that Shell should immediately respect the agreement reached, “else they will be flushed out from our land.

“Shell’s action is an open invitation to crisis,” they added.

Credit: Vanguard

Ugbabe Adagboyi Damian: Are You A Leader Of Nigeria’s Tomorrow?

Ask an average Nigerian youth this question and the next thing you would hear is, “…the system is very corrupt. The elites don’t consider the youth” Yes! Even the little child on the mother’s breast knew about it before birth. It is that bad. However, I believe it is about time we channel our youthful energy into proffering solutions to our challenges rather than looking for who and what to blame. It would be of great help, if we complain, but with workable solutions.

What sparked the recent bloodless political revolution in the country were not just mere complaints but workable solutions offered by the bright and sound Nigerian youths. Despite this effort, reality has shown that the elites have taken advantage of them to hold onto power. My worry is why have the youths been poorly compensated? Experience has shown that majority of the youths offered their ideas with intent to gain monetary or social favour instead of using it a bargaining chip that would eventually lunch them into the next class of our nation’s leaders. As a result, those who genuinely offered it for the true change have been left stranded.

I cannot conclude that the only reason why Nigerian youths have not been included in the leadership positions of this current administration is political apathy. In as much as we are interested in politics, we do not believe in ourselves that we are capable of leading this great nation. We chicken out easily because either we do not have much to offer or too much have been offered to us to make us look away. It proves that we only engage in the political process with the aim of getting a peanut for ourselves with no intention of developing it. This is a threat to both the process and the few recycling elites – and they hold onto power with that theory of mental age versus chronological age. It’s obvious that the political process cannot go on if we always chicken out. Moreover, Nigeria will not develop if we are all selfish. At least you can trace a patriotic undertone in our elites’ show of selfishness – they keep the process going for it gains.

In school, our teacher made us recite what almost became the third stanza of Nigeria’s National Anthem during the morning assemblies perhaps to make us know and believe that we are the leaders of tomorrow. Even so, how can we become the leader when we do not exhibit leadership qualities after all the schooling and trainings? You would be surprised when you attempt to nose round on the youths (supposedly leaders of tomorrow) to hear their opinion on critical national issues – aside perceiving strong ethnic or partisan bias from their thoughts, most of them ignorantly say and do things that falls shorts of a sane mind.

The poser has always been “What would the Nigerian youths do differently if given the opportunity to lead?” So many if you ask me. Nevertheless, sometimes we do worst things than anyone can imagine. Instances like showering encomiums or presenting dignified awards to branded corrupt and criminal citizens as if it would pacify the elites, and to allow us passage into our rightful position of leadership someday is worrisome. Be it the reasons identified earlier or for any other reason, it proves that we are simply stupid. Moreover, it describes the kind of youths that are agitating to be included in the nation’s leadership positions.

I conclude with this African proverb, “The worlds of the elders do not lock all the doors; they leave the right door open.” As the elites continue to wield power in a blood-sucking manner, we need a change of attitude and thread with them in a professional manner and not for the manna that would fall. Succinctly put, the elite might have more power than we might, but if we wield ours more effectively, we might exercise more influence in certain settings. Only when we do this that our agitation for inclusion will be meaningful and supported by the elite.

Ugbabe Adagboyi Damian is a student of Atlas Leadership Academy. He is also an alumni of Imani Centre for Policy and Education. You can connect with him via twitter @UgbabeD

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Sunday Osanyintuyi: Nigeria At 55; Arise O Compatriots!!

Just few days ago, my six years old daughter was, as usual, asking me for the explanation of Nigeria’s flag colours. This daughter is very inquisitive. She always wants to know almost everything as much as possible. Of course, to have my rest, I explained. She asked further why few things seem not same with some other nations of the world visited overtime. You wonder her level of intelligence? Most kids these days are too smart beyond their ages. Well, what excuse will I offer her for this now?

But just immediately after the exercise, it dawn on me our Nation would be 55 years old today.  Such is a milestone in a nation’s lifetime. More importantly in a nation that values human and capital development. From our political landscape to economical standoff, it appears we have not truly got independent. We leverage or do we say depend on foreign nations for one aid or the other. Our internal crisis is taken to foreign nations for resolutions. Even to constitute Federal ministers, we needed to visit some guns in Europe.  Is this an evil in Africa or just a Nigeria problem? From one government to the other, we never miss to run quickly to America for simple issues requiring our internal efforts. Nigeria prides as the giant of Africa but crippled by corruption and poor leadership. Sadly, those promises from America never come and our challenges become perennial.

Ordinarily, a 55 years old adult should not only take responsibility for his or her life entirely, but also be independent in thoughts, decisions and manage his crisis. But same is not the story for Nigeria as a nation. Sad though, we are still down if not below where the colonial masters left us almost six decades ago. The ills that bedeviled us a people seem not be concern to our set of leaders as corruption, terrorism and poor management of human capital characterize our dealings.  One can but wonder if these leaders have their eyes open to how nations like Malaysia, Dubai, China propel national thinking and lasting developments.

My focus in this piece is to challenge our leadership to thinking proactively with generational mindset. Our founding fathers failed to instill national passion into our curriculum in schools.  In the last four decades of my existence, the issue of power supply in Nigeria has become rhetoric. The problem is known but solution swept under carpet. There is no national vision for development in Nigeria. No clear cut path for national prosperity for all.  No nation develops based on wishful thinking and lips statements, but deep commitment to enduring values, integrity and generational impacts.

In 55 years, Nigeria leaders have mastered deceptive ways to carry the populace along in major national poverty while a few get richer per seconds.  Clearly, the vision of the founding fathers was not the current status quo. Take few minutes to read a stanza of Nigeria national anthem:

Oh God of creation

Direct our noble cause

Help our youth the truth to know

In love and honesty to grow

And living just and true

Great lofty heights attain

To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign

Without mincing words, this stanza only applies to Nigeria founding fathers as these set of non charlatans at the corridor of power are not nationalists in their approach. At no time has ethnicity, tribalism and nepotism dominated our national discourse at this. The common or national interest holds no value anymore. It is time for this giant of Africa to arise. As we mark the independence today, we must accept our leaders failed us while we also have messed up as followers. The quality of leaders, in most cases, is a product of the followers. Leaders emerge from society based on set of rules formed by the followers.

 As we celebrate today, we must be deliberate about crafting clear national values and standards for our existence going forward. Our laws should be made to work. Governments at all levels must strengthen the institutions of state beyond personal gains.  It is not about political party but the lack of political will to cause positive changes in our national lives.  Change is never automatic but driven by people.

Our leaders, ranging from religious to political, must be seen doing right things while preaching right things. The mess some of our religious leaders have plunged us to must stop henceforth. We are very religious people but at the same time very wicked, inconsiderate and tempered. Most nations we run to enjoy lives run their national lives based on these simple values not how religious you are or not. No religious leader, who lives below expected values, has right over any politician who embezzles common wealth.

As we move towards the six decade anniversary as a nation, the prosperity of Nigeria is dependent on the common wealth if its citizens not oil. The oil boom has turned to curse instead of blessing.  Government should deliberately look away from oil and tap into our natural resources. Agriculture holds the future for Nigeria; hence policies should be made to encourage investors in this industry.

To the citizens, our civic responsibility is not negotiable. We envy United States of America today but forgot such country is run on taxes. Government does not joke with taxes in America. The idea of evading taxes should be jettison if we hope or dream for a developed Nigeria.  Our laws should be strengthening to punish offenders while people who live above board are celebrated.

When these among others are done, we can happily sing the national anthem stanza:


Arise, O Compatriots,

Nigeria’s call obey

To serve our fatherland

With Love and strength and faith

The labour of our heros past

Shall never be in vain

To serve with heart and might

One nation bound in freedom

Peace and unity.


Happy Independence, Nigeria!!!

Sunday Osanyintuyi | @Sundayos

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

News Alert: Gamaliel Onosode Is Dead

Foremost technocrat and boardroom Czar, Mr. Gamaliel Onosode, 82, is dead.

Reporters learnt Mr. Onosode died Tuesday morning at Gold Cross Hospital, Ikoyi Lagos at about 8:15am after a protracted illness.

Onosode was flown home yesterday from London.

According to Wikipedia:

Gamaliel Offoritsenere Onosode (born 22 May 1933) (Died 29 September 2015) is a Nigerian technocrat, administrator and a former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party of Nigeria. Educated at the Government College, Ughelli and the University of Ibadan, he emerged in the 1970s, as one of Nigeria’s leading educated chief executives, when he was at the helm of NAL merchant bank of Nigeria. Over the years, he has risen to become a leading boardroom player in Nigeria’s corporate environment. He was also a former presidential adviser to President Shagari and a former president of the Nigerian Institute of Management.

Life and career

An Urhobo man, born and raised in Sapele , a suburban city in the current Delta State by a disciplined father, he sometimes credited the strict family background and practice as being a complementary factor in his success as a disciplined civil servant and corporate administrator.

Throughout his career, Dr. Gamaniel Onosode has chaired several private and public sector businesses and initiatives. He was the Chairman of Dunlop Nigeria Plc (1984–2007), a former chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc (1977–93), the Presidential Commission on Parastatals (1981), Nigeria LNG Working Committee and Nigeria LNG Limited (1985–90) and the Niger Delta Environmental Survey (since 1995). He is also the Chairman of Zain Nigeria, a GSM telecommunications company, the oldestGSM operator in Nigeria.

Mr.  Gamaniel Onosode was Presidential Adviser on Budget Affairs and Director of Budget (1983). He is a Fellow of the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, the Nigerian Institute of Management, of which he was President (1979–82). He is also a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, having been elected to membership of its Board of Fellows in 1998.

In addition, Mr. Onosode is immediate past and inaugural President of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, immediate past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Uyo and immediate past and inaugural President & Chairman of Council of the Association of Pension Funds of Nigeria. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and holds Honorary D.Sc. degrees of Obafemi Awolowo University (1990), the University of Benin (1995), and theRivers State University of Science and Technology (2003) as well as Honorary D.D. degree of The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso (2002)

Taiwo Ademola: The Dangers Of Not Knowing

It is usually catastrophic when people fall into ditches they aren’t aware of, when people make mistakes they didn’t expect, when business plan fail because of inability to for see the eventuality. The phenomenon of Ignorance is a vivid reaction to the expression of human weakness.  Ignorance in its stark-state betrays him. Ignorance in its acrid definition portrays his folly. Ignorance and mediocrity are cousins.  Ignorance is a disease, a sickness, a cancerous norm that overwhelms all philosophy and ideology, eating deep into the bone marrow of books. Ignorance in his mental state ridicules and belittles the mentality and the mindset of men. Ignorance toys with the wisdom of man and as a cancer eats it up like acid. Ignorance prides in it’s incoherent and distorted words, does not believe in facts nor figures rather uses these to embarrass the sage. In the darkened state of ignorance, man enjoys the darkness, he thrives in it. The ignorant man is naked and does not even know there are clothes. The ignorant man is risky, he could lead people into the gallows and sincerely think it is a safe haven. The most dangerous of all is the man that does not know and he thinks he knows.

It is simply pathetic that most people don’t know the basic dictates of life.  Most of the youths of today babble and ramble in grand folly. Youth should know they are active and vibrant; yet it is sad they do not know. The political scene is an interesting field that should interest an average youth.

Firstly, the higher percentage of the youth constituency are not interested in the political development of their country. Those who even show interest are doing it for the sake of their pockets.  Politics is not an argument-It is facts and figures.  It is not an exertion of your opinion; it is what the headlines says. That is why objectivity plays a better role than subjectivity. The higher percentage are even ignorant of the basic current affairs and historical lane of their country. Political discussion and analysis annoyingly bore them. Thus, they are rendered not useful and employable for the labor market due to the lack of intellect and basic knowledge. The economic terms are usually bizarre to them, they find it difficult to comprehend; stock market, shares internally general revenue, tax, custom duties, exercise duties, bond, MOU, state returns e.t.c

The higher percentage do not know their rights, duties and obligations under the law. He/She does not know about the existence of a constitution- they have never seen one. The average youth is of the opinion that such books are irrelevant and a sheer waste of time when read.

Objectively, the presumed leaders of tomorrow do not have a grip of the political situation in the country. What brings about political tension and instability? How is it resolved? What are the measures of passing messages of discontentment and grievance to government? What are governmental agencies? The average Nigerian youth cannot offer answers, in as much solutions. The average Nigerian youth cannot raise intellectual discussions, reason out and argue rationally, realistically or pragmatically. The average youth do not know the full meanings of some acronyms. It is disturbing and worrisome when you hear the level of reasoning, you cannot even correct the reasoning; you will observe these set needs total re-orientation. They speak off-point, out of order and deviate from the main discourse. The other set of ignoramus are usually acutely biased in the way they fashion out their arguments and marshal their points; they are not interested in listening to your points but rather keep emphasizing their watery fact. The reasons are not far-fetched, the average youth do not read –historical books, textbooks or journals. They are too impatient to be taught, they are usually unenthusiastic in attending Intellectual gathering where they will be equipped with knowledge and information through seminars and workshops. Lastly, in the gathering of youths, political discussion is less spoken of attention is more on extra-curricular activities.

 Economically, the youths dominate about 62% of the population. Yet the youths do not know about their economy. Earlier mentioned the fact that economic terms and terminologies are cumbersome for them; even the graduates. What are other viable avenues to source for revenue? How is revenue allocated? How is the formula for revenue calculated? How does government tax the people? How does inflation and deflation affect the people? What is the effect of the devaluation of the currency on the economy? These are economic questions that the average youth will shy away from answering. And when they make an attempt, one is usually sorry for the future of the great nation. Raising an army of intellectually improvished and unsound generation who cannot help themselves in as much help the nation.

Sociologically, what then is the reason for these: social media; this generation has been overwhelmingly distracted by the chatting sites, it takes the bulk of the time. Facebook is said to be the third most populated in the world asides China and India. Youths all over connect with themselves, add up and follow each other; not for the purpose of the promotion of intellectualism but to engage in unprofitable conversations. The average youth takes prides in the number of friends and followers he has on the social media rather than the piles of books he has bought and read.

The entertainment media is also a factor. The average youth keeps himself updated as to the latest songs and videos that is trending, rather than the latest world news. The musical artistes are his idol and role model rather than astute achievers who bagged honorary intellectual awards. The flux of ignorant youths we have today cast fear as what the future holds, makes us wonder what the next generation will be like. Keeps us worried if our heritage and sacred cultures will not be watered down the drain. Makes us doubtful if we can rely on them to maintain the political sanity of the nation. Ignorance is dangerous. It is a reckless driver that remains adamant despite words of caution.

Written by; Taiwo Ademola. (

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Political Leaders Should Seek Good Names, Not Vast Personal Estates -Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has called on Nigerian leaders to aspire to win the people’s heart rather than enrich themselves with state resources.
According to him “our history reminds us of the visionary leaders in Nigeria, who fired our imagination through their vision, diligence and selfless service, who did not live or fight to enrich themselves, they did not leave vast personal estates behind, but their names and legacies live in the hearts of the people.”
The Vice President stated this yesterday, at the opening of Northern Reawakening Forum (NRF) Summit at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. Prof. Osinbajo recalled Nigerian founding fathers in the North such as “Sir Ahamu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Mallam Aminu Kano, J. S. Tarka and countless others who clearly understood the varied issues afflicting the region, thought through them, laid the plans and worked selflessly to realize them”. He commended the present crop of Nigerian leadership to such selflessness and vision. Applauding the theme of the Summit, “Building a Safe, Secure and Economically Inclusive Northern Nigeria”, Prof. Osinbajo decried the derailment from the foundations set by the founding fathers which has led to the challenges confronting the country. He expressed concern that Nigeria is “a nation of 170 million people, the sixth largest producer of oil, over a hundred varieties of solid minerals and precious metals, hundreds of thousands of hectares of arable land, the largest economy in Africa, yet desperately poor.” But he observed that the challenges are the same all across the country, “saying the difference is not of a kind but in degrees”. He explained that in the Nineteen Northern States of Nigeria, the human development indices “are by far poorer than the rest of the country”. Continuing the VP stated that while “the Northern States occupy about 70% of the land mass of the country, they also have the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the country, the lowest rate of child enrollment in schools, highest number of unemployed young people, highest levels of poverty and faces the challenge of inter-ethic and inter-religious conflict including the Boko Haram terrorism.” The Vice President said the Northern Nigerian Economic Summit of 2012 was the first fora to draw attention to some of the depressing statistics about the condition of the North. Based on the conclusions of the Summit, he said the North had some of the largest numbers of the out-of-school figures in the world.
However, the VP was optimistic that “dismal as some of these conditions might be, it does not have to define our future or that of our children”. He was heartened by how the planners of the Summit did not shy away from the tough issues – “from the girl-child education to the Alma-Jiri system, from women empowerment to the economic viability of states, from an immediate Marshal plan-like attempt at addressing the areas in conflict to how to create cooperation between states and stakeholders.”
The Vice President then assured that the Federal Government is committed to action on all issues that affect the life of Nigerians in any part of the country, stressing that the Buhari Administration has been very active in interventions in the North East, due to the immediacy of the crisis in that particular axis of the nation. He also stated the need for short term strategy of immediate hardship alleviation as well as a long term plan to build the infrastructure that most closely affects the economic life of the most vulnerable citizens. Besides, there is also the need to build institutions that would make more of an impact in the years to come and beyond. Earlier, the Chairman of the Forum, Hon. Mohammed Umara Kumalia, said discussions at the Summit will help in the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the North.
He also stated, among other issues, that the 2013 World Bank Report had shown that the North has the highest poverty index in the country, which the Forum seeks to redress. The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the Governor of Borno State, said the panacea for the backwardness and poverty of the North is addressing the problem of agriculture and agro-allied industry as well as creative ventures in region. He also noted the need for a paradigm shift from elite nature of the North to embrace the poor segment of the region.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President
(Media and Publicity)

Amnesty Probe: Ex-MEND Leaders Support FG

Leaders of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) threw their weight behind the ongoing probe and verification exercise being conducted by the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Implementation Committee, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (retd), into the numbers of former militants benefiting from the programme.

Led by Wilson Reuben a.k.a General Pastor Reuben, the former MEND leaders, said though some groups had expressed concern over the exercise, the probe would help sanitize and strengthen the programme and iron out issues of inclusion of those purportedly disarmed under the third phase of the programme.

The former militant leaders under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI), in a statement signed by Reuben, expressed satisfaction over the ongoing probe and the verification exercise initiated by Boroh.

According to them, the verification exercise would determine genuine beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), particularly those that formed the third phase of the programme.

The statement read in part: “We the former agitators wish to let Brigadier General Paul Boroh to know that he has our full backing on this bold initiative and he should not be deterred in his mandate of implementing the PAP to its latter…”

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New PDP Leaders To Emerge August- Party

The Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that a new national chairman of the party, as well as a new BoT chair, will emerge three months after the resignation of former holders of the positions.

The secretary of the BoT, Walid Jibrin, made the disclosure on Wednesday at the National Secretariat of the PDP in Abuja after a meeting of the BoT.

The former Chairman of the Party, Ahmadu Mu’azu, resigned from office in May, citing health reasons, while the former BoT chair, Tony Anenih, followed suit shortly, to allow former President Goodluck Jonathan assume the position.

However, Mr. Jonathan declined the offer and instead the party’s NEC appointed a former national chairman, Bello Haliru, to serve as acting chairman of the BoT.

The party also approved that Mr. Mu’azu’s deputy, Uche Secondus, serve as the acting national chairman.

“Like you are aware, the appointment of the acting Chairman Is for three months and after three months we will sit again, because by our constitution the board of trustees regulates its own activities,” Mr. Jibrin said Wednesday.
He also said the BoT has the capacity to provide guidance to all the structures of the party to ensure it remains intact and “bounce back”.

He said the BoT was working closely with members of the National Working Committee and its members in the national assembly.

“We are doing our best to ensure that sanity is brought to our party, our party is going to kick again and we are going to bounce back,’’ he said.

The BoT secretary called on members of the party at the national assembly to cooperate with the BoT as it seeks to rebuild the party.

He also revealed that the party’s reconciliation committee headed by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, is yet to submit its report to the leaders of the party because it asked for an extension of time.

He said the committee had asked for memorandum from PDP members across Nigeria and that it was planning a zonal tour across the nation to meet with select leaders and interest groups.

“We have sought for an extension for up to 10 weeks to complete our job as three weeks will not allow us to do a proper job.

“We have asked the NWC to look at it and have accepted and granted the permission to extend it to 10 weeks. I do not think we are going to exceed that 10 weeks,” he said.

Also speaking, the Acting Chairman of the BoT, Mr. Bello, stated that the party would ensure credible opposition and would produce capable leaders to fill the party’s slot at the national assembly.

“We will help the government where we think they are not doing the right thing and we will bring their attention to things that are not working,” he said.


Applause For PDP’s Outgoing Legislature Leaders

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has commended the immediate-past Senate President, David Mark, and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, for ably leading the House.

The party also commended the immediate-past Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and his deputy, Honorable Emeka Ihedioha for their efforts in steadying the ship of the last House despite some challenges.

National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh said the leadership of the party notes the efforts of the last National Assembly under the Chairmanship of Senator Mark in ensuring unity among lawmakers and leading the federal legislature to provide the much needed direction for national development.

The former ruling party also showered encomiums on other legislators for their steadfastness to the party and the nation at large.

“The leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and members of our great party nationwide appreciate the commitment of our leaders and members in the Seventh National Assembly for their selfless contributions to the development of our nation,” said Metuh.

“Indeed, we are pleased to underscore that in line with the undying values, tradition and manifesto of the PDP, our leaders and members in the last Senate and House of Representatives respectively, amply demonstrated that the true essence of statesmanship lies in employing its uncommon values to the benefit of the people rather than self and for this, we are very proud of them,” he added.

Metuh listed the passage of Freedom of Information Act, amendments to the Electoral Act for credible, free and fair elections among other important legislations passed under the PDP-led National Assembly.

The party said it is particularly satisfied that the outgoing PDP leadership in the National Assembly as it laid solid foundation upon which the nation’s legislature could always leverage for greater productivity in the interest of all.

Credit: CAJ News

Who Will Checkmate APC ? By Amir Abdulazeez

The All Progressives’ Congress (APC) is now Nigeria’s official ‘ruling’, sorry ‘governing’ party; recall, Buhari said they were going to govern not rule. Despite now being the party in power at the centre and in control of a little less than two-third of the states of the federation, APC is arguably still not the dominant party in the country, especially when we compare its current status with what PDP was in 2003 and 2007.

Some of the reasons why APC may not be considered as dominant as PDP was,  include ;

it is not in absolute control of the National Assembly where it slightly lacks the two-third majority in the House of Representatives and only has a slim majority in the Senate. APC will be facing the PDP as the most potentially strong and richest opposition party in Nigeria’s history. The party had ruled for 16 years and it will take a reasonably long time before its material wealth (something that is indispensable in Nigerian politics) and long-term influence gained in power to completely wither away. The PDP is also controlling some of the richest and most important states in Nigeria with Kano and Lagos being the most significant exception, apart from having some of Nigeria’s most valuable political maestros within its fold. Furthermore, PDP’s strong ward to national political structure across the country built over the years with power, wealth and patronage cannot be easily dismantled.

However, the question is whether the PDP can use all these potentials to constitute a formidable opposition to the governing APC, checkmate it, give it a good fight and possibly reposition strongly to stand a chance of taking over power from it in 2019? Since it is too early to understand and predict the new political direction in the country, answers to these questions can only be hypothetical.

As noted earlier, APC has no so much significant dominance over the PDP, but sooner or later it will get that dominance. The APC will get its dominance from future PDP’s misdoings and other events that will arise; PDP’s post-election crises is probably a sign of things to come. First of all, even in defeat, PDP seems unprepared to jettison its use and dump attitude complemented by brutal godfatherism, thereby creating more and more enemies for itself who continue operating and sabotaging it from within. It is expected that now without state power, this culture in PDP is likely to slow down and eventually stop, but the amount of damage it will do to the party before it stops may prove costly. The PDP subconsciously engineered its poor showing in the North and South-West thereby almost relegating itself to a regional party. It is very much unlikely that PDP can redeem its poor northern image in good time enough to checkmate APC’s forthcoming dominance. In the South-South and South-East where the PDP had a massive national following, it refused to allow the people to freely and fairly vote for their choices in local elections and the people are likely to punish it in potential bye-elections and in gubernatorial elections of Bayelsa, Edo and Anambra that will take place before 2019. One major setback for PDP is that the party is widely expected to lose big at all levels in the election tribunals. Before 2015, PDP had two strong annexed parties in APGA and Labour Party which have played very significant roles in PDP’s ‘winning’ of presidential elections. In what looked like suicidal, the PDP decided to kill and swallow the LP and has badly wounded the APGA and therefore now left with no other allies outside the main party. With its expected continuous decline, PDP will have it very difficult to win the gubernatorial elections in Ondo, Kogi and even Ekiti states. All these are factors that will weaken the PDP and strengthen the APC.

The PDP throughout its sixteen years had built itself around money, power and influence and 16 years is not 16 weeks. It will be very difficult if not almost impossible for the party to survive without these things unless they adjust extraordinarily. One to two years from now, the PDP will look more and more dilapidated, disorganized and most likely get disintegrated. This would be a very bad development for Nigerian politics. For many Nigerians who would like PDP to regroup and keep APC on its toes, they are more than likely to be disappointed. With a possible occurrence of this scenario, who then will checkmate APC?

The All Progressives’ Congress would from all indication dominate the Nigerian political landscape by mid-2016 up to probably early 2017, but anything after that cannot be easily predicted.

When APC becomes the dominant party in Nigeria, it is only normal that we get someone to checkmate its excesses. First, we need to determine how much checkmating does the APC require? It is very predictable that in matters within the sphere of Buhari’s direct influence, APC will require little or no checkmating at all. This is because it is simply unthinkable that Buhari will deliberately allow things he can directly control to go out of order and it is unimaginable that the new President will sacrifice his life-long integrity by allowing people directly under his control to mess up without dealing with them. However, any other APC issue outside Buhari’s direct influence cannot be trusted to be significantly different to that of PDP. For instance, one cannot bet against the new National Assembly under the APC to continue ‘business as usual’, we can’t bet against the APC Governors to continue along the tyrannical and autocratic line of most Nigerian Governors since 1999; as party leaders, the party had officially equipped its governors to run the state chapters of the party almost like their personal properties. One may not expect APC Local Government Chairmen and other officials not to abuse office and one also cannot trust the APC party officials to conduct free, fair and credible primaries at all levels as well as running the party transparently without favouritism, nepotism and corruption. Now that it has power, can we rule out the advancement of godfatherism, candidate imposition, money politics and other undemocratic practices into new levels within APC?

If APC needs checkmating and the PDP may not be able to do that, who else can? Buhari alone can be trusted to checkmate between 15 to 30% of the APC’s excesses. If he can firmly control his government and ensure strict adherence to discipline and due process, some few APC organs may fall in line. Secondly, it may be possible that APC may checkmate itself depending on how events turn out. This is because; the party is an amalgamation of different seemingly incompatible groups whose main objective was to win elections. Cracks are likely to occur and the party may break into factions, this may start from the unhealed wounds that could be created from the election of National Assembly Principal Officers. These cracks may widen beyond redemption especially in the states where the governors are likely to continue with their dictatorial tendencies. The fiercest opposition to the party and its leadership is likely to come from within and by the next convention meant to elect the leaders of the party in 2018, the final straw may have broken the camel’s back, with only the presidency as the source of unity and inspiration for all the warring factions of the party.

Presently, it is reported that some political stakeholders have started making underground efforts to come up with a third powerful alternative party to APC and PDP and they are determined to start work as early as late 2015 to early 2016. Part of their plan is to accommodate all the previously deregistered political parties and some interested existing ones into one large group. If this effort leads to fruition, coupled with determination and good leadership by the right people, then that new party may be backed by Nigerians to give the APC a good fight before and in 2019.

All these hypotheses aside, independent socio-online media activist are most certain to become the group that will give APC the biggest fight and the most significant checkmating of its life. If we recall, this group played one of the most significant role in kicking Jonathan and PDP out of Aso Rock. The majority of the Nigerian conventional mainstream media is likely to remain divided and in many cases profit-minded ahead of 2019, just as it was during the height of the Buhari-Jonathan campaign. Socio-online media activists, patriots, nationalists and bloggers have come to stay in Nigeria and they are likely to become stronger, more formal and more effective especially with the renewed confidence and sense of accomplishment that they now have from the 2015 elections. If APC is not careful, this group, that gave it one of its most significant supports into Aso Rock, would be the same to sack it out of it.

Amir Abdulazeez wrote from Kano and can be reached through

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Buhari’s Govt Won’t Allow Impunity, Says Amaechi

Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi yesterday said President-elect Muhammadu Buhari would not allow impunity after May 29.

He spoke yesterday at a public lecture at the Dr. Obi Wali International Convention Centre on Chief Godspower Ake Road, Port Harcourt, as part of the activities to mark his 50th birthday.

The lecture, put together by Amaechi’s Committee of Friends, with theme: “Deepening Democracy in Nigeria, implications for development in Africa”.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Robin Rene Sanders, a former United States Ambassador to Nigeria.

Amaechi said the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan was a timely intervention to save Nigeria.

The Rivers governor stated that the fact that the history of Nigeria and the transition from one civilian government to another could not be written, without including his name, was his greatest achievement.

He added that he refused to probe the government of a former Rivers governor, Dr. Peter Odili, despite tremendous pressure on him to do so.

The well-attended event, which was transmitted live on Channels Television, had in attendance an ex-Head of State Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd.), who was represented by a former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, who chaired the occasion; a member of the Board of Trustees of the APC, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja; the APC’s governorship candidate in Rivers, Dr. Dakuku Peterside; and the representative of Rivers Southeast Senatorial District, Magnus Ngei Abe.

Also in attendance were a former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas; ex-Governor of Rivers State, Chief Rufus Ada-George; an elder statesman, Chief Victor Odili; a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, a former Rivers Deputy Governor, Sir Gabriel Toby;  an ex-Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche; Rivers Chairman of the APC, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya; and a renowned human rights activist, Anyakwee Nsirimovu, among other eminent personalities.

Sanders described Nigeria as a nation of talented people, assuring that the country could get it right, in spite of its challenges, but admonished Nigerians to be determined that the democracy must work and inspire growth, for the nation to move forward.

The former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria also assured that Nigeria could change the face of Africa, saying the country represented the hope of Africa.

Abdulsalami said the greatest mistake of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was to have allowed five governors, including Amaechi, to leave the party for the APC.

He noted that strong conviction, defending his views with the energy in him and not suffering fools gladly, could not be taken from the Rivers governor.

The former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives noted that every continent requires a role model to propel it to greatness and for Africa, according to him, it is Nigeria, stressing that the courage of Amaechi and other APC leaders to bring about change, had deepened the nation’s democracy.

Abe noted that the people’s voices must be heard to deepen democracy, insisting that it would be too early for the APC to do away with zoning of positions, for no part of Nigeria to be left behind and that the history of Rivers State would not be written without Amaechi’s name in bold letters.

Nsirimovu  said the rule of law, effective participation, competition and accountability were essential to deepen democracy, while Jaja stressed that the grace of God is upon Amaechi, especially for becoming 50.

The Rivers governor said: “I have been listening to Mr. Nyesom Wike and I have been trying not to reply him. He has been accusing me of corruption and I have been trying to keep quiet over the issue of corruption. A thief cannot call me corrupt. The first lesson he needs to learn is that he was Chief of Staff to my government. If I have no records, I have records on him.”

Rivers Governor-elect Chief Nyesom Wike, who is a former Minister of State for Education, on Monday in Port Harcourt, declared that he would probe Amaechi’s alleged corrupt government and to use forensic audit.

The governor continued: “One way we succeeded in moving this state forward was that we refused to probe Dr. Peter Odili’s government, despite the pressure on me to probe Dr. Odili’s government, because at the end of the day, they will not ask me the number of persons I probed, but what I did while in government. This convention centre (built by his government) is one of the testimonies. If we had gone to the Obi Wali Cultural Centre (in Mile One, Diobu, Port Harcourt, now taken over by Sliverbird Cinema), the hall would have looked very full. This hall accommodates 2,200 persons. The convention centre is very big. On top of the roof is a plenty space for big parties, for those who want to organise ‘Owambe’ and there are many conference/committee rooms in the hall.

“The road to Nyesom Wike’s father’s house was built by me. A relation of mine was killed in front of Wike’s father’s house, during the 2015 general elections. I am a Christian. I have never killed anybody and I will never kill anybody. Instead of killing somebody, I will give up my ambition. Anybody’s life is greater than any ambition I will have on earth.

“Nigerians need to be honest and transparent. I recently had a conversation with my first son on the phone and he said he was proud of me, because they cannot write the history of Nigeria, and the transition from one civilian government to another, without including me. I laughed and my son said everybody knew the role I played, the struggle and the fact that my family was torn into different parts and my children could not see me, but that they are proud to have a father like me. That, for me, is my greatest achievement.

“God did not put me to shame. I will be leaving office as Rivers Governor very proud. President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife (Dame Patience); Nyesom Wike; soldiers and police could not remove me from office. When I pray, in front of me all the time is God. That is why I am always victorious. If you want to fight me, you must first defeat God, which is impossible. Nobody can overcome God. I have won already.”

The immediate past NGF chairman also expressed optimism that Peterside would emerge victorious at the election petitions tribunal, sitting in Abuja.

Amaechi faulted the governor-elect for behaving as if he was already in government.

Amaechi said: “They have not been sworn in, they are writing to banks to pay or not to pay money and to give them accounts. Which letterhead? Who the hell are they?

“Until May 29, I am the governor of Rivers State. I have no case hanging on my neck. By God’s grace, I have been governor for eight years.”

Burundi Coup Leaders Claim In Control Of Most Of Capital

Coup leaders in Burundi claimed Thursday to be in control of most of the capital Bujumbura, a day after a top army general said he had deposed President Pierre Nkurunziza.

“We control virtually the entire city. The soldiers who are being deployed are on our side,” coup spokesman Venon Ndabaneze told AFP during a lull in fighting mid-morning.


The Magic Of Positive Manifestation Out Of Lack: A Tribute To The Great Lee Kuan Yew? By Adebayo Taiwo Hassan

The division of the world into the two hemispheres – North and South – at the equator also represents a common way of explaining economic and political inequalities and gap that separate the rich and poor countries. On one hand, the global North comprises the vastly developed and heavily industrialized market economies of Western Europe, North America, Australia and Japan while on the other hand, the global South involves poorer and perhaps, emerging economies mostly found in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The South is long-disadvantaged, united by common history of colonialism, underdevelopment and integration into the international capitalism as periphery. The disparities between the North and South is further accentuated through the international politico-economic system that is not only fundamentally skewed and structured by deliberate policies of the richer countries of the North, but also the exclusion of the interests of the disadvantaged economies of the less developed South, Femi Mimiko, an Ife Professor of Comparative Political Economy says.

Yet, some of the countries – Brazil, United Arab Emirates, China, South Korea, Singapore – in the global South have swum against the tide and climbed up developmental stage so tremendously that they now even compete with the West in terms of income and development. But others, particularly in Africa like Nigeria have refused to develop while continuing to present signs of underdevelopment, forming standing embarrassment to all right-mannered patriots. While the stories of other Newly Industrialised Countries, e.g. UAE, India, China are understandable and not so surprising, given availability of human and material resources, the story of Singapore is a sort of magic. Positive manifestation out of lack!

Nobody had given Singapore any chance. It lacked almost everything and all odds were against it – no material resources, industrial capitalists, land. It had, and still has, miniscule population, about 2 million at independence. It also had national psychological trauma of being ejected out of the Federation of Malaysia in 1965. But today, Singapore is not just truly developed; it has some of the best and most efficient economic infrastructures in the world, with broad capacity to meet the needs of the citizens. Also, Singapore has one of the world’s best business and macro-economic environments, explaining reason why its investment inflow is larger than the whole of Africa’s. In Singapore, poverty is a rarity, with unemployment rate of about 1.8%; social safety nets like Public Assistance Scheme and Elder Care Services; and home ownership reaching 90% in 2009 from 29% in 1970 and deep housing crisis at independence. One man performed the magic – Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore and arguably the greatest leader that led any country in the 20th century.

Between, 1959 and 1990 that Lee ruled Singapore, the country underwent the magic of transformation, albeit autocracy, thanks to the leadership of a man whose single-minded commitment to accomplishment of one of the history’s most noble and wonderful transformational tasks created a paradox of modern economy and medieval politics simultaneously. Like the Chinese, Lee showed liberal democracy is after all not the only and automatic precondition for development. Good governance, discipline as well as leadership, defined in terms of courage, vision, character and delivery capacity is it. Lee intentionally created an authoritarian state. He might not be perfect but had to do what was necessary at that time. Influenced by the conservative ideology that citizens could hardly be trusted with rational decision making, conscious of transformation he had envisioned, Lee set up an authoritarian “nanny” state, disallowing dissents and enfeebling civil society to maintain a degree of stability, unity of purpose and direction conducive for economy development. Lee and his comrades might have understood the importance of political stability in economic development drive, given the early stories of India and Sri Lanka.

Faced by the challenge of absence of indigenous industrial capitalists, unlike Hong Kong and South Korea that witnessed exodus of industrialists to their shores from communist China Lee embarked on pro-FDI economic policies, while de-politicising and de-radicalising the trade union statutorily.  Singapore just had to collaborate with foreign capital, since it lacked wherewithal to invest in infrastructures and human capital.

Lee’s legacy teaches us the importance of the state in driving economy. Lee never allowed the economy to be left to the market alone, contrary to the liberal free market ideology. One of the significant peculiarities of the country under Lee, and of course till now, was avoidance of Western political and economic dogmas. Lee was pragmatic and the way for him was developing policies that run in consonance with Singapore realities. He had to impose regulated wages on the labour to make the country attractive investors to accumulate funds needed for investment in infrastructures and human capital. Yet, at a time full blown market economy policy was a condition the third world needed to get strategic attention and “assistance” of the West, Lee introduced a state-controlled, guided market economy.  

Justifying Singapore’s authoritarian regime, the country’s pioneering economic architect, Goh Keng Swee, likened the country to ?sampan? (Malay word for small boat) which has to be manoeuvred through rough waters. If a few monkeys are allowed to run around, the sampan will capsize and sink. The implication of this analogy is that Singapore’s leadership deliberately established Hobbesian Leviathan authoritarian state to guard against opposition, dissents and criticisms capable of causing instability and divisions which in turn are disruptive of development drive. Ethnic riots, violent politics, bloodsheds, instability, dissents and criticisms in new states like Sri Lanka and India could have taught Singapore leaders the importance of political stability for economic progress. Before Le died, Singapore, had been witnessing advancement democratically.

Before the death of Lee on Sunday at 91, Singapore had become more steadily tolerant, open and democratic as evidenced in the 2011 parliamentary elections at which the opposition led the Workers’ Party had unprecedented 6 members of parliament (MPs); and open criticisms of the government in the social media and the academia.

If it is by quality leadership and legacy of magical success, Lee Kuan Yew would should have a ball in his honour by the angels and automatic access to the heaven without questioning by God.

 Adebayo Taiwo Hassan, Is A Journalist With Premium Times.